It was tempting to plump for Frédéric Brun for this one, getting in the break and giving his Bretagne-Séché Environnement team some very welcome publicity by staying away until 45km to go. That’s about the best the Pro Continental outfit can hope for at this level.
But the performance of Geraint Thomas in support of Chris Froome was quite something in a fabulous day of racing.
Froome rode with aplomb on the cobbles, despite the forewarnings of doom and disaster from many following last year’s crashes. He’s not afraid to jab out his spiky elbows and make room for himself when needed (as we saw yesterday on the Mur de Huy) and was consistently well-positioned throughout today’s 223km, the longest of the Tour. His confidence is clearly sky-high.
And always in close proximity to his leader, frequently glancing over his shoulder to check Froome’s position, was Team Sky’s ultimate domestique deluxe.
Thomas has been at the head of affairs for three days straight now. Let’s hope he can save something for the mountains.
In the meantime, have a banana. You’ve earned it.