Extended Off Season

OpinionTue, 12 Dec

You may have noticed that we’ve been a little quiet over the final few months of the pro season.

Life outside of cycling rather took over, and we were unable to dedicate the time needed in order to produce content to a level that we were happy with putting out there.

We will be back, in some shape or form, in 2018.

New year,

New you,

New us!

Will Froome still be in yellow after the final TT? Photo via cyclingweekly.co.uk

Froome has survived the mountains, the undulating roads and the crosswinds. All that separates him from a fourth Tour de France win is 22.5km and a 23-second gap.

Realistically though, it’s the 29 seconds gap back to Uran that poses the biggest threat, as Bardet is not known for his time trialling. The Columbian looks to be back at his pre-2015 best. During the 2014 season, he won a 41.9km TT at the Giro and...

Can Matthews make it a hat-trick of stage wins at this year’s Tour? Photo via letour.fr

 

We’re nearly there folks! The mountains are done for another year at Le Tour, and Froome’s grip on the yellow jersey is that bit stronger after Bardet and Uran couldn’t distance him on the Izoard. The final two stages, before the ceremonial crit in Paris, could still throw up a surprise, but it will take a huge effort. Bardet’s only real chance is to go on the attack tomorrow and use his team to force a...

Can Chris Froome get his first stage win of this year’s tour on the last summit finish? pic courtesy of sky news.

Primoz Roglic deserves a perfect scorecard for his victory in stage 17, especially for his ski-jump landing pose on the podium—it certainly beats bottom pinching. Stage 18 gives him another opportunity for take off, and looking at the profile we can spy plenty of ramps he can use as a launchpad.

OK, now that we’ve done the whole ex-ski-jumper bit, we can move on to consider...

The Col du Galibier makes a welcome return on stage 17. pic courtesy of savoie-mont-blanc.com

Stage 16 saw Team Sunweb use the initial climb and the concluding crosswinds to underpin an imperious team display to win the stage with Michael Matthews. The fierce ascents and descents of stage 17 are likely to be used as similarly key components in the GC teams’ tactics.

Being one of only a few ‘proper mountain’ stages of this year’s tour, but lacking a summit finish, stage 17 sees no fewer than...

Bouhanni won in Romans-sur-Isère on Stage 4 of the 2016 Paris-Nice. The finish is the same again for Stage 16. Photo via letour.fr

The rest day can do funny things to the legs of pro cyclists. Paris is now very close, but fatigue will kick in big time in this final week and a stage that begins with 20km of climbing from the flag drop isn’t going to be welcomed by most riders, especially those sprinters who may be eyeing up the flatter finish to this stage.

Marcel Kittell will be one of...