Welcome back to the third class in the beginners guide to the Tour de France.
I thought I’d give you all a break and some time to take in the action over the first five stages.
The topic of today’s lesson is essentially, ‘Why isn’t Chris Froome leading the Tour, when I thought he was the favourite and why is the yellow (leaders) jersey being worn by someone who has only won one stage?’
Initially, understanding how the GC leaders board works is a little confusing, but don’t worry, I’ll keep it nice and simple.
Just because you’ve won a stage does make you the leader and you don’t have to win stages to keep the leaders jersey.
Yes, Cav won yesterday’s stage but he is in 146th place, 26 min, 50 sec behind Gerrans. Clearly he’s no threat to the yellow.
Gerrans finished in the peloton and they are all awarded the same time.
If there is a crash in the last 3 kms, everyone gets the same time, too.
So, Simon Gerrans is in yellow but he is on the same time as his team mates Daryl Impey and Michael Albasini. He gets to wear yellow because he has finished ahead of them on the stages.
Now, I hear you asking, ‘What about Froome, Contador, Evans, and the other GC contenders?’. They are all lurking with in contention.
Froome is in 7th, 3 seconds off the pace, Contador is in 11th 7 seconds off and Evans is a little further back, 26 seconds off, in 26th place. Of these three, Evans has a lot to make up, but anything can happen in cycling.
I would expect Contador to really make the mountains come alive. He’ll attack and hopefully get some time back off Froome.
Remember, Gerrans won’t have the yellow for much longer and he’ll be happy to give it up. He knows it’s not his.
Stay tuned for more TdF101. Until then, enjoy tonight’s stage where once again the sprinters should be lighting up the roads of France.