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The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.
-- Mark Twain
This year's edition sees the 198 riders tackle a grueling 23-day, 21-stage, 3,540-kilometer route that takes in 23 mountain climbs and affords competitors just two rest days.
Here is a quote from the BBC website, "Nairo Quintana is one of the few who can ride away from Froome in the mountains and the paucity
of time trialling this year race will also help the 27-year-old Colombian's cause - but he needs to be more aggressive.
It will be interesting to see if the Movistar rider, who has twice finished runner-up to Froome (2013 and 2015) is helped or hindered by competing in Italy's equivalent race, the Giro d'Italia, where he finished second in May."
Nobody in the news is talking about Rigoberto Uran, I think he is this years "sleeper" in the tour, I think he is the one to keep an eye on. At this time he is in 4th place and less than half a minute behind Froome. Cannondale-Drapac's Charly Wegelius said "There's no chance to rest up in the next few days from I can see on the map. There's no chance to sleep until Paris,", whose own Colombian contender, Rigoberto Uran is merely 29 seconds back in fourth place, and only 6 seconds from the 3rd podium position. "At the moment it's very close and it'll stay like that until some lands a knock out punch. There are some pretty big hills between now and the time trial, so plenty can happen. I think it's going to be a very interesting race right to the end, for everyone and especially for Rigoberto and us."
Nairo Quintana has some work ahead of him if he wants to win this year, he has to become much more aggressive. He has to take the leadership role that he is in and push ahead of Froome. He has to put the tours stupid tradition of waiting for a fallen yellow jersey, and ride on, leaving it behind. Nairo Quintana said "I'm back there with the top guys, I'm not losing confidence and I hope we can do like this for a couple of days, so we can go for it." Last Thursday Nairo appeared to give up, having fallen back more than 4 minutes behind theyellow jersey. Then on Friday he blasted back into contention with a second place finish, a fraction of a second behind Warren Barguil. Then Saturday he fell back again, not able to keep up with the other GC contenders. I think Nairo's mistake this year was trying to win both the Giro de Italia and the Tour de France. That is almost impossible, and the person who wants to win the Tour de France needs to focus his entire year on that one race. Another problem, in my opinion, is the tradition of the GC contenders waiting for a fallen yellow jersey rider. If the yellow jersey falls or stops, the other GC contenders have traditionally slowed and waited for him to catch back up with their group. That is what Quintana did on Thursday, and it appeared to be he downfall again Saturday when Froome stopped with a mechanical problem. The GC guys waited for him to catch up but he just took off ahead of them and Nairo couldn't keep up. That tradition needs to go away and be forgotten. Just because something is traditional doesn't mean it's good.
Chris Froome, who has won 3 previous Tours (2013, 2015, 2016), this year is appearing vulnerable. Could this be his age? He is 32, getting into the old years for a professional cyclist. Last Thursday was a hard day for him, and he showed it. Before the Tour Chris predicted this race would, "be the hardest ever Tour I've ever had to fight." Chris Froome still has the best chance of taking overall victory because he has the best team supporting him, and that means everything in the Tour de France.
This coming final week of the Tour has some mighty big mountain climbs, and many smaller climbs, all of which will test even the best riders and best teams. It's going to be an exciting final week for the Tour de France. If you're a fan of cycling you won't want to miss any of the action. Who's willing to predict the final winner?
As it stands right now there are 7 riders all within about 2 minutes of the yellow jersey, all with a chance of winning the Tour. This kind of a Tour hasn't been seen in many years.
Here are the Colombian riders in the 2017 Tour de France:
|Position||Name||Birthdate||Home Town||Team||Rider number in race|
|4th||Rigoberto URAN||01/26/1987||Medellín, Antioquia||CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM||#188|
|11th||Nairo QUINTANA||02/04/1990||Cómbita, Boyacá||MOVISTAR TEAM||#21 (Team #1 rider)|
|18th||Carlos Alberto BETANCUR||10/13/1989||Ciudad Bolivar, Cundinamarca||MOVISTAR TEAM||#24|
|23rd||Sergio Luis HENAO||12/10/1987||Rio Negro, Guainía||TEAM SKY||#2|
|33rd||Jarlinson PANTANO||11/19/1988||Cali, Valle de Cauca||TREK - SEGAFREDO||#38|
|54th||Johan Esteban CHAVES||01/17/1990||Bogotá, Cundinamarca||ORICA - SCOTT||#81 (Team #1 rider)|
|67th||John Darwin ATAPUMA||01/15/1988||Tuquerres, Nariño||TEAM EMIRATES||#62|
174 riders finished the race today. All the Colombianos are doing very well.