Stage two, we were told by one impeccably placed source, could be the stage on which some riders lost the Tour. So determined were the chief GC contenders to ensure that was not the case, however, that we were treated to a spectacular show of strength from all of them.
And chief among them was reigning champion Chris Froome (Team Sky), whose attack on Jenkin Road was reminiscent of a similar move in Corsica on stage two last year. With no ambitions for the stage, it was merely a reminder of just how dangerous he can be.
A solitary King of the Mountain point was the only visible reward for his efforts, but psychologically it was an unmistakable statement to his rivals.
His attack proved that not only was he physically unaffected by the crash he suffered at the Criterium du Dauphine, but also mentally. Froome is certainly not slowing down – as he proved by attacking again on the fiercely fast descent before settling for a place in the bunch.
Sprinting to sixth place in the bunch on stage one showed just how focussed he is on winning a second yellow jersey. His attack on stage two, meanwhile, shows just how capable he is.