Va va Froome
Va va Froome
The last time Chris Froome won on Bastille Day, he went on to win the Tour. The last man to win on Bastille Day, Vincenzo Nibali, did the same.
So it’s looking mighty good for Froome and, while it is far too soon to be counting chickens, there is good cause to be excited.
Froome stormed to victory with an unmatchable attack on La Pierre-Saint-Martin after Team Sky had destroyed his rivals on the first HC climb of this year’s race.
Vincenzo Nibali, Joaquim Rodriguez, Rigoberto Uran, Alberto Contador, Tejay van Garderen… the big names kept on dropping out of the back.
And when the time came to dispose of Nairo Quintana’s company on his back wheel he did so in textbook fashion, too, ramping up the cadence in typical Froome style and opening up a big lead.
It will not always be this easy – Sky were aided by Movistar setting the pace for most of the day, which allowed their climbing domestiques to sit in and bide their time.
But first Wout Poels, then Geraint Thomas and finally Richie Porte performed their roles to perfection – the Australian even capping the day by taking second place ahead of a demoralised Quintana.
What comes next will be the most important thing for Sky, with Froome and Porte’s one-two on Ax-3-Domaines followed by the entire team, Froome apart, capitulating on stage ten.
If they can avoid a repeat of that, they will be in a very good position indeed.
On a day which started with the accusation of data being stolen, it was Froome and Team Sky who had the last laugh, and what a hearty laugh it was.