Two days in the Pyrenees, and the tour moves to flatter pastures. Where are things:
- Get used to seeing Chris Froome in the Maillot Jaune. He'll be wearing it into Paris. After dominating stage 8 into Ax 3 Domaines, Froome leads by 1:08 over nearest non-Sky rival Alejandro Valverde. Other major contenders are done —Cadel Evans at over 4 minutes back is hoping to finish in the top 10; Teejay Van Garderen is hoping to help teammate Evans finish in the top 10 (he's 35 minutes back!); Alberto Contador is nearly 2 minutes out. Goodbye!
- Nairo Quintana dominated this years highest (and stage 8's penultimate) climb up Col de Pailhères (HC). He's 23. He will be a presence in the mountains for years to come.
- Sky lead-out man Richie Porte looked much like Froome in the 2012 TdF leading out the eventual winner to take second for himself. Stage 9, however, brought him back to reality. From second in the GC (under 1 minute back), to 33rd overall. Still, he looked great in stage 8.
- I'm ready for the Alps in the third and final week. Ready for Alpe d'Huez.
Photo from Cycling News.