Apr 29 2013
A hilly stage race that—were it not for some lousy weather—might not have even had a hilltop finish. Still, the tight time gaps lead to some hard chasing and interesting sprints, and a renewed appreciation on the part of yours truly for the skills of Gianni Meersman.
The race was also a bit of a blow for the Sky-is-Doping storyline. Yes, the team controlled the racing, but they didn’t dominate it, relying more heavily on sprinters’ teams and Movistar toward the end of the event, and coming apart almost completely on the final hilly stage.
Yes, Froome still won, but in the decisive moments he had to do it himself, and at least pulled faces like he was earning it with the effort. And while most top talents can hard-nose it through six stages in April, it’s unlikely to be a winning strategy over three weeks in July.