Tour de France 2017: stage seven – live!

David Alderton writes: “I suspect there are a few reasons why the opening stages of a Tour, when flat, will be slightly (considerably) less exciting than the others. It’d be a huge risk for a GC rider to go off and try to grab a decent time gap. The cost in energy and coordination, and recovery would be very large for comparatively little gain. The better use of their resources would be, I think, to go, as we’ve seen, when it is windy and make the selection into the front echelons, as then rivals have to catch up. Perhaps having a breakaway out in front acts as nice insurance for the GC riders and the sprinters: the latters’ teams can use the formers’ teams to share the effort out, catching the break as late as possible to save energy. Then the fast men have their race, and all pick up the same times. Sprinters are happy as they get a quiet ride to the finish before their race, GC riders happy as they get to the end in a decent time as efficiently as possible. All in all, it seems to be a very complicated process, so I’m pleased it is running through nice scenery, whilst someone gets ready to tell me how it all works.”

There is very little happening. Breakaway riders Bouet, Mori, Gène and Van Baarle are still chugging along in the heat. They’re 2min26sec ahead of the peloton, which will inevitably gobble up that gap and wave them a cheery goodbye on the approach to Nuits-Saint-Georges. In the meantime, Gary Naylor invites us to watch some retro loveliness.

This is fantastic viewing in the downtime of a stage like this …. Here's why @GreggBakowski

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