Racing was faster today in the gorgeous French countryside. Temperatures were warm, around 27 C (81 F), and scenery was beautiful. I grabbed the screen capture below with 102.5 km (63.7 mi) left (click on the image for a larger view).
That is just one of many lovely bucolic vistas the peloton could behold (through the trees!). I also enjoyed seeing Daniel Teklehaimanot of Eritrea making Africa proud as that continent's first person to don the polka dot jersey. I grabbed the image below with 91.5 km (56.9 mi) left (click on the image for a larger view).
Below is a comparison between today's reality and our comparison.
- Stage 7: 4h 27' 25" (actual), 4h 32' 22" (prediction), 04' 57" slow (1.85% error)
After the past three stages, I'm thrilled to be under 2% today! The average speed for the Manx Missile is given below.
- Stage 7: 11.87 m/s (42.74 kph or 26.56 mph)
Now that's more like it! The racing in the final 20 km (12 mi) was wonderful, and the last sprint with the world's best sprinters was exhilarating.
It's a great day for Great Britain with Mark Cavendish of the Isle of Man winning the stage and Chris Froome of Team Sky reclaiming the yellow jersey after Tony Martin broke his collarbone yesterday and had to withdraw from the Tour de France.
- Stage 8: 4h 19' 45" (prediction)
I hope the weather tomorrow is as perfect as it was today. Enjoy the final climb. It will whet your appetite for the real climbs to come!