The Wind Returns TdF78
The infamous wind, the Mistral, decided it should make its mark on the Tour today. While the winds were strong enough to form echelons in the valley, on the summit of Mont Ventoux they were blowing at up to 70 miles per hour. Last night I saw some video of riders on the top of the mountain (early morning in France) showing cyclists being blown off of their bikes, unable to even stop because of the strength of the gale force winds. The organizers of the Tour wisely decided to move the finish line back into the treeline of the Monster of Provence shortening the stage by six kilometers. What happen because of that decision will be discussed more later. Back in the valley, Etixx-Quickstep used the winds to push the pace and but the rivals of Dan Martin on the back foot. (Martin started the day in the top 10). Team Sky had to work even harder to hold their usual position on the right side of the road and on the front. At this point there were two breaks up the road, one with 13 riders and the other group of five stuck in no man's land.