Stage 9: A Frenchman in yellow for Bastille Day
With a Frenchman in the yellow jersey for Bastille Day on Monday, Sunday’s edition of the Telegraph Cycling Podcast, sponsored by Jaguar has a special guest. François Thomazeau is the doyen of French cycling writers, and also an acclaimed novelist, food writer, musician — and formerly, as well as briefly, a waiter in a French restaurant in Doncaster. Along with François, Richard Moore, Lionel Birnie and Daniel Friebe discuss stage nine, from Gerardmer to Mulhouse, won by Germany’s Tony Martin.
But the other main talking point was Tony Gallopin, who finished in a chasing group behind Martin to take the yellow jersey from Vincenzo Nibali, the Italian who led the Tour for a week.
We hear from Martin’s Omega Pharma-QuickStep team director, Rolf Aldag, and Alberto Contador’s director, Bjarne Riis. Aldag, also a German, bemoaned the fact that his rider would receive scant recognition in his homeland, where there is a dearth of sponsors and a boycott of the Tour by German TV. “If they come back they are more than welcome,” said Aldag. “But Tony’s value is not dependent on that. He’s one of the most internationally respected athletes.
“He’s such a special bike rider,” added Aldag of Martin. “He has the winning instinct but he’s loyal enough to look after his people.” Aldag said that regardless of home interest, and whether or not Germany won or lost Sunday evening’s World Cup final, “We will drink champagne anyway.”
There’s also an interview with Richie Porte, the Tasmanian who has replaced Chris Froome as Team Sky leader. Porte began stage nine sitting third overall after a strong performance on the first mountainous stage. Porte said that the longer mountains would decide the race, and of his own promotion to team leader he said: “It’s a little bit more pressure but I think it’s a great opportunity for me and I look forward to making the most of it.”