There's one more hugely difficult stage to run before the final run-in to Paris on Sunday. In three weeks of tough riding everyone's been rung through the ringer time after time. My favorite rider isn't one of the stars, he's one of the guys on the Rabobank team who provides support to the team's sprinters and its contender for the overall race leader. Though he's been doing his job extremely well, the team has done poorly. Through bad luck, tactical mistakes, and lack of form, they've failed to take a stage victory and have no chance for a high-place finish at the conclusion of the race.
That's put only a small damper on my enthusiasm. It's been an interesting race all the same. In daily telephone interviews, the guy I follow, Joost Posthuma, has been giving insights into the events of this year's Tour and the difficulties he's faced. You can read the series, in Dutch, here: https://www.rabobankcentraaltwente.nl/JoostPosthuma/.
I'll give some highlights in another post.
For now, here are a few photos from the gallery on his web site.
12th stage, hot and dry, July 16
13th stage, cold and wet, July 17
14th stage, July 18: his mom was able to get off work this day
15th stage, July 19: collecting water bottles to distribute to team members,