We've [finally!] reached Le Tour 2014's first rest day, and what's left of the Peloton must be quite grateful. In sheer numbers this tour hasn't necessarily been more brutal than others, but seeing so many top riders like Mark Cavendish, Andy Schleck, Chris Froome, and Alberto Contador crash out has been amazing. It leaves the field clear for Vincenzo Nibali to win - doesn't look like anyone is going to challenge him (assuming he makes it!) - but it also clears the field for a bunch of contenders to finish on the podium. And most of the big climbs still lie ahead. Should be great.
Other interesting subplots include Peter Sagan - he's got the green points jersey pretty well locked up, but will he win a stage? And Roman Bardet and Thibaut Pinot compete for the white best young rider jersey, as well as top Frenchman and possibly first Frenchman to be on the podium for many years. And Joaquim Rodriquez' pursuit of the polka dot climbers jersey.
Mark Cavendish crashes out in stage 1 ... did not win any stages this year, leaving the sprints for Marcel Kittel and Andre Greipel.
Chris Froome crashes out in stage 5 ... didn't even make it to the cobbles.
Lars Boom wins stage 5, an iconic Paris-Roubaix stage in the rain over cobbles.
Alberto Contador crashes out in stage 10 ... didn't even make it to the high mountains.
Thibaut Pinot and Roman Bardet battle for the white best young rider jersey, and best Frenchman, and the podium!
Joaquim Rodriquez looking good for the polka dot climbers' jersey.
Cheers ... the Tour resumes tomorrow, with two lumpy stages which might see breakaways get clear, and then later in the week two serious mountain stages in the Alps.