Today's second Alpine stage of the 2014 Tour de France provided more climbing fireworks. Rafal Majka survived three tremendous climbs from a seventeen-man break to win, after finishing second yesterday. He is giving team Tinkoff-Saxo something to celebrate after losing leader Alberto Contador back in stage 10. Vincenzo Nibali added to his overall lead by finishing second, and the rest of the GC compacted and solidified... Alejandro Valverde is still second (now at 4:37), Romain Bardet is till third (4:50), also in yellow, and also the top French rider, Thibaut Pinot is still fourth (5:06), and Tejay Van Garderen is still fifth (5:49) after another strong ride in the mountains.
Meanwhile Joaquim Rodriguez recaptured the climber's polka dot jersey by taking all the early climb points (including leading across the top of the Col d'Izouard, and claiming the prize for the first rider over the highest point of the tour). He is now tied with Majka, and that might be an interesting competition when the Tour reaches the Pyrenees. Another interesting competition is the best young rider, between Bardet and Pinot, who are also battling for a podium spot and ... best Frenchman!
Tomorrow is a long transition stage (aka, watch out for Marcel Kittel and Andre Greipel), and Monday is the Tour's second rest day. After that ... the Pyrenees for three days! Stay tuned.