Jarlinson Pantano – quite possibly the Tour de France’s greatest-ever Jarlinson

2016 Tour de France, Stage 15

If you’re wondering what makes an appropriate day for a breakaway, it’s on stages where drafting is of least benefit.

On the flat, air resistance is the main thing slowing you down, whereas on a mountain day, gravity and self-preservation come to the fore. When that’s the case, drafting plays less of a part.

On stage 15, the riders were either winching their way up cols or feathering their brakes on the way down, lest they plummet to their doom. It was a breakaway day.

The breakaway

Thirty riders went on ahead. That’s a lot.

By the finish, two had proved themselves stronger – Rafal Majka, whose efforts had already taken him into the lead in the King of the Mountains competition, and Jarlinson Pantano, yet another of the many Colombians who pepper the peloton.

The flat finish – about the only bit of flat all day – allowed for a few shenanigans between the two. With three Tour de France stage victories to his name, Majka has a bit more nous and a bit more nerve and he coolly manoeuvred Pantano in front to lead out the sprint. Unfortunately for him, what he didn’t have was more energy.

I haven’t checked, but this was almost certainly the first Tour de France stage victory for a man called Jarlinson.

The general classification contest behind

Didn’t really happen. There were a few attacks, but nothing that stuck. All that really happened was that the relentless sloggery saw Tejay Van Garderen living up to my expectations by failing to stay with the favourites. The American slides down the general classification after losing a minute and a bit.

Stage 16

Stages 17-20 are tough, Tour-deciding mountain affairs. Before that, we have this. I don’t know if it’s a bad translation, but the organisers say of it, “the hill they’ll have to climb in the urban final of the stage could prevent the biggest babies from fighting for victory.”

Presumably the biggest babies are the heftier sprinters. The categorised climb’s nothing really worth mentioning, so I’m presuming the hill in question is the 600m long, 6.5% rise leading up to the final kilometre. That doesn’t sound like much either though in all honesty.

Delicacies of this region include comté, a cheese. In truth, every inch of France has its own individual cheese. Here it’s comté.

2016 Tour de France, Stage 16