Three stars on the eve of mayhem

Doug Pensinger

Today, as exciting as it was for a while in the finale was ultimately just a mild preview of what awaits between now and Sunday in the Tour. So here are three stars that point to what we we may have in store.

First star: Joaquin Rodriguez
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We've been waiting for J-Rod to be a factor in this race but until Ventoux he was virtually invisible. Today we saw Katusha attempting something for the first time and it netted Purito a minute on a few of his competitors. With a little luck the little climber has consciously built his form for the brutal final week. If that is the case then there is more attacking to come.

Second star: Saxo-Tinkoff aggression
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The rest day comments out of the Saxo camp sounded a little downbeat. It was hard not to interpret it as if they have given up the idea of toppling Froome from the no 1 spot and that's why it was good to see them attacking when Katusha had laid the groundwork by splitting the field on the Col de Mense. Let's hope it was a signal that they will continue taking the fight to Sky all the way to Le Semnoz.

Third star: Alpine vistas
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It's going to be an intense week and we got got a little foretaste of one of the main characters in the coming days, the fantastic nature and scenery of the Alps. Show me any other sport with a more spectacular arena.

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