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Stage 17 Open Thread

Nothing to see here, move along...

OK, if you aren't completely fixated on Thursday's queen Alpine stage, you don't love Cycling. There's little I can add here that you don't already know: the most wide-open Tour, notwithstanding a few details to get sorted in the final time trial, comes down to one last road stage of any consequence. This promises to be all-out hand-to-hand combat on the Col de Joux-Plane, the last (and only hors categoire) of the day's five rated climbs... 11.7 km at 8.7% average.

Oscar Pereiro must be stopped for anyone else to win... will T-Mobile's critical mass put the hurt on? Will alliances be formed and then quickly dashed? Will it all be for naught when the last 12km of descending are done? We are in uncharted waters now, at least as far as the modern era is concerned.

I'll be up and join in as soon as humanly possible. Don't wait for me...