6 stages down, and we're on the final day of La Route de France, the biggest stage race for the women in August. It's been traversing France, West to East, and it's seen all kinds of racing drama (Multiple world champion Marianne Vos missing a key break and dropping from 2nd in GC right out of the Top Ten, only to claw her way back in again! Canada's Anne Samplonius making an all day escape attempt, only to be scooped up by the peloton in the last few kilometres!) and comedy tweets from riders living in schools for the week, and sleeping in bunk beds, the whole team to the room.
It's come down to only 3 seconds between race leader Annemiek Van Vleuten of Nederland Bloeit and HTC's GC superstar Judith Arndt. Today's stage has a climb at the start of the day, ending in laps of Vittel - and you know those men's races where everyone respects the GC on the last day? It won't be like that, HTC will be on the attack - as will every other team, wanting some additional glory.
You can read Monty's preview of the race here - with the story-so-far in the comments (and a chance to laugh at how hard it can be to find race info... if you think this is bad, wait for the Trophée d'Or!) - and for the story-in-photos, check out CJ Farquharson's pictures and race reports here and here - and Gwéna of La Blog de Gwéna was at some of the stage of the race, and has photos and race reports as well.
And remember! You can ask sprint superstar Ina-Yoko Teutenberg about the race (winning stages, stages in crazy accommodation, taking the combativity prize for log, doomed attacks on stage 6) when she comes to the Café to talk to us on Tuesday - oooh!
GC after six stages:
1. Anemiek VAN VLEUTEN, Nederland Bloeit, 12h 56’ 59"
2. Judith ARNDT, HTC, à 00’ 03"
3. Olga ZABELINSKAYA, Safi, à 00’ 16"
4. Loes GUNNEWIJK, Nederland Bloeit, à 00’ 50"
5. Lizzie ARMITSTEAD, Cervélo, à 00’ 58"
6. Tatiana ANTOSHINA, Valdarno, à 01’ 30"
7. Charlotte BECKER, Cervélo, à 01’ 34"
8. Marianne VOS, Nederland Bloeit, à 03’ 05"
9. Anne SAMPLONIUS, Canada, à 03’ 53"
10. Sara MUSTONEN, Hitek, à 03’ 55"