Spare a thought for AG2R-Citroën. A Bob Jungels stage win salvaged their Tour de France, but their riders have been dropping like flies with COVID and other ailments. They are the most depleted team at this race, starting stage 18 with just three of eight riders remaining.
Ignore that pessimistic viewpoint. We are optimists. For a brief, thrilling moment, AG2R had every single rider in the breakaway of stage 18.
Like a majestic white and brown swarm, there they were mixing it up. You had Benoit Cosnefroy, a cheerful little chap with trendy glasses. You had Bob Jungels, Tour stage-winning, of the magnificent quiff. Most of all, you had Stan Dewulf – the peloton’s only brewer, as an interesting story I wrote that nobody ever read revealed. A mighty triad.
Very shortly afterward, sure, the break started falling apart. In this Tour de France, they will be a footnote, especially in the tale of today’s stage, one that could decide this entire race.
Let us not bother ourselves with that. Today, all of AG2R was in the break, a fact that is unique and quite funny and sounds quite good if you don’t read the fine print too closely.