Yesterday’s Tour de France rest day was about more than relaxing and working on tans for Team Sky. Despite Chris Froome retaining yellow after Sunday’s tough Stage 11 he was largely left on his own to defend the position after teammate Peter Kennaugh crashed, Richie Porte finished some 18minutes off time and Vasili Kiryienka ended up outside of the time limit. Team Sky boss Sir Dave Brailsford admits that tactical changes are now needed, commenting, ‘There are some valuable lessons to be learned that we will take into the rest of the race… You learn more from adversity than success and we have learned a lot.’
Sunday’s 168.5km leg from Saint-Girons to Bagnčres-de-Bigorre included four category 1 climbs with Froome – who remains a race favourite – tweeting afterwards, ‘That was one of the hardest days I’ve ever had on a bike. Bring on the rest day tomorrow! #TDF’. The Tour de France continues today with a flat course through ‘the heartland of cycling’, Brittany, with a 197km run from Saint-Gildas-des-Bois to Saint-Malo.