I write this from Pau on the Tour de France rest day while our MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung riders take a well-deserved afternoon nap. The Pyrenees Mountains loom threateningly on the horizon but some of our riders have been patiently biding their time and can’t wait to test themselves on those famous slopes. The opening week has proven to be one of the most crash-ridden in recent memory. The high velocity crashes have resulted in a grizzly list of injuries including clavicle fractures, cervical and lumbar vertebrae fractures, a wrist fracture, a scapular fracture, AC joint injuries as well as some very severe abrasions (“road rash”)..

The 10th stage of the Tour de France took riders into the Pyrenees for the first summit finish of this year’s race. Chris Froome (Team Sky) showed his class to take a convincing win. MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung put on a good showing too, to have 2 riders placed in the top 20.  The stage was pretty much a 150km flat run to the foot of the La Pierre-Saint-Martin, a 15.3km HC category climb. There would be 2 lone escapees in the early part of the stage but Team Movistar and FDJ made sure they would be caught on the final climbs lower slopes. MTN-Qhubeka p/b.