le tipping’s future

Thanks for your interest over the years in our cycling tipping competition for the Grand Tours – le tipping.

After running the competition for more than twenty years, we now feel that it is time for a break and, more importantly, an opportunity for someone else to take over and provide the energy it deserves.

If you think you might be interested in taking on the satisfying and enjoyable task of running le tipping, please send an email with a little about your thoughts to letipping@gmail.com

We would like to hand the task over – at no cost – to someone who is willing and able to carry on the tone and feel of the current contest (no cost, light-hearted, etc).  We will be in a position to provide the tools (excel spreadsheets, website, mailing list, etc) that we currently use though there is no requirement to keep using these; and we are not in a position to provide ongoing support.

If you are interested, please drop us a line.

Let make le tipping great again!

Hasta la vista – la Vuelta tipping final update

The final score-sheet for la Vuelta tipping 2019 can be downloaded here: V21_le tipping personale

Stage 20.  The final mountains of la Vuelta, and the final chance to shuffle the GC order.  Astana sensed it and, despite not putting anyone in the break, started attacking early and attacking often.

But after MiguelAngel LOPEZ’s acceleration didn’t succeed, they were placed on the defensive when Tadel POGACAR counter-attacked and started to create serious time gaps.

V20 Lopez

The best form of defense is attack – or not… MiguelAngel LOPEZ.

It seems that two stage wins, a top five overall and second in the young rider competition weren’t enough to satisfy the 20-year old POGACAR and over the final 40km of the stage he helped himself to a third stage win, into third overall and to the best young rider – greedy!  And hasn’t Slovenian cycling come of age this year?

In the bunch behind, Primoz ROGLC did what he needed to do – and what he is now experienced at – and covered all the threats to finish with his rivals and all but guarantee a Vuelta victory.

Hasta la pista (Mark Sadgrove) returned from his shared tipping victory a few stages ago to take this one on his own.  And in a desperately close battle for the overall tipping honours, El Ray (Baz King) poked his nose into the lead (by a point); but four tipsters approached the final stage within twelve points of the tipping lead.

And that just left the final procession into Paris, where Fabio JAKOBSEN pipped Sam BENNETT at the line to continue Deceuninck QuickStep’s rich Vuelta.  Primoz ROGLIC finished safely in the bunch, yet again, to take his first Grand Tour Victory and suggest that Jumbo-Visma may have the combined firepower to take on Team Ineos at their best (not what they were in the Vuelta).

V21 JumboVisma

Jumbo Visma owned the Vuelta in 2019.

The final tipping stage went the way of many a sprint tipping stage – to Chapolini (Eli Chapman), who also took sprint tipping honours for the Vuelta.

In one of the closest contests ever, the final victory in la tipping 2019 goes to El Jarrid (Gerrit) and Ze Rockets, which included Primoz ROGLIC, Tadel POGACAR, MiguelAngel LOPEZ, and Rafal MAJKA for the overall; Fabio JAKOBSEN, Alex ARANBURU, Jon ABERASTURI and Max WALSCHEID for the sprints; Philippe GILBERT and Sergio HIGUITA as the strong men; and Nicolas EDET and Peter STETINA just rounding out the numbers.  El Jarrid was also most aggressive tipster.

Well done Gerrit, I’m not sure I could pick a better team even after the race.  Close behind were Steve Jamieson, Matthias Pantani (Matthew Patton), Hasta la Pista (Mark Sadgrove) and El Rey (Baz King).

The best mountain tipster was Leonski (Leon Evans) and completing his riches to rags story, in last place and the texta rouge was ladron jamon.

That wraps up the Vuelta and il/le/la tipping for 2019.  Thanks for joining the fun.

la tipping centrale

The end is nigh – la vuelta tipping stage 19 update

The updated score-sheet after stage 19 can be downloaded here: V19_le tipping personale

As the last few mountains pass by and the Madrid finish gets closer, things are getting desperate for those unhappy with their returns so far.  Stage 18 was the setting for various riders to redeem their Vuelta – and for others to show fragility with the finish in sight.

Sergio HIGUITA has been aggressive without return so far (apart from a spectacular, over-sized pair of sunglasses) but he managed to make an attack stick on the final climb of stage 18 before demonstrating that he can descend as well – so well that he didn’t need to use his finishing kick.

74th Tour of Spain 2019 - Stage 18

Sergio HIGUITA shading his rivals.

In the chasing GC bunch, MiguelAngel LOPEZ was having one of his better days and finally managed to damage Tadej POGACAR whose youth is showing late in a three week tour, ceding the white jersey.

And it was Alejandro VALVERDE’s turn to use the Movistar fortune (which only seems to extend to one rider at a time) to re-take second pace and ‘leading man’ amongst Movistars.

The leading riders on the stage were also in the ranks of most-tipped so it wasn’t too surprising to see a four-way tie for the tipping stage between Frunobulax (Craig Day), El Jarrid (Gerrit), Hasta la Pista (Mark Sadgrove) and Steve Jamieson who also had the glory of taking over the highlighter jaune.

Stage 19 saw Deceuninck QuickStep do to the peleton what they have been doing all year – attacking the race with multiple riders who can win multiple ways and making it impossible to nullify all options.  They left Fabio JAKOBSEN in the bunch in case of a sprint and sent Remi CAVAGNA into the break.

Meanwhile, a crash brought down Tony MARTIN (the only thing that stops him riding) and as Primoz ROGLIC was delayed, Movistar did the classic ‘attack the bunch, I haven’t seen a crash’ trick that they invented a few years ago.  The followed it up with the ‘we’ll stop attacking now because there has been a meltdown on twitter’ response that they also learnt a few years ago.

V19 Movistar

Movistar – making friends as usual.

After distancing the break from range, Remi CAVAGNA was just strong enough to hold off the chasing peleton at the finish, with Sam BENNETT in second, followed home by CAVAGNA’s teammates Zdenek STYBAR and Philippe GILBERT – showing that Deceuninck had most options covered.

Pietro Bernadini (Peter Berney) and Quick Choice had chosen the right QuickStep riders (plus a few others) for the tipping stage victory, while El Jarrid (Gerrit) launched Ze Rockets into the lead at an opportune time, though its crowded at the top of the leaderboard.

tinhead had held the texta rouge for a few stages but decided that it suited ladron jamon better in a battle that is being decided, appropriately, by whether you have a rider in the fourth placed team.

Just two stages to go – a final lumpy challenge followed by the procession through Madrid.  la tipping will return with the final update after that.

la tipping centrale

Different teams, different stories – la vuelta tipping stage 17 update

The updated score-sheet after stage 17 can be downloaded here: V17_le tipping personale

Stage 16 was the third of the three mountain stages that were expected to decide the Vuelta.  Perhaps Astana had given up hope of MiguelAngel LOPEZ contesting the GC as they placed Jakob FUGLSANG in the day’s strong break.

FUGLSANG proves as hard to follow as he is to pronounce or spell; and a pair of attacks on the final climb was enough to dispatch all challengers and deliver a stage victory.

V16 Movistar

The Movistar team – avoiding looking at each other, just like in the race.

In the GC bunch, LOPEZ hadn’t given up on himself and his attacks sorted the GC contenders by form with only Tadej POGACAR able to follow immediately.  Primoz ROGLIC did bridge across and was happy to follow wheels to the finish as it ensured he lost no time to LOPEZ and POGACAR, while distancing VALVERDE and the others.

The stage 16 tipping glory was showered on bugwan (Dave Bugden) whose Total Psyclepaths used a mix of breakaway riders and the little-known training supplement chicken tendies to take victory.

There was little movement elsewhere other than Matthias Pantani (Matthew Patton) taking the lead in mountain tipping.

Stage 17 was a downhill stage, late in a grand tour when even the mountain stages were leading to few changes in the GC standings.  It stands to reason it would be a straightforward break-chase-sprint, right?  Wrong!

The first inkling of a different outcome was the size and strength of the break.  Add in some significant crosswinds, and the recipe was there for one of those classic out-of-the-blue Vuelta stages.

Deceuninck-Quickstep, love a one-day race, and crosswinds, and though they lost their sprinter, Fabio JAKOBSEN, on one of the late non-climbs, they still had sufficient strength to deliver a one-two punch to the remaining threat, Sam BENNETT.  Zdenek STYBAR attacked to draw BENNETT out early and as the Irishman faded, Philippe GILBERT finished him off to take the stage victory.

V17 Deceuninck

Deceuninck-QuickStep – won nearly everything on stage 17.

Elsewhere in the leading bunch, was the day’s other big winner, Nairo QUINTANA, who elevated himself to second overall and first in the hotly contested category: Best Movistar Rider (for the moment).

It was a testing day for the GC riders and their teams with the threat of significant time gaps and yet, like most other days, Primoz ROGLIC poker-faced his way through, with or without team help, and maintains what looks to be Vuelta-winning lead.

The Masked Banooer (Finn Marsland) was the tipster for the stage, placing five scoring riders in the break for a hard-fought victory.  Finn said it for all tipsters when on the podium: “About bloody time”.

For the first time in this Vuelta, the tipping score-sheet includes points for the final top twenty, best four teams, best three young riders and the winners of the overall points and mountains competition (for the riders).  These are provisional only at the moment and will be adjusted after each stage.  Let’s hope your riders hang in there, or your points could go backwards.

It didn’t scare Chrysler (Chrisel) whose overall lead was sufficient to withstand a push from a new range of challengers.  Has he got enough to hold on to virtual Madrid?  Time will tell.

Stage 18 sees the mountains return and, despite the descent from the final climb to the finish, it should be a testing one of the GC contenders.  Stage 19 looks like it should present no threat – but by now we know better.  We will return with an update after stage 19 has revealed its secrets.

la tipping centrale

And then there were two – la Vuelta tipping stage 15 update

The updated score-sheet after stage 15 can be downloaded here: V15_le tipping personale

Stage 14 was the sprinters’ reward for having hauled themselves through consecutive horror mountain stages – being dropped by riders half their weight and struggling to meet the time cut.

With a rare opportunity to get some glory, they primed their teams and lead-out men and launched at the finish line.

Perhaps it was days of stored up aggression, or wobbly legs from dragging their (relative to other riders) large butts up hills, but someone got it wrong in the final few hundred metres and the peleton was scattered across the road – and into the barriers and onto each other (and out of the race for four riders).

Only the lead dozen or so got through unscathed and, given Sam BENNETT can out-sprint nearly everyone, it was no surprise to see him take what may be his easiest victory yet.

V14 Bennett

Sam BENNETT gets a flat day, a stage victory, and a funny hat!

Despite temporarily losing a few fast man to the crash, Marion en Verde (Marion Stokes) was still thinking fast and took tipping stage glory.  Marion proclaimed that “Today was a celebration of the teams hill climbing skills, and the fact their weren’t any big ones.”  Presumably she means no big hills because there are certainly some big riders in the Masprinters.

Elsewhere Choque (Chris Short) channeled his aggression to take the lead in breakaway tipping and Jimbo Visma (James Martyn) retook the overall lead for Three legged dog.

Stage 15’s mountains created the setting for a concerted assault on fortress Roglic through the combined armies of Movistar and Astana.  Their tactics included sending spies up the road, and the deployment of fast advancing forces on the main battleground.

ROGLIC stood firm through the early skirmishes, aided by the defensive wall that is Tony MARTIN.  For the attacking forces, Alejandro VALVERDE lost Lieutenant QUINTANA early on the final climb and when he launched what he hoped would be a telling blow, ROGLIC was able to calmly respond and then turn defense into attack.

By the finish, VALVERDE and ROGLIC signed a truce but with one more stage out of the way, that counts as a critical victory for ROGLIC.  Ahead of the GC battle, the forces of Roglic deployed their advance party – Sepp KUSS, who was there to help ROGLIC if needed – to take the stage victory instead.  That’s really rubbing it in.

La Vuelta 2019 stage-15

The five Vuelta contnders are reduced to two – or one, judging by that look of resignation on VALVERDE’s face. 

The tipping result from the battle was victory to The Knights of Proserpina (Michael Proitsis) who had stocked the break with four riders, and biscuits.  It was either exhaustion, surprise, or sleeplessness that led Michael to respond with “Ummmm… what happened?”

Chrysler (Chrisel) returned to the overall lead and the highlighter jaune but is almost pedaling squares as the mountain specialists amass behind.

Yet another brutal mountain stage awaits the riders and tipsters on stage 16 before the second rest day, to be followed by a genuinely flat stage where if the road goes uphill, it doesn’t warrant a category.

la tipping is travelling over the next few days so the timing of the next update could be a surprise – even to us.  We do know that it will be the first update of this year’s Vuelta to incorporate the provisional overall results.  That means we will temporarily award the points for top twenty overall, top four teams, top three young riders and sprint and mountains winners.

That will give us our first feel for the overall tipping result but also makes everyone vulnerable to your score sliding backwards if your riders slide back in the overall standings.

la tipping centrale

Muchos Steep – la Vuelta stage 13 update

The updated score-sheet after stage 12 can be downloaded here: V13_le tipping personale

Philippe GILBERT would have been licking his lips in anticipation when viewing the profile for stage 12 – not just because it suited his aggressive riding style but also as a perfect hit out before the upcoming World Championships.

GILBERT joined the day’s 19-rider break – which took more than 100 kilometres of aggressive racing to form.  His colleagues would have simultaneously welcomed his contribution to the task, and feared the final outcome.

V12 Gilbert

A steep road, a fanatical crowd, Philippe GILBERT – we know how this turns out…

As the road tilted (ridiculously) upwards in the finale, the Basque crowds did their best impersonation of a fanatical Flanders audience (replacing the beer with cider) and PhilGil did his thing on the hill solo-ing on to the stage victory.  Behind him, the top ten was filled with the remnants of the break.

The peleton was reduced virtually to the GC contenders only, but did not deliver time gaps.

PhilGil was overlooked by Porto Pacquario (Tim Woolford-Smith) but he had four scoring riders and sticky date pudding in his team to squeeze a narrow tipping victory from Gerrit who also moved into second overall – rivaling the bridesmaid performances of Alex ARANBURU in the Vuelta.

Stage 12 also answered a perennial question about il/le/la tipping – is it just dumb luck or is their skill involved?  Well ladron jamon was the winner of  le Tour tipping 2017 from a field of 800 tipsters but now finds himself last among 300 in la Vuelta tipping 2019 – just saying!

The insanely steep climbs of Los Machucos would have marked stage 13 in the race books of most riders – either as a stage to fear or one that would be decisive.  After six climbs of foreplay the remnants of the break still had a time gap at the base of the finishing climb but the aggression of the GC favourites combined with the verticality (?) of the road – not to mention the haphazard driving of the officials’ cars – put paid to their hopes.

As the GC contenders looked to inflict damage on each other, the breakaway’s last remaining rider – Pierre LATOUR – was simply collateral damage.  Nairo QUINTANA was the Movistar early feature (a short?) but the main feature was an independent production from Slovenia featuring Tadej POGACAR in the lead role (stage victory) and Primoz ROGLIC reprising his character from previous releases as race leader (with an increased margin).  This may have been the Vuelta’s race deciding stage.

V13 Theuns

For those who doubt it, Edward THEUNS proves how steep it was.

Ifor (Ifor Powell) and IpBike had the key GC contenders from the stage 13 finale and threw in LATOUR as well for the crucial ingredient to secure stage tipping honours.  Despite the drama, Chrysler (Chrisel) remained calm in the tipping lead and possession of the highlighter jaune.

We get a brief interlude (unless you’re a sprinter) on stage 14, before another monstrous day in the mountains on stage 15.  We will return to report on the carnage.

la tipping centrale

Teletubbies and drugs – la Vuelta tipping stage 11 update

The updated score-sheet after stage 11 can be downloaded here: V11_le tipping personale

With Nairo QUINTANA in an all-red as race leader, Primoz ROGLIC in the all-green of the points competition, MiguelAngel LOPEZ resplendent in white as leader of the young riders and Alejandro VALVERDE in the blue of Movistar, the individual time trial contenders looked like a wacky version of the teletubbies.

As expected, Primoz “Roggly” was comfortably the fastest, and Nairo “Quinky-Winky” lost the most time.  In between those extremes were (Alejandro) Val-Val and (MiguelAngel) Lo who kept their GC hopes alive (just).  And creeping into the picture a touch more is Tadej POGACAR – is he the Noo-noo?

La Vuelta 2019 stage-10

Roggly leapfrogs Lo near the door of the Tubbytronic Superdrome.

Elsewhere, riders either took a pseudo rest day – the bottom twenty looked like the top twenty of a normal sprint stage;  or pursued their chance for a best ever stage result – kudos to Patrick BEVIN and Remi CAVAGNA.

Having the (tipping) time (trial) of their lives were El Ghostrider (Stoosh & Ghosty) and their team Fantasma Ciclista.  Off the back of ‘adequate sleep’ they swept the board with six scoring riders and promptly called for the soigneur before disappearing from view.

At the tail of the tipping peleton the el promedio Joses showed they are actually  “mucho peor” than “promedio” and took the texta rouge.

Stage 12 played out like global geo-politics.  The breakaway group of 14 had been given so much leeway by the bunch that the stage win was secured for one of their number.

So what happens?  Riders attack, and their colleagues all look to each other to do the work to pull them back – just think of the EU and you get the idea.

Ultimately Mikel ITURRIA had the greatest motivation – a Basque rider racing in the Basque region – and his Eusk-exit worked (just) for a fairy-tale ending – his first every professional victory.

Of course global politics is nothing without a touch of criminal behaviour and the stage’s sub-plot was the discovery of a marijuana plantation in a rooftop apartment courtesy of the race coverage – no-one had that outcome in the drug story sweepstakes for the Vuelta!

V11 Drugs

Is Floyd Landis opening a franchise in Spain?

Using barbecue shapes rather than drugs, lukeycuz (Luke Cossons) took the stage 11 tipping victory for Wanty Poo Bear who placed three in the break including the first two places.  Meanwhile, La Cartier is digging up rocks not diamonds and has taken over the texta rouge.

Stage 12 looks to be another sprinters versus breakaways chase-down while Stage 13 will bring the GC contenders out for a battle on the finishing climb – Primoz versus the world (or the Spanish speaking part at least).

la tipping centrale

That’s not rain – la vuelta tipping stage 9 update

The updated score-sheet after stage 9 can be downloaded here: V9_le tipping personale

It would appear that the rain in Spain falls mainly on the Vuelta.  The profile of stage 8 suggested that the breakaway was in with a fair chance, with the sprinters unlikely to make it over the last climb and the GC teams saving themselves for stage 9.

Any slight inclination the peleton may have had to chase was washed away in the late storms.  Nikias ARNDT had remained out of sight in the break for most of the day but knows when to hit the lead, surging from a few hundred metres out to take the stage victory.

V8 Finish

A hundred miles of racing but it is the last 100 metres that really counts.

The other winner from the day’s break was Nicolas EDET, who benefited from the peleton’s caution in the wet to gain enough time to take the leader’s red jersey and continue a bumper tour for Cofidis.

Stage 9’s brutal Andorran climbs packed in a short stage was what the peleton had been saving itself for and it duly unfolded in dramatic fashion.  The break was never given enough rope, leaving the Vuelta’s elite to fight it out on the triple-stepped final climb(s).

MiguelAngel LOPEZ looked to be making a race-winning move before the lightning and hail struck just as the riders reached the gravel section.  When TV pictures resumed the order had been reversed and it was tipping favourite Tadej POGACAR who was pressing forward for stage honours while Nairo QUINTANA took second and the overall race lead.

La Vuelta 2019 stage-9

The Vuelta splinters in the storm.

LOPEZ lost a small amount of time to his rivals after what was later revealed to be a crash when we weren’t watching (maybe he wasn’t too).  Primoz ROGLIC crashed also but will be quietly satisfied (quietly is the way he does everything) with his position ahead of the time trial.

The success of lesser-tipped riders on stage 8 saw a lean tipping leaderboard, topped by Glynnie de Stoker (Glynis Stokes) and Los jamones (Colin McEvoy) who both teamed ARNDT with Alex ARANBURU.  Victory was fueled by a combination of dad jokes and lots of jamon.

Camper van Aert took over the lead in aggressive tipping while Pieter Jeanesson took possession of the texta rouge for last place overall.

But the drama of stage 9 extended to a significant shake-up of la tipping as Chrysler (Chrisel) and Pilsener Urquell accelerated to the tipping lead in a whole new podium that included Leonski (Leon Evans) as mountain tipping leader and Ricardo Jodo doodling in the background with the texta rouge.

The tipping stage victory belonged to El Rey (Baz King) with no less than seven scoring riders on the day from El Pollo Loco.  Don’t expect El Rey to climb as well next time as he announced “Scotty will be buying me the croissants”. (More than one is greedy Baz).

We all pause to gain our breath now on the first rest day.  That will be followed by the crucial stage 10 time trial where ROGLIC will hope to make all the lightweight climbers pay.  After that, Stage 11 will interest the breakaway but the sprinters may decide they need to do something other than suffer in the rain.  We will deliver the next update after stage 11.

la tipping centrale

At sixes and sevens – la vuelta tipping stage 7 update

The updated score-sheet after stage 7 can be downloaded here: V7_le tipping personale

La Vuelta’s stage 6 was a chance for the lesser lights.  An early crash in the peleton helped to give the break a big advantage – and ended the races of Nicholas ROCHE, Rigoberto URAN, Hugh Carthy, Victor DE LA PARTE, and by the next day, Tejay VAN GARDEREN (who has Porte-like powers of self-sabotage).  That’s a lot of tipping Boardmans by the roadside.

So the stories of the stage were the gutsy stage win to the second-tier Cofidis rider Jesus HERRADA and the race lead handed to second-place getter Dylan TEUNS of Bahrain-Merida, as Astana took an impromptu rest day.

Vuelta a Espana stage 6 to Ares del Maestrat

The dynamic due of stage 6 – Dylan TEUNS and Jesus HERRADA.

It was rooster to feather duster for TEUNS in stage 7 though, as he was out the back of the peleton well before the stage honours were contested.  That embarrassment was compounded by the team’s unwillingness to allocate even a single support rider for their marooned leader, though he did get some shelter from the posse of media motorbikes.

Up ahead, the early break never seemed to have enough time and were duly brought back at the base of the vicious final climb.  The GC contenders faced off and we get our first look at the pecking order for this year’s Vuelta.  Alejandro VALVERDE, Primoz ROGLIC, MiguelAngel LOPEZ and Nairo QUINTANA are the elite four and finished the stage in that order.

La Vuelta 2019 stage-7

Men versus mountain at the climax of stage 7.

VALVERDE’s win says more about his desire for a stage victory and less about being top dog.  Can Movistar use their two-prong threat for their benefit and not just for laughs?

la tipping’s feather duster to rooster story was Al Azar (Jenn), who just two stages ago was holding the texta rouge but bounced back for the stage 6 victory to Mulhacen. courtesy of TEUNS and HERRADA.

That left the texta rouge in the hands of Volocesos Trevonesos who’s be doing this for long enough to expect better.

Stage 7 mountain tipping glory went to BooperDooper (Betty Kunath) who had four of the top five places in Ciclistas Rapidos and promptly broke open the bubbly (and edamame beans).

Stages 8 and 9 bring us a stage that the breakaway riders will like the look of, followed by a short brutal mountain stage.  la tipping will return on the rest day with our next update.

la tipping centrale

Bible stories – la Vuelta tipping stage 5 update

The updated score-sheet after stage 5 can be downloaded here: V5_le tipping personale

La Vuelta’s stage 4 was struck by flooding rain and a biblical plague of roundabouts.  One of the roundabouts just before the finish was the undoing of Sam BENNETT when he went the longer way around and lost crucial ground – the luck of the Irish?

La Vuelta 2019 stage-4

Before the storm, and roundabouts…

Fabio JAKOBSEN was given a more conventional delivery to the line courtesy of his Deceuninck teammates and held on for the stage victory, with BENNETT a close second and Fernando GAVIRIA third, after Max WALSCHEID was relegated.

The Vuelta’s fifth stage was the first mountain summit finish.  It was no surprise to see the plucky Angel MADROZO in the break as he looked to add to his collection of early mountain points.  It was, however, a little surprising to see the breakaway trio given a ten minute gap as the peleton ceded the stage victory.

V5 Break

Angel MADRAZO, on his way to the front, or to the back?

But the biggest surprise was MADRAZO returning to the wheels of teammate Jetse BOL and rival Jose HERRADA after being dropped no less than four times on the climb.  On his final return, with 700 metres to go, he amazingly kicked clear to take a stage victory that would make Lazarus proud.

In the GC battle, Movistar continued their year-long tactic, where each of their leaders take turns in punishing the others.  This time it was Alejandro VALVERDE who attacked while Nairo QUINTANA suffered.  MiguelAngel LOPEZ was the real beneficiary, retaking the race lead, with Primoz ROGLIC also delivering an encouraging show.

Stage 4’s sprint gave the tipping victory to, you guessed it, Chapolini, along with the highlighter jaune for overall lead, plus the lead in sprint tipping.  Perhaps we should have a “points cut-off” in the mountain stages to make these smug sprinter teams pay for lauding it over the rest of us on the flat stages.

The stage 5 tipping glory (and mountain tipping lead) went the way of Estefan Nolanski (Steve Nolan) and his Holy Rollers, which include 3 Angel’s and 2 Jesus’s.  He only needed two of the Angels for the win, so still has two fresh Jesus’s and an Angel spare for later.

Jumbo-visma (James Martin) surged up the mountain to take the tipping lead, while Maulers de l Moonaha felt the effects of gravity and have taken the texta rouge for last place.  Meanwhile Marc Kellazia (Mark Kelly) has passively taken control of the aggressive tipping category.

Stage 6 looks to be too lumpy for the sprinters – I suspect Thomas DE GENDT has this one marked in his race book – while Stage 7 delivers another mountain finish to further sift the GC contenders.  la tipping will deliver another update after Stage 7.

la tipping centrale