We join the stage about 3/4 of the way, just before the final climb, at kilometer 182 in the town of Nyons. What has happened thus far on this roller coaster stage? As expected, there was an early break made up of four eager riders. It was expected because to get a podium finish on the summit of the Giant of Provence, one has to be either really, really strong, or really, really cunning. These breakaway riders are relying on both, but they’ll especially need their cunning to even come close to the power output of the top riders of the GC. By trying to get as much of an advantage as they can early on, they may possibly have a chance
. …or not. It depends on the desires of the chase group and of the peloton. The break’s chance of success is a slim one, but it is a chance nonetheless. If they do, they will be written into the history books of cycling, and that is a pretty attractive goal for many pro cyclists!
Tell your class that they are going to represent the chase group for most of this stage, although you will go back and forth to check in on the peloton and the lead group. The nine riders in the chase group are three Heads of State, including the yellow jersey, plus their two best super domestiques. You and your class represents the two team leaders who are NOT the yellow jersey, and you will be relying on your domestiques to pull you to the top of this mountain. You’ll have to work with the yellow jersey, at least for the first half or more of the climb. But the two of you have other ideas in mind…
(Fast forward to later in the race, approaching the summit…)
Attacks to the Summit
Preliator, Globus, 4:28, 144 bpm
The yellow jersey has cracked! (Say that with great emotion, just like a TV announcer!) He’s falling off the back, struggling to get back on our wheels, but he must have hit the red zone and cannot come back. His legs are unwilling, his spirit broken. But you and me? We are triumphant—that’s what you get when you suffer—you get results! Now it’s time to say goodbye to our own teammates, our super loyal worker bees who have turned themselves into complete mush for us.
You know what that means, don’t you? It’s down to YOU (point to your class, and hesitate for a moment)…and ME! We are the last two riders on this mountain! This mountain has produced the truth, and we are it. We had a mutual opponent until this point, we worked together…but now, we have to draw our swords against each other. Both of us cannot be victorious. There will be no gifts!