The windswept heights of Holme Moss can rarely have throbbed with the one beating heart of such a crowd. The parade of riders, a symbol of athletic pageantry clad in vivid lycra, crested the summit of this iconic British climb en masse. This was not to be the time or place for a scrap between the main contenders.
The kaleidescope tumbled down towards humble Jenkin Road on the outskirts of Sheffield. Situated 5 kilometres from the finish line, this vicious bump in the road was destined to be the first major battleground of the Tour.
Contador, Froome, Sagan, Van den Broek, Van Gaarderen, Nibali and all the other pretenders for the maillot jaune pitted themselves against the hill and against each other, before Vincenzo Nibali launched a searing attack to claim the spoils.
Jenkin Road has entered cycling’s folklore. It put the mighty Fabian Cancellara to the sword, it has determined who will contest the fight.