It certainly was a different looking assault on the Ventoux today: high speeds approaching the base with some favorites seemingly caught out early. However, once the climb started it was much the same - explosive attacks, calculated responses, and deflating implosions.
The longest stage of this years tour with a grueling summit finish provides one of the fastest paces.
To be totally transparent; I was watching today for some signs of where our sport stands on the road to cleaning up the infection that performance enhancing drugs has been for over two decades. I think I am left with more questions than answers at this point. Some hopeful signs, but some "same ol' same ol'".
Have the lessons of the past borne fruit in the riders of the future? Is cycling cleaner? Some of today's performances would point toward yes. But, even at the height of doping - the mid-'90's through the early '00's - Ventoux didn't look that different from today. What does that tell us?
Added Monday, July 15:
Greg LeMond Speaks Out for Chris Froome
Tyson Gay, Asafa Powell Among Sprinters Guilty of Doping
What say you?