It's been a while since I had a punt on the Tour De France and as the race enters it's final stages and the riders head into the Alps this is Chris Froomes tour to lose.
Yesterdays incident with Geraint Thomas though shows nothing can be taken for granted. Approaching a sharp bend on the descent Thomas was careered into by a rider who had overcooked the corner and the Sky rider was lucky to escape an unwelcome meeting with a telegraph pole with no discernible injuries.
Thomas is Froome's right hand man on this tour and it would have been a big loss although Froome has enough of a time advantage at this stage that it should not have mattered.
Stage 17 sees riders undertake a 161km journey from Digne - Les -Baines to Pra-Loup and with just five stages left time is running out for any of the contenders who think that Froome may have peaked too early to make thier bid for glory.
The main part of the course where good time can be gained is the long very technical descent just before the final climb to Pra-Loup so look out for some scary riding from anyone intent on dong this. With the top five riders behind Froome separated by just over a minute there is sure to be plenty of action on this stage.
One of the joys of watching the Tour is the fantastic scenery and brilliant helicopter shots which show some of France's historic castles and ruined buildings that make up the countrys chequred past and this stage has some of the best imagery of the Tour.
If anyone is going to have a go at bringing down the time margin to Froome then second placed Joaquim Rodriguez will be looking to shed his current Polka Dot Jersey as king of the mountains and climb into yellow although it's doubtful whether he could make up the time in just one stage.
The other rider to watch out for is Romain Bardet who finished sixth last year but suffered time losses in the early stages this year to leave him outside the top ten contenders more than twelve minutes down on the GC.
Bardet won this stage in the Crierium Du Daphne last month and he has been consistently among the front runners in the last few stages winning stage 14.