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Cycling – 1987 – Tour De France – Stage 21 – Le Boug d’Oisans To Col Du Golibier To La Plagne

The pivotal stage of the 1987 Tour de France was stage 21…..when in the first part of this stage, the Colombian cyclists of the “Cafe de Colombia” team….which included Luis Herrera and Fabio Parra….who were 5th and 6th in the general classification….when they kept a high pace which caused many cyclists to dropped out of contention….and that is when IRE Stephen Roche, ESP Pedro Delgado and FRA Charly Mottet decided to work together to get rid of the Colombian cyclists on the descent of the Col du Galibier….as a result of their fear that Herrera and Parra would leave them behind in the next climbs….as their plan worked….all the while that Delgado’s teammates were also dropped…..which is when Roche saw this opportunity and escaped….while climbing the Madeleine in a small breakaway group.  Somewhat later, Delgado’s teammates got back to Delgado….and together they chased Roche…..and caught him just before the climb of La Plagne…..as Roche anticipated that Delgado would keep attacking on the climb….. and knowing Delgado was the better climber….Roche decided he would not follow Delgado’s attack. Instead, he let Delgado get away until the margin was one minute….which gave Delgado the impression that he could safely save energy for the next stages…..and at the last part of the stage, gave it everything he had to reduce the margin. Roche followed that tactic, and confused not only Delgado, but also the commentators and the Tour organisation…..as Roche finished a few seconds behind Delgado….when after the finish he collapsed and was given an oxygen mask in an ambulance.

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