Turn that Richie induced frown upside down with these handy tips to get through the rest of the Tour now the only reason for a biased Aussie fan to watch has gone.
By
Cycling Central

17 Jul 2018 - 1:08 PM  UPDATED 18 Jul 2018 - 2:26 AM

Last year after Richie Porte left the Tour on Stage 9, we still had Michael Matthews and his quest for the green jersey to hold our interest. Now even he's gone, we want to throw out the TV with our tour snacks. 

Before you do, there's some other ways for the Tour to now keep the one-eyed Australian fan glued to the couch and without sleep for the next two weeks. 

Adopt an Aussie domestique 

They may not be going for the yellow jersey (GC) but there's still nine Aussies in the race who are key helpers for their team. Sweet as Vegemite sandwiches. 

Get to know them:

Simon Clarke (EF Education First-Drapac)

Simon Gerro Gerrans (BMC)

Heino Haussler (Bahrain Merida)

Mark Renshaw (Dimension Data)

Rory Sutherland (UAE Emirates)

And the Mitchelton-Scott guys:

Luke Durbo Durbidge and Mathew Hayman

Michael Heppy Hepburn (Mitchelton-Scott)

Damien Howson also rides for Mitchelton-Scott - we'll  hopefully get an interview with him soon for you to enjoy. Nothing more Aussie than the name Damien - Damo! 

Adopt a Kiwi  

No George Bennett this year for the general classification, so if you're after another New Zealander to cheer, they're domestiques - Jack Bauer (Mitchelton-Scott), Thomas Scully (EF Education First-Drapac), Patrick Bevin (BMC) - or going after stage wins or TV time, the latter Dion Smith achieved by wearing the polka dot jersey from Stage 2 to 4.

It was the first time a Kiwi has achieved that feat. Gotta love a history maker. 

Kiwi Smith makes Tour de France history
Dion Smith became the first Kiwi to don a leader's jersey at the Tour de France after taking the polka dots on stage 2.

Domestiques/helpers not your game? You're the flashy yellow jersey type? Here's some more tips for you. 

Get on board the Adam Yates bandwagon

Go for a GC rider on the Australian-est of pro cycling teams. Sure, you're still probably hurting they left Aussie sprinter Caleb Ewan behind - one of your other reasons to watch the Tour this year - but Mitchelton-Scott is as Aussie as Dick Smith OzESauce - registered in Australia, financially backed by Australian Gerry Ryan, lots of Aussie staff including director, Whitey - and as you saw above, four Aussies are riding with them at the Tour. 

Brit Adam Yates is still right in there with a chance of a strong placing on the general classification (currently on the same time as Chris Froome), perhaps even on the podium in Paris.

So get on board the Yates bandwagon. Woot!

Adopt the other GC leaders of Aussie domestiques

Bar Mark Renshaw (rides for sprinter Mark Cavendish) and now Simon Gerrans (who lost Porte), the non Mitchelton-Scott Aussies at the Tour this year all ride for a main GC contender. 

Haussler for 2014 Tour winner Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida), Simon Clarke for 2017 runner-up Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First Drapac), and Rory Sutherland for Dan Martin (UAE Emirates - 6th in 2017). 

Choose a GC contender from a country you love  

What country do you have some kind of affiliation with whether it's heritage or just love? Aussie football fans have adopted a second country for years for the World Cup given the Socceroos have not progressed beyond the first round since we started qualifying again.

Here's where the 18 main contenders for the yellow jersey currently sit on the general classification after nine stages, and where they hail from in brackets.

Geraint Thomas: +43 seconds (Wales) 
Bob Jungels +50 seconds (Luxembourg)
Alejandro Valverde: +1:31 (Spain)
Rafal Majka +1:32 (Poland) 
Jakob Fuglsang +1:33 (Denmark). 
Adam Yates: +1:42 (England)
Chris Froome: +1:42 (England/Kenya)
Mikel Landa: +1:42 (Spain)
Vincenzo Nibali: +1:48 (Italy)
Bauke Mollema +1:58 (Netherlands)
Primoz Roglic: +1:57 (Slovenian)
Tom Dumoulin: +2:03 (Netherlands)
Steven Kruijswijk +2:06 (Netherlands)
Romain Bardet: +2:32 (France)
Ilnur Zakarin +2:42 (Russia)
Quintana: +2:50 (Colombia)
Uran: +2:53 (Colombia) 
Martin: +3:22 (Ireland)

Still not covered or convinced?

Give in and go full Sky Bot

Noone REALLY likes this much dominance from the team many jokingly refer to as 'Sky Bots.' And not just because we were all burnt the last time a team was this dominant during the seven tours that never were. We bought the biographies and wore the yellow bracelets.

Sure, Sky's not up to anything untoward, it's just we're Australians and we're meant to stereotypically cut down the tall poppy. 

Turn that Aussie battler, Richie induced frown upside down and turn your jeers into cheers. Become a Sky fan boi/girl. It's not like you'll be disappointed, Sky's got Froome and plan B, Geraint Thomas.

Besides, they're into reducing single use plastic now, so can't be all bad. 

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