The latest on the polka-dot jersey competition, boys being boys while descending, and breakfast with Lotto-Soudal
16 Jul 2015 - 9:00 AM  UPDATED 16 Jul 2015 - 12:04 PM
Thursday 16 Jul 2015

The Col du Tourmalet is well known as a fast and technical descent - so it's no surprise that the Etixx-Quickstep boys got a bit competitive with gravity's help.

First up, Mark Cavendish revealed that he clocked more than 100kmh while descending off the Tourmalet:

Not to be outdone, world champ Michal Kwiatkowski raised Cav with a top speed of 102.2kph.

It's Bathurst boy Mark Renshaw who theoretically came out on top, though, with a reported max velocity of 107kph while eating.

Rafal Majka got aero on his way down the Tourmalet, too.

Rafal Majka's solo exploit over the Tourmalet may have rocketed him into joint third place in the King of the Mountains competition (alongside Nairo Quintana) but it's the Sky boys who will keep the jersey going into the third Pyrenean stage. Froome leads the polka-dotjersey contest with 57 points, with Porte - currently wearing the maillot a pois on Froome's behalf - on 40 points. Could it all change tomorrow? 

Ivan Basso has undergone a successful operation for testicular cancer following his withdrawal from the Tour de France earlier this week.

The Tinkoff-Saxo rider and former Giro d'Italia winner tweeted that 'everything was fine' on Wednesday, as well as thanking the medical team that carried out the operation.

Basso withdrew from the Tour on the first rest day after an examination revealed the cancer.

Warren Barguil faced a different challenge on his descent from the Tourmalet, however. 

Nathan Haas's debut Tour de France hasn't gone to plan thus far, with the Cannondale-Garmin rider afflicted with a stomach bug in the first week. He opened up to Caley Fretz from VeloNews about his, err, discomfort.

“After stage 2, the next morning I woke up and had — well, this is a bit embarrassing — but I had diarrhea," said Haas. "The next day it was a little bit worse, then a little bit worse, and things just started to get really uncomfortable.

After the cobbles stage, you can could say, that made me rough in the gut.”

“I was still feeling really strong at that point but then stage 6, it was like the fuel tank was completely empty, and it was at that point I was actually starting to vomit in the race, so we realized that it wasn’t just a little bug it was something a bit more serious.”

A course of antibiotics and 18 hours sleep on the rest day later and Haas is feeling much better.

"We had awesome medical staff and an awesome chef making me really simple foods that were easy to digest, so it’s been a bit of work but I think — I think — after today I’ve got a bit more spirit,” he said.

Nine Aussies still remain in the race, with injured compatriots Adam Hansen and Michael Matthews finishing in the gruppetto. Zak Dempster was the last rider to finish, with the Bora-Argon18 rider revealing that he's having some sore problems.

Keeping the calories coming in can be a challenge, especially when riders are burning 8,000 to 12,000 calories per day in the mountains. Lotto-Soudal chef Carol de Dobbelaere gave us an insight into what she does to keep the team's engines running.

"At breakfast, the riders have to eat enough carbohydrates in the form of pasta and rice. If there’s a normal jar of rice on the table, they won’t often take a second portion. That’s why I make sure that I prepare an omelette with puffed rice. I let the rice puff in the oven, afterwards I add an egg for each rider and some cheese.

After that, I bake the egg in a frying pan. Finally, I make a soufflé of that egg in the oven. That’s very fluffy and it’s a tasteful way to eat a portion of rice.

"When the riders get on the bus after the stage, there’s always a recuperation meal available. That can be a potato or pasta salad. Sometimes, I make rice pudding, so that the riders can absorb some carbohydrates. Every night, the riders get a frozen smoothie after their dinner. That cools them down and makes sure that the food digests well.”

Look out Gabriel, sounds like you might have some competition...