Sky's Ben Swift and Geraint Thomas spoke to Cyclingnews prior to their departure on stage 18, knowing that two tough days on the bike were ahead.
"Hopefully there's a big grupetto," said Swift. He was right – the sprinter finishing with 89 other riders 35:40 after stage 18 winner Andy Schleck crossed the finish line on the Galibier. As it was outside the time limit, race officials docked each rider 20 points instead of eliminating them.
Thomas' focus was on keeping Rigoberto Uran out of trouble.
"Once the job's done we can probably take it easy because you've still got to ride up these things," the Welshman said of the day of torturous climbs ahead.
For Swift, making it to the finish on Alpe-d'Huez will be momentous, knowing that it's largely all downhill to Paris from there – "Nearly," he smiled.