Philippa York's Tour de France analysis: The final countdown

Tadej Pogacar, Primoz Roglic and Egan Bernal on stage 13 (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

The song by Europe has to have been inspired by a bike race. I mean, the opening verse has all the elements that you encounter when you ride a stage race. You all set off in a group, saying goodbye to your friends, full of hope that might come true. Or the second part is referring to crashing – but even if it isn't, I hate that song. I've heard it so many times, for example whilst waiting to climb onto the start ramp of a time trial, that its association with pain has marked my psyche.

As the penultimate weekend of the Tour de France looms into view, the GC places are far from being decided, a refreshing departure from most of the recent Tours. The 2019 edition was exciting, but this year's race has taken that suspense and added some more intrigue to who might do what and when.

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Philippa York

Philippa York is a long-standing Cyclingnews contributor, providing expert racing analysis. As one of the early British racers to take the plunge and relocate to France with the famed ACBB club in the 1980's, she was the inspiration for a generation of racing cyclists – and cycling fans – from the UK.

The Glaswegian gained a contract with Peugeot in 1980, making her Tour de France debut in 1983 and taking a solo win in Bagnères-de-Luchon in the Pyrenees, the mountain range which would prove a happy hunting ground throughout her Tour career. 

The following year's race would prove to be one of her finest seasons, becoming the first rider from the UK to win the polka dot jersey at the Tour, whilst also becoming Britain's highest-ever placed GC finisher with 4th spot. 

She finished runner-up at the Vuelta a España in 1985 and 1986, to Pedro Delgado and Álvaro Pino respectively, and at the Giro d'Italia in 1987. Stage race victories include the Volta a Catalunya (1985), Tour of Britain (1989) and Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré (1990). York retired from professional cycling as reigning British champion following the collapse of Le Groupement in 1995.