I love echelons. They’re just about my favourite thing in the whole of bike racing. One minute everyone is happy and all is well. The next, chaos is come again and the desperate scramble for position begins. Lusty sidewinds at the right time in the Tour reshape the riders and the race in a matter of moments. It’s thrilling to watch.

echelonsToday was a beautiful representation of the form. Not only can you see two fully formed echelons at the bottom of the screen, each with riders desperate to make up time, but you can see riders caught in nomansland between the lead bunch and the rest. Even better still, you can glimpse  the chaos as everyone tries to stay at the front; it’s a spiralling bundle of madness, underpinned by a neat diagonal. And best of all is the string of riders on the edge of the road, the veritable coup de bordure in full force. Joyous.

Here’s Etixx QS smashing the race to bits in a crosswind…

And here’s High Road Columbia smashing the race to bits in a crosswind…

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