As the breakaway group of six riders approached Veynes, Carlton Kirby and Sean Kelly discussed the possible strategies that might be in play in the upcoming intermediate sprint. There was a financial incentive to be in the first three riders as the winner received €1,500, second received €1,000, and the third rider over the line received €500. The commentators wondered if the riders from the bigger teams would allow the riders from the smaller teams collect the financial rewards. In addition to any need related to their "socio-economics status", it might also encourage greater effort on the day itself. When that did not come to pass, the commentators started discussing if the size of the prize encouraged more individual rather than group action. There followed a comparison with the prize money on offer in the Vuelta. In doing so the commentators explained how, only a few years ago, the third place prize money on the Vuelta was €15. Incentives and behaviour.
Green Jersey points were also on offer in Veynes. Ireland's Sam Bennett brought the peleton over the line and the points collected drew him level with Peter Sagan. A day later he would be the first Irish man in green since the previously mentioned Sean Kelly in 1989.
After leaving Veynes, Kirby and Kelly got to discussing the resistance efforts, last meal, and economic policies of Francois Mitterrand. The discussion prompted by Mitterrand's resistance links to the region. His reduction of the working week and his wealth tax featured strongly. A bit of economic history.
Kirby then got to discussing one of the two French riders who might win the overall classification. He suggested that the French organisers might have designed this year's tour to engineer a French winner. Kelly was having none of it on a cycling level but his comments suggested that it was not beyond the authorities to engage in such behaviour. Public choice scholars would approve.
At Col du Festre there was €300 on offer for the first rider plus two points in the King of the Mountain classification. The smaller prizes only briefly stirred the interest of the commentators. And that was where I had to leave it.