TdF2020 - Allez!

With just four days to go before the start, here’s a good write up about this years favorites:


Notably missing are Froome and Thomas. Back in is Bernal, however not ranked as the top favorite due to a recent back injury. Perhaps this is just the break that Nairo Quintana has been waiting for. Probably not.

Pleasantly surprised to see Valverde still at it. I thought he was going to retire last year.

I won’t even try to speculate who’ll win this year. Just looking forward to enjoying some exciting racing.

Allez!

I’ll be rooting in vain for Quintana. Not sure who I’ll cheer for when Quintana invariably disappoints. Tom Dumoulin, maybe? Things could be interesting with him and Roglič.

I was wondering if it was being cancelled this year, looks like it was just delayed.
Not sure I would want to be in the peloton, but I guess having every stage be a ITT (or even a team trial) wouldn’t be great either.

Brian

I did a quick search to see how they would manage the crowds, especially on the epic mountain stages where the fans get far too close to the riders even without the threat of the pandemic:

The 21 stages of the 2020 route visit all five of France’s mountain ranges and include 29 categorised climbs and five summit finishes. The COVID-19 protocols mean that crowds will be stopped from filling the roadside in the mountains, but the Alps, Pyrenees, Massif Central, Jura and Vosges will again reveal who is the strongest in the race.

Looks like riders will have free rein of the climbs.

If I were to watch in person, near the end of a steep uphill would be my choice. (non COVID year) Otherwise they go by too fast IMHO.

Brian
(plus mountains are pretty)

Stage 1: Here we go!

Rules are that if anyone on the team, including support staff, tests positive, the team must drop out.

This is going to lead to some cruel turns of fate.

I foresee a new category of cheating.

You mean trying to cover up positives? Are there even methods to do that?

Or will teams try to infect their rivals?

Cover up.
I have no idea if it’s possible but I can see someone trying.

Carnage.

Well, not who I expected to cross the line, but certainly an exciting first stage.

I was wondering if the relative dearth of other sports would get mare attention for the TdF. NBC is have a one hour recap show today (Sunday the 30th). Purists may not like it, but a 1 hour recap show is about my interest (and I really like to ride my bike – though neither me nor my bike are built for speed)
Brian

Recaps are great. But beyond the turn by turn coverage, the recaps miss some of the spectacular bird’s eye scenery that full coverage shows.

Just finished watching stage 1 high/lowlights. Now I understand Quicksilver’s “Carnage”.
What most scared? impressed. was the rider (I forget who, but he was 3rd wheel in a team) started to slide (not to surprising), bu he KEPT on sliding – 50? 100? feet. His bicycle was pointed one way, but we was travelling 20-45 degrees off of that. He only stopped when he hit something (looked like a bush, but the announcers said a signboard)

I’ve done some wet descents (nowhere near as steep nor as fast), and those were scary enough.
Brian

Yep. Miguel Angel Lopez. Snapped his bike but he got back in the race soon as his team car arrived and gave him his spare.

Thanks for that link. Looks like he slid, briefly straighten out, and then slid again. Also noticed he had his foot down during the long slide, didn’t help (though I’m guessing his shoe bottoms have negligible traction)

Brian

Yeah, the shoes are not built for walking. It’s just not what they do.

They feel downright silly for anything but clipping into bike pedals.

I wonder how long Ala is going to stay in yellow this year. He manged to hold on to it for about 12 or so days last year. He looks awfully comfortable in it. I’m guessing he’ll be done in by the HC climbs. Enios team is looking very composed; Waiting.

The commentary this year is off. They can’t seem to get into the rhythm of things. More pointless babbling than usual and Bob Roll sounds like he’s calling out the race using google maps on his phone. Where is Jens Voigt?

Stage 3 – I feel bad for Anthony Perez. Earns the polka-dot jersey and then cashed and breaks his collarbone.

Brian

Me, too. Especially how hard he had to battle to stave off Cosnefroy. Would have been his first jersey ever. That has got to really hurt.