TdF2020 - Allez!

Something’s clearly wrong with Bernal. When he cracked there were still 30 people in the lead group. Jumbo Visma have built a ridiculously strong team, and to think they’re missing Kruijswijk due to injury. It’s a bit sad that the Sky/Ineos train has simply been replaced by a different one. I was hoping for a wide open contest this year, but it looks like we’ve just swapped one overly dominant team for another.

Hopefully I’m wrong and someone attacks yet.

Looks like Slovenia is the new superpower of cycling. I suppose it makes just as much sense as the UK of recent years past.

Maybe Ineos will send their guys to a ski jumping training camp in the offseason to try to close the gap.

I was just thinking that with Froome begging out of the TdF because he “didn’t have the legs”, Geraint being left out, Richie Porte not wanting to be captain anymore, now Bernal’s lack luster performance… I wonder if any of them are talking about getting the band back together for next year under a different team flag. Throw in Yates while they’re at it.

Would have to be a sponsor with very deep pockets.

Sagan’s heart’s not in it this year. There is absolutely no reason he should not have gone in the break with Trentin for mid-stage sprint points. He had two Bora guys in the break to help him. He would likely have dropped Sam Bennett in the climb leading up. Even if not, he’d have been in the points.

I disagree. If Sagan had tried to get into the break, the entirety Deceuninck Quickstep would have been on the front of the peleton to bring things back together. I daresay they won’t let Trentin into another break either, though Trentin poses less of a threat to beat Bennett in the remaining flat stages.

Hero of the day today was Daniel Oss, driving the break all day for the benefit of a kid very few would have picked to win out of that break. I figured Alaphilippe or Carapaz for the stage, but that was a hell of an attack over the top by Kamna.

Well, I think today all debts will be settled as far as the podium positions and likely the top 10 riders of this year’s tour. Not sure the early break will stay away. I think that Pogacar looks stronger than Roglic at the moment. I also think it’s going to be Richie Porte vs Lopez in the battle for third.

Won’t be watching until tonight so no spoilers please.

Wow. Lopez was unbeatable. Roglic dug deep. Let’s see if he pays for it tomorrow. But Carapaz was the big surprise. Almost got away with it. Porte in 4th. Kuss crushed it and Landa got crushed. But very pleased to see my man Valverde in the top 10. Alaphillipe is as fragile as usual; No regulator. He’s tap wide open until he’s tapped out.

I don’t know that I’d call it a big surprise to see the winner of last year’s Giro d’Italia ride well in a mountain stage. I was rooting for him to hang on for the win. I’m not much of an Ineos fan, but they’ve really got nothing at all to show in this Tour so far.

I think you’re right that the podium is now set. The ITT up La Planche Des Belles Filles will be no joke, but the time gaps in the top 4 are probably wide enough that it won’t shake up the top ranks. Lots of room to shake up 4th to 7th place though.

Alaphilippe is just not built for the high mountain stages. More of a threat in Liege-Bastogne-Liege and the like. Hard punchy stuff is where he shines, not super long drawn out efforts.

Sepp Kuss – 4th in stage 17, and 16th overall (11th in KOM points)
Definitely some jerk spectators – those cyclists are trying to climb 20% (or more) grade and they are getting in the way. Cheer them on from off the road.

Brian

Was listening to some post race commentary by Armstrong and Hincapie, and George in particular wasn’t very complimentary of Bernal’s decision to drop out. He sort of qualified it by allowing for the fact that it may have been an Ineos team manager’s decision to let Bernal recover for the Giro in two weeks or so. But on the whole they felt that he should have sucked it up and finished the race at a recovery pace.

Well, that was about what I expected out of stage 18. Some futile attacks on the yellow jersey, no real time changes in the podium places, and a couple of top ten guys losing a bunch of time. Don’t know that I would have picked Yates and Uran as the guys to lose time though. And to be fair, Landa’s attack wasn’t actually futile. He wasn’t really trying to get time on Roglic after all, and it was his attack that resulted in the pace going up and dropping Yates and Uran. Landa moves up two places, and while fifth place isn’t what he was hoping for it’s still better than seventh.

And of course still the ITT to come.

I wonder if Ineos would would have finished with the KOM jersey and stage win yesterday if Hirschi had not hit the deck. The way it was looking, probably neither.

Must suck to get stung by a bee on stage 19.

Are there enough sprint points available or is Sam Bennett guaranteed the green jersey (assuming he finishes the tour)?

KOM on the other hand is quite close.

Not directly related – anyone notice the funky 3(?) wheel motorcycles? They aren’t Can-Am Spyders (front wheels are quite close together)

Brian

There are 70 points left on offer for the green jersey. Bennett has a 55 points lead. That’s pretty safe, but it’s not mathematically guaranteed. So long as he doesn’t crash out he should be fine.

KOM has 11 points remaining on offer. 1 for the Cat 4 climb on the last stage, and 10 for La Planche Des Belles Filles in tomorrow’s ITT. Carapaz leads Pogacar by 2 points and Roglic by 7. Hirschi is mathematically eliminated. Carapaz has a bigger advantage than you’d think, however, because he’s not overly worried about his overall time in the ITT. The mountain points are calculated strictly based on the time taken on the climb itself, so Carapaz sitting in 13th, 4:30 away from 12th and over 10 minutes ahead of 14th (and who really cares about 13th vs 14th anyways?) can soft-pedal the 30km to the base of the climb and blast up the mountain. Roglic and Pogacar will be measuring their efforts for the best overall time. Roglic won’t even be thinking about mountain points. I’m sure Pogacar wants the polkadots, but he wants yellow a whole lot more even if the chances of yellow are very slim indeed. He also recently beat Roglic in the Slovenian TT championship, so he’ll be thinking of a possible stage win as well. Plus he’s already got the consolation prize of the white jersey. His stage strategy will not consider mountain points at all either.

Finally, Carapaz is a really, really good climber. I mean, he won the freaking Giro last year. A single Cat 1 climb that he cares about more than anyone else? I wouldn’t bet against him taking maximum points, particularly in the circumstances.

Thanks Gorsnak! That’s the info I was interested in, but too lazy to research myself.
Do they do the ITT in any particular order? (if they send a slow cyclist early they could get passed). What’s the gap between starts?

Thnaks,
Brian

They start in reverse order of standings. 1:30 gap between starts. Each rider is really only racing the man ahead and the man behind. Over 36km, no one is catching the rider ahead/being overtaken unless he has a mechanical or is having a really crappy day.

It’s actually not uncommon for riders to be passed on the road, especially in grand tour ITTs where one rider is trying for the best time and the next is trying to save energy for tomorrow.

And we seem to have some drama in the GC rankings. Porte may be overhauling Superman Lopez for 3rd, and Pogacar is eating into Roglic’s lead on the flat section. Meanwhile Tom Dumoulin looks to be riding to a stage win, which surprises me not in the least.

Biting nails here. Wasn’t expecting this.

Pogacar seems to be through. 45 seconds ahead now (in the virtual general ranking). Wow, I had never thought.