Viewing 27 posts - 1 through 27 (of 27 total)
  • TdF: Rest Day Roundup
  • crazy-legs
    Full Member

    Bit of a dumping ground for articles, photos etc from the previous week.

    Cycling News has a page full of links and a nice little graphic showing time gaps throughout the stages:
    https://www.cyclingnews.com/tour-de-france/

    Cyclist Magazine has comprehensive Tour coverage including some excellent photos and a write up of each stage plus they’ve been looking at some of the bike tech – if you want pictures of top end road bikes and some closer looks at what some teams are riding, head over here:
    https://www.cyclist.co.uk/tags/tour-de-france

    Andy Schleck has written some tactical advice on how to beat Pogacar:
    https://www.cyclingweekly.com/racing/andy-schleck-on-how-tadej-pogacar-can-be-beaten-at-tour-de-france-youve-got-to-fking-move-your-arse-and-risk-it
    Robbie McEwen is saying similar over on EuroSport:
    https://www.eurosport.com/cycling/tour-de-france/2022/the-only-way-it-can-be-won-how-geraint-thomas-can-stop-tadej-pogacar-winning-the-tour-de-france_sto9031102/story.shtml
    (and to be fair, it’s not that different an idea to Chris Froome’s long-range attack that won him the Giro d’Italia in 2018).

    Wout van Aert has made the Green Jersey competition almost his own with what could be a record winning margin at this rate

    Pogacar, in his 2 and a third Tours de France to date has already won more stages than 4-time Tour champion Chris Froome.

    anagallis_arvensis
    Full Member

    Got to admit the race hasn’t really ignited for me, as a massive MVdP fan boy I would have loved to see him and Wout trying to outdo each other in crazy breaks etc, meanwhile the GC has had the traditional Roglic crash to leave Pog looking pretty much unbeatable…
    Imagine if Pog tested positive for COVID today, the Jumbo INEOS fight would be epic…not that I would wish that on him.

    llama
    Full Member

    It is not quite over

    The mountains have barely started, wed/thurs this week look fun, and next week is Hautacam

    Vingegaard looks close strength wise

    UAE are going to crack and pog will be isolated at some point, ineos and jumbo will have numbers

    YoKaiser
    Free Member

    Vingegaard looks close strength wise

    Indeed, we’ve not saw Vingegaard working to his strengths yet either. He’s had a nibble at Pog but it’ll be Wednesday and Thursday before we see the fight start. You could also say he’s shrewdly kept a moderately low profile.

    gingerflash
    Full Member

    I agree with Schleck, but sadly I don’t see a Schleck-like rider in the top ten.

    I think most are content to be where they are and think they’re more likely to rise up the GC by problems for those above, rather than by doing something risky themselves. As the race goes on, they might become more keen to take risks, but by then the gap will be much bigger.

    Let’s just hope there’s a rider who isn’t satisfied with a solid top ten and ants more. Andy Schleck’s ride that day will be remembered for a lot longer than someone’s 8th on final GC, or Carlos Sastre’s win for that matter.

    gingerflash
    Full Member

    “It is not quite over

    The mountains have barely started,”

    True, but it’s just his form, his strength. He might well end up isolated but will that make a difference. I think he only cracks if he has a stomach bug, a fuelling mistake, something like that.

    I don’t really enjoy these GC contests where it’s a couple of seconds here and there, each day, and every few days someone goes out of the back. It’s a race about avoiding or minimising the bad days, rather than really taking the race on and going nuts one day.

    I used to enjoy seeing the top three or four team leaders, all isolated (all with numbers ending in 1), 10km of climbing still to go, smashing lumps out of each other. Don’t see it as often these days.

    Straightliner
    Full Member

    And for those who entered a fantasy team on Velogames, the league table on this rest day is here:
    Fantasy Tour table

    Simon Farrington and SpawnofYorkshire have amassed a wealth of points (Wout Van Aert seems to have been a wise pick after all) with Simon having an overall ranking in the top 300 (out of 26,000+).

    More hillocks to come this week – let’s see if that shakes things up a bit.

    edhornby
    Full Member

    I kind of agree and don’t with Schleck – the problem being that someone has to go first and it will be a suicide mission. Most of the top10 riders are all close form wise, it’s just that Pog can beat them all right at the end and he’s gaining small chunks each and every day, so to jump them will require a monumental effort that would leave them unable to stay away.
    If anyone are going to do it, it will require Ineos to sacrifice a top10 rider like Pidcock to go first and then G/Yates to sit on the response

    I think the leaders all exposed at the end of the stage will happen on the big mountain stages

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    I used to enjoy seeing the top three or four team leaders, all isolated (all with numbers ending in 1), 10km of climbing still to go, smashing lumps out of each other. Don’t see it as often these days.

    The style of racing has definitely changed.

    I don’t believe for a second that doping has gone away entirely but at least with biological passports, better testing etc it’s more difficult to do it on an industrial “whole team” scale like Festina or Postal – what has changed however (and this sort of started at the same time as doping got more difficult) is gains in other areas, aero and power in particular. So racing has got faster (because of aero gains) but riders can sit there and look at their power meter data, measure their efforts, gauge their nutrition etc in far more detail than ever before.

    The result is faster racing but less of the knocking spots off each other or what might be termed “panache” which is a loose description for “he attacked a long way out then blew up spectacularly but he looked good for a bit while doing it”.

    fazzini
    Full Member

    with Simon having an overall ranking in the top 300 (out of 26,000+

    Trust me I’m as shocked by this as anyone else 😂

    gingerflash
    Full Member

    Schleck didn’t blow up. 🙂 Often they do, of course, but the point is, sometimes it works.

    “but riders can sit there and look at their power meter data, measure their efforts”

    I guess they look at their numbers and judge whether the attacking rider is a real threat or not. If Pog is doing 450w, and someone pings off the front with 15km to go, he can know with some confidence that that won’t stick. On S11 in 2011, I think Contador and Evans got that judgement wrong. They thought it wasn’t possible and let him go. By the time they discovered it was real, it was too late.

    Sometimes, even if the race leader has the strength, he will misjudge, will decide the attack cannot succeed, and will be wrong.

    fazzini
    Full Member

    but riders can sit there and look at their power meter data,

    Is getting rid of power meters the answer then? A long day out by one of the riders from the ‘smaller’ teams is about as good as it gets these days.

    Stainypants
    Full Member

    I’ve just looked at the Hautcam stage and they’ve included the Col des Spandelles for the first time on the tour. That’s will be interesting, on the side they are climbing it’s very steep and very narrow. It’s like one of those singletrack road descents in the dales except it goes on for 3000ft. I noticed last summer the roads around there were closed, they will have been resurfacing it as there was a section you had to get off and push near the bottom. Most people skip it and head straight up the solour to the aubisque and I generally never see a soul on it except forest workers.

    Link

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    Is getting rid of power meters the answer then? A long day out by one of the riders from the ‘smaller’ teams is about as good as it gets these days.

    This often gets brought up (and before powermeters, the suggestion was to do away with race radios). To give the riders some credit, you’d imagine that with their training and support they have, they probably know what 400W feels like and how long they can sustain efforts.

    gingerflash
    Full Member

    “Is getting rid of power meters the answer then? ”

    This gets raised every now and then. The answer from a lot of top riders is that, having trained so long with meters, they can now feel the difference between say 420 and 430w, so taking away the screen would make no difference, they’d always know what they are actually doing and therefore can guess what others are doing, and how long they can sustain it.

    Of course racers say they would prefer to get rid of them, just as some would want to be rid of radios.

    I actually think that the over-valuation of lower GC places is a part of the problem, that say 6th at the Tour gets a load of UCI points, and probably bonuses and payrises too.

    On the other hand, a Tour stage win gets the same points (120) as 5th place in the Ride London, Prudential, Surrey thing.

    If teams incentivised exciting derring-do, then maybe we’d see more of it. Some have managed it of course. Thomas De Ghent is, i am sure, paid far more than his actual wins would deserve, because he gets lots of great attention and we love his attacking style.

    However, getting GC contenders to ride in such an attacking style is very much more difficult and so many choose to hold what they’ve got and just hope that others above them have a bad day (or are struck down by covid maybe).

    convert
    Full Member

    Maybe it’s time to value the prestige of the jerseys differently. Maybe the yellow/GC is not where it should be at.

    I’ve always wondered what a grand tour would be like if the team prize was the blue ribbon title. A huge long team time trial, maybe a mountain and a flat one. Then lots of tactics on the road – do you get your climbers to blow it up to try and crack your rivals worst climbers? Do you hold back some of your riders to nurse others to the finish. Team seconds deductions for points at interim and final sprints as well as a seconds back for mountain points. Basically go to the next level in it being a team event.

    ads678
    Full Member

    This gets raised every now and then. The answer from a lot of top riders is that, having trained so long with meters, they can now feel the difference between say 420 and 430w, so taking away the screen would make no difference, they’d always know what they are actually doing and therefore can guess what others are doing, and how long they can sustain it.

    Take them away then, and lets see if they’re telling the truth. Leave it up to the riders rather than the tech.

    YoKaiser
    Free Member

    I don’t really agree that the GC comp is boring because no one wants to have a go. Pogacar is out there winning multiple stages by sprinting and attacking. Inneos may have some boring tactics but I can see Jumbo doing a WvA and Roglic having a good dig and launching Vingegaard. They’ve done it before with Wout and Primo in Paris Nice.

    slowpuncheur
    Full Member

    Whilst he was a naughty boy, there’s no denying that modern racing lacks a Contador type figure. He knew that whilst he was a very decent time trialist, he wasn’t up with the likes of Armstrong, Wiggins etc. so he knew, even if he was leading the GC, he needed to put time into rivals when the terrain suited him best. The issues now are 1: Pogacar doesn’t seem to have an obvious weakness and 2: there isn’t really a GC contender who bosses time trials (at least one who can stay rubber side down for 3 weeks i.e. not Roglic) to rival Pog. More broadly, the concentration of ‘climbers who can TT’ within Ineos and Jumbo Visma rather concentrate the talent in 2 large pools. Whilst there are people like Mas, Bardet and Quintana in the top 10, the 40km TT on Stage 20 means they’ll need to find a big chunk of time somewhere – potentially risking a top 10 position to achieve a podium.

    I think Ineos will be all in for Thomas because of this and use Yates and possibly Pidcock to soften up Pog and UAE later this week.

    chakaping
    Free Member

    I kind of agree and don’t with Schleck – the problem being that someone has to go first and it will be a suicide mission

    Agreed. Who’s going to risk their podium spot when, in their heart, they don’t really think they can beat him?

    OK, maybe the new-look Ineos would have a pop at it actually. They do seem to be living more dangerously these days.

    For me, it’s been a really exciting race so far: WvA going nuts, several exciting finishes, the Roubaix stage fireworks, Pog’s not put it beyond reach yet.

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    I’ve always wondered what a grand tour would be like if the team prize was the blue ribbon title.

    Ironically, that was the reason the TTT was taken out of the Tour because it was too easy for the GC rider’s position to be compromised by poor team-mates, bad luck, etc!

    gingerflash
    Full Member

    “that modern racing lacks a Contador type”

    I think some of them from that era cared more about how they won, rather than what they won. I think we probably remember them more fondly for that too. It’s why most of us found Sky so hard to like.

    Cancellara often spoke about his legacy, about the importance of winning alone, with panache and style, rather than just racking up the wins. Valverde speaks of it a lot too, about the need to be exciting, spectacular, even if it rarely succeeds. Contador discussed it in the GCN interview.

    There are a few left with that mindset, Nibali, maybe Alaphilippe and Van Der Poel think like this too, but I don’t think there’s a really top GC rider with that approach. I actually think the closest to that is Pogacar himself.

    slowpuncheur
    Full Member

    I actually think the closest to that is Pogacar himself

    Absolutely. He’s a racer alright. For the sake of this years race, I am hoping his instinct might be the chink in his armour.

    convert
    Full Member

    Absolutely. He’s a racer alright.

    Dare I say it….he might be the closest we’ve had to a Merckx for a while. You just have to hope with a year or twos experience Pidcock could challenge him.

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    Absolutely. He’s a racer alright

    Bear in mind of course the time bonuses for top 3 on every stage. 20″ of Pogacar’s time has been solely from bonus seconds for the stage wins.

    The Tour has played around with time bonuses in the past – sometimes on flat stages only, sometimes none at all… Example of how much of a difference they can make – when Cobo beat Froome in the Vuelta (before later being stripped of his win for doping), his time was purely on bonuses. Overall he had ridden the Vuelta slower than Froome.

    anagallis_arvensis
    Full Member

    Your definition of “fighting talk” must be different to mine

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