Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 47 total)
  • TdF Stage 17: Saint Gaudens – Peyragudes (spoilers!)
  • crazy-legs
    Full Member

    The first of two short but tough days in the Pyrenees both featuring a flattish first half and then a climbing-loaded back half. Today’s finish is on another mountain runway, this one famously used as the location for the opening “terrorist arms fair” in the Bond film, Tomorrow Never Dies.

    130km with 3300m of climbing, mostly in the latter half.

    This is another “what could happen here?!” stage, similar to yesterday. An early break (as yesterday) will get broken to pieces once the climb starts, a late break is likely to be GC contenders. So far Pogacar and Vingegaard have been the equal of each other – if anything Vingegaard looks slightly stronger on the climbs.

    Both UAE Team Emirates and Jumbo-Visma are getting low on riders now and haven’t got the strength to be smashing it through the flats and on the climbs – possibly with the exception of Wout van Aert who seems to have the form to smash it everywhere! Teams are beginning to look at consolidating positions on GC as well and the gaps at the top are spreading out subtly.

    Last time the race came here, the stage winner was Romain Bardet.

    nbt
    Full Member

    I’d just written mine 🙂

    Yeterday saw a great day’s racing for the breakaway with a superb debut world tour win for Hugo Houle

    Hugo Houle wins his first ever pro race

    Plenty of action in the GC too, no major changes in the top 3 but Bardet collapsed and dropped out of the top 10, Vlasov used his place in the break to shoot up the standings and Niro passed Adam Yates.

    Today sees a flattish rollout as they leave Saint Gaudens (once the home of Sunn bicycles) heading for an intermediate sprint in La-barthe-de-nes after 32km, then into the high mountains: Col d’Aspin is Cat 1, climbing back up the uncategorized Sarrat de l’Artigou followed by a brief descent then the Cat 2 Hourquette d’Ancizan. We’re not done there though as we have two cat 1 climbs remaining, first the Col de Val Louron-Azet then the summit finish in the ski station at Peyragudes

    TDF Stage 17 route map

    TDF stage 17 profile

    Expect fairly frantic action in the first hour as everyone tried to get in the break, then Wout cruises past them as he tries for bags the intermediate sprint points.

    After that, who knows? Expect Pogacar to attack multiple times and Vingegaard to respond. Nairo’s kept his powder dry so far, will he finally explode into action? Will Vlasov and / or Dani Martinez take heart from their respective performances in yesterday’s break and go for the long range win? Will the Lanterne Rouge Caleb Ewan make it inside the time cut?

    ITV4 and GCN coverage both start at noon with the roll out (Départ fictif) at 12.15. Can’t wait!

    Superficial
    Free Member

    I know GC is hard, but slogging around 100km+ in the scorching heat then riding up a Pyrenee (singular?) when you have no prospect of winning and the best you can hope for is to not get disqualified for being too slow must be absolutely brutal.

    Straightliner
    Full Member

    Fantasy league after yesterday’s efforts is here:
    Fantasy Tour table

    Simon Farrington has pulled away at the top, but there is a lot of potential for changes in the lower positions as the next two stages pan out.

    fazzini
    Full Member

    Fantasy league after yesterday’s efforts is here:
    Fantasy Tour table

    I think the table will be re-written by the end of the Pyrenees simply due to the riders who have abandoned so far!

    reggiegasket
    Free Member

    The next two days will be great. Tomorrow is the harder stage, with 2 HC climbs (Aubisque and Hautacam), but can Pog leave it to the last mtn stage? Even the last climb of the last mtn stage?

    Pog only seems to be able to stick it to Vinnie in short attacks, which Vinnie has just shadowed so far. If Pog wants to win this Tour then he’ll have to either go longer out, or go earlier on the final climb.

    It’ll also be interesting to see if Ineos and/or Arkea try something, or just settle for their current GC positions.

    2tyred
    Full Member

    The constant Attack! Attack! approach in the GC battle has been so refreshing, such a welcome change from the strangle-the-race Sky tactics of the past decade.

    Yesterday looked like Majka ran out of gas just when Pogacar needed him to make a difference – both JV and UAE being down so many riders makes things more interesting. Vingegaard looks a match for Pog in the mountains but what’s his TTing like? I’d say Thomas is sitting in a nice position right now.

    Interesting on ITV last night that Deignan, Martin and Kennaugh all reckoned Pog would come out on top, 2 mins+ is quite a gap to close.

    What I want to know though is WTF does Wout van Aert ask for at the hairdressers btw? That’s quite a do he’s got!

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    Yesterday looked like Majka ran out of gas just when Pogacar needed him to make a difference

    He snapped / jammed his chain and the second that happened Kuss and Vingegaard went to the front and sent a high enough tempo that Majka would never be able to get back on.

    It’ll also be interesting to see if Ineos and/or Arkea try something, or just settle for their current GC positions.

    Even if Nairo Quintana can move himself up to third on GC, Geraint Thomas will annihilate him in the TT. I’ve never been a Quintana fan but he seems happy now and doing well which is good to see. He was very unhappy at Movistar and it seemed the team didn’t really like him, he often ended up isolated and unsupported.

    DougD
    Full Member

    Given Ineos still have a full team I’ve been wondering if they could pull something off for G over these next couple of days in the mountains – next you’ve a flat stage and then hope he can hold his own in the TT. However even with their depleted teams, Vingegaard and Pogacar still look a step above.

    Klunk
    Free Member

    much much cooler today

    Given Ineos still have a full team I’ve been wondering if they could pull something off for G over these next couple of days in the mountains – next you’ve a flat stage and then hope he can hold his own in the TT. However even with their depleted teams, Vingegaard and Pogacar still look a step above.

    I think if they carry on with this moviestaresque sitting in then Oily jim may pull his funding. 😉

    Rafał Majka non starter (pulled something due to that mechanicalchain snap! Been there too!)

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    I think if they carry on with this moviestaresque sitting in then Oily jim may pull his funding. 😉

    There have been a few flashes of genuine brilliance – Tom Pidcock’s win will rank up there as one of the TdF all-time greatest – and some overall solid performances (both Thomas and Yates) but it’s not been the superteam of the past for a couple of years now.

    eckinspain
    Free Member

    Majka retiring is bad for my fantasy team, but maybe even worse for Pogacar. Without the Pole to drag him up the mountains I can see JV trying something to ensure there’s plenty of time distance between them before the TT.
    Ineos still have a strong team too and G isn’t far behind Pogacar – I can see Pog getting attacked by both teams and potentially losing time.

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    Yeah, without Majka, that’s a significant blow to Pogacar.

    Ned Boutling reckons that mathematically, WvA has secured the Green Jersey now (noting of course that he has to finish in Paris).
    Enjoying Dan Martin’s commentary / punditry too. Although I can’t help but think he looks like he’s about to burst into tears.

    nbt
    Full Member

    As expected, we’re an hour in, on the first climb up Col d’Aspin and we have still to see the definitive breakaway get a gap of any size. Owain Doull trying hard but is passaed by Pinot, Lutsenko and Hamilton, in turn they’re being chased down by the Cofifis team working for Geschke

    edit – Pinot and Lutsenko are about 100 metres clear but as epxected, chasers are coming fro the peloton

    Klunk
    Free Member

    Bardet attack

    Klunk
    Free Member

    Yates and Pidcock out the back

    Bjerg is shredding the peleton

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    That’s a very reduced peloton.
    Yates and Pidcock dropped. Mas was dropped for a bit, seems to be back on now.

    Klunk
    Free Member

    fricking ‘el what a pull

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    UAE absolutely drilling it now.
    Tom Pidcock has parked up.

    Klunk
    Free Member

    Can the Pog finish it off ?

    Klunk
    Free Member

    G is puffing a bit

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    Quintana dropped.

    leffeboy
    Full Member

    this is brutal.  it looks like people could crack at any point.  loving this tour

    edit:oh my, now Kuss is off

    Klunk
    Free Member

    Kuss gone, UAE going down swinging!

    leffeboy
    Full Member

    and Thomas

    Pogacar still looking smoooooth

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    I reckon Pogacar is going to launch in a minute. Maybe just a “small” attack and save the big one for the final climb.

    Thomas consolidating a 3rd place at best, there’s no way he’ll claw back this amount of time.

    Klunk
    Free Member

    UAE been quite clever, McNulty was “rested” (checking out early on previous days) for this.

    leffeboy
    Full Member

    blast off.  Jonas concentration is amazing though

    weeksy
    Full Member

    Why did Pog attack there and blow out his help? That was never going to work 150m from the top?

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    Why did Pog attack there and blow out his help? That was never going to work 150m from the top?

    Testing. Just trying him out. He knows that if Vingegaard responds, he can just ease up on the descent and let McNulty get back on.

    2tyred
    Full Member

    Bardet calls Thomas a wheel-sucker

    Klunk
    Free Member

    is yellow struggling a bit here, a bit “weavy”

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    is yellow struggling a bit here, a bit “weavy”

    I think they’re all on the absolute limit. Literally 1W more from any of them and they’ll blow.

    Klunk
    Free Member

    looks that way

    Klunk
    Free Member

    brilliant! fake from Pog

    leffeboy
    Full Member

    beautiful finish.  They are so strong

    convert
    Full Member

    That feels like a tactical error from UAE to me. They are a depleted team and tomorrow is a beast – so if Pog was not going to attack why burn up McNulty all the way up the final climb?. I guess the only benefit was to knock Thomas beyond what he could do in the TT and protect 2nd if tomorrow does not divide the top GC contenders up further.

    weeksy
    Full Member

    so if Pog was not going to attack why burn up McNulty all the way up the final climb?.

    Because that was the attack. Just not a sprint attack but a “let’s see if you can hold on” attack. After all, it was faster than everyone else could climb, so possible they’d break Vingo.

    DrJ
    Full Member

    Because that was the attack. Just not a sprint attack but a “let’s see if you can hold on” attack. After all, it was faster than everyone else could climb, so possible they’d break Vingo.

    Why is it better for McNulty to do that instead of Pogacar, given that eventually Pogacar has to drop Vingegaard? (Genuine question).

    Klunk
    Free Member

    Because that was the attack.

    Yep It did have the feel of Bora vs Carapaz @ the Giro.

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