Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 158 total)
  • TdF Stage 18: Lourdes — Hautacam (spoilers!)
  • crazy-legs
    Full Member

    Yesterday did little to shake up GC other than some changes further down the table – Romain Bardet having dropped down the previous day managed to ride back up a bit, Geraint Thomas lost time but not placings and the top two followed each other around the mountain like best mates on a club run.

    Today – well it’s another tough one, once again a flat and probably quite frantic start followed by an HC, a (never used before in the Tour) 1st Cat and the final HC summit finish at Hautacam.

    Col de Spandelles is a tricky one, it’s not long ago that it was a gravel track through the forest, it’s now a narrow steep tarmac track through the forest…

    Battles within battles again today – the breakaway keen to finally stay away, Simon Geschke needing to be in it to retain his lead in the Polka Dot (next in the standings is Vingegaard, then Pogacar…) and of course Pogacar promising to continue attacking.
    He burnt up Brandon McNulty quite thoroughly yesterday but UAE Team Emirates have somehow managed a show of strength completely at odds with the number of them left.

    4th and 5th on GC (Quintana and Gaudu) are split by mere seconds although neither stand much of a chance of touching the podium trio now.

    weeksy
    Full Member

    Pog has no choice but to give it a try really does it…

    Unless he’s accepted 2nd ? But i doubt that’s the case.

    reggiegasket
    Free Member

    Pog only seems to have short bursts in him, and Vinnie has that covered.

    UAE threw the kitchen sink at JV yesterday, and it was great to watch, but again Vinnie just sat in and had it covered. It’s not obvious to me that Pog has any other cards to play. He doesn’t seem to have a plan B.

    weeksy
    Full Member

    Would be awesome to be inside their brains and see what they’re both thinking.

    Klunk
    Free Member

    Pog only seems to have short bursts in him

    I did wonder if his more classics orientated build up early in season made him “punchier” but less effective in the high mountains.

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    Pog only seems to have short bursts in him

    He did do a good bit of bluffing yesterday as well – the moment where he sat down on the final ramp and slowed considerably, looking like he’d finally blown and tempting JV into launching before just coming around him and winning was a lovely bit of tactical racing.

    13thfloormonk
    Full Member

    Is Pogacar likely to gain much in a 40km TT?

    After all he has previous of breaking JC hearts on final time trials, but I guess the last one was an uphill finish…

    leffeboy
    Full Member

    it’s going to be a great day’s racing I would think.  I cant see that Tadej will have given up nor that 2 minutes is available in a TT so something has to happen today even if it is only to weaken Jonas before the TT.

    runs off to put a beer in the fridge ready for the afternoon

    weeksy
    Full Member

    Hmmmm i think 40-50s gain… but deffo not enough. Vingo may not be the TT god… but he’s fairly handy still.

    butcher
    Full Member

    Unless he’s accepted 2nd ? But i doubt that’s the case.

    I don’t think he gives a hoot about 2nd, he’ll push himself to breaking point.

    Pog only seems to have short bursts in him, and Vinnie has that covered.

    Not sure about that. He has the measure of everyone else so far, much of it riding people off the wheels. Jonas just looks unbreakable, though I’m pretty sure he’ll be well tested again today.

    fazzini
    Full Member

    I don’t think he gives a hoot about 2nd, he’ll push himself to breaking point.

    He’s a natural racer that’s for certain

    weeksy
    Full Member

    Jonas just looks unbreakable, though I’m pretty sure he’ll be well tested again today.

    It’s impressive considering he’s never had the beating of a full field overall before… Unless we count where he was 2nd overall to Roglic and maybe could have won

    Straightliner
    Full Member

    Fantasy league has some shuffling around yesterday, with the leaders now separated by just three points. I’m battling away in midfield with the majority, but expect a few changes today and then probably more after the TT on Saturday.

    Fantasy League

    Superficial
    Free Member

    Hmmmm i think 40-50s gain [in the TT]

    After today, the only stages that are left are a long flat day (for whatever sprinters are left I guess?), then the TT, then Paris. If your estimate is accurate (it sounds about right to me), Pog needs at least 60-90s today.

    I don’t know how Pog’s going to snap that elastic between himself and Vingo. I can’t see him being happy to sit in for 2nd place. So he has to go for it today & go early enough that he stands a chance of putting some proper time in. It’ll be great to watch I’m sure.

    reggiegasket
    Free Member

    I agree. 2 minutes is too big a gap to make up in the TT, so Pog needs at least a minute today.

    I can only see two ways Pog could do it.

    1. Make the stage really really hard, like yesterday, and hope Vinnie cracks on the Hautacam
    2. Go solo on the 2nd to last climb (Spandelles) and either drag Vinnie clear too, without his team, or if Vinnie doesn’t follow then it’ll split them up. This is a bit of a hail Mary, obviously, but it would split them up and you never know.

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    https://www.cyclingweekly.com/racing/the-race-will-explode-tadej-pogacar-and-his-team-promise-drama-on-final-tour-de-france-pyrenean-showdown

    Not sure how much of this is trash talk in the manner of two boxers facing off and obviously no-one is going to spill their entire tactical strategy over the internet for the other side to read but both UAE Team Emirates and Jumbo-Visma seem to be expecting a big finale.

    ferrals
    Free Member

    Both of them to go nuts on the second to last climb, blow up, allow G. Thomas to bravely go clear solo on the last climb, make a shit load of time on them, and make that last time trial massively exciting from a GB perspective… hopefully with G remembering to take his gilet off this time.

    Is my massively unlikely and wildly optimistic prediction 🙂

    johndoh
    Free Member

    It’s certainly going to be interesting – Pog has to do something spectacular today if he wants to win the race so will he play all his cards and risk losing time or consolidate and accept P2.

    anagallis_arvensis
    Full Member

    It’s not obvious to me that Pog has any other cards to play. He doesn’t seem to have a plan B.

    Given that plan A is attack and ride away from him, what could a plan b look like that’s different. Kick him off his bike and race away?

    TiRed
    Full Member

    Thought Vingegard looked really pained yesterday. He’s not exactly supplesse on a bike going up the climbs – out of the saddle and wrestling the bike from side to side, whereas pog never got out the saddle and just spun his way, bluffed and spun some more to a victory that Vingegard will have really wanted. Should be an interesting day. I suspect Vingegard is taking nothing for granted, given the pending TT.

    fazzini
    Full Member

    Froome DNS due to covid 🙁

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    Live coverage on ITV4 now.
    DNS from Chris Froome! Covid 🙁

    reggiegasket
    Free Member

    Yeah, Vinnie looks strong, and hard to beat for sure. The only Plan B I can see that might work is to play on Vinnie’s ego and attack him over and over, with Vinnie not wanting to get dropped, so going with every attack and burning all his matches. Yesterday Pog just went ‘steady and hard’. Maybe today needs to be ‘slow, fast, slow, fast and hard’. I just think Pog needs to get Vinnie off his wheel, somehow, then see what might happen.

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    Oh look, WvA on the attack… How original…

    weeksy
    Full Member

    do they know this is a mountain stage ?

    reggiegasket
    Free Member

    this is like the last 5km of a sprint stage…

    nbt
    Full Member

    The only way I can see Pog getting the win is go long on Col de Spandelles, but that requires the team to put JV under pressure in Aubisque. I can’t see that doing the same as yesterday will result in anything different, tbh.

    leffeboy
    Full Member

    WvA only really has on and off doesn’t he?  It’s mad but entertaining

    Klunk
    Free Member

    Pog is a long way back 😕

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    Pog is a long way back 😕

    Drifting around the back of the peloton. I reckon he’s pulling another bluff, trying to force Jumbo-Visma into going for a long one, piling on the pressure at the front, over-working themselves so he can then attack on Aubisque or Spandelles.

    Klunk
    Free Member

    relentless stuff

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    Yeah, Simon Geschke has missed the move, the front group is not working properly, the peloton is unwilling to help Cofidis bring it back… All very chaotic.
    WvA going again.

    ads678
    Full Member

    WTF!! Two riders crash with team cars and a press motorbike!!

    johndoh
    Free Member

    fatbrad
    Free Member

    Press bike didn’t seem to be aware there was a rider along side them.

    Klunk
    Free Member

    QST riding (pissing on Jumbo’s chips ?)

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    QST riding (pissing on Jumbo’s chips ?)

    This is quite amusing actually. QST are riding cos Fabio Jakobsen was very nearly eliminated yesterday and if he’s going to get to Paris and potentially win on the Champs-Elysees, he needs to be sure of making the time cut – they can’t just hang him out to dry any more so they need him up the front.

    Cofidis are helping cos they want Simon Geschke in the move to retain his Polka Dot jersey.

    The rest of the teams just want the break to bugger off up the road so they can have some peace and quiet before all hell breaks loose on the Aubisque and Spandelles!

    Klunk
    Free Member

    this is nuts (there’s not a team capable of controlling it….) yellow with just one rider with him on the opening climb is bonkers

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    LOL. Pogacar nips off to the front and to one side to get a bottle and instantly, Kuss and Vingegaard were on him. Not allowing him the slightest leeway, even to grab some food!

    Klunk
    Free Member

    think it made G chuckle

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 158 total)

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