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  • Tour de France 2020 Stage 18 – Méribel > La Roche-sur-Foron
  • Premier Icon lunge
    Full Member

    Yesterday was magnificent, well, the last 30km were anyway, love a good mountain stage. Today looks equally enticing, though without the summit finish.

    The 18th stage on the Tour de France runs parallel to the borders with Italy and Switzerland through the Alps. At 168 kilometres, the race travels over five intermediate climbs to a downhill finish in La Roche-sur-Foron.

    Following an extended false flat the uphill party gets going on the Cormet de Roselend. The climb to the summit at 1,968 metres is 19 kilometres long and the average gradient sits at 6%. The peak is crested at kilometre 46.5 and on descent the riders tackle a short uphill kick on the Col de Méraillet before continuing downhill.

    No rest for the wicked. The descent runs onto the Col de Saisies, which is another long ascent (15 kilometres) although the average gradient is moderate at 5.1%.

    Following a short stint in the valley the Col des Aravis appears – 6.7 kilometres at 7% – before the riders fly down a 20 kilometres descent to the foot of the Montée du plateau des Glières. It’s a 6 kilometres torture at 11.2% with an extra challenging element in the last 2 kilometres, as this sector climbs on a dust road. The first three riders on the summit pocket time bonuses of 8, 5 and 2 seconds.

    The finale is played out on the Col des Fleuries, which is a climb at shallow gradients – 5.5 kilometres at 4.6% – before the last 10 kilometres run downhill into La Roche-sur-Foron.

    The first three riders on the line gain time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds. Furthermore, as mentioned, the first three riders at the summit of the Montée du plateau des Glières are awarded 8, 5 and 2 seconds.

    Stage 18 of Le Tour starts at 12.05 and the race is expected to finish around 17.30 – both are local times (CEST).

    Lovely day out.
    Who to look out for?

    Marc Hirschi (Team Sunweb) comes to mind but this is still the Swiss wunderkind‘s first grand tour and we don’t know how he’s doing this late into the third week, maybe team mate Tiesj Benoot is stronger and fresher. Max Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) looks suited for today, at ease on the climbs and a handy sprint out of a small group for the flat finish. EF Pro Cycling’s Daniel Martinez is another pick while Ineos’s Michał Kwiatkowski should like the finish if he can cope with all the climbs, Pavel Sivakov is probably better uphill but less known for his finishing skills.

    Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quickstep) is suited to the course but we’ve arguably got the 2017 vintage, not the 2019 one and he’s been using up energy all over the place in doomed moves, but if he can get over the plateau des Glières with the lead group he’s a contender.

    A quick note on the mountains competition. Pogacar leads with 66 points but Pierre Rolland (36pts), Ricard Caparaz (32pts) or Marc Hirschi (31pts) could take the polka dot jersey but to keep the maths short they need to win or get close on every climb today, easier said than done, it would mean scoring as many points today as they’ve won all Tour so far

    And, to finish, yesterday.

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Full Member

    lumpy ! I’m not convinced we’ll see much though. Apart from basically the same as we’ve seen. I don’t think the others have enough attacks in them for Roglic to worry.

    Premier Icon lunge
    Full Member

    Agree, looks like a stage for a break that can climb, 5 years ago it’d have Steve Cummings written all over it. Kwaito is a good shout perhaps.
    Unless Pogacar fancies a Froome Zoncalan 2018/Landis Morzine 2006…

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Full Member

    I’d love to see Pog or MA Lopez go 2 hills out, but i just can’t see it, espeically when the JV team are clearly strong as hell… If you’re Pog, do you just hang in and take 2nd in the TDF at a young age… Well, maybe… Or do you go death or glory and end up 7th overall becuase you went for it 50km out and died on our backside.. I doubt the team would go with that.

    Premier Icon slowpuncheur
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    Today is Thomas De Gendt’s day:)

    Premier Icon savoyad
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    I know the later roads today well. I’ve been excited about this stage.
    Prudhomme obviously wants to make Glieres a feature which counts in the race. Last time (2018) it was a mid-stage boring procession to test the principle, animated only briefly by an inconsequential Froome puncture. It’s hard to make it decisive because there’s no obvious finish point nearby. La Roche sur Foron is an OK first try I guess. It’s a bit far away though, and the col des fleuries means there’s an extra difficulty in between glieres and the finish line.
    I think Glieres + Fleuries (which would likely be cat 3 on most days but is uncategorised today) will animate the race for the stage nicely today. There have been a few “hard climb then easier climb then finish” stages this year and they haven’t disappointed at the front of the race.
    I hope I’m wrong, but it’ll be a day off for the GC riders though. They could split up and over glieres, but it won’t be hard to get it all back together on that long run in.
    A finish on top of glieres (at the end of the gravel?) would be excellent in racing terms, but probably hard to make happen in financial/political terms. I’d expect to see another experiment like today, perhaps with a closer finish (but where?) in the next few years though.

    Premier Icon Superficial
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    Richie Porte to make a move over the top of the final climb and TT to the end? Pog/Rog might let him go but he could make up time on 3rd?

    Maybe that’s just wishful thinking on my part. I’d love to see him get a stage win.

    Premier Icon white101
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    Yates might have a bash today, I think there is genuine competition for that 3rd podium spot and it’s got some good players in it. Really pleased to see Porte riding so well, EF have a decent few riders left to help out Uran go for it as well. All depends how much they paid out in yesterdays stage energy wise which was tough going up that last final climb.

    Premier Icon TiRed
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    They’re all waiting for the TT. TdG today please – I’ve given the team brief and Team TiRed needs him! No change in GC.

    Premier Icon swavis
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    I’m really really hoping someone, anyone, just goes for a death or glory attack today. The Sky/Inneos/Jumbo train is boring as hell and I wish someone would really light it up.
    At least Froome used to throw in the odd attack here and there to gain time/increase his advantage, like his crazy solo attack downhill, that was brilliant as nobody was expecting it.

    Premier Icon llama
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    As appealing as a lopez/yates/uran/porte long range effort would be, I think it’s a big breakaway day and no change to gc

    (edit) carapaz in a break _again_ you’d think he’d be worn out wouldn’t you.

    Premier Icon 2tyred
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    An attack on a descent by a GC contender is probably the only realistic possibility to make a difference today, but I can’t see that.

    (hoping I’m entirely wrong and everyone throws caution to the wind and we get a day of madness)

    Love the Cormet de Roselend, ridden that quite a few times. Probably not quite as fast as they’re going.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Full Member

    I’m in a sodding Teams meeting ALL afternoon. Got the TV on mute but kind of missing out on the details of what’s going on!

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    TBH, not much at the moment, certainly nothing i see affecting the GC.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
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    I rode Col des Aravis in the Etape du Tour 2016. First climb out of Megeve, it was lovely, looking forward to seeing that.

    Premier Icon NZCol
    Free Member

    Ouch

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Full Member

    I missed that, how did Hirschi crash?! Very unlike him, he’s an incredible descender.

    Premier Icon NZCol
    Free Member

    Carapaz was on the charge and he was pushing hard, banking into a corner and lost the front wheel.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Full Member

    Will watch the highlights, it’s annoying that I’m in this meeting!

    Loved the scenery from Aravis, it’s such a beautiful climb that. Helicopter pilot on the Tour must be one of the best jobs going – yes you have full permission to fly ultra low over some stunning scenery, crack on!

    Premier Icon Klunk
    Free Member

    pundit

    grumble grumble
    gravel isn’t road racing
    grumble grumble
    gravel races have no place in road racing
    grumble grumble
    it’s road! racing
    grumble

    apart from gravel roads have a long history in the tdf.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
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    Meeting finished early! Get in.

    Just in time to see the perennially unfortunate Richie Porte get a puncture on the gravel section.

    Premier Icon winston
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    I know they use tubs but really, punctures in 2020?  I can’t believe they haven’t sorted this as it has such an effect on stage placings

    Premier Icon llama
    Full Member

    carapaz has got this I reckon, what a three days he has had

    or will he give the stage to kwiato?

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Full Member

    carapaz has got this I reckon, what a three days he has had

    or will he give the stage to kwiato?

    Logical choice: Kwiato for stage win, Carapaz gets the polka-dot jersey.
    Racers choice: we sprint it out

    What will actually happen: They’ll take each other out on the descent, Ferrari-style and neither will finish.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Full Member

    I know they use tubs but really, punctures in 2020? I can’t believe they haven’t sorted this as it has such an effect on stage placings

    Was just talking about this with a mate.

    We use tubeless as it’s lighter / saves 0.2W
    Oh but then we lose 45″ because of a puncture that tubeless would have prevented completely…

    🙄

    Premier Icon Klunk
    Free Member

    We use tubeless as it’s lighter / saves 0.2W

    do you mean tubulars are lighter and save 0.2W ?

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Full Member

    Yeah, that ^^

    Oops…

    Premier Icon beej
    Full Member

    Happy with that as a result. Kwiato was pretty emotional in his interview, his first GT stage.

    Premier Icon TiRed
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    Delighted with that. Kwiato so deserved that win for services to GC. And there will be plenty more of too. Carapaz in the climbers jersey, which will have been his objective.

    Premier Icon trail_rat
    Free Member

    pundit

    grumble grumble
    gravel isn’t road racing
    grumble grumble
    gravel races have no place in road racing
    grumble grumble
    it’s road! racing
    grumble

    apart from gravel roads have a long history in the tdf.

    To be fair at least it’s only been one gravel section. Kennaughs anti disk retohric daily is very tiring and repetitive. It’s almost like a road disk thread on here.

    Premier Icon lunge
    Full Member

    We use tubeless as it’s lighter / saves 0.2W
    Oh but then we lose 45″ because of a puncture that tubeless would have prevented completely…

    A big part of the reason is that a tub stays on the rim when it punctures so you can continue to ride, albeit a touch slower. A tubeless or tubed tyre won’t.
    Saying that, I think Alaph was on tubeless for some of the early stages.

    Anyway, hell of a result for INEOS. Many teams go into the race with a goal of 1 stage win and to get in a break or 2. INEOS went after GC, lost it half way through and have been in every break since, have the mountains jersey and a stage win. That’s a hell of a turn around. Kwaito deserves his win, he’s been awesome for the last few years and is a class rider.

    And I’m not saying I called it, but if you have a glance at the 3rd post on this thread…

    Premier Icon 13thfloormonk
    Full Member

    A big part of the reason is that a tub stays on the rim when it punctures so you can continue to ride, albeit a touch slower. A tubeless or tubed tyre won’t.

    Yep, Porte redeemed the situation a bit by continuing to ride with the flat, andvto be honest I’ve seen nothing to convince me that any system is more of a guarantee against a gravel type puncture than the other, a lightweight tubeless sidewall is just as prone to slashing/pinching as a lightweight tubed or tubular sidewall. Ask me how I know…

    Kennaughs anti disk retohric daily is very tiring

    What channel’s that? He sounds like a kindred spirit 😎 I’ve not heard any commentators come out and state a preference, all probably in the pocket of Big Disc

    Premier Icon Klunk
    Free Member

    Another unbelievable day for WVA.

    I think he’s shown enough to have a crack at a GT one day.

    Premier Icon winston
    Free Member

    Millar  was pretty dismissive of discs, especially when the neutral car had to drive straight past a punctured Porte today – although I was impressed how quickly his team car got to him considering where he punctured.

    Premier Icon jonnyboi
    Full Member

    Pleased for Carapaz and especially Kwiato getting his first stage. Impressive to see Ineos turn around their tour as well.

    Also, Dauphine felt like a changing of the old guard and this tour for me has reinforced that.

    Nice to see Landa fail to deliver again, I just don’t get why the commentators big him up so much

    Premier Icon jonnyboi
    Full Member

    Forgot to add, Hirschi again showed what a huge talent he is despite the fall

    Premier Icon markgraylish
    Free Member

    I’m curious how Millar spotted Porte had a puncture before it was announced on race radio. Does the commentary team have access to the team radio??

    (Presumably Porte shouted into the team radio immediately but the team car couldnt advance until it was announced over race radio. I’m also assuming these are different channels; one “public” and one private to the team…)

    Premier Icon markgraylish
    Free Member

    Also, can’t the hub and groupset manufacturers all agree on a “race standard” (ho ho!) disc brake setup (spacing, disc size and thickness?) then the neutral service motos can carry spare disc wheels?

    What happens about 11 & 12 speed cassettes for rear wheels?

    Premier Icon CaptainFlashheart
    Free Member

    Trek are, IIRC, one of only two teams on SRAM. May also have an impact on what’s on the Mavic cars.

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