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Pre Tour de France-thread

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Re:

08 Jun 2018 11:18

RedheadDane wrote:I'm a bit confused about the New Lotto Soudal thing, I thought teams were only allowed one change per year. :confused:
And just imagine being a commentator; "The New Lotto Soudal squad, which is indeed the old Lotto Soudal squad, they're just calling themselves the "New Lotto Soudal" for some reason…"

Broccolidwarf wrote:Kangert was just announced for the Astana Tour de Suisse team, which for me indicates, that he is riding TdF.

Probable squad is thus:

Fuglsang, Valgren, Kangert, Cataldo, Fraile, Hansen, Cort - and the token kazak of your choice ;)

Pretty decent squad IMO


I'm just pretty amused by the fact that a Kazakh team could consist of 50% Danes.


Well, we have seen some examples of a Danish team consisting of 0% Danes.
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08 Jun 2018 14:40

Is there some consensus on the route? I just looked at the profiles again and man, those mountain stages do not look thrilling. The two mini-stages even look more exciting than any other...
blackcat wrote:you must respect the Cobra, a man who can give himself his own nickname. he trancends hubris.
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Re: Re:

08 Jun 2018 22:40

tobydawq wrote:
RedheadDane wrote:I'm a bit confused about the New Lotto Soudal thing, I thought teams were only allowed one change per year. :confused:
And just imagine being a commentator; "The New Lotto Soudal squad, which is indeed the old Lotto Soudal squad, they're just calling themselves the "New Lotto Soudal" for some reason…"

Broccolidwarf wrote:Kangert was just announced for the Astana Tour de Suisse team, which for me indicates, that he is riding TdF.

Probable squad is thus:

Fuglsang, Valgren, Kangert, Cataldo, Fraile, Hansen, Cort - and the token kazak of your choice ;)

Pretty decent squad IMO


I'm just pretty amused by the fact that a Kazakh team could consist of 50% Danes.


Well, we have seen some examples of a Danish team consisting of 0% Danes.


Yep

Any regular pro team picks the 8 that are best for the job, irrespective of nationality.

However, because of the close state ties for Astana, I would assume they always pick at least one kazak.
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Re:

08 Jun 2018 23:02

luckyboy wrote:Is there some consensus on the route? I just looked at the profiles again and man, those mountain stages do not look thrilling. The two mini-stages even look more exciting than any other...


Week 1 (long 9 day week):
No prologue, but TTT and cobbles for GC exitement
Otherwise 5 stages for sprinters, and a couple of puncheur stages (5 & 6), and several of the stages has small climbs, for the token break away artists looking for a few days in polka dots.

Week 2 (5 days):
BOOM, first day after a rest day (the day after the cobbles), first 3 big categorised climbs, then up Columbiere, before a steep and technical decent to the finish, and we're off to the races for the GC boys.
This is followed by another 2 crazy hard mountain days, ending up Alpe D'Huez.
Then a sprinter stage
Then a puncheur stage (steep, short finish made for Valverde/Alaphillipe)
Then a medium mountain stage, for those desperately far behind in GC (nobody else will move).

Week 3 (6 days):
It starts like week 2, though in a lighter verision, again ending in a fast decent.
Then the "grid start" thing, in a 65K climbers paradise, over 3 mountains.
Then the classic Pau sprinters stage
Then Tourmalet and d'Aubisque, again ending in a decent
Then 31K ITT, in bumpy terrain
Then Paris

The guys that decend poorly will have a hard time this year
The cobbles and TTT are unusual stumbling blocks, that are sure to cost some their GC.
I find the tour varied and interesting this year.
Last edited by Broccolidwarf on 09 Jun 2018 10:49, edited 1 time in total.
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09 Jun 2018 00:43

Is the 65km stage not likely to see a huge chunk of the field finish outside the time limit, or have they done something in the rules to stop a mass elimination?
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09 Jun 2018 04:50

They'll simply do what they did after Aramon Formigal, no one will go home.
The only difference is that after that day UCI changed the regulations so they have to cut all the points for green and polka dot jerseys at the riders that will finish OTL.
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Re:

09 Jun 2018 06:43

Nirvana wrote:They'll simply do what they did after Aramon Formigal, no one will go home.
The only difference is that after that day UCI changed the regulations so they have to cut all the points for green and polka dot jerseys at the riders that will finish OTL.


Really? Then Sagan would be an even heavier favourite for green as I don't see him having any problems with the time limit.
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09 Jun 2018 07:28

Speaking of green, the competition will be fierce this year, I think. Especially with the uncertainty over Kittel's form and lead-out, as the emphasis on stage wins means that his rivals will have to win flat stages. Gaviria is the primary opponent, but if Kittel (or some one else) manages to win the majority of sprints, he'll probably figure at the top as well. Matthews will matter too, as if he is within striking distance, he could reduce the points on offer for Sagan at the intermediate sprints.

The route looks good for Gaviria, I must say. 8(!) pure sprint stages are a lot. The stage to Quimper should be for the more versatile sprinters, Gaviria included. Only Matthews and Sagan should be able to snatch points on the Mûr de Bretagne. Likewise for the two Massif Central stages. Then there's the stage to Roubaix, where Sagan is favored, but where Gaviria could feature as well, depending on how it is raced. And that's it for intermediate stages.

Of the 6 mountain stages, 4 of them have the intermediate sprints before any proper mountains, and as such available for all contenders to get what points the break has left behind. In the Portet stage, the sprint is after Peyragudes, and it is extremely unlikely that it will be climbed at a pace slow enough for any of the contenders to reach the intermediate sprint, I'd think. That leaves the Alpe d'Huez stage, where Matthews and Sagan should both be able to regain contact with the break after Madeleine.

With the strong field (Kittel, Gaviria, Ewan, Groenewegen, Demare, Cavendish, Kristoff, Sagan, Greipel, and others), I don't see anyone winning 7 or more stages, but likewise it means that there will probably be a few riders consistently beating Sagan and Matthews in the sprints, thus reducing the points they'll score there.

With option for revision after the Tour de Suisse, my provisional ranking of the favourites is:

***
** - Gaviria, Sagan
* - Matthews, Kittel, Ewan
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Re:

09 Jun 2018 08:02

Netserk wrote:Speaking of green, the competition will be fierce this year, I think. Especially with the uncertainty over Kittel's form and lead-out, as the emphasis on stage wins means that his rivals will have to win flat stages. Gaviria is the primary opponent, but if Kittel (or some one else) manages to win the majority of sprints, he'll probably figure at the top as well. Matthews will matter too, as if he is within striking distance, he could reduce the points on offer for Sagan at the intermediate sprints.

The route looks good for Gaviria, I must say. 8(!) pure sprint stages are a lot. The stage to Quimper should be for the more versatile sprinters, Gaviria included. Only Matthews and Sagan should be able to snatch points on the Mûr de Bretagne. Likewise for the two Massif Central stages. Then there's the stage to Roubaix, where Sagan is favored, but where Gaviria could feature as well, depending on how it is raced. And that's it for intermediate stages.

Of the 6 mountain stages, 4 of them have the intermediate sprints before any proper mountains, and as such available for all contenders to get what points the break has left behind. In the Portet stage, the sprint is after Peyragudes, and it is extremely unlikely that it will be climbed at a pace slow enough for any of the contenders to reach the intermediate sprint, I'd think. That leaves the Alpe d'Huez stage, where Matthews and Sagan should both be able to regain contact with the break after Madeleine.

With the strong field (Kittel, Gaviria, Ewan, Groenewegen, Demare, Cavendish, Kristoff, Sagan, Greipel, and others), I don't see anyone winning 7 or more stages, but likewise it means that there will probably be a few riders consistently beating Sagan and Matthews in the sprints, thus reducing the points they'll score there.

With option for revision after the Tour de Suisse, my provisional ranking of the favourites is:

***
** - Gaviria, Sagan
* - Matthews, Kittel, Ewan


I think that Gaviria, Ewan and Groenewegen have already proven that they are going really well this year, and Kittel tends to pop up in world-beating form in the Tour as well. So we are going to have a lot of extremely fierce bunch sprints, and I find it very unlikely that one rider will prove to be dominant.

Already last year the sprints became very chaotic because all riders had good lead-outs and no one was capable of dominating the run-in to the finish. I think we will see something similar this year, and one rider will benefit from the chaos: Sagan. He seems to almost always pick the right wheel and I think he will pick up a lot of seconds and thirds on stages.

He might not win any of the pure sprinting stages but that hasn't stopped him from dominating the green jersey competition for years with extreme authority.

And if he wins in Roubaix and Quimper and perhaps on Mur de Bretagne, I think he will be very hard to beat. I don't know how those stages are classified, though regarding points. The organisers are real slouches in making their website worth a visit and you can't even see profiles there yet. Also - WILL they run the cobbled stage a couple of hours earlier than usual or will they let it finish simultaneously with the world cup final?

I think Matthews is too slow to be in contention, but I have to say that Ewan has taken a huge step up this year climbing-wise and he might even win the Quimper stage.
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09 Jun 2018 08:17

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Re: Re:

09 Jun 2018 08:52

tobydawq wrote:
Netserk wrote:Speaking of green, the competition will be fierce this year, I think. Especially with the uncertainty over Kittel's form and lead-out, as the emphasis on stage wins means that his rivals will have to win flat stages. Gaviria is the primary opponent, but if Kittel (or some one else) manages to win the majority of sprints, he'll probably figure at the top as well. Matthews will matter too, as if he is within striking distance, he could reduce the points on offer for Sagan at the intermediate sprints.

The route looks good for Gaviria, I must say. 8(!) pure sprint stages are a lot. The stage to Quimper should be for the more versatile sprinters, Gaviria included. Only Matthews and Sagan should be able to snatch points on the Mûr de Bretagne. Likewise for the two Massif Central stages. Then there's the stage to Roubaix, where Sagan is favored, but where Gaviria could feature as well, depending on how it is raced. And that's it for intermediate stages.

Of the 6 mountain stages, 4 of them have the intermediate sprints before any proper mountains, and as such available for all contenders to get what points the break has left behind. In the Portet stage, the sprint is after Peyragudes, and it is extremely unlikely that it will be climbed at a pace slow enough for any of the contenders to reach the intermediate sprint, I'd think. That leaves the Alpe d'Huez stage, where Matthews and Sagan should both be able to regain contact with the break after Madeleine.

With the strong field (Kittel, Gaviria, Ewan, Groenewegen, Demare, Cavendish, Kristoff, Sagan, Greipel, and others), I don't see anyone winning 7 or more stages, but likewise it means that there will probably be a few riders consistently beating Sagan and Matthews in the sprints, thus reducing the points they'll score there.

With option for revision after the Tour de Suisse, my provisional ranking of the favourites is:

***
** - Gaviria, Sagan
* - Matthews, Kittel, Ewan


I think that Gaviria, Ewan and Groenewegen have already proven that they are going really well this year, and Kittel tends to pop up in world-beating form in the Tour as well. So we are going to have a lot of extremely fierce bunch sprints, and I find it very unlikely that one rider will prove to be dominant.

Already last year the sprints became very chaotic because all riders had good lead-outs and no one was capable of dominating the run-in to the finish. I think we will see something similar this year, and one rider will benefit from the chaos: Sagan. He seems to almost always pick the right wheel and I think he will pick up a lot of seconds and thirds on stages.

He might not win any of the pure sprinting stages but that hasn't stopped him from dominating the green jersey competition for years with extreme authority.

And if he wins in Roubaix and Quimper and perhaps on Mur de Bretagne, I think he will be very hard to beat. I don't know how those stages are classified, though regarding points. The organisers are real slouches in making their website worth a visit and you can't even see profiles there yet. Also - WILL they run the cobbled stage a couple of hours earlier than usual or will they let it finish simultaneously with the world cup final?

I think Matthews is too slow to be in contention, but I have to say that Ewan has taken a huge step up this year climbing-wise and he might even win the Quimper stage.


Yes very refreshing compared to the Giro farce re sprints. Matthews will stay in contention on the harder stages and should be able to pick some points where most of the other sprinters won't. That said it probably still won't be enough to win Green. Matthews will have to get into the breaks again if he wants to target the Green jersey. He has lost that top end speed now, especially noticeable on the flat stages. But on the harder finishes and stages that test the sprinters route wise he is always a chance.
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Re: Re:

09 Jun 2018 10:58

movingtarget wrote:
tobydawq wrote:
Netserk wrote:Speaking of green, the competition will be fierce this year, I think. Especially with the uncertainty over Kittel's form and lead-out, as the emphasis on stage wins means that his rivals will have to win flat stages. Gaviria is the primary opponent, but if Kittel (or some one else) manages to win the majority of sprints, he'll probably figure at the top as well. Matthews will matter too, as if he is within striking distance, he could reduce the points on offer for Sagan at the intermediate sprints.

The route looks good for Gaviria, I must say. 8(!) pure sprint stages are a lot. The stage to Quimper should be for the more versatile sprinters, Gaviria included. Only Matthews and Sagan should be able to snatch points on the Mûr de Bretagne. Likewise for the two Massif Central stages. Then there's the stage to Roubaix, where Sagan is favored, but where Gaviria could feature as well, depending on how it is raced. And that's it for intermediate stages.

Of the 6 mountain stages, 4 of them have the intermediate sprints before any proper mountains, and as such available for all contenders to get what points the break has left behind. In the Portet stage, the sprint is after Peyragudes, and it is extremely unlikely that it will be climbed at a pace slow enough for any of the contenders to reach the intermediate sprint, I'd think. That leaves the Alpe d'Huez stage, where Matthews and Sagan should both be able to regain contact with the break after Madeleine.

With the strong field (Kittel, Gaviria, Ewan, Groenewegen, Demare, Cavendish, Kristoff, Sagan, Greipel, and others), I don't see anyone winning 7 or more stages, but likewise it means that there will probably be a few riders consistently beating Sagan and Matthews in the sprints, thus reducing the points they'll score there.

With option for revision after the Tour de Suisse, my provisional ranking of the favourites is:

***
** - Gaviria, Sagan
* - Matthews, Kittel, Ewan


I think that Gaviria, Ewan and Groenewegen have already proven that they are going really well this year, and Kittel tends to pop up in world-beating form in the Tour as well. So we are going to have a lot of extremely fierce bunch sprints, and I find it very unlikely that one rider will prove to be dominant.

Already last year the sprints became very chaotic because all riders had good lead-outs and no one was capable of dominating the run-in to the finish. I think we will see something similar this year, and one rider will benefit from the chaos: Sagan. He seems to almost always pick the right wheel and I think he will pick up a lot of seconds and thirds on stages.

He might not win any of the pure sprinting stages but that hasn't stopped him from dominating the green jersey competition for years with extreme authority.

And if he wins in Roubaix and Quimper and perhaps on Mur de Bretagne, I think he will be very hard to beat. I don't know how those stages are classified, though regarding points. The organisers are real slouches in making their website worth a visit and you can't even see profiles there yet. Also - WILL they run the cobbled stage a couple of hours earlier than usual or will they let it finish simultaneously with the world cup final?

I think Matthews is too slow to be in contention, but I have to say that Ewan has taken a huge step up this year climbing-wise and he might even win the Quimper stage.


Yes very refreshing compared to the Giro farce re sprints. Matthews will stay in contention on the harder stages and should be able to pick some points where most of the other sprinters won't. That said it probably still won't be enough to win Green. Matthews will have to get into the breaks again if he wants to target the Green jersey. He has lost that top end speed now, especially noticeable on the flat stages. But on the harder finishes and stages that test the sprinters route wise he is always a chance.


Question is, how many of the big sprinters that survive week 2-3

Green in Paris, may very well be one of the lighter sprinters, sitting unnoticed in 10th after the first week of sprint battles (5 sprint stages the first 8 days), because a lot of the heavy guys may not make it to Paris.

Types like Matthews, Cort, Boasson Hagen and Colbrelly

- And then there is Sagan, cyclings version of a bumblebee, who shouldn't be able to climb, but does it anyway ;)
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Re: Re:

10 Jun 2018 03:57

tobydawq wrote:
Nirvana wrote:They'll simply do what they did after Aramon Formigal, no one will go home.
The only difference is that after that day UCI changed the regulations so they have to cut all the points for green and polka dot jerseys at the riders that will finish OTL.


Really? Then Sagan would be an even heavier favourite for green as I don't see him having any problems with the time limit.

Rule 2.6.032 - Finishing deadline (amended on 01/01/2018)
The finishing deadline shall be set in the specific regulations for each race in accordance
with the characteristics of the stage.
In exceptional cases only, unpredictable and of force majeure, the commissaires panel
may extend the finishing time limits after consultation with the organiser.
In case riders actually out of the time limit are given a second chance by the president
of the commissaires panel, all points awarded in the general classifications of the various secondary classifications shall be withdrawn.

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Re: Re:

10 Jun 2018 05:31

Broccolidwarf wrote:
luckyboy wrote:Is there some consensus on the route? I just looked at the profiles again and man, those mountain stages do not look thrilling. The two mini-stages even look more exciting than any other...

The guys that decend poorly will have a hard time this year


Sigh :sad: . I hope Porte is better downhill than last year.
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10 Jun 2018 07:56

1. Froome (disqualified)
2. Thomas (disqualified)
3. Poels (disqualified)
4. Bernal (disqualified)
5. Bardet
6. Quintana
7. Yates
8. Nibali
9. Martin
10. Zakarin

And for the first time in thirty-three years we have a French Tour winner!
La fatica in montagna per me è poesia (Fatigue in the mountains is poetry to me) - Marco Pantani
Van een ezel kunt ge geen koerspaard maken (You can't turn a donkey into a race horse) - Patrick Lefevere
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Re: Re:

10 Jun 2018 08:00

Cookster15 wrote:
Broccolidwarf wrote:
luckyboy wrote:Is there some consensus on the route? I just looked at the profiles again and man, those mountain stages do not look thrilling. The two mini-stages even look more exciting than any other...

The guys that decend poorly will have a hard time this year


Sigh :sad: . I hope Porte is better downhill than last year.


I wouldn't hold my breath.
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10 Jun 2018 17:25

I checked all the flat stages of week 1 and every one is slightly uphill at 1-2%. Not that it will matter much but which sprinter should be the best there? Still Gaviria?
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10 Jun 2018 17:29

Kittel. If in last year's form.
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10 Jun 2018 17:30

Ewan. He's so light that any increment (as long as it doesn't put demands on the aerobic system) in a sprint will be to his benefit.
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10 Jun 2018 17:33

No sprinter (bar Pelucchi) will notice an incline of 1-2% in the final.
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