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Criterium du Dauphine (2.UWT), 3-10 June

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09 Jun 2018 18:12

You can list the pros and cons for Thomas as a TdF champion where the list of cons is like 2 pages long an the only pro is "rides for team Sky" which means ofcourse it can happen. If anything I'd argue that if things would go logically it shouldn't happen.
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Re: Re:

09 Jun 2018 18:19

Zinoviev Letter wrote:That’s not ripping anything out of context. Pointing out that Thomas has almost exactly as good a GT GC record as Rohan Dennis, who is four years younger than him is an important contextual point when people are talking about him as a Tour winner. Pointing out that there are thirty or forty riders in the peloton with better GT GC results than him, a 32 year old with a dozen GTs under his belt is crucial context. And most of those dozens of riders have also climbed “extremely strong” in some race at some point.

Wout Poels at his best is on a completely different climbing level to the likes of Thomas, but because he has shown no ability to string that form together nobody would dream of suggesting that he’s a Tour winner in waiting. But (a) his strongest is clearly stronger than Thomas and (b) even he, the Jeckyl and Hyde of climbers has actually managed to hold his form together well enough to get better GC results than Thomas. But Thomas is older and has had more attempts at GTs.

When Wiggins got his first Tour podium he was younger than Thomas in 2015, the year of his mythical 15th. So on what possible basis would winning the Tour a few years later, with another GT podium in between, represent more of a transformation than a 32 year old Thomas winning after never getting a podium and never getting a GT top 10 but once sort of looking good before finishing 15th?

Even Cobo and Horner had GT top 10s before they won. Froome was a mere child of 27 when he got his first podium. If Thomas wins the Tour this year it represents the single biggest transformation in a rider in the modern history of the sport.


You think that results are the only thing that matters, and everything else is just decoration. Fair enough: that's consistent. I mean, silly, but consistent.
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Re: Re:

09 Jun 2018 18:34

rlntlssly wrote:
Zinoviev Letter wrote:That’s not ripping anything out of context. Pointing out that Thomas has almost exactly as good a GT GC record as Rohan Dennis, who is four years younger than him is an important contextual point when people are talking about him as a Tour winner. Pointing out that there are thirty or forty riders in the peloton with better GT GC results than him, a 32 year old with a dozen GTs under his belt is crucial context. And most of those dozens of riders have also climbed “extremely strong” in some race at some point.

Wout Poels at his best is on a completely different climbing level to the likes of Thomas, but because he has shown no ability to string that form together nobody would dream of suggesting that he’s a Tour winner in waiting. But (a) his strongest is clearly stronger than Thomas and (b) even he, the Jeckyl and Hyde of climbers has actually managed to hold his form together well enough to get better GC results than Thomas. But Thomas is older and has had more attempts at GTs.

When Wiggins got his first Tour podium he was younger than Thomas in 2015, the year of his mythical 15th. So on what possible basis would winning the Tour a few years later, with another GT podium in between, represent more of a transformation than a 32 year old Thomas winning after never getting a podium and never getting a GT top 10 but once sort of looking good before finishing 15th?

Even Cobo and Horner had GT top 10s before they won. Froome was a mere child of 27 when he got his first podium. If Thomas wins the Tour this year it represents the single biggest transformation in a rider in the modern history of the sport.


You think that results are the only thing that matters, and everything else is just decoration. Fair enough: that's consistent. I mean, silly, but consistent.


No, I believe that reading signs of untapped potential in the entrails of bad results becomes less and less convincing as time goes by, the bad results keep racking up and the potential never materializes. Some of the arguments made about Thomas would be, if not entirely convincing, at least more plausible if he was 24 and had just three or so GTs under his belt. Treating a 32 year old veteran of 12 GTs as a case of mysteriously thwarted potential is just ridiculous.
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09 Jun 2018 18:40

Sunday's final stage - stage 7: Moûtiers – Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc 136 km early start 10.50 CET TV 13.30

Following the start in Moûtiers the route moves through Bourg-Saint-Maurice, where yesterday’s last climb to La Rosière began. Now the riders tackle the Cormet de Roselend from the side they came flying down during the Rosière-stage. The climb is 19.3 kilometres and the average gradient is 6%. The descent is on the side of yesterday’s ascent.

In Beaufort the riders leave yesterday’s route to ride up the Col des Saisie, a steady slope of 15.1 kilometres at 6.4%. This was the first climb in last year’s final stage when Chris Froome put so much pressure on leader Richie Porte that he became isolated which ultimately led to Jakob Fuglsang winning the overall. Porte wasn’t amused, to say the least.

A long downhill – with an intermediate flat section of some 10 kilometres – leads to the finale. The last climb actually consist of two modules. The first part is the sharp Côte des Amerands – 2.7 kilometres at 11.2% – and following a negligible descent the route continues to climb to arrival place Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc. That last ascent is 7 kilometres and averaging 7.7%, although that’s a biased statistic as the final haul up is extremely irregular. The riders tackle its steepest ramps of 15% early on and at 3.5 kilometres and 2.8 kilometres before the top. Another double digit stretch appears 200 metres before the line.

Image

Image

Edit - correct profile now!
Last edited by Robert5091 on 10 Jun 2018 05:39, edited 2 times in total.
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09 Jun 2018 18:49

I'm seeing all you prons and cons about if Thomas can or not be a GC contender for the Tour, and I may be new to cycling but I think if you are one of the best climbers you may not win the Tour but be undoubtly a contender, and I think that Thomas is, when in a good shape like today one, of the best climbers out there, plus the guy as a excellent TT and is also really strong in the cobbles, and last but not least he is in the best team of the World to win a Tour. Of course there are other important aspects such as the ability to recover or not have bad days, and of course luck but if Thomas could put altogether and be able to stay on his bike, he might not be a winner of the Tour but could very well be a contender until the very end. This of course if he leads and I repeat the best team possible to be if you want to win a Tour.
Although the guy doesn´t have any great results to show in terms of GC wise and already being a 32 year old cyclist what I think that differenciate him for others "wannabe" GC materials like Dennis is the fact that the guy is a really good climber in a good shape and I think thats the most important factor to win a GT.
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Re:

09 Jun 2018 19:13

drebelo wrote:I'm seeing all you prons and cons about if Thomas can or not be a GC contender for the Tour, and I may be new to cycling but I think if you are one of the best climbers you may not win the Tour but be undoubtly a contender, and I think that Thomas is, when in a good shape like today one, of the best climbers out there, plus the guy as a excellent TT and is also really strong in the cobbles, and last but not least he is in the best team of the World to win a Tour. Of course there are other important aspects such as the ability to recover or not have bad days, and of course luck but if Thomas could put altogether and be able to stay on his bike, he might not be a winner of the Tour but could very well be a contender until the very end. This of course if he leads and I repeat the best team possible to be if you want to win a Tour.
Although the guy doesn´t have any great results to show in terms of GC wise and already being a 32 year old cyclist what I think that differenciate him for others "wannabe" GC materials like Dennis is the fact that the guy is a really good climber in a good shape and I think thats the most important factor to win a GT.


Thomas is not one of the best climbers by any means, there are at least 10 better in this year's Tour.
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09 Jun 2018 19:26

There are two knocks on G. 1) He crashes a lot. 2) Getting through 3 weeks with no bad days. They've both kept him back so far, but......He can indeed both climb and TT at a high standard. Not the VERY top, but not far off. It's not a huge leap to say if he was given full leader status he should definitely be in the position to challenge at a GT. Especially if he got a favorable route. He is a top level "all rounder", and plenty of those have challenged for GT's over the years.
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Re: Re:

09 Jun 2018 19:40

Blanco wrote:
drebelo wrote:I'm seeing all you prons and cons about if Thomas can or not be a GC contender for the Tour, and I may be new to cycling but I think if you are one of the best climbers you may not win the Tour but be undoubtly a contender, and I think that Thomas is, when in a good shape like today one, of the best climbers out there, plus the guy as a excellent TT and is also really strong in the cobbles, and last but not least he is in the best team of the World to win a Tour. Of course there are other important aspects such as the ability to recover or not have bad days, and of course luck but if Thomas could put altogether and be able to stay on his bike, he might not be a winner of the Tour but could very well be a contender until the very end. This of course if he leads and I repeat the best team possible to be if you want to win a Tour.
Although the guy doesn´t have any great results to show in terms of GC wise and already being a 32 year old cyclist what I think that differenciate him for others "wannabe" GC materials like Dennis is the fact that the guy is a really good climber in a good shape and I think thats the most important factor to win a GT.



Thomas is not one of the best climbers by any means, there are at least 10 better in this year's Tour.


well I would say that he is destroying them in the mountains at Dauphine (Nibali, Bardet, Yates, Martin and Zakarin)
Edit: Martin is te only one who gain time on Thomas in the 3 mountain stages so far (2 sec)
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Re:

09 Jun 2018 19:48

Robert5091 wrote:Sunday's final stage - stage 7: Moûtiers – Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc 136 km early start 10.50 CET TV 13.30

Following the start in Moûtiers the route moves through Bourg-Saint-Maurice, where yesterday’s last climb to La Rosière began. Now the riders tackle the Cormet de Roselend from the side they came flying down during the Rosière-stage. The climb is 19.3 kilometres and the average gradient is 6%. The descent is on the side of yesterday’s ascent.

In Beaufort the riders leave yesterday’s route to ride up the Col des Saisie, a steady slope of 15.1 kilometres at 6.4%. This was the first climb in last year’s final stage when Chris Froome put so much pressure on leader Richie Porte that he became isolated which ultimately led to Jakob Fuglsang winning the overall. Porte wasn’t amused, to say the least.

A long downhill – with an intermediate flat section of some 10 kilometres – leads to the finale. The last climb actually consist of two modules. The first part is the sharp Côte des Amerands – 2.7 kilometres at 11.2% – and following a negligible descent the route continues to climb to arrival place Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc. That last ascent is 7 kilometres and averaging 7.7%, although that’s a biased statistic as the final haul up is extremely irregular. The riders tackle its steepest ramps of 15% early on and at 3.5 kilometres and 2.8 kilometres before the top. Another double digit stretch appears 200 metres before the line.

Image

Image

There's a detour before Beaufort.
Image
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Re: Re:

09 Jun 2018 20:19

drebelo wrote:well I would say that he is destroying them in the mountains at Dauphine (Nibali, Bardet, Yates, Martin and Zakarin)
Edit: Martin is te only one who gain time on Thomas in the 3 mountain stages so far (2 sec)


Who is "them", exactly? The top climbers? Maybe you should look up Martin's best result in a GT. He has 3 top 10 finishes in a GT, and not one of those in the top 5. Zakarin? Once 5th in the Giro, once 3rd in the Vuelta. As for taking 2 seconds and 10 or so seconds equalling "destroying them"... hmm. Also, the top riders are never at their best in the Dauphiné, since they know the TDF is still weeks away, and it's a 3 week race.

That doesn't mean what GT is doing isn't impressive, but this isn't the cream of the crop, and the opposition isn't even at their peak.
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Re: Re:

09 Jun 2018 20:32

Logic-is-your-friend wrote:
drebelo wrote:well I would say that he is destroying them in the mountains at Dauphine (Nibali, Bardet, Yates, Martin and Zakarin)
Edit: Martin is te only one who gain time on Thomas in the 3 mountain stages so far (2 sec)


Who is "them", exactly? The top climbers? Maybe you should look up Martin's best result in a GT. He has 3 top 10 finishes in a GT, and not one of those in the top 5. Zakarin? Once 5th in the Giro, once 3rd in the Vuelta. As for taking 2 seconds and 10 or so seconds equalling "destroying them"... hmm. Also, the top riders are never at their best in the Dauphiné, since they know the TDF is still weeks away, and it's a 3 week race.

That doesn't mean what GT is doing isn't impressive, but this isn't the cream of the crop, and the opposition isn't even at their peak.


I was just guessing some of the "better 10 climbers at the tour" that Blanco was refering. Anyway the argument that Thomas is just beating this guys cause they are not in top form and the Tour is a month way can be also applied for Thomas. But I agree that my use of word "destroying"was an exaggeration, what I meant was that he was stronger than the rest of the climbers
Last edited by drebelo on 09 Jun 2018 20:36, edited 1 time in total.
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09 Jun 2018 20:35

A few years ago I was insistent that Thomas should focus on classics and now there's talk of him winning the tour. Crazy times.
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09 Jun 2018 20:39

The helpers of Team Sky are stronger than the leaders of other teams. That's exactly what has made the Tour unwatchable since 2012. It looks like they will ruin another year.

I'm also curious to hear the names of those ten climbers who are better than Thomas.
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Re: Re:

09 Jun 2018 20:41

Zinoviev Letter wrote:
Gigs_98 wrote:
Zinoviev Letter wrote:
Gigs_98 wrote:People made fun of Wiggins when he said he wants to win the tour. People only didn't make fun of Froome because he wasn't important enough to make fun of him


Wiggins had two GT podiums before he won the Tour. Froome had two GT podiums and a fourth place before he won the Tour. Both made the Tour podium for the first time while in their 20s and both did so after riding many less GTs than Thomas has already done. These are two of the most notable late developers in the history of the sport, true outliers. Yet when they first won both had a GT track record not just better than Thomas has now but massively, incomparably better than Thomas has now.

Let’s put this in context. Wout Poels has a better GC record in GTs than Thomas. So does Phil Deignan. And Pello Bilbao. And Sam Oomen. And Patrick Konrad. And Andrey Amador. And Nico Roche. And Peter Velits. And Michael Woods. It’s not as if Thomas is a kid like Oomen or a late starter like Woods. He’s been a top pro for a decade. He’s 32. He has raced an enormous number of GTs.

If he actually wins the Tour it would be so outlandish an accomplishment that it would make talk of Froome or Wiggins transforming themselves completely laughable.

No what you are doing is ripping things out of context.
Was Thomas's best gc result a 15th place? Yeah, but it came after being one of the strongest climbers of the race in some stages and only fading because he didn't prepare for the tdf as a gc rider. He never even expected to be any factor in the gc.
Also a transformation from already climbing extremely strong in 2015 to winning mountainous stage races in 2017 and potentially winning a gt in 2018 wouldn't be anywhere near as big as Froome transformation and about as big as Wiggins.


That’s not ripping anything out of context. Pointing out that Thomas has almost exactly as good a GT GC record as Rohan Dennis, who is four years younger than him is an important contextual point when people are talking about him as a Tour winner. Pointing out that there are thirty or forty riders in the peloton with better GT GC results than him, a 32 year old with a dozen GTs under his belt is crucial context. And most of those dozens of riders have also climbed “extremely strong” in some race at some point.

Wout Poels at his best is on a completely different climbing level to the likes of Thomas, but because he has shown no ability to string that form together nobody would dream of suggesting that he’s a Tour winner in waiting. But (a) his strongest is clearly stronger than Thomas and (b) even he, the Jeckyl and Hyde of climbers has actually managed to hold his form together well enough to get better GC results than Thomas. But Thomas is older and has had more attempts at GTs.

When Wiggins got his first Tour podium he was younger than Thomas in 2015, the year of his mythical 15th. So on what possible basis would winning the Tour a few years later, with another GT podium in between, represent more of a transformation than a 32 year old Thomas winning after never getting a podium and never getting a GT top 10 but once sort of looking good before finishing 15th?

Even Cobo and Horner had GT top 10s before they won. Froome was a mere child of 27 when he got his first podium. If Thomas wins the Tour this year it represents the single biggest transformation in a rider in the modern history of the sport.

Let's go through this bit by bit.
1. The reason why you are ripping things out of context is because there is no other 32 year old in the peloton with a back story like Thomas. Yeah he has a dozen GT's under his belt but he rode one as the leader and there his fight was over before it even started. Landa and Porte get treated as favorites for this race as well despite not having the greatest gt results out there. People didn't treat Dumoulin as a favorite before the 2017 giro because of the same reason and he ended up winning. Granted they still have or had better gt results than Thomas but there are reasons for that.

2. The Wout Poels comparisons is actually interesting as I would say, Poels would have the potential to become a gt winner if he hadn't his inconsistency problem. As I've written before, something like that might end up destroying all hopes for Thomas as well but so far there is no reason for assuming this problem will appear.

3. I was referring to Wiggins' original transformation from someone whose best gt result was 71st to someone who finishes the tour on the podium. (well, he technically didn't finish on the podium, but that's a different topic) To be fair, I didn't make that clear. Anyway, now that I think about it, I actually find Wiggins transformation from 2009 to 2012 quite comparable to Thomas's from 2015 to 2018. Both developed over four seasons both might end up being strongest in their first and their fourth, both were least spectacular in the second and might already have impressed more in the third but didn't due to crashes. It's true that a 3rd (4th) place in the tour is a lot more impressive than what Thomas was doing but again, Thomas didn't prepare himself for riding for the gc, Thomas had domestique duties, the competition in 2015 was way better than in 2009, the mountain stages in the alps were ridden pretty hard and of course the route in 2009 absolutely favored Wiggins. That race had three mountain stages where you had half decent time gaps of which one was the barely first category mtf to Verbier. Thomas' transformation might be bigger than Wiggins' but not by as much as you make it look.

4. At the end it all comes down to what we are seeing this week. I fail to understand how a tour win of someone who dominates one of the two biggest preparation races for the tdf would be the biggest transformation in the modern history of the sport. If anyone else did what Thomas is doing right now, we would assume he is a contender, but because of things like his best gc result being a 15th place, thing there are explanations for, some people assume he isn't. I'm not even expecting him to win, but in my opinion completely ruling out the chance of him winning is pure ignorance.
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Re: Re:

09 Jun 2018 21:31

drebelo wrote:I was just guessing some of the "better 10 climbers at the tour" that Blanco was refering. Anyway the argument that Thomas is just beating this guys cause they are not in top form and the Tour is a month way can be also applied for Thomas. But I agree that my use of word "destroying"was an exaggeration, what I meant was that he was stronger than the rest of the climbers


It's difficult to predict unless you know the planning of each of these guys. It's not unlikely the guys that are shining at the Dauphiné, will fade away in the second week of the TDF. Nibali is clearly just using the Dauphiné as prep race. But you just don't know how each of these guys are preparing towards the TDF, or if they're actually trying to win the Dauphiné, TDF be damned.

The real "top" riders are peaking towards the mountains in the TDF. Last year Fuglsang won the Dauphiné. The guy was 32 at the time and had only one top 10 GC under his belt (7th at TDF).
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09 Jun 2018 21:35

I agree with Gigs on this one. I wouldn't be all that surprised for to him to be on the podium or even win. I don't actually think he will, but I wouldn't consider it at all outlandish or some kind of insane transformation, He's always been a huge talent and he didn't even focus on GTs for a huge chunk of his career, certainly not as someone who needed to be near the front on every stage as required for a GC rider. Most of the time his form was timed to peak at the classics.
Last edited by jaylew on 10 Jun 2018 05:08, edited 1 time in total.
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09 Jun 2018 21:43

Can Thomas finish on the podium in a GT, yes. Will he, who knows. Are there better climbers yes. Does that mean they will win, no. The better climbers (namely Landa and Quintana) are not as good at time trials.
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Re: Re:

09 Jun 2018 22:37

Logic-is-your-friend wrote:
drebelo wrote:I was just guessing some of the "better 10 climbers at the tour" that Blanco was refering. Anyway the argument that Thomas is just beating this guys cause they are not in top form and the Tour is a month way can be also applied for Thomas. But I agree that my use of word "destroying"was an exaggeration, what I meant was that he was stronger than the rest of the climbers


It's difficult to predict unless you know the planning of each of these guys. It's not unlikely the guys that are shining at the Dauphiné, will fade away in the second week of the TDF. Nibali is clearly just using the Dauphiné as prep race. But you just don't know how each of these guys are preparing towards the TDF, or if they're actually trying to win the Dauphiné, TDF be damned.

The real "top" riders are peaking towards the mountains in the TDF. Last year Fuglsang won the Dauphiné. The guy was 32 at the time and had only one top 10 GC under his belt (7th at TDF).


I think Logic has the right logic here. I don’t care to guess how How G will perform at the Tour. But there are very clear reasons why he might have prepped and peaked more for this race than, for instance, Bardet or (quite obviously Nibali). G might say he’s going to the tour as A co-leader, but there is know way in the world he will be top dog on that team team unless Froome doesn’t start or crashes out. Besides, Michelle would just slash his tires. Bardet, by contrast, knows he’s going to the Tour as full leader, and his team, and especially the sponsor, have to wouls rssentially demand that he is at his best there. G does not that have that kind of pressure to perform at the Tour,. And he hasn’t won a whole lot, so why wouldn’t he target this race at which he is the designated leader on the strongest team. I don’t think he (or the team) would want to risk missing that opportunity by not being fully prepped. Bardet and Nibali are in the opposite position—they will risk to the utmost, including having poor results for much of their season, to be at the top of their game for the Tour
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Re:

09 Jun 2018 23:03

Consistency issues make it harder to win but at the end of the day Thomas can climb, TT, cobble, crosswind & TTT with the best.

It probably won't come together for him but on the chance that it does I'm not going to be sat here all bamboozled wondering where on earth this came from.

Some people put too much reliance on past results when sometimes you just got to look at what the rider is doing right now.
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Re:

10 Jun 2018 00:07

alspacka wrote:A few years ago I was insistent that Thomas should focus on classics and now there's talk of him winning the tour. Crazy times.


I thought tthe same thing. But that’s alright, a few years ago many thought Froome should focus on a career outside of cycling, now he’s one of the greatest GT riders ever. Similarly, no one would have thought track superstar Wiggins could ever climb sufficiently to win a GT, then he won the Tour.

Strange and unprecedented things happen with Sky riders do it would be silly to say Thomas absolutely can’t win the Tour.
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