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2016 TdF, Stage 17: Bern → Finhaut-Emosson (185km)

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I don't see a better opportunity in the last week for Quintana than this Forclaz - Finhaut-Emosson combo.
The longer in a piece - the better for him, and this is the closest he'll get to lengths he likes. Everything else during this week has unfavourable flats in between.
But there's no altitude he likes and if it doesn't get cooler neither he'll like the weather.
 
Would like to see Porte go on the attack tonight but i think Sky will ride a crazy pace and crush all attacks.giving Froome the last 5kms to gain another 20-30 seconds.Bardet may also try something but Mollema and Yates will be sucking wheels all the way to the end.Both have stated that 2nd/3rd in the tour would be an achievement for them both.
 
Big break until Forclaz, hoping for Sepulveda ftw but has done nothing so far... so, wishing for some Astana, Ag2r or Movistar in the break and some "cujones" back in the peloton to use them. If anyone do use them i'll be cheering them on like crazy even if they fail horribly...
Realistically, Froome to seal the coffin on everyone else..
 
Rollthedice said:
SeriousSam said:
Aru may well launch a blistering attack to ride onto the podium. Quintana and Porte will want to do the same.

Will be interesting to see whether Mollema and Yates can hang on.

Porte will never attack Froome and the rest will be brought back by the Sky train just in case, which leaves only one logical outcome on the last kms of the last climb, the inevitable thermonucular turbo washing machine egg beater attack.

Froome has not needed the egg beater attack so far in this race. Porte would understand better than anyone what happens to riders that attack Sky and fail to stay away. They usually get dropped on the inevitable counter attack. I think Porte will follow Froome and then weigh up his options if he has the legs of course. Porte knows he is too far back to win the race and that means he can be more watchful than Quintana unless Quintana already believes he is only riding for a possible podium. And at this stage it is only possible unless he can find something he has not shown at all so far in the race.
 
May 17, 2016
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Huge time gaps are coming!

Breakaway needs at least 5 minutes at the beginning of Emosson to make it.

This MTF looks perfect for Quintana, it can be a little bit too steep for Froome to launch his washing machine mode.
 
What i think will happen:

A small break will go as Movistar and others will fancy a stage win. So Sky will be happy for them to do some of the work.

Sky will ride tempo up the first climb with 2-3 guys left near the summit of the Cat 1.
Someone like Bardet or Aru will attack over the descent, but it isn't too technical apparently, so may prove useless.

Quintana (or even Bauke although he seems happy with 2nd) will attack at the bottom of the climb on one of the ramps and try to get a gap as they need a lot of time.
Depending gradients/ how Sky teammates feel, they will either try and bring it back like on Ventoux or Froome will follow and just sit on Quintana's wheel.

Stage will probably won by one of those 2.

Unless it all turns out really boring and they attack in the last 1 km or Aru has found some form from nowhere.

Bardet doesn't seem to be going that well.
 
Aug 12, 2009
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Here is to hoping some teams other than Sky have enough riders with them when they begin the descent of the Col des Mosses.

Between the bottom of that descent and the beginning of the ascent of the Col de la Forclaz there is 30 flat kilometres. Having enough riders there to set a fiery tempo would do some serious damage to those Sky domestiques. Burning them out before the two final climbs (Forclaz and Finhaut-Emosson) which last 23.4 kilometres combined with a small 8 kilometre respite between them...well there is plenty of room to do some GC damage.

Will they? Waiting for the climb is almost futile with Sky so far this race. Attack them on the second climb of they day and then hammer the flat section and hand it off for the GC riders.

Anything would be good.
 
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Re:

blaxland said:
Would like to see Porte go on the attack tonight but i think Sky will ride a crazy pace and crush all attacks.giving Froome the last 5kms to gain another 20-30 seconds.Bardet may also try something but Mollema and Yates will be sucking wheels all the way to the end.Both have stated that 2nd/3rd in the tour would be an achievement for them both.

He will be attacking a pillow. Rest day.
 
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dacooley said:
while reading the thread it might seem that froome a 3nd tier climber and as soon as poels, thomas and henao disappear, he'll get crushed by movistar, aru and others by 5 min.

The only way to find out is to grind the Sky team out of the race.

Don't be fooled by the predictions on here. Look at who many spoke up pre-Tour. Before the race started.

Their riders have almost guaranteed under performed. Pinot anyone?

To hinder Sky, Froome needs to be placed in a position like last years Alpe d'Huez stage. Now that might occur on stage 17, but 19 is the better option.

Regardless, Movistar and Astana should both try something. If not for Quintana, then for Valverde. Aru needs a few minutes to make the podium. He'll go alright on the mountain time trial, but he needs time before that. If Chris Froome is allowed to have 2+ domestiques on the de la Forclaz, very few riders will bother attacking. Why? Because the Sky train has worked really well the last few days. So isolate them on the first two climbs, gun the flat between the last two and dwindle the Sky support down.

Movistar isolated Froome last year, they can do it again this year.

And if they don't attack I hope Froome does and drags someone like Porte with him...at least then we'll see a GC battle shape up.

BMC actually need to do something on either stage 17 or 19. I'd say do it tomorrow.
 
Re:

dacooley said:
while reading the thread it might seem that froome a 3nd tier climber and as soon as poels, thomas and henao disappear, he'll get crushed by movistar, aru and others by 5 min.
He surely isnt 3rd tier but if he is isolated he is at least touchable. Moreover most people just hope froome isn't the strongest climber in the 3rd week because if thats the case the gc is over anyway.
 
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Matteo. said:
I honestly do not see how Quintana could beat Froome, in two days he can not return to the 2015 and give a minute to all. especially since there are at least 3-4 riders in better shape than him

Then work for Valverde to get second or third...or even first!

Simple solution and would win fans everywhere!!!
 
Re:

Matteo. said:
I honestly do not see how Quintana could beat Froome, in two days he can not return to the 2015 and give a minute to all. especially since there are at least 3-4 riders in better shape than him

Yes I think so. The best rider is on the strongest team. So first there is that. I think Movistar are trying to hide Quintana's real form but this week it will be exposed for better or worse. Other riders have already commented that Valverde looks the stronger of the two, if this is the case and Movistar want a podium then they have to be honest about it.
 
Re:

Matteo. said:
I honestly do not see how Quintana could beat Froome, in two days he can not return to the 2015 and give a minute to all. especially since there are at least 3-4 riders in better shape than him
I can't see how he can beat Froome either at the moment, but I don't believe there are 3-4 riders in better shape than him. He's been focused the whole tour on trying to get at Sky and put Froome under pressure, he's wasted energy doing this and has been passive at other times when Sky have looked strong.

If he abandons this plan and goes for second instead, I think he'll put time into Yates and Mollema easily. Even if he's not quite at top form, his climbing in high mountains is on a different level to both of them. He'll probably gain close to a minute on them in the TT alone.
 
Re: Re:

DFA123 said:
Matteo. said:
I honestly do not see how Quintana could beat Froome, in two days he can not return to the 2015 and give a minute to all. especially since there are at least 3-4 riders in better shape than him
I can't see how he can beat Froome either at the moment, but I don't believe there are 3-4 riders in better shape than him. He's been focused the whole tour on trying to get at Sky and put Froome under pressure, he's wasted energy doing this and has been passive at other times when Sky have looked strong.

If he abandons this plan and goes for second instead, I think he'll put time into Yates and Mollema easily. Even if he's not quite at top form, his climbing in high mountains is on a different level to both of them. He'll probably gain close to a minute on them in the TT alone.

If his climbing is on a different level the Mollema would not have dropped him on the Ventoux. He was lucky that the crash happened as the gap would have been extended not that it would have made much difference to the way the race currently stands. If Froome does not attack then there is more chance that Mollema and Yates won't lose much time but if Froome drags a few riders with him it will put more stress on riders that are just trying to hold their position on GC. i just don't think Quintana has the form of previous years but it's now or never in the next few stages if he wants a podium.
 
It's been the same everyday. Large break goes with the likes of Majka, De Gendt, Costa, Pinot (well, not anymore), Pauwels. Sky control but let them go and get large gaps. Nobody manages to shake off the core 5 Skyborgs and even Rowe/Stannard are usually there. They sure as heck will be there at the foot of the Forclaz, don't fool yourselves. I only saw the likes of Kiry drop on the Berthiand on the Colombier stage but even then they got back. I see them reduced to Froome/Poels/Landa/Nieve/Thomas on the early slopes of Forclaz, but you'll see four of them crest that.

I'm banking on Froome here really. Nobody's dropping him. And nobody has guts for an attack on the Forclaz where it'd be necessary. No, not even Nairo. This TDF has grown my dislike of Nairo immensely and on the other hand, made me at least a Froome admirer. Even as protected has he is, he's made the most meaningful moves so far at Revel and Luchon. Mollema has also impressed me. Valverde is also showing his claws and being overall better than Nairo. The latter has only disappointed me. I wanted to see last years 3rd week Nairo or something like that but no dice. He's supposed to be the strongest pure climber of the current peloton. I want to see that.
 
Re: Re:

movingtarget said:
DFA123 said:
Matteo. said:
I honestly do not see how Quintana could beat Froome, in two days he can not return to the 2015 and give a minute to all. especially since there are at least 3-4 riders in better shape than him
I can't see how he can beat Froome either at the moment, but I don't believe there are 3-4 riders in better shape than him. He's been focused the whole tour on trying to get at Sky and put Froome under pressure, he's wasted energy doing this and has been passive at other times when Sky have looked strong.

If he abandons this plan and goes for second instead, I think he'll put time into Yates and Mollema easily. Even if he's not quite at top form, his climbing in high mountains is on a different level to both of them. He'll probably gain close to a minute on them in the TT alone.

If his climbing is on a different level the Mollema would not have dropped him on the Ventoux. He was lucky that the crash happened as the gap would have been extended not that it would have made much difference to the way the race currently stands. If Froome does not attack then there is more chance that Mollema and Yates won't lose much time but if Froome drags a few riders with him it will put more stress on riders that are just trying to hold their position on GC. i just don't think Quintana has the form of previous years but it's now or never in the next few stages if he wants a podium.
Mollema dropped him on Ventoux because Quintana burnt himself out trying to distance Froome. Quintana is absolutely nailed on for 2nd place here if he wants it. He might go for a ridiculous long range attack Contador-style, because at this point in his career, another 2nd place isn't worth so much to him. But I doubt it, he'll probably just go on a couple of medium range attacks, taking time on everyone apart from Froome.

I'd be pretty surprised if the podium isn't 1) Froome 2) Quintana 3) Aru / Valverde
These are the best climbers and also the riders who consistently last three weeks - often getting stronger towards the end of the race.