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2016 TdF, Stage 2: Saint-Lô → Cherbourg-en-Cotentin (183km)

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Jul 2, 2015
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DFA123 said:
Mr.White said:
DFA123 said:
Matthews and EBH both will be carrying injuries after bad crash today. Looks like it could be between Sagan, GVA and Alaphilippe. The whole stage doesn't look hard enough to me for Valverde to compete with the sprinters, but you never know with him.

Interesting to see what Etixx do. A really hard pace on the final climb suits Alaphilippe most out of the contenders. But it will also put the most time into Kittel - who is in a great position to get yellow later in the week if he can limit losses tomorrow.

Remind me when did Alaphilippe beat Valverde in uphill sprint? Or in any kind of sprint? So, if the stage is for Alaphilippe, then it is certainly for Valverde too. Although his form might be an issue...
Well, I'm not basing it on historical results. Have you seen Alaphilippe's sprinting this year? He's like Valverde was 12 years ago - basically mixing it with the best in the world even on flattish stages. For me Valverde would be massive favourite if this final climb came in a stage with 2000m+ climbing. Or even perhaps if it was in the second or third week of the Tour.

A 1.5km climb at the end of a flat stage when the whole peloton are fresh and absolutely flying is going to be too fast for Valverde though I think. Hopefully he'll give it a shot, but I wouldn't even be surprised if he just stayed in the peloton and cruised home.

The final is tougher than you describe. First a 1.9k climb at 6.5%, then a slight downhill for a couple of hundred meters, then 700m at 5.7 %. Last year Valv was 3rd on the Mur-de-Bretange stage, pretty similiar stage to tomorrows stage, beaten only by Vuillermoz and Martin. Valverde will no doubt be up there tomorrow. If he wins is another question. :)
 
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PremierAndrew said:
Coquard ftw
Good shout. I think he has a genuine chance as well, although from what I saw earlier he was way down on the odds with the bookies. Everyone is flying at the moment so I think a lot of sprinters will hang on - I wouldn't even be too surprised to see someone like Greipel or Kristoff contesting the finish. Coquard though is so under-rated, and the finish looks almost perfect for him.
 
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Punkan said:
DFA123 said:
Mr.White said:
DFA123 said:
Matthews and EBH both will be carrying injuries after bad crash today. Looks like it could be between Sagan, GVA and Alaphilippe. The whole stage doesn't look hard enough to me for Valverde to compete with the sprinters, but you never know with him.

Interesting to see what Etixx do. A really hard pace on the final climb suits Alaphilippe most out of the contenders. But it will also put the most time into Kittel - who is in a great position to get yellow later in the week if he can limit losses tomorrow.

Remind me when did Alaphilippe beat Valverde in uphill sprint? Or in any kind of sprint? So, if the stage is for Alaphilippe, then it is certainly for Valverde too. Although his form might be an issue...
Well, I'm not basing it on historical results. Have you seen Alaphilippe's sprinting this year? He's like Valverde was 12 years ago - basically mixing it with the best in the world even on flattish stages. For me Valverde would be massive favourite if this final climb came in a stage with 2000m+ climbing. Or even perhaps if it was in the second or third week of the Tour.

A 1.5km climb at the end of a flat stage when the whole peloton are fresh and absolutely flying is going to be too fast for Valverde though I think. Hopefully he'll give it a shot, but I wouldn't even be surprised if he just stayed in the peloton and cruised home.

The final is tougher than you describe. First a 1.9k climb at 6.5%, then a slight downhill for a couple of hundred meters, then 700m at 5.7 %. Last year Valv was 3rd on the Mur-de-Bretange stage, pretty similiar stage to tomorrows stage, beaten only by Vuillermoz and Martin. Valverde will no doubt be up there tomorrow. If he wins is another question. :)
I think this stage is way easier than the Mur de Bretagne one. It's got much less climbing, it's the second stage of the race (not the eighth) and it's also a much easier climb - Mur de Bretagne has a 1km section at above 10%.
The sprinters will be so fresh that I don't think many of them will get dropped. Valverde has a chance of course, because he's such an incredible rider, but I think there are numerous climbing sprinters like Sagan and Matthews who will just be too powerful for him at this stage in the race.
 
Re: Re:

DFA123 said:
PremierAndrew said:
Coquard ftw
Good shout. I think he has a genuine chance as well, although from what I saw earlier he was way down on the odds with the bookies. Everyone is flying at the moment so I think a lot of sprinters will hang on - I wouldn't even be too surprised to see someone like Greipel or Kristoff contesting the finish. Coquard though is so under-rated, and the finish looks almost perfect for him.

Based on this year's AGR, he's got a serious chance of winning
 
Jul 2, 2015
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Re: Re:

DFA123 said:
Punkan said:
DFA123 said:
Mr.White said:
DFA123 said:
Matthews and EBH both will be carrying injuries after bad crash today. Looks like it could be between Sagan, GVA and Alaphilippe. The whole stage doesn't look hard enough to me for Valverde to compete with the sprinters, but you never know with him.

Interesting to see what Etixx do. A really hard pace on the final climb suits Alaphilippe most out of the contenders. But it will also put the most time into Kittel - who is in a great position to get yellow later in the week if he can limit losses tomorrow.

Remind me when did Alaphilippe beat Valverde in uphill sprint? Or in any kind of sprint? So, if the stage is for Alaphilippe, then it is certainly for Valverde too. Although his form might be an issue...
Well, I'm not basing it on historical results. Have you seen Alaphilippe's sprinting this year? He's like Valverde was 12 years ago - basically mixing it with the best in the world even on flattish stages. For me Valverde would be massive favourite if this final climb came in a stage with 2000m+ climbing. Or even perhaps if it was in the second or third week of the Tour.

A 1.5km climb at the end of a flat stage when the whole peloton are fresh and absolutely flying is going to be too fast for Valverde though I think. Hopefully he'll give it a shot, but I wouldn't even be surprised if he just stayed in the peloton and cruised home.

The final is tougher than you describe. First a 1.9k climb at 6.5%, then a slight downhill for a couple of hundred meters, then 700m at 5.7 %. Last year Valv was 3rd on the Mur-de-Bretange stage, pretty similiar stage to tomorrows stage, beaten only by Vuillermoz and Martin. Valverde will no doubt be up there tomorrow. If he wins is another question. :)
I think this stage is way easier than the Mur de Bretagne one. It's got much less climbing, it's the second stage of the race (not the eighth) and it's also a much easier climb - Mur de Bretagne has a 1km section at above 10%.
The sprinters will be so fresh that I don't think many of them will get dropped. Valverde has a chance of course, because he's such an incredible rider, but I think there are numerous climbing sprinters like Sagan and Matthews who will just be too powerful for him at this stage in the race.

Much easier? Nah. You first have 1k at 5.8%, then 500m at 10,5%, then 400m at 5%. Most sprinters will be gone after this, and if some of them do get up there in front, they will have nothing left in the uphill finish. But you seem to believe otherwise. Guess we will just have to wait and see what happens.
 
Jun 13, 2016
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If Tinkoff is willing to work for him, then Peter should be the favorite. If not, someone will attack at the bottom and win this, with Sagan coming in home second.
 
Re: Re:

Punkan said:
Much easier? Nah. You first have 1k at 5.8%, then 500m at 10,5%, then 400m at 5%. Most sprinters will be gone after this, and if some of them do get up there in front, they will have nothing left in the uphill finish. But you seem to believe otherwise. Guess we will just have to wait and see what happens.
I think the difference between having 500m at 10% and 1km at 10% is pretty huge. It's the difference between a hard anaerobic effort and more of a vo2 max effort. This is kind of like the Cauberg - with a downhill section in the middle. And sprinters like Sagan, Matthews, Coquard, EBH, Alaphilippe have all contested AGR in recent years - after 250km and 4000m+ of hard climbing. When fresh they'll absolutely fly up it. The steep part is too far from the finish to give climbers a decent shot at it imo.
 
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Valv.Piti said:
Bala ftw.

If not, one of the Etixx guys. I think this finish is harder than DFA gives it credit for.
We'll have to see :) It's not so much the finish, which is reasonably hard. It's more the fact that it comes at the end of a really easy stage when everyone is fresh on absolutely top form. In that sense it's not really comparable to most one day races or stages later on in a GT.

I think also people don't give sprinters enough credit. Think how riders like Sagan, Kristoff or EBH power up things like the Oude Kwaremont, or even as we have seen Degenkolb and Kittel on the Hatta Dam in the last couple of years. When they can go anaerobic, have all their matches in tact, and don't have to worry about recovery, sprinters can put out power that other riders just can't match.
 
Re: 2016 TdF, Stage 2: Saint-Lô → Cherbourg-en-Cotentin (183

I think this final climb is a bit underrated. It's slightly longer than 3 kilometers at about 5%. The cauberg is slightly longer than one kilometer at about 5%, so there is a big difference between those two. Moreover the finish here is uphill which IMO gives riders like Valverde another advantage since he can use his climbing abilities until the end while in AGR the final is completely flat. Coquard and Sagan have a chance but I think riders like Valverde and Alaphilippe are the favorites.
 
Re: 2016 TdF, Stage 2: Saint-Lô → Cherbourg-en-Cotentin (183

Gigs_98 said:
I think this final climb is a bit underrated. It's slightly longer than 3 kilometers at about 5%. The cauberg is slightly longer than one kilometer at about 5%, so there is a big difference between those two. Moreover the finish here is uphill which IMO gives riders like Valverde another advantage since he can use his climbing abilities until the end while in AGR the final is completely flat. Coquard and Sagan have a chance but I think riders like Valverde and Alaphilippe are the favorites.

It's pretty flat before the final 10k tomorrow, unlike Amstel, which also has to be considered. I think guys like Sagan Coquard and Matthews should be favourite, not Ala Bala Martin etc.
 
Re: 2016 TdF, Stage 2: Saint-Lô → Cherbourg-en-Cotentin (183

Gigs_98 said:
I think this final climb is a bit underrated. It's slightly longer than 3 kilometers at about 5%. The cauberg is slightly longer than one kilometer at about 5%, so there is a big difference between those two. Moreover the finish here is uphill which IMO gives riders like Valverde another advantage since he can use his climbing abilities until the end while in AGR the final is completely flat. Coquard and Sagan have a chance but I think riders like Valverde and Alaphilippe are the favorites.
Saying it's 3km at 5% doesn't really mean anything. It's basically a false flat for 800m, followed by a steep 500m, followed by a flat with a bit of downhill and then 600m at 5.5% to the line. The comparison with the Cauberg was the steepest 500m - which is very similar gradient. Several sprinters in the last few years haven't got dropped there, and that's after 250km of really hard racing. Not sure why they would get dropped after this flat stage tomorrow.
 
Re: 2016 TdF, Stage 2: Saint-Lô → Cherbourg-en-Cotentin (183

PremierAndrew said:
Gigs_98 said:
I think this final climb is a bit underrated. It's slightly longer than 3 kilometers at about 5%. The cauberg is slightly longer than one kilometer at about 5%, so there is a big difference between those two. Moreover the finish here is uphill which IMO gives riders like Valverde another advantage since he can use his climbing abilities until the end while in AGR the final is completely flat. Coquard and Sagan have a chance but I think riders like Valverde and Alaphilippe are the favorites.

It's pretty flat before the final 10k tomorrow, unlike Amstel, which also has to be considered
Sadly the penultimate climb in the stage tomorrow is actually even harder than the penultimate climb in AGR, but that only shows how ridiculous the final of Amstel has become. Generally you are of course right, but nevertheless the stage tomorrow could still be pretty difficult because of wind, bad weather,... and again, it's not like the final climb is as hard as the cauberg, it's as hard as three caubergs directly after each other.
 
Re: 2016 TdF, Stage 2: Saint-Lô → Cherbourg-en-Cotentin (183

Gigs_98 said:
PremierAndrew said:
Gigs_98 said:
I think this final climb is a bit underrated. It's slightly longer than 3 kilometers at about 5%. The cauberg is slightly longer than one kilometer at about 5%, so there is a big difference between those two. Moreover the finish here is uphill which IMO gives riders like Valverde another advantage since he can use his climbing abilities until the end while in AGR the final is completely flat. Coquard and Sagan have a chance but I think riders like Valverde and Alaphilippe are the favorites.

It's pretty flat before the final 10k tomorrow, unlike Amstel, which also has to be considered
Sadly the penultimate climb in the stage tomorrow is actually even harder than the penultimate climb in AGR, but that only shows how ridiculous the final of Amstel has become. Generally you are of course right, but nevertheless the stage tomorrow could still be pretty difficult because of wind, bad weather,... and again, it's not like the final climb is as hard as the cauberg, it's as hard as three caubergs directly after each other.
It's really not. Average gradient isn't important here. The important part is whether the sprinters can hang on during that steepest section. The Cauberg has over 400m at 10%, which is similar to the steepest part on the climb tomorrow. The last 500m are too gentle for a climber - they'll be going 30km/h+ up there so there will be too much benefit drafting for them to get away.
 
Jul 2, 2015
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Re: 2016 TdF, Stage 2: Saint-Lô → Cherbourg-en-Cotentin (183

DFA123 said:
Gigs_98 said:
PremierAndrew said:
Gigs_98 said:
I think this final climb is a bit underrated. It's slightly longer than 3 kilometers at about 5%. The cauberg is slightly longer than one kilometer at about 5%, so there is a big difference between those two. Moreover the finish here is uphill which IMO gives riders like Valverde another advantage since he can use his climbing abilities until the end while in AGR the final is completely flat. Coquard and Sagan have a chance but I think riders like Valverde and Alaphilippe are the favorites.

It's pretty flat before the final 10k tomorrow, unlike Amstel, which also has to be considered
Sadly the penultimate climb in the stage tomorrow is actually even harder than the penultimate climb in AGR, but that only shows how ridiculous the final of Amstel has become. Generally you are of course right, but nevertheless the stage tomorrow could still be pretty difficult because of wind, bad weather,... and again, it's not like the final climb is as hard as the cauberg, it's as hard as three caubergs directly after each other.
It's really not. Average gradient isn't important here. The important part is whether the sprinters can hang on during that steepest section. The Cauberg has over 400m at 10%, which is similar to the steepest part on the climb tomorrow. The last 500m are too gentle for a climber - they'll be going 30km/h+ up there so there will be too much benefit drafting for them to get away.

If you mean sprinters like Sagan, EBH, Matthews and Coquard, yes, they will probably be up there. Don't think anyone questions that possibility. But Greipel and Kristoff? I highly doubt that.
 
Mar 13, 2015
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Re: Re:

DFA123 said:
Punkan said:
Much easier? Nah. You first have 1k at 5.8%, then 500m at 10,5%, then 400m at 5%. Most sprinters will be gone after this, and if some of them do get up there in front, they will have nothing left in the uphill finish. But you seem to believe otherwise. Guess we will just have to wait and see what happens.
I think the difference between having 500m at 10% and 1km at 10% is pretty huge. It's the difference between a hard anaerobic effort and more of a vo2 max effort. This is kind of like the Cauberg - with a downhill section in the middle. And sprinters like Sagan, Matthews, Coquard, EBH, Alaphilippe have all contested AGR in recent years - after 250km and 4000m+ of hard climbing. When fresh they'll absolutely fly up it. The steep part is too far from the finish to give climbers a decent shot at it imo.

I must respond again to your post. Alaphilippe is not a sprinter, and not in the league of those mentioned beside him. I wont deny that he can beat them tomorrow, but they simply aren't the same type of riders. You watched that Dauphine stage where Alaphilippe finished ahead of some notable sprinters, but I assure you, he's not fast like them