Giro d'Italia stage 20, Stage 20: Alba – Sestriere 190 km

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Not sure what race did you saw. Dennis didn't cover any of the Hindley attacks, it was Tao. Dennis recovered because Hindley's attacks were too short and weak to drop Dennis.
Tactics? If Hindley would've been much more powerful than Tao, Ineos's tactics would've been shambles.
The “tactic,” subtle as it was, was to not completely burn out Dennis. The usual Sky MO in the past was for Porte/Poels/Landa to drill it until Froome could attack and drop the rest, but in this case they knew their guy wasn’t stronger than Sunweb’s last guy, so having Dennis go flat out would have played into Hindley’s hands.

After Hindley’s first attack, Dennis came rolling through right back to the front almost before Hindley sat up. Tao covered it, but Dennis made sure Hindley knew he was still there. It meant Hindley knew that whatever attack he did put in, Hart would not be chasing him alone, but would have support.

So even if Hindley had been a lot stronger than Tao (and the indications from the early going were that he was) Dennis was still available to help Hart. Also, by Dennis not going fill gas once the gap to Kelderman was established, it meant Hart was (relatively) fresh, and able to respond to Hindley’s attacks. Again, if Dennis went 100% on the climb, chances are he would have dropped Tao, or at least left him vulnerable to attack.

It’s the first time Ineos have had to deal with another team’s leader being stronger than theirs. It does help that their no1 domestique is stronger again, but they’ve also had to make adjustments to their usual plan, and they’ve maximized their guy’s chances of winning the race.

They’ve been very smart the last 2 mountain stages. On the last rest day, I think pretty much nobody was giving Tao a chance of winning the Giro, yet here we are with him tied for 1st going into the final TT.
 
Riders gave the best they could've given, but the route prevented a classic.
I think a harder route, like the original, might have actually worked the opposite way and created some sort of separation between them. As it was, it went down to the final sprint for the stage, and it obviously can’t possibly be closer going into the TT.

If there’s a disappointment now, it probably springs from the assumption that TGH is the stronger TTer, so should win handy enough. But if Hindley is a little better or fresher than we all think, or if the Cervelo is a touch more aero than the Pinarello, this could be a little more dramatic yet.
 
Most important one are probably the short ones also because that's where riders are more likely to go all out even when they don't need to. TGH could drop decent ITTs prior to this GIro. He beat Hindley in the Tirreno ITT despite Hindley climbing far better.
But the Tirreno result amounted to Hindley hanging onto his 13th place, and Tao overtaking Oscar Rodriguez to move into 30th.
TGH will win this. Sky/Ineos riders always put in a monster TT performance when it matters.
Because no Sunweb rider has any history of beating a Sky/Ineos rider in the final TT of a GT?
 
But the Tirreno result amounted to Hindley hanging onto his 13th place, and Tao overtaking Oscar Rodriguez to move into 30th.
Because no Sunweb rider has any history of beating a Sky/Ineos rider in the final TT of a GT?
TGH beat Hindley despite much worse relative form, though I can't speak for circumstances changing in the time inbetween them, although I doubt it's very much.
 
I think a harder route, like the original, might have actually worked the opposite way and created some sort of separation between them. As it was, it went down to the final sprint for the stage, and it obviously can’t possibly be closer going into the TT.

If there’s a disappointment now, it probably springs from the assumption that TGH is the stronger TTer, so should win handy enough. But if Hindley is a little better or fresher than we all think, or if the Cervelo is a touch more aero than the Pinarello, this could be a little more dramatic yet.
I think with the harer route, Dennis kills everyone on the Izoard, then it's a waiting game for a final Sestriere from a weaker side, so Hindley still can't get away.

Maybe Dennis runs out of gas much earlier and Hindley has a far bigger advantage on the big units...
 
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I think with the harer route, Dennis kills everyone on the Izoard, then it's a waiting game for a final Sestriere from a weaker side, so Hindley still can't get away.

Maybe Dennis runs out of gas much earlier and Hindley has a far bigger advantage on the big units...
I think the crucial factor is how much time would Dennis have been able to put into Kelderman. If Dennis could ride the whole of the original route within himself, keeping Kelderman at a minute or more, then the end result is the same; Hindley can’t drop 2 Ineos riders up an easy climb, and has to sprint it out with Tao at the summit.
 
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I think the crucial factor is how much time would Dennis have been able to put into Kelderman. If Dennis could ride the whole of the original route within himself, keeping Kelderman at a minute or more, then the end result is the same; Hindley can’t drop 2 Ineos riders up an easy climb, and has to sprint it out with Tao at the summit.
Seeing as Kelderman got dropped by Almeida, Dennis surely would have taken care of that. What probably would have changed is much less support for the group behind
 
I haven’t read through all of the pages, so my apologies if this has been mentioned before, but watching two such surprising contenders fighting it out on the last climb of a GT Gave me flashbacks to Cobo-Froome in 2011. Of course, whereas that race looked like a fight out of Rocky movie, this one looked like two exhausted, punch-drunk boxers at the very end of their strength. Chapeau to them for fighting it out to the end.
 
The “tactic,” subtle as it was, was to not completely burn out Dennis. The usual Sky MO in the past was for Porte/Poels/Landa to drill it until Froome could attack and drop the rest, but in this case they knew their guy wasn’t stronger than Sunweb’s last guy, so having Dennis go flat out would have played into Hindley’s hands.

After Hindley’s first attack, Dennis came rolling through right back to the front almost before Hindley sat up. Tao covered it, but Dennis made sure Hindley knew he was still there. It meant Hindley knew that whatever attack he did put in, Hart would not be chasing him alone, but would have support.

So even if Hindley had been a lot stronger than Tao (and the indications from the early going were that he was) Dennis was still available to help Hart. Also, by Dennis not going fill gas once the gap to Kelderman was established, it meant Hart was (relatively) fresh, and able to respond to Hindley’s attacks. Again, if Dennis went 100% on the climb, chances are he would have dropped Tao, or at least left him vulnerable to attack.

It’s the first time Ineos have had to deal with another team’s leader being stronger than theirs. It does help that their no1 domestique is stronger again, but they’ve also had to make adjustments to their usual plan, and they’ve maximized their guy’s chances of winning the race.

They’ve been very smart the last 2 mountain stages. On the last rest day, I think pretty much nobody was giving Tao a chance of winning the Giro, yet here we are with him tied for 1st going into the final TT.
Exactly. They'd been going super slow for a while before Hindley attacked, and TGH, being the more explosive rider could thus easily follow.
 
37s on the top of the first climb
1'40 at the sprint before the second climb begins
1'03 when Almeida went on the attack at 3.8k out on the final climb.
42s at 3k to go when he joined up with Serry
1'02 at 1.7k to go after Hindley started putting in some digs
1'01 at the line after Hindley and Hart ended up pretty much just riding in together

Looks very marginally faster over the course of both but we all know that's the result of Dennis setting a manageable pace on the 2nd ascent so that they were able to react to everything in the finale.

Jai really should have gone hard and deep as soon as it got steeper the second time around yesterday but sat on too long. I really hope there was no radio in his ear telling him to wait because the chasers were coming back lol
 
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37s on the top of the first climb
1'40 at the sprint before the second climb begins
1'03 when Almeida went on the attack at 3.8k out on the final climb.
42s at 3k to go when he joined up with Serry
1'02 at 1.7k to go after Hindley started putting in some digs
1'01 at the line after Hindley and Hart ended up pretty much just riding in together

Looks very marginally faster over the course of both but we all know that's the result of Dennis setting a manageable pace on the 2nd ascent so that they were able to react to everything in the finale.

Jai really should have gone hard and deep as soon as it got steeper the second time around yesterday but sat on too long. I really hope there was no radio in his ear telling him to wait because the chasers were coming back lol
Absolutely. Big, big *** up that they didn't seem to realise this.
 
37s on the top of the first climb
1'40 at the sprint before the second climb begins
1'03 when Almeida went on the attack at 3.8k out on the final climb.
42s at 3k to go when he joined up with Serry
1'02 at 1.7k to go after Hindley started putting in some digs
1'01 at the line after Hindley and Hart ended up pretty much just riding in together

Looks very marginally faster over the course of both but we all know that's the result of Dennis setting a manageable pace on the 2nd ascent so that they were able to react to everything in the finale.

Jai really should have gone hard and deep as soon as it got steeper the second time around yesterday but sat on too long. I really hope there was no radio in his ear telling him to wait because the chasers were coming back lol
If Jai had gone deep on Sest2, Tao would just sit on Rohan’s wheel until Sest3, catch him halfway up, and jump him in the final 5km. Tao wins the stage by half a minute and the Giro is over.

Maybe if Jai had found some cooperative wheels in the break it could have worked. More than likely, all those DQS would’ve just sat on him for a bit and focused on their “help Almeida” plan.

Best thing for Hindley would have been to have a guy in the break. I didn’t see the early going, but presumably Sunweb weren’t letting anything with an Ineos rider go, and vice versa.
 
If Jai had gone deep on Sest2, Tao would just sit on Rohan’s wheel until Sest3, catch him halfway up, and jump him in the final 5km. Tao wins the stage by half a minute and the Giro is over.
Sorry Lein, when I said 2nd time around I was meaning the specific climb, not on the second ascent of the day. Definitely can't see a way he'd have gone there and had it be successful.

I just think he needed to go much earlier in the finale, perhaps the hairpin around 5k where there was a bit of a kick on the exit and try force Dennis off the wheel. He was sat behind a false tempo so long he let both Ineos boys save a lot of energy
 
Sorry Lein, when I said 2nd time around I was meaning the specific climb, not on the second ascent of the day. Definitely can't see a way he'd have gone there and had it be successful.

I just think he needed to go much earlier in the finale, perhaps the hairpin around 5k where there was a bit of a kick on the exit and try force Dennis off the wheel. He was sat behind a false tempo so long he let both Ineos boys save a lot of energy
Yeah, true that. I think maybe the moment to go was when Tao got gapped off Dennis’s wheel a little. Sow a little doubt, just at a crucial moment.
 
Oct 8, 2020
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Perfect timing for the Giro at Sestriere. This is a view of Sestriere this morning.
Agnello + Izoard + Montgenevre was plan A, Finestre was plan B, triple Sestriere was plan C...we would have needed plan D (that would have probably been a mountain finish in Montoso I think)

 
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