how did the giro-tour suddenly become so feasible?

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dark horses performing tremendously well tends to force us to look over the rest contenders, seek for explanations and ascribe it to an unexpectedly weak field. I don't think that's the case at this point and I see no reason to take quintana's 2013 and 2015 tour shape as a reference point, because from now on the likelihood of him being able to replicate that shape greatly falls.

froome and dimoulin are simply much stronger than others at this point. not that, it says anything about what we are going to view in next season.
 
This tour has been a strange one. there was one extra week between Giro and Tour. Almost every contender crashed/had a mechanical at least once. There was a TTT which favoured the teams with roulers and the big guys like Froome/Dumo definitely benefited. then there was a Roubaix stage where again the bigger guys benefited while the little climbers held on to dear life. Following that there was the rest day after which some go badly and then onto the mountains in hot conditions. Which is probably we see the top TT guys in top four positions. Of course there can be other clinic reasons as well. I think a TTT should not be combined with a cobbled stage in the opening stages.
 
Jan 11, 2018
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In past Tours, Sky fans have often been fond of making the argument in explaining Froome's dominance that his rivals have been weak or out of form, and usually it has been complete garbage.

But this year I think it is actually largely true. Sky have been very 'lucky', if that is the right word. Nibali and Porte would probably have been among the strongest rivals, and they have both crashed, as have Martin, Fuglsang, Uran and Landa. Valverde is way past it at GT-level, and Quintana is clearly below his best...again. Roglic is very strong, and a little suspicious, but even so I don't think he's at a GT-winning level just yet, while Kruijswijk hasn't quite found his 2016 Giro form. I don't see Adam Yates as a genuine contender at this point, nor Zakarin or Majka.

That just leaves Dumoulin, who like Froome is coming off the Giro, and Bardet, and the course this year really isn't suited to a small 'pure' climber like him (well it so rarely is at the Tour really). The resilience of Froome and Dumo to back up still raises red flags of course, as does Thomas' jump, but they've had an awful lot go their way too.
 
Re: Re:

Escarabajo said:
Red Rick said:
I can't remember, but is this every time during the WC? 2014 and 2010 too?

On another note, I'm starting to question the strength of the field in the Giro this year.
Or of the Tour?

You do realize that two of the contenders are here. So you have to pick!
Probably a bit of everything.

But when Dumoulin says he's better than in the Giro, I'm inclined to believe him. Similarly, the Giro had more pure climber riding around, and Dumoulin got dropped for marginal time loss a few times, but does that happen if the first week of the Giro is like the first week of the Tour? That's somewhat doubtful.
 
Jul 28, 2009
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Maybe because this is one of the few instances in the past 20 years where the best rider tries the double.
Armstrong never tried.
Contador only once in his prime.
All other tdf winners were one time winners.
 
Re: Re:

Red Rick said:
King Boonen said:
Jagartrott said:
The strangest thing to me is that the Giro was very hard, and both Froome and Dumoulin had to fight to the end. In this Tour, many heavier riders have complained the second week was relentless - with the sprinter's field being decimated. So how can the above duo look as fresh as the riders that have trained specifically for this GT only? They may still crash and burn, but I see no indication for it at this moment.
I don’t think there’s any easy answer. Even with doping taken into account it should only really push a might have won to a winner, especially if we go on the dogmatic view that they are all at it.

Easiest explanation, in a race where double digit climbs are hard to find and low when they appear, the race favours GC riders who can grind it out at close to threshold day after day and CF and TD are currently the best in the world by a big margin at this.
Why would recovery favour bigger riders now?

And who's a reference anyway. Almost nobody in this Tour is at their usual level. Bardet probably. Few are out. Quintana once again messed up his form. Valverde is ancient and out of shape. Landa, Uran, and many others crashed.

I'd say Froome and Bardet are about the same level as last year. Now why would Froome reach the same level after a Giro, while a year older? Why would Dumoulin, who was slowly fading toward the end of the Giro last year now be able to be consistent for a Giro/Tour double?

I think the extra week makes a lot of difference.

Right now I'm also kind of wondering what happened to the riders who were good early season. Right now of those riders only Roglic is riding well. Froome, Dumoulin and Thomas were nowhere in the spring.
The Dutch fans of today are starting to sound an awful lot like the sky fans of 2012 and 2013 who claimed that froome and wiggins only did well in a few gts because everyone else was off form and once a decent rider does OK their era will be over. So nothing to see there.
 
Re: Re:

King Boonen said:
Jagartrott said:
The strangest thing to me is that the Giro was very hard, and both Froome and Dumoulin had to fight to the end. In this Tour, many heavier riders have complained the second week was relentless - with the sprinter's field being decimated. So how can the above duo look as fresh as the riders that have trained specifically for this GT only? They may still crash and burn, but I see no indication for it at this moment.
I don’t think there’s any easy answer. Even with doping taken into account it should only really push a might have won to a winner, especially if we go on the dogmatic view that they are all at it.

Easiest explanation, in a race where double digit climbs are hard to find and low when they appear, the race favours GC riders who can grind it out at close to threshold day after day and CF and TD are currently the best in the world by a big margin at this.
You seem to me to be trying to be deliberately obtuse in order to cloud the obvious. Your boy is just stronger than everyone at everything . Full stop

All this, froome is naturally good when it's hot, froome is a tter who can climb, he's a climber who grinds out the tts, hes suited to July races, he prefers long climbs, he prefers short climbs, he can grind it out close to threshold etc etc are all just attempts to cloud the fact that he is Armstrong 2.0 who for years has been outclimbing, out tting and out recovering the competition everytime he decides to.
 
Re:

Roninho said:
Maybe because this is one of the few instances in the past 20 years where the best rider tries the double.
Armstrong never tried.
Contador only once in his prime.
All other tdf winners were one time winners.
2006 was going to be interesting before Puerto exclusions a day before the race. We had Giro winner Basso and Ullrich who had done most of the Giro as preparation. Won ITT there but otherwise didn't do much before pulling out few stages before the end.
 
Re: Re:

The Hitch said:
King Boonen said:
Jagartrott said:
The strangest thing to me is that the Giro was very hard, and both Froome and Dumoulin had to fight to the end. In this Tour, many heavier riders have complained the second week was relentless - with the sprinter's field being decimated. So how can the above duo look as fresh as the riders that have trained specifically for this GT only? They may still crash and burn, but I see no indication for it at this moment.
I don’t think there’s any easy answer. Even with doping taken into account it should only really push a might have won to a winner, especially if we go on the dogmatic view that they are all at it.

Easiest explanation, in a race where double digit climbs are hard to find and low when they appear, the race favours GC riders who can grind it out at close to threshold day after day and CF and TD are currently the best in the world by a big margin at this.
You seem to me to be trying to be deliberately obtuse in order to cloud the obvious. Your boy is just stronger than everyone at everything . Full stop

All this, froome is naturally good when it's hot, froome is a tter who can climb, he's a climber who grinds out the tts, hes suited to July races, he prefers long climbs, he prefers short climbs, he can grind it out close to threshold etc etc are all just attempts to cloud the fact that he is Armstrong 2.0 who for years has been outclimbing, out tting and out recovering the competition everytime he decides to.
+1
Agree with this. I get confused when people in here start splitting hairs with their favorite riders. Things like is better in gradients over 10%, but bad in gradients between 7 and 10%. Then He is good again in gradients below 7%. What is this a lab?
And then when the rider start being good at everything then the explanation is usually "the opposition is weak!"
 
Re: Re:

The Hitch said:
King Boonen said:
Jagartrott said:
The strangest thing to me is that the Giro was very hard, and both Froome and Dumoulin had to fight to the end. In this Tour, many heavier riders have complained the second week was relentless - with the sprinter's field being decimated. So how can the above duo look as fresh as the riders that have trained specifically for this GT only? They may still crash and burn, but I see no indication for it at this moment.
I don’t think there’s any easy answer. Even with doping taken into account it should only really push a might have won to a winner, especially if we go on the dogmatic view that they are all at it.

Easiest explanation, in a race where double digit climbs are hard to find and low when they appear, the race favours GC riders who can grind it out at close to threshold day after day and CF and TD are currently the best in the world by a big margin at this.
You seem to me to be trying to be deliberately obtuse in order to cloud the obvious. Your boy is just stronger than everyone at everything . Full stop

All this, froome is naturally good when it's hot, froome is a tter who can climb, he's a climber who grinds out the tts, hes suited to July races, he prefers long climbs, he prefers short climbs, he can grind it out close to threshold etc etc are all just attempts to cloud the fact that he is Armstrong 2.0 who for years has been outclimbing, out tting and out recovering the competition everytime he decides to.
I don’t have a “boy” Hitch. I could care less if Froome wins or not.
 
Re: Re:

The Hitch said:
Red Rick said:
King Boonen said:
Jagartrott said:
The strangest thing to me is that the Giro was very hard, and both Froome and Dumoulin had to fight to the end. In this Tour, many heavier riders have complained the second week was relentless - with the sprinter's field being decimated. So how can the above duo look as fresh as the riders that have trained specifically for this GT only? They may still crash and burn, but I see no indication for it at this moment.
I don’t think there’s any easy answer. Even with doping taken into account it should only really push a might have won to a winner, especially if we go on the dogmatic view that they are all at it.

Easiest explanation, in a race where double digit climbs are hard to find and low when they appear, the race favours GC riders who can grind it out at close to threshold day after day and CF and TD are currently the best in the world by a big margin at this.
Why would recovery favour bigger riders now?

And who's a reference anyway. Almost nobody in this Tour is at their usual level. Bardet probably. Few are out. Quintana once again messed up his form. Valverde is ancient and out of shape. Landa, Uran, and many others crashed.

I'd say Froome and Bardet are about the same level as last year. Now why would Froome reach the same level after a Giro, while a year older? Why would Dumoulin, who was slowly fading toward the end of the Giro last year now be able to be consistent for a Giro/Tour double?

I think the extra week makes a lot of difference.

Right now I'm also kind of wondering what happened to the riders who were good early season. Right now of those riders only Roglic is riding well. Froome, Dumoulin and Thomas were nowhere in the spring.
The Dutch fans of today are starting to sound an awful lot like the sky fans of 2012 and 2013 who claimed that froome and wiggins only did well in a few gts because everyone else was off form and once a decent rider does OK their era will be over. So nothing to see there.
At no point did I claim it's normal that Dumoulin is this good in this Tour. I'm also not gonna claim that the best climbers of the last 6 years are there in top form when Nibali crashes out and Quintana is riding backwards.

I'm perfectly willing to believe Kruijswijk is gonna get like 5th here while riding at a similar level to the 2016 Giro.

Maybe doping anno 2018 favours taller, heavier riders, like EPO used to.

I'm not saying the climbing field is *** and that there's nothing to see here. I'm saying that some of the usual references aren't there. I'm spitballing factors that could contribute other than doping, cause that's interesting as well.
 
Oct 4, 2014
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Nighttrain99 said:
The Hitch said:
I dont know about Tom but froome is at this stage basically in contention for greatest gt rider ever. How many managed giro tour? Indurain did it. Merckx did it no? Hinault can't remember.

Armstrong never tried.

Contador 2011 had a far Weaker team than sky and wasn't that far off, especially if he hadn't been disadvantaged by crashes it might have worked. 2015 contador was a far Weaker rider imo.

So week or no week, with froome it's a case of best guy being able to do both.
Giro/LeTour double: Hinault in ‘82 amd ‘85. Merckx ‘70, ‘72 and ‘74.

Merckx won the Vuelta in ‘73. If Froome wins this Tour and then the Vuelta does he eclipse Merckx as the greatest GT racer of all time?
No. Not even close. Was Armstrong the greatest GT racer when he won 7 Tour? No. Why?
1-because nobody has ever won and will never win and dominate as much as Eddy
2-because what has happened to Lance afterward was in the air and whether it will happen or not to Froome it is in the air now
 
Re: Re:

Escarabajo said:
The Hitch said:
King Boonen said:
Jagartrott said:
The strangest thing to me is that the Giro was very hard, and both Froome and Dumoulin had to fight to the end. In this Tour, many heavier riders have complained the second week was relentless - with the sprinter's field being decimated. So how can the above duo look as fresh as the riders that have trained specifically for this GT only? They may still crash and burn, but I see no indication for it at this moment.
I don’t think there’s any easy answer. Even with doping taken into account it should only really push a might have won to a winner, especially if we go on the dogmatic view that they are all at it.

Easiest explanation, in a race where double digit climbs are hard to find and low when they appear, the race favours GC riders who can grind it out at close to threshold day after day and CF and TD are currently the best in the world by a big margin at this.
You seem to me to be trying to be deliberately obtuse in order to cloud the obvious. Your boy is just stronger than everyone at everything . Full stop

All this, froome is naturally good when it's hot, froome is a tter who can climb, he's a climber who grinds out the tts, hes suited to July races, he prefers long climbs, he prefers short climbs, he can grind it out close to threshold etc etc are all just attempts to cloud the fact that he is Armstrong 2.0 who for years has been outclimbing, out tting and out recovering the competition everytime he decides to.
+1
Agree with this. I get confused when people in here start splitting hairs with their favorite riders. Things like is better in gradients over 10%, but bad in gradients between 7 and 10%. Then He is good again in gradients below 7%. What is this a lab?
And then when the rider start being good at everything then the explanation is usually "the opposition is weak!"
A case in point would be the 2017 Vuelta, where many here were saying that Froome struggles on the steeper grades and then he commenced to drop everyone except Contador on the Angliru, this with the Tour in his legs.
 
Re: Re:

The Hitch said:
King Boonen said:
Jagartrott said:
The strangest thing to me is that the Giro was very hard, and both Froome and Dumoulin had to fight to the end. In this Tour, many heavier riders have complained the second week was relentless - with the sprinter's field being decimated. So how can the above duo look as fresh as the riders that have trained specifically for this GT only? They may still crash and burn, but I see no indication for it at this moment.
I don’t think there’s any easy answer. Even with doping taken into account it should only really push a might have won to a winner, especially if we go on the dogmatic view that they are all at it.

Easiest explanation, in a race where double digit climbs are hard to find and low when they appear, the race favours GC riders who can grind it out at close to threshold day after day and CF and TD are currently the best in the world by a big margin at this.
You seem to me to be trying to be deliberately obtuse in order to cloud the obvious. Your boy is just stronger than everyone at everything . Full stop

All this, froome is naturally good when it's hot, froome is a tter who can climb, he's a climber who grinds out the tts, hes suited to July races, he prefers long climbs, he prefers short climbs, he can grind it out close to threshold etc etc are all just attempts to cloud the fact that he is Armstrong 2.0 who for years has been outclimbing, out tting and out recovering the competition everytime he decides to.
This. Full stop.
 
Re: Re:

Red Rick said:
At no point did I claim it's normal that Dumoulin is this good in this Tour. I'm also not gonna claim that the best climbers of the last 6 years are there in top form when Nibali crashes out and Quintana is riding backwards.

I'm perfectly willing to believe Kruijswijk is gonna get like 5th here while riding at a similar level to the 2016 Giro.

Maybe doping anno 2018 favours taller, heavier riders, like EPO used to.

I'm not saying the climbing field is **** and that there's nothing to see here. I'm saying that some of the usual references aren't there. I'm spitballing factors that could contribute other than doping, cause that's interesting as well.
This is what I suspect as well. I think the state of the art doping now is more focused on weight loss without losing power, than about getting an insane number of red blood cells. We've seen positives for clen, plus many rumours of Aicar and peptides in the last decade. I suspect that there is something new in the last couple of years which is being used - or something old being used in a different way. And suddenly the likes of Thomas, Roglic and Dumoulin have emerged as the best stage racers in the world. While the lighter GC riders seem to be going backwards.

And it makes sense. If your 'natural' weight is 70-75kg, you have may be able to lose 4-5kg without power loss using the latest doping products. Whereas someone who is only 60kg may only be able to lose 2kg. Which is a race winning difference.
 
Contador would have done it in 2011 were it not for crashes in the Tour him being so naive and taking the absolute piss out of the Giro by powering away and destroying everyone at every given chance. Had he settled on the minute-2 minute advantage he had once he established himself as the leader he would have had plenty more in the tank for the Tour. That's not the type of rider he is and when you are that strong it must be hard to hold back but I'm sure looking back he would have rode far more conservatively.

As for now, I'm not really sure. Having a free pass like Froome has definitely helps but Dumoulin should not be doing so well...maybe it is because Quintana is actually 50 years old and is past prime and the rest of the competition just isn't in form this year.
 
it's a bit senseless try to reproduce desired reality by looking back at the past. Quintana could have pulled it off as well if there hadn't been a joker Dimoulin who unexpectedly began to climb with best from the best, as well as Froome would've had a considerably better chance, had he not crashed during the TT recon and thomas not spoilt a party. :)
 
Dumoulin is quickly moving up into Sky territory in terms of ridiculousness.

Unrelated: Seems like Roglic is on the verge of figuring out the secret formula too. Could make for some actual entertainment next year.
 
Re:

DFA123 said:
Froome showing some third week weakness today - as you'd expect from a Giro-Tour double attempt.

Dumoulin on the other hand... :eek:
Couldn’t have anything to do with the age difference between them, could it? Froome at 33 is expected to recover as quickly as Dumoulin at 27? Really? Froome at 33 is supposed to be better than anyone and everyone much younger? Froome has already won more Tours past the age of 30 than anyone else in history. Even if he and Dumo were squeaky clean, and hadn't exhibited any unusual transformation, Froome is at the age when riders historically have shown major declines. Dumo is at the age when historically they have begun to peak. Other things being equal, you would predict Dumo would hold up better in the Tour following the Giro.

I'm not saying Dumo isn't suspicious. He's well on his way to a double performance that no one since Pantani has managed. But even if you believe he came from as unremarkable beginning as Froome, he hasn’t yet come close to accomplishing what Froome has. Dumoulin now is about equivalent to Froome in 2012 or 2013. He appears to be one of the best GC riders in the world at the moment, but there’s still a gigantic step up from there to one of the best of all time.

Since 2011, Froome has ridden 14 Grand Tours, two almost every year. That has to take a huge toll on the body. He’s won six, finished second in four others, and will almost certainly at least podium in this Tour. He crashed out of two others. The only GT he finished during this period and didn’t podium was the Vuelta in 2012, after riding the Tour and having no experience in doing a double. Give Dumoulin a few years to approach a record like that before comparing him to Froome in terms of transformation.
 
Re: Re:

Merckx index said:
DFA123 said:
Froome showing some third week weakness today - as you'd expect from a Giro-Tour double attempt.

Dumoulin on the other hand... :eek:
Couldn’t have anything to do with the age difference between them, could it? Froome at 33 is expected to recover as quickly as Dumoulin at 27? Really? Froome at 33 is supposed to be better than anyone and everyone much younger? Froome has already won more Tours past the age of 30 than anyone else in history. Even if he and Dumo were squeaky clean, and hadn't exhibited any unusual transformation, Froome is at the age when riders historically have shown major declines. Dumo is at the age when historically they have begun to peak. Other things being equal, you would predict Dumo would hold up better in the Tour following the Giro.

I'm not saying Dumo isn't suspicious. He's well on his way to a double performance that no one since Pantani has managed. But even if you believe he came from as unremarkable beginning as Froome, he hasn’t yet come close to accomplishing what Froome has. Dumoulin now is about equivalent to Froome in 2012 or 2013. He appears to be one of the best GC riders in the world at the moment, but there’s still a gigantic step up from there to one of the best of all time.

Since 2011, Froome has ridden 14 Grand Tours, two almost every year. That has to take a huge toll on the body. He’s won six, finished second in four others, and will almost certainly at least podium in this Tour. He crashed out of two others. The only GT he finished during this period and didn’t podium was the Vuelta in 2012, after riding the Tour and having no experience in doing a double. Give Dumoulin a few years to approach a record like that before comparing him to Froome in terms of transformation.
Froome crashing twice and maybe overreaching more in the Giro doesn't help.
 
It's slightly more believable for a 27 year old than a 33 year old. Esp considering we have seen Dumoulin continuing to improve, while on the other hand there have been signs that Froome is not as strong as he was two/three years ago.
 
May 12, 2015
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Why is Froome a near certainty to podium? There's a 200km mountain stage and ITT to go and a rider 16 seconds in arrears has shown himself to be stronger. Furthermore he's been reduced to dom duties.
 

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