Itzulia Basque Country 2021, Spain, April 5 - April 10

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Congratulations to Mikkel Frølich Honoré and Josef Černý for winning stage 5.

Crazy ride by Astana guys. For a while i thought i am watching MotoGP.

Now waiting for tomorrow.

JV
All in all i am glad that Roglič pulled his team out of the defending the leaders jersey team position. It would be stupid and irresponsible to put youngsters in such position. I do hope that at least Vingegaard holds on, for as long as possible. The rest is on Rogličes shoulders.

UAE
Pogačar will for sure have to do some work for McNulty tomorrow, there is no way around that. At least until McNulty says otherwise. I just don't see on how Pogačar could get excluded from the rotation. UAE team is strong, but not that strong. Pogačar will for sure try if McNulty won't be up to task tomorrow.

Ineos
Are they in this competition? Haven't noticed them. That for sure says one thing and that is we will see a lot of Ineos tomorrow.

The rest:
Anything is still possible, GC differences being small. For sure nobody will preserve any matches.
Pogacar will def not be working full out for McNulty. The team will have him as their second (and best) shot for winning the GC.
UAE knows it will be nearly impossible for McNulty to not crack today. I think McNulty will told to keep Pogacar’s weel as long as he cans but otherwise they will ride for Pogi.

And about Roglic not finding it necessary to win this race because if his young team? Yeah right....
When is Roglic not going for a win? Remember Paris-Nice? He takes what he can get.
 
Reactions: Pinot's goat
The idea that you shouldn't attack your teammate is being taken too literally by some people, if you think your teammate won't win then you should just go for it like Alaphilippe on the Tirreno stage where he overtook Almeida. Pogacar is the best option for UAE as Roglic will be able to get the time back on Mcnulty on Arrate alone.
 
The idea that you shouldn't attack your teammate is being taken too literally by some people, if you think your teammate won't win then you should just go for it like Alaphilippe on the Tirreno stage where he overtook Almeida. Pogacar is the best option for UAE as Roglic will be able to get the time back on Mcnulty on Arrate alone.
Agreed but it's hard to understand for a lot of people and thus it remains a controversial topic. A case in point is the 2008 Tour where Sastre attacked and won the race on the Alpe d'Huez even though Fränk Schleck was in yellow. But he would never have been able to defend that in the time trial and without Sastre's attack, Evans would have won.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
When will Pogacar (join an) attack? I think already on Azurki. If not already in a move by then, I definitely see him going all out on Krabelin or more likely Trabakua. Roglic will have to mark him throughout the stage, allowing McNulty to pace himself in the bunch, while Pogacar doesn't cooperate with Roglic if he can't get away from him. I think it's likely that Pogacar and Roglic cancel and tire each other out and that McNulty wins the overall.

By the time they reach the last ascent to Arrate, Pogacar will have to pace and protect McNulty if they are together and the latter is not dead at that point. In that scenario a break should take the bonus seconds.
 
Reactions: Red Rick and search
When will Pogacar (join an) attack? I think already on Azurki. If not already in a move by then, I definitely see him going all out on Krabelin or more likely Trabakua. Roglic will have to mark him throughout the stage, allowing McNulty to pace himself in the bunch, while Pogacar doesn't cooperate with Roglic if he can't get away from him. I think it's likely that Pogacar and Roglic cancel and tire each other out and that McNulty wins the overall.
In that scenario, wouldn't Yates attack McNulty from the main bunch (& Velverde as well)? He's one minute behind McNulty, but that would go down fast if McNulty didn't have Pogacar to pace him (in your scenario).

So once again I think from my chair here it's the others (Bora, Ineos, Movistar, Bahrain) who could play a real determining role in the outcome of the stage. I doubt they'll just sit & watch whilst UAE & Jumbo fight it out for the win.
 
Yates looks quite toothless to me this week, while McNulty for sure is one of the best 5 climbers so far. I'd be surprised if he turn out to be better than him, and UAE looks strong enough to me to protect him from having to do much work himself before the final climb. Overall, I also see McNulty as the most likely winner for the GC
 
In that scenario, wouldn't Yates attack McNulty from the main bunch (& Velverde as well)? He's one minute behind McNulty, but that would go down fast if McNulty didn't have Pogacar to pace him (in your scenario).

So once again I think from my chair here it's the others (Bora, Ineos, Movistar, Bahrain) who could play a real determining role in the outcome of the stage. I doubt they'll just sit & watch whilst UAE & Jumbo fight it out for the win.
Pogacar would be in the most dangerous attacks. If Roglic is marking him, Pogacar will switch between stop-and-go attacking Roglic and marking the GC threats (Bilbao and Yates mostly, I don't think Buchmann, Valverde and Landa are too threatening).
 
Today is a real mountain test, unlike stages 3 and 4, where there was a very steep climb on the route, but the rest of the parcours was far easier. Today true cilmbers will shine and the gaps might be really big - in minutes rather than seconds - if the race is run hard fro the start. For comparison, last stage was simillar in 2018 and only 7 riders finished within a minute od the winner. Roglič dropped 1:06 that day but still managed to win the overall.
 
Today is a real mountain test, unlike stages 3 and 4, where there was a very steep climb on the route, but the rest of the parcours was far easier. Today true cilmbers will shine and the gaps might be really big - in minutes rather than seconds - if the race is run hard fro the start. For comparison, last stage was simillar in 2018 and only 7 riders finished within a minute od the winner. Roglič dropped 1:06 that day but still managed to win the overall.
for sure it can be selective, but you undererstimate McNulty, if you don't see him as one of the Top 7 riders in this race. And the final climb is way easier than in 2018 this time
 
When will Pogacar (join an) attack? I think already on Azurki. If not already in a move by then, I definitely see him going all out on Krabelin or more likely Trabakua. Roglic will have to mark him throughout the stage, allowing McNulty to pace himself in the bunch, while Pogacar doesn't cooperate with Roglic if he can't get away from him. I think it's likely that Pogacar and Roglic cancel and tire each other out and that McNulty wins the overall.

By the time they reach the last ascent to Arrate, Pogacar will have to pace and protect McNulty if they are together and the latter is not dead at that point. In that scenario a break should take the bonus seconds.
I've been going back and forth about Pogacar initiating the aggression between thinking it's probably the perfect strategy and thinking it's too unconventional and will never happen.
 
I've been going back and forth about Pogacar initiating the aggression between thinking it's probably the perfect strategy and thinking it's too unconventional and will never happen.
If Pogacar can distance Roglic before the last ascent, he is still their best bet. The downside is that it exposes McNulty if Rogla joins Pogi, but then Rogla would be isolated and exposed to Pogi as well. And I think that both UAE and Pogi are quite comfortable with an offensive strategy, much more so than Jumbo.

...

Yesterday I read the coverage would start 15:00, but now it looks more like 15:30. What a bummer.
 
Reactions: Red Rick
Yates looks quite toothless to me this week, while McNulty for sure is one of the best 5 climbers so far. I'd be surprised if he turn out to be better than him, and UAE looks strong enough to me to protect him from having to do much work himself before the final climb. Overall, I also see McNulty as the most likely winner for the GC
I'm just looking at Wednesday's result (i.e. the only real climbing barometer we have so far in this race) & Yates was only 5 seconds behind Pog & Rog, with McNulty a further 18 seconds behind (after Roglic & Pogacar had marked each other quite a bit). He'll need to do more today but if the fireworks start early, anything can happen.

Roglic isn't his only threat.
 
I'm just looking at Wednesday's result (i.e. the only real climbing barometer we have so far in this race) & Yates was only 5 seconds behind Pog & Rog, with McNulty a further 18 seconds behind (after Roglic & Pogacar had marked each other quite a bit). He'll need to do more today but if the fireworks start early, anything can happen.
personally I see Thursday as more representative for today than the Muro on Wednesday (which Yates in shape would normally have won, in my opinion). But anyway, should be an interesting stage no matter what. Too bad there's no live coverage from the start
 
If Pogacar can distance Roglic before the last ascent, he is still their best bet. The downside is that it exposes McNulty if Rogla joins Pogi, but then Rogla would be isolated and exposed to Pogi as well. And I think that both UAE and Pogi are quite comfortable with an offensive strategy, much more so than Jumbo.

...

Yesterday I read the coverage would start 15:00, but now it looks more like 15:30. What a bummer.
Yeah Pogacar can't win if everyone sits pretty until Arrate, and a very chaotic and hard race probably won't help McNulty. I'll be honest and say I didn't see stage 4, but stages 2 and 3 wouldn't fill me with confidence McNulty can stay close enough if Roglic launches all out on Arrate, even if Poggers helps him. A very hard, aggro race should also tip the scale towarsd Poggers vs Roglic, and it would make a 20s gap much more feasable on Arrate alone even.

But no attacks on Krabelin is basically impossible cause all the other teams will wanna be gone by then.
 

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