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Jonas Vingegaard: Godzilla, the King of Monsters

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There's a reason why Pantani has such a gap over the other top riders of the EPO era on Alpe d'Huez times list (with the closest Armstrong ride being an ITT effort). It's a hell of a record, very difficult to beat. I don't think Pogacar or Vingo can do it in a normal stage, maybe in a standalone time trial it can be close (but only if the performance is comparable to "show the world who's the strongest" last year's TT).
 
There's a reason why Pantani has such a gap over the other top riders of the EPO era on Alpe d'Huez times list (with the closest Armstrong ride being an ITT effort). It's a hell of a record, very difficult to beat. I don't think Pogacar or Vingo can do it in a normal stage, maybe in a standalone time trial it can be close (but only if the performance is comparable to "show the world who's the strongest" last year's TT).
In order to break it, whoever is solo on the stage needs to have dropped the other and need time in order to go hard the whole entire way.
 
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This Tour should be similar. It's stacking up to be an aggressive race of attrition with the gravel stage thrown in to make it really kinky. Depending on who falls from the hunt; it'll be team against team and then primary contenders looking for payoffs. It should be f*ckn' great.
That said; I hope all of the shake outs for GC don't happen in the first week.
It should be, and I hope it is great. And I likely have the same fear as you do, that the main contenders will be wiped out for one reason or another in the opening week, and it will be an absolute cake walk. Somewhat like the Giro.
 
There's a reason why Pantani has such a gap over the other top riders of the EPO era on Alpe d'Huez times list (with the closest Armstrong ride being an ITT effort). It's a hell of a record, very difficult to beat. I don't think Pogacar or Vingo can do it in a normal stage, maybe in a standalone time trial it can be close (but only if the performance is comparable to "show the world who's the strongest" last year's TT).
I think the party-raging fans this year will clog the route at key points making it a tactical stage anyway.
 
I don't know if it's a pure coincidence or has something to do with them. They did 39' in 2022 so no reason to panic yet (but it wasn't full gas by their standards plus Granon the day before also affected it).
I think it's unrelated. A wish for more varied and novel uphill finishes, and maybe also to do with fan behaviour.

MTFs in the Tour:

2024: Pla d'Adet | Beille | Isola 2000 | Couillole
2023: Cambasque | Puy de Dôme | Grand Colombier | Bettex
2022: Granon | Alpe d'Huez | Peyragudes | Hautacam
2021: Tignes | Portet | Luz-Ardiden
2020: Orcières Merlette | Aigoual | Peyrol | Grand Colombier | Loze | Planche des Belles Filles (PdBF)
2019: Super PdBF | Tourmalet | Prat d'Albis | (Tignes) | Val Thorans
2018: La Rosière | Alpe d'Huez | Portet
2017: PdBF | Peyragudes | Izoard
2016: Arcalis | (Ventoux) | Finhaut-Emosson | Bettex
2015: Pierre Saint-Martin | Beille | Pra Loup | La Toussuire | Alpe d'Huez

Only the legendary (Super) Planche des Belles Filles has been more popular!
 
Wonder whats the reason? If jonas/pog maybe would do something like low 37 then maybe media will start asking difficult questions, who knows..
It's a bit of a nightmare at Dutch corner and some other sections. Maybe ASO gauged the level of competition and decided not to risk some absurd and controversial stoppage. Plus, Bourg'de-Oisans hotels are booked that time of year and tons of tourists ride it. The entire valley relies on that theme park and they may be happy without the Tour headaches.
 
Well, two things about the injury ...
  • Jonah Fish could very likely have a legal TUE for corticosteroids. Hmmmm
  • The injury allows for all sorts of manipulations of blood values and boosting strategies.
So, he could fall apart like nearly every human would.

Or he could be flat out extra-extraterrestrial
This is the only feasible way I can see JV mounting a decent challenge. Prior to the Tour in 2022 WVA was deemed doubtful with a knee injury yet the rest is history when he went on to produce that iconic moment when he dropped Pogacar on Hautacam riding in green. It begged the question whether the injury had provided cover for some extra preparation.

In the case of Jonas whose injuries were much more serious, it would be playing with the long term health of the athlete given the extent of his injuries but nothing would surprise me either.
 
This is the only feasible way I can see JV mounting a decent challenge. Prior to the Tour in 2022 WVA was deemed doubtful with a knee injury yet the rest is history when he went on to produce that iconic moment when he dropped Pogacar on Hautacam riding in green. It begged the question whether the injury had provided cover for some extra preparation.

In the case of Jonas whose injuries were much more serious, it would be playing with the long term health of the athlete given the extent of his injuries but nothing would surprise me either.
If and injured athlete's recovery requires administration of controlled substances, prescribed by his doctor; then the athlete should receive them. That's why they legitimately exist for health. That would also include blood-boosters should the injured person need to restablish safe hematocrit levels for recovery, not for performance.
The bio passport would weigh in on the levels of those prescriptions and establish whether the system had cleared them adequately to be legal to race. This is all per ethical and legal requirements within the sport.
What actually occurs away from the prying eyes of the press is a guess at best.

Apparently there isn't a shortcut for Covid recovery, yet. Kuss will lose some serious form as well as any altitude adapation to get back to "healthy". The Vuelta may be possible but not optimal for his season, which is a serious shame.
 
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Which is easier to stomach?
Jonas Lazarus Disregard wins the tour or
The Pogaganda diaries.
As a Danish fan, I can't stand the thought of three more weeks' talk of Vingegaard's unique third week recovery, Visma's marginal gains advantages - including the time trial warm up tent sprayed with cold water - and Vingegaard's 2018 physiological test that showed he has a 15 % advantage over his competitors (and so, if you pair that with marginal gains, you get performances like last year's time trial).

So I'm hoping for anything but that.