• We're giving away a Cyclingnews water bottle! Find out more here!

Le Tour '19 Stage 20: Albertville > Val Thorens 59km

Page 16 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
Re: Re:

Valv.Piti said:
Libertine Seguros said:
It's a shame that the race ended anticlimactically, which may dampen some people's enthusiasm for what has been one of the most open Tours in years (and also, the fact that the widely unpopular Ineos team did a 1-2 after everything that came before will leave a sour taste in many people's mouths), but it couldn't be helped - this was a lot like the Monte Zoncolan stage of the 2014 Giro or Mont Vonteux in the 2009 Tour; the best climber among the heads of state group already had the jersey (I hesitate to say in the race, because for most of the race I believe Pinot was the best climber, but obviously he is no longer in the race, and Bernal's performances in the last three days had shown him to be the best of those that remained - just a real shame Pinot wasn't there because even had he not gone with Bernal yesterday, I'd have doubted he'd have not made it into the Thomas/Kruijswijk group, so he would have been duking out the podium and might have made things more aggressive, but shoulda woulda coulda, and while he may have led to a more exciting stage today, I sincerely doubt he'd have made a dent in Bernal's lead, so it would have come down to Thomas, who looked far more comfortable in the Alps than he did in the Pyrenees), and so none of the others had the belief they could take the time required, amongst any who may or may not have had the legs - and clearly most of them didn't as we saw moves made from a few different tertiary contenders who weren't able to really go anywhere. Alaphilippe dropping so early also rather sounded the death knell for an exciting stage, because whether or not he could hold on was one of the main pre-stage narratives; his dropping so early, but there being such a big gap from Buchmann in 5th to Landa in 6th on the GC so that Landa didn't feel incentivized to attack earlier (or if he did, didn't have the legs to despite Movistar trying to set things up with Oliveira and Soler) hurt things.

Of course, there will always be a huge quantity of "what ifs" around a Grand Tour; it's three weeks of racing, and while that does give maximum opportunity to even out the bad luck (as opposed to a one-day race, where a single puncture or being caught behind a split ruins the entire race), there will probably be more "what ifs" attached to this Tour than most of the last few years' TDFs, because of its open nature.

What if stage 19 had been run to its conclusion? What if Roseland was passable and we got a fuller final stage - would Alaphilippe have dropped earlier, would the pace have been lower? Would Movistar have tried something creative again? What if Pinot had been fit to ride on through stages 19 and 20? What if Landa hadn't been knocked over in stage 10 and lost 2 minutes? What if the crosswind split hadn't happened at all? What if Ineos had instructed to stick to Thomas as plan A today (probably a moot point as Poels was still there, of course)? What if Wout van Aert hadn't crashed in the ITT? What if Simon Yates had withdrawn from the Giro early and targeted this race, seeing as he mistimed his form so badly in Italy and proved one of the best climbers in the Tour? What if Quintana had told the team he wasn't up to it earlier on the Tourmalet stage? What if they'd annulled the stage 19 time gaps and cancelled it entirely (possibly a moot point as Alaphilippe obviously cracked early today)?

While you can say that it's silly to run through all these hypotheticals, the thing is: the more unanswered questions and hypotheticals there are within a race like that, the better. It creates longer-running narratives. We never saw Pinot and Bernal go at it in peak form - one was strongest in the Pyrenees, one was strongest in the Alps. It's something to be enthused by for future editions. Alaphilippe turned into a GT rider - is he a Voeckler-like flash in the pan story, or might he be able to become a GC rider 'for real' - especially at a race like the Vuelta which has lots of climbs that are more suited to his style? A good competition that leaves unanswered questions is good for the sport because it will draw the audience back for more. All too often in recent years, we've come out of the Tour without such questions, because victory has been emphatic. Here, the right man may have won, assuming Bernal makes it to the line on the Champs Elysées (the strongest man to complete the whole race), but the situation around the race, both things within it and external to it, means that there is intrigue when these guys line up against each other again.
This will be another 2014-edition in terms of what ifs and look at how much that race has been spoken about up to this day. 2014 had two major ones, but this one seems to take it to new levels quantity-wise. So many unanswered question - to your list we can also add Froome, Dumoulin and even Roglic.

Just wish we had a nice ending today. Sure, Nibali is a great name, but I always hope that its decided between the best.

Movistar really animated this race, but was never in a winning position. Landa proved to be the strongest on some days, Quintana others and even Valverde today. Soler and Amador was incredible thought the race, but unfortunately they were too far behind after the ITT and then the Quintana debacle at the Tourmalet.They proved to be great for the race, but nothing more than that in terms of fighting for the overall and even podium.

Then you have FDJ, the Gaudu-Pinot pairing looks great which we only saw on a few occasions. Pinot has the level to win TdF, but can Gaudu evolve into a world class climber, really putting the hammer down on hard mountains and shredding the peloton down to 5-10 men?
Let's not pretend Nibali wasn't one of the best in the race today.
 
Re: Re:

hrotha said:
RattaKuningas said:
hrotha said:
RattaKuningas said:
Broccolidwarf said:
Kruijswijk & Buchmann:

COWARDS
I don't think so. They finished behind Bernal and Thomas today who didn't even really attack. They simply weren't strong enough to beat Bernal and Thomas. What are they supposed to do?
Try.
If you are on the limit it is impossible to attack. And even if they would try it would look like one of those half hearted attacks that accomplishes nothing (that everyone here hates as well)and they would get dropped immediately.
No one is at their limit when they're all together.
What ?! :eek:
 
Re: Re:

Danskebjerge said:
hrotha said:
RattaKuningas said:
Broccolidwarf said:
Kruijswijk & Buchmann:

COWARDS
I don't think so. They finished behind Bernal and Thomas today who didn't even really attack. They simply weren't strong enough to beat Bernal and Thomas. What are they supposed to do?
Try.
You can't try if you're already at 100 percent. And even if they weren't at 100 percent, how should we know? There are too many people having too romantic ideas about pro cycling.
There are too many people who think everyone's 100% is exactly the same as everybody else's day in day out, despite evidence to the contrary. When a race truly is on then it's every man for himself and we see the kind racing that you people insist is just a thing of the past.
 
Re: Re:

Valv.Piti said:
yaco said:
Gotta say that the KOM ended up a farce - Bardet was up there one day and somehow won this prestigious award.
Dreadful that Bardet won. Wellens really deserved this since literally no on else really targeted the jersey.
The KOM points system is a bit of a farce. Bardet might have won but as a GC rider he is not even top 10 at the moment even with a course to suit him. He was bad last year as well.
 
Re:

Libertine Seguros said:
Sure, but it would be very surprising if all of those riders happen to have energy capacity that amounts exactly to the pace that is being produced; they're always going at 100% to stay with the pace even when the pace goes down (we saw this when de Plus was tiring and several riders rode themselves back on, for example).
It's pretty normal to have riders in a group who can follow the pace but not more than that. I would think Ineos were at 99% and the others just there about. It's been an extremely tight classification, so there can't be much between them when it comes to physical capability. And attacking at such a pace doesn't mean riding a little bit faster - it would mean stepping up by 40-50 watts within seconds.
 
So, game over ... and now imagine Alaf did not waste energy at the beginning of the Tour doing pointless stage wins and sprint leadouts... not talking about proper preparation, targeting and peaking (and how about a proper team?).

MachINEOS look almost bored, the only problem was to have to choose who is going to win in the absence of ther No. 1 (still dominating even if their domestiques being way subpar wrt. previous years). Even the unfortunate Tibopino would probably not be that of a threat in the Alps.

Kru' doing his podium standard and let's see whether Bora rises to the highest levels also in the mountains with Manny.

And Movi... continues their masterpiece - attacking each other, apparently battling their own psychological chicken wars instead of executing a proper GC tactic. Yet another Oscar for best tragicomedy director to Unzue.

As usual, considerable number of good climbers and GC riders dropped, exploded, out of form, affected by other factors (crashes, illnesses), not surprising.

Brailsford (responding in french) absolutely unmoved, just another boring win for marginal gwins... so spends time praising Alaf so that fr. TV interviewers and spectators are happy. Pretty much symptomatic... be prepared for another 10+ seasons of Skineos domination with Egan (unless ASO decides to go with 60km ITT for Dumo).
 
Re: Re:

Danskebjerge said:
Libertine Seguros said:
Sure, but it would be very surprising if all of those riders happen to have energy capacity that amounts exactly to the pace that is being produced; they're always going at 100% to stay with the pace even when the pace goes down (we saw this when de Plus was tiring and several riders rode themselves back on, for example).
It's pretty normal to have riders in a group who can follow the pace but not more than that. I would think Ineos were at 99% and the others just there about. It's been an extremely tight classification, so there can't be much between them when it comes to physical capability. And attacking at such a pace doesn't mean riding a little bit faster - it would mean stepping up by 40-50 watts within seconds.
This is basic cycle racing tactics though. If you want to beat stronger riders and win a Tour de France you simply have to bluff at times and try things, even if they may end up costing you more. If everyone was at 99% and someone like Kruijswijk attacked and went into the red for 30 seconds, he forces Bernal and Thomas to then make a decision whether to let him go, hoping he will blow up, or go into the red themselves.

Either way, the race becomes much less controlled and more unpredictable. And the possibility is at least there for Ineos to *** up and lose the race.
 
Re:

Singularitarian said:
Pretty much symptomatic... be prepared for another 10+ seasons of Skineos domination with Egan (unless ASO decides to go with 60km ITT for Dumo).
Ineos have that covered though to an extent, in the short term. If ASO stick a lot more ITT miles in, they still have Thomas, and possibly Froome if he can come back to previous level, big if mind and if it's a parcour like this one Bernal or Carpace. In saying that if Jumbo and Sunweb send their best teams could be an absolute corker next year, injuries permitting.
 
Re: Re:

bigcog said:
Singularitarian said:
Pretty much symptomatic... be prepared for another 10+ seasons of Skineos domination with Egan (unless ASO decides to go with 60km ITT for Dumo).
Ineos have that covered though to an extent, in the short term. If ASO stick a lot more ITT miles in, they still have Thomas, and possibly Froome if he can come back to previous level, big if mind and if it's a parcour like this one Bernal or Carpace. In saying that if Jumbo and Sunweb send their best teams could be an absolute corker next year, injuries permitting.
I would not blindly trust Thomas or Froome to beat Dumoulin at this point.
 
Re: Re:

DFA123 said:
Danskebjerge said:
Libertine Seguros said:
Sure, but it would be very surprising if all of those riders happen to have energy capacity that amounts exactly to the pace that is being produced; they're always going at 100% to stay with the pace even when the pace goes down (we saw this when de Plus was tiring and several riders rode themselves back on, for example).
It's pretty normal to have riders in a group who can follow the pace but not more than that. I would think Ineos were at 99% and the others just there about. It's been an extremely tight classification, so there can't be much between them when it comes to physical capability. And attacking at such a pace doesn't mean riding a little bit faster - it would mean stepping up by 40-50 watts within seconds.
This is basic cycle racing tactics though. If you want to beat stronger riders and win a Tour de France you simply have to bluff at times and try things, even if they may end up costing you more. If everyone was at 99% and someone like Kruijswijk attacked and went into the red for 30 seconds, he forces Bernal and Thomas to then make a decision whether to let him go, hoping he will blow up, or go into the red themselves.

Either way, the race becomes much less controlled and more unpredictable. And the possibility is at least there for Ineos to **** up and lose the race.
I tend to agree but that would require a will among Kruijswik, Buchmann and lower ranked riders to sacrifice themselves in order to weaken Ineos. And I don't think they individually were ready to do that since they had a good result to defend themselves. The safest thing is to wait until the last 1000 meters and then try to see what comes out of it (a few seconds gained maybe).

But we've seen this over and over again in Tour history - the favourites coming in together on the mountains. It's perfectly normal and not surprising. No cowards there.
 
Re: Re:

Broccolidwarf said:
RattaKuningas said:
Broccolidwarf said:
Kruijswijk & Buchmann:

COWARDS
I don't think so. They finished behind Bernal and Thomas today who didn't even really attack. They simply weren't strong enough to beat Bernal and Thomas. What are they supposed to do?
Try
Have you ever tried attacking riders who are stronger than you and riding at a tempo higher than you can sustain on a long climb?
 
Re: Re:

Lequack said:
Red Rick said:
happytramp said:
Will Bernal, Thomas and Froome be able to co-exist at the same team?
Won't be a problem. Brailsford >> Unzue in that regard.
He forgot Carapaz. All Grand Tour winners now.
4 GT winners, 3 GT’s and a proven history of making dual leadership work to perfection...sounds like a formula for success and domination to me....good luck everybody else :D
 
Re: Re:

brownbobby said:
Lequack said:
Red Rick said:
happytramp said:
Will Bernal, Thomas and Froome be able to co-exist at the same team?
Won't be a problem. Brailsford >> Unzue in that regard.
He forgot Carapaz. All Grand Tour winners now.
4 GT winners, 3 GT’s and a proven history of making dual leadership work to perfection...sounds like a formula for success and domination to me....good luck everybody else :D
Don't think 2012 worked to perfection past the finish in Paris.

And I think it was all for Wiggins.

2018 is not comparable for obvious reasons, so actual proven history consists of 1 GT.
 
Re: Re:

roundabout said:
brownbobby said:
Lequack said:
Red Rick said:
happytramp said:
Will Bernal, Thomas and Froome be able to co-exist at the same team?
Won't be a problem. Brailsford >> Unzue in that regard.
He forgot Carapaz. All Grand Tour winners now.
4 GT winners, 3 GT’s and a proven history of making dual leadership work to perfection...sounds like a formula for success and domination to me....good luck everybody else :D
Don't think 2012 worked to perfection past the finish in Paris.
They didn’t have dual leaders in 2012....see 2018 and 2019 for more relevant reference
 
Re: Re:

Red Rick said:
bigcog said:
Singularitarian said:
Pretty much symptomatic... be prepared for another 10+ seasons of Skineos domination with Egan (unless ASO decides to go with 60km ITT for Dumo).
Ineos have that covered though to an extent, in the short term. If ASO stick a lot more ITT miles in, they still have Thomas, and possibly Froome if he can come back to previous level, big if mind and if it's a parcour like this one Bernal or Carpace. In saying that if Jumbo and Sunweb send their best teams could be an absolute corker next year, injuries permitting.
I would not blindly trust Thomas or Froome to beat Dumoulin at this point.
I agree but what he could take on them in ITT they could take back on the climbs, injury recovery permitting, so it would be close in theory.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts