Teams & Riders Nairo Quintana discussion thread

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I don't think he's really complaining about the rider and what that rider did or didn't do. I think he's just addressing Unzue's comment about there not being a mano-a-mano between Quintana and Froome at the Tour. I think Nairo thinks, and rightly so, that if Movistar had truly been all in for him in 2015 then he would've gotten a far better chance at winning a Tour. And more to the point, a true dogfight against Froome with the highest of stakes over a full climb, and one of the most legendary climbs in cycling at that.

And he's certainly referring to Valverde, who literally read the papers instead of drilling it on the front, with the four (there lies the rub) capos all alone on the Vallée de l'Eau d'Olle. Valverde had done his job brilliantly until then, helping Quintana isolate Froome up the top of the Croix Fer over 50kms out. But Valverde, Froome, and crucially Nibali caught up in the descent. It would've meant him likely giving up the podium, as he would've been spent after 20km eating the wind, and the Shark knows how to pounce. Obviously, it wasn't a given that they would've stayed away. But Bala's a pretty good time triallist and IIRC they had a little over a minute in hand and likely eventually only Poels to really chase (who, again, IIRC actually caught and dropped Porte on the descent). With the best four climbers being the top-4 on GC on a group up front, very few if any domestiques in the game, and riders strewn all over the road, I don't know if anyone would've mounted a concerted effort to bridge to that front group. Maybe Contador for a bit with some help but I doubt even he would've kept the gas on for long with little help and almost no chance of getting anything out of it. And I really doubt a spent Porte and a typically upright Poels would've done anything but bleed more time to a committed Valverde.

I think we would've seen a sick, isolated Froome burn himself out on Quintana's first attack from 12km out and crack hard. Whatever the reason, his was the face of absolute misery, struggling mightily to hold Poels's wheel up the Alpe. No way he doesn't lose at least an extra 1'8" mano-a-mano against Nairo. And given how spent Nibali was, Valverde might've actually kept third.

We'll never know for sure but it would've been an even more epic day. But it was also a huge ask out of a guy who pulled out nearly all the stops for Quintana that day. I think Quintana knows that. But Bala would've gamely gotten it done had Unzue told him to. And Nairo knows that, too.
 
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Thanks Carton. Now I understand. You are probably right. I didn't see it at the beginning because I thought Valverde attacked on Alpe to try to help Quintana. But I was ignoring the fact that if he had burned himself out on that descent that would have limited Froome's teammates to be with him on the last climb. With Nibali in there it would have helped as well. So that's the mano a mano that he was referring to. In my opinion it would not have worked. In my opinion he lost the race the day before. Maybe Movistar tactics to wait until the end all the time.

Look, Movistar will die with Valverde until the end. So let's not cry over spilled milk. Unzue was crying over why Movistar wasn't a team in 2019 Tour at stage 20 because Landa and Quintana were playing for themselves. They had no reason to do it. Why? after the behavior 2 days before Quintana was not going to do it. And Landa was playing his cards. He had the right. Besides Valverde's cards are usually playing the waiting game. He could have won that stage if he had gone earlier. Nobody was going to stop him. So Unzue should not blame neither Landa nor Quintana for that.

Another fact that Movistar will die for him is the plan for Valverde for this year Tour. The planning of quitting the race before Paris so that he can prepare for the Olympics. So from the beginning he does not have any confidence in the other riders in the race. What kind of message is that one? In our minds it might be that Soler and Mas do not have a chance but not in their minds. You don't want kill their confidence. Especially in the last week when the help of Valverde would be crucial. It doesn't matter anymore.

I guess these are news so we can talk about something now. I don't like it when riders and coaches start to talk like this. It is cheap. At least Quintana and Carapaz didn't started it.
 
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Look, Movistar will die with Valverde until the end
Yep, that sums up Nairo, Movistar and Quintana's Movistar career in a few words. But I don't blame Alejandro for this. Its Movistar's flawed strategy (Unzue). I am very glad Nairo finally got out of that poisonous environment and I hope he can provide some belated excitement at his new team now that he isn't mentally burdened with that horrible demotivating environment he was in since 2016.
 
Nairo lost that Tour in the crosswinds on stage 2. He needed to have attacked before stage 20 to gain more of that time back. Unless that attack on the climb previous to Alpe d'Huez had succeeded he had no chance to get all the time back that he was down. To me his complaining now about a teammate is just more complaining and more excuses. If he said the crosswinds, I'd be happy to give him that. The crosswinds are what cost him.

Thing is the attack on the climb before Alpe d'Huez was never going to work as they didn't have enough time by the time they started the descent. Also not entirely sure Valverde could have gone any faster on that descent due to Quintana not being a very good descender at that time. He has improved on that sense then. With the flat between the descent and the start of the climb for Alpe d'Huez it was even less likely to have kept the others from catching them. Earlier in that specific Tour the in race reported asked Movistar if they were worried about Valverde having dropped off the back near the top of one of the climbs. The response he got back was no, this was expected as he suffers badly in high altitude, as long as he's within 15 seconds when he starts the descent he'll catch the group. They then said what had them concerned was that they had hoped Valverde wouldn't have to drop back on that climb because it was going to hurt Quintana on the descent because he needed Valverde to guide him down it because he wasn't a good descender at that time. I also remember our commentators being more interested in talking about Valverde's altitude issues than Quintana's descending issues.

To Escarabajo's point of Movistar tactics to wait to the end being an issue, I agree with. I think they've gotten to used to Valverde's strengths being to just wait for the end and sprint and that doesn't exactly work for most GC riders. They typically need to be a little more aggressive.
 
I don't think he's really complaining about the rider

"On that Alpe d’Huez stage we had a strategy and there were teammates who worked very well and there were others who did not," Quintana told ESPN Bike.
"There was a moment that day – and he knows it – where, practically because of this rider, it was impossible to win the Tour de France."
 
Nairo lost that Tour in the crosswinds on stage 2. He needed to have attacked before stage 20 to gain more of that time back. Unless that attack on the climb previous to Alpe d'Huez had succeeded he had no chance to get all the time back that he was down. To me his complaining now about a teammate is just more complaining and more excuses. If he said the crosswinds, I'd be happy to give him that. The crosswinds are what cost him.
Understandable frustration with Movistar not excuses. Did 58Kg Quintana have adequate team support in those crosswinds? I can understand his frustration. Even you here have pointed out Quintana should have left Movistar in 2016. This I agree with. But pre 2016 he did enough to earn sole leadership. But if you hang around in that environment because there were no immediate options and don't perform who can blame you? Even professionals aren't robots. I doubt Valverde would have blossomed in 2016-2018 had he been riding in an unsupportive team. Put yourself in Nairo's shoes.
 
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Understandable frustration with Movistar not excuses. Did 58Kg Quintana have adequate team support in those crosswinds? I can understand his frustration. Even you here have pointed out Quintana should have left Movistar in 2016. This I agree with. But pre 2016 he did enough to earn sole leadership. But if you hang around in that environment because there were no immediate options and don't perform who can blame you? Even professionals aren't robots. I doubt Valverde would have blossomed in 2016-2018 had he been riding in an unsupportive team. Put yourself in Nairo's shoes.
If I remember the make up of that team correctly, it was likely the most complete team they sent to the Tour. Had to go look up that particular team roster and it was the most complete team they sent to the Tour. The roster: Quintana, Anacona, Castroviejo, Dowsett, Erviti, Jose Herrada, Gorka Izagiurre, Malori, Valverde. It was likely the best team they have sent to a Tour to deal with crosswinds and TTTs. However, this roster was never going to be that strong in the mountains.
I never thought he really fit in with that team and thus thought he'd have been better off looking for a new team around that time instead of signing the contract extension. 2016 is where things started to really go wrong between him and Movistar. Valverde was never going to be a sole leader at the Tour. Vuelta yes and was supposed to be in 2017, but we all know what happened there.
 
If I remember the make up of that team correctly, it was likely the most complete team they sent to the Tour. Had to go look up that particular team roster and it was the most complete team they sent to the Tour. The roster: Quintana, Anacona, Castroviejo, Dowsett, Erviti, Jose Herrada, Gorka Izagiurre, Malori, Valverde. It was likely the best team they have sent to a Tour to deal with crosswinds and TTTs. However, this roster was never going to be that strong in the mountains.
I never thought he really fit in with that team and thus thought he'd have been better off looking for a new team around that time instead of signing the contract extension. 2016 is where things started to really go wrong between him and Movistar. Valverde was never going to be a sole leader at the Tour. Vuelta yes and was supposed to be in 2017, but we all know what happened there.
Thanks. But how many of those teammates were actually with him in the crosswinds that day? Yes you have pointed out to me before that Quintana should have left Movistar in 2016 and I agree with you. I just don't understand those fans who complain about his subsequent performances. Of course they declined. As I said even professionals are not robots the highest paid sports people in the world need positive environments to deliver their best performances. Basic psychology.
 
Thanks. But how many of those teammates were actually with him in the crosswinds that day? Yes you have pointed out to me before that Quintana should have left Movistar in 2016 and I agree with you. I just don't understand those fans who complain about his subsequent performances. Of course they declined. As I said even professionals are not robots the highest paid sports people in the world need positive environments to deliver their best performances. Basic psychology.
If I remember correctly most of the team was together trying to limit the losses on that stage. Being 5 years ago I don't remember how many, but I think there were at least 6 members of that team together in the crossings. One who wasn't was one of the climbers who had made the first cut in the crosswinds and was left in that group, but don't remember who although I think it was Izagirre.
 
I've posted along these lines before but fans want to believe in legends and fairy tales and that courage is what really matters in cycling. But the truth is usually the opposite. Grand Tours are three weeks long and riders pay for not timing their efforts. Movistar lost that Tour by attacking too early and too often. Had they held back at La Pierre Saint Martin, Quintana surely wouldn't have lost 1'10 and he would've had much more of a fighting chance. But instead of doing the sensible thing and waiting for the right opportunities, they went for it on a hot monoclimb stage and lost that Tour because of it.

People have selective memories but the only Alpine stage, and there were four of them, where Quintana didn't at least attempt to go from far out was Stage 19, where he held back as Nibali attacked while Froome was dealing with a mechanical. If there was a window for him that day, that was it. That's why the wait for the yellow jersey issue is so complicated. Because that was his best chance that day and there would've been asterisks to this day had he done that. Still, he went 6km out against a full-steam-ahead Sky train and gained crucial time for his raid the next day.

And here is the big little thing about that attack people forget: Froome cruised in second that day. Quintana took 30 seconds off Froome by setting the best time ever on La Toussire by 30 seconds. Meanwhile, Froome dropped the rest of the field like a sack of potatoes, taking more than a minute of the likes of Valverde, Contador, and Pinot.

Quintana followed Nibali's attack on Glandon a day earlier, but Thomas was able to pace Froome, Valverde and Scarponi back up to them. The day before that, he had gone on a stupid attack from 100km and then again on Col d’Alos as Porte dropped back to help pace the yellow jersey and then again up Pra Loup as he traded blows with Froome to no avail.

And on the last day Quintana almost pulled off that well set up mountain raid, with some outside help (Hola Jose!), setting the record time up Croix-de-Fer and finally isolating Froome from long range. Only to have that attack fizzle out as Nibali made the cut and Valverde and Unzue decided to sit up. Which, again, I do understand.

Quintana attacked over and over and over again that Tour. The reason people don't remember that was the one and only Alpine stage where he didn't attack from long range -where his best chance was right after Froome had a mechanical- and that he was fairly far back at one point -because of the time he lost by firing off his bullets too soon- so his attacks weren't viewed with as much suspense. And because that Porte/Poels/Thomas/Konig/Roche mountain train was as good as it gets and made it look easy for Froome.

But the fact of the matter is that he despite all those attacks he wasn't able to gain a second on Froome until the next to last day. Froome was just as good of a climber as Quintana in 2015. Even better on those first lumps. They were head and shoulders above the rest of the field. They put up numbers we haven't seen since. And it that battle of truly great climbers it took three weeks of wear and tear and illness to tilt the advantage back Nairo's way. And he almost made that small window work, thanks in no small measure to the efforts of the third-best rider on that race. If anything, it was only by being more selective with their attacks that could've won it. Or, and we'll never know this for sure, if said third-place rider had gone above and beyond and laid it all on the line on 20km of flat tarmac on the road to Alpe d'Huez.
 
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Thanks. But how many of those teammates were actually with him in the crosswinds that day? Yes you have pointed out to me before that Quintana should have left Movistar in 2016 and I agree with you. I just don't understand those fans who complain about his subsequent performances. Of course they declined. As I said even professionals are not robots the highest paid sports people in the world need positive environments to deliver their best performances. Basic psychology.
2016 was ok, he won La Vuelta that year. 2017 was when things started to get worse. Him and Unzue (and here's where the puzzle is), came to idea that he rides two GT's back-to-back, like he did in 2016. Only this time it was Giro/Tour combo (a harder combo). Main target was the Tour. He did ok in the Giro, finished 2nd behind Dumoulin, but the Tour was disaster. And then accusations came flying, his father blamed Unzue for that strategy, he said it was his idea. Unzue blamed Quintana for poor performance, saying it was his wish to do 2 GT's, and bad blood was made. Then in 2018 Landa came aboard, and the rest is history...
 
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To carton. I don't think that Froome was cruising on that stage 19. He was coughing and looked tired. That was the day when He started to look vulnerable. But if you don't gamble early you don't know when the opposition is vulnerable. And he left it too late. I don't think going with Nibali was the right move at that moment. Maybe it would have worked. But if he wanted to play it safe he needed to go early in the last climb. I think Poels was spent on that climb.

About the asterisks. Here in this forum they want to put asterisks to every race. LOL. So we shouldn't care about those.
 
To carton. I don't think that Froome was cruising on that stage 19. He was coughing and looked tired. That was the day when He started to look vulnerable. But if you don't gamble early you don't know when the opposition is vulnerable. And he left it too late. I don't think going with Nibali was the right move at that moment. Maybe it would have worked. But if he wanted to play it safe he needed to go early in the last climb. I think Poels was spent on that climb.

About the asterisks. Here in this forum they want to put asterisks to every race. LOL. So we shouldn't care about those.
Oh, don't get me wrong, he went flat out, he couldn't match Quintana and he showed his first signs of weakness. What I meant by that was that while Quintana only got 30 seconds off Froome, Froome took 1'12" on the rest of the field.

Also, Poels wore down, but they were going really fast at the start, as per the usual Sky tactics. Quintana said as much at the time. They were going so fast Quintana has the record on that climb by the same 30 seconds he gained on Froome. Quintana took nearly two minutes off the rest of the field. Maybe he could've gone a bit earlier and taken a bit more butI'm not all that sure it would have done him any good. It is really hard to go early on a climb against a fresh-ish (right after a descent) full mountain train, particularly when the climb it has a 1km break in the middle of it. Quintana went right after the false flat with 6.5km to go.
 
Yep, that sums up Nairo, Movistar and Quintana's Movistar career in a few words. But I don't blame Alejandro for this. Its Movistar's flawed strategy (Unzue). I am very glad Nairo finally got out of that poisonous environment and I hope he can provide some belated excitement at his new team now that he isn't mentally burdened with that horrible demotivating environment he was in since 2016.
It seems that environment wasn't so much poisonous but became void of single, strong commitments. They've always seemed to play to keep as many guys in play as possible way too late into the game. I wondered about that descent of the Croix de Fer as it is fast enough for three or four committed guys to hold off the pack as it gets more technical before you get to Oz. Froome would be the possible holdout as his directors surely would have some guys chasing as a contingency. Still; that opportunity seemed squandered and I'd wondered why Valverde didn't go earlier. Had that happened, Nairo would've summited with a bigger gap and forced more commitment from followers.
All wishful conjecture though and in the past.
I do love that climb and descent; you're cooked by the time you get to the base of le Alpe.
 
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It seems that environment wasn't so much poisonous but became void of single, strong commitments. They've always seemed to play to keep as many guys in play as possible way too late into the game. I wondered about that descent of the Croix de Fer as it is fast enough for three or four committed guys to hold off the pack as it gets more technical before you get to Oz. Froome would be the possible holdout as his directors surely would have some guys chasing as a contingency. Still; that opportunity seemed squandered and I'd wondered why Valverde didn't go earlier. Had that happened, Nairo would've summited with a bigger gap and forced more commitment from followers.
All wishful conjecture though and in the past.
I do love that climb and descent; you're cooked by the time you get to the base of le Alpe.

Valverde was struggling at the top of that climb as it was. I'm not sure going earlier would have done anything except possibly having his start struggling sooner.
 
Valverde was struggling at the top of that climb as it was. I'm not sure going earlier would have done anything except possibly having his start struggling sooner.
Quintana seems to draw a conclusion based on what could possibly have changed should his teammate ridden differently and everyone else rode as expected.
My conjecture was based on Valverde starting earlier and being closer to the top when Quintana caught him. As it was; Quintana overpulled Valverde and had to slow down which could have lessened the gap to Froome and Nibali. He needed Valverde, Froome, Nibali and maybe more competitors to push pace all the way to Alpe d'Huez so he could inflict more damage. If Froome and Vincenzo had to chase longer and had a bigger gap to their (Froome and Nibali) pursuers they could have been more dedicated to maintaining a select group's lead. That really wasn't in Froome's interest.
No way Nairo and Valverde could have maintained a gap from the Croix de Fer KOM all the way to Bourg-d'Oisans without wrecking the Huez climb if they had managed to stay clear. Those scenarios are both very speculative if it's the situation Nairo had in mind. Froome would only have rolled with those possibilities if he had been isolated and it turned out they had lots of company.
 
Quintana seems to draw a conclusion based on what could possibly have changed should his teammate ridden differently and everyone else rode as expected.
My conjecture was based on Valverde starting earlier and being closer to the top when Quintana caught him. As it was; Quintana overpulled Valverde and had to slow down which could have lessened the gap to Froome and Nibali. He needed Valverde, Froome, Nibali and maybe more competitors to push pace all the way to Alpe d'Huez so he could inflict more damage. If Froome and Vincenzo had to chase longer and had a bigger gap to their (Froome and Nibali) pursuers they could have been more dedicated to maintaining a select group's lead. That really wasn't in Froome's interest.
No way Nairo and Valverde could have maintained a gap from the Croix de Fer KOM all the way to Bourg-d'Oisans without wrecking the Huez climb if they had managed to stay clear. Those scenarios are both very speculative if it's the situation Nairo had in mind. Froome would only have rolled with those possibilities if he had been isolated and it turned out they had lots of company.
Bench racing at it's finest, eh?
 
Quintana seems to draw a conclusion based on what could possibly have changed should his teammate ridden differently and everyone else rode as expected.
My conjecture was based on Valverde starting earlier and being closer to the top when Quintana caught him. As it was; Quintana overpulled Valverde and had to slow down which could have lessened the gap to Froome and Nibali. He needed Valverde, Froome, Nibali and maybe more competitors to push pace all the way to Alpe d'Huez so he could inflict more damage. If Froome and Vincenzo had to chase longer and had a bigger gap to their (Froome and Nibali) pursuers they could have been more dedicated to maintaining a select group's lead. That really wasn't in Froome's interest.
No way Nairo and Valverde could have maintained a gap from the Croix de Fer KOM all the way to Bourg-d'Oisans without wrecking the Huez climb if they had managed to stay clear. Those scenarios are both very speculative if it's the situation Nairo had in mind. Froome would only have rolled with those possibilities if he had been isolated and it turned out they had lots of company.
What he is discounting is the ability of that rider. Valverde is an all rounder. He is not a pure climber and will tell you he's good (not great) at climbing because he enjoys climbing. If you want to be a leader you have to understand your teammates abilities and understand how to use those in the best way possible. Maybe an expectation problem on Quintana's part?
 
I have a different prospective, although I agree that Quintana lost the TdF in the crosswinds and didn't take advantage of his best opportunity, stage 19. I agree that the move on stage 20 was too little, too late.

I don't like excuses, "I won't name names" cheap talk. And still, unlike most here, I believe that Quintana could have won the TdF on that stage and he probably refers to team tactics rather than a particular rider. I think that he phrased it wrong.

I have watched this stage many times, for obvious reasons :). Here it is:

View: https://youtu.be/hAiLxiTFp-Y


Between 1:00:00 and 1:04:00, with about 60 km left, Astana and Movistar raise the pace. Tibopino and GeraintTooFast get dropped. Valverde attacks, only LRP paces Dawg.

1:07:20, the pace is slow, Poels and Roche have made it to the front, GT and TP are back in the main field, Valverde has a 40-second advantage. 1:08:22, Quintana attacks. 1:09:20, only one Sky rider left with Froome (Porte). 1:10:28, Quintana catches Valverde. 1:14:34, Valverde hurts, Quintana waits. Mistake?

Porte, Froome, and Nibali are chasing, 1:15:07, Shark attack, Porte explodes. 1:15:57, the two Movistar have slowed down and crest La Croix de Fer, Froome and NIbali are only 5 or so seconds behind, Pinot and Contador another 30 seconds back. Conservative riding in the descent and at 1:22:00, Pinot is back with seven other riders including Bertie, Purito, and Porte. Seconds later, in the uphill section located towards the bottom of the CdF descent, Ryder attacks, Pinot, Plaza and Anacona follow, the favorites free-wheel, another group is catching up, Froome now has four team-mates. Mistake?

1:51:35, the favorite group is under the 25km to go, a minute and a half down on Pinot. The gap is at two minutes at the Bourg-d'Oisans intermediate sprint banner and almost two and a half minutes as the yellow jersey group hits the climb. Sky riders are "rested". Mistake?

2:05:44, karma strikes Nibali: mechanical, no one waits. He soon catches up the struggling Bertie. 2:07:50, Herrada sets a very fast pace, Porte and Poels are still with Froome just behind him and Quintana surges, Porte closes the gap, Froome struggles. Quintana stops his effort, suges again at 2:10:02. Poels catches him, Porte brings Froome back. Quintana stops his effort. Sky's tempo is conservative, at 2:16:20 Valverde attacks. 2:19:30, Quintana surges and catches Valverde. Almost two minutes ahead, Pinot catches Geniez. 2:23:00, Valverde cracks but Anacona is there to pace Quintana. 7km to go, Pinot's lead over Quintana is one minute. Quintana's lead over Poels, Porte, and Froome is 26s. 2:27:47 Pinot places the winning attack with 6.2km to go. Gaps are unchanged. 4.7km to go, gaps are the same, Quintana drops Winner, Wout is done. 3km to go, Quintana is 35s behind Pinot, still has the same 90+s gap on Froome. 2:43:25, the kite, Pinot leads Quintana by 21" and Froome by 1'44". On the line, 18 and 1'38"

Bottom line: maybe some Movistar mistakes early, but what strikes me the most is that Pinot matched Sky, so Froome wasn't at his best, and the fact that time gaps indicate that Quintana stayed with Anacona for wayyyyy too long. Once on his own, be gained a lot of time on everybody. Too little, too late.
 
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I have a different prospective, although I agree that Quintana lost the TdF in the crosswinds and didn't take advantage of his best opportunity, stage 19. I agree that the move on stage 20 was too little, too late.

I don't like excuses, "I won't name names" cheap talk. And still, unlike most here, I believe that Quintana could have won the TdF on that stage and he probably refers to team tactics rather than a particular rider. I think that he phrased it wrong.

I have watched this stage many times, for obvious reasons :). Here it is:

View: https://youtu.be/hAiLxiTFp-Y


Between 1:00:00 and 1:04:00, with about 60 km left, Astana and Movistar raise the pace. Tibopino and GeraintTooFast get dropped. Valverde attacks, only LRP paces Dawg.

1:07:20, the pace is slow, Poels and Roche have made it to the front, GT and TP are back in the main field, Valverde has a 40-second advantage. 1:08:22, Quintana attacks. 1:09:20, only one Sky rider left with Froome (Porte). 1:10:28, Quintana catches Valverde. 1:14:34, Valverde hurts, Quintana waits. Mistake?

Porte, Froome, and Nibali are chasing, 1:15:07, Shark attack, Porte explodes. 1:15:57, the two Movistar have slowed down and crest La Croix de Fer, Froome and NIbali are only 5 or so seconds behind, Pinot and Contador another 30 seconds back. Conservative riding in the descent and at 1:22:00, Pinot is back with seven other riders including Bertie, Purito, and Porte. Seconds later, in the uphill section located towards the bottom of the CdF descent, Ryder attacks, Pinot, Plaza and Anacona follow, the favorites free-wheel, another group is catching up, Froome now has four team-mates. Mistake?

1:51:35, the favorite group is under the 25km to go, a minute and a half down on Pinot. The gap is at two minutes at the Bourg-d'Oisans intermediate sprint banner and almost two and a half minutes as the yellow jersey group hits the climb. Sky riders are "rested". Mistake?

2:05:44, karma strikes Nibali: mechanical, no one waits. He soon catches up the struggling Bertie. 2:07:50, Herrada sets a very fast pace, Porte and Poels are still with Froome just behind him and Quintana surges, Porte closes the gap, Froome struggles. Quintana stops his effort, suges again at 2:10:02. Poels catches him, Porte brings Froome back. Quintana stops his effort. Sky's tempo is conservative, at 2:16:20 Valverde attacks. 2:19:30, Quintana surges and catches Valverde. Almost two minutes ahead, Pinot catches Geniez. 2:23:00, Valverde cracks but Anacona is there to pace Quintana. 7km to go, Pinot's lead over Quintana is one minute. Quintana's lead over Poels, Porte, and Froome is 26s. 2:27:47 Pinot places the winning attack with 6.2km to go. Gaps are unchanged. 4.7km to go, gaps are the same, Quintana drops Winner, Wout is done. 3km to go, Quintana is 35s behind Pinot, Froome still has the same 90+s gap on Froome. 2:43:25, the kite, Pinot leads Quintana by 21" and Froome by 1'44". On the line, 18 and 1'38"

Bottom line: maybe some Movistar mistakes early, but what strikes me the most is that Pinot matched Sky, so Froome wasn't at his best, and the fact that time gaps indicate that Quintana stayed with Anacona for wayyyyy too long. Once on his own, be gained a lot of time on everybody. Too little, too late.
Thanks for the excellent analysis, will enjoy rewatching this stage.
 
Tonton, thanks for the Youtube link and great analysis. Now I doubt many would think twice if he can complained about the tactics. We all know Movistar has some odd tactics at best at times. It also looks like if he had gone on his own earlier he'd have had more of a chance and instead relied too heavily on his teammates.
 
Nairo lost that Tour in the crosswinds on stage 2. He needed to have attacked before stage 20 to gain more of that time back. Unless that attack on the climb previous to Alpe d'Huez had succeeded he had no chance to get all the time back that he was down. To me his complaining now about a teammate is just more complaining and more excuses. If he said the crosswinds, I'd be happy to give him that. The crosswinds are what cost him.

Thing is the attack on the climb before Alpe d'Huez was never going to work as they didn't have enough time by the time they started the descent. Also not entirely sure Valverde could have gone any faster on that descent due to Quintana not being a very good descender at that time. He has improved on that sense then. With the flat between the descent and the start of the climb for Alpe d'Huez it was even less likely to have kept the others from catching them. Earlier in that specific Tour the in race reported asked Movistar if they were worried about Valverde having dropped off the back near the top of one of the climbs. The response he got back was no, this was expected as he suffers badly in high altitude, as long as he's within 15 seconds when he starts the descent he'll catch the group. They then said what had them concerned was that they had hoped Valverde wouldn't have to drop back on that climb because it was going to hurt Quintana on the descent because he needed Valverde to guide him down it because he wasn't a good descender at that time. I also remember our commentators being more interested in talking about Valverde's altitude issues than Quintana's descending issues.

To Escarabajo's point of Movistar tactics to wait to the end being an issue, I agree with. I think they've gotten to used to Valverde's strengths being to just wait for the end and sprint and that doesn't exactly work for most GC riders. They typically need to be a little more aggressive.
Actually, Nairo's a fairly good descender and, aside from the first 6km of descent that is straight and mid-speed it's possible that both could have stayed away until the uphill hairpins before D'Allemont. Quintana would have had to climb that section at Valverde's speed and have given back some time if a committed Froom chase was on. After D'Allemont (gorgeous little village, by the way) the descending isn't super-technical and it goes to false flats and headwinds above Oz. Oz to Bourg d'Oisans is almost all headwind and everyone on that stretch would need to ride hard to sustain a gap. That's a tall order as Pinot's dedicated front group showed. How much time did they give up?
 
Now that we know the ending, as noted by Tonton, it was more Movistar oriented mistake. I agree with that. because they give the orders unless somebody do not want to comply, like Soler did in La Vuelta.

This is my take:

On the first part in the descent of La Croix de Fer, it was hard for them to keep away until the Alpe for such a long time and just a few riders. At that point it was only Quintana with Valderde for Movistar. That's why I said that it would not have worked.

On the second part, when Pinot joined the group and Anacona arrived as well, that's when I think the mistake happened. Anacona was 100% expendable. He could have kept the pace high with the assistance of Valverde and occasional pulls from Quintana. That would have made it hard for the other Sky riders to catch. Even if they arrived to the group they would have been tired by then and then Froome would have been exposed on Alpe. Everyone would have been more tired, but we know now that Froome was on the limit.

More speculation.. :cool: I was watching the stage this morning at that pace on the Croix de Fer at the end was so high. I liked that stage.
 
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Now that we know the ending, as noted by Tonton, it was more Movistar oriented mistake. I agree with that. because they give the orders unless somebody do not want to comply, like Soler did in La Vuelta.

This is my take:

On the first part in the descent of La Croix de Fer, it was hard for them to keep away until the Alpe for such a long time and just a few riders. At that point it was only Quintana with Valderde for Movistar. That's why I said that it would not have worked.

On the second part, when Pinot joined the group and Anacona arrived as well, that's when I think the mistake happened. Anacona was 100% expendable. He could have kept the pace high with the occasional help of Valverde and Quintana. That would have made it hard for the other Sky riders to catch. Even if they arrived to the group they would have been tired by then and then Froome would have been exposed on Alpe. Everyone would have been more tired, but we know now that Froome was on the limit.

More speculation.. :cool: I was watching the stage this morning at that pace on the Croix de Fer at the end was so high. I liked that stage.
Epic stage and almost everyone raced to the limit. Appropriate assault on the last days of the Tour, for sure.
 
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