Question Rate the 2020 Tour de France

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Rate the 2020 Tour de France

  • 10

    Votes: 2 1.6%
  • 9

    Votes: 7 5.6%
  • 8

    Votes: 33 26.2%
  • 7

    Votes: 32 25.4%
  • 6

    Votes: 26 20.6%
  • 5

    Votes: 12 9.5%
  • 4

    Votes: 10 7.9%
  • 3

    Votes: 2 1.6%
  • 2

    Votes: 1 0.8%
  • 1

    Votes: 1 0.8%

  • Total voters
    126
I am not sure why this Tour is considered by some to be a lesser, or even more back ended version of the 2011 Tour. I mean, I know why they are, but I thought that the Pyrenees were good this year? Actually I would suggest that they bordered on very good. From memory they were certainly far more interesting to watch than the Pyrenean stages in 2011, even if in the end, the time gaps also were not particularly large. When you also consider that stage 7 was fascinating, that means that we had 3 interesting GC stages in a row, in the first half of the race. I don't recall any interesting - GC - stages in the first two weeks of the 2011 Tour, unless you call contenders crashing out interesting.
Yeah 2011 was 2/3 bad 1/3 great
2020 was 9/10 mediocre 1/10 great
 
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6 out of 10 for me. There were some exciting stages. Some of the more exciting stages, other than the TT, were perhaps unexpected i.e. where Bora rode hard for Sagan or the crosswind stage. As a whole the first 9 days was a let down (other than the cross winds stage and Hirschi's solo ride). The majority of the mountain stages were a let down. I enjoyed stages 7 and 12-14 in particular.
 
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6-7 out of 10. Good transitional stages, great stagehunters, a fight for the green jersey that actually animated the race, crosswinds and hard racing in the Pyrenees and a great final ITT.
The other mountain stages were rather boring, so I can't rate it higher, but it could have been even worse, I feared that nothing would happen until stage 15...
 
Entertainment of the race: 7
Entertainment of the forum: 9

You guys were the real stars of the show. Including:

Red Rick – For falling unexpectantly, just a little in love with Richie Porte, and for somehow rating a race an 8 that included PDBF, and that did not include the Shark of Messina.

Bob A Feet – For stumbling upon a potential new crashing technique that requires the use of a third leg, and for identifying Mikel Landa as a cuddly creature that is wild and free.

Red Head Dane – For her posts of spontaneous silliness, that can never hide a deep knowledge of our sport.

Libertine Seguros – For Stage 6 and Sepp Kuss.

Roll The Dice – For being as cool as his profile pic.

Tobydawg – For being fully sick….ard.

Blue Roads – For her posts of both a childish curiosity and subtle sense of humour, and for pointing out the security of Tony Martin and the excitement of Julian Alafulleap, both on and off the bike.

Gigs 98 – For not watching the entire race, and for overrating….Dumoulin.

Koronin – For her unconditional love of Alejandro Valverde; without members like her this place would be overrun by Nibali fans.

Shadow 93 – For a shared love interest.

Geister Home – For his profile pic.

Tonton – For keeping her/his (sorry not sure) head held high despite what happened to Pinot.

Vino’s Mum – For correctly identifying Fabio Aru as one of Sacha Baron Cohen’s characters.

Eclipse – For believing in Nibali.

DFA 123 – For believing in Pogacar.

Sandisfan – For being a great fan of so many of us.

And to whoever it was that spotted Sam Bennett not only when he turned the colour of green, but when he turned the colour of pink.

P.S. I will probably add to this post later.
Ha, thanks for the mention, even though I don't fully get what you're saying about me...
 
I give this Tour a 6.5.

The Tour de France is my favourite race. Yes, I am a reprobate - tar and feather me if you must. It's not only my favourite race but it's my favourite sporting event in general and probably the time of the year I most look forward to.

The Tour is great for many reasons: the strong field, the three weeks of constant racing and the sheer prestige of such a race. It's biggest strength, however, is it's biggest weakness: not everyone wants to win. What's great about the classics is every rider wants to win today - there are no ulterior motives. Race for the win and race like there's no tomorrow. In the Tour everyone's come with their own designs. Some want to win overall, some want to win green, some the polkadots. Some just want to put on a show and some want to win today.

This year was the best culmination of all these things that I can remember. The green jersey influenced the yellow, the chaos that ensued opened the Tour for the opportunists in Sunweb, while seemingly shutting the door on Pogacar, Porte and Landa. The futile showmanship of Alaphilippe ignited the GC battle at a time when, by all accounts, he wasn't supposed to. Despite the best efforts of Cosnefroy and Carapaz, it was the race for yellow that swayed the polkadots.

That's a slightly blurred picture that shows this year's Tour for the decent race that it was - but when we refocus it and zoom in, it's many faults are laid bare before us. Yes, there was a GC battle but only because the route guaranteed it. It didn't, however, guarantee a very good one - or even enable it. Also (and this is a peculiar, irrelevant complaint best ignored), how can we have a Tour de France raced almost entirely in the bottom half of the country?

The final time trial, as many have already pointed out, will be the great deceiver in years to come. Everyone will remember where they were when a 21 year-old Tadej Pogacar pulled off one of the greatest shocks in Tour history; everyone will do their very best to forget where they were for stages 3, 5 and 6. There were some good stages but there were some truly horrible ones too.

Of all the factors that make the Tour great, there's no denying the Yellow jersey is the most important. This year's edition was affected too much by the misfortunes of Bernal, Buchmann, Kruisjwijk, Pinot and Quintana. In the end it was was a duel between two Slovenians. Great as they are, their duel was quite tame until stage 20 - when Pogacar brought a gun to a knife fight.

Overall I would definitely say this ranks as one of the better editions of the last ten years, but it's far from the very best in history.

A lot of people are comparing this to the 2011 Tour. That year had two legendary stages - this one didn't.
 
Eh, what? First, why all the diseases all the time? Second, what are you on about regarding the first two thirds of the race sucking? The Pyrenees were great. No strangling train, mano-a-mano action. Then the entertainment dropped.
"Hepatitis / 10" is a rating I've used on several occasions in the past as a running not-quite-gag, a bit like saying "Eddy Merckx" to mean "Marianne Vos".

Stages 1 through 6 were abysmal (3, 5 and 6 are three of the dirt worst stages ever confined to tape), 7 and 8 were very good. 9 was a bit meh in all honesty, Rogla was clearly strong but basically roasted the whole team on the front and then sat by watching wheels as soon as he'd worked them down. Without Hirschi it would have been a lot worse but he gave us something to hope for. The race seemed to be building some momentum, but the rest day killed it just as it was getting going (although obviously the presence of the rest day is probably why people were giving us something of a show). After that it was downright terrible at any point, other than intermediate sprints because the maillot vert battle was easily the most competitive thing about the race, until the last 4km of Col de la Loze. The entire GC battle consisted of Jumbo trying not to gain time and everybody else trying to fall backwards as slowly as possible, and there wasn't even any pretence of competition for the polka dots until stage 17, then there was a brief flurry for two days and then it ended in a damp squib as Carapaz fell apart on the final TT after his break exploits.

This was like a football match between a team playing stifling catenaccio and a team bereft of ideas how to break it down and willing to settle for a 0-0, with a few good chances just before half time, then a moment of sheer brilliance pulls out a highlight reel Puskas contender goal in the 90th minute to win it 1-0. Is it a great moment when the ball hits the net? Yes. Is that goal going to be remembered and replayed around the world? Yes. Was the match good because of it? No.
 
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Apologies. I did not wish to seem negative. I have seen better bike races. We all have, I hope. The TT was glorious; the rest - not so much. Having watched every minute, I greatly enjoyed Sam Bennett deciding that maybe Peter Sagan is not going to win the Green Jersey; and maybe I can do something about that. About time someone did. And he did.
No worries mate, I was mostly joking.

In time you will get to know some of the in-jokes and so forth on the forum. For example we don't like TTT. That's Tour, Trains, Tourmalet.

Actually we don't like TTT's either....

A good example of what we joke about not liking, might be stage 19 of the 2018 Tour. The race went over the Tourmalet (Tourmalet!), it included a former classics rider wearing yellow, and it had a Sky train.

Oh, and to top it all off, it had a very strong third week Roglic :p

If only it had been a short stage....perfection.

P.S. You might be right in that during some previous editions potential rivals of Sagan have given up too early on Green, but sometimes Peter was simply too strong for his opposition to consider the jersey a realistic target.
 
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"Hepatitis / 10" is a rating I've used on several occasions in the past as a running not-quite-gag, a bit like saying "Eddy Merckx" to mean "Marianne Vos".

Stages 1 through 6 were abysmal (3, 5 and 6 are three of the dirt worst stages ever confined to tape), 7 and 8 were very good. 9 was a bit meh in all honesty, Rogla was clearly strong but basically roasted the whole team on the front and then sat by watching wheels as soon as he'd worked them down. Without Hirschi it would have been a lot worse but he gave us something to hope for. The race seemed to be building some momentum, but the rest day killed it just as it was getting going (although obviously the presence of the rest day is probably why people were giving us something of a show). After that it was downright terrible at any point, other than intermediate sprints because the maillot vert battle was easily the most competitive thing about the race, until the last 4km of Col de la Loze. The entire GC battle consisted of Jumbo trying not to gain time and everybody else trying to fall backwards as slowly as possible, and there wasn't even any pretence of competition for the polka dots until stage 17, then there was a brief flurry for two days and then it ended in a damp squib as Carapaz fell apart on the final TT after his break exploits.

This was like a football match between a team playing stifling catenaccio and a team bereft of ideas how to break it down and willing to settle for a 0-0, with a few good chances just before half time, then a moment of sheer brilliance pulls out a highlight reel Puskas contender goal in the 90th minute to win it 1-0. Is it a great moment when the ball hits the net? Yes. Is that goal going to be remembered and replayed around the world? Yes. Was the match good because of it? No.
This Tour was a Diego Simeone masterclass.
 
Yeah 2011 was 2/3 bad 1/3 great
2020 was 9/10 mediocre 1/10 great
I still think that you give too much credit to 2011. Because 1/3 is an entire week, when in reality, wasn't it more like 3 days (which would be 1/7)? The descent into Gap, and then the 2 Alpine stages. Okay, each of those stages in the Alps could be given 2 'great' points, they were that good. But the final ITT wasn't very good, was it? And were there any other stages towards the end that were better than mediocre?

I suppose what I am suggesting is that there were only 2 great stages in 2011, but it's considered a great week. I'll listen to arguments against that though.
 
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I still think that you give too much credit to 2011. Because 1/3 is an entire week, when in reality, wasn't it more like 3 days (which would be 1/7)? The descent into Gap, and then the 2 Alpine stages. Okay, each of those stages in the Alps could be given 2 'great' points, they were that good. But the final ITT wasn't very good, was it? And were there any other stages towards the end that were better than mediocre?

I suppose what I am suggesting is that there were only 2 great stages in 2011, but it's considered a great week. I'll listen to arguments against that though.
I was hyped really hard on stage 4 for 3 seconds when I thought Contador had won on Mur de Bretagne.
 
We need to remember that all grand tours (or at least TDF's) generally have multiple number of boring stages. It's only in the last decade or so that stages have been televised in full, whereas previously more people probably watched half an hour highlights packages, and so didn't have the opportunity to sit through all the boredom.

I don't think that a Tour cannot be rated a 10 even, just because there are a few very boring stages. It's almost a part of the nature of the beast. I think that it gets worse when you get multiple days in a row that are disappointing, which is partly why stage 6 frustrated a great deal, because stage 5 was also horrible. But that was only 2 really bad stages in a row. In other Tours we have probably had stretches of up to 5 days of horrible inaction in succession, but time has long erased those days from our memories.
 
Really hard Tour to rate, with most of the mountain stages being terrible and most of the other stages ranging from good to fantastic (except the early sprint stages, those were even worse than usual). There are two ways for me to come to a rating:
  • In some ways, it was very similar to the 2018 Giro, with lots of action in unexpected places and the race being defined by a late plot twist. That race was an 8 for me... but the mountain stages were so much better even if the GC battle didn't look to be for 2.5 weeks. That difference is worth 2 points in my book.
  • What would I have rated the race without the TT changing everything? In my opinion, bad mountains and a poor GC battle is automatically a maximum of a 5. Now the rest of the race did deliver for the most part, so it would have been a 4.5 in my book. The TT and the plot twist add... more than 1 point, but 2 is a stretch.
So it's a 6 for me, but closer to a 7 than to a 5.
 
I still think that you give too much credit to 2011. Because 1/3 is an entire week, when in reality, wasn't it more like 3 days (which would be 1/7)? The descent into Gap, and then the 2 Alpine stages. Okay, each of those stages in the Alps could be given 2 'great' points, they were that good. But the final ITT wasn't very good, was it? And were there any other stages towards the end that were better than mediocre?

I suppose what I am suggesting is that there were only 2 great stages in 2011, but it's considered a great week. I'll listen to arguments against that though.
Well that's how cycling works though. You are never gonna have a whole week of stages that are great on their own. But if you have five stages in a row which were all at least good (a lead swap on a stage 20 ITT isn't too shabby either) and two of them were better than any single mountain stage we have seen in the Tour since, I think great is the right word to describe it.

People are still referring to the 2010 Giro as the gold standard for a great gt and that one had how many great stages? 3? Maybe 4? It's more that there were a lot of good ones with an above average amount of great ones mixed in.
 
It was the side shows that made this tour interesting. Really high number of 1st time stage winners and young stage winners and the jerseys winners were both 1st time winners as well. Also I would shed no tears watching Ineos fail.

I found the GC boring because it lacked the romantic no hope french charge of recent years and once Ineos cracked and all my favourites started to drop out I didn't really care who won as only towards the end did I get to know Pog & Rog and the morning of S20 was the first time I was sure I wanted Pog to win.

Voted 8.
It gets an extra few points for personal reasons as due to Covid and increased interest in Ireland thanks to Sam I have followed every second of this tour in a way I couldn't before. Also I don't hate the GC winner for the first time since 2013
 
Well that's how cycling works though. You are never gonna have a whole week of stages that are great on their own. But if you have five stages in a row which were all at least good (a lead swap on a stage 20 ITT isn't too shabby either) and two of them were better than any single mountain stage we have seen in the Tour since, I think great is the right word to describe it.

People are still referring to the 2010 Giro as the gold standard for a great gt and that one had how many great stages? 3? Maybe 4? It's more that there were a lot of good ones with an above average amount of great ones mixed in.
Very fair points.

That first Alpine stage yes, I can't think of any recent Tour mountain stage since that comes close to it. But the second Alpine stage from 2011 in hindsight, is maybe overrated. It was incredibly exciting straight from the start, which almost never happens, but once it all came back together at the foot of ADH, well, there wasn't a huge amount that happened on the final climb was there? I welcome having my memory refreshed, but by that point in the stage it seemed fairly obvious that Contador couldn't pull back the sort of time that he needed, and because Schleck had already exerted himself so greatly early in the stage (as well as on the stage before obviously) he didn't really have much left to throw at Evans, and the destination of the yellow jersey was as good as decided. What I am suggesting here, is that Contador did attacks later in Tours that were also exciting. I guess those attacks didn't last quite as long in 2015 and 2017, but were they really that much worse (or less exciting) than his attack in 2011?

Maybe AX3 2013 can challenge that stage as the second best Tour mountain stage in recent memory? The first half was probably very boring, but then Quintana attacked long range on Pailhares and got a decent gap at one point. And there was the build up of a first confrontation between Contador and Froome at the Tour, and at the time a lot of us didn't really know how poor - by his standards - Alberto would be. And as we saw, there was action galore on the final climb. Perhaps the definition that I am looking for is "dramatic" mountain stage, rather than "best". Anyway, since that 2013 stage, I don't think anything else comes into this discussion (though last years shortened stage 'could' have).
 
I don't know what people expected for stages like 3 and 5? Something 1980 LBL style? Although that would arguably have been more boring than what actually ended up happening...
Honestly, my view may be a bit biased since I was very busy during the Tour this year, with moving countries and a lot of work. So I didn't spend hours watching the race each day but only tuned in for the last hour or less for most stages.
I agree that some of the stages were a bit disappoiting, mainly stage 6, 15 and 18, the others all more or less lived up to expectations I feel.

About the design... it's true that there is few really boring flat 230 km rides with Guillaume van Keirsbulck being kept at two minutes now, so that's great. But I just love me one or two really big mountain stages, with 5 cols, 6+ hours, which has become rare in recent years. I liked the gravel on Plateau des Glières, it delivers great images and requires different skills. Before the big tarmac wave rolled across Europe in the 60s most smaller roads were grave. There's still loads of them left in the more remote parts of the Alps and Pyreneed, I feel like the Tour should explore some of these opportunities. Some of my favourite cycling images are Charly Gaul on the Cayolle or Bondone on gravel roads. But first, the tyre manufacturers have to supply the teams with puncture proof rubber. I couldn't believe my eyes when Pogacar had flats on three consecutive stages. Also Porte is like 60 kg? Unless he purposefully hits the sharpest stone in all of France I really think even race tyres should survive a kilometer of gravel. ASO should look into restauring the tunnel atop Col de Parpaillon, to make the gravel actually matter, and not be a little gimmick for the photographs.

Apart from all of that, I find it hard to not rate this Tour a 9 or 10. The last stage is sporting history, the youngest winner since 1904, the only ever Tour in September. All of that against all odds in the final time trial. In 30 years, all the people that now voted 4 or something like that will tell their grand children how they whitnessed one of the greatest moments in the sport's history live. Just hope that noone comes along then with an old forum post where you roast the race because a flat stage in week one didn't have breakaway.

That's all, don't take me too serious, but, come on, 4 points... seriously??
 
5/10

Taking out the final time trial, it was a dull race where the yellow jersey and seemingly strongest guy had by far the strongest team, ruining the competition. If it was known Pogacar was so strong in the time trial we could have had a much greater race.

Also a big 'told you so' to those naysayers who said the Tour would never happen and if it did then it would never finish! Well done Tour organizers for keeping the riders away from the virus.
 
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