Tour de France Rate the 2021 Tour de France

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i rated it a 3. Cavendish was a feel good story but he had little real opposition especially after Demare and Ewan went out and Sagan wasn't the same after his crash. Everyone knew Cavendish only had to get to Paris to win the Green as Matthews was clearly outmatched and Cavendish actually gifted a few intermediate sprints as he knew how the points were going to spread and the breaks were also gobbling up points that Matthews needed. The GC battle was over early, Carapaz improved in the final week and Uran basically collapsed. What Jumbo did with a decimated team was impressive and I would never have picked Vingegaard for the podium. WVA is a kind of cycling savant, there isn't much he can't do.

Poels worked hard for the KOM but I was never convinced that Pogacar wouldn't snatch it away late. Quintana is a shadow of the rider he was and probably wouldn't make the Ineos Tour team while Ineos looked stale but they were outmatched and their team selection raised some eyebrows. The GC riders they used as domestiques were not good enough. O'Connor had a good race and it will be interesting to see if he can improve in the next few seasons. Probably the easiest Tour win since Nibali in 2014 and both races were marred by crashes and injuries for some of the GC favourites. The really long descent finishes added nothing to the racing as the GC riders just waited for the final climb anyway for the most part. Not sure how they beat Pogacar next year and his team were underrated before the race. Something tells me the dreaded TTT wil be back next year along with more MTFs and only one ITT. I don't think Bernal in Giro form would have changed the outcome but I think he will lead Ineos next year.
 
7. Great individual heroics, by Van Aert, Cavendish, Van der Poel, Pogacar and Vingegaard. But I can't be enchanted by a tour without suspense over the yellow jersey. For now, with Pogi we are back in Indurain/Armstrong/Froome territory. Pogi killed the yellow jersey war really soon and from then on it was a procession. The man is SO good atm, can't see Roglic, Bernal, Evenepoel, Vingegaard or anyone else seriously threatening him next year (but hope to be proven wrong). Don't like that. Give me the interregnums! The main dish of the tour should be the battle for the yellow jersey, riders attacking each other and being at each others throats, not a boring procession...
 
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I gave it a 7 but already wish I rated it lower. There were some amazing performances and a wild first week, but the GC action was about as uneventful as possible and that’s what really makes the race great for me normally. The first 9 stages would’ve made a heck of a shorter stage race though.
 
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Gave it a 5. The main issue with the race was of course the gc battle or rather the lack thereof. I predicted this to be an all out battle between three parties without any certainties until the pyrenees at best and instead it was a one horse race that seemed like a foregone conclusion after literally 5 stages. It feels like 2014 all over again just that this time nobody will really ever question whether the eventual winner would have won anyway.

Pogacar has been imperious and while I feel like his performance in Le Grand Bornand won't be remembered like it should be because he didn't win the stage it was still by far the most impressive climbing performance I have ever witnessed. Putting well over 3 minutes into your gc rivals on basically a 15 kilometre climb (with a short descent in the middle) is so far and beyond everything else in recent history that it's impossible to be put into perspective. I might be forgetting something but I think that over the previous 10 years there have been exactly three cases where a climber has been able to gain even one minute over everyone else on a Tdf mountain stage. Two of them were all out attacks from the bottom of a HC climb and both barely gained a minute (Nibali 2014, Quintana 2015) and Schleck only got 2 minutes by attacking from a huge distance. Froome in Ax3 or LPSM or anything else are absolutely nothing compared to this performance by Pogacar. But yeah, that's just a sidenote on how dominant Pogacar was.

The positive and the reason this still got 5 points is that uncharacteristically for the Tour the battle for stage wins has been pretty decent. Cav's comeback story is phenomenal and there have been more stages going to the break than usually with many of the battles for the stages being pretty great. As an Austrian I'm also biased because of the first Austrian stage win since 2005. That just really made me happy.
 
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Gave it a 5. The main issue with the race was of course the gc battle or rather the lack thereof. I predicted this to be an all out battle between three parties without any certainties until the pyrenees at best and instead it was a one horse race that seemed like a foregone conclusion after literally 5 stages. It feels like 2014 all over again just that this time nobody will really ever question whether the eventual winner would have won anyway.

Pogacar has been imperious and while I feel like his performance in Le Grand Bornand won't be remembered like it should be because he didn't win the stage it was still by far the most impressive climbing performance I have ever witnessed. Putting well over 3 minutes into your gc rivals on basically a 15 kilometre climb (with a short descent in the middle) is so far and beyond everything else in recent history that it's impossible to be put into perspective. I might be forgetting something but I think that over the previous 10 years there have been exactly three cases were a climber has been able to gain even one minute over everyone else on a mountain stage. Two of them were all out attacks from the bottom of a HC climb and both barely gained a minute (Nibali 2014, Quintana 2015) and Schleck only got 2 minutes by attacking from a huge distance. Froome in Ax3 or LPSM or anything else are absolutely nothing compared to this performance by Pogacar. But yeah, that's just a sidenote on how dominant Pogacar was.

The positive and the reason this still got 5 points is that uncharacteristically for the Tour the battle for stage wins has been pretty decent. Cav's comeback story is phenomenal and there have been more stages going to the break than usually with many of the battles for the stages being pretty great. As an Austrian I'm also biased because of the first Austrian stage win since 2005. That just really made me happy.
Carapaz took over a 1'30 on everyone else in Courmayeur.
 
I gave it a 5.

The first week was outstanding -- with the huge exception of the crashes that took out not only Roglic, but Ewen and Thomas, as well as Haig, and as it turns out Sagan, and a bunch of key support riders. Plus riders like Porte lost any chance at GC waiting for others. It just killed any GC suspense and led to a bunch of "what ifs" for me.

But MvDP and Alaf winning the first two stages were basically my dream start to the Tour. Stage 7 delivered, too. MvDP's TT ride was huge for a guy who doesn't ride a TT bike very much.

After that, it was interesting to see emerging talents like Vingegaard and O'Connor show their stuff, but I just wasn't engaged except for a few hundred meters on the second ascent of Ventoux when Pogacar couldn't follow.

The sprints weren't particularly interesting w/out Ewen, an inform Sagan and Demare, and Merlier wasn't able to stay in the race. So good on Cav for winning, but I still remain convinced it was a weak field.

Oddly I wound up liking the mountain stages a lot. But there just weren't enough quality GC riders for my taste. What in the world happened to all the guys who podiumed GTs in the past 6-10 years like SK, Quintana, Nibali, Thomas, Porte -- OK, some were working for others, but it sure looked like a definitive changing of the guard, like others have said.
 
Jafferau?


As for the Tour, Nibali on La Toussuire came quite close smh.

Also Bernal took 1'03 on the first GC group on the Iseran.
Did he? This is super weird but I'm finding conflicting data on what the gap on the Iseran was. Anyway, I don't think that should count. The main gc guys clearly could have gone faster but were happy letting De Plus do the work with the descent and the flat before the final climb still to come.
 
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Aug 29, 2020
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I gave it an 8. The first week was thrilling and gave me all the satisfactions with Van der Poel being in yellow for so long. Watching us enter the Age of Pogacar is pretty awesome. First tour I watched with my partner start to finish, so sentimental value there. I am a big Sagan fan though and I was terribly disappointed after Ewan crashed him out, hence no 10. If there was a Sagan raid like in the Giro a year ago I would've been completely satisfied as I don't find mountain goat racing all that compelling anyways.
 
Plus:
Exciting, above average, first week
I like Pog, he won
I like Mohoric, he won
Vingegard

Minus:
Crashes, wild crashes
Roglic leaving led to no GC thrill, winner's too strong yet not really able to keep himself away of others' business of podiums.
For the first time I really didn't care about Tour sprint stages of the Tour. Seriously crappy field for a Tour standard.

Indifferent/okay with it:
Lots of solo wins, none too weird a winner among them anyway.
KOM, point system begged for a change, but at least riders tried.
Cav, too predictable but nice for him
Wout, getting predictable but still very nice for him
Colbrelli, he can climb and can't sprint, so what
Froome, he's nice they said

Rating
Not sure, 5, 6, somewhere in between maybe. Felt weird at first but in the end a so so Tour.
 
Gave it a 6. Not a classic Tour by any stretch of the imagination, but rating it below average would really do a disservice to the fantastic first third of the race we had.

Cannot give it more than that either as the GC fight ended with the first major mountain block, battle for green was neutralised through crashes and route design favouring a dominant sprinter. Polka dots jersey had a nice fight going for it, but that too petered out in the end. Whether the major culprit was the design of the Pyrenees stages or lopsided points system, is a matter of debate, but in the end the dominant GC guy was able to take that jersey as almost like an afterthought.

Although last two weeks were mostly inconsequential in terms of overall podium composition, there were plenty on nice moments that livened up the race. The brief drama of Pogacar getting dropped on Ventoux, the battle for the stage on Col du Portet, where Pogacar really had to dig deep or WVA taking a triple of wildly waring type of stage wins for example.
 
I gave it an 8, I enjoyed it more than most.

Huge Positives:
Great first week. Loved Ala's win on day 1. The MVDP story was incredible, as was his performance and his effort in the TT to hold on to yellow. Fantastic. The Cavendish story was also great, it was great to see him come back to the fore, even against a much-reduced group of sprinters. The mountains jersey was more interesting than usual, I enjoyed that. The emergence of a surprising young talent in Vingegaard, despite the all-too-frequent mangling of his name by the announcers. The Ventoux x2 stage was a neat innovation, and WVA's performance on that stage was a joy to watch for a Flemish homer of sorts. WVA winning that stage, the TT, and the final sprint on the Champs was an incredible thing to see, I've not seen anything like it since I've watched bike racing. Basically the stars shone brightly in this Tour, and the stars of the "future" are here and now. So much more exciting racing than has happened in years past.

One Negative:
Dominance is boring. As great as Pogačar is, he needs a foil. Look forward to seeing more from Evenepoel, Vingegaard, and other young guns in the years ahead to give him some competition. We'll see, he looks hard to beat right now by anyone. Also crashes, but that happens every year now.

Crazy level of speed and performance this year. I thought it was a great Tour, and I haven't been as engaged as I was in this one in a long, long time.
 
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Fan with sign induced crash, crash, crash and more crashes UGH!

Good and Bad at the same time the 5 minutes plus sometimes twice in a broadcast of Cav, which allowed me to fast forward DVR recording saving me some time. From the 1st time I saw him interviewed many years ago got an impression of what his type is... enough said.

On the plus side some interesting solo victories and some fun interviews with those winners. Loved Van Aert Chomps. (spelled that way for fun) win over that guy. I like Pogi but would like for Roglic to get at least one TDF GC win. See Pogi as a potential later Eddy the cannibal, would be historic and I think more likeable.
 
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…except the TDF effectively finished on stage 18.
It was finished before it even started. #fignon84. :p:cool:

however, a close suspenseful race is never what you should be expecting in a TDF. It can happen. But rarely. And often at the end of an era rather than at the beginning of one.

to enjoy a TDF you need to be steeped in its history and enjoy the exploits of individual riders.

example: O’Connor was never going to make GC suspenseful, but man what a ride! What a ride! And dare I mention WvA - simple awesomeness to enjoy. Did he affect the overall GC suspense? No. But, damn, what a ride, what a ride!!

I voted 7 btw.
 
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it's about a 5, mostly because of WVA, possibly one of the greatest efforts in modern cycling history, (unless it was simply a really weak field this year). MvdP is setting a very bad trend, killing the first week and then leaving, it's legal, but the spirit of the race is shattered, how do you develop a strategy when some riders are just killing themselves in the first week and leaving, for whatever reason. Sprinters do this, but we're talking people that put themselves into GC contention, destroy the peloton and simply go away "carry on people, have fun"
 
I gave it a 7, but I was really rounding up from 6.5. And on reflection, I'd probably bump down to a 6.

I like that there was a worthy winner, who was willing to attack his rivals on all terrain, and not just mountain-train the race to death. But obviously I do wish there had been someone else to push him for it.

The first week was some great racing, but the crashes marred it for me, and in hindsight, given that those crashes took out exactly the riders that might have made the yellow and green jerseys competitive, it does take a lot of that shine off.

The polka dot was all set to be a close contest, but then Pogi went and took that too. I don't like the current mountains scoring system; not the extra-points for the final mountain of the stages, but the way that weighting towards the finishing climbs means it's always going to be a GC rider.

But my biggest problem is actually the way the stages were won. A few bunch sprints, and a whole mess of solo attacks. Only Pog's 2 stage wins were "small group sprints", and even then you got the feeling he was just sitting up. After a while, it just gets boring knowing that the first guy to get a 30sec gap, is almost certain to ride to the finish.
 
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the negatives:
  • no crosswinds
  • no GC battle
  • no TTT
  • no mountain TT
  • no cobbles (we are waiting for French cobbles on TV for 2.5 years now!)
  • too many crashes disrupting the outcome of stages and GC before it even started (Ewan, Roglic)
the positives:
  • the first week;
  • Cav, WvA, MvdP, Pog performing;
  • the landscape and the parcours. Such a beautiful country!
5/10
 
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