Romain Bardet Discussion Thread

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He needs some hard racing in the remaining mountain stages to have a shot at the podium. Final TT could see him lose a couple of minutes to other contenders.
Podium is crazy talk.

Stage win + top 10 is a good Giro for Ag2R. If Bardet can work out a way to sneak off the front of the GC group on stage 20 before the final climb (long descent, plus short-ish summit finish) he can add to that. But he's too close to others in front to be likely afforded that freedom.

But of course, just a top10 is probably not enough for his current team, DSM. Jesus I hate the transfer merry go round.
 
If only that sterrato stage had gone better for him.

He doesn't get much help from his team here of course, especially not after Hindley's out. But neither is Caruso, so at least that part is fair.

I don't see him sneak on the podium... but it's not totally impossible.
 
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Monday, May 24, Stage 16: Sacile to Cortina d’Ampezzo (153kms) - Nicolas Roche Diary

With four major mountains, including the highest climb of the race, the Passo Giau, and the threat of snow, ahead of us this morning we were expecting today’s 213km stage to be not only the toughest day on this Giro but possibly the toughest day of this season.

When I pulled back the curtains this morning and saw torrential rain lashing down outside, I rolled my eyes and sighed but my room-mate, Romain Bardet, was smiling like Jack Nicholson in The Shining.
One of the best descenders in the peloton, Romain likes wet conditions and was convinced he could use the inclement weather to his advantage on today’s 18km descent to the finish. On the trip to the start we were all ready to rally around him and get him to the last climb in as good a position as possible.
When we got there, though, we were told that snow on the climbs and treacherous road conditions on the descents had forced the organisers to chop two of the mountains and 60km off the stage.
Although the aim was still the same for our team, I was given freedom to get into the early breakaway, with the idea it would be much easier to drop back to help Romain later on than try to hang on to the best climbers in full flight on the Giau Pass.
After about 10km of racing, we hit the 13km-long opening climb of La Crossetta. As the rain lashed down, I followed a few moves and went over the top in an escape group of 24 riders including my cousin Dan.
Also there was Italian Vincenzo Nibali, another of the peloton’s best descenders. When the Italian pulled five guys clear on the descent, after 45km, we were doing about 80kph and couldn’t see your hand in front of your face with fog, so the rest of us thought he was just being safe.

By the bottom, with 100km to go, Nibali’s group were gone and I was left in a group of 18 riders who weren’t entirely convinced whether to push on or not.

The weather was so bad that I couldn’t get my hands into my back pockets with the cold. When I wanted to eat something, I had to drop back to the team car for an unwrapped energy bar because my fingers were too numb to open it myself. I wasn’t even able to squeeze my bottle and had to tilt it up and suck like a baby to get anything out.
Lots of guys in our group stopped riding and we dangled in no man’s land, halfway between the break and the bunch for a long time. When we were told the peloton were just a minute behind us and closing fast, four of us decided to stop and have a quick pee, as the racing had been so flat out until then, there was no other opportunity to do so.
We got caught with 55km to go and the Passo Giau looming. When the peloton came past, I slotted back into my usual position to shelter Romain from the wind but when Tejay van Garderen of the EF-Nippo squad hit the front and ramped up the pace on the climb with 50km to go, my legs were gone and within a couple of kilometres so was I.


While the Passo Giau is officially only 10km long, we had been climbing for about 65km with very little respite before we hit the top of it. As Romain and a select few hung on at the front, I used a gearing of 36x30 as the rest of us paced ourselves to the top. At 2,223 metres above sea level, the snow-capped summit was so cold that about 30 of us stopped to put on dry clothes before the final descent to the finish.
My arms and hands were still frozen stiff, so our mechanic had to jump out of the car and help me pull my arm-warmers off, change my top and put on a new jacket and warm gloves. At least he had good news.
“Bernal is gone clear out front, but Romain is with Caruso chasing!”
My team-mate Michael Storer was also getting changed a bit further away. I didn’t see it at the time but he told me afterwards that he took off his rain jacket and put it on the ground to put a dry top on underneath. When he went to put his jacket back on, however, it was gone. He looked around and saw a little Italian woman running away down the mountain with it and had to actually turn his bike on the road and chase after her to get it back.
While I had raced flat out on the first descent of the day, there was no reason to take risks on the last one, so I took it easy on the way down and rolled to the finish alone. Here, I found out that Romain had finished second on the stage, behind race leader Bernal, and moved himself up to seventh overall. When I gave him a hug on the bus afterwards he was still smiling.
 
^^why oh why don't riders prepare for the weather? If Nico had cold hands, it's only because he didn't wear warm enough gloves/clothes. Anyway, it was a good day for Romain for sure

He's got three mountain stages but I don't think he can put time into Bernal, and certainly won't benefit from the ITT. Bardet -- whom I like as a rider -- is like Porte in a way, in that he can follow wheels and easily top 10 a GT, but to podium he'll need to do something special. One thing in his favor this Giro is that a lot of the riders in front of him are much less experienced in GTs, or at least going for GC. So I could easily see Caruso/Ciccone/Vlasov cracking, or Yates losing even more time. Carthy I think knows how to moderate his efforts.
 
^^why oh why don't riders prepare for the weather? If Nico had cold hands, it's only because he didn't wear warm enough gloves/clothes. Anyway, it was a good day for Romain for sure

He's got three mountain stages but I don't think he can put time into Bernal, and certainly won't benefit from the ITT. Bardet -- whom I like as a rider -- is like Porte in a way, in that he can follow wheels and easily top 10 a GT, but to podium he'll need to do something special. One thing in his favor this Giro is that a lot of the riders in front of him are much less experienced in GTs, or at least going for GC. So I could easily see Caruso/Ciccone/Vlasov cracking, or Yates losing even more time. Carthy I think knows how to moderate his efforts.
  1. I guess DSM should take it up with their kit sponsor, but they can presumably only provide the team with so many pairs of gloves of different weights and styles; the ski gloves that might have been right for the Giau wouldn’t have come out on any other day. This year’s Giro does seem to be hitting extremes of weather; the Gabba jackets that were good enough for 2013 Milan San Remo in a March blizzard didn’t cut the mustard in May.
  2. I think Bardet on his good days can do a little more than Porte (he can ride down a mountain, for one), but I think even on his best days he’d find it hard to get separation from Bernal in this form. Iirc, he leveraged a good move with a teammate in the break to pick up the stage win that jumped him up to 2nd in the 2016 Tour, but it’s hard to get that lightning to strike twice. Stage 20 here looks like a similar profile; long descent, followed by a shortish summit finish. You never know.
 
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I am happy with the trend and for Barder. For some reason always had a soft spot for him (way more so than for Pinot, unlike apparently the rest of this forum). I think being born as a french GC rider is not the easiest thing to face in the world. And for some years he was really good, maybe on winning level would he have not ridden the TdF constantly. Also age-wise he shouldn't decline yet but the last years surely indicate it.
 
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I am happy with the trend and for Barder. For some reason always had a soft spot for him (way more so than for Pinot, unlike apparently the rest of this forum). I think being born as a french GC rider is not the easiest thing to face in the world. And for some years he was really good, maybe on winning level would he have not ridden the TdF constantly. Also age-wise he shouldn't decline yet but the last years surely indicate it.
Agree about that last part! At 30 Bardet is still just a young kid.

And I think maybe the reason I lean slightly more towards Pinot in terms of having a soft spot, is because Bardet doesn't have quite the same tendency for days where everything just falls apart.

When I pulled back the curtains this morning and saw torrential rain lashing down outside, I rolled my eyes and sighed but my room-mate, Romain Bardet, was smiling like Jack Nicholson in The Shining.
I still have a hard time wrapping my head around the idea of someone who seems as sweet as Bardet smiling like a psychopath over *** conditions.
 
  1. I guess DSM should take it up with their kit sponsor, but they can presumably only provide the team with so many pairs of gloves of different weights and styles; the ski gloves that might have been right for the Giau wouldn’t have come out on any other day. This year’s Giro does seem to be hitting extremes of weather; the Gabba jackets that were good enough for 2013 Milan San Remo in a March blizzard didn’t cut the mustard in May.
I think that nothing prevents any rider to use his own piece of kit during the race, like gloves. For instance, Dowsett wore his own (not team provided) £600 overshoes on the TT and even borrowed his second pair to de Marchi who also used it.

For yesterday's conditions, diving gloves (commonly used by cyclist) would actually be more suitable. And if you go for the Giro, having a pair of ones in your bag is a must I suppose.

Anyway, yesterday I saw many riders wearing standard fingerloss gloves (e.g. Formolo) and I was really impressed with that. :D
 
I am happy with the trend and for Barder. For some reason always had a soft spot for him (way more so than for Pinot, unlike apparently the rest of this forum). I think being born as a french GC rider is not the easiest thing to face in the world. And for some years he was really good, maybe on winning level would he have not ridden the TdF constantly. Also age-wise he shouldn't decline yet but the last years surely indicate it.
tbh I have always been on the Bardet bus (instead of Pinot), though the last years I've been a bit sad by his apparent demise.

french riders that go for the gc simply have too much pressure on their shoulders
 

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