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Tour de France 2017 Stage 12: Pau > Peyragudes 214.5km

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skidmark said:
Just reading through this thread now - I definitely was right there with most of the sentiment in yelling at my screen up the last climb(s) for people to do something; in a results-oriented way, the ending was very satisfying, but in a real-time viewing way, that shouldn't wash away the fact that if the same thing had happened but Froome hadn't cracked, it would have been unequivocally awful (in the 'it's predictable' sense, not saying anything personal about the guy) to watch him win after his mountain sprint train set him up.

That said, I don't know if I can fault the tactics of the riders. Yes, froome lost a lot of time in a short time, and the most basic deduction would suggest that he might have lost more in a longer, but I can think of three distinct reasons for what happened at the end:

1. He got dropped from the change of pace as he often does in, say, the Vuelta, and simply didn't have time to yo-yo his way back up. If this was the case, they were right to wait until the end, rather than attacking earlier. Don't give him time to recover.

2. He got dropped because he's not in top form (which kinda overlaps with #1, I guess - if he's in top form he doesn't get dropped even temporarily). If this was the case, it wasn't necessarily right, but was probably fine, to wait until the end. The Peyresourde is a pretty soft climb, so there's nowhere to really go without the Sky train pegging you back anyway, and in my opinion the risk is higher than the reward. Let's say Bardet attacks with 5k to go on the Peyresourde - he might get 30 seconds, and then be more tired by the time they get to Peyragudes, so he could either not increase that, or get caught and dropped, or whatever. There are other big climbs to go, and the Izoard in particular is one where alot of time could be bled. If he's simply not as good at climbing as the rest, they can take advantage in the future, and will be emboldened by this result. Of course maybe, just maybe, if someone had attacked on the Peyresourde it would've blown it apart and he would have lost minutes, but not likely with Nieve and Landa on a pretty shallow climb where drafting helps. The spent energy vs. gained time cost-benefit analysis is in the eye of the beholder, but in my eyes it comes out negative for attacking earlier.

3. He had a jour sans. If that's the case, then yeah, they wasted it, and could have gotten more.

So I dunno, on the balance of things, I don't think it was idiotic to play the waiting game.

4. He's 32 years old and at the natural age most riders start their decline. He's still probably the strongest overall rider but is no longer explosive enough to follow accelerations of a rider like Aru like he once could.
I saw the last 30km on the Eurosport highlights show.

I'm not surprised that they didn't attack on a steady climb when there were 4 sky guys left in a front group of a dozen and with a really hard finish in front of them.

After a show of power by Sky, however, the final km put a completely different complexion on the day. Froome cracked in the final sprint and lost 20secs, together with the jersey. The final time trial is obviously in his favour, but Aru and Bardet can smell blood. Was it just a moment of weakness or the beginning of the end?

Congratulations to Bardet (and Aru for snatching yellow).
The most ironic thing is the marketing guy at Cannondale France who handed out that bottle just made his life a heck of a lot harder.

Anyway I agree with JV on the sheer incompetence front. But the idea that the jury is solely under the UCI's control (the UCI and the French Fed select them, apparently) and that they are walled off from outside pressure is laughable.
It's amazing that Meintjes can ride one Tour and a half with just the exact level of energy required to be able to hang onto the first group but never do anything like attack, be the first to respond to an attack or take pulls. That's a very specific level of tired to keep for one GT and a half if you ask me.

Also, I guess Bennett is some sort of superman.
I can see why they don't want the cars in the way near the end of a stage, but who cares if a guy grabs a bottle from a person on the side of the road? OK, it is a rule so if you grab a drink, you have a consequence, but how can the jury justify not giving everyone the same consequence? At this point they can't "undo" Bardet so they have no choice, but to drop the penalty against the boys in green. Then again, maybe SKY should be pushing for Bardet to get his consequence.

EDITED because I think my brain got cooked in the heat today! :eek:

With that instagram video it really looks like Bardet is drinking but nobody can say 100% if he did or did not. Obviously the jury can only give a sanction if they are totally sure.

Sucks for Uran/Bennett but there we go.

Also the UCI rule says this (below), and what constitutes feeding isn't clearly defined. Is the act taking a bottle feeding - no matter what you do with it after? Or is it only feeding if you actually consume it?
Commissaires have some wiggle room with ambiguous UCI rules as always.


Escarabajo said:
Does the UCI has photo or video of Bennet or Uran drinking?

Bennet was right with Bardet at the same time. Uran at the top of the Peyresourde at around 5.5km
damn goes another boring stage,only bennet and aru are worth watching in this TDF"why cant someone/anyone god damn attack or something?Meintjies and yates are now the new wheelsuckers of the modern peloton.as others have said Landa could have won this stage if not for babysitting froome to the top...
Jul 14, 2017
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blaxland said:
damn goes another boring stage,only bennet and aru are worth watching in this TDF"why cant someone/anyone god damn attack or something?Meintjies and yates are now the new wheelsuckers of the modern peloton.as others have said Landa could have won this stage if not for babysitting froome to the top...

Aru has attacked on all three mountain stages so far... The first time, he won the stage... The second time, they called his attack off because it was judged to have violated the unwritten rule of not attacking someone with a mechanical issue... The third time, he literally stripped Froome of the Yellow Jersey.

I could understand if Stage 12 had ended in a stalemate, but all of the complaining about no one attacking when Aru put 20 seconds into Froome and took the Yellow Jersey just doesn't make any sense to me...

At least on the broadcast I was watching, everyone was pretty clear that the GC guys wouldn't attack until the last few hundred meters because of the 20% gradient... Team Sky prevented anything from happening before then by setting a solid tempo.
Mar 15, 2009
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In all this I can't work out whatever happened to the don't drink stuff from random guys on the side of the road because you don't know what it could be spiked with?
Jul 2, 2015
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People keep saying that the other GC conteders should have attacked Froome earlier. First, the Sky train pushed a hard pace from the moment Kiry started riding on Bales, making it very hard to attack, and when Kwiato took over riders started dropping like flies. Second, seeing how strong Kwiato, Nieve and Landa was they would have neutralized any attack by just continuing to keep the pace high. I believe going all-in on that last steep section was the only way for the other GC conteders to gain time on Froome. Funny thing is that the hard pace Sky pushed was probably the reason Froome performed so badly the final 300 meters, his legs were just gone.
Jury nullification for the win.

I mean, it's a win for the race. And for the pratical application of the rules, that one needed to be scrapped. I'm still rather conflicted about how they got there. That rule needs to be gone-gone asap fot that to make any sense.