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Tour de France 2017 Stage 18: Briançon - Izoard, 179.5kms

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dercuforever said:
I've followed the Tour on this forum everyday, and it is quite fun to see that many people have different point of view on everything.
For me this last stage was quite cool to watch for the last part (I'd rather forget the first 100 kms).

As in the whole Tour, Froome, RU and Bardet had a very similar level. Also it doesn't help that none of them has a "speciality" that could disturb the other. i'm thinking : Valverde/Rodriguez "jump", or Dumoulin steady ride.

I'm now a bit sad that Valverde crashed out because the scenario would have suit him a lot (hmm bonus seconds each mountainous day).

Overall we had some good actions on not so good designed stages.
I think that for reference of the Izoard time, allegedly there was a tailwind yesterday, and in 2011, there was a head wind, and the climb had been led by Stuart O'grady until halfway up the climb when Schleck went ballistic
Also, despite the dud of a GC-duel (despite it being extremely close), I don't think this Tour has been that horrible. At least the peloton has contested the stage win at every mountain stage - no break has just been allowed up the road apart from the obvious breakaway stage on 15. Thats good news, at least, compared to what happened in 2016. And I still do think that it was better than that, altho it obviously doesnt say much about the level. The day to Morzine that year has left images in my head, it was god awful, god fricking awful and was a completely joke. At least this Tour hasn't sunk so low.
Re: Re:

observer said:
I disagree that the top runners are at the same level. Froome is way way above, and didn't really have to try after the time trial. Yeah he lost a few seconds on the steep uphill finish, but thats the only time he looked slightly weak.

He's just had to follow wheels, knowing that he'll smash the time trial, and probably get his stage win there too.

This years route has been horrible, and the fact that the times are close are really just creating an illusion of a good race. I'm sure the organisers will celebrate their amazing work, but for me its all a bit contrived. The times are so close because the course was too easy, with no real places to take a lot of time apart from TT and dangerous downhills.

Losing Valverde and Porte pretty much killed the GC, its been over since it started raining on day 1.

I think he will win this TT, but I don't think he was much better than Bardet and Uran. He wouldn't have risked having only 30sec + TT as margin, because then a mere mechanical could ruin his TDF.
Yesterday if he had it he would have distanced both Bardet and Uran.

Also probably the sky-train may have access to Chris'data on their own powermeter, and adjust their rythm accordingly, while the other must adapt themselves.
Sep 15, 2012
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What is clear is that not only is Froome the best all-rounder, but is also very intelligent. That last gives him the nouse to get out of scrapes that he lands in and is essential to a GT competitor. He's not there yet though, which is a compliment to Prudhomme and his staff.

My only complaint is that there are too many long 'bunch sprint' stages. Despite my admiration for Cavendish et al, I would rather that there were no stages of that nature and 'puncheur' ones instead.