Expect all hell to break loose by BORA tomorrow and on Friday's stages? Sagan can gain back massive points if he wins tomorrow and take the intermediate sprint of Friday, maybe even try to OOT Bennett. He doesn't look too good on the climbs, and the third week is brutal
Sagan and Bora will certainly be fuelled by rage and I will be astonished if they don’t roll the dice. 68 points or whatever the gap is, is not insurmountable but to do it Sagan is going to have to go on the attack or Bora are going to have to go full ballistic. There’s no way to win as a sprinter, he has to do it the hard way. They really don’t have any reason not to go for it, they‘ve no GC to protect.
Bennett is in the driver’s seat but this is far from over
Just had my first proper rewatch and Ewan does so well to slip through the crowd to end up behind Bennett and Bennetts own wheel surfing was classic Bora Sam. As for Sagan there was no space until he made some and had no right to try that gap so far call with the relegation.
Hope now they all make it to the Champs for a good showdown
I agree. That's what riders should do the thing is, if the riders in front hold their line, they get wins. If the rider in front drifts slightly towards the barriers, as van Aert did, they get relegated. That's why I think they need to ban the sprint against the barriers (and drifting against the barriers) altogether, not just relegate riders based on what the rider in front of them ends up doing. See Ackermann at Tirreno, again, a smaller gap, against to riders, and he got a win out of it. Once he decided to go for the gap there was no way to slow down, just hope that everyone keeps their line to the centimeter.
That is oh so easy to say. This is the moment that Sagan decides to start sprinting for the gap:
Seems to be a gap. A tiny gap, but a bigger gap than Ackermann had to be sure. This is the moment Wout drifts slightly left (not that it was intentional, but there he is):
At this point what do you do? His momentum is carrying him into van Aert. He can slam the brakes and risk being crashed into, and will likely bump into Wout anyways without any chance to position himself as he is reaching for the brakes. He can crash into the barrier. Or he can bump into Van Aert. He has milliseconds to decide.
Again, the risky move is taking the line at all. The rest is just punishing riders for the consequences, not their decisions.
I thought this to be semi-notable at the time but not enough to comment on, especially given my well-known opinions on Sagan will colour discussion and that I've by and larged limited my dosage of him in recent years to prevent such flame wars, but the rider who Caleb Ewan squeezes past going between them and the barrier was Sagan. I thought "wow, that's brave" considering Sagan's move on Vantomme and the infamous Tour DQ from three years ago, but I also thought, that was 3 years ago and he hasn't had anything so high profile like that since, so maybe he's a lot more trustworthy now and Ewan was a lot more confident that Sagan wouldn't run him into the barriers. But if the stages were reversed, say, this happened stage 3 and then the Sisteron stage was stage 11, I wonder if Ewan would have dared try the same move?
LOL at the idea that Sagan is largely hated though. I don't know if any other rider since Lance has been as fervently insulated from critics by his fans.
Too much pressure for Sagan to score points (more than in previous years considering the situation) meant that he felt like he had to take the risk and go for that gap. Unfortunately it didn't work out and now his fight for green is essentially over.