Tour de France 2020 | Stage 11 (Châtelaillon-Plage - Poitiers, 167.5 km)

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Both tried to squeeze through a too narrow gap on the right of the lead sprinter, up against the barrier, and bumped him in the process....... I don't see a difference.

If anything, Sagan's gap was larger today.

The point I am making however is, that you can't blame Sagan in both instances, since the roles are reversed, so you have to make a choice.... either he was innocent in 17 and guilty today, or the reverse, the two are mutually exclusive :)
I remember thinking that this decision was purely overreaction from the jury back in 2017 since Cavendish forced this and almost caused himself to crash. But I reckon it might be subjective in both cases (2017's and today's) .

Anyway, those were just my 2 cents :)
 
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Don't think relegation was necessary. Van Aert was slowing down and Sagan would have crashed if he didn't bump into Wout a bit. It was very soft, Sagan knew what he was doing.
That is nonsense; Sagan would never had crashed. He had 2 options; either he was going too fast and he should have used his breaks to slow down or he had to wait until there was place to pass. But he choose a third option to bulldozer his way forward.
Sprinters have to be taught that if they cannot pass they have to slow down and wait. There is no right to make space.
 
That is nonsense; Sagan would never had crashed. He had 2 options; either he was going too fast and he should have used his breaks to slow down or he had to wait until there was place to pass. But he choose a third option to bulldozer his way forward.
Sprinters have to be taught that if they cannot pass they have to slow down and wait. There is no right to make space.
"Slow down and wait", 30 meters from the line?

That's never going to happen, and bunch sprints will always be dangerous, that's why only the crazy ones do it :cool:

Also, no sprinter is even close to his brakes in a sprint, it's virtually impossible for them to reach them!
 
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This was the problem. Back in 2017 people said that Cavendish should have been willing to back down and cede the spot so there wouldn't be a crash, effectively giving Sagan carte blanche to sprint on the crab and block off the right hand side. Today it was Sagan being squeezed and he responded by forcing the issue. If Wout was 2017 Sagan, 2020 Sagan is flung into the barriers at full speed. Why shouldn't we hold Sagan to the same standard and ask him to back down and cede the spot? In the wake of the Groenewegen-Jakobsen incident we were all calling for the sprint to be better policed even if incidents don't occur, because it was by and large agreed upon that the reason sprinters think they can get away with sprints like Groenewegen's there is that they never get punished for them unless a crash occurs. We are a bunch of hypocrites if we then think it's unfair to penalise a rider for exactly that offence when there is no crash, just because he happens to be a (imo inexplicably, but let's leave that) popular rider and that it affects a jersey competition which has become more compelling than it has been for years. If what Sagan did had been done by somebody reputed as a dangerous sprinter, like a Bouhanni, it would just be cited as more fuel for the fire. Plenty of riders have been derided as dangerous sprinters over time. For some it's a pattern of misbehaviour, like Feillu or Bouhanni. For some it's one particularly egregious mis-step such as Ferrari or Groenewegen. There really ought to be enough material on hand now to say that Sagan is somebody you want to be careful around in a bunch sprint, at least when he's not at peak level. He seems to be a lot more prone to this kind of stuff when his form isn't there or when he's involved in a real fight, for whatever reason. Maybe it's that for somebody as naturally gifted as he is, he isn't used to fighting from a position of weakness, or the pressure associated therewith, I don't know, similar to Cavendish in 2010. Or maybe it's that he's always been that kind of overly physical, borderline irresponsible sprinter but a combination of his supreme bike handling skills and his pace especially in reduced bunch gallops meaning he's well ahead of the bunch usually so any tendency to sprint on the crab hasn't been curbed, I don't know and can't pretend to, I haven't closely studied a large enough sample size of Peter Sagan bunch sprinting for reasons which will be pretty obvious to anybody that's followed this forum for long enough.

It's also eased on this particular occasion, however, by the slight right hand curve of the finish in this stage which means that while the gap Sagan goes for is not really wide enough, it widens slightly on the road making a crash on that side less likely, which was not the case on the Vittel sprint three years ago. There was therefore enough room for both Sagan and van Aert to sprint after the contact and nobody got hurt, thankfully, but that doesn't mean there was no offence. To be honest I was surprised by the DQ in Vittel and thought the original relegation was not unfair as a punishment (though I wasn't going to complain about being able to watch a Sagan-free Tour, admittedly). This offence I believe merited the relegation, but was not as bad as the Vittel sprint, which I thought was a much more obvious offence.
 
This was the problem. Back in 2017 people said that Cavendish should have been willing to back down and cede the spot so there wouldn't be a crash, effectively giving Sagan carte blanche to sprint on the crab and block off the right hand side. Today it was Sagan being squeezed and he responded by forcing the issue. If Wout was 2017 Sagan, 2020 Sagan is flung into the barriers at full speed.
I think, having looked at 2017 now a couple of times today, the difference is that Sagan outweighs Cav by a few kgs and Cav accelerated right into Sagan's elbow and met resistance, that hopped him up onto the barrier. By comparison, today, Sagan drove his shoulder in under WvA's elbow, and the 2 of them are about the same weight, so Sagan's inertia prevented him bouncing into the barriers, and lucky for both of them, Wout's own mass and incredible bike skills meant he didn't go skittling the others across the street.
 
Sagan's been all over the place in more than one sprint already this tour. This was always going to happen eventually. Bumping into riders left right and centre, swerving all over the road, keeps dropping his chain as well. It's a bit like an ageing footballer who's lost a step and is just out there to hurt people when Sagan's out of form.
 
Congratulations to Caleb Ewan for wining stage 11. Good to hear Izagirre didn't get more injuries, as it looked bad. All in all a stage you had to survive, but not much action. At the end the pace got hard and we did get to see a great sprint. Sagan didn't position himself properly and Van Aert deviated slightly from the line. There was hence just not enough space left. Sagan reacted in a way people could crash. Looked like a young bull sticking his horn in Van Aert ribs. It was brutal and it could have easily resulted in a crash. Likely Sagan doesn't respect Van Aert enough, as a sprinter. Too bad it happened, as the race for green was wide open this year, now, i fear that changed a bit.

Anyway, we are now over half of the race. Mountains approaching, riders starting to lose sleep over it, looking forward to that.
 
"Slow down and wait", 30 meters from the line?

That's never going to happen, and bunch sprints will always be dangerous, that's why only the crazy ones do it :cool:
We know it is dangerous to sprint at 70km/h in a larger group.
But certain behaviors make it more dangerous. Going as a sprinter where there is no place -what Sagan tried yesterday- or closing the door - what Groenewegen did. And as a sprinter these are almost natural reflexes. But they really have to be trained not to do this. And if they cannot learn, maybe they need a rule to deny them to take part in bunch sprints.
 
If there is no gap, then there is no gap. You don't manufacture one by barging/pushing/elbowing another rider out of the way. It's up to the governing body (the UCI) to educate riders, teams, fans, etc that it isn't acceptable anymore. If there is no gap, tough, you'll have to wait another day.
 
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From his feedback Sagan doesn't think he did something wrong. So braking as a solution to a dangerous situation is
not his thing. He takes the right for the dangerous actions. Maybe his team should explain him how to sprint.
 
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This was the problem. Back in 2017 people said that Cavendish should have been willing to back down and cede the spot so there wouldn't be a crash, effectively giving Sagan carte blanche to sprint on the crab and block off the right hand side. Today it was Sagan being squeezed and he responded by forcing the issue. If Wout was 2017 Sagan, 2020 Sagan is flung into the barriers at full speed. Why shouldn't we hold Sagan to the same standard and ask him to back down and cede the spot? In the wake of the Groenewegen-Jakobsen incident we were all calling for the sprint to be better policed even if incidents don't occur, because it was by and large agreed upon that the reason sprinters think they can get away with sprints like Groenewegen's there is that they never get punished for them unless a crash occurs. We are a bunch of hypocrites if we then think it's unfair to penalise a rider for exactly that offence when there is no crash, just because he happens to be a (imo inexplicably, but let's leave that) popular rider and that it affects a jersey competition which has become more compelling than it has been for years. If what Sagan did had been done by somebody reputed as a dangerous sprinter, like a Bouhanni, it would just be cited as more fuel for the fire. Plenty of riders have been derided as dangerous sprinters over time. For some it's a pattern of misbehaviour, like Feillu or Bouhanni. For some it's one particularly egregious mis-step such as Ferrari or Groenewegen. There really ought to be enough material on hand now to say that Sagan is somebody you want to be careful around in a bunch sprint, at least when he's not at peak level. He seems to be a lot more prone to this kind of stuff when his form isn't there or when he's involved in a real fight, for whatever reason. Maybe it's that for somebody as naturally gifted as he is, he isn't used to fighting from a position of weakness, or the pressure associated therewith, I don't know, similar to Cavendish in 2010. Or maybe it's that he's always been that kind of overly physical, borderline irresponsible sprinter but a combination of his supreme bike handling skills and his pace especially in reduced bunch gallops meaning he's well ahead of the bunch usually so any tendency to sprint on the crab hasn't been curbed, I don't know and can't pretend to, I haven't closely studied a large enough sample size of Peter Sagan bunch sprinting for reasons which will be pretty obvious to anybody that's followed this forum for long enough.

It's also eased on this particular occasion, however, by the slight right hand curve of the finish in this stage which means that while the gap Sagan goes for is not really wide enough, it widens slightly on the road making a crash on that side less likely, which was not the case on the Vittel sprint three years ago. There was therefore enough room for both Sagan and van Aert to sprint after the contact and nobody got hurt, thankfully, but that doesn't mean there was no offence. To be honest I was surprised by the DQ in Vittel and thought the original relegation was not unfair as a punishment (though I wasn't going to complain about being able to watch a Sagan-free Tour, admittedly). This offence I believe merited the relegation, but was not as bad as the Vittel sprint, which I thought was a much more obvious offence.
One comment: there is footage from Groenewegen doing exactly the same action -closing the door- but in that case Oliver Naessens was smart enough to brake. No crash and no penalty for Groenewegen. At that moment the jury gave him the ticket to cause real damage a next time.
For Sagan the problem remains though. He doesn't see he did something wrong so there will be more accidents to come with him.
 
From his feedback Sagan doesn't think he did something wrong. So braking as a solution to a dangerous situation is
not his thing. He takes the right for the dangerous actions. Maybe his team should explain him how to sprint.
I got a bunch of criticism in 2017 for comparing him to Paul Tracy, but I still feel it's an appropriate comparison. He used to stick his nose down the side of other cars whether it was on or not, and then say "the onus is on the other guy to know I won't back down", i.e. let me through or there's going to be an accident, which will be their fault for not realising I would persist with the move.

When Sagan isn't at his best, and/or when he feels under pressure or frustration or whatever, sometimes his sense of positioning deserts him, and then it appears to me (again, small sample size, I try not to avoid him where possible to avoid too much confrontation) that he seems to take an "any means necessary" approach to redressing that, such as with Vantomme and with Cavendish. Usually that isn't a problem as when he's confident or in form he's well placed regardless, and he's probably a fair bit smoother when he's on stronger form, because it's more effortless for him than the bull-in-a-china-shop style we've seen of him a few times in the Tour.
 
If there is no gap, then there is no gap. You don't manufacture one by barging/pushing/elbowing another rider out of the way. It's up to the governing body (the UCI) to educate riders, teams, fans, etc that it isn't acceptable anymore. If there is no gap, tough, you'll have to wait another day.
But there was a gap.

There was space for a rider to the right of Van Aert, it is clearly evident.

Any sprinter would have jumped into that gap :)
 
Apr 1, 2015
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From his feedback Sagan doesn't think he did something wrong. So braking as a solution to a dangerous situation is
not his thing. He takes the right for the dangerous actions. Maybe his team should explain him how to sprint.
Yeah, a rider who has won 7 green jerseys really needs to be told how to sprint :rolleyes:
 
From his feedback Sagan doesn't think he did something wrong. So braking as a solution to a dangerous situation is
not his thing. He takes the right for the dangerous actions. Maybe his team should explain him how to sprint.
No sprinter is anywhere near his brakes during a sprint, they simply cannot reach them without releasing their hold on the handlebars, because they are gripping the bottom of them.

Trying to reach for your brakes in the middle of a sprint is dangerous.
 

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