Tour de France 2020 | Stage 14 (Clermont-Ferrand - Lyon, 194 km)

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Moerkoev saying in the post race interview, that the day turned out well, because Bennett was much better than yesterday, where he had a complete meltdown, while Sagan didn’t get a big payoff.
Yesterday was weird. The last time Bennett was looking like one of the worst climbers in a GT was when he and Mørkøv both got taken down in a stage 1 sprint a few years ago and both of them were limping around trying to get to Paris for another 20 stages. He’s never in serious difficulty on a climbing stage. Just goes to show how much energy gets used competing to get to and then win intermediates every day.

Today was much more his usual level, better than the vast majority of bunch sprinters but nowhere close to Sagan.
 
Ewan will probably be close to the elimination time for the next week. The only thing he wants to do now is win in Paris. McEwen used to do the same.
and if he can make it there, the war for Green should give him an advantage v Bennett. It has to be said though that it doesn’t look like he’s choosing to spend his days in a small group way off the back, it looks like he’s finding it very hard.
 
Yesterday was weird. The last time Bennett was looking like one of the worst climbers in a GT was when he and Mørkøv both got taken down in a stage 1 sprint a few years ago and both of them were limping around trying to get to Paris for another 20 stages. He’s never in serious difficulty on a climbing stage. Just goes to show how much energy gets used competing to get to and then win intermediates every day.

Today was much more his usual level, better than the vast majority of bunch sprinters but nowhere close to Sagan.
He had one of those days at the 2018 Giro too, he finished last, and completely by himself, on the Zoncolan.

Edit: he came dead last on two more mountain stages that year, now that I look at it. So not that weird, apparently.
 
Okay, maybe stop pretending that a GPM victory in the Giro or the Vuelta is anywhere near a GPM victory in the Tour.
The Tour's GPM had been counterbalanced less to prevent that kind of winner than the Giro or Vuelta, precisely because of that fact, because the higher prestige meant it was harder to win in the Virenque method without being an elite climber already. Charteau was just the first to do so, and that was largely the product of Prudhomme's poor course design, because that points method had never produced a similarly "undeserving" KOM before. Double points for final summit is absolutely fine, it doesn't have to be an MTF (which it is now), and the bias toward HCs was better then as well. However, stages like 2009 Tarbes and 2010 Pau, combined with that being the era of no bonus seconds so the GC guys left almost all the mountain stages to the break, meant huge points totals were going to the break that the GC guys were never going to consider.

Take for example this stage:


A GC guy is going to score 0 points here. Yet a breakaway has up to 90 points available (2x 15-point cat.1 summits, 1x 20-point HC summit, 1x 40-point HC summit because it's the last climb of the day, even if it's not going to be decisive).

By contrast, nowadays, MTFs are hugely overvalued and the difference of 33% between cat.1 and HC has been upped to 150% (!). As a result, consider this stage:


This would have had 80 points available in the old system (1x 10-point cat.2 summit, 2x 15-point cat.1 summit, 1x 40-point HC summit because it's the last climb of the day). This is using the double-points system well because GC guys will be fighting each other here and, with time bonuses available on the line, maybe they're going for the stage. This means you could have 40 points available to the break and 40 points available to the GC guys. On the current system there's 50 points available (1x 5-point cat.2 summit, 2x 10-point cat.1 summit, 1x 25-point HC summit), so fewer points, but a similar distribution, so the old and new systems balance out here.

The contrast comes when you then take this stage:


Under the old system, this stage is worth 49 points (3x 3-point cat.4 summits, 1x 40-point HC summit as it's an MTF) but under the new one it's 53 (3x 1-point cat.4 summits, 1x 50-point HC summit). No real difference - but when you compare it to the other stage, the difference becomes clear. The old system has the effective Unipuerto stage with 61,25% the total points available compared to the up-and-down-all-day stage, but the new system has it worth 106% the total points. Winning the MTF is worth the same amount as taking every single summit in a four-climb stage where the Joux-Plane crests 12km from the line.

I would have been more in favour of a refinement of the old system to put more of an emphasis on winning summits so a bigger gap from 1st to 2nd and 3rd, and only awarding double points within a certain distance of the finish (say 25km as an example). The new system has generated a higher calibre of GPM winner than Anthony Charteau, sure (save for Voeckler, perhaps, who is higher profile as a rider than Charteau but not really a climber), but in my opinion it hasn't really generated a higher calibre of KOM than Rasmussen, Soler or Virenque, and it has come at the expense of all competition for the jersey as it is either competed for by people who have fallen out of the GC mix (Majka, Bardet) or is won by a GC contender almost by accident as a by-product of riding for the GC (Quintana, Froome). And the heavy MTF-weighting means that the fight for the jersey doesn't really start until the final week either.

Benoît Cosnefroy probably can't take the jersey all the way to Paris, but the way the course falls means that nobody's really set out their stall to go for the jersey other than him, yet - and it's stage 14. With how heavily weighted the GPM now is to try to stop a Charteau from winning it, Cosnefroy is probably just happy to get another day of podium time. And you know what, if he works hard enough in week 3 to survive, gets in enough breakaways and manages to collect enough summits from the breakaway to win the jersey, he would be perhaps the least appropriate King of the Mountains of all time, but he would be the most deserving King of the Mountains in years.
 
For me the funniest way today was seeing one Bora rider to supervise the Bennett group. :). It looks like every montain stage will have one rider fromBora day off.
It reminds me the Tour when Juraj was supervising CAV and his helpers.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
Just loving how relentless Bora are being - not much fun for guys who want to be in the breaks but it's made for some really interesting dynamics on the road and days like this are a lot more watchable.

I suspect we'll see sunweb try and capitalise on the matches Bora have burnt later on and there will be plenty more attacks in the last 60k
Nice call!
 
He had one of those days at the 2018 Giro too, he finished last, and completely by himself, on the Zoncolan.

Edit: he came dead last on two more mountain stages that year, now that I look at it. So not that weird, apparently.
He was pulling wheelies for the crowd on the Zoncolan that year. Bennett collects a lot of last places in mountain stages. It doesn't always mean he was suffering to the finish.
 
He had one of those days at the 2018 Giro too, he finished last, and completely by himself, on the Zoncolan.

Edit: he came dead last on two more mountain stages that year, now that I look at it. So not that weird, apparently.
coming in dead last in a grupetto means nothing though. All you‘ve to do is look at his GT record. He’s a sprinter who has always finished each GT since his first one and the only time he‘s been near the real backmarkers / lanterne rouge contenders was the Tour he got injured on the first stage in. He’s a good climber by sprinter standards, albeit those are not enormously high standards.

(and as already noted the time he came in last on his own on Zoncolan, he’d been messing around pulling wheelies for the crowd)
 
Denk does not looks very happy about the outcome today It looks like the days od Sagan are in coundown.
Sagan is not at his best but still bringing a lot of video time in the Tour. Winning or loosing.
Really? Did Denk say something? I dont think anyone can reasonably have watched today’s stage and thought that Sagan sucked. He didn’t win, but he was very strong, tried super hard and just ended up in a tactically impossible situation at the very end. Denk must be well aware that in cycling you can do everything right and get beaten.
 
He had one of those days at the 2018 Giro too, he finished last, and completely by himself, on the Zoncolan.

Edit: he came dead last on two more mountain stages that year, now that I look at it. So not that weird, apparently.
Yeah he probably goes really far trying to save some extra energy.

Now Ewan is probably a different case cause he's in all the last groups. He's basically built like a miniature track sprinter, and while he actually does well on moderately punchy finishes, he's one of the worst on the long climbs.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
Really? Did Denk say something? I dont think anyone can reasonably have watched today’s stage and thought that Sagan sucked. He didn’t win, but he was very strong, tried super hard and just ended up in a tactically impossible situation at the very end. Denk must be well aware that in cycling you can do everything right and get beaten.
Bora were in a very tricky position. Work hard to drop bennett. Work hard to discourage and chase breaks. Still be expected to have people there to support Sagan in the final. Thought they did well personally.
 
I expect Bora to hit that day hard from the start but he should be able to hang on the day after a rest
Don't think a rest day will save Ewan from getting dropped on the first cat 3. They'll probably want to drop Bennett lol. Yeah him and his domestiques could be fresher but if that stage is all out war the gap is gonna be a lot more than today.
 
I thought about putting Bennett OOT but he's not really among the absolute worst climbers in the peloton and there's no real stage perfectly suited for it so that won't happen
it would never happen under normal conditions unless like four fifths of the sprinters and half of the rouleurs all ended up in a too slow grupetto. But it is possible that he blows his own doors off chasing intermediates and holding on on climbs he would usually just drop from. He conspicuously almost never bothered previously wasting energy on points jerseys in any race before. You can never be sure how someone will stand up to something they haven’t tried before
 
it would never happen under normal conditions unless like four fifths of the sprinters and half of the rouleurs all ended up in a too slow grupetto. But it is possible that he blows his own doors off chasing intermediates and holding on on climbs he would usually just drop from. He conspicuously almost never bothered previously wasting energy on points jerseys in any race before. You can never be sure how someone will stand up to something they haven’t tried before
Don't think it matters too much as he stays equally fresh by simply being a better climber and chilling harder once dropped.

And there's simply no stage ideal for time limit abuse.
 
In fact I’m curious to see how much impact this no easy days racing has on general attrition rates in the last week
I fear this not so easy days to affect GC battle. GC guys might not have enough in the tank in the last week to deliver any kind of long range attack.
Roglic also said it
"I thought it would be easy today but it was full gas racing. At least it didn’t last so long and our team didn’t have to work all day. It’s the Tour de France and another day behind us.
 

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