Tour de France 2020 | Stage 15 (Lyon - Grand Colombier, 174.5 km)

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This might not be the toughest side of Grand Colombier, sure, but there is plenty about that climb that gives opportunities for attacking before the last 300m. Loads of steeper stretches all over the climb. It's no worse for attacking than, say, Madeleine North or Port de Balès, and a lot better than a lot of bigger but more consistent ascents.
Madeleine north has an 8% average gradient in the final 4km. Port de Bales is 8.9% average for the final 5km.

Yes this has stretches all over the climb, but none of them are sustained in the final 6km, which average under 6%, and apparently a 3.5km at 9% inbetween false flats isn't enough either.

If the best 2 riders in the race, one of which has an insanely strong team, decide they wanna sprint for it here, I don't blame all the other guys for not suicide attacking for attacking sake. This is a logical outcome of the race situation and the climb profile, not the riders. The only rider that we might blame is Pogacar, who perhaps missed his best chance to win the Tour today, and I don't really think that either.
 
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It's a funny situation Bjarne has gotten himself into. One of the best DS in the world at CSC/Saxo but know he's ended up at bloody NTT. It's like Guardiola managing Portsmouth.
If they can get a new sponsorship sorted, they are in a perfect position, with only 3 riders under contract, and a bunch of teams struggling to maintain their roster.

They will be able to make a lot of steals.

But, NTT might as well be one of the teams folding.

The teams that get their 2021/22 budgets sorted fast, in these Corona times, will be the ones that win out.
 
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Harder?

Competition was much weaker.

And all cyclists are saying the level is highest ever this year.

He also benefitted from having G in his team and many climbs at higher altitude.

Also this is not a 100% thing I am talking about. Van impe finished on the podium and won a mountainous TDF. I am simply pointing out that smaller lighter climber types traditionally are MORE LIKELY (emphasis, not shouting) to get worn down and underperform in the mountains at some point. It doesn’t mean that happens 100% of the time. More likely. That’s all.

It does not take away from the fact that they are all extraordinary physical talents that can always put together a strong three weeks. It is just less likely. Lots of things need to fall into place. That’s all I am saying.
Up until this point in the race, the stages in the 2019 Tour were ridden at a higher average pace even though the average elevation gain was also higher.

That's not to say that I don't agree with your point, because I do. Recovery is a huge part of being a GC contender.
 
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Are people kinda fooling themselves into thinking that Bernal is an exceptional pure mountain goat like young Quintana was. Maybe people who watch a lot more of the smaller races can correct me on this but I dont see him as one of these guys who can blow away a field with a big attack. Not saying hes not a great rider but hes not a solo up a hole mountainside rider
We knew he was a good climber going into last year's Tour. Then he won it and was probably the best climber behind Pinot but we weren't quite sure (Tignes - was he attacking for himself or Thomas?). I feel like the Bernal hype was at it's peak before the restart, when we had sort of forgotten the context of his Tour win. People assumed as well that because he's young he'd be better again this year. That isn't to say he's not a great climber - because he is - and today's stage is not a fair account of him as a rider. Something went wrong today.

In fact, something's been wrong for the past few weeks. Since Occitanie his form has gradually dipped with every race, and today it just fell apart. Next year he'll probably be back to his best, but I just don't think that his best is the best. No doubt he will win more GT's in the future. The problem is at the moment people have him pegged as the guy who, late in the race, can destroy everyone in the high mountains. I just don't think he's that guy.
 
Well, we obviously have a race here, it's Jumbots with Roglic vs. Pogacar without anyone.
Since Pogacar seems to be slightly stronger and we don't know who will win the TT it's a "fair" race.
Unfortunately the contenders are totally happy with the other one winning, instead of putting small needles of insults into each other or showing some adequate arrogance or at least having the decency to be unlikable, so that we can root for one and hate the other.
They are from the same country so it's not "but I'm British that's why I'm rooting for the Brit" or "I'm a New Zealander that's why I'm rooting for the underdog from the Fidjis".

What I find most annoying is the ongoing satisfaction with place 7 in the Tour. If we could get rid of that, maybe tie no 5-12 to a public stake and tar and feather them, we could actually get a race with people attacking. Or at least anybody getting 6th or 7th without ever getting a better result in their life shall be erased from all cycling books and magazines for all time.
You have multiple reasons for riders being happy with top 10's. You have a young rider like Mas looking at this year as a goal because he's learning. You have Valverde looking it at because well, it's Valverde and it's a GT and he's just supposed to be in the top 10 by the time it's over. Plus the money and points for the team are also highly important.
 
We knew he was a good climber going into last year's Tour. Then he won it and was probably the best climber behind Pinot but we weren't quite sure (Tignes - was he attacking for himself or Thomas?). I feel like the Bernal hype was at it's peak before the restart, when we had sort of forgotten the context of his Tour win. People assumed as well that because he's young he'd be better again this year. That isn't to say he's not a great climber - because he is - and today's stage is not a fair account of him as a rider. Something went wrong today.

In fact, something's been wrong for the past few weeks. Since Occitanie his form has gradually dipped with every race, and today it just fell apart. Next year he'll probably be back to his best, but I just don't think that his best is the best. No doubt he will win more GT's in the future. The problem is at the moment people have him pegged as the guy who, late in the race, can destroy everyone in the high mountains. I just don't think he's that guy.
Bernal was mega hyped from the start in the peloton. Then he signed for Ineos, won Colombia, Cali, 2nd in Romandie behind Roglic, etc. Then won PN and Suisse before winning the Tour.

At face value, this looks like it warrants extreme hype. But in context, I don't really think he had the sort of superb climbing performances against world class opposition you'd expect from a pure climbing GT top dog. In fact, I can't really think of any pure climber that won the Tour twice.

I think people really got carried away with Bernal 3rd week mountain goat hype and Bernal high altitude hype.

Obviously this doesn't mean he's not a great rider and that he's past his peak or anything. But it means 2020 is a wasted year for him most likely and that we might need to take a more critical look at his previous results.
 
Bernal was mega hyped from the start in the peloton. Then he signed for Ineos, won Colombia, Cali, 2nd in Romandie behind Roglic, etc. Then won PN and Suisse before winning the Tour.

At face value, this looks like it warrants extreme hype. But in context, I don't really think he had the sort of superb climbing performances against world class opposition you'd expect from a pure climbing GT top dog. In fact, I can't really think of any pure climber that won the Tour twice.

I think people really got carried away with Bernal 3rd week mountain goat hype and Bernal high altitude hype.

Obviously this doesn't mean he's not a great rider and that he's past his peak or anything. But it means 2020 is a wasted year for him most likely and that we might need to take a more critical look at his previous results.
When will we learn that pure climbers will only break your heart :disrelieved:. We hype them to bits and then the guys who actually win, well - we never see them coming!
 
You have multiple reasons for riders being happy with top 10's. You have a young rider like Mas looking at this year as a goal because he's learning. You have Valverde looking it at because well, it's Valverde and it's a GT and he's just supposed to be in the top 10 by the time it's over. Plus the money and points for the team are also highly important.
I can totally accept a rider of 40 years being content with it. He knows his body, he knows his limits, he's basically had his career and everything now, I suppose, is an addition.
With Mas I'm more critical, okay, he switched teams, but still... this is not his first GT.

Of course it's not just up to the individual rider, you are right, it's about money and points, but that's the more serious point about my silly post: It should be about the win, or at least about the podium. There should not be many rewards for a high place that is reached by hanging on, if we want to see a race that is minted by attacks and going for the win - even if there is a huge risk of failing.
 
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In XC skiing, skiers are given yellow cards for violations, and these are displayed next to their names in the results sheet so the jury instantly know who is on a warning and who isn't. These can be for endangering people, for recklessness, but more often than not it's technique violations (using too much skate step in a classic technique race, for example). However, this would perhaps be a good idea in order that riders know when they're on thin ice, and also so that you can punish people outside of the current "relegation or DQ" kind of level. It could also apply to missing the time cut if they reprieve the autobus - they all get a yellow card, so they're thrown out of the race if they then commit a violation like a dangerous sprint or a swerve like Jungels today.

For a lot of riders, the penalties imposed are meaningless ("oh, you're giving me a 2 minute penalty and taking away 20 points in the points classification? I had 0 points after 15 stages and I'm 2 hours down on the GC, take what you want") and the example of the Renshaw DQ in 2010 comes up again - Renshaw headbutted another rider, then put a different rider into the barriers with a reckless swerve within about 150m of one another. If he's put to the back of the group, why should he care? He led his guy out and his guy won - so if he'd only done one of those things and been allowed to stay in the race, there is no punishment. And also if we'd known Sagan was already under observation for an incident at an intermediate sprint earlier in the day, the DQ in Vittel would be a bit less controversial a decision, because people would have seen he was on a yellow card when his name came up in the results and therefore while they may still have disagreed whether the decisions merited a yellow, they'd understand the reasoning behind ejecting him instead of just relegating him as was the original punishment.

Having yellow cards that stay with you so can see you thrown out the race (or given a suspension if you rack up too many of them like in football or motorsport), if nothing else, might help at least make things a bit more transparent.
I would like counting team fouls like in basketball. Depending on the severity of the incident, you can get between 1 and 3 penalty points. If a team exceeds a given threshold, say 3 penalty points, all team members loose 30 seconds in GC, 20 points in green jersey competition and 10 points in polka dot jersey. This does not solve the problems for teams that only go stage hunting though.
 
I can totally accept a rider of 40 years being content with it. He knows his body, he knows his limits, he's basically had his career and everything now, I suppose, is an addition.
With Mas I'm more critical, okay, he switched teams, but still... this is not his first GT.

Of course it's not just up to the individual rider, you are right, it's about money and points, but that's the more serious point about my silly post: It should be about the win, or at least about the podium. There should not be many rewards for a high place that is reached by hanging on, if we want to see a race that is minted by attacks and going for the win - even if there is a huge risk of failing.
For Mas it's his first GC attempt while actually leading a team. His podium at la Vuelta was totally unexpected. His GT last year was all about Alaphilippe. This year, he's learning. Also remember he along with much of that team came into the restart of the season out of race shape and have had to race themselves into any kind of decent form. From where they were at the Dauphine a top 10 a the Tour would be a great improvement. He's now saying he might have a shot at the top 5.

The problem with that part is that the Tour is basically what most of the team rely on for their entire season. Movistar is one of the very few teams that don't depend as fully on the Tour for their existence as la Vuelta is just as valuable to them. If you don't get decent payouts for the lower half of the top 10 you may as well just eliminate a good portion of teams because they won't survive.
 
Basically the ideal set up would be one where importance was placed on winning Yellow, followed at some distance by Green/KOM, followed in turn by stage wins and everything else was treated as minor, even the GC podium. That would consistently incentivise the best racing.

Unfortunately, best loser and second best loser at the Tour are career making results while third to ninth best loser nearly guarantee lucrative contracts and opportunities in the future. That quite understandably warps riders priorities and exercises a grimly conservative influence on racing. There’s no point in blaming the riders for it. That’s how the career incentives are structured. There isn’t even much point in blaming the teams. The Tour is where the exposure is and sponsors consistently seem to value minor places.

I don’t think that they are necessarily right to do so - look at all the attention DQS and Bora are getting from a rare actual contest for Green, as compared to the attention a team that ninjas a ninth on GC will get. They are the undisputed centre of attention for the first hour pretty much every day. But until sponsors change their priorities, the priorities of teams and riders will remain as they are.
 
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As it turns out, the race for yellow would be more interesting right now without the stage 7 crosswinds.

Also as Porte and Landa would be kung fu fighting for that podium.
People keep bringing the crosswind time losses as an excuse for some riders. No. It takes a lot of energy to be at the front all the time as some ex professional riders have stated. Imagine the little Quintana fighting to be always at the front. The energy that he has to use. So if they want to be fighting for the podium and the Tour they should have been up front. Pogacar might have an excuse that day. But the other two?
 
Bernal was mega hyped from the start in the peloton. Then he signed for Ineos, won Colombia, Cali, 2nd in Romandie behind Roglic, etc. Then won PN and Suisse before winning the Tour.

At face value, this looks like it warrants extreme hype. But in context, I don't really think he had the sort of superb climbing performances against world class opposition you'd expect from a pure climbing GT top dog. In fact, I can't really think of any pure climber that won the Tour twice.

I think people really got carried away with Bernal 3rd week mountain goat hype and Bernal high altitude hype.

Obviously this doesn't mean he's not a great rider and that he's past his peak or anything. But it means 2020 is a wasted year for him most likely and that we might need to take a more critical look at his previous results.
Its that 3rd week thing that really bugged me most
 
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I got the feeling like the Jumbo train was a two-edged sword today. On one hand they got rid of Bernal, Quintana and turned this Tour baically into a two horse race. Uran, Porte, Yates, Lopez and Landa would all be very happy with a podium in the Tour so I am not expecting some long range attacks. But on the other hand, the tempo that Jumbo set was very high and that probably dimished the chances of Roglič to take the win. If him and Pogačar get to the finish with the same "freshness", Roglič wins (as seen in the national championships). But they didn't. Pogačar was much fresher in the end - he is more of a pure climber - and a 17km HC MTF after two previous climbs at high pace is more to his liking than Roglas. On the other hand Primož prefers a relatively easy day and 20 minutes of hard pace, finished up with a burst of power - that is why he was better on Friday. So if Jumbo don't want Roglič to lose the time on Loze they must not drill it for the whole 24 km again... especially because the last part is very hard and if Pogačar gets a gap, time gaps can get out of hand. I am very happy about having two Slovenians in 1st and 2nd, it was unimaginable for me when I started watching cycling 13 years ago. But I am hoping for a Rogla win. This is his year and Tadej will have chances in the future!
 
I got the feeling like the Jumbo train was a two-edged sword today. On one hand they got rid of Bernal, Quintana and turned this Tour baically into a two horse race. Uran, Porte, Yates, Lopez and Landa would all be very happy with a podium in the Tour so I am not expecting some long range attacks. But on the other hand, the tempo that Jumbo set was very high and that probably dimished the chances of Roglič to take the win. If him and Pogačar get to the finish with the same "freshness", Roglič wins (as seen in the national championships). But they didn't. Pogačar was much fresher in the end - he is more of a pure climber - and a 17km HC MTF after two previous climbs at high pace is more to his liking than Roglas. On the other hand Primož prefers a relatively easy day and 20 minutes of hard pace, finished up with a burst of power - that is why he was better on Friday. So if Jumbo don't want Roglič to lose the time on Loze they must not drill it for the whole 24 km again... especially because the last part is very hard and if Pogačar gets a gap, time gaps can get out of hand. I am very happy about having two Slovenians in 1st and 2nd, it was unimaginable for me when I started watching cycling 13 years ago. But I am hoping for a Rogla win. This is his year and Tadej will have chances in the future!
Yeah I think if they just don't make it as little attrition as possible on Wednesday they should be fine.

Tony Martin tempo up Madeleine, Gesink at 16km of La Loze.
 
I got the feeling like the Jumbo train was a two-edged sword today. On one hand they got rid of Bernal, Quintana and turned this Tour baically into a two horse race. Uran, Porte, Yates, Lopez and Landa would all be very happy with a podium in the Tour so I am not expecting some long range attacks. But on the other hand, the tempo that Jumbo set was very high and that probably dimished the chances of Roglič to take the win. If him and Pogačar get to the finish with the same "freshness", Roglič wins (as seen in the national championships). But they didn't. Pogačar was much fresher in the end - he is more of a pure climber - and a 17km HC MTF after two previous climbs at high pace is more to his liking than Roglas. On the other hand Primož prefers a relatively easy day and 20 minutes of hard pace, finished up with a burst of power - that is why he was better on Friday. So if Jumbo don't want Roglič to lose the time on Loze they must not drill it for the whole 24 km again... especially because the last part is very hard and if Pogačar gets a gap, time gaps can get out of hand. I am very happy about having two Slovenians in 1st and 2nd, it was unimaginable for me when I started watching cycling 13 years ago. But I am hoping for a Rogla win. This is his year and Tadej will have chances in the future!
How big a deal is this among the general non-cycling fan public in Slovenia at the moment?
 
How big a deal is this among the general non-cycling fan public in Slovenia at the moment?
It is big. Ever since the Giro last year the cycling scene really got up here. And now all the news stations are just fighting who is going to have more news, exclusive reports and so on. Though the negative side is that sudenly everyone is a "cycling expert" now, even though a lot of them don't really have any clue how tactics work (I mean, how can Roglič and Pogačar be good on friday if they only finished 12th and 13th and so on). And it also helps that the national TV is broadcating it, unlike the Giro or the Vuelta. Apparently in the fist week at least 800k people (out of 2 million) watched at least a minute of a broadcast. Which is pretty huge. And obviously all the top news are either Cycling or Corona haha.
 
I remember the hype in Austria when Kohl was fighting for the Tour win. That was insane. Can't imagine how big the hype would be if the Tour was basically a two horse race between two Austrians.
True, that were good times for a cycling fan in Austria. I was still a child back then, watching cycling since the Armstrong years already, but suddenly everyone was interested in the Tour. I liked that.
 
Congratulations to Tadej Pogačar for winning stage 15. Today Roglič likely wasn't all that happy, finishing second. Due to JV really doing a stellar job he likely wanted to take a win. One tactical mistake JV likely made was to not let Kuss pull a bit longer, before Roglič initiated attack. Pogačar waited all along, mature choice, to do a strong sprint at the finish, hence maybe the outcome would still be the same. Ineos and Quintana getting dropped. Now there is just a handful of favorites left, going into week 3. The race is still open, in my opinion Roglič being in the best position. Still, a whole week of racing left.
 

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