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

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Why was the Peyresourde stage good?

Cause Jumbo did a tactical disasterclass, blew up the race completely and didn't actually show up with the goods.
Because the battle for the maillot vert caused a stage earmarked as a quiet day that might be good for the last 35km to be a really good one all the way, and so the riders who'd been expecting to hit the Pyrenees after three fairly easy days and with no time gaps, at least after nobody decided to make pace on Lusette, were hitting the mountains tired and with some riders having lost time.
 
You know, I've repeatedly been all in on those "meh, why are all the riders so god damn passive" discussions but this time, as much as I hate to say it, I kinda get why everyone is doing exactly what they are doing.

Roglic is leading the race and is the best TT'er among the gc contenders. Moreover his biggest strength usually is his explosiveness towards the end of climbs which makes, controlling the race until the final few hundred meters not just the best tactic to not lose time but actually also the best tacitic to gain time. At least on Pogacar that is and I don't think there is a serious danger from anyone else anyway. He has the team to race how he prefers it so they do.

Pogacar is the one who should probably be the main aggressor. He seems to climb at least as well as Roglic and isn't too far down in the gc. Yet the guy is 21, he has no team support in the mountains whatsoever and attacking that Jumbo train might be a legit tactic to eliminate some other 2nd tier contenders, but it's an extremely risky one against the guy with the strongest team, especially on a climb like the Grand Colombier. I think Pogacar was basically relying on Ineos to make the race hard for him but we all know how that turned out.

And all those guys behind, sure they could have attacked, someone like Contador, Nibali or Froome in their position even might have attacked, but they aren't Contador, Nibali or Froome. The 2nd highest rider in the gc with a GT win is Quintana, over 5 minutes down (random side fact here, there is one guy with a gt win on the first 9 spots and 5 guys with gt wins on the next 8. That seems weird), some of those guys don't even have gt podiums. Those are not the sort of riders you expect to risk it all on a stage like this. Also, while usually I hate the whole idea of "waiting for a better moment to attack", because most of the time no better moment arises, this time it might be merited. Let's take Landa as an example. He knows, he could attack here, but he's most likely gonna get reeled it by Dumoulin and lose more time later on. He could also wait for the Col de la Loze where, even if JV are strong again, they can hardly control the race even more than they did here, and the gaps around the 3rd place are so small that one good stage would be enough to overtake everyone in front of him anyway. That said, if he loses time here, it might not.

Now of course, riders who only sit behind a train and don't take risks won't exactly become fan favorites but then nobody is talking about Adam Yates' legendary, aggressive riding style right now either and I doubt an attack by Landa/Uran/Mas/... would have ended any different than his. Let's face it, even Contador usually had better set ups for his attacks, at least for the ones we remember.
So much this.

The racing situation and the stage design were a perfect marriage for horrendous racing.
 
Just finishing in Culoz.

But really anything would be better than a 17km mountain finish where the final 6km are so easy a solo attacker can't stay way from the train.

It wasy basically like 2017 Sierra Nevada a worse climb and a much stronger train.
Well, only in terms of it not being a pure W/kg race you are right. In terms of the battle for yellow, probably JV in the current form would still be able to chase any breaks down
 
Well, only in terms of it not being a pure W/kg race you are right. In terms of the battle for yellow, probably JV in the current form would still be able to chase any breaks down
Well if Jumbo has the best team and best leader there's very little to do.

But Roglic was clearly beaten, and we didn't know until the final 100m cause the race design was shite and the most sensible tactics were to wait for the final 200m.

If Pogacar wants to attack in a stage w/o GC MTF here, the best place to go is probabably some 30km from the finish. If he gets caugt by the death train he's on a false flat downhill where he still wouldn't get dropped.
 
Now I am thinking that something like Marie Blanque stage would be the best finale - a steep enough and long enough section where drafting doesn't really matter and then downhill and flat/false flat after. So Mortirolo-Aprica in other words
 
That has to be a walking trail?
Apparently not, the road condition is a bit second hand too, obviously won't be seeing it in any Giros any time soon but it might derail Jumbo a bit.

As above, gradient is important, the nature of aerobic effort is too, plenty of hairpins and road surface provoking a lot of stop/start accelerations can help derail trains. Watch Pantani's Alpe record, he just nails it from near the bottom, you don't see many teams going full train up there because drafting effectively is harder to pull off, despite the gradient not being overtly daunting.
 
Now I am thinking that something like Marie Blanque stage would be the best finale - a steep enough and long enough section where drafting doesn't really matter and then downhill and flat/false flat after. So Mortirolo-Aprica in other words
Glieres-Fleuries can be that in stage 18. And there are climbs before Glieres to ensure that legs arrive tired too. But not sure if anything will happen with such passive GC riders.
 
Apparently not, the road condition is a bit second hand too, obviously won't be seeing it in any Giros any time soon but it might derail Jumbo a bit.

As above, gradient is important, the nature of aerobic effort is too, plenty of hairpins and road surface provoking a lot of stop/start accelerations can help derail trains. Watch Pantani's Alpe record, he just nails it from near the bottom, you don't see many teams going full train up there because drafting effectively is harder to pull off, despite the gradient not being overtly daunting.
There was some sort of Sky train pretty far up Alpe d'Huez in 2013/2015/2018
 
I did have a look,

View: https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x276afp

Stage 18 2013 - Froome/Porte left at the bottom, Froome attacks like a dumbass with 11k out when Porte finishes and then Porte does end up coming back when Dawg bonks later on (feedgate).

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvNiKaA7_hw

2015 Quintana destroys the 3 man sky train from about 9.5k out after a tough previous climb (good stage IIRC)

2018 you're right, it was close to the finish but the riders were Froome, Thomas, Bernal with Poels dropping off a ways down the mountain, the riders at the finish are all tour winners so hard to gauge as an outlier I suppose.

A decent softener beforehand helps, the problem with this climb is it's a bit cliche and unoriginal, some of the more informed posters could change it up a bit I imagine.
 
These are also 3rd week when Sky initially had the tendency to smoke up the train.

But really the big problem is the only climber significantly better than Dumoulin that wasn't Dumo's daddy also wanted to sprint.
 
I question whether Roglic is a given winner of the mountain TT Saturday.

Pogacar beat him at the Slovenian championships TT, and he climbs better than Roglic.

However, I will reserve my judgement on Pogacar till after Wednesday, when they get above 2,000 meters in the Alps.

TdF is almost always won and lost in week 3.
 
I question whether Roglic is a given winner of the mountain TT Saturday.

Pogacar beat him at the Slovenian championships TT, and he climbs better than Roglic.

However, I will reserve my judgement on Pogacar till after Wednesday, when they get above 2,000 meters in the Alps.

TdF is almost always won and lost in week 3.
6 of the previous 8 were decided in week 2.
 
Why was the Peyresourde stage good?

Cause Jumbo did a tactical disasterclass, blew up the race completely and didn't actually show up with the goods.
Right. So you agree that it's the riders who make the race.

But when a team is as dominant as Jumbo, and they want to control the race so that nothing happens, nothing will happen even on a mountain like the Colombier. Again, it's the riders, not the course.
 
Another thing, some not yet ready to admit, Roglič is a great pro cyclist. He didn't always had the best team, but has always stacked up nicely, against the best, regardless of the terrain.

P.S. As Pogačar is now openly attacking maillot jaune, the race can still get decided in the mountains, by a long(er) range attack. Who knows, maybe initiated by Roglič.
 
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