Tour de France 2020 | Stage 16 (La Tour-du-Pin - Villard-de-Lans, 164 km)

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Aug 29, 2020
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The thing I'm now wondering, the more I think about it, is we keep talking about how super-strong Jumbo is, and how nobody can attack and how pointless trying to ride against them other than the last 700m is... but do we actually know precisely how strong they are? Nobody has tested them with attacks to find out how strong Dumoulin or Kuss really are, and so far they haven't really put down a tempo to absolutely shred everybody like Sky typically would, because we've still been riding to the last 500m with a dozen riders or more in the group, and on more than one occasion the GC battle has climbed the battlegrounds slower than the breakaway.

So the question is, why is that? After all, we've seen on stage 8 that actually Jumbo weren't all that strong, after a hard day in the saddle on stage 7 and with Kuss still recovering from a crash. Now they're apparently recovered enough to control everything, but they're still not able to go hard enough to drop a couple of helpers like Bilbao and Valverde - is that because the Jumbo helpers aren't that strong? Or is it because Roglič himself isn't as strong as he was earlier in the race, but the illusion of strength that having his men ride the tempo (especially on Grand-Colombier with Kuss not even used) produces means that everybody's just fallen into line? Is this a pure Giro 2012 situation, with an ageing Szmyd setting a false tempo for an undercooked Basso, and his reputation as an elite climbing helper causing everybody to overestimate how hard he was working?
In my view, part of the answer is:
  • Roglic, Landa, MAL and Yates are overestimating their potential performance on Saturday's TT
    • Roglic is by no means 100% safe if Pogacar is 10-20" behind him on Saturday (nerves, a puncture, third week, who knows what), but it may be altogether too late to try and gain time on Pog, whilst Pog can put 20-30" on Rog tomorrow with a late attack (I guess that's UAE's Plan A)
    • Landa, MAL and Adam: Saturday's TT is 30km flat and a MTF. That's probably in the 60 minute effort range. Is that really a reasonable "grab a podium spot" scenario against Porte / Urán? Not clearly, unless I'm missing something or they go all out tomorrow and Thursday (surely hope so)
  • Pog prefers to take his chances with a late attack tomorrow and be "in range" for Saturday instead of potentially taking yellow and opening himself to attacks on Thursday with virtually no team to control attacks. Or perhaps he's just 21 and a 2º spot in a TDF (however lame the race has been so far) is too good to risk
  • Porte and Urán think their best chance is to follow wheels and fight it out for third on Saturday (they're probably right). Maybe Richie tries a 500m attack tomorrow
  • Enric Mas and Movistar are in the moon with a top-10 spot
  • Nairo just has no legs
And what they're all missing is they will never again be this close to winning TDF
 
I can't quite believe I'm saying this, but Porte is one of the more likely guys to attack. By contrast, Rigoberto Urán... what happened to the guy? I mean, I know he knows he's only moving up from 3rd now if disaster befalls one of the Slovenes. But this is a man more Zubeldia than Zubeldia. He's done the ultimate silent assassin job. He's in 3rd place overall, but you could literally remove him from the race overnight and nobody would notice he was gone. Possibly not even Vaughters.
 
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In my view, part of the answer is:
  • Roglic, Landa, MAL and Yates are overestimating their potential performance on Saturday's TT
    • Roglic is by no means 100% safe if Pogacar is 10-20" behind him on Saturday (nerves, a puncture, third week, who knows what), but it may be altogether too late to try and gain time on Pog, whilst Pog can put 20-30" on Rog tomorrow with a late attack (I guess that's UAE's Plan A)
    • Landa, MAL and Adam: Saturday's TT is 30km flat and a MTF. That's probably in the 60 minute effort range. Is that really a reasonable "grab a podium spot" scenario against Porte / Urán? Not clearly, unless I'm missing something or they go all out tomorrow and Thursday (surely hope so)
  • Pog prefers to take his chances with a late attack tomorrow and be "in range" for Saturday instead of potentially taking yellow and opening himself to attacks on Thursday with virtually no team to control attacks. Or perhaps he's just 21 and a 2º spot in a TDF (however lame the race has been so far) is too good to risk
  • Porte and Urán think their best chance is to follow wheels and fight it out for third on Saturday (they're probably right). Maybe Richie tries a 500m attack tomorrow
  • Enric Mas and Movistar are in the moon with a top-10 spot
  • Nairo just has no legs
And what they're all missing is they will never again be this close to winning TDF
If Pog is good enough to put 20 seconds into him tomorrow then he could get even more time on Thursday no way has he settled for second
 
I can't quite believe I'm saying this, but Porte is one of the more likely guys to attack. By contrast, Rigoberto Urán... what happened to the guy? I mean, I know he knows he's only moving up from 3rd now if disaster befalls one of the Slovenes. But this is a man more Zubeldia than Zubeldia. He's done the ultimate silent assassin job. He's in 3rd place overall, but you could literally remove him from the race overnight and nobody would notice he was gone. Possibly not even Vaughters.
He's the meme champion the Tour deserves.
 
Bit harsh on Froome there bar the Vuelta but yeah expecting Landa and MAL to have a go tomorrow
Yeah, a bit hyperbolic, (though he definitely kept Froome from slipping completely out of contention early in that Giro a couple times) but still. He's been completely invisible all Tour, so have the whole team bar Colbrelli. and this just isn't Landa's natural riding style in any GT I've seen him anyway. It may be that the whole team has no legs, but I'll cling to this faint hope until about 10km from the line tomorrow.
 
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6th place on the stage at practically 3 minutes, so yeah
Such a false equivalence. Froome had to attack and there was one place to do it. Classic Sky bludgeoning tactic. They've never blown up the race without having the goods or without having no chance left to wait.
 
Such a false equivalence. Froome had to attack and there was one place to do it. Classic Sky bludgeoning tactic. They've never blown up the race without having the goods or without having no chance left to wait.
wtf, Contador was climbing better than Froome and Froome still attacked from far out. not sure what your usual complaints have to do with the main point that I was answering

edit: now you are adding conditions that were not there in your original post
 
In my view, part of the answer is:
  • Roglic, Landa, MAL and Yates are overestimating their potential performance on Saturday's TT
    • Roglic is by no means 100% safe if Pogacar is 10-20" behind him on Saturday (nerves, a puncture, third week, who knows what), but it may be altogether too late to try and gain time on Pog, whilst Pog can put 20-30" on Rog tomorrow with a late attack (I guess that's UAE's Plan A)
    • Landa, MAL and Adam: Saturday's TT is 30km flat and a MTF. That's probably in the 60 minute effort range. Is that really a reasonable "grab a podium spot" scenario against Porte / Urán? Not clearly, unless I'm missing something or they go all out tomorrow and Thursday (surely hope so)
  • Pog prefers to take his chances with a late attack tomorrow and be "in range" for Saturday instead of potentially taking yellow and opening himself to attacks on Thursday with virtually no team to control attacks. Or perhaps he's just 21 and a 2º spot in a TDF (however lame the race has been so far) is too good to risk
  • Porte and Urán think their best chance is to follow wheels and fight it out for third on Saturday (they're probably right). Maybe Richie tries a 500m attack tomorrow
  • Enric Mas and Movistar are in the moon with a top-10 spot
  • Nairo just has no legs
And what they're all missing is they will never again be this close to winning TDF

Here's another question. Anyone have any idea how good Enric Mas' time trialing is? With a good portion of this ITT being flat is it possible for Mas to actually gain a spot or two in the time trial if he's feeling well? One other thing is Valverde isn't actually that far out of 10th and could jump into the top 10 in that time trial.
 
wtf, Contador was climbing better than Froome and Froome still attacked from far out. not sure what your usual complaints have to do with the main point that I was answering

edit: now you are adding conditions that were not there in your original post
An attack that risks nothing (not even 2nd place) cause roflstrong is basically excluded from being hyperagressive.
 
Here's another question. Anyone have any idea how good Enric Mas' time trialing is? With a good portion of this ITT being flat is it possible for Mas to actually gain a spot or two in the time trial if he's feeling well? One other thing is Valverde isn't actually that far out of 10th and could jump into the top 10 in that time trial.
Bala is in the top 10 already tomorrow. He'll pass Martin and Nairo.
 
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I guess it says he has the form to attack instead of recovering from crashes or disappearing from the race early. Even though he knows he will never beat Pogacar or Roglic in a finish at least he tried a few times.
I think Trek has ridden a superb race, despite not at all having a GC team (especially after losing first Elissonde and then Mollema).

But the 4 big classics guys have truly stepped up, and have more or less acted as bodyguards for Porte all Tour, keeping him completely out of his usual trouble.

- And then, I enjoy the thought of "Lil Richie and his 4 enforcers", it's kinda gangsta :cool:
 
Here's another question. Anyone have any idea how good Enric Mas' time trialing is? With a good portion of this ITT being flat is it possible for Mas to actually gain a spot or two in the time trial if he's feeling well? One other thing is Valverde isn't actually that far out of 10th and could jump into the top 10 in that time trial.
I have asked myself the same question. I find it very hard to rate the tts of the top10, even more so since it's a mtf.
I expect Roglic and Pogacar to be about the same level, who's better will depend on the day. They both should be a good deal above the others except Dumoulin in the top10.
Lopez did an unexpectedly strong itt at the Algarve. Maybe he improved that by a lot. Or maybe he just had a super-good day.
Mas is a decent time trialler, but nothing more.
Landa: really not great
Urán: very inconsistent, but could be good if he's in form
Adam: not too great
Dumoulin: great
Quintana: bad
Porte: no idea, really, like very inconsistent, could be great, could be terrible?

So, I suppose I'd go:
1 Dumoulin
2 Roglic
3 Pogacar
4 Lopez
5 Porte
6 Uran
7 Mas
8 Yates
9 Landa
10 Quintana

I think none of these guys should rely on the tt.
 
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My hopes for the KotM being a contest rose with Barguil and Carapaz in the break, but no, leave it to Rolland (who has no chance overall) to mop up the points. It must be close to impossible for the KotM not to go to a GC contender by default now, very disappointing.

Good on Pogacar for having a wee dig. If you don't ask a question you will never get an answer and it won't have cost much effort.
 

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