Tour de France 2020 | Stage 17 (Grenoble - Méribel Col de la Loze, 170 km)

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I think as MTFs go it’s a good one. Shouldn’t be a queen stage (unless they decide the descent is rideable and link it to another climb in the valley) but it’s certainly the best we’ve had this Tour. And also with some unique characteristics which make it more than your usual 6km at 11% wall
For future usage, I'd like it to be the first mountain stage of a trifecta. It's the kind of climb where the difficulty of the final climb will scare people anyway, but the final part is steep enough that it will create gaps regardless. You can then go over Madeleine or something working your way southwards for a multi-col stage the following day - Madeleine-Glandon/CdF-Alpe d'Huez or Madeleine-Galibier-L2A would be great examples, or maybe over toward Le Grand Bornand or Morzine. My only concern with L2A would be that we have more than enough Pantani beatification in the Giro most years.
 
Isn't he just doing what he always does? Looks absolutely amazing in one or two mountain stages every GT, but is never quite able to turn this dominance into seriously challenging for the overall win.
Not really. His problems have been related to either of the next two options or both:

1- Manages to lose time by bad luck, bad positioning, coming a bit under-cooked to races.
2- Strategically made bad choices of unnecessary attacks.

The first one was taken care off by his team during this Tour. On the second one he managing to measure his strengths and attacks. And that's why he is on third at this moment.

One last comment about Lopez. He is riding with a bit of chip under the shoulder. From the Colombian media he is the least interviewed and the least paid attention to. He has had his issues in the past because of his fighting (true fighting) spirit. And that might not help him with the Colombian public. That's why they are all the time talking about Bernal, Quintana and Uran. Very limited time is dedicated to him. That coupled with bad luck and things not going his way in past events make him ride with a bit of anger. We could see that with his celebration and ride.

In fact he must be still hurt from the Vuelta last year when he was so much stronger than Pogacar in the first 2 weeks and later when Pogacar recovered he took him off the podium. I am not saying that he will take him off the second place but he might continue to build on today's win and gain strength. He might surprise us in the final TT.
 
I think as MTFs go it’s a good one. Shouldn’t be a queen stage (unless they decide the descent is rideable and link it to another climb in the valley) but it’s certainly the best we’ve had this Tour. And also with some unique characteristics which make it more than your usual 6km at 11% wall
Exposing my own ignorance here. I've seen a lot of comments about the design of this stage and others. Why should this not be a queen stage? And why do people now not like MTFs? It seems like when there are few, people clamor for more. When we get them, people say they create boring racing. Recognizing that these might be different folks. But honest questions, who has a moment to succinctly articulate basic stage design principles?
 
Feel sorry for Debusschere
Coquard should get him a really big beer tonight, he's earned it! That, and desert. :beermug:

I also seem to remember Talansky wearing the white jersey in 2013 Tour at Paris since Quintana won polka dots, but I can't find an image of him at podium.
However, last year at the final podium this... happened.

 
Not really. His problems have been related to either of the next two options or both:

1- Manages to lose time by bad luck, bad positioning, coming a bit under-cooked to races.
2- Strategically made bad choices of unnecessary attacks.

The first one was taken care off by his team during this Tour. On the second one he managing to measure his strengths and attacks. And that's why he is on third at this moment.

One last comment about Lopez. He is riding with a bit of chip under the shoulder. From the Colombian media he is the least interviewed and the least paid attention to. He has had his issues in the past because of his fighting (true fighting) spirit. And that might not help him with the Colombian public. That's why they are all the time talking about Bernal, Quintana and Uran. Very limited time is dedicated to him. That coupled with bad luck and things not going his way in past events make him ride with a bit of anger. We could see that with his celebration and ride.

In fact he must be still hurt from the Vuelta last year when he was so much stronger than Pogacar in the first 2 weeks and later when Pogacar recovered he took him off the podium. I am not saying that he will take him off the second place but he might continue to build on today's win and gain strength. He might surprise us in the final TT.
All of us would appreciate Lopez getting aggressive tomorrow. That said, Tadej will still need to follow JV's lead since his team can't mount much of a pursuit effort if Lopez went early. There are enough steep sections to provide Lopez with escape points but it's going to be a more individual effort type of day tomorrow. I can see Primoz doing well with Kuss because they both manage transitions well; better likely than the rest of JV but it may get down to smaller team help for all involved early on.
 
Exposing my own ignorance here. I've seen a lot of comments about the design of this stage and others. Why should this not be a queen stage? And why do people now not like MTFs? It seems like when there are few, people clamor for more. When we get them, people say they create boring racing. Recognizing that these might be different folks. But honest questions, who has a moment to succinctly articulate basic stage design principles?
Libertine Seguros has written countless articulate pieces on design principles. In short:

Hard MTF before easier MTF (or descent finish).
No TTT.
Adequate amount of ITT kms to encourage climbers to attack in the mountains to regain time.
At least one decent medium mountain stage, preferably well placed within the three weeks so that it could potentially lead to an ambush. See Formigal in 2016 Vuelta coming after hard MTF.
 
Exposing my own ignorance here. I've seen a lot of comments about the design of this stage and others. Why should this not be a queen stage? And why do people now not like MTFs? It seems like when there are few, people clamor for more. When we get them, people say they create boring racing. Recognizing that these might be different folks. But honest questions, who has a moment to succinctly articulate basic stage design principles?
When we think queen stage, we dont think about a stage where everybody and their mother knows that the important riders will only move with 3-4 kms left. Loze is obviously a great climb and should hopefully be visited a lot in the coming years, but the nature of the climb is such that we wont ever get a big spectacle from such a stage apart from the last 15 minutes or so. And thats basically true for a Loze MTF no matter the racing scenario, simply because the last part is so steep it discourages people to move from further out.

I dont have a problem with a MTF as a queen stage, but generally you'd want a stage where you see more action. Take the Giro stage over Stelvio as a perfect example of how an optimal queen stage should be designed (thats obviously extremely subjective), you basically ensure an entire hour of great racing with big gaps.

And in terms of the pacing, as I think LS has noted, you'd generally want such a hard MTF (which ensures gaps no matter what stages are in the horizon to potentially scare the riders) and follow it up with stages with greater potential to make a move from a bit more far out.
 
Sep 15, 2020
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Not really. His problems have been related to either of the next two options or both:

1- Manages to lose time by bad luck, bad positioning, coming a bit under-cooked to races.
2- Strategically made bad choices of unnecessary attacks.

The first one was taken care off by his team during this Tour. On the second one he managing to measure his strengths and attacks. And that's why he is on third at this moment.

One last comment about Lopez. He is riding with a bit of chip under the shoulder. From the Colombian media he is the least interviewed and the least paid attention to. He has had his issues in the past because of his fighting (true fighting) spirit. And that might not help him with the Colombian public. That's why they are all the time talking about Bernal, Quintana and Uran. Very limited time is dedicated to him. That coupled with bad luck and things not going his way in past events make him ride with a bit of anger. We could see that with his celebration and ride.

In fact he must be still hurt from the Vuelta last year when he was so much stronger than Pogacar in the first 2 weeks and later when Pogacar recovered he took him off the podium. I am not saying that he will take him off the second place but he might continue to build on today's win and gain strength. He might surprise us in the final TT.
Pretty good take on things. My two cents is that Miguel Angel Lopez is a great climber, but he isn't a TTer. A hill at the end of the ITT isn't going to make a difference.

And, what's with so many people drooling over Quintana? Sadly, he seems to be past his prime (since last year?) Lots of hype around some of these riders, finally one of them (MAL) delivers!!
 
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