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

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Congratulations to Miguel Ángel López for winning queen stage. He had a bit of bad luck, in the past couple of races. Looks like he has matured now and the patience has paid off. Bahrain McLaren went all in today. It didn't pay off for Landa, but they looked much better, compared to trailing along, getting dropped by JV and the end result for Landa to be similar. Porte did good today. Roglič was more or less focused on Pogačar, to not finishing ahead, and the mission succeeded. Sending Kuss ahead and letting López attack, that was likely a tactical move made by Roglič. Really great performance by Kuss today, Dumoulin hanging on, for as long as he did, that was for sure good for gaining some additional team confidence. Pogačar didn't blow up or crack, i find that impressive. As for the stage itself, extremely hard finish in mano a mano style. Queen stage didn't disappoint.

 
Sep 23, 2020
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I originally was going to blame Sepp Kuss for Roglic not winning the Tour but that would be discounting Podocar's absolutely amazing performance in the time trial.

But I still think that Sepp Kuss did weaken his team leader at a crucial point by unnecessarily attacking him at the end of one of the most brutal and physically taxing stages of the race.

First let's acknowledge that Roglic probably wasn't 100% coming into the tour because of his crash at Dauphine leading up to the tour. Then Roglic spent three weeks at the tour constantly near the front at probably the fastest pace in the post doping era, contesting stage wins and often even attacking himself. This was a worn out team leader by the time we even got to stage 17. Then, near the end of stage 17, after all those hard climbs his own teammate attacks him and sets up another contending rider from a different team for the stage win! Podocar, riding without teammates, felt no obligation to follow and rode at his own pace. Meanwhile Kuss rode Roglic into the ground for no good reason.

The most surprising thing to me about Kuss's attack on Roglic was that initially after the stage every "expert" commentator I heard gave Kuss credit and thought he had done great work in his attack because it extended Roglic's lead over Podocar by a small amount. But at what cost? While Roglic felt obligated to follow Kuss's attack, Podocar eased off a little and saved his energy for the time trial. Podocar, riding without teammates, felt no obligation to follow and rode at his own pace. which set him up for excellent recovery going into the TT. Meanwhile Sepp rode Roglic into the ground for no good reason.

Understanding the psychology of team racing is what makes the effects of Kuss's attack so effective at weakening Roglic for the final time trial. If you are the team leader and want to gain time on 2nd place, you feel more obligated to make something or of your teammates work if he is attacking on the front. It's very unlikely Roglic would have put in this extreme effort on his own to gain a few seconds on Podocar at the finish had Kuss not attacked. Sepp essentially obligated Roglic to put in this extreme effort, and Roglic, with his stubbornly hard work ethic, obliged him. But at what cost? Podocar is younger, recovered better, and saved it for the TT.

If Sepp doesn't attack his team leader at this crucial point it's possible Roglic would have recovered better and been stronger in the TT and lost the stage by only around a minute and wins the tour by seconds. We will never know but Sepp Kuss's attack on his team leader at the end of stage 17 was the biggest mistake by Jumbo Visma in this year's tour and was a super domestique sin.
 
Reactions: gregrowlerson
I originally was going to blame Sepp Kuss for Roglic not winning the Tour but that would be discounting Podocar's absolutely amazing performance in the time trial.

But I still think that Sepp Kuss did weaken his team leader at a crucial point by unnecessarily attacking him at the end of one of the most brutal and physically taxing stages of the race.

First let's acknowledge that Roglic probably wasn't 100% coming into the tour because of his crash at Dauphine leading up to the tour. Then Roglic spent three weeks at the tour constantly near the front at probably the fastest pace in the post doping era, contesting stage wins and often even attacking himself. This was a worn out team leader by the time we even got to stage 17. Then, near the end of stage 17, after all those hard climbs his own teammate attacks him and sets up another contending rider from a different team for the stage win! Podocar, riding without teammates, felt no obligation to follow and rode at his own pace. Meanwhile Kuss rode Roglic into the ground for no good reason.

The most surprising thing to me about Kuss's attack on Roglic was that initially after the stage every "expert" commentator I heard gave Kuss credit and thought he had done great work in his attack because it extended Roglic's lead over Podocar by a small amount. But at what cost? While Roglic felt obligated to follow Kuss's attack, Podocar eased off a little and saved his energy for the time trial. Podocar, riding without teammates, felt no obligation to follow and rode at his own pace. which set him up for excellent recovery going into the TT. Meanwhile Sepp rode Roglic into the ground for no good reason.

Understanding the psychology of team racing is what makes the effects of Kuss's attack so effective at weakening Roglic for the final time trial. If you are the team leader and want to gain time on 2nd place, you feel more obligated to make something or of your teammates work if he is attacking on the front. It's very unlikely Roglic would have put in this extreme effort on his own to gain a few seconds on Podocar at the finish had Kuss not attacked. Sepp essentially obligated Roglic to put in this extreme effort, and Roglic, with his stubbornly hard work ethic, obliged him. But at what cost? Podocar is younger, recovered better, and saved it for the TT.

If Sepp doesn't attack his team leader at this crucial point it's possible Roglic would have recovered better and been stronger in the TT and lost the stage by only around a minute and wins the tour by seconds. We will never know but Sepp Kuss's attack on his team leader at the end of stage 17 was the biggest mistake by Jumbo Visma in this year's tour and was a super domestique sin.
Roglic told him he was free to fly. So not at all IMO.
 
Jan 18, 2020
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I originally was going to blame Sepp Kuss for Roglic not winning the Tour but that would be discounting Podocar's absolutely amazing performance in the time trial.

But I still think that Sepp Kuss did weaken his team leader at a crucial point by unnecessarily attacking him at the end of one of the most brutal and physically taxing stages of the race.

First let's acknowledge that Roglic probably wasn't 100% coming into the tour because of his crash at Dauphine leading up to the tour. Then Roglic spent three weeks at the tour constantly near the front at probably the fastest pace in the post doping era, contesting stage wins and often even attacking himself. This was a worn out team leader by the time we even got to stage 17. Then, near the end of stage 17, after all those hard climbs his own teammate attacks him and sets up another contending rider from a different team for the stage win! Podocar, riding without teammates, felt no obligation to follow and rode at his own pace. Meanwhile Kuss rode Roglic into the ground for no good reason.

The most surprising thing to me about Kuss's attack on Roglic was that initially after the stage every "expert" commentator I heard gave Kuss credit and thought he had done great work in his attack because it extended Roglic's lead over Podocar by a small amount. But at what cost? While Roglic felt obligated to follow Kuss's attack, Podocar eased off a little and saved his energy for the time trial. Podocar, riding without teammates, felt no obligation to follow and rode at his own pace. which set him up for excellent recovery going into the TT. Meanwhile Sepp rode Roglic into the ground for no good reason.

Understanding the psychology of team racing is what makes the effects of Kuss's attack so effective at weakening Roglic for the final time trial. If you are the team leader and want to gain time on 2nd place, you feel more obligated to make something or of your teammates work if he is attacking on the front. It's very unlikely Roglic would have put in this extreme effort on his own to gain a few seconds on Podocar at the finish had Kuss not attacked. Sepp essentially obligated Roglic to put in this extreme effort, and Roglic, with his stubbornly hard work ethic, obliged him. But at what cost? Podocar is younger, recovered better, and saved it for the TT.

If Sepp doesn't attack his team leader at this crucial point it's possible Roglic would have recovered better and been stronger in the TT and lost the stage by only around a minute and wins the tour by seconds. We will never know but Sepp Kuss's attack on his team leader at the end of stage 17 was the biggest mistake by Jumbo Visma in this year's tour and was a super domestique sin.
No way did Kuss attack himself it was definitely under instruction. Whether this was through hubris and thinking they could afford to gift him the stage or some sort of a tactical move to get others to pull for the stage win is debatable but I'm sure it wasn't just Kuss going on a Landaesque mad one.
 
  1. Roglic told Kuss to attack to put pressure on Pog.
  2. Roglic then still could have stayed with Pog as there was zero need to follow MAL. It was 100% Roglic's choice to attack.
  3. Pogacar did not save hinself for the TT. If anything he blew hinself up trying to catch Roglic before he lost like 20 seconds in the very last ramp.
  4. That little 1km effort to drop Pog did not lose Roglic a minute. I'd actually argue it didn't cost him a single second. It's the general fatigue that's an issue for Roglic's 3rd week TT's, not one particular effort of which he has put in dozens in this tour.
 
I'm definitely in favour of scapegoating Sepp Kuss. However, I don't think this particular attack did much to affect the overall outcome, and I think his not lifting a finger on stage 15 while everybody rode at Dumoulin's pace long after it had become clear Tommy D had burned off everybody he was going to burn off was a bigger issue, and I don't think that was Sepp's call. Was nice to see him actually show himself for a bit, though.
 
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  1. Roglic told Kuss to attack to put pressure on Pog.
  2. Roglic then still could have stayed with Pog as there was zero need to follow MAL. It was 100% Roglic's choice to attack.
  3. Pogacar did not save hinself for the TT. If anything he blew hinself up trying to catch Roglic before he lost like 20 seconds in the very last ramp.
  4. That little 1km effort to drop Pog did not lose Roglic a minute. I'd actually argue it didn't cost him a single second. It's the general fatigue that's an issue for Roglic's 3rd week TT's, not one particular effort of which he has put in dozens in this tour.
And ...
  1. The OP mentioned the fastest tour of the post doping era. When did that era start?
  2. Is this thread serious or a joke?
 
And ...
  1. The OP mentioned the fastest tour of the post doping era. When did that era start?
  2. Is this thread serious or a joke?
I gave a (half-joking) personal definition of what I consider to be the "post doping era" a couple of years ago. It didn't last long, but realistically this is a conversation that shouldn't be had in this part of the forum.
 

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