Tour de France 2020 | Stage 2 (Nice Haut Pays - Nice, 186 km)

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Pinot is almost always prominent until he decides some calamity or another should befall him. Porte is usually just kind of there until he isn't, and when he does crash out it's often before a reasonable guide to his form can be seen.

Many races have been better for Pinot being in them. I can't possibly comprehend that anybody other than a myopic Aussie has ever looked at a GC battle at any Grand Tour and thought "you know what, that race would have been better with Richie Porte in it". He just retreats into his shell in three week races when he's the leader, much like Valverde. He's a much more active, much more proactive, much more dynamic racer in short stage races, but in the GTs he completely forgets that side of him exists. Either that or he's so paralysed by fear of losing time that he's too scared to try to gain it.

He would need a DS committee of Jacky Durand, Aleksandr Vinokourov and the ghost of Frank Vandenbroucke to wring anything interesting from him in a Grand Tour. He's been touted as a GT rider for a decade now, yet his record is no better than Ronan Pensec or Walter Riccomi's. He's a great one week rider, and he's now 35. At what point is he going to stop banging his head against the three week wall?
But all listed here, it adds exactly to Pinot. And he's too banging his head to that same wall. And he hasn't even changed team for once, maybe nobody's interested of his services. ;)

edit: yup, gonna leave porte/pinot now..
 
Top 15 in the youth competition:

1: Hirschi
2: Higuita
3: Pogacar
4: Bernal
5: Mas
6: Madouas
7: Martínez
8: Tejada
9: Eg
10: Kämna
11: Powless
12: C Swift
13: Asgreen
14: Cosnefroy
15: Gaudu

I think there have been Tours where the white jersey has been a bit easier to win...
Remember white jersey battles outside the top 10.

Would be fun to see white jersey action when the entire top 10 were doing Louis Meintjes imitations.

I think in 2008 or something Nibali did some descending craziness which Laurens ten Dam said he didn't follow cause "he didn't want to die" cause Nibs was still in it for white and he ended up like 19th 40 minutes down.
 
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Top 15 in the youth competition:

1: Hirschi
2: Higuita
3: Pogacar
4: Bernal
5: Mas
6: Madouas
7: Martínez
8: Tejada
9: Eg
10: Kämna
11: Powless
12: C Swift
13: Asgreen
14: Cosnefroy
15: Gaudu
...
25: Sivakov


I think there have been Tours where the white jersey has been a bit easier to win...
Maybe the clearest sign yet of an imminent changing of the guard in cycling.
 
Leave Richie alone, Brailsford's Plan B from way long ago when Froome was ruling the planet unless he crashed. I find it more interesting to see what will Aru do next. Work for Pogacar? Quit the Tour and go to the Giro? Quit the Giro and go home?
Aru will become a ski jumper. You hear it here first. I based this on his career trajectory resembling a ski jumping slope rather perfectly.
 
But all listed here, it adds exactly to Pinot. And he's too banging his head to that same wall. And he hasn't even changed team for once, maybe nobody's interested of his services. ;)

edit: yup, gonna leave porte/pinot now..
Pinot has withdrawn from two races on the final few stages while in a better GC spot than Porte has ever managed (and in last year's Tour had been a genuine contender for victory), has 5 GT top 10s to Porte's 2, and those include all 3 Grand Tours, has 1 Grand Tour podium to Porte's 0, has 6 Grand Tour stage wins - all mountain stages - to Porte's 0, and is five and a half years younger than Porte.

Really, as Grand Tour racers, Porte isn't even remotely in the same league as Pinot. Sure, Pinot doesn't have the palmarès across one week that Porte does, but as a Grand Tour contender he is several leagues below Thibaut and has been since at least 2013. Porte's best GT performances have come on individual stages when he has been a domestique.

Richie Porte has competed as a GT leader for two of the richest teams in the péloton, with a crack squad of high level riders assembled on a budget far in excess of that which FDJ can muster to support Pinot, and has come away with fewer results. Significantly fewer results.
 
Pinot is almost always prominent until he decides some calamity or another should befall him. Porte is usually just kind of there until he isn't, and when he does crash out it's often before a reasonable guide to his form can be seen.

Many races have been better for Pinot being in them. I can't possibly comprehend that anybody other than a myopic Aussie has ever looked at a GC battle at any Grand Tour and thought "you know what, that race would have been better with Richie Porte in it". He just retreats into his shell in three week races when he's the leader, much like Valverde. He's a much more active, much more proactive, much more dynamic racer in short stage races, but in the GTs he completely forgets that side of him exists. Either that or he's so paralysed by fear of losing time that he's too scared to try to gain it.

He would need a DS committee of Jacky Durand, Aleksandr Vinokourov and the ghost of Frank Vandenbroucke to wring anything interesting from him in a Grand Tour. He's been touted as a GT rider for a decade now, yet his record is no better than Ronan Pensec or Walter Riccomi's. He's a great one week rider, and he's now 35. At what point is he going to stop banging his head against the three week wall?
Why does Porte even still get talked about as a GC contender ?
 
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People seem concerned (if that's the correct word) about Jumbo when Ineos went to the front. Their two GC men in Dumo and Rogo finished in the main bunch. Am I daft thinking their doms were maybe just saving their beans?

This isn't like any other year and maybe caution in the first grandy isn't a bad idea?

I shall say though, I only watched the last 25km
Their PR for sure will say that. But for no reason would leave Roglic & Dumo alone with that team. But we'll see in week 3 of the Tour.
 
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Leave Richie alone, Brailsford's Plan B from way long ago when Froome was ruling the planet unless he crashed. I find it more interesting to see what will Aru do next. Work for Pogacar? Quit the Tour and go to the Giro? Quit the Giro and go home?
When has Aru ever worked for another rider in a gt? He's toast, the operation didn't really solve his problems, it looks like his engine is fried and his recovery pretty much gone.
 
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I'm a wee bit drunk and feeling frisky so here's a little poem for the winner.

Julian, Julian - goatee, moustache,
One like you loved for panache,
In you we see what once was in another day,
Like Frenchman of old when we look back,
Pou Pou, Virenque and Thevenet,
Jacky Durand, Durand - hungry like the Wolfpack.
Head down, elbows bent,
Off the front you've gone and went,
Matched by none - not Hitachi, not Yates.
This one is different.
This one is for Papa, above he waits.
 
Pinot has withdrawn from two races on the final few stages while in a better GC spot than Porte has ever managed (and in last year's Tour had been a genuine contender for victory), has 5 GT top 10s to Porte's 2, and those include all 3 Grand Tours, has 1 Grand Tour podium to Porte's 0, has 6 Grand Tour stage wins - all mountain stages - to Porte's 0, and is five and a half years younger than Porte.

Really, as Grand Tour racers, Porte isn't even remotely in the same league as Pinot. Sure, Pinot doesn't have the palmarès across one week that Porte does, but as a Grand Tour contender he is several leagues below Thibaut and has been since at least 2013. Porte's best GT performances have come on individual stages when he has been a domestique.

Richie Porte has competed as a GT leader for two of the richest teams in the péloton, with a crack squad of high level riders assembled on a budget far in excess of that which FDJ can muster to support Pinot, and has come away with fewer results. Significantly fewer results.
That domestique point is actually really good. One day we'll look back at his career (or not tbf) and when the question arises, what was Richie Porte's greatest ever gt moment the answer will probably be something like, "remember that time when he led out his teammate?"
 
Pretty surprised to see Daryl Impey so far back today. GVA was there, Bettiol too, probably Van Aert if he didn't have to push-start Dumoulin. Normally you'd expect Impey to survive too then.
I think GVA and Bettiol are better than Impey on very long climbs. If this stage had a succession of shorter climbs, Impey might have been there but on days like today, which started with two huge climbs, I'm not surprised that GVA and Bettiol did better.
 
That domestique point is actually really good. One day we'll look back at his career (or not tbf) and when the question arises, what was Richie Porte's greatest ever gt moment the answer will probably be something like, "remember that time when he led out his teammate?"
Thinking hard his best and most memorable moment was probably that 2nd place when he went past Quintana on LPSM and subsequent *** eating grin. That camper van nonsense was pretty funny as well.

Full disclosure I got 3/1 on him to top 10 which I think was fairly good value so any glimmer of him looking half good will be met with a massive overreaction from this anglo saxon.

I haven't a peep from the ITV/Eurosport broadcasts about him being a contender this season so I think most of the chatter is just a bunch of us lot taking the piss.
 
Congratulations to Julian Alaphilippe, for the stage win and taking the maillot jaune. Hirschi was very close, Yates likely already starting to build up a new level of confidence, switching to Team Ineos next year. Wasn't sure, on how much energy Alaphilippe wasted yesterday, chasing peloton, but it looks like there is still plenty of that left. Likely Alaphilippe won't be prepared to give up maillot jaune in foreseeable future, at least not without a good fight. Emotional day for him, meeting the expectations and honoring his dad.

As for the rest, JV, Ineos, ... they invested the minimum amount of effort possible, to still control the race and not to get maillot jaune. Three guys in the breakaway was more or less a perfect scenario for them, as sure they won't get any bonifications but the same can be said for their main GC rivals.

In the end stage 2 happened too soon, for GC contenders to show interest.
 
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I guess now we will watch the game of nerves vs. confidence. If for example Roglič is confident, that we will see Promož Roglič the climber, then i wouldn't expect any big moves from JV anytime soon. Dumoulin again strikes me as somebody, that will try to preserve the energy, as long as possible. Ineos, unless they are bluffing, are betting on Bernal. I doubt Bernal will try to make any big move, before late in the race.

Hence i guess it is up to others, to try, if we want to see any real action, that is sooner rather than later. If not, that is still OK by me, i'll take it. Christmas early, shopping centers, can end up being not all that great too.
 
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