Tour de France 2020 | Stage 4 (Sisteron – Orcières-Merlette, 160.5 km)

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Hopefully you're right and we'll see more of Primoz than just accelerations in the "control zone"...

If I'm not wrong, he won every TT in Giro + Vuelta last year except for the final short one in Verona... also true that he had a much weaker team around him and his only real goal in the final TT was to dislodge Landa from the podium (which he achieved). Pure speculation, but I would expect an above-par performance from him if he has to defend a yellow jersey
Purely from a pride point of view, I think he would have liked to have beaten Nibali in that TT if he could.
 
Many conclusions today...

This was a selection stage, seems like a borefest, but it is necessary in order to give better results on later stages, today many legs were tested and many others will feel the pain on later stages, so I'm ok with it.

Surprises:

  1. MAL: I don't know if you saw it but he had a mechanical in the last 5k, but still could finish with the top group, this guy has something on his pocket.
  2. Pogacar: I was expecting him to lose a chunk of time on early stages, but he is finishing with the top pack, he is one of the dark horses on this battle.
  3. Pinot: With the crash on day one I expected him to get some serious gaps on this stage, but he is without any problems.
  4. Yates: Always a good bet, I wonder how this effort will cost him later, but it seems to me that he is a top 5 rider on this tour.
  5. Roglic: No a real surprise, but he is doing what we are expecting from him.
  6. G. Martin: Another dark horse, I haven't bet on him yet, but I'm starting to wonder "What if...", may be a real surprise at the end.
  7. Qintana: I didn't expect him to win this, but he is a real threat, this climb was not for him and yet he is finishing with the top guns, and even sprinting.
  8. Uran: It seems to me that he will drop later, but I though he had a worse shape than Higuita, but is the opposite.
  9. Dumo, Chaves, Mollema, Bardet and Landa: Are hanging in there as they should be, not a real surprise, but thay are doing what we are expecting from them.
  10. Mas and Valverde: Hanging in there, this stage was not good for they conditions, but still could finish near the top pack, I'm afraid Movi is not expected to finish on top 10 teams, even top 15.
  11. Sepp Kuss: He is the real big surprise, he did all the work, he gave everything he had on the tank and selected the group as Roglic wanted, he is the reason why Jumbo Visma is the team to beat, doBEASTique!!
BTW: What happened to Roland?? I was expecting him with the top guns today...
 
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Maybe they should have started the TV coverage after the second rest day.

In my mind, that should be JV's preferred scenario. Assuming Tom is not in top form (which he does not seem to be), they will probably try to keep things reasonably civilized up the Lusette and deliver Roglic to his 1-1.5km "comfort zone" in Mont Aigoual
Maybe he's riding himself into form for the Giro.

I don't think this was really a very punchy uphill sprint, apart from the end. It seems to have been a very constant high tempo so that many of the punchier guys had problems, apart from those, like Roglic and Pogacar, who are also very good time triallers.
Otherwise I would have seen not only Alaphilippe but also Adam Yates for instance a bit better. After all this was his chance to take yellow. And Lopéz could have tried something, I mean, where if not here is he supposed to take some time? Not with a gap, but with the bonus seconds. (Don't want to talk about Valverde here.)
So I guess it was too punchy for the diesels and too hard and steady for the real punchy guys.
 
Maybe they should have started the TV coverage after the second rest day.



Maybe he's riding himself into form for the Giro.

I don't think this was really a very punchy uphill sprint, apart from the end. It seems to have been a very constant high tempo so that many of the punchier guys had problems, apart from those, like Roglic and Pogacar, who are also very good time triallers.
Otherwise I would have seen not only Alaphilippe but also Adam Yates for instance a bit better. After all this was his chance to take yellow. And Lopéz could have tried something, I mean, where if not here is he supposed to take some time? Not with a gap, but with the bonus seconds. (Don't want to talk about Valverde here.)
So I guess it was too punchy for the diesels and too hard and steady for the real punchy guys.
MAL had a mechanical in the last 5k, I'm surprised he finished with the top pack...
 
I was wondering if Jumbo would play the Dumo card on Thursday to try and expose INEOS on the penultimate climb, but I highly doubt it...
yeah, i would doubt it. not necessary. the best thing is to not sacrifice big tom. even if he loses a few seconds here or there, if he gets better throughout, he will be a threat to win it on the TT if he is not more than 2 minutes down on anyone not named Rog (or Pog). Let the climbers attack. Rog goes with. Dumo tempos up on power. keep both in play as long as possible. and the climbers have to attack...they have to in order to have any chance at all.
 
A few points...

  • Buchmann seems to be the only top guy that is really impacted by his Dauphine crash. His teammates looked even worse.
  • Bernal was in a great position with 500m to go but had nothing left in the tank. Same for Alaphilippe.
  • Movistar is in trouble. Valverde would habe been the favorit to win a stage like todays 15, 10, 5 maybe even 2 years ago. Today he looked finished before the climb even started.
  • Uran is back to being the sole leader for EF
  • Carapaz is not going for the GC. It´s Bernal or bust for Ineos.
  • The "stage hunters" from Mitchelton Scott are looking really good.
  • Aru did his thing. I expect a legendary TT from him in the 3rd week.
 
Ah yes... was it a real mechanical? I thought he just had a problem with his gears for a few seconds. If it was worse that was a very good result, yes!
It seemed to me that it was the chain, he had to stop for a few seconds and obviously loss contact with the leaders, maybe he was saving energy for the last 500m, but had to use it to chase the pack.
 
Aug 29, 2020
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Maybe they should have started the TV coverage after the second rest day.



Maybe he's riding himself into form for the Giro.

I don't think this was really a very punchy uphill sprint, apart from the end. It seems to have been a very constant high tempo so that many of the punchier guys had problems, apart from those, like Roglic and Pogacar, who are also very good time triallers.
Otherwise I would have seen not only Alaphilippe but also Adam Yates for instance a bit better. After all this was his chance to take yellow. And Lopéz could have tried something, I mean, where if not here is he supposed to take some time? Not with a gap, but with the bonus seconds. (Don't want to talk about Valverde here.)
So I guess it was too punchy for the diesels and too hard and steady for the real punchy guys.
I actually thought Yates was going to try something when he positioned himself near the front at the beginning of the climb, but the real selection was only made like 1.5-2km out, with a lot of other guys "in range", where Yates had no real edge to fight for the win...

In my impression, the tempo only got tough when WVA started to pull... before that we only saw a timid "I'm still here" attack by Pierre Rolland like 4k out, but that clearly was not going to last

On López, I agree he should not be passing up on too many opportunities if he ambitions to fight for GC... perhaps today was very challenging for him to make a real difference with most GC guys, but in my mind his should rather be a long term strategy to be on the offensive in multiple occasions and wear others down / eliminate rivals day by day. This is not a one-day job, it's more like a war of attrition
Perhaps Thursday up the Lusette Astana will try something?
 
Nah, it's not THAT bad. Sram is fine. It's not my first choice but certainly not worthy of any excuses...races are won on it every day, including some of the biggest in the world.
Except SRAM was literally killing the riders legs before the lock down. It seems during the lock down they were able to fix some of the issues. Former Katusha riders have confirmed this problem with SRAM. They confirmed that using SRAM they had nothing left at the end of stages and that it's easy to see the Movistar riders are having the same issues they were having. Difference being Valverde threw a temper tantrum over the bad parts before UAE and that's why they got better parts during the lock down. However, it's obvious they still aren't as good as Campy and Shimano. It's also evident that Valverde's temper tantrum got the team parts that are closer to what Trek gets instead of what they were being forced to use like Katusha had been.
 
Many conclusions today...

This was a selection stage, seems like a borefest, but it is necessary in order to give better results on later stages, today many legs were tested and many others will feel the pain on later stages, so I'm ok with it.

Surprises:

  1. MAL: I don't know if you saw it but he had a mechanical in the last 5k, but still could finish with the top group, this guy has something on his pocket.
  2. Pogacar: I was expecting him to lose a chunk of time on early stages, but he is finishing with the top pack, he is one of the dark horses on this battle.
  3. Pinot: With the crash on day one I expected him to get some serious gaps on this stage, but he is without any problems.
  4. Yates: Always a good bet, I wonder how this effort will cost him later, but it seems to me that he is a top 5 rider on this tour.
  5. Roglic: No a real surprise, but he is doing what we are expecting from him.
  6. G. Martin: Another dark horse, I haven't bet on him yet, but I'm starting to wonder "What if...", may be a real surprise at the end.
  7. Qintana: I didn't expect him to win this, but he is a real threat, this climb was not for him and yet he is finishing with the top guns, and even sprinting.
  8. Uran: It seems to me that he will drop later, but I though he had a worse shape than Higuita, but is the opposite.
  9. Dumo, Chaves, Mollema, Bardet and Landa: Are hanging in there as they should be, not a real surprise, but thay are doing what we are expecting from them.
  10. Mas and Valverde: Hanging in there, this stage was not good for they conditions, but still could finish near the top pack, I'm afraid Movi is not expected to finish on top 10 teams, even top 15.
  11. Sepp Kuss: He is the real big surprise, he did all the work, he gave everything he had on the tank and selected the group as Roglic wanted, he is the reason why Jumbo Visma is the team to beat, doBEASTique!!
BTW: What happened to Roland?? I was expecting him with the top guns today...
Good list of analysis but have some thoughts:
  1. MAL still made a good sprint attempt but chose the barrier side, lost momentum that he couldn't regain. He'll get better.
  2. Don't underestimate Tadej. He'll be better in the last week, too.
  3. Pinot should also continue to improve. I hope for this, too.
  4. He'll get a stage somewhere
  5. Roglic is warming into this with JV. It's early and there is always a question of a premature peak. It's early (I said that, right?)
  6. Don't know enough about him but would be nice for France to see added heroes.
  7. He'll be strong. As I've said elsewhere: his team will fail him. No depth.
  8. His history is what you said.
  9. DuMoulin will get stronger, Chaves will fold, Mollema is showing his best now. Bardet and Landa kinda fit into Uran's pattern. It'd be great for the race if they both stepped up to their best.
  10. Yes, what you said.
  11. Not a surprise to US viewers. He's also got the right attitude for supporting Roglic and, if needed; Dumo. I think they rode the way they did today because Quickstep will be stuck in the hotseat for another week of tractor-pulls this way.
 
Guys.

I think we're fogetting something here

We're 4 stages in

And Porte hasn't lost any time yet.
You are joking but I remember in 2016 during the Giro people were writing similar comments when they realized Steven Kruijswijk, who people always suspected to shine in the 3rd week, still hadn't lost any time yet.

I'm very much doubting Porte will climb well enough this year to compete for the top spots in Paris but don't be surprised if he ends up finishing somewhere high up in the general classification.
 
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You are joking but I remember in 2016 during the Giro people were writing similar comments when they realized Steven Kruijswijk, who people always suspected to shine in the 3rd week, still hadn't lost any time yet.

I'm very much doubting Porte will climb well enough this year to compete for the top spots in Paris but don't be surprised if he ends up finishing somewhere high up in the general classification.
Kruijswijk was known for being much better in the 3rd week. Porte is known for having a disasterclass first week as his peak in a GT.
 
Except SRAM was literally killing the riders legs before the lock down. It seems during the lock down they were able to fix some of the issues. Former Katusha riders have confirmed this problem with SRAM. They confirmed that using SRAM they had nothing left at the end of stages and that it's easy to see the Movistar riders are having the same issues they were having. Difference being Valverde threw a temper tantrum over the bad parts before UAE and that's why they got better parts during the lock down. However, it's obvious they still aren't as good as Campy and Shimano. It's also evident that Valverde's temper tantrum got the team parts that are closer to what Trek gets instead of what they were being forced to use like Katusha had been.
Were they accidentally shipping them rebadged Apex groups instead of Red or something? Short of actually missing shifts, or having bearings that just don't turn, i'm not sure what SRAM could be doing wrong that would be "killing their legs."

FWIW, I have Campag and shimano on my road bikes, and a SRAM equipped cargo bike, and Campag is definitely my favourite.
 
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