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

Page 20 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
I don't understand the critics: Stage 1 was a horror movie, Stage 2 was Alaf' calling it and doing it, Stage 3 a fantastic sprint, and today, maybe not a great mountain stage, but still a GC appetizer.
Stage 1: Most people don't find good riders, including GC riders getting injured good for the entertainment. Getting rid of two riders who have won all five monuments between them isn't my idea of a good stage

Stage 4: There's nothing harder than today except stages 15 and 17. Stages 8 and 18 have possibilities but is there anyone of the caliber to go for it?
 
Stage 1: Most people don't find good riders, including GC riders getting injured good for the entertainment. Getting rid of two riders who have won all five monuments between them isn't my idea of a good stage

Stage 4: There's nothing harder than today except stages 15 and 17. Stages 8 and 18 have possibilities but is there anyone of the caliber to go for it?
Do you think that I found Stage 1 funny, really? It was sad, but it was dramatic in a sense that you may not get, and that's OK: instead of the crashes that always happen in opening stages due to nervosity, here it was Man vs. Nature. And of course, Nature won. But there was an epic aspect to this. Like the '80 LBL if you want: no one wants to go through this or see the pain and suffering. Injuries. But there's something epic about this. Riders will tell their grand-kids about LBL '80 or last Saturday and their '20 TdF.

Look at the route again. Puy Mary?
 
Reactions: Red Rick
To me he hasnt show anything I would consider him a podium candidate, Pogacar is a lot more likely to be second.
I keep reading he is improving but all I see is the same I did a month ago. If he doesnt improve I dont expect him do do that great in the TT
Fair.

Difference is he isn’t being dropped yet.

And the climbers need to gain time on him.

Btw Pogacar is on my pre-tour podium pick.

He went from 4th to first in the last ITT of the giro. This TT will do way more damage.

Of course he needs to hang with the best but he can also afford to lose some time. Just not on Rog or Pog. So, good insurance I would say.
 
Reactions: topt
Stage 4: There's nothing harder than today except stages 15 and 17. Stages 8 and 18 have possibilities but is there anyone of the caliber to go for it?
There's no harder MTF than today except stages 15, 17 and arguably 13, but this was nowhere near being the third-hardest mountain stage of the race. A stage ending on a descent or soft MTF ≠ a mountain stage that won't be GC-relevant - last year alone, the Courmayeur stage in the Giro and the two final mountain stages in the Vuelta proved this.
 
It's a good route. Better than in other years. The problem is the teams working against the route. The harder the route the less are teams willing to risk anything early on. If you force a really hard selection early, a lot of riders will be seriously left behind and out of contention. That will not really add suspense on the later stages. If we want more exciting Tours the key is probably not so much a change of the route, because teams will find "solutions" in order to make it boring. Reduce team sizes further - but then the topic of it being a "team" sport is sized down as well. Banish power meters. That's still the first thing I'd do. Worth a try.
Our expectations and the very decided evocation of expectations by organizers and media are wrong. They try to split the race into more and more small bits, pretending every ten minutes something important will happen. At least at the end of the day we will have a complete change of the situation. But it's one race, well, more or less. I know it's not really comparable, but I'm going to compare nonetheless to highlight my point of view: If you tune in in the middle of a 10.000 meters race there will not be too much action, either. You will see who's absolutely left behind, you will see a few hints of form, but that's it. We don't complain, because that race will finish soon, it's a time span that we can deal with, and then we see the last two laps, and that's where the action is and we are okay with it. But even athletics have this big problem and they are reducing the number of distance events, because spectators obviously can't be expected to watch for 20 minutes! Well, cycling fans have a longer span of attention or a will to suffer, but the Tour lasts 3 weeks! We want to know more about the outcome sooner! But really, that's not what a three week race is about.
So we have the stage wins to keep us interested. But first of all, because this event is so big, everybody who has the slightest chances to finish top10 goes for GC instead stage hunting. Secondly some teams are about ten times as strong as others and those are also the teams with the most serious GC contenders so they are only interested in controlling the race and also have the power to do so.
You can try with the route as much as you want. Fight the teams. But the teams will keep on finding solutions how to control the race. Mostly this is not a battle between Roglic and Pinot. It's a battle between the race organizers who want the teams to take risks and the teams who do not want to take any risks.

All that said the Tour has almost always been boring and it will continue do be so. I'm okay with it. It's like my grandparents. I know they will not change, they won't be cool. But I really care about them and want them to go on and even if sometimes I might say "could you not be a bit more open to risks" I also take pleasure in knowing them and coming to the same again and again. As I can't see them in Covid times I'm happy I can at least see the Tour, boring or not.
 
Fair.

Difference is he isn’t being dropped yet.

And the climbers need to gain time on him.

Btw Pogacar is on my pre-tour podium pick.

He went from 4th to first in the last ITT of the giro. This TT will do way more damage.

Of course he needs to hang with the best but he can also afford to lose some time. Just not on Rog or Pog. So, good insurance I would say.
Rog and Pog...nice...better than Zeus and Apollo...the two beasts.
 
Reactions: Big Doopie
For one they were forcing them to ride 48-10 cranks. Valverde has only ever used a 53-11 crack and the 48-10 was destroying his legs. There were Katusha riders confirming this with what they had to deal with for their first year with SRAM. That the gearing would destroy their legs and they'd have nothing left by the time they got to end of the race to do anything. During the lock down Valverde posted a picture of his bike leaning against his fireplace and you could more or less count the gearing and know he had new gearing. Not sure if it's his preferred 53 or if it's a 52, but it's definitely either a 52 or 53 for the big ring now and he's looked better with the more appropriate gearing.

I personally have Shimano on my road bikes. Come to think of it, I have Shimano on all my bikes. I've heard from people who use campy that it's their favorite, but it's also more expensive and I'm just riding for fun so Shimano works just fine for that. Valverde's amateur team uses Shimano.
Forcing them to ride 48-10 is one thing but what does that have to do with Sram? I've raced plenty on both Shimano and Sram and you can get the same gear ratios on both. In fact, the components are often compatible. The major difference is how the shifting operates, not the gear ratios. I've never heard of a team forcing a specific gear ratio but that's a separate problem, not a problem with Sram itself. Sram on it's own can't "destroy" a rider's legs.
 
Forcing them to ride 48-10 is one thing but what does that have to do with Sram? I've raced plenty on both Shimano and Sram and you can get the same gear ratios on both. In fact, the components are often compatible. The major difference is how the shifting operates, not the gear ratios. I've never heard of a team forcing a specific gear ratio but that's a separate problem, not a problem with Sram itself. Sram on it's own can't "destroy" a rider's legs.
Because they were being forced by SRAM to use that gearing even though the riders want/need other gearing. 48-10 is NOT the same as 53-11. Also there is another post on this thread that you need to go back and read that is talking about this as well by Leinster.
 
Do you think that I found Stage 1 funny, really? It was sad, but it was dramatic in a sense that you may not get, and that's OK: instead of the crashes that always happen in opening stages due to nervosity, here it was Man vs. Nature. And of course, Nature won. But there was an epic aspect to this. Like the '80 LBL if you want: no one wants to go through this or see the pain and suffering. Injuries. But there's something epic about this. Riders will tell their grand-kids about LBL '80 or last Saturday and their '20 TdF.

Look at the route again. Puy Mary?

I didn't say that you thought it funny. But it would have better without crashes. There's nothing epic about seeing good riders eliminated just due to wet roads. There weren't anything exciting like echelons. It just rained on unsuitable roads. It was just luck. LBL may be still talked about today, but stage 1 isn't.

Puy Mary? There's a big plateau/downhill in the middle which doesn't help. I don;t expect much.
 
It's a good route. Better than in other years. The problem is the teams working against the route. The harder the route the less are teams willing to risk anything early on. If you force a really hard selection early, a lot of riders will be seriously left behind and out of contention. That will not really add suspense on the later stages. If we want more exciting Tours the key is probably not so much a change of the route, because teams will find "solutions" in order to make it boring. Reduce team sizes further - but then the topic of it being a "team" sport is sized down as well. Banish power meters. That's still the first thing I'd do. Worth a try.
Our expectations and the very decided evocation of expectations by organizers and media are wrong. They try to split the race into more and more small bits, pretending every ten minutes something important will happen. At least at the end of the day we will have a complete change of the situation. But it's one race, well, more or less. I know it's not really comparable, but I'm going to compare nonetheless to highlight my point of view: If you tune in in the middle of a 10.000 meters race there will not be too much action, either. You will see who's absolutely left behind, you will see a few hints of form, but that's it. We don't complain, because that race will finish soon, it's a time span that we can deal with, and then we see the last two laps, and that's where the action is and we are okay with it. But even athletics have this big problem and they are reducing the number of distance events, because spectators obviously can't be expected to watch for 20 minutes! Well, cycling fans have a longer span of attention or a will to suffer, but the Tour lasts 3 weeks! We want to know more about the outcome sooner! But really, that's not what a three week race is about.
So we have the stage wins to keep us interested. But first of all, because this event is so big, everybody who has the slightest chances to finish top10 goes for GC instead stage hunting. Secondly some teams are about ten times as strong as others and those are also the teams with the most serious GC contenders so they are only interested in controlling the race and also have the power to do so.
You can try with the route as much as you want. Fight the teams. But the teams will keep on finding solutions how to control the race. Mostly this is not a battle between Roglic and Pinot. It's a battle between the race organizers who want the teams to take risks and the teams who do not want to take any risks.

All that said the Tour has almost always been boring and it will continue do be so. I'm okay with it. It's like my grandparents. I know they will not change, they won't be cool. But I really care about them and want them to go on and even if sometimes I might say "could you not be a bit more open to risks" I also take pleasure in knowing them and coming to the same again and again. As I can't see them in Covid times I'm happy I can at least see the Tour, boring or not.
I put a love emoji because I so like your perspective and your analysis. I would add:

Big budgets, investments, require a return. Weapons race, conservative racing: be so much bigger and you will suffocate the opposition. It started with Tapie and La Vie Claire.

The 10,000-meter race analogy is on point, but I think that with little work, TV could make it a sport AND a Travel Channel like broadcast. Get people's attention not by introducing fabricated small segments of interesting stuff (like the Olympics do - the stories), but by having helicopter views and knowledgeable comments about what we see. Heck, there are castles, cathedrals, put some side one-minute bites on the grottoes, food, vineyards...here you go.

Because of Covid I had to change jobs, in my new place I have one place with TVs and of course I turned it on Saturday. I work with 16-25-year-old "kids" and a couple of older ones who have little to no knowledge about cycling. I described, fielded questions, shared my passion, my distress when Pinot crashed. Yesterday and today, all gathered to watch the stage. I know the places, I can describe things, they watched the whole thing. One week ago, they didn't know Tibopino, now they cheer for him a little...and they realize what cycling is about. Crashes are indeed catching their interest, but no one cheers: they just admire rider's resiliency when they get back on their bike, and they realize that those hurting bodies have 17 more stages to go. One was amazed at the speed, her horse doesn't run that fast. They all find something.
 
I like the French riders, but if the French media dare to not talk about Pogacar it would be great if he won the whole thing!

Really, it's incredible how biased the media in all the countries are. Sure they want to sell their stuff, but how can journalists be so f** ignorant and nationalistic? (I'm assuming that's it and not just oblivion?)
You could switch over to Australian commentary. They mentioned Pogacar quite a bit.
Of course you will need to put up will a lot of analysis about how this could be Porte's year, how a co-leadership role could help him, etc
 
I didn't say that you thought it funny. But it would have better without crashes. There's nothing epic about seeing good riders eliminated just due to wet roads. There weren't anything exciting like echelons. It just rained on unsuitable roads. It was just luck. LBL may be still talked about today, but stage 1 isn't.

Puy Mary? There's a big plateau/downhill in the middle which doesn't help. I don;t expect much.
You shall be proven wrong, my friend. The finish is very steep, very steep, JV's guys have dropped fast today and it wasn't a tough climb. There will be openings.

Let's agree to disagree, but I have seen too many "sprints, BigMig destroys the ITT, nothing" or "sprints, train, Lance bludgeons Ulle, game over", or "sprints, train, same as Lance, game over", until last year. I want more of that last year. And the course is well set.

And you may disagree, but whoever wins this will have a story of facing adversity, overcoming so much, that's the epic part. Not a scripted part like '12, for example.
 
Reactions: JosephK
Because of Covid I had to change jobs, in my new place I have one place with TVs and of course I turned it on Saturday. I work with 16-25-year-old "kids" and a couple of older ones who have little to no knowledge about cycling. I described, fielded questions, shared my passion, my distress when Pinot crashed. Yesterday and today, all gathered to watch the stage. I know the places, I can describe things, they watched the whole thing. One week ago, they didn't know Tibopino, now they cheer for him a little...and they realize what cycling is about. Crashes are indeed catching their interest, but no one cheers: they just admire rider's resiliency when they get back on their bike, and they realize that those hurting bodies have 17 more stages to go. One was amazed at the speed, her horse doesn't run that fast. They all find something.
Very cool! Maybe a few new fans. I suspect with some crashes that happen they may start gasping and holding their breath until we know the rider is relatively alright. Glad they are enjoying it with you.
 
Congratulations to Primož Roglič, for winning stage 4. Pogačar finishing second brings back good memories, from La Vuelta 2019 and nationals 2020. Wout van Aert and Sepp Kuss did a great job. Jan Polanc is proving to be a valuable domestique for Pogačar. I don't necessarily feel Alaphilippe is in worse shape, compared to last year. What is different is Roglič is participating this year. To me this was a good stage, especially at the end, as expected. We got to see a lot of tactical games and favorites under pressure, to not lose time. A lot of teams reveled their main strategy today. For JV i slightly worry about them taking yellow too early and wasting more energy, then needed, before week 3. On the other hand, they can accumulate a rather substantial time advantage, on such stages, as seen today. In addition i still feel Roglič will perform good in mountains on week 3.

P.S. Looking forward to stage 6.
 
Very cool! Maybe a few new fans. I suspect with some crashes that happen they may start gasping and holding their breath until we know the rider is relatively alright. Glad they are enjoying it with you.
It is so cool. The young generation is compassionate, unlike the one before watching car races for crashes. It doesn't show now with old people in charge, remnants of ugly politics, but I'm optimistic about young America, our future.

PS: wait for my Madiot impersonation...they will think I'm crazy. It's coming. I believe.
 
Reactions: Krokro and Koronin
Van Aert looked like he could have won himself if not on team duty.

Bonuses for the race was Quintana, Landa and Lopez all looking better than usual on last km burn ups and avoiding losing any time.

Carapaz will need to show a lot more on Stage 6 if he is to remain a viable tactical card for Ineos.
 
Reactions: Big Doopie
Van Aert looked like he could have won himself if not on team duty.

Bonuses for the race was Quintana, Landa and Lopez all looking better than usual on last km burn ups and avoiding losing any time.

Carapaz will need to show a lot more on Stage 6 if he is to remain a viable tactical card for Ineos.

Carapaz gets a bit of a pass. He and Soler had no clue they were racing the Tour until about a week to a few days before the Tour. They both were preparing for the Giro.
 
Carapaz gets a bit of a pass. He and Soler had no clue they were racing the Tour until about a week to a few days before the Tour. They both were preparing for the Giro.
True, and skillset wise, Carapaz is punchy enough to beat Rog. Well, when you sign for a big team as a dom, you may be getting $ and promises, live with it. Signed: Mikel Landa.
 
True, and skillset wise, Carapaz is punchy enough to beat Rog. Well, when you sign for a big team as a dom, you may be getting $ and promises, live with it. Signed: Mikel Landa.
Exactly. Landa could have warned him. I do think Soler's situation is a bit different though. At this point I think Movistar is allowing the guys to use the Tour to build form for later races and if they can snag something at the Tour even better.
 
[
It's not like Roglic' climbing was up to snuff at the end of that Giro tbh. IIRC he shipped a minute to Nibali on the final 2 climbs of stage 19 then dropped a grand total of 4 seconds to Nibali who made the stage top 10 that day.

The real question is the 2018 Tour ITT and IIRC he had a rock in his elbow from a crash in training and hadn't been able to train his ITT properly or something.
Not unusual if you peak too early. Obviously he was hanging on in the third week. He looked much better in the Vuelta. At the moment no GC contender will out sprint him at the end of a mountains stage so he should continue to pick up bonuses. Valverde has finally begun to show signs of deterioration. Carapaz will continue to struggle in the first half of the race probably as he was meant to be peaking for the Giro.
 
Reactions: gregrowlerson
Congratulations to Primož Roglič, for winning stage 4. Pogačar finishing second brings back good memories, from La Vuelta 2019 and nationals 2020. Wout van Aert and Sepp Kuss did a great job. Jan Polanc is proving to be a valuable domestique for Pogačar. I don't necessarily feel Alaphilippe is in worse shape, compared to last year. What is different is Roglič is participating this year.
Interesting take on Alaf's form. I think he's in the same shape as last year but the JV train is stronger than Ineos was, so he was put under more pressure yesterday for a longer time, and as well he's much more of a marked man than he was in 2019, when the consensus until the Pyrenees was that he'd lose huge chunks of time when the road started going uphill.
 
Reactions: CyclistAbi

ASK THE COMMUNITY