Tour de France 2020 | Stage 6 (Le Teil - Mont Aigoual, 191 km)

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Congratulations to Alexey Lutsenko, for taking the win on stage 6. Well deserved.

As for JV not making a move. Indeed it seemed everything is set up for that, for it to happen on stage 6. Yesterday, when i was thinking about it, i could see it happen. Personally, i felt it is way too early. Hence today, i must say i am rather happy, it didn't happen. Stages 15 and up, there it is where it would ideally happen. There is a big chance JV will make a move sooner. Could have happened today, likely if the breakaway wouldn't be as strong as it was. If JV would make a move today, there was a rather slim chance of securing the bonifications. Bernal, and most of other favorites, would likely finish in the same time. IMHO good call on JV side!

Some people could i guess be disappointed, but this is GT racing, tactics is important part of it. First week is not over yet, we have seen a dramatic stage 1, some good sprinting and stages 2 and 4 didn't disappoint. Competition for green jersey is open ...
The breakaway wasn't that strong. Greg van freaking Avermaet was 4th on the stage and lost barely a minute to the likes of Roglič, Alaphilippe and co.. Sure, it's perhaps unlikely they catch Herrada (though that would have been achievable if they'd really gunned it) and Lutsenko was gone, but if the tempo is just a little bit higher, they likely catch GVA and Powless and there are bonus seconds available, 2 at the summit of Lusette and 4 at the line. With how strong Roglič was in stage 4, it's almost risk-free time.

This was the kind of racing I feared would happen once we had a generation of GC riders who've never known riding for GC to be anything other than trying to hold onto the train for as long as possible. What we would have given for 2015-vintage Fabio Aru to have been there yesterday rather than the 2020 version.
 
Upon reading just a few comments in this thread I kind of wish Red Rick will find his button.

People, why do you have ridiculous expectations all the time?
There’s a middle ground between Rolf on the one hand and expecting 30+ riders big peloton to ride Lusette at 5.3 W/kg on the other. Tuesday (and Sunday too) went exactly as expected, yesterday not so much.

I didn’t expect attacks given the break was ahead, but I expected the pace to be lifted.

Okay, in an ideal scenario I expected a selection of say 15-20 riders on the steepest bit and then an opportunistic attack by an outsider like Mollema.
 
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That Movistar DS, Chente something, should be DS for all teams. Screaming to the riders “show that you have balls! Show that you have balls!”

(Reference to the Giro-episodes of the Movistar documentary from last year)
Chente has a problem at home. His team leader declared goal was to finish in the top15 or something. This very same team leader, advises us fans to watch Strade Bianche or Roubaix if we want a show. Thanks, Enric.

Manolo Saiz view was literally transcribed in MARCA as 'nobody wants to be at the post-stage interviews, so they keep on cheating to a complacent press'

And according to UAE DS Matxin, after the season interruption many riders blew up in Dauphiné in just 5 days, so they don't know how they are and are afraid to blow up at any moment.
 
There’s a middle ground between Rolf on the one hand and expecting 30+ riders big peloton to ride Lusette at 5.3 W/kg on the other. Tuesday (and Sunday too) went exactly as expected, yesterday not so much.

I didn’t expect attacks given the break was ahead, but I expected the pace to be lifted.

Okay, in an ideal scenario I expected a selection of say 15-20 riders on the steepest bit and then an opportunistic attack by an outsider like Mollema.
Maybe I was just really angry that they had to finish so early so I could only be at home with about 15 kilometres to go, so I was relieved that I didn't miss much. Very selfish, I know :)
 
The breakaway wasn't that strong. Greg van freaking Avermaet was 4th on the stage and lost barely a minute to the likes of Roglič, Alaphilippe and co.. Sure, it's perhaps unlikely they catch Herrada (though that would have been achievable if they'd really gunned it) and Lutsenko was gone, but if the tempo is just a little bit higher, they likely catch GVA and Powless and there are bonus seconds available, 2 at the summit of Lusette and 4 at the line. With how strong Roglič was in stage 4, it's almost risk-free time.

This was the kind of racing I feared would happen once we had a generation of GC riders who've never known riding for GC to be anything other than trying to hold onto the train for as long as possible. What we would have given for 2015-vintage Fabio Aru to have been there yesterday rather than the 2020 version.
It's a real shame Evenepoel won't make it to the Giro. I feel like he could be the one to completely upset this kind of racing, going by his previous performances. He does not seem to care about how races are supposed to be ridden, probably because he's just that strong.

That is ofcourse if his team doesn't instruct him to ride a GT as conservatively as possible but I think it's against his nature and it won't be possible to keep him on a leash for three weeks.

Then again, if he turns out to be completely superior to all other riders it could get boring again but at least it'll be an other kind of borefest than this one.
 
I think Roglic is more confident with 10-30 minute efforts, which does not mean that he is bad at the longer ones, but his strength are the shorter ones. If you ride a strong pace from the bottom of Lusette that means an effort of around 50 minutes. Of course he is capable of doing it, but there is no reason for Jumbo to bring Roglic into an unpleasant situation at the moment. They tested their rivals on Orcierès Merlette and nobody was really weak, so if you want somebody to drop on Lusette, just let Kuss cruising at 5.8 W/kg is not enough.
On the contrary, Lusette was 100% perfect for Roglic and any 5% climb that came after a short decent should suit him as the far strong TTer much more than pockets climber chasing him.
 
The breakaway wasn't that strong. Greg van freaking Avermaet was 4th on the stage
Greg is a pretty amazing rider tho and he have shown before he can climb pretty well (like his mountain raid in yellow jersey 2 years ago or the Olympics). A break with Lutsenko, Herrada, Greg, Powless and Roche is a strong break.

But yes, if Jumbo wanted they could easily catch Greg and Powless, possibly also Herrada. But they didn't want to. Why we will probably never know or understand 100%.
 
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According to some riders statements after today's stage, we keyboard warriors know nothing about racing a bike. They were all at their limit. It's just a coincidence that 30 dudes have exactly the same limit.
Yeah, that's very much what Enric Mas said... I just can´t stand the argument "You haven´t been a professional, so you don't know anything about bike racing. This is a lot harder than you think" I wonder what Chiappucci or Hinault would think about these statements... they probably switched off the TV cursing their lungs out.
 
If you look at the first week of racing there are a few clear "winners":
  • Pinot, only lost 10 seconds to Roglic. It looked bad after stage 1, but it does look better for every day now.
  • Buchmann, only lost 19 seconds to Roglic. Bad crash in Dauphine, but have minimized the loss and should get better for every day.
  • Landa, only lost 10 seconds to Roglic. When was the last time he didn't lose a lot of time in the first week?
  • Lopez, only 10 seconds to Roglic. Same as Landa, no stupid time loss in week 1 = great success.
  • Quintana, only 10 seconds to Roglic. Have strggled with the knee, but now got a pretty easy first week.
  • Uran, only 10 seconds to Roglic. Was not strong in Dauphine, got a free pass here. Could get better for every stage.
  • Mas, only 19 seconds to Roglic. Have been very weak this year and could've potentially been far behind by now. He is not.
  • Yates, got the yellow jersey. Based on Dauphine he would've been in danger of being dropped if the mountains were rode fast.
The "losers":
  • Alaphilippe, throwing away yellow in a dumb way, not able to get bonus seconds on stage 4 and 6. He shouldve been in GC lead with 15-30seconds on most climbers, now he is behind.
  • Roglic. Strongest guy in Peloton, top form before the Tour. Have not taken advantage of his strength.
Pogacar, G.Martin, Trek-duo and Bardet is somewhat in between.
 
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If you look at the first week of racing there are a few clear "winners":
  • Pinot, only lost 10 seconds to Roglic. It looked bad after stage 1, but it does look better for every day now.
  • Buchmann, only lost 19 seconds to Roglic. Bad crash in Dauphine, but have minimized the loss and should get better for every day.
  • Landa, only lost 10 seconds to Roglic. When was the last time he didn't lose a lot of time in the first week?
  • Lopez, only 10 seconds to Roglic. Same as Landa, no stupid time loss in week 1 = great success.
  • Quintana, only 10 seconds to Roglic. Have strggled with the knee, but now got a pretty easy first week.
  • Uran, only 10 seconds to Roglic. Was not strong in Dauphine, got a free pass here. Could get better for every stage.
  • Mas, only 19 seconds to Roglic. Have been very weak this year and could've potentially been far behind by now. He is not.
  • Yates, got the yellow jersey. Based on Dauphine he would've been in danger of being dropped if the mountains were rode fast.
The "losers":
  • Alaphilippe, throwing away yellow in a dumb way, not able to get bonus seconds on stage 4 and 6. He shouldve been in GC lead with 15-30seconds on most climbers, now he is behind.
  • Roglic. Strongest guy in Peloton, top form before the Tour. Have not taken advantage of his strength.
Pogacar, G.Martin, Trek-duo and Bardet is somewhat in between.
I think you are right.
Also Bernal is a winner of the first week. He was clearly suffering on a couple of occassions, but did not lose any significant time.

Roglic squandered at least two options in the first week to eliminate competitors.
Almost makes you hope, he will pay for this in the upcoming two weeks. To win a GC you must be a killer and use the possibilities presented to you. Guys like Armstrong and Contador would have 'smelled' the weakness in his competitors as you mentioned above, and would have 'killed' them in the first week.

Sometimes you wish Contador was still riding, then a borefest like yesterdays would certainly not have happened.
Just not much characters/personalities like that around these days.
 
Reactions: gregrowlerson
Looking back at the last few pages I feel like the discussion went a bit too far in the heat of the moment. It sounds more and more like "why wasn't there an out and out war between the gc contenders? Why didn't JV go all in and let Roglic make a long solo attack" and that's not really what I think should have happened. You can read on the first pages that I didn't actually expect much from the stage.

It's just how extreme this case was. Netserk put it really well, that normally on this sort of stage you expect a very reduced group of gc contenders over the climb plus a few attacks by minor contenders who the peloton doesn't immediately react to and who gain half a minute or so. That's not expecting too much, that's just expecting what usually happens on this sort of stage.
 
Reactions: bob.a.feet
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It's amazing to see that the excitement about the route before the race and now the narrative everywhere is how there's barely any good mountain stages only to not criticize the riders.
The riders are always gonna ride with what they perceive to be the optimal strategy, it's up to the race organisers to create an entertaining race
 
Looking back at the last few pages I feel like the discussion went a bit too far in the heat of the moment. It sounds more and more like "why wasn't there an out and out war between the gc contenders? Why didn't JV go all in and let Roglic make a long solo attack" and that's not really what I think should have happened. You can read on the first pages that I didn't actually expect much from the stage.

It's just how extreme this case was. Netserk put it really well, that normally on this sort of stage you expect a very reduced group of gc contenders over the climb plus a few attacks by minor contenders who the peloton doesn't immediately react to and who gain half a minute or so. That's not expecting too much, that's just expecting what usually happens on this sort of stage.
Au contraire, a lot of us didn't expect 35km of all out action, but we would have liked to at least feel like the riders were trying. The 10-15 men at the top of the Lusette because of a tough tempo suggested by netserk a page or so ago would not have felt unreasonable, it's a week 1 mountain stage, we want to sort the contenders from the pretenders. Not meaning to pick on them, but Mikaël Cherel is not a GC contender and should not still be in the bunch at the top of the Col de la Lusette if the big teams are working, and Greg van Avermaet should not be riding in the best part of a minute ahead of the bunch from a breakaway that had less than 3 minutes if they're riding even at 80%.
The riders are always gonna ride with what they perceive to be the optimal strategy, it's up to the race organisers to create an entertaining race
Funny that, because every time we criticise the race route, there's a huge number of "the riders make the race" posts. This year ASO have done everything they can to stop the race being a one-week showdown, but the riders don't want to race it. That's not the organisers' fault.

As I mentioned a while back to Salvarani, if today was the Peyresourde stage I'd understand it more, because chaining too many heavy mountain stages always tends to neuter the first one, which therefore usually needs to be on a steep MTF that will create gaps automatically as a result (you know the sort. Zoncolan types are a bit much at this point in the race, but a Peña Cabarga, Urkiola, dare I even say it, but Planche des Belles Filles type) in order to give some kind of racing; but today is a flat stage. The mountain domestiques can have a day off on the bike to recover for the weekend, so riding Lusette like cyclotourists (not the Col des Cyclotouristes) makes less sense as a strategy. At the very least there was the justification for a stage racing Tom Boonen to test people's legs on a stage racing Taaienberg.
 
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