All well and good, only Ineos didn't work. That was precisely the problem. They rode a comfortable, middling tempo so as not to expend any helpers all the way up. And everybody else fell into line behind them. If Castroviejo was going deep and swung off and Ineos were expending domestiques and people like Kwiatkowski and Carapaz were being burned off, you'd be right and Jumbo would be playing a smart long game. If Ineos were setting a tempo that was burning off secondary and tertiary contenders, or at least getting rid of career domestiques like Cherel and Reichenbach, then you'd be right and Jumbo would not come in for the criticism they have because Ineos would be doing a job to make the race, maybe not in the most exciting fashion but as much as we can expect in week 1 (this would be actual attrition). But Ineos were soft-pedalling and everybody else was happy to let them. If Bernal was feeling bad and that was all he could muster, then that's fine. But I can't believe that other teams didn't notice Ineos' tempo was false based on power meters, the time gap to the break etc., and if not one, not a single solitary rider or DS on one of the other major teams thought "this tempo is false, I wonder if Bernal isn't feeling too good, maybe we should spend a couple of kilometres at pace to find out?" then the racing mindset is even worse than I thought. Because if it turns out Bernal is fine, you just lay it off and accept it didn't work. If it works, then you've nothing to lose. If nothing else it's a psychological shot across the bow. And if your hold on the race is so tenuous that a couple of kilometres of exploratory high tempo on stage 6 will cost you, you aren't a serious contender anyway and are the kind of rider that a stronger tempo would have dropped.This was one of the stages JV could make Ineos work. Due to demonstration on stage 4, people expectations in this thread, it was rather obvious, before the stage started, JV had already won the stage 6 and Roglič got the bonification seconds, wasn't it?
In the end that made Ineos work, well before stage 15, and JV was smart to capitalize on that. Additionally only JV knows, when they will lunch an attack. It is reasonable to expect, some sort of an attack will happen before stage 15, but nobody knows when. That makes other teams nervous and that makes other teams work.
At the same time JV doesn't have to defend maillot jaune, for an addition of 10 days, compared to some other rival teams! And for people after saying, they faded in week 3. Obviously, if you are killing yourself, and your team, for 2 weeks, when biggest rivals sit behind and rather do nothing, there is a bigger chance you will have fatigue issues in week 3.
For the people expecting Roglič will fade in week 3, you put too much emphasize on Giro 2019. He lost his stomach, due to bad nutrition, breathing hurt, due to hurting his chest in a crash, and he still finished on podium. That doesn't read as fading to me.
He put his team to the front on Tourmalet just to get dropped later on Cauterets losing one minute to Valverde. Thing with 2015 and 2016 Giro were these weird shifts of shape were he could be really bad one day and come to life on another one.Not sure about the Tourmalet attack but he did get dropped on Cauterets which is about all you need to know about early 2015 TdF Nibali.
Everything in their power except the most obvious and effective way of putting in an early time trial to give the climbers a reason to attack. If their had been a 20-30k ITT beforehand no way would the stage have turned out so boring it actually had a lot of potential. I agree about the correct way to chain mountain stages which they have actually sort of done this year but it's pointless without early gaps to give the climbers a need to attack.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%.
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.
Fully agree with this.I disagree. It’s a very backloaded route with the only ITT in the end with a mountain in it, meaning no incentive to take risks. Pyrenees are the weakest since 1992. Orcieres was designed as a sprint and the loop with Eze to make that stage what it was, racing only on the last climb with favourites hiding. Only hope is echelons on stage 10.
The design is all about a tight gc with favourites in front and in ‘action’ every other stage without creating any gaps that would kill the oh so holy suspense until Loze the gimmick.
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