Tour de France Tour de France 2021 - Enthusiastic laymen's thread

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Which team has the winner of the Tour de France 2021?


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Looking at the expected startlist for the first time - I voted for the revenge of the Jumbots - but Ineos looks crazy strong. I mean insane. Three previous GT winners, plus Porte who should have (and could have) won a GT too, plus *** Rohan Dennis, Kwiatkowski, Rowe and Castroviejo. Will still be difficult for them to take time off Roglic and Pogacar, but wow. If the race had a long TTT they could go 1,2,3.
 
I changed my mind. I now think Ineos have a better chance to win than Roglic. Pogacar is still the top favourite for me.
But Ineos have the team to make the race go into their direction, and if Pogacar crashes or steps into some trap, I think that Ineos are more likely to properly exploit that than Jumbo. I still don't believe in Jumbo's tactical superiority. And I think for crosswinds and other situations Ineos have the more experienced and all in all stronger riders.

Jumbo's team actually looks pretty weak this year, compared. If they don't all suddenly find their best form after another training camp, it will be tough. From the revelation of the route on I have said that it's a great route for van Aert and I still think it is - if they could play him as a second option, with that first week... seriously, that could be very useful. I don't know how badly this surgery and less training really affected him.
Kruijswijk looked weak, Kuss looked mediocre, Teunissen is probably there to help van Aert get stage wins, but unless they want to use that in GC it's a stupid move in my opinion. They will need every man for the GC battle. So I hope there's a real plan behind that and it's not some kind of "we are a Dutch team" move. Vingegaard looked better in the early season. Well, Martin is Martin. And Gesink hasn't shown much this year. I wonder why they don't bring Tolhoek, who has looked convincing through the season so far, instead of Teunissen. And I think they might lack another real power-horse. I don't know if Affini is totally done after the Giro? Otherwise I would probably have brought him instead of Kruijswijk. (Okay, I see I want to leave two of my cq-riders at home, here... Well, you have to make sacrifices.)

Pogacar's team looks good, but not that good, not in terms of riders, but in terms of form. Hirschi and McNulty don't look at their best at all.
Kristoff - they are not actually bringing him? I mean, I know there are quite some options for sprints, but... ooh, you probably know by now I'm not a fan of these "a bit of everything" strategies. One reason for Skyneos' success, you have to give it to them, is their commitment to one goal.
Well, anyway, the team is decent enough if you have the strongest rider. What they lack, in my opinion, is a road captain of Rowe's calibre or a very smart and experienced all-rounder like Kwiat.
Hirschi, despite his lack of form, is a good guy to follow on the descents, that alone should be valuable. Because really, if Pogacar is going to lose this, it's due to some stupid something happening to him, anything from mechanical, crash, getting left behind on a descent, getting caught in a difficult tactical situation... that's why I think the lack of a really experienced rider for these things is the main weakness of this team. I'm not sure Majka or de la Cruz can do that. As we saw the DS' of UAE do not always come up with the best decisions themselves.

Surprisingly Wout Poels has not smashed the opposition at Suisse yet. No idea what to expect from Bahrain.

Will Movistar be the big winners here? Not the Ineos' rivals, but the laughing third party this time? I think if they commit to Lopez and Lopez manages his best time trials it's actually possible. :hearteyes: Nobody will look at them as main contenders, while Lopez will be among the best climbers - maybe even the best. They have to play it perfectly, tactically. And not get caught in any crosswinds. The route suits Mas better, but Mas has no chance to challenge for the win, so I just hope they forget about the team classification for once!!

And what can we expect from Astana??!!:oops:
Lutsenko and Fuglsang seem to have found their best form in just the right moment. Maybe they will play a part in the podium battle. :smilecat:
 
Things favouring Pogacar:
  1. Climbing performances: he's shown that he's capable of sustaining (20-30 minutes) climbing speed of about 1850 m/h (6.5-6.6 w/kg), which is probably beyond his rivals' reach and places him among best climbers in modern cycling.
  2. He showed his best at the end of GTs he entered (vuelta'19, tour'20), which signals great 3-week endurance and may indicate he's a born GT champion.
  3. He's still only 22 and may actually get even better (which is scary).
Things favouring Roglic:
  1. He beat Pogacar in two key stages of the Tour of Basque Country: ITT and queen mountain stage (the latter due to tactics but still). He's probably the only rider who has no reason to fear Pog. Two flat TTs may slightly favour him over his younger rival and he has a chance to hold his own against Poga in the mountains (possibly with the help of his team or tactics).
  2. Unorthodox preparation: no races since Liege. Yet I don't think he will be too rusty as he showed he can be sharp from a get go (see Paris-Nice). OTOH it may help him keep his form for the whole race (no bad days) and perform his peak GT (also thanks to long time at altitude).
  3. Strong team: difference beetween their teams will be smaller than last year though.
Things favouring Ineos:
  1. Team
  2. Strong team
  3. Ridiculously strong team
 
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Pogacar will win (laughing as he smashes the record for Ventoux), Carapaz will finish 2nd, Padun will win a stage and Roglic will shrug and say he did his best and the Jumbo train was the only train in town.
I have a hunch the Ventoux stage is going to result in one giant nothingburger flop. Everyone will ride tempo behind Ineos, UAE & Jumbo, with the descent finish nullifying GC attempts except for some climbers like Lopez who might try something. Just my opinion.

Also, I'll put my neck out here & say Primoz Roglic will win this race. I think Pogacar is extremely strong, but so is Roglic. I also think Pogacar is massively overrated in terms of "he's going to blow everyone up" expectations since his exploit last year when in real terms, there's very little to differentiate between him & Roglic. I give the latter an advantage based on better form this year (his Dauphiné crash was bad last year) & more experience.

The unknown for me is whether Pog & Rog might commit the sacrilegious cycling sin of giving each other googly eyes whilst someone like Carapaz (déjà-vu...) rides into the distance. Wait & see. Oh & Geraint Thomas will crash at some point. But everyone knows that already.
 
The unknown for me is whether Pog & Rog might commit the sacrilegious cycling sin of giving each other googly eyes whilst someone like Carapaz (déjà-vu...) rides into the distance.
Definitely a possibility just based on them both being the clear favourites, but additionally maybe both being from the same country.

Is there anything known about their personal relationship - indifferent, friendly, competitive, hostile? Roglic has got to be a bit miffed about Pogacar stealing his thunder, no?
 
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Definitely a possibility just based on them both being the clear favourites, but additionally maybe both being from the same country.

Is there anything known about their personal relationship - indifferent, friendly, competitive, hostile? Roglic has got to be a bit miffed about Pogacar stealing his thunder, no?
Personally between Roglic & Pogacar, we just don't know, although judging by the Code Yellow documentary (within the Jumbo Tour team) released on Dutch TV last December, I believe there's absolutely nothing "friendly" or close between them at all (fun moments included Grischa Niermann aka the Jumbo DS shouting "c**t Pogacar" in the car on a couple of occasions), i.e. all for all intents & purposes all Pog & Rog share is nationality & nothing else.

But on the road, it's going to reach heights of rivalry this summer which this sport needs. Basque Country was amazing IMO, i.e. the fight to the death between both of them in that 60 km chase on the final stage was as epic as it gets. It was like nobody else mattered & it was just two guys doing an individual TT against each other with the intermittent intrusion of some other guys in the proceedings.

I hope for more of the same in the Tour.
 
Personally between Roglic & Pogacar, we just don't know, although judging by the Code Yellow documentary (within the Jumbo Tour team) released on Dutch TV last December, I believe there's absolutely nothing "friendly" or close between them at all (fun moments included Grischa Niermann aka the Jumbo DS shouting "c**t Pogacar" in the car on a couple of occasions), i.e. all for all intents & purposes all Pog & Rog share is nationality & nothing else.

But on the road, it's going to reach heights of rivalry this summer which this sport needs. Basque Country was amazing IMO, i.e. the fight to the death between both of them in that 60 km chase on the final stage was as epic as it gets. It was like nobody else mattered & it was just two guys doing an individual TT against each other with the intermittent intrusion of some other guys in the proceedings.

I hope for more of the same in the Tour.
I haven't seen the documentary, but Roglic's behaviour towards Pogacar was very friendly especially during the Tour?! I had thought they really shared some kind of friendship, although not close.
 
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I haven't seen the documentary, but Roglic's behaviour towards Pogacar was very friendly especially during the Tour?! I had thought they really shared some kind of friendship, although not close.
Roglic is friendly with everyone. He even bro-fisted Schachmann at the end of Paris-Nice when Bora had literally fisted his GC lead by pulling the peloton after he crashed. It's just the way he is. And I never got the impression Pogacar was treated differently from his other rivals.

I do think there was some media spin from papers trying to create a sort of story between them (i.e. constant questions in interviews asking about their relationship etc.), but on the road & in the behind the scenes footage, there was nothing there. To Roglic, it appeared Pogacar was just another rival who happened to be Slovenian.

That's how I see it anyway. Of course now that "rival" also happens to be the number one obstacle standing between Roglic & fulfilling his dream of winning the Tour. So it's a bit more interesting now, i.e. last year I do believe Jumbo mistakenly focused on Bernal too much & overlooked the Pogacar danger until things were a bit too late (Col de la Loze was when Jumbo really shifted focus into riding against Pogacar).
 
Definitely a possibility just based on them both being the clear favourites, but additionally maybe both being from the same country.

Is there anything known about their personal relationship - indifferent, friendly, competitive, hostile? Roglic has got to be a bit miffed about Pogacar stealing his thunder, no?
They never were "friends" as some say. I doubt they even spoke more then a few sentences before La Vuelta 2019. There they were allies, each with different goals and same nationality - so inclined to work together. The mentality of the two is also quite different. Pogačar is a young exuberant rider, a showman at times, knows he is good and shows that. He can also get annoyed quite easily and is more likely to throw a tantrum. Roglič is more humble, quiet, a leader in the background who simply likes to ride his bike and wants to win at all costs. And the age gap is also there.

They worked very well together in La Vuelta and the Tour last year - that is as long as Roglič was in control of the race and Pogi was happy to get a podium for himself. I think it all changed a bit after stage 15 of the Tour last year where Pogačar beat Roglič to the line - it was the first time Roglič was beaten by Pogačar head to head. Previously he either gifted Tadej the win or let him go, not worried by the eventual time gains. So after that, their relationship got a bit colder. Not to mention what happened afterwards on stage 20.


We got a glimpse of how racing might be in Itzulia. Roglič tried a different approach - he knew conventional way of racing against Pogačar is risky since they are too closely matched. So he won by tactics and reading the race better. Though I also fear that they will again be so close form wise that they will look at eachother too much and a random Ineos rider takes advantage of this. Jumbo DSs already gave us a sniff at the approach in some interviews - "Pogačar is the favourite, he should chase attacks from Ineos/Movsitar and we will attack him when he is exhausted and cracks". I just fear this approach might be deadly for both of them - yes, Ineos don't have an individual quite on their level, but the team strenght is insane... and they have four riders on the team that are crazy good - three of them have won a GT in the last three years, and the other one podiumed the Tour last year... add Kwiato, Dennis, Rowe and Castroviejo as a support and you have a squad so full of talent that anyone who plays around just a bit too much will lose the race against them.
 
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I haven't seen the documentary, but Roglic's behaviour towards Pogacar was very friendly especially during the Tour?! I had thought they really shared some kind of friendship, although not close.
Roglič is a nice guy as Rackham said. Up until stage 15 he did not see Pogačar as a threat to him at all. He played the Vuleta 2019 scenario in his head - he gained 1:30 in the TT there. So why worry about someone who was already more than a minute behind in week one. He let Pogačar go on the Peyresourde to get him on the podium - he said in the Slovenian interview that day "Why would I chase a Slovenian - he is not a direct threat to me so let others chase him" and that Tadej deserved to be on the podium. So basically he was doing a publicity stunt for Slovenians - making sure both were on the podium like the year before in Spain. As seen in the JV documentary and George Bennet podcasts during the Tour though, some riders and DSs (Niermann especially) started to realise Pogačar is a problem. Bennet even said I think after the second rest day that he is slightly afraid of Pogačar and what he might do in the mountains but "surely Rogla will take him in the TT". Another thing seen in the documentary is that the team was basically celebrating the win after Loze stage. When a usually reserved Roglič, who does not even want to say he won La Vuelta before he finishes the last stage in Madrid, starts raising his arms in victory on the balcony and doing his telemark landings around the hotel while in the yellow jersey... you know they were confident that it is done and dusted. That is why that TT came as such a huge shock to everyone.
 
I don't see Ineos as much as a threat to Pog and Rog as much as some here do. This is down to the two Slovenians unless something goes wrong (hopefully not).

Sure, they've a strong team and in Thomas, Porte and Carapaz, they have 3 guys who can win it (TGH cannot), but can Thomas and Porte attack and distance Pog and Rog, not a chance imo, and Carapaz can but can he distance them enough to make up for the time he'll lose in the TT, imo again no. Even at a team strength level, posters have questioned the form of Jumbo and UAE doms but it's not like Dennis or Kwiatowski have been performing well recently. Both have disappeared uphill at Suisse and Dauphine.

Never mind they're attacking two strong teams and not just two riders, and if you do manage to so that you have to hope other teams don't want to ride to protect their positions when you do it. Along with that, Ineos have a habit of just train riding anyway which Roglic will sit and laugh as he takes 20 seconds in the final km from them if they do that. They're basically hoping for opportune crashes or mechanicals imo where their team strength will help them, or both Jumbo and UAE being tactically clueless (which is probably expected from Jumbo at least)
 
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It will be interesting to see what tactical moves Ineos can pull while having the strongest and deepest team yet not the strongest individual rider so unable to just ride strong tempo and strangle the race.

Think Roglic will be extremely motivated and less inclined to take the foot off the gas when opportunity to gain appear like on the Glieres gravel section where he gapped Pogacar but didn’t continue with it.

Pogacar has a team which looks strong on paper but has really underperformed all year except for Pogacar himself. I expect him to be even stronger but to be targeted more if his team go MIA when needed such as bad weather or a mechanical issue.
 
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A podium at the TDF will be considered a failure for Jumbo/Ineos/UAE. Pogacar may try to win with pure brute force. This time Roglic will just follow Pogacar. Jumbo and Ineos will not pace the climbs. Carapaz will play the attacking foil while G will wheel suck Pogacar as much as possible. Porte might to a long ranger. Movistar will focus on .... team classification and stage wins and top 10 for Valverde. All in all it will be a no holds barred match which means crosswinds, mechanicals, crashes will be taken full advantage of. If Pogacar' team is destroyed by third week, he will be vulnerable but if he goes thermonuclear like TA or Ineos/Jumbo have a brain freeze, he will win.
 
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The only way the train works in this TdF is if they push so hard that they get the group of heads of state down to 10 riders, 3 or 4 of whom are Ineos, and Roglic and Pogacar are by themselves. So they can then play their cards.
 
Jun 26, 2020
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I read many comments about potential crosswinds. But are there really this many stages with real potential for crosswinds or is it just „marketing“ to increase the anticipation about all those flat stages?
 
Ok, both Jumbo/Roglic and UAE have a history of questionable tactics and even being outright braindead (that Giro 2019 Lombardia stage). If RogPog are matched you may see some more agressive guys like Carapaz, Landa or MAL doing the mosquito role. It can end either like 2010 TdF where Schleck and Contador were quick to agreement or like Roglic and Nibali in Giro 2019. I assume PogRog have a better chemistry so it may be closer to the 2010 scenario. The problem is that the best stages for that are the first Alpine stage and Ventoux, both not greatily positioned in the race. However, my predicitons are always the exact opposite to what will happen so you may expect minutes/hours lost on freakin Tignes.
 
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