Tour de France Tour de France 2021, Stage 11: Sorgues – Malaucène, 198.9 km

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A healthy Bernal is definitely better than Carapaz, but not light years ahead. At this point, he should be the Tour leader next year.
Well, similar to how I just said we're seeing Carapaz's ceiling right now, I'm not sure we've seen Bernal's just yet. With the nature of the way the Tour that he won went, he was kinda reined in, and it would have been interesting to see how that stage to Tignes would have played out. And the Giro he won this year, again, rehashes all the "weak opposition/beat what was in front of him" arguments, but he won that race in nearly as dominant a fashion as Pogacar in this Tour.
 
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No, I just think you did not get my point.

The point about the caveats came up at this year's Giro, at last year's Giro, at last year's Vuelta, at the 2019 Vuelta etc. If more or less every GT is said to have weak contenders, than maybe the expectations what makes a great field are wrong. I do not think that the competition against which Carapaz won the Giro or finished 2nd in the Vuelta was particularly weak.

I also think that he has a good level at this TdF, but is not at his absolute best. Therefore, in contrast to you, I think that him not being able to drop Lutsenko or Keldermann lately does not take away from his climbing ability in peak shape.

But as I already mentioned (and with that I agree with Eclipse): Carapaz has never been the type of climber distancing his competition on every climb.
A big part of Carapaz's Giro win was playing off the threat of Landa's attacks. He doesn't have that option here.
 
48:24 up the Ventoux, faster than Froome, Pantani, Armstrong, Andy, Berto.

Second time up of the day, the level is not low.
And the pace was set by? Pogi...no. Ineos....yes-ish. Vingegaard after WvA...Yes. A good day for Ineos to show some serious aggression and it changed the GC in their favor, minus losing their workhorse to the timecut. This looked more like open racing and for those that thought it was dull; that's how racing goes on a demanding and hot day. It's not a crit.

A very good stage and very aggressive from the start. The fact that Alaphilippe cooked himself shows how hard everyone at the front worked. 60% of the peloton....not so much.
 
48:24 up the Ventoux, faster than Froome, Pantani, Armstrong, Andy, Berto.

Second time up of the day, the level is not low.
Unfortunately, we don't have the official wind direction at the top, but judged by the data we have and the flags, they had cross-/tailwind (20 km/h) at the exposed section.

View: https://twitter.com/MeteoVentoux/status/1412772900847951881


View: https://twitter.com/infoclimat/status/1412811737695408130
 
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Oct 31, 2018
159
150
2,030
Nice win for WVA. A real pitty Vingegaard didn't take a minute or so to create the illusion that Pog can still lose this.

On a side note, Tony Martin crashed again. He should start a cycling school with Remco to teach young cyclists.
 
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48:24 up the Ventoux, faster than Froome, Pantani, Armstrong, Andy, Berto.

Second time up of the day, the level is not low.
Are you sure it was measured over the same distance? In for example 2013, Ventoux was rated at 20.8@7.5 (source), while today it was rated 15.7@8.8 (source) even though both climbs were done from Bédoin.

Added: According to this list the 15.9k record is Pantani's 46 blank from '94, but 48:24 is better than all times except of five from the tour of 1994.
 
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The annoying part for me and I brought this up a few days ago is how it's considered acceptable and smart when Ineos do it but when Movistar chase someone down despite not being in yellow you have the British on ES laughing at them and Kwiatobot starting fights.
When it was Froome going nuts on GC other riders were slated for hunting podiums but for Ineos it's intelligent
EXACTLY!
 
Are you sure it was measured over the same distance? In for example 2013, Ventoux was rated at 20.8@7.5 (source), while today it was rated 15.7@8.8 (source) even though both climbs were done from Bédoin.

Added: According to this list the 15.9k record is Pantani's 46 blank from '94, but 48:24 is better than all times except of five from the tour of 1994.
Mayo has the record from both starting points, but that was from an ITT in Dauphiné 2004. Pantani's time is the fastest in a road stage.

As you can see in the profile below, the first part is far easier than the rest, which is why ammattipyoraily times the last 15.6 km.



For the times on the full ascent, see here. For the last 15.6 km, see here (missing older times and the Dauphiné '99 ITT).
 
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Not this again. Had that stage not been shortened pretty obvious that Bernal would have won that Tour by a greater margin. Who was Bernal up against? JA couldn't stay with him uphill. Thomas couldn't stay with him uphill.
I agree that Bernal was the favourite from that position, but there was a long descent and a long final climb still to go at the time the race was called; it was not a done deal, and even if we accept that likely he would have won, we have no idea by how much. But my main point is how, since we didn't get to see Bernal trying to close the deal on a long attack like that, we don't know how close to his limit he was, so we don't yet fully understand where Egan's ceiling is.
 
I agree that Bernal was the favourite from that position, but there was a long descent and a long final climb still to go at the time the race was called; it was not a done deal, and even if we accept that likely he would have won, we have no idea by how much. But my main point is how, since we didn't get to see Bernal trying to close the deal on a long attack like that, we don't know how close to his limit he was, so we don't yet fully understand where Egan's ceiling is.
Read up on Bernal's pace on the Col de l'Iseran on that stage. It is almost beyond comprehension, especially at that altitude and late in the 3rd week. His "ceiling" is enormous. I have absolutely zero doubt whatsoever that Bernal would have increased his winning margin had that stage not been shortened. All the facts say JA was more likely to lose more time had that stage not been shortened. Bernal isn't a bad descender either so JA would not have forged a big enough gap to stave off what would have happened on the climb to Tignes.
 
Read up on Bernal's pace on the Col de l'Iseran on that stage. It is almost beyond comprehension, especially at that altitude and late in the 3rd week. His "ceiling" is enormous. I have absolutely zero doubt whatsoever that Bernal would have increased his winning margin had that stage not been shortened. All the facts say JA was more likely to lose more time had that stage not been shortened. Bernal isn't a bad descender either so JA would not have forged a big enough gap to stave off what would have happened on the climb to Tignes.
Well that's just it. We don't know 100% for sure that he could have kept that pace up, solo, on the 20km long, 1000m vertical mountain, ahead of a strong chasing group, on gradients that would give an advantage to riders in a group, on a cold day. We don't even know for sure if the plan wasn't for G to bridge up to him, and that maybe Ineos didn't even plan for him to be able to maintain that effort all the way to the end.

If he would have got to the finish with a 5.00 lead a la Ben O'Connor, then it would have been one of the all-time great rides. If he'd blown up with 5km to go and been at a standstill as the MJ group rolled by, then it would have been just like Kruiswijk on the Alpe the year before. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle, (and there's a lot of middle there) but we'll never know.


I just hope at next year's Tour we see a full-fitness Bernal, vs a full-fitness Pogacar, with a few others like Vingegaard, Almeida, Roglic et al thrown in. And obviously the dream is for Pinot to beat them all.
 
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