Tour de France Tour de France 2021, Stage 17: Muret – Saint-Lary-Soulan Col du Portet, 178.4 km

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The biggest losers of today are Woods, Poels, and Quintana by far. In all likelihood, they gifted GPM to Pogacar by doing nothing to catch the weak breakaway.
Israel and Arkea pulled on the flats. Probably trying to limit or even trying to shrink the gap. But failed. Israel had several riders but couldn't shorten the gap strangely enough. Bahrain didn't even try. Tomorrow at least we know what they will do.
 
Israel and Arkea pulled on the flats. Probably trying to limit or even trying to shrink the gap. But failed. Israel had several riders but couldn't shorten the gap strangely enough. Bahrain didn't even try. Tomorrow at least we know what they will do.
I actually forgot that Arkea literally has 3 riders left. But it is just strange to let such a weak breakaway to mop up points for no reason.
 
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Very entertaining stage.

It's crazy that on Sunday Pogacar might have 6 TdF jerseys in his palmares. Only Merckx, Bahamontes, Van Impe, Hinault, Virenque, and Sagan have more. And Armstrong. And apart from Merckx, all those riders have only 7, so next year he could become the rider with the second most jerseys in Tour history. At 23 years of age.
I don't know if I would count the white jersey in that context, but clearly: double yellow&polka dot is super impressive. At an age where most cyclists are just getting started basically.

(and Armstrong never won any jersey)
 
In my eyes:

Pogacar: had everything under control, just because he couldn't ride everyone off his wheel doesn't mean he wasn't very strong - he led them up for a few km and still won without problems in the end. Yes, he had to make an effort, but I don't think he had to go to deep, he clearly avoided that. All he wanted was the stage win, he got the stage win.

Vingegaard: continues to wow me. Don't know what to say.

Carapaz: did what he could to get as much out of the stage as possible, which he got. It's not much, but from the realistic possible scenarios this was one of the best for him, I think.

Lutsenko: did what could be expected, the problem is that Astana have spent the whole Tour doing nothing apart from his GC placement, and more than a top10 was just never very probable. I wonder how today will affect him tomorrow and in the time trial.

Mas and Uran: a bit disappointing.

Higuita: hey, he's alive!!

O'Connor, Gaudu: well done! Just a small peace of cake for each of them, but in comparison they were on the winning side today.
 
In my eyes:

Pogacar: had everything under control, just because he couldn't ride everyone off his wheel doesn't mean he wasn't very strong - he led them up for a few km and still won without problems in the end. Yes, he had to make an effort, but I don't think he had to go to deep, he clearly avoided that. All he wanted was the stage win, he got the stage win.

Vingegaard: continues to wow me. Don't know what to say.

Carapaz: did what he could to get as much out of the stage as possible, which he got. It's not much, but from the realistic possible scenarios this was one of the best for him, I think.

Lutsenko: did what could be expected, the problem is that Astana have spent the whole Tour doing nothing apart from his GC placement, and more than a top10 was just never very probable. I wonder how today will affect him tomorrow and in the time trial.

Mas and Uran: a bit disappointing.

Higuita: hey, he's alive!!

O'Connor, Gaudu: well done! Just a small peace of cake for each of them, but in comparison they were on the winning side today.
Carapaz was the big winner on the day. Never hit the front and put big time into Uran. Pogacar just wanted the stage I think. The podium looks a lot more solid now. Be surprised if Uran gained time back on Carapaz tomorrow.
 
Carapaz was the big winner on the day. Never hit the front and put big time into Uran. Pogacar just wanted the stage I think. The podium looks a lot more solid now. Be surprised if Uran gained time back on Carapaz tomorrow.
In terms of GC I think you are right, Carpaz looks to have enogh time on Uran now to hold his position on the podium after the TT. Uran had 36 seconds on Carapaz in the first TT and is therefore very unlikely to overhaul the time deficit to lepafrog Carapaz into third. He was the big winner on the day. Once Vingegaard had dropped Uran he didn't need to ride for Pogacar as he will put time into Carapaz on the final TT.

The main battle of interest tomorrow will be for KOTM. I don't think Pogacar will ride for the jersey after getting his stage win today so I think the stage could well be one for the breakaway tomorrow. Expect Woods, Poels, Van Aert and Quintana all to have a go. Quintana looks incapable of sustaining any form of long attack so I would rule him out now.
 
There was some bluff in Carapaz' performance. When they were riding high pace he hung on with a grin like the Cheshire Cat. When they slowed down he kept that same grin, although it must have been easier. Well, I think he deserves a podium spot in Paris.
#TDF2021 - Pogacar about him and Vingegaard talking: "He said to me that he knows that Carapaz is bluffing and I knew it also"
 
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I think the issue is that Carapaz was not riding to win the Tour, but riding to win second place in the Tour, and sandbagging the guy he was 1 second behind. Not unheard of, and Carapaz has attacked more than any other rider, but his decision to sit-on and never pull netted him the same result he would have gotten if he pulled, only he wouldn't have looked like a bit of putz doing so.
So, if he had pulled it would mean that he's riding to win the Tour?:oops: I can't follow the logic here...
 

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