• The Cycling News forum is looking to add some volunteer moderators with Red Rick's recent retirement. If you're interested in helping keep our discussions on track, send a direct message to @SHaines here on the forum, or use the Contact Us form to message the Community Team.

    In the meanwhile, please use the Report option if you see a post that doesn't fit within the forum rules.

    Thanks!

Tour de France Tour de France 2021, Stage 18: Pau – Luz Ardiden, 129.7 km

Page 2 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
What makes it worse IMO is that HC is worth of double to 1st category.

I think something like this would be good
HC 20 - points for 10
1st 15 - 8
2nd 10 - 6
3rd 5 - 4
4th 3 - 3

For winners it was close to the years in late 2000s/early 2010s but back then there were quite good points available at the end of the points like 8th cat 1 being better than winning cat 3.
A HC climb has to be double as hard as a cat 1 climb, so I think it's right to give double points. Maybe a more even distribution between placings, but route is the most important factor together with the double points for select climbs (this year for Ventoux, Portet and Luz-Ardiden only, which was always favouring a GC contender).
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sandisfan
A HC climb has to be double as hard as a cat 1 climb, so I think it's right to give double points. Maybe a more even distribution between placings, but route is the most important factor together with the double points for select climbs (this year for Ventoux, Portet and Luz-Ardiden only, which was always favouring a GC contender).
Of course, the other problem has then been the weird bleeding down of categories in recent years with some decidedly dubious awards of cat.1 and HC status. The Tour has usually been the most consistent of the GTs with its categorising, what with the Vuelta deciding to give cat.1 and cat.2 to some fairly short and middling climbs in the north of the country, and ESP to some 6km climbs because of steepness, but then not categorising some climbs that are actually almost as hard as things they're giving cat.2, and the Giro will have a stage with about a dozen climbs worthy of categorisation then only give categorisation to one of them, and it's probably the fourth easiest of the 12.

The double points for summit finishes has served its purpose now, as with the increased number of MTFs in modern cycling we are seeing it become easier to win the jersey at the Tour by default without ever really trying for it. The current system would have been better on the routes from the period before this, with a reduced number of MTFs meriting the double points (2 HCs and a cat.1 - Hautacam, Prato Nevoso and Alpe d'Huez in 2008, same again with Arcalis, Verbier and Ventoux in 2009, and 1 HC and 1 cat.1 with Avoriaz and Tourmalet only in 2010) and a better distribution of points (if you recall, you used to get 4,3,2,1 for cat.3, but then 10,9,8,7,6,5,stop for cat.2). On, say, 2015 (3 HCs and a cat.1 - Pierre-Saint-Martin, Plateau de Beille, La Toussuire, Alpe d'Huez) or 2019 (2 HCs and 3 cat.1s - Planche des Belles Filles, Tourmalet, Prat d'Albis, Iseran (would have been Tignes) and Val Thorens), that's a lot more double points.

The other thing is, while it is hard to argue that Tadej Pogačar hasn't been the best climber in this race - just as Chris Froome was in 2015, the "king of the breakaways" stigma is much less here than at, say, the Vuelta, and it has become a kind of strong consolation prize - see the likes of Majka's wins, and the battle at the end between Yates, Quintana and Bardet in 2019 (which Yates probably would - and should - have won had it not been for the annulments and shortenings); in this race, Pogačar quickly decimated the competition and so the calibre of rider contesting the KOM for most of the race (rather than just the last week as has been common in recent years, last year in particular) and the ferocity of their competition for it, has been greatly improved, so it would be a shame for a couple of summit finishes to then hand it back to Pogačar by default.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: spalco
Or how about instead of points it’s time based that starts at the beginning of the climb, ends at the summit, and only counts the time when you’re either in the front group (not the peloton) (like 5-10 riders depending on the category of the climb) or solo first rider on the climb.
 
The decisive stage! Breakaway with the likes of Julian Alaphilippe, Rusty Woods, Sonny Colbrelli, Richie Porte and Louis Meyntjens goes up the road; nobody can be bothered and they quickly gain over half an hour. Porte attacks the breakaway group with 1km to go and only Colbrelli can hold his wheel. The latter gets so excited by this prospect that he drops his chain Geraint Thomas-style while rehearsing his victory salute and Porte is able to narrowly edge him out at the line. Ten meters past the finish, Colbrelli's handlebars finally succumb after receiving yet another beating by the hands of the frustrated Italian champion.

Louis Meyntjens gets his typical eleventh place from the break but as best-placed rider in the group will be catapulted into second overall O'Connor/ Martin-wise, with the podium contenders still not bothered in the slightest as they trust the diminutive South African will lose plenty of time in the Stage 20 TT. Meanwhile, at the foot of Luz-Ardiden, Pogačar attacks what was left of the peloton and drops everyone but Carapaz, Vingegaard and WVA. Almost half an hour after Porte claimed victory they approach the summit together and WVA starts to lead out Vingegaard, only for the latter to drop the wheel and find himself in a trackstand battle with Carapaz, trying to edge one another out for a few seconds. Almost a minute passes after Pogi and WVA rolled across the line but Carapaz finally manages to eke out a few seconds on Vingegaard with one last, brutal acceleration, following an intense pantomime involving teeth gritting and tongue biting (all for naught, as it would turn out Vingegaard will gain minutes on La Locomotora in the TT).

Then, after Cav will have smashed the Cannibal's record in Stage 19, Meintjens will surprise the world by holding on to this second place in the overall after doing the TT of his life, situated now a good 5 minutes behind the race leader in GC, who soft-pedaled the TT. In a shocking turn of events, Pogačar gets fined 6 minutes for incorrect sock height during the ceremonial stage to the Champs Elysees and Louis Meintjens writes history by becoming the first (South) African to claim La Grande Boucle. (Five years on from now, it will be claimed in a tell-all book written by David Lappartient, who will have been pushed out of the UCI at that point, after a contentious campaign for the presidency against Vino, that this was actually a case of a so-called 'hidden sanction', for offenses that shall not be named here - this will be vehemently denied by all other parties involved, pointing out that Lappartient was nothing more than a disgruntled ex-employee with a chip on his shoulder...)
 
Last edited:
Short and dynamic stage. Tourmalet has some haters but its placement has been terrible most of the time. it's a huge climb and there could be some drama tomorrow (not so far from the line) but obviously it's more likely they will decide it at Luz Ardiden (to me it's memorable due to Armstrong's win in 2003 after falling down). A breakaway will have big chances as Pog won his mountain stage (so UAE in generous mode again). Ineos may chase them though (to finally get a stage win for Carapaz).
 
Think ASO should adjust the rule of double points for mountain top finishes..
Otherwise in the future we will often see that 3 of the 4 jerseys will be owned by one guy. And the fight for the mountain jersey between a few aggressive non-GC riders is really one nice thing that I don´t want to miss..

Due to the fact that the age of the riders is getting younger and younger, one could also consider adjusting the age for the white jersey one day...
And the fact that the souvenir henri degrange is worth the same points as some random midstage climb in week one??
 
  • Wow
Reactions: Sandisfan
Pogacar is by far the best climber so him winning it would definitely do it justice by name but the whole winning it by default makes it a bit pointless I feel.
I'd actually prefer to change it to a "best breakaway rider jersey" with various spots in stages (flat as well as mountain passes) giving points but not at the end of a stage. That way you'd have similar entertaining battles that we have seen this year that won't be undone by massive point flips at the end.
The other option (but that would open up a whole already done to death discussion) would be to change the design of the tour radically and add way more TT kilometers (or even give big bonus seconds for sprints). Because right now the best GC guy is always the best climber as well and its been like that since...Indurain(?) (Wiggins probably the exception) which I always felt made the polkadot slightly worthless.

That's how the tour used to be. Stages had 20/12/8 second time bonuses, plus there were 2-3 intermediate sprints throughout the stage with 6/4/2 second time bonuses. PLus, 100+km of flat ITT was the norm
 
Short and dynamic stage. Tourmalet has some haters but its placement has been terrible most of the time. it's a huge climb and there could be some drama tomorrow (not so far from the line) but obviously it's more likely they will decide it at Luz Ardiden (to me it's memorable due to Armstrong's win in 2003 after falling down). A breakaway will have big chances as Pog won his mountain stage (so UAE in generous mode again). Ineos may chase them though (to finally get a stage win for Carapaz).
Yeah, Tourmalet-Luz Ardiden will always have a special place in my heart after 2003. The attack by Ullrich at Tourmalet and the drama at Luz. Also, I fondly remember watching Sanchez win a great win in 2011 at Luz Ardiden, my favourite rider at the time and a somewhat underrated rider. Was never the same after that year.
 
Yeah, Tourmalet-Luz Ardiden will always have a special place in my heart after 2003. The attack by Ullrich at Tourmalet and the drama at Luz. Also, I fondly remember watching Sanchez win a great win in 2011 at Luz Ardiden, my favourite rider at the time and a somewhat underrated rider. Was never the same after that year.
It's a fine combo, it's just pretty lethargic as a final mountain stage in a Tour full of underwhelming and uncreative mountain stages.
 
It's a fine combo, it's just pretty lethargic as a final mountain stage in a Tour full of underwhelming and uncreative mountain stages.
What is wrong with the mountain stages? You have two very tough climbs tomorrow at the end of the stage. Is the Tourmalet and Luz Ardiden not enough to whittle the bunch down to just a couple of riders and make substantial time gaps????? In my opinion, it boils down to the way the riders race.... Pogacar decided to blow them all away on the Romme-Colombier. It was exciting to watch..... in other years when the Romme-Colombier was used, it wasn't as dramatic a stage and wasn't nearly as selective.. It boils down to the way the riders race.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: gregrowlerson