Tour de France Tour de France 2021, Stage 20: Libourne – Saint-Émilion, 30.8 km (ITT)

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Having Vingegaard and Pogacar peaking at the same time would give us the top 2 time trialers and good climbers needed for a fiercely competitive tour. Both look like the real deal and might provide some exciting GT's in the future. I'd love to see a tour where the best riders trade the lead a couple times. Add Bernal to the mix and it could get REALLY interesting.
I don't think Vingegaard is at Pogs level. He has done well to hang on in a poor GC field but if he wasn't 5 minutes going into the mountains Pog would have taken him apart there
 
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…so twice in 32 years.

And each of those times followed by a TT.

In which the yellow jersey was in play on both occasions.




Also, I don’t think “Voeckler finally gets put out of our collective misery” should ever really count as true “GC action.”
Are we arguing Contador attacking at 90km from the finish wasn't GC action?

In any case. Some mountain stage needs to be the last. The distinction hasn't really been made that final ITT or mountain stage is better, more that Tour de Frances have been utterly trash for suspense deep into the third week.
 
Are we arguing Contador attacking at 90km from the finish wasn't GC action?

In any case. Some mountain stage needs to be the last. The distinction hasn't really been made that final ITT or mountain stage is better, more that Tour de Frances have been utterly trash for suspense deep into the third week.
Yeah, that’s clear. 2020 was the first time in forever that we didn’t know for near certain who would win the Tour by the 2nd rest day. But that isn’t something we should blame on the Tour, or the route, or Movistar’s lack of tactical smarts or whatever; it has just been a fact that there has been a single dominant rider in the Tour for each of most of those years.
 
It doesn’t have to change hands to be exciting though. 1986, 2003, 2010, all had exciting final TTs without the jersey changing hands in the final TT.

1987, 1989, 1990, 2020 were exciting with a change. Throw in the Giro and Vuelta and you have quite a few exciting final TTs.
There was not one change in the top 20 - I'll also add that the stage design was poor with NOT one GC specific day in the last 3 stages.
 
There was not one change in the top 20 - I'll also add that the stage design was poor with NOT one GC specific day in the last 3 stages.
There was one change in the top twenty; granted, there wasn't in the top nineteen.

But that is a consequence of the previous three weeks, not of the decision to have a stage 20 time trial.
Had Thomas and Roglic ridden as hoped/expected there could have been very intense competition between the predicted top three yesterday; had Vingegaard continued to drop rather than come back to the top two on stage 17 then he might have been c30 seconds behind Carapaz, with TT being key; if Uran hadn't lost shape in the last few days and had TTing ability as he had 5 weeks ago the podium battle would have been open yesterday; if the chasedown of O'Connor on stage 9 had started a few kilometres sooner or later then his time gaps would have been different.

The TT did not spoil (one day of) the race, the race spoiled the TT.
Did you know, with any confidence at all, that there would be "NOT one GC specific day in the last 3 stages", or are you just claiming the 20/20 vision of hindsight? Because the riders and teams certainly were not sure of that three weeks ago. And the stage designers did not know what the GC gaps would be after 19 stages, so you cannot hold them to judgement as though they did.
 
Are we arguing Contador attacking at 90km from the finish wasn't GC action?

In any case. Some mountain stage needs to be the last. The distinction hasn't really been made that final ITT or mountain stage is better, more that Tour de Frances have been utterly trash for suspense deep into the third week.
Without that attack and his earlier steering error Voeckler might have actually won the 2011 Tour de France.
 
Must say I feel tempted by the prospect of Evans not winning cause I never liked him but Voeckler is a few steps too frigging far.
Well, we will never know since he followed that attack by Contador & Evans and blew up completely. Probably because he already had lost significant time due to his steering error before. Voeckler certainly lost a podium finish there. As comical as it might sound, he was closer to final victory than Virenque & Bardet ever were. But yeah, he was handed time advantage and threw it away by mistakes of course.
 
There was one change in the top twenty; granted, there wasn't in the top nineteen.

But that is a consequence of the previous three weeks, not of the decision to have a stage 20 time trial.
Had Thomas and Roglic ridden as hoped/expected there could have been very intense competition between the predicted top three yesterday; had Vingegaard continued to drop rather than come back to the top two on stage 17 then he might have been c30 seconds behind Carapaz, with TT being key; if Uran hadn't lost shape in the last few days and had TTing ability as he had 5 weeks ago the podium battle would have been open yesterday; if the chasedown of O'Connor on stage 9 had started a few kilometres sooner or later then his time gaps would have been different.

The TT did not spoil (one day of) the race, the race spoiled the TT.
Did you know, with any confidence at all, that there would be "NOT one GC specific day in the last 3 stages", or are you just claiming the 20/20 vision of hindsight? Because the riders and teams certainly were not sure of that three weeks ago. And the stage designers did not know what the GC gaps would be after 19 stages, so you cannot hold them to judgement as though they did.
I posted similar when the TDF route was announced - It's a ' Classic TDF Route' in which GC action finishes after stage 18.
 
Of course not - But you should have one nailed on GC stage in the last 3 stages of a GT - It's strange to have 2 sprints and an ITT.
A TT stage is as nailed-on a GC day as you're going to get. That's why the Vuelta, Giro, Paris-Nice, Tour de Suisse and Tirreno-Adriatico all regularly have a TT as their final stage. It's not even remotely "strange" to have 2 sprints and a TT; that's been a pretty standard format for the Tour for decades. What's strange is to finish a stage in the mountains on Saturday, and then have a 3-hour stage into Paris on the Sunday.
 
A TT stage is as nailed-on a GC day as you're going to get. That's why the Vuelta, Giro, Paris-Nice, Tour de Suisse and Tirreno-Adriatico all regularly have a TT as their final stage. It's not even remotely "strange" to have 2 sprints and a TT; that's been a pretty standard format for the Tour for decades. What's strange is to finish a stage in the mountains on Saturday, and then have a 3-hour stage into Paris on the Sunday.
At the time, the route was announced, I described it as a classic TDF route - Which means the GC relevant action stops at stage 18.
 
Significant GC change after stage 18:
2020 Pogacar took the win
2019 Alaphilippe dropped from 1st to 5th
2018 Roglic gained, then lost, a podium spot
2017 Uran took 2nd from Bardet
2016 Mollema fell from 2nd to 11th, Bardet and Quintana move onto podium
2015 Thomas went from 4th to 15th, Nibali from 7th to 4th
2014 Peraud and Pinot swapped podium spots
2013 Quintana moves 3rd to 2nd, Rodriguez replaces Contador on the podium

and so on. "GC relevant action stops at stage 18" ???
 
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At the time, the route was announced, I described it as a classic TDF route - Which means the GC relevant action stops at stage 18.
But the lead has changed hands after stage 18 in the last 2 Tours before this one. One of those in a TT. Your reasons for not liking late ITT stages, or not liking Tour routes, are not reflected in what actually happens in the race.
 
I'm pretty ambivalent towards what the last GC stage is in all honestly. Both a TT and a mountain stage can be great, although I don't really like to have the final mountain stage as early as stage 18, and I also really dislike if the final mountain stage is "just" a pretty vanilla MTF with very limited potential to go nuts.
 
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