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

Page 13 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
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" ???
Way to twist an argument - The 2021 TDF was a 'classic ' TDF route which has not been seen for around 8 to 10 years with 8 flattish stages, 2 ITT's, 4 or 5 serious mountain stages and the rest were transitional hilly type stages - Lets revisit these years listed in your post to find whether any of the years finished with 2 sprint stages and an ITT.

So lets explore the profiles from stage 19 from 2011, considering stage 21 is always a sprint

2013, 2015, 2016, 2019 - Two mountainous stages though 2019 was affected by freak weather conditions but there were changes on GC
2017,2020 - One ITT
2018 - ITT and mountain stage
2014 - Two flattish stages
2012 - One hilly and one ITT
2011 - One mountainous and one flat

So 2013,2015,2016,2019,2018 and 2011 had at least one or two mountainous stages from stage 19.

At the end of the day, the only spot that changed on GC from stage 19 in the 2021 TDF was 20th and 21st.
 
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.
Yes, the 2019 GC changed on a mountainous stage - Do you think it would have changed on stage 19 if we had the 2021 stage ? - A number of GC positions changed after the stage 20 ITT up Planche De Fille and of course we had the freak performance by Pogacar which rarely happens.
 
At the end of the day, the only spot that changed on GC from stage 19 in the 2021 TDF was 20th and 21st.
And that makes 2021 a massive outlier. There has been a change in the top 19 in literally every TT stage in the final 3 stages of the Tour de France since 1991. And I only checked as far back as 1991, because I know for a fact that in 3 of the 4 years before that, the flipping yellow jersey changed hands in a TT in the last 3 stages. The exception in those 4 years was when Delgado had a 7 MINUTE LEAD over 2nd place.
 
You have still not explained how the route for the last three stages is accountable for the fact that the race leader had a lead of 5 minutes plus on second, who is a far better time trialist than 3rd, who had 2 and a half minutes on 4th, who is a very similar level of TTer to 5th, who was at least much closer to the guy in front of in than any of the next 5. That is why the TT had no significant effect on the GC.

Is a sprint/breakaway stage on a Friday in week 3 necessarily worst than one in week 1 or 2?
 
You have still not explained how the route for the last three stages is accountable for the fact that the race leader had a lead of 5 minutes plus on second, who is a far better time trialist than 3rd, who had 2 and a half minutes on 4th, who is a very similar level of TTer to 5th, who was at least much closer to the guy in front of in than any of the next 5. That is why the TT had no significant effect on the GC.

Is a sprint/breakaway stage on a Friday in week 3 necessarily worst than one in week 1 or 2?
You have answered your own question in paragraph 1 - This is what potentially happens when you have 2 sprints and an ITT in the final three stages of a GT - At least the Giro and the Vuelta which end with an ITT don't have two flat stages in the final three stages
 
It is potentially what happens, but potentially you have 5 riders within a couple of minutes, whose GC order is the reverse of their time trialling ability. You have singularly failed to explain that it is somehow pro-ordained by the nature of the last three stages that what happened this year would be the case after 18 stages. As I have already said, if you guessed that not much would change after stage 18 this year then you were right, take our congratulations and wear a happy hat for having guessed right, but don't claim that it was inevitable.

Let's take it as a given that stage 21 will finish in Paris for reasons of commerce and tradition, and that no high mountains will emerge in that area during our lifetimes.

Let's also take it for granted that stage 20 will be a potentially decisive stage: I can't recall a final Saturday that has not been either, although I won't be surprised if someone doesn't find an exception . That means that it will either be a mountainous stage or a time trial. Is it your contention that a mountain stage is more likely to create time gaps between riders who are already close on overall time because of their performances over several previous mountain stages than a time trial is?

And then we have stage 19. You didn't answer my question above: Is a sprint/breakaway stage on a Friday in week 3 necessarily worse than one in week 1 or 2? How many mountain stages in a row do you consider practical if they are to be raced hard? What is the latest acceptable stage for a sprint outside Paris? How would you keep the teams that have no successes after 2 1/2 weeks motivated?

If it is simply that you don't like sprint stages, and/or you don't like time trials, then say so. You won't be alone in such an opinion. But the notion that a break-TT-Paris sprint finale necessarily means no GC changes will occur in the TT is not tenable.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY