Tour de France Tour de France 2021, Stage 8: Oyonnax – Le Grand-Bornand, 150.8 km

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Would have been interesting if Carapsz would have given Pog a turn. That's even if he was capable! Would they have worked together?

I just have a feeling now after such a great opening week it's going to be a boring tour now.

As for the clinic talk. I've seen so many Sky fans saying it and just forgetting what their boys have done in the past.
 
Would have been interesting if Carapsz would have given Pog a turn. That's even if he was capable! Would they have worked together?

I just have a feeling now after such a great opening week it's going to be a boring tour now.

As for the clinic talk. I've seen so many Sky fans saying it and just forgetting what their boys have done in the past.
Ermm.. that really looked more impressive than Froome's Ax-3, Ventoux, PSM solos. Besides, Froome failed to win flat time trials in the Tour. :)
 
Yeah, I don't buy the weak field argument. Outside of Bernal, what top GC riders are missing?
It's kind of like 2014 in which Quintana didn't ride and Froome and Contador crashed out of contention early.
IMHO the field is actually stronger than the Froome era.
Effectively there is no (more) Roglic, Thomas, Haig... due to crashes, there is no Bernal, no Landa, no Pinot, Bardet, Almeida, Vlasov, Carthy...
Buchman, Yates, Quintana aren't here for GC (or if they are, they suck). MAL, TGH are nowhere (did they also suffer from a crash?).
Basically the only "somewhat credible" contenders are not in the same league. Mas, Kelderman, Uran, Carapaz, Gaudu... Vingegaard... Lutsenko... Van Aert... I mean, if Van Aert with his less than ideal form is looking like a top 10 contender, i think you can say competition isn't top notch. There is only one other GT winner still in GC contention, and that's Carapaz. He seems the only one that might otherwise also have had a chance to podium.

We haven't quite stooped to Giro2020 level opposition here but that's about all you can say.
 
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I'm not even sure anymore whether Bernal still is Ineos best GT rider with his trademark 3k attacks. He would've been completely slaughtered by Pogacar yesterday.

Is Pinot really stronger than Gaudu these days? It's not about what could be, but about what is IMHO.

Landa & Roglic yes.

Bardet shouldn't be considered a major TDF contender. His current level is about the level Martin shows so far.

Uran is here. Has been 2nd at the Giro d'Italia, Tour de France and Tour of Switzerland. He's just not on that winning level, but never has been and thus never has taken that last step.

Field's neither strong, nor weak IMHO. It's solid!
 
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Sure, the opposition at this point isn't the strongest. On the other hand I think there are some strong contenders who just gave up already and now go stage hunting instead, and although I wouldn't call Uran, Mas or Gaudu best of the best they aren't cannon fodder either.
The top is shaped by a first week which only had the mountain stage yesterday and otherwise days for the classic's guys, so the picture right now is not that surprising. A different composition of stages would probably have led to more classic's guys already losing more time and more climbers still trying for a podium.
And then there's the factor that riders like Vingegaard, Gaudu, O'Connor are young guys and just because they haven't got a bigger name yet we don't know if they will not have a great career in the end.
 
Effectively there is no (more) Roglic, Thomas, Haig... due to crashes, there is no Bernal, no Landa, no Pinot, Bardet, Almeida, Vlasov, Carthy...
Buchman, Yates, Quintana aren't here for GC (or if they are, they suck). MAL, TGH are nowhere (did they also suffer from a crash?).
Basically the only "somewhat credible" contenders are not in the same league. Mas, Kelderman, Uran, Carapaz, Gaudu... Vingegaard... Lutsenko... Van Aert... I mean, if Van Aert with his less than ideal form is looking like a top 10 contender, i think you can say competition isn't top notch. There is only one other GT winner still in GC contention, and that's Carapaz. He seems the only one that might otherwise also have had a chance to podium.

We haven't quite stooped to Giro2020 level opposition here but that's about all you can say.
It started out as a great field, but crashes and happenstance realigned things. And if Pogacar had been born 5 years later, we might be saying this TDF field is tremendous, even with the crash depletion.
 
Carapaz is a top shelf benchmark, even if I too rate at the very least both Roglič and Bernal ahead of him. Padun and Landa probably too.
Sure, but Kelderman, Lutsenko, Bilbao & co aren't, and yet Carapaz couldn't distance them either.

It started out as a great field, but crashes and happenstance realigned things. And if Pogacar had been born 5 years later, we might be saying this TDF field is tremendous, even with the crash depletion.
Without Pogacar, it would be Carapaz vs Kelderman, Mas, Lutsenko and Gaudu. How would that be considered a strong field? Carapaz would be the only GT winner riding for GC.
 
Sure, but Kelderman, Lutsenko, Bilbao & co aren't, and yet Carapaz couldn't distance them either.



Without Pogacar, it would be Carapaz vs Kelderman, Mas, Lutsenko and Gaudu. How would that be considered a strong field?
Lutsenko leads Mas, Kelderman, Gadu & Bilbao so far. So the Kazakh must in fact be quite strong, because the guys are about the level a decent version of Bardet would be if present here.
 
Maybe it's just semantics'. I view a strong field as who started the race, not an evaluation afterwards of who failed and why.
Bernal is the only elite GC rider missing. Carapaz has been OK, the others have failed miserably for one reason or another.
Many second-tier GC riders started, too. Some are doing OK, some have failed.
And you never get a full list of 2nd tier GC riders because because some focus on other races (Landa, Carthy, A Yates, etc.).

Compare it to the Froome years, where Quintana was the only actual contender and he was a longshot. Contador was top tier even though he never really was in contention. Nibali was there a few times. But all 4 were there together only once.
 
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You don't like him -- fair enough. But "overrated"? That's a ridiculous statement about one the best road racers of his generation.
He's been openly touted as the next great French tour rider and he's done nothing but disappoint in that regard. The official Le Tour site is pretty much his own cheerleading media outlet yet when it looks like he has a great chance at a podium he fails again. Classic guy fine but as a tour rider he's not done anything to back up the undeserving hype, hence overrated.
 
That's a fair take.

Living on the west coast of Canada, I guess I am out of touch with French media fantasies re JA. I just see a damn fine rider who loves to race. I have never considered him a genuine GT contender. And his wily team manager, Don Patrick, has been consistent on this, too: Julian is not physically or mentally Tour material.
 
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Compare it to the Froome years...
Was the TDF ever over in the first week during the Froome years, like it is now? It may have been, I just don't remember it that way.

The last few TDF wins by Froome seemed to come down to the last week. It was fairly obvious Froome was going to win, but he still did it at the later stages, in the mountains, and not by insanely huge margins. It wasn't like Froome won an early TT by one minute, then picked up another 4 minutes on an early mountain stage, got the yellow, then coasted for 2 weeks, with no competition.

This TDF has turned into a clown show, in my opinion. And it doesn't matter that Bernal isn't here, I don't consider him a serious contender either, in spite of his earlier win (gifted on the slushy stage win). There is no rider in the world who can compete with Pogacar. Anything he wants to win, he wins.
 
Would have been interesting if Carapsz would have given Pog a turn. That's even if he was capable! Would they have worked together?

I just have a feeling now after such a great opening week it's going to be a boring tour now.

As for the clinic talk. I've seen so many Sky fans saying it and just forgetting what their boys have done in the past.
The boredom started with today's stage
 
i personally find great satisfaction in watching the best win.

and if they do it with panache and domination, that's just icing on the cake.

while i understand the excitement of a close battle, i also prefer not to be left with lingering questions as to whether luck, the route design or the winner's team played an overdue amount in the victory.
 

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