Tour de France Tour de France 2022: Stage 11 (Albertville – Col du Granon Serre Chevalier, 151.7k)

Finally, the high mountains. There are just three stages featuring HC climbing this year and all of them end on a HC climb to boot, today we have altitude and the novelty factor on our side though.

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Route description
Today’s stage starts from Albertville, host of the 1992 Winter Olympics. The opening portion is standard ASO fare, i.e. flat and featuring the intermediate sprint (in Aiguebelle) really early.




The first climb is also typical ASO – Lacets de Montvernier, because all that matters are pretty pictures.


After another bit of valley, it’s time for the Souvenir Henri Desgrange, on the most iconic pass of this Tour, and arguably the Tour in general. The duo of Télégraphe and Galibier won’t decide the race today, but it will certainly mean the GC group will be cut down pretty significantly before we reach the final climb.


Annoyingly, ASO have added a pointless flat loop in the valley, increasing the distance from Galibier to the bottom of Col du Granon by about 3 kilometres. I really like how Serre Chevalier are willing to vary with where the stages they host finish – in 2011, it was atop the Galibier in the epic Andy Schleck raid stage, in 2017, it was an underwhelming descent finish off Galibier that would give Primoz Roglic his first Tour stage win, and this time, it’s Col du Granon for the second time in history. The only other ascent was in 1986, won by Edoardo Chozas after a long solo, but of course that stage is mainly remembered for Bernard Hinault getting dropped on Izoard and thereby losing what turned out to be his last-ever yellow jersey to Greg Lemond. Somehow, I doubt Pogacar will suffer a similar fate. In any case, it’s the final 12.8k of the profile below.


Final kilometres



Rail and road bridges in Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne.
 
The tactics for TJV seem very clear for tomorrow on paper. Try everything to put Van Aert and Benoot in the break. Push the tempo on Telegraph and Galibier with Kuss and Kruijswijk to get rid of as many UAE domestiques as possible. Have Roglič attack on the Galibier and bridge to the break with Benoot and Van Aert. Have Vingegaard follow Pogačar. And then go from there, depends on the situation on the road and how Pogačar and his team react.

Like I said, it looks pretty stright forward on paper, but a lot more complicated in real life.
 
Big break with Van Aert in it. A fast ascent of Télégraphe that leaves Pogi with only McNulty left. Rogla attacks on Galibier, Pogi follows him. Vingegaard counters, Pogi has to respond again. It calms down a bit, and then Rogla attacks again and gets away. He has a minute at the top, two at the bottom of Granon.

We'll have to wait for tomorrow for the conclusion.
 
The tactics for TJV seem very clear for tomorrow on paper. Try everything to put Van Aert and Benoot in the break. Push the tempo on Telegraph and Galibier with Kuss and Kruijswijk to get rid of as many UAE domestiques as possible. Have Roglič attack on the Galibier and bridge to the break with Benoot and Van Aert. Have Vingegaard follow Pogačar. And then go from there, depends on the situation on the road and how Pogačar and his team react.

Like I said, it looks pretty stright forward on paper, but a lot more complicated in real life.
Lets hope for this scenario. A Hautacam 2008 on steorids.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
The tactics for TJV seem very clear for tomorrow on paper. Try everything to put Van Aert and Benoot in the break. Push the tempo on Telegraph and Galibier with Kuss and Kruijswijk to get rid of as many UAE domestiques as possible. Have Roglič attack on the Galibier and bridge to the break with Benoot and Van Aert. Have Vingegaard follow Pogačar. And then go from there, depends on the situation on the road and how Pogačar and his team react.

Like I said, it looks pretty stright forward on paper, but a lot more complicated in real life.
Not gonna happen with such a hard mtf and the alpe stage one day later. On that stage we might see this kind of tactics, but not tomorrow.

Vingegaard to show everyone why his 2nd name is Rasmussen!
 
Really looking forward to this. Exciting that, even though Roglic might be a bit slowed with his crash, we’re 10 days into the Tour and getting a showdown of what I thought of as the top 4 favorites (I include Thomas) for the final podium, racing against each other in perhaps the most dynamic stage of this Tour, with GC times still close.. So often in the past when we get to this point of the Tour, one (or more) of the big pre-race favorites has already crashed out or gotten sick or had an expected bad day that put them out of contention. It’s possible we get more conservative tactics than we would like to see tomorrow, that seems to happen when the stakes are so high, but if any of the top 6-7 guys has chinks in the armor they won’t be able to hide them.
 
This is where everyone shows their full hand. I'm expecting fireworks from Ineos and JV and I think we will see Pog and Vingegaard going nuclear on the last climb in a duel to sort out the strongest rider in the race. As much as I'd love to see it, I don't see Ineos or other GC teams allowing Roglic to ride away on Galibier and it will be more than UAE who would be interested in shutting him down. His form is still a bit uncertain in any case followng the crash. Other riders will already be left thinking about protecting their own positions on GC. The weakening of UAE may mean that the peloton may allow the break to fight for the stage win with a separate battle taking place behind on GC.
 
Reactions: 75Driver
This is where everyone shows their full hand. I'm expecting fireworks from Ineos and JV and I think we will see Pog and Vingegaard going nuclear on the last climb in a duel to sort out the strongest rider in the race. As much as I'd love to see it, I don't see Ineos or other GC teams allowing Roglic to ride away on Galibier and it will be more than UAE who would be interested in shutting him down. His form is still a bit uncertain in any case followng the crash. Other riders will already be left thinking about protecting their own positions on GC. The weakening of UAE may mean that the peloton may allow the break to fight for the stage win with a separate battle taking place behind on GC.
Ineos will allow it if he has Yates for company. Realistically, Ineos and JV have to join together to isolate Pog, which might be achievable given UAE's current strength, and then repeatedly attack in pairs, each using their top 2 guys.
 
Reactions: noob
This is where everyone shows their full hand. I'm expecting fireworks from Ineos and JV and I think we will see Pog and Vingegaard going nuclear on the last climb in a duel to sort out the strongest rider in the race. As much as I'd love to see it, I don't see Ineos or other GC teams allowing Roglic to ride away on Galibier and it will be more than UAE who would be interested in shutting him down. His form is still a bit uncertain in any case followng the crash. Other riders will already be left thinking about protecting their own positions on GC. The weakening of UAE may mean that the peloton may allow the break to fight for the stage win with a separate battle taking place behind on GC.
While still a big result, especially after a few years of hiatus, I don't see what another podium would bring to a Tour winner... I mean, it's too early to protect that place and do UAE's job.
Makes more sense that Grenadiers will watch what JV will do and exploit the chances. For now.
 
Vingegård to unleash hell on Granon
I think it'll be Pogacar, tbh.

The TdF hasn't really started its hardest stages yet & there's been no real massive test for the favorites. Tomorrow is it.

If Roglic attacks early, he'll explode. That would eliminate a tactical option right there for the second half of this race. No, tomorrow is likely going to be a man against man test between Pogacar & the rest on the final climb, i.e. something Jumbo seem to be inviting with their confidence regarding Vingegaard's potential on such a climb.

Personally I predict Enric Mas will be better than people expect & I also predict the gaps won't be crazy at the top of Granon (unless Pog goes totally insane with the watts). The Vingegaard hype might die though.
 
This is a real 'prestige' stage, they talk about this mountain in 'Slaying the Badger', which I would recommend to anyone not familiar with that era of racing:


Dramatised certainly, with some creative licence, but all the characters are interesting and larger and life, the Machiavellian Paul Kochli trying to convince a green as goose sh*t Andy Hampsten to attack Lemond and Hinault and win the tour is a highlight. That little tirade at 54:45 minutes he goes on, UAE and Jumbo should watch that tonight.

Enough has been said about the Armstrong affair, but one of the positives of his demise was how Greg has since flourished, finally vindicated after all those years.
 
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Ineos will allow it if he has Yates for company. Realistically, Ineos and JV have to join together to isolate Pog, which might be achievable given UAE's current strength, and then repeatedly attack in pairs, each using their top 2 guys.
As much as that would be great for the race I don't think that 2 rival teams competing on GC will be working in collaboration together.

Everyone is making the assumption that Pogacar is the strongest rider in the race but we don't know that for sure yet. I suspect that he probably is but I also expect that tomorrow will be used by JV to force a duel between Pog and Vingegaard on the final climb. If Pog proves the stronger rider then it is after that they need to implement Plan B and try to win the race tactically. Tomorrow is more of a 'lets show us what you've got' sort of day.
 

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