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Tour de France 2024 - The battle of the big 4

Page 5 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
There are a lot of variables here, so I don’t think it’s super clear cut. But basically the key points are:
  1. Roglic came into the Giro off of a very tough 2022 (crashes, injuries, setbacks, media blowback, etc.) and off-season surgery.
  2. Remco came in arguably a little heavy.
  3. Remco crushed everyone on the first ITT, beating Ganna, but didn’t put as much time into Roglic et al as many predicted.
  4. Roglic launched his first attack on stage 8, a medium mountain stage, which resulted in Remco dropping 14 seconds to he, Tao, and G.
  5. Remco won the second ITT, but by a lower margin.
  6. Remco dropped out afterwards with Covid.
  7. Roglic, Tao, and G all crashed on stage 14, with Tai getting the worst of it and dropping out, Roglic landing on his hip hard, necessitating multiple stitches in his hip, and G landing on top of Roglic and suffering no ill effects.
  8. Roglic looked vulnerable on subsequent mountain stages and weaker than G in particular.
  9. On the last stage, Roglic proves himself by far the strongest, crushing everyone on the climb during the final ITT despite a mechanical.
As a contextual point, I know someone who set a huge Pr in the marathon and qualified for Boston only to wake up the next day unable to function with a terrible case of Covid.
Evenepoel being dropped in stage 8 and winning the second TT by low margin, was already due to the (at that moment not yet detected) covidinfection. So, no conclusions possible. I'm convinced Evenepoel (in topshape at the time) would have beaten Roglic (not at his best at the time).
 
Evenepoel being dropped in stage 8 and winning the second TT by low margin, was already due to the (at that moment not yet detected) covidinfection. So, no conclusions possible. I'm convinced Evenepoel (in topshape at the time) would have beaten Roglic (not at his best at the time).

Rog ended up losing time over stages 7-9, despite a very sick Remco. Same time in stage 7, Remco lost 14 seconds in stage 8 (most were because Remco took no risks on the descent, Rog only had 5 seconds at the top of the climb). Rog then lost 19-20 seconds in the TT

Rog couldn't even take time out of a sick Remco
 
Rog ended up losing time over stages 7-9, despite a very sick Remco. Same time in stage 7, Remco lost 14 seconds in stage 8 (most were because Remco took no risks on the descent, Rog only had 5 seconds at the top of the climb). Rog then lost 19-20 seconds in the TT

Rog couldn't even take time out of a sick Remco
You ignored a lot of factors there, but OK. What’s your assessment of 2023 Vuelta?
 
Don't make it too complicated. Evenepoel had just a bad day, feeling he couldn't go deep in his effort. Once he realised he couldn' t come back, he (and his teamleaders) decided to stop his efforts to limit the damage. A good result in the GC was no longer possible. The right choice, as it turned out. He wasn't exhausted at the finish and was able to attack and win the next day. Also winning another stage, almost winning a fourth, taking points for the mountain jersey (and winning it), taking points for the "points" GC (almost winning that jersey too). At the end, making the right choice, he achieved more than most riders. Only GC-winner Kuss (and the Jumbo-team in general) were more successful.

The question is. Was the bad day/breakdown one time ? Or will we see that in every Grand Tour ? If it was a one time, than Evenepoel is a potential podium candidate. If not, and facing Pogacar, Vingegaard, Roglic and in a near future Ayuso, Evenepoel has to aim for stagevictorys, eventally for the polkadot jersey.
 
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any of Pog, Vingo, and Remco would be smashing this giro. Rog would also be several minutes ahead (assuming he decides to race and not suck wheel the whole time)

There is no competition
Rogla didn't smashed G last year, and we know nothing how strong he is this year.
Remco hasn't smashed either, so far. Maybe he will one day, maybe not.
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We have to wait until Dauphine to have an idea how strong R&R really are this year.