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Tour de France 2024 - The battle of the big 4

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The Giro just finished and Eurosport Germany immediately started talking about the battle between the four at the Tour. This really feels like 2015 again. It probably won't live up to the hype, but man I'm really looking forward to July.

There are uncertainties though, which make Roglic's and Evenepoel's chances higher.

Vingegaard - the biggest uncertainty. I still think it's likely they will aim for the Vuelta but until any announcement speculations will continue. What kind of form can he bring? If he's somehow (I don't know how) close to his best then obviously he'll have a realistic chance of victory.

Pogacar - well, another uncertainty. If he aimed solely at the Tour, he would be a huge favourite, given Vingo's crash. In this case, however, there's a chance he will fade (not necessarily a major collapse but having some weaker days). UAE seem confident in their plan so maybe he still has form reserves and Giro didn't tire him out much. I'm very curious of his performance: IMO both scenarios have similar probabilities to happen.

Roglic - should be perfectly prepared for the Tour. Maybe his best Tour chance from now to the end of career. To win the Tour, he will need both Vingo and Pog to be subpar - but this year it's actually most likely since...2019.

Evenepoel - his crash resulted in broken bones so his preparation has been far from perfect. To me it seems that he has enough time to be reasonably close to his best in July though. Podium is the goal but can't rule out victory if Vingo and Pog don't deliver (as they did in the previous few years).
 
It's really so sad that 2015 was the best battle for the TdF win we got out of that 2013-2016 era when Froome, Contador, Quintana and Nibali were all at really high levels. I'd argue 3 of the last 4 Tour battles between the new big 4 have already been better than the best of that era and one of the four has yet to start a Tour de France.
 
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There are uncertainties though, which make Roglic's and Evenepoel's chances higher.

Vingegaard - the biggest uncertainty. I still think it's likely they will aim for the Vuelta but until any announcement speculations will continue. What kind of form can he bring? If he's somehow (I don't know how) close to his best then obviously he'll have a realistic chance of victory.

Pogacar - well, another uncertainty. If he aimed solely at the Tour, he would be a huge favourite, given Vingo's crash. In this case, however, there's a chance he will fade (not necessarily a major collapse but having some weaker days). UAE seem confident in their plan so maybe he still has form reserves and Giro didn't tire him out much. I'm very curious of his performance: IMO both scenarios have similar probabilities to happen.

Roglic - should be perfectly prepared for the Tour. Maybe his best Tour chance from now to the end of career. To win the Tour, he will need both Vingo and Pog to be subpar - but this year it's actually most likely since...2019.

Evenepoel - his crash resulted in broken bones so his preparation has been far from perfect. To me it seems that he has enough time to be reasonably close to his best in July though. Podium is the goal but can't rule out victory if Vingo and Pog don't deliver (as they did in the previous few years).
So far, only Jonas has made Tadej collaps. But it wasn't a major one since he still ended at second spot.
Poggi should anyway be better than R&R.
 
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So far, only Jonas has made Tadej collaps. But it wasn't a major one since he still ended at second spot.
Poggi should anyway be better than R&R.

If Jonas is somehow close to his best then he is most likely to tire out Pogacar. However, I wouldn't rule out Rogla doing a smart race, reducing his losses and dropping a well-timed watt bomb during some stage in the 3rd week (like Lussari and Angliru), which coupled with Pogacar worse day, can change the race outcome. I definitely see his as the most dangerous rival to Pog if Vingo is not there.
 
So far, only Jonas has made Tadej collaps. But it wasn't a major one since he still ended at second spot.
Poggi should anyway be better than R&R.

It's not really about 'who' has made Pog collapse in the TdF before, it's about Pog riding a second GT (the Tour, no less) in a season for the first time.

On paper he's of course the big favorite. But, there's enough uncertainties to make this one interesting. As a Rogla fan I'll unequivocally say Rog needs his Vuelta 2023 form as the bare minimum in order to have any shot at glory. Then, it's about finally riding a GT without crashes/incidents/horrible stuff happening to him.

But, if he meets those conditions, I'm going to say he'll be in the fight & push Pog much closer than people might imagine. That final ITT looks very, very interesting as well (aka a watts bomb just waiting to happen, like the Olympics or the opening ITT of Itzulia).
 
It's not really about 'who' has made Pog collapse in the TdF before, it's about Pog riding a second GT (the Tour, no less) in a season for the first time.

On paper he's of course the big favorite. But, there's enough uncertainties to make this one interesting. As a Rogla fan I'll unequivocally say Rog needs his Vuelta 2023 form as the bare minimum in order to have any shot at glory. Then, it's about finally riding a GT without crashes/incidents/horrible stuff happening to him.

But, if he meets those conditions, I'm going to say he'll be in the fight & push Pog much closer than people might imagine. That final ITT looks very, very interesting as well (aka a watts bomb just waiting to happen, like the Olympics or the opening ITT of Itzulia).

Pretty much this.

He's down for it currently so I included him. Big red asterisk obviously but will probably depend on how he does on Wednesday/Dauphine, they have to try and justify that 25 million somehow I suppose and he seems to have made up with Adams after a romantic trip to the Golan Heights during an actual war.

Given uncertainties regarding Vingo and Pog the #5 hype should be starting soon!
 
It's really so sad that 2015 was the best battle for the TdF win we got out of that 2013-2016 era when Froome, Contador, Quintana and Nibali were all at really high levels. I'd argue 3 of the last 4 Tour battles between the new big 4 have already been better than the best of that era and one of the four has yet to start a Tour de France.
That was really a Froome era, although I like him the least (in fact I don't like him at all).
Nibali couldn't beat any of them, and get his GT wins in their absence.
Contador could do it only at Vuelta, same as Quintana, with the difference that maybe Quintana could do it in 2015 but lacked cojones.
 
They will follow him in the last 300 meters.
rogli.png
 
The problem of Pogacar is not the riding of the Giro itself. Winning his sixt stage Pogacar still seemed very strong and fresh. But after the Giro, Pogacar can only rest for at most three days. The time remaining until the Tour is too short to reduce and then rebuild top form. So, after the short rest (and traveling home and/or to the training location) he has to keep his form high till the start of the Tour de France. That will cause the "fatigue" that will lead to weakening during the second half of the Tour. I don't know whether this will mean that he will no longer be able to follow Vingegaard (at 98%) and Roglic and Evenepoel during the second half of the Tour. Or that he will have built up enough of a lead during the first week (hill stages and Galibier) to compensate for the weakening during the last days.
 
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