UAE Tour 2021, February 21 - February 27

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I haven't proved your point at all. If you say it's worthless, it doesn't make it worthless. If it's worthless for Movistar, OK. But that doesn't make it worthless for Ganna, Yates, Bjerg, Dekker, Cattaneo, Almeida, Gaviria, Bennett, etc... It's a WT race, there are stage wins still up for grabs, there is still a GC win and top3 to be decided. Stage 1 is already a strong candidate for stage of the year. Now that this race doesn't have cycling history and same prestige as some older races, now that's another story. But that doesn't mean the racing has to be bad.
Stages that unless a break goes up the road will be won by Pogacar and flat stages that will most likely be won by sprinters. Stage 1 actually is the worst stage of the year having made the entire race worthless. Pogacar has won the race and Almeida will finish 2nd. That leaves maybe 3 riders who have a legitimate chance for the podium. Everyone one is out of the podium conversation. 120 plus riders have no shot at a top 20 let alone a top 10 and outside of the sprinters as breaks never go anywhere in this race no one other than Pogacar has any real shot at winning the two mountain stages. So there you go. At this point any team who doesn't have a rider in the top 6 of GC or a sprinter may as well just turn it into a training session. They have nothing else to care about.


Wow. I mean, I would try to get some points if I were them, this season. Are they so confident?
What points? Those are all out of reach other than the generic couple of points to get if you finish the entire WT race. My guess is they don't see a difference between 12 points and 2 to 5 points. (truthfully I don't see enough of a difference between 12 and 5 points to tell the riders to push, when it's just not worthwhile.) They have 0 chance of getting inside the top 20. To get any real points you need to finish inside the top 10 and after stage 1 that is 100% out of reach, so they don't see any reason to care.


It represents all that is wrong with Movistar though.
It's also who they've been for 40 plus years in races they've decided they have to be at or required to be at, but for whatever reason don't actually want to be at.
 
What points? Those are all out of reach other than the generic couple of points to get if you finish the entire WT race. My guess is they don't see a difference between 12 points and 2 to 5 points. (truthfully I don't see enough of a difference between 12 and 5 points to tell the riders to push, when it's just not worthwhile.) They have 0 chance of getting inside the top 20. To get any real points you need to finish inside the top 10 and after stage 1 that is 100% out of reach, so they don't see any reason to care.
I could totally relate to the thought that it's not worth while. But then that's one of the reason's I'm not a pro athlete but a couch writer who likes to ride her bike sometimes.
As a sports team of the highest level the thinking should certainly be different. Of course there are preparation races. But you should enter them and continue to give your best and actually race. Not caring about the outcome is not racing.
This is about two aspects, really: "mentality" (I usually don't like this over-used term, but here I find it fitting), and secondly actually getting the points, which you might regret not going after later.
 
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Stages that unless a break goes up the road will be won by Pogacar
Not a given at all that Pogacar wins both MTFs given how the race unfolded last year. Also, if Pogacar were to be guaranteed those stages, the race would also be over after today as he was the best climber in the time trial.

At this point any team who doesn't have a rider in the top 6 of GC or a sprinter may as well just turn it into a training session.
Pre-Omloop races are usually glorified training sessions to most riders, whether it's here, in Australia or in Europe. Heck, it would have been a glorified training session for Van Der Poel had the wind not blown. It's also still an opportunity for the climbers to test themselves, and Pogacar, Almeida and Yates marking each other increases the chance of a different climber winning on Jebel Jais in particular.

What points? Those are all out of reach other than the generic couple of points to get if you finish the entire WT race.
Yes, because there are clearly no points on offer for stage placements.

120 plus riders have no shot at a top 20 let alone a top 10
Objectively not true, many of the sprinters and rouleurs who made the first echelon will drop more than 8 minutes across the two MTFs.

Stage 1 actually is the worst stage of the year having made the entire race worthless.
If you can't enjoy a full stage worth of echelon action when your favourite riders (or rider, in this case) suffer, I honestly don't know what to say. Should they cancel stages with wind from now on because they pose a risk to your favourite riders?
 
I could totally relate to the thought that it's not worth while. But then that's one of the reason's I'm not a pro athlete but a couch writer who likes to ride her bike sometimes.
As a sports team of the highest level the thinking should certainly be different. Of course there are preparation races. But you should enter them and continue to give your best and actually race. Not caring about the outcome is not racing.
This is about two aspects, really: "mentality" (I usually don't like this over-used term, but here I find it fitting), and secondly actually getting the points, which you might regret not going after later.
No kidding, I work as a vendor and my neighborhood is a nice safe place to ride your bike. Two entrances to the neighborhood no outside traffic, and wide two lane roads. After stage one I doubt most of the riders or teams care about the outcome, Movistar just actually said it. I suspect their idea is that they only have 1 rider there who would even be capable of getting those higher points anyway, and that a handful of points that only he is capable of getting just isn't worth anything to them.



Not a given at all that Pogacar wins both MTFs given how the race unfolded last year. Also, if Pogacar were to be guaranteed those stages, the race would also be over after today as he was the best climber in the time trial.


Pre-Omloop races are usually glorified training sessions to most riders, whether it's here, in Australia or in Europe. It's also still an opportunity for the climbers to test themselves, and Pogacar, Almeida and Yates marking each other increases the chance of a different climber winning on Jebel Jais in particular.


Yes, because there are clearly no points on offer for stage placements.


Objectively not true, many of the sprinters and rouleurs who made the first echelon will drop more than 8 minutes across the two MTFs.


If you can't enjoy a full stage worth of echelon action when your favourite riders (or rider, in this case) suffer, I honestly don't know what to say. Should they cancel stages with wind from now on because they pose a risk to your favourite riders?
Well I said after yesterday that the race would be over after the TT. So there you go.

You mean the riders who WANT to win the stage and will likely go after anyone on the climb they think are a threat to the stage win? If they want the stage win they WILL be paying attention.

Stage points are ONLY for the first 3 placing, thus again not points that are really available to riders.

Most of those sprinters and rouleurs will NOT in that first group. There are definition 10 riders who are more than good enough climbers to hold onto the top 10 and not lose more than 3 to 5 minutes total. Most of those riders aren't capable of fighting for the podium, but they are more than good enough climbers to not shed 8 plus minutes.

I've never liked echelons and have found them to be poor stages at best. If the wind is too bad they HAVE cancelled or changed routes because of that. I've always found that echelons ruin races.
 
This race is the least suited to breakaways in the history of stage races. You have two _ _ _ _ / stages (OK the 2nd one is not completely flat in the first part) and three flat stages left for sprinters. While I believe there is a small chance for a breakaway win on stage 5, I think the only successful breakaway we'll see is potentially like the one on stage 1, when the strongest group of riders got clear in the wind. For tomorrow I don't think INEOS and UAE will leave any room to the breakaway and rightfully so. That's way the decision of the chasing group to give up on chasing on stage 1 is as stupid as it gets.

Watch now Meintjes win from the breakaway tomorrow.
If Pogacar wins tomorrow, I don't necessarily expect UAE to control the breakaway on the second mountain stage as they already have their home race stage win and no bonus seconds being on offer for the GC riders would limit the chances of losing the jersey.
 
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Well I said after yesterday that the race would be over after the TT. So there you go.
That's not the point I'm making at all. If Pogacar is guaranteed to win both MTFs, he would have been guaranteed the GC win by being the strongest climber on today's TT regardless of gaining time in the echelons. So your reason for seeing the GC as decided has nothing to do with yesterday's stage.

You mean the riders who WANT to win the stage and will likely go after anyone on the climb they think are a threat to the stage win? If they want the stage win they WILL be paying attention.
The GC win will take priority over the stage win for the three remaining contenders, so I can't see Pogacar burying himself to close down someone like Sepp Kuss as long as he has Almeida on his wheel who can take the GC lead from him on bonus seconds, for example.

I've always found that echelons ruin races.
Did this opinion form before or after the 2013 Tour de France?
 
That's not the point I'm making at all. If Pogacar is guaranteed to win both MTFs, he would have been guaranteed the GC win by being the strongest climber on today's TT regardless of gaining time in the echelons. So your reason for seeing the GC as decided has nothing to do with yesterday's stage.


The GC win will take priority over the stage win for the three remaining contenders, so I can't see Pogacar burying himself to close down someone like Sepp Kuss as long as he has Almeida on his wheel who can take the GC lead from him on bonus seconds, for example.


Did this opinion form before or after the 2013 Tour de France?
I'm not sure UAE has bonus seconds. So that may not be a concern. It would require someone being a lot stronger than Pogacar on the climb to do that.
 
Please, can we stop pollute the race thread with "echelons ruin races" crap? It doesn't suit you to go ballistic like this. Valverde was never going to win the race anyway, and the race is not ruined seeing that the three biggest pre-race favourites all made the first echelon Sunday!!!
Are you going to tell me that Kuss and Higuita had no chance at all to get on the podium of this race before the echelons? They most definitely don't because of echelons.
 
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What Koronin say has an element of truth - There are two or three teams who entered this race with one race day, so they will come into the race with low expectations - The races in March will give a better perspective on the form of individuals and teams.
 
Although I disagree about the echelons thing... they're the best type of stages since it's the rare occasion that interesting racing occurs before the finale. But I still agree that not continuing to chase hard on Stage 1 wasn't a big issue. They chased until 30 km to go, knew that they wouldn't catch the front group and were still losing time. It's just not worth it it to chase so that your GC rider might be able gain a few places on the 4 riders max who could potentially lose between 4 to 8 minutes in the mountains stages.
 
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It's just not worth it it to chase so that your GC rider might be able gain a few places on the 4 riders max who could potentially lose between 4 to 8 minutes in the mountains stages.
Just from a quick glance at the top of the GC, I can think of the following riders as some who are likely to lose a bunch of time in the mountains; Mørkøv, Bjerg, Archbold, Gaviria, Viviani, Richeze, and probably Vanbilsen.
Then there's the fact that two of the guys, who were in the front-group Sunday are already out of the race.
 
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Just from a quick glance at the top of the GC, I can think of the following riders as some who are likely to lose a bunch of time in the mountains; Mørkøv, Bjerg, Archbold, Gaviria, Viviani, Richeze, and probably Vanbilsen.
Then there's the fact that two of the guys, who were in the front-group Sunday are already out of the race.
Those two out of the race are already accounted for. You'd need to find more than 11 riders who will shed at more than 8 minutes on two mountain stages for caring about GC to make any sense at all to the riders who weren't in that top group. That's just asking way too much.
 
Those two out of the race are already accounted for. You'd need to find more than 11 riders who will shed at more than 8 minutes on two mountain stages for caring about GC to make any sense at all to the riders who weren't in that top group. That's just asking way too much.
Yes, but that's their own fault. There was no reason to let the gap balloon to eight minutes. They could have kept it at two. So I guess there is some truth in what you say about some riders not taking this race too seriously. It doesn't align with your "echelons ruin stage races" because a) a windy stage counts as much as a mountain stage, and b) it is allowed to try to limit a gap.
 
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Those two out of the race are already accounted for. You'd need to find more than 11 riders who will shed at more than 8 minutes on two mountain stages for caring about GC to make any sense at all to the riders who weren't in that top group. That's just asking way too much.
Others could end up being completely out of the race. And while anyone from the 8+ minutes group is unlikely to get into the top-10 today - what with Skjelmose in 10th being only 48 seconds behind - as someone pointed out; Pogacar could very likely win the stage today, and the GC is probably gonna be a bit more spread out as well, so come Thursday some riders could try and go in a break, hoping that UAE won't chase.
 
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