There's way way way more chances that he'll get dropped by his own teammates in the TTT than flying up PdBF. He hit top form at the very beginning of May, two months ago. Now it's gone. We might see a return to some kind of shape in the third week of the Tour, by that time he will probably be some 20 minutes down. Of course I might be wrong, coming down in the scorching heat from a holiday in the mountains and riding some 200 + km up and down at an average 41km/h might not be what the doctor ordered, his pal Caruso was dead long before Nibali gave up.wheresmybrakes said:He's leading people to believe that he is out of form/Knackered from the Giro so they won't pay much attention to him. PdBF will see him fly up putting a few GC contenders out of contention in the first week. I think he is being a sly old fox, but then I could be talking out my a$$! 40/1 with Ladbrokes is worth an each way bet, surely.
The way it is spelt out is as if it a team of riders with individual goals. Dont think they put too much stock into Nibali doing anything except maybe try to follow other trainsIt’s a complete team,” Stangelj explained. “We’ll be competitive in any kind of stage. Vincenzo will be able to aim for the GC, while Dylan and Matej Mohoric will be the day strikers. Add two sprinters like Sonny Colbrelli and the young Ivan Garcia Cortina and then Dennis for the time trials, plus two solid riders like Damiano Caruso and Jan Tratnik, complete a well balanced team.
Route is even terrible for polka dots battleGigs_98 said:In 2016 he was very decent later in the tour after getting outclimbed by freakin steve cummings in the pyrenees. Then he was aiming for the olympics two weeks or so after Paris, so I guess now that the tour is what he is actually aiming for his shape will be a little bit better than in 2016. A stage win seems like a realistic goal and if he is good enough he could go for polka dots but don't expect more than that.
You have to look really hard to find one domestique in the whole team, apart from maybe Tratnik all are thinking about winning a stage. Nibali's form is not even an issue, nobody in the team will be concerned maybe only his roommate Caruso.Summoned said:With all the emphasis Nibali is placing on seeing where his form is on Stage 6, I am starting to wonder a little if that is pure misdirection, and the team is purely stage-hunting this year. Asking everyone to wait until Stage 6 to make a judgment about his readiness might be an attempt to allow other riders to go for the stage to Colmar without as much attention. Not sure that makes too much sense, as any rider going for the breakaway and/or the stage is probably not too concerned with Nibali's GC chances, but it came to mind as a tactical approach for Bahrain Merida. If it turns out to be Dennis who goes on Stage 5, then perhaps they do have a GC plan for him, but I don't know that that stage is particularly suited to him. Not necessarily ill-suited, either, but more suited to pure roleurs.
Stage wins would make more sense. Really he should have saved himself for the Vuelta.Rollthedice said:And anyway chasing polka dots for a rider of Nibali's caliber is stupid. And it's not easy. And if he has the legs to do it then he might as well give a shot at GC. Which, by the looks of it, is not possible.
One season with solid Giro/Tour attempts and the Vuelta is getting the short end of the stickmovingtarget said:Stage wins would make more sense. Really he should have saved himself for the Vuelta.Rollthedice said:And anyway chasing polka dots for a rider of Nibali's caliber is stupid. And it's not easy. And if he has the legs to do it then he might as well give a shot at GC. Which, by the looks of it, is not possible.
Tough, but IMO there could be some large gaps in the last 3 Alps stages, to the point where if someone bonks they'll lose 5 minutes. I still think that it's Ineos's race to lose but if Nibali can just hang around within 3-4 minutes of the top 3 at that point, there's still a chance. I could be totally wrong and he'll just shoot for a stage win or two, also, but something tells me he'll be OK. The rider I'm quite curious about is Porte -- he's really downplaying his form, but he doesn't have a lot of racing in his legs, and the TdF was his goal, so he could rise from the ashes of a forgettable season.Summoned said:If Bahrain Merida does OK in the TTT, and loses say 30 seconds, and Nibali loses one minute on PdBF, he would presumably be still within striking range for the podium at that point, as there are a lot of stages left. I would argue that if he loses two minutes on PdBF, he would still be in striking range for the podium, but that would be about the limit from my perspective. Not as much because of the time, although that is certainly a problem, but because of the number of riders who would be ahead of him. While he has some record of success in the ITT, it is not such that one would expect him to gain time on all of his rivals for the podium, and the gain he would have on some of his rivals would be fairly limited. So it would come down to whether he is a better climber than all but one of two of his rivals, and he would have to be significantly better than them to get to the podium. A tough ask, I would say.
My thinking was that as Dennis did not win the ITT in the Tour de Suisse, and actually came in 6th, he may not be in form for ITT. Too much focus on climbing/GT perhaps.Leinster said: