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Vuelta a España Vuelta a España 2023, stage 13: Formigal - Col du Tourmalet, 134.7k

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Tourmalet does not need redemption. This is what happened last time a GT stage ended on Tourmalet:

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What a fabulous jersey. One of my all-time favourites.
 
Remco need one team mate to be able to keep the pace until those 2 “flatter” kilometers after about 10 km of Tourmalet, where there is first one kilometer of 5% and then one kilometers of 6,5% before it turns steeper again. Can Jan Hirt finally do what he was brought in to do or does Soudal need to pray for Cattaneo or Vervaeke to overperform?

Before this “flat” part there are 3 kilometers of over 8% with steeper sections up to 11%. This could be a good launch pad for Vingegaard to put a lot of pressure on Remco and Soudal.
 
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Remco need one team mate to be able to keep the pace until those 2 “flatter” kilometers after about 10 km of Tourmalet, where there is first one kilometer of 5% and then one kilometers of 6,5% before it turns steeper again. Can Jan Hirt finally do what he was brought in to do or does Soudal need to pray for Cattaneo or Vervaeke to overperform?
Cattaneo has overperformed (or rather performed at the level he was expected to after his 2021 season) the whole Vuelta so I don't think there are doubts about his current level.
Of course if Jumbo decides to drill it from Spandelles it's gonna be hard for everyone.
 
Remco need one team mate to be able to keep the pace until those 2 “flatter” kilometers after about 10 km of Tourmalet, where there is first one kilometer of 5% and then one kilometers of 6,5% before it turns steeper again. Can Jan Hirt finally do what he was brought in to do or does Soudal need to pray for Cattaneo or Vervaeke to overperform?

Before this “flat” part there are 3 kilometers of over 8% with steeper sections up to 11%. This could be a good launch pad for Vingegaard to put a lot of pressure on Remco and Soudal.
I expect a way harder stage where Remco will be isolated quite quickly. This would be a dream scenario for SQS and Remco.

Also mentally it would make a lot of sense to isolate Remco quickly. He doesn't fair well when he doesn't get his way, for example Vingegaard/Kuss attacks and Ayuso/Mas don't want to helpt chase them.
 
For defense, Jonas controls the UAE twins. Roglic controls Remco, Kuss controls Soler. For attack Jonas attacks first, then Kuss, Then Roglic and rinse and repeat.
For Remco, drop everybody.
For UAE, follow, follow , follow in the above order, dont initiate attacks allow rivals to tire themselves out. Only opportunistic attacks in final k's

Perfect.

Except that nobody controls Soler.
 
Likes nordic skiing, coll de Pal, climb rankings.

Libertine has beem trying to throw us off but the ruse is at an end

They also both like hockey.

 
Robbe Ghys DNS

Ayuso suffering from his back
 
My prediction (or better: hope!): Remco's team goes all out on the Spandelles to make the race hard (as they are of little use on the Tourmalet). Remco accelerates 1 km before the top, TT's through the valley, arrives more than a minute earlier than the rest at the Tourmalet and diesels himself at constant watts to the Tourmalet top. A disorganized JV chases with Roglic's spending energy in trying to catch Remco alone while Vingegaard tries to bring Kuss back to a UAE chase group. Roglic's drops to the UAE group while Kuss fades on the climb. Remco wins and gains a minute on UAE and Roglic.
 
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My prediction (or better: hope!): Remco's team goes all out on the Spandelles to make the race hard (as they are of little use on the Tourmalet). Remco accelerates 1 km before the top, TT's through the valley, arrives more than a minute earlier than the rest at the Tourmalet and diesels himself at constant watts to the Tourmalet top. A disorganized JV chases with Roglic's spending energy in trying to catch Remco alone while Vingegaard tries to bring Kuss back to a UAE chase group. Roglic's drops to the UAE group while Kuss fades on the climb. Remco wins and gains a minute on UAE and Roglic.

Isn't the "valley" only 6km or something?

This stage is a literal rollercoaster.
 
It is supposed to be a hot 30C today which might cause problems with getting even enough drink (and food) for the riders as there's hardly a flat spot for "fueling" (as Sir Dave says). Lots of extra folk called up to help dish out bidons on the climbs, I expect.
Jumbo did over Pogacar at the Tour in 2022 when it was hot, so will we see a repeat of the famous stage 11? (Remco might well be isolated early on so I reckon it's 50/50)