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Professional Cycling => Tour de France 2017 => Topic started by: AG on June 18, 2017, 02:39

Title: The Jersey Contenders
Post by: AG on June 18, 2017, 02:39
1 - #sky - Chris Froome   :*:*:*:*:*   
(http://www.procyclingstats.com/uploads/uploads00008/thumbs/Christopher_Froome_2017.jpg)


With 3 Tour victories already in the bag, Chris Froome is always going to be the one to beat.  Having said that, he isnt in the sparkling form that has seen him win in the past.  For every TdF win, he has won the Dauphine before hand - and this year he was 4th at the Dauphine and definitely showed the chinks in the armour.  He also was off at Romandie - andin fact has not won a race so far this year.  In addition, with only 36km total time trialling kilometres, he doesnt have the advantage that he has had in previous years.  With 5 difficult mountain stages, and 2 of the hilly stages suiting him fairly well though, he will still be up there.  His newfound descending skills might also come into play as shown on the Mont du Chat stage in the Dauphine - a preview to the Tour.   

2 -  #trek - Alberto Contador   :*:*:*:*:*     
(http://www.procyclingstats.com/uploads/uploads00009/thumbs/Alberto_Contador_2017.jpg)


Wtih 7 (or more) Grand Tours to his name. nobody can ever not consider 'Berto when setting up a list of main contenders.  He knows how to perform on the big stage, he knows how to set himself, how and when to attack - and he wants this!!!  He has been in fairly good form leading up to the Tour.  2nd at Paris Nice, Volta Catalunya and Pais Vascoe .. though not there at the pointy end of the Dauphine.  He has attacked and tried to win, rather than defend for a podium - which makes very exciting racing.  The course is ok for Alberto here.  He is a good time trialist - certainly better than many - but not nearly the level of Froome, so having less km in that discipline will help him overcome the Sky rider.  Pantano has grown into a very solid domestique, and with Bauke Mollema also here, he should be well assisted.


3 - #bmc - Richie Porte :*:*:*:*     
(http://www.procyclingstats.com/uploads/uploads00008/thumbs/Richie_Porte_2017.jpg)


The "nearly GC" man.  Porte is a very talented bike rider, who has allt he skills necessary to win a GT ... with the exception of a proven record over 3 weeks.  He can ride on the flat, he can TT, he is a very good climber.  But he definitely has weaknesses, and these have shown through in every GT he has ridden.  His ability to put it together and concentrate over 3 weeks is definitely in doubt.  Mechanicals and silly lacks in positioning or concentration, as well as bad luck have cost him in the past ... but maybe this year he will manage.

His lack of descending skills showed through at the Dauphine, as well as a weak team and this was exposed and cost him the overall.  Teams will have all taken note, and if he is in yellow, will be exploited.  Dennis will assist, but whether it will be enough is questionable.

4 -  #movistar - Nairo Quintana   :*:*:*:* 
(http://www.procyclingstats.com/uploads/uploads00006/thumbs/Nairo_Quintana_2016.jpg)


2 Vuelta's, 2 Giro's and many 1 week races, Quintana is a force to be reckoned with.  And at 27 years old he is just coming into his peak years.  He is a climbing specialist who has used those skills well and when it counted.  And the course this year will advantage him against the likes of Froome and Porte who are substantially better against the clock. 

On the down side though - There is not as many hard, long, steep climbs that he specialises in, and he has already ridden the Giro.  He has tailored his season, not riding the Dauphine or Romandie ... or really anything else. He rode Tirreno-Adriatico in March, and then the Giro (in which he was patently underdone). 

And he has Valverde - though whether that will be a benefit or something to overcome is a question.  It may well be a case of "whoever is in front is leader" ... and I would not put money against Valverde this year.

5 -  #movistar - Alejandro Valverde   :*:*:*:*
(http://www.procyclingstats.com/uploads/uploads00008/thumbs/Alejandro_Valverde_2017.jpg)


What a year he has had - and its only June !!!!

He has won Vuelta Andalucia, Volta Catalunya and Vuelta Pais Vascoe, as well as both Fleche Wallonne and Liege Bastogne Liege.  Only missing Amstel Gold and the Dauphine out of all the races he has ridden since February. 

At 37 he is in the form of his life, and its unlikely that he will want to take a back seat to Quintana.  This is Valverde's best ever chance of a Tour win, and he will grab it with both hands.

The small amount of time trialling suits him perfectly, and the short sharp hilly stages will be ones he will aim for - especially with time bonuses being brought back into the Tour this year.  The Movistar team are more than capable of controlling this race, and delivering to him the kind of stages he likes and wins.

6 -  #quickstep - Dan Martin  :*:*:*   
(http://www.procyclingstats.com/uploads/uploads00008/thumbs/Daniel_Martin_1_2017.jpg)


In what has been an absolutely triumphant year for Quickstep so far, Martin has played his part.  Podium at Paris Nice, good without being great at Catalunya, and then 2nd at both Fleche Wallonne and Liege Bastogne Liege, and 3rd at the Dauphine.

With the lack of time trialling, Martin could end up doing well here.  Especially if the other riders look at each other and wait.  Fuglsang owes him a few favours from the Dauphine too ;) so that could come in handy.

Quickstep will certainly send a strong team here ... but it wont be solely built around Martin.  Kittel will need a train, and Gilbert will have a free role so it may be a juggle for support riders, but Martin is used to riding this way anyway.  Quickstep have never really been a GC-orientated team.


7 -  #astana - Jakob Fuglsang  :*:*:*   
(http://www.procyclingstats.com/uploads/uploads00008/thumbs/Jakob_Fuglsang_2017.jpg)


Fugsang won 2 stages at the Dauphine, and the GC - which were his 1st ever World Tour wins.  Along with Olympic Silver in Rio, and he is finally making that next step.  Fuglsang (32) has long been a major domestique but never really managed that step up to contender. 

He comes here as the team leader and with expectations that he will be riding for a good GC finish.  His previous best finish at the Tour is 7th in 2013, so he will be hoping to do better than that.

Fabio Aru was scheduled to go to the Giro but was forced to skip it due to injury. He will now come to the Tour - supposedly in support of Fuglsang, but Aru never really plays that role well, so it will be interesting to see the tussle between the two.  Jakob will hope to do better in the prologue, so may get the early support.

8 -  #astana - Fabio Aru :*:*:*   
(http://www.procyclingstats.com/uploads/uploads00008/thumbs/Fabio_Aru_2017.jpg)


Originally slated to do the Giro, a knee injury saw him miss the start in his home of Sardinia.  Aru has been outstanding since his breakout year of 2014 at the Giro.  He won the Vuelta in 2015 against this years Giro winner Dumoulin, and has twice podiumed the Giro ('14 + '15).  He was less than spectacular at Tirreno Adriatico where he did no start the final stage, then hurt his knee in training forcing him to miss the Giro. The Dauphine was his comeback, and he did well, finishing 5th behind team mate Fuglsang.

The question will be - who will be leader?  The answer will no doubt be 'whoever is in front at the time' - and if he continues his resurgence, he will certainly enjoy the steep hills like La Planche de Belles Fille.


9 -  #ag2r - Romain Bardet  :*:*:*   
(http://www.procyclingstats.com/uploads/uploads00008/thumbs/Romain_Bardet_2017.jpg)


At 26, Bardet is just starting to develop into the GC rider he will become.  Certainly he will be a major part of the next generation of stars. His best result at the Tour is 6th, but he is young and moving foward.

He has had a steady year so far, not really shining but showing signs of form so his team would be satisfied I think.  He certainly showed his descending skills for us at the Dauphine last year, and they will come in handy this year with several descent finishes and Froome now showing that he is willing to attack on these descents - and with Porte showing his relative weakness in this area you can be sure that it will be something to watch.

You never know when he will take that next step .. but the French certainly have a lot to look forward to.


10 -  #fdj - Thinaut Pinot  :*:*:*     
(http://www.procyclingstats.com/uploads/uploads00009/thumbs/Thibaut_Pinot_2017.jpg)


Pinot came to our attention in that amazing stage win in 2012 - and has been at the forefront of the french hopes ever since.  He has learned a lot since then, and made the podium of the Tour in 2014.  He will be hoping to move up a step or two in the near future.

He has worked hard on his descending skills, and on his time trial since then (even winning the French National TT Championships) - and finished 4th recently at the Giro.

In fact that may be the only thing holding him back here.  The Giro was very hard, and raced very hard in the last week - and he will come here with legs that bit more tired than the rest.

Still, with Demare being the teams main hope for success, he will look towards this Tour wtih some hope - whether its GC, KOM or stage wins - as he will not want to go home empty handed.


11 -  #orica - Estaban Chaves  :*:*:*   
(http://www.procyclingstats.com/uploads/uploads00009/thumbs/Johan_Esteban_Chaves_2017_404.jpg)


Chavez comes into his first Tour with mixed expectations.  He was coming as the main GC man for Orica Scott until an injury forced the team to hedge their bets and bring one of the Yates brothers here as well.  Still, it may serve Chavez well to take the pressure off his young shoulders.

He certainly is a top rate contender for the next generation after a stellar year last year.  He was 2nd at the Giro, 3rd at the Vuelta and went on to win il Lombardia in fine style.

With his lack of time trialling skills, the route of this years Tour suits him perfectly, and if he has recovered some form we can expect big things from the young man.

12 -  #orica - Simon Yates  :*:*:* 
(http://www.procyclingstats.com/uploads/uploads00008/thumbs/Simon_Yates_2017.jpg)


At 24 he is the youngest of the contenders, but dont write off his chances here.  He missed last years Tour after being given a 4 month suspension by the UCI for a posative test after a TUE mixup, he will be looking to get things back on track here.

He finished 2nd at the Tour of Romandie earlier this year, and was 6th at the Vuelta last year.

He is a capable climber, but whether he is strong enough to last the distance over 3 weeks is really yet to be proven.  Whichever of him or Chavez who is first to falter will certainly be a capable superdom for the other though, so its an interesting scenario for the team.

13 -  #jumbo - Robert Gesink  :*:*   
(http://www.procyclingstats.com/uploads/uploads00008/thumbs/Robert_Gesink_2017.jpg)


To my mind Gesink is a rider who has always been 'nearly there' without ever actually winning much.

His best results are winning the 2 Canadian classic races, 4th at the Tour and 2nd at Tirreno ... which speaks to a lot of talent without actually taking that next step up.  Will this be the year?

The course suits him pretty well - very little time trialling and not too many really long and difficult mountains.  If ever he was going to make it, this would be the one.

His form isnt really up there though.  13th at the Tour of California, and not starting either Suisse or the Dauphine ... it would need to be something for him to feature here.


Some other contenders who may do well on this course ...

#sunweb - Warren Barguil  :* - a good climber who is bound to step up soon
#cannondale - Pierre Rolland  :* - can climb.  will be tired from the Giro though.  More likely to go for stages
#bora - Rafael Majka :* - will be looking for something here.  maybe KOM?
 #bahrain - Ion Izagirre :* - comes here as the main man, and always has a chance.

Title: Re: The Jersey Contenders
Post by: search on June 21, 2017, 10:18
#green Classement par points

(http://cdn.media.cyclingnews.com/2013/07/21/2/000_dv1529850_670.jpg)
The points classification of the Tour de France has a long history, going back to 1905 when the decision was made to determine the winner of the yellow jersey by points instead of a time system. And although it was changed back in 1912 the points system was reintroduced in 1953 to celebrate the 50th birthday of the Tour de France - this time as an additional classification, with the leader wearing the green jersey. And so he does for 64 years now.

The details of where to score how many points have been adjusted several times, with the last major change in 2011 - and another minor one two years ago, as the current points system seemed to favor an allrounder over a sprinter too much.

Points awarded at the finish (by stage category):

cat. 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
#flat Flat   50      30      20      18      16      14      12      10      8      7
#med Hilly   30      25      22      19      17      15      13      11      9      7
#mountain Mountain   20      17      15      13      11      10      9      8      7      6
#tt Time Trial   20      17      15      13      11      10      9      8      7      6
+ minor points for place 11-15

Points awarded at the intermediate sprint are the same on every type of stage (apart from time trials of course):

1st2nd3rd4th5th6th7th8th9th10th1112131415
201715131110987654321

...with the stages being categorized in the following way:
so with 8 possible sprint stages à 50 points on the line, the rules still clearly favor a sprinter to win the jersey. The opportunities to score big points mainly come pretty early in the race with half of the eight sprint stages in the first week. Therefor the battle for green is also likely to come down to motivation, because a sprinter who has scored many points in the first couple of days, will need to be able to fight through the mountain stages to reach the finish and defend his jersey.

Since 2011 the importance of the intermediate sprints has been increased and they have had a major influence on Sagan's dominance. Most of those are fairly flat this year though, and only on stage 9, 15 and 17 they are located at places which may favor stronger climbers over pure sprinters.

Favorites for the Maillot Vert:

(http://www.procyclingstats.com/uploads/uploads00008/thumbs/Peter_Sagan_2017.jpg)(http://www.procyclingstats.com/uploads/uploads00008/thumbs/Andre_Greipel_2017.jpg)(http://www.procyclingstats.com/uploads/uploads00008/thumbs/Marcel_Kittel_2017.jpg)(http://www.procyclingstats.com/uploads/uploads00008/thumbs/Mark_Cavendish_2017.jpg)(http://www.procyclingstats.com/uploads/uploads00009/thumbs/Arnaud_Demare_2017.jpg)(http://www.procyclingstats.com/uploads/uploads00008/thumbs/Alexander_Kristoff_2017.jpg)(http://www.procyclingstats.com/uploads/uploads00008/thumbs/Sonny_Colbrelli_2017.jpg)(http://www.procyclingstats.com/uploads/uploads00009/thumbs/nacer_Bouhanni_2017.jpg)

Peter Sagan has won the jersey five times in a row now, and the World Champion is the most complete rider in the peloton, so he obviously is the favorite to take it again. Last year he won three stages and recently in the Tour de Suisse he looked on a good track to make it six in a row, equaling Eric Zabels record.

Mark Cavendish is the only other rider on the startlist who has won the jersey before, but he seems to be struggle to get back in shape after a injury plagued season so far. Marcel Kittel - 2nd in the competition last year - should be the fastest sprinter around, but his performance over the past weeks didn't seem to be consistent enough to dominate the sprints in France. He may focus on stage wins again instead of targeting green.

With the French sprinters it's a different story, they usually go full out on all fronts, and especially Coquard has had an eye on the jersey over the past years. It remains to be seen if he is quick enough to take enough points in the flat sprints though.

Greipel came 2nd in 2012 and 2015, Kristoff in 2014, and Bouhanni won the classification in the Giro two years ago, and also Sonny Colbrelli mentioned that winning green would be a goad for him, so they obviously can't be discounted, but it's difficult to see on which terrain they really have enough of an advantage to win. Other potential contenders are more allrounder type of riders like Degenkolb or Matthews, but they probably only stand a chance if Sagan really struggles.



#kom Classement du meilleur grimpeur

(http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5559/14869545572_2172cedc0e.jpg)
The mountain classification in the Tour de France was introduced over 80 years ago, but although the best climber was first recognized already in 1933, the distinctive maillot blanc à pois rouges was not introduced until 1975, when the colors were decided by the then sponsor, Chocolat Poulain, whose chocolate bars were covered in a polka dot wrapper. In recent years we have seen breakaway specialists like Rafal Majka, Thomas Voeckler or Anthony Charteau winning the jersey, but also gc riders like Nairo Quintana and Chris Froome, who was the first winner of the Tour to also wear the polka dot jersey on the podium in Paris - as it wasn't introduced yet, when Eddy Merckx won both in 1970.

Same as for the points classification, the scoring system has changed several times - with a minor adjustment this year, reducing the amount of points available on HC category climb from 25 to 20 - and they are now distributed according to the following scheme:

Type de côte 1er 2e 3e 4e 5e 6e 7e 8e
Hors catégorie 20 15 12 10 8 6 4 2
1re catégorie 10 8 6 4 2 1
2e catégorie 5 3 2 1
3e catégorie 2 1
4e catégorie 1

The points for a mountain top finish used to be doubled if that mountain is HC, category 1, or category 2, but In this year's edition double points are only offered on the stage 18 Col d'Izoard finish. That means, the following maximum allocation of points is available during the stages and at the finish:

STAGE Pt. / Underway Pt. / at Finish
St. 1      Düsseldorf ITT      0      0
St. 2      Düsseldorf - Liège      1      0
St. 3      Verviers - Longwy      1+1+2+1      2
St. 4      Mondorf-les-Bains - Vittel      1      0
St. 5      Vittel - La Planche des Belles Filles      2      10
St. 6      Vesoul - Troyes      1+1      0
St. 7      Troyes - Nuits-Saint-Georges      1      0
St. 8      Dole - Station des Rousses      2+5+10      0
St. 9      Nantua - Chambéry      5+2+2+20+20+1+20      0
St. 10      Périgueux - Bergerac      1+1      0
St. 11      Eymet - Pau      1      0
St. 12      Pau - Peyragudes      1+5+10+20+10      5
St. 13      Saint-Girons - Foix      10+10+10      0
St. 14      Blagnac - Rodez      2+2      0
St. 15      Laissac - Le Puy-en-Velay      10+2+10+1      0
St. 16      Le Puy-en-Velay - Romans-sur-Isère      2+1      0
St. 17      La Mure - Serre-Chevalier      5+20+10+20      0
St. 18      Briançon - Izoard      2+10      40
St. 19      Embrun - Salon-de-Provence      2+2+2      0
St. 20      Marseille ITT      0      0
St. 21      Montgeron - Paris      0      0
                  
TOTAL            291      57

In several of those stages (particularly 8, 9, 12 and 17), the harder climbs come late in the stage, so the chance of a gc rider raking the maillot blanc à pois rouges shouldn't be discounted, but overall an attacking rider should be the favorite to take the jersey, especially if the breakaway manages to stay clear on stages like 9 or 12 which offer a load of points. Actually, the competition could be more or less decided after one of those days already.

And in case it may end up to be really close... "in the event of a tie between two riders in the general best climber ranking, the rider with the most first places at highest level pass summits is declared the winner. If the riders are still tied, the first places obtained in 30 the category 1 passes will be used to determine the winner. If necessary, the first places achieved at the summits of category 2, category 3 or category 4 passes or hills will be taken; as a last resort, the final general time ranking will be used."

Favorites for the Maillot Blanc à Pois Rouges

(http://www.procyclingstats.com/uploads/uploads00008/thumbs/Christopher_Froome_2017.jpg)(http://www.procyclingstats.com/uploads/uploads00009/thumbs/Thibaut_Pinot_2017.jpg)(http://www.procyclingstats.com/uploads/uploads00008/thumbs/Warren_Barguil_2017.jpg)(http://www.procyclingstats.com/uploads/uploads00009/thumbs/Johan_Esteban_Chaves_2017_404.jpg)(http://www.procyclingstats.com/uploads/uploads00008/thumbs/nairo_Quintana_2017.jpg)(http://www.procyclingstats.com/uploads/uploads00008/thumbs/Rafal_Majka_2017.jpg)(http://www.procyclingstats.com/uploads/uploads00009/thumbs/Pierre_Rolland_2017_471.jpg)(http://www.procyclingstats.com/uploads/uploads00008/thumbs/Thomas_De_Gendt_2017.jpg)

It's difficult to name clear favorites to win the mountain classification as it always is determined by the outcome of the general classification as well, with riders casting an eye on the jersey only after losing time in gc - but generally, apart from the top gc riders like Froome or Quintana it should favor riders who have been successful in winning mountain jerseys the past and are never afraid to attack if they get the freedom to, like for example Majka, Rolland, Wellens or de Gendt. Also strong climbers like Barguil or Chaves could come in play though, if they lose time early on in the Tour, which doesn't seem to be too unlikely giver their all but perfect preparation. But the favorite is probably Thibaut Pinot, who already stated early in the year that the GC would not be a goal for him, and that he would focus on stage wins and the polka dot jersey instead



#white Classement du meilleur jeune

(http://www.macommune.info/sites/v2.macommune.info/files/imagecache/grid-11/thibaut_pinot_cd_2011.jpg)
The white jersey for the best young rider was first introduced in 1975 and is awarded to the rider with the highest position in the general classification, not born before January 1st 1992. The list of winners in recent years include some of the best riders in the world and favorite for this years' Maillot Jaune, with Nairo Quintana taking it in both his Tour de France participations he was eligible to win the jersey (2013 and 2015), Tejay van Garderen and Thibaut Pinot the years before and between, and Adam Yates in 2016.

With Alberto Contador, Pierre Rolland, Quintana and Pinot there are four former winners on the start list for this year's edition, but all of them are too old to figh for white by now, so we will definitely see a new winner, and Jan Ullrich and Andy Schleck will remain the only riders to have won the jersey three times.

Favorites for the Maillot blanc:

(http://www.procyclingstats.com/uploads/uploads00008/thumbs/Simon_Yates_2017.jpg)(http://www.procyclingstats.com/uploads/uploads00010/thumbs/Louis_Meintjes_2017_683.jpg)(http://www.procyclingstats.com/uploads/uploads00008/thumbs/Emanuel_Buchmann_2017.jpg)(http://www.procyclingstats.com/uploads/uploads00008/thumbs/Pierre_Latour_2017.jpg)(http://www.procyclingstats.com/uploads/uploads00008/thumbs/Tiesj_Benoot_2017.jpg)(http://www.procyclingstats.com/uploads/uploads00009/thumbs/Guillaume_Martin_2017_804.jpg)(http://www.procyclingstats.com/uploads/uploads00009/thumbs/Lilian_Calmejane_2017_228.jpg)(http://www.procyclingstats.com/uploads/uploads00008/thumbs/Jay_Mccarthy_2017.jpg)

In 2016 Adam Yates took the jersey, and although he is not on the start list this year, the jersey may keep in the family, with his brother Simon Yates among the favorite, already having finished 6th in the Vuelta last year. But he can expect fierce competition from Louis Meintjes, who has the highest place finish in the Tour from all eligible participants, namely 8th in 2016.

Emanuel Buchmann recently finished the Critérium du Dauphiné in an impressive 7th place and also Pierre Latour has already showed that he can fight with the best on a good day, but both are likely to slip into a domestique's role when the race progresses, as Rafal Majka and Roman Bardet are the clear team captains and gc men in their teams.

All other contenders will most likely not be strong enough in the high mountains to really stay in touch to win the jersey, but eying it early on during the first week may be a target of course. Tiesj Benoot for example has already mentioned, that he aims to take over the jersey in Luxembourg or on the Planche des Belles Filles.
Title: Re: The Jersey Contenders
Post by: just some guy on June 21, 2017, 10:41
I guess Talansky might have deserved a place in the top 15 riders
Title: Re: The Jersey Contenders
Post by: hiero on June 21, 2017, 20:12
I guess Talansky might have deserved a place in the top 15 riders

Could be. Not a sure thing, but could be. So, y'all decided to do the stage reviews all at one go this year! Ok then! I started looking at the profiles today, and was looking around to see if I could plug in a couple of stage reviews - but you've got it all done!   :o  :cool[1]

That first week, and into the 2nd week - sprint heaven. A quick run through on the profiles has me wondering if Sagan is going to manage green this year. At the moment, I'm thinking he may not be able to manage it. I'd like to see Cav do it again, but I suspect he won't be winning all that many stages, given his form at TdSuisse. He's doing well, but he isn't stellar, coming back from that Epstein Barr infection. I'd still pick him for one or two stage wins.
 1. After I wrote this I think I found the preview signup page.
Title: Re: The Jersey Contenders
Post by: just some guy on June 21, 2017, 20:20
Could be. Not a sure thing, but could be. So, y'all decided to do the stage reviews all at one go this year! Ok then! I started looking at the profiles today, and was looking around to see if I could plug in a couple of stage reviews - but you've got it all done!   :o  :cool[1]

That first week, and into the 2nd week - sprint heaven. A quick run through on the profiles has me wondering if Sagan is going to manage green this year. At the moment, I'm thinking he may not be able to manage it. I'd like to see Cav do it again, but I suspect he won't be winning all that many stages, given his form at TdSuisse. He's doing well, but he isn't stellar, coming back from that Epstein Barr infection. I'd still pick him for one or two stage wins.
 1. After I wrote this I think I found the preview signup page.

We do a big preview every year for the GT we then get people to do 1 or 2 previews of the stages and rest days

You have stage 9 ;)
Title: Re: The Jersey Contenders
Post by: just some guy on June 22, 2017, 06:59
https://twitter.com/Velorooms/status/877767774449348608
Title: Re: The Jersey Contenders
Post by: latino on June 22, 2017, 11:25
I think Froome is the inevitable favorite and the who will win again the Tour (if nothing bad happens to the #sky team).

We haven't seen the best of Froome this year, or even the best of #sky.
They've been holding back on previous races to dominate the Tour.

Porte, Contador, Valverde, Quintana, Pinot, Bardet, etc will fight for the remaining top places.

I hope I'm wrong, because if I'm not, it'll be another boring Tour.

We'll see if the changes in the parcours will stir the pot :D
Title: Re: The Jersey Contenders
Post by: Francois the Postman on June 22, 2017, 14:50
Froome now confirmed to be without Wout Poels for that important third week.  This, I am sure, is another niggle for Sky's front man. Niggles that can only be removed once the Tour de France starts to roll itself out across France, and Froome's actual hold over competitors will crystalise.

I am hoping for an open race, so part of me is pleased as I quite enjoy seeing favourites in opposite teams, exposed to just each other early on. Although the other part of me regrets not being able to see Wout do what he does best.

On the flipside, with Froome aiming for the TdF-Vuelta double, having Wout with fresh and keen legs heading to the Vuelta must offer some consolation for those rooting for Sky.

Still being punch-drunk on 'our' first GT win since the 80s, I'm not too fussed who wins the TdF this year.

I am however quietly praying that the more adventurous and attacking racing style we have seen on display for so many races this year, something that certainly isn't alien to Froome's nature either, for once will be able to escape from the clutches of the risk-adverse atmosphere that has infected the TdF and far too often deprives oxygen from any full-on entertainment opportunity the moment it shows a pulse.

It would be good if, for once, the biggest cycling show on earth would indeed be that.

I will admit that Richie Porte exites me as much as listening to the audiobook version of a Kafka play, narrated by United Nation bureaucrats, in Icelandic. So if it isn't him, I am fine with that.
Title: Re: The Jersey Contenders
Post by: hiero on June 22, 2017, 15:45
I think Froome is the inevitable favorite and the who will win again the Tour (if nothing bad happens to the #sky team).

We haven't seen the best of Froome this year, or even the best of #sky.
They've been holding back on previous races to dominate the Tour.

Porte, Contador, Valverde, Quintana, Pinot, Bardet, etc will fight for the remaining top places.

I hope I'm wrong, because if I'm not, it'll be another boring Tour.

We'll see if the changes in the parcours will stir the pot :D

Unfortunately, I agree with you. However, this parcours MIGHT offer some opportunities to level the playing field. Or it could be all over but the shouting by stage 9. For sure, though, the lesser podium spots should see some excellent competition. AND, if it ISN'T Froome in yellow with minutes in hand after stage 9, it COULD be a real battle royale! Keep your fingers crossed.

. . .
I will admit that Richie Porte ex(c)ites me as much as listening to the audiobook version of a Kafka play, narrated by United Nation bureaucrats, in Icelandic. So if it isn't him, I am fine with that.
Dude. Gnarly. My ass puckers up reading that.
Title: Re: The Jersey Contenders
Post by: Kiwirider on June 22, 2017, 15:47

I am however quietly praying that the more adventurous and attacking racing style we have seen on display for so many races this year, something that certainly isn't alien to Froome's nature either, for once will be able to escape from the clutches of the risk-adverse atmosphere that has infected the TdF and far too often deprives oxygen from any full-on entertainment opportunity the moment it shows a pulse.


(Once I get over the confusion of your comment about Froome being an attacking and exciting rider - was that some sarcasm in there FtP????)

All that I can say is turn up the volumes on those prayers ... and the frequency ... and cross your fingers ....!
Title: Re: The Jersey Contenders
Post by: hiero on June 22, 2017, 16:59
One more observation, re Froome vs Porte - looking at the team rosters today, I have to say Sky looks considerably stronger in GC support. We've been seeing this race come down to team support, notably Sky, for several years now. Gag.

I really hope Fuglsang and Aru gang up and beat some other contenders up.
Title: Re: The Jersey Contenders
Post by: latino on June 22, 2017, 17:25
One more observation, re Froome vs Porte - looking at the team rosters today, I have to say Sky looks considerably stronger in GC support. We've been seeing this race come down to team support, notably Sky, for several years now. Gag.

I really hope Fuglsang and Aru gang up and beat some other contenders up.

Me too.
Also Quintana + Valverde and the French armada Pinot + Bardet.
Even Dan Martin and Pierre Roland will mix things up, I hope.
Unfortunately Porte, Contador and Chaves will be left on their own pretty early on tougher stages, and will not be allowed to attack.
The #sky train will demolish the other teams.

I agree with your previous post, there will be some excitement coming from the wildcards, not the GC favorites.

And let's not forget that the Saganator is hungry for his 6th #green, the parcours is perfect for him :D
Title: Re: The Jersey Contenders
Post by: t-72 on June 22, 2017, 22:14
AG & Search - I have little to add so I just thought I should say thank you for the brilliant write-ups. That must have taken some effort to put together  :cool
Title: Re: The Jersey Contenders
Post by: hiero on June 23, 2017, 01:57
Interview with Froome:
Quote
. . .with only three summit finishes and a really small amount of time trialling, there will be very few opportunities for the riders who are contesting the overall classification. . . .
from http://www.velonews.com/2017/06/news/tour-de-france-2017-power-rankings-1-chris-froome_441300 (http://www.velonews.com/2017/06/news/tour-de-france-2017-power-rankings-1-chris-froome_441300)

which lead me to http://www.velonews.com/2017/01/news/la-vueltas-15th-day-stage-decade_427852 (http://www.velonews.com/2017/01/news/la-vueltas-15th-day-stage-decade_427852)

But really? Stage of the decade? It was a great stage, but I'm not sure it qualifies for stage of the decade. And I am sure that it was not Quintana's stage. Although Quintana went on to win the GC, I think it was Contador and Tinkoff who made the stage work for Quintana. Contador and Tinkoff were the prime motivators and activators, as far as I could tell. Quintana helped, as did the other members of that all-star break. We finally saw a multi-team cooperative attack on Sky. And it worked. Valverde did a good job on defense, as well. But it was Contador and his Tinkoff mates who put in the watts when they counted.

It was tactical nous that allowed this break to work. A surprise attack, it wasn't expected by Sky. And most ot Sky got caught out. It was Brambilla and Contador who made that tactic happen. Quintana was there, and at least smart enough to follow and work with it. In that, he did well.

But this begs the question: is there a stage in this year's TdF where a tactical ambush can succeed? Will enough GC favorites participate to make it stick? Sky has consistently played a theme song: get a strong team, and have that strong team go hard to protect the designated leader. Then they've had enough money to hire enough strong men that other favorites are isolated before Sky's leader is. A simple plan, but it is harder to make it happen than it seems. First, you have to be able to hire multiple riders who are 2nd step podium hopefuls as domestiques. Sky's riches have ensured that, every year, they have just such a team. But if the other teams are prepared to work together, and if they keep their tactical antennae up, and if they are ready, maybe we will see something happen again. It could.
Title: Re: The Jersey Contenders
Post by: latino on June 23, 2017, 11:05
...

But this begs the question: is there a stage in this year's TdF where a tactical ambush can succeed? Will enough GC favorites participate to make it stick?

...

Apart from the 3 mountain finishes, IMHO there are another 3 stages that will be attacked by the GC favorites - 9, 13 and 17.
All of them have a mountain close to the end of the stage, with a long descent to the finish.
We've seen a lot of excitement on these types of stages at the Giro this year, and other recent races.
Especially on short stages like 13, with only 101km and very steep inclines on the last climb (>18%).
Differences may happen near the top of those last climbs and on the long descents.

I see some riders taking advantage of them like Bardet, Valverde, even Froome might have a go at them.
Can't forget that amazing descent by Froome at the Dauphine, and also last year's Tour.

Maybe we get some excitement after all, and probably not on the stages we're expecting :)
Title: Re: The Jersey Contenders
Post by: t-72 on June 23, 2017, 14:12
Interview with Froome: from http://www.velonews.com/2017/06/news/tour-de-france-2017-power-rankings-1-chris-froome_441300 (http://www.velonews.com/2017/06/news/tour-de-france-2017-power-rankings-1-chris-froome_441300)

which lead me to http://www.velonews.com/2017/01/news/la-vueltas-15th-day-stage-decade_427852 (http://www.velonews.com/2017/01/news/la-vueltas-15th-day-stage-decade_427852)
....

But this begs the question: is there a stage in this year's TdF where a tactical ambush can succeed? Will enough GC favorites participate to make it stick?

Froome is impressive, in the way that if one year he is diagnosed with a weakness,  next year he comes back having practiced alot to turn that  into one of his strengths.
2014 he couldn't ride cobbles and bad weather- 2015 he was quite good on the cobbles and won the race on a rainy and windy day in the pancake-flat Rhine delta.
2015 Dauphine Bardet could put a minute into him down  the Col d'Allos, 2016 TdF takes stage win down Peyresourde 2017 Dauphine shreds (!)  down the Mont du Chat
2016 Vuelta, 2017 Catalunya, 2017 Romandie: is taken down repeatedly by hard starts on intense stages/climbs 2017 Dauphine: Froome hardstards the short/intense final stage. Succeeds in throwing Porte off balance, but goes down himself. Not a master at this craft yet.
2017 TdF:  all team know Froome can be successfully attacked on a short/intense stage if they go early.  My prediction: Sky's gameplan is to attack on such a stage, not to let themselves be attacked. It is too obvious now that they may not be able to defend themselves in such circumstances, so they started already in the Dauphine to try to deal with the problem in a more constructive way.

EDIT: Let me add that I believe the riders make the race and having less extreme climbs and less MTF could make for more interesting racing as there are more tactical options to play when more riders are physically able to hang on.  Hoping for some flatland/hilly stage surprises!  :cool


 
Title: Re: The Jersey Contenders
Post by: hiero on June 23, 2017, 20:33
Froome is impressive, in the way that if one year he is diagnosed with a weakness,  next year he comes back having practiced alot to turn that  into one of his strengths.
 . . .
EDIT: Let me add that I believe the riders make the race and having less extreme climbs and less MTF could make for more interesting racing as there are more tactical options to play when more riders are physically able to hang on.  Hoping for some flatland/hilly stage surprises!  :cool
Great analysis! Thanks!
Title: Re: The Jersey Contenders
Post by: Flo on June 23, 2017, 21:43
AG - I love you for giving Berto 5 stars :D :o :luv but I'm not sure it's justified... mind you I still believe he can do it, but everything needs to go his way
But he has a great & loyal team finally  :hi ok maybe not Mollema, careful Bauke I'm keeping an eye on you :shh
Title: Re: The Jersey Contenders
Post by: AG on June 24, 2017, 09:42
well - there are lots of times that people have underestimated him.  He has won a LOT of grand tours ... so deserves 5 stars in whatever he starts.

Title: Re: The Jersey Contenders
Post by: hiero on June 25, 2017, 03:54
BTW - I still have not voted in the poll. I just hate giving Froome a vote! I do think he has to be the favorite, but I also think (and hope) we could see a real challenge this year. But all the challengers have tried before - and failed. Pfuh.

Just can't bring myself to vote for Froome. Not gonna do it. No sir.

I Ab-stain.
Title: Re: The Jersey Contenders
Post by: Slapshot on June 27, 2017, 15:00
I picked Berto.... Loyalty!!!

I'd love to see him win another tour but age is creeping up on him.  :( :(
Title: Re: The Jersey Contenders
Post by: search on June 28, 2017, 09:10
I picked Berto.... Loyalty!!!

Warren Barguil is with you:

Quote
(gt)

Ah, it could be funny, a beautiful brothel! Porte is in super form too early and I think it will get stuck in third week. Froome, though not to be buried, is on the downward slope. I feel that his body starts to tell him stop. Contador, on the other hand, was quite discreet about the Dauphiné. I am sure that he prepared his case well. This is my favorite.

http://www.letelegramme.fr/cyclisme/barguil-je-reve-d-une-etape-27-06-2017-11574022.php
Title: Re: The Jersey Contenders
Post by: just some guy on June 28, 2017, 18:49
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DDbOS34XkAAo5Zb.jpg)(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DDbOKc6XoAQnlCx.jpg)(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DDbN-qTWsAAencR.jpg)


(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DDbN0SoXoAcO-qO.jpg)(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DDbNrfxXoAMSf-C.jpg)(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DDbNiVzXYAEaEMQ.jpg)

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DDbNUE1WsAAOpTw.jpg)(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DDbNI6MXsAAbeXy.jpg)(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DDbMS3_WAAEIFt9.jpg)

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DDbML59XoAIdMDF.jpg)(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DDbMHNYXoAA5W8-.jpg)(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DDbL3i8XcAI3y7w.jpg)




Title: Re: The Jersey Contenders
Post by: hiero on June 29, 2017, 01:57
Warren Barguil is with you:



If Contador even gets into  #yellow I will be over the moon! And I know I won't be the only one. I'll keep my fingers crossed.
Title: Re: The Jersey Contenders
Post by: hiero on June 29, 2017, 19:18
I got a chuckle out of the continuing press coverage of the Ambush at Dauphine:
Quote
Porte largely blames the day on “negative” tactics of his opponents. Chris Froome, in particular, seemed to be riding against his old Sky teammate and frequent training partner. Froome attacked Porte over the top of the penultimate climb, then pulled the group ahead even when it was clear his own chances to win were
http://www.velonews.com/2017/06/news/can-bmc-handle-skys-tour-de-france-super-team  (http://www.velonews.com/2017/06/news/can-bmc-handle-skys-tour-de-france-super-team)

I remember Hinault's perfidy towards LeMond - attacking his own teammate - whom he had sworn he was going to support. Of course, Hinault had some excuse like he was making it hard for Greg so that Greg would work. I am pretty sure that Greg had a definite takeaway from that experience. And you know what? This reminds me of that event. Porte and Froome weren't teammates any more, but last year I couldn't tell if that was the case, what with Porte pulling Froome up hills! I am still hoping Porte will have learned a lesson here.
Title: Re: The Jersey Contenders
Post by: FreeWheelin on June 30, 2017, 06:40
BTW, if anyone is wondering, which die-hard  *fr fan gave Pinot that one vote... It was me... not a die-hard  *fr but a lazy  *au who didn't take enough time to read it properly.  I saw the 'P' and the 't' and thought, "There is Porte", click.  Oops.
Title: Re: The Jersey Contenders
Post by: latino on June 30, 2017, 15:30
As expected, almost all GC favorites said it was going to be a tough and open race, during the team presentations.

Btw, anyone else annoyed that #trek and #sky are both going to wear white shirts with black shorts?
It's going to get confusing, especially on the heli shots.
If other teams attack it's going to look like one 18 man team pulling the peloton :P

(https://keyassets.timeincuk.net/inspirewp/live/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2017/06/Untitled-design13.png)

P.S.: I know the #sky kit is different in the back, with the blue stripe and the rider's name.
But from the front, still confusing.
Title: Re: The Jersey Contenders
Post by: hiero on June 30, 2017, 15:59
. . . going to wear white shirts with black shorts . . .
It's going to get confusing, especially on the heli shots.
If other teams attack it's going to look like one 18 man team pulling the peloton :P
 . . .

I think JSG mentioned the white jerseys in another thread. I couldn't find it quick enough, tho. "White is the new black this year". Sheesh. Something like 60+ riders in white jerseys?  Trek and Sky - as you point out. Sunweb already in white with black bars. Fortuneo Vital in white w/ blue stripe. Katusha adding white shoulders and sleeves. Bora w/ 2 nats and WC champs in white jerseys w / flags/rainbow. UAE - white w /black shoulders. Dimension Data white w/ black chest and shoulders.

FDJ has white - but enough blue and red we'll be able to pick them out. Except one nat champ in white w/ flag.

It's going to be hard to pick out a lot of riders visually. That COULD create some opportunities.
Title: Re: The Jersey Contenders
Post by: latino on June 30, 2017, 16:21
I think JSG mentioned the white jerseys in another thread. I couldn't find it quick enough, tho. "White is the new black this year". Sheesh. Something like 60+ riders in white jerseys?  Trek and Sky - as you point out. Sunweb already in white with black bars. Fortuneo Vital in white w/ blue stripe. Katusha adding white shoulders and sleeves. Bora w/ 2 nats and WC champs in white jerseys w / flags/rainbow. UAE - white w /black shoulders. Dimension Data white w/ black chest and shoulders.

FDJ has white - but enough blue and red we'll be able to pick them out. Except one nat champ in white w/ flag.

It's going to be hard to pick out a lot of riders visually. That COULD create some opportunities.

Yeah, I found the thread and replied there also.

It's going to be ridiculous.
We're going to have to identify the teams by the color of the helmets (hopefully they'll be different).

And let's not forget the actual white jersey (youth).
Going to be hard to pick that one out of the bunch.