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latino

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Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
« Reply #60 on: July 08, 2017, 18:47 »
I think you meant #kom polka dots, Yates still in  #white.

You're absolutely right, I was looking at the youth classification for the stage, not overall :S
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  • AG

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #61 on: July 09, 2017, 00:42 »
    that was indeed a cracking stage

    much better than the anticipated fight to get into the break and then everything fizzles as they wait for tomorrow.
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  • Mellow Velo

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #62 on: July 09, 2017, 17:58 »
     Should be a few choice posts in this thread tonight. ;)

    The Weekend Good.
     What a fantastic weekend pair of stages to watch. Virtually no let up in the combined 360kms and numerous climbs.
    Marvelous Matthews.  Stepping into Sagan's shoes, going up HC climbs like a mountain....er....rhino. :D
    With Demare going out, he alone is keeping the battle for the green jersey alive.
    Lili Calmejane. A real young gun and potentially another big French GT contender. Epic effort yesterday.
    The collective French being up for a big KoM battle.
    Ag2r looking the part. Taking the race on early and causing major problems for Team Sky.
     Could they actually be the strongest team in the race? Roman Bardet's fearless descending.
    Plus too many others to mention.
    A big chapeau to them all.

    The Bad.
    The weather's major influence on the GC. Terrible coverage at certain times from the tv companies.
    Nairo Quintana struggling solo. Movistar's moral must be in the toilet.
    Demare succumbing to his stomach ailment, as he seemed the only real challenger to Kittel in the flat sprints.
    The stuff that I forget to post here.

    Neither bad, just sad.

    The fat lady singing over Contador's GT career.
    That the sprint between "One gear" Uran or "Breakaway" Barguil had to have a loser.

    The Ugly.
     Those awful, sickening crashes.

     ***
     
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  • « Last Edit: July 10, 2017, 12:27 by Mellow Velo »
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.

    latino

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #63 on: July 09, 2017, 18:42 »
    Tour de France - Stage 9

    The Good

     - One of the best stages I've seen in the Tour in the last years
     - Another massive break with over 40 riders
     - Many young riders showing themselves in the front of the race (Tiejs Benoot for example)
     - Incredible win by Uran, with a broken cassette (stuck on 11 in the back) and only able to change the front gears (used a 53 for the sprint)
     - Barguil attacking strong in the mountains, taking the polka dot jersey, the most combative award, and almost winning the stage (another photo finish)
     - Matthews working hard to win the sprint in the valley, great work by Sunweb
     - Fuglsang holding on with the favorites, even with Aru there
     - AG2R's aggressive strategy breaking both groups apart and almost resulting in a win by Bardet
     - Dry descent on Mont du Chat, even though there were crashes, it would've been much worse in the rain
     - New contenders for the GC win or just podium, even though Froome will be hard to beat
     - Rest day tomorrow to calm the nerves and lick the wounds

    The Bad

     - Contador definitely out of the race, 5 min down from Froome, and 2 min off the top 10
     - Quintana not yet ready for the mountains, will he recover in the third week, or is the Giro weighing down too much on his legs?
     - Bad strategy by Trek, leaving Contador alone, and not resulting in anything positive, front or back
     - Demare HD, along with 3 more FDJ, also Renshaw, Trentin and the other Sagan
     - Too many favorites losing chances to win or finish in the podium

    The Ugly

     - The crashes, so many
     - Manuele Mori, Jos Van Emden, Robert Gesink, Geraint Thomas and Richie Porte abandon
     - Richie Porte in very bad state after ugly crash in the last descent, taking out Dan Martin and Uran's cassette
     - Thomas and Mori with possible broken collarbone
     - Ugly move by Aru attacking when he saw Froome had a mechanical problem, big no-no by the italian, promptly shut down by the other riders

    This Tour is looking like a teenager, boring during the week, crazy on the weekend :lol
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  • latino

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #64 on: July 10, 2017, 10:18 »
    Uran won the stage with a single speed :D actually a two speed, as the front gears still worked
    The difference in pedaling cadence was visible in the shots, but here is a review of what happened.

    http://www.velonews.com/2017/07/news/uran-won-tour-sprint-singlespeed_443191

    Awesome work by the Mavic mechanic @MaxRuphy, after seeing that the rear derailleur was bent, asked Uran if he wanted the 11 tooth, Uran said yes and the rest is history.

    In other news, Porte got away with it, fractured clavicle and pelvis, could've been so much worse...

    https://twitter.com/BMCProTeam/status/884120329127424000
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  • AG

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #65 on: July 10, 2017, 13:42 »
    The Good

    - it was fantastic to see the whole AG2R team take on the descents and take an aggressive position.  I was really hoping that Bardet could put the icing on it and take the jersey, but it wasnt meant to be

    - Great stage, big break, aggressive riding makes it an interesting stage to watch.  In fact the last 2 stages have both been really great after a pretty 'meh' first week

    - Barguil was fabulous.  Wish there could have been a draw

    - Uran winning on a fixie


    The Bad

    - Contador and Quintana.  Contador is simply not strong enough here (though has been ok so far this year with 2nd's in a bunch of races), and Quintana trying to do the double has stuffed his chances in both.  He came to the Giro underdone - and it wasnt really suited to him with so many time trial km's .... and now has very tired legs for the Tour which does suit him.

    - Valverde being out ... he would have taken the reins at Movistar and done very nicely indeed

    - Demare out - I dont like Demare after the MSR holding on, but its still sad to see him out of the time limit here


    The Ugly

    - crashes, crashes, crashes.  The Porte one looked especially bad - so glad to here that he is basically ok.  GT and Dan Martin both very unlucky - as well as a number of others.

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  • hiero

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #66 on: July 11, 2017, 01:53 »
    The Good

    - it was fantastic to see the whole AG2R team take on the descents and take an aggressive position.  I was really hoping that Bardet could put the icing on it and take the jersey, but it wasnt meant to be

    - Great stage, big break, aggressive riding makes it an interesting stage to watch.  In fact the last 2 stages have both been really great after a pretty 'meh' first week

    - Barguil was fabulous.  Wish there could have been a draw

    - Uran winning on a fixie


    The Bad

    - Contador and Quintana.  Contador is simply not strong enough here (though has been ok so far this year with 2nd's in a bunch of races), and Quintana trying to do the double has stuffed his chances in both.  He came to the Giro underdone - and it wasnt really suited to him with so many time trial km's .... and now has very tired legs for the Tour which does suit him.

    - Valverde being out ... he would have taken the reins at Movistar and done very nicely indeed

    - Demare out - I dont like Demare after the MSR holding on, but its still sad to see him out of the time limit here


    The Ugly

    - crashes, crashes, crashes
    .  The Porte one looked especially bad - so glad to here that he is basically ok.  GT and Dan Martin both very unlucky - as well as a number of others.

    You know, descending didn't used to be all that important. I think we started seeing that change in the 90's, and it certainly has changed now. I'm thinking the peloton are going to have to adapt to this and live with it. Regular descending practice is going to have to become de rigeur. Also, ASO or UCI or somebody is going to have to address the barrier issues. We keep going down this road, year after year, and for the past 10 or so especially, we have seen crash after crash that was avoidable. The sport has grown. The organizers need to catch up.
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  • Eeyore sez . . .

    latino

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #67 on: July 11, 2017, 10:28 »
    You know, descending didn't used to be all that important. I think we started seeing that change in the 90's, and it certainly has changed now. I'm thinking the peloton are going to have to adapt to this and live with it. Regular descending practice is going to have to become de rigeur. Also, ASO or UCI or somebody is going to have to address the barrier issues. We keep going down this road, year after year, and for the past 10 or so especially, we have seen crash after crash that was avoidable. The sport has grown. The organizers need to catch up.

    I agree, especially on the Valverde crash, and others that went down on the same corner.
    I mean, it was a fast corner, in the rain, there were already barriers there, why not some kind of padding?
    It's impossible to predict that a moto would fall there and leave oil on the ground, the crashes were going to happen, but still these abandons could've easily been avoided, and the riders protected.
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  • Slapshot

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #68 on: July 11, 2017, 21:56 »
    Stage 9.....

    The Good
    -  AGR Wow those guys rode the stage like their lives depended on it, shame Bardet couldn't finish it....... Rigo Uran... Another WOW, I thought he was a complete has been but chapeau earned, that was gutsy..... with the carnage all around Froome took charge of it, his decent was pretty damn good fast without being greedy. The countryside around the stage was awesome to look at.

    The Bad - Jeez the crashes they were plain old grim, no matter how hard they try to make things safe the speed these guys go at how safe will it descents like this ever be??? Berto.... sad to see him off the back like that, some of the stuff going on on twitter suggests his training isnt what it should have been and hes undercooked for the Tour, Trek interfering has been suggested, sad all the same, hopefully he'll get a chance  to do something later in the race,.

    The Ugly
    - Crashes Richies was horrific and I'm still gobsmacked that Dan got up as well.  Dan's comments are well known now but what can you do, the organisers put together an amazing stage but you can't forecast the weather when you publish the route in October, all of us who ride bikes know how ropey damp and patchy wet roads can be. I'm certain the issue is the pace the riders want to go at, they want to win at all costs... you will not slow them down... and lets be honest that's what we watch for the speed, the drama...... the racing!

    Stage 10....... please see comments on any other sprint stage  :lol :lol :lol

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  • hiero

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #69 on: July 12, 2017, 01:48 »
    The Ugly: Bouhanni's fine. WHAT A JOKE. After having expelled Sagan from the tour for rather unintentional fouling, they essentially IGNORE INTENTIONAL ENDANGERMENT OF ANOTHER RIDER! Very CLEARLY intentional departure from his line to crowd and threaten another rider. That was ugly.

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  • latino

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #70 on: July 12, 2017, 09:47 »
    Tour de France - Stage 10

    The Good

     - 4th win for Kittel, equaled Zabel's record, and has more chances to win more stages
     - Beautiful landscapes, at least there was something to look at during the stage
     - Another break with Wanty and Fortuneo
     - They removed the gate in the last corner, good job by the organization (check image below)



    The Bad

     -  Boring long flat stage
     - Greipel and Matthews out of the top 10 at the finish

    The Ugly

     - Bouhanni punching a Quickstep rider, and not getting expelled, just a fine and time penalty

    https://twitter.com/cyclingnieuws1/status/884806271710486530
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  • hiero

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #71 on: July 12, 2017, 14:27 »
    . . .The Ugly

     - Bouhanni punching a Quickstep rider, and not getting expelled, just a fine and time penalty

    https://twitter.com/cyclingnieuws1/status/884806271710486530

    What disturbs me, FAR more than the rather wimpy punch, was the line-change threat that you can see, starting at :49, here:
    http://www.velonews.com/2017/07/tour-de-france/bouhanni-handed-slight-penalty-for-smacking-quick-step-rider_443469

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  • Slapshot

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #72 on: July 12, 2017, 17:34 »
    Another snooze fest.... Almost  :lol :lol

    The Good
    - Chapeau Maciej Bodnar nearly caught them napping

    The bad  - More crashes is it worse this year than recently... seems we've had loads!

    The Ugly - the Parcours and the fact that Bouhanni is still there after punching another rider and whatever Hiero mentions above.. can't see it it georestricted!
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  • latino

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #73 on: July 13, 2017, 10:09 »
    Tour de France - Stage 11

    The Good

     - Bodnar almost surprised everyone, would've loved if he had won
     - Exciting final kms with Bodnar giving a fight

    The Bad

     - Another boring long stage with predictable result, not even worth watching until the final 10km

    The Ugly

     - A few crashes, Cataldo abandons, Fuglsang fractures hand (might abandon soon), Contador and Bardet with a few bruises
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  • ciranda

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #74 on: July 13, 2017, 16:34 »
    G: Mikel Nieve's line past the spectators through the autocampers.

    B: When all the minor bit players paid tribute to their king after that. Mikel Landa or Romain Bardet or Rigo will win the overall I hope.

    U: Fuglsang. It was not a question of being able to handle pain or something like that, it was about the arm not functioning. Sucks hard and it is the fourth GC in a row not counting TDF last year where crashes and accidents have destroyed his race. Only option now even w yellow Aru is abandon and target Vuelta and Lombardia.
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  • Slapshot

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #75 on: July 13, 2017, 17:01 »
    The good - Brilliant stage awesome last 50 km + AMAZING last KM
                    Aruuuuuuuu in Yellow, chapeau little donkey and Roman Bardet as well.
                    As a very much not sky fan/ not Froome fan him spinning frantically like a demented hamster in the last 300m was funny.  :lol :lol
                    Dan giving it a crack, if he hadn't been hurt on Sunday I wonder how much better he'd have been without the injury.
                    Mikel Landa..... find a team that will let you lead for heavens sake!!!!

    The Bad
    - Berto dropping more time is always sad but he tried at least.

    The Ugly - Froomie spinning like that, he looks shocking on a bike at the best of times but last last 300M was just UGLY (ok it was damn funny at times too)
                   
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  • latino

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #76 on: July 13, 2017, 20:18 »
    Tour de France - Stage 12

    The Good

     - Kittel in the break, in a mountain stage, loved it :lol
     - Amazing win for Bardet
     - Aru in yellow, top 3 closer together
     - Uran 2nd in the stage
     - Landa very strong, even though he went to the Giro, really needs to lead a team and win a GT
     - Contador showing himself but stage was too long for him, maybe tomorrow
     - Yates and Meintjes holding on with the favorites up to the top

    The Bad

     - Very boring stage, action only in the final 500m, Sky controlling everything (almost)
     - Quintana losing time and thinking about his decision to try Giro-Tour in the same year
     - Fuglsang suffering from his injuries, losing a lot of time

    The Ugly

     - A few crashes and mistakes, but nothing serious
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  • « Last Edit: July 13, 2017, 20:34 by latino »

    DJW

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #77 on: July 13, 2017, 20:21 »
    Missed the whole stage but glad Bardet got a big win. I still think Froome will win the overall, but genuinely have torn loyalties between him and Bardet now.

    Really really really really don't want Aru to win.
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  • Mellow Velo

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #78 on: July 13, 2017, 22:28 »
    The good - Brilliant stage awesome last 50 km + AMAZING last KM
                   

    You are joking surely?
    It was all about the last km.
    The rest followed the script that everybody complained so bitterly about, last year.
    I actually fell asleep on the Port de Bales.
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  • t-72

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #79 on: July 13, 2017, 23:06 »
    You are joking surely?
    It was all about the last km.
    The rest followed the script that everybody complained so bitterly about, last year.
    I actually fell asleep on the Port de Bales.
    This year started out with a completely unsurprising surprise in that team sky had yellow from the start, but everyone had forgotten about Thomas in the previews. In a way it was according to the script but still that was Thomas beating Froome in a time trial. We didn't think so much off it back then.
    We saw already on stage 5 (to the belles filles) that Aru was in cracking shape, but we didn't think much of it back then because it was only the first little big climb. Again on stage 9 Froome somehow attacked a little up to Mont Chat but it didn't look anything like we have seen him on steep climbs in the past (2013 Ventoux? the difference was notable.) The "attack" faded as quickly as it started, and on the start of the flat section to Chambery, Froome was visibly very exhausted. (I might be mistaken but there were some grim faces - could also be a reaction to Porte's fall - but he got help from Astana and Cannondale to catch Bardet.)
    Today Sky looked very strong. I am particularily impressed by M&M (Mikhail Kwiatkowski & Mikel Landa) who both look like they could have give Froome a run for the money if they were captaining their own teams. However, again we saw at the end, that Froome's was almost shutting down at 100m and lost a second every 4 meters or so. A slight sign of weakness, but nowhere near a collapse yet.
    I'd say the exiting stuff isn't that Froome is off the back, but the distance to the best of the rest is certainly diminished over the past few years. It may be that Froome is speculating on peak form late (to allow for a better shot at the double later) but right now he looks closer to losing than in any of his previous winning years. However, it remains for his rivals to take the opportunities that  present themselves and the must stop falling, riding off the road and breaking derailleurs, arms, hips, collarbones etc or Froome might end up taking this á la Nibali: with a huge timegap after mthe strongest competitors have literally fallen by the wayside.
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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #80 on: July 13, 2017, 23:53 »
    You are joking surely?
    It was all about the last km.
    The rest followed the script that everybody complained so bitterly about, last year.
    I actually fell asleep on the Port de Bales.

    No... cos I've been working so much all i've seen are the crappy flat stages so yes this was great for me! My opinions, other opinions are freely available
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  • Mellow Velo

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #81 on: July 14, 2017, 08:09 »
     It's just that I struggled with this concept during the Giro and I am struggling with it again at the Tour.
    To me, exciting racing is exciting racing and an exciting looking result for the GC, isn't.
    Are folks going to view the ASO's course design, based upon a close GC classement?
    I hope not.
    I, for one do not wish to see another TDF with 9 pan flat stages and 2 and a half MTFs, for a long, long while.

    But as SS says, that's just my opinion.
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  • Ram

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #82 on: July 14, 2017, 09:38 »
    I'll second your stance. The Giro was crap for basically the first 15 days. Similar story with the Tour.

    Honest opinion... I think the ASO just shat themselves with the Sagan-Froome domination of the past few years, and prepared a route tailor made for Bardet and anyone but Sagan.

    Seeing as Bardet's the main beneficiary of this wet lettuce of a route, I'm hoping anyone but him gets the overall.
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  • AG

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #83 on: July 14, 2017, 13:00 »
    I agree - the giro was close, but it wasnt a good course design and certainly wasnt exciting racing for the most part.

    And this tour has been the same.  While it may end up with a GC fight (I still dont think it will as Froome will take major time at the TT) ... being close and racing the last 500m doesnt make an exciting race.

    I mean - 1st and 2nd on GC had a minor run off the road = totally rider error ... and the rest of the guys didnt even bother attacking.  How lame is that
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  • Mellow Velo

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #84 on: July 14, 2017, 13:13 »

    I mean - 1st and 2nd on GC had a minor run off the road = totally rider error ... and the rest of the guys didnt even bother attacking.  How lame is that

     You have a real bee in your bonnet over this, AG. :D

    New Ugly:
    The completely untrustworthy race jury.
    Flip flopping for the French, by overturning an original, correct decision, yet failing to overturn their incorrect decision on Sagan
    Both, after conclusive video evidence came to light.
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  • hiero

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #85 on: July 14, 2017, 18:06 »
    Another snooze fest.... Almost  :lol :lol

    The Ugly - the Parcours and the fact that Bouhanni is still there after punching another rider and whatever Hiero mentions above.. can't see it it georestricted!

    Sorry about that. No idea how to fix it - after the punch - approaching the finish - Bouhanni checks behind himself to see who is there. The QS rider he punched is there. They travel a few meters along and Bouhanni checks over his shoulder again - QS still there. So Bouhanni jumps his line over in front of the QS rider, who has to swerve to miss Bouhanni. Bouhanni wasn't making a real jump or charge for the line. The ONLY purpose he had was to threaten the QS rider. It was all into otherwise empty roadspace, or it could have been just as ugly as Sagan/Cav. But it was an obvious threat of violence.
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  • Slapshot

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #86 on: July 14, 2017, 22:15 »
    It's just that I struggled with this concept during the Giro and I am struggling with it again at the Tour.
    To me, exciting racing is exciting racing and an exciting looking result for the GC, isn't.
    Are folks going to view the ASO's course design, based upon a close GC classement?
    I hope not.
    I, for one do not wish to see another TDF with 9 pan flat stages and 2 and a half MTFs, for a long, long while.

    But as SS says, that's just my opinion.

    I wasn't disagreeing in general just the stage, when you can't get to see the stages every day relatively mundane can be exciting🤣🤣

    you're all correct the parcours have been poorish this year, Tdf too many flat stages with nobody with the cojones to make the interesting. Giro was poor too. One of these years the balance will be right the London grand depart year was one of the best in recent years.

    Today.......

    The absolutely AWESOME..... Alberto just brilliant.... it was a proper bike race today right from the flag no surprise to see Thomas jump away. A French winner on Bastille Day can cope with that. The Arriege just love that area and the Val d'Aran

    The not that bad ...... none of the top GC guys went for it disappointing in that scenario

    The ugly .... nothing today really

    Why can't we have more races like that!!!!!!
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  • AG

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #87 on: July 15, 2017, 01:18 »
    The Good

    - Stage stage was fantastic.  Lots of attacking, hard riding and excitement from pretty much the start.
    - Contador attacking and riding like he remembers how
    - Quintana going on the attack and getting back into the race
    - Barguil winning the stage he deserved.  and on Bastille day.
    - Sky's tactical masterclass in the first 80km of the race


    The Bad
    - Sky's blunder in the last 20km
    - everyone chasing everyone else instead of making the yellow jersey work

    The Ugly
    - Fuglsang :(   he shouldnt have started the stage even, he was in such obvious pain.  I felt like crying for him.


    Honestly - Sky played this so perfectly, up to a point.  They put Landa with Contador - which meant everyone HAD to chase.  They put Kwiatkowski with the next group (Quitnana's group) ... and Froome sat back and let everyone else worry.

    With Fuglsang struggling to reach the grupetto, Cataldo already home and mosst of the other Astana doms falling off quicker than the sprinters, Aru was isolated very early.

    Unfortunately at that point, riders blinked - and the 10th place rider (Meintjes) put his guys on the front to chase down the 11th placed rider (Contador).  UAE chased for quite some time.  AG2R also helped, as did Cannondale .... and Aru sat there and barely bothered to close a gap or do any work.

    Eventually a few attacks started going, but the GC guys all chased each other down every time someone or a couple got away, so Aru wasnt exactly put to the sword.   At one point Froome and Martin got a good gap, and Aru let it go, then turned around and ask Bardet to close it .... and he did !!!!

    All in all - a tactical masterclass from Sky.   Untill the bottom of the actual descent when it flattened out, at which point Landa, Contador, Quitana and Barguil had around 2 minutes on the GC boys.  You cant tell me that Quintana is a GC thread to Froome.  With the ITT to come, and his lack of legs for hte most part, Froome has him covered.  The only reason for putting Kwiatkowski on the front on the valley road was to chase down Landa.  Its that simple.

    Sky could have had Landa in yellow - and finished with 2 on the podium in Paris.   But they dont trust Landa, dont want him to win, dont want to upset Froome so they chased him.

    :fp
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  • hiero

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #88 on: July 15, 2017, 06:03 »
    . . .


    Honestly - Sky played this so perfectly, up to a point.  They put Landa with Contador - which meant everyone HAD to chase.  They put Kwiatkowski with the next group (Quitnana's group) ... and Froome sat back and let everyone else worry.

    With Fuglsang struggling to reach the grupetto, Cataldo already home and mosst of the other Astana doms falling off quicker than the sprinters, Aru was isolated very early.

    Unfortunately at that point, riders blinked - and the 10th place rider (Meintjes) put his guys on the front to chase down the 11th placed rider (Contador).  UAE chased for quite some time.  AG2R also helped, as did Cannondale .... and Aru sat there and barely bothered to close a gap or do any work.

    Eventually a few attacks started going, but the GC guys all chased each other down every time someone or a couple got away, so Aru wasnt exactly put to the sword.   At one point Froome and Martin got a good gap, and Aru let it go, then turned around and ask Bardet to close it .... and he did !!!!

    All in all - a tactical masterclass from Sky.   Untill the bottom of the actual descent when it flattened out, at which point Landa, Contador, Quitana and Barguil had around 2 minutes on the GC boys.  You cant tell me that Quintana is a GC thread to Froome.  With the ITT to come, and his lack of legs for hte most part, Froome has him covered.  The only reason for putting Kwiatkowski on the front on the valley road was to chase down Landa.  Its that simple.

    Sky could have had Landa in yellow - and finished with 2 on the podium in Paris.   But they dont trust Landa, dont want him to win, dont want to upset Froome so they chased him.

    :fp

    AG, you have successfully and powerfully argued against yourself, and made my point very clearly. Jens Voigt said it well - Landa is paid to be a dom for Froome. He would not be permitted to take yellow. Froome doesn't trust him to do that, and as Froome goes, in this case, so Sky goes. The threat of Landa in yellow was a bluff and a misdirection. Aru was right to focus on Froome on this day.

    What is lovely, to me, for this day, is to see how much closer the GC battle became! THAT was entirely unexpected!

    I remember LeMond's battle against Fignon - and how they kept trading yellow. Tours are not typically that tight. Usually, by now, you have someone in the lead, and it is reasonably certain that they will be in the lead on day 21. Unlike so many of my compatriots here in VR, I very much LIKE this year's GT course designs.  In the Giro - the outcome was not set in stone for Dumoulin. It was expected - but relying on ONE stage to take the overall? Fool's bet.

    And here, today, in the TdF, we have a half dozen guys so close to yellow that a single good day for any one of them could cinch the yellow for Paris.

    I don't particularly mind the boring sprint stages. Who wants to be glued to the tv screen for 3-4 hours a day for 21 days? Not me - I have a life to live. And I am preachy on that score - if you don't feel that way about the boring stages, you should rethink things and take stock. Sometimes it is nice to have races, or stages of a race, that are more about tapping the legs for 200 km in absolute boredom, to see what can happen in the last few seconds.

    Without the boring stages, we would not have a green jersey. Without the boring stages, we would not get to see the sprinters work their magic in the last meters.

    Some of you are unhappy with the small number of mountain top finishes. I, on the other hand, am very happy with race designs that allow chances for more riders to honestly reach for the GC overall. As this year's TdF design is turning out to be!

    A lot of it, though, is expectation, isn't it? If you think Froome is going to win this year, well, then things are pretty boring. If you see, instead, all the possibilities that other riders have built, to beat Froome, then maybe the race is a bit more exciting. I know I am still tuning in - and you know my greatest hope is that Froome will not win. Froomes odds, in my book, at this point, are still slightly better than even. But this is a huge improvement on prior years! And SEVERAL riders REALISTICALLY could turn standings on their head with a good day.

    Ok - enough, my apologies - soapbox off.

    Cheers!
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  • Mellow Velo

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #89 on: July 15, 2017, 08:41 »
     I think we were all pretty much of the same opinion at the time, that Sky's tactical masterclass lasted until the descent off the final climb, at which point their tactical blunder took over. i.e. Froome working to stop Landa grabbing the maillot jeune.
     However, after the dust had settled upon this super exciting stage and upon reading varied opinions about the day, I now view the outcome in terms of Sky, in a more positive light, if not Froome's motive in achieving it.

     If Landa had got the jersey, Quintana would have also ended the day at approximately 50 seconds back on GC, give or take. Both his losses on Mont Chat and Peyragudes wiped out, back to where he sat after the prologue. Given the only two mountain stages that go well over 2000 metres remain and the painful memory of Formigal, still recent, it would have been less than ideal, if not outright foolhardy to allow him more time. So, it made sense for Froome and Kwiatkowski to regulate the time gap, which had been 1'-37" at the top of the climb and ended at 1'-48" at the line.

     However............the counter argument is: Fine, but in that case, why not have Landa sit on the lead group and Froome/Kwiat, the chase group?
    The only counter to that is that the chase group was getting a little frisky, protecting various GC positions.

    Hence, I think it was down to Froome not wanting Landa leading, rather more than keeping Nairo at arms length.

    Ironically, another huge good for the race was Contador losing a chunk of time, as it gave him the freedom to do what he does so well.
    So, a big vote of thanks to Alberto for yesterday and hopefully the forthcoming entertainment on Sunday and in the Alps.
    Again, nobody else can do what he does.
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