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LukasCPH

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Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
« Reply #90 on: July 15, 2017, 09:36 »
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.
THIS is what I don't get. You're 10th in GC with almost half the race (and a whole mountain range) still to come, and you chase down the guy in 11th? That is just hilarious.

A GT is made for the GC changing, frequently, between the start and the finish. It's not meant to be set in stone on the first mountain stage, with everyone riding to protect whatever position they have after that.

Grow some motherflipping balls, will you. :angry
Had Meintjes lost his 10th place to Contador (which he didn't - in fact, he even moved one up, leapfrogging Bennett), he'd have several days in which to take it back.
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    AG

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #91 on: July 15, 2017, 13:36 »
    BTW interview with Dan Martin at the beginning of the stage

    he said the reason he led up the last climb and set the pace was due to his injuries from the crash with Porte.  He said riding out of the saddle really hurt, and the change of pace style attacking hurt.  So he set a hard pace up the climb in the hope no one would attack and he would last to the top.  If people started attacking he said he would have dropped.

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  • hiero

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #92 on: July 15, 2017, 15:00 »
    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.

     . . .

    I would agree, if I thought that was Sky's intent. But I am as inclined to think that the Sky masters were not so Napoleonic, nor of such Machiavellian capacity, to think things through so thoroughly. I would think they said in the morning "cover all breaks". And Landa got the first one. At that point, in the back of the Sky masters' minds would be "MAYBE Aru will chase Landa", but just as much as that, if they can think so deeply, they would be thinking Landa would serve as bait to their own captain - Froome. Which, we do agree, is what happened.

    Thus, I think the "master class" was more in the eyes of us, the beholders, than it was in the minds of the Sky tacticians. And the end result COULD well serve Sky very well.

    At the same time, Quintana, Bardet, and Aru could each still overreach Froome.
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  • Eeyore sez . . .

    hiero

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #93 on: July 16, 2017, 00:59 »
    I have to add this. For me, it fits in The Ugly, but for others it might fit in The Good. If the Tour ended today, Froome would win. And I have to admit, at this point, he and Sky have ridden the strongest and smartest of all the teams at the Tour. I don't like that he may win, but I have to respect that he seems to be doing a better job of covering strategies and tactics actively, every day.

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  • Servais Knavendish

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #94 on: July 16, 2017, 09:04 »
    I have to add this. For me, it fits in The Ugly, but for others it might fit in The Good. If the Tour ended today, Froome would win. And I have to admit, at this point, he and Sky have ridden the strongest and smartest of all the teams at the Tour. I don't like that he may win, but I have to respect that he seems to be doing a better job of covering strategies and tactics actively, every day.

    But whilst that might fit GOOD, the BAD is that probably the best rider in the race on form is being severely hampered by the unfortunate loss of the two lieutenants that could / would have evened up the non rider dynamic of this years race.

    Such is racing, but if Astana has those two yesterday Aru stays in yellow

    Anyway today is another day...
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  • latino

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #95 on: July 16, 2017, 10:09 »
    Tour de France - Stage 14

    The Good

     - BotD with 2 Thomas :lol
     - A day for the puncheurs, with Matthews winning over Van Avermaet
     - Fight for yellow is very close, top 4 in 30 sec, Landa at just over 1 min
     - Uran looking like a strong contender, getting better each day

    The Bad

     - Bad positioning by Aru in the end, left alone by his debilitated team, losing the yellow to Froome

    The Ugly

     - Feline abandon
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  • latino

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #96 on: July 16, 2017, 21:01 »
    Tour de France - Stage 15

    The Good

     - Uran's huge glasses :snooty
     - So many attacks, front and back, one of the best stages so far
     - Barguil attacks the KOMs
     - Matthews attacks the sprint for the green jersey
     - Tony Martin attacks and goes in TT mode to scare a few riders
     - AG2R attacks the yellow jersey when Froome punctures
     - Favorites not waiting for Froome after puncture, the race is on, finally
     - Froome and Sky strong enough to recover
     - Landa waiting for Froome and helping him get back into the group
     - Mollema attacks in the break for the win
     - Caruso attacks in the chaser group and enters the top 10
     - Dan Martin attacks the 5th place of Landa, and gets it
     - Froome pulling group to help Landa, but it wasn't enough

    The Bad

     - Quintana losing a lot of time, dropping off the top 10

    The Ugly

     - Nothing really, it was a great stage

    Uran fashion:
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  • AG

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #97 on: July 17, 2017, 01:54 »
    The good

    - All of what latino expressed there
    - De Gendt and Geske helping Martin at the end.  They did some really solid pulls for him.
    - AG2R did an enormous amount of work to try and get rid of Froome on that stage.  They were already going for it in a huge way before Froome punctured
    - Landa's effort may have been a token one, but it was important for their team
    - Sky proves again their strength in getting back.  Impressive indeed

    The Bad
    - I was a little disappointed that when Froome/Sky was on the ropes, no one else jumped in to help.  They may not have beeen able to do much, but it was ONLY AG2R who tried anything.

    The Ugly
    - Quintana indeed ...  :(
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  • hiero

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #98 on: July 17, 2017, 03:21 »
    The good

    - All of what latino expressed there
    - De Gendt and Geske helping Martin at the end.  They did some really solid pulls for him.
    - AG2R did an enormous amount of work to try and get rid of Froome on that stage.  They were already going for it in a huge way before Froome punctured
    - Landa's effort may have been a token one, but it was important for their team
    - Sky proves again their strength in getting back.  Impressive indeed

    The Bad
    - I was a little disappointed that when Froome/Sky was on the ropes, no one else jumped in to help.  They may not have beeen able to do much, but it was ONLY AG2R who tried anything.

    The Ugly
    - Quintana indeed ...  :(

    Crackin' stage. Full points plus bonus to AG2R for AGAIN being the only team brave enough to attack Sky. And doing it smartly - they've planned these jumps - you betcha!

    Landa really pulled his fat out of the fire today. And you could tell from Froome's appreciation that he wasn't sure Mikel would do what he did, AND that Froomey was on the ropes at that moment. It was Sky's strength that saved this day.

    Now, they may pay a price for this effort on Tuesday and Wednesday. We will see.

    You know what is interesting? Take a look at who is attacking. It isn't Movistar, nor Astana. Trek/Sega's effort? Can't really call Bauke Mollema's effort today an attack on Froome, can we? All these past years I've been complaining because we had all this big name opposition, and they were either fighting each other, or sitting in the back row. Phaugh on that. So glad to see what we are seeing. People not sitting back and taking it for granted that Sky have the strongest team, so why bother. (To be fair, Sky HAVE been the strongest, so I can understand a lot of the waiting. But still, there were plenty of opportunities in past years that were missed.)

    Kudos, chapeau, full points! AG2R, I'm lookin' at YOU!

    And, I've got a threefer:
    The Good / The Bad / The Ugly: Lance's podcasts. Very interesting to hear his viewpoint - nobody could ever say he isn't smart. What is also obvious is his limited view of the peloton (slanted towards underhanded, selfish motivations, etc), and his heightened sense of his own self-worth (i.e. inflated ego). Listening is interesting, and offers insight - the insight is limited due to the prior mentioned - but he still has a useful take on events. E.g. Lance's take on the Landa thing is about precisely opposite Jens Voigt's take.
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  • « Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 04:14 by hiero »

    Capt_Cavman

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #99 on: July 17, 2017, 08:43 »
    No mention of the crowds booing the yellow jersey?

    In terms of attacking the race a la AG2R, who else has got both a team and a GC contender? Amazingly, Movistar should have both in spades but have ended up with neither with a week to go.

    Post Merge: July 17, 2017, 08:45
    E.g. Lance's take on the Landa thing is about precisely opposite Jens Voigt's take.
    What where the two takes?
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  • Mellow Velo

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #100 on: July 17, 2017, 09:25 »
    No mention of the crowds booing the yellow jersey?


    Post Merge: July 17, 2017, 08:45
    What where the two takes?

     Yeah, that was definitely ugly and something the sport could do without.
    Regardless of who is wearing the yellow jersey.
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    latino

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #101 on: July 17, 2017, 10:57 »
    Yeah, that was definitely ugly and something the sport could do without.
    Regardless of who is wearing the yellow jersey.

    I agree, booing the yellow jersey is very ugly.
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  • AG

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #102 on: July 17, 2017, 11:58 »
    yeah its not ok.

    I actually have a lot more respect for Froome than I used to have.  I still dont like him, but he has earned some respect for what he has done, and even if he hadnt - booing the yellow jersey isnt on at any point.
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  • hiero

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #103 on: July 17, 2017, 15:22 »
    No mention of the crowds booing the yellow jersey?

    In terms of attacking the race a la AG2R, who else has got both a team and a GC contender? Amazingly, Movistar should have both in spades but have ended up with neither with a week to go.

    Post Merge: July 17, 2017, 08:45
    What where the two takes?

    No mention of the booing? I didn't see it, so I didn't mention it. No particular worries, they booed LeMond back in that day - but no more[1]. Besides, its the French (he said, as if that explained everything ;)).

    Teams and GC contenders: Astana and Movistar still have teams, even if their big motors are absent. And we've already had the ugly of Aru getting thrown under the bus by his own team mate haven't we? Did you see that interview? It knocked me flat. Must have been very uncomfortable at the dinner table. But I'm also looking at previous years - I have gotten very tired of having all these strong teams present, and they have acted like they were more worried about each others placing than they were about Sky and Froome. Like children squabbling. I've thought that was EXTREMELY ugly.

    Next, the two takes: Voigt said in the interview I linked somewhere in another post that he thought there was no way Landa was sent up the road with the idea that he might wear the #yellow. He said Sky and Froome would never allow it - and Landa's JOB, his pay, is to support Froome. Lance's take, on the other hand, showed clearly that is the dishonest people who believe the worst of others. Lance clearly thought the nefarious Machiavellian machinations were the most likely. But you need to listen to the podcast yourself. Easy to find, but this should get you there:
    http://www.steephill.tv/players/720/soundcloud/?title=Stages+Podcast:+Episode+15+-+Stage+15&dashboard=tour-de-france&id=333459027&yr=2017

    If you haven't heard the Jensie interview, I'll try to find that link, but that will have to wait until later. Got too much to do today. Pull up my recent posts, and it is in there somewhere.EDIT: found it:  http://www.steephill.tv/players/720/nbcsports4/?title=Voigt:+Landa+is+paid+only+to+be+there+for+Froome&dashboard=tour-de-france&id=2C7AN5Hh2sD_&yr=2017

    I can't find the Astana teammate interview though. I think I found it originally through Twitter - but his teammate asked the interviewer if Aru had lost the yellow. The interviewer responds "yes." And the teammate says "Good." There was more, and it wasn't much prettier.
    Found it! NBC interviews Michael Valgren, who maybe was having a bad day, eh?
    http://www.nbcsports.com/video/tour-de-france-michael-valgren-says-fabio-aru-didnt-communicate


    Post Merge: July 17, 2017, 15:36
    yeah its not ok.

    I actually have a lot more respect for Froome than I used to have.  I still dont like him, but he has earned some respect for what he has done, and even if he hadnt - booing the yellow jersey isnt on at any point.

    BTW, I quite agree with everything you've just said. I WILL cheer for anybody BUT Froome (almost, but there is no one currently in the peloton who I can think of as an exception), but I would not boo the #yellow. I might pout and turn off the tv tho.
     1. If I recall, he was often very popular with the French, but he also wasn't French, and so sometimes got booed. But hey, we're talking about ancient memories, you know. May not be reliable.
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  • « Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 23:43 by hiero »


    latino

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #105 on: July 18, 2017, 17:39 »
    Tour de France - Stage 16

    The Good

     - Wind showing its gust :lol making the stage very exciting
     - Sunweb working well as a team, with a strong attack, breaking the peloton apart and destroying Quickstep
     - Matthews wins again
     - Landa rises again to 5th
     - Quintana back in the top 10, after Contador dropping out

    The Bad

     - Bad day for Quickstep
     - Kittel dropped early and never recovered, losing 50 points to Matthews (20 + 30)
     - Dan Martin getting caught in the bordure, and losing almost a minute, dropping out of the top 5
     - Contador losing more than 1 min, looking to win a stage in the Alps

    The Ugly

     - Matthews pushing Degenkolb to the barriers right after the last corner, and only then pulling in straight to the finish, will he be penalized for that move? Probably not
     - Bennet abandons, suffering from illness
     - Pantano crashed just as the peloton was breaking
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  • latino

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #106 on: July 19, 2017, 23:38 »
    Tour de France - Stage 17

    The Good

     - Contador attacking far away from the finish, like we all love to see
     - Roglic making his debut, winning the first ever stage for Slovenia in the Tour
     - Matthews closing in on the green jersey, only 9 points diff before Kittel abandoned
     - Landa climbing like it's nothing, the only resistant from the Giro that still has legs
     - Uran showing he's in great form for this 3rd week and can beat the other favorites in the sprint
     - Still 30 sec between top 3, tomorrow last chance for differences in the mountain, before TT

    The Bad

     - Quintana losing almost 8 min, and dropped out of the top 10
     - Dan Martin and Aru falling behind and losing time
     - Aru dropping out of the top 3, with Landa on his heels
     - Yates losing time but still almost 3 min on Meintjes
     - Another bad day for Quickstep, with Kittel abandon and Dan Martin losing time

    The Ugly

     - Many crashes, some small, others more impacting
     - Kittel and Kristoff fall pretty hard
     - Kittle, Pinot, Mclay and Sieberg abandon
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  • AG

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #107 on: July 20, 2017, 01:30 »
    The good

    Fun stage, lots of attacking.   Its always great to see Alberto attacking like that.  He bridged well and looked strong ... but when the attacks started at the front it was clear that he wasnt going to be the one to get away.

    Roglic was great, and deserved the win.  He didnt lose much time on that descent, even into a headwind and with 5 determined GC chasers who were trying their hardest to distance Aru behind.

    Froome - while he is strong enough to win this race ... a lot of that is due to the awesome strength of his team.  He has not been dominant on the climbs the way he has in the past.  This win will be almost purely based on his TT ability.

    Bardet - kudos to him, he tried today.  He has given it a real go on quite a few days now, and I really hope he stays on the podium to Paris as he has ridden a great race.  AG2R have supported him really well too.

    Matthews - has been fabulous.  Knew what he had to to today, and did it perfectly.  Great ride.

    The Bad

    Uran looks likely to get 2nd ... and has been fairly anonymous.  Hasnt attacked at any point, hasnt made the race.  He has gone with the moves when they mattered, but just pretty much followed moves.    Having said that - he has been strong enough when others havent, doesnt have a strong team so cant really take it up to the likes of Sky, and has won a stage .... so while I have put this under the "bad" title, its not really ... its a good/bad.   I would prefer the podium to go to someone who has attacked and tried to win rather than defended his place, but Uran has been better than anyone hoped he might.

    Landa - I really thought that Sky could have used Landa to attack on this stage.  If they had have, they would have put significantly more time into Aru who was struggling for a good while on the Galibier.    But I think Froome was concerned if he let Landa off the leash ... he wouldnt see him again.    Landa was by far the strongest of that group today.


    The Ugly

    Its always awful to see people crash and withdraw after making it so far - and to see Kittel climb off wearing green was the pitts.  We are much worse off for not getting that battle for green that looked like it was going to be a great one. 

    I do think Kittel would have won it - and to be honest, this might have been his only shot at Green.  Assuming he won in Paris it would have been 6 wins, and he would have only just got the jersey.   If Sagan had been here, he probably would have got more points than Matthews in the flat sprints and would still have won.

    This is also Matthews only shot at it too - as there is no way Sagan would let Bling have a free shot at all those intermediate points ...

    so really sad to see that fight end this way.


    Still - if this had happened 3 days ago, it would be awful for Matthews.  He would feel like he hadnt actually won the jersey.  Like he wasnt in the hunt for it, just awarded it as 2nd.    At least with it being so close, he will feel like he has won it ... he fought hard.
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  • hiero

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #108 on: July 20, 2017, 01:53 »
    The good

    Fun stage, lots of attacking.   Its always great to see Alberto attacking like that.  He bridged well and looked strong ... but when the attacks started at the front it was clear that he wasnt going to be the one to get away.

    Roglic was great, and deserved the win.  He didnt lose much time on that descent, even into a headwind and with 5 determined GC chasers who were trying their hardest to distance Aru behind.

    Froome - while he is strong enough to win this race ... a lot of that is due to the awesome strength of his team.  He has not been dominant on the climbs the way he has in the past.  This win will be almost purely based on his TT ability.

    Bardet - kudos to him, he tried today.  He has given it a real go on quite a few days now, and I really hope he stays on the podium to Paris as he has ridden a great race.  AG2R have supported him really well too.

    Matthews - has been fabulous.  Knew what he had to to today, and did it perfectly.  Great ride.

    The Bad

    Uran looks likely to get 2nd ... and has been fairly anonymous.  Hasnt attacked at any point, hasnt made the race.  He has gone with the moves when they mattered, but just pretty much followed moves.    Having said that - he has been strong enough when others havent, doesnt have a strong team so cant really take it up to the likes of Sky, and has won a stage .... so while I have put this under the "bad" title, its not really ... its a good/bad.   I would prefer the podium to go to someone who has attacked and tried to win rather than defended his place, but Uran has been better than anyone hoped he might.

    Landa - I really thought that Sky could have used Landa to attack on this stage.  If they had have, they would have put significantly more time into Aru who was struggling for a good while on the Galibier.    But I think Froome was concerned if he let Landa off the leash ... he wouldnt see him again.    Landa was by far the strongest of that group today.


    The Ugly

    Its always awful to see people crash and withdraw after making it so far - and to see Kittel climb off wearing green was the pitts.  We are much worse off for not getting that battle for green that looked like it was going to be a great one. 

    I do think Kittel would have won it - and to be honest, this might have been his only shot at Green.  Assuming he won in Paris it would have been 6 wins, and he would have only just got the jersey.   If Sagan had been here, he probably would have got more points than Matthews in the flat sprints and would still have won.

    This is also Matthews only shot at it too - as there is no way Sagan would let Bling have a free shot at all those intermediate points ...

    so really sad to see that fight end this way.


    Still - if this had happened 3 days ago, it would be awful for Matthews.  He would feel like he hadnt actually won the jersey.  Like he wasnt in the hunt for it, just awarded it as 2nd.    At least with it being so close, he will feel like he has won it ... he fought hard.

    A lot of good stuff packed in that post. Bardet and AG2R have been beautiful. Really making the race a good one. Who knows, maybe tomorrow Froome will get an attack of Massif legs, and Bardet will escape. One can only hope!

    Uran - he has been cheerable if only because nobody expected him to be anywhere near where he is. But it is true, he has not attacked.
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  • Mellow Velo

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #109 on: July 20, 2017, 18:22 »
     The Good:

     A very beautiful stage, visually. Has left me feeling slightly empty, in so far that we will be losing much of the beautiful scenery, tomorrow. The mountains, July and the colour of TDF make it such a special occasion.
     The ginormous breakaway!
     Sunweb: a modest budget team, but with a GT record second to none, so far this season.
     So, of course, Warren Barguil. Another incredible ride to round of the polka dot win, in taking the biggest mountaintop stage of the race.
    Numerous other riders from the breakaway, too many to mention.
    Ag2r' carrying out their carefully crafted plan. Oliver Naesen huge again, today. Bardet, gutsy, took it right to his limits.
    Sky's endgame: so nearly paid off for both Froome, in terms of gaining time and putting Mikel Landa onto the podium. Tactically almost flawless.
    Michał Kwiatkowski: simply head and shoulders the best team mate on the startlist.
    Finally, Rigoberto Uran proving he was the match of Chris Froome and that he hasn't given up on the top step in Paris.
    The gaps going into the final ITT looked as if they will be very small, ensuring some nail biting over the final podium arrangement.

    The Bad:

    Rigoberto Uran. :D perhaps the one time he should have sat on Bardet's wheel, he didn't. Did the hard yards to close down Froome and ultimately didn't have the legs to contest the bonus seconds and was gapped for a further two seconds.
    The fact that the tour will be won against the clock, not in the mountains.
    The French tv director. Not showing what could have been the decisive punch in the mountains, in order to focus on the French stage winner coming to the line and celebrating.
    Perhaps it is time that the ASO took a leaf out of the RCS playbook and order up a split screen for such eventualities?

    The Ugly:
    Nothing really.
    Except the probability that the ASO will look at this edition, cut out a MTF, add a downhill finish or two and cut the time trialing to 10kms.


     
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  • Carlo Algatrensig

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #110 on: July 20, 2017, 18:50 »
    Not sure if this should be considered good or bad but did anyone else think today that how Barguill looks when he's climbing out of the saddle is very reminiscent of how Virenque used to climb out of the saddle.
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #111 on: July 20, 2017, 20:28 »
    The Ugly:
    Nothing really.
    Except the probability that the ASO will look at this edition, cut out a MTF, add a downhill finish or two and cut the time trialing to 10kms.
    That is my concern.
    This wasn't a bad Tour as such - there were several stages that delivered plenty. But GC-wise, the race was over from day 1. It looks tight because the time gaps are small, but that doesn't mean anything if there's hardly any opportunity to make up time anywhere.

    Race organisers seem to think that keeping the 'suspense' into week 3 makes it a better race (and, more importantly, keeps people watching). It's not a better race, it's just a race with smaller time gaps.
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  • t-72

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #112 on: July 20, 2017, 23:01 »
    I will risk jumping to the conclusions as I may be leaving the race tonight for personal reasons. Here's a few thoughts on the TdF this year

    Good
    I think i disagree a little with Lukas above me. I like the small timegaps and limited opportunities to make a bucketload of minutes. I like the tightly contested stage wins and the "anything can actually happen" factor.
    Team Sunweb
    Michail Kwiatkowski
    Mikel Landa
    The sprints, even with a lot of people missing they are still good. So good that I think the sprints and the hotly contested stage wins are  is TdFs unique advantage compared to the other Grand Tours. The GC is always more interesting in the Giro....wait, that belongs under bad.


    Bad

    The #astana Astana team
    #movistar Nairo Quintana
    #trek Alberto Contador
    Chris Froome taking it again . I am not really anti Froomes it is more that I can get enough domination. This is getting about as interesting as the italian football serie A with juventus these days...
    Peter Sagan DSQ

    Ugly
    Richie Porte's crash. I mean, yes, that's got to hurt - but i am thinking of the consequences for the race,  Froome could lean back assured that he would not be challenged on the time trials. If there had been someone that could still climb well but also make it less certain that Froome would claw back a lot of time on the time trials, the race would have been much harder to control.
    Porte could have been that challenger, but #sunweb Dumoulin fits the description even better. #bahrain Izaguirre to some degree as well.

    #fdj running the whole team Hors delai and off the road due to one rider obviously ill.

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  • « Last Edit: July 21, 2017, 11:06 by LukasCPH »

    hiero

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #113 on: July 21, 2017, 03:20 »
    Not sure if this should be considered good or bad but did anyone else think today that how Barguill looks when he's climbing out of the saddle is very reminiscent of how Virenque used to climb out of the saddle.
    Yes, yes, yes, YES! I have been increasingly reminded of 'Rishaard Virahnque' as this Tour progresses. Barguil was absolutely beautiful today. Magnifique.

    . . .

    The Ugly:
    Nothing really.
    Except the probability that the ASO will look at this edition, cut out a MTF, add a downhill finish or two and cut the time trialing to 10kms.

    Relax, bruv, no worries! The course designers always go 'this way' one year, only to go 'that way' the next. Always has been - I'm sure it will continue to be.

    That is my concern.
    This wasn't a bad Tour as such - there were several stages that delivered plenty. But GC-wise, the race was over from day 1. It looks tight because the time gaps are small, but that doesn't mean anything if there's hardly any opportunity to make up time anywhere.

    Race organisers seem to think that keeping the 'suspense' into week 3 makes it a better race (and, more importantly, keeps people watching). It's not a better race, it's just a race with smaller time gaps.

    Interesting. I think I'm seeing why you and AG (at least) are making comments about this race course.  However, I do not agree, not at all. The small time gaps tell us, ipso facto, that the race IS more competitive. Take, for example, stage 15. On paper, it looks like a snoozer as far as GC is concerned. In reality, it could be a game changer, and nearly was. It was only Sky's deep strength that allowed them to DEFEND on this stage, because defending is what they did, in spades. As for stage 1 - the results were far more dramatic than would have normally been, due to the rain and road conditions.
    . . .

    Ugly
    Richie Porte's crash. I mean, yes, that's got to hurt - but i am thinking of the consequences for the race,  Froome could lean back assured that he would not be challenged on the time trials. If there had been someone that could still climb well but also make it less certain that Froome would claw back a lot of time on the time trials, the race would have been much harder to control.
    Porte could have been that challenger, but #sunweb Dumoulin fits the description even better. #bahrain Izaguirre to some degree as well.

    Dumoulin? Mais non. In the ITT, yes. On the montagne? Non. He can survive 2nd tier attacks - Contador (as he is today), Quintana, etc. I do not think he could survive against 1st tier attacks (the sort of attacks we see every year from 3 or 4 riders in top form at the TdF). I love cheering for Dumoulin. I believe he is a great rider. I don't think he is a Froome-beater.

    And, as for Porte challenging? Well, Porte, in spite of his experience at the Dauphine, has yet to realize that he is no longer riding as Froome's domestique. Until he shows me he has grown his own pair of cojones, I say phaugh on Porte. Landa, on the other hand, shows enough independence we might see him challenge Fortress Froome.
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  • Ram

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #114 on: July 21, 2017, 06:12 »
    Somewhere between bad and awful: Keenan's Landagasms. I only hear him in the highlights, but boy does he go on about Landa. Even when Froome's on the front.... Landa is the reason. Way OTT
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  • latino

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #115 on: July 21, 2017, 10:47 »
    Tour de France - Stage 18

    The Good

     - Huge break made the stage a bit more exciting to watch
     - Barguil showing once again he might be a contender for yellow in the future
     - Contador trying, but legs aren't there anymore
     - Landa super strong and willing to take risks
     - Froome helping Landa climb to 4th by preventing attacks and distancing Aru
     - Matthews sleeping with the green jersey, that was so hard to take

    https://www.insidesport.com.au/news/matthews-i-slept-with-green-jersey-468911

    The Bad

     - Aru falling behind again and dropping another spot, podium is out of the question
     - AG2R pulling the peloton and burning riders for almost nothing, Sky was still strong when Bardet was alone
     - Almost no GC differences in a mythical climb, only Bardet took a few bonus seconds, but they came together

    The Ugly

     - At this point we're really missing out on an exciting race because of some abandons (like Porte and Valverde)
     - In my opinion this Tour isn't going to be won by any rider, it's going to be lost by a few. It's just a matter of surviving the pace, while the weaker riders drop out. Long are the days where one rider would make the difference in the mountains, to deserve the yellow in Paris. Now it's just a struggle to hang on. Last man standing wins the Tour. Which results in a borefest for the fans. I blame the watts.
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  • latino

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #116 on: July 22, 2017, 10:43 »
    Tour de France - Stage 19

    The Good

     - Win in the break, more than 12 min ahead of the peloton
     - De Gendt breaking away in 11 of 19 stages
     - Boasson Hagen finally winning a stage, revenging the loss by 0.0003 sec to Kittel
     - A roundabout at 2km to the finish determines the winner, in a 222.5km stage
     - First stage win for Dimension in this Tour

    The Bad

     - Apart from the break and the finish, a pretty boring stage again, not what you'd want so close to the end

    The Ugly

     - Nothing really
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  • Unapologetic

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #117 on: July 22, 2017, 16:43 »
    The bad and the ugly are the French public. Absolutely flipping disgusting treatment of Froome. Keep cheering Contador the convicted drugs cheat.
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  • latino

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #118 on: July 22, 2017, 20:48 »
    Tour de France - Stage 20

    The Good

     - Froome winning the Tour, as expected
     - Bodnar winning it by 1 second
     - Bardet holding on to 3rd place by 1 second
     - Landa doing a good TT but not good enough to make the top 3, so close
     - Sky putting 2 riders in the top 10 of the stage, and also 2 in the top 10 of the GC
     - Contador finishing strong with a good TT
     - Barguil received in the Velodrome like a champion, rightfully so
     - Chase mode TT on La Course looked good and exciting, but needs more experiments

    The Bad

     - A few mechanicals prevented good TT riders to do better in the stage, like Roglic
     - Tony Martin failing again to win the TT, Katusha with a disappointing Tour

    The Ugly

     - Castroviejo crashing, he was waiting for this stage and was in good form, but that first corner though...
     - French public booing Froome, even though it was expected, he's "playing" in the rival's home

    A desolate Bardet:


    The hero Barguil:


    Le vainquer Froome:

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  • Iceman

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    Re: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
    « Reply #119 on: July 22, 2017, 22:20 »
    The bad

    Landa is not on the podium because of 1 second.
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