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L'arri

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Re: Critérium du Dauphiné
« Reply #30 on: June 07, 2018, 09:33 »
Why not run it in the morning and run a short stage in the afternoon?

this x 100

Betraying your age a bit there. :D All those crazy split stages they used to have in the GTs.

Agree re the spectacle and I suppose the format would work best if they kept the finish the same to avoid having to dismantle everything and put it up someplace else during the lunch break. Sort of like a TTT and then a loop road stage.
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    LukasCPH

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    Re: Critérium du Dauphiné
    « Reply #31 on: June 07, 2018, 11:53 »
    It does seem a lot of trouble to go to for less than 2 hrs of cycling which isn't particularly tv friendly. Why not run it in the morning and run a short stage in the afternoon?
    Half-stages are forbidden in WT races.

    But then, nobody says that this rule can't be changed ... :shh
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    Drummer Boy

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    Re: Critérium du Dauphiné
    « Reply #32 on: June 07, 2018, 12:32 »
    Betraying your age a bit there. :D All those crazy split stages they used to have in the GTs.

    Yes, didn't this used to occur as recently as the mid-90s? Can't remember now. :slow
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  • Drummer Boy

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    Re: Critérium du Dauphiné
    « Reply #33 on: June 07, 2018, 12:38 »
    Big, race changing stages happen when I'm tied up in pointless meetings, two floors under and surrounded by middle-aged guys with massive bellies and skinny legs.



     :D
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  • L'arri

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    Re: Critérium du Dauphiné
    « Reply #34 on: June 07, 2018, 19:20 »
    I recorded it because I was at work. I forwarded the recording as far as 6km to the finish and I am not sure I missed any action there.

    Good sprint from Ala, Martin stuck to the script going early and finishing second and Kwiatkowski folded much sooner than I expected but there wasn't much else to see here except #sky doing what #sky does. Can't blame them for that.



    Still waiting for that big Latour moment and he's inching ever closer under cover of Bardet's shadow. Any stage now...

    The real star of the day was the region and I know I have harped on about it before but the Vercors is fabulous for a visit.
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  • AG

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    Re: Critérium du Dauphiné
    « Reply #35 on: June 08, 2018, 00:24 »
    the only problem with the Vercors is that the really spectacular part you couldnt see much due to the rain dumping down.   Looked absolutely gorgeous though from what you could see.
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  • t-72

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    Re: Critérium du Dauphiné
    « Reply #36 on: June 08, 2018, 22:04 »
    Another day with an MTF and today we saw Geraint Thomas in role as #sky captain practically stamping his authorithy on the race. Yes, #uae Dan Martin won the stage but he is still so far behind he could almost get into the breakaway if he wanted.

    There are a couple of strong riders in this race that are clearly not even trying to be at their best and beat Thomas. Rather, they let him show his cards and they hope that their knowledge of Thomas' abilities as shown here awill give them an advantage for timing their attacks in the tour.
     
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  • AG

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    Re: Critérium du Dauphiné
    « Reply #37 on: June 09, 2018, 01:07 »
    yeah that is pretty much how I saw it too.

    The stronger GC-types are not ready yet, and/or dont care enough about this race to go that deep ... 
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  • M Gee

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    Re: Critérium du Dauphiné
    « Reply #38 on: June 09, 2018, 01:29 »
    Another day with an MTF and today we saw Geraint Thomas in role as #sky captain practically stamping his authorithy on the race. Yes, #uae Dan Martin won the stage but he is still so far behind he could almost get into the breakaway if he wanted.

    There are a couple of strong riders in this race that are clearly not even trying to be at their best and beat Thomas. Rather, they let him show his cards and they hope that their knowledge of Thomas' abilities as shown here awill give them an advantage for timing their attacks in the tour.
     
     . . .

    Ok, you've lost me. Are you referring to Yates? OR ??? Give me a clue, so I can :fp
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    t-72

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    Re: Critérium du Dauphiné
    « Reply #39 on: June 09, 2018, 10:48 »
    Spectacular start of the short stage today? short, intense stage profile starting with 2 HC climbs and then there's no no tv  ???   
    What a mismanagement by the race organizers!  ASO should know better!
    If they only get 2 hours of TV then make a stage where the important stuff happens in the last two hours, not before the cameras are turned on!

     :angry :angry :angry
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  • t-72

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    Re: Critérium du Dauphiné
    « Reply #40 on: June 09, 2018, 11:46 »
    Ok, you've lost me. Are you referring to Yates? OR ??? Give me a clue, so I can :fp

    just scroll down (quite a way down, actually) on the results list to find a multi-monument, all-grand tour winner that seems happy with not winning this race :)
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: Critérium du Dauphiné
    « Reply #41 on: June 09, 2018, 12:05 »
    just scroll down (quite a way down, actually) on the results list to find a multi-monument, all-grand tour winner that seems happy with not winning this race :)
    The shark has bigger fish to fry bigger swimmers to rip apart. ;)
    Winning the Dauphiné would be a blip on his palmarès radar - winning the Tour against Froome et al. would be the crowning achievement of his career.

    Cycling at the very top is often not about being strong, but about managing your strength well.
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  • t-72

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    Re: Critérium du Dauphiné
    « Reply #42 on: June 09, 2018, 12:35 »
    As Geraint Thomas knows perfectly well, staying on the bike is part of the game.

    In my book Nibali already did win the tour against Froome and Contador, when they had a bad year. He actually won it with the largest margin of modern times, probably just because of the balance problem with other riders.

    More important point not being how you count that 2014 Tour, but you cannot hold it against Thomas (he looses because he falls to often) while you forgive Contador for it (he lost, but we're not counting that because he had a fall). The same criteria should apply for all riders, you decide what you like, but don't make exceptions for accidents that are valid only for Froome and Contador.

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  • M Gee

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    Re: Critérium du Dauphiné
    « Reply #43 on: June 09, 2018, 15:11 »
    The Shark. Ah, then. Yes - he seems to be out for a Sunday ride, just with the A riders. :D  Come July, I think he is likely to get eaten by the orcas, though.

    BTW - if Nibali does manage to challenge the orcas, I'll be cheering him on!

    As Geraint Thomas knows perfectly well, staying on the bike is part of the game.

    In my book Nibali already did win the tour against Froome and Contador, when they had a bad year. He actually won it with the largest margin of modern times, probably just because of the balance problem with other riders.

    More important point not being how you count that 2014 Tour, but you cannot hold it against Thomas (he looses because he falls to often) while you forgive Contador for it (he lost, but we're not counting that because he had a fall). The same criteria should apply for all riders, you decide what you like, but don't make exceptions for accidents that are valid only for Froome and Contador.


    I kind of agree about Nibali winning because Froome and Contador had a bad year. The issue with that is they didn't even last long enough to create a challenge for Vincenzo. As for Thomas, the crashing Welshman, well, when he's won a few GTs, I'll reverse the way I look at things, as you say. Meanwhile, I don't see the compulsion to look at him in the same light as Contador - not yet.

    Maybe this July will be his turn to shine. I do believe he is hoping it will be!
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  • L'arri

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    Re: Critérium du Dauphiné
    « Reply #44 on: June 09, 2018, 15:46 »
    Just when you thought Bilbao was done after a hard Giro and that #astana would deliver a blank sheet at this Dauphiné ...



    On a parcours that we'll see again come July for the Tour's designated "silly stage", Bilbao was the last of the BOTD to hang out, dispensing with Boswell, Power and others on the last climb of the day.

    Usually, you think, a BOTD needs minutes to make it on the final climb and these guys started it with less than 30 seconds. But in full conservative tempo bot mode, #sky didn't seriously attempt to chase it down and nobody else fancied a go either. Dan Martin's dig blew up the last of the peloton with Thomas, Yates A and Bardet eventually shaking out as the only followers but Bilbao, to whom they got within 10 seconds, still somehow made it.

    I know the last section up to La Rosière was a bit flatter but I just wasn't happy about the gear the Basque was turning. Big ring and mid-cassette. Bizarre.

    Today #ag2r got its tactics wrong, sending Latour to bridge over to the BOTD but then letting the youngster go for broke himself such that, when the GC contenders came back, he had nothing left to help Bardet and squandered an opportunity to improve his overall placing.

    In the end Thomas himself jumped within the last 500m, presumably to put paid to any Doubting and grab the remaining bonus seconds, but you felt that he hadn't been seriously challenged all day. Like all trackies on the climbs, the crashing Welshman can't live with a lot of accelerations, but it seems the memo has not been read elsewhere. Bardet, who tried to slip away on the descent of the Cormet de Roseland, might have done better to attack on the steep bit of the final climb, but he doesn't quite look sharp enough yet.

    A Thomas collapse doesn't look probable with one day to go, but tomorrow's stage is anything but easy. Perhaps someone should take a leaf out of the Froome playbook and go long, unless of course that kind of scenario is entirely unrealistic...
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  • t-72

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    Re: Critérium du Dauphiné
    « Reply #45 on: June 09, 2018, 18:01 »
    #rosa Chris Froome was capable of going long against an opposition consisting mostly of #sunweb Tom Dumoulin. Now, #sky Geraint Thomas reminds me a little bit of Dumoulin, and maybe the same tricks can be used against them, but I haven't seen anyone in the peloton that appears to have the capability of riding in a long range attack here, this week. (Nibali obviously can but by now I guess we can agree that he doesn't count in this race). It is only Thomas himself that seems to be in shape for something like that, and he doesn't need to attack.

    Something really unexpected must happen on the last stage for this not to go down in history as the most boring Criterium de Dauphine of the last few years. This is despite a parcours so full of MTFs and climbs it is probably one of the hardest ones by design. With a peloton lacking motivation for the race in itself, its a parade for the only team that seems to have ticked it off as at least a waypoint to their greater objectives. For the rest of the big names: they are elsewhere, or just here for the training effect, or maybe not that either, as we have seen Sunweb dropping most of their giro squad members after a few km prologue, and then more later.

    If the TTT today in Tour de Suisse compared to the TTT earlier this week here in the Dauphine is anything to go by, the race with the less challenging parcours will more easily motivate riders in June.  On the other hand, the last year's Tour de Suisse was boring whereas there were fireworks every day in the Dauphine,  so I am not sure what to make of it...   :S
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  • « Last Edit: June 09, 2018, 18:49 by t-72, Reason: typo! »

    LukasCPH

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    Re: Critérium du Dauphiné
    « Reply #46 on: June 09, 2018, 19:48 »
    Something really unexpected must happen on the last stage for this not to go down in history as the most boring Criterium de Dauphine of the last few years. This is despite a parcours so full of MTFs and climbs it is probably one of the hardest ones by design. With a peloton lacking motivation for the race in itself, its a parade for the only team that seems to have ticked it off as at least a waypoint to their greater objectives. For the rest of the big names: they are elsewhere, or just here for the training effect, or maybe not that either, as we have seen Sunweb dropping most of their giro squad members after a few km prologue, and then more later.
    This is an eternal truth: The riders make the race.

    Course planners often want to cram as many difficulties into their race as possible - but that can often lead to the riders being overly cautious and wait for the last difficulty out of fear of cracking if they go too early.
    Less is often more, as long as there are still opportunities to make a difference.
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  • L'arri

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    Re: Critérium du Dauphiné
    « Reply #47 on: June 10, 2018, 14:51 »


    Today was a nice day for our sport because it presented us a rare opportunity to ask ourselves pro cycling's equivalent of the philosophical question "if a tree falls ..."

    The equivalent goes something like this:

    If a GC contender attacks within the last 500m to grab the final stage win and by doing so halves his deficit to the leader, should he have gone sooner?

    On the last climb above Saint Gervais, Thomas let Geoghegan Hart's legs do the talking. It was one of those moments when you saw some hint of the future in a crystal ball, when a young domestique suggests that he is far more talented than the journeyman in yellow, but in WT teams as in society, there is a hierarchy to obey. Que sera sera.

    Thus Tao cleared The Way for the crashing Welshman's best GC victory yet while some of us wondered what might have been. Thomas was surely on the rivet and, if they had enough gas left themselves, Bardet and Yates showed too much caution, while Martin had burned his matches chasing down a big gap after an earlier descent.

    Yates in particular, you felt, should have taken it on with all of his explosivity. Perhaps unlike his twin brother since May, he is still rather used to placegetting on GC, so he waited and waited and broke the heart of a Navarro as strong as we have ever seen him in the bio-passport years. You won't find a better picture of Spanish suffering in El Greco or Zurbaran.

    Despite the limited length of the race, this week's performance will doubtless prompt another effusion of words about Thomas' GT capabilities. But does it seem any more possible now than it did after last year's Giro that he could hold on for 21 stages? And if Froome does prove to be bulletproof, will he be the bridesmaid again at Sky?
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  • t-72

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    Re: Critérium du Dauphiné
    « Reply #48 on: June 10, 2018, 22:12 »
    Not completely clear if we saw the same race; arriving at the finish line today was only very tired men. The winner was one of them, but he still won by one minute so the situation was quite under control.
    On his way to today's GC victory he suffered two punctures, on the last occasion #ag2r attacked and split the field, leaving Thomas to chase, first alone and later with a team, taking back one minute. I didn't hear what Thomas said to Bardet when he caught up with him, but I would guess he was not pleased with the situation. There was rationale for the Ag2r group to keep riding though, as there were relatively dangerous riders up front with #ef Pierre Rolland close to virtual leader's jersey.

    On the final climb up le Bettex there were several attacks and by #uae Martin, #ag2r Bardet and a #mitchelton Yates, reeled in by #sky Hart and then by #sky Thomas alone. Oh..I forgot...we are still in this strange situation where #bora Emanuel Buchman is substittuted by a body double (does he have a twin too?) that can be recognized as different from the real Emu, because he forgets his role and goes on the attack.

    The final attack, when #mitchelton Yates broke free,  came with only a few hundred meters left, and #sky Thomas could let him go, as it was unlikely he would reel back one minute and twenty seconds. Yates probably knew he would be let go at this point.

    Tao Hart definetly had an excellent ride both this stage and through the whole of the Dauphine. Jonathan Castroviejo was equally impressive. Geraint Thomas may certainly not be the best grand tour rider in Team Sky, as long as Froome is allowed to ride.  At a relatively high age already, he is not going to put his stamp on half of the grand tours in the coming decade the way Froome has, and there are younger riders which seem ready to start challenging for GC captain status, just around the corner.

    However, Thomas is good enough now to win a Grand Tour, this year - maybe even the Tour de France, as a captain of Team Sky.  His main problems will be with his own tendencies to slip and fall when no-one else does. His main advantage can be the opening week, wet and windy northern French July weather. There are few of the GC contenders that can follow him in such conditions, he might be capable of putting minutes into a rider like Quintana on the cobbles, if he is allowed to go full gas for his own results, instead of babysitting Froome.

    In the mountains, it probably won't be more exiting racing than what we have seen with Dumoulin: an occasional stage victory, an attack here and there - but those attacks will not be the most spectacular ones. In the Dauphine, the attacks only came at the very end of the stages, where failures would be of limited consequence. A tour with Thomas as a captain for Sky will probably mean more of the boring and defensive Skytrain riding than we have seen with Froome. 
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  • Capt_Cavman

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    Re: Critérium du Dauphiné
    « Reply #49 on: June 11, 2018, 07:05 »
    I agree with every word T-72.

    Thomas certainly looked gaunt in the post-race interviews, it will be interesting to see whether Sky can keep him light enough but strong enough for the full three weeks. If anyone can, Sky can.

    Sky should put some resources behind GT on the cobbles as there are plenty of light climbers besides Quintana he could get serious time on. I'm not sure they will though. But that assumes Froome has another disastrous day on the cobbles and that can't be taken for granted.
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  • t-72

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    Re: Critérium du Dauphiné
    « Reply #50 on: June 11, 2018, 07:24 »
    Froome isn’t too bad on the cobbles, but old Thomas could bag a top 10 in the Paris-Roubaix, and that is where Froome falls short: finish line, one day race, say no more.

    Thomas should ride the cobbles stage offensively,  to win and bag time on his rivals, whereas Froome will probably ride it in stop-loss mode. These two strategies are impossible to combine, so question is if Sky will split their team for that day. It would be an unskyly thing to do.

    P.S. Froome’s 2014 disaster wasn't on the cobbles - he didn’t make it to the first stone that day.
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  • AG

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    Re: Critérium du Dauphiné
    « Reply #51 on: June 11, 2018, 07:34 »
    Firstly - as far as AG2R attacking Froome - they were already on the front and riding exceptionally hard when Thomas had his issues.   Bardet wanted the stage and they were intent on chasing the break, and trying to create gaps along the way.   

    Secondly - Thomas didnt chase back on his own for very long at all.   He got another bike from Moscon, Kwiatkowski waited for him up the road, and so did 2 other team mates.  Tao didnt help in the chase back on, so was fresh enough to stay with him (though it was indeed a superb effort from him)

    As far as Yates goes - AG2R were most definitely not strong enough to hold off Sky for the 45 second gap they had.  But Michelton Scott or other teams who were going to get back on werent helping.

    There were splits later as well, and no one was interested in capitalising or making much of it.

    It all smacked of a preparation race that others were not prepared to put their whole team into.
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: Critérium du Dauphiné
    « Reply #52 on: June 11, 2018, 08:54 »
    Thomas should ride the cobbles stage offensively,  to win and bag time on his rivals, whereas Froome will probably ride it in stop-loss mode. These two strategies are impossible to combine, so question is if Sky will split their team for that day. It would be an unskyly thing to do.
    Thomas to latch onto Nibali's #bahrain train, Froome to shadow the other uncobbly GC contenders.
    It could work. And then everybody else is left guessing who's their plan A and who's their plan B. :cool

    But, as you say, Sky would never do that. They'll stick to their plan A come hell or high water. And no matter how great Thomas' form is or how much the route suits him, that will be Froome.
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  • Capt_Cavman

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    Re: Critérium du Dauphiné
    « Reply #53 on: June 11, 2018, 09:49 »
    Firstly - as far as AG2R attacking Froome - they were already on the front and riding exceptionally hard when Thomas had his issues.   Bardet wanted the stage and they were intent on chasing the break, and trying to create gaps along the way...
    According to Thomas, Yates and Martin told him that AG2R went from chase to full on sprint once he'd stopped.

    But yes, it's questionable how high the level was if Dani Navarro, from the break, nearly managed to hold onto a narrow lead up the final climb.
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  • M Gee

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    Re: Critérium du Dauphiné
    « Reply #54 on: June 11, 2018, 23:08 »
    Thomas to latch onto Nibali's #bahrain train, Froome to shadow the other uncobbly GC contenders.
    It could work. And then everybody else is left guessing who's their plan A and who's their plan B. :cool

    But, as you say, Sky would never do that. They'll stick to their plan A come hell or high water. And no matter how great Thomas' form is or how much the route suits him, that will be Froome.

    Indeed. Lots of quotable thoughts from everyone above in these closing moments of this Dauphine.  :hi
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