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Tour de France - Thomas v Porte
« on: June 16, 2018, 01:13 »
so this was ask int he Tour de Suisse thread

As far as preparation for Tour de France, and let's keep Froome out of the discussion for a while, but rather focus on the Tour de Suisse vs Criterium de Dauphine perspective: who's your pick now, between #sky Geraint Thomas and #bmc Richie Porte?
Both have better reputation as a Froome domestique than as a GC captain, but there are similarities and differences in their upbringing, Thomas being clearly more diversified whereas Porte perhaps being the better climber? Who would be the best if both were captains of their teams?


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  • AG

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    Re: Tour de France - Thomas v Porte
    « Reply #1 on: June 16, 2018, 01:17 »
    and my answer

    both of them have the unfortunate tendency to end up with their wheels in the air at some crucial point in the race .. so staying upright for each will be a major challenge.

    Assuming both manage that throughout the race, I do think Porte has the better all around abilities.  He is as good on a TT bike as Thomas, and to my mind is significantly better on both the short and long climbs.

    The only area where GT is better is perhaps over the cobbles and flats in general where his classics experience comes into it.    Having said that - Porte goes into the race with GVA on his side so might be able to stick with him.

    The Team Time Trial will also be interesting
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  • Drummer Boy

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    Re: Tour de France - Thomas v Porte
    « Reply #2 on: June 16, 2018, 05:09 »
    so this was ask int he Tour de Suisse thread

    Is that a direct JSG quote?  :P
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  • M Gee

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    Re: Tour de France - Thomas v Porte
    « Reply #3 on: June 16, 2018, 14:38 »
    and my answer
     . . .
    My thinking exactly. I don't think it would be so much who manages better - although for a GT I'd give a slight edge to Porte - but which one keeps the rubber on the road! No wheels in the air!
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    rote_laterne

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    Re: Tour de France - Thomas v Porte
    « Reply #4 on: June 16, 2018, 22:10 »
    When both finish the same GT, 9 times out of 10 Porte will be higher in the GC.
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  • Capt_Cavman

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    Re: Tour de France - Thomas v Porte
    « Reply #5 on: June 17, 2018, 10:54 »
    Historically if you compare their performances at Sky, there's no question that Porte was the better stage racer and GT performer.  However, in July 2018 none of that history will matter and my impression is that Thomas has moved forward while little Richie hasn't. Thomas has the better team and ability on cobbles, but the big issue for me is that he's never really contested the full three weeks of a GT so I'd be pleasantly surprised if he was in the shake up let alone ahead of Porte.
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  • Claudio Cappuccino

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    Re: Tour de France - Thomas v Porte
    « Reply #6 on: June 17, 2018, 14:04 »
    Imho both arent suited for a 3 week race. Not even talking about fatigue fitness, i am talking about mental fitness.

    Its one thing to be good in a weeks race like Nice or dauphinee or Suisse, a 3 weeks race is mentally much harder.

    Given their tendency to fail staying upright on the bike in the past and present I dont think any of these 2 have the ability to cope with the extreme stress of a 3 week GT.

    Quality wise they dont differ that much, neither will the TTT be.

    Thomas would have the better domestiques in the mountain whereas Porte is the much better climber so that wouldnt be that helpfull at all...
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  • t-72

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    Re: Tour de France - Thomas v Porte
    « Reply #7 on: June 17, 2018, 16:57 »
    I asked the original question in the Tour de Suisse thread, so I feel obliged to come up with some good points here. However, I originally sided with those saying something like this: my impression of the history of these two guys, as GC captains: they are about just as likely to flip, both of them, and flipping is in most cases flopping in general classification sense.
    I also thought that Porte was the better climber but Thomas has an advantage on flatter terrain.

    Looking in to PCS database for some more facts and stats, I have compiled a couple of observations:
    CategoryPorteThomas
    Age3332
    Grand Tour starts 1112
    Grand Tours finished910
    Best GC result515
    Second best GC result715
    best stage top 591%58%
    Stage wins01
    White Jerseys10
    Monuments participation518
    Monuments finished113
    Best monument result917

    So..I was a bit surprised to see that Thomas had actually participated in more grand tours than Porte, because I thought of Porte as the more typical grand tour stage racer among them. Turns out that isn't true, if you go by the number of participations. However, if you go by the results, it is different.

    Porte no doubt has better results than Thomas in Grand Tours: starting with a 7th place GC (including white jersey) in the Giro of 2010, and with the 6th place in the Tour de France of 2016 as his best result so far. Porte is also clearly ahead of Thomas when we look at how many of their grand tours participations that have good stage results (defined as top 5): 91 % for Porte, 58 % for Thomas.
     
    With Porte almost always having at least one stage with top 5 results in a GT, it is a bit of a paradox, perhaps, that only Thomas has bagged a stage win. The differences in Grand Tour results to some degree reflect that Porte has been riding as GC captain on more occasions than Thomas. It is perhaps a bit surprising, but when riding as a domestique,  and this includes quite a few runs on the same team, Thomas tend to get the better GC result.
    EDIT: this (above) is wrong, it sneaked in from the draft, and shouldn't have been in the final version, but Mexico scored..

    yearracePorte Thomas
    2017Tour de France DNFDNF
    2017Giro d’Italia - DNF
    2016Tour de France 515
    2015Vuelta a Espana - 69
    2015Tour de France - 15
    2015Giro d’ItaliaDNF -
    2014Tour de France 2322
    2013Tour de France 19140
    2012Vuelta a Espana68 -
    2012Giro d’Italia - 80
    2012Tour de France 34
    2011Tour de France 7030
    2011Giro d’Italia80 -
    2010Tour de France - 67
    2010Giro d’Italia7 -
    2008Giro d’Italia - 118
    2007Tour de France - 139

    If we look at the monuments, this is where their statistics are most different. Thomas has raced 18 monuments, finished 13 of them and his best result is 7th in, precisely the Paris-Roubaix. Richie Porte has started 5 monuments, but finished only 1, which gave him a 91st place in 2016s Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

    So, which one would be the better Tour de France 2018 GC captain? I tend to look at Porte as the better climber and a decisive climb-only stage like the Pyreneean 65 km dash (Stage 17, July 25th) looks more Porte-ish than Thomas' turf.  This notwithstanding stage 16 including both the Portet d' Aspet and the Portillon - that kind of stage  to me looks like a long one (218 km) to break the GC riders down before a possibly decisive short one the day after. A set up for something like the Formigal stage where Quintana defeated Froome in the Vuelta of 2016.

    Then, remembering some stages they have been riding together: when the climbs get really long I am not super convinced that Porte actually is the better climber. Thomas has quite extreme stamina and I can sort of see him finding a way to turn that into an advantage by making that long stage very hard.

    On the first-week terrain, where potential winds and cobbles are the main problems  rather than mountains, I would say it is Thomas turf all the way, even if #bmc can match #sky in the TTT. Porte was completely lost in the crosswinds last year's Paris Nice stage 1, and he is not well known for his cobbles skills. Before he gets to Annecy, Porte can actually be minutes down on Porte.

    That's the main reason why I would put my money on Thomas if both were riding as captains. I agree with what almost all have said above: both are high-risk prospects for frequent accidents and for Thomas especially I guess most comes down to if Froome is really in race, just present (2014 standard) or not starting. However, I seem to remember that Porte has more off-days than Thomas, and by that I mean days where they are otherwise fine but not racing well. Thomas' bad days that I remember are more associated with days post crashes. He has shown a remarkable ability to recover from those in a way that is very positive for a domestique, but that isn't good enough for a GC captain - it costs too much time, he's got to stay rightside-up for longer to win.
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  • « Last Edit: June 17, 2018, 18:15 by t-72 »

    M Gee

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    Re: Tour de France - Thomas v Porte
    « Reply #8 on: June 17, 2018, 19:31 »
    . . .Porte was completely lost in the crosswinds last year's Paris Nice stage 1, and he is not well known for his cobbles skills. Before he gets to Annecy, Porte can actually be minutes down on Porte.
     . . .
    Now, THAT, is a unique skill!  :dizzy

    BTW - it IS interesting that Thomas is so much better at the one-day classics stuff. Thanks!
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  • Carlo Algatrensig

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    Re: Tour de France - Thomas v Porte
    « Reply #9 on: June 17, 2018, 20:48 »
    If both avoid misfortune in the race (I know given past evidence that is unlikely) I would expect that they will both finish in the top 10. Who finishes higher? I would probably favour Porte 75/25. Both are good all round stage race riders, can climb and TT at high levels but I don't really see either of them as a GT winner.

    Whether Thomas can take an advantage on the cobbles will depend on the conditions of the day. In 2014 Porte was I think the 2nd highest finisher of the GC riders that year on the stage to Arenberg having been helped back into the race that day by Thomas. If GVA rides for Porte this year, guiding him down the best line on the cobbles like Cancellara did for Schleck in 2010 then it might not be much to the benefit of someone like Thomas.
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: Tour de France - Thomas v Porte
    « Reply #10 on: June 18, 2018, 13:27 »
    If both avoid misfortune in the race (I know given past evidence that is unlikely) I would expect that they will both finish in the top 10. Who finishes higher?
    If Froome does start the Tour, I think Thomas will be riding in support of him 100%. And will not finish in the top-10 as a result.

    If Froome does not start the Tour, Thomas may very well crack the top-5.
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    M Gee

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    Re: Tour de France - Thomas v Porte
    « Reply #11 on: July 08, 2018, 23:57 »
    Given Froome's time loss in stage 1, I don't think anything at Sky will change before the Alps - but what happens after the first Alps stages might change things!
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  • AG

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    Re: Tour de France - Thomas v Porte
    « Reply #12 on: July 09, 2018, 01:21 »
    It may well change in that

    a - Thomas is likely to be in yellow after todays TTT,  and
    b - Thomas may well gain a lot more time on stage 9 on the cobbles

    so perhaps a reassess then, before the Alps.


    Still - its only stage 2 - plenty of time for Thomas to hit the deck yet.
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  • rote_laterne

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    Re: Tour de France - Thomas v Porte
    « Reply #13 on: July 09, 2018, 20:10 »
    It may well change in that

    a - Thomas is likely to be in yellow after todays TTT,  and
    b - Thomas may well gain a lot more time on stage 9 on the cobbles

    so perhaps a reassess then, before the Alps.

    No way. After the Giro there's no way Sky will be riding for Thomas even if he wears  #yellow. Thomas is and will always be plan B. If Froome abandons, Thomas will be plan B. Bernal will become plan A.
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  • M Gee

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    Re: Tour de France - Thomas v Porte
    « Reply #14 on: July 09, 2018, 21:02 »
    No way. After the Giro there's no way Sky will be riding for Thomas even if he wears  #yellow. Thomas is and will always be plan B. If Froome abandons, Thomas will be plan B. Bernal will become plan A.

    :lol I agree "no way", but I don't come to the Bernal as plan A conclusion! Sky is notoriously strictly run - they plan and they stick with it. They don't ride by feel, the way Sagan, for instance, does. They are pretty rigid - which is ONE reason I think, even if Thomas gets in #yellow he will still be riding for Froome. The other is because, unless Froome abandons or has a real bad misfortune before the Alps, there is insufficient reason to switch to Thomas. Froome just isn't that far behind. A minute at this stage for Froome and Sky is probably nothing. In the Alps we will start to see if Froome is able to manage the Giro fatigue in his legs. Only if he falters big time in the mountains, and Thomas is STILL a whisker away from #yellow do I think Sky would even discuss a change in leadership at the dinner table. And, given Froome's quality, I don't think he is likely to falter before the mountains of the third week.
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  • rote_laterne

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    Re: Tour de France - Thomas v Porte
    « Reply #15 on: July 10, 2018, 21:00 »
    :lol I agree "no way", but I don't come to the Bernal as plan A conclusion! Sky is notoriously strictly run - they plan and they stick with it. They don't ride by feel, the way Sagan, for instance, does. They are pretty rigid - which is ONE reason I think, even if Thomas gets in #yellow he will still be riding for Froome. The other is because, unless Froome abandons or has a real bad misfortune before the Alps, there is insufficient reason to switch to Thomas. Froome just isn't that far behind. A minute at this stage for Froome and Sky is probably nothing. In the Alps we will start to see if Froome is able to manage the Giro fatigue in his legs. Only if he falters big time in the mountains, and Thomas is STILL a whisker away from #yellow do I think Sky would even discuss a change in leadership at the dinner table. And, given Froome's quality, I don't think he is likely to falter before the mountains of the third week.

    I guess going for Bernal if Froome abandons was always the plan if Bernal is still in the race and hasn't lost too much time. Sky would work for him like for Froome. I don't think Thomas would have the same support. But without Froome and Bernal Thomas is Skys no. 1.
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  • froome19

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    Re: Tour de France - Thomas v Porte
    « Reply #16 on: July 11, 2018, 00:21 »
    I would assume that Thomas has some sort of agreement/contract with Sky concerning being allowed a protected rider status at the Tour. He had  been making noises about leaving and Sky would have wanted to keep him tied down. Thomas certainly has openly stated his ambitions for the Tour and hasn't been afraid to talk up his chances in the Sky pecking order in the build up. All said and done, Froome is top dog, but with Thomas already +51 ahead and Time trialling well, I don't think he will just move over for Froome until the high mountains come and we see who is climbing better, especially considering Froome's condition after the Giro is still not 100% certain.
    Especially look to see him doing his own thing on the Stage 9 cobbles if the race breaks up over there and Froome is left behind.
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    Capt_Cavman

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    Re: Tour de France - Thomas v Porte
    « Reply #17 on: July 11, 2018, 07:09 »
    Yeah,it's all about stage 9. Cobbles are always a bit of a lottery but If it's decisive,  expect to see Thomas near the front and Bernal nowhere. If it's more like 2015  and very few GC riders distanced, then its all about high mountain climbing and Bernal has a shot. Can't wait for stage 9.
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