Tour de France 2018 > Stage 17: Bagneres-de-Luchon - Col du Portet
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M Gee

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Stage 17: Bagneres-de-Luchon - Col du Portet
« on: June 16, 2018, 17:00 »
Stage 17. The 25th day of July. It is now the middle of week 3 at the Tour. The peloton has been through the cobbles, to the Alps, and now they are being munched by the Pyrenees. Stage 16 saw three massive climbs - but not a mountaintop finish!   All three were packed into the end: the last 60 km of a 200 km day. The final climb, the Col de Portillon, is followed by a fast descent into Bagneres-de-Luchon. Stage 16 might have been designed with Nibali in mind.

But today? Today we have a mere 65 km of racing. Over another 3 high mountain passes of the Pyrenees.

Cycling Weekly has picked this day as one of 6 stages that could change the face of this year's TdF. cyclingweekly six-stages-decide-2018-tour-de-france.
Given the short distance today, one of the big questions has been whether someone will push from the start. It's been much discussed because of the innovative start technique, as well. Controversial! Cycling News has some comments from the teams on that! Cycling News: Game Changer or Gimmick?

 There are some road bottlenecks, but the first one I see is not until the foot of the second climb (Col de Val Louzon-Azet). If the scramble for position doesn't come until the foot of the Col de Val Louron-Azet, after between 27 and 30 km of riding, the start positions are not likely to have any impact. On the descent following that climb are some snarky narrow roads in the town at the foot of the second climb. They will likely not be selective, coming, as they do, following a fast descent.
This deep in the race, we can expect that we will have a #yellow, and that person is likely to finish in Paris in #yellow. However, if the contenders have managed to stay close enough, we could see some big attacks on the Peyresourde in attempt to whittle down the selection. It depends on the legs. If Sky is still strong, and Froome is in the lead, we can bet strongly against any attacks on the Peyresourde, unless Froome shows weakness, and somebody wants to fly solo this day. However, I think it is highly unlikely that Sky will allow themselves to get caught out, as they did in the ambush at Formigal. The Col Collective has been nice enough to provide us a vid run-through of the stage:
The outcome I think most likely will be a "one-blow monoclimb" on the Col du Portet. Our #yellow will cement his position here. But perhaps, with some luck, everything will not have been so predictable somewhere along the way. I think the bookies will be giving it long odds, but it could all come down to the TT on stage 20! Jusque-là, mes amis.
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  • « Last Edit: June 18, 2018, 09:28 by L'arri »
    . . .He had the bit between his teeth, and he loiked the taste, mate . . .

    M Gee

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    More detail. In the last 6 km or so we have French strade bianche. Even a little tunnel with these gravel/dirt roads! I can guarantee there will be tifosi on every hillside, jampacked, if the gendarmes let them.

    What with the shortness of this stage, if we do see any weakness, it can be exploited, should another have the legs. This stage does have the potential to turn things upside down. Not likely, but the potential exists.

    The climbs:
    The Peyragudes


    Col de Val Louron-Azet


    Cod de Portet
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  • M Gee

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    Oh, MAN! WHAT a cryin' shame! They're gonna tarmac the final 8 km to the Col de Portet! Freakin' shame.

    https://www.ladepeche.fr/article/2018/05/04/2791611-col-portet-va-faire-beaute-tour.html
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  • M Gee

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    Daily Motion has a really neat animated graphic of how the grid start will work. Enjoy!
    https://dai.ly/x6nks2m
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  • Drummer Boy

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    "Tomorrow is going to be the big day – or small day," - Tom Dumoulin  :X3

    I'm starting to feel that much of how this Tour is remembered is going to hinge on Stage 17. If nothing interesting transpires for the GC contenders, than what will have been the point of this stage, and how forgettable might this edition of the Tour become, besides the possible unseating of Froome by one of his own?

    The antics at the start line almost seems as if the designer doesn't understand how pro cycling actually works. I'm guessing that within five minutes—at the most—the peloton resembles what we'd expect to see if they'd just had a normal neutral zone run-in.

    But it will be interesting to have all the action packed into just a little over two hours, if predictions are accurate.
    Here's what Steephill is offering:

    Stage 17 start time: Wednesday 15:15 CET (9:15:00 AM EDT)

    Approximate finish: 17:32 CET (11:32:00 AM EDT)

    As it stands now though, there are thunderstorms in the forecast for tomorrow, but only starting about 30 minutes before the anticipated end-time (if I'm interpreting this correctly). But the timing of that could obviously change quiet a bit between now and then. A little later, and no big deal.

    A little earlier though... :o

    I wonder if that might force the pace a bit, as teams try to stay ahead of the approaching storm.

    Maybe that's what Dumoulin meant.
    "Tomorrow is going to be the big day – or small day,"

    Indeed.
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  • M Gee

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    . . .

    Maybe that's what Dumoulin meant.
    "Tomorrow is going to be the big day – or small day,"

    Indeed.

    Dude, he's channeling Saganzen! :lol   

    Dumoulin has always had the ability to speak well to the cameras. Some have it, some don't. Tom manages pretty well, I'd say!

    I have to agree - that within 5 minutes, maybe 10, the peloton will be a little more normal in formation. But the organizers are thinking the attacking will start at kilometer 0.0001! I.e. when they get clipped in! So maybe not!

    This stage has the potential to be legendary. It has the potential to make this Tour legendary. Or not. It could all end up "meh".

    I suppose it is a good thing that the organizers are experimenting with the stage formats. Learning hats: ON.
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  • M Gee

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    So, the chat consensus is that the grid start was a non-starter. As in no big whoop-e-do.

    And the stage was a lot more controlled than it might have been. But Quintana managed to salvage a little something for himself and Movistar. Better than nothing. Sagan managed to make it to the finish (after crashing hard). And Froome managed to lose time and slip into 3rd slot. Dumo lost a few seconds to Thomas, but moved into 2nd overall.

    Some folks think Roglic may be able to displace Froome and take 3rd step.

    And Geraint hasn't earned his nick this Tour, not at all (not yet). Stay safe, Mr. Thomas, stay safe. I would rather that Tom Dumoulin beat you, but I would much rather everybody bring it safely to Paris.

    Was it legendary? I haven't seen it yet, but based on the reactions, I would say no. It IS memorable, as it is one of the few times we have seen Froome show weakness. But the fat lady is only halfway through her aria.

    BTW, Dumoulin said, in a post-race interview, that he tried to up his pace with an attack, but just really didn't have the legs, and felt good to have held on where he did.
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  • « Last Edit: July 25, 2018, 18:12 by M Gee »

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    let's see where this leads to in the end...

    https://twitter.com/ArnaudDemare/status/1022187287147425792

    ...definitely not to Greipel signing for #fdj Groupama FDJ at least :D
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  • "If this is cycling, I am a banana"

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    M Gee

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    let's see where this leads to in the end...

    https://twitter.com/ArnaudDemare/status/1022187287147425792

    ...definitely not to Greipel signing for #fdj Groupama FDJ at least :D

    DRAMA!!   :o :-x
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  • Mellow Velo

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     French bloke tries to literally pull off a Nibali, on the Maillot Jeune, without the aid of a camera strap.


    https://www.instagram.com/p/BlqXXFzBb8i/

     A bit of video of Gendarme versus Froome.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BlqYeNHBDAX/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=s8o3x41jxazo



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  • "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.

    Drummer Boy

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    French bloke tries to literally pull off a Nibali, on the Maillot Jeune, without the aid of a camera strap.

    What-in-the-hell is that guy trying to do to Thomas? I wonder if the gendarmes intervened at all. Was this incident apparent in the broadcast, and has GT commented on it at all?
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  • LukasCPH

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    Was this incident apparent in the broadcast, and has GT commented on it at all?
    I wasn't aware of it until just now.

    But it looks seriously strange - and dangerous! :S
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    Views presented are my own. RIP Keith & Sean

    Drummer Boy

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    Glad he appears to be relatively OK.

    https://twitter.com/sophiehurcom/status/1022174049395466240

    Can't make this stuff up.  :D
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  • Drummer Boy

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    He looks like he was attacked by a tiger.  :o

    https://twitter.com/LeTour/status/1022150847936045061
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  • M Gee

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    I've now watched the start. What a dud. Waste of newsprint, that.

    I also think I prefer the 100 km range short, rather than this. Just a bit more opportunity for a TEAM to make a statement - as AG2R did so nicely last year.
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    yeah, I agree. No need of stages this short - and especially not as the queen stage

    The good people of velofacts had a look into Demare's GPS data to calculate his relative gap to the front, progressing with the race btw:



    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1rhpS4-TuP0I-Ff0-SIAxi-qqFwcAdbTafeoxsswkhh4/edit#gid=0

    at first look, there seem to have been the occasional sticky bottle involved (and one or the other push from a spectator - at some points you can see him speeding up quite a bit with steeper gradients), but from the data there's nothing totally out of line visible.

    edit: this was confirmed by some journalists doing a broomwagon feature. They said he didn't get excessive help from the FDJ car. Also Greipel offered his apologies now:

    https://twitter.com/AndreGreipel/status/1022356666581438464
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  • « Last Edit: July 26, 2018, 08:03 by search »

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    What-in-the-hell is that guy trying to do to Thomas? I wonder if the gendarmes intervened at all. Was this incident apparent in the broadcast, and has GT commented on it at all?

    giving him a clap or something, I guess. He did the same to Quintana

    https://twitter.com/afbdijkstra/status/1022358139822374913
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  • AG

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    yeah, I agree. No need of stages this short - and especially not as the queen stage

    The good people of velofacts had a look into Demare's GPS data to calculate his relative gap to the front, progressing with the race btw:



    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1rhpS4-TuP0I-Ff0-SIAxi-qqFwcAdbTafeoxsswkhh4/edit#gid=0

    at first look, there seem to have been the occasional sticky bottle involved (and one or the other push from a spectator - at some points you can see him speeding up quite a bit with steeper gradients), but from the data there's nothing totally out of line visible.

    edit: this was confirmed by some journalists doing a broomwagon feature. They said he didn't get excessive help from the FDJ car. Also Greipel offered his apologies now:

    https://twitter.com/AndreGreipel/status/1022356666581438464

    but wasnt the tweet in relation to stage 16?   

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  • PeteFromLeeds

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    Well even if the grid start did nothing for the race, it certainly shook the standings up a little. Hopefully Thomas can take it all the way now with an advantage like that, it would be nice to see Roglic in the Top 3 with Froome tiring - I've never seen him time trial but I've heard he's quite good at it, and obviously I've seen the other three win time trial stages before.
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    but wasnt the tweet in relation to stage 16?   

    it's deleted now, but he is talking about 17 I think, mentioning Quintana there



    but he was probably referring to both stage. Or even more. Already after abandoning the Tour last week Greipel said "there are a lot of cars in the race where riders can hang on. I'm not one to do that." I guess he was thinking about Demare as well when saying that - and just got even more angry seeing him over the past two days
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  • Mellow Velo

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    giving him a clap or something, I guess. He did the same to Quintana

    https://twitter.com/afbdijkstra/status/1022358139822374913

     He didn't really come close enough to Quintana to figure out his MO.

    The Dutch evening Tour show, Avondetappe picked up on this.
    There was tv footage of his Geraint grab, but I'm not sure if it actually got televised.
    It showed he did make contact and managed to cause Thomas to lose his balance and swing across the road.
    Needless to say, Avondetappe weren't impressed.

    I guess it will remain a mystery.
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  • Drummer Boy

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    giving him a clap or something, I guess. He did the same to Quintana

    I guess the organizers now need to put barriers in front of the barriers.  :S
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  • M Gee

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    . . . Also Greipel offered his apologies now:

    https://twitter.com/AndreGreipel/status/1022356666581438464

    That sounds like a REAL apology - not just window-dressing. Never to old to live and learn!
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