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Tour de France 2018: The Jersey Contenders
« on: June 26, 2018, 13:53 »
#green Classement par points

The points classification of the Tour de France has a long history, going back to 1905 when the decision was made to determine the winner of the yellow jersey by points instead of a time system. And although it was changed back in 1912 the points system was reintroduced in 1953 to celebrate the 50th birthday of the Tour de France - this time as an additional classification, with the leader wearing the green jersey. And so he does for 65 years now.

The details of where to score how many points have been adjusted several times, with the last major change in 2011 - and another minor one in 2016, as the current points system seemed to favor an allrounder over a pure sprinter too much.

Points awarded at the finish (by stage category):

cat. 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
#flat Flat   50      30      20      18      16      14      12      10      8      7
#med Hilly   30      25      22      19      17      15      13      11      9      7
#mountain Mountain   20      17      15      13      11      10      9      8      7      6
#tt Time Trial   20      17      15      13      11      10      9      8      7      6
+ minor points for place 11-15

Points awarded at the intermediate sprint are the same on every type of stage (apart from time trials of course):

1st2nd3rd4th5th6th7th8th9th10th1112131415
201715131110987654321

...with the stages being categorized in the following way:
  • #flat Flat Stages: 1, 2, 4, 7, 8, 13, 18, 21
  • #med Hilly Stages: 5, 6, 9, 14, 15, 16
  • #mountain Mountain Stages: 10, 11, 12, 17, 19
  • #tt Time Trial: 20
Tthere are no points awarded for the Team Time Trial on day 3 of the race.

So with 8 possible sprint stages à 50 points on the line, the rules still clearly favor a sprinter to win the jersey, especially as (on paper) none of those stages comes with major difficulties to cause a major selection.

The opportunities to score big points mainly come pretty early in the race with five out of eight sprint stages before the first rest day (+ the cobbled stage, which may see sprinter-type of racers in the mix as well). Therefor the battle for green is also likely to come down to motivation, because a sprinter who has scored many points in the first couple of days will be more eager to fight through the mountain stages to reach the finish and defend his jersey over the intermediate sprints.

Since 2011 the importance of the intermediate sprints has been increased and they have had a major influence on Sagan's dominance. Most of those are fairly flat this year though, and only on stage 12, 15 and 17 they are located at places which may favor stronger climbers over pure sprinters.

Still the ability to climb is definitely important though as "in case riders actually out of the time limit are given a second chance by the president of the Commissaires Panel, all points awarded in the general individual points classification shall be withdrawn." The short stage 17 comes with an increased time limit of 25% (so something like ~half an hour), but many sprinters will still be very vary in regards of that day.

Favorites for the Maillot Vert:


Peter Sagan has won the jersey five times in a row from 2012 to 2016, and the World Champion is the most complete rider in the peloton, so he obviously is the favorite to take it again. Also last year he looked good until his exclusion, and although the course is not perfect for him with the high amount of flat sprints, this has never made much of a difference for his chances in the past.

Last year it was Michael Matthews who comfortably took the jersey to Paris, but obviously he benefited from Kittel's crash and Sagan's disqualification and it remains to be seen if he has the consistency to battle with the best again, especially as it also applies to him that this course if far from perfect for him.

Mark Cavendish is the only other rider on the startlist who has won the jersey before, but he has had a difficult season so far and seems to lack the ability to compete with the quickest guys at the moment. The same applies for Marcel Kittel, although in his case it's more a problem with the positioning that has harmed him over the past weeks. Both may still have a chance if they manage to get their mojo back early on in the race, but if not they'll probably focus on winning a stage. More or less the same applies for André Greipel and perhaps also Alexander Kristoff, who hasn't won a stage in the Tour since 2014.

Dylan Groenewegen and Fernando Gaviria on the other hand have had a superb year so far and in last year's Giro Gaviria proved that he has the ability to win a points jersey in a Grand Tour. And while Groenewegen has the speed, Gaviria also has the team to finish it off.

For the home nation Arnaud Démare and Nacer Bouhanni should have the best chances to be in the mix, but the latter hasn't had a perfect year so far and the FDJ rider tends to lack a bit of consistency.



#kom Classement du meilleur grimpeur

The mountain classification in the Tour de France was introduced over 80 years ago, but although the best climber was first recognized already in 1933, the distinctive maillot blanc à pois rouges was not introduced until 1975, when the colors were decided by the then sponsor, Chocolat Poulain, whose chocolate bars were covered in a polka dot wrapper. In recent years we have seen attacking riders like Rafał Majka or Warren Barguil winning the jersey, but also GC guys like Nairo Quintana and Chris Froome, who in 2015 became the first ever winner of the Tour to also wear the polka dot jersey on the podium in Paris - as it wasn't introduced yet, when Eddy Merckx won both in 1970.

Same as for the points classification, the scoring system has changed several times, and at the moment they are distributed according to the following scheme:

Type de côte 1er 2e 3e 4e 5e 6e 7e 8e 9e 10e
Hors catégorie 20 15 12 10 8 6 4 2
1re catégorie 10 8 6 4 2 1
2e catégorie 5 3 2 1
3e catégorie 2 1
4e catégorie 1

Double points will be awarded at the top of the final mountain in each stage in the Pyrenees (stage 16,17 and 19). That means, the following maximum allocation of points is available during the stages and at the finish:

STAGE Pt. / Underway Pt. / at Finish
St. 1      Noirmoutier-En-L'île / Fontenay-Le-Comte       1      
St. 2      Mouilleron-Saint-Germain / La Roche-Sur-Yon       1      
St. 3      Cholet / Cholet             
St. 4      La Baule / Sarzeau       1      
St. 5      Lorient / Quimper       1+1+2+2+2      
St. 6      Brest / Mûr De Bretagne Guerlédan       2+1+2      2
St. 7      Fougères / Chartres       1      
St. 8      Dreux / Amiens Métropole       1+1      
St. 9      Arras Citadelle / Roubaix             
St. 10      Annecy / Le Grand-Bornand       1+10+20+10+10      
St. 11      Albertville / La Rosière Espace San Bernardo       20+20+5      10
St. 12      Bourg-Saint-Maurice Les Arcs / Alpe D'huez       20+5+20      20
St. 13      Bourg D'oisans / Valence       2+1      
St. 14      Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux / Mende       1+5+2      5
St. 15      Millau / Carcassonne       2+5+10      
St. 16      Carcassonne / Bagnères-De-Luchon       1+1+5+10+20      
St. 17      Bagnères-De-Luchon / Saint-Lary-Soulan       10+10      40
St. 18      Trie-Sur-Baïse / Pau       1+1      
St. 19      Lourdes / Laruns       1+1+10+20+5+40      
St. 20      Saint-Pée-Sur-Nivelle / Espelette             
St. 21      Houilles / Paris Champs-Élysées             
                  
TOTAL            324      77

This must be the smallest amount of points available at the finishes for ages, so on paper the parcours clearly favors a breakaway specialist. In some of those point heavy stages (especially in the Pyrenees), the hard climbs come late in the stage though, which could favor the GC riders to take the maillot blanc à pois rouges.

Still, also this competition will come down to motivation of course, and whichever breakaway rider ends up in contention after the Alpine stages around the point heavy days 10 to 12 looks likely to me to have a good chance to take the jersey to Paris.

And in case it ends up to be really close in the end... "If two riders are equal on points in the final general mountains classification, the rider with the greatest amount of first places at the summit of hors catégorie climbs shall be the winner. If the riders are still tied, the same method shall be applied using category 1 climbs. When necessary to break a tie, it can continue to be applied using category 2, category 3 and category 4 climbs, with the final general classification by time as a last resort."

Favorites for the Maillot Blanc à Pois Rouges


It's difficult to name clear favorites to win the mountain classification as it always is determined by the outcome of the general classification as well, with riders casting an eye on the jersey only after losing time in gc - but generally, apart from the top gc riders like Froome or Quintana it should favor riders who are are never afraid to attack if they get the freedom to, like for example Barguil or Fraile. Also strong climbers like Landa, Gaudu, Atapuma, Pozzovivo, Herrada or Pantano could come into play though, if they lose time early on in the Tour.



#white Classement du meilleur jeune

The white jersey for the best young rider was first introduced in 1975 and is awarded to the rider with the highest position in the general classification, not born before January 1st 1993. The list of winners in recent years include some of the best riders in the world like Nairo Quintana in 2013 and 2015, Tejay van Garderen and Thibaut Pinot the years before and between, and the Yates brothers in 2016 and 2017.

With Pierre Rolland, van Garderen, Quintana and Adam Yates there are four former winners on the start list for this year's edition, but by now all of them are too old to still be eligible to  fight for white, so we will definitely see a new winner, and Jan Ullrich and Andy Schleck will remain the only riders to have won the jersey three times.

Favorites for the Maillot Blanc:


The young rider with the highest GC ranking so far at the start of this year's Tour is Thiesj Benoot, who finished 20th in 2017. The young Belgian has already announced though that the white jersey nonetheless is no target for him and that he wants to focus on stages instead.

So although Bernal and Soler are probably the strongest climbers on that list, this could open up the chance for another French rider to win the competitio, as team roles will probably prevent both the Colombian and the Spaniard (and also Moscon) from playing a major part in this competition either.

Latour on the other hand usually gets a bit of freedom at Ag2R despite having Bardet as a team mate, and FDJ and Wanty don't have many other options anyway. Especially the latter two could struggle on the cobbles though, and who knows, maybe Benoot will change his mind after potentially taking both the stage and the jersey in Roubaix.
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  • "If this is cycling, I am a banana"

    M Gee

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    . . .comprehensive review of green, polka-dot, and young rider's jersey contenders
    Folks, can you spell com-pre-hens-ive? Chapeau search!

    I imagine you are planning on filling the maillot jaune category later?


    Chris Froome #sky #tdfsky



    Tom Dumoulin #sunweb    One Giro and a very solid #2 in this year's edition
    Nairo Quintana #movistar    Luck and consistency are lacking, as well as time trialing



    Mikel Landa #movistar    A proven domestique may not a Tour rider make
    Rigoberto Urán  #efd     Consistently near the pointy end, with a suitcase full of courage




    Alejandro Valverde #movistar    Mr. Re-tired -- oops, no, that was #mitchelton who re-tired with Pirellis. Alejandro is just aging gracefully.
    Romain Bardet #ag2r    Love the AG2R aggression these past few years. Real race animators, but Romain remains the perennial bridesmaid.



    Adam Yates #mitchelton    The Giro, as magnificent as it was for two weeks, confirmed that the Yates need to work on 3 weeks worth of stamina if they want to win a GT.
    Geraint Thomas #sky #tdfsky   If only he can keep the rubber on the road, he might move up a star or two
    Warren Barguil  #fortuneo    I'd give him a half-star if I could. I just don't have any confidence he will do better than fifth in Paris

    Porte? Are you in this year?

    Who have I missed?
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  • « Last Edit: June 26, 2018, 16:33 by LukasCPH »
    . . .He had the bit between his teeth, and he loiked the taste, mate . . .

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    • World Champion
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    Thanks Hiero, but #yellow GC previews are above my paygrade ;)
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  • M Gee

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    Bahrain has announced Nibali, no surprise there. The GT star who has been turning into a Classics man. I'll give him 4 stars, based on his past laurels and his 2016 Giro. I'm tempted to downgrade him to three, as he just hasn't been "there" in a couple of years for the GTs, other than that Giro. However, he went into that Giro seemingly having a bad year prior. Just like this year. And some stages of this Tour could be said to be designed for Nibali.

    And Zakarin, a real dark horse, eh? One star? He DOES have Boswell on his team!

    Oh, and it seems BMC have announced Porte will indeed do the Tour, another no-surpriser. Three stars? He would get 4, or even 4.5, if he had ever won a GT. But first he has to finish, just like Geraint Thomas.
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  • M Gee

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    BTW, it looks like the teams are finally catching on that they need a STRONG team against Sky to contest GC. Oh, I know folks have made a stab at matching Sky's strength - but they've always seemed to me to be more than a little lacking.

    So, if Movistar actually work TOGETHER, they can surely claim they've got a massive team. BMC is bringing TJ and Phinney [1]as doms. And if Mitchelton-Scott can match what they did at the Giro - we MIGHT see some real competition.
     1. Ooops. Sorry, Phinney is coming with Trek!
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  • « Last Edit: July 01, 2018, 01:05 by M Gee »

    Leadbelly

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    BMC is bringing TJ and Phinney [1]as doms.
     1. Ooops. Sorry, Phinney is coming with Trek!

    You want another try Hiero? Third time lucky and all that. :P
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  • M Gee

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    Naahhh. Who's fussy about a couple of dom names! :fp :lol[1]
     1. BTW, normally I take only enough notice of most team members to determine if the team is "strong" or not, or to look at their focus. This year, however, feels exceptional to me. I don't know how to quantify it, but I'm thinking we're seeing more strong teams getting serious about GC than we have in past years.
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  • M Gee

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    You didn't hear it here first: ASO has officially excluded Froome from the Tour. I've heard it this morning on two news sites, so I don't think you'll have any problem finding any sources. Sky to appeal, of course.

    I know a lot of people have been saying salbutamol gives no performance advantage. However, given that the last couple of salbutamol positives in the peloton were suspended, and more quickly, I think, it's been unfair IMO that Froome wasn't. It certainly has the optic of preferential treatment. Top that off with how long the process is taking? But putting all that aside --

    The RACE! I was unhappy that he was allowed to compete in the Giro, but at the end, things came out ok. Meaning I was happy, because AFAIC, Dumoulin would have won, except for tactical errors on stage 19. He chose not to go with Chris. And, doing the Giro-Tour double, Froome should be as vulnerable as he has ever been. Against strong teams. In past, recent, years, when we've had what might have been a strong challenge, luck has played a big part. Last year for one - Nibali's year for another. IMO Contador never fielded as strong a team as Sky, but luck certainly played a part against him.

    So, in a perverse sort of thinking, I'm hoping Sky can get this appeal settled, and Froome will be there. I think it will be disappointing if they do not. However, no Froome DOES leave a very competitive field at the start line on day 1.
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  • AG

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    I really hope he is excluded.

    It is bad for cycling that he is allowed to take part in the biggest race with a positive test hanging over him and essentially being allowed to game the system
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  • Mellow Velo

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    I really hope he is excluded.

    It is bad for cycling that he is allowed to take part in the biggest race with a positive test hanging over him and essentially being allowed to game the system

    He has a positive test besides an AAF?
    Without the distinction, it is easy to see where folks are coming from.

    Anyhow, finally, the decision may be imminent.

    https://twitter.com/DickinsonTimes/status/1013656309235896320
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  • "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.

    AG

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    actually a verdict would be way better than this ...

    any verdict.  An answer one way or the other - there is no way that this situation should have ever been allowed to drag on for this long.   

    The reigning champion having this hanging over his head is not fair.  Not on him, not on the race, not on the fans ...

    If it were the olympics or the world cup or any other major world sport we would have had a decision. 




    And an AAF IS a positive test.  He tested positive to a specified substance ... and is required to prove how it got into his system.  That is a positive test.
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  • Mellow Velo

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    And an AAF IS a positive test.  He tested positive to a specified substance ... and is required to prove how it got into his system.  That is a positive test.

     That certainly is the definition of a positive dope test. "Specified" appears to have no relevance.
    Were this the case, Froome would have tested positive 20 times during the Vuelta.
    Isn't an AAF as defined, here?

    http://www.iihf.com/iihf-home/sport/medical/anti-doping/


    The term Adverse Analytical Finding does not necessarily imply a positive test as the athlete may have a TUE (Therapeutic Use Exemption), an aTUE (Abbreviated Therapeutic Use Exemption) or may have elevated endogenous substances which are normal for his own system and do not necessarily reflect a positive doping infraction.

    An AAF becomes a positive doping infraction only after a thorough investigation following due process, such as a hearing and a determination from the Disciplinary Committee that a doping infraction has occurred.


     This is how I currently view things.
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  • AG

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    M Gee

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    . . .

     This is how I currently view things.


    I think you are splitting hairs. According to the definition provided, a test result that has a result is positive, but is not necessarily a doping infraction. And those two words are your critical difference. However, the lawyers could have fun with this definition, should they argue the case, due to the first sentence stating "does not necessarily imply a positive test". But the lawyers on the other side have plenty of ammunition, since that very SAME sentence then goes on to say "reflect a positive doping infraction". And the following paragraph continues that usage: "becomes a positive doping infraction[/i]", which rather cements things, I think.

    That was a fun little bit of mental work to wake me up this summer morning!

    Cheers and thanks! -- MG

    doesnt matter - we finally have a decision

    http://www.uci.org/pressreleases/uci-statement-anti-doping-proceedings-involving-christopher-froome/

    he is free to ride.

    Another bit of bad optics, decision at the last minute. But, it's done. I'll bet plenty in the Clinic are moaning and b*tching this morning.
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