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Jimmythecuckoo

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Tour de France Wrap
« on: July 20, 2021, 12:40 »
I am not sure how I feel about this Tour de France.

Last year I was so desperate to hold on to any shred of bike racing in the real meat of the pandemic. So 2020 could have been the worst bike race in history and I would have loved it.

2021 however was over by the end of the second weekend and first week.

That's not Pogacar's fault per se but the other contenders who seemed happy to race for the podium, a position concreted on the road down the 2nd ascent of Mont Ventoux.

So if I had to give it a mark out of 10 (and I don't, I just want to get some views in a thread!), it would be 6.

But a strong 6.
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    Drummer Boy

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    Re: Tour de France Wrap
    « Reply #1 on: July 20, 2021, 22:42 »
    So if I had to give it a mark out of 10 (and I don't, I just want to get some views in a thread!), it would be 6.

    But a strong 6.

    I'd probably give it a 7. For a few notable reasons.

    Yes, the GC was all but settled by the first rest day, but the opening week overall was quite good to watch, and offered more for the viewer than the first week often does. Into the second week the fanfare began to fade a bit, but the reason I would score this edition a 7 is due to the memorability of it—or at least how memorable I suspect it may be down the road.

    I could be biased based how fresh in my mind much of it still is, but I really do believe that the events that unfolded here will be talked about for quite some time.

    We saw Pogačar stamp his authority on the Tour in a way that revealed him to be more than just a boyish genetic freak, but also a true competitor with the killer instincts of a champion. We never really got to see him in Yellow last year, but now we know that he plays for keeps, and any future GT showdowns will likely be shaped by that.

    We saw the emergence of Vingegaard, who ultimately benefitted greatly from Roglič's exit from the Tour. Had the #jumbo leader stayed healthy and uninjured, Jonas would have likely impressed as a reliable domestique in the mountains, but probably wouldn't have received much attention beyond that. Now, we know that simply having his name on the roster is a factor not to be underestimated. This was most certainly his coming out event.

    On my side of the Atlantic, seeing Sepp Kuss hold off Valverde for the first TdF stage win by a rider from the U.S. in ten years will be spoken of for some time. His win being another case of something that likely never would've unfolded had Roglič remained in the race as a potential winner.

    Equal shoutout to Ben O'Connor *au #ag2r He nabbed a stage win for himself, and ended up 4th overall in the GC! Who saw that coming?

    Also worth mentioning: This was the year for the breakaway. They actually survived for the win—repeatedly! How many successful ones were there, five? Six?

    Then, of course, there was the announcement to the world that both MvdP and Wout van Aert mean business when they line up at the start of the Tour. Seeing van der Poel in #yellow was a first, and likely only a hint of what we can expect in future Tours. Of course what WvA would go on to accomplish would be one of the most extraordinary achievements in the history of the TdF. So now we know for sure: He's going to be blowing our minds, and surpassing all expectations for many years to come. The new generation has arrived, and in the most explosive manner possible.

    Not to be outdone, Mark Cavendish returned from the abyss, and made his own bit of history along the way. If nothing else, his accomplishments this Tour will make it one for the record books. Not to mention, because of him, we were glued to the Tour right to the very final meter, and that hasn't happened in quite some time.

    As I read back on all this, I'm now wondering if I should elevate my score to an 8 or 9?!  :o

    The truth is though, the lack of a battle for the top step in Paris tended to flatten the overall sense of greatness that was swirling around from the above-mentioned standouts, so I don't think I can score it higher than 7. But for the very same reasons, I wouldn't argue with anyone giving it an 8.
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  • « Last Edit: July 20, 2021, 22:53 by Drummer Boy »

    LukasCPH

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    Re: Tour de France Wrap
    « Reply #2 on: July 21, 2021, 07:29 »
    I agree with Drummer Boy.

    The first week (until the first rest day) was a definite 10/10 in all regards. However, the battle for the overall win was effectively over after the stage 6 ITT.
    The second and third week were mostly alright, with some days being very good.

    All in all, I'd give it 7/10.
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    Servais Knavendish

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    Re: Tour de France Wrap
    « Reply #3 on: July 21, 2021, 15:54 »
    I'll remember it fondly for Cav's exploits and WVA's achievements; and hardly at all for Pog's procession  - but those two sets of highlights probably elevate it to an 8 on the pantheon  :cool
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  • Jimmythecuckoo

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    Re: Tour de France Wrap
    « Reply #4 on: July 21, 2021, 17:02 »
    You make me look mean with my scoring !!! :)

    I am sticking with 6.

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