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Professional Cycling => Tour de France 2021 => Topic started by: search on June 24, 2021, 11:09

Title: Tour de France - Classification Previews, Startlist & Discussion
Post by: search on June 24, 2021, 11:09
#yellow Classement général individuel au temps

The 2021 Tour has a more traditional looking route, with three summit finishes, at least eight likely sprint finishes, and two time trials. It is a reset on the Tour’s trend for more mountains and fewer time trials and there’s the most amount of TT kilometres since 2013.

There are 10, 6 and 4 bonus seconds awarded for the Top 3 at the finish again, and for each stage of the race. Additionally, as introduced in 2019 there's a "Bonus Points" system, handing out 8, 5 and 2 seconds for the three best placed riders on six mountain- or hilltop sprints (marked with a yellow "B") during the race:


The number of bonus sprint was reduced from eight to six compared to 2020, and although some GC contenders might get involved here and there, the major difference will probably be made during the mountain stages - starting in the French Alpes on the 2nd weekend of the race:

(,1500:904-960-0-90/989df) (,1500:904-960-0-90/2f21e)

before heading to the Provence for a double ascent of the Mont Ventoux after the rest day:


That's about it then, before the race hits the Pyrenées during week three:


Last chance to make a difference then is a time trial on the penultimate day:


On paper, it looks difficult to make much of a difference on most of those stages, so, same as last year, the race actually may be decided during those last days, or even in the final ITT.

#green Classement par points

The points classification was introduced in 1953 to celebrate the 50th birthday of the Tour de France, and after some changes over the years, since 2011 (with some minor adjustments in 2016) the points are distributed in the same way - and so they will be for this edition.

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):


...with the stages being categorized in the following way:

Sagan's winning streak of taking the jersey all (seven) times he finished the race ended in 2020, and although last year's winner Sam Bennett is not around, on this kind of route, it'll probably also won't be easy for him to take #green this year.

The first two days are fairly hard for a 50pt stage, so they could result in a significant lead for the punchy guys like van der Poel, Alaphilippe or van Aert, before the quicker sprinters take over in those eight flat(tish) stages. Most of those are very flat:


Caleb Ewan looks like the prime contender for most of those, but his team said that the focus would be on stage wins instead of Green, and that he wouldn't get involved in the intermediate sprints, while riders like Alaphilippe or van der Poel probably won't contest the flat sprints, and van Aert could suffer from the team's focus on Roglic.

New Italian champion Sonny Colbrelli showed some magnificant shape during the last races. On paper he is not really quick enough on the flat, but if he can win one of the first stages, he could turn into a real favourite, I guess.

#kom Classement du meilleur grimpeur

Same as for the points classification, the scoring system for the mountain classification has changed several times, and although the points are distributed in the same way as over the past years...

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

...there is another change again, with three of the five (instead of one, in 2020) HC climbs awarding double points.

Two of those come very late in the race, so it could result in an interesting battle between the breakaway riders (favoured during the first weeks), and the GC guys able to strike back in the end:

Stage Type Start / Finish Pt. Underway Pt. (near the) Finish
1      #flat      Brest > Landerneau      1+1+2+1+1      2
2      #flat      Perros-Guirec > Mûr-de-Bretagne Guerlédan      1+1+1+1+2      2
3      #flat      Lorient > Pontivy      1+1      
4      #flat      Redon > Fougères            
5      #tt      Changé > Laval Espace Mayenne            
6      #flat      Tours > Châteauroux      1      
7      #med      Vierzon > Le Creusot      2+1+2+5+1      
8      #mountain      Oyonnax > Le Grand-Bornand      2+1+10+10+10      
9      #mountain      Cluses > Tignes      5+10+20+5      10
10      #flat      Albertville > Valence      1      
11      #mountain      Sorgues > Malaucène      1+1+10+10      40
12      #flat      Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux > Nîmes      2      
13      #flat      Nîmes > Carcassonne      1      
14      #med      Carcassonne > Quillan      2+5+5+2+5      
15      #mountain      Céret > Andorre-la-Vieille      10+5+10      10
16      #med      Pas de la Case > Saint-Gaudens      5+10+5+1      
17      #mountain      Muret > Saint-Lary-Soulan Col du Portet      10+10      40
18      #mountain      Pau > Luz Ardiden      1+1+20      40
19      #flat      Mourenx > Libourne      1      
20      #tt      Libourne > Saint-Emilion            
21      #flat      Chatou > Paris Champs-Élysées       1      
            TOTAL      223      140

There are seven bretons in the race, so someone like Cyril Gautier or Elie Gesbert could be a good contender to take the jersey during the early days and defend it for a while, before stronger climbers take over during days 8 to 11. A surprisingly huge amount of potential GC riders has stated to aim for stages mainly, among them Fuglsang, Guillaume Martin, Quintana, Barguil, Buchmann or Vincenzo Nibali, so I guess we could see one of those in the lead heading into the Pyrenées. Those stages then favour the GC riders, but if the lead is big enough, I can see them defendig the jersey till Paris.

#white Classement du meilleur jeune

The white jersey for the best young rider was first introduced in 1975 and in the same fashion as usual, it is awarded to the rider with the highest position in the general classification, not born before January 1st 1996.

It would be a huge surprise not to see #uae Tadej Pogacar at the top of the podium in the end. Riders like David Gaudu, Lucas Hamilton, Higuita or Vingegaard are strong as well, of course, but it would probably need a bit of miracle for anyone of them to beat last year's Tour winner.
Title: Re: Tour de France - Classification Previews, Startlist & Discussion
Post by: search on June 24, 2021, 11:10