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Tour de France 2022 - Stages & Discussion - Week 2


Stage Type Date Start / Finish Distance
10      #med      Tue. 07/12      Morzine Les Portes du Soleil > Megève      148.5 km
11      #mountain      Wed. 07/13      Albertville > Col du Granon Serre Chevalier      152.0 km
12      #mountain      Thu. 07/14      Briançon > Alpe d'Huez      165.5 km
13      #flat      Fri. 07/15      Le Bourg d'Oisans > Saint-Étienne      193.0 km
14      #med      Sat. 07/16      Saint-Étienne > Mende      192.5 km
15      #flat      Sun. 07/17      Rodez > Carcassonne      202.5 km
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  • "If this is cycling, I am a banana"

    Mellow Velo

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    Stage 10: Morzine les Portes du Soleil to Megeve 148.1km

    Start Time 13-30CET.

    After the second rest day, the peloton will remain in the Alps for a triptych that will start with a stage that features several climbs with relatively gentle gradients. The final ascent is a mammoth, 21 km at 4%, any attack from the GC guys seems more than crazy, were one of them not named Pogacar.
    Twice used in the final stage of the 2020 Critérium du Dauphiné when the stages were won by Jumbo's American Sepp Kuss and Bora's Lennard Kamna.



    This part of the French Alps is peppered with some of the Tour’s toughest mountain passes, but they’ve all been avoided on this short stage. It weaves a circuitous route from Morzine to Megève, through a grandiose landscape. It first heads north toward Lake Geneva, making a loop on the balcony roads above the lake before winding its way over short climbs and through a series of valleys to the day’s bonus sprint in Passy-Marlioz, at the foot of the 21-kilometer climb to the finish.



    The Climbs.



    Final Kms.




    What to Expect.
    Expect a protracted battle to get into the breakaway, because it is likely to be successful, as odds are that the GC riders will keep their powder dry for Stages 11 and 12, but the parcour isn't sufficiently testing to allow for an early formation. First and foremost, timing will be crucial, but the winner will also need good climbing legs. The last few hundred metres are sufficiently steep to make that selection.
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  • "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.

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    • Multiple World Champion
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    pretty tame start to the week - I guess Leadbelly must have a day off work!? :P

    #ag2r Ben O'Connor is DNS, by the way. Edit: Also #total Vuillermoz, who collapsed at the finish yesterday
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  • Leadbelly

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    For once the cycling gods are shining on me and I have Wednesday off, but you know how it usually goes.....they'll wait till Thursday for any GC "fireworks".

    MVDP needs to DNS as well. I think he's already kinda hinted that he wants to stop, but is being encouraged to continue. That's how you pee off your star rider.
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    some of the more interesting parts I've read in international press this morning:

    #ineos Pidcock: “If it gets hectic I could try and slip up the road and cause a bit of chaos,” he said of his plans for stage 10. “There’s a lot of mountains to come, it’s a long time suffering up those mountains. We’ve just been saying in the team meeting, you need to enjoy the suffering.”

    #jumbo DS Zeeman: “In terms of the standings, Vingegaard is closer to Pogacar than we expected. [...] The values ​​Vingegaard already achieved on the shorter climbs in this Tour are the best he ever achieved in those conditions. That gives us confidence for the rest of the Tour.”
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    https://twitter.com/GreenEDGEteam/status/1546753122537803782

    edit: same for #uae George Bennett. Majka tested positive as well, but was allowed to continue, for the moment.
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  • « Last Edit: July 12, 2022, 12:09 by search »

    Mellow Velo

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    Stage 11: Albertville to Col du Granon, 157.1Km :*:*:*:*:*

    Start Time: 12-25CET

    Anyone who envisions winning this Tour must have their A-game for this brutal stage in the Alps. The first really hard stage of the Grand Boucle will feature the comeback of the Col du Granon 36 years after the first and last time it has been used. The climbs are tightly packed, after 50 kilometers on valley roads. In the only other stage to finish up here, in 1986, race leader Bernard Hinault lost his yellow jersey to La Vie Claire teammate Greg LeMond.



    Albertville and the Tour de France have been intertwined in recent years. Five out of the last seven editions did see a stage start from the town in the foothills of the Alps. Usually, the stage enters the high mountains, which is the case in 2022 as well. The first hour of racing takes place on flat roads.
    The race travels in a Southerly direction, through the Maurienne and the valley of the river Arc, to the first climb of the day and a possible spot for the final formation of the day's breakaway.
    At St Michel du Maurienne, the character of the race changes, with the big cols looming.



    The Climbs:
    The peloton will firstly hit the Lacets de Montvernier, one of Prudhomme favourites apparently, more for its photogenic quality than for its influence.





    Next on the menu is the serpent-like Col du Télégraphe that climbs for almost 12 kilometers at 7 percent, immediately followed by the Tour’s highest peak, the 17.7-kilometer Galibier, which is at its 13-percent steepest just before the 2,642-meter (8,668-foot) summit.
    One of the hardest and most beautiful climbs of the Alps, it has not be climbed from the Telegraphe side from 2017 and before then from 2011.



    Final Kms.

    Just before reaching the highest city in France, the course turns sharp left to tackle this year’s toughest climb. The narrow road is rough and grippy, takes in a dozen tight turns and tops out at 2,413 meters (almost 8,000 feet) above sea level.



    The Col de Granon ascends for 11.3 kilometers at a mean 9-percent grade with a middle section in the double digits and the steepest pitch of 18 percent.



    What to Expect.

    Without doubt, the breakaway will be large, but the GC riders will take centre stage. This is potentially the stage where the greatest time gains and losses can be made. If last year is anything to go by, expect Tadej Pogacar to launch an early attack. Jumbo will most likely try to keep at least some of their train rolling, but at same time, try to have Jonas Vingegaard follow and sit on the Slovenian wheel.
    Expect total carnage to ensue.
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  • Drummer Boy

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    Johan floated an interesting theory about Stage 10. After UAE had stopping leading the chase for the break, Bruyneel suggested that Ineos and Jumbo may have kept the pressure on so that Pogačar would not lose the Yellow jersey, thereby forcing UAE to perhaps expend a bit more energy for at least part of Stage 11. Even though it ultimately came down to the very late attack by Enric Mas, which prompted the final accelerations from Pogačar, it is a curious thought nonetheless.

    Also, should it come down to it, how might Vingegaard stack up against Pogačar in the final Time Trial? With longer climbs and warmer temps on the immediate horizon—which could benefit Jonas—how much time would he need on Tadej before the iTT?
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  • Leadbelly

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    Mellow Velo

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    Stage 12: Briançon to Alpe d’Heuz 165.1Km :*:*:*:*:*

    Start Time: 13-05CET.

    Briancon – Alpe d’Huez, is a classic for the Tour that with this same identical format. for the 3th time since 1952. It is clearly the queen stage of the race. An exact replica of the 1986 route, with the ascent of the Galibier once again on the programme, followed by the climb of the Col de la Croix de Fer, before tackling the 21 hairpins leading up to the Isère resort. That stage gave us one of the most iconic images in the history of the Tour.




    It has been five editions since Le Tour last visited Briançon. The race went to the Col d’Izoard, where Warren Barguil took the spoils with a solo of 8 kilometres on the finish climb.

    The last Alpe d’Huez visit happened one year later. In 2018, Steven Kruijswijk almost brought a 70 kilometres solo home. The Dutchman was caught with 3.5 kilometres to go before Geraint Thomas outsprinted an elite group to win his second consecutive stage in the edition that would eventually bring him overall glory.
    The stage has the highest vertical gain: 4,750 meters over 66kms of cols and is raced pretty much in an anti clockwise direction, almost closing a complete circle.



    The Climbs.

    The Col du Lautarat and then the Galibier. The two passes together add up to 23 kilometres of climbing at 5.1%.



    The Col de la Croix de Fer is a giant of 29 kilometres long with an average gradient of 5.2%. The statistic is misleading though, as it’s an extremely irregular ascent. The first part features a number of double digit ramps, and downhills as well. The last 6 kilometres of the Croix de Fer are more steady with an average gradient of 7.6%.



    Final Kms.




    What to expect.

    A massive breakaway which, depending on what happened yesterday, the best of may, or may not go all the way.
    As the lead group will be made up of strong climbers, the likelihood of a succesful breakaway increases and so, my guess is on someone like Bauke Mollema, Michael Storer, Thibaut Pinot or Michael Woods. (After today's stage, there may be one or two others that could be added to a list of strong climbers.)
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    Drummer Boy

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    It's upon us: The mighty Alpe d’Huez! :win



    And yet, all eyes will be on...


    Look at him. Does look like a man that just suffered a humiliating defeat? An insurmountable setback? A man who just had victory snatched from his grip?

    Nah, it just looks like a kid after a day of cycling.  :angel

    No sunken eyes, no faraway stare, no salt-covered lips, no look of despair—none of the telltale signs that we've become familiar with in the past after such a dramatic turn of events. Even shortly after the stage, Pogačar offered Jonas Vingegaard an amiable congratulations along with a friendly tap of encouragement. This is a not a normal athlete, and today we did not witness a normal defeat. I'm still not quite sure what we saw, but it was far from a decisive blow, given the competitive nature of Tadej, and all that we know he is capable of.

    With Pogačar now sitting 2:22 behind the Maillot Jaune, just how much time might he have to make up before the next rest day? I hadn't realized until just now that Vingegaard was actually 25 seconds faster than Pogačar in last year's final iTT. Although Tadej ended that stage with a massive gap of 5:20 over Jonas, I'm still very curious as to how these two might fare against one another if everything were on the line come Stage 20 of this year's race.

    Judging by the post-race optics of today, it would seem highly probable that Pogačar is still cable of inflicting some devastating competitive wounds in his rivals. His UAE team seems to be weakening, but might Jumbo ultimately pay a price for putting too much on the line too soon?

    One thing seems a safe bet:
    Thursday's Stage 12 to Alpe d’Huez should live up to even the greatest of expectations on this, one of the Tour's most iconic and legendary climbs. Let the myth-making begin!
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  • « Last Edit: July 14, 2022, 05:57 by Drummer Boy »

    AG

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    Yesterday was epic, and today should be just as epic.   Cant wit to see the response from Tadej - we know that he is a super competitive guy, and he will take this challenge on.
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  • Drummer Boy

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    As per usual, the crowds were insane today on the final climb.
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  • Mellow Velo

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    Stage 13: Bourg D’Oisans - Saint Étienne, 182.6Km

    Start Time 13-05CET.

    The 13th stage of the Tour de France goes from Bourg d'Oisans to Saint-Étienne. The race adds up to 192.6 kilometres. It’s fair to assume that an important episode in the battle for the green jersey will be played out in the home of Les Verts, the nickname of Saint- Étienne’s illustrious, green-shirted football team. A profile without any significant difficulty should, in theory, allow the teams that are focused on sprint finishes to make hay today.
    That said, Côte de Saint-Romain-en-Gal, with its 7,7 km at 4,5%, could prove to be hard for the pure sprinters. On stages of this type, breakaway riders tend to have little room for manoeuvre, but they can still hope for the best.



    Bourg d’Oisans mostly serves as the start hub after a stage to L’Alpe d’Huez. This time is no different. Four editions ago, the race travelled to Valence, where Peter Sagan sprinted to victory.
    The riders head out in northeasterly direction. The first 27 kilometres go downhill before the Côte de Brié – 2.4 kilometres at 6.9% – offers KOM contenders a chance to gain some points and if it hasn't already gone, a chance for the BOTD to form.
    The last Tour de France visit to the capital of the Loire department dates back to 2019. Thomas De Gendt went on a daring exploit in a race with seven climbs and 3,750 climbing metres. Finishing 6 seconds ahead of the chasing duo Thibaut Pinot and Julian Alaphilippe, the Flemish attacker pulled it off and he won from the breakaway.



    Three relatively easy climbs lead onto an extended false flat before the last 7 kilometres are flat.
    The last climb of the day, Côte de Saint-Romain-en-Gal (6.6 kilometres at 4.5%), is crested with roughly 40 kilometres to go.



    Final Kms.

    A downhill takes the riders onto a false flat of 20 kilometres long before the last 7.6 kilometres are played out on the flat.



    What to Expect.
    This is a typical transition stage in Le Tour, which offers just enough to entice those who still have the legs after the mountains, to challenge for the break. It then remains to be seen which sprinters and their teams feel confident enough in their ability to deal with the parcour, as they will be the ones trying to control the breakaway.
    This is a stage that could go either way.

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  • Mellow Velo

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    Stage 14: Saint-Étienne - Mende, 192.5km

    Start Time 12-15CET.

    Mende. Croix Neuve or Montée Jalabert, a climb that became mythical in 1995 when the Jaja put Banesto and Miguel Indurain in troubles after a crazy long range team attack from ONCE.
    Race leader Miguel Induráin had a 2:27 lead over second-place Alex Zülle, with top Frenchman Laurent Jalabert in sixth overall, more than nine minutes back. This year’s stage route is not the same as then, being 30 kilometers shorter, but it’s just as difficult, with 3,400 meters (over 11,000 feet) of vertical gain. The opening section has some long hills ideal for attacks where 27 years ago Jalabert began a dangerous breakaway that grew to six-strong, two of them his ONCE teammates.
    They gained 10 minutes, putting Jalabert in the virtual yellow jersey, as the stage passed through Le Puy-en-Velay and Le Bouchet-Saint-Nicolas.
    Jalabert eventually won the stage, consolidated his green jersey, finished almost six minutes ahead of the GC leaders and moved into third overall.



    Usually, when Le Tour finishes in Saint-Étienne the town also hosts the stage start on the following day. Three years ago the race travelled on lumpy terrain to Romain Bardet’s birthplace, Brioude, where Daryl Impey outgunned Tiesj Benoot in a two-up sprint.
    The route never climbs very high, but the physical demands on the riders will be almost unceasing as they race from Saint-Étienne to Mende. This trek through the departments of Loire, Haute-Loire and Lozère will push the most robust riders into action. Then, on the Jalabert Montée de la Croix Neuve leading up to the airfield above Mende.



    The Climbs.




    Final Kms.

    The riders plunge down a 20 kilometres descent and then it’s time for the Côte de la Croix Neuve.
    The middle section of 2 km at 12,8% is simply terrible, so there will be time gaps among the GC riders.. The climb will be topped with only 1,4 km to go, where the road sweeps down to reach the airport above the city.



    What to Expect.

    The route descends from the gun, but only short, and then the Côte de Saint-Juste Malmont is sure to inspire a flurry of attacks. Following a rolling section, with two short downhills, the next climb appears after 36 kilometres. So the breakaway should form during this opening and is likely to succeed.
    Behind, the GC riders will firstly be looking to surviveand limit time gaps, but those with the best legs may force the issue.

    In 2015, the French pair of Thibaut Pinot and Romain Bardet, too busy watching each other, were countered and outwitted in the last kilometre by the Britain’s Stephen Cummings.


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  • Drummer Boy

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    In 2015, the French pair of Thibaut Pinot and Romain Bardet, too busy watching each other, were countered and outwitted in the last kilometre by the Britain’s Stephen Cummings.


    Oh, so that's where we are. I loved that win by Cummings! Still one of my favorite Tour moments in recent years. :win
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  • Mellow Velo

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    Stage 15: Rodez - Carcassonne 202.5km.

    Start Time: 13-05CET.

    The road to Carcassonne is often hilly and the ups and downs that lead to it can favour breakaways. A long and tricky stage awaits the peloton, with the relatively long Côte des Cammazes (actually it’s 10,6 at 4% ) that could be too hard for some of the fast men. Nevertheless, the organizers have tried to make sure that this day smiles on at least the sprinters. That’s provided that their team's work hard to control the day’s attackers, who still might manage to produce a surprise.



    This time Rodez serves as the start hub of a transition stage to Carcassonne, a place in the foothills of the Pyrenees. The riders traverse undulating terrain. In the second hour of racing, the peloton will flow through the spectacular Tarn Gorge; the course then avoids the climbs over the Black Mountains; and the last 10 kilometers, on a descending false flat, have been designed to encourage the formation of echelons if there are crosswinds present.



    Final Kms.

    The finish will be in the same place as last year, quite technical and slightly uphill, where Mark Cavendish equaled Eddy Merckx’s record for the number of Tour stage wins.





    What to Expect.
    The balance of probability suggests that the stage will end in a bunch sprint, as it did, last year. However, that route being slightly flatter, it was the first ever Tour de France bunch sprint in Carcassonne.
    Historically, the breakaway has always done extremely well when visiting the city.
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    Especially for AG, SBS has put up a video of yesterday's *au commentary ;)



    to be fair though, it was really Matthews' best win ever. Incredible performance. I can hardly remember anyone ever fighting back so strongly.
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  • Mellow Velo

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    Primoz Roglic is a non starter today.
    Not sure to what extent this will effect the team.

    Magnus Cort is another DNS.

    Simon Clarke is out with Covid.
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  • « Last Edit: July 17, 2022, 11:11 by Mellow Velo »

    t-72

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    This week needs a a round-up, as it was pretty eventful. I will start with the results of the last stage, the only one approaching boring until Jumbo-Visma decided to make it a little bit interesting.


    Again we saw a good sprint and my pet peeve is how #trek Mads Pedersen has taken the old role of Aleksander Kristoff, leading out the rest of the sprinters by sprinting from somewhere near the 300m mark.

    The more interesting aspect is if you start reading the full list from the bottom. The DNS, DNF and OOTs in this stage were all quite important riders and it is going to shape both the GC and the sprint battles in the remaining stages. Almost all of them have been high profiles in the Tour so far, and especially in the GC, it is almost like a new deck of cards is being handed out for the last week.  The set up now is #jumbo Vingegaard #yellow vs #uae Pogacar #white - but both of these have depleted teams and a lot of responsibility will be on the captain's shoulders.
    Just seconds behind, #ineos Geraint Thomas and #dsm Romain Bardet seem to lack the legs to compete with the top two on the hardest climbs - but will that be the decisive factor? In terms of teams, both #dsm and #ineos are looking stronger by the day, with full squads (#dsm Tusveld questionable). A section of flat road with crosswinds can flip the race upside down again, and then there is that final time trial. Exciting days to come in week #3.
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  • Drummer Boy

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