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Mellow Velo

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TDF 2020 - Stage 15: Lyon - Grand Colombier 174.5 km
« on: September 12, 2020, 20:44 »
 Stage 15: Lyon - Grand Colombier 174.5 km

The Tour de France presents an interesting concept in stage 15. Starting in Lyon, the race runs to the Grand Colombier to tackle the pass in the Jura mountains from three different sides.
The route is 175 kilometres long and, obviously, the race finishes atop the Grand Colombier. The final climb of the mountain, the one where it won’t be possible to hide will start in Culoz. The battle promises to be intense on the eve of the second rest day!



Climbing the same mountain several times, it is not very common on the Tour, although not entirely new. The 18th stage of the 2013 Tour of France tackled the climb to Alpe d’Huez twice. On the 13th of September three of the four access roads up the Grand Colombier will be covered. The last ascent goes all the way to the summit, which will be a first for the Tour.



The first part of the race is nothing special. On rolling roads the riders travel east until hitting the Montée de la Selle de Fromentel with 57 kilometres remaining.
Amounting to 11.1 kilometres at 8.1%, the climb hold its trump cards up its sleeve until the last three kilometres. Respectively, these go up at 11.5%, 14.5% and 12.5% – on average!
The riders plunge down into the valley and shortly the Col de la Biche appears. The first kilometres are nothing special, but the Col de la Biche bares its teeth after 3 kilometres. The actual climb is 6.9 kilometres long and the average gradient sits at 8.9%. The middle section is toughest with double digit gradients for 2 relentless kilometres.



With the preliminary climbs of the race done we should be able to pinpoint whether or not the stage winner is part of the breakaway. If the gap is big enough, yes, but when the GC riders are approaching rapidly the Grand Colombier stage could easily turn into a huge battle for the yellow jersey. Whatever the scenario, the finish climb is going to be brutal.
The last ascent goes all the way to the top of the Grand Colombier. The haul up begins in Culoz and amounts to 17.4 kilometres, in which the riders conquer an elevation gain of 1,244 metres. The average slope is 7.1% with some stretches peaking out to 12%. The last 400 metres are especially interesting as this section rises at 10%.





Thibaut Pinot and Primoz Roglic climbed to victory on these slopes in the Tour de l’Ain of 2019 (Pinot) and 2020 (Roglic).
The race to the Grand Colombier will be a strong indicator of the contenders to wear the yellow jersey into Paris. So what about Thibaut Pinot. Is he going to put his loss in the GC to good use on a mountain he loves?
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    Drummer Boy

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    Quote
    ...three of the four access roads up the Grand Colombier will be covered. The last ascent goes all the way to the summit, which will be a first for the Tour.

    I did not realize that this is how the stage will unfold. Sounds fun!  :cool  :D
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  • Drummer Boy

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    https://twitter.com/hornerakg/status/1305144760529817600

    a big train going up the climb was not what anyway here had hoped for, I guess, but well it is what it is



    Quintana, Bernal and Carapaz out of the GC battle. 15th in the standings is already half an hour behind, with the Alpes still to come
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    in his (more or less) daily column in Het Belang von Limburg #israel Ben Hermans today said that he expects Pogacar to win the Tour with the Horner tactics, by the way. "Pogacar has no team around him. This reminds me of the 2013 Vuelta, which we won with Chris Horner. Nibali had a strong team back then, therefor our approach was to take the leaders jersey as late as possible, not to risk getting faced with a counter attack. That must also be UAE's tactic. Who knows, maybe Pogacar will be awarded with even three jerseys in Paris then: white, yellow and polka dots. Also the final one he deserves to get. Tadej is by far the best climber in this Tour."
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  • Servais Knavendish

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    in his (more or less) daily column in Het Belang von Limburg #israel Ben Hermans today said that he expects Pogacar to win the Tour with the Horner tactics, by the way. "Pogacar has no team around him. This reminds me of the 2013 Vuelta, which we won with Chris Horner. Nibali had a strong team back then, therefor our approach was to take the leaders jersey as late as possible, not to risk getting faced with a counter attack..."

    Oh yeah right - so it was tactical nous that won Horner that GT!!!    :-x
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  • AG

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    I dont expect Pogacar to win the Tour ... but its certainly a reasonable chance of happening, IF they dont take the jersey too early.

    Take it early and they will get smashed.  Dumoulin will remember from the Vuelta when he tried to win that the first time, and Astana piled the pressure on until he cracked huge time. 

    winning without a team can only be done as a last minute thing.
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  • AG

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    AS for the rest - watching Jumbo Visma do what Sky/Ineos have been doing for a few years now has been fun.  If they do it again next year, and the year after that it will get just as boring as Sky doing it ... but its fun for a chance.

    and we have had a good fight for Green, and will be having one for Polka Dots as well to keep us entertained
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    ...and for the podium. Uran, Lopez, Yates, Porte and Landa are all within ~40 seconds.

    Only his mother and his two dogs would have bet a dime on him, Uran yesterday said :D
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  • Drummer Boy

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    And there he was...


    quietly... :shh


    practically unnoticed on the stage.


    10th place  *es Alejandro Valverde #movistar 00:24

     :D
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  • Leadbelly

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    in his (more or less) daily column in Het Belang von Limburg #israel Ben Hermans today said that he expects Pogacar to win the Tour with the Horner tactics, by the way. "Pogacar has no team around him. This reminds me of the 2013 Vuelta, which we won with Chris Horner. Nibali had a strong team back then, therefor our approach was to take the leaders jersey as late as possible, not to risk getting faced with a counter attack. That must also be UAE's tactic. Who knows, maybe Pogacar will be awarded with even three jerseys in Paris then: white, yellow and polka dots. Also the final one he deserves to get. Tadej is by far the best climber in this Tour."

    I dunno I have to say.

    No matter if Roglic is leading by 30s or Pogacar is leading by 30s, I don't see Jumbo riding too differently for most of the stage (straight out of the Sky big book of tactics). Sure if they are behind they may try to put Kuss up the road or try a downhill attack or something, but whatever happens, for UAE it's all about Pogacar sticking to Roglic's wheel and maybe putting in an attack of his own if he has the legs.

    The KHAOS scenario for Pogacar, as I see it, would be Roglic DNF-ing or losing a packet somewhere and then it would be just him (and whatever help Polanc and DLC can give late on in the stage - not much you'd think) versus Lopez, Yates, Porte, Uran etc and their teams.
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    The KHAOS scenario for Pogacar, as I see it, would be Roglic DNF-ing or losing a packet somewhere and then it would be just him (and whatever help Polanc and DLC can give late on in the stage - not much you'd think) versus Lopez, Yates, Porte, Uran etc and their teams.

    that would be fun indeed.

    Was this #grenadier Bernal's first bad day in 5 years as a pro, by the way?
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