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t-72

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Weather forecast indicates very slim chances for serious crosswinds today, only light winds 2-3 m/s expected. I think I will tune in for the sprint.
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  • AG

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    I did feel for Kung.

    Pogacar doing amazing so far.  Has managed to keep wheels down and skin intact which is a big benefit.


    The battle for green is very interesting.  Sagan crashing out of the last sprint stage denied him crucial points - but with Bennett staying home and Ewen going home, the sprint stage wins are more likely to be spread amongst those left, giving Sagan a much better chance IMO.   I still expect him to be wearing green in Paris.

    Today is grand tour stage no 425 for Phil ..     :D
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  • Mellow Velo

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    Today is grand tour stage no 425 for Phil ..     :D

    That's an impressive stat.

    Here's another one. More immediate than Merckx's record, Cavendish currently stands at 49 GT stage wins....
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  • "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.

    Mellow Velo

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    They say a picture says a thousand words, so the story of today's stage:




    https://twitter.com/EdwardPickering/status/1410621081963188227


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  • Mellow Velo

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    Stage 7, Vierzon > Le Creusot 249.1 km
    2-7-2021
    Start 11-00am


    The stage that all the riders will be looking forward to. At almost 250 kilometres, the 7th stage is the longest Tour de France stage of the last twenty years. The route traverses the Country, from West to East, initially along flat terrain before crossing the Morvan, which will offer 3,000 metres of elevation to the menu and a spicy finish up the demanding Signal d’Uchon on the course of the Tour for the very first time.



    This is the first stage where the breakaway stands a good chance of success, but this also means getting into the break could mean a protracted spell of attack and counter attack. There isn't a significant climb in the first one hundred and fifty kilometres, which makes the task all the more difficult.
    The teeth of this stage all come within the final 100 kilometres of the stage. After they reach the Morvan hills, the is hardly any flat. There are lots of non-classified uphill sections that add to the fatigue, while five classified climbs stand out.



    The Climbs:

    After almost 160 kilometres in the saddle the riders tackle the Côte de Château-Chinon.



    The stage finale starts with The Côte de la Croix de la Libération.



    At kilometre 222.4, the riders tackle the previously unused climb of Signal d’Uchon, which holds a real sting in it's tail.



    The Côte de la Gourloye is the last obstacle of the day, crested with 8 kilometres to go to Le Creusot.



    Final kilometres




    One thing is for certain, all the pure sprinters won't be around to contest this finish. If the breakaway doesn't succeed, then it should be battle among those other "usual suspects".

    Favourites stage 7 Tour de France 2021
    (actually, it's anybody's guess, but....)
    :*:*:*:*:* Mathieu van der Poel, Wout Van Aert
    :*:*:*:* Peter Sagan, Julian Alaphilippe, Michael Matthews,
    :*:*:* Søren Kragh Andersen, Kasper Asgreen, Matej Mohoric, Marc Hirschi, Christophe Laporte,
    :*:* Sonny Colbrelli, Magnus Cort, Edvald Boasson Hagen
    :* Thomas De Gendt, Nans Peters, Simon Clarke
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  • t-72

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    Stage 7, Vierzon > Le Creusot 249.1 km
    2-7-2021
    Start 11-00am


    The stage that all the riders will be looking forward to. At almost 250 kilometres, the 7th stage is the longest Tour de France stage of the last twenty years. The route traverses the Country, from West to East, initially along flat terrain before crossing the Morvan, which will offer 3,000 metres of elevation to the menu…….

    So AG2R-Citröen #ag2r sent Greg van Avermaet in the break the stage before this?  :S
    I can´t understand it, why - this stage is exactly what he needs.  :-x
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  • Drummer Boy

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    The stage that all the riders will be looking forward to. At almost 250 kilometres, the 7th stage is the longest Tour de France stage of the last twenty years.

    Good thing they'll be getting an early start.

    Considering the two stages that come after this, I can't even begin to imagine how this stage is going to play out. I'm at a complete loss for predictions.

    A drop in temperatures here, with nothing but rain in the forecast for the next few days, means that at least I won't be distracted by wanting get out and ride myself before the stages are finished. I also suspect I'll be watching all of the post-race coverage.
     :P
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  • t-72

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    - TdF-waiter, can I have a 25-man mega-breakaway from km 50 with a GC outsider hidden among the roleurs, please?
    - yes sir, which GC outsider would you like in that break?


    #bikeexchange Chavito
    #trek Mollema
    #fdj Gaudu
    #total Latour

    Anyone else?
    #dsm Benoot?

    Edit: and of course, the ultimate crowd-pleaser, #rainbow Alaphilippe  :cool
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  • Mellow Velo

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    - TdF-waiter, can I have a 25-man mega-breakaway from km 50 with a GC outsider hidden among the roleurs, please?
    - yes sir, which GC outsider would you like in that break?


    #bikeexchange Chavito
    #trek Mollema
    #fdj Gaudu
    #total Latour

    Anyone else?
    #dsm Benoot?

    Edit: and of course, the ultimate crowd-pleaser, #rainbow Alaphilippe  :cool

    That's some fine prediction punditry right there. :cool
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  • Mellow Velo

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    Seems there was a post stage disagreement. Not hard to work out what it was about, (Movistar tactics again) but while Valverde managed to keep his hands to himself, Mas was less restrained.

    Kwiatkowski is hardly the most aggressive or demonstrative bloke in the peloton.


    https://twitter.com/soydiegoayus/status/1410974374165897219
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  • t-72

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    As far as I understand it, the disagreements between #movistar Movistar and #ineos Ineos are due to the the "fact" that #movistar Movistar has been chasing down every #ineos Carapaz attack since he left the team.

    Let's go get some popcorn, dudes, as this one is gonna keep going on for at least for a while! :-x
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  • Mellow Velo

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    It took a long time for the breakaway to get away but when it did it had a very strong group of 29 riders with a couple of surprises in there, including the yellow jersey of Van der Poel  #alpecin, Wout van Aert  #jumbo, Vincenzo Nibali  #trek and green jersey Mark Cavendish  #deceuninck.
    The chase in the peloton was mostly left to UAE Team Emirates and it really affected them as they started losing riders very quickly on the climbs. On the first couple of climbs Matej Mohorič  #bahrain and Brent Van Moer  #lotto both went away. They were joined a few kilometres later by Jasper Stuyven  #trek and Victor Campenaerts  #qhubeka but Campenaerts was not able to follow the pace on the climbs.
    The hardest climb of the day was the penultimate one where the gradient kicked up to 18 per cent, the Signal d’Uchon. Various riders attacked out of the main break. Mohorič went over the top of the climb but he was slowly being caught by the Austrian champion, Patrick Konrad  #bora
     #ineos upped the pace dramatically and Primož Roglič  #jumbo lost contact showing that he was in a lot of pain. Carapaz used the steepest gradient just before the top of the climb with nobody chasing them.
    Mohorič held on for the win with Stuyven being able to hold off the rest to take second and Magnus Cort  #ef sprinting to third. Carapaz was also caught with Julian Alaphilippe  #rainbow leading in the GC group catching the Ecuadorian on the line.

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  • Mellow Velo

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    Stage 8, Oyonnax > Le Grand-Bornand 150.8 km
    2-7-2021
    Start 13-10pm


    The race continues to head eastwards and into the Jura and Alpine mountain ranges for the first time this year. Oyonnax is situated in the foothills of the Jura mountains. Seven years ago the Tour de France was here for the first and last time when Tony Gallopin soloed to victory. The finish of the stage is the downhill into Le Grand-Bornand, which was last used in 2018. This time however, an extra climb has been added to the finale.



    There may not be a summit finish in store for the peloton but with five categorised climbs, plus an uncategorised uphill start. The ascents are relatively easy until kilometre 100, but the last 50 kilometres will offer a new, triple climb, amounting to a distance of over 20 kms at close to 9%.
    In 2018, Julian Alaphilippe launched one of his trademark attacks and crested both peaks to win ahead of Ion Izagirre.



    The Climbs.


    The riders tackle the Côte de Mont-Saxonnex shortly after Bonneville. The 5.7 kilometres ascent averages 8.3%.


    Almost immediately after the descent the big test of the day appears.


    Between the summit of the Col de Romme and the base Col de la Colombière is a downhill section of 5.5 kilometres.


    Final kms





    Stage 8 of the Tour de France suits attackers with climbing skills and a fast descent, but it also seems likely that the GC contenders will at least skirmish on these slopes. Some might also seek to exploit the fast descent into Le Grand-Bornand. This stage we may also get an idea about who, from the fallen GC contenders, has shifted focus towards the polka dot prize.

    Favourites stage 8 Tour de France 2021

    :*:*:*:*:* Tadej Pogacar (well, who else can I give 5 stars?)
    :*:*:*:* Dan Martin, Pello Bilbao, Michael Woods, Nairo Quintana, Ion Izagirre
    :*:*:* Julian Alaphilippe, Warren Barguil, Jakob Fuglsang, Richard Carapaz
    :*:* Alexey Lutsenko, Jonas Vingegaard, Bauke Mollema, Simon Yates
    :* Wilco Kelderman, David Gaudu, Geraint Thomas, Ben O’Connor

    Last time in Le Grand Bornand.

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  • Drummer Boy

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    It's been a pretty good week as far as opening weeks of the Tour go. We've been treated to quite a show so far, and I can't imagine that Saturday's stage won't provide even more action and entertainment. With the peloton facing a 7% climb right out of the gate, this will not be a stage for pretenders.

    So many possible scenarios in play.

    Does Pogačar have the strength of team to fend off his rivals? Does he even need the full support of a team if it comes down to it?

    Ineos has strength in numbers, and obviously the team is well-disciplined. Carapaz would seem to have both the form and fire to assert himself, but the question remains as to how much he may have sacrificed of himself in his solo effort during Stage 7. Will he conserve a bit for Sunday, or gamble again for a second day in a row?

    Speaking of conserving: Is that what Quintana was doing during Stage 7? Will he go for stage victory on Saturday?

    What of Movistar? Will they continue their on-road feud with Carapaz, or will they focus their energy and efforts on moving Enric Mas up in the GC rankings with the help of Valverde and Lopez?

    Of course if Julian Alaphilippe is feeling frisky, then he'll be certain to animate the stage, which will be fun for all.

    I haven't been paying close enough attention to EF-Education, but might Rigoberto Urán make himself known on this challenging stage?

    Last, but not least, from my limited perspective, will Nibali take be able to take advantage of a finishing descent that, from what I understand, has an 80% chance of being wet with rain? Does he have the form to be in the thick of things on the Col de la Colombière in order to take advantage of what just might be a slick and slippery downhill finish?

    Either way, given what we've seen thus far, I'll be shocked if this stage delivers anything less than yet another shakeup across the GC standings, with the potential of a new, not-yet-recognized hero emerging for a surprise stage win.
     :cool
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  • Mellow Velo

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     It's Saturday evening, so I haven't got time to add a stage synopsis, but I think this headline pretty much covers it.

    Tadej Pogačar obliterates the race to take yellow as Teuns claims stage eight victory.

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  • Mellow Velo

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    Stage 9, Cluses > Tignes 144.9 km
    4-7-2021
    Start 13-00.


    Two years after a stage on the Tour de France to Tignes was washed (along with Geraint Thomas's chances) away by flash floods, the ASO have made true on their promise of bringing the race back.
    The route amounts to 145 kilometres, so making it the second short, punchy mountain stage. There are five climbs peppered along the route between Cluses and the ski station at Tignes. Consequently, the climbing starts relatively early and probably means that a large break will get away, while the sprinters labour, hoping for the pace to let up, sooner, rather than later.



    The punchy Côte de Domancy is likely to see a lot of attacks. It's short at 2.5 kilometres, but has steep agradient of 9.4% . It appears after 17.5 kilometres. The route then moves through the Arly valley to enter the Col des Saisies after 40 kilometres. After a long descent and having past the world famous cheese village of Beaufort, the riders next face the Col du Pré, which climbs for 12.6 kilometres. A short descent leads to the short equally short ascent of the Cormet de Roselend.
    After taking in some of the most stunning scenery of the race so far the riders begin the long descent down into Bourg-Saint-Maurice followed by the 21km climb of the Montée de Tignes.



    The Climbs:



    After 40 kilometres. The 9.4 kilometres Col des Saisies climb averages 6.2%.



    The Col du Pré climbs for 12.6 kilometres and the average gradient sits at 7.7%.



    A short descent and a section on the flat lead onto the next obstacle. The Cormet de Roselend is a 5.7 kilometres climb at 6.5%.



    The Montée de Tignes is 21 kilometres long, while the average gradient sits at 5.6%. Halfway up the climb the route flattens out for 2.5 kilometres before continuing with a slightly steeper second half.
    While this a brute of a climb, especially in it's second half, this isn’t a summit finish, as the road flattens out with 2 kilometres to go.



    With five climbs the certainty for a full on GC battle was there, until yesterday. It's now hard to see the breakaway not surviving to the finish, with UAE content to control the race until Wednesday at least, but probably the Pyrenees. Indeed, some climbers may now switch their attention to the Polka Dot jersey: a positive to come out of yesterday's annihilation of the challengers.

    Favourites stage 9 Tour de France 2021

    :*:*:*:*:* Tadej Pogacar (nevertheless)
    :*:*:*:* Richard Carapaz, (only because he deserves some credit) Wout Poels
    :*:*:* Miguel Angel Lopez, Esteban Chaves, Emanuel Buchmann, Steven Kruijswijk, Jakob Fuglsang
    :*:* Tao Geoghegan Hart, Sepp Kuss, Guillaume Martin, Julian Alaphilippe
    :* Ben O’Connor, Ion Izagirre, Mattia Cattaneo, Simon Yates, Ruben Guerreiro

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  • AG

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    Well it has indeed been a great week 1 - but now the race has been run and won - I can only guess the next 2 weeks might be a bit less interesting.

    I guess he has found a way to overcome the perceived weakness of his team :lol
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  • Leadbelly

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    t-72

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    I am a bit busy with other things including family and vacation but managed to see a recorded edition of the stage yesterday. I think this deserves a bit more comment and discussion. We have obviously seen a top notch performance by a rider that will dominate the sport in one way or the other for years to come: #uae #yellow Tadeou Pogacar.

    I have been poking in my head for comparisons, and it is hard to not think about #sky  Chris Froome's two first victories in the Tour de France. At the time, he didn't just ride for the best team in terms of GC performance, he was also physically on top of the rest of the GC riders and he was able to crown that by landing performnaces that were seen as knock-out at the time. He was (in my opinion) physically the best edition of himself in 2013 (he was actually even better in 2014, but that is a different story).   Either way, both in 2013 (to Aix-3-doimaines) and in 2015 (to La Pierre St Martin) he established himself firmly as the man to beat, on the first mountain stage, in the end of the first week, in those races. "Everybody" agreed that he was so much above the rest that no-one had a chance.  That turned out to be true, but the later part of the races played out differently.
    In 2013, the major late test was at the Ventoux, and Froome's accelration low on the slopes below the Chalet Reynard left Contador behind, then he caught Quintana on the upper part. If i remember right, there were also some issues on a 2x Alpe d'Huez stage later, where Froome almost sugar bonked but was saved by Porte illegaly getting sugar supplies at the roadside or from the car, then handing it to Froome who was not punished for this. There definetly was a hint of a decaying Froome towards the end of the race.
    In 2015, this scenario almost repeated. It was more obvious this time that Froome was getting weaker and weaker by the day towards the end of the race. On the final mountain stage, Quintana actually clawed back more than Froome had won on his early "knock-out" climb to La Pierre St Martin, plus in the time trials. If it hadn't been for the pancake flat wet and windy stage 2 to Neeltje Jans where  he missed on getting in the right group in the crosswinds, Quintana, not Froome, would probably have won the tour on that final mountain stage, because Froome's physical superior performance was definetly lost somewhere on the road behind him, whereas Quintana (always strongest in the 4th week) looked relatively better day by day.
    What we saw yesterday was probably one of the best riders in the peloton in the best form that we have seen him so far. Pogacar's performance was miles above the rest, but he had both the terrain and the weather that suits him most. He probably doesn't really like rain, like the rest of us - but there are enough of the others that really hate it so much that it clearly limits their performance.

    At his point there is little much else to do than to salute the performance - chapeau! and congratulations - but while he compares nicely with the early Froome (as GC captain) years, the race actually now looks more like the year that Froome didn't win - 2014. Nibali won by a margin which (guessing, not calculating) exceeded all the victory margins of Froome, summed up. One of the reasons he was able to do this was that his main competitors, Froome and Contador, both DNF'ed early due to falls and injuries sustained. I am among those who think that was a pity, as Nibali probably was strong enough to win that year anyway. We will never know, of course, but the victory margin was superior. With no Thomas, and no Roglic, to challenge him, Pogacar's race may be heading the same way this year, and if it does he will probably win with a larger margin than Nibali did.

    Alternatively, he may be fading like Froome and someone that has not yet shown their powers may suddenly appear as a threat in the final stages. Class is permanent, but the level Pogi is performing at now is both top class and top form, and as shown by the examples of Froome and Nibali above, form can fade in the Tour de France. Any 3-rd week threat is going to come from someone down in the 5-minute bunch, so it is a long shot, but one that experienced riders have pulled off in other Grand Tours earlier in the last decade. Examples such as (ta-da-da!) Froome and Nibali. They both won their early GT's mostly from physical high-level performance early in the races, but some of their most remembrable wins was by the total table-flip turnarounds in the final weekend of the Giro de Italia. #ef Rigoberto Uran could be that old fox in this race, but there's also #groupama Gaudu who no doubt is well prepared for this race (the groupama captain always must have the TdF as priority #1, that is a club rule) and seems to hold back his performances. I don't think either of these are Pogacar class, but even the best sometimes make some mistakes. However, Gaudu would probably be happy with the podium. Uran, on the other hand, has already bagged that feat and may want to try something more risky if the opportunity is there (which would have to mean some sort of observed weakness with Pogacar.)

    I think these "alternative endings" are less likely, and most likely Pogacar will win it like Nibali did: never serioously challenged, bagging more than a few stages because he can and with a gap exceeding 10 minutes to 2nd position. What does the Veloroom boad of experts say?




     

     



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  • Mellow Velo

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     MVDP has had enough of slogging up huge mountains in the cold and rain. He's off for some pre Olympic rest and prep.

    https://twitter.com/cyclingweekly/status/1411634408227065860
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  • Leadbelly

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    https://twitter.com/NOSwielrennen/status/1411722589064646657

    Demare OTL by just four seconds. GVA made it with five to spare.
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  • Leadbelly

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    I think these "alternative endings" are less likely, and most likely Pogacar will win it like Nibali did: never serioously challenged, bagging more than a few stages because he can and with a gap exceeding 10 minutes to 2nd position. What does the Veloroom boad of experts say?

    I cheated by waiting to see what happened today.  :P

    His team today stepped up to the plate. He's still missing someone that he can really rely on in the stage endgame, but with the opposition that he's facing, he doesn't seem to need anybody.

    He'll still want a stage win that's not against the clock, but that'll be dependent on the strength of breaks etc and with such massive gaps (by Tour standards), the breaks will invariably be strong.

    So I'll stick my neck out and say he'll win the Tour...... :lol

    ......but with no stage wins other than the TTs.
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  • Drummer Boy

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    We have obviously seen a top notch performance by a rider that will dominate the sport in one way or the other for years to come:

    I would've agreed with this, but then I remember that that is exactly what was said about a young Jan Ullrich, a sensational Alberto Contador, and the rising star of Egan Bernal. Each, in their own time of glory, was thought to be capable of record-breaking consecutive victories. But then...the next generation, or an unanticipated rival, arrived, seemingly out of nowhere.

    That being said, young Tadej may very well be in a league all his own, destined to get even better as he matures a bit from his youthful 22-years of existence on Planet Earth (since that's where we are told he is from). But who would've predicted Slovenia as the next powerhouse of cycling? If recent trends continue, we may only have to wait until 2023 before people are asking, Whatever happened to Tadej Pogačar? Remember when he was supposed to be the Next Big Thing?
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  • AG

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    I think Pogacar will win easily - and will win the stage to Mont Venteux.  I agree with MV, this is the start of his time and in super top form with no real competitors this year.  I think with Roglic and potentially Evenapol and a few others coming up he will be challenged in future years ... but not this year.

    I am super surprised that many of the other teams did not chase O'connor more.  He gained serious - defendable - time on the podium hopefuls, and their teams didnt seem to care.  Its not like they didnt have domestiques ... many of them did until late into the climb.  Just left it to UAE to set a relatively slow pace.

    Having said 'slow pace' - 7 riders OTL
    Demare, Coquard, Garnier, Vliegen, De Bod, Deleaplace and Dlamini

    Campenaets, Wallays and GVA crossed the line just 5 seconds inside the time limit.    Definitely not an easy race.
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  • Mellow Velo

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     Sporza has an article in which Thomas de Gendt and GVA claim to have put out their best power numbers yesterday.

    Excuse the translation:

    kicking the best values and still end up in the last group? It happened to Thomas De Gendt and Greg Van Avermaet in the Tour yesterday. Is the power to the youth? "The young talents have their heads against the wall and don't care," conclude our commentators.
    Thomas De Gendt was amazed yesterday. He kicked one of his better values ever and still couldn't keep up.
    Greg Van Avermaet also came to the same "hard conclusion". "I rode my better values and was in the last group. The others just drive faster."


     
    Just going to update the results and comment that it was an outstanding ride by o'Connor on a day where survival in itself was an ordeal: A mountain too far for some.


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  • « Last Edit: July 05, 2021, 14:08 by Mellow Velo »

     



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