2019 Tour de France: Spoilers!

Now we have something / quite-a-lot to discuss and celebrate.
Brucey
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Re: 2019 Tour de France: Spoilers!

Postby Brucey » 9 Jul 2019, 1:20am

It is not for nothing that some spring classics are laid out they way they are; they tend to promote hard, exciting racing. Stage 3 with its classic-esque series of staccato climbs near the finish was no exception. Wellen's long effort netted him the KoM jersey but Alaphillipe rode an absolute blinder today and must surely have sent French hearts aflutter; could he be the one to someday break the 35 year drought of French tour winners? Dreams and speculation for today, but a fine stage win and a brilliant way to take the yellow jersey too.

Less fortunate was Mike Theunissen; team orders and the realities of bike racing meant his turn in the sun was over; whilst the rest of Jumbo-Visma were busy helping the official team leaders such as Kruijswijk, Theunissen was struggling at the back and eventually the elastic snapped. Another rider who suffered losses was Ilnur Zakarin; he punctured his front wheel when the racing was getting hard (~46km to go) and despite the fact that two team mates went back to help him, he lost time today. I think he reconnected with the peloton but perhaps the effort of so doing or the poor resultant position cost him a little later.

On ITV4 we'd earlier been hearing an interview with Harry Tanfield explaining how wonderful Canyon bikes are but I wonder if Zakarin would say the same thing; he had to stand by helplessly, the seconds ticking away, as a team mechanic faffed about with his disc wheels and through-axle. Goodness knows if the extra seconds made the difference or not, but it'd play on your mind for sure.

Fifty nine riders trailed in even later, nearly 14 minutes down. Most of the deficit would have occurred in the last 30km or so. Unfortunately amongst the stragglers was Steve Cummings; all the more galling for him because this course profile would normally have suited him better than that.

Most likely a bunch sprint tomorrow. How long can Alaphillipe hold the yellow jersey? We shall see!

cheers
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Postboxer
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Re: 2019 Tour de France: Spoilers!

Postby Postboxer » 10 Jul 2019, 1:30am

Isn't this what Steve Cummings does? Takes it less hard for a couple of weeks so he's no threat on GC and fresher to get in a breakaway later in the race?

Brucey
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Re: 2019 Tour de France: Spoilers!

Postby Brucey » 10 Jul 2019, 1:43am

A day for the sprinters today and -after a perfect lead out- Viviani did the business, taking his first TdF stage win. Alaphillipe stays in yellow. A few more daft crashes, fortunately without great injury it seems. Little else to report, other than that Sagan is going to be difficult to beat in the Green jersey competition, since he wants to contest the intermediate sprints as well as the stage finish, and no-one else looks like they are going to consistently match him.

Tomorrow's stage is a good deal lumpier, but the real climbers may be keeping their powder dry; I wonder if tomorrows stage may be won by a breakaway comprising non-GC riders; there are plenty of good riders who have lost enough time on GC so as not to be a threat.

Dunno if Cummings has tactically positioned himself ( I wondered if the two riders in the breakaway did that today; they finished 24 minutes down...) or whether he is just suffering. We shall see....

cheers
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Re: 2019 Tour de France: Spoilers!

Postby pjclinch » 10 Jul 2019, 8:13am

Postboxer wrote:Isn't this what Steve Cummings does? Takes it less hard for a couple of weeks so he's no threat on GC and fresher to get in a breakaway later in the race?


c.f. Thomas de Gendt
My impression is the breakaway specialists look through the book for stages where a breakaway will be given free(ish) rein. Flat with a bunch sprint, forget it, the sprinter's teams will run them down, but where the fight is GC rivals between themselves they're less interested in the stage win as long as they can gain time/don't lose time against other GC. So while they all watch one another TdG or SC etc. can pop off the front and go for glory.

So you don't have to wait a couple of weeks, you just need to be no threat at GC threat and it mustn't be booked for a bunch sprint.

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Brucey
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Re: 2019 Tour de France: Spoilers!

Postby Brucey » 10 Jul 2019, 7:40pm

unstoppable Sagan! He said he felt 'exquisite' after his win, but to be truthful he looked more relieved than anything else, I thought. His team had worked crazy-hard all day to give him that chance and it would be one of the few sprint finishes where the specialist sprinters would most likely be out of contention before the finish. So I think he had the weight of expectation on his shoulders more than anything else.

However the most interesting part of the day was (for me) the interview with Dan Martin. He had a mechanical fault that left him needing a bike change, just when the pace was frenzied and any riders not able to give 100% were being shelled out of the back of the peloton like nobody's business. Being a protected rider he was helped back into the bunch and it was OK, but then again it very nearly wasn't. His explanation? 'It was (just) the gears not working, again….' (my italics; he didn't stress the 'again' at all). Which rather suggests to me that the situation of his 'gears not working properly' is a far from abnormal occurrence these days. And that is on a bike that ought to be the best you can obtain, maintained by the best bike mechanics money can buy. It hardly speaks well of the reliability of these parts, does it....?

Anyway tomorrow's stage is where the GC contenders are likely to show themselves for the first time; who will be strong? Who will be show signs of weakness? We shall see!

cheers
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Re: 2019 Tour de France: Spoilers!

Postby Vetus Ossa » 10 Jul 2019, 8:09pm

I am really looking forward to tomorrow's stage and will watch it from start to finish.

Richard Fairhurst
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Re: 2019 Tour de France: Spoilers!

Postby Richard Fairhurst » 10 Jul 2019, 10:34pm

Great first week so far - more like a Giro than this year’s Giro was!

I see ITV are still unable to upload their highlights at a sensible time though... so tonight we made our own highlights by skipping through the Eurosport live coverage. Better than nothing though frankly I could do without Brian Smith’s insights like “the thing about Peter Sagan is that he really wanted to win that stage... as did everyone else”. :?
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Re: 2019 Tour de France: Spoilers!

Postby deliquium » 11 Jul 2019, 11:04am

Richard Fairhurst wrote:I see ITV are still unable to upload their highlights at a sensible time though...


The ITV4 highlights are available "on demand" (without adverts :D ) anytime after the 7-8pm "live broadcast" slot. Not having a TV license that's how I legally watch this particularly entertaining race this year :)
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Re: 2019 Tour de France: Spoilers!

Postby Brucey » 11 Jul 2019, 11:41am

Edvald Boasson Hagen also had a problem (not sure why *) yesterday and had to chase back on. Only he wasn't protected by his team (presumably working for some GC interest....?), so he had to chase back on by himself, pretty much all the way up and down the final climb. He did a stonking ride, not only regaining the peloton but sprinting into 12th place on the stage. He would have undoubtedly finished even better had he not had to chase back on by himself.

[* edit; it was a puncture. It wouldn't have been a quick change because of disc brakes and through-axles. Then again wheel changes are not super quick even with standard QRs on front wheels these days; IIRC it is not permitted to alter the bikes and lawyers lips mean that the QR needs to be adjusted once the wheel is in. BITD top mechanics would set the spare wheels up so that no QR adjustment would be required in the event of a wheel change. So much for 'progress'...]

cheers
Last edited by Brucey on 11 Jul 2019, 11:54am, edited 1 time in total.
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Richard Fairhurst
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Re: 2019 Tour de France: Spoilers!

Postby Richard Fairhurst » 11 Jul 2019, 11:45am

deliquium wrote:
Richard Fairhurst wrote:I see ITV are still unable to upload their highlights at a sensible time though...


The ITV4 highlights are available "on demand" (without adverts :D ) anytime after the 7-8pm "live broadcast" slot. Not having a TV license that's how I legally watch this particularly entertaining race this year :)


Last night I couldn't see them available until 10.30pm - do you know of a way of getting them earlier?
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deliquium
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Re: 2019 Tour de France: Spoilers!

Postby deliquium » 11 Jul 2019, 12:21pm

Richard Fairhurst wrote:
deliquium wrote:
Richard Fairhurst wrote:I see ITV are still unable to upload their highlights at a sensible time though...


The ITV4 highlights are available "on demand" (without adverts :D ) anytime after the 7-8pm "live broadcast" slot. Not having a TV license that's how I legally watch this particularly entertaining race this year :)


Last night I couldn't see them available until 10.30pm - do you know of a way of getting them earlier?


Apologies Richard :oops: I assumed the on demand airing was available immediately after 8pm. I tend to get up very early the following morning to watch, making sure I avoid all cycling news the night before!
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mattheus
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Re: 2019 Tour de France: Spoilers!

Postby mattheus » 11 Jul 2019, 12:27pm

Brucey wrote:Edvald Boasson Hagen also had a problem (not sure why *) yesterday and had to chase back on. Only he wasn't protected by his team (presumably working for some GC interest....?), so he had to chase back on by himself, pretty much all the way up and down the final climb. He did a stonking ride, not only regaining the peloton but sprinting into 12th place on the stage. He would have undoubtedly finished even better had he not had to chase back on by himself.

I dont think DiData really have a GC contender. <googles... >
Apparently they only had Michael Valgren and Roman Kreuziger still in the lead group, and Eddie doubted that he would make it back anyway, so they judged it better for the 2 teammates to do all they could for themselves.

Fun fact - EBH has a dad called "Odd Erik" :) !

Brucey
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Re: 2019 Tour de France: Spoilers!

Postby Brucey » 11 Jul 2019, 2:59pm

mattheus wrote:Apparently they only had Michael Valgren and Roman Kreuziger still in the lead group, and Eddie doubted that he would make it back anyway, so they judged it better for the 2 teammates to do all they could for themselves.

Fun fact - EBH has a dad called "Odd Erik" :) !


well EBH is still TDD's best placed rider overall, equal with Kreuziger, and Valgren is two minutes back. I wonder if this is (yet another) area where Rolf disagrees with the team boss....? It seemed like an utterly crazy decision to me; the stage finish was one which seemed tailor-made for EBH and might have been his best chance of a stage win.

cheers
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Re: 2019 Tour de France: Spoilers!

Postby Richard Fairhurst » 11 Jul 2019, 10:17pm

Another good stage. I'm a Quick Step fan in any case but Alaphilippe really is a class act.

Meanwhile in ITV4 news I found a screen-capture app which will record video and audio as it plays... so I put the highlights on, set it to record, went to put the little guy to bed, and by the time he was asleep the highlights were ready to watch. Just as well, as at the time of posting (10.15pm) they're still not up officially...
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Re: 2019 Tour de France: Spoilers!

Postby Spinners » 11 Jul 2019, 10:30pm

Nice show of grit by G right at the end.
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