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Stage 18 TdF 2015 Gap / St Jean de Maurienne *SPOILERS*

hammeritehammerite Posts: 3,408
edited July 2015 in Pro race
Km 6.5 - Col Bayard (1 264 m) 6.3 kilometre-long climb at 7% - category 2
Km 35.5 - Rampe du Motty 2.3 kilometre-long climb at 8.3% - category 3
Km 60.5 - Côte de la Mure 2.7 kilometre-long climb at 7.5% - category 3
Km 70.5 - Col de Malissol 2 kilometre-long climb at 8.7% - category 3
Km 85.0 - Col de la Morte (1 368 m) 3.1 kilometre-long climb at 8.4% - category 2
Km 147.0 - Col du Glandon (1 924 m) 21.7 kilometre-long climb at 5.1% - category H
Km 176.5 - Lacets de Montvernier (782 m) 3.4 kilometre-long climb at 8.2% - category 2

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The finishing line earlier today...

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Apart from the 2 straw bales you could never tell that a race would be finishing there.

Been very warm again today, that was until around 3pm where the clouds drew in and storms rumbled around the mountains (especially over towards the Croix de Fer earlier on). Tomorrow is forecast to be clear, but it can change very quickly.
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Posts

  • inseineinseine Posts: 5,763
    Boardman calling it as the hardest stage of the Tour. The Glandon is horrible but there's nothing to the Lacets de Montvernier.
  • hammeritehammerite Posts: 3,408
    Boardman calling it as the hardest stage of the Tour. The Glandon is horrible but there's nothing to the Lacets de Montvernier.

    Agreed. I think Friday is tougher.
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 24,195
    So you're the Movistar DS. How do you play it?

    I think they have to make it hard from early on and then push on the Glandon. The first section, string it out and then on the black bits make the move, isolate Froome and have Valverde attack, then Quintana.

    Now this probably won't gain much time, if any. Froome will still be there at Lacets. But he needs to be softened up for Friday and Saturday. Quintana's a chugger and he's said today he needs to attack earlier. He's right.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • The_BoyThe_Boy Posts: 3,099
    So you're the Movistar DS. How do you play it?

    I think they have to make it hard from early on and then push on the Glandon. The first section, string it out and then on the black bits make the move, isolate Froome and have Valverde attack, then Quintana.

    Now this probably won't gain much time, if any. Froome will still be there at Lacets. But he needs to be softened up for Friday and Saturday. Quintana's a chugger and he's said today he needs to attack earlier. He's right.

    I'd agree with all of that. There are a few climbs in the middle that that close enough together to try and get rid of Froome's doms.
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  • mfinmfin Posts: 6,724
    edited July 2015
    I doubt there will be any GC softening before the Glandon, I think Movistar will play it out conservatively until then.

    I'm expecting a noteworthy effort from the Spanish soon too.
  • hypsterhypster Posts: 1,183
    I don't think the early climbs will cause any problems but the section on the Glandon where the landslide took the road away some years ago is pretty steep and could be the springboard for someone to attack. The descent of the Glandon is nowhere near as technical as today's final descent so I can't really see any time being made up there either. With no uphill finish I agree that tomorrow's stage should be pretty tame before the fireworks really start on Friday and Saturday.
  • TurfleTurfle Posts: 3,762
    The problem is that Froome's doms have been riding super strong. Thomas has been the 5th strongest climber in the race (and was again today), and Poels has been among the final 8 or 9 riders on the big climbs for the last two days. The only way Movistar have been able to have numbers towards the finish is by dropping them back from the break.

    That's not to say they shouldn't try everything, but it's going to take something different for Sky not to have 4 of the final 12 riders, or 2 of the final 5, or 1 of the final 4.
  • MacaloonMacaloon Posts: 5,545
    Movistar will hope for Majka in the break. Tinkoff will be forced to chase which will keep the breakaway closer and options open.
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  • fleshtuxedofleshtuxedo Posts: 1,823
    Movistar will hope for Majka in the break. Tinkoff will be forced to chase which will keep the breakaway closer and options open.

    Majka being in the break forces tinkoff to chase? Things must be bad in that team...
  • robnewcastlerobnewcastle Posts: 214
    So you're the Movistar DS. How do you play it?

    I think they have to make it hard from early on and then push on the Glandon. The first section, string it out and then on the black bits make the move, isolate Froome and have Valverde attack, then Quintana.

    Now this probably won't gain much time, if any. Froome will still be there at Lacets. But he needs to be softened up for Friday and Saturday. Quintana's a chugger and he's said today he needs to attack earlier. He's right.

    It looks like the type of stage where riders struggling with form/fatigue will be dropped or whittled down gradually. Something will almost certainly happen on the Glandon, most likely Movistar trying to blow Sky's support apart. Porte still looks strong but maybe Thomas is finally showing a little of the fatigue of his efforts so far? Lacet de Montvernier looks close enough to the fish that someone might try something if they can but its more likely tomorrow will be bananas on Croix de Fer and La Toussuire.

    At some point Quintana needs a long range attack on Froome as he can't drop him with short accelerations. Can see him going early on tomorrow's summit finish as he cant just wait until Alpe D'uez.
  • milton50milton50 Posts: 3,892
    Movistar just have to keep it as hard as possible, keep isolating Froome and hope that he cracks at some point over the next 3 days.

    Valverde and Quintana just need to hit him repeatedly.
  • philbar72philbar72 Posts: 2,228
    trouble with a lot of these theories is they rely on Movistars climbing domestiques being able to chip away at Froomes support. I have just not seen them do that to him and team sky.

    I do agree Quintana needs to go long and play his biggest strength, which is to tempo/ hurt himself up the hill faster than most in the hope it cracks Froome. I just do not think it will work. for me he's the 2nd best climber in the tour, and will finish 2nd in the GC.

    Be interesting to see what Nibali does. Will Contador do anything or will he be resigned to his fate (I doubt it).
  • kingstoniankingstonian Posts: 2,298
    trouble with a lot of these theories is they rely on Movistars climbing domestiques being able to chip away at Froomes support. I have just not seen them do that to him and team sky.

    I do agree Quintana needs to go long and play his biggest strength, which is to tempo/ hurt himself up the hill faster than most in the hope it cracks Froome. I just do not think it will work. for me he's the 2nd best climber in the tour, and will finish 2nd in the GC.

    Be interesting to see what Nibali does. Will Contador do anything or will he be resigned to his fate (I doubt it).


    Yep. Quintana has tried loads of short bursts and they've not troubled Froome at all as he has just reeled him back in. If he wants to win the Tour he has to bury himself on a long attack.
  • thomasmcthomasmc Posts: 822
    So you're the Movistar DS. How do you play it?

    I think they have to make it hard from early on and then push on the Glandon. The first section, string it out and then on the black bits make the move, isolate Froome and have Valverde attack, then Quintana.

    Now this probably won't gain much time, if any. Froome will still be there at Lacets. But he needs to be softened up for Friday and Saturday. Quintana's a chugger and he's said today he needs to attack earlier. He's right.

    I'd agree with all of that. There are a few climbs in the middle that that close enough together to try and get rid of Froome's doms.

    I think both Valverde & Quintana realise that Froome is the strongest climber of the three of them at the moment.
    He has too strong a team & too big a lead so they may hesitate in launching suicide attacks that might gain them time or indeed help their team mate but more likely endanger their own podium place
  • robnewcastlerobnewcastle Posts: 214
    trouble with a lot of these theories is they rely on Movistars climbing domestiques being able to chip away at Froomes support. I have just not seen them do that to him and team sky.

    I do agree Quintana needs to go long and play his biggest strength, which is to tempo/ hurt himself up the hill faster than most in the hope it cracks Froome. I just do not think it will work. for me he's the 2nd best climber in the tour, and will finish 2nd in the GC.

    Be interesting to see what Nibali does. Will Contador do anything or will he be resigned to his fate (I doubt it).

    I was always a little bit perplexed that in previews of this tour journalists seemed to rate Quintana as the better climber and able to put serious time into Froome. Evidence hasn't suggested that to date and the irony being this was the route that wasn't meant to favour Froome. GC contenders eyes will roll if the tour announces the return of a 50k TT, lol
  • frenchfighterfrenchfighter Posts: 30,642
    Quintana:

    “Today I was almost 100 per cent. We have not got to Froome but we have weakened Sky and now come the more serious stages, which favour me, with longer climbs and tougher finishes where we can try to scratch back some time,” Quintana told the press after the stage. “Tomorrow’s stage will be very complicated and the finish in La Toussuire is a course that suits me, it is all day up and down, with major climbs that are very hard and very long. Alpe d’Huez is a fairly long climb and the slope suits my abilities. There is terrain to bring the battle.”
    Contador is the Greatest
  • MacaloonMacaloon Posts: 5,545
    This has to be Contador's best chance of a win. Valverde has to go with him. Would pulling Valverde off the podium be added reward for the bigger risk? If Nibali wants to play, there could be chaos.
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  • inseineinseine Posts: 5,763
    Froome is in a position where he could win yellow and polka pot jerseys. First since Merckx? Says it all.
  • blazing_saddlesblazing_saddles Posts: 15,999
    A terrible stage to control. Some of the sprinters are going to hope they can get back on, after the dust of sorting what is potentially another huge break, is sorted.
    With any luck, the Col Bayard can get the job done, otherwise it could last the first 60 kms.
    No doubt, Movistar, Tinkoff and Astana will try to get their riders in it, but whether they be put to decisive use is another matter.
    Yesterday, Tinkoff had a plan, albeit very ambitious. Movistar now need to focus on just one.
    Otherwise, Astana could once again do more to stir the pot than either.
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  • effilloeffillo Posts: 257
    Froome is in a position where he could win yellow and polka pot jerseys. First since Merckx? Says it all.


    Says that he is an incredible talent I presume....?
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 51,890 Lives Here
    Send 1 or 2 good movistar climbers into the break.

    Send Valverde to bridge over to them before the HC climb.

    Do the one-two.


    Easy being a DS. :twisted:
  • frenchfighterfrenchfighter Posts: 30,642
    Froome is in a position where he could win yellow and polka pot jerseys. First since Merckx? Says it all.

    No one has challenged for the Polka dots which is a shame really. I am just hoping that JRod sat up today so he will go on a raid today or tomorrow.
    Contador is the Greatest
  • fleshtuxedofleshtuxedo Posts: 1,823
    Froome is in a position where he could win yellow and polka pot jerseys. First since Merckx? Says it all.

    No one has challenged for the Polka dots which is a shame really. I am just hoping that JRod sat up today so he will go on a raid today or tomorrow.

    It certainly looked that way. Off the peloton very, very early and didn't look to be making much effort.
  • MacaloonMacaloon Posts: 5,545
    If they put Gruber in a helicopter, we could pretty much guarantee GC action on these:

    CKlokUsWEAAq1HB.jpg
    ...a rare 100% loyal Pro Race poster. A poster boy for the community.
  • inseineinseine Posts: 5,763
    The lacets is not a hard climb, but it is quite different to anthing else they do. It's really just 17 or 18 sprints between hairpins. Could suit Froomes turbo accelerations? Not really mountain train type of a hill.
  • inseineinseine Posts: 5,763
    Froome is in a position where he could win yellow and polka pot jerseys. First since Merckx? Says it all.


    Says that he is an incredible talent I presume....?

    Yes, and also it's the type of parcours that means the GC have top be up there on the climbs (unlike a TT heavy route). I think it's now weighted so that you can't win it by just bagging all the cat 3 and 4 climbs!
  • adr82adr82 Posts: 4,002
    Froome is in a position where he could win yellow and polka pot jerseys. First since Merckx? Says it all.
    If I remember correctly, he almost did that in 2013. The only thing that stopped it happening was Quintana finishing ahead of him on the last couple of MTFs...
  • joelsimjoelsim Posts: 7,552
    Froome is in a position where he could win yellow and polka pot jerseys. First since Merckx? Says it all.

    No one has challenged for the Polka dots which is a shame really. I am just hoping that JRod sat up today so he will go on a raid today or tomorrow.

    That's exactly what he has said. Saving energy to go for the polka dots jersey.
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 6,252
    Today would make the ideal long range attack for a GC contender desperate to make up minutes. I know these things rarely happen and Landis aside never work but the start of the Glandon might tempt Contador into one last throw of the dice...we can hope anyway. Stick men up the road so you've got a couple of helpers for the upper slopes of the Glandon maybe one to lead you into the lacets and solo from there.
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  • frenchfighterfrenchfighter Posts: 30,642
    MTN's Louis a non-starter today unfortunately:

    “He completed stage 16 in pain and was taken in ambulance straight to hospital where he was resuscitated on intravenous fluids and given some medication”, said team doctor Jarrad van Zuydam in a team press release.” After some investigations, we found he has quite a severe case of gastroenteritis. will spend another day in hospital and then more than likely, he will be discharged tomorrow.” “It is really sad that Louis won't start today”, echoed team principal Douglas Ryder. “It is Louis first Tour de France too and it is a race he really wanted to do well in, especially these stages coming up that he had looked at previously in training during his preparation for the Tour de France. It is sad for him and it is sad for the team but Louis is a young rider who has a lot to give to cycling in the future. His health is first and foremost, for us as a team it is much more important to realise his potential going forward and we want to look after his health as much as possible. I am certain that Louis will be back at the Tour de France in the future, going for the overall victory and we will absolutely support that in the future but for now his health is the first priority.”
    Contador is the Greatest
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