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The Lanterne Rouge Thread 2017 **Spoilers**

Lanterne_RogueLanterne_Rogue Posts: 3,330
edited July 2017 in Pro race
It’s the thread you’ve all* been waiting for. Never mind the minor classifications and their fancy ‘look at me’ jerseys, it’s time to step through the looking glass and bring forth the party end of the Tour de France mullet:

THE LANTERNE ROUGE THREAD 2017

This year promises to have a more exciting Lanterne competition than ever. Mr Prudhomme, clearly stung by my scathing criticism last year of too many boring, boring mountains, has scaled back the number of mountain top finishes. While the ignorant may find these stages exciting, the cognoscenti know the mountain top finish has a chilling effect on the one true race and not just because it gets colder with altitude. The monstrous MTF neutralises the Lanterne by forcing the contenders to work to avoid an arbitrary time cap and they inevitably stagger in together. Demands to scrap the time limits have been waved away, sadly, but we have been compensated with a massive nine possible ‘sprint’ stages. Here the dedicated Lanterne contenders will look to do some early work to placate their DS before magically sliding backwards in the closing kilometres, and it’s on these stages that the race is truly won.

The fly in the ointment is a tweak to the rules about splits in the peloton. The traditional Lanterne skill of a cheeky dab on the brakes, or letting a gap go on the final corner, has been countered with the news that the gap must now be three seconds, not one. Reading the groups to ensure you’re on the right side of any splits opening up will be more important. Some say that this is dumbing down the Lanterne but let’s see what effect it has on the racing before rushing to judgment**. Other traditional skills such as dropping the sticky bottle, extreme sensitivity to reduced tyre pressure, and identifying mysterious mechanical maladies that disappear at the sight of a wrench will still be on display.

Above all, this thread is the natural home for discussion of the epic solo rides by people with injuries that would result in abandonment from a lesser race, the remarkable ability of some riders to spend all day in a break yet arrive 25 minutes after the sprinters, and to generally give the unsung heroes of cycling the attention they deserve. Naturally there’ll be more spoilers than you’ll see on even the most outrageously modified Vauxhall Nova.

So welcome to this year’s prince of threads*** - I’ll try and get previews written this week with some of the key stages and the runners and riders to look out for, so if anyone has any good shouts for contenders then please share.

*Citation needed
** Indeed, rushing to anything is entirely against the spirit of the Lanterne
*** Short, stylish, prone to the single entendre
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Posts

  • The_BoyThe_Boy Posts: 3,099
    Cavendish, blates.

    Fatty sprinter? Check.
    Already ill? Check.
    Stubborn as a mule? Check.
    Team My Man 2018: David gaudu, Pierre Latour, Romain Bardet, Thibaut pinot, Alexandre Geniez, Florian Senechal, Warren Barguil, Benoit Cosnefroy
  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 17,783
    Robert Wagner for me. He's got form for finishing in the last few of many races, and according to Wikipedia, he's 87 years old.
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 25,496
    Someone from Lotto Soudal - Lars Bak or Marcel Sieberg
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • Lanterne_RogueLanterne_Rogue Posts: 3,330
    Hadn't realised the three second amendment was from next year only. Full skillset in play still. Huzzah.
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 25,496
    edited June 2017
    Hadn't realised the three second amendment was from next year only. Full skillset in play still. Huzzah.
    No, it's in effect this year. It shouldn't make much difference. Contenders have to lose minutes on flat stages not seconds.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • tailwindhometailwindhome Posts: 16,674


    This sort of quality commitment from an OP to their thread is to be admired...
    Believe that a farther shore
    Is reachable from here.
    Believe in miracles
    And cures and healing wells
  • Lanterne_RogueLanterne_Rogue Posts: 3,330


    This sort of quality commitment from an OP to their thread is to be admired...

    I'm excited. Does it show?
  • Bo DukeBo Duke Posts: 1,058
    A few of the early contenders have chosen not to race such as Dowsett and it's still uncertain whether we'll see Cav. Chapeau to these lads, as Froome, Quintana, Bardet etc.. don't have the courage to do a no-show.

    Hopefully Stannard will be there, we'll miss Bernie which will benefit Cav's chances if he starts.

    It'll be a tactical race this year without mountain top finish assistance, I expect to see riders dropping off the back earlier in the stages, probably feiging calls of nature and hoping the tv cameras don't alert other contenders.

    Can't wait.
    'Performance analysis and Froome not being clean was a media driven story. I haven’t heard one guy in the peloton say a negative thing about Froome, and I haven’t heard a single person in the peloton suggest Froome isn’t clean.' TSP
  • I'm going to have to go with Marcel ' dead pedal' Sieberg

    Last years form was blistering - but somehow didnt make the bottom step and only manged a top 10 place with GC 169 overall

    Consistency though!!

    GC placing 95 169 172 163 179 178 190 192 188 186 184 183 179 176 176 176 172 174
  • RonBRonB Posts: 3,984
    Tempting to go for Dan Maclay, but it has to be Luke Durbridge for me.
  • Whatever happened to Ji Cheng (Giant Alpecin)

    I remember he could both pull the very front of the peloton and still be the lanterne Rouge, at the same time.
    And in Ji’s case, he rode for more than six hours longer than winner Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), in so doing managing the biggest gap between first and last since 1954.

    Ji, who was 164th, also finished more than 50 minutes behind the second-to-last finisher and crashed on the final stage on the Champs Elysees, even suffering the ignominy of being lapped by the peloton as it completed eight circuits of the famous avenue.
    "The Prince of Wales is now the King of France" - Calton Kirby
  • Lanterne_RogueLanterne_Rogue Posts: 3,330
    Whatever happened to Ji Cheng (Giant Alpecin)

    I remember he could both pull the very front of the peloton and still be the lanterne Rouge, at the same time.
    And in Ji’s case, he rode for more than six hours longer than winner Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), in so doing managing the biggest gap between first and last since 1954.

    Ji, who was 164th, also finished more than 50 minutes behind the second-to-last finisher and crashed on the final stage on the Champs Elysees, even suffering the ignominy of being lapped by the peloton as it completed eight circuits of the famous avenue.

    Having achieved his ultimate destiny, his soul was no longer bound to the bike and he flew away disguised as a small blue bird on a plate, whilst a leadout train of three monks rushed across a bridge before the final lefthander, whilst in the background was some junk, said to be the mystical 'Kirby' who legend says knew nothing of everything.

    Or he retired. You know what myths are like...
  • above_the_cowsabove_the_cows Posts: 11,318
    Bo Duke wrote:
    we'll miss Bernie

    What? No! Say it ain't so? :cry:
    Correlation is not causation.
  • Lanterne_RogueLanterne_Rogue Posts: 3,330
    Bo Duke wrote:
    we'll miss Bernie

    What? No! Say it ain't so? :cry:

    It ain't so. I mean, he's listed as part of the team on their Twitter account, and I'd like to think that they'd know whether he was going or not...
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 25,496
    Bo Duke wrote:
    we'll miss Bernie

    What? No! Say it ain't so? :cry:
    No he's riding. He's one of five starters with ten or more previous Tours under his belt.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • Lanterne_RogueLanterne_Rogue Posts: 3,330
    I've been reminded that I rashly promised some sort of preview of the most important stages. Let's find out who regrets this most out of the two of us, eh? Apart from the obvious sprint stages, which are always good for gaining time, here's some key stages. Feel free to add more...

    Stage 1 - Dusseldorf - Dusseldorf (ITT)

    The most exciting thing about this route is it has two bridges, presumably to mock the climbers. Anyone thinking that it'll introduce some meaningful time gaps in the Lanterne is probably wrong - it'll be a weird mix of the can't try, didn't try and the tried but either fell apart or fell over. In 2015 the eventual Lanterne top five were all over the rankings after the initial TT, so don't expect to see the same names still there in three weeks.

    Stage 2 - Dusseldorf - Liège

    The race seems to spend an unholy amount of time trying to find its way out of Dusseldorf. My suspicion is that the route was mapped on a GPS and by the time everyone realised that Mr Prudhomme had just got lost it was too late to do anything about it. From an LR point of view this is when we get a feel for who will be given the green light to attack, and who is to be harnessed to a sprint train with no chance of escape. Easily the most exciting thing is we'll get to see Titz beamed across the world.

    Stage 5 - Vittel - Planche des Belles Filles

    "Bored of the beautiful girls", it says here, and obviously it'll be a boring, boring mountain stage that'll see an autobus come in together whilst everyone wets themselves over the GC types at the front BUT it will clear all the boring climbers out of the LR categorisation so we'll forgive it.

    Stage 9 - Nantua - Chambéry

    More boring, boring mountains - but the route profile looks horrible. Good chance of some contenders being ridden out the back of the autobus. It'll be a tricky one for anyone competing on LR due to injury. Stage 13 also looks like another stage where the race might get blown to bits and catch some riders out. Look out for some heroic rides here.

    Stage 16 - Le Puy en Velay - Romans-sur-Isère

    Probably a sprint stage, but lots of options to lose time. Go in the break and hope you get blown out the back when the sprint teams catch you? Work for the sprinters and drop off once the catch has been made and your DS placated? Hope for a crosswind in the final 30km and to take a bottle just at the time the race goes to pieces? Choices, choices...

    Stage 19 - Embrun - Salon de Provence

    At 222km and deep into the tour, this may well be neutralised. But if the wind blows then there's an excellent chance to lose buckets of time here by catching the right echelons - and with only a little ITT and Paris to come, it might decide the race...
  • above_the_cowsabove_the_cows Posts: 11,318
    RichN95 wrote:
    Bo Duke wrote:
    we'll miss Bernie

    What? No! Say it ain't so? :cry:
    No he's riding. He's one of five starters with ten or more previous Tours under his belt.

    'Tis official...

    https://twitter.com/MarkCavendish/status/880175974041702400
    Correlation is not causation.


  • I'm surprised a big names like Cav has to share rooms.

    I wonder if Porte will be in a camper van ?
    "The Prince of Wales is now the King of France" - Calton Kirby


  • I'm surprised a big names like Cav has to share rooms.

    I wonder if Porte will be in the camper van ?
    "The Prince of Wales is now the King of France" - Calton Kirby
  • Lanterne_RogueLanterne_Rogue Posts: 3,330
    Today's Tour presentation had an homage to the Lanterne Rouge by finding twenty kids who couldn't sing, dressing them in red t-shirts, then getting them to sing. Like a rider's crotch after two hours bouncing across the Champs-Elysee cobbles it wasn't pretty.

    Meanwhile, some names to look out for:

    Gordon 'Sam' Bennett

    Sam Bennett comes into the race as the defending Lanterne Rouge, having showed his potential in his debut Tour when forced to abandon whilst running fourth on LR. A word of caution though - both rides were facilitated by injury (last year he was reported to have had his finger clamped on to stop it falling off, which is either an exaggeration or hard as nails). Bennett is possibly the embodiment of legend Wim Vansevenant's comment that 'you don't find the Lanterne Rouge - it finds you'. Bennett has the fortitude, but will his luck hold out?

    Steve O'Cummings

    Having won both GB national titles in a cunning attempt to throw his DS off the scent by having his own unique, one-man kit, Ireland's Steve O'Cummings comes into the Tour via his traditional preparation of getting his Mum to write 21 notes excusing him from games today. Mark Cavendish earlier described Cummings as "team leader", which implies that Dimension Data have had a good chat and decided that it'd be brilliant if nobody has to drop back too far to fetch the bottles this year. Despite his highly developed skill at loafing around at the back of the peloton, Cummings has an unfortunate weakness for doing stupid things like wandering off and winning a stage. If DD are truly working for him, most of their riders must be an each-way bet. Which leads us neatly to...

    Bernie Eisel

    Half of the Bert'n'Ernie roomsharing bromance that is completed by Mark Cavendish, Eisel's place in the cycling history has been sealed by his selfless dedication to one of the legends of the sport. No, not Cav - Eisel agreed not to race Vansevenant for his historic third Lanterne ("I wasn't worried," said Wim. "I would have won it in Paris if I had to"). Spending half his time nursing Cavendish over mountains and the rest of it 'protecting' a Steve Cummings that might not even be there - could this be Bernie's year after finishing 4th in 2016?

    Lar 'Sitting' Bak

    Close last year, but no cigar. He has the experience, he has the engine, he has the name - can he do enough work for Greipel to allow him to slope off early on the sprinty stages?

    Little Bobby Wagner

    Heir to the defunct American pie dynasty and a man about whom Wikipedia says "Professional Bike Rider", Bobby is exactly the sort of person to emerge to greatness through the Lanterne.

    Davide Cimolai

    Finished 6th on LR last year and with an impressive record of low-ranked finishes at Grand Tours, Cimolai appears to have ridden into pretty good form - at least to judge from Procyclingstats, where it reports that half a cyclist beat him on at least three stages. It doesn't record which half though, leading to the interesting speculation that he was tactically out thought by a half-wit.

    Alberto Contador

    His last chance to cement the legend. You heard it here first.
  • above_the_cowsabove_the_cows Posts: 11,318


    I'm surprised a big names like Cav has to share rooms.

    I wonder if Porte will be in the camper van ?

    I think he prefers it. Bernie is his comfort blankie.
    Correlation is not causation.
  • trek_dantrek_dan Posts: 1,366
    Nikias Arndt
  • meursaultmeursault Posts: 1,433
    Has anyone picked

    8FKbHWWY.jpg

    Yet?
    Superstition sets the whole world in flames; philosophy quenches them.

    Voltaire
  • No_Ta_DoctorNo_Ta_Doctor Posts: 11,192
    In true Lanterne Rouge style, I'm sneaking in late.

    Thanks to underlay*2 for a superb thread starter. My own failed attempt was nowhere near this quality (though it did have a longer list of curated spoiler threads.)

    2016 viewtopic.php?t=13066757
    2015 viewtopic.php?f=40002&t=13031974&p=19640343v
    2014 viewtopic.php?f=40002&t=12974594&p=18941826
    2013 viewtopic.php?f=40002&t=12929927&p=18406407
    2012 viewtopic.php?f=40002&t=12862242&p=17698622
    2011 viewtopic.php?f=40002&t=12785852
    2010 viewtopic.php?f=40002&t=12712693&p=16288611
    2009 viewtopic.php?f=40002&t=12634180&p=15438937

    Oh, and Lar "Sytting" Bak for me. Going with heart not head on this one.
    “Road racing was over and the UCI had banned my riding positions on the track, so it was like ‘Jings, crivvens, help ma Boab, what do I do now? I know, I’ll go away and be depressed for 10 years’.”

    @DrHeadgear

    The Vikings are coming!
  • Lanterne_RogueLanterne_Rogue Posts: 3,330
    In true Lanterne Rouge style, I'm sneaking in late.

    Thanks to underlay*2 for a superb thread starter. My own failed attempt was nowhere near this quality (though it did have a longer list of curated spoiler threads.)

    2016 viewtopic.php?t=13066757
    2015 viewtopic.php?f=40002&t=13031974&p=19640343v
    2014 viewtopic.php?f=40002&t=12974594&p=18941826
    2013 viewtopic.php?f=40002&t=12929927&p=18406407
    2012 viewtopic.php?f=40002&t=12862242&p=17698622
    2011 viewtopic.php?f=40002&t=12785852
    2010 viewtopic.php?f=40002&t=12712693&p=16288611
    2009 viewtopic.php?f=40002&t=12634180&p=15438937

    Oh, and Lar "Sytting" Bak for me. Going with heart not head on this one.

    Thanks for hunting the links down - I was posting from a phone at work and it's a right pig to copy and paste links. Obviously work itself wasn't interfering - some things are much more important...
  • Lanterne_RogueLanterne_Rogue Posts: 3,330
    FWIW, Little Bobby Wagner was the first one to stand out for me even before he was mentioned elsewhere. My feeling is that someone unexpected will take the LR, although the usual names (including Bak) will be in the mix.
  • No_Ta_DoctorNo_Ta_Doctor Posts: 11,192

    Thanks for hunting the links down - I was posting from a phone at work and it's a right pig to copy and paste links. Obviously work itself wasn't interfering - some things are much more important...

    For those posting from a carrier pigeon in a cubicle in an open plan office....


    As for Bak, last year he was recovering from truly horrendous injury (think there were crushed vertebrae involved). He may suffer without such assistance this year, though has obviously gained some valuable experience.
    “Road racing was over and the UCI had banned my riding positions on the track, so it was like ‘Jings, crivvens, help ma Boab, what do I do now? I know, I’ll go away and be depressed for 10 years’.”

    @DrHeadgear

    The Vikings are coming!
  • above_the_cowsabove_the_cows Posts: 11,318
    Talking about squashed body parts, who was it who had the squashed testicle last year?
    Correlation is not causation.
  • No_Ta_DoctorNo_Ta_Doctor Posts: 11,192
    Provisional leader, Non-Galloping Gallopin


    196 T. Gallopin LTS in 19'07" at +03'03''
    “Road racing was over and the UCI had banned my riding positions on the track, so it was like ‘Jings, crivvens, help ma Boab, what do I do now? I know, I’ll go away and be depressed for 10 years’.”

    @DrHeadgear

    The Vikings are coming!
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