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TDF 2017: Rest day 2 *spoilers*

No_Ta_DoctorNo_Ta_Doctor Posts: 11,190
edited July 2017 in Pro race
So, we're 2/3 of the way through and the race is still wide open (or still a foregone conclusion, depending on your estimation of Froome's form). The GC leaders are separated by just a few seconds.

The route has thrown up some incredibly boring stages, but has also given us plenty of chaos and unpredictability. The lack of mountain top finishes has stopped the wheat being separated from the chaff, and all the great racing has been for a handful of seconds here and there.

Are the other GC riders really closer to Froome's level now? And if so, is that because he's slipped down a bit, or because they've improved? We just can't tell yet.

So what do we think? Is this experimental route a duffer, or has the chaos and closeness made it worth it?

On a side note, is it just me, or does the KoM feel like it's a bigger thing this year? It would be nice to see it revived to its former glory.

Also a side note, but though Mathews has few fans here, is anyone else impressed by him fighting for every green jersey point available?
“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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Posts

  • I'm not keen on Matthews but he's giving it the beans, fer shure

    In other news I'm loving Barguil. He wants mroar points wherever he can get them, and he definitely wants stage win no 2
  • tailwindhometailwindhome Posts: 16,671
    So what do we think? Is this experimental route a duffer, or has the chaos and closeness made it worth it?

    The removal/minimising of 40 mins at 6.xw/kg group rides has improved the racing IMHO.

    It's a shame they can't take a decision to cut the TT in half.
    Believe that a farther shore
    Is reachable from here.
    Believe in miracles
    And cures and healing wells
  • No_Ta_DoctorNo_Ta_Doctor Posts: 11,190
    Sunweb, along with AG2R have definitely been good value for money this tour. Also noticed Geschke investing in some good karma by making sure Martin had his wheel over the line yesterday. Obviously he'll also be pleased if QS need to invest a little more energy on Martin...
    “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!
  • tailwindhometailwindhome Posts: 16,671
    Will Sunweb try to eliminate Kittel from the race?
    Is this tactically feasible?
    Believe that a farther shore
    Is reachable from here.
    Believe in miracles
    And cures and healing wells
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 25,490
    Are the other GC riders really closer to Froome's level now? And if so, is that because he's slipped down a bit, or because they've improved? We just can't tell yet.
    The course hasn't provided his specialities yet - a long TT or a hard MTF. Izoard will tell us more. But the others are getting better - they're mostly in their mid twenties. I think Froome only has one more really good Tour in him
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 17,775

    Also a side note, but though Mathews has few fans here, is anyone else impressed by him fighting for every green jersey point available?

    Did he sprint for 16th at the finish yesterday?
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 10,220
    Will Sunweb try to eliminate Kittel from the race?
    Is this tactically feasible?
    Matthews seems to be climbing very well so if Sunweb drilled it from the gun on a mountain stage they could possibly put Kittel hors delai. Not sure how feasible that really is though.
  • inseineinseine Posts: 5,785
    That's a fair assessment of the race so far Doctor, certainly IMO.
    I think it's been a really good race with a more than enough outstanding stages to make up for the predictable ones.
    I think the race is more open because Froome was underpar at the start, but yesterday he was forced to show his hand and it looked ominous. It's nice that riders don't seem to have settled with thier current positions.
  • larkimlarkim Posts: 2,385
    Froome's confidence must be sky high after the last couple of days. Unexpectedly back in the yellow and able to hunt down all the other GC contenders with nearly a minute deficit after some mechanical bad luck. And then lady luck gives him the sort of hard day that he had yesterday just before a rest day. After taking a tumble on day one, losing his gears on a climb and losing a spoke yesterday, he's not had an uneventful time so far.
    2015 Canyon Nerve AL 6.0 (son #1's)
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  • inseineinseine Posts: 5,785

    Also a side note, but though Mathews has few fans here, is anyone else impressed by him fighting for every green jersey point available?

    Did he sprint for 16th at the finish yesterday?
    he got wrong info, thought there were still points on offer.
  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 17,775
    bobmcstuff wrote:
    Will Sunweb try to eliminate Kittel from the race?
    Is this tactically feasible?
    Matthews seems to be climbing very well so if Sunweb drilled it from the gun on a mountain stage they could possibly put Kittel hors delai. Not sure how feasible that really is though.

    If they have enough energy, tomorrow has enough lumps from the start to drop Kittel and get 70 points, put him within a few of the lead. Long way to hold them off though, without any help.
  • imatfaalimatfaal Posts: 2,716
    Barguil is looking superb - frankly yesterday he seemed to be riding on a gentle slope when those around him were riding up a wall. I do not like the comparisons with Virenque - because whilst his ease of climbing, and overall ambition are similar there is that horrid shadow...

    If Sagan and Cav were still in we might be looking at a seriously close green jersey; Sagan and Matthews on the "get over the hills and hoover up points" method, and Kidl (and Cav?) on the win lots of stages method. I think Matthews would be stealing enough of Sagan's usual easy money to bring the out-and-out sprinters back into the reckoning.

    There has been some harum-scarum racing and exciting fulls days of tension. But the dull days have be super-dull - Kidl looking imperious and the rest looking clueless

    The big downer is the number of class riders who have been badly injured and forced to withdraw

  • Also a side note, but though Mathews has few fans here, is anyone else impressed by him fighting for every green jersey point available?

    Did he sprint for 16th at the finish yesterday?


    Miscalculated - points only to 15th place
  • I like the description of Uran 'just quietly going about his business'
  • imatfaalimatfaal Posts: 2,716
    I also love the fact that wanty-gg have as almost as much prize money as Movistar+Orica+cofidis+bahrain combined

    bahrain-merida - why bother? we would have been better with the french army team, or a youth team, or any team that actually gave a damn*

    *they will now go a win a scintillating stage to give me the lie
  • imatfaal wrote:
    I also love the fact that wanty-gg have as almost as much prize money as Movistar+Orica+cofidis+bahrain combined

    bahrain-merida - why bother? we would have been better with the french army team, or a youth team, or any team that actually gave a damn*

    *they will now go a win a scintillating stage to give me the lie


    :lol:
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 57,346 Lives Here
    I like the description of Uran 'just quietly going about his business'

    By winning a stage with the last 15km in the big boy sprocket... 8)
  • blazing_saddlesblazing_saddles Posts: 18,209
    Will Sunweb try to eliminate Kittel from the race?
    Is this tactically feasible?

    I thought that was exactly what they were going to try yesterday, given the placement of the big climbs and how Kittel had gone out of the back, the day before. Seems though that he was saving a bit, perhaps in anticipation of such an attempt.
    Wednesday?
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 57,346 Lives Here
    Anyone else feel Wawa is turning into a 21st century Virenque?
  • No_Ta_DoctorNo_Ta_Doctor Posts: 11,190
    I think it's highly unlikely that Sunweb could put Kittel out of the tour, unless he had a really bad day. They'd also feel the wrath of the peloton full force if they tried it, he's hardly the only rider who comes in with le autobus. More subtle would be to help Martin up the GC and force QS to split their resources, and make it hard enough to tire the QS train, possibly dropping one of them.

    As for the contenders :
    Froome looks in good shape if yesterday is any indication. May *possibly * be missing a touch of top end kick, but probably not enough to worry him. He can still roll and has a TT in his favour.
    Bardet has a good team around him and has maximised his chances on stages suited to him, but I'm unconvinced that he'll be there when it kicks off on the Izoard and with a mediocre TT he's running out of opportunities.
    Aru looks like he's got a decent kick on the big climbs, but no team, few mates, and some really careless moments. Again, Froome holds the TT Trump over him, so will need to do major damage on Izoard.
    Uran looks ominously good, very quietly. Just going about his business.
    Martin is looking very good, but the parcours may be flattering him a touch. I know he lost time with the crash, but the converse of this is he's been given a little more leeway to climb back up.
    Landa looks like the strongest climber in the peloton, but is playing the team role again. At least for now: the Spanish press are whispering in his ear... His form may not stretch into the third week though.
    Yates has been hanging with the big boys pretty well, and putting in a dig of his own every now and then, chapeau to him.
    “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!
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 25,490
    Anyone else feel Wawa is turning into a 21st century Virenque?
    Let's hope not.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 57,346 Lives Here
    RichN95 wrote:
    Anyone else feel Wawa is turning into a 21st century Virenque?
    Let's hope not.

    Frenchman with loadsa talent which he can't reign in so goes for stages & polka dot?

    Sounds familiar.
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 25,490
    Aru looks like he's got a decent kick on the big climbs, but no team, few mates, and some really careless moments. Again, Froome holds the TT Trump over him, so will need to do major damage on Izoard.
    Aru is the one that looks likely to faulter to me.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • No_Ta_DoctorNo_Ta_Doctor Posts: 11,190
    :lol:
    RichN95 wrote:
    Anyone else feel Wawa is turning into a 21st century Virenque?
    Let's hope not.

    Leaving aside the doping and tears, would that be a bad thing? Virenque decided he was never going to win a Tour, but lit up the race going for the polkadot. I quite like that. Unless you think he has genuine GC potential that's being wasted...
    “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!
  • No_Ta_DoctorNo_Ta_Doctor Posts: 11,190
    RichN95 wrote:
    Aru looks like he's got a decent kick on the big climbs, but no team, few mates, and some really careless moments. Again, Froome holds the TT Trump over him, so will need to do major damage on Izoard.
    Aru is the one that looks likely to faulter to me.

    I think so too. He could easily go too deep on Izoard with the pressure to make it count - if he hasn't already settled for a podium. And with no team and poor planning he's liable to lose time elsewhere. A puncture on the flat could end him.
    “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!
  • larkimlarkim Posts: 2,385
    With the exception of one bad day, Aru has done a good job of sitting on Froome and then having a small extra in reserve for the finale. Haven't really seen anything that leads me to suspect he's faltering just yet. But we'll see. Certainly any of the top 3 alternatives to Froome know that they'll need a substantial break to put Froome in a position where he is unlikely to win based on his TT ability.
    2015 Canyon Nerve AL 6.0 (son #1's)
    2011 Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc (son #3s)
    2013 Decathlon Triban 3 (red) (mine)
    2019 Hoy Bonaly 26" Disc (son #2s)
    2018 Voodoo Bizango (mine)
    2018 Voodoo Maji (wife's)
  • FocusZingFocusZing Posts: 4,373
    LA saying Landa to Movistar as well as CW. Quintana's Dad has said the team should have just concentrated on the TDF. If all the conjecture is true it will be a fight for which GT.
  • blazing_saddlesblazing_saddles Posts: 18,209
    RichN95 wrote:
    Aru looks like he's got a decent kick on the big climbs, but no team, few mates, and some really careless moments. Again, Froome holds the TT Trump over him, so will need to do major damage on Izoard.
    Aru is the one that looks likely to faulter to me.

    I wouldn't put much faith into how he has looked over the past two days.
    In the 2015 Giro, he looked as if his form had begun to erode, rather drastically.
    This was his result on stage on stage 16, the Mortirolo/Aprica stage.

    http://www.procyclingstats.com/race.php?id=149913

    He then bounced back to break climbing records on stages 19 and 20.
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • salsiccia1salsiccia1 Posts: 3,716
    puppets-20140911021047217.jpg

    "So, I told him "Stick your free Sky subscription, I'm not towing those British pricks around any more" and went and signed up to tow Quintana and Valverde around instead"
    It's only a bit of sport, Mun. Relax and enjoy the racing.
  • above_the_cowsabove_the_cows Posts: 11,318
    Sunweb, along with AG2R have definitely been good value for money this tour. Also noticed Geschke investing in some good karma by making sure Martin had his wheel over the line yesterday. Obviously he'll also be pleased if QS need to invest a little more energy on Martin...

    According to twitter Geschke will be very happy not to see any male roadside 'fans' bumcracks (this is not the word he used, his word started with a) today.
    Correlation is not causation.
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