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The Lanterne Rouge Thread 2020 **SPOILERS**

Lanterne_RogueLanterne_Rogue Posts: 2,391
edited 25 August in Pro race
Same time next year?


Well that was a bloody stupid way to tempt fate and sign off the 2019 Lanterne Rouge thread, wasn't it?

Yes, it's the most wonderful time of the year, when everyone tries to rescue their season with a decent Vuelta a España. Controversially the Spanish organising committee have taken the concept of a foreign start to its logical conclusion and this year's race will be held entirely in... hang on, it's the bloody Tour de France again, isn't it?

Yes, for those of you who have only just emerged from your plague-proof nuclear bunkers to forage for toilet rolls in the post-apocalyptic society. this year's Tour de France finally starts this weekend and that means the most entertaining - if least competent - race in cycling is about to begin again. I refer of course to the Lanterne Rouge - traditional honorific for the last rider in the standings when the race reaches Paris. This year's competition will be even tougher to win as there's no guarantee that the race will even last to Paris, and - just as with toilet breaks - the main contenders will need to go early or risk being caught short.

Naturally this thread is an equal opportunity disaster zone, and will also be reporting on the Girls of Pedally Towers as they go an yet another ginger beer fuelled rampage within a covid secure facility, behind at least five firewalls, and with a super-injunction in place to ensure no news whatsoever of La Curse finds its way into the cycling media. Really, ASO, you spoil us with your attitude to women's racing, you really do.

Henri Desgrange famously believed that only one person should make it to the end, and that's certainly always been my philosophy with this pitiful excuse of an annual thread. So settle back, put your feet up, and let's find out which one of us cracks first.

In the meantime you can catch up with previous editions below, although anything prior to my unexpected debut in 2016 appears to have gone missing. Sorry about that.

2019
2018
2017
2016
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Posts

  • Hello Monsieur LR,
    Seeing this thread emerge once more is a sight for sore eyes- good on you!
    Cheers,
    Simon.
  • diplodicusdiplodicus Posts: 566
    Good work, always a good read this thread B)
  • Lanterne_RogueLanterne_Rogue Posts: 2,391
    Excellent - the links in the previous threads appeared to be broken; I didn't think to go hunting further.
  • pinnopinno Posts: 39,100
    Wahey.

    Is Underlay² our chief commentator?
    S - https://i.pinimg.com/564x/35/cd/f1/35cdf125f02216d233fc9aa90f8607e6.jpg
    W - (still at Atlantic boulevard)

    "Why are the tractors beeping in the night? I dunno woss goin' on"
    Tricky, 9yo
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 23,584
    edited 27 August

    Page 2 of this one features a fat* and at the time completely unknown Andrey Amador. He seemed to get some admirers.

    *Cycling 'fat' - so normal sized
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • Lanterne_RogueLanterne_Rogue Posts: 2,391
    pinno said:

    Wahey.

    Is Underlay² our chief commentator?

    It is I...




  • pinnopinno Posts: 39,100
    edited 28 August

    pinno said:

    Wahey.

    Is Underlay² our chief commentator?

    It is I...



    I see.
    Tough boots to fill :)

    S - https://i.pinimg.com/564x/35/cd/f1/35cdf125f02216d233fc9aa90f8607e6.jpg
    W - (still at Atlantic boulevard)

    "Why are the tractors beeping in the night? I dunno woss goin' on"
    Tricky, 9yo
  • Lanterne_RogueLanterne_Rogue Posts: 2,391
    I don't want to pre-emptively start any conspiracy theories *cough cough* but it's an interesting year for the Lanterne Rouge. According to the global misinformation repository that is Wikipedia, exactly half the previous winners have been French. If we see a Frenchman in LR position, surely the political pressure for abandonment and announcing the winner from the current standings to restore French pride becomes overwhelming? Alternatively are we about to see the final pillar of French dominance statistically topple at last?

    Current national standings:

    France - 53
    Italy - 11
    Belgium - 10
    Netherlands - 8
    Spain - 5
    Swiss - 4
    GB - 3
    Austria, Luxembourg, Germany - 2
    Australia, Canada, China, Ireland, USA and Blur (?) - 1 each

    The trends are also interesting - after a disastrous period in the 1980s the French rallied strongly, but are now again in a period of long term decline...



  • ddraverddraver Posts: 20,204
    I love that graph. Somehow everything about cycling is represented in that graph.. .
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • pinnopinno Posts: 39,100
    It's the same profile as Stage 3.
    S - https://i.pinimg.com/564x/35/cd/f1/35cdf125f02216d233fc9aa90f8607e6.jpg
    W - (still at Atlantic boulevard)

    "Why are the tractors beeping in the night? I dunno woss goin' on"
    Tricky, 9yo
  • No_Ta_DoctorNo_Ta_Doctor Posts: 9,817
    I can't quite get my head around who the favourites are this year. I guess I should avoid picking anyone French though
    “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!
  • pinnopinno Posts: 39,100

    I can't quite get my head around who the favourites are this year. I guess I should avoid picking anyone French though

    Yep - you can rule Le Gac out. The silly man was mentioned a couple of times at the wrong end of the peloton recently. I mean, what sort of pi$$ poor preparation is that?
    S - https://i.pinimg.com/564x/35/cd/f1/35cdf125f02216d233fc9aa90f8607e6.jpg
    W - (still at Atlantic boulevard)

    "Why are the tractors beeping in the night? I dunno woss goin' on"
    Tricky, 9yo
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 12,211
    edited 28 August

    I can't quite get my head around who the favourites are this year. I guess I should avoid picking anyone French though

    Out and out sprinter just hoping to get through on the back of the autobus to the Champs Elysees? Is it possible to win both a stage and the Lantern Rouge?
    I guess yes in theory, but has it been done?
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • Lanterne_RogueLanterne_Rogue Posts: 2,391
    Traditionally sprint stages are where LR contenders take most time though - whilst the sprinters are more or less obliged to be up front you can slope off the back and roll in gently. Then in the hills you're all in the autobus so they can't attack you back without risking being timed out.

    Not sure this year's parcours lends itself to this tactic though, so maybe we'll see a different kind of race?
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 12,211
    edited 28 August
    It's not going to be a standard race* and there are few sprinter stages so less requirements to be anywhere near the front for the majority of the race.
    It is one tactic amongst many.

    *I predict a few DQs by miscalculating the time requirements to win the LR set by the secondary race for yellow.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • pinnopinno Posts: 39,100
    The Queen (?) stage for the LR contenders has got to be the hilly TT.
    That leaves 8 summit finishes in the Autobus and therefore only 12 stages to contest this one.
    It's going to be one very astute rider that wins it.

    Given the lack of real depth of Academia* amongst the flagging French ranks, we'll see how Ladbrokes et al give them short odds to falsely lure the 'on the nose punters' in.

    *On the Laurent Fignon/Phillippe Noiret/Clouseau scale.

    Relishing this one.

    S - https://i.pinimg.com/564x/35/cd/f1/35cdf125f02216d233fc9aa90f8607e6.jpg
    W - (still at Atlantic boulevard)

    "Why are the tractors beeping in the night? I dunno woss goin' on"
    Tricky, 9yo
  • gsk82gsk82 Posts: 2,597

    I don't want to pre-emptively start any conspiracy theories *cough cough* but it's an interesting year for the Lanterne Rouge. According to the global misinformation repository that is Wikipedia, exactly half the previous winners have been French. If we see a Frenchman in LR position, surely the political pressure for abandonment and announcing the winner from the current standings to restore French pride becomes overwhelming? Alternatively are we about to see the final pillar of French dominance statistically topple at last?

    Current national standings:

    France - 53
    Italy - 11
    Belgium - 10
    Netherlands - 8
    Spain - 5
    Swiss - 4
    GB - 3
    Austria, Luxembourg, Germany - 2
    Australia, Canada, China, Ireland, USA and Blur (?) - 1 each

    The trends are also interesting - after a disastrous period in the 1980s the French rallied strongly, but are now again in a period of long term decline...



    The French were already abandoning things because they weren't winning, way back in the 1940s!
    "Unfortunately these days a lot of people don’t understand the real quality of a bike" Ernesto Colnago
  • No_Ta_DoctorNo_Ta_Doctor Posts: 9,817
    The key attributes for a Lanterne contender are usually:
    1. Not being in a leadout train for a recognised sprinter
    2. Not being in the mountain train for a recognised GC contender
    3. Not being shoved into breakaways that might stick or come close to it

    We're looking for a rouleur that will be asked to do their work early in the stage, either helping a teammate into the break or controlling/reeling in the break.

    Typically I'd be looking at a sprint team domestique, but they're going to be few and far between this year.
    “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!
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 20,204
    It's hard to look past Luke Rowe really.

    Tony Martin fulfilling a similar role for Jumbo will be tempted to throw it all away in a TT I reckon...
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • takethehighroadtakethehighroad Posts: 5,550
    Tim de Clerq must surely be a contender?
    My Men 2020 - Mark Cavendish, Ben Swift, Fernando Gaviria, Alejandro Valverde, Edvald Boassen Hagen, Zdenek Stybar, Vincenzo Nibali, Geraint Thomas.
  • No_Ta_DoctorNo_Ta_Doctor Posts: 9,817
    ddraver said:

    It's hard to look past Luke Rowe really.

    Tony Martin fulfilling a similar role for Jumbo will be tempted to throw it all away in a TT I reckon...

    Rowe tends to need to be at the pointy end a bit too much, as road captain, though he's got the experience as a past winner in 2017.

    Martin could well be in with a shout, but for that final TT, even though it is "lumpy".

    Someone like Edward Theuns might be a decent pick, until Porte crashes out and he's sent out in the breaks. Not got a lot of Tour XP, but at 29 he should know how to race.
    Christopher Juul-Jensen another possibility - two finishes below 110, with Yates and Chaves looking to earn the UCI points for his team.
    “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: 2,391
    Didn't Rowe pick up an injury fairly early doors in the year he won? It's a solid strategy if you can get the right injury - the trick is finding one that gains you the all important note from your Mum excusing you from doing games for the next three weeks whilst not getting you sent home for good...
  • ProssPross Posts: 23,331
    Sivakov putting in a huge effort to try to win it on the first day.
  • Lanterne_RogueLanterne_Rogue Posts: 2,391
    Takes me back to the heady days of that specially greased start ramp in Dusseldorf 2017...
  • ProssPross Posts: 23,331
    Ewan putting in a challenge on a stage where he would have been expected to be at the wrong end. Great LR riding.
  • ProssPross Posts: 23,331
    Spoke too soon, he's cracked and regained a load of time.
  • Lanterne_RogueLanterne_Rogue Posts: 2,391
    If I'm reading this right, fans of the work of Wim Vensevenant will be interested in this exhibition at the Royal Academy...


  • Lanterne_RogueLanterne_Rogue Posts: 2,391
    edited 29 August

    "I say girls," said Lizzie, bursting into the room. "Sadistic games mistress Mme Prudhomme's gone right off her rocker. She's staring up at the skies and screaming and shouting about 'La Curse'."

    "Do you think it's her time of the month again?" asked Elisa, casually flicking her ash into a beer can.

    "I don't think so," said Lizzie. "She didn't have her fluffy Tommy Voeckler hot water bottle with her."

    "Maybe she's been hexing the clouds again?" suggested Annemiek. "I love clouds. And rain. Have I shown you this lovely jumper I got from Yorksh-"

    "YES!" shouted everyone else at once. Annemiek's jumper was a souvenir of the school trip to Harrogate, and by now everyone was heartily sick of it. Annemiek absolutely insisted on making sure it was really obvious everywhere she went.

    "I only wanted to mention it. Anyway, you know the fuss when she got those baby witches to hex the moon, so maybe she's just gone back to angering the weather gods?"

    "But why would she do that?" asked Marianne, who was older and more sceptical than the others.

    "Beats me," said Lizzie. "I did catch something about 'bloody Pinot' not liking water, so maybe it's something to do with her family vineyard? There was something about staying upright too, so maybe the vines fall over or something? Anyway, she was very keen that it rained on a load of girls instead. I wonder who they are?"

    "Well it sounds like a super mystery to me," said Elisa, now idly fingering a knuckleduster. "Let's get on our bikes and investigate!"

    "Before we do," said Marianne. "Has anyone seen Cecilie?"

    "I think she went to get a bottle of fizzy pop," said Annemiek.

    "You know she's not allowed sugar! You know what it does to her!" scolded Marianne.

    "Sorry, I didn't think to st-"

    She was cut off by a terrible scream from down the corridor.

    "HARIBO! OH MY GOD! I'M SO EXCITED!!!!!"

    from The Girls of Pedally Towers by Beryl Blyton

    Yes, despite the sort of media blackout generally reserved for Prince William's affairs (allegedly), today saw this year's instalment of token gesture La Course accidentally broadcast for public consumption.

    The race for the LR Féminin was enlivened by a hilly course with plenty of opportunity to attack off the back. There were risks in doing so however, as hard racing at the front by the heavyweights of the women's peloton ensured that anyone doing so was running the danger of finishing outside the cutoff - and so it proved, with over half the peloton either DNFed or outside the time limit.

    As usual I've not wasted any time trying to find details from ASO, where the final results are traditionally announced by engraving them on the control rods of one of the more dangerous types of nuclear reactor, so apologies if they turn out to be totally wrong.

    The winner (for now) was Sofia Bertizzolo, who emerged from a small breakaway to claim the honours on the line, with a creditable 10 minute gap to the more enthusiastic end of the race. Congratulations to her and her team of surly, patronising Spanish plumbers, "Si Si Si, luv".

    Weathergirls*:

    53 LUTRO Amalie Hitec Products 5:55
    54 POIDEVIN Sara Rally Cycling Women 9:15
    55 DIXON Leah Team TIBCO - SVB ,,
    56 HOSKING Chloe Rally Cycling Women ,,
    57 FRANZ Heidi Rally Cycling Women 10:12
    58 JACKSON Alison Team Sunweb 10:17
    59 HENDERSON Anna Team Sunweb ,,
    60 MAJERUS Christine Boels - Dolmans Cycling Team ,,
    61 PERSICO Silvia Valcar - Travel & Service ,,
    62 BERTIZZOLO Sofia CCC - Liv ,,


    *I'll cover the news that it's raining, men, later...

  • Lanterne_RogueLanterne_Rogue Posts: 2,391
    It was the worst of times, it was [checks notes] nope, definitely the worst of times. It was the spring of quarantine, a summer of social distancing, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, and the period was so like the current period that some authorities insisted on running a bloody bike race. And it began, in France, with a rain of terror.

    Tale of Two Jerseys by Charles DickuninckQS
    And so to the main event, where it turned out to be Nice weather for ducks and everything went rapidly to chutes.

    With a lumpy course, a potential sprint finish, and plenty of opportunity for a break to get away (and then fall through the back in time-honoured fashion) it seemed set up perfectly for the LR contenders to open their accounts, and the weather offered further potential to gain time-shedding yet non-terminal injuries. The imposition of masks before the start also offered an obvious chance for WIm Vansevenant to kidnap another rider and sneak into the race for a record fourth win, but sadly - thought aptly for the greatest of all lanternes rouge - even this token effort was beyond him.

    Eager to be racing at last, the teams lost no time in, erm, losing time, with riders falling over virtually from the gun in an effort to shed their rivals. A brief effort to neutralise the race by Team Jumbo-Visma was soon aborted by a rebellious Astana, who introduced a revolutionary new tactic of attacking off the front and firing their leader into a convenient piece of roadside furniture on the first bend they reached. I'm not convinced other teams are quite ruthless enough to copy it, but you have to applaud the innovation.

    Elsewhere Ineos' team selection appears to have worked, with Sivakov making an early move towards the top of the standings - but imagine the fun/terror we could have had watching Geraint Thomas hurtle around that stage? George Bennett emerged as Jumbo-Visma's unprotected rider - perhaps the neutralisation was a subtle attempt to safeguard his chances? - and Lotto-Soudal gave me a great opportunity to make yet another Cras joke.

    Great French hope Thibaut Pinot made a late bid for glory with a dramatic tumble, but unfortunately failed to spot he'd just passed the 3km mark and received the same time as the rest of the bunch. That left Rafael Valls to claim the opening LR for Bahrain-McLaren, who might have found a worthy replacement for Mark Cavendish on this sort of of course.

    Underall Rankings:

    166 BENNETT George Team Jumbo-Visma ,,
    167 DE GENDT Thomas Lotto Soudal 11:04
    168 BONIFAZIO Niccolò Team Total Direct Energie ,,
    169 GILBERT Philippe Lotto Soudal ,,
    170 COUSIN Jérôme Team Total Direct Energie ,,
    171 ARNDT Nikias Team Sunweb ,,
    172 SIVAKOV Pavel INEOS Grenadiers 13:04
    173 CRAS Steff Lotto Soudal ,,
    174 LEDANOIS Kévin Team Arkéa Samsic ,,
    175 VALLS Rafael Bahrain - McLaren 0:00
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