Lanterne Rouge des Femmes avec Zlow 2023 (spoilers)

Lanterne_Rogue
Lanterne_Rogue Posts: 4,091
edited July 2023 in Pro race
"I say," said Marianne. "I think stereotypical French Mistress Mme Rousse is lost."
"Why do you say that?" asked Demi.
"I'm pretty sure this is exactly where we started," said Marianne. "Look - there's that ditch that Mireia fell into earlier. Has anyone seen her, by the way?"
"So if this is Clermont-Ferrand!", said Cecilie, who had recently been seen in dangerous proximity to sugar. "Does that mean we've just ridden around a Clermont-Ferroundabout?!"

At the back of the bunch Charlotte adjusted her dark glasses and sniffed. This sort of childish thing was beneath her. Having changed her last name to Kool to make everyone aware just how damn cool she was, Charlotte was now thinking of changing her middle name to 'X'. That'd be incredibly Kool, she thought. The socials would surely go wild for an inexplicable X where a proper name should be. Or maybe she should just paint her fingernails black like every other person who wanted to show their individuality?

Charlotte's thoughts were interrupted by Lottie disappearing up the road.

"Come ON, you lot!" said Ashleigh. "I'm not doing all the bloody work around here, you know!"


From The Girls of Pedally Towers and the Difficult Second Boucle, by Beryl Burton


Yes, today marks the Barbie/Oppenheimer crossover of 2023 as both the men and women get to race for the Lanterne on the same day. The difference, of course, is that BOTH parties are fabulous in the Lanterne and nobody is likely to set in motion the means to nuke Japan. Or if they do, the race has gone very badly indeed.

The race started badly, as Spanish time trial champion Mireia Benito attempted to ride in the gutter to attract an early mechanical, overcooked it, and summoned nothing more than a spinal board and an early ambulance home. Here's hoping for a smooth recovery.

Despite a fairly sedate stage threatening to keep things uninteresting, the final climb offered a perfect platform for a late attack. Several riders immediately chose to disappear down the road, but it was Lucie Jounier of Team Coop-Hitec Products (presumably they make trainers for chickens?) who took the stage honours and surely delighted a French audience starved of success. Stealing over 20 of the 22 minutes available before the cut off was an audaciously well-judged piece of riding, and I can't wait to see what she does next.

Sisters are doing it for themselves:



Finally, if anyone wants a reminder of what happened last year, it's available here: https://forum.bikeradar.com/discussion/13118861/la-lanterne-rouge-feminin-2022-spoilers

Comments

  • mididoctors
    mididoctors Posts: 17,643
    Finally the thread we lacked
    "If I was a 38 year old man, I definitely wouldn't be riding a bright yellow bike with Hello Kitty disc wheels, put it that way. What we're witnessing here is the world's most high profile mid-life crisis" Afx237vi Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:43 pm
  • Lanterne_Rogue
    Lanterne_Rogue Posts: 4,091
    edited July 2023

    Finally the thread we lacked

    I be honest - I actually prefer this one.

    It's shorter, for one thing.
  • mididoctors
    mididoctors Posts: 17,643
    Lol
    "If I was a 38 year old man, I definitely wouldn't be riding a bright yellow bike with Hello Kitty disc wheels, put it that way. What we're witnessing here is the world's most high profile mid-life crisis" Afx237vi Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:43 pm
  • me-109
    me-109 Posts: 1,915
    A veritable 'Rear de France', and looking at those results the French are filling the places with the Wahoo team going well for the team prize.
  • Lanterne_Rogue
    Lanterne_Rogue Posts: 4,091
    "Have we packed the bloody map this time?" asked Lizzie, after the previous day's embarrassing return to the same place the girls had set out from.
    "For the twentieth time, Lizzie, of course we bloody have. And our packed lunch and waterproofs," snapped Demi.
    "What do we need waterproofs for?" asked Caroline, wondering if her extremely Kool trenchcoat was strictly suitable for cycling.
    "Did you not listen to Mme Rousse earlier?" said Marianne, disbelievingly. "She said she thought she would end up wetter than an otter's pocket."
    There was a pause whilst everyone digested this.
    "Erm, has anyone checked we're still in the right genre?" asked Lizzie. "I'm starting to worry we've taken the wrong turn..."


    And so to the second stage of the Tour des Femmes. Having finally allowed a break to go, and sometimes allowing them upwards of thirty seconds leeway, the whole race seemed to have settled down into some sort of pattern despite the occasional inexplicable chute in the peloton.

    That all changed when the rain swept in towards the end, causing utter chaos on the roads. Eva Van Agt - I'm not sure if that's actually her name or just the noise she made - suffered the worst of the crashes, with some slightly alarming scenes by the roadside. Fortunately it appears she's got nothing worse than concussion, but was amongst four riders to abandon today. Amongst the most galling was Fien Delbaere, who I think was caught hors delai given she made it to Mauriac and who had said before the race "After all the bad luck this year I'm super happy and proud to be selected for my first @LeTourFemmes "



    Vittoria Guazzini took the stage honours from fellow escapee Marte Berg Edseth to crash 19 places on LR, but Lucie Jounier's competitive 23 minute loss keeps her in red.

    Manhattan cocktails:



    Manhattan coattails:






  • flite
    flite Posts: 222
    I've only just noticed the title of this thread.....
  • No_Ta_Doctor
    No_Ta_Doctor Posts: 13,548
    flite said:

    I've only just noticed the title of this thread.....

    Think it's a Terry Pratchett book where someone complains there's always too much avec on the menu abroad.
    Warning No formatter is installed for the format
  • Lanterne_Rogue
    Lanterne_Rogue Posts: 4,091
    "I don't want no 'avec' tonight," said Elisa, meaningfully.
    "Erm, Elisa?" asked Annemiek. "Are you getting metafictional on us again?"
    "Might be," conceded Elisa, toying with her gloves. It was widely believed they prevented teachers discovering tattoos on her knuckles that read love and hate, but everyone was a little scared to ask. Elisa's dad was in "trade" in Sicily, and the fact that "trade" was likely on fire right now meant it probably wasn't the time to ask. It never was, somehow.


    Another stage down, and today the peloton were brave enough to allow the break a whole couple of minutes. Who knows - by Friday we might even have a proper gap. Although given the chasing bunch nearly stuffed it up today, perhaps not.

    There was disappointment in the Lanterne as three of yesterday's stars, including our leader, were confirmed as abandons. Jounier had apparently been struggling with what were described as abdominal issues, Kern injured her thumb in the big crash yesterday, and Marte Berg Edseth showed she'd lost none of her alpine skiing background by accepting a lift up the first climb of the day and out of the race. Our best wishes to them all.

    That left Guazzini with an open door - which plucky Brit Josie Nelson immediately barged through as part of a brilliant two-up attack with Elise Uijen. Clearly a deal was struck to work together as Uijen took the stage and Nelson the jersey. Josie Nelson was just yesterday saying her legs were feeling better*, and we've immediately seen the proof...

    Half Nelson:



    Half cut:





    * https://www.rouleur.cc/blogs/the-rouleur-journal/i-thought-i-would-at-least-finish-in-the-peloton-josie-nelson-s-tour-de-france-femmes-debut-diary
  • Lanterne_Rogue
    Lanterne_Rogue Posts: 4,091
    edited July 2023
    "It's not my fault I'm not very good at maths!" complained Demi. "I just lost count, okay?"
    "Of course, Demi," said Lizzie soothingly. "Anyone could make that mistake."
    "I bet Annemiek is laughing her head off at me!"
    "Annemiek? Why?"
    "Because I looked so silly!" wailed Demi. "She was so desperate to beat me today, the beastly thing, and then I went and thought I'd won and now she'll be laughing her head off..."
    "I don't think she will," gossiped Lizzie. "Didn't you hear about her trip to Japan?"


    Today saw the favourites try the novel experiment of actually letting the break go away properly for once, and I fully anticipate a failure of the scientific method when everyone refuses to repeat it to get more data. Expect nobody to be given more than thirty seconds for the foreseeable.

    Whilst Demi Vollering was wildly celebrating [checks notes] putting eight seconds into AVV, the real race was happening at the other end of the field. Josie Nelson put in a decent performance to retain her lanterne, but Marjolein Van 'T Geloof escaped as part of a small break to cut the lead to just 26 seconds. A fascinating final few days might await. Or not.

    I can't believe it's not better:


    It's just fancy Marjolein:




  • me-109
    me-109 Posts: 1,915
    At this rate I'm not sure what products I want to try from Lifeplus, HPH or Hitec*. In fact if that's Hi-Tec that used to make trainers, I tried them and they were sh1t3.

    I can lose 10 minutes on a decent Zwiftornot race so I don't need any of that 'preparation'.

    *Thread crossover alert
  • mididoctors
    mididoctors Posts: 17,643
    With the domination at the other end GC by the big 2 there is a lot of riders targeting this year's competition
    "If I was a 38 year old man, I definitely wouldn't be riding a bright yellow bike with Hello Kitty disc wheels, put it that way. What we're witnessing here is the world's most high profile mid-life crisis" Afx237vi Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:43 pm
  • Lanterne_Rogue
    Lanterne_Rogue Posts: 4,091
    edited July 2023
    "OH NO!" yelled Demi as she accelerated away from the rest of the girls. "I've got my school tie caught in the boot of that car!"


    Controversy rocked the Lanterne Femmes today with allegations that riders had received unfair mechanical assistance. Never mind Demi Vollering disguising herself as the badge on the rear of her team car, nine riders found themselves hors delai after waiting to try and catch a train to the finish.

    This left the lanterne rouge finely balanced, with five riders within about ninety seconds of each other. Unfortunately the commissaires, not for the first time, absolutely bottled it and reinstated the unfortunate riders, accepting their assurances that they'd merely been caught on the wrong side of a level crossing and were not in fact trying to get ahead of everybody else by catching the 16:15 to Paris.

    The cost of the reinstatement was a penalty of 2:10 over their actual finishing time, but that still leaves Marjoleine Van 'T Geloof leading LR by over ten minutes. Josies Talbot and Nelson must be fuming - this one is going to keep simmering for the rest of the tour.

    The day we caught the train:



    I blame Paul Weller, personally:


  • mididoctors
    mididoctors Posts: 17,643
    LOL
    "If I was a 38 year old man, I definitely wouldn't be riding a bright yellow bike with Hello Kitty disc wheels, put it that way. What we're witnessing here is the world's most high profile mid-life crisis" Afx237vi Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:43 pm
  • Lanterne_Rogue
    Lanterne_Rogue Posts: 4,091
    btw, I'm fully aware that the race does not in fact finish in Paris this year, but by this point I'm pretty sure the riders have no clue whether it's bum or breakfast time, let alone what happens over the next three days.
  • me-109
    me-109 Posts: 1,915
    "Oooooh! I hope it's bum time" said Melodie van Chups
  • Lanterne_Rogue
    Lanterne_Rogue Posts: 4,091
    edited July 2023
    "So with the two women out front making a mess whilst trying to win the stage, it was rather a two girls, one cup kind of race..."
    "Is he allowed to do that?" asked Lizzie.
    "Do what?", asked Cecilie, who had been unexpectedly quiet this holiday.
    "Appear in our section of our page," explained Lizzie. "It's rude."
    "I'll say it was rude," said Marianne. "And an extremely dated reference, to boot."
    "Well yes, but then we're a pastiche of a 1950s series of schoolgirl novels. We're probably not in a position to judge, are we?" asked Demi.
    "Yes, but we can't help it!" wailed Charlotte, who was starting to suspect she still wasn't as Kool as she pretended to be. "We're written that way!"


    Yesterday saw more heartbreak for France, as Marie-Morgane Le Deunff's epic solo breakaway was judged to be hors delai. That seemed uncommonly harsh from the commissaires, given their previous decision to merely fine nine riders a little time and to forgive Demi Vollering - if not her DS - for the bumper sticker shenanigans of the previous day. They weren't overly impressed by a whole Lotta Henttala giving it a whole lotta Nibs and taking the sticky bottle elevator to regain the bunch - Lotta was promptly kicking off the race with a flea in her ear and a little more energy in her legs for the long walk home.

    That left Veronica Ewers to climb out of the ditch she'd been hiding in, promise the doctors she wasn't really hurt at all, and then streak away for the stage win with Vallieres being the dutiful domestique. It only goes to demonstrate the value and prestige of a Lanterne win that Ewers then admitted the doctors had been right all along and retired from the race with a broken collarbone. Hopefully she'll now rest up and recover.

    Doctor, doctor - give me the news:



    Bad case of loving you:


  • Lanterne_Rogue
    Lanterne_Rogue Posts: 4,091
    "I'm bored with this beastly fog - I'm off!" said Demi.
    "!" said the others.


    Well that was that then. The time trial now looks a formality, with the strongest rider having asserted themselves definitively on the all-important mountain stage to carry a substantial margin into the final test. And I suppose Demi Vollering looks fairly secure in the minor jersey competition, too.

    Somewhere in the mist MJ Van 't Geloof attacked, took another bunch of seconds, and goes into the final day with over 11 minutes in hand. There'll be arguments over the decisions of the Commissaires to favour an obvious favourite when others were far more harshly punished, but it seems Hum Unpowered Racing are here to win races, not hearts.

    A word too for Alice Barners - less than a minute outside the cut - and Charlotte Kool, whose leather coat and dark glasses combo was just too heavy for the Tourmalet and last of today's finishers, another minute or so back. Turns out you can go hard and go home.

    Scary Spice:


    Scary time gap:


  • ddraver
    ddraver Posts: 26,439

    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • Lanterne_Rogue
    Lanterne_Rogue Posts: 4,091
    For those wondering about the comparison between the men and the women, here's the cumulative time gap:



    The women are gaining the same amount of time in around 75% of the actual racing (by hours on the road), but you can fruitlessly argue about whether that means anything given the difference in stage length and the way things were raced. It was noticeable that the women would start tailing riders off very early, so they were probably on their own for similar periods to dropped riders in the male peloton.

    The women's figures also include an ITT, which disproportionally influence things - the gaps after seven stages were 8% of the GC time for the women and 7% for the men. Finally, if we're interested in the spread of performance across the field the biggest single loss of time for both sexes was amongst the men during stage 5,; their time loss on Stage 6 was also greater than any single day of the Tour Femmes.

    All in all then, no evidence that the LRF has shown any better or worse racing than the edition hommes.
  • No_Ta_Doctor
    No_Ta_Doctor Posts: 13,548

    For those wondering about the comparison between the men and the women, here's the cumulative time gap:



    The women are gaining the same amount of time in around 75% of the actual racing (by hours on the road), but you can fruitlessly argue about whether that means anything given the difference in stage length and the way things were raced. It was noticeable that the women would start tailing riders off very early, so they were probably on their own for similar periods to dropped riders in the male peloton.

    The women's figures also include an ITT, which disproportionally influence things - the gaps after seven stages were 8% of the GC time for the women and 7% for the men. Finally, if we're interested in the spread of performance across the field the biggest single loss of time for both sexes was amongst the men during stage 5,; their time loss on Stage 6 was also greater than any single day of the Tour Femmes.

    All in all then, no evidence that the LRF has shown any better or worse racing than the edition hommes.

    More to the point, that graph is clearly trying to make a fairly clunky and angular double-helix, suggesting there could be a breeding program for Lanterne Rouge contenders in the offing. Watch this space....
    Warning No formatter is installed for the format