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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
TdF'16 Final Two Stages Jul23 Jul24Discussion Thread. Spoilers.

TdF'16 Final Two Stages Jul22 Jul23 Discussion Thread. Spoilers.

We made it to the penultimate day with 175 of 198 starting riders. Yesterday was a mess due to weather, and the top 16 were shaken up. There are some narrow gaps worth fighting for on Saturday, but everyone ought to practice Rule #5, because the cement is hardened at the end of Saturday's stage.

After Sat concludes, I will review our 2016 predictions and see how well we have done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Well, the weather was messy - things could have been a lot uglier today! I cannot recall hearing of any crashes, and the only slip I saw or heard of was whoever it was that overshot the corner a bit - was that Pantano?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
This has been a competitive year, up to the final day. This year, there are many more riders than usual just within the shadow of the podium.

I think this bodes well for the future. It says there is a lot of opportunity, and a lot of good riders, and that, while formidable, Team Sky is vulnerable.

Within ten minutes off of Froome's winning time, there were ten riders: at tenth place, Keuziger is at 7' 11", and at eleventh is Mollema at 13' 13" back.

This is not common: the ten-minute spread looks like this for the recent several years (not including DQs): ten minutes include first through:
2015: fifth
2014: fourth
2013: fifth
2012: third
2011: eighth
2010: sixth
2009: sixth.
 

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I thought stage 20 was a great stage! Lo Squalo going for the stage win and being beaten on the heavy rain descent! I thought for sure if he caught them on the climb he was unbeatable... And what a climb! The last climb was pure pain and suffering. Pantaloons was amazing, looking gassed out and digging deeper, then deeper... Aliphillipe staying in the mix to the end... Ion with the win, go Spain!

I was a little surprised Nairo, Martin etc didn't try to make more noise knowing Sky would crawl down the hill? It may have been ineffectual, but it is a race...
 

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This has been a competitive year, up to the final day. This year, there are many more riders than usual just within the shadow of the podium.

I think this bodes well for the future. It says there is a lot of opportunity, and a lot of good riders, and that, while formidable, Team Sky is vulnerable.

Within ten minutes off of Froome's winning time, there were ten riders: at tenth place, Keuziger is at 7' 11", and at eleventh is Mollema at 13' 13" back.

This is not common: the ten-minute spread looks like this for the recent several years (not including DQs): ten minutes include first through:
2015: fifth
2014: fourth
2013: fifth
2012: third
2011: eighth
2010: sixth
2009: sixth.
I know it's tradition but why won't there be attacks for podium positions on last stage? There is not much time between 2nd-5th place. Didn't LeMond go for it in the past?

Valverde can attack and get Quintana that 15 seconds to get 2nd place?

Maybe Sagan wants a sprint victory but how about him, Majka and Kroinzenger going for break away just as the champagne photo op happens. This part of TDF protocol is confusing to me.

Guess I'm missing the "tradition" ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This gets asked almost every year. It is intriguing. Here is why no one attempts it.

Two reasons: first: yes, it has become tradition.
Second: stalemate. For the sake of a general audience, my explanation will be a little basic. When one guy or a handful try to ride away and take the lead, it is an "attack." Yes, in road cycling, you attack by running away.

The peloton is super-efficient. If anyone has never ridden in a group, and enjoyed the thrill of riding along at 25MPH with little effort, you gotta try it sometime. Except in mountains or twisty roads, the peloton has the ability to go faster than any individual ro handful of indiv riders - this is because the peloton has many to take turns cutting the wind resistance, and everyone else has it much easier.

If one rider who is only a couple of minutes from the podium attacks off the front, he threatens the podium position of at least one other team's guy. So, that team will head to the front and pull the peloton.

The peloton may get stretched out, but no one wants to fall off the back of the peloton - it is easier to be in the hive. [I think of it as a hive, since it buzzes; peloton is a French version of "platoon," like a military phalanx. So, there may be many who don't care if one rider supplants another on the podium, but they will speed up just so they don't lose touch with the peloton. So, the pullers would raise the speed of the entire peloton.

This final stage is a sprinter stage. The ride will not be fast since it is something of a stalemate, but toward the end, the pace will pick up a lot as the sprinter teams try to get their guy in position, in a line up front - in order to have their sprinter sprint once he thinks the time is right, OR when the other guy sprints out.

So, an attack could not start early, because the peloton would have all day to "reel it in." And an attack could not start toward the end because the sprinter teams are cranking up the pace - you would have to attack not a regular touring pace, but a panicked breakneck pace - SRSLY, like the diff between 30MPH and 40MPH.

--to see this, watch tomorrow and see what the pace is at the mid-way point, and once they pass three-quarters of the way.

How could it work? It could work by capitalizing on the way that most later-tour breakaways work: a big group attacks and forms their own group, an echelon, off the front - with enough riders committed to a fast ride, AND no one in that group threatening overall standings, then the peloton would let them stay out front - at least for a while - until the sprint teams wanted to reel them in.

With a fast group out front, a contender could maybe - maybe -bridge to that front echelon with a heroic ride. Once in the breakaway, he could possibly catch his breath, then ride off the front of that group.

Possibly, a few might want to share the glory - so he might have a fast few riders just wanting to be in the camera's eye, or get a stage win.

But this handful would have to be so fast, like a ride-of-a-lifetime time trial for ten miles or so, that not even the teams trying to get sprinters up front could run them down -- a sprinter cannot "win" the sprint if two attackers cross the line a minute before the sprinter.

I hope that makes sense. I would love to see an attack, but it is unlikely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I happened to be reading the official TdF page for this final stage - this is what they note, regarding attacks off the front on the final day...

"But according to recent statistics, every eleven years it's not a bunch sprint finish in Paris. In 1994, Eddy Seigneur rode away from a 5-man breakaway to precede Frankie Andreu by three seconds. In 2005, Alexandre Vinokourov overtook Bradley McGee who had escaped the peloton before the flamme rouge. We're in 2016…"

--Looking back on 2005 data shows that Vino's performance still stands; he was not DQd that year. In fact, his 5th became 3rd after LA and Jan were DQd.

So, Vino not only rode away to take the final stage in 2005, he podium'd with this performance.
 

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This gets asked almost every year. It is intriguing. Here is why no one attempts it.

Two reasons: first: yes, it has become tradition.
Second: stalemate. For the sake of a general audience, my explanation will be a little basic. When one guy or a handful try to ride away and take the lead, it is an "attack." Yes, in road cycling, you attack by running away.

The peloton is super-efficient. If anyone has never ridden in a group, and enjoyed the thrill of riding along at 25MPH with little effort, you gotta try it sometime. Except in mountains or twisty roads, the peloton has the ability to go faster than any individual ro handful of indiv riders - this is because the peloton has many to take turns cutting the wind resistance, and everyone else has it much easier.

If one rider who is only a couple of minutes from the podium attacks off the front, he threatens the podium position of at least one other team's guy. So, that team will head to the front and pull the peloton.

The peloton may get stretched out, but no one wants to fall off the back of the peloton - it is easier to be in the hive. [I think of it as a hive, since it buzzes; peloton is a French version of "platoon," like a military phalanx. So, there may be many who don't care if one rider supplants another on the podium, but they will speed up just so they don't lose touch with the peloton. So, the pullers would raise the speed of the entire peloton.

This final stage is a sprinter stage. The ride will not be fast since it is something of a stalemate, but toward the end, the pace will pick up a lot as the sprinter teams try to get their guy in position, in a line up front - in order to have their sprinter sprint once he thinks the time is right, OR when the other guy sprints out.

So, an attack could not start early, because the peloton would have all day to "reel it in." And an attack could not start toward the end because the sprinter teams are cranking up the pace - you would have to attack not a regular touring pace, but a panicked breakneck pace - SRSLY, like the diff between 30MPH and 40MPH.

--to see this, watch tomorrow and see what the pace is at the mid-way point, and once they pass three-quarters of the way.

How could it work? It could work by capitalizing on the way that most later-tour breakaways work: a big group attacks and forms their own group, an echelon, off the front - with enough riders committed to a fast ride, AND no one in that group threatening overall standings, then the peloton would let them stay out front - at least for a while - until the sprint teams wanted to reel them in.

With a fast group out front, a contender could maybe - maybe -bridge to that front echelon with a heroic ride. Once in the breakaway, he could possibly catch his breath, then ride off the front of that group.

Possibly, a few might want to share the glory - so he might have a fast few riders just wanting to be in the camera's eye, or get a stage win.

But this handful would have to be so fast, like a ride-of-a-lifetime time trial for ten miles or so, that not even the teams trying to get sprinters up front could run them down -- a sprinter cannot "win" the sprint if two attackers cross the line a minute before the sprinter.

I hope that makes sense. I would love to see an attack, but it is unlikely.
This should be a sticky. It's that good of an explanation! I do have one minor comment... Echelon is typically used to refer to an angled formation of riders dealing with a crosswind.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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Great explanation PJ, but consider this-16 seconds separate 2nd and 3rd. Adam Yates is 22 seconds off Quintana. What if Movistar and Orica worked together and attacked at the right time. Two pretty strong teams. Can AG2R hang with them? Sky certainly could. Even if they get reeled in maybe Nairo gets second and Yates gets white jersey and podium while Bardet gets knocked off podium. Result might be riots by French fans but could be exciting racing.

Anyway would love to see something like this happen but even if it doesn't, the final sprint will definitely be worth watching.

Thanks again PJ for your posting and comments on the tour, ride on bro!
 

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Pjay Thanks for the insights, it helps an ole country rube like myself!!! This was a great year for the Tour,, Wow just think of the talent trailing the lead by seconds in the first 10 stages and then team Sky taking control and pushing Froome ahead, what a talented team!! KUDOs to all,, I want to watch it from the side lines next year.. Thanks RBR Great site!!
 

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It was cool to see the finale in person. Sooo much energy in the air and great to see the riders come by so many times instead of just once like a normal stage.
 

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Sagan just checked into our hotel wearing his world champs jersey. All smiles, posing for photos and signing autographs.
 

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I think Sagan would have won the last stage if it were not for the rear end of his bike getting loose. If you watch the video, you can see him putting the hammer down and it looks as if his bike is slipping sideways on the paint. The winner was slipping as well but not as much
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
thanks.
yes on the echelon - i was looking for the right words.
 

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Great explanation PJ, but consider this-16 seconds separate 2nd and 3rd. Adam Yates is 22 seconds off Quintana. What if Movistar and Orica worked together and attacked at the right time. Two pretty strong teams. Can AG2R hang with them? Sky certainly could. Even if they get reeled in maybe Nairo gets second and Yates gets white jersey and podium while Bardet gets knocked off podium. Result might be riots by French fans but could be exciting racing.

Anyway would love to see something like this happen but even if it doesn't, the final sprint will definitely be worth watching.

Thanks again PJ for your posting and comments on the tour, ride on bro!
As well, it's the final day of a grueling 3 weeks and everybody would just like to cruise into Paris for a well deserved rest.

Plus it's hard to make up 20 seconds and podium when the defending team is going to hunt you and your team down. It would make every mile into Paris a battle zone, and nobody wants a crash on the final day.

Then there's the streets of Paris, with a lot of cobblestones and turns in a criterium format. It's a mess when the sprinters all make their move with teams not contesting a sprint just wanting to stay out of the way.

The win by Lemond in '89 was in a controversial time trial on the final day, something they may never do again.
 
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