Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Banned
Bianchi Nuovo Alloro, Lemond Etape
Joined
·
2,299 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
TdF'16 Stage15 Jul17 Discussion Thread. Spoilers!

I had speculated that the combo of the mountain stage followed by the time trial might really be where we saw the cement of the podium begin to firm up. Things are fairly firm. There are 16 riders within 10 minutes - Barguil is 16th, at 8:23 back. The three that will be on the podium in Paris are in this group. Arguably, those three are now in the top eight.

There are four remaining mountain stages. It is possible someone could leap from beyond 10 minutes back and end up on the podium, but not very likely. A few of these guys are near the top because their role as domestique has temporarily kept them high in the rankings, or a great ride on a day or two has kept them in the rare air. Is this the fate of Yates? Or is Yates an up-and-comer?

This is the point where people begin wondering who will mature in the next couple of years and be a leader of the future. Are TJ and Porte maturing to be perennial GC contenders?

Now is where we really can explore these questions. And ponder what things would be like if Contador had not had such bad luck.

Anyhoo. Big time can be grabbed on these mountain stages. The tour is classically won by riding well all around, but making a mark on at least one mountain stage. It truly is the case that one is all it takes.

Stage 15. As far as the competition goes, this will be epic. However, it is a goofy course. It turns back on itself. I don't like these types of stages. Originally, Le Tour was something of a circuit around France - stages would pretty much encircle the country. So, it would not make sense to have a course double-back on itself. As a circuit, this was a great idea. This obviously would get you into the Pyrenees and the Alps, so there was plenty of thrill.

But for many decades, this circuit idea is more of a suggestion. It is even more of a suggestion when the course loops back on itself.

This course covers a difficult sawtooth 95 miles. Sixty miles along, after six climbs that includes a cat1, a cat2, and two cat3s, the riders encounter Grand Colombier, an eight-mile climb ascending almost 1,000 metres. After this peak, the riders drop down to the town of Culoz in a dizzying 1,200 meter descent.

At this point, 20 miles remain. And, this ending is odd. I think this is how the end goes: at the end of the descent, the riders have a few miles, then begin a loop. This loop goes up another part of the Colombier mountain for six miles, ascending about 700 meters on this cat1, then descend six miles, and ride another five back to the point where this final climb began.

I cannot tell whether the loop ends up on itself again, or just really close. This final jaunt may take about 30 minutes, so later riders very well are likely to be beginning this final loop as the first riders complete.

If anyone has a better grasp of how this course, ends, please comment. But either way, the end is a flat run of about five miles, following a descent of several miles.

So, this allows opportunity for pursuers to catch up with whomever prevails in the lead over these final two climbs.

I may skip the main church service to catch this, and show up for Bible Study class. This may be epic cycling. Or, Froome-borg.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,683 Posts
Great Day for climbers who are down on time and want points and/or the win.
Unless the GC guys put the pedal to the medal - but who is up for a fight today?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,435 Posts
At this point I'm thinking the podium is coming from the top 6 and I'd even go with 5 of the top 6 and remove Valverde from the podium conversation, least we forget he's coming off the Giro and targeting the Olympics not a Tour podium. Of course he could end up there just because he's still hanging around the top 5.
 

·
Banned
Bianchi Nuovo Alloro, Lemond Etape
Joined
·
2,299 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Great Day for climbers who are down on time and want points and/or the win.
Unless the GC guys put the pedal to the medal - but who is up for a fight today?
Not many up for a fight. Except for Valverde. Astana pulled a little bit, and it seemed like they wanted to press the pace. Otherwise, Valverde pressed a good amount.

But it will all be too little too late. Froome ended up only with two teammates up there with him - the teams should have isolated Froome.Sky on the Colombier, then played cat and mouse on the second, until finding out the point where Froome will blow up.

I think Froome was on the edge. On other stages, he done the dominance-hump when he has been challenged, but there was none of that today...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,435 Posts
I agree Valverde was the only who looked up for a fight and he's not supposed to be a GC contender this year. Apparently he's not feeling the effects of having raced the Giro than taken a month off. By the time Bardet got around to trying anything it was a bit too late, although from the sounds of it Bardet and Valverde did press a bit on the last decent which resulted in Nevie crashing, but definitely too late for that to make any difference. If the other GC guys aren't careful Valverde is going to end up with a podium by default.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,683 Posts
Not many up for a fight. Except for Valverde. Astana pulled a little bit, and it seemed like they wanted to press the pace. Otherwise, Valverde pressed a good amount.

But it will all be too little too late. Froome ended up only with two teammates up there with him - the teams should have isolated Froome.Sky on the Colombier, then played cat and mouse on the second, until finding out the point where Froome will blow up.

I think Froome was on the edge. On other stages, he done the dominance-hump when he has been challenged, but there was none of that today...
Wouter Poels was unbelievable today - pulled like a train. I think he put everyone on the limit. Simply a jaw-dropping experience for me seeing Poels still putting the hurt on everyone on the Lacets pass.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top