The Official UCI Pro Cycling Thread

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DOB
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Re: The Official UCI Pro Cycling Thread

Post by DOB »

The country is at such altitude that they all naturally have a massive lung capacity/blood oxygen level. Similar reason why Kenyans from the Rift Valley in particular make such good distance runners.

Quite why there isn't much crossover between the 2 (Kenyan cyclists or Colombian marathon runners) is unclear, but may just be as simple as the Colombians all have bikes and the Kenyans run everywhere.
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Re: The Official UCI Pro Cycling Thread

Post by BlackMac »

This tour seems a mirror image of the tours where the Skytrain spat out Moviestars leaving Quintana exposed on the final climbs, just this year it is Jumbo doing it to Ineos. I think their only hope is that the inexperience of some of the Jumbos might show later on in the tour.
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Re: The Official UCI Pro Cycling Thread

Post by DOB »

Jumbo aren’t lacking experience, but they are just short in the horsepower advantage Sky had at their best. The Skytrain was always able to shell all but one or two of the other GC riders before Froome had to put his nose in the wind. The last 2 stages, Roglic has been on his own against all the other captains. It makes for better racing, as it’s more even between them.

Roglic and Pogacar, as of today, have the best engines, so are the 2 most likely to go all the way. Of the 2, Roglic clearly has the strongest team, so has to be the favorite. But, there’s a little way to go, with 3 big mountain stages, a couple of tough medium stages, some crosswinds possible Tuesday, and a TT still to come.
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Re: The Official UCI Pro Cycling Thread

Post by BlackMac »

DOB wrote: Sun Sep 06, 2020 8:49 pm Jumbo aren’t lacking experience, but they are just short in the horsepower advantage Sky had at their best. The Skytrain was always able to shell all but one or two of the other GC riders before Froome had to put his nose in the wind. The last 2 stages, Roglic has been on his own against all the other captains. It makes for better racing, as it’s more even between them.

Roglic and Pogacar, as of today, have the best engines, so are the 2 most likely to go all the way. Of the 2, Roglic clearly has the strongest team, so has to be the favorite. But, there’s a little way to go, with 3 big mountain stages, a couple of tough medium stages, some crosswinds possible Tuesday, and a TT still to come.
They are certainly inexperienced in the position they find themselves, and the likes of Kuss, van Aert and Jansen, for all their ability, lack the experience of grand tours that Sky were able to pack their teams with.
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Re: The Official UCI Pro Cycling Thread

Post by TheFrog »

Yes, I really think JV are not as strong as Sky used to be and it definitely makes the tour more entertaining this year. I am loving it.

Slovenia and Columbia seem to be the new cycling super powers in GTs.

I love Pogacar, it's a blessing he lost time in the echelons as it forces him to attack to clumch some time back. Let's not forget he beat Roglic for their National TT championship so he has clearly an advantage over Bernal who will need to drop both Slovenes and put a lot of time in them if he wants to win this year. I was glad he had better legs today and disappointed Quintana didn't seem as strong as yesterday.

Porte, Bardet and Martin seem slightly weaker but who knows how all these guys will fare in 3 weeks time?
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Re: The Official UCI Pro Cycling Thread

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BlackMac wrote: Sun Sep 06, 2020 11:57 pm
DOB wrote: Sun Sep 06, 2020 8:49 pm Jumbo aren’t lacking experience, but they are just short in the horsepower advantage Sky had at their best. The Skytrain was always able to shell all but one or two of the other GC riders before Froome had to put his nose in the wind. The last 2 stages, Roglic has been on his own against all the other captains. It makes for better racing, as it’s more even between them.

Roglic and Pogacar, as of today, have the best engines, so are the 2 most likely to go all the way. Of the 2, Roglic clearly has the strongest team, so has to be the favorite. But, there’s a little way to go, with 3 big mountain stages, a couple of tough medium stages, some crosswinds possible Tuesday, and a TT still to come.
They are certainly inexperienced in the position they find themselves, and the likes of Kuss, van Aert and Jansen, for all their ability, lack the experience of grand tours that Sky were able to pack their teams with.
Between Dumoulin and Roglic, they have 2 GT wins and a bunch of podiums, and Gesink and Martin have about as much experience of riding grand tours as you can get in the current peloton. Sky had to start from somewhere too.

And Sky didn’t need “experience” in 2012, they just had the strongest train. Every mountain stage, the bunch would get whittled down to Froome, Wiggins and Nibali, and they knew Nibbles would lose time hand over fist in the TTs.
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Re: The Official UCI Pro Cycling Thread

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Interesting comment from Bardet which seems to indicate that all riders are in exceptional form, may be thanks to the COVID break.
Bardet said. “I’m doing performances that I’ve never done in the past. I’m breaking records, so the form is very good, but the level is just ultra-high. All the top players are here, with only one or two exceptions. It’s really a race of a very high level and I like it when there’s a battle like that.”

While the reading on Bardet’s power meter suggests that he is exceeding his displays of 2016 and 2017, he accepts that his performance might not be rewarded with a similarly lofty position in Paris on September 20, such is the general level of this post-lockdown Tour.

“It’s being raced faster than before,” he said. “We’re breaking all the climbing records on every col we go up on this Tour, but you have to hang on, believe in yourself and you never know. You feel that teams are less strong than on the Dauphiné, so you need stay confident and optimistic.”
For sure, he acknowledges that there are 2 Slovenian monsters who seem to be above the rest and well out of his reach at the moment:
“It’s up to me to try to ride differently because there are riders, especially Roglič and Pogačar, who are step above everyone else at the moment,” Bardet said. “We’ll see if that reality continues for the next two weeks, but for the moment, that’s how it is. Last year and the year before there were riders strong than me too, so you have to accept it, be realistic about your level and sure of what you can do.”
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Re: The Official UCI Pro Cycling Thread

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Lovely clean neat sprint by Bennett who takes the green jersey back. This year Sagan will have to battle hard to finish in green in Paris.

Delighted for Bennett who deserves such a win.
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Re: The Official UCI Pro Cycling Thread

Post by DOB »

Bennett is now the 2nd ever Irishman to win stages in all 3 Grand Tours. The first was Shay Elliott (1960 Giro, 62 & 63 Vuelta, 63 Tour). So closing a bit of a gap there.
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Re: The Official UCI Pro Cycling Thread

Post by BlackMac »

DOB wrote: Tue Sep 08, 2020 5:32 pm Bennett is now the 2nd ever Irishman to win stages in all 3 Grand Tours. The first was Shay Elliott (1960 Giro, 62 & 63 Vuelta, 63 Tour). So closing a bit of a gap there.
Never even realised Kelly didn't win any Giro stages. Just assumed he must have.
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Re: The Official UCI Pro Cycling Thread

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Kelly spent most of his career riding the Vuelta (sponsors' demands mostly). Even though those early-80s Giro routes (that were set up for Moser and Saronni to beat Hinault and Fignon) would have really suited Kelly perfectly.

Riding a full shift of Classics, plus 3 GTs, in a season would have been a little too much even back in those days.

When he finally rode the Giro for the first time, he was past his best. And it was a similar story with Roche and the Vuelta.
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Re: The Official UCI Pro Cycling Thread

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Boring stage until Sagan tried to get himself kicked out of the TDF again. Second win for Ewan and Bennett taking a major advantage for the green jersey now.
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Re: The Official UCI Pro Cycling Thread

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Another great ride by Hirschi, well supported by a sound team plan and execution. Delighted for the young man who really deserves this win.

Alaphilippe didn't manage that stage very well, leaving it too late to launch his own move. And he is learning what it is to be a marked man. Reminds me of Sagan in his greatest years, when he could never rely on the collaboration of his break-away colleagues.
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Re: The Official UCI Pro Cycling Thread

Post by Beaver_Shark »

Cracking win Andersen. Sunweb raced that stage absolutely beautifully! Bora (and to a lesser extent CCC) burnt their matches while distancing Bennett, and at the same time eliminated almost all Alaphilippe's teammates who were trying to get Bennett back.

In the end Sunweb had 3-4 riders that could have won that.
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Re: The Official UCI Pro Cycling Thread

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Sunweb are the success story of the Tour. I gave them a hard time about leaving out Bling, who was the only TdF stage winner they had on their books beforehand, but they clearly knew what they were doing. Benoot is a quality rider, but just doesn't have the punch to finish off a race; so they're using him brilliantly as a foil for later attacks.

I hope they send Hirschi off on another raid in the Alps, because Cosnefroy's continued presence in the polka dots is offensive to the young me who grew up watching Chiappucci and Virenque winning it on epic rides across multiple HC cols.
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Re: The Official UCI Pro Cycling Thread

Post by iarmhiman »

Benett kind of got away with that. Those transition stages are the most dangerous for him.

Sagan needed to win that. A great effort all the same.

The next stages are cat 1 and cat HR climb stages which wont suit Sagan.

Sam just needs to finish in the time limit for Paris.
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Re: The Official UCI Pro Cycling Thread

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Yes, great success story for Sunweb so far.

Yesterday's stage was another heart breaker for us French, with Martin struggling and Bardet getting seriously injured. I am actually shocked that he was allowed back on his bike despite the fact that he was clearly knocked out by the fall. He actually has a small brain hemorrhage...

Yet at the same time, the stage was a brilliant one I thought, and the fact that these are familiar landscapes for me made it even better. Roglic is looking very strong and I think he will manage the Alps. Yesterday was a lot of climbing and he looked the fresher of all GC chasers at the top of Puy Mary. Porte impressed me while Pogacar, although deservely in second position, seem to reach his limit. I am not sure he will be able to challenge Roglic. Bernal was heart broken and you have to feel for him. He has never found his form.
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Re: The Official UCI Pro Cycling Thread

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There's a lot of obituaries being written for Bernal's Tour challenge, which seems premature for someone who's 59 seconds down, with the Alps, where he won the Tour last year, still to come. Yes, Roglic looks a lot stronger, but there's a lot of climbing still to come, including 3 big summit finishes.
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Re: The Official UCI Pro Cycling Thread

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DOB wrote: Sat Sep 12, 2020 5:59 pm There's a lot of obituaries being written for Bernal's Tour challenge, which seems premature for someone who's 59 seconds down, with the Alps, where he won the Tour last year, still to come. Yes, Roglic looks a lot stronger, but there's a lot of climbing still to come, including 3 big summit finishes.
I agree it is premature, and the Puy Mary stage, for all the climbing, had a more punchy type of final with a short steep ascent compared to the longest ones coming next week where Bernal's diesel engine will be better suited for the effort. However, Bernal doesn't seem to be in top shape. He sent his team to the front and was taken to the cleaners on the Puy Mary slopes. He was crying on his bike on arrival. Hardly encouraging signs.

So, of course, we still don't know how Roglic will fare on these much longer ascents (and you have a guy like Quintana to be watched as weel). But there is also a TT on the penultimate stage which should give Roglic another minute buffer, despite the final ascent on the Planche des Belles Filles. So Bernal needs to clinch 2 minutes to have a chance to win this year.
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Re: The Official UCI Pro Cycling Thread

Post by P in VG »

TheFrog wrote: Sat Sep 12, 2020 6:28 pm
DOB wrote: Sat Sep 12, 2020 5:59 pm There's a lot of obituaries being written for Bernal's Tour challenge, which seems premature for someone who's 59 seconds down, with the Alps, where he won the Tour last year, still to come. Yes, Roglic looks a lot stronger, but there's a lot of climbing still to come, including 3 big summit finishes.
I agree it is premature, and the Puy Mary stage, for all the climbing, had a more punchy type of final with a short steep ascent compared to the longest ones coming next week where Bernal's diesel engine will be better suited for the effort. However, Bernal doesn't seem to be in top shape. He sent his team to the front and was taken to the cleaners on the Puy Mary slopes. He was crying on his bike on arrival. Hardly encouraging signs.

So, of course, we still don't know how Roglic will fare on these much longer ascents (and you have a guy like Quintana to be watched as weel). But there is also a TT on the penultimate stage which should give Roglic another minute buffer, despite the final ascent on the Planche des Belles Filles. So Bernal needs to clinch 2 minutes to have a chance to win this year.
I'm not sure about that - Bernal is a decent time trialist

He looked in good spirits today with his little attack at the end & will remain dangerous at only 1min down on GC
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Re: The Official UCI Pro Cycling Thread

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P in VG wrote: Sat Sep 12, 2020 6:36 pm

I'm not sure about that - Bernal is a decent time trialist
Decent as in he can finish within the top 25. Last year in Pau, a hilly TT, he finished 1'36 behind Alaphilippe who won the stage. That was 51'' adrift of Richie Porte or Rigoberto Uran, and 47'' off Thibaut Pinot.

Roglic in comparison is a monster in TT.

The last TT is a 36km with a long stretch of flat where Roglic will capitalise on his power, with a short punchy climb where Roglic can do very well like he did in the first TT in the Giro last year.

Bernal has a massive challenge ahead of him in the Alps. The only way he can win is if Roglic burns out on the Alpine slopes.
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Re: The Official UCI Pro Cycling Thread

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TheFrog wrote: Sat Sep 12, 2020 5:52 pm I am actually shocked that he was allowed back on his bike despite the fact that he was clearly knocked out by the fall. He actually has a small brain hemorrhage...
cycling has a cultural problem similar to the one that rugby faced with playing concussed being seen as a badge of toughness.

Luckily its much rarer in cycling.
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Re: The Official UCI Pro Cycling Thread

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Speaking of ITT, I heard the other day that Pogacar actually beat Roglic this year in the Slovenian championships.

So Bernal will have to make up a ton of time in the Alps on those two because they will eat him up in that ITT.

Pogacar's potential looks insane at this stage.
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Re: The Official UCI Pro Cycling Thread

Post by Bullettyme »

Enjoying the Tour this year, even more so as I've been able to throw it on the TV when working from home!

Really hope Sam can claim green, Bora really put him through the ringer the last two days.

Pogacar is some cyclist, just a matter of time....

I wouldn't mind seeing Bernal winning it again, he is a class rider. But not sure he has the team this year, and I think he might not be fully fit.

I went cycling in Colombia early this year pre covid, and the guys I went with were telling me that the parties when Bernal won last year were the biggest parties they had ever seen. The country is cycling mad, particularly in the Andean regions.
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Re: The Official UCI Pro Cycling Thread

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Bullettyme wrote: Sat Sep 12, 2020 10:12 pm Enjoying the Tour this year, even more so as I've been able to throw it on the TV when working from home!

Really hope Sam can claim green, Bora really put him through the ringer the last two days.

Pogacar is some cyclist, just a matter of time....

I wouldn't mind seeing Bernal winning it again, he is a class rider. But not sure he has the team this year, and I think he might not be fully fit.

I went cycling in Colombia early this year pre covid, and the guys I went with were telling me that the parties when Bernal won last year were the biggest parties they had ever seen. The country is cycling mad, particularly in the Andean regions.
It's a great TdF this year, in part because no team is really strong enough to grind the opposition into submission. For all the expectations, Jumbo Visma have often left it to Roglic to manage Pogacar's attacks on his own, and on most summits, the leaders really had to battle between themselves which made for exciting finals.

I am delighted for the Colombian though disappointed that my favorite, Quintana, didn't quite manage to keep his hopes of winning alive prior to reaching the Alps.
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Re: The Official UCI Pro Cycling Thread

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Beaver_Shark wrote: Sat Sep 12, 2020 7:37 pm Speaking of ITT, I heard the other day that Pogacar actually beat Roglic this year in the Slovenian championships.

So Bernal will have to make up a ton of time in the Alps on those two because they will eat him up in that ITT.

Pogacar's potential looks insane at this stage.
Agreed.

Roglic knows he is facing a real threat in Pogacar and the battle in the Alps will be epic. I am really looking forward to it. Roglic seems to have the edge, but form varies and who knows how both will handle the long climbs. Tomorrow is a great day. The Colombians must move if they want to salvage any opportunity for the yellow jersey in Paris. Should be exciting.
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Re: The Official UCI Pro Cycling Thread

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TheFrog wrote: Sat Sep 12, 2020 10:53 pm
Bullettyme wrote: Sat Sep 12, 2020 10:12 pm Enjoying the Tour this year, even more so as I've been able to throw it on the TV when working from home!

Really hope Sam can claim green, Bora really put him through the ringer the last two days.

Pogacar is some cyclist, just a matter of time....

I wouldn't mind seeing Bernal winning it again, he is a class rider. But not sure he has the team this year, and I think he might not be fully fit.

I went cycling in Colombia early this year pre covid, and the guys I went with were telling me that the parties when Bernal won last year were the biggest parties they had ever seen. The country is cycling mad, particularly in the Andean regions.
It's a great TdF this year, in part because no team is really strong enough to grind the opposition into submission. For all the expectations, Jumbo Visma have often left it to Roglic to manage Pogacar's attacks on his own, and on most summits, the leaders really had to battle between themselves which made for exciting finals.

I am delighted for the Colombian though disappointed that my favorite, Quintana, didn't quite manage to keep his hopes of winning alive prior to reaching the Alps.
Yeah bit of a pity for Quintana. Although I am not a huge fan.

There's 5 Colombians in the top 10 :shock: and to add to that Martinez had one of those legendary stages.

My missus is half Colombian (although her mom is costeña). I hope our children get some of those genes :lol:
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Re: The Official UCI Pro Cycling Thread

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TheFrog wrote: Sat Sep 12, 2020 10:53 pm I am delighted for the Colombian though disappointed that my favorite, Quintana, didn't quite manage to keep his hopes of winning alive prior to reaching the Alps.
Quintana's at 1.12. He's been good for at least one "turn on the jets and ride away from everyone" performance per Tour the last 2 years, and there are some massive mountains to finish off some upcoming stages. I currently have him picked to win the Meribel stage. It might not be enough to beat Roglic, but it's equally early to write him off.
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Re: The Official UCI Pro Cycling Thread

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Surely the most disappointing sight of the Tour so far is Quintana and Bernal dropped less than halfway up the Colombiere behind a peloton led by half the Jumbo Visma team.
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Yellow Team Sky
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P in VG wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 4:46 pm Yellow Team Sky
No suspicion of 'marginal gains' there though.
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Re: The Official UCI Pro Cycling Thread

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DOB wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 4:07 pm Surely the most disappointing sight of the Tour so far is Quintana and Bernal dropped less than halfway up the Colombiere behind a peloton led by half the Jumbo Visma team.
Bernal especially. Sure, WVA set a pretty mean tempo on that climb but you don't expect Bernal to be dropped before 3 of his domestiques. The signs have been there since the Dauphine unfortunately.

Interestingly Froome came out with comments yesterday saying he feels he could have made a difference to the team. G has also gone pretty well at Tirreno-Adriatico, and so there's quite a bit to consider for Ineos in hindsight.
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nardol wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 5:19 pm
P in VG wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 4:46 pm Yellow Team Sky
No suspicion of 'marginal gains' there though.
Van Aert finished with the Bernal group.

I don't know what secret formula JV have found. It didn't seem to be working so much up until now, as they kept getting to the final climb with Roglic alone, but they seemed to swing in the opposite direction today.
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Re: The Official UCI Pro Cycling Thread

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Beaver_Shark wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 5:21 pm
DOB wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 4:07 pm Surely the most disappointing sight of the Tour so far is Quintana and Bernal dropped less than halfway up the Colombiere behind a peloton led by half the Jumbo Visma team.
Bernal especially. Sure, WVA set a pretty mean tempo on that climb but you don't expect Bernal to be dropped before 3 of his domestiques. The signs have been there since the Dauphine unfortunately.

Interestingly Froome came out with comments yesterday saying he feels he could have made a difference to the team. G has also gone pretty well at Tirreno-Adriatico, and so there's quite a bit to consider for Ineos in hindsight.
Did Froome say that? His best stage finish at T-A so far is 63rd, 10 minutes down.

It does seem like Ineos need to have a look at some of their processes. Bernal hasn't been great up until now, but we've never seen a Sky GC leader have a blowup like today at the Tour.
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Re: The Official UCI Pro Cycling Thread

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DOB wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 5:29 pm
Beaver_Shark wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 5:21 pm
DOB wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 4:07 pm Surely the most disappointing sight of the Tour so far is Quintana and Bernal dropped less than halfway up the Colombiere behind a peloton led by half the Jumbo Visma team.
Bernal especially. Sure, WVA set a pretty mean tempo on that climb but you don't expect Bernal to be dropped before 3 of his domestiques. The signs have been there since the Dauphine unfortunately.

Interestingly Froome came out with comments yesterday saying he feels he could have made a difference to the team. G has also gone pretty well at Tirreno-Adriatico, and so there's quite a bit to consider for Ineos in hindsight.
Did Froome say that? His best stage finish at T-A so far is 63rd, 10 minutes down.

It does seem like Ineos need to have a look at some of their processes. Bernal hasn't been great up until now, but we've never seen a Sky GC leader have a blowup like today at the Tour.
Here's the article.

https://www.eurosport.com/cycling/tour- ... -amp.shtml

He's trying to be diplomatic, but you can see he clearly feels the team were wrong for leaving him and G out.
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Re: The Official UCI Pro Cycling Thread

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I can't say I am surprised for Bernal, though I wouldn't have expected such a big loss of time. The way he cried at the Puy Mary after the climb didn't bode well. Feel sorry for the young man but he has his best years in front of him.

Impressed with Porte who is doing his best tour ever. Hope he gets the podium.

Can Pogacar beat Roglic? It will be an exciting final week. But Roglic got his team to ride for the stage win and Pogacar best him. This may be a warning for the leader.
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Re: The Official UCI Pro Cycling Thread

Post by Beaver_Shark »

Simon Yates wins Tirreno-Adriatico by 17 seconds, and Geraint Thomas finishes 2nd.

I think G is looking pretty good for the Giro. There's also around 65KM of time trial and it will definitely suit the type of rider he is.
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Re: The Official UCI Pro Cycling Thread

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Image

Should Bennett go for that intermediate sprint or save his energy to finish in the time limit?
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Re: The Official UCI Pro Cycling Thread

Post by Beaver_Shark »

Bora will probably hammer it from the word go and will probably distance Bennett anyway on that lumpy opening 40km. It might make better sense for him to try and save his legs.
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Re: The Official UCI Pro Cycling Thread

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Great victory for Kamna today. A future GC rider in the making.

Bernal seems to be really struggling. I wonder if he is actually not seriously impaired by back pain. We'll see tomorrow if he tries to win the stage or struggle big time again.

Alaphilippe doesn't have his 2019 legs for sure.

This tour was really the new young generation taking over with the likes of Pogacar, Hirschi or Kamna winning stages.
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