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Tour de France 2020

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1Tour de France 2020 Empty Tour de France 2020 on Tue Aug 25 2020, 18:42

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
Starts on Saturday after it's normal start date of early July had to be put back due to Covid.

For many reason's this year is the beginning of a change of guard with past winners such as Froome and Thomas not even been picked for their team and and Sky (now named Ineos) no longer being totally dominant with Jumbo-Visma threatening to be the new dominant force.

These are the Teams taking part and my views on them.

AG2R - French team with French rider Romain Bardet the standout rider and usually in the mix for a podium place in Paris.  Thing is though he's already told his team he's leaving at the end of the season, so will his colleagues be prepared to slog their guts out for him knowing he's jumping ship?

Astana - Team in decline.  Lopez is having an Indian summer to his career but I doubt he will get on the podium.

Bahrain-McLaren - A tie up between Arab wealth and F1 know how and headed by a former top boss at Sky/Ineos.  Still in the building process and have big hitters with Landa and Poels (both ex-Sky stars) probably too early in the building process but they decided not to take Cavendish, so they aren't focusing on sprint stages.

Bora - Sagan's team (he's been the best individual rider around for the best part of a decade) he's and all rounder - so can't keep up with the mountain boys, so will never win the TdF but he always wins the 'Green Jersey' which is really intended for the best sprinter but his all around ability means he picks up points on all stages which most of the sprinters (who like flat stages) can't.  Big shout out to the German Emanuel Buchmann one of the new wave of riders who will make their names in the coming years.  He already finished fourth at the Tour last year and could go even better this year if his team gives him the backing his talent deserves.

CCC - Sadly a team in chaos due to Corona and their made sponsor having to pull out.  Good luck to them but don't expect much from them.

Cofidis - Perennial French team at the Tour but a small fry.  Will be wanting to get on TV so will be in the early breaks for the cameras to follow.  They will hope to win a stage, if so their tour will be a good one and with the class sprinter Viviani in their team my money is on that they might well.

Quick Step - Belgium goliath of a team but their aim is the one day classic races that their fans adore.  They have however the super star, French rider Julian Alaphilippe who lit up last years race and could even win it if that was his aim and trained accordingly for it.  He says he isn't going for it this season and unfortunately lost his best helper Remco Evenepoel who crashed out of a recent race in dramatic style but seems to have survived it ok.  Evenepoel will certainly be one to watch for the future he certainly has the talent.  Stage wins seem to be the aim for Quick Step this tour.

EF Pro Cycling - Solid American team whose owner Johnathon Vaughters always seems to pull a rabbit out of the hat when it seems they are going to fold.  Uran has talent but never made the top step when it matters and Preston boy Carthy is in the team but I don't expect much other than perhaps a win from a breakaway in the mountains when the rider is not a worry to the GC boys.

FDJ - French team and contains the great French hope for a win in Pinot. The whole of France will once more be behind him and he has the talent to do it but in the past he seems to have let the pressure and expectations get to him.  Who knows maybe this is his year, certainly not a normal season lead up and no doubt one or two riders have kept their powder dry as to what their true condition is this season.  If he isn't going to have a better chance so it's now or never for him.  Certainly if he get's to the end I see him on the podium but which step would he be on?  

Israel Start up - new team with rich owner behind it - Froome is heading there next season.  Dan Martin, probably my favourite current rider is already there and I really do hope he wins a stage.  Apart from the really only there to make the numbers up.

Lotto - Soudal - Contains probably the best sprinter on this years tour with the Aussie Caleb Ewan.  Sprint wins are what they'll be aiming for and likely get them too.

Mitchelton-Scott - Aussie team being led by Bury boy Adam Yates who has already said his aim is stage wins of which he and his team are quite capable of delivering in the mountains.  He will be closely marked by the GC boys until he has dropped down far enough in terms of time to be no threat to them.  He is capable of beating them on his day on equal terms anyway but I suspect the plan is to lose time early in the race and target mountain stages when the big boys wouldn't be interested in competing with him.

Movistar - Spanish team in the midst of transition.  The great (but drug tainted) Valverde is still there and another one to look out for in the future Enric Mas has just joined them this season.  Don't think they have the big enough guns to win this year but they are still work in progress for now.

NTT Pro Cycling - The team you join when you want to end your career.  They have some former greats in their ranks but doubt they will achieve much.

Ineos - Not as invincible as they once were.  Should have the tools to win again with Bernal if the team fires correctly.  New boys Carapaz and Amador are on board and promising Russian Sivakov selected.  Bit of a question mark as to how they will fair but again start out as the team to beat.

Jumbo-Visma - The main rivals.  Seemed on course to win up to a recently as last week but since then have lost a top gun in Kruijswijk who crashed out injured in a race and their star Primoz Roglic also recovering from a crash.  If Roglic is fit and super star Tom Dumoulin who seemed to have the cycling world at his feet just two years ago but somehow couldn't handle it, takes up the slack from the missing Kruijswijk then the challenge is on, they certainly have solid back up riders with them in their team.  I think Roglic would have won before Krijswijk crash, now I'm not so sure.  If Ineos can't get it together as a team then put your money on Roglic for the win.

Sunweb - seemed to be going places just a couple of years back, now they seem to have just lost there way.  Don't expect much at all from them if I'm being honest.

Trek - The best rider I've seen never to win the Tour Richie Porte is here.  Would be nice if he could put that right but things like that don't happen in reality.  Solid team but aren't going to make a big noise at this Tour.

UAE - headed by Aru - a strange rider than doesn't seem to have that much top end talent but he's certainly pulled off some good wins.  Tadej Pogacar would be the one to watch for me another of the potentially up and coming great riders of the next generation.

Direct Energie - Another second level French Team always given a wild card entry.  Similar game plan as Cofidis above.

Arkea-Samsic - A second tier outfit with big ambitions.  They have signed the moody Nairo Quintana who should have by now won the TdF but has always seemed to be too busy fighting with his team than getting them to support him.  Frenchman Warren Barguil is in the team and he is another wonderfully gifted riders who seems to have lost his way.  This wildcard entry might in fact turn out to be the wildcard that sparks this years edition of the Tour into life.  If Quintana doesn't get blown over on the flat stages or loses too much time in the Team Time Trials he might (with his team behind him) pose a real threat.  A lot of if's and buts but there might be something here to watch.

B&B Hotels
- see Direct Energie and Cofidis above


A Roglic win for me but who really knows what will unfold on the Tour.

I'm certainly looking forward to it whatever happens.

2Tour de France 2020 Empty Re: Tour de France 2020 on Tue Aug 25 2020, 18:48

sunlight

sunlight
Andy Walker
Andy Walker
I love watching the Tour de France. I watch it for the scenery. I watch it live on a french channel. Thanks for that, I didnt know it was happening this year.

3Tour de France 2020 Empty Re: Tour de France 2020 on Wed Aug 26 2020, 11:14

gloswhite

gloswhite
Guðni Bergsson
Guðni Bergsson
Too commercial now. There's always somebody pedaling something.  Very Happy  (sorry)

4Tour de France 2020 Empty Re: Tour de France 2020 on Sat Aug 29 2020, 13:40

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
Glos - boo get off!!!

Very Happy


Tour starts today and even before the first pedal is pushed, is doping back on the agenda again?

If you read by review above I mentioned that one team 'Quick Step' had a rider out injured after a dramatic crash and now video has emerged of his team manager (think like Jurgen Klopp is to Liverpool as Quick Step is like Liverpool is to football right now) getting something decidedly iffy looking out of the riders back pocket whilst he was laid on the floor in agony (broken pelvis).

What do you think?



Explaining the incident to Italian media in the aftermath of the video coming to light, Bramati told La Gazzetta dello Sport that he had removed food and a radio from Evenepoel’s pockets to make the rider more comfortable when he was transferred to a stretcher.

“[It was] nothing illicit. I don’t understand how one could even think that. I remember very well that they were frantic moments and that there was a need to remove the things that were on Remco’s back because shortly afterwards he would have to lie on a stretcher,” Bramati said.

“So, I took away his radio, gel, bar, the ‘jar’ of sugars, and in order not to leave them on the ground I put them in my pocket. There is another photo in which you can see his helmet being taken off. That’s it.”

https://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/racing/uci-order-investigation-into-item-removed-from-evenepoels-pocket-after-crash-465192

(Also other stuff related to the bike and what information it was sending out and was it in permissible parameters).

The Cycling world body have ordered an investigation!

5Tour de France 2020 Empty Re: Tour de France 2020 on Sat Aug 29 2020, 14:22

wanderlust

wanderlust
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
"The Cycling World" need to get their act together regarding Covid. Currently they have ruled that if two members of a team test "non-negative" the whole team is immediately kicked off the tour.
What they haven't made clear is whether or not that refers to riders, support team, managers or all the above.
Nor have they made clear what will happen if the tour has to be abandoned at any particular stage.
The latter may affect tactics e.g. going for the yellow jersey early doors and the former may lead to a situation where a comfortable leader may get disqualified because two others catch Covid.
Clarity needed.

6Tour de France 2020 Empty Re: Tour de France 2020 on Sat Aug 29 2020, 14:39

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
@wanderlust wrote:"The Cycling World" need to get their act together regarding Covid. Currently they have ruled that if two members of a team test "non-negative" the whole team is immediately kicked off the tour.
What they haven't made clear is whether or not that refers to riders, support team, managers or all the above.
Nor have they made clear what will happen if the tour has to be abandoned at any particular stage.
The latter may affect tactics e.g. going for the yellow jersey early doors and the former may lead to a situation where a comfortable leader may get disqualified because two others catch Covid.
Clarity needed.

Maybe for you but as the Tour has already started and ALL the teams and riders are participating, the country, its government, its local authorities and police forces all happy for it to do so, so they they haven't got an issue even though you have.

Also 'comfortable' leaders have crashed out of the Tour many times before anyone knew Coronavirus even existed and last years Tour results were in effect determined directly through the abandonment of a key stage in the race due to a mountain land slip blocking the road.

The Tour is always about theatre and the unexpected and that's what I like about it myself.

7Tour de France 2020 Empty Re: Tour de France 2020 on Sat Aug 29 2020, 14:49

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
Think I mentioned everyone of these riders in my summary above.

Tour de France 2020 odds (Winner – Oddschecker)
Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma 9/4
Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos Grenadiers 11/4
Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Jumbo-Visma 15/2
Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 8/1
Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 14/1
Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers 14/1
Nair Quintana (Col) Arkéa-Samsic 28/1
Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step 28/1
Mikel Landa (Esp) Bahrain-McLaren 33/1
Emanuel Buchman (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 33/1

All odds correct at time of publication

8Tour de France 2020 Empty Re: Tour de France 2020 on Sat Aug 29 2020, 16:37

wanderlust

wanderlust
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
@Sluffy wrote:

Maybe for you but as the Tour has already started and ALL the teams and riders are participating, the country, its government, its local authorities and police forces all happy for it to do so, so they they haven't got an issue even though you have.
Clarity needed for me and for a bunch of pundits and ex-competitors who discussed this very matter on the radio today and know more about it than you ever will.

As an aside, why do you feel you need to have a go at everything I write? Unnecessary and it makes you look a bit foolish.

9Tour de France 2020 Empty Re: Tour de France 2020 on Sat Aug 29 2020, 19:20

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
@wanderlust wrote:
@Sluffy wrote:

Maybe for you but as the Tour has already started and ALL the teams and riders are participating, the country, its government, its local authorities and police forces all happy for it to do so, so they they haven't got an issue even though you have.
Clarity needed for me and for a bunch of pundits and ex-competitors who discussed this very matter on the radio today and know more about it than you ever will.

As an aside, why do you feel you need to have a go at everything I write? Unnecessary and it makes you look a bit foolish.

Does it, frankly I don't give a fuck, if you post shit on threads that interest me I'll better inform you to the wise - like it or not.

You and all the pundits and ex-competitors can believe what you want - do you (and them) really think the French government would have allowed its flagship, premier, global wide sports event, the country has, to take place in front of eyes of the world if they really thought it would end in a fiasco for them and a national embarrassment???

I don't know what's going to happen in the next three weeks, nobody does but I'm pretty sure they and the Tour organisers, in consultation with the teams and riders have come up with the best possible plan they can in the known circumstances and agreed how best to allow the event to take place and run.

Yes things may well go wrong and perhaps they will make it up on the hoof - that's quite common anyway with all the variables that go on every year with a race run on public roads.

So to say YOU think clarity is needed is just laughable and I wouldn't mind betting that every single one of those pundits an ex-competitors you listened to would swap their commentary mikes in a heartbeat if they could have the chance to ride in this years tour despite all they were saying!

The thing that you clearly don't get is that people are starting to see YOU for what you are.  

They may think I'm a nob anyway but they're beginning to see that you are as bad, if not far, far worse than how I'm made out to be.  They now see you as part of the problem and not the 'victim' as no doubt you like to see yourself as.

Originally I was never certain if you were intentionally posting stuff deliberately for a bite off me (trolling) but as time as gone on I've realised your issue is that you can't accept that you are ever wrong and dig yourself in to avoid ever putting your hand up and saying sorry, got that one wrong', or my mistake, or anything really other than defend what you've said to the death.

You've often tried to deflect attention away, usually by abuse, and I've noticed it creeping back in to your posts again - in this one I'm foolish, and this is another example from three or four days ago -

@wanderlust wrote: He can imagine that everyone's out to get him and magically divine what other people are thinking in an empty room Smile

Tour de France 2020 The-world--of-paranoia-2019-10-13

From where I stand YOU are the problem, you are the one that likes to think he knows everything and you are the one who can never accept (publicly at least) that you are ever wrong.

As they say it takes two to tango and if you think I'm some sort of pillock, then what you are missing yourself is that everybody is judging you by the same standard because they view us as being as bad as each other.

Think about it.

10Tour de France 2020 Empty Re: Tour de France 2020 on Sun Aug 30 2020, 20:03

wessy

wessy
El Hadji Diouf
El Hadji Diouf
Going to try amd watch most of this years race, stage one was interesting roads like ice rinks, people smashing all over the place until they all calmed down, today just caught the final 20k with three breaking away for an exciting finale with Alaphillipe taking the yellow jersey.

I know that the GC is based on time, i realise that they can win bonus seconds or recieve deductions, but i really struggle to follow the timings ie peleton all get the same time? then you see strugglers just coasting in ? so i guess they are the guys supporting the main man in the team so it's about finishing for them? any tips Sluffy ?

11Tour de France 2020 Empty Re: Tour de France 2020 on Sun Aug 30 2020, 21:15

boltonbonce

boltonbonce
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Tour de France 2020 The-tour-de-drugs

12Tour de France 2020 Empty Re: Tour de France 2020 on Sun Aug 30 2020, 21:18

sunlight

sunlight
Andy Walker
Andy Walker
They should let Terry Thomas race in it, also, with the others, and have a treasure chest of loot at the end of it. First to get there.

13Tour de France 2020 Empty Re: Tour de France 2020 on Sun Aug 30 2020, 22:21

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
Ok, at the end of race more often than not, there is a race between a number of riders to the line.

People tend to give it all they have got to cross the line in front and as a consequence 'die' at line being physically spent.

Imagine then a group of say fifty or sixty riders pedalling in a bunch finish with the first ten, twelve, fifteen of them whatever, sudenly running out of gas once they've crossed the line with the other thirty, forty, fifty still pedalling as fast as they can at the back of that bunch - it isn't going to end well.

So to prevent carnage beyond the finish line the rule is if two or more riders cross the line and there is no clear gap of (I think it is) two seconds between riders, then they will all be given the same time as the first person of the group crossing the line.

It's just a safety thing and allows for the ones lower down the pack not having to race to save time as they know as long as the group generally has stayed together crossing the line they will get the same time as the first person in the group.

What sometimes happens and seems a bit harsh is that a large group finishes and it can take several seconds to all go over the line and one or two are just a few yards off the end of them but because there is that slight time gap they are not two seconds behind the man in front but maybe as much as 15 or 20 seconds - as the man in front as the same time as the first one in the group and the next rider is deemed to be the first of the next group and thus given the time when he crosses the line.

As for the 'strugglers' all of them have to be within a time limit that is set on the winners of that stages time.

I can't remember the formula but let say the winner takes 2 hours to win the stage that day, then a percentage of his time - lets say 20% is added on giving a further 24 minutes - and anyone finishing after 2 hours 24 minutes are excluded from the race.

On mountain stages you often see a group of riders of different teams form an alliance at the back of the race called a groupetto to ride together to keep inside the time limit of that day.  These riders are usually the big powerhouse sprinters who carry to much muscle to go over the mountians fast but are the ones who contest the flat, sprint, stages.

This link explains it better -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autobus_(cycling)

As for the guys supporting their main man, yes, for them they sacrifice themselves to give their team leader the best chance of winning.  Although the TdF is a 'team' based sport, the idea is really for the 'team' to get their man to win.

Sometimes that means winning the Tour itself - but only a certain few are good enough to climb up mountains fast AND not lose any time on specialist stages such as the Individual Time Trial/s.  These riders are after what's known as 'General Classification' and often referred to as GC riders.

This year there is only one ITT and that is on a 'mountain' stage - so whoever is going to win this years tour is going to be a climber or an exceptional Time Trialist who can climb mountains well enough not to lose significant time to his rivals.

Other times it is about winning 'sprint' stages and that means getting your key sprint over the mountains within the time limits as well as being the 'train' that gets him to the front of the sprint stages with only about 100 or so meters to go. Caleb Ewan is probably the sprinter to watch but I've no idea of his form this season.

Sometimes it is about winning a particular 'jersey' such as King of the Mountains, where 'points' are on offer on various mountains and sometimes/often the GC riders are more concerned about their rivals than winning particular stages and let other riders who are not a threat to them timewise to win enough points to become KOM.

There are races with races and some times rivals will help each other out for their own mutual interest and sometimes they won't to make others make a move instead.

There's a lot going on, at various levels and for various reasons and once you start to grasp the plots and sub plots it starts to become far more interesting than just a load of blokes pedalling fast.

As Alaphillipe (he's a great rider, probably the best in the world right now but unless he's trained for this race specifically - ie lost weight but kept power, he is going to be outgunned on the big mountains to come) is now in yellow, part of the plot for the next few days is how his team will control the race in order for him to keep it.  Sometimes teams deliberately don't defend as they want their rivals to have the pressure instead.

Last year Alaphillipe was in yellow for many days, so I suspect the plan will be to do the same again - it's all good coverage for the teams sponsors, having all the TV cameras and pictures in the press/online, etc - and their logo/names all across his 'yellow' jersey.

As I say teams and riders have different agendas for what they want out of a race, some to win it, some to win certain stages, some to even just get their sponsors name in front of the cameras for as long as they can - usually by staging a long distance breakaway that can last for a number of hours, with little chance of succeeding but with maximum attention from the cameras for all the time they are in front.

Sometimes even they do get a surprise victory!

Please feel free to ask questions and I'll try my best to give you or anybody else an explanation if I can.

14Tour de France 2020 Empty Re: Tour de France 2020 on Sun Aug 30 2020, 22:36

Cajunboy

Cajunboy
El Hadji Diouf
El Hadji Diouf
Where is this pelican they keep banging on about?

As anybody seen it?

15Tour de France 2020 Empty Re: Tour de France 2020 on Mon Aug 31 2020, 02:36

sunlight

sunlight
Andy Walker
Andy Walker
Les Gilets jaunes oú le maillot jaune

16Tour de France 2020 Empty Re: Tour de France 2020 on Mon Aug 31 2020, 17:20

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
A in the words of Nixon -

Aye.

@Sluffy wrote:Caleb Ewan is probably the sprinter to watch but I've no idea of his form this season.

Very Happy

To be honest if you knew a little about cycling it wasn't a hard call to make, he was arguably the best in the world last season and this year due to Covid and the cycling calendar being squeezed into just a few months not all of the top cyclists have opted to be here, particularly because this years Tour is set in such a way that there are fewer stages 'winnable' for the pure sprinters (more stages are 'hilly' or mountainous), the others instead have opted for the other two big races, the tour of Italy and the tour of Spain, both of which will start in a few weeks time.

The best three sprinters at this years tour are Ewan (who as I say is probably the best in the world anyway), Bennett, an Irishman in the best team for sprinters and Italian Viviani whose team seems not to be working well for him.

There is no doubt others are aiming to become more established names at the tour but the three I've mentioned already have proved their pedigree in the past.

17Tour de France 2020 Empty Re: Tour de France 2020 on Mon Aug 31 2020, 17:52

wessy

wessy
El Hadji Diouf
El Hadji Diouf
@Sluffy wrote:Ok, at the end of race more often than not, there is a race between a number of riders to the line.

People tend to give it all they have got to cross the line in front and as a consequence 'die' at line being physically spent.

Imagine then a group of say fifty or sixty riders pedalling in a bunch finish with the first ten, twelve, fifteen of them whatever, sudenly running out of gas once they've crossed the line with the other thirty, forty, fifty still pedalling as fast as they can at the back of that bunch - it isn't going to end well.

So to prevent carnage beyond the finish line the rule is if two or more riders cross the line and there is no clear gap of (I think it is) two seconds between riders, then they will all be given the same time as the first person of the group crossing the line.

It's just a safety thing and allows for the ones lower down the pack not having to race to save time as they know as long as the group generally has stayed together crossing the line they will get the same time as the first person in the group.

What sometimes happens and seems a bit harsh is that a large group finishes and it can take several seconds to all go over the line and one or two are just a few yards off the end of them but because there is that slight time gap they are not two seconds behind the man in front but maybe as much as 15 or 20 seconds - as the man in front as the same time as the first one in the group and the next rider is deemed to be the first of the next group and thus given the time when he crosses the line.

As for the 'strugglers' all of them have to be within a time limit that is set on the winners of that stages time.

I can't remember the formula but let say the winner takes 2 hours to win the stage that day, then a percentage of his time - lets say 20% is added on giving a further 24 minutes - and anyone finishing after 2 hours 24 minutes are excluded from the race.

On mountain stages you often see a group of riders of different teams form an alliance at the back of the race called a groupetto to ride together to keep inside the time limit of that day.  These riders are usually the big powerhouse sprinters who carry to much muscle to go over the mountians fast but are the ones who contest the flat, sprint, stages.

This link explains it better -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autobus_(cycling)

As for the guys supporting their main man, yes, for them they sacrifice themselves to give their team leader the best chance of winning.  Although the TdF is a 'team' based sport, the idea is really for the 'team' to get their man to win.

Sometimes that means winning the Tour itself - but only a certain few are good enough to climb up mountains fast AND not lose any time on specialist stages such as the Individual Time Trial/s.  These riders are after what's known as 'General Classification' and often referred to as GC riders.

This year there is only one ITT and that is on a 'mountain' stage - so whoever is going to win this years tour is going to be a climber or an exceptional Time Trialist who can climb mountains well enough not to lose significant time to his rivals.

Other times it is about winning 'sprint' stages and that means getting your key sprint over the mountains within the time limits as well as being the 'train' that gets him to the front of the sprint stages with only about 100 or so meters to go. Caleb Ewan is probably the sprinter to watch but I've no idea of his form this season.

Sometimes it is about winning a particular 'jersey' such as King of the Mountains, where 'points' are on offer on various mountains and sometimes/often the GC riders are more concerned about their rivals than winning particular stages and let other riders who are not a threat to them timewise to win enough points to become KOM.

There are races with races and some times rivals will help each other out for their own mutual interest and sometimes they won't to make others make a move instead.

There's a lot going on, at various levels and for various reasons and once you start to grasp the plots and sub plots it starts to become far more interesting than just a load of blokes pedalling fast.

As Alaphillipe (he's a great rider, probably the best in the world right now but unless he's trained for this race specifically - ie lost weight but kept power, he is going to be outgunned on the big mountains to come) is now in yellow, part of the plot for the next few days is how his team will control the race in order for him to keep it.  Sometimes teams deliberately don't defend as they want their rivals to have the pressure instead.

Last year Alaphillipe was in yellow for many days, so I suspect the plan will be to do the same again - it's all good coverage for the teams sponsors, having all the TV cameras and pictures in the press/online, etc - and their logo/names all across his 'yellow' jersey.

As I say teams and riders have different agendas for what they want out of a race, some to win it, some to win certain stages, some to even just get their sponsors name in front of the cameras for as long as they can - usually by staging a long distance breakaway that can last for a number of hours, with little chance of succeeding but with maximum attention from the cameras for all the time they are in front.

Sometimes even they do get a surprise victory!

Please feel free to ask questions and I'll try my best to give you or anybody else an explanation if I can.
Thanks Sluffy very informative, i knew some of what you outline but learned a lot from your explanation.

Missed todays stage but will try to catch up and keep up with the race, facinating the things going on in a race, like going back to help a rider and the team bring him back to compete at the sharp end, the fact the they can repair and administer first aid on the wheel.

Because i am not familiar with all the top names and teams i can easily get confused, but will try to keep abreast this year.  Another weird thing to the unanitiated is the fact that a team can afford to leave out two previous (GB) tour winners ? mind boggling talent not even on the start line.

18Tour de France 2020 Empty Re: Tour de France 2020 on Mon Aug 31 2020, 23:04

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
@wessy wrote:Thanks Sluffy very informative, i knew some of what you outline but learned a lot from your explanation.

Missed todays stage but will try to catch up and keep up with the race, facinating the things going on in a race, like going back to help a rider and the team bring him back to compete at the sharp end, the fact the they can repair and administer first aid on the wheel.

Because i am not familiar with all the top names and teams i can easily get confused, but will try to keep abreast this year.  Another weird thing to the unanitiated is the fact that a team can afford to leave out two previous (GB) tour winners ? mind boggling talent not even on the start line.

Don't worry you missed nothing important today!

It usually takes a week or more for the various themes of the race to start to develop and also on some stages like this one today, where the course is long (second longest stage of this tour) and 'flat' usually the only excitement of the day is in a bunch finish and I put up highlights of that below - watch the overhead shot and follow the rider with the red helmet on who won - fantastic bike handling and acceleration - he really is coming into his own now, having shown a lot of promise in the past but only really winning races last year.



Don't worry to much about learning the names of the riders and the teams, as the race goes on the names you need to follow will be said more and more and the names of those you don't will be said less and less.  For now just enjoy the spectacle of the event and the names and teams will start to simply come to you as the race develops and the cameras follow the ones that matter.

As for leaving two ex-winners out, probably the right decision, all sorts of agendas come in to play when all three of them probably had eyes on winning and you need a united team with a clear leader to best do that.

There's also politics and personal ambitions tied up with everything too.

There is an awful lot of history and tradition in cycling and one of the big ones is becoming a five time winner of the Tour.

If we discount Armstrong and his wins during the doping years, three great cyclists in the history of the Tour have won the thing five times, and from is on four - and desperate to join them on five.

On the other hand he's old in cycling terms and the new kid on the block, Bernal, who is in the same team as Froome, won it last year whilst Froome was recovering in hospital from a very bad crash.

So who do you back as they both want to win and whichever you back the other will probably leave the team next season to one of your rivals?

The right choice was made, Froome is towards the end of his career and is a bit of an unknown quantity right now in terms of can he come back from the crash to be as good as he was?

Thomas is more a team player but push comes to shove he would be in Team Froome rather than Team Bernal and with other Latin Americans being in the team it may well have formed an unhealthy split in the camp.

Thomas as also not been showing his best form of late.

The compromise, if that is the right word in the circumstance, was for Thomas and Froome to be named the leaders of the teams for the Tour of Italy (known as the Giro)  and Tour of Spain (known as the Vuelta) both big races in their own rights but the TdF is the one they all want to win.

Froome is also moving to another team at the end of the season.

As I say cycling is pure theatre!  It's filled with twists and turns, plotting and intrigue, shocks and scandals - I love it and quite honestly think people are missing out.

Any questions mate please ask.

Tomorrows stage is one that the current yellow jersey Alaphillipe is usually good at, so I suggest the man (and team) to watch is that of the yellow jersey and if it isn't him watch out for Bury boy Adam Yates who is just 4 seconds behind him on time and the stage ends going up a hill, which Yates is good at.

19Tour de France 2020 Empty Re: Tour de France 2020 on Tue Sep 01 2020, 22:49

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
Today's highlights if anyone is interested.



20Tour de France 2020 Empty Re: Tour de France 2020 on Wed Sep 02 2020, 15:21

wessy

wessy
El Hadji Diouf
El Hadji Diouf
Again thanks some informative and historic background, i see now the reason for the team selections, intriguing. just tuned in today (Wednesday) at the 80k to go stage and they are all sharing food bags obviously very important to keep your energy levels topped up.

But they seem to be saying that no one will make a break today, and that it is very rare that this happens in the tour, not sure why this is happening today.?

21Tour de France 2020 Empty Re: Tour de France 2020 on Wed Sep 02 2020, 16:33

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
@wessy wrote:Again thanks some informative and historic background, i see now the reason for the team selections, intriguing. just tuned in today (Wednesday) at the 80k to go stage and they are all sharing food bags obviously very important to keep your energy levels topped up.

But they seem to be saying that no one will make a break today, and that it is very rare that this happens in the tour, not sure why this is happening today.?

It is very unusual because there are so many reason to have a breakaway the main two being to simply get time in front of the cameras - particularly important for the smaller teams who won't be featuring much at the individual stage wins - and for tactical reasons, sometimes you put 'good' riders (but not thought to be GC contenders) into the breakaway and if they aren't brought back by the peloton, suddenly do become GC contenders with the one-off time gain they made that day, or for their team leader to break free of the peloton catch up with the breakaway, and then have his 'good' rider to support him (the GC basically uses him as a shield to ride behind) whilst he's recovers from the burst of energy (called going into the 'red') catching the breakaway.

It would seem today that with the mountain top finish of yesterday taking place so soon in the race (it goes on for three weeks remember) that an unofficial truce between the riders as taken place to ride as one group today (to catch their breath so to speak from yesterday) and let the sprinters fight it out for the win at the end of the stage.

If so look out for Ewan again and McCarthy, who seem to be the best two sprinters in the Tour this year.

It will also mean Alaphillipe will stay in yellow for yet another day as the peloton will all receive the same finish time.

22Tour de France 2020 Empty Re: Tour de France 2020 on Wed Sep 02 2020, 17:09

wessy

wessy
El Hadji Diouf
El Hadji Diouf
Yep i thought it was a truce through concensus due to a tough start so far, a good sprint at the end otherwise less eventful, no doubt one stage will be explosive soon.

23Tour de France 2020 Empty Re: Tour de France 2020 on Wed Sep 02 2020, 17:27

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
@wessy wrote:Yep i thought it was a truce through concensus due to a tough start so far, a good sprint at the end otherwise less eventful, no doubt one stage will be explosive soon.

It builds over the weeks, more than having explosive stages early on.

In terms of cricket if you like they are just building the first innings so far and don't want to lose too many wickets to early doing so.

Tomorrow is another uphill finish so all the excitement will be going up the last mountain.

As it's early days all the GC boys should be there at the death but no doubt Roglic will want to stamp his authority on the Tour once again and wouldn't surprise me if he wins it.

One subplot you might want to follow is the battle for the green jersey.

Peter Sagan wins it every year as he's been the world's best rider but there's a new younger sprinter Sam Bennett who is looking to pick up green jersey points just as easily  It will be interesting to see how things go because Bennett is here to win sprint stages and Sagan is free to do what he wants on all stages- but I think it will be close never the less.



Last edited by Sluffy on Wed Sep 02 2020, 21:33; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Sorry had Wout on the brain - I meant the Irishman Bennett)

24Tour de France 2020 Empty Re: Tour de France 2020 on Wed Sep 02 2020, 20:26

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
New leader of the Tour in case people have missed it.

Britain's Adam Yates [Bury boy] moved into the lead of the Tour de France after Julian Alaphilippe was given a 20-second penalty on stage five, which was won by Wout van Aert.
France's Alaphilippe, who is now 16th overall, was penalised for taking a bottle from a team support member inside the final 20km.
Yates leads Primoz Roglic by three seconds in the yellow jersey.
"This is not the way I'd imagined taking the yellow jersey," said Yates.
"If I'm honest, no one wants to take the jersey like this.
"I was looking to take the jersey on stage six anyway so I'll go in with the same tactic - try to win the stage and see what happens."

Alaphilippe had led Yates by four seconds and looked to have retained the yellow jersey after finishing safely in the bunch in Privas.
But television images showed him being given a water bottle with 17.8km to go - under the rules of world governing body, the UCI, riders are not allowed to take on food or drink in the final 20km of a stage.
It was a bizarre way for the Frenchman to lose the jersey he had taken by winning stage two, especially after Deceuninck-Quick-Step had ridden on the front of the peloton for most of the day to protect Alaphilippe and set up sprinter Sam Bennett.
"I didn't realise at all that it was unauthorised," said Alaphilippe.
"It's not a problem - I'll pick myself up again and we'll forget about it."

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/54003280

25Tour de France 2020 Empty Re: Tour de France 2020 on Wed Sep 02 2020, 20:29

wessy

wessy
El Hadji Diouf
El Hadji Diouf
Just when i thought it was uneventful, an event happened lol Rules are Rules

26Tour de France 2020 Empty Re: Tour de France 2020 on Thu Sep 03 2020, 17:30

boltonbonce

boltonbonce
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Sluffy, I've got a question. As you know I'm not up on cycling, so bear with me. It's in a few parts, so I'll just give you the bottom lines.

1. How many riders can enter.
2.  How many can actually win the race, given it's a team sport.
3. Could the race still be run without teams, with riders competing alone, although with a back up crew.
4. Are the sprint riders in a race within a race. Never quite understood it.

Might seem daft questions to you, but I'm interested. For instance, how do the lead riders teammates help their lead rider to win?

Any help appreciated.

27Tour de France 2020 Empty Re: Tour de France 2020 on Thu Sep 03 2020, 22:40

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
Happy to help.

It varies from race to race but in the TdF there are 22 teams and each team as 8 riders, so that's 176 in this years race at the start.

No substitutes allowed once the race starts so if one of your team mates gets ill or injured and cannot continue, you carry on with the race a man down and so on until Tour is over.

In theory any one of those 176 riders could win but in reality only a certain few can and those are the ones who are either the best climbers or the best Time Trialists, depending on how the organisers have planned the race. Sometimes this will have three or more Time Trials in a race and say only two or three mountain top finishes, sometimes it might only be onw time trial and six or seven mountain top finishes - the point being you can gain a lot of time on your rivals if you can do one or the other exceedingly well - and if you can do them both exceedingly well (like Froome could and Roglic who is the favourite for this race) you usually win.

The race is (if you move away from the actual cycling) all about getting your team sponsors name - which are on your jerseys, in front of the TV cameras.

Obviously when you win, everybody sees a picture of the winner (and thus the company's name on his shirt).

I mention this because in a three week race not every stage is the same. As I've mentioned there are the mountains - that really make or break who will win the Tour - and can be very exciting when its mano a mano, with only one reaching the top alive (so to speak).

The Time Trials are utterly boring to watch - but provide time gaps between riders that can win the race.

Often the story plot is that time trials will lose time to their mountain rivals on the mountains and the mountain boys will lose time to their time trial rivals in the TT's, so one tries to build a cushion of time in their specialism and cling on grimly in the one that isn't specialism and limit their losses and the net result determines if they win or not.

There are also broadly speaking two other types of stages - flat ones, where generally everyone can stay together and they end in a stampede for the line - these are the sprint stages.

To explain the theory behind out to win one of these, the idea is that your team gets to the front of the race as near to the end of the race as possible and that there is a 'train' of your team mates riding flat out, one behind the other, going as fast as they can, with your best sprinter the last in that train.

The idea being if you are going flat out, then no other riders are that much faster than you to be able to pass you. So as your lead rider tires and peels off your number two man takes up the strain of going flat out until he's exhausted and so on until your nearly in touching distance of the line and your fastest man is there and should be able to win it!

In the Tour every stage win is a big thing, riders can make their careers off a good Tour, so every opportunity for a win is important.

Now some teams haven't got great mountain climbers or Time Trailers so they specialise in winning the sprint stages. There is great prestige as to who ends up being the best sprinter in the Tour, Mark Cavendish was the very best - but he would never have been able to win the Tour like Wiggins did (Wiggins was a very good TT but not the best at going up mountains) who made his time on the TT's and limited his looses in the mountains.

In theory, as the Yellow jersey is for the leader/winner of the Tour, the Green jersey is for the best point scorers (don't worry about the definition it really incidental these days) but in reality signified the Tours best sprinter - so was a very sought out jersey to have.

That's changed slightly over the last few years because one rider Peter Sagan who is technically NOT a sprinter was so good a rider that he could pick up points in the mountains with the best of the mountain boys and pick up points in the sprints, with the best of the sprinters and combing them both always won the green jersey over the decade or so.

But to answer one of your questions, yes there is a race with the race for sprinters. Even on some 'lumpy' stages teams will work for their sprinter to get them over 'hills' they might otherwise struggle with in order to give them a chance of winning a stage that isn't a pure 'sprint' stage as such.

The final sort of stage which I've just alluded to is the 'lumpy' ones - they aren't mountainous as such but neither are they flat - and these stages are sometimes the ones where teams do the unexpected in order to create some time gap for their leader in order to win the Tour.

In years gone by, yes the riders rode as individuals, or as country's but in the modern era it is about teams. The Tour organiser (a private company) 'invites' teams to compete (usually being all the top tier professional teams and a few wild cards (usually specifically French second tier teams) - so as it stands, no, you couldn't turn up with your trike and try to win it!

The big prize is obviously to win the Tour and it's rare these days to have a rank outsider unexpectedly winning it. Sometimes though the 'wrong one' in a team wins!

Froome could (and should) have won the Tour Wiggins did, but he rode to orders. Thomas beat Froome a couple of years ago (rightly so) even though Froome was the team leader and last year the same happened to Thomas when Bernal won with Thomas being the Team leader.

Bernal and Thomas were the best two riders last year (they finished first and second anyway) but the plan really was to break the opposition with one of the two shooting off up the hill with all their rivals having to chase after them, with the other taking it easy at the back of the chasing group. Once the chasing group caught up, the 'resting' one then zooming off up the road, with the rivals having to chase him, whilst the first one caught his breath again, ready for rocketing off when the group finally caught up with the other one - and so on.

It just so happened that Bergan got the lucky break when the rivals finally got knackered and held that advantage to the end - it could so easily have been Thomas - and that really was the plan - but the team won so everyone was happy bar Thomas but he's a team player and understands these things.

The big thing about cycling is 'drafting'.

It takes more energy to break through the air than it does if you are in someone else's slipstream, so you usually will have the other riders in the team doing all the donkey work for their leader, even sacrifice their own chances if they need to.

If say the leader has a puncture, depending on circumstances a team mate will even give up his bike to the leader and allow him to carry on, whilst he waits for the team car to turn up and help him out instead.

In short although it's a team competition it is all about the win, and the best person who is able to give you that win is the team leader.

So in say sprint teams, the 'win' for them means looking after their star sprinter so that he can win as many sprint stages as possible.

It's all about the best thing for that particular team and giving your best rider (in whatever bit of cycling he's best at) the best chance of getting the team noticed - as that means the sponsor is noticed to - and that's why they put their money in, in the first place.

I've said a lot and hope you can pick up most of what I've tried to say but please ask more if I've not or you have other questions to ask.

28Tour de France 2020 Empty Re: Tour de France 2020 on Thu Sep 03 2020, 23:07

boltonbonce

boltonbonce
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Thanks for that Sluffy. Appreciate the time you took to educate a cycling dummy. There really is a heck of a lot to go at, but I've learned a lot.
One thing I forgot to ask is, you know on the final day it's something of a procession? Well, does it have to be? Or is the etiquette that anything else would be scandalous. I suppose what I'm trying to say is, if someone still had a chance to go from second to first, would he have to forego it?

29Tour de France 2020 Empty Re: Tour de France 2020 on Fri Sep 04 2020, 00:23

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
@boltonbonce wrote:Thanks for that Sluffy. Appreciate the time you took to educate a cycling dummy. There really is a heck of a lot to go at, but I've learned a lot.
One thing I forgot to ask is, you know on the final day it's something of a procession? Well, does it have to be? Or is the etiquette that anything else would be scandalous. I suppose what I'm trying to say is, if someone still had a chance to go from second to first, would he have to forego it?

Yes in a word.

The race is won or lost the day before and the last day is really to celebrate the overall winner but is also considered to be the blue ribbon race of the sprinters year.

In this Tour the previous day is the only Time Trial stage of the race - and even this is up a mountain - meaning it takes away the chance from the pure Time Trialists and gives a chance to those who aren't usually that good at TT's but can climb mountains really well.

The days prior to the TT are killer mountain stages - so really it is hand made for the favourite Roglic to win the Tour - if he makes it that far!

The last time the lead changed hands on the final day was in a Time Trial stage (in Paris) in 1989 when the darling of the French, Laurent Fignon, had his lead overturned and lost the Tour by just 8 seconds to American Greg LeMond who himself had just comeback from a hunting accident where he was shot and nearly died.

If you're interested the following tells the story of the end of that race - (Note the last day in Paris is Stage 20) -

After stage 19, Fignon had developed saddle sores, which gave him pain and made it impossible to sleep the night before the time trial. He was however still confident that he would not lose his 50-second advantage on LeMond during the 24.5 km (15.2 mi) from Versailles to the Champs-Élysées.[71] In the final-day time trial, LeMond again opted for the aerodynamic handlebars, a tear-drop helmet, and a rear disc wheel. Fignon meanwhile used two disc wheels, but ordinary handlebars and was bareheaded, his ponytail moving in the wind. When Fignon reached the half-distance time check, LeMond had taken 21 seconds out of his lead. LeMond finished with a time of 26:57 minutes, the fastest-ever time trial in the history of the Tour, at 54.545 km/h (33.893 mph). As LeMond collapsed on the floor from exhaustion, Fignon made his way to the finish. He ended with a time of 27:55 minutes. With an average speed of 52.66 km/h (32.72 mph), it was the fastest time trial he had ever ridden. Nevertheless, he finished third on the stage, 58 seconds down on LeMond, and therefore lost the race by the slight margin of eight seconds. A November 1989 Bicycling article, supported by wind-tunnel data, estimated that LeMond may have gained one minute on Fignon through the use of the new aerobars.[72] As of 2019, eight seconds is still the smallest winning margin in Tour de France history.

LeMond's unexpected Tour victory resulted in significant media attention, with sports writer Nige Tassell describing it in 2017 as "now the biggest sports story of them all".[77] Not only had LeMond overcome a significant time deficit, he had also won the Tour after coming back from a near-fatal hunting accident.[77] Owing to its small margin of victory and exciting racing, the 1989 Tour has repeatedly been named as one of the best editions of all time. In 2009, journalist Keith Bingham called it "the greatest Tour of them all",[78] while Cyclingnews.com in 2013 described it as "arguably the best [Tour] there's ever been".[79] American media, traditionally not overly interested in cycling,[80] made his victory headline news and TV broadcasters interrupted their regular programming to break the news.[81] Sports Illustrated, who named LeMond their Sportsperson of the Year, called it a "heroic comeback"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1989_Tour_de_France

Fignon knew about LeMond's cycling 'innovation's' but to his way of thinking it was kind of like not in the spirit of the race, so he rode mostly in the 'old fashioned' cavalier way - and consequently lost!

He was haunted for the rest of his life by being known as the man who lost the Tour by 8 seconds - it seem to break him really.

Tour de France 2020 23019131262_13c53444ce_z

All the riders set off in the positions they are in, the last man goes first, then 3 minutes later, the next to last man and so on, with the final rider to start being the leader from yesterday being Fignon.

LeMond is one of my cycling hero's and I was happy for him but felt more for poor Laurent.

The only ever Time Trial that wasn't boring - most of them really are!



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zzjv1XpGJnc

30Tour de France 2020 Empty Re: Tour de France 2020 on Fri Sep 04 2020, 02:30

boltonbonce

boltonbonce
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Cheers Sluffy, thanks once again for the info. Interesting stuff.  Started reading a book about Tommy Simpson tonight and got hooked, which is why I'm posting at half two in the morning.
Better get some sleep.

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