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Post by Azabache on Thu 17 Jan - 11:23

First topic message reminder :

Hi All, starting this in readiness for 2019! Two comments:

1. the story about Testogel possibly being ordered by that doctor is manna from heaven for the BBC who have already joyously reported.

2. the Varnish verdict just announced today (17th. Jan.)....unfortunate? Or what a stirrer deserves?

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Post by Lowlandbrit on Fri 19 Jul - 19:04

Van Aert caught up in an advertising banner on the fencing in a corner Doh

Alaphillipe is starting to look like he maybe sort of could actually do this.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Fri 19 Jul - 19:23

Lowlandbrit wrote:Van Aert caught up in an advertising banner on the fencing in a corner Doh

Alaphillipe is starting to look like he maybe sort of could actually do this.

Eh we'll see how he does when the GT contenders actually take him seriously on a mountain stage like tomorrow - they didn't on stage 6, and tbh Thomas still disposed of him relatively easily.

Thomas looked a bit off form today though no doubt - out of the saddle a lot for a TT. Wonder if we might see Ineos send Bernal up the road on the Tourmalet to force Quickstep's to ride from the front...something they really are not built to do.
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Post by dummy_half on Sat 20 Jul - 13:51

Olly

Thomas's TT performance was pretty much in line with what you'd expect - he's a very good ITT rider, but he's not Indurain class. Putting 20 seconds into the field on a short TT like yesterday was pretty decent. Just that Alaphilippe was better, especially up that little ramp in the last km (unofficial timing gave him a 5s advantage at the bottom, which was 14s by the line).

So far there hasn't been anything in the race that is outside Alaphilippe's capabilities - he's THE top hilly classics rider and very good on short stage races. The one thing he hasn't demonstrated is the ability to climb the big mountains with the true climbers. My expectation* is that he will cling on to the front guys until maybe 2/3 of the way up Tourmalet and then be cooked - will loose 5 to 10 minutes depending on how smart he is and how much he wants to try to hang on to a top 15 position in the GC.

*Given the usual standard of my predictions, put your mortgage on him winning the stage Rolling Eyes

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Post by Just John on Sat 20 Jul - 16:11

Bardet, Quintana & Yates blown away

Thomas loses 30+ sec, and cracks in the final KM

Pinot wins the stage. Alaphilippe in 2nd.

Standings

Alaphilippe
Thomas +02:02
Kruijswijk +02:14
Bernal +03:00
Buchmann +03:12
Pinot +03:12
Uran +04:24

Must admit, a very weak GC this year. As for Movistar, that was a shocker today.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Sat 20 Jul - 22:38

Feels like Movistar do this every single year in the Tour - and Quintana is never going to win it, this year probably as good a chance as ever!

Do we now have to consider Alaphillippe favourite? I think it's tough, because Quickstep are not a strong team at all...so they can really isolate him and Mas (who is in his first TDF himself). Ineos surely have to try and force his hand with Bernal at some point...might be a weak GC but it isn't half making for an intriguing GC!
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Post by Just John on Sun 21 Jul - 15:54

Simon Yates wins his second stage

Alaphilippe finally breaks, but holds on to yellow

Alaphilippe
Thomas +1:35
Kruijswijk +1:47
Pinot +1:50
Bernal +2:02
Buchmann +2:14
Landa +4:54

Pinot looking most likely from here, although he hates hot conditions, and a heatwave is forecast

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Post by Lowlandbrit on Sun 21 Jul - 16:44

That's certainly set things up intriguingly for the final week. Bernal closing in on Thomas could add an extra dimension, Pinot looks strong (but historically hasn't been great under pressure, has he been just far enough behind to peak?), and Kruijswijk didn't have his best day but sneakily might be in a great position to avenge that 2016 Giro.

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Post by Azabache on Mon 22 Jul - 11:06

This is becoming fascinating. Into the second rest day there were possible signs that Alaphilippe is starting to weaken; Pinot is rampant; Thomas-unclear whether he can resurge; Bernal-not sure if he can take over from Thomas if the team agree-he may need another year; there are about another 5 that may still figure.

Pre-race hopes have faltered beyond redemption-not least Bardet, Martin...

If Ineos can't seize this I'm cheering for a French victory!

Can Pinot beat Alaphilippe?

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 22 Jul - 11:13

Problem with Pinot is, you always feel there is the disaster day just round the corner (ala Giro 2018, stage 20 etc). If he can keep up his current climbing then there is no reason why he can't win, he looks far and away the best
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Post by Just John on Thu 25 Jul - 7:29

Luke Rowe and Tony Martin expelled from the Tour

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu 25 Jul - 7:56

Just John wrote:Luke Rowe and Tony Martin expelled from the Tour

Absolutely nonsense decision by the UCI. If they had been Quickstep and a FDJ domestique one wonders if they had been expelled...
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Post by Eyetoldyouso on Thu 25 Jul - 10:31

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:
Just John wrote:Luke Rowe and Tony Martin expelled from the Tour

Absolutely nonsense decision by the UCI. If they had been Quickstep and a FDJ domestique one wonders if they had been expelled...

Not quite domestiques - both are their teams' road captains.
But I agree that the decision seems way too harsh. Perhaps there's more to this than what we have seen.

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Post by Azabache on Thu 25 Jul - 10:44

A few factors (in no particular order of ranking, or possibilities) to throw in the equation:
. the UCI is French-dominated
. there's bad feeling between the new Head and the departed one
. French hatred of the English going back to Napoleonic times
. French jealousy of "foreign" domination of the Tour since the Badger's days
. "Egalitie" means the reverse in French to the standard dictionary definition
. weakening the two teams' strength, particularly Ineos, MAY give an advantage to
Alaphilippe and Pinot

This is all fanciful of course!


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Post by Just John on Thu 25 Jul - 16:16

Quintana wins the stage. Alaphilippe dropped on final climb, but they all attacked too late, and he easily descended back on. Bernal, with the main time gain. Pinot didn’t look as strong today, possibly heat related

Alaphilippe
Bernal +1:30
Thomas +1:35
Kruijswijk +1:47
Pinot +1:50


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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu 25 Jul - 16:20

Yeah Alaphilippe is lucky this stage didn't finish in atop the mountain. Tomorrow's final climb is short, so you'd think he should hang on, but stage 20 finishes with an absolute monster of 33km, over 2,500 feet. Not sure he is going to survive that one...Bernal looks in great nick.

I'd keep an eye out for Kruijswijk. He's not really attacked yet, but is hanging around pretty comfortably...and is a good rider.
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Post by Azabache on Thu 25 Jul - 16:26

If they are within seconds of each other close of play Saturday, will the Sunday Etiquette be suspended?
I suspect not because:
. no-one (well, the French) wants a repeat of 1989
. if after such superhuman efforts over 3 weeks someone is leading by only seconds, well, so be it

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Fri 26 Jul - 13:54

Pinot struggling with his leg, appears his hopes again fade into the dust.
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Post by Just John on Fri 26 Jul - 13:55

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:Problem with Pinot is, you always feel there is the disaster day just round the corner

and here it is

Pinot abandons, and in tears.

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Post by Azabache on Fri 26 Jul - 15:01

You could make money on this (seemingly always) predictable outcome!

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Post by dummy_half on Fri 26 Jul - 15:34

Bernal off the front of the main GC group by about 30 s, Alaphillipe 30-45 seconds off the back as they approach the top of the Iseran. About 15km descending, then a flat for 8-10km, another short descent then the final climb. Bernal now virtual yellow jersey.

Might just be in range for Alaphillipe to be back with the GC group by the start of the final climb, but you'd have to expect them to distance him on the last climb, with the others trying to catch Bernal..

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Fri 26 Jul - 15:42

dummy_half wrote:Bernal off the front of the main GC group by about 30 s, Alaphillipe 30-45 seconds off the back as they approach the top of the Iseran. About 15km descending, then a flat for 8-10km, another short descent then the final climb. Bernal now virtual yellow jersey.

Might just be in range for Alaphillipe to be back with the GC group by the start of the final climb, but you'd have to expect them to distance him on the last climb, with the others trying to catch Bernal..

Thomas gets a free ride for the next 30k - albeit he hasn't looked hugely strong, that'll help on the final climb...potentially great day for Ineos here.
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Fri 26 Jul - 15:44

Oh wow - Stage 19 is cancelled. Time taken from the top of the Iseran.
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Post by Azabache on Fri 26 Jul - 15:49

OMG-what else will happen? Why am I at work updating via the BBC website!

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Post by Just John on Fri 26 Jul - 15:54

Bernal in yellow, but what's the time gap for the rest?

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Fri 26 Jul - 16:12

Just John wrote:Bernal in yellow, but what's the time gap for the rest?

Looks like it'll be a half minute to Alaphilipe, and around a minute to Thomas and the rest
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Post by Lowlandbrit on Fri 26 Jul - 16:32

Everyone looked pretty annoyed with the decision, but the more images you see of what was left the harder it is to argue. Shame they couldn't figure out a way to take the time at the bottom of the descent though.

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Post by Just John on Fri 26 Jul - 17:03

Official standings

Bernal
Alaphilippe +0:48
Thomas +1:16
Kruijswijk +1:28
Buchmann +1:55

Can’t look past Bernal now.

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Post by No name Bertie on Fri 26 Jul - 20:06

So I have just come across an article published 8th July in VeloNews of an interview with Bernard Hinault in which he predicted Egan Bernal would win this years Tour de France:
... Egan Bernal will top the Tour de France podium in Paris and is young enough to surpass any of the race’s legends, so says French great Bernard Hinault ...  Hinault was more confident Bernal [rather than Geraint Thomas] would win the 2019 race ...  he thinks Bernal could surpass himself and the other five-time winners of the Tour. “If you start from that principal and remember that he is only 22-years-old, then he may go much further than any of us” ... But Hinault had a warning ... “Once you have won it, everyone else is out to get you ... All their tactics are targeting you, so you have to work out a way of managing that ...
https://www.velonews.com/2019/07/tour-de-france/egan-bernal-will-win-the-tour-de-france-says-bernard-hinault_496459

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Post by whocares on Fri 26 Jul - 21:23

Tomorrow’s stage has been shortened to 59km due to part of the roads being affected by some landslide. It’s basically going to be just the uphill race to Valthorens and don’t expect many changes in the GC.. bit of an anticlimax end to what an otherwise exciting TDF so far. Well done Bernal for what looks like a great career start.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Fri 26 Jul - 23:42

The more I really think about today the more I come to the conclusion Thomas was the biggest loser of the circumstances. Clearly the Ineos plan was to let Bernal go with Thomas riding without working whilst the others chased so he could pick them off on the final climb, and duel with Bernal (Bernal also potentially could’ve got more time, as he had Yates to work with so wasn’t by himself like Alaphilipe was). Kruijswijk and Buchmann would’ve had to make the pace on the final climb, something they can’t really do and would’ve essentially acted as a slingshot for Thomas.

Been a tour of missed opportunities for Thomas really.
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Post by whocares on Sat 27 Jul - 10:58

Yes GT can feel aggrieved as he could have got the 2nd place easily if by more but I also would have like to see what Kruijswijk could have done so personally I also feel let down.

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Post by Just John on Sat 27 Jul - 15:00

The end of Alaphillipe

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Post by whocares on Sat 27 Jul - 15:04

Disappointing on a relatively short distance but expectations were probably too high

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Post by Just John on Sat 27 Jul - 15:24

Rather anti-climatic, as expected. Everyone was just happy to see Alaphillipe blow up, and go up one place in the GC

Bernal wins the Tour de France clap

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Post by No name Bertie on Sat 27 Jul - 16:02

So Ineos are going to have three tour de france winners in their team - Froome (2017), Thomas (2018) and Bernal (2019) - so what is going to happen next year when Froome returns?

As Bernard Hinault has suggested Bernal could go on to become a dominant figure in the sport - so I guess Ineos, although originally a British based team, will want to hang on to Bernal - because he is likely to win many more grand tours no matter what team he is in.

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Post by Just John on Sat 27 Jul - 16:23

Bernal contracted until, 2023. Froome contracted until end of 2020, and Thomas, until, 2021. Richard Caparaz is rumoured to have signed for Ineos on a two year deal, which further complicates things.

I’d imagine Thomas being persuaded to return to a domestique role, whereas Froome will be reluctant, and aiming for his fifth Tdf title. Three tours in the calendar to target, so you never know exactly whether all three will be chosen for the Tdf.

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Post by No name Bertie on Sat 27 Jul - 16:38

Team Sky / Ineos have really changed the sport of road cycling at a time when there has been a significant clampdown on drug use.  They have produced unheard of success for British men's road cycling (essentially transfering success on the track to success on the road).  Now they are going to get their first non-British Grand Tour winner - a 22 year old Columbian - who is going to be around for a long time - and so 'internationalise' their success.  Columbia will get their first Tour de France winner - and it is not going to be Quintana.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Sat 27 Jul - 22:22

Just John wrote:Bernal contracted until, 2023. Froome contracted until end of 2020, and Thomas, until, 2021. Richard Caparaz is rumoured to have signed for Ineos on a two year deal, which further complicates things.

I’d imagine Thomas being persuaded to return to a domestique role, whereas Froome will be reluctant, and aiming for his fifth Tdf title. Three tours in the calendar to target, so you never know exactly whether all three will be chosen for the Tdf.

You’d imagine Carapaz would be their leader to try and defend the Giro next year, with Froome/Bernal leading the team at the tour all being well, maybe Thomas given the Vuelta leadership?

Bit of an anti climax today really, Alaphilipe cracked finally (suspect he would’ve lost huge amounts on the final climb yesterday tbh), and when he did none of the others were bothered about trying to attack Ineos. Shame it had to end like this but I think ultimately Bernal was the strongest rider, and deserved winner. He has the potential to dominate this race for the next decade, scary prospect
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Post by Azabache on Mon 29 Jul - 10:44

The above recent discussions asume that Froome will be 100% again, but he'll be 35. Ineos-like any successful team in any sport-are totally hard-headed, nay ruthless, so it wouldn't surprise me if next year there is the Changing of the Guard.

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Post by dummy_half on Mon 29 Jul - 20:24

Azabache wrote:The above recent discussions asume that Froome will be 100% again, but he'll be 35. Ineos-like any successful team in any sport-are totally hard-headed, nay ruthless, so it wouldn't surprise me if next year there is the Changing of the Guard.

I'd be very surprised if Froome can come back to anywhere close to his level of the last few years - as Aza notes above, he's certainly towards the veteran stage of his career (although has relatively few 'miles on the clock' in that he was a lateish starter), and the history of cyclists coming back from these types of injury is not encouraging.

Similarly, I think Thomas won't win another TdF - age, a slight lack of the obsessive dedication needed (in that he seems to enjoy life in his down times) and the emergence of younger talent mean that he's likely to revert to his super-domestique role. In fact I'd quite like to see him have another crack at a couple of the Classics - he's had good finishes before in Roubaix and other French / Belgian spring races before his loss of weight and transformation into a top GC rider

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Post by Soul Requiem on Mon 29 Jul - 22:14

Last year and this year seemed to fall quite well for Thomas; what with Froome being spent in 2018 and injured this year, seems to be a slight changing of the guard at the moment.

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Post by Azabache on Tue 30 Jul - 10:55

Well, we know that Froome is a Super Human/Freak of Nature, and very good point of DH's that he's got relatively few miles on the clock, so let's assume that he does come back next year buzzing after some warmup races and a good showing in the Dauphine...what does Brailsford say to him and Bernal?

Does he say that for the glory of getting a 5-timer in the records Bernal must play second fiddle?

Or does he say that Bernal is the Future and might very well be on the way to beating the "5" record
(I will not mention He Who Must Never Be Mentioned) over the coming years, so he must be the Leader?

Brailsford must be chuckling at the potential conflict here that would fire up both of them.

All this is theory of course. There are many banana skins along the way no doubt.

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Post by dummy_half on Mon 5 Aug - 8:55

This season certainly has had a lot of new young winners - Van der Poel and Van Aert in the early season (along with Alaphilippe, who at 27 is only at the start of what should be his prime), Bernal and Carapaz in the tours and now a big win in Classica San Sebastian for the most precocious of the lot in Remco Evenepoel, 19 year old reigning junior world champion in both RR and ITT.

This kid is one to watch, as he has an ability not seen since Cancellara to just ride away from people and hold them off. Yet to prove if he will be a good mountain climber across a long stage race, but his physique should allow that (was a football trialist at one of the top Belgian clubs, who let him go mainly because he was too small), but is already being tipped to be a contender at the World RR and next year's Olympic RR, both of which are on tough hilly courses.

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Post by Lowlandbrit on Mon 5 Aug - 16:48

dummy_half wrote:the most precocious of the lot in Remco Evenepoel
Bunch of people here are jokingly calling him Eddy instead of Remco because of how excited the Belgians are about him.

Nairo Quintana will be not winning the Tour for Arkea-Samsic from now on, Mikel Landa will be not quite the top rider for Bahrain-Merida now, Elia Viviani is off to Cofidis and Philippe Gilbert will be in Lotto-Soudal colours next season.

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Post by Just John on Mon 5 Aug - 16:59

Means, Vincenzo Nibali, is moving from Bahrain-Merida to Trek-Segafredo. Matteo Trentin has moved from Mitchelton-Scott to CCC Team. Also, Tom Dumoulin is still negotiating his way out of his current contract, before attempting to join, Jumbo-Visma.

Sad news regarding, Bjorg Lambrecht. RIP.

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Post by dummy_half on Tue 6 Aug - 16:25

Just John wrote:Means, Vincenzo Nibali, is moving from Bahrain-Merida to Trek-Segafredo. Matteo Trentin has moved from Mitchelton-Scott to CCC Team. Also, Tom Dumoulin is still negotiating his way out of his current contract, before attempting to join, Jumbo-Visma.

Sad news regarding, Bjorg Lambrecht. RIP.

22 years old and showed significant promise (4th in Fleche Walonne, best young rider and 12th overall in the Dauphine). The reports I've seen make it sound like a fairly innocuous-looking crash in that it was not high speed and no-one else involved, but that he collided with a concrete bracing or wall within a culvert at the road side. Shows again what a dangerous sport it is (and how Froome was relatively lucky in his accident)

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Post by Lowlandbrit on Sun 25 Aug - 7:50

Jumbo-Visma and UAE-Emirates both fell in the opening TTT of the Vuelta after a stretch of road suddenly became wet. Apparently an inflatable pool in someone's garden broke...

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Post by Lowlandbrit on Fri 30 Aug - 16:27

Set up nicely for Sunday's 94km Andorran stage:
1. Lopez
2. Roglic +6
3. Valverde +16
4. Quintana +27

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Posts : 2042
Join date : 2011-06-15
Location : Netherlands

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2019 Season Thread - Page 2 Empty Re: 2019 Season Thread

Post by Lowlandbrit on Sun 1 Sep - 17:12

Movistar with an absolute classic performance, and 20 (twenty) year old Tadej Pogacar wins the stage and moves up to 5th overall.

Lowlandbrit

Posts : 2042
Join date : 2011-06-15
Location : Netherlands

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2019 Season Thread - Page 2 Empty Re: 2019 Season Thread

Post by Azabache on Thu 12 Sep - 11:57

Classic debacle yesterday. Has Roglic a weakness somewhere? Is it his constitution, his team, or some psychological problem?

The final stages will be fascinating...

Azabache

Posts : 337
Join date : 2011-02-25
Location : Surrey

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