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2021 Season Thread

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Big
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Post by Lowlandbrit Sat 23 Jan 2021, 3:59 pm

First topic message reminder :

Racing calendar TBC, but enough news to get us started!

Alejandro Valverde has said this will be his last season, with the Olympics as his main focus.

Jumbo-Visma announced take two for their 'three-headed monster' Tour strategy after Kruijswijk's injury prevented it last year, only for Tom Dumoulin to announce he's taking an unspecified amount of time off the day after.

WorldTour team changes:
- If you thought AG2R La Mondiale had the ultimate marmite kit before, wait until you see what they've come up with now that they're AG2R Citroën
- McLaren are gone, now we have Bahrain Victorious
- Mitchelton-Scott is now Team BikeExchange
- The place of CCC has been taken in by Intermarché–Wanty–Gobert
- NTT are now Team Qhubeka Assos
- Sunweb are now Team DSM

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Post by Lowlandbrit Tue 20 Jul 2021, 4:31 pm

Big wrote:being more cynical even if DQT don't use Cav for the Tour, if they keep him on their books they will prevent him setting a new record with somebody else's name on the shirt!  
Would he leave again though, after all this? I think it's QuickStep or retirement next year.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Tue 20 Jul 2021, 4:40 pm

Big wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:
Delighted for Cavendish however, winning the green jersey and equalling Merckx in what could be his final grand tour, unlikely that Bennett will be injured against next year. 

Unlikely Bennett will be at the team next year. Jackobson might be fit again and come in though DQT might look to keep Cav for one more year. Deploy Jackobson the younger rider at the Giro and Vuelta and then have the big Cav story at the Tour. Would keep them in the public eye and keep their sponsors happy.

There might be some sense in DQT keeping Cav and sending him - being blunt he'll get their sponsors a lot of attention even if he doesn't manage to get another stage win, and 1 stage win for Cav that sets a new record might be worth more than 2/3/4 for another sprinter in terms of that coverage...   being more cynical even if DQT don't use Cav for the Tour, if they keep him on their books they will prevent him setting a new record with somebody else's name on the shirt!  

If Cav has any sort of form pre tour and DQT don't select him then they'll get a lot of negative publicity next year. Whomever they take in his place would be under a lot of pressure to deliver because what might have been will be posed in every interview.

I don't think that DQT have the climbing capacity to mount a challenge for Remco or Almeyda. They might have a crack at the Giro or Vuelta and look to use the pair plus Alaphillipe to go for stages at the other grand tours and the classics.

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Post by Azabache Tue 20 Jul 2021, 11:29 pm

The BBC-yes, thankfully they don't have the coverage-just imagine how they'd try to bring in all sorts of irrelevant "diverse" stuff-like a star rider was really "transitioning", or he was born from same sex parents etc! Though, to be fair, they did pretty good coverage of the Ride London event a while back with David Millar commentating from the back of a motor bike.

Cav-there's a body of opinion that-in deference to Eddy-he should stop now and just hold the equal record.


Last edited by Azabache on Wed 21 Jul 2021, 11:05 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Name misspelt)

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Post by Big Wed 21 Jul 2021, 9:13 am

Azabache wrote:The BBC-yes, thankfully they don't have the coverage-just imagine how they'd try to bring in all sorts of irrelevant "diverse" stuff-like a star rider was really "transitioning", or he was born from same sex parents etc! Though, to be fair, they did pretty good coverage of the Ride London event a while back with David Millar commentating from the back of a motor bike.

Cav-there's a body of opinion that-in deference to Eddie-he should stop now and just hold the equal record.

There is a certain romanticism in the idea that even the specialists can only match elements of his achievements. I suspect that Cav will go if he thinks he can win though, and target other things if not. My impression is that Cav and Eddie get on well enough and I'm sure both will be happy with their achievements either way.

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Post by Azabache Wed 21 Jul 2021, 11:21 pm

Yes, I don't think there's any suggestion that Eddy wants the clock to stop with his era, and he seems big-hearted and philosophical enough to welcome his record being broken. It's just that we are not really comparing like with like-in terms of types of stage, types of bike/team support/nutrition/clothing etc., and comparable "active" periods.

I recall similar debates when Virenque beat Bahamontes's KOM record.

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Post by No name Bertie Thu 22 Jul 2021, 11:48 am

The BBC is supposed to be neutral but they focus their sports news coverage on what they themselves are able to broadcast (live television coverage, highlights, live radio) - which appears on their main sports pages as well as main news pages.   Sports such as cycling is consigned to their minor sport pages with very little sports news coverage in general.

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Post by No name Bertie Thu 22 Jul 2021, 12:00 pm

Pogacar aged 22 has already won 6 TdF stages and two TdF yellow jerseys, two TdF king of the mountain jerseys and two TdF white jerseys. Some are saying he and possibly Remco Evenepoel could be "better" than Eddy Merckx. Evenepoel is only 21 but had a serious accident in 2020 and it is unclear whether he can sustain the promise he showed prior to that accident.

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Post by Soul Requiem Thu 22 Jul 2021, 12:07 pm

I've not found that to be true of the BBC at all. The Tour is always reported on it's main page often as the headline story unless football, cricket or rugby is on, the Giro is also widely reported.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Sat 24 Jul 2021, 10:31 am

Great win for Carapaz in the Olympic Road Race - Van Aert looked strong, but Pogacar struggled in the heat to break anyone on the climbs (McNulty and Woods were able to ride with him easily)
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Post by Lowlandbrit Sun 25 Jul 2021, 9:43 am

Anna Kiesenhofer wins the women's race from the breakaway, van Vleuten caught on camera afterwards saying she didn't realise there was still someone ahead. No earpieces at the Olympics...

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Post by Soul Requiem Sun 25 Jul 2021, 9:55 am

Lowlandbrit wrote:Anna Kiesenhofer wins the women's race from the breakaway, van Vleuten caught on camera afterwards saying she didn't realise there was still someone ahead. No earpieces at the Olympics...

That's the way it should be at all races.

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Post by dummy_half Mon 26 Jul 2021, 3:06 pm

Tom Pidcock is a very good bike racer.

Cyclo cross world medallist at 21 (behind van der Poel and van Aert), won a semi-classic and came within a hair of winning the Amstel Gold on the road and now winning World Cup and Olympic mountain bike races.

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Post by Lowlandbrit Mon 26 Jul 2021, 3:45 pm

Fantastic from Pidcock, more mix-up based disappointment for the Dutch team as MvdP crashed out heavily because he didn't realise a plank was only there for the recon laps.

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Post by Azabache Sun 15 Aug 2021, 11:28 pm

The Vuelta's started!

And Quest channel cover themselves in glory by replacing the Stage 1 highlights with some Polish Border Control programme-some c*ck-up apparently. Something similar happened with the Giro coverage and then, later on, they managed to duplicate a stage-let's hope they don't repeat that mess with the Vuelta.

Anyway...Roglic already in Red. It will be interesting to see whether Ineos can win it with Bernal, and of course there's also Carapaz with his fine third in the Tour and his magnificent Olympic RR win.

And don't neglect Pidcock.....

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Post by formerly known as Sam Mon 16 Aug 2021, 7:25 am

Interesting that Pidcock went after intermediate sprint points. Wonder if Ineos will have him just nipping through and working on the points jersey as he rides himself into form. He's categorically stated he's not there for GC. Adam Yates lost more time in the crash yesterday though he didn't come down.

Roglic was always likely to win the TT. Today will be his first test with some climbing meaning attacks. Will he want to try and hold the jersey throughout or will he let a break go and a smaller team take the weight off him for a while before the GC battle picks up again as we head towards the finish.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Mon 16 Aug 2021, 8:57 am

Struggle to see anyone bar Roglic winning, Bernal/Landa are going to lose like at least 2 minutes to him in the late ITT, so already need to be putting 3 minutes into him to have a chance
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Post by Azabache Mon 16 Aug 2021, 10:07 pm

In theory Bernal should be fresher-in theory! I wouldn't write off Carapaz yet-he's one of those stubborn riders that keep going; similarly Yates; Landa has never achieved the heights since changing teams; Valverde continues to confound us, and don't forget this is his team's home race, which counts for a lot here-check out the history.

It seems, however, to be Roglic's to lose-let's hope nothing befalls him again....

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Post by formerly known as Sam Tue 17 Aug 2021, 7:04 am

If Ineos play it clever and use their numerical advantage then it will become very tough for Roglic. We saw yesterday that Yates and Bernal were there with an exposed Roglic. That's when they've got to take it in turns to attack off the front. Force Roglic to keep chasing them back in, in the hope that he breaks. Thomas and Bernal did that one/two tactic when Bernal won the Tour. Carapaz is more a super domestique at this one after a long season.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Tue 17 Aug 2021, 8:56 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:If Ineos play it clever and use their numerical advantage then it will become very tough for Roglic. We saw yesterday that Yates and Bernal were there with an exposed Roglic. That's when they've got to take it in turns to attack off the front. Force Roglic to keep chasing them back in, in the hope that he breaks. Thomas and Bernal did that one/two tactic when Bernal won the Tour. Carapaz is more a super domestique at this one after a long season.

Yes a bit concerning for Jumbo that Roglic was so isolated early on that climb, on what was a pretty easy stage.
Looking ahead, if they're team is weak and someone like Kuss is struggling, then Ineos/Bahrain should be looking at stage 7's profile as a massive opportunity to absolutely blow the race wide open...send a few guys up the road on that early climb, or hammer it on that early climb and shed as many Jumbo as you can and isolate Roglic completely. Of course, he might be strong enough to handle it...but that's the only way I can really see them beating him (bar a crash)
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Post by Lowlandbrit Tue 17 Aug 2021, 4:43 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:Looking ahead, if they're team is weak and someone like Kuss is struggling, then Ineos/Bahrain should be looking at stage 7's profile as a massive opportunity to absolutely blow the race wide open...
Throw Movistar in there too, at home with three in the (very early) top 10. Think they probably have a better shot than Bahrain's collection of nearly-men too.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Tue 17 Aug 2021, 4:49 pm

Lowlandbrit wrote:
Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:Looking ahead, if they're team is weak and someone like Kuss is struggling, then Ineos/Bahrain should be looking at stage 7's profile as a massive opportunity to absolutely blow the race wide open...
Throw Movistar in there too, at home with three in the (very early) top 10. Think they probably have a better shot than Bahrain's collection of nearly-men too.

Movistar to correctly implement a tactical plan seems a bit far fetched though Smile
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Post by Lowlandbrit Tue 17 Aug 2021, 5:02 pm

Great to see Jakobsen win, don't think anyone would have been surprised if he'd never made it back to the top after that crash.

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Post by Azabache Tue 17 Aug 2021, 8:48 pm

Nice to see a Basque team back again.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Thu 19 Aug 2021, 4:34 pm

Providing he stays upright, Roglic wins this at a canter. Bernal could barely hold the wheel of Michael Matthews on that finish ffs
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Post by Azabache Thu 19 Aug 2021, 10:12 pm

We'll see. (Bernal is now 5th nevertheless).

Things should be a little clearer after Sunday.....

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Post by Lowlandbrit Sun 22 Aug 2021, 4:18 pm

More of the same really, Kuss isn't a factor but Roglic is just too strong for it to matter (so far). Bad day for Bernal, worse day for Landa.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun 22 Aug 2021, 8:37 pm

The Vuelta is still young but Roglic is in the prefect position. Not sure any of his competitors are offering much of a challenge at present. Mas is the only one in touching distance though he does have the advantage of his team really turning up for this one he needs to overtake and built a lead on Roglic because come the final stage time trial he's losing time. 

Neither of the Ineos contenders look they are going to take the race to Roglic and Adam Yates didn't look like he wanted to push on from the dropped Bernal.

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Post by Azabache Sun 22 Aug 2021, 11:07 pm

Very sorry to see Valverde abandon-must be a blow for Movistar to lose such an experienced veteran.

Re. today's (Sunday) result, my suspicions increase, I'm afraid...

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Sun 22 Aug 2021, 11:57 pm

Suspicions Azabache?

GC wise, Landa is a non factor now. Bernal looks off his best form which is a huge shame for the race, as while Mas and Lopez look in good form, I don’t think either has the legs to beat Roglic (considering both will lose 2+ minutes in the time trial to him). Roglic has been on good form, but I think if Bernal was on top form he could have got at him today…I think Roglic tired at the end a fair bit.
Movistar do have the ability to use both Mas and Lopez (albeit they hate each other!).

As for Ineos, I hope they free up some riders to chase stage wins. Clearly Yates and Bernal aren’t winning this
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Post by Lowlandbrit Tue 24 Aug 2021, 6:02 pm

Weird day for Roglic. Gives up the jersey and then falls while attacking. More time lost for Bernal, Guillaume Martin up to second.

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Post by Azabache Tue 24 Aug 2021, 11:22 pm

I hope this livens up-dare I say it's getting boring?

Best hopes may lie with Movistar-it's "their" race after all, but losing Valverde was a blow.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Wed 25 Aug 2021, 8:42 am

Not entirely sure why Roglic attacked yesterday - wasn't like there was bonus seconds on offer, and with a descent and slight flat after, with a group working behind he'd have gained what, 10 seconds most?
Let alone taking on the risk of the crash while descending - he is pretty lucky there is seemingly no damage.

At least he did try to liven it up as Azabache says! Seems that the Ineos guys won't be doing anything, they're cooked
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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 25 Aug 2021, 12:08 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:Not entirely sure why Roglic attacked yesterday - wasn't like there was bonus seconds on offer, and with a descent and slight flat after, with a group working behind he'd have gained what, 10 seconds most?
Let alone taking on the risk of the crash while descending - he is pretty lucky there is seemingly no damage.

At least he did try to liven it up as Azabache says! Seems that the Ineos guys won't be doing anything, they're cooked

I think it was a physiological attack as much as anything else by Roglic. "You guys suffering? I feel great". If you are Bernal and Yates or in fact any of the GC that's go to knock the confidence.

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Post by Azabache Wed 25 Aug 2021, 11:46 pm

Is he so superior? Why? True, he didn't suffer to the end of the Tour, but neither did Bernal. He was at Tokyo, but so were some of the others.

It is an historical fact that an exceptional rider emerges every few years, and psychological strengths are as important as the physical ones (witness Froome). There's no doubting Roglic's strengths.

There's just something here that I can't warm to, and reading about Erzen/Aderlass doesn't inspire confidence.

I want so badly to believe in Roglic......

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Post by Soul Requiem Thu 26 Aug 2021, 8:12 am

Azabache wrote:Is he so superior? Why? True, he didn't suffer to the end of the Tour, but neither did Bernal. He was at Tokyo, but so were some of the others.

It is an historical fact that an exceptional rider emerges every few years, and psychological strengths are as important as the physical ones (witness Froome). There's no doubting Roglic's strengths.

There's just something here that I can't warm to, and reading about Erzen/Aderlass doesn't inspire confidence.

I want so badly to believe in Roglic......

Roglic isn't the one i'm worried about, it's Pogacar for me.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 26 Aug 2021, 10:56 am

Soul Requiem wrote:
Azabache wrote:Is he so superior? Why? True, he didn't suffer to the end of the Tour, but neither did Bernal. He was at Tokyo, but so were some of the others.

It is an historical fact that an exceptional rider emerges every few years, and psychological strengths are as important as the physical ones (witness Froome). There's no doubting Roglic's strengths.

There's just something here that I can't warm to, and reading about Erzen/Aderlass doesn't inspire confidence.

I want so badly to believe in Roglic......

Roglic isn't the one i'm worried about, it's Pogacar for me.

I believe it's still common practice at the Olympics to drug test every medalist after their event. I'd assume it's exactly the same with stage winners at Grand Tours. Add in randomised testing against Biometric Passports it's going to be incredibly hard to effectively dope in this modern age.

Roglic we've seen break previously in quite a big way. He just looks like a talented individual to me. Pogacar last year just looked like a string and clever rider, his dominance this year at the Tour was frightening.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Thu 26 Aug 2021, 11:06 am

To be honest Roglic doesn't look that strong to me in this Vuelta - he's barely gapping Mas on these climbs, sometimes not at all...and Mas isn't exactly a strong GC contender usually. It's a great shame that Bernal appears to be off form, as he would've really challenged for the red jersey if he had his Giro form
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Post by Soul Requiem Thu 26 Aug 2021, 1:57 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:
Azabache wrote:Is he so superior? Why? True, he didn't suffer to the end of the Tour, but neither did Bernal. He was at Tokyo, but so were some of the others.

It is an historical fact that an exceptional rider emerges every few years, and psychological strengths are as important as the physical ones (witness Froome). There's no doubting Roglic's strengths.

There's just something here that I can't warm to, and reading about Erzen/Aderlass doesn't inspire confidence.

I want so badly to believe in Roglic......

Roglic isn't the one i'm worried about, it's Pogacar for me.

I believe it's still common practice at the Olympics to drug test every medalist after their event. I'd assume it's exactly the same with stage winners at Grand Tours. Add in randomised testing against Biometric Passports it's going to be incredibly hard to effectively dope in this modern age.

Roglic we've seen break previously in quite a big way. He just looks like a talented individual to me. Pogacar last year just looked like a string and clever rider, his dominance this year at the Tour was frightening.

I disagree with that, anyone who has watched the brilliant Icarus will realise how easy it still is to dope. The testing is always one stage behind the doping and can only react to new innovations rather than proactively changing.

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Post by Lowlandbrit Thu 26 Aug 2021, 2:12 pm

Azabache wrote:psychological strengths are as important as the physical ones
Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:It's a great shame that Bernal appears to be off form
Really not sure what to make of Bernal. He seemed to have answered some questions at the Giro, but it feels like we're back where we started now.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat 28 Aug 2021, 9:39 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:
Azabache wrote:Is he so superior? Why? True, he didn't suffer to the end of the Tour, but neither did Bernal. He was at Tokyo, but so were some of the others.

It is an historical fact that an exceptional rider emerges every few years, and psychological strengths are as important as the physical ones (witness Froome). There's no doubting Roglic's strengths.

There's just something here that I can't warm to, and reading about Erzen/Aderlass doesn't inspire confidence.

I want so badly to believe in Roglic......

Roglic isn't the one i'm worried about, it's Pogacar for me.

I believe it's still common practice at the Olympics to drug test every medalist after their event. I'd assume it's exactly the same with stage winners at Grand Tours. Add in randomised testing against Biometric Passports it's going to be incredibly hard to effectively dope in this modern age.

Roglic we've seen break previously in quite a big way. He just looks like a talented individual to me. Pogacar last year just looked like a string and clever rider, his dominance this year at the Tour was frightening.

I disagree with that, anyone who has watched the brilliant Icarus will realise how easy it still is to dope. The testing is always one stage behind the doping and can only react to new innovations rather than proactively changing.

I wouldn't call a huge state funded doping organisation easy to dope. The testing will always be one step behind but the biometric passports make a huge difference. You are always going to get those that will try and push the barriers. At the highest level it isn't easy but that's not to say it's not happening. I imagine that most teams are not looking to dope and deliberately cheat but they are looking to be in the slightly grey areas or as close to the line as they can get away with. That's the nature of sport though. F1 teams every year put aero bits on the car that sit in the technical grey area.

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Post by Soul Requiem Sat 28 Aug 2021, 9:48 pm

I unfortunately think that's very naive especially when you take into account the history of the sport. The significance of the biometric passports is overblown, they only matter if you're not smart with your doping program. They cannot and never will catch those going down the sensible marginal gains route.

I've watched the sport long enough to sense cheating before it's proven.

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Post by Azabache Sat 28 Aug 2021, 10:14 pm

Was good to see Bardet win today after a lean spell-was always a good climber who has an impressive CV, and, at long last, he's looking more his age than a perennial 12-Y-O! A thoroughly decent chap as well who supported Froome over that salbutamol business when the hounds were out baying for him.

Back to the peloton-when is something going to happen!


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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat 28 Aug 2021, 10:36 pm

Not really because any marginal use will be noticeable with the biometric passport that's the point. The way to get round them is to use a cocktail of supplements with some used to mask the others. That is very risky because if you get the amounts slightly wrong then it'll be blindingly obvious on your biometric passport. Any anamoly away from the baseline is investigated. Lance himself admitted that the biometric passport made it very complicated to try anything.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 01 Sep 2021, 4:06 pm

Well Roglic might have sealed it. Bernal went for it but couldn't drop the Slovenian could he.

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Post by Azabache Wed 01 Sep 2021, 9:50 pm

One can only be magnanimous and applaud.

So why do I have a sour taste in my mouth?

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 01 Sep 2021, 9:58 pm

https://www.cyclingnews.com/news/bernal-calls-roglic-the-brave-one-after-long-distance-vuelta-a-espana-attack/

Bernal has talked up the effort. 

It'll be interesting to see if he's got much in the legs for tomorrow as that's another steep day. Those that finished in the group behind might fancy a pop to see if he can go back to back though the strongest of this looked to be Sepp Kuss who'll be helping Roglic through it.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Thu 02 Sep 2021, 9:19 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:https://www.cyclingnews.com/news/bernal-calls-roglic-the-brave-one-after-long-distance-vuelta-a-espana-attack/

Bernal has talked up the effort. 

It'll be interesting to see if he's got much in the legs for tomorrow as that's another steep day. Those that finished in the group behind might fancy a pop to see if he can go back to back though the strongest of this looked to be Sepp Kuss who'll be helping Roglic through it.

Yeah think it shows the state of the other GC contenders that Kuss, who'd looked like getting dropped earlier in the day yesterday, was easily hanging onto and then outsprinting them yesterday. Fair play to Bernal for having a go, but it's clear none of them are on form (in Bernal's case) or good enough to challenge properly. Movistar basically just settled for protecting the podium yesterday (Mas was only 27 seconds behind Roglic going into yesterday, yet had no interest in following!)
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Post by Lowlandbrit Sun 05 Sep 2021, 6:11 am

No problems at all for Roglic yesterday, but plenty of other stuff to talk about! Lopez angrily quit the race after being dropped, Haig is now on the podium and Mader has passed Bernal as top young rider.
Is this the end of Lopez at Movistar? If so, they have an alternative lined up; Valverde has signed up for another year after all.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun 05 Sep 2021, 8:19 am

Yeah Movistar have looked keen on just finishing with a podium. I wonder if that's what's caused friction with Lopez. Had he been told not to attack if Mas wasn't able to respond and then was left frustrated when he couldn't bridge across. In sure there are other teams that would take him on if he were to walk out of Movistar.

Roglic should seal the deal today, he's easily the best time trial rider in the top 10. Be interesting to see if the podium placings can be moved round. Adam Yates isn't that far off the podium if he can turn in a good TT ride. Not his strongest suit but Ineos do tend to have good bikes and people on the team who excel at it so might be able to coach him to go a bit quicker.

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Post by Azabache Mon 06 Sep 2021, 12:28 am

Well that's over! What a terrific performer is Roglic; I want so much to believe in him and fervently hope that nothing "untoward" will emerge going forward.

And now the Tour of Britain is running. It's quite nice to see the riders haring along our narrow lanes; no 12km+ long Continental climbs of course but stages with innumerable nasty little ones. A fair number of well-known stars are in attendance with a lot of youngsters learning the craft.

One consequence of the narrow lanes (and possibly restricted budget) is that a lot of the camera coverage is from in front, which makes interesting viewing of the riders' facial expressions/anguish! This was certainly the case on Stage 1's transmission anyway.

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