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2024 season

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Post by Lowlandbrit Mon 1 Jan - 15:29

First topic message reminder :

While MvdP dominates the cyclo-cross season, it's nearly time to get back on the road.

Pogačar will be riding the Giro this year. Does that mean they're throwing in the towel on the TdF? Well, the plan is for him to ride that alongside Almeida, Ayuso and Yates, so probably not.

The 'Yellow B' team (as they've renamed the official licence holder, seemingly as part of a plan to make that the team name/brand going forward) will now be Visma | Lease a Bike, and there's another big money discounter sponsor (following Lidl-Trek) in Decathlon-Ag2r La Mondiale.

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Post by Azabache Thu 4 Jul - 20:26

DH-re. your comment on the BBC-solution is easy-don't bother with them! Leave them to their snobby coverage of Wimbledon etc. and be thankful that their involvement in cycling is minimal and can be discounted.

Having only Freeview, I must say that the ITV4 is the usual dream team with David Millar etc.-already some insightful side topics (today terrific analysis of bike technology, and a feature on Visma's dubious radio "innovations"...).

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Post by No name Bertie Thu 4 Jul - 23:24

If what Cavendish did was "easy" then we would have a slew of modern era sprinters dominating or impacting the career stage wins board. However we don't. Of the modern era riders we have:

01) Cavendish (2008-2024) 35 stage wins sprinter
13) Marcel Kittel (2013-2017) 14 stage wins sprinter
16) Tadej Pogačar (2020-2024) 12 stage wins GC contender
16) Mario Cipollini (1993-1999) 12 stage wins sprinter
16) Miguel Indurain (1989-1995) 12 stage wins GC contender
16) Robbie McEwen (1999-2007) 12 stage wins sprinter
16) Peter Sagan (2012-2019) 12 stage wins points/sprinter
16) Erik Zabel (1995-2002) 12 stage wins sprinter
22) [four riders including):
22) André Greipel (2011-2016) 11 stage wins sprinter
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Post by Lowlandbrit Fri 5 Jul - 13:54

Sprinters tend to win in bursts, doesn't feel like there are many examples of having multiple separate dominant periods. To do this after the number of times his career has been over now, is even more remarkable.

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Post by dummy_half Fri 5 Jul - 14:09

No name Bertie wrote:If what Cavendish did was "easy" then we would have a slew of modern era sprinters dominating or impacting the career stage wins board.  However we don't.  Of the modern era riders we have:

01) Cavendish (2008-2024) 35 stage wins sprinter
13) Marcel Kittel (2013-2017) 14 stage wins sprinter
16) Tadej Pogačar (2020-2024) 12 stage wins GC contender
16) Mario Cipollini (1993-1999) 12 stage wins sprinter
16) Miguel Indurain (1989-1995) 12 stage wins GC contender
16) Robbie McEwen (1999-2007) 12 stage wins sprinter
16) Peter Sagan (2012-2019) 12 stage wins points/sprinter
16) Erik Zabel (1995-2002) 12 stage wins sprinter
22) [four riders including):
22) André Greipel (2011-2016) 11 stage wins sprinter

I'll not be naughty and suggest that your 'modern era' started with the introduction of a certain PED, and assume that you are really pointing to the era where riders started targetting races more (started with Lemond a few years earlier, but your group looks fine). A quick check on WIkipedia shows that a certain Mr L Armstrong would have been second on your list with 24 stage wins, but 23 of them were annulled. Hinault won 29 stages and 5 GCs, so wan't that far behind Merckx in the Tour.

Always surprises me how relatively few stages Eric Zabel actually won in his dominance of the green jersey.

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Post by Soul Requiem Fri 5 Jul - 14:35

A few stats that get overlooked in this country because of the focus placed on the tour;

1. 17 stage wins at the Giro, places him joint 14th overall
2. 55 grand tour stage wins overall, places him 3rd just two behind second placed Mario Cipollini
3. Won the points classification at all three grand tours
4. 165 career wins on the road, second of all time
5. Three time world champion on the track in the Madison

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Post by Lowlandbrit Sun 7 Jul - 16:28

Having a gravel stage was a controversial choice, but it's living up to the expectations.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun 7 Jul - 17:17

Interesting stage. Shame none of the other GC hopefuls were willing to work with Pogacar to blow the race open.

Pidcock just left it a fraction late with launching his sprint. Probably the best chance for him to grab a stage win as well.

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Post by mountain man Sun 7 Jul - 17:40

That was a mental stage, rest of GC - Vingegaard, Evenpoel and Roglic just glad to survive so no way were they going to work with Pogacar. Very interesting interview with Matteo Jorgenson post stage when he said Visma only regard Pogacar as a rival. Basically dismissing Evenpoel and Roglic hence they saw no value in working with Pogacar.
The sight of so many top riders having to push their bikes up the 2nd sector of gravel was something else, a real pinch point as the peloton entered it and it was carnage.

I reckon all glad for rest day tomorrow.

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Post by Lowlandbrit Mon 8 Jul - 9:20

formerly known as Sam wrote:Interesting stage. Shame none of the other GC hopefuls were willing to work with Pogacar to blow the race open.
Evenepoel did have a go, but because it was just the three of them and Vingegaard was just sitting on the wheel, Pogacar didn't join in then.

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Post by mountain man Mon 8 Jul - 14:26

As it happens I've just come back from a ride and I did a route I've wanted to try for a while but I didn't realise it had so much gravel on it and I agree with Vingegaard, it's way nicer on tarmac especially on a road bike. I was descending like a granny on some bits.
Fortunately no punctures.

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Post by Azabache Mon 8 Jul - 22:38

If Pogacar has any weaknesses and if, indeed, Vingegaard is riding himself back into peak fitness, then I can't wait to see what happens on the penultimate Stage 20; this has been dismissed almost as "short" with "climbs that aren't as demanding" (Official Race Guide). Well, having just done the Etape on Saturday, the four climbs are unremitting over their 54 total KM with few downhill respites, and false flats just that where one changes up a cog only to quickly go back down to bottom gear! And the descents are lethal, particularly the Col de Turini.

But I speak as a mere hack amateur, so maybe it'll all be tied up by then....

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Post by mountain man Tue 9 Jul - 8:58

TdF be decided before stage 20 is my prediction. Stages 14 and 15 will sort out if anyone can match Pogacar and if one of the big 4 has a bad day likely to be one of those.
All pundits saying Evenpoel always has one so it's whether that holds and if Vingegaard has ridden back sufficiently into form and fitness. The problem for him is that he is lesser than last couple years due to crash and Pogacar is stronger than ever so it's a double whammy really.

Today after rest day another snooze fest until final 3km.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Tue 9 Jul - 10:05

Soul Requiem wrote:A few stats that get overlooked in this country because of the focus placed on the tour;

1. 17 stage wins at the Giro, places him joint 14th overall
2. 55 grand tour stage wins overall, places him 3rd just two behind second placed Mario Cipollini
3. Won the points classification at all three grand tours
4. 165 career wins on the road, second of all time
5. Three time world champion on the track in the Madison

Also to add to this - of course won the World Road Race in 2011, and Milan-San Remo in 2009. Both becoming more and more difficult for a pure sprinter like himself to win!
The San-Remo win in particular potentially the best sprint of his career.
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Post by dummy_half Tue 9 Jul - 18:26

Azabache wrote:If Pogacar has any weaknesses and if, indeed, Vingegaard is riding himself back into peak fitness, then I can't wait to see what happens on the penultimate Stage 20; this has been dismissed almost as "short" with "climbs that aren't as demanding" (Official Race Guide). Well, having just done the Etape on Saturday, the four climbs are unremitting over their 54 total KM with few downhill respites, and false flats just that where one changes up a cog only to quickly go back down to bottom gear! And the descents are lethal, particularly the Col de Turini.

But I speak as a mere hack amateur, so maybe it'll all be tied up by then....

Compared to Stage 19, Stage 20 is a doddle. Yes, it's brutal to mere mortals, but by the standards of these guys it's not THAT hard - 4 x first cat climbs, but stays under the 1800 m altitude that starts to cause significant issues for some riders. Stage 19 only has the 3 climbs, but 2 x HC, and the Bonette was Robert Millar's least favourite climb just because of the length and altitude (2800 m summit...). Can't be many longer descents though between there and Isola town at 900 m (40 km to lose 1900 m altitude). Summit finish at Isola 2000. If someone cracks on this stage, the time gaps will be measured with a calendar.

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Post by Azabache Tue 9 Jul - 22:00

Yep-these guys are superhuman! I'm happy to be a mere mortal.

Any bets on when Evenepoel cracks?

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Post by mountain man Wed 10 Jul - 16:10

What a stage! Incredible racing from the off with UAE piling pressure onto Visma and dropping all of Vingegaard support but he was able to withstand attack by Pogacar and how he was able to regain 35seconds after being dropped was amazing.
To cap it all he outsprinted Pogacar for the win.

One of best stages ever.

If only he had an in form Sepp Kuss with him but so far he is back in the race for sure.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 10 Jul - 16:14

Great performance from Vingegaard but he's going to need to do more than just pip Pogacar to the line on a stage if he's going to take the jersey. Good for the race that he's looking on good nick.

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Post by mountain man Wed 10 Jul - 17:01

formerly known as Sam wrote:Great performance from Vingegaard but he's going to need to do more than just pip Pogacar to the line on a stage if he's going to take the jersey. Good for the race that he's looking on good nick.

That though was ominous for Pogacar as he knows now that Jonas is bang in form even without a strong team and historically Jonas gets stronger in 3rd week so if that holds(big if of course) then plenty stages left to take time back. This weekend looks brutal so we'll probably find out by end of stage Sunday.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 10 Jul - 18:28

mountain man wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:Great performance from Vingegaard but he's going to need to do more than just pip Pogacar to the line on a stage if he's going to take the jersey. Good for the race that he's looking on good nick.

That though was ominous for Pogacar as he knows now that Jonas is bang in form even without a strong team and historically Jonas gets stronger in 3rd week so if that holds(big if of course) then plenty stages left to take time back. This weekend looks brutal so we'll probably find out by end of stage Sunday.

Pogacar might well change tactics. Attacking in the first two weeks made sense against a Vingegaard that's expected to be below peak fitness. Now Vingegaard needs to attack in order to win the race. Remove his support, try and keep one of Yates or Ayuso with Pogacar then just mark Vingegaard. Pog's in yellow with more than a minute advantage. Keep it simple and don't over stretch.

Agree there's some monster days coming pretty soon that should clarify things.

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Post by Azabache Thu 11 Jul - 1:17

What a stage (again)! Potentially a psychological blow to Pogacar, but agree with you that he keeps calm, uses his team (especially Ayuso and Yates), keeps it simple, resists his natural impulse to go off like a maniac (and risk needlessly knackering himself), and maintain HIS psychological advantage. Vingegaard appears superhuman but we will see. I personally have always been surprised that he can actually stand up on his own, so slight and elfin-like is he! Obviously a remarkable physique with a claimed very high VO2 (as high as Big Mig apparently).

I just hope that something doesn't emerge at some point, as has been discussed here before. We've all been disappointed so often down the years. Not the time now, though, to raise this particular debate......

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Post by mountain man Thu 11 Jul - 8:40

I just hope that something doesn't emerge at some point, as has been discussed here before. We've all been disappointed so often down the years. Not the time now, though, to raise this particular debate......

Oh dear that looks rather like an accussation. If you have any proof of any wrong doing let's see it.

Think everyone is innocent until proved guilty or certainly should be treated as such.

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Post by Soul Requiem Thu 11 Jul - 9:21

Azabache wrote:What a stage (again)! Potentially a psychological blow to Pogacar, but agree with you that he keeps calm, uses his team (especially Ayuso and Yates), keeps it simple, resists his natural impulse to go off like a maniac (and risk needlessly knackering himself), and maintain HIS psychological advantage. Vingegaard appears superhuman but we will see. I personally have always been surprised that he can actually stand up on his own, so slight and elfin-like is he! Obviously a remarkable physique with a claimed very high VO2 (as high as Big Mig apparently).

I just hope that something doesn't emerge at some point, as has been discussed here before. We've all been disappointed so often down the years. Not the time now, though, to raise this particular debate......

Vingegaard has never been the one i've had doubts about...

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Post by mountain man Thu 11 Jul - 9:43

Exactly. Being one of top 2 in world Vingegaard will be tested more than any(along with Pogacar) and yellow jersey and stage winners tested every time along with random testing throughout peloton.

None of us know for sure who is clean or not or whether everyone is or everyone isn't. We have to rely on testing and go on principle of innocent until proven guilty.
The fact Vingegaard beats Pogacar suddenly brings out an veiled accusation by a Pogcar fan, pretty poor really.

If Vingegaard or any rider found to have doped I'll be first in line to condemn. Until that time there is nothing to say.

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Post by mountain man Thu 11 Jul - 16:13

Win number 3 for Girmay, that has surely sewn up green jersey, excuse the pun !

Terrible bad luck for Roglic, he goes down again although not his fault but his chance of podium let alone yellow rapidly receding.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 11 Jul - 17:38

mountain man wrote:Exactly. Being one of top 2 in world Vingegaard will be tested more than any(along with Pogacar) and yellow jersey and stage winners tested every time along with random testing throughout peloton.

None of us know for sure who is clean or not or whether everyone is or everyone isn't. We have to rely on testing and go on principle of innocent until proven guilty.
The fact Vingegaard beats Pogacar suddenly brings out an veiled accusation by a Pogcar fan, pretty poor really.

If Vingegaard or any rider found to have doped I'll be first in line to condemn. Until that time there is nothing to say.

The UCI would have to be thick as the proverbial pig excrement to not have tested the likely GC candidates repeatedly in the build up. Best to catch potential cheaters before the race rather than during or after. Testing every stage winner and then randomly just makes sense. Even Lance said you can't fool the biological passports.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 11 Jul - 17:39

mountain man wrote:Win number 3 for Girmay, that has surely sewn up green jersey, excuse the pun !

Terrible bad luck for Roglic, he goes down again although not his fault but his chance of podium let alone yellow rapidly receding.

Losing more than a minute on a sprinter's day with no cross winds must be an absolute sickener for him. I just can't see where he's going to make it back up.

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Post by Big Fri 12 Jul - 10:18

Late to the party...

I'm not sure Vingegaard suddenly and shockingly beats Pogacar at all. Surely we all kind of expected Vingegaard to get stronger as the event goes on having come back from injury, and Pogacar to get weaker (there's a reason folks don't frequently attempt the Giro/Tour double). And it is Vingegaard who won the last two Tours, so it's not like he's a dramatically weaker rider! So, to me it seems all is kind of as expected, and we are in for an exciting finish.

What are folks thoughts on the tightening up and dishing out of punishments in the sprints? And am I right in thinking that's what's happening, as it definitely feels like the relegations are being dished out more enthusiastically than in years gone by. I thought Cav's relegation was a bit tough. Made the wrong call about which side to go round, but was arguably trying to move away from the heaviest traffic to do that and to the detriment of his sprint. Being a Tour de France watcher rather than all cycling watcher, have they been cracking down on this in all events this year?

More general thoughts, it is proving to be a great Tour... delighted Cav got no. 35, delighted Girmay is having a great run, delighted we look like we might get a good battle for the GC. But, very sorry for Roglic yesterday and hope he is recovered enough to get stuck in at the weekend.

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Post by mountain man Fri 12 Jul - 10:25

Regarding sprints, well you only have to look at horrific injuries that Fabio Jakobsen suffered to know what can happen. He almost died of his injuries when forced into barriers so to prevent that happening is essential.

To draw an analogy with rugby it's like the high tackle sanctions. Players get red carded now for tackles that in past were often not even a pen.

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Post by Big Fri 12 Jul - 10:58

Yes, I would say that's why I get the sanction on Demare (who probably would have got away with that in the past) for squeezing van Aert into the barrier, but not so much Cav. In my mind Cav's manoeuvre looks worse because McLay is cutting to his left meaning Cav ends up having to go much further left as well. It's kind of academic at this point, and I'm delighted for Girmay to get another win (and that Cav got his earlier) - just seemed a little rough to me to relegate when he'd tried to go round on the open side where initially there was more space.

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Post by mountain man Fri 12 Jul - 13:13

Roglic abandoned, no real surprise I guess.
He's had some bad luck, some of it his own doing others not.
Podium already sorted, just depends on order

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Post by dummy_half Fri 12 Jul - 13:58

absolutely balls out start to today's stage - big group (20+) of strong riders off the front being driven by van der Poel, but the key is that Adam Yates has got in there so the lower GC teams can't just let them roll away.
Big crosswinds as well has already seen Visma try to split the peloton - Pogacar and Evenepoel reacted well, but for 10 km there was a group of 22 20 seconds in front of a group of 6 Visma riders + Pog and Remco, with another 30 s to the peloton. Could have got very messy if the two front groups had jointed up.

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Post by Azabache Fri 12 Jul - 23:33

May I affirm (and repeat) that I acknowledge Vingegaard's remarkable physical and physiological attributes and merely innocently (as hopefully did a recent poster when suggesting that Pogacar had a hidden motor in his bike!) reflected that one hopes that nothing untoward emerges later; given what us long observers of the sport have endured over many, many years. If some contributors interpreted this aside as an insinuation then I unreservedly apologise.

I personally find the majority of the other sites out there to be not much better than "bigots' forums" with much trolling evident. This site has retained a welcome balance and maturity, generally.

I am NOT specifically a "fan" of Pogacar; if I am a fan at all it's for underdogs and triers, e.g. Bardet; and for a level playing field re financing for instance. A pipe dream probably. And now we read of some sort of a (sinister?) Control Room that Jumbo Lease a Bike were/are planning-here's a topic someone may like to open..

Regarding poor old Roglic-he's not an underdog of course-one could make a case that he's one of the finest riders not to win a Tour-but unlike, say, Poulidor, who had Merckx and other nemeses, Roglic seems to find Fate every time! In the highlights programme earlier it was suggested that he has poor bike handling skills-can one believe this?

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Post by mountain man Sat 13 Jul - 7:58

Visma having a truck with lots of data in, aka a control room or whatever is not sinister.

ALL teams with the resources these days use data to improve their riders performance and according to Millar/Bouting what Visma are doing other teams such as INEOS, UAE etc (ie those with the cash) will undoubtedly follow. Just another form of marginal gains.

Your suspicion of all things Visma a bit odd. Perhaps you aren't aware but UCI are all over this sort of thing so anything not right they will ban. Then again UCI ban some odd things...

Anyway, today looking like a massive day in the mountains. Should be epic.

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Post by Lowlandbrit Sat 13 Jul - 16:36

Big question after today: will Pogacar change his mind and book a ticket for Spain?

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat 13 Jul - 16:46

Pogacar stretches the gap to nearly 2 mins. Looks in a really strong position now. The Vuelta might be a step to far as he'll no doubt be going from the Tour to the Olympics and then might fancy a crack at the world championships as well.

Bit of a shame none of the Brits put in a mid attack up the road on the anniversary of Simpson's death. Yates playing ride along for Pog was the best we had.

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Post by mountain man Sat 13 Jul - 20:43

If stage was Ventoux they might have done.
Pogacar surely sealed yellow now barring incident or blow up which seems unlikely. Vingegaard I suspect happy to keep 2nd ahead of Remco. Obviously wants win but seems unlikely now.
Podium sorted it looks although never know for sure.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Sun 14 Jul - 16:47

Pogacar just put FOUR minutes into Pantani’s record (doped) on that climb, after an absolutely brutal day of pacing by Jumbo.
Vingegaard only a minute behind him.

I know equipment/training is better these days but…sheesh. Hard to “believe”
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Post by mountain man Sun 14 Jul - 16:49

Innocent until proved guilty

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Post by Soul Requiem Sun 14 Jul - 17:02

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:Pogacar just put FOUR minutes into Pantani’s record (doped) on that climb, after an absolutely brutal day of pacing by Jumbo.
Vingegaard only a minute behind him.

I know equipment/training is better these days but…sheesh. Hard to “believe”

It's pretty obvious what's going on. There was a certain time trial that piqued my attention a few years ago.

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Post by Azabache Mon 15 Jul - 0:43

Good to see Landa up there (but way back on time!). Yates has been a domestique extraordinaire. I thought Evenepoel was going to blow up by now, so very impressed and bodes well for future years. The time gaps developing are reminiscent of the Merckx era.

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Post by No name Bertie Mon 15 Jul - 6:00

Two more stage wins and Pogacar will enter into the top 10 all time list for Tour de France stage wins. This tour he already has three stage wins.
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Post by mountain man Mon 15 Jul - 8:37

Pogacar could conceivably beat the TdF stage win record. I think he'd have to prioritize that goal(along with yellow of course) over other Grand Tours and races which seems unlikely at present but he has the all around ability to do it.

Podium is surely set now barring a huge upset or incident.

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Post by No name Bertie Mon 15 Jul - 12:06

With regard allegations of enhancement - people look at their junior records and see if there have been any performance jumps. It seems to me that Pogacar was a special talent very early on (as I guess most have to be). The other thing is keeping up to date with the testing programmes. If they all now have blood passports it must be difficult to beat that sort of thing. Data analytics seem to be helping with teams in contact with their bosses and the data experts monitoring the race and performance levels.
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Post by dummy_half Mon 15 Jul - 13:08

mountain man wrote:Pogacar could conceivably beat the TdF stage win record. I think he'd have to prioritize that goal(along with yellow of course) over other Grand Tours and races which seems unlikely at present but he has the all around ability to do it.

Podium is surely set now barring a huge upset or incident.

5th tour and 14 stage wins (so far) at age 25 (26 in September), so wins typically about 3 stages a year. Keep that up and he will need 12 seasons to beat Cav's record. For a GC contender, that would be extraordinary (Merckx won his 34 stages in only 7 Tours, but he would also contest sprint stages and was very effective as a sprinter on hard stages or from a reduced peloton - Pogacar doesn't have that within his scope).

I also don't think Pogacar is the sort of rider who wants to focus solely on the Tour in the manner that most of the GC contenders since Lemond have done. INdeed, I can see him choosing to ride Paris Roubaix a couple of times just because...


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Post by No name Bertie Sat 20 Jul - 18:21

Pogacar wins his fifth stage of this year's TourDeFrance and goes into the all time top ten for TdF stage wins.  Many like him because of his attacking style others don't.  Without Vingegaard this would have been Pogacar's fifth rather than third TdF victory aged 25.  

1) Mark Cavendish (2008 - 2024) 35 stage wins
2) Eddy Merckx (1969 - 1975) 34
3) Bernard Hinault (1978 - 1986) 28
4) André Leducq (1927 - 1938) 25
5) André Darrigade (1953 - 1964) 22
6) Nicolas Frantz (1924 - 1929) 20
7) François Faber (1908 - 1914) 19
8) Jean Alavoine (1909 - 1923) 17
9) Jacques Anquetil (1957 - 1964) 16
9) René Le Grevès (1933 - 1939) 16
9) Charles Pélissier (1929 - 1935) 16
9) Tadej Pogačar (2020 - 2024) 16
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Post by No name Bertie Sun 21 Jul - 10:31

Saw the following comment on Youtube and reproduce it here:

"Respect to vingegaard, did well to even make the tour following his accident..going out on his sword!"

Which makes one wonder how good Vingegaard would have been compared to Pogacar this year in  the TDF if he hadn't have had the accident.

Another point made is that Pogacar could be considered one of the challengers for the final stage - the time trial from Monaco - Nice.  



Although the Olympics begins in five days time (26 July) and not today, that is the reason given as to why the traditional route into Paris and a final Sprint was scrapped for this year.

With the issues following the Covid lockdowns we seem to be having massive international sports meetings every few minutes.   This and then FIFA expanding the Football World Cup - international sports alone must now be contributing to Global Warming and Sports Fatigue among spectators.
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Post by Soul Requiem Sun 21 Jul - 18:33

Yeah ok....

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Post by No name Bertie Sun 21 Jul - 18:36

Pogacar wins the last three TdF stages for 17 stage wins in total and his third TdF (and two runner up positions) aged 25.

1) Mark Cavendish (2008 - 2024) 35 stage wins  
2) Eddy Merckx (1969 - 1975) 34
3) Bernard Hinault (1978 - 1986) 28
4) André Leducq (1927 - 1938) 25
5) André Darrigade (1953 - 1964) 22
6) Nicolas Frantz (1924 - 1929) 20
7) François Faber (1908 - 1914) 19
8) Jean Alavoine (1909 - 1923) 17
8) Tadej Pogačar (2020 - 2024) 17
10) Jacques Anquetil (1957 - 1964) 16
10) René Le Grevès (1933 - 1939) 16
10) Charles Pélissier (1929 - 1935) 16
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Post by Azabache Sun 21 Jul - 22:53

I assume that the French would argue logistical reasons for the move from Paris to Nice. Five days is too near to follow the usual format.

Stage 20-Pogacar won it at a whisker over 4 hours! Were they really hitting speeds of 30KM/hr. up 8% gradients? Humbling to us hacks on the Etape 2 weeks before-my blushes prevent revealing my time, but I got a finisher's medal.

Just "binge-watched" the second series (Netflix) of "Tour de France-Unchained". OK-it's quite heavily French-orientated but some of the comments on Visma and Richard Plugge were quite revealing, and worrying indeed were the reported ambitions to form a league with the sportwashing Saudis.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Yesterday at 8:11

I understand that there are certain areas of France you'll need a digital pass to enter in the lead up to the start of the Olympics. With all the athletes arriving along with the support staff Paris would be full. They don't need a cycling peleton coming through the centre of the city with the circus that follows. Made sense to move it.

Shame it was a TT and not a sprint stage for a final Cav goodbye.

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