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2024 season

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mountain man
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Post by Lowlandbrit Mon 01 Jan 2024, 3:29 pm

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 Lowlandbrit Sun 12 May 2024, 9:16 am

Think Roglic, Evenepoel, etc. should offer a bit more than the competition here.

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Post by mountain man Sun 12 May 2024, 9:49 am

They will but even so if he maintains same form I cannot see them beating Pogacar. Time will tell. Last 2 TdFs it was only Vingegaard who could beat him.

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Post by Azabache Sun 12 May 2024, 10:40 pm

Too early yet (and tempting fate!)....

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Post by mountain man Mon 13 May 2024, 8:44 am

It is early but literally everyone is saying it from fellow pros in Giro(Thomas etc) to ex riders, pundits etc and it's obvious from watching it that he is well within himself and can put stress onto others as and when required.


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Post by dummy_half Mon 13 May 2024, 2:27 pm

So yesterday it looked like Narvaez might just hold off the peloton in the last km - the lead out teams were mostly playing a bit of cat and mouse at 1 km to go. So Pogacar came to the front, pulling the UAE sprinter with him, and basically pulled for 300-400 m at fast lead out speed (60+km ) and set up the bunch sprint. Caught Narvaez less than 50 m from the line. Without Pog doing some lead out, chances are Narvaez would have just held on.

Anyway, rest day today and then an easy few days - tomorrow is the sort of stage where a break should go away and stick (one cat 2 mid stage and a cat 1 at the end) but might see some attacking from the GC riders on the final climb, while the following 3 are sprinter stages followed by a very flat ITT on Saturday. The race gets hard from next Sunday.

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Post by Soul Requiem Mon 13 May 2024, 2:50 pm

mountain man wrote:They will but even so if he maintains same form I cannot see them beating Pogacar. Time will tell. Last 2 TdFs it was only Vingegaard who could beat him.

It's been 26 years since someone did the Giro/Tour double and even then it's safe to assume Pantani was far from natural. You then have to go back to 1993 when Indurain managed the double double.

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Post by mountain man Mon 13 May 2024, 3:50 pm

Yes but this year will Vingegaard ride then TdF and if he does will he be in good enough form? My point is without him there the chances of Pogacar winning Giro then TdF are greatly increased.
No question those 2 are a level above others.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Mon 13 May 2024, 7:27 pm

mountain man wrote:They will but even so if he maintains same form I cannot see them beating Pogacar. Time will tell. Last 2 TdFs it was only Vingegaard who could beat him.

Vingegaard and Jumbo. Having three tour winning riders just launching attack after attack until Pogacar couldn't follow was brutal.

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Post by mountain man Tue 14 May 2024, 8:09 am

No rider wins without his/her team. My point is Pogacar and Vingegaard are a significant level above rest of peloton. If one of those is missing then chances are other one wins.
If Vingegaard doesn't ride tour or isn't ready then Pogacar will be overwhelming favourite. Doesn't mean he will definitley win, far too many variables but on form he would.

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Post by Lowlandbrit Tue 14 May 2024, 9:38 am

BORA-hansgrohe (Red Bull-BORA-hansgrohe as they will be then) are supposed to be bringing a pretty strong looking team with Roglic - Hindley, Vlasov, Martinez, and Kämna. Could be a wildcard.

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Post by Soul Requiem Tue 14 May 2024, 9:38 am

mountain man wrote:No rider wins without his/her team. My point is Pogacar and Vingegaard are a significant level above rest of peloton. If one of those is missing then chances are other one wins.
If Vingegaard doesn't ride tour or isn't ready then Pogacar will be overwhelming favourite. Doesn't mean he will definitley win, far too many variables but on form he would.

Primoz Roglic will be there, he's a better overall rider than Vingegaard and arguably the equal of Pogacar in grand tours. He's the better pure climber and seems highly unlikely he'd balls up another time trial.

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Post by dummy_half Tue 14 May 2024, 10:11 am

Soul Requiem wrote:
mountain man wrote:No rider wins without his/her team. My point is Pogacar and Vingegaard are a significant level above rest of peloton. If one of those is missing then chances are other one wins.
If Vingegaard doesn't ride tour or isn't ready then Pogacar will be overwhelming favourite. Doesn't mean he will definitley win, far too many variables but on form he would.

Primoz Roglic will be there, he's a better overall rider than Vingegaard and arguably the equal of Pogacar in grand tours. He's the better pure climber and seems highly unlikely he'd balls up another time trial.

Roglic is good when he doesn't crash, but I don't think he's the match of Vingegaard now in the big tours - if he was (or at least if Visma thought he was) he wouldn't have moved teams. Still likely to be a worthy opponent for Pogacar in the Tour given Pogacar's Giro, but if someone made me bet my life savings I'd be going for Pog for the TdF win.

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Post by mountain man Tue 14 May 2024, 11:28 am

Soul Requiem wrote:
mountain man wrote:No rider wins without his/her team. My point is Pogacar and Vingegaard are a significant level above rest of peloton. If one of those is missing then chances are other one wins.
If Vingegaard doesn't ride tour or isn't ready then Pogacar will be overwhelming favourite. Doesn't mean he will definitley win, far too many variables but on form he would.

Primoz Roglic will be there, he's a better overall rider than Vingegaard and arguably the equal of Pogacar in grand tours. He's the better pure climber and seems highly unlikely he'd balls up another time trial.

No way is Roglic better than Vingegaard and or equal of Pogacar.
Not just my opinion but of those far more qualified to judge.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Tue 14 May 2024, 7:12 pm

If Vingegaard doesn't make it then it'll be interesting to see if Visma back Sepp Kuss. He's probably the best pure climber in the peleton but normally sacrifices himself for the team leader. The fact he rode all three tours and won the third last year is completely mad, the man is a machine. Actually enjoying some protection from the team it would be interesting where he'd place up against the other big hitters like Roglic, Pogacar etc.

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Post by mountain man Tue 14 May 2024, 7:15 pm

He did win the Vuelta but being honest it was gifted to him by team as a reward for previous service. Vingegaard was stronger in that race as was Roglic.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Tue 14 May 2024, 7:34 pm

mountain man wrote:He did win the Vuelta but being honest it was gifted to him by team as a reward for previous service. Vingegaard was stronger in that race as was Roglic.

Yeah the team rallied round him, he had done the grunt work at the two tours previously and the other two owes some of their success to his work. It's why I'd be interested to see a fresh Kuss given a run at the Tour if Vingegaard isn't fit. Without having to sacrifice himself and without the race somewhat neutralised within his team can he mix it.

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Post by Azabache Tue 14 May 2024, 11:40 pm

I got the impression that Roglic was not particularly enamoured (soft speak for he was furious!) at having to let Kuss win the Vuelta, and this really was the spur to settle his mind to make the move. He deserves to win a Tour but somehow I think it's passed him by now.

Going back to the Giro, a certain dour Welshman-relentless and dogged on long climbs- is still there in third....


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Post by mountain man Wed 15 May 2024, 8:49 am

I got the impression that Roglic was not particularly enamoured (soft speak for he was furious!)

I think so too. I recall one particular climb where Roglic and Jonas dropped Kuss but were fairly obviously ordered to wait, could see the reluctance in body language.

Anyway, Kuss 100% earned his win and fully deserved for what he'd done for Jonas in TdF.

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Post by Soul Requiem Wed 15 May 2024, 9:58 am

mountain man wrote:
I got the impression that Roglic was not particularly enamoured (soft speak for he was furious!)

I think so too. I recall one particular climb where Roglic and Jonas dropped Kuss but were fairly obviously ordered to wait, could see the reluctance in body language.

Anyway, Kuss 100% earned his win and fully deserved for what he'd done for Jonas in TdF.

If you're team mates are ordered to slow down to let you win you don't deserve the win. Grand tours should be won by the best rider which Kuss wasn't.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 15 May 2024, 10:05 am

Azabache wrote:I got the impression that Roglic was not particularly enamoured (soft speak for he was furious!) at having to let Kuss win the Vuelta, and this really was the spur to settle his mind to make the move. He deserves to win a Tour but somehow I think it's passed him by now.

I think Roglic's attitude cemented Visma's consensus to let him go as well. Kuss had helped Roglic win the Giro earlier in the year and was leading the race. You don't attack your own teammates when they are leading.

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Post by mountain man Wed 15 May 2024, 10:18 am

Soul Requiem wrote:
mountain man wrote:
I got the impression that Roglic was not particularly enamoured (soft speak for he was furious!)

I think so too. I recall one particular climb where Roglic and Jonas dropped Kuss but were fairly obviously ordered to wait, could see the reluctance in body language.

Anyway, Kuss 100% earned his win and fully deserved for what he'd done for Jonas in TdF.

If you're team mates are ordered to slow down to let you win you don't deserve the win. Grand tours should be won by the best rider which Kuss wasn't.

That was definitley case when Wiggins won TdF. Froome by far better rider but under orders from Team Sky to get Wiggins to top of podium.

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Post by Soul Requiem Wed 15 May 2024, 10:31 am

mountain man wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:
mountain man wrote:
I got the impression that Roglic was not particularly enamoured (soft speak for he was furious!)

I think so too. I recall one particular climb where Roglic and Jonas dropped Kuss but were fairly obviously ordered to wait, could see the reluctance in body language.

Anyway, Kuss 100% earned his win and fully deserved for what he'd done for Jonas in TdF.

If you're team mates are ordered to slow down to let you win you don't deserve the win. Grand tours should be won by the best rider which Kuss wasn't.

That was definitley case when Wiggins won TdF. Froome by far better rider but under orders from Team Sky to get Wiggins to top of podium.

Potentially true, there was over 100 miles of individual time trialing that year which is unheard of and doesn't make it a foregone conclusion.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 15 May 2024, 11:21 am

Soul Requiem wrote:
mountain man wrote:
I got the impression that Roglic was not particularly enamoured (soft speak for he was furious!)

I think so too. I recall one particular climb where Roglic and Jonas dropped Kuss but were fairly obviously ordered to wait, could see the reluctance in body language.

Anyway, Kuss 100% earned his win and fully deserved for what he'd done for Jonas in TdF.

If you're team mates are ordered to slow down to let you win you don't deserve the win. Grand tours should be won by the best rider which Kuss wasn't.

And all the times Kuss sacrificed himself to ride his leader back up to the front on a mountain or to lead them out? It's a team sport in reality. Visma didn't want their three riders attacking each other at the risk of fragmenting their team, Kuss was in the jersey the other two needed to acknowledge it and back him instead of riding off the front and abandoning their nominated leader.

If you were Kuss and Roglic had remained you'd drop him at the first sight of a mountain in a tour and make no effort to help next time out. Roglic made his own position untenable.

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Post by dummy_half Wed 15 May 2024, 12:57 pm

Kuss is obviously a brilliant climber, and probably the equal of any in the Tour if allowed to race rather than act the loyal team mate, but he's not as solid an ITT rider as the other GC riders. Maybe this year could be a good opportunity for him as there's less than 60 km time trialing, with most of it on the last day.

Look to be quite a few summit finishes, although not all of them are really tough ones (by the standards of these guys). Isola 2000 likely to be the hardest stage a couple of days from the end. Interesting route though with mountain stages scattered throughout rather than the more normal concentration into two blocks - a bit more like a Giro or Vuelta in that sense, partly because of the start in Italy and the finish in Nice rather than Paris.

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Post by mountain man Fri 17 May 2024, 8:22 am

Great win on yesterdays stage 12 for Julian Alaphilippe, he's struggled last few years after injury but has always been a combative rider and yesterday he was superb. Long time in breakaway and got it right when it was needed.

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Post by Azabache Fri 17 May 2024, 8:42 pm

Yes-he unfortunately didn't become the long-awaited French Messiah, but what a gutsy, combative character-and liked for that-from a long line that in recent years included Tommy Voeckler. We await a critical analysis as to why they have under-performed in Grand Tours for so many years now....

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Post by mountain man Sat 18 May 2024, 8:02 am

Amazing stat is last French man to win TdF was Bernard Hinault in 1985!

Romain Bardet was the promised one a few years ago but never quite made it. Likewise Thibaut Pinot who was a real crowd favourite and a cult hero among the locals there.

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Post by Azabache Sat 18 May 2024, 10:40 pm

Hinault! The Breton Hardman. A must-read, of course, is "Slaying the Badger".

Don't forget Virenque's all-time record 7 KOMs in the Tour.

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Post by mountain man Sun 19 May 2024, 9:48 am

Queen stage today in Giro. Can any rider stay with Pogacar is question. Unless he blows up like last year in TdF(highly unlikely unless he has a massive off day) then he will surely put even more time into rivals.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun 19 May 2024, 7:05 pm

Vulgar display of power from Pogacar. Smoked the field and then solo brings in the breakaway. No one in this race has an engine to match him.

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Post by mountain man Sun 19 May 2024, 7:44 pm

As predicted Pogacar was predictively head and shoulders above all others. He is on another level to all others.
Slightly worrying just how better he is.

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Post by Azabache Sun 19 May 2024, 10:10 pm

The dour Welshman is now in second place.....but!

(Nice to see Quintana and Bardet up there on this stage....but!)

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Post by mountain man Mon 20 May 2024, 8:22 am

The speed Pogacar dropped the rest and then went past Quintana was something else. Thomas and co didnt even bother to try and follow as they knew it would be fruitless and fatal to their chances.

I just hope it's not too good to be true.

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Post by mountain man Mon 20 May 2024, 9:17 am

Azabache wrote:The dour Welshman is now in second place.....but!

(Nice to see Quintana and Bardet up there on this stage....but!)

As for Thomas you need to watch his post stage interviews, he is always good value. Honest, funny and tells it as it is. It's refreshing to see a top sportsman not just toeing the PR line.

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Post by dummy_half Mon 20 May 2024, 12:17 pm

mountain man wrote:Amazing stat is last French man to win TdF was Bernard Hinault in 1985!

Romain Bardet was the promised one a few years ago but never quite made it. Likewise Thibaut Pinot who was a real crowd favourite and a cult hero among the locals there.

Of course, neither of them could time trial worth a damn, and had a tendency to drop time on the GC early with silly incidents (getting caught the wrong side of splits etc), and while at their best were in the top 5 pure climbers, they weren't sufficiently better than their opponents to make up the deficits from elsewhere.

As for this Giro, difficult to judge quite how good Pogacar is. Obviously much better than anyone else in the race, but if Geraint Thomas is 2nd overall at age 104 or so, it suggests the rest of the field really isn't that impressive. Still, can only beat whats in front of you...

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Post by mountain man Wed 22 May 2024, 8:18 am

5 stage wins, a lead of over 7 minutes now for Pogacar.
He won't be beaten by a cyclist this Giro that's for sure. It'll take something untoward to prevent his cruise to victory.

On another matter, several teams very critical of the race organisers about the shortened stage due to weather. They feel safety is not the priority for the race director and riders are being asked to compete in really bad unsafe conditions.

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Post by dummy_half Wed 22 May 2024, 11:01 am

The complaints were also that when the change to the route was made, initially it was going to include the riders going through a 3.5 km long and very narrow tunnel (admitedly, neutralied), which was entirely unsuitable.

Anyway, Pogacar is just a different class from the rest - he takes minutes out of the next best climbers in the race, and he does it while sitting relaxed in the saddle, looks like he's out on a club run.

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Post by Lowlandbrit Thu 23 May 2024, 5:57 pm

BotR GC with 3 stages to go:
1- Martinez
2- Thomas +'42
3- O'Connor +2'05
4- Tiberi +2'47
5- Arensman +3'28
6- Bardet +5'00
7- Rubio +5'50
8- Zana +6'10
9- Hirt +7'02
10- Fortunato +8'55

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 23 May 2024, 7:56 pm

There's should be some attacks flying around over the next couple of days. Pog won't be caught but there's a few riders in that top 10 that'll fancy moving up and going for a podium spot. G in particular might need more than his steady riding if wants his second spot back.

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Post by mountain man Fri 24 May 2024, 8:18 am

I'd be surprised if top 3 changes (obviously Pog be #1). Pre race I was tipping Ben O'Connor to maybe get onto podium but on the toughest mountain stages he's struggled at times. Martinez looks stronger than Thomas so I suspect he might remain in 2nd and Thomas 3rd.
Tiberi? Maybe as he's close enough and had a good race so far but Bardet etc I can't see it.
Only 2 GC stages left so time running out although a bad day could change things. Saturday looks a beast of a stage.

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Post by dummy_half Fri 24 May 2024, 9:33 am

Today's stage is to easy for the GC guys to gain or lose much, so expect a decent sized break of stage hunters to stay away.
Saturday though has two ascents of a pretty brutal looking climb, although does finish at the end of the descent, so maybe the time gaps won't be that big unless a GC guy blows up on the second ascent.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri 24 May 2024, 9:37 am

Today looks tough and Saturday looks monstrous. Depends on race strategy and who's got what left in the legs. The weather can play a factor as well, some really don't do well in poor conditions.

You'd hope some of these guys will gamble for a podium spot.

Today looks easy on paper but after three weeks of grand tour riding there's going to be some tired legs out there so possibly more time difference than you'd expect if the tempo is high and someone cracks.

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Post by mountain man Fri 24 May 2024, 9:54 am

Don't know if you lot watch GCN but latest Tech video is about motor doping. How likely in pro peloton I don't know but given history of blood doping etc in cycling it's not inconceivable.

Maybe that's Pogacar secret 😲

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Post by dummy_half Fri 24 May 2024, 10:21 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:Today looks tough and Saturday looks monstrous. Depends on race strategy and who's got what left in the legs. The weather can play a factor as well, some really don't do well in poor conditions.

You'd hope some of these guys will gamble for a podium spot.

Today looks easy on paper but after three weeks of grand tour riding there's going to be some tired legs out there so possibly more time difference than you'd expect if the tempo is high and someone cracks.

It's not the sort of stage were an attack from the GC contenders will gain much time (and perhaps unnecessarily use up reserves needed for Saturday), but yes could be a day someone loses a chunk of time and drops 3 or 4 places on the GC. I wouldn't expect it to be one of the podium place riders, but maybe someone like Bardet, who has yo-yoed a bit in the GC and regained time by being in a long break earlier in the race.

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Post by Azabache Fri 24 May 2024, 9:56 pm

Bardet may well have it in him to up his placing. Thomas's performance is laudable given his age-what a tough nut.

MM-"motor doping"-there was a scandal a few years ago I recall (with a female rider?); I thought the authorities do check for this-not sure how. As regards your-hopefully joke, but nevertheless published-comment re Pogacar, please look up Defamation of Character and the definition of Libel-hope you have deep pockets...

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Post by mountain man Sat 25 May 2024, 8:10 am

It was an amateur girl in cyclo-cross who was caught motor doping I think.

As for Pogacar and libel, deary me you are a bit of a fan boy if you think that was serious. Get a grip.

However, please inform relevant authorities and get the lawyers involved. I insist.

Geraint Thomas, blimey that guy falls off his bike a lot. Oops, another libel case heading my way!

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Post by mountain man Sat 25 May 2024, 7:45 pm

Pogacar yet again a level above all others as demonstrated all race.
Regardless of how well they prepare, all his rivals will be worried for TdF.

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Post by Lowlandbrit Yesterday at 7:11 am

It would have been nice if everyone else hadn't been so intimidated by him entering that they stayed away, but it's hard to say they were wrong to do so now he's won nearly a third of the stages here. If someone like Evenepoel had been able to challenge (or beat) him, would they have been happy, or wondered what if they'd saved it for the Tour?

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Post by formerly known as Sam Yesterday at 8:04 am

Azabache wrote:Bardet may well have it in him to up his placing. Thomas's performance is laudable given his age-what a tough nut.

MM-"motor doping"-there was a scandal a few years ago I recall (with a female rider?); I thought the authorities do check for this-not sure how. As regards your-hopefully joke, but nevertheless published-comment re Pogacar, please look up Defamation of Character and the definition of Libel-hope you have deep pockets...

There's been a couple of motor doping scandals but not at the highest level so far. As far as I'm aware the bikes are scanned for motors hidden in the frame or hubs. You'd assume that the stage winner's bike would definitely receive the once over if nothing else just to disprove any conspiracy theories.

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Post by mountain man Yesterday at 8:29 am

I mentioned before about what a decent guy Geraint Thomas is and how his interviews are class.

This from yesterday sums it up.

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

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