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/ The Giro Thread

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GravitySucks - on 14 May 2018

Cant believe there isn't a thread already following this years Giro.  It's not as if there hasn't been lots to talk about already.

That Simon Yates has gone from strength to strength since he stopped ice climbing in Peru ;-)

Go Chaves!  The happiest man in cycling!

Rest Day ... Phew.

 

 

 

 

ablackett - on 14 May 2018
In reply to GravitySucks:

Yes, absolutely superb race so far.

Yates is starting to look like a real contender and a breath of fresh air following all the stink which is following team sky and Froome.

I'm surprised that Froome has turned up to the race considering how out of form he looks.

GrahamD - on 14 May 2018
In reply to ablackett:

Really hope that Mitchelton Scott and Simon Yates in particular pull this one off.  Its going to be tough keeping the form over three weeks though.  The big question is just what sort of a TT has he got in him with the incentive of a GC ?

Froome is looking massively undercooked (by his standards) right now.  Slight shades of stages in the TdF last year where his lack of legs got masked somewhat by Sky's dominance on the stages which his opponents could and should have capitalised on.   Here at the Giro either his team mates have been freer reign or look undercooked themselves (Poels especially) so Froome has been exposed more.  Interesting time for Sky.

Chris the Tall - on 14 May 2018
In reply to GravitySucks:

> Cant believe there isn't a thread already following this years Giro.  It's not as if there hasn't been lots to talk about already.

there was:  https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/biking/giro_ditalia_starting-683764

GravitySucks - on 14 May 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Whoops yep forgot about that one, I guess it was the 'starting' bit that confused me ;-)

The question is whether Simon Yates has a good TT in him I guess, cause he's looking fresh as a daisy in the mountains.

Quiet few days ahead ..... or not ?

Chris the Tall - on 14 May 2018
In reply to GravitySucks:

Yates isn't too bad at the TT - 5th on stage 1 - and at 34km it is relatively short, but I would still expect him to lose around 2 mins to TD. On the other hand he could gain similar time on Chaves, Pinot and Pozzo.

Next 4 days should consist of 2 days for the breakaway artists and 2 for the sprinters, so hopefully MTS won't have to do all the work. The team is fairly strong but not too experienced at this sort of thing - Yates lost Paris Nice on the last day when he was attacked from all sides.

P.S. - Will his nickname - "Sanguinaccio Volante" - catch on ?

 

The New NickB - on 14 May 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

I get the impression that Yates has improved his TT significantly, he was only 20 seconds behind TD on the prologue. I certainly think he needs more time, but I would be surprised if he needs as much as two minutes over 34 km.

abr1966 - on 14 May 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

Its a big ask I think....I think yates has proved to be a stayer but unknown over a grand tour  when the attacks start coming and he's under pressure as the gc and the team will have to be very focused and it'll need all of them to stay fit and injury free.....long way to go yet but id love to see him do it!

GrahamD - on 15 May 2018
In reply to abr1966:

It will be interesting to see how many people he really has to worry about week three.  Dumoulin obviously but you would think SY's team would be capable of defending (or even looking for a minute or more gain) against Sunweb.  Sky possibly, but even if Froome pulls out an epic TT, his key man Poels is looking way off the pace right now and isn't a GC threat himself whereas SY's chief ally is sitting second on GC.

GravitySucks - on 15 May 2018
In reply to GrahamD:

Dumoulin and Pinot both look to be in good form, Froome looks underprepared and Aru not looking special, which leaves the likes  of Chaves and Lopez.

Heart says Yates, Head says Dumoulin ...

 

GrahamD - on 15 May 2018
In reply to GravitySucks:

 

> Heart says Yates, Head says Dumoulin ...

Same here. 

Pinot does look good but I don't really think he has a team that can take him all the way, so his best bet is to stay anonymous and there or thereabouts and then go for an all out attack near the end as hopefully an unmarked man.

Lopez has shipped a bit too much time IMO but I don't know anything of his TT pedigree.

Chris the Tall - on 15 May 2018
In reply to GravitySucks:

Seems I was wrong to say that this would be a quiet day

GravitySucks - on 15 May 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

No Spoilers please ;-)  You have peaked my interest but I'll have to wait till this evening ..... bugger !

GrahamD - on 15 May 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> Seems I was wrong to say that this would be a quiet day

Ain't it always the way.  Rest days seem to throw up some unexpected events.

ClimberEd - on 15 May 2018
In reply to GrahamD:

Why don't you say what you think, rather than insinuate.

 

(and despite your implicit assertions, individuals respond differently to rest periods and so it is to be expected that post rest day provides interesting racing)

GrahamD - on 15 May 2018
In reply to ClimberEd:

Its not a no spoilers thread ! maybe a new thread needed with spoilers ?

elsewhere on 15 May 2018
In reply to GravitySucks:

Chavez 25 minutes down 

Yates goes for intermediate sprint  - great stuff.

Post edited at 21:43
Chris the Tall - on 16 May 2018
In reply to elsewhere:

Apparently Simon Yates' pick for the day is... Simon Yates

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/43891228

Well at least it was at the start of the race, but I suspect MTS will be hoping for a quiet day today and that someone like Wellens will win from a breakaway. That said, Yates showed great awareness to take the sprint yesterday and knows he needs to build up the buffer over TD

 

GrahamD - on 16 May 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Really hope for Yate's sake that that was a blip from Chaves and he gets back on form PDQ

The New NickB - on 16 May 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

I just hope his gift to Chaves on Etna does not come back to bite him.

JLS on 16 May 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

>"I just hope his gift to Chaves on Etna does not come back to bite him."

Perhaps, he calculates that the investment of a handful of seconds there will be returned 10 fold when happy teammate Chaves is willing to sacrifice himself at a difficult moment further down the line.

Chris the Tall - on 16 May 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

This is where I love Chaos theory - so many different ways that things could play out that it is impossible to work out the consequences and whether or not he would have gained a benefit. Personally I see it as 4 seconds well spent, although there is a rumour (from a well respected but nonetheless French journo) that Chaves was less than impressed.  

 

The New NickB - on 16 May 2018
In reply to JLS:

I completely agree with that logic, but would still hate to see him lose it by a few seconds.

The New NickB - on 17 May 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> Apparently Simon Yates' pick for the day is... Simon Yates

> Well at least it was at the start of the race, but I suspect MTS will be hoping for a quiet day today and that someone like Wellens will win from a breakaway. That said, Yates showed great awareness to take the sprint yesterday and knows he needs to build up the buffer over TD

He called that one right then. Certainly made for an exciting finish. Hard way to earn 6 seconds.

GrahamD - on 17 May 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

Dumoulin didn't have it easy to keep it to 6 seconds either, though.

GravitySucks - on 17 May 2018
In reply to GrahamD:

This Giro is certainly throwing up some interesting stages where its not expected. The pace of yesterdays stage was incredible averaging around 50kph!  Yates had another great day but as has been said, it's a hard way to earn a few seconds and he didn't manage to break Dumoulin, who is still looking good for the GC.

 

Chris the Tall - on 17 May 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

Another great day for Yates, but dare I say it, a better one for Big Tom. He’s showing signs that, unlike Froome, he’s riding into form and could be at his peak for the final week. You could almost hear him saying “Is that all you’ve got?” at the end.

Yates has been excellent, but for all his efforts he has only gained 67 seconds, spread over 5 stages. And he’ll need at least that again to overcome the time TD will take in the TT. The good news is that there are 5 more uphill finishes, so plenty of opportunities, but TD is excellent at gauging his efforts on the long climbs.

ianstevens - on 17 May 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> Another great day for Yates, but dare I say it, a better one for Big Tom. He’s showing signs that, unlike Froome, he’s riding into form and could be at his peak for the final week. You could almost hear him saying “Is that all you’ve got?” at the end.

Could you? He looked like he was really struggling to keep Yates in touch and looked like he'd really given it a go at the end.

> Yates has been excellent, but for all his efforts he has only gained 67 seconds, spread over 5 stages. And he’ll need at least that again to overcome the time TD will take in the TT. The good news is that there are 5 more uphill finishes, so plenty of opportunities, but TD is excellent at gauging his efforts on the long climbs.

I think he probably only needs 90 secs if he has a good TT, 120 if its a bad one. Was only 20 secs off in the prologue remember. He's got over half of that, halfway through. Should be tight but Yates is actually looking better off IMO. SY also now has the best climbing domestique you could ask for in Chaves, unless the latter is let off the leash to go for stage wins in the big mountains.

Chris Harris - on 17 May 2018
In reply to ianstevens:

> Could you? He looked like he was really struggling to keep Yates in touch and looked like he'd really given it a go at the end.

Not bad on that finish considering he's about 2 stone heavier than Yates.

 

ianstevens - on 17 May 2018
In reply to Chris Harris:

True, but if there is difference between them on a slight incline* due to TD being a larger rider, how will that play out when it actually gets steep and SY goes off on one? Personally given the form Yates is showing I can't look past him the end up with the GC.

*it's all relative

GrahamD - on 17 May 2018
In reply to ianstevens:

Really, really hope so.

Chris the Tall - on 17 May 2018
In reply to ianstevens:

Yesterday's stage was actually steep - just the sort of short punchy climb that suits Yates, which is why he had it earmarked from the start. But apart from the Zoncolan, which is both steep and long, most of the big climbs in the last week are just long. This means TD has less to fear, when SY dances away on a steep section, TD can simply wait til the gradient eases and reel him back in, which is pretty much what he did yesterday. Which heaps the pressure on Yates to make big gains on the Zoncolan.

That said, TD isn't your classic diesel. I seem to remember him winning a stage at the 2015 vuelta (the one where Nibbles was DQed and Froome crashed) on a short sharp climb. And that year he held the lead until he imploded on the last mountain day and dropped to 6th 

 

GravitySucks - on 18 May 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Not much to report from yesterdays stage except, who moved the Giro to deepest darkest wettest Wales ?  looked thoroughly unpleasant.  Chapeau to Sam Bennett, since most of the recognised sprinters are at the tour of California its an opportunity to make hay while the sun ... err, well you get the idea ;-)

Bulls Crack - on 18 May 2018
In reply to GravitySucks:

Norman Tebbit used to encourage us unemployed to earn our giro by telling us  get on our bikes

ianstevens - on 18 May 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Steeper than I realised - I just had a look back at the parcours. Maybe Etna could prove to be a better comparison - again, Yates danced away with seemingly little effort. But then the entire peloton will be watching him now whereas I suspect they weren't last week. Like you say, the Zoncolan is vital, and is the sort of stage that can rip the front group (and in fact any group) to shreds. On a tangent I'd love to see a "grupetto cam" once the main players have finished, just to see how painful the climb really is.

Either way, it's set up to be a cracking last last 10 stages (aside from today's sprint snoozefest and the final day procession).

Post edited at 10:25
Chris the Tall - on 18 May 2018
In reply to ianstevens:

> Either way, it's set up to be a cracking last last 10 stages (aside from today's sprint snoozefest and the final day procession).

Surely the GC guys will give themselves a day off today ? Even yesterday turned out to be more stressful than it should have been.  

There's a lot of extra pressure on the maglia rosa - an extra hour at the end of a stage before you can start your recovery - and I just hope that Yates can cope. I just worry that TD (or someone else) will do to Yates what Nibbles did to Kruiswijk and Chaves a couple of years ago

ianstevens - on 18 May 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

You would think, but the Giro never seems to go that way. From what I can gather (only saw highlights) the dropping of Viviani got all the breakway merchants excited which upped the pace of the peloton? With the "climb" today 13km from the end and looking somewhat benign, I'd think today is even more pegged for an easy GC day, especially with tomorrow in mind.

True, but Yates has spent a long time in white at the Tour (last year? or was that the other one?) so *should* be used to that.

Kimono - on 18 May 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

yes, there's extra pressure but there must also be a real buzz...I guess it just depends on how the individual responds to it all

Chris the Tall - on 18 May 2018
In reply to GravitySucks:

Veloviewer images of Zoncolan

https://twitter.com/VeloViewer/status/997459674319544322

(For those who aren't aware https://veloviewer.com is a great website set up by a bloke from Sheffield. It uses data from Strava, and then does all sorts of useful or interesting things with it, including creating some fascinating infographics. Really good for comparing climbs - so you can see that the steepest bit of Zoncolan isn't quite a steep as Hardknott Pass. But the average gradient is very similar and it's four times as long )

Chris Harris - on 18 May 2018
In reply to GravitySucks:

Can someone tell Sean Kelly that the team is Mitchelton Scott, not Michelin Scott, as he keeps saying. 

I'm sure he's also mentioned a rider called "Roland Dennis" a couple of times......

 

Siward on 19 May 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Froome back in form. I thought he was gonna be caught but he's too wily to take off like he did if he didn't have it in him  

Chris the Tall - on 19 May 2018
In reply to Siward:

Great stage. Apparently Froome had reccied the stage in April, TD has wanted to but was stopped by snow and Yates hadn’t considered it, so I reckon that was the difference. Wouldn’t be surprised if he suffers for it tomorrow. 

in my head 30 seconds was par for Yates over TD, so to take 37 gives him a slight advantage. On the same basis I reckon 2 minutes is par for the TT, so Yates will still need 30-40 seconds in the final week. 

I can’t see Froome doing a Nibbles and taking the win, but all of sudden he can make the podium and that could affect how the final week is raced.

1
baron - on 19 May 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

How does Froome come from such a long way back in the standings, having seemingly struggled and been dropped over the last few days to win what was being termed as the hardest climb in the world?

2
NorthernGrit - on 19 May 2018
In reply to baron:

Because his poor performance has been due to the injury in time trial warm up and he’s now just shaking it off? Because he’s the best athlete in the field to attack the ferocity of the zoncolan? Because he knows he’s behind the running so decided to throw everything at what is arguably the most prestigious stage of the race to salvage something and is prepared to pay dearly for the rest of the race? Because he finally got his TUE sorted (which is the answer, I suspect, you are hinting at)? Because bike racing can be fickle and he was simply the best man on the day? 

Take your pick from the above or any other number of possible reasons.

 

Post edited at 23:59
baron - on 20 May 2018
In reply to NorthernGrit:

I wasn't hinting at anything. I'm always amazed at the sheer physicality of these bike races and it just seemed strange that you can apparently cycle your way back to fitness/form while cycling so hard and for so long almost day after day.

We can save the debate as to whether or not Froome should be in the race for another time.

2
GrahamD - on 20 May 2018
In reply to NorthernGrit:

Not forgetting that Poels found his legs too.

Chris the Tall - on 20 May 2018
In reply to NorthernGrit:

At least two other factors.

He’d raced it before, and more importantly had done a recce last month. So consider it a red point rather than an on-sight.

secondly, Team Sky apparently deployed all their staff by the roadside to hand out musettes to the riders, in the knowledge that you wouldn’t be able to feed from team cars due to the narrow roads.

and on the subject of narrow roads, reckon they could have done with some Spanish police to deal with the muppets, particularly that dinosaur! And of course Froome’s elbows make the road look even narrower and so harder to overtake- another canny marginal gain !

1
Chris Harris - on 20 May 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> and on the subject of narrow roads, reckon they could have done with some Spanish police to deal with the muppets, particularly that dinosaur! 

They just need a few of these.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jeremy_Clarkson%27s_Top_Gear_Fiat_Police_Car.jpg

 

 

To be Frank on 20 May 2018
In reply to GravitySucks:

Now that's how to win a bike race!
Great result.

Yanis Nayu - on 20 May 2018
In reply to Lusk:

He’s doing it with panache, and Dumoulin has been superb in keeping the GC alive. 

Post edited at 18:11
elsewhere on 20 May 2018

Normally it's the race leader who gets attacked on the climbs. The race leader is supposed to defend! 

Any  idea how much time Dumoulin is expected to gain in Tuesday's  35km time trial?

 

Post edited at 20:51
To be Frank on 20 May 2018
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

Local lad (Bury) to win now.  He's got it in the bag

Stuart (aka brt) - on 20 May 2018
In reply to elsewhere:

Sure I heard on the Cycling Podcast that 4 seconds a km is what TD will have over SY. 

Brilliant seeing a race leader attack. 

Rampikino - on 20 May 2018
In reply to baron:

You might well have your answer! It wasn’t sustainable.

baron - on 20 May 2018
In reply to Rampikino:

I'm sat here watching the highlights as we speak.

While I know the result I haven't seen the final 20kms yet - will it be worth the watch?

The New NickB - on 20 May 2018
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

The prologue would suggest that it will be less than 4s/km. it’s hard to know what impact the last few days of racing has had on either of them. I think TD will take less than 90s out of Yates, but it will be interesting to see how they get on with the remaining mountain days, it only takes one bad day.

As a lad from Bury myself, who rides many of the same roads that Adam and Simon grew up riding, I would love him to win.

elsewhere on 20 May 2018
In reply to baron:

> I'm sat here watching the highlights as we speak.

> While I know the result I haven't seen the final 20kms yet - will it be worth the watch?

YES

elsewhere on 20 May 2018
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

> Sure I heard on the Cycling Podcast that 4 seconds a km is what TD will have over SY. 

Putting them on the same time.

THAT is going to be exciting.

 

Chris the Tall - on 21 May 2018
In reply to GravitySucks:

Really gutsy ride from Yates, no just to attack from so far out, but the way he rode the descent had me hiding behind the sofa! Didn’t think he’d be able to stay away, but was helped by the bickering amongst the others.

Yates has to be the favourite now, even if TD nudges ahead tomorrow you would fancy Yates to get another stage win on one of those 3 mountain finishes. But maybe we will see TD have to go on the attack, which could be interesting

GravitySucks - on 21 May 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

This race is turning out to be an absolute cracker,  and Simon Yates continues to put in the amazing performances lets just hope that his TT is also slightly improved to limit the losses to Tom.  The cat and mouse games of the other GC contenders really worked in Yates favour as they could have probably pulled him back yesterday if they had just worked together, hitting out at 17km to go was a very brave and unexpected move. I suspect that this will fire up TD even more for the TT but I am starting to believe the dream is possible !   Fingers, legs and every other appendage crossed ;-)

The New NickB - on 21 May 2018
In reply to GravitySucks:

Any idea what time Yates and TD will be setting off on their TTs tomorrow. Trying to rearrange my diary so I can watch.

GravitySucks - on 21 May 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Ps Meant to add that it was good to see Froome finally finding a bit of form on the Zoncolan although it obviously cost him a bit on the following stage, it will be interesting to see how he does in the final week as a pointer for 'The Tour'.

Chris the Tall - on 21 May 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

They seem to have a target time of around 4:15 (BST) most days, so I'd expect the leaders to start around 3:30 ???

Tweet from Alex Dowsett - "not sure how he’ll get into a tt position with balls that big"  

ClimberEd - on 21 May 2018
In reply to Lusk:

> Now that's how to win a bike race!

> Great result.

Boring AF.

4
Chris the Tall - on 21 May 2018
In reply to GravitySucks:

No surprise that Froome suffered yesterday, but a good TT will still leave him with a shot at the podium. He may of course decide to go full Alberto on the last 3 stages, which could be very interesting, but my guess is that may depend upon how confidant he is of starting the tour

GravitySucks - on 21 May 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

>  He may of course decide to go full Alberto on the last 3 stages ...

Hope so!  This will give Yates a target to aim for and pile the pressure onto Dumoulin !

(oh, for a Popcorn emoji)

 

 

Post edited at 10:02
Chris the Tall - on 21 May 2018
In reply to GravitySucks:

Just seen this quote

“I don’t give a damn at this point. I’m totally f**ked now,” Dumoulin said of the lack of cooperation. “I had to dig so deep to stay with those other riders after Yates’ attack. And in the end it didn’t even matter, cause everybody there was just taking the piss. If I immediately started riding by myself, I would have lost a lot less time on Yates. Because of them taking the piss I lose a lot more.”

Big Tom seems more rattled now than he was by "poohgate" last year

 

 

To be Frank on 21 May 2018
In reply to ClimberEd:

> Boring AF.


Hahahaha, you're not a Sky/Froome fanboy are you?
Them getting left standing was a joy to behold

ClimberEd - on 21 May 2018
In reply to ClimberEd:

> Boring AF.

For the naysayers - you may think it's exciting because you like the result, but it really is boring.

Best rider simply stands up on their pedals and rides away unchallenged in most of the key stages.  That is not interesting bike racing. (Zoncolon stage excepted) 

ClimberEd - on 21 May 2018
In reply to Lusk:

> Hahahaha, you're not a Sky/Froome fanboy are you?

> Them getting left standing was a joy to behold

No - I like watching battles - real battles with changing of the lead.

 

Jon Greengrass on 21 May 2018
In reply to Chris Harris:

> Can someone tell Sean Kelly that the team is Mitchelton Scott, not Michelin Scott, as he keeps saying.

I preferred it when they were Ulrika Greenedge. 

 

 

GrahamD - on 21 May 2018
In reply to Jon Greengrass:

For all his pedigree as a rider, Sean Kelly has to be the worst commentator/pundit in any sport - both in terms of delivery and in terms of the level of insight he gives.

Chris the Tall - on 21 May 2018
In reply to ClimberEd:

OK the actual lead hasn't changed hands since stage 6, but maybe the virtual lead has. Until yesterday TD was still the favourite with the bookies and pundits alike. Now the balance has shifted towards Yates. We've had GC action on 8 of the 15 stages and, apart from the 3 stages won by Viviani (no disrespect to him) most of the rest have been interesting for one reason or another 

Chris the Tall - on 21 May 2018
In reply to GrahamD:

Certainly the worst pundit in cycling, just replies to any question by "Yes, well..." and then giving a stock answer with no insight whatsoever. No attempts at pronunciation either.

But the worst commentator - Carlton Kirkby - Alan Partridge on speed, gets over-excited by any slight change in pace and has a dreadful list of analogies.   

Rigid Raider - on 21 May 2018
In reply to GravitySucks:

And the best? David Millar gives the best insights.

Rog Wilko on 21 May 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> Just seen this quote

> “I don’t give a damn at this point. I’m totally f**ked now,” Dumoulin said of the lack of cooperation. “I had to dig so deep to stay with those other riders after Yates’ attack. And in the end it didn’t even matter, cause everybody there was just taking the piss. If I immediately started riding by myself, I would have lost a lot less time on Yates. Because of them taking the piss I lose a lot more.”

He could hardly have expected anything else, could he. Why should the other contenders in that small group do anything to help the defending champ? That's bike racing. I must admit to enjoying watching Dumoulin spitting feathers. No point blaming them for his failure to respond with the sort of guts shown by Yates. As world TT champion too he should have just gone after Yates on his own and stuff the rest.

On Yates's performance I can only say I have seen nothing like this in a major Tour for years if not decades. Brave to the point of foolhardiness. In recent years no-one has been prepared to attack like this while wearing the leader's jersey. We're used to (and a little bored by, perhaps) seeing leaders defend in such a position and lean heavily on their team. This was truly heroic and even if Yates fails to go on to win the Giro, which he so richly deserves, he will for me be the moral victor, and if Dumoulin wins after such a craven performance on his part  I for one will boo him loudly. I suspect that the Italian fans, who recognise a competitor when they see one will also applaud Yates loudly if he wins.

 

 

Rog Wilko on 21 May 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> Just seen this quote

> “I don’t give a damn at this point. I’m totally f**ked now,” Dumoulin said of the lack of cooperation. “I had to dig so deep to stay with those other riders after Yates’ attack. And in the end it didn’t even matter, cause everybody there was just taking the piss. If I immediately started riding by myself, I would have lost a lot less time on Yates. Because of them taking the piss I lose a lot more.”

He could hardly have expected anything else, could he. Why should the other contenders in that small group do anything to help the defending champ? That's bike racing. I must admit to enjoying watching Dumoulin spitting feathers. No point blaming them for his failure to respond with the sort of guts shown by Yates. As world TT champion too he should have just gone after Yates on his own and stuff the rest.

On Yates's performance I can only say I have seen nothing like this in a major Tour for years if not decades. Brave to the point of foolhardiness. In recent years no-one has been prepared to attack like this while wearing the leader's jersey. We're used to (and a little bored by, perhaps) seeing leaders defend in such a position and lean heavily on their team. This was truly heroic and even if Yates fails to go on to win the Giro, which he so richly deserves, he will for me be the moral victor, and if Dumoulin wins after such a craven performance on his part  I for one will boo him loudly. I suspect that the Italian fans, who recognise a competitor when they see one will also applaud Yates loudly if he wins.

 

 

GrahamD - on 21 May 2018
In reply to Rog Wilko:

I am imagining that most people in GC now would view SY and TD as pretty much out of reach unless something major happens.  They are battling each other for the third podium spot and aren't likely to be putting their nose into the wind and help their rivals.

JuneBob on 21 May 2018
In reply to Rog Wilko:

As a Dutch speaker who listened to his comments on Dutch TV, he said exactly that, he said: it was frustrating they didn't help but also logical by them. A journalist translating someone's comments into English is unlikely to pick up nuances in the message and is also likely to put their spin on it to make for a good headline. Also if TD speaks English he may not say exactly what he means. He also said that Yates is far too strong and is toying with the field, he also said that something crazy has to happen if he (TD) is to win, but he won't give up and will give it everything as you never know.

GravitySucks - on 22 May 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

The fun has begun ;-)

Start times of interest :

33. DOWSETT Alex (Katusha-Alpecin) 13:52:00
54. MARTIN Tony (Katusha-Alpecin) 14:13:00
155. FROOME Chris (Team Sky) 16:12:00
160. DUMOULIN Tom (Team Sunweb) 16:27:00
161. YATES Simon (Mitchelton-Scott) 16:30

 

The New NickB - on 22 May 2018
In reply to GravitySucks:

Is that -1 hour for U.K. time? So Yates for example starts at 15:30.

GravitySucks - on 22 May 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

Good point ! 

Out of interest is here a time bonus for the stage win ? ;-)

 

Kimono - on 22 May 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

> Is that -1 hour for U.K. time? So Yates for example starts at 15:30.

-2 hours for you in the uk I believe

The New NickB - on 22 May 2018
In reply to Kimono:

> -2 hours for you in the uk I believe

It was -2 hours for Israel, but I’m pretty sure Italy is only an hour ahead of us.

GravitySucks - on 22 May 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

Pity it's a no spoiler thread ;-)

Kimono - on 22 May 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

> It was -2 hours for Israel, but I’m pretty sure Italy is only an hour ahead of us.

you're right, sorry it is indeed 1 hour.

(its GMT+2 which confused me!)

kingholmesy - on 22 May 2018
In reply to GravitySucks:

Sorry if this has been asked somewhere above in the thread, but is there anywhere I can watch today's TT online for free?

kingholmesy - on 22 May 2018
In reply to GravitySucks:

... or failing that watch the highlights tonight?

GrahamD - on 22 May 2018
In reply to kingholmesy:

I'm not going to link any but google search brings up a few that will work.

JLS on 22 May 2018
In reply to kingholmesy:

Highlight's are on Quest which free with Freeview.

GravitySucks - on 22 May 2018
In reply to JLS:

Just started raining ..... Hmmmm

Kimono - on 22 May 2018
In reply to kingholmesy:

rojadirecta

 

 

Chris Harris - on 22 May 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> Certainly the worst pundit in cycling, just replies to any question by "Yes, well..." and then giving a stock answer with no insight whatsoever. No attempts at pronunciation either.

There also seems to be a gentleman called Juan Antonio Fletcher doing the interviews.....

 

Dave Kerr - on 22 May 2018
In reply to GrahamD:

> For all his pedigree as a rider, Sean Kelly has to be the worst commentator/pundit in any sport - both in terms of delivery and in terms of the level of insight he gives.

I love Kelly's commentary, he's the perfect foil to a gobshite commentator. But then I'm biased as he was one of my heros as a kid.

GravitySucks - on 23 May 2018
In reply to Dave Kerr:

Well, in the end it was almost an anti-climax, will he won't he ... oh he did!  

Yates has already stated that he will be riding defensively for the next week and who can blame him. Might just provoke some desperate measures from Tom but I think the other GC contenders are content to hold their current positions. The only other question is whether Froome has enough beans in the tank to sneak third ?

Chris the Tall - on 23 May 2018
In reply to Chris Harris:

Pretty sure he always calls yesterday’s winner “Roland Dennis”. 

The odd thing is I find his pronunciation of “Paris-nice”, rather than “Paree-nice”, quite annoying. And yet when referring to the city on its own, saying “paree” sounds pretentious. And given his record in the race I guess he call it whatever he likes

Chris the Tall - on 23 May 2018
In reply to Dave Kerr:

More of a Roche man myself. Kelly’s heyday was before my time (his record in spring 84 is amazing) so my main memory of him is the PDM fiasco.

Chris the Tall - on 23 May 2018
In reply to GravitySucks:

With 3 brutal mountain stages to come there’s plenty that could wrong for Yates, but it’s more likely that he’ll extend his lead and get at least one more stage win. TD looked tired and was below his best, whilst Pinot’s challenge is over. DP will be happy if he can stay on the podium, so that leaves Froome, who’s form is all over the place. But surely he will try something, even if it’s a crash and burn attempt to win another stage

GrahamD - on 23 May 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

If Froome does have another 'on' day, with Poels going well, arguably he's the harder to contain threat.

Chris Harris - on 23 May 2018
Chris the Tall - on 23 May 2018
In reply to Chris Harris:

Hope the moto filming Aru was expelled from the race. I'm pretty sure he didn't want the close attention he's had over the last 3 stages, and I certainly don't want to see a close-up of him gurning !

Makes a far-cry from the day when they would use helicopters to blow the home favourites along ! 

GravitySucks - on 24 May 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Nothing to report, move along....

ClimberEd - on 24 May 2018
In reply to ClimberEd:

> For the naysayers - you may think it's exciting because you like the result, but it really is boring.

> Best rider simply stands up on their pedals and rides away unchallenged in most of the key stages.  That is not interesting bike racing. (Zoncolon stage excepted) 

Now the race has got exciting. 

ianstevens - on 24 May 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Things looking interesting now! (Intentionally avoiding spoilers)

Dave Kerr - on 24 May 2018
In reply to GravitySucks:

The plot thickens!

Weekend Punter on 24 May 2018
In reply to ianstevens:

With the two shark tooth profiles remaining I predict the entire Mitchelton Scott Team are in for a busy few days, this is becoming one for the strategist.

Hopefully someone will play their hand early in the stage which would make for a great spectacle.

elsewhere on 24 May 2018
In reply to Weekend Punter:

> With the two shark tooth profiles remaining I predict the entire Mitchelton Scott Team are in for a busy few days, this is becoming one for the strategist.

> Hopefully someone will play their hand early in the stage which would make for a great spectacle.

Yates looked isolated today,  I think he's on his own tomorrow and Saturday.

It's going to be tense.

elsewhere on 24 May 2018
In reply to Weekend Punter:

> With the two shark tooth profiles remaining I predict the entire Mitchelton Scott Team are in for a busy few days, this is becoming one for the strategist.

> Hopefully someone will play their hand early in the stage which would make for a great spectacle.

Yates looked isolated today,  I think he's on his own tomorrow and Saturday.

It's going to be tense.

Weekend Punter on 24 May 2018
In reply to elsewhere:

Tense and definitely interesting. It's what the teams in 3rd and 4th decide to do during the stage as it unfolds - dual it out for the last podium spot or go for broke

elsewhere on 24 May 2018
In reply to Weekend Punter:

Several separate battles

Dumoulin vs Yates for 1 and 2

Froome vs Pozzovivo for 3 and 4 as neither is a threat to Dumuolin and Yates.

Froome and Dumoulin both trying to attack vs Yates and Pozzovivo trying to defend. Possibilities for collaboration. 

 

 

 

Chris the Tall - on 25 May 2018
In reply to elsewhere:

Today’s stage looks evil - now that Yates’ mask of invincibility has slipped we could well see GC action on the gravel (and apparently rather muddy) finish to the Finisterre. Anyone dropped there, with two climbs to go, could lose minutes. Yates put a brave face upon it yesterday but he must be a worried man.

The New NickB - on 25 May 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

His natural response is to attack. I’d love to see him go for it and make TD chase. Whether that is sensible is another matter.

GravitySucks - on 25 May 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

Too nervous to comment !

Chris the Tall - on 25 May 2018
In reply to GravitySucks:

The riders should hit the bottom of the finisterre at 2 pm.

And so will the rain

https://twitter.com/VeloViewer/status/999930371725774849

 

Chris Harris - on 25 May 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> The riders should hit the bottom of the finisterre at 2 pm.

 

Blimey, that's quick riding to get to NW Spain .

 

 

 

Toccata on 25 May 2018
In reply to GravitySucks:

Crikey! Anyone watching?

Post edited at 13:34
ClimberEd - on 25 May 2018
In reply to Toccata:

More exciting racing!! 

grommet on 25 May 2018
In reply to Toccata:

yeah - brilliant racing so far!

 

In reply to grommet:

Looks like poor Yates has gone, but Froome is bringing himself into contention.

grommet on 25 May 2018
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

The commentary, "well we always said Froome this, and we always said Yates that".  No they blummin' well didn't.  They'd written Froome off and thought Yates was going to roll into Rome. Covered by the eternal caveat, "well there's a lot of racing to go yet".

Chris the Tall - on 25 May 2018
In reply to GravitySucks:

I go out for lunch and it's all kicked off !

Wanderer100 - on 25 May 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Oh dear. One unhappy Englishman losing minutes and the podium. 

As an aside, I drove over the Sestriere going from Turin to the Ecrins last summer. It's a brutal hill, more so on the Montgenevre side I would have thought but nothing compared to the Finestre. 

Wanderer100 - on 25 May 2018
In reply to Chris Harris:

> Blimey, that's quick riding to get to NW Spain .

Well spotted!!

Chris the Tall - on 25 May 2018
In reply to GravitySucks:

Hate to say this, but we haven't seen such a spectacular meltdown, or such a bold long-distance attack from a GC contender, since the 2006 tour.

Personally I'm enjoying the entertainment, but I suspect that the cynics will view it differently!  

 

Chris the Tall - on 25 May 2018
In reply to Chris Harris:

Ok, I made a mistake, but it's not the end of the world... 

ClimberEd - on 25 May 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> Hate to say this, but we haven't seen such a spectacular meltdown, or such a bold long-distance attack from a GC contender, since the 2006 tour.

> Personally I'm enjoying the entertainment, but I suspect that the cynics will view it differently!  

If you 'step back' and look at the performances up until yesterday, all the contenders have been on/off, or a least okay/on other than Yates who has simply been 'on'. So it's not surprising what has happened, or unrealistic (to have great days when you have been having great days and not so great days). My 2p worth

Chris the Tall - on 25 May 2018
In reply to ClimberEd:

I agree - there's absolutely nothing questionable at all about Yates' meltdown. If he recovers all the time tomorrow, then it will be a different story.

As to Froome, I can't see him getting the extra time he needs, but full marks for effort.

Nonetheless if you are planning a roast this weekend, you best stock up on tin foil, cos it's going to be in short supply tonight !  

ClimberEd - on 25 May 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Tomorrow we may see a very tired battle royale 

Wanderer100 - on 25 May 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

The last climb of the day looks like it will decide whether Dumoulin or Froome will wear the Rose jersey tonight. Froome stretching his lead.....

ClimberEd - on 25 May 2018
In reply to GravitySucks:

ES commentary. 

'Dumoulin will be boyed by the fact that Froome isn't putting too much time into him'

WTF are they smoking?!

Mike Highbury - on 25 May 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall: Having sat on a bike in anger I don't really understand the childish tin-foil hat thing.

 

ClimberEd - on 25 May 2018
In reply to Mike Highbury:

conspiracy theories....

Chris the Tall - on 25 May 2018
In reply to ClimberEd:

More ES commentary

"Nothing positive from Froome this year until Zoncolan"

ClimberEd - on 25 May 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Whatever anyone says and likes/dislikes (and the outcome), this is one of the best grand tours for a long time. 

GravitySucks - on 25 May 2018
In reply to ClimberEd:

Finally crumbled and had to find out wtf was going on, blinking flip! who expected that !! (liars!) and still 10K to go.

Chris the Tall - on 25 May 2018
In reply to GravitySucks:

Touch and go as to who will take the lead, but TD owes Reichenbach a pint or two !

ClimberEd - on 25 May 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

a few thousand euros probably......

Rampikino - on 25 May 2018
In reply to GravitySucks:

Same here.  OH MY DAYS!

Toccata on 25 May 2018
In reply to GravitySucks:

Loving this and indeed one of the great GTs. Just trying to put Floyd Landis on stage 17 of the 2006 TdF out of my head.

Chris the Tall - on 25 May 2018
In reply to GravitySucks:

Will the gap be 28 seconds again ?

GravitySucks - on 25 May 2018
In reply to Toccata:

I nearly posted " how many minutes before someone raises the subject of doping?"  14 minutes apparently ;-(

ClimberEd - on 25 May 2018
In reply to Toccata:

Just enjoy it - a damn slight more exciting than a normal grand tour day, or even a normal 'good' grand tour day. 

I just wish GC contenders (rather than low placed breakaway fodder) would go for broke far out more often.

ianstevens - on 25 May 2018
In reply to ClimberEd:

That's usually how you win GC though - outrageous attacks are far too risky unless you have nothing to lose

baron - on 25 May 2018
In reply to ClimberEd:

The DS of Sunweb states in a post race interview that the Giro is over after today's result and that he has nothing to compare Froome's performance to in recent years.

Guess I might as well watch the cricket tomorrow.

Chris the Tall - on 25 May 2018
In reply to GravitySucks:

Has Yates finished yet ?

Edit - just come in, 38 minutes down. Ouch, but nonetheless 3 stage wins, and a 4th for Chaves, and he's had a great race

Post edited at 16:46
carnie - on 25 May 2018
In reply to Mike Highbury:

Well that was believable 

 

8
Lee Proctor - on 25 May 2018

Irrespective of your opinion of Froome his ride today has to be one of the best and gutsiest moves I've seen in pro cycling for a very long time

 

carnie - on 25 May 2018
In reply to Lee Proctor:

Just like Landis in the 2006tour

8
Ardo - on 25 May 2018
In reply to Lee Proctor:

Reminiscent of Contador. Didn't he launch a similar attack in the Vuelta to take the GC from Purito?

Chris the Tall - on 25 May 2018
In reply to carnie:

It is possible to be sceptical without being cynical.

Yes we all know the history of the sport, all know there is a cloud over Team Sky and Froome in particular.

But just because someone wins it doesn't mean that they have cheated. What Froome did today was extraordinary, but as much as the physical side of things it was bold. He attacked from 50 miles out, knowing he needed to go that early to take the time he needed. He picked up as much time on the descents as he did on the climbs. And he took advantage of the fact that his rivals were exhausted from a race which has gone at full gas on most days (mostly down to Yates). And his rivals wouldn't work together.   

1
baron - on 25 May 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

There's no denying Froome's descending ability nor his ability to climb but outpacing a group of chasers on the flat - three of whom did work together, is very, very impressive.

carnie - on 25 May 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Yes it was very bold and amazing to watch, but you have ask yourself if froome rivals were tired from days of hard racing how come froome wasn't! ???? 

4
mbh - on 25 May 2018
In reply to carnie:

Perhaps he is just better than them?

baron - on 25 May 2018
In reply to carnie:

Dave Brailsford said it was down to meticulous fueling.

Chris the Tall - on 25 May 2018
In reply to baron:

I didn't see Pinot doing any work, it was just Reicenbach and Dumolin.

And there are plenty of question marks over Froome's descending, and bike handling skill generally, which is why he crashes more than most. And that makes his approach today even more impressive.

1
Chris the Tall - on 25 May 2018
In reply to carnie:

Same reason why anyone beats anyone else in any sporting contest. If your reaction to any result you don't like is to call cheat, give up watching sport.

carnie - on 25 May 2018
In reply to mbh:

Yes well that is clearly shown by his pre Sept 2011results

10
mbh - on 25 May 2018
In reply to carnie:

This is 2018. In seven years, you can make quite a difference through training. 

carnie - on 25 May 2018
In reply to baron:

Must try that some time.... .Perhaps he meant they have swapped to Duracell batteries, ... last 8times longer

5
carnie - on 25 May 2018
In reply to mbh:

Agreed but from the tour of Poland Canon fodder to Vuelta second place in a matter of weeks you can't 

5
carnie - on 25 May 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

My reaction isn't to everytime someone wins it is to when a charlatan like froome wins, there have been and continue to be plenty of riders I admire and believe in. 

Post edited at 18:30
9
baron - on 25 May 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Froome's descending has come on hugely and is now one of his strengths (as long as he doesn't crash) 

and he has always been able to climb.

To gain time over a group of talented pursuers, even if two of them are passengers, over a long, relatively flat distance is the impressive bit.

 

mbh - on 25 May 2018
In reply to carnie:

I don't know, and I don't believe you do either, unless you have done a detailed statistical analysis of the results of many years. Even if you had, it would only show how unusual a particular result is, and the people who win at this level are, by definition, unusual.

carnie - on 25 May 2018
In reply to mbh

Not as unusual as you may think

1
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 25 May 2018
In reply to carnie:

 

> Yes well that is clearly shown by his pre Sept 2011results

Yes, it’s just like Cristiano Ronaldo- prior to 2010 he was only scoring 0.4 goals per game; since then he’s scored over a goal a game and won the ballon d’or 5 times. Drugs; it’s the only explanation.

1
baron - on 25 May 2018
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

Nothing to do with his move to Real Madrid then?

1
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 25 May 2018
In reply to baron:

That was kind of my point... Froomes  improvement also came after a move to a ‘bigger’ team- better team mates, more resources. At about the same age as ronaldo was when he moved to Madrid. Improvements in form during a career aren’t unique to Froome.

 

ClimberEd - on 25 May 2018
In reply to carnie:

hahaha you just make me laugh. Hope you are happy in your bubble of cynicism 

felt - on 25 May 2018
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

> Improvements in form during a career aren’t unique to Froome.

Quite. Just look at Jamie Vardy. And he even made improvements to his surname; he started life as Gill, which doesn't even rhyme with party.

To be Frank on 25 May 2018
In reply to baron:

> Dave Brailsford said it was down to meticulous fueling.


Must be Hilary Bliss' special stuff!

baron - on 25 May 2018
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

While Froome has undoubtedly benefited from being part of the Sky organisation his performance today had many of the TV pundits and a few team DSs struggling to find the right, or at least non libellous, words to describe it.

Brailsfords attempts to explain it do nothing to ease my doubts.

4
elsewhere on 25 May 2018
In reply to GravitySucks:

Wow.

Similar profile on Saturday, nothing flat after the first climb so no opportunity for a coordinated chase.

At this rate they might be battling on the streets of Rome.

no_more_scotch_eggs - on 25 May 2018
In reply to baron:

Yes; after the vuelta when his recovery after losing time was found to coincide with the abnormal salbutamol level, it’s hard to be entirely free of doubts

 

i was more addressing the implication that his improvement since 2011 must have something fishy about it; maybe it does, but he’s not unique in having a major improvement in his early/mid 20s, and there’s plenty of other explanations than drugs 

elsewhere on 25 May 2018
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

GC contenders peak in late twenties to early thirties then retire mId thirties.

Froome was 26 in 2011 which is exactly when you'd a GC contrender to come to prominence.

Yates is still only 25 and got the white jersey in the TdF just last year so he's  a child prodigy  ( slight exaggeration ). 

Today showed how the wise old heads and bodies prevail over youth.

Post edited at 21:39
Chris the Tall - on 25 May 2018
In reply to carnie:

Ah that old chestnut. The explanation is that in his early years as a pro he was a diamond in the rough, hampered by terrible bike handling skills and a curious inconsistency. The stated reason for the latter was bilharzia, a common disease in Africa which attacks the red blood cells. Now of course many cynics claim that is too convenient, and too similar to Armstrong and cancer, but it’s been in the public domain for 6 years. I suppose it took longer for Armstrong to be finally exposed, but times have changed.

so I can understand the scepticism, but I don’t think you should dismiss the explanation just because it doesn’t suit what you want to believe. Unless of course you are going to claim you aren’t aware of the explanation, which I rather doubt 

Chris the Tall - on 25 May 2018
In reply to baron:

> his performance today had many of the TV pundits and a few team DSs struggling to find the right, or at least non libellous, words to describe it.

and yet various pundits and DSs were last night speculating about the possibility of Froome making just such an attack. His form was improving, he hadn’t given up, he wasn’t  interested in a place on the podium so the gravel roads would be a the right place to launch a long range attack. ( i was catching up on BBC  bespoke and the cycling podcast whilst cooking)

> Brailsfords attempts to explain it do nothing to ease my doubts.

Daniel Friebe posted a picture of Brailsford stood at the bottom of one of the climbs. Brailsford says that every member of staff, including himself, was by the roadside ready with water and gels. If you watched the race you would have noticed that Froome rarely had a bottle on his bike.

carnie - on 25 May 2018
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

No it didn't it at the last minute when sky were about to drop him at end of contract

 

Yanis Nayu - on 25 May 2018
In reply to baron:

The meticulous fuelling stuff is just bullshit. 

3
baron - on 25 May 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Froome is to be congratulated on attempting to gain the race lead by going for it.

That was to be expected given his position, as in nothing to lose.

That he might attempt something so aggressive could be predicted as could Yates's collapse (albeit not so spectactularly) but for him to take well over three minutes from TD and over eight minutes from the third placed rider (at the begining of the day) with an eighty kilometre solo effort was neither predictable or expected.

When people use the phrase 'not in recent times' to describe if they've ever seen anything like Froome's performance today then you might suspect that they are using their words carefully.

While Sky's refuelling strategy probably helped it is laughable that it's the only reason Brailsford gave for what was an unbelievable performance.

Had Yates not collapsed today and considering how close he and TD were in GC, Froome would have beaten him by how many minutes? That would really have highlighted how outstanding Froome's performance was.

1
baron - on 25 May 2018
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

Agreed but it's all he had to offer for such a turnaround in Froome's performance.

Chris the Tall - on 26 May 2018
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

How much of the stage did you watch ?

Fredt on 26 May 2018
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

I watched the whole Eurosport feed live. During it, I commented to my partner that I don’t recall ever seeing a rider eat and drink so much on a stage, he was taking on board conspicuously more than the others.

Yanis Nayu - on 26 May 2018
In reply to Fredt:

So after decades of grand tour racing, Sky, uniquely, have discovered that eating a bit more was the key to historic performance, and having found that, decided to publicise it so that all their rivals could follow suit? 

Fair play if it’s true, but it sounds to me one of those “rounder wheels”-type reasons that Sky use either as a mask for wrongdoing or out of mischief. 

They’ll be pumping up their tyres next, or oiling the chains with unicorn tears...

 

2
baron - on 26 May 2018
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

Sky's refuelling operation was so well organised that Froome actually felt the need to take a bottle from a spectator near the end of the race, an event not often seen these days.

TheDrunkenBakers - on 26 May 2018
In reply to GravitySucks:

I dont know how they all do it when they all have such bad asthma.

Lee Proctor - on 26 May 2018
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

This is one persons view from the Cycling News forum that I agree with. Posted on CN by Steven Vanderneit

”Ok, so a question to all those crying foul : do you ACTUALLY believe, that with all the attention on him at the moment, that Froome and Sky would be stupid enough to (a) cheat, and (b) do it when they know it will be challenged, tested and broken down in minute detail?

I'm not a fan of Froome by any means, I think that in general he and Sky are clinical, effective, and relatively boring. But yesterday was anything but. They challenged, and they won. Chapeau.”

Irk the Purist - on 26 May 2018
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

Seems these days you have to not only win, but make sure you don't win by too much. Freak days happen in sport, top football teams beat others 8-0, outstanding running performances like Paula radcliffe, Froome yesterday etc. It's pretty sad to put them all down to doping.

And also, is there really a drug that would give Froome a 3 minute advantage like that? Outside science fiction I mean? Maybe an electric bike would do it.

baron - on 26 May 2018
In reply to Lee Proctor:

So TD and company didn't have a bad day yesterday, unlike Yates, yet they still lost by nearly 4 minutes to a solo rider who hadn't shown any truly consistent form and had actually struggled on a few days. Froome outclimbed them, out descended them and put nearly two minutes into them on the flat.

All this while Froome in his own words 'cycled within myself'.

No wonder the Sunweb DS conceeded the race yesterday.

1
Chris the Tall - on 26 May 2018
In reply to baron:

He took a bottle of water and poured It over his head, body and arms. If you think that’s unusual you really don’t watch much cycling. But he didn’t drink any of it, for obvious reasons. Actually I think it may be against the rules to take a feed after a certain point. 

It was also noticeable that when he took a bottle from the team car he did so without the slightest hint of a sticky bottle. 

The crucial thing about Sky’s “marginal fuelling” was that he avoided carrying a water bottle - saving significant weight but running a huge risk. Now it has been suggested that his salbutamol defence will be based on dehydration, so maybe he’s been testing his limits

Lee Proctor - on 26 May 2018
In reply to Lee Proctor:

Another quote that I also agree with, this time from Tom Carey cycling reporter for The Telegraph:

"Credible? It was an extraordinary performance, certainly. Arguably the greatest in Sky's history, according to Brailsford.  And scepticism is natural given cycling’s past. But it was also an extraordinarily well-planned and well-executed ride, in which much of the time was won on a descent and much of the rest due to the lack of a coordinated chase. That group were at least partly to blame for their own downfall."

I watched the whole Stage, Froome gained just 30s at the top of the Colle delle Finestre over the Dumoulin chase group. He gained a lot more time on the descent, taking risks and following his own line and personally I find descending on your own is a lot faster that in a group. On the flat draggy valley section the Dumoulin group were just not coordinated and you could see them losing time whilst bickering among themselves. On the remaining climbs Dumoulin more or less matched Froome's pace exactly but he had no help from within the group which were more intent on attacking and counter attacking which breaks rhythm both physically and mentally. Everything I saw on TV looked perfectly credible and was a million times different from The Landis breakaway in the 2006 TdF that everyone appears to be comparing yesterday to.

 

Chris the Tall - on 26 May 2018
In reply to baron:

Did you notice TD waiting for Pinot when he had his bike change. Or the fact that Reichenbach was twice dropped but then came back and went straight back to the front.  Sky had already shattered the peloton before Froome took off. It wasn’t 1 vs a peloton, it wasn’t even 1vs 5, it was 1 vs 2, both of whom were pretty tired.

baron - on 26 May 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

I can't claim to be an expert at cycling but have managed to watch more cycling than is good for me, according to my wife, over the last few years.

Froome definitely drank from a bottle but not sure if he actually swallowed the water as was mentioned by the eurosport commentator but my point was more that he felt the need to take any extra fluids with Sky's meticulous refuelling strategy in place.

We can discuss the minutiae of the race if you want but that falls into the Brailsford trap and ignores the fact of what happened yesterday.

Can you remember seeing anything like what took place yesterday?

baron - on 26 May 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

I am just struggling to reconcile the fact that Froome cycled away from a group of riders, three of whom were trying and one of whom is the world time trialing champion, over a long, long distance. He didn't just gain seconds or a minute but over three minutes!

I've never seen anything like it, well not in recent times anyway.

Yanis Nayu - on 26 May 2018
In reply to Irk the Purist:

I haven’t put it down to doping, although there is a tinge of suspicion naturally (and I think the Wiggins triamcinolone and Jiffy-bag absolutely stank). I just think the reasoning they’ve given for it is absolute bullshit (and, to be honest, quite disrespectful to the other teams). 

1
Toccata on 26 May 2018
In reply to GravitySucks:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTwi97SGjs4

You have to feel for him. Looks like great team spirit in M-S.

Yanis Nayu - on 26 May 2018
In reply to Toccata:

Yeah, worth saying that I’m gutted for Yates and the rest of the M-S riders. 

The New NickB - on 26 May 2018
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

It was British Cycling that had “rounder wheels” and they were taking the piss, mainly out of the French who had been complaining about British dominance. Both teams where of course using the same French (Mavic) wheels.

Chris the Tall - on 26 May 2018
In reply to baron:

So Froome’s 3 minutes over TD isn’t credible, but the 5 minutes TD had over Pozzo is ?

The most unusual thing yesterday was that someone who had looked so good for 18 stages lost 38 minutes. Has anything similar happened ever ? Landis lost 8 minutes (?) but had only inherited the lead when Rasmussen was kicked off. Did he suddenly run out of drugs? Or did he pay for all his aggressive riding? Well I think it was the latter, and he wasn’t the only one paying for a race which has seen GC action on virtually every stage.

Problem is that people believe what they want to believe. I may cite all the reasons why Froome’s ride could be credible, but that doesn’t mean I dismiss the other possible explanations.

It’s simply that I don’t regard exceptional performance as evidence of cheating.

Chris the Tall - on 26 May 2018
In reply to Toccata:

Agree - hope he can recover mentally from this, but regrettably he may feel he has to be more conservative in the future.

ianstevens - on 26 May 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> So Froome’s 3 minutes over TD isn’t credible, but the 5 minutes TD had over Pozzo is ?

> The most unusual thing yesterday was that someone who had looked so good for 18 stages lost 38 minutes.

Nothing unusual about going full gas too early and blowing up before the end

Chris the Tall - on 26 May 2018
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> I just think the reasoning they’ve given for it is absolute bullshit (and, to be honest, quite disrespectful to the other teams). 

The strategy you refer to was that of putting every available member of staff (and they have a lot), including SDB himself, on the roadside with a bottle and a gel. They did it on the Zoncolan and again yesterday. Are you claiming it didn’t happen, or didn’t make a difference?

The New NickB - on 26 May 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

A full bottle adds 8-9% to the weight of the bike and about 0.8% to the combined weight of bike and rider (Froome is about 66kg). That has got to have some impact on performance as long as he can stay fuelled and hydrated.

TD had a bottle on the climbs, but he was getting rid of water to reduce weight as well, which I assume is a well established technique, but isn’t going to be as effective as having no bottle at all.

Yanis Nayu - on 26 May 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

I know.  Sky have given a number of reasons over the years for their dominance, which have amused/pissed-off other teams. This is another in a long list. 

Yanis Nayu - on 26 May 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

The latter. I mean it didn’t make THE difference, rather than A difference. 

baron - on 26 May 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

I've really enjoyed this years giro, there have been few boring and/or predictible stages.

Yates' performances, including yesterday's, have been one of the reasons for this. That he blew up in the third week of a grand tour isn't that unusual given his performance the previous day.

Froome's performance yesterday is to be lauded but only when he proves himself clean, there's no innocent until proven guilty in the pending case and, rightly or wrongly, until he can prove his innocence his results shouldn't stand.

1
Chris the Tall - on 26 May 2018
In reply to baron:

Actually with an AAF he is innocent for now, which is why he is allowed to race, and why I don’t think he will be stripped of his Giro results even if he loses the salbutamol case. Its different to the contador case, because he hasn’t tested positive for a banned substance. The rules acknowledge that a urine sample gives a very variable indication of how often an inhaler is used.

that said I think he will be stripped of the Vuelta and have to serve a ban

Chris the Tall - on 26 May 2018
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

No one said it was the only difference, but the fact that it did make some difference means it’s clearly not bullshit!

abr1966 - on 26 May 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Ive just got back from my ride.....3 1/2 hours with the last part a long uphill from Macclesfield to kettleshulme.....I can assure anyone that even at my level as a 53 year old average but keen cyclist, a full bottle or not really does make a difference!

Chris the Tall - on 26 May 2018
In reply to GravitySucks:

Just had a shock - turned on to see an MTS rider with a 10 minute lead over the peloton!

meanwhile another big name cracks in a big way. It’s been a really brutal race

baron - on 26 May 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

And with the final 10km in sight I have to go out.

Three weeks of racing and the wife insists that it'll be alright as we know who's going to win and I can watch the highlights later.

It's nearly enough to make me shout for Mr Froome!

Anybody know a good divorce lawyer?

1
To be Frank on 26 May 2018
In reply to GravitySucks:

Great, a drugs cheat wins a race.
As far as I'm concerned, if you're found with twice the allowable limit of an unauthorised substance in your system, forget the whys and wherefores, you're guilty and shouldn't be facing.

Ruined my watching of that race.

14
Wanderer100 - on 26 May 2018
In reply to Lusk:

I agree. He shouldn't have been racing. More questions than answers about Froome and Team Sky and even though Froome has delivered an extraordinary performance in the mountains it has been ultimately a disappointment knowing he is under investigation will probably be banned for his Vuelta misdemeanour. 

8
Rampikino - on 26 May 2018
In reply to Lusk:

Which unauthorised substance was that then?

thermal_t - on 26 May 2018
ClimberEd - on 26 May 2018
In reply to Lusk:

Yawn.

If you're worried about drugs you shouldn't be watching cycling. They all 'dope' - some stay inside the rules and take every performance enhancer they can, some enter a grey area (TUEs etc) and some blatantly (in private) take performance enhancers that can't be covered in a TUE. 

The rules that define these areas are entirely artificial. 

Just enjoy the spectacle. 

6
Chris the Tall - on 26 May 2018
In reply to Lusk:

The correlation between quantity inhaled and quantity excreted via urine is far less accurate than if a substance is ingested. And maybe if you use an inhaler mid race you swallow more than usual. So the leeway is there for a reason.

Now maybe the leeway should be reduced, but under the current rules Froome is allowed to race. It’s not his fault that so many people don’t understand them

2
Wanderer100 - on 26 May 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Yes Chris we know he is allowed to race but he is also allowed to withdraw from competitive cycling whilst the investigation is concluded and if Team Sky were remotely interested in taking the moral high ground regarding clean cycling they would have suspended him. This seems too much like a 'fu@€ you' to everyone. Cyclists that have failed a test, like Froome has, let's not forget that, should not be allowed to race competitively whilst they are under investigation. 

And before any starts going on about Salbutomol and it's PE quality, there is a limit on what you are allowed to take and Froome had twice that limit in his drug test. As much as I admire his very obvious cycling skills and abilities it doesn't do him any credit to carry on as though nothing has happened. 

Post edited at 17:53
5
Yanis Nayu - on 26 May 2018
In reply to abr1966:

Roughly, a kilo equates to about 30 seconds over 20km up an 8% hill. 

Yanis Nayu - on 26 May 2018
In reply to Lusk:

> Great, a drugs cheat wins a race.

> As far as I'm concerned, if you're found with twice the allowable limit of an unauthorised substance in your system, forget the whys and wherefores, you're guilty and shouldn't be facing.

> Ruined my watching of that race.

It’s far more complicated than that. 

2
ClimberEd - on 26 May 2018
In reply to Wanderer100:

1.4- get your facts right. ;-) 

And he test shouldn't have even been made public, so at this stage we shouldn't know anything about it. On that basis why should SKY withdraw him. I wouldn't.

elsewhere on 26 May 2018
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> Yeah, worth saying that I’m gutted for Yates and the rest of the M-S riders. 

I think it is three stages wins and about 14 days in pink for Yates plus another two stages wins for the team.

An incredible achievement for Yates and MS.

Let's hope Yates is OK mentally.

Chris the Tall - on 26 May 2018
In reply to Wanderer100:

So should he have self-suspended from when he was notified of the result, or when someone from the UCI leaked it?

And how long do you self-suspend for - the 10-12 months that the investigation process seems to take,  the 8 months from the Vuelta to the Giro, the 6 months in the winter where he doesn’t race, or the 4 months which seems to be the typical ban for this substance?

Given Froome’s obvious tenacity can we really expect him to sacrifice his reputation, not to mention a Vuelta win that he fought so hard for, without a fight ? 

Wanderer100 - on 27 May 2018
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Froome and Team Sky should sign up for this.  

https://www.mpcc.fr/index.php/en/mpcc-uk

Chris the Tall - on 27 May 2018
In reply to Wanderer100:

I can understand the desire that many fans have for simple rules and complete transparency.

i can understand the frustrations with due process, the rule of law and natural justice 

however the rules on drugs are there for one simple reason - to protect the health of the athletes. Not to provide fairness, or sporting drama, or instant gratification for the fans. If you approach the problem from a safety in the workplace viewpoint then you realise why things are complicated.

yesterday a rider was hospitalised after his team allowed him to continue despite fever and chronic dehydration. But did FDJ break the MPCC code ?

ClimberEd - on 27 May 2018
In reply to Wanderer100:

Whether you like it or not, and whether you want to rant about moral high ground, Team Sky's 'job' is to win, first and foremost. Unless you understand and accept that your comments have no validity as they are out of context with reality. 

 

Wanderer100 - on 28 May 2018
In reply to ClimberEd:

I'm sorry but it's Team Skys self declared occupation of the clean cycling moral high ground that's under scrutiny here.  Too many people seem to have forgotten that. 

And just because you don't agree with my comments it doesn't them any less than valid or in touch with reality as your own and if you can't accept that then that's just a reflection of your blinkered arrogance

 

Post edited at 14:51
Rob Parsons on 28 May 2018
In reply to Wanderer100:

> I'm sorry but it's Team Skys self declared occupation of the clean cycling moral high ground ...

But nobody takes seriously that claim from Sky any more. It was all just advertising schtick.

 

Post edited at 15:13
Yanis Nayu - on 28 May 2018
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> But nobody takes seriously that claim from Sky any more. It was all just advertising schtick.

That’s alright then. They were lying and now we all know it’s ok. 

I don’t particularly like having my intelligence insulted by a team claiming to be the most moral, with, it appears, the most to hide. 

Rob Parsons on 28 May 2018
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> I don’t particularly like having my intelligence insulted by a team claiming to be the most moral ...

Neither do I. But that's the way it is.


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