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Tour de France - contains spoilers

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 elsewhere 28 Aug 2020

I even have a spoiler!

Lotto Soudal - two staffers sent home after non-negative tests.

I guess that means the team is still in the tour as nobody has tested positive. Obviously.

Fingers crossed that no teams chucked out.

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 Doug 28 Aug 2020
 Rob Parsons 28 Aug 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

> I even have a spoiler!

> Lotto Soudal - two staffers sent home after non-negative tests.

What is a 'non-negative' test?

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 Yanis Nayu 28 Aug 2020
In reply to Rob Parsons:

Positive, where you intimate it’s a false positive. 

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In reply to elsewhere:

> Lotto Soudal - two staffers sent home after non-negative tests.

Is this covid or just the usual drugs?

Post edited at 21:57
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In reply to Robert Durran:

Not a huge amount of benefit giving mechanics and masseurs EPO.

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 DaveHK 28 Aug 2020
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> Positive, where you intimate it’s a false positive. 

Apparently everyone who tests positive is getting a second test to avoid false positives.

Personally I'd be more worried about the false negatives but that shows where the team's priorities lie.

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 Rob Parsons 28 Aug 2020
In reply to DaveHK:

> Apparently everyone who tests positive is getting a second test to avoid false positives.

> Personally I'd be more worried about the false negatives but that shows where the team's priorities lie.

It's bollocks, isn't it? What about 'best of three'?

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 elsewhere 28 Aug 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Is this covid it just the usual drugs?

Given the history "non-negative" made me laugh. 

It seems it is a real thing - https://www.cyclingnews.com/features/when-is-a-positive-not-a-positive-covid-19-and-the-tour-de-france/

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 Hardonicus 29 Aug 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

Given the apalling accuracy of covid testing I should say best of 3 seems fair!

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 DaveHK 29 Aug 2020
In reply to Hardonicus:

> Given the apalling accuracy of covid testing I should say best of 3 seems fair!

Most of the issues are around false negatives rather than false positives and false negatives are obviously more harmful from a public health perspective. I'm not hearing teams clamouring for second tests if they get a negative though!

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 GrahamD 29 Aug 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

Anyone else watch La Course this morning  ? Great tactical result for Trek Segfredo and Lizzie Deignam.  Still think the women's tour needs a longer show case at the tour.  At least a week.

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 Doug 29 Aug 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

was that a vulture ?

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 GrahamD 29 Aug 2020
In reply to Doug:

Pretty soggy one now !

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 Doug 29 Aug 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

Think the riders are pretty soggy as well now, and seems to be quite a lot of crashes & tumbles today.

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In reply to GrahamD:

> Anyone else watch La Course this morning  ?

Watching the highlights. Some very unpleasant-looking, and unfortunately placed street furniture (manholes, gratings, etc) on the descent...

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 elsewhere 29 Aug 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

> Anyone else watch La Course this morning  ? Great tactical result for Trek Segfredo and Lizzie Deignam.  Still think the women's tour needs a longer show case at the tour.  At least a week.

Great racing!

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 Yanis Nayu 29 Aug 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

Brilliant race and finale. Really enjoy the women’s racing. 

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In reply to GrahamD:

> Great tactical result for Trek Segfredo and Lizzie Deignam

Great support from Elisa Longo Borghini to help Lizzie to the win. Those late attacks and repeated recoveries took their toll in the end, finishing 7 seconds down on the rest of the lead group.

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 GrahamD 30 Aug 2020
In reply to captain paranoia:

Yes, it was a classic "how to" exhibition from Trek.  The hard part is getting two out of the six riders in the lead selection to start with !

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 elsewhere 30 Aug 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

Live coverage on ITV4, looks like the weeding can wait.

Sagan in green, can't believe how true that cliché is.

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 Bwox 30 Aug 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

A well-earned win there, I reckon.

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 GrahamD 30 Aug 2020
In reply to Bwox:

Great finish.

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 elsewhere 30 Aug 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

Hmmm, Alaphilippe in yellow again.

Excellent, things should be lively!

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In reply to GrahamD:

> Great finish.

Julian Alaphillipe is a French cycling genius and master at his craft. He was superb today and I can only hope he doesn't burn all of his candles out before the 3 weeks are up!

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 GrahamD 31 Aug 2020
In reply to Wanderer100:

Hmm, I think "genius" might be stretching things for a bike racer ! he is certainly one of the most exciting and endearing riders in the peleton right now, though.  Not many riders of his ilk can deliver day after day and be considered a genuine prospect for Yellow.

Post edited at 10:46
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 felt 31 Aug 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

I'd say most activities can have their geniuses, as long as we're careful to limit the numbers. Messi is undoubtedly a genius at football, as is Ronnie O'Sullivan at snooker and Senna at F1. With road racing it might be Coppi, Merckx and Anquetil, and why not Beryl Burton and Cav? It's surely wrong to limit the category to your Einsteins and Leonardos.

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 ianstevens 31 Aug 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

Is the commentary less painful on ITV than Eurosport?

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 Doug 31 Aug 2020
In reply to ianstevens:

Did you get the aerial views of the Gorges du Verdon on UK TV ?

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 ianstevens 31 Aug 2020
In reply to Doug:

There were some I believe (I'm only half watching and zoning in and out whilst doing other bits). I believe they all use the same feed do they not?

Post edited at 15:36
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 Doug 31 Aug 2020
In reply to ianstevens:

Probably but if I watch via www.france.tv (rather than the TV) I can also get the feed from 5 motorbike based cameras as well as the (French ?) TV feed so wondered if other countries produced their own 'mix'

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 Jim Lancs 31 Aug 2020

In reply to ianstevens:

> Is the commentary less painful on ITV than Eurosport?


Yes I think Ned Boulting and David Millar are okay. Certainly better than the Lance Armstrong sycophants that were Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen. You even get to hear about the other 10 or so teams in the race.

And anyone is better than Sean Kelly.

Post edited at 21:15
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 GrahamD 01 Sep 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

If there was any doubt before today who was favourite,  it seems pretty clear now.

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 Yanis Nayu 01 Sep 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

He was very strong. 

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 abr1966 01 Sep 2020
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

The speed of that last 5k!!! Roglic and all of the team look so strong....long way to go yet though! 

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 Yanis Nayu 01 Sep 2020
In reply to abr1966:

Brutal pace set by van Aert and Kuss and Roglic just powered away. Long way to go but that looked ominous for the others. Bernal could make time up at high altitude. 

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 abr1966 01 Sep 2020
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

Yep.....the Alps will be the test! Sep Kuss looks very impressive at seed and Van Aert did a massive pull that was so impressive! Really enjoying it and a bonus that I didn't expect to be watching this year!!

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 ianstevens 02 Sep 2020
In reply to abr1966:

"Nice" to see the commissaries' adding some interest to today's stage 😱

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 DaveHK 02 Sep 2020
In reply to abr1966:

> Van Aert did a massive pull that was so impressive!

He's a class act, pulling in the mountains yesterday and winning the sprint today.

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 elsewhere 02 Sep 2020
In reply to ianstevens:

> "Nice" to see the commissaries' adding some interest to today's stage 😱

Bit of a screw up by the team not to use the roadbook.

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 climbingpixie 02 Sep 2020
In reply to ianstevens:

What a shit way for Alaphilippe to lose the jersey and for Yates to take it. Very unsatisfactory all round. Hopefully it sets things up nicely for a good battle tomorrow though!

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 GrahamD 02 Sep 2020
In reply to climbingpixie:

Crap way indeed, but hard to argue with.

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In reply to GrahamD:

> Crap way indeed, but hard to argue with.

Exactly. The rules apply to everyone. Im sure it will ignite even more fuel into Alaphillipes bid to retain/regain the Yellow Jersey but I must say I'm very pleased to see Yates topping the leader board. He looked suitably embarrassed but I think he will be chuffed tomorrow when he pulls on the Maillot Jaune and wears it out on the stage race.

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 GrahamD 03 Sep 2020
In reply to Wanderer100:

He'll be pleased and I'm sure his team will, especially given the mass exodus from their ranks.  I've a bit of a soft spot for Mitchelton Scott.

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 ianstevens 03 Sep 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

I guess the exodus is down to money (or lack thereof), given the push for extra sponsors and the whole sale-or-not fracas over the summer. Shame because they had put a nice team together! I’ve got a soft spot for them too, primarily because of the old backstage pass videos they used to put out (the newer ones aren’t as good and feel a bit more sanitised IMO).

Back to Alaphilippe, I agree with the sentiments expressed here. A silly thing to do, but also an action which made virtually no difference to the outcome of the race I would suspect - until the penalty was fished out. I’d say he broke the letter rather than the spirit of the law, and as a result lost yellow in a strange way. Of course if he wasn’t in yellow nobody would care at all.

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In reply to ianstevens:

What has happened to the Commissionaires, has nobody told them that Alaphilippe is French?

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 ianstevens 03 Sep 2020
In reply to The New NickB:

Appointed by the UCI rather than ASO I believe? Could have been tactical to not have to pull today. QST really want to get bennet to the end in green rather than get Alaphilippe some more days in yellow I feel.

Post edited at 13:27
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 nniff 03 Sep 2020
In reply to ianstevens:

> Back to Alaphilippe, I agree with the sentiments expressed here. A silly thing to do, but also an action which made virtually no difference to the outcome of the race I would suspect - until the penalty was fished out. I’d say he broke the letter rather than the spirit of the law, and as a result lost yellow in a strange way. Of course if he wasn’t in yellow nobody would care at all.

I'm not so sure about that - to position someone with a bottle inside 20km from the finish is either cock-up or conspiracy.  Added to which Alaphillipe just happened to be cruising up the outside of the peloton.  Then there is a general lack of outrage at the iniquity of it, so I detect conspiracy - get out of the yellow jersey honourably instead of having to defend it for weeks.  Save your matches, keep in touch, and make it someone else's problem.  Use the rules to your advantage.  No adverse press about team weakness - all good.....  Stop fretting about yellow and stick Bennett in green for a while instead.  Call me cynical if you wish

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 Andy Say 03 Sep 2020
In reply to Jim Lancs:

I'm watching in Italy. I just look at the pictures and the graphics..... 🙄

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 Sean Kelly 03 Sep 2020
In reply to Jim Lancs:

> Yes I think Ned Boulting and David Millar are okay. Certainly better than the Lance Armstrong sycophants that were Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen. You even get to hear about the other 10 or so teams in the race.

> And anyone is better than Sean Kelly.

Hey, I object to that!

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 Enty 03 Sep 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

I thought it was a genius move.

E

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 elsewhere 03 Sep 2020

I don't think anybody willingly gives up time and the most important jersey in the most prestigious race in cycling, even if they say otherwise so as not to appear weak or tactically inept.

Post edited at 21:55
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 nufkin 03 Sep 2020
In reply to ianstevens:

>  QST really want to get bennet to the end in green rather than get Alaphilippe some more days in yellow I feel.

Do you suppose they've explained that to Alaphillipe? A majestic and probably pointless swoop to claw back a whole second. Magnifique.

Does he have an established nickname yet? I can't help feeling 'Le Buccaneer' seems to suit

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 Mick r 03 Sep 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

Can anyone recommend a TDF podcast?

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 elsewhere 03 Sep 2020
In reply to Mick r:

ITV4 Tour de France podcast, on Spotify and presumably other platforms.

Would be interested in what others suggest as I am getting Boulting and Miller overload even though I like them.

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 Yanis Nayu 04 Sep 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

Try The Cycling Podcast and The Roadman’s podcast. 

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 felt 04 Sep 2020
In reply to Mick r:

Not a podcast but his analysis/presentation is streets ahead of anyone else's, eg stage 4:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mryK-9eK8m0&

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 elsewhere 04 Sep 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

Oh, a green jersey battle! 

Sagan attempts to restore order to the universe by taking back the green jersey.

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 nniff 04 Sep 2020
In reply to nufkin:

> Does he have an established nickname yet? I can't help feeling 'Le Buccaneer' seems to suit

There's a touch of the Jack Sparrow about him!

Post edited at 15:31
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 fire_munki 05 Sep 2020
In reply to Mick r:

> Can anyone recommend a TDF podcast?

Cycling Tips is brilliant, Abbi Mickey's sense of humour is right up my street. Once listened to the daily try their normal ones. She does a more female guest one called freewheeling and there is a nerd one.

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 elsewhere 05 Sep 2020
In reply to nniff:

Great stage today (Saturday). Yates did well but Pogacar did brilliantly.

The attrition sets in but a great pity to see Alaphilippe drop back. Some huge time differences, but hardly any time difference at the top of the overall GC.

Pogacar for yellow next week, Bernal saving himself for week 3 when it really counts?

And a superb stage win by Peters.

Post edited at 23:33
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In reply to elsewhere:

Something not right about Alaphilippe, but brilliantly so!

Knew he was cooked, but decided to attack the GC guys and cause chaos.

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 elsewhere 05 Sep 2020
In reply to The New NickB:

> Something not right about Alaphilippe, but brilliantly so!

> Knew he was cooked, but decided to attack the GC guys and cause chaos.

Very Alaphilippe, nobody else would do that. I'd love to see him do well.

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 elsewhere 06 Sep 2020
In reply to fire_munki:

> Cycling Tips is brilliant

That is a good one - different (non-UK) perspectives.

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 nufkin 07 Sep 2020

The TdF remains cruel, but that was a belter of a stage

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 GrahamD 07 Sep 2020
In reply to nufkin:

I know Bernal was new guard and he won last year, but this year it really feels like the new breed has taken over.

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 elsewhere 07 Sep 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

> I know Bernal was new guard and he won last year, but this year it really feels like the new breed has taken over.

Bernal destroyed a psychological/historical barrier that a grand tour apprenticeship* was required before grand tour victory in late twenties. That's benefited Pogacar & Hirschi this year.

*Do other endurance sports already know this?

Friday/Saturday/Sunday were a superb sequence of battles for the yellow jersey.

Flat coastal route on Tuesday, GC & sprint contenders will be frantic not to get caught out by the wind.

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 elsewhere 08 Sep 2020

Riders and teams get Covid test results 9am UK time. Fingers crossed.

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 nufkin 08 Sep 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

>  it really feels like the new breed has taken over.

It does, though I suppose there's still scope for them to all find they've exhausted themselves early and get overhauled by the wily old tortoises

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 Fruit 08 Sep 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

Still no news, not looking good

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 Wild Cyclist 08 Sep 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

> I know Bernal was new guard and he won last year, but this year it really feels like the new breed has taken over.


Indeed.

Great to see the end of one team dominance, ie Ineos. Bernal is still a major contender, but he's still a youth, white jersey.

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 elsewhere 08 Sep 2020
In reply to Wild Cyclist:

> Great to see the end of one team dominance, ie Ineos. Bernal is still a major contender, but he's still a youth, white jersey.

Yellow is the new white!

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 elsewhere 08 Sep 2020
In reply to Fruit:

Looking a bit further, team doctors get results earlier so they can inform individuals & team but it doesn't go public until before race start (1230 BST). Still an hour or two to wait.

"The UCI, who urged the teams not to communicate the results, and ASO, will issue a statement before the start of the stage in L’Ile d’Oleron.

The stage is due to start at 1130 GMT."

*https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-health-coronavirus-cycling/all-tour-de-france-participants-await-covid-19-test-results-on-tuesday-idUKKBN25Y1OE

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 elsewhere 08 Sep 2020

Phew. That was very close.

Covid tests - all riders and all teams remain in the tour.

6 positive tests - a single staff member in 5 different teams and a technical service provider (ASO?)

No riders tested positive.

https://mobile.twitter.com/LeTour/status/1303284798786543618

Looks like they'll be lucky to get to Paris with no teams getting kicked out.

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 Will Hunt 08 Sep 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

Sorry if I've missed it linked elsewhere, or if it's really easy to find. What's the process for what happens in the event of somebody testing positive? Individuals get sent home - what then happens to the team? Increased testing? When does a team get kicked off? When does the race finish? And if the race is cancelled, what happens to the results - taken as they stand at the end of the last completed stage?

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 Doug 08 Sep 2020
In reply to Will Hunt:

Le Monde is reporting that Christian Prudhomme (the Tour director) has tested positive, no idea what the consequences of that will be but must make his job more difficult

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 elsewhere 08 Sep 2020
In reply to Will Hunt:

An individual who tests positive is out and any team with two positive tests among riders AND team staff is out. 

The race commissionaires have always had the power to pretty much decide any result or to do anything at any time in response to weather, protests (2018 peleton got tear gassed, 1984 Hinault punches protester), landslides (Egan Bernal in 2019), riders knocked into barbed wire by a car in race convoy or Chris Froome running up Mt Ventoux after his bike crushed by a motorbike. You can't have a rule book for 3500km of French roads so the race commissionaires need the power to make immediate decisions. I assume subject to appeal to UCI or international sporting arbitration, by which time nobody cares.

The results would be decided by the results at the time of abandonment which I guess would be the previous day's results unless the French government introduced a lockdown during a stage (unlikely). In 2019 I think a couple of stage times and effectively the overall result was determined by stages curtailed by flooding and landslides. I think times were taken at intermediate points (eg a mountain top) before riders got to the flood or landslide. 

Here's a nicer summary from Bloomberg.

"Nice, France (AP) -- French authorities have made it harder for Tour de France teams to reach the finish line in Paris by deciding they will be expelled from the race if two or more of their members, including staff, test positive for COVID-19 within a week.

Following guidelines issued by the health authorities, the move was announced Saturday by Tour organizers just a few hours before the start of the three-week race's opening stage in the Riviera city of Nice. It overruled a decision from cycling's governing body, the UCI, that had eased the Tour's exclusion rules.

Under the UCI protocol announced Friday, it would have been up to organizers to decide whether to throw a team out after two positive tests, with staff members not counted."

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-08-29/french-authorities-harden-covid-19-rules-at-tour-de-france

Post edited at 13:26
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 Will Hunt 08 Sep 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

Thanks for that. And I suppose the decision to abandon the Tour is either down to the French authorities demanding it or because the race officials decide it - though the criteria for that haven't been released?

In my opinion, the tour must go on! Whatever the circumstances!

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 GrahamD 10 Sep 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

Does anyone else watch those sprints and automatically assume the guy in Green is Sagan ?

Anyway he's going to have to really animate it now to have a chance of reclaiming 'his' Jersey.

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 elsewhere 10 Sep 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

> Does anyone else watch those sprints and automatically assume the guy in Green is Sagan ?

Every time!

> Anyway he's going to have to really animate it now to have a chance of reclaiming 'his' Jersey.

Still second in the Green Jersey ranking despite the penalty!

Post edited at 13:47
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 Mick r 10 Sep 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

Anyone recommend a decent TDF podcast?

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 elsewhere 10 Sep 2020
In reply to Mick r:

> Anyone recommend a decent TDF podcast?

There's a few posted higher up from 3rd to 5th Sept.

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 nufkin 10 Sep 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

>  Still second in the Green Jersey ranking despite the penalty!

It'd be nice to see him get a record-breaking eighth jersey, but he's making it hard to be sympathetic

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 ablackett 12 Sep 2020
In reply to Mick r:

I enjoy

The Bradley Wiggins Show - sometimes insightful, childishly funny at times.

The Cycling Podcast - very well informed, mix of chat and France and cycling.

The ITV cycling podcast - more of what you get on the telly but less scripted and more jolly banter.

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 DaveHK 12 Sep 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

Fantastic racing today.

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 elsewhere 12 Sep 2020
In reply to DaveHK:

> Fantastic racing today.

Wow! Sunweb invisible until it mattered.

Edit - forgot the two called back from early attempt.

Sagan halves Bennett's lead in green jersey.

Post edited at 17:15
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 GrahamD 13 Sep 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

More bad luck for Bardet though.

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 GrahamD 13 Sep 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

That stage narrows the field somewhat.

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 elsewhere 13 Sep 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

> More bad luck for Bardet though.

Yes, nasty. The guy who got wiped out today hit his head very hard too

There's a new Sky/Ineos team, and it is called Jumbo Visma. Amazing team strength - I think Roglic had 6 teammates at start of the last climb and 2 until the finish sprint/attack. I doubt Ineos managed that very often if ever!

Good to see Yates attack but the Slovenes looked in charge.

Post edited at 18:56
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 abr1966 13 Sep 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

Today was such a show of dominance!! They looked awesome....Roglic really is in amazing form but the team is so powerful with strength in every area.

Interestingly G looked good yesterday in Italy....the giro could be a great race....

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 elsewhere 13 Sep 2020
In reply to abr1966:

> Interestingly G looked good yesterday in Italy....the giro could be a great race....

That will be good to see. Froome said he wanted to be in Tour but it was not his decision - sour grapes.

There are rest day results! Hopefully all Covid negative. There was an announcement a few days ago saying two positives per team per rest day. The previous positives have been wiped clean.

Tuesday - there will be a Bora attack or a Bora chase, Sam Bennett will be shadowing Sagan and will try to win the sprint whilst looking back at Sagan (with disdain?). It's personal.

Post edited at 19:41
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 GrahamD 14 Sep 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

Yes JV appear to be stronger man for man than anyone else.  Hard to know how much is physical and how much is psychological.  Certainly not much evidence of Amador or Carapaz turning inside out for the cause.

The race for green for once is the most intriguing one for a change.  Hard to see KoM not going to Slovenia as a by product.

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 GrahamD 14 Sep 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

The race for green with a bit of personal niggle.  Long time since green meant anything as a race.

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 abr1966 14 Sep 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

What's the history between Sagan and Bennet? 

This tour however unusual has really made me feel positive about the pro scene going forward....a number of exciting and attacking young cyclists, its good to see...

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 GrahamD 14 Sep 2020
In reply to abr1966:

I get the impression that Bennet thought he never got all the opportunities and support his abilities warranted when he was at Bora - a team still dominated by Sagan.

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 yorkshireman 15 Sep 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

Heading down the road to watch this pass by later today. I live in Lans-en-Vercors, the last main village before the finish in Villard so will watch them come past with about 12km to go. No access to the finish because of Covid which is a real shame as I was really looking forward to this (especially as it was originally meant to be on Bastille Day). It's flat but I've got to work so don't have time to camp on the mountain side all afternoon.

Not the high, high mountains today, but the route up to St Nizier should be a challenge especially as the whole profile today is up/down/up/down but up here on the Vercors plateau the roads are fast before the final climb so could be interesting.

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 Doug 15 Sep 2020
In reply to yorkshireman:

How will we recognise you on the TV?  (assumming they show the race going past your place, apparently French TV switched to adverts as the leading riders went past us, but my sister spotted our building on Eurosport)

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 yorkshireman 15 Sep 2020
In reply to Doug:

> How will we recognise you on the TV?  

Should be easy, I was wearing a mask

Will be nice to watch the recording as our place is perched on the hillside on the opposite side of the valley as they come up over St Nizier so will be fun trying to spot the house and the familiar landmarks (the last 10km was basically our drive to the supermarket, vet, market etc plus big skiing).

Was odd being socially distanced and wearing masks. I've watched the tour a couple of times before near our old house (Col de Manse and Col de Noyer in the Dévoluy area) and half the fun was the party atmosphere leading up to it. This was a lot more subdued and being (an admittedly hot) mid-September day was a lot quieter than you expect. We were on a chicane as they turned a roundabout so they slowed down a little at least. The final few hundred metres of the climb are prohibited and my wife had to be back for a conference call at 6 so we didn't make too much effort to try to get a better vantage point.

I have to feel for our local ski resort though - Villard-de-Lans - who undoubtedly paid a significant amount of money to bring the tour here and have probably suffered due to it happening out of season.

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 nufkin 15 Sep 2020

I wonder if the Jumbo Visma GC steamroller will attract the same animosity and abuse that Sky did? 

I hope, just for viewing excitement, that tomorrow will bring attack after attack all the way up the hills

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 elsewhere 15 Sep 2020
In reply to nufkin:

There will be the usual Bennett Sagan grudge match for green jersey points, then there will be a battle for mountain jersey on the first HC climb and finally the GC battle on the HC climb to the finish.

With three distinct(?) races it should be exciting throughout.

Seeing the GC riders going toe to toe without teammates is magnificent, although JV are so good Roglic may not be alone. Soon everybody but Pogacar will be looking for podium position rather than yellow. Pogacar will attack - he always does!

Just looked it up. Pogacar only beat Roglic by nine seconds in the time trial of Slovenian national championships. Roglic does not need much of a buffer?

https://www.procyclingstats.com/race/nc-slovenia-itt/2020

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 GrahamD 16 Sep 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

Still, he beat him.  Physcology and the best part of three weeks hard racing will make a difference.

Still the odds are firmly stacked on Roglic's side.

Meanwhile, at Ineos, where did the hitherto anonymous Carapaz get that from ? Rather too many chiefs at Ineos by the looks of it.

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 Sir Chasm 16 Sep 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

One less chief now that Bernal has pulled out.

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 GrahamD 16 Sep 2020
In reply to Sir Chasm:

Didn't really look like anyone was really riding for him, did it (including G)? And he should have been the undisputed leader.

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 Sir Chasm 16 Sep 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

Maybe, but even if that had happened he didn't look at his best.

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 abr1966 16 Sep 2020
In reply to Sir Chasm:

Sepp Kuss.....what an awesome domestique!!

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That final climb out of Meribel was desperate and would be even without the preceding 160kms and the Madelaine thrown in too.

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 Yanis Nayu 16 Sep 2020
In reply to abr1966:

Yes, superb. What a brutal stage. Would’ve liked Pogacar to take a bit of time out of Roglic ahead of the TT. 

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 felt 16 Sep 2020
In reply to nufkin:

> I wonder if the Jumbo Visma GC steamroller will attract the same animosity and abuse that Sky did? 

They won't initially, because 1. they're a long-established team, 2. they're not British, 3. there's no "arrogance" to their methods, 4. they don't have a scary black team bus and 5. everyone loves Dumoulin, Martin and Kuss. There's probably more.

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 GrahamD 17 Sep 2020
In reply to felt:

The French are pretty partisan and aren't particularly keen on people driving steamrollers over their race.  It will only take a whiff of impropriety from JV and they will be the new enemy. There will probably be people penning articles as to how the whole team has such remarkable powers of recovery as soon as the dust settles on the Champs Elysee 

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 felt 17 Sep 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

You're right, but I wasn't so much thinking of the French in particular, just cycling fans in general.

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 nufkin 17 Sep 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

>  There will probably be people penning articles as to how the whole team has such remarkable powers of recovery as soon as the dust settles on the Champs Elysee

Already hints of that in the Guardian's race article this morning, mentioning their use of ketones

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 cb294 17 Sep 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

And before anyone has a go at them for their use of ketone esters as a dietary supplement, this is exactly what the GB cycling team did before and at the 2012 Olympics, with tremendous success. They also forced their athletes to sign a nondisclosure agreement about the use of the supplement, and to waive any claims should their health be compromised later*. I guess this was also one of the "marginal gains" Brailsford was later going on about at Sky.

Personally, I really don't know what to make of this. Like creatine, ketone esters are also generated in the body, in particular under certain physiological/ dietary conditions, but using them as substitutes will generate non-physiological levels. Clearly, this is enough to ban hormones, even if they are absolutely identical to what our body produces. A textbook borderline case!

CB

* this is perverse to the extreme.

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 ClimberEd 17 Sep 2020
In reply to cb294:

My view is that as sport is essentially an artificial construct, if something is within the rules then it is reasonable, and if it's not, then it's not. I appreciate there are some qualitative issues around TUEs but broadly the rules are binary. 

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 cb294 17 Sep 2020
In reply to ClimberEd:

I agree, by all means play to the rules. I have posted countless times that I would rather bend my opponents fingers and take the penalty rather than get choked out and lose my judo match immedialtely. Similarly, I have argued that taking that DOGSO red card in the 80th minute of a football match is not unsporting but reasonable and absolutely what I would, as a coach, expect of my player.

However, rules in sport are not entirely arbritrary.

Yes, deciding that playing the ball with your hands or feet is banned is arbitrary, but other rules such as outlawing striking or kicking in judo, eye gouging in rugby are about risk managment.  If you are happy to take a larger personal risk, there are various flavours of MMA, where the rules are different!

The same goes for banning steroid or other hormone doping, this is also about reducing harm both to your opponent our to yourself. If you simply want to ensure a level playing field, doing nothing would be both fairer and easier.

In that respect, requiring athletes to sign damage waivers for ketone ester supplementation (which, if overdone or carried out too long, carries a risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease) shows that the trainers / dieticians were aware that they were pushing the risk envelope. However, unlike doping with certain steroids, AICAR or GW1516, which carries significant cancer risk, ketone ester supplementation can probably be done safely, up to a point.

This is why I am not sure whether I would argue that it should be banned.

edit> forgot to make my main point after all that waffle, which is that there should be discussion about what the rules should be, not whether athletes should exploit the rules a best as they can!

CB

Post edited at 11:30
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 ClimberEd 17 Sep 2020
In reply to cb294:

>

> edit> forgot to make my main point after all that waffle, which is that there should be discussion about what the rules should be, not whether athletes should exploit the rules a best as they can!

> CB

Yes, I fully agree. 

My irritation is when athletes get castigated for acting within the rules.

The rules, on the other hand, are often not always as they should be. (what are 'reasonable' perhaps

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 cb294 17 Sep 2020
In reply to ClimberEd:

Much of the criticism of Sky (and the hatred of the French fans, which was the issue further up if not mentioned eplicitly) was not about pushing the rules, but about breaking them. You do not need to break the doping guidelines if your team doctor breaks them for you by issuing dodgy TUEs!

Also, the testosterone prescriptions "for the team doctor", the jiffy bag supposedly containing a cold medication available OTC in France, the conveniently shoddy or absent documentation of medical treatments, the lost laptops, all had a strong whiff of "the dog ate my homework".

Sky deserved all the criticism directed at their "success".

I don't assume any of the GC contenders is truly clean, all my experience from other sports would suggest otherwise, but hard to pinpoint what JV are doing and whether that pushes or breaks existing rules until somebody figures it out.

CB

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 abr1966 17 Sep 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

Great result for Ineos today and especially Kwiatkowski after sacrificing so much over the years....

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 the sheep 17 Sep 2020
In reply to abr1966:

So I have just noticed Bernal is out of the tour, was he injured or did he just quit because he couldn't win?

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 elsewhere 17 Sep 2020
In reply to the sheep:

> So I have just noticed Bernal is out of the tour, was he injured or did he just quit because he couldn't win?

He was struggling with a back injury. Hopefully not a recurring or ongoing injury.

https://www.velonews.com/events/tour-de-france/dauphine-crashes-abandons-leave-question-marks-for-contenders-ahead-of-tour/

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 elsewhere 17 Sep 2020
In reply to abr1966:

> Great result for Ineos today and especially Kwiatkowski after sacrificing so much over the years....

I've never seen such a unhurried stage finish!

For a couple of teammates to get a couple of minutes on the GC contenders in the mountains is good going. Very impressive.

Post edited at 21:04
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 Webster 17 Sep 2020
In reply to cb294:

> I don't assume any of the GC contenders is truly clean...

if cycling really wants to clean up its act, then it needs to stop making its flagship races so incomprehensibly hard that it takes a super human just to finish let alone win? how can anybody expect a 'clean natural' human being to race a bike up a 24% gradient at over 2000m altitude after nearly 4000m of climbing, over two weeks into a race... and then recover and be ready to do it all again the next day? its just not humanly possible to do what is expected of these guys without artificial help. how much of that artificial help is within the rules and within 'the spirit' of racing, within the rules but 'against the spirit' of racing, or just plain intelligent cheating is the ever present question mark.

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 cb294 17 Sep 2020
In reply to Webster:

I disagree it would be impossible, but you would not get a 53km/h mean for the first 100 km leading up to the climbs! 10 to 15% slower seems feasible. The length is not the problem here.

CB

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 GrahamD 17 Sep 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

Chapeau Kwiato.  He deserves that

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 nufkin 17 Sep 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

>  Chapeau Kwiato.  He deserves that

Deserves and earned. It's a shame Bernal withdrew, but it's nice to see what Kwiatkowski and Carapaz could do once relieved of GC duties (and I suppose left to their own devices somewhat by the peloton)

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 Webster 18 Sep 2020
In reply to cb294:

indeed. a very fit human being with a bit of training can get up those hills (i may well try the col de las loze soon), but there is a big difference between getting up and racing up! and the speed which they are doing multiple climbs a day in without any meaningful recovery...

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 elsewhere 18 Sep 2020

That was a hell of an attack by the Sunweb rider to get a minute  on the sprinter group. A brilliant finish.

Apparently the mountain points are on the last climb of the time trial so Carapaz aims for speed on that climb and the GC contenders aim for speed over the whole time trial.

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 DaveHK 18 Sep 2020
In reply to Webster:

> indeed. a very fit human being with a bit of training can get up those hills

I've seen fat bastards in Speedos and flipflops riding up Alpe d'Huez.

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 cb294 18 Sep 2020
In reply to Webster:

I have done most of the famous hills of the TdF about 25 years ago, but of course much slower. I was going more by the accounts of cyclists like Joerg Jaschke who confessed to to doping at the tour, and how much difference these guys thought EPO made. Mind you, 2% over a 3h stage would be three to four minutes, a typical time difference for top climbers vs those dropped on the last climb.

CB

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 ClimberEd 19 Sep 2020
In reply to cb294:

> I have done most of the famous hills of the TdF about 25 years ago, but of course much slower. I was going more by the accounts of cyclists like Joerg Jaschke who confessed to to doping at the tour, and how much difference these guys thought EPO made. Mind you, 2% over a 3h stage would be three to four minutes, a typical time difference for top climbers vs those dropped on the last climb.

> CB

The climbs are only 'hard' because they race up them.

A local mate has done the Tour de Force. Which follows the tour route exactly but about a week earlier. It was perfectly doable (with some training

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 ianstevens 19 Sep 2020
In reply to ClimberEd:

What a day. Wow. 

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 elsewhere 19 Sep 2020
In reply to ianstevens:

> What a day. Wow. 

WOW! That did not seem possible.

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In reply to ianstevens:

Wow. That's the word I used, too...

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In reply to elsewhere:

Sensational. 

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 Doug 19 Sep 2020
In reply to becauseitsthere:

how does he decide which maillot to wear tomorrow ? he seems to have quite a choice.

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In reply to elsewhere:

A stunning climax to a great Tour. 

Superb stuff from Pogacar. Fair play to Roglic and his graciousness in defeat. 

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 elsewhere 19 Sep 2020
In reply to Doug:

> how does he decide which maillot to wear tomorrow ? he seems to have quite a choice.

It was generous to leave one for Sam Bennett.

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 abr1966 19 Sep 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

A tour of the younger generation! So many rising stars.....

Really pleased for Porte, a great result to get on the podium!

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 graeme jackson 19 Sep 2020
In reply to abr1966:

> Really pleased for Porte, a great result to get on the podium!

He has to reach the finish line tomorrow.  Knowing his luck...…...

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 elsewhere 19 Sep 2020
In reply to Darren Jackson:

> A stunning climax to a great Tour. 

> Superb stuff from Pogacar. Fair play to Roglic and his graciousness in defeat. 

That was very classy.

It was cruel for Roglic and Jumbo Visma, a superb team.

I was convinced Roglic had it in the bag.

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 ianstevens 19 Sep 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

If he manages to take out the 7 riders above him in the points "accidentally" tomorrow... anything can happen ;)

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 GrahamD 19 Sep 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

Not sure what happened to Primoz there.  Just so untypical of him.

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In reply to GrahamD:

> Not sure what happened to Primoz there.  Just so untypical of him.

He was utterly cooked... And I can't say that I'm surprised in the slightest: it's been a brutal Tour. 

He certainly gave it a bloody good go, but was drooling and gasping at the finish. Ultimately, the best man won. 

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 GrahamD 19 Sep 2020
In reply to Darren Jackson:

How unlikely that Slovenia are 1 and 2 ? The best man clearly won on the day, but it's still a surprise.

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In reply to GrahamD:

ITV4 usually end their coverage, each day, with suitable music. My vote, for the entire tour, would be:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZhMvLuoMaM&

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 nufkin 20 Sep 2020
In reply to Darren Jackson:

>  Ultimately, the best man won

And pretty much by himself, too. I'd be churlish to dismiss his teammates, of course, but they're not at all a rival to Jumbo Visma and pretty much all the action that made the difference seemed to be his own effort.

And most of it done with tufts of hair sticking out of his helmet. Take that, marginal gains

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 GrahamD 20 Sep 2020
In reply to nufkin:

I'm wondering what has changed, if anything, that allows the youngsters to get enough volume of training to be that strong after 3 weeks ? Do these lads constantly bunk of school or something or is it just down to freakish physiology and astute recruitment by the teams ?

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 elsewhere 20 Sep 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

Sports can be very traditional and the Tour has a massive history and French national significance. I think the tradition is that you need to mature into late twenties or early thirties to win.

Bernal showed that was wrong. Perhaps it is a change in psychology. Teams willing to commit to a young rider too?

Alternatively Pippa York said to Sunday Times (David Walsh) that young riders would never be able to compete against guys in late twenties or early thirties who had been doping for 5-10 years and perhaps the peleton is relatively clean.

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 JLS 20 Sep 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

Plus, youngsters are being heavily coached these days from a very young age whereas in the past, they might have sort of fell into sports like climbing and cycling at the age of 15 and pick it up as they went along.  Perhaps all sports are now getting more like gymnastics and in  a few years time 30y.o. pros will be unheard of.

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 ianstevens 20 Sep 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

> Bernal showed that was wrong. Perhaps it is a change in psychology. Teams willing to commit to a young rider too?

Important factor perhaps. The Tour is the top dog of races after all, so almost all GC-capable riders fancy a go at some point. What team doesn't have a least one to give leadership duties too? Or failing that, a sprinter or stage-win specialist? To get that sort of respect you need to build up some wins and proof of quality, which takes time.

This is where TP got incredibly lucky this year. He went initially to support Aru - who fortunately for TP was shite almost from the off, giving him license to be the leader. Given the lack of other real GC riders in UAE, I think he's now earnt the right to the top dog spot with a pick of races. 

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