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SwingingPick
13 Jul 17 10:22
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Date Joined: 11 Jul 11
| Topic/replies: 5,587 | Blogger: SwingingPick's blog
Pau is a popular town in the Tour on account of its proximity to the best climbs in this Pyrenean area.

In 2010 Pau was both depart/arrival town, however the Peyresourde climb was used only once, at the very start of stage 16. On that occasion an 18-man break went away. The composition of the break changed, however since it featured GC riders it was the move of the day as it went the distance, with Pierrick Federigo winning the sprint from 7 other riders.

In 2015 the race started in Pau, however stage 11 did not feature the Peyresourde. Nevertheless, Majka attacked from an 8-man breakaway to win.

On stage 8 in 2016, Froome surprised everyone with that daredevil descent to win a similar climbing stage, although on this occasion whilst they will tackle the Peyresourde again at the end, it is the case that in fact they climb it for 2.5kms more for a total of 9.7kms @ 7.8%, and there will be no long descent, only a short descent before they climb up to the finish of Peyragudes, a cat.2 with an additional 2.4kms of climbing @ 8.4%, which interestingly is the exact distance from which Aru attacked on stage 5 to win into La PLanche Belles Filles. Last year, there was a 13-man breakaway which featured some Intermediate Sprint hunters, and once the dust settled after the sprint, there were only 3 riders remaining, including Majka and Pinot, the former rider hunting KOM points. Interestingly, the SKY-led peloton did not allow much of a gap throughout the stage, and it did not go out beyond 3mins, before being mopped-up by SKY and after which Froome made that surprising attack near the summit of the Col de Peyresourde.

I think we are likely to see another big breakaway group be permitted to go up the road. There are a lot of KOM points available on the road on this stage, and the competition for the Polkadot jersey is wide open, so a lot of riders have a view to get into the competition even at this point.

Froome is very confident this year, more than I have ever witnessed from him, which is refreshing and interesting, however since he rides like a champion such confidence really works for him, imo. In any case, with such confidence I think it is correct analysis to expect the SKY dominance we have come to expect from them in the past to again be on display here, after all that's how they ride, that's their inherent brand, and it would be inconsistent to think that they will change anything now.

Therefore, we can expect tempo-riding from SKY to keep the breakaway under a monitoring situation, and then for them to begin to increase the pace as early as on the Cat.1 Col de Mente, to start thinning-out the peloton, and give the GC contenders a really hard ride. Now, ALM have been the only team to take it up to SKY so far in this edition, when on stage 9 they attempted a kind of "French Revolution" with multiple riders up the road as satellites or forward help for Bardet after his eventual attack, and setting a strong pace on the penultimate cat.4 climb of the Cote de Jongieux to impose themselves on SKY and take them by surprise. It nearly worked, with Bardet just fading when close to the finish line.

If ALM can do something similar here, then SKY might begin to make mistakes, mistakes which might be big enough to turn the pressure on Froome.

However, as I've stated I believe we are seeing a more confident Froome, and my analysis is that his experience will prevent any panic to form or mistakes to creep in, and whilst Aru is the main danger (to his attempt at the 3-peat) for the stage victory here, Froome is the deserving favourite, has the proven team, and is clearly the one to beat. He opened-up at 11/2 and shortened into 5/1, but he is quite volatile on here.

These price fluctuations on him are likely to be influenced by the composition and gap of the breakaway, however the final climb to the finish is very difficult and it will therefore be hard for a breakaway rider to hold a gap to on its steep gradients, especially if as I believe we will likely see that one of three riders (if they are still in the very thin select peloton) will look to attack remaining GC rivals on approaching the summit of the Peyresourde: Froome, Aru and Bardet -- all three very good descenders who can go "bury-mode" for the final climb to the line and who will take massive time out of a breakaway rider hitting the hardest part of today's stage.
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Report bb66 July 13, 2017 10:57 AM BST
I doubt Froome will allow Aru to take any glory after what happened on Sunday, while Martin might be allowed to go for a late attack on the final climb, so it depends if he can keep up with a Froome-Aru encounter till then
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 11:10 AM BST
How big do you think that select peloton is going to be on approaching the summit of the Peyresourde? I think it will be very small, very select, although the situation with the break will have a major influence on how hard SKY take it up. I think it will definitley be tempo, but even tempo smashed the peloton on stage 9, although it can be argued they might have gone harder to control ALM.
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 11:35 AM BST
Gap going up for the 12-man breakaway after SKY came to the front earlier and held it at about 3mins for a while.

Ulissi UAB
Julien Simon COF
Jack Bauer QST
King Kittel QST
Bling SUN
Koen de Kort TFR
King Kung BMC
De Gendt LTS
Cummings DDD
Politt KAT
Erviti MOV
Gautier ALM
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 11:42 AM BST
Bling and Kittel only there for the Intermediate, obviously, rapidly approaching after they get over the top of this cat.4 -- De Gendt gets the KOM points -- no surprise! Confirms Ulissi and Cummings both want the stage, and are both the likely candidates to attack the breakaway if they feel that things are not progressing as they would like, although De Gendt can follow.
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 12:18 PM BST
Bling gets the Intermediate from Kittel -- surprise!
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 12:32 PM BST
The break pinched a sneaky 1min and then the Feed Zone appeared for the peloton -- it's now looking interesting for the breakaway, however they'll require at least 6mins but more like 7-8mins by the Port de Bales, I think. Still a long way to-go, and it's still with the peloton, I think.
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 12:43 PM BST
The breakawa's gap got out to 6:50 but is now back to 6:00 as they approach the crest of the Col des Ares.
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 12:50 PM BST
De Gendt only got the 1 point on the cat.4 before, but he got the 5 points over the cat.3 most recent, the footage did not show if Bling was a challenge, who would've been protecting teammate Barguil's top position in KOM.
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 12:59 PM BST
Surprised no one has picked up on it, however the Tour had this similar stage and finish in 2012 also, stage 17, when Valverde won from the long-range breakaway, and when going long by attacking on the Port de Bales. Valverde went 35kms and Cummings would need to attack off the top of the same climb to go 30kms for home. We know that when he has the legs he gets into the break, and when he has the legs he can long-range "suffering-mode" and deep-enough to hold-off the peloton. Still way too early to call, but it is with the peloton.
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 1:05 PM BST
Breakaway hitting the Col de Mente -- serious climbing coming up -- there's some dead wood in the break -- expecting the pace to be too much for half of these.
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 1:07 PM BST
Gautier is here for Bardet so not interested in the stage win, but he is a bloody hard rider so he should make the semi-selection.
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 1:18 PM BST
Just realised that all of De Gendt's 10 WT wins have come from a breakaway. Ulissi had the first look, and then there was De Gendt to keep the momentum up. Nice gap at 6:20 but need them on the Port de Bales to call it -- too far out, too much climbing remaining.
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 1:38 PM BST
SKY being very conservative here on the Col de Mente, Autobus has formed, but no one has gone out the back.
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 1:44 PM BST
To answer the earlier question regarding whether Bling pushed De Gendt on the previous climb -- he did! -- because he did it now -- protecting for Barguil's jersey.
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 1:48 PM BST
Gap down to 4:30 -- expected -- it should level back out again on the valley road.
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 1:53 PM BST
Loves these fast -- smooth -- descents...
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 1:54 PM BST
Bling...
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 1:57 PM BST
They got back 20secs on the descent -- now they need a sneaky minute.
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 1:58 PM BST
...Still with the peloton, though...
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 2:07 PM BST
That's a surprise, the gap has come right down, not leveled-out, 4mins won't be enough, even with a big Cummings effort, which will have to come on the Port de Bales, early on the climb, which will be about 50kms, and I think that'll be too tough with the finish so steep.
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 2:28 PM BST
Feillu out of the peloton -- already doing it tough...
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 2:29 PM BST
...with teammate Bouet...
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 2:31 PM BST
That's a minute for them in short order, suggesting SKY are doing nothing, however the gap to the original breakaway is only inching up -- presently 4:30. Still with the peloton, I think.
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 2:38 PM BST
40/4:00
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 2:40 PM BST
Things heating up here now...
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 2:42 PM BST
Okay, I don't think a breakaway rider will have 3mins at the top of this climb, meaning that they won't be capable of reaching out. GC showdown and stage victory -- maybe an attack by either Froome, Aru, or more likely Bardet nearing the summit on this climb.
Report bb66 July 13, 2017 2:43 PM BST
Vasil 'The Machine' is bringing down the gap quickly
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 2:44 PM BST
It has to be against the breakaway riders, now!
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 2:47 PM BST
One of the staff on teh SKY team nicknamed the Vespa they use for pacing the Kiryi. Laugh
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 2:51 PM BST
Poor ride by Ulissi -- was never convinced by his climbing, but still a poor effort for his characteristics.
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 2:53 PM BST
If this was the same De Gendt as we know he can do, for instance on Mont Ventoux, then he has the ability to reach out, no doubt, but I just don't see that this is the same rider.
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 2:55 PM BST
Cummings just cruised up behind De Gendt -- made it look very easy -- obviously on good sensations, but not enough of a gap, I think.
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 2:57 PM BST
Plus he is just after the KOM points, so Cummings will go on the descent!
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 2:59 PM BST
30kms with less than 3mins if he goes on the descent, and it will be difficult to see Cummings take it, but he is a hardman, we know that, but the final climb is brutal.
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 3:00 PM BST
Figlesang out of the top-10 probably, that crash on yesterday's stage has wrecked his chances for a top-5 finish.
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 3:00 PM BST
Cummings goes earlier -- surprise!
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 3:02 PM BST
Kwiatkowski is very fine too...
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 3:06 PM BST
Yep, it's just not the same De Gendt.
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 3:08 PM BST
30/2:00 for Cummings...
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 3:09 PM BST
...If it was anyone else I'd say no way, but he is such a tough nut to crack, and can use his energies in a very fine way.
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 3:10 PM BST
Still think one of the top-3 will attack and win.
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 3:12 PM BST
Gautier! Ouch!
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 3:19 PM BST
By Bardet missing his opportunity to attack out of the GC group approaching the top of the climb, I think he has less of a chance to win now.

Froome v. Aru -- I believe. Aru should be capable of going with Froome if he attacks, however I think Aru can take Froome by surprise, again.
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 3:20 PM BST
Dan Martin is an outside chance if we get fireworks on the finale.
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 3:21 PM BST
Could still be two races, taking some time back on the flats...
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 3:21 PM BST
...Cummings, that is.
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 3:26 PM BST
Nice gap again for Cummings, but it'll depend on how early things kick off between the GC rivals. How could you bet against Cummings? I don't think he can do it, though.
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 3:27 PM BST
It was Froome v. Aru all right, but a handling error for both. Blush
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 3:27 PM BST
Peloton waiting -- advantage Cummings!
Report bb66 July 13, 2017 3:28 PM BST
that incident might have been what Cummings needs
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 3:28 PM BST
I don't agree with the argument that they deserve to waited for -- clear handling error -- attack attack attack! Bloody idiots!
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 3:30 PM BST
You can not wait for a skill error -- it makes no sense whatsoever. It's dumb! Handling errors are skill errors, the rider that did his homewlrk knew about that corner and would've had an advantage -- I don't get it -- it's just stupid to wait for skill errors!
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 3:31 PM BST
All these idiots deserve to be beaten, they are not racers -- hope Froome smashes them now!
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 3:33 PM BST
Cannot call this one...
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 3:34 PM BST
Quintana -- out the back -- cracked -- Giro legs -- no surprise!
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 3:36 PM BST
Aru has not left Froome's wheel, quite a good sign for the GC, at least in the short-term picture.
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 3:36 PM BST
How good is Kwiatkowski...
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 3:37 PM BST
The time the SKY train have pegged back in short order suggests it's over for Cummings...
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 3:39 PM BST
Dan Martin is value at 8s since it looks like he will be involved in the proceedings on the punchy finale...
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 3:43 PM BST
Good try -- he had to be respected -- but it was going to be hard. Well done, Cummings.
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 3:54 PM BST
Aru and Froome look very even to me, but I think Aru has that something extra over Froome, and Dan Martin to make it interesting.
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 3:56 PM BST
Bertie -- busted!
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 3:58 PM BST
Looks like Aru has a kick...
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 3:59 PM BST
Dan Martin moving up...
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 4:00 PM BST
Laying off Dan Martin 8s...
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 4:01 PM BST
4s...
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 4:02 PM BST
Bardot!
Report monarch July 13, 2017 4:08 PM BST
Had Fabio and Dan but not to be (again). Cracking stage though. Have we a new wearer of Yellow ?
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 4:09 PM BST
SKY were riding for a win all day, regardless of what was said by Nicolas Portal to French TV, and Froome was found out on the steepest climb oin the race.

WE HAVE A RACE!

Bravo Aru, to get into the Yellow Jersey -- was always going to be a grind on that final climb and I thought it was between those three at the start -- but Aru getting into Yellow is huge.
Report monarch July 13, 2017 4:10 PM BST
Agreed SP. HUGE !!! Race on now !!
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 4:10 PM BST
It just means we have a long picture, now. Bardet winning is interesting, but Aru was the frame maker and so that makes the race, now.
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 4:11 PM BST
...So Landa is riding for himself in a way...
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 4:14 PM BST
Sit back and give this thing a proper bit of thought now, bb66 raised the ITT issue and that can now be included into the picture. Love this, it has to be like this for the liquidity to circulate, and so game on!
Report bb66 July 13, 2017 4:17 PM BST
doesn't change much, who will defend the jersey for Aru, and there is still the ITT. Maybe Froome wants to wear the team jersey in the ITT.
Report Pleasegivemeanailedontip July 13, 2017 4:20 PM BST
Game over. Soon as Froome looks like attacking now, hand up from Aru, 'my gears have gone mate, where you going?'
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 4:23 PM BST
Not sure about mate -- need to give it some more thought, but you ask a valid question and tend to think it changes things plenty, for starters Aru has proved he can sit on Froome's wheel. He can't do that now, but if AST are smart they have ways to make it work.
Report bb66 July 13, 2017 4:24 PM BST
that won't work in the ITTExcited
The only one who could have taken advantage from Froomes vulnerability was PorteCry
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 4:25 PM BST
I mean, I suggested that Aru as a GT winner shoud be capable of sitting on Froome's wheel and he proved that today. Okay, I concede the ITT, but that is still a long way off and confuses the broader questions under observation now.
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 4:26 PM BST
The better question is -- what can Aru do to build his lead?
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 4:30 PM BST
Yes, I rated him as 1 * on the GC thread, suggesting a legitimate podium ride, but he is developing here now, so that changes things. Need to work on this more.
Report 1st time poster July 13, 2017 4:31 PM BST
don't get this team riding,he,s got no team mates around him shoite,why don't you just become an unofficial team member of sky and follow froomes wheel
Report bb66 July 13, 2017 5:07 PM BST
SKY's team is so much stronger than the rest, now they can show how to attack a leader, but I doubt Froome wants yellow back before ITT, he can even afford to lose at least 1 more minute
Report 1st time poster July 13, 2017 5:13 PM BST
whys it so much stronger,what stops an individual becoming a sky member for the day and follows froome,froome doesn't do any work just follows so like today what stops everyone else just following froome,in a fantasy lg if aroud were bought overnight by sky ,what would he do differently tomoorow that he didn't do today,it could even count against sky at times,froome v wiggins,and riding for himself maybe the sky lad today could have won
Report SwingingPick July 13, 2017 6:30 PM BST
You keep coming back to the ITT and it's definitely important and I wouldn't disagree with the time Froome will pull out on Aru, however I'm trying to solve how Aru gets to increase his lead over Froome.
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