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marychain1
18 Jul 17 08:06
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Date Joined: 05 Apr 05
| Topic/replies: 28,577 | Blogger: marychain1's blog
Post rest day we have a stage that looks for all the world like a sprint. We're now into the third week of a Grand Tour though, and despite the rest day pit stops some guys have had (see the Froome and Aru long sleeve pics on another fred) accumulated fatigue is going to play a part. The first half of this stage would look to be suitable for a breakaway. They're on false flat right from the start and soon into a long drag of a Cat 3 climb. After that the road is lumpy and even though there's only one more categorised climb, and that's only a 2.8km Cat 4, this looks like the sort of terrain that would suit a break. The problem is that the lumpy terrain runs out with still 95km to go. After more or less 50km of descending the last 50km are more or less flat. Perfect terrain for bringing back a break.

So how will it pan out, break or sprint? There's several things crucial to how this stage will pan out. Bling and Kittel are still contesting the green jersey. It's unlikely Matthews will be allowed in the break today so the late positioning of the intermediate sprint may not be a factor but certainly the sprinters teams will be eyeing the stage win. However, of the 7 sprint finishes only Kittel (5) has a win to his name from those who are still here. I can't see Katusha, both Lottos and Cofidis working AGAIN just to hand another stage to Kittel. There's one surefire way to avoid having to do any work in the chase down today, and that's to get a man up in the break. Teams without stage wins (BMC, Bahrain) may see this as one of the last opportunities to salvage something from this race and we can expect them to target this. Of interest will be whether Etixx try and get a man up in the break (Gilbert or possibly Stybar?) They are the only team who definitely want this to end in a bunch sprint. If they get a man up there the break surely won't come back? There is a slight but remote chance of crosswinds and if it does come back together the finish is relatively straightforward, albeit with the usual selection of roundabouts and corners.

So, I'm leaning towards a break escaping today. The climbing at the start should enable a sizeable break to get away. I'm looking primarily to men who've already shown an inclination to get involved in breaks and if there is any lack of co-ordination in the chase behind they could well ride to stage glory.

King Kung was my original idea of the winner today (33/1), but I've added Gilbert (33/1), Van Baarle (66/1), Van Rensburg (150/1) and Seneschal (500/1).
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Report Desmond Orchard July 18, 2017 11:57 AM BST
What's your sauce MC?
I've checked the LeTour site and he's not listed as a WD. I thought the price was too good to be true, £2 I'll never see again Laugh
I fancy GVA today, he's been looking strong - rode with the GC group until the final climb on Saturday - and no-one will be looking to shut him down. But he's a bit skinny at 16/1, so will wait and see the composition of the break before playing.
Report CJ70 July 18, 2017 11:59 AM BST
Gilbert wrote on Twitter that he's gone home because of sickness.
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 12:09 PM BST
Cheers for putting the thread up MC, actually wasn't ready with anything worthy of publishing for this one.

I agree that a break is a decent chance to win, today. I use the stage 10 in the 2016 edition over 197kms as evidence that stages precisely like this suit the breakaway to some extent, and that the breakaway has a good chance of winning today. In that particular race in 2016, the breakaway were out for some 130kms after an early climb albeit a much harder one than the cat.3 here, so the 100kms left remaining after the sprinters finish their slow plod over the climbs, is not beyond the capabilities of the breakaway, especially since they have that long descent and they are likely to be combining together nicely. In 2016, the sprinters' teams busted it out also along the flats since they wanted a bunch sprint, which I agree is going to be the case here, however that will take hard riding and concentration and possibly even cooperation from other teams.

The sprinters are going out the back on the first climb -- no doubt -- 4.5kms @ 6.3% will hurt them and they will not cope. Even though Kittel has been climbing relatively well for a sprinter, the tempo on the front by SKY are going hurt Kittel and the other sprinters, and that could become a gap of some 4-5mins with 100kms to-go. Obviously not enough, but the composition will have a big influence and I agree that the other sprinters teams might just sit back and let QST do all the work, which would mean essentially Vermote against at least 6 riders, but more like 12 or more.

Since the breakaway are in with a chance, I like Stephen Cummings on account of the Rest Day allowing him the time to recover from his stage 12 heroics. Cummings was 50/1 at SP and has enojyed heavy support to be now half that price at 25/1. Most of the value has now gone, and he is not guaranteed to get into the break, but this looks like a suitable stage for him so have included him at ante-post.

Will look at the likely composition of the breakaway and the all-important time gaps after the climbing portion shows the sprinters throw out the saddlebags and get distanced.

Good luck to all.
Report Desmond Orchard July 18, 2017 12:27 PM BST
Cheers CJ. Shame, that said, I think he missed his chance on Saturday when going from far too far out, I really fancied him on that finish.
Report CJ70 July 18, 2017 12:32 PM BST
TV talking about crosswinds. An ideal time to target Aru for the strong GC teams I'd suggest. Ifthe peleton pushes it from the start there's a chance he'll only have Zeits and Valgren with him if we get the wind.
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 12:57 PM BST
Speaking of Gilbert, I actually thought that finish might not have been explosive-enough for Gilbert, so did not consider him beyond the short list, but the way he capitulated on the climb when going with De Marchi and Chavanel in that lead 3-man group on stage 13 suggested his form was questionable, too.

Wind definitely a factor, might be a nice cross/tailwind for the breakaway and as such an advantage.
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 1:09 PM BST
QST are on the ball here with Dan Martin, neautralizing the break by being involved, SKY will have to ramp it up, do all the work for QST and Kittel.
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 1:12 PM BST
Bling has dropped back it would appear so this istill okay, I think. Waiting on the second group to make it across. Bling cannot get into the break or else he will wreck the breakaway -- QST are alert to SUN tactics.
Report CJ70 July 18, 2017 1:12 PM BST
Kittel dropping and Matthews out in front again.
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 1:13 PM BST
And so there goes Bling! See if Dan Martin responds?
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 1:14 PM BST
The stream is so much slower than live TV pics here CJ, but the idiots are in a commericla break, so have to stay with stream for now.
Report CJ70 July 18, 2017 1:14 PM BST
I'm watching Eurosport Player, so I'm about a minute or two behind as well Laugh
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 1:14 PM BST
Difference between stream and TV is a minimum of 500 metres, was 1km earlier.
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 1:15 PM BST
Laugh
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 1:15 PM BST
Kittel saddlebags...
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 1:17 PM BST
Surprised Barguil is not attempting to get in. De Gendt closes the gap in the KOM comp, but only by 2 points, so perhaps that's why Barguil isn't bothering, he has plenty in-hand.
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 1:18 PM BST
Pace not fast enough to drop Kittel completely, SUN need to smash it here, or esle he is sticking on.
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 1:21 PM BST
Finally, that looked like Barguil stringing it out off the front, they need to ride!
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 1:22 PM BST
SUN could be putting Kittel into deep trouble here, they are missing the opportunity, so I question their tactics actually. Not smart. Good to know they're not the sharpest knife in the cutlery draw. Plain
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 1:25 PM BST
They're doing it now -- bloody how long did it take for them to wake up to it?? Do they want to race against Kittel or launch Bling into Green?
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 1:27 PM BST
This is still the peloton, not a big group, Kittel and sprinters are getting a tough ride today -- break at least have some chance, now.
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 1:29 PM BST
...Break in terms of late attacks too, not only the actual breakaway involving Chavanel and De Marchi.
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 1:30 PM BST
SUN TTT...Love
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 1:32 PM BST
Actually there will probably be counter attacks from the SUN-led peloton -- more splits to come -- everything set for chaos and breaks and hurting the chances of a bunch sprint. However, the bunch sprint is not completely off as yet -- still a long way to-go, obviously. But the moves are in place and that's what counts for now.
Report CJ70 July 18, 2017 1:32 PM BST
BMC and DD riding with Sunweb.
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 1:33 PM BST
Love
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 1:33 PM BST
Esier for them to ride and then launch their men late, then to have a bunch sprint and give it to Kittel.
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 1:35 PM BST
Still another climb to come and the SUN-led peloton are hammering it -- bunch sprint situation under pressure!
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 1:37 PM BST
They are bloody scooters -- smashing it -- the tailwind a major advantage indeed!
Report CJ70 July 18, 2017 1:39 PM BST
Have you seen Griepel? I think he could have made it into the yellow jersey group?

Matthews, GVA, EBH are all there. Bouhanni, Kittel, Groenewegen behind. Where are Griepel, Colbrelli, Swift & Degenkolb?
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 1:40 PM BST
Gorilla is in -- Kittel moving closer...
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 1:42 PM BST
Thhis next climb cannot come soon enough -- but Kittel looking bad here...
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 1:42 PM BST
1min behind for Kittel...
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 1:44 PM BST
Oh-oh -- SUN-led peloton losing cohesion -- this won't help the situation...
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 1:44 PM BST
Sorry -- that was the group behind!
Report CJ70 July 18, 2017 1:52 PM BST
Not such a bad day to watch after all Laugh

Stybar and the other QST rider surely can't last much longer and then it's all over for that group as we come to the cat.4
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 1:55 PM BST
CJ, the potential problem is that the Race Director allows the car convoy into the gap too early and Kittel uses teh cars to come up -- hopefully morale will be over by then -- but don't want some stupid decision, which would be a premature decision by the Race Director.
Report CJ70 July 18, 2017 2:00 PM BST
Katusha riding in the Sunweb group and Bouhanni on the front of the green jersey group. Should snap any time soon.

Bennett and Mclay look like being timed out the way it's going.
Report CJ70 July 18, 2017 2:01 PM BST
Lotto riding in the Sunweb group as well.
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 2:02 PM BST
Agree mate -- looks like it might snap soon.
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 2:04 PM BST
The next question to solve is: who are the late-breakaway attempt riders, and are SUN strong-enough to keep the pace high-enough to prvent them from happening?
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 2:06 PM BST
Let's see what happens to SUN-peloton on this climb and then assess that question...
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 2:16 PM BST
Bennett abandons...
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 2:18 PM BST
Pace too high -- SUN strong and getting help from other teams -- no attacks off the top.
Report CJ70 July 18, 2017 2:19 PM BST
Shame for Bennett. I've been impressed by him so far, definitely a potential top 5-10 if he can continue to show that form in GT's.

What are Cofidis doing? One-man chase for Bouhanni? Laugh
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 2:23 PM BST
Same -- impressed by Bennett.
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 2:31 PM BST
Okay.

What do we know?

We know that as I stated on the SUN thread, that SUN would want not just the Intermediate for Bling on this stage, but the stage win also, since it gets him fully into the Green competition. Once they get the Intermediate -- in full -- the dynamics might change in the peloton, but you would think that the late-break riders need some inattention or the pace to come off, considerably.

There are a couple of ramps on the approaches, soon after the Intermediate and then with 18.5kms to-go.

Kristoff, Gorilla, Degenkolb, EBH, and co -- are still going to be bothersome for SUN, so it could be the case that the pace comes off to get Bling into the break and win from there. That seems a little far-fetched, but there is no way that this peloton is not going to see attacks amongst it.

Tricky finale, also.
Report marychain1 July 18, 2017 2:35 PM BST
The other problem for them is they have driven the pace for the whole first half of the stage. If they ease off too much before the intermediate sprint it gives the chance for people to spring off the front.

Lotto Soudal and Katusha will help in the run in, but you'd still think late attackers will roll the dice.
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 2:37 PM BST
I agree they have, but Bling hasn't, he has been seated neatly in behind, and if others go, he will go with them, I think. The SUN turn off and KAT and LTS left having to cooperate.
Report CJ70 July 18, 2017 2:39 PM BST
A traditional break will have no chance if there's crosswinds and teams drill it. I'm thinking either a reduced bunch kick or a small group including some GC guys getting away in the wind.
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 2:39 PM BST
The Intermediate might be a potential springboard -- acouple of clever riders use the SUN train for Bling to launch off and away into a break.
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 2:41 PM BST
Although I accept the consensus against a breakaway in these winds...
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 2:44 PM BST
GC fiisticuffs are not off the table -- definitely!
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 2:50 PM BST
The exposed sections coming up are ripe for splits through echelons and SKY getting properly involved to distance rivals to Froome.
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 2:52 PM BST
Battle for position on the front. Love
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 2:54 PM BST
Things look a little complicated from the bridge crossing -- changes of elevations together with roundabouts. Late ping off the front by a hardman like GVA not off the table, either.
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 2:55 PM BST
That's the finale, I mean.
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 2:58 PM BST
Bouhani was no laughing matter, CJ. Cool
Report marychain1 July 18, 2017 2:59 PM BST
Bouhanni going to make it back to the front group, amazing ride. Wonder if he's had a little assistance moto?
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 3:01 PM BST
Edetmoto...Laugh
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 3:04 PM BST
I see that people have availed themselves to the juicy Bouhani 40s... Mischief
Report CJ70 July 18, 2017 3:04 PM BST
How the F has Bouhanni done that? I can imagine the French teams all complaining if he manages to get back.
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 3:05 PM BST
He will be back, mate. Edet was the one who made it happen, didn't look like much of a move when you said it, but he will be in this and he and Kristoff are very evenly matched, I believe.
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 3:06 PM BST
Contact!
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 3:07 PM BST
Bravo!
To:
Bouhani and COF, but really it was all Edet!
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 3:14 PM BST
Want to see what this little approaching incline looks like and how it might affect the front -- similar to the one at 18.5kms to-go, more or less.
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 3:21 PM BST
Yep, cannot see it being hard enough for a rider to sustain an attack.
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 3:23 PM BST
Intermediate approaching SUN all over it as expected!
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 3:24 PM BST
No one would dare after all the work SUN have done!
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 3:24 PM BST
Good boy!
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 3:25 PM BST
Colbrelli and TBM dared, though didn't they...
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 3:26 PM BST
Potentil crosswind action by SKY and GC rivals in some 5kms...
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 3:32 PM BST
Right turn imminent -- pace coming on...
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 3:37 PM BST
That wasn't it!
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 3:46 PM BST
That was a lot of nothing, the next section will be the combination of the incline and the change of direction at 18.5kms to-go. That should be the big move in the race, I think. So, GC splits and BMC getting involved. I think getting matched on GVA is smart.
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 3:54 PM BST
Market convinced about a bunc sprint involving the remaning sprinters -- I don't want to agree, too much still to happen for such a scenario to be nailed-on.
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 3:59 PM BST
Here we go...
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 4:03 PM BST
Splits!!
Report padlock July 18, 2017 4:08 PM BST
Come on gv
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 4:08 PM BST
Let's go GVA!
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 4:11 PM BST
Things are looking good for Bling, too!
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 4:11 PM BST
Anyone spot Bouhani?
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 4:13 PM BST
Combining nicely -- tailwind now -- looks like this group for mine.
Report padlock July 18, 2017 4:13 PM BST
Can bmc get this together for gva
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 4:16 PM BST
Keukeleirre 20s -- good value.
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 4:16 PM BST
Fast finisher.
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 4:18 PM BST
Benati -- goes!
Report padlock July 18, 2017 4:20 PM BST
Ffs bmc look clueless
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 4:21 PM BST
Bling -- I think...
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 4:21 PM BST
Bling!
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 4:21 PM BST
Phew!
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 4:22 PM BST
EBH was bank return only. Plain
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 4:23 PM BST
No way Bling impeded Degenkolb -- no way!
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 4:25 PM BST
GVA was another disappointment, but you can't really fault his ride, maybe he came to the front again a bit too early, but his sharpness is missing, he just have that really hard guts dig-point that he has when he is unbeatable. The shaprness is not there, but he gave a pretty account of himself.

Top ride by Bling -- deserved it after all the work of SUN!
Report padlock July 18, 2017 4:28 PM BST
Why didnt the 3 bmc guys help with 600 left? Guess they hadnt got the legs? Small profit here
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 4:29 PM BST
Mate, everyone was going off the rivet all day, only Bling was having an armchair and he only just won it. BMC cannot fault GVA, the guy is just missing his sharpness.
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 4:32 PM BST
Well done on your profit, padlock. Would be good to get your input on the threads during a stage instead of popping in after the finish, though.
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 4:35 PM BST
That all happened so quick, but it was Bling's to lose if you consider how little work he did.
Report SwingingPick July 18, 2017 4:52 PM BST
So definitely we didn't have a traditional breakaway, what CJ called a reduced bunch kick, after crosswinds and a major selection.
Report CJ70 July 18, 2017 5:32 PM BST
Well that was a stage! Didn't think about Matthews for the win as I thought he'd be shot by then due to the work for the intermediate and dropping Kittel. Still I can reassure myself that I had EBH & Degenkolb on e/w.. Oh wait, no I didn't Laugh

Will watch the highlights to see if I can see Dan Martin dropping, he's normally pretty good in crosswinds. Brilliant job by Naessen to get Bardet back on after he dropped as well.

Hopefully time off tomorrow for good behaviour on what looks like a big stage.
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