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SwingingPick
20 Jul 17 09:21
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Date Joined: 11 Jul 11
| Topic/replies: 5,578 | Blogger: SwingingPick's blog
The queen stage.

When you have a summit finish, let alone a summit finish on the queen stage, the GC riders not only know what to expect but what is expected of them and today it is all about attacking riding over 14.1kms of road @ 7.3% in order to make their mark on the race. Glory or defeat. There will be attacks. There will be fireworks!

This is the first time in the Tour's past three editions where the Col d'Izoard has been used in the finale. Both in the 2014 177km stage 14 edition, and the 200km 2011 stage 18 edition, the Izoard had been used in the middle of the three categorized climbs, not at its conclusion. 

In 2014 Majka won what was regarded as the queen stage, when he attacked the remaining riders of the early 17-man breakaway with some 10kms to-go. The race for 4th-place was won by Pinot when he came home stronger than Bardet after a tough fight between the two FRA riders.

In 2011 Andy Schleck attacked on the Izoard out of the select peloton and with some 60kms to-go, to solo to victory, using satellite teammates up the road. It was a magnificent tactical move by Leopard Trek, and in fact it was a dream day with brother Frank finishing in 2nd-place.

I believe that SKY now know there is not enough firepower from rival teams to warrant hard riding, and that if ALM are not forming a move for Bardet, there will be no real requirement for them to drill the pace throughout the stage. This suggests that they are confident in Froome's condition that he will withstand any attacks on the final climb. Nevertheless, I think stage glory is very important for Froome and giving the appearance of riding in a lazy manner is not the SKY way, so I cannot see them allowing the breakaway much leeway, today.

Froome is unlikely to animate the GC race. He will cover attacks and defend, and he will have Landa for a long way. Landa has stated he will not do anything to jeopardize Froome's chances and I believe him. Froome will only launch an attack if when approaching the summit he feels that all the attacks against him have been nullified and he has enough stores to reach out and go "bury-mode".

Make no mistake, a stage win for Froome is very important to him. He is a racer and a student of history. In every edition of his three Tour titles he has won at least one stage (won one also in his 2012 ride with Wiggins) and he has won summit-finish stages in two of the three Tours he has won. There is an understanding that the way he trains, summit finishes is where the race is for him nowadays, and he is so scientific in that training that he will know his moment on the final climb today and I would expect that whirling, ungainly cadence to take him away from his pursuers and into an emphatic stage win. Froome knows he needs the stage win to make a statement about his legitimacy as a 3-peat winner. He has dreamed of winning it like this, and to win it SKY need to control the break which I think they will do. The pace will be high, and Froome will defend or counter attack once on the final climb to win.

Bardet looks lively and he will go bury-mode at some point on the final climb. He can and he has to. Froome has his measure and will take Bardet's attack to roll over the top of him and go for home. Uran will attempt to pinch some secs toward the line, but to do that he has to reproduce the form which saw him win the summit finish to Altopiano Del Montasio in the 2013 Giro stage 10, when he took out 30secs from Nibali and Evans. There is no evidence for a destructive attack from him but he does look fresh, so if Froome falters and the others have nothing left he might benefit; he has done no work whatsoever, but I think he needs Froome and Bardet to falter, and I don't think Froome will make any mistakes here. Uran is close, but he needs it to be closer, he can beat Froome in the ITT, but to beat him there he needs to beat him here first.

SKY dominance. Froome dominance. Froome stage win.

Froome was 3/1 at SP into 13/5, and I would expect more support to follow for him and his price to go into as low as 5/2.

Good luck to all.
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Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 1:56 PM BST
They're easing up, waiting for the big break group to make it up behind them.
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 2:01 PM BST
8mins -- I think that's a decent gap for a breakaway rider to win the stage. Not sure who, though. Plain
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 2:02 PM BST
Obviously a climber, or a warrior like Cummings.
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 2:18 PM BST
Talansky won that epic Mt.Baldy stage in California, earlier in the season.
If he can rediscover that form on this stage and is on good sensations, he will be very hard to beat.
He was CDT's GC man here, and things haven't worked out.
Teammate Rolland and Clarke are with him. Clarke was here to drive the pace of the breakaway, only.
Rolland is their stage hunter, and he has been saving himself after riding the Giro, but they would have more faith in Talansky, but it will be a call to be made on the road between them according to who feels better.
The market likes Rolland more.
Talansky really needs it though, in order to continue to rebuild his GC credentials.
He was involved in the breakaway on the other massive breakaway stage 8 and could not go with the accelerations.
They'll soon be attacking on the Vars, probably half-way up where it is really steep, so it will be interesting to see if he makes the selection, first.
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 2:21 PM BST
No, they haven't even hit the base of the climb and they are already hitting each other.
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 2:23 PM BST
The market says Mollema, but I don't think this stage suits him. He won well on stage 15, but he looked vulnerable climbing and only really won it by digging and going deep on the flats when in TT mode.
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 2:25 PM BST
BOH assisting is bringing the gap down, and the cohesion is missing very early.
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 2:27 PM BST
Not sure why, though. They had two in no-man's land for a while...
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 2:28 PM BST
The breakaway has split, but they need cohesion.
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 2:37 PM BST
Poljanski might need a rest, he has taken some time out of the gap, but it's stabilising at 7:20.
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 2:40 PM BST
Attempting to get matched on Benoot in the 20s might make sense, he is developing, has shown some great form by being involved in the breaks on stages 9/15 and the market will respect him if he can go with teh accelerations on the steeper portions.
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 2:47 PM BST
Good signs that Roelandts has driven it on the flats, next LTS confirmation it's for Benoot, is if Gallopin comes to the front on the steep climb portions.
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 2:50 PM BST
7mins on the climb proper to the break, another selection of climbers which inspires cohesion on the descent and flats, and they are in with a fair chance. Wouldn't want it much less than 7mins though, as it might complicate things again.
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 2:53 PM BST
Still think 20s is where the value is, that he is young is both a positive and negative, lack of experience might see him get into a rope-a-dope situation, and he just needs to ride his own race and allow his talent and development to dictate terms.
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 2:55 PM BST
And if he does that than it becomes a positive since he doesn't know what should hurt and what shouldn't, and he will justpush himself and turn himself inside out.
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 2:58 PM BST
Next "magic" number is 50kms to-go -- that's at the bottom of the Vars.
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 2:58 PM BST
Steep stuff climbing...
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 2:59 PM BST
They would be foolish to attack each other here...
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 3:01 PM BST
Benoot responding well, but I don't like him doing it, much better to sit and wait and let others do that.
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 3:03 PM BST
I mean Navarro is a joker, he wants o animate the group to increase the pace and hold the gap comfortably, but he will not win this stage, we know that.
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 3:04 PM BST
...so responding to him just breaks rhythm and hurts the legs for later.
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 3:12 PM BST
Atapuma will make them respond as he was in the break yesterday, albeit he showed nothing has shown nothing this season. Going all the way back to last season with him in the Vuelta stage 20 -- high but powerful cadence -- 2nd to LaTour on the line, I believe. Lutsenko should gap him on the descent, I think.
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 3:13 PM BST
Lutsenko not really a climber, will have to work by himself on the short flats...
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 3:17 PM BST
Gallopin -- surprised!
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 3:19 PM BST
Can only see this by Gallopin as an LTS move to give Benoot a rest along this flats section...
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 3:19 PM BST
Plateau -- then steeper -- then flats again -- then steep near the end.
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 3:20 PM BST
Confirmation will come if Gallopin sits on the back.
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 3:22 PM BST
Gallopin is coming through and pulling -- this is for himself -- requesting 20s Benoot might be a failed project, I think.
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 3:28 PM BST
Sicard can climb well, but would need to be at his best and Atapuma is better. Too hard for Gallopin.
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 3:31 PM BST
SKY still have a say in this -- why is it so problematic this Tour in the mountains??
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 3:36 PM BST
Benoot available at 20s for small liquidity, however he has not made it across.
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 3:38 PM BST
Laugh
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 3:39 PM BST
4mins not enough at the foot of the climb -- no matter who in the break hits it first, I think.
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 3:40 PM BST
5mins presently, but not much cohesion -- Edet off the front.
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 3:43 PM BST
Next "magic number" is the start of the climb proper -- 14.1kms to-go...
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 3:44 PM BST
ALM involvement -- stage win riding here!
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 3:46 PM BST
4mins not enough by the start -- 30secs in 5kms no problem -- break up against it, I think.
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 3:47 PM BST
Plus that's 20secs to second group...
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 3:48 PM BST
It's essentially already 4mins -- going with the GC group.
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 3:51 PM BST
It'll be ALM then SKY and attacks -- breakaway would require major heorics to hold the quality of Bardet/froome and GC rivals.
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 3:54 PM BST
Still a deceiving gap of time, Lutsenko will not hold on here, so gap should be to the breakaway proper, some 35secs closer to GC group.
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 3:58 PM BST
First half of the climb is the easiest and the gap to the GC is essentially 3:20. Most of the break will pop in the second half of the climb whilst the GC riders will be accelerating -- I still think it is with the GC.
Report padlock July 20, 2017 3:58 PM BST
Why do i think bardet is too strong for froome at the end today
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 3:59 PM BST
Because he: 1.) showed something yesterday.
2.) ALM are working for him.
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 4:00 PM BST
So ALM think the same.Wink
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 4:03 PM BST
Atapuma was the one who is holding respect in the market.
Report padlock July 20, 2017 4:03 PM BST
Hope he gets super aggressive and test skytrain
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 4:04 PM BST
He has a nice cadence and he is fair quality, but there will be a big sorting out on the steep gradients, and that is favourable for the GC.
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 4:05 PM BST
7kms is the "magic number" where things begin to bite.
Report padlock July 20, 2017 4:06 PM BST
Its so frustrating if they didnt time this right., gambling wise
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 4:08 PM BST
Padlock, the idea is to have a nice early question to solve and sit back and hope things get close, not for it to get close at the end with a hundred questions and permutations of scenarios. Laugh
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 4:09 PM BST
1500m for the GC behind Atapuma.
Report padlock July 20, 2017 4:10 PM BST
Lol yes i get twitchy at the end,i dont understand it all as much as you, its all about my bets and i shout at them if they are not doing what i want
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 4:10 PM BST
Atapuma or GC, I think.
Report padlock July 20, 2017 4:11 PM BST
So hard to know if the gc feckers even want to win the stage Angry
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 4:11 PM BST
Atapuma looks good, but he has not hit the steeps, yet.
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 4:13 PM BST
Expect Froome/Bardet to bust out "bury-mode" when they hit the steeps, that will mean they're 1km behind Atapuma, and that's jsut about as close as it can get.
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 4:15 PM BST
Atapuma looking back like that is not a really good sign -- means he doesn't know how well he is going.
Report padlock July 20, 2017 4:15 PM BST
Bardet must go soon and test froome  or uran
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 4:16 PM BST
Aru is on the ropes...
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 4:16 PM BST
I want "bury-mode" too padlock. Cool
Report padlock July 20, 2017 4:18 PM BST
Lazy feckers Angry
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 4:18 PM BST
Steeps...
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 4:18 PM BST
They're anything other than lazy, mate. And they are not machines.
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 4:19 PM BST
The way Barguil pedals is why he might be a GC contender -- lovely.
Report padlock July 20, 2017 4:20 PM BST
Yes i know but i want winnings
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 4:20 PM BST
Is Kwiatkowski being lazy? -- Amazing!
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 4:21 PM BST
GC still okay...
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 4:21 PM BST
Barguil might be the biggest concern, actually.
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 4:23 PM BST
If you want winnings you won't get any lay recommendations from me -- I don't want the responsibility -- sorry!
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 4:24 PM BST
If you have some green on Froome and Bardet they should trade shorter, I believe.
Report padlock July 20, 2017 4:25 PM BST
Lol ,Barguil would do me.. think winner infront
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 4:25 PM BST
He's hurting here, though...
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 4:26 PM BST
SKY tag team!!
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 4:26 PM BST
Dan Martin has to respond!
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 4:27 PM BST
Froome looks in good shape -- come on Vroom Vroom -- give us some bury-mode, please...
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 4:31 PM BST
Atapuma gets caught -- Landa to catch a tiring Barguil -- Bardet to get close -- Froome to dominate!
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 4:33 PM BST
Discounting Uran since it gets steep again near the top and Froome advantaged...
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 4:34 PM BST
Barguil, looks like...
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 4:35 PM BST
He looks terrible now, but he is finding reserves...
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 4:37 PM BST
Barguil -- great win -- running on empty...
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 4:39 PM BST
Epic stage -- but to borrow Padlock's terminology -- winnings sorely missing with nothing appearing clear early. Sad
Report padlock July 20, 2017 4:40 PM BST
Great little engine Barguil
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 4:41 PM BST
"Winnings" should be a nice green screen.
Report padlock July 20, 2017 4:41 PM BST
Desrved that stage win,showed balls , sky too f cagey for me
Report johnnythebull July 20, 2017 4:41 PM BST
what a blinding finish there..kept laying Atapuma..thx f*ck for barguil
HTF did he drift out to 160 + 170?
what a fantastic girl Annamiek van Vleuten is after what happened to her at the Olympics..big respect
Report padlock July 20, 2017 4:42 PM BST
Yes true i dont trade much on cycling,just back 3 or 4 and hope
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 4:42 PM BST
I thought Barguil was boiling over and would hit the wall, but he found reserves and suggests he can be a GC contender, now. Landa looked so much better but he doesn't have the same cadence and couldn't close him down.
Report johnnythebull July 20, 2017 4:44 PM BST
Landa looks like he is absolutely cruising but appears to be a bit of a bridle horse a la Harchibald
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 4:46 PM BST
Barguil 10/1 at SP and steady into the race start. A bit better on here for high odds/greatest volume.
Report monarch July 20, 2017 4:48 PM BST
That is what the tour is all about. Anyone saying that the tour is boring has to change their opinion after today. Hats off to Barguil, but spare a thought for Atapuma. Savage effort.
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 4:51 PM BST
Atapuma got a free ride for long portions in the breakaway, and yet was then was seen to be looking back behind himself when approaching/hitting the steeps.
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 4:52 PM BST
Bardet and Froome just missed catching Atapuma, though.
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 4:53 PM BST
Talansky never showed anything, neither did Rolland, though. Benoot showed his inexperience again, but at least Gallopin coming forward signalled him having freedom over his teammate.
Report johnnythebull July 20, 2017 4:53 PM BST
got caught between a rock & a hard place..Atapuma..was obliged to go when he did really
had he been in the peloton
or the group chasing himself
would have p1ssed the stage..strong climber
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 4:55 PM BST
I agree he looks strong, but he should be much better and since he isn't there's something wrong with him. Maybe his lungs let him down. Give him Aru/Bardet's lungs and his style would make him a GC contender.
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 4:58 PM BST
Atapuma would be the perfect version of Dan Martin then, I think.
Report padlock July 20, 2017 5:21 PM BST
Should be more time rewards for stage wins,froome gonna win this tour without ever looking like winning a stage...
Report SwingingPick July 20, 2017 5:36 PM BST
It will be regarded as a soft win if Froome doesn't win a stage, really only the ITT left, and that'll be hard. However he will be excused for it by going 3-peat, should he win in Paris.

In review, the winner came not from the breakaway but from the GC group, it just wasn't a GC contender but the KOM leader, and he did win that stage 13 which cost me. If Barguil could've done it than Bardet/Froome could've done it but when Landa went up the road, no one wanted to fall into SKY's trap and hostilities were called off, but Barguil, whilst suffering, was already away by then, so a GC rider really needed to go when Barguil went. They didn't, even though this stage should have meant everything to them, and you cannot really blame Froome or SKY.

That's how it goes in cycling.
Report sixtwosix July 20, 2017 8:07 PM BST
Bardet thinks he can win the tour attacking with 2.5 k to go ........after another day of follow the leader.
The lack of aggression from guys who are supposedly trying to in this race is a common factor in recent years. It is a borefest.
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