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05 Jul 17 07:50
Date Joined: 11 Jul 11
| Topic/replies: 5,589 | Blogger: SwingingPick's blog
**** Froome Just did enough in the Dauphine to suggest his form was approaching an improving arc for this race, and he did claim the handy lead on offer from his GC rivals with a strong ITT showing at the Grand Depart in Dusseldorf, which was the first of his tests. Has been involved in two spills so far, however reports suggest he has not sustained any serious injuries or injuires which might have caused him to experience interrupted sleep. If it's all together for the steep finale, expect him to deply his whirling cadence of attack as he seeks to pass another test with a repeated stage win on the summit. 9/4 at SP. Looks to be coming into this at the right time. Commands the upmost respect. The one to beat.

*** Porte There is not much doubt that he is climbing very well, perhaps it was career-best climbing from the humble Australian that we were seeing in the Dauphine, however the gradients on offer here, might be another test all together for him, lending him an unknown quantity. Should nevertheless be capable of matching most of the GC contenders, and he did look impressive in the finale of stage 3 when attacking off the front after being put into a good position by his team. He may just be missing that final strong kick required to open a gap in the finale to win. Opened-up at 9/2 with the Books. Hard to discount. Take on trust.

** Aru Showed impressive attacking strength in the Dauphine last start, before going on to dominate his Nationals and claim the ITA jersey with a comprehensive win. Has the ability to bury himself in a committed attack here, however the excitment of the first major summit finish of the Tour may play against his inexperience and an impatient ride might see him dropped by the peloton at some point on the final climb. Nevertheless, he has the ability to stick-on with the select peloton without reaching for theatrics, and once involved up until the finale he also has the ability to reach out for the win with an impressive if ungainly injection of speed. 7/1 at SP. Classy type. Worthy of close consideration.

** Quintana Natural climber who will be suited the most by the gradients on offer here, although a cloud of question rests atop his form. Nevertheless, with Valverde out of the frame he has the opportunity to impress DS with a capable ride, turning his form round, righting himself after a disapointing Giro campaign, and putting himself forward as a genuine contender for the Yellow in Paris. 8/1 at SP. Would not surprise with a strong showing. Warrants respect.

** Bardet    Another GC contender coming in with the potential of an improving form arc. Has won a stage of the Tour in his past two appearances, and finished in 2nd-place on GC last year when coming from the back, late. 16/1 at SP. Will need this race run to suit, however he may just expert attack on the short descent before the final climb, which he has been known to do. Can give a good account of himself. Interesting proposition. Worthy of very close consideration.

* Contador Went out after Porte on the stage 3 climb to the line with a likely looking effort of commitment. That was interesting, however his form is still in question and he will have to be on good sensations to crack his rivals at the appropriate point on the final climb, here. 16/1 at SP. Can make his presence felt. Needs to lift. Take on trust.

1/2* Pinot Rode the Giro with some good results, and was installed as the favourite for the Polkadot jersey here. Most likely to attack from short-range, but rarely has the strength and power to hold a burying effort to the line in an authoritative fashion. Nevertheless, a stage win is his aim, 14/1 at SP. Take on trust.

1/2* Dan Martin    Came out of the Dauphine in very good condition after holding court in the Ardennes with two 2nd-place finishes in LFW and LBL. Has confirmed his racing presence and intentions when finishing in 3rd-place on stage 3, outdragging GVA toward the line. He may struggle with the speeds on the final climb, however if he can stick-on he has the ability to jump out late and win. 25/1 at SP. May surprise. Take on trust.

1/8* Fuglsang    Got fortunate in the Dauphine with the time bonuses to win the GC from Porte by a mere 10secs. Unlikely to cope with the gradients when following injections of speed on the final climb if still a part of the select peloton. Might be more capapble if going out alone. 22/1 at SP. Wait to see.

1/64* Chaves Has had a very poor season and is unlikely to experience a reversal of fortunes on such a serious climb and against such serious opposition. Moreover, he does not have any weapons at his disposal to surprise them. 40/1 at SP. Hard to have at this point. Discount.
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Report SwingingPick July 5, 2017 7:51 AM BST
A short stage, and they have been known to be fought-out very hard by the GC contenders, perhaps that's why we're seeing more of them. I think for that reason, we will also see a big breakaway permitted to go, maybe a dozen riders, including a decent amount of Polakdot aspirants. De Gendt is an obvious contender, so am a little surprised he was installed as an 80/1 shot at SP. That would ordinarily have been very good E/W value, however I don't anticipate a long-range breakaway winner on account of the GC contenders being relatively fresh after such a short stage, them being capable of smashing it up along the 5.9kms at 8.5% gradient of the final cat.1 climb to the summit finish of La Planche de Belles Filles, by way of testing their conditions and assessing each others strengths. Moreover, history suggests the winner comes from the select peloton, and that 300m-odd section of 20% into the line is likely to "break" most breakaway riders who are not GC material, especially since it has a false flat run-in.

Anyway, this is a tough climb with three 1km-long ramps of 9.5% and 11% sections throughout the first 4kms. It has seen the Tour on two previous occasions, the first being in 2012 over an identical distance in stage 7, when Froome won and ultimately finishing 2nd to Wiggins on GC that year. Then again this summit was used in 2014, over the class distance of 200km when it was stage 10, and when Nbali won, before going on to win the Tour that year.

In 2012, a 7-man breakaway formed, the remanants of which was caught on the lower portion of the final climb, when a select peloton moved up with a strong pace, until Froome took over on the front and the group was reduced to him and four other riders, including Evans, who could not match Froome on the steep finale when the GBR-rider attacked the rider from AUS.

In 2014, essentially a 10-man breakaway group formed. Purito had about a minute lead on the final climb when going solo after dispensing with Kwiatkowski who was riding superbly, however Nibali was on good sensations as he attacked out of the select peloton, caught Purito very quickly, and won the stage.
Report 1st time poster July 5, 2017 12:37 PM BST
APART FROM 1970,S wrestling got to be the most contrived sport ever,breakaways,leaders etc decided before the start .hare going off yesterday pulling his ---t out knowing full well he,ll finish last probably giving a few grand for the sacrifice to make it look at least interesting for tv viewing,today a break within seconds and despite having hrs to go the yellow jersey needs a toilet bnreak within 15 mins of a 4 hr race
Report SwingingPick July 5, 2017 12:44 PM BST
Composition of the break:
Jan Bakelants (ALM)
Mickael Delage (FDJ)
Edvald Boasson Hagen (DDD)
Dylan van Baarle (CDT)
Pierre-Luc Perichon (FVC)
Thomas Voeckler (DEN)
Philippe Gilbert (QST)
Thomas De Gendt (LTS)

Grmay has been instructed to cease his bridge attempt -- embarrassing but cannot be blamed for making an attempt, he'll fade back into the fold.

On stage 7 in the 2012 edition of this summit finish, EBH was a member of the 8 riders numbering the select peloton on the climb, which included Wiggins, Evans, Froome, and Porte. So evidently he has some course form here. It's still difficult for me to think he can win this, though.
Report SwingingPick July 5, 2017 1:02 PM BST
Breakaway combining well as the gap stabilises at 3;30, even though BMC are asserting their claims to the stage with Porte -- working on the front and setting a fair pace. I think that given the steep section near the top, the break would require a minimum 3mins by the start of the climb, more like 4mins, though.
Report SwingingPick July 5, 2017 1:27 PM BST
Very big go for Porte across the boards -- has gone from 9/2 at SP into 333/100 pre-start of stage, and now into 2/1 and still finding support, better on here. A lot of people out there have confidence of his steep-climbing form and technique. I think he will stick-on based on his Dauphine form, however I do not share the market's confidence in his ability to win.

Very short lease for the break -- I would say they're doomed, even this early, unless BMC give up the pace-setting because of a lack of contribution. SKY are far too professional not to lend assistance, seeing as their in Yellow.
Report SwingingPick July 5, 2017 2:52 PM BST
Can someone please enquire with LTS about what has happened to the real De Gendt -- the one claiming to be De Gendt presently looks to be an imposter. Mischief
Report SwingingPick July 5, 2017 3:34 PM BST
GC battle approaching. Love
Report SwingingPick July 5, 2017 3:49 PM BST
That just illustrates the absurdity of BMC tactics in working on the front all day -- climb approaching and SKY begin to assert their dominance, meaning that Porte is going to have to lean heavily on Roche and GVA.
Report SwingingPick July 5, 2017 3:51 PM BST
...SKY are like the big and bad corporation, watching and waiting cunningly for the smaller outfit to make mistakes and falter before they take the advantage by asserting their strength.
Report SwingingPick July 5, 2017 3:54 PM BST
The science of tempo-riding -- you wonder why more teams don't follow the model...
Report SwingingPick July 5, 2017 3:59 PM BST
Good ride by Kwiatkowski, led them up for half the climb and mass casualties.
Report Catford Toteboard July 5, 2017 4:01 PM BST
Great move by Aru
Report Catford Toteboard July 5, 2017 4:03 PM BST
Fascinating final 2k
Report SwingingPick July 5, 2017 4:06 PM BST
Perfect move!
Report Catford Toteboard July 5, 2017 4:08 PM BST
We might have been denuded off quality in sprints after yesterday but the mountains are going to be exciting by the look of it.
Report casemoney July 5, 2017 4:10 PM BST
Brilliant Move by Aru blew them away Alth0ugh the ITV4 Comms only seemed to realise this 50 yds from the Line Laugh
Report johnnythebull July 5, 2017 4:10 PM BST
powerful ride..forza strong is Aru's team?is it strong enough for him to win this or will he have to do everything on his jack jone's?
quintana fails again to deliver
Report SwingingPick July 5, 2017 4:12 PM BST

...I'm on the World Feed Case, but tend to watch it on mute if I'm not watching the market screens.
Report SwingingPick July 5, 2017 4:16 PM BST
One thing about Aru is he definitely has that "bury mode" and whilst he has been impatient with his attacks in the past, today he seemed to time it perfectly. We may just be witnessing a maturing of the ITA Champ. Will be interesting if he can cope with the pressure and keep it going.
Report SwingingPick July 5, 2017 4:17 PM BST
He went at 2.4kms to-go.
Report monarch July 5, 2017 4:17 PM BST
Superb move by Aru. Thank god. My 1st collection of the tour so far !!
Report SwingingPick July 5, 2017 4:19 PM BST
I must say though, that fellow Aussie Robbie McEwen is a pretty good call, rarely gets it wrong, perhaps only because he never goes out on a limb with a prediction! Laugh
Report SwingingPick July 5, 2017 4:19 PM BST
Well done monarch.
Report bb66 July 5, 2017 4:35 PM BST
Porte doesn't look wise today.
Aru needs about 2' for the final ITT, we'll see if his form lasts long enough though he had an injury interrupted season and wasn't able to do the Giro as he originally wanted to.
Report padlock July 5, 2017 9:20 PM BST
Wtf o they look at each other instead of trying to chase Aru earlier,weird,difficult to bet on stage wins
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