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soul of wit
23 Jun 21 13:57
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Date Joined: 19 Apr 06
| Topic/replies: 29 | Blogger: soul of wit's blog
Back in its traditional July slot, a nice hilly parcours with a couple of ITTs and on the face of it a match-up between last year's winner Pogacar and Roglic who hasn't raced since April.

Ineos have a strong looking team though, with Thomas apparently team leader according to the betting but a few others with potential and I'm intrigued to see how Carapaz & Geoghegan Hart do.

Initial betting interest for me - 12/1 on Pogacar e/w for KoM is too big and 9/4 Sagan for Green is tempting with Bennett out but it's a competitive field.

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Replies: 141
By:
Pleasegivemeanailedontip
When: 25 Jun 21 15:59
Not sure if there are reasons this doesnt tend to happen but my hope is that ineos use their numbers to attack from everywhere. Pogacar cant chase them all down.

Carapaz my pick
By:
Angoose
When: 25 Jun 21 16:56
The 2021 Tour de France starts on Saturday with Tadej Pogacar and Primoz Roglic primed to repeat last year's duel that saw Pogacar win in one of the race's most dramatic finales.

But plenty of other riders are hoping to rival the Slovenian duo for the yellow jersey over three gruelling weeks, ending in Paris on 18 July.

The green points, polka dot mountains and white young rider's jerseys as well as stage wins are up for grabs.

BBC Sport looks at the riders to watch.

Tadej Pogacar - UAE-Team Emirates
The reigning champion overhauled Roglic in stunning style on the penultimate stage's time trial during last year's rescheduled race and has carried that form into this season superbly.

The UAE-Team Emirates rider has won the prestigious stage race Tirreno-Adriatico, 'monument' classic Liege-Bastogne-Liege, the UAE Tour and his native Tour of Slovenia already this year.

Still just 22, Pogacar could become one of the all-time Tour greats and looks to have a stronger team around him this year, with another breakout star of 2020 - Marc Hirschi - having joined.

Primoz Roglic - Team Jumbo-Visma
Roglic, 31, responded impressively to his Tour heartbreak last year by winning Liege-Bastogne-Liege and defending his title at the Vuelta a Espana.

He has not raced much this year, preferring to train at altitude, but has had success - including beating Pogacar to win the Tour of the Basque Country title.

Jumbo-Visma also boast an accomplished Tour line-up, including Steven Kruijswijk, Sepp Kuss, Wout van Aert and Tony Martin, but how many of the scars of last year remain?

Geraint Thomas - Ineos Grenadiers
After a poor season saw him left off the Ineos roster last year, British 2018 winner Thomas returns in search of his second title in much better form.

The Welshman, 35, won the Tour de Romandie in May, took a stage win and third overall at the Criterium du Dauphine and finished third at the Volta a Catalunya earlier in the season.

While Thomas is likely to be Ineos' leader, the British outfit are characteristically not short of other options, with former Giro d'Italia champions Tao Geoghegan Hart, 26, and Richard Carapaz, 28, as well as last year's third-place finisher - 36-year-old Dauphine champion Richie Porte - all posing a general classification threat.

David Gaudu - Groupama FDJ / Julian Alaphilippe - Deceuninck-Quick-Step
It has been 36 years since a Frenchman won the Tour title and, while that streak is unlikely to end in 2021, there are two home riders in particular who could animate the race.

With Thibaut Pinot and Romain Bardet set to miss the race, look for David Gaudu, 24, to make a step up as a general classification contender following an impressive eighth at last year's Vuelta, which included two stage wins.

World champion Alaphilippe, 29, flirted with ending France's hoodoo in 2019 before he was finally overhauled by Egan Bernal and overall victory is again not his main aim, but expect him to try to add to his five stage wins with typical panache.

Mark Cavendish - Deceuninck-Quick-Step
After a knee injury to Ireland's Sam Bennett of Deceuninck-Quick Step, in comes one of cycling's most successful riders. No-one expected a resurgent, 36-year-old, Cavendish to appear at the Tour this year, but he now has a chance to add to his tally of 30 Tour stage wins - just four short of Eddy Merckx's all-time record.

Bennett, 30, had become only the second Irishman after Sean Kelly to claim the green jersey last year - holding off record seven-time points classification winner Peter Sagan and winning two stages, including the finale in Paris.

Sagan has taken some impressive victories this season, Caleb Ewan could prove the fastest sprinter in the race and the all-round talents of Wout van Aert and debutant Mathieu van der Poel could make the points classification a thriller this year.

But nothing will trump the return of Britain's Cavendish, so fans will be hoping that age has not taken too much pace out of the pocket rocket's legs.

Simon Yates - Team Bike-Exchange
After a stage win and third overall at this year's Giro, Simon Yates will head to the Tour in search of stage wins rather than overall victory.

It's a tactic that's worked very well before, with the 28-year-old claiming two stages in 2019.

Chris Froome - Israel Start-Up Nation
Britain's Froome will not be winning a record-equalling fifth Tour title this year - the man himself has said so and he will ride in support of Michael Woods instead of as leader.

But there will still be plenty of intrigue around Froome - he has lost significant time in most races this season as he continues to recover from serious injuries sustained in a 2019 crash and, at 36, there are questions around whether he will ever rediscover the form to compete at the highest level.
By:
Angoose
When: 25 Jun 21 17:00
Geraint Thomas says communication will be key for Ineos Grenadiers at the Tour de France if they are to beat reigning champion Tadej Pogacar.

After years of traditionally supporting one lead rider, the team has promised a "more open and aggressive" race with four riders who could be backed to win.

However, 22-year-old Pogacar remains the overall favourite to win again.

"I think having four guys that can be up there is great. It gives us cards to play later in the race," Thomas said.

Thomas, the 2018 winner, is joined by former Giro d'Italia champions Tao Geoghegan Hart and Ecuador's Richard Carapaz - alongside the returning Richie Porte, who finished on the Tour de France podium last year before re-joining Ineos.

"It has its positives and negatives," said Thomas, on the eve of his 11th Tour.

"We can't get carried away and try to protect four riders because that would just be impossible and take too much out of the other four in that first week.

"Communication is the main thing. The good thing is there's no egos in the team and that's why we've been able to perform all season as we have so far.

"As long as we can all be in touching distance [of the overall lead], I think that'll be a great strength of ours."

Mmmmm, none of them looking good enough to be given the role of team leader so a "communications" strategy becomes the plan.
By:
Angoose
When: 25 Jun 21 17:01
Saturday, 26 June - stage one: Brest - Landerneau, 197.8km

The Tour begins with an undulating stage containing six climbs, while the potential for crosswinds in the Monts d'Arree means the leading general classification teams will need to remain vigilant.

Many of the sprinters are likely to have been distanced by the time this stage reaches its conclusion, with a steep and short ascent up the Cote de la Fosse aux Loups, favouring the puncheurs.

It would not be a surprise if French world champion Julian Alaphilippe, gives his home crowd something to cheer early on in the race.

Riders to watch: Alaphilippe, Wout van Aert & Mathieu van der Poel
By:
geoff m
When: 25 Jun 21 20:49
"Pogacar cant chase them all down ."
He wont have to with Jumbo Visma protecting Roglic.
With only 3 mountain top finishes,I think the nearly 60K of TTS  will be decisive.
By:
Pleasegivemeanailedontip
When: 26 Jun 21 01:21
True i didnt mention jumbo. Van aert i understand has had an operation or something. Doumilin out. Kusss. Kruijjswijk dont know their form.

On paper, ineos dont have a leader to match pogacar and roglic, but in numbers they might match jumbo and UAE. Im more hopeful than confident. I suspect ineos will quietly follow pogacar and roglic around and lose boringly but i would love to see them throw their toys out. Porte and carapaz attacking ventoux with thomas and GH hanging back and following wheels. Never happens but would be epic.

,I think the nearly 60K of TTS  will be decisive.

Back in the real world i think you are probably right
By:
Cauthenmeister
When: 26 Jun 21 08:23
Initial impressions are that the route should make for a more open exciting race than some recent versions. Teams look very strong overall with UAE looking to have a lot more depth than last year. Hopefully the classics style stages and the possibility of wind on some stages will encourage the big players to be active throughout and as others say Ineos will need to attack where they haven't before.
I am tempted to have a dabble on GH for a top 10 finish at around 4-1.
By:
Cauthenmeister
When: 26 Jun 21 10:56
Today and tomorrow could be dangerous for the GC contenders as no 3km rule with the uphill finishes. Could that also bring them into contention for the stage win?
By:
Angoose
When: 26 Jun 21 11:52
A long time since I enjoyed one of these



Named after the famous race ......
By:
ImSoLuckyLucky!
When: 26 Jun 21 15:11
Big CRASH
Spectator takes out Jumbo
Shocked
By:
ImSoLuckyLucky!
When: 26 Jun 21 16:03
Another BIG CRASH
8 KMS OUT

Shocked
By:
Angoose
When: 26 Jun 21 17:48
Julian Alaphilippe sprang a superb late attack to win stage one of the Tour de France after two huge crashes in the closing stages.

The 2020 runner-up Primoz Roglic, and Britain's Chris Froome were among those to fall in two separate incidents in the final 45km.

The 197.8km run from Brest to Landerneau had been uneventful until a fan holding a placard sparked the first mass pile-up.

The second crash came 8km from the end.

Both caused severe disruptions to the race, the first coming when Jumbo-Visma's German rider Tony Martin was sent tumbling near the front of the main bunch, causing chaos behind him with riders and bikes strewn across the tarmac.

It took almost a full 25 kilometres for a bloodied and bruised peloton to fully regroup, with DSM's German rider Jasha Sutterlin becoming the first to abandon the race.

Overall contenders Tao Geoghegan Hart of Britain, as well as Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez, were among the riders to be held up before a second crash, this time at high-speed, on a descent before the climb up the Fosse-aux-Loups, ripped through the peloton again.

Froome was among the worst affected, with the four-time Tour winner gingerly getting back on his saddle and crossing the line over 14 minutes down.

It was also hardly an ideal opening day for Ineos Grenadiers, with Richie Porte losing over two minutes and Geoghegan Hart, conceding more than five - a situation which may necessitate a change in tactics later in the race.

The bright spot for the British team came via Geraint Thomas, who looked impressive on the final climb, steering clear of trouble to finish eight seconds behind Alaphilippe.
By:
Angoose
When: 26 Jun 21 17:49
Sunday, 27 June - stage two: Perros-Guirec - Mur-de-Bretagne Guerledan, 183.5km

Stage two sees another cluster of lower-category climbs on the agenda with a testing double ascent of the famed Mur-de-Bretagne to finish. In theory this stage should suit many of the riders who challenged for the yellow jersey on day one.
By:
soul of wit
When: 27 Jun 21 11:26
An eventful first day! Hoping Froome is OK to continue today, but doubt he will be fighting out the finish, last won by Dan Martin who must have a chance again despite downplaying expectations.

Looks like it might be wet, but showery rather than torrential, so probably won't affect the racing all that much. Matthews looked strong yesterday and has a chance again today but I'm interested in Pogacar who held back yesterday and might have more of a go today if he's in the position and mood to.
By:
ImSoLuckyLucky!
When: 27 Jun 21 16:48
van de Poel wins
And breaks down crying afterwards

Grin
By:
Tudes
When: 27 Jun 21 17:07
Spectacular effort by van de Poel and a great story honouring his grandfather Raymond Poulidor, achieving his objective of taking the yellow Jersey that his grandfather never could. Just jaw dropping.
By:
casemoney
When: 27 Jun 21 17:51
What price was Van for the Stage ?
By:
Angoose
When: 27 Jun 21 18:46
Mathieu van der Poel produced two devastating attacks to win stage two of the Tour de France and claim the yellow jersey.

The Dutch rider twice powered clear on the double ascent of the Mur-de-Bretagne in a thrilling finale.

Defending champion Tadej Pogacar and 2020 runner-up Primoz Roglic, were second and third on the 183.5km route.

As he crossed the line, Van der Poel pointed to the sky in tribute to his late grandfather, Raymond Poulidor.

Tour great Poulidor earned the nickname the 'eternal second', having finished second three times and third five times and remarkably never once wearing the yellow jersey in 14 years of racing the event.

"It means the world to have this jersey on my shoulders," said Van der Poel

"Unfortunately, he is not here anymore but I just imagine how proud my grandad would be. I gambled a little bit, I played everything I've got because I knew I needed the bonus seconds if I wanted the jersey.

"It was also my last chance to get the yellow jersey, it's incredible."

Ineos Grenadiers came into the Tour with arguably a four-pronged attack for the general classification, with Geraint Thomas, Tao Geoghegan Hart, Richie Porte and Richard Carapaz.

However, Geoghegan Hart and Porte both conceded significant ground after being caught up in crashes on stage one and the conclusion to stage two saw another unwelcome development as 2018 winner Thomas was distanced at the finish.

The British team had controlled the pace up the final climb and while his team-mate Carapaz was in the group that finished eight seconds behind Van der Poel, Thomas slipped 23 seconds and now trails the maillot jaune by 41 seconds, having dropped from 10th to 20th overall.
By:
Angoose
When: 27 Jun 21 18:47
Monday, 28 June - stage three: Lorient - Pontivy, 182.9km

A relatively flat parcours should bring the sprinters in to play for the first time in the Tour. It could give us an early indication of Mark Cavendish's form, with the winner of 30 stages looking to make further inroads into Eddy Merckx's record tally of 34.

The run to the line is wide and almost a mile long, so any of half a dozen sprint specialists, plus the likes of Wout van Aert and Jasper Stuyven, will have a realistic opportunity of victory.

Riders to watch: Caleb Ewan, Mark Cavendish and Wout van Aert
By:
Tudes
When: 27 Jun 21 18:52
Casemoney.......I got 7.8 early in the stage and incredibly 19.0 after he attacked on the first ascent of the Mur
By:
geoff m
When: 28 Jun 21 08:22
What a fabulous start to the TDF. 2 brilliant days instead of a boring prologue/TTT/pan flat  start that was traditional a few years back.

Van Der Poel tactically naieve on a few occassions .
But yesterday was absolutely briiliiant taking the bonus seconds 1st time then looking like he was done 1st time up the Mur De Bretagne only to drop back and recuperate in the bunch saving himself for an explosive finish for the finale.
By:
Pleasegivemeanailedontip
When: 28 Jun 21 09:26
Brilliant from Van Der Poel, he could just retire from sport now and live off that story.

Theres maybe two more tough days in the first week with the TT and the long hilly stage, why is Roglic, after last years collapse, attacking from stage one?!
By:
casemoney
When: 28 Jun 21 15:23
Well played Tudes great ride by the young man .
By:
casemoney
When: 28 Jun 21 16:14
Primo Plain
By:
casemoney
When: 28 Jun 21 16:16
Heavy fall looks like losing Minute plus Sad
By:
casemoney
When: 28 Jun 21 16:23
Carnage was on Sagan a place Sad Hope Ewan ok
By:
casemoney
When: 28 Jun 21 16:27
Ewan looked badly hurt Sad
By:
irish_guy_13
When: 28 Jun 21 16:29
terrible day for crashes, exciting to watch , hopefully all ok. Ewan :(
By:
casemoney
When: 28 Jun 21 16:50
Saying Caleb did not finnish stage
By:
Angoose
When: 28 Jun 21 17:54
Geraint Thomas and Primoz Roglic were both involved in crashes as Tim Merlier won a dramatic stage three of the Tour de France.

Thomas dislocated his shoulder early on the 182.9km stage, while Roglic lost time after falling in the final 10km.

Caleb Ewan also crashed late on, taking down former world champion Peter Sagan as both wound up for a sprint finish.

Mathieu van der Poel retained the leader's yellow jersey, finishing just behind Alpecin-Fenix team-mate Merlier.

"I'm living a dream I think," said Merlier, who has now claimed maiden stage wins at both the Tour and Giro d'Italia this year.

"After the Giro I was already really happy and now I win a stage on the Tour, the biggest race in the world. I can't believe it."
By:
Angoose
When: 28 Jun 21 17:54
General classification standings after stage three

1. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned/Alpecin-Fenix) 12hrs 58mins 53secs

2. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra/Deceuninck-Quick-Step) +8 secs

3. Richard Carapaz (Ecu/Ineos Grenadiers) +31secs

4. Wout van Aert (Bel/Jumbo Visma) Same time

5. Wilco Kelderman (Ned/Bora-Hansgrohe) +38secs

6. Tadej Pogacar (Slo/UAE-Team Emirates) +39secs

7. Enric Mas (Spa/Movistar) +40secs

8. Nairo Quintana (Col/Arkea Samsic) Same time

9. Pierre Latour (Fra/TotalEnergies) +45secs

10. Sergio Higuita (Col/EF Education-Nippo) +52secs
By:
Angoose
When: 28 Jun 21 17:55
Tuesday, 29 June - stage four: Redon - Fougeres, 150.4km
With no categorised climbs and barring the unlikely success of a breakaway, the flat terrain should see another stage decided in a bunch sprint finish.
By:
A_T
When: 28 Jun 21 19:41
Roglic over a minute down on Pogacar - can't see him getting that back all Pog has to do now is follow him.
By:
irish_guy_13
When: 28 Jun 21 20:59
Maybe so. But at 9/2,5/1 Roglic is a great value bet to have an interest in the race from a betting point of view, he has the better team and the time trials.
By:
ImSoLuckyLucky!
When: 29 Jun 21 12:47
Demo strike at start of race

Devil
By:
ImSoLuckyLucky!
When: 29 Jun 21 16:05
Cav wins his 31 tdf race

Grin
By:
geoff m
When: 29 Jun 21 16:06
Cav .Legend!!
By:
casemoney
When: 29 Jun 21 16:08
What a race well done Cav poor Brent looked like he had slipped them
By:
FATTIEWHITEYSLOVEADRINK
When: 29 Jun 21 19:38
Nacer bouhanni he going win stage soon ffs
Two days now been bang there
Looked pissed both days
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