2019 Le Tour de France

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Vader

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Oct 14, 2005
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The only way Sagan loses green is if he falls off his bike (as he did last year), or does something stupid and gets thrown out of the race (2017). Matthews can get to all of the same sprints as Sagan, but Sagan will still beat him every single time in the race to the line. There is no path to victory for Matthews, unless something untoward happens to Sagan.
 

eth-dog

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The only way Sagan loses green is if he falls off his bike (as he did last year), or does something stupid and gets thrown out of the race (2017). Matthews can get to all of the same sprints as Sagan, but Sagan will still beat him every single time in the race to the line. There is no path to victory for Matthews, unless something untoward happens to Sagan.
Matthews basically has to join the break in all the high mountain stages and win the intermediate sprint. But if he does that, Sagan will join him and beat him in the intermediate. The training they were talking about last night have indicated that he's not quick enough unfortunately.
 

Vader

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Matthews basically has to join the break in all the high mountain stages and win the intermediate sprint. But if he does that, Sagan will join him and beat him in the intermediate. The training they were talking about last night have indicated that he's not quick enough unfortunately.
That's my point... Sagan wins the green consistently by winning those puncheur stages (e.g. last night), and by going in breakaways and winning the intermediate sprints in the high mountains. Matthews is capable of getting to all of those sprint points with Sagan, but Sagan will (almost) always beat him in the resulting sprint.
 

Vader

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The ride to "The Bench of the Beautiful Girls" will provide the first opportunity for the GC contenders to test each other's legs. They've extended the route by 1km, up a dirt road (mostly used as a footpath), beyond the previous finish line. Apparently this new final kilometre is brutally steep - though that's by Tour standards, which are much lower than Vuelta & Giro standards**.

Expect Sagan to extend his lead in the Points classification, and Wellens to be in the breakaway again hunting KotM points. As for the stage winner? Your guess is as good as mine. I'll tip Egan Bernal.

** 12% is considered "steep" for the Tour. Anything less than 20% is a doddle for the Vuelta & Giro.
 

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Reign Man

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Mar 20, 2015
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My tip is woods or dan Martin. They love it crazy steep.

Also Porte to not lose time to most favorites or completely lose it and blow up.

I’ve never heard Porte so relaxed in interviews. This could mean one of two things. He’s either loving not being a favorite and knows he’s being underrated and he’s loving it OR he knows he’s no chance so he’s happy no one is rating him.
 
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Vader

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You reckon Matthews and Sagan go into the break, collect the points at KM 29 and then sit up?
The intermediate sprint is really early in this stage - part way up the first Cat 1 climb, only 29km into the stage. There's a fighting chance they won't even let a breakaway go until after the intermediate sprint point. But (hedging my bets), if there is an early breakaway then you can bet that Sagan & Matthews will be part of it - and that they won't be there by the time the breakaway goes over the top of the first climb.
 

Ishikawa

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As certain as "Cows with Guns", "riding like a man possessed", there's the ubiquitous Giro is way cooler hipster comment to complete the TdF bingo :p:p

But yeah love this time of year and especially a mountain stage.

PS: I love the Giro too!
 

Vader

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That last 200m was positively brutal.

Kudos to Alaphilippe, for sticking with the big boys all the way up the final climb, long after the likes of Sagan & Matthews had disappeared - and beating most of the GC riders in the "sprint" to the finish line. I really felt sorry for him, after he lost yellow due entirely to the time bonuses. Ultimately he lost it because the teammates who were sent to dictate the pace just couldn't set a high enough tempo on the last couple of hills. I really don't understand why they insisted on setting the pace again, after Movistar took over. They really needed to let Movistar & Ineos drive it. Had they done that, then Alaphilippe would still be in yellow.

Alaphilippe's efforts last night reminded me of Voeckler's efforts to hold yellow in 2011. Like Alaphilippe, he seized yellow with an outlandish solo attack. Like Alaphilippe, he refused to give it up without one almighty effort.
 

Vader

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Tonight's stage is a complete contrast to last night. It's the longest stage of the race, and aside from some Cat 3 & 4 climbs early, it's pretty flat. The last 80km is mostly downhill - albeit losing altitide at the rate of 1m/km.

Expect tonight's stage to be a massive borefest, albeit with the usual shenanigans in the last 5km as the pace ramps up for the sprint finish.

Will Viviani continue the clinic he's been giving to all of the other sprinters? Or, will one of the others remember how to negotiate the traffic?

Keenan & McEwen will be pumping the tyres of Groeneweggen & Ewan, but my money is on Viviani to continue his dominance. Viviani may not be the fastest sprinter in the race, but his team is easily the best at coordinating his run to the line. While the other riders are tripping over each other's toes, his team is delivering him into clear air 180m before the line - and they do it every single time.
 

Reign Man

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Pretty impressive from Porte last night, bit of a ways back thanks to the TTT but almost lost no time and put a bit into some other GC hopefuls.
 
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