Author Topic: Did the weather change the outcome - an analysis  (Read 527 times)

Did the weather change the outcome - an analysis
« on: July 28, 2019, 12:42:34 am »
Or Beardy’s poorly informed opinions on the last two days cycling the alps.

Many have said that this year’s Tour was the best in a long time and it’s a real shame that the last two days were cut short and really a world class event like this should be able to put a roof over the course on important days like Friday and Saturday. After all, if Wimbledon can do it...

So I though I’d jot some note sown on what MY thoughts are on the impact of the final two days in the Alps being cut. Please feel free to rip it all to shreds, the following is purely my (ill informed) opinion.

Alaphilippe, J: it seemed a little unfair on him stopping the stage on Friday just as he was catching up, but Saturday’s performance AFTER a good nights sleep (assumption) would suggest that he wouldn’t have made it up Tignes and still have been significant today. Even if he was still in contention, then I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t have been by the time the peloton reached the top the climb over Col de l’Iseran. Barring any serious injuries though, I think he’s going to be one to watch in the coming years and will probably be taking the yellow jersey ‘home’.

Bernal Gomez, E: well, he won, so what’s to say. Did the cut of Friday help? Or the shortened course on Saturday? I think he gained valuable seconds with the team strategy being to use him up to goad the Peleton into using up energy, but they weren’t falling for that one, either later last week or on Thursday. Quite why T.Ineos decided it would work on Friday, I don’t know, but Bernal went over the Col de l’Isern very strongly and didn’t look like he was being used up at all! Would he have had the energy to make it up Tignes and still retain the Yellow jersey? Well, he seems to have been getting stronger as his fellow GC contenders started to fall, so I suspect he would have. Saturday would certainly have been a day to watch though, if the course had been allowed to, well run its course, and this is one of the two biggest questions left unanswerable by the cut-off. More on that next. It’ll be interesting to see what happens next, because we’ve seen some strong early performances from the Colombians in recent years, only for their careers to taper off earlier than some others have. Bernal is in an interesting situation though, because if he stays with Ineos, he’ll have both Thomas and possibly Froome to be up against for the role of #1 but if he goes elsewhere he WON’T get the same level of team support because no one else has that sort of cash. Which is a shame.

Thomas, G: hmmm. We all knew he came into the race down on his best, and he was definitely off his game in the Time Trial. He also seems to have not quite been just on it when they went up the Pyrenees with his attacks lacking that decisiveness. And going up to Col de l’Isern, he made an attack when it was obvious no one was going to follow Bernal, but he didn’t get away. Was he saving himself? Could he have put together a killing attack going up Teigns? And having done so, would he have had the legs for a full day in the Alps on Saturday. I think it’s a shame we didn’t get to find out, and we can never know for sure, but my opinion is that G wasn’t fully race fit, and Bernal was just too strong for him. I think that the way things have worked out, G has come away perhaps a little better placed in people’s minds than maybe he would have done had we.had two full days. And I think that he will have been very happy the way things turned out because there’s always going to be a question mark over the final result and he didn’t have to race today, but just magnanimously support his younger team mate. However, I personally think the placing wouldn’t have actually been any different.

Kruijswijk, S: he’s managed to hang on in there so he’s obviously no slouch, and barring a final day fcuk-up (which is of course a caveat all,of the above carry) he’s going to be on the third step of the podium. I’ve not been watching him particularly because he’s not really done anything to draw attention to himself and he wasn’t someone I was interested in following at the start. I think he was capable of putting in a couple for full days good enough effort but I don’t think he has enough to have upset the final results had the cut not occurred. Another one to file under we can never really know, but... Still, he gets to dine out on the tale of ‘the year I could have won the tour if the weather hadn’t screwed it all up’ and there’s really only a very few people that could seriously argue.

Pinot, T: this one is heartbreaking, because to see any world class athlete have to fold through injury is always heartbreaking. I just hope,he didn’t do himself any lasting damage through stubbornness, but then road racing is largely about stubbornness so... But the cut didn’t make any difference to his situation because he abandoned early on Friday well before the cut happened. I’m sure he’ll try and convince himself that given the cut he could have finished the shorter course, but he’ll know,it’s only himself he’s really trying to convince. GWS Therry.

Buchmann, E: see Kruijswijk above, but add 20 seconds.

Quintana N: made a spirited and entertaining charge on Thursday to drag himself up the rankings, but was already fading by the time of the cut. I think with a longer course as was originally planned he could have probably lost a few more minutes to this chasing him, but as neither he, nor anyone behind him had much energy, I think although finishing places might have swapped some, none of the rest were ever in danger of getting on the podium.

A feel I must add that even the weakest of the domestiques who abandoned in the first week are a gazillion times fitter than I’ve ever been and none of the above is intended to take away any of the respect I feel for this crowd of complete and utter nutters. More power. To their collective elbows.


 
Sorting my life out, one shed at a time.

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Re: Did the weather change the outcome - an analysis
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2019, 09:42:41 am »
If the last two stages had gone as planned, Alaphilippe would have finished much further back.  His bolt was pretty well shot at the top of the Iseran. He had to pour out the juice on the downhill to try and close the gap, and if he had had to do the climb up to Tignes he'd have been crawling up the last 100 metres with his teeth.  His downhill riding is a delight to watch, though, and that last charge before they pulled the plug was wonderful.

It's a horrible thing, but I reckon the greatest influence on making this such a great Tour was Froome's absence - the leaden hand of Sky/Ineos wasn't clamping the lid on as it has in the last 6 years. OK, they won, but it didn't seem inevitable.
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Re: Did the weather change the outcome - an analysis
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2019, 10:50:45 am »
Buchmann's been so invisible he's made Kruijswijk look like de Gendt in comparison.  I've been waiting for for him to spring the massive surprise attack that floors the other GC contenders with its sheer audacity, but he put his nose in the wind once yesterday for about five seconds and that was it.  Not a criticism, just an observation.
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Re: Did the weather change the outcome - an analysis
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2019, 02:34:27 pm »
I will admit to not watching the Tour in any meaningful sense this year - no Cav!- as I didn't want to blight G's chances (I didn't watch the cricket either so my welsh superstitions might mean something) but if I can make an observation it is that G's Tour plan was finished with Moscon's crash. After that he's just been playing catch-up. In that respect it is a normal year - G hounded by a crash again!
However I don't think he's been given enough credit in Bernal's victory; I suspect he has been playing a lot of the team captain on the road and probably doing it very well, being a lot less selfish than other team stars. Let's face it, the twin team leader tactic has been tried by several teams before and rarely produced a decent result. I think Ineos might well consider he's earned his pay this year without coming first, just for that.

I am still not convinced by the idea of Thibaud Pinot as a Tour winner. He has about as much chance as Virenque did! Somehow he isn't really getting anywhere, in spite of being the french Great White Hope. Julien Alaphilippe on the other hand is a genuine hope for the future (why is it that espoir sounds more optimistic than hope?) and also has a much better contact with the public and his fans which could be a decisive factor in his development.

Re: Did the weather change the outcome - an analysis
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2019, 06:28:53 pm »
Don't underestimate Kruijswijk: he may not be the most entertaining rider to watch, but the guy was very close to winning the Giro in 2016 (where he crashed in a descent in the penultimate stage). He was looking very strong on the Iseran and could've overtaken Thomas on the climb to Tignes. My guess is that without the change in the route Kruijswijk would've been second.

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Re: Did the weather change the outcome - an analysis
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2019, 12:58:43 pm »
To quote P@nd3m1c Pr0duckt10nz: yes, no, maybe.

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Re: Did the weather change the outcome - an analysis
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2019, 09:21:04 pm »
Don't underestimate Kruijswijk: he may not be the most entertaining rider to watch, but the guy was very close to winning the Giro in 2016 (where he crashed in a descent in the penultimate stage). He was looking very strong on the Iseran and could've overtaken Thomas on the climb to Tignes. My guess is that without the change in the route Kruijswijk would've been second.

Using the same argument you could have had Buchmann in third.

E Buchmann:"Who he?"
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Re: Did the weather change the outcome - an analysis
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2019, 09:33:33 pm »
Don't underestimate Kruijswijk: he may not be the most entertaining rider to watch, but the guy was very close to winning the Giro in 2016 (where he crashed in a descent in the penultimate stage). He was looking very strong on the Iseran and could've overtaken Thomas on the climb to Tignes. My guess is that without the change in the route Kruijswijk would've been second.

Using the same argument you could have had Buchmann in third.

E Buchmann:"Who he?"

I'm not convinced that he could turn on overdrive when it came to taking care of the business end of that stage. We ain't seen nothing yet that suggests otherwise.







Ah, yes, I do believe that's my coat, I'll see myself out.
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