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BigFatCoward

Cycling - La Vuelta - last chance saloon for the b list.

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19 minutes ago, Jeor said:

Viviani is only going for stage wins. He can't get the GC (not a climber) and he's not going to get the Green points jersey (Sagan) so all that's left for him is to win a few stages (and I think there are only a couple of flat ones left). Lead-out men generally are sprinters as well, so if the team was geared to Viviani winning sprint stages it's not all that easy for the riders to switch over to give domestique mountain support.

Ah, that makes sense to me now.  Makes what Alaphilippe has achieved so far all the more impressive. 

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It's going to be interesting going forward as on the tourmalet which is  over 2000m Kruiswijk and jumbo-visma were the strongest team as he still had 2 teammates left. There are a lot of climbs left to go that go over 2000 in the Alps. I would love for Alaphillipe to win but after the last stage can't see him holding it, it would be awesome if Pinot could come over the top of everyone but I think the time lost in the crosswinds is really going to kill his race in the end. 

For me Thomas is still the very slight favourite, I just don't want an Ineos rider to win

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2 hours ago, dog-days said:

Ah, that makes sense to me now.  Makes what Alaphilippe has achieved so far all the more impressive. 

Oh yes, exactly. Alaphilpipe is not meant to be a climber or a typical three-week GC contender, so it is amazing he's lasted in yellow through this first phase of the mountains. Unfortunately it does look like he is weakening now though, I doubt he will be able to hold it.

Thomas will really be the man to beat in the end, I think. 

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10 hours ago, BigFatCoward said:

Anybody got any idea who is going to win? I haven't got a clue now. I'm hoping either pinot as he is thoroughly decent, or kruijswijk to make up for the injustice at 2016 giro. 

It really is wide open. I think Thomas and Ineos generally have really shown some vulnerability the last couple of days and I think Kruijswijk and Pinot are looking the best of the "came to win GC" riders and it will be one of them unless Alaphillipe holds on. Yesterday did give us the first sign of him cracking.

He's got a couple of flat days and then the rest day now and he recovers quite fast so he might manage to hold the first day in the Alps but I suspect after last night he'll be losing time on the 2nd and 3rd. Just a question of how well he can contain the loss.

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Poor Pinot.  Could be the worst day in French cycling history if Ala also has his expected collapse.

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That was so unexpected, he was still looking good yesterday

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It was really hard watching him, especially at the end, when he was almost crying on the bike :crying:

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Yeah poor Pinot. Also wtf is happening right now what a load of bs

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That's not bs, that's making a hard decision to save lives - those conditions are not remotely safe for riding. And they had 15 minutes to make the call tops.

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Yeah I was only listening as soon as I watched some footage it seems like a good call

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Fair, the verbal descriptions of "mud and ice on the road" didn't quite convey how bad it was.

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SK and GT seem the biggest losers. Definitely were saving themselves for tignes. 

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Yeah I was thinking that it may have wrecked Ineos's plans for GT and given the win to Vernal. And saved Alaphillipe's spot on the podium.

Saw this of the mudslide that was still moving after the riders were off their bikes

 

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1 hour ago, karaddin said:

That's not bs, that's making a hard decision to save lives - those conditions are not remotely safe for riding. And they had 15 minutes to make the call tops.

It was bulshit. If there was a risk of this happening they should have canceled the last climb when the stage started as it is usually done. Ending the stage out of the blue completly ruined the fairness of the competition….

Some riders had strategies that depended on the last climb. Who knows what the main contenders might do? if they would catch bernal? if they were saving their strenghts? what yates might have done if he knew the stage ended on the mountain? 

 

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26 minutes ago, divica said:

It was bulshit. If there was a risk of this happening they should have canceled the last climb when the stage started as it is usually done. Ending the stage out of the blue completly ruined the fairness of the competition….? 

 

The reports I read described it as a "freak" hailstorm, implying that it wasn't predicted.

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5 minutes ago, Maltaran said:

The reports I read described it as a "freak" hailstorm, implying that it wasn't predicted.

It is pretty hard to believe that it wasn t possible to predict this might happen 1 or 2 hours earlier... 

Now this tour is ruined because the times taken aren t fair... In a sport where people care about the rules this stage had to be canceled and no times taken... 

 

I Don t think there is any sport where a competition is interrupted in the middle and the winner is decided at that time... All riders were planing and strategising to have another mountain... This shouldn t be legal... 

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1 hour ago, divica said:

It is pretty hard to believe that it wasn t possible to predict this might happen 1 or 2 hours earlier... 

 

I've just been watching the highlights, and it seems to have been very localised - the riders were in the dry right up until they got told to stop. Possibly they were just expecting heavy rain right up until the first hailstones fell.

 

Quote

I Don t think there is any sport where a competition is interrupted in the middle and the winner is decided at that time...

Cricket can be, although there is at least an official method for making that decision, whereas this seems to have been a call made by the commissaires in the moment.

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Tomorrows stage now just 60km or so. With just the climb to val thorens. Shame to end this way,  but the weather is the weather. 

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2 hours ago, Maltaran said:

I've just been watching the highlights, and it seems to have been very localised - the riders were in the dry right up until they got told to stop. Possibly they were just expecting heavy rain right up until the first hailstones fell.

 

Cricket can be, although there is at least an official method for making that decision, whereas this seems to have been a call made by the commissaires in the moment.

I Don t understand how people that understand ciclism can think that it makes sense to take these times for the general standing. 

We were a little over half the stage and everything could happen. If the leaders really wanted they could work together to catch Bernal and other teammates could enter their group before the last mountain. Bernal only had that difference because everybody was expecting another mountain....

 

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There's no easy answer - if you just ignore the stage and reset the times to what they were at the start, it's unfairly penalising all the riders at the front who had put time into Alaphilippe.

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