Porte in Yellow.
I have only watched bits and pieces so far, but should catch up tonight.
Porte in Yellow.
Suisse is an uninspiring race and route in 2018. Not essential viewing.
Boring as batshit. I’m struggling to remember any previous edition that was any different.
I usually prefer Suisse to Dauphine as its often more non controlled and exciting. Though this year’s route is a long ITT.
The Dauphine as a stage race (GC standings) is not that interesting. But it does have spectacular stages and the stages themselves can be interesting in isolation.
And Kragh Andersen wins the stage from Haas after they both survived the breakaway - Porte lit up the final 2.2km climb and rode away from the other GC contenders.
Groenewegen beats Pelucchi and Ewan in stage 2 of Slovenie - Ewan had a perfect lead out but had no power at the end - Ewan didn’t help himself by crashing on a descent with 45km - In the TDF, Ewan needs to find a finish that is uphill, something like 4% for the last km.
IMO I don’t like the chances of Ewan doing very much at the TdF.
Kittel and Cavendish seem to be struggling too.
Ewan is a chance to win a stage at the TDF. Preferably he needs an uphill finish in which he is strong. Will add that Ewan goes best with a slower pace upfront. I would ditch the full on sprint train and rely on Mezgec to get him into position in the last 500 metres. Agree Kittel is a million miles off the pace.
Trouble with Tour De Suisse and the Criterium is a lot of the contenders are foxing.
Geraint has a good race, but the Team ITT helped him significantly. And the contenders were happy to fight for a podium place - Yates & Bardet.
Yates was 1:00 behind overall, but lost 56 seconds in team Time trial
Bardet was 1:47 behind overall, but lost 1:30 in Team time trial.
Dan martin was 2:35 behind overall but lost 2:28 in Team time trial
I think it is a good test for BMC to try and attempt to control the race in Suisse Tour, and for Porte to hold onto lead now and win.
For sure nobody wants to show their full hand at either the Dauphine or TdS.
And you really don’t want to be at your peak some 5 weeks out from the TdF anyway.
Most contenders are happy to put a big effort on one stage to test themselves out. They’ll ride tempo for the rest of the stages just to build fitness.
It is naive to suggest A.Yates and Bardet rode for a podium. They attacked Thomas in every mountain stage. They could have followed Sky’s train to be sure of a podium.
Quintana wins stage 7 of Suisse from Fulgsang and Porte after a 27km attack on the final climb. A good ride Quintana to test his legs. Porte still in yellow. Haig suffered and shipped 2m and 33s. Would prefer if MS give Haig an easy second part of the year and have him ride a soft GC in 2019.
Crazy stage 3 in Slovenie.Kittel and Kluge in the break. Then the Slovenians attacked each other from the second last climb. Roglic attacked Mohoric on the second last climb to distance before the descent.Mohoric went straight past Roglic on the descent, then Mezgec drove the peleton for Impey before the short last climb. Upshot is Uran won the stage from Impey and Roglic. Stage 4 is similar and if Impey holds jis form he can podium with stage 5 being an ITT. It’s also pleasing that Mezgec is climbing well which could open up opportunities at the TDF.
Finally MS’s womens team is flying. Roy wins stage 3 of TOB which gives them two stages. And three of their best 4 riders are not riding in Van Vleuten, Spratt and Kennedy.
Roglic aways to win stage 4 of Slovenie and goes into yellow - He is a lck for GC with tomorrow’s ITT - I put the kiss of death on Impey, seeing he withdrew from stage 4 with illness.
Porte didn’t have a super TT, but more than good enough to win the GC.
Kung was over a minute faster to win the stage.
Stage 3 of Slovenia was a good finish. lots of attacks, was almost as if they didnt know where the finish line was, as lots went early. with Uran winning.
Im listening to Armstrong now hes talking on podcast about Tour Suisse and Dauphine.
He though Fugslang ITT was the most impressive going from 6th to 2nd. And he also helped Porte minimise damage against quintana on a previous stage. He said Fugslang was racing when he was a pro.
Im happy Porte got the GC win, the team time trial helped and his ITT was good for GC, not great, plus he had 1 stage win in the mountains, I think you would take that…
The Tour does seem pretty open. will be interesting how Froome backs up after Giro, and will Thomas be support or a co leader?
IMO hard to see Thomas being a serious player in the GC. He’s completely untested as a GC rider over 3 weeks, usually because he falls off somewhere. In anycase, he’s a fair way behind serious climbers, so it would be a major turn-up for the books (even for Sky) if he suddenly became a serious GC threat at the TdF. Actually I expect Bernal to do better for Sky than Thomas.
Quintana and Porte have shown flashes. Nibali appears to be a bit behind, but he’s produced “magic” before.
Domoulin is in the same boat as Froome, backing up from the Giro.
Landa, Bardet, Adam Yates are all outside shots. Valverde doesn’t like altitude, so that probably rules him out.
This is a wide open TDF. Have excluded anyone who rode GC at the Giro. Quintana and Porte both looking good though i worry about the cobbled stage. Bardet and A.Yates looked good in Dauphine. The ITT is hilly so should do OK. Martin looked good but is a ■■■■ tter under any circumstances and struggles in cross winds. Zakharin is struggling for form, while Uran is just going. Roglic is the wildcard because he is in good terrains. Kelderman can top 5 if he gets full team support.
Was pleased to see Haig do a decent ITT in Suisse, though he has had one bad day in the two GC races in which he has been leader. In other news, Stannard did a killer ITT to finish 3rd in the Baby Giro. In transfer news it seems like two of my targets in Bauhaus and Teunissin will go to Bahrain Merida who are building a good yeam.
IMO it will be silly to write off Froome’s chances. That is if they let him race. FFS how long does it take to make a decision about this? Surely it’s now or never?
I am comfortable writing off Froome - History shows it’s tough to do the Giro/TDF double and according to riders this was the toughest Giro they’ve encountered - Froome podiums the TDF and I have even more doubts about his credibility - The Froome case is taking as long as usual for this type of case - 9 to 12 months seems to be the average and we are are now at 9 months - I am certain the Cardoso’s positive from July 2017 and Samuel Sanchez case from August 2017 have yet to be resolved and they were straight-forward cases - I am more than comfortable that Froome is given every opportunity to prove his innocence though he’s pushing ■■■■ uphill.
Will add that the Pantani double in 2018 was a fluke - Pantani was terribly out of form in the first week and shipped lots of time - He was actually down by 5 or 6 minutes in a stage late in the first week before it was neutralised due to an unforeseen incident - This doesn’t happen and Pantani probably withdraws from the race on the first rest day.