...do you think all bets will be off in Paris and they will actually race it?
That'd be interesting.
It would be indeed but I doubt it.
With no time bonuses? Probably not.
The profile is pretty flat, and the sprinters want a chance at final glory. Without significant crosswinds, I can't see a way for any one GC contender to gain time on his rivals.
Hopefully the GC contenders will no tbe trying to get time on the last stage, because the only way I see A chance is taking advantage of a mechanical or a crash, something I expect all the contenders have too much class to attempt.
Stage 17 will turn these 20/30/40 seconds split to 1 / 2 / 3 minutes splits. for the TT CSC needs to have 2-3 minutes on the others to feel OK about their chances. And really they have to do it with Sastre as he is better than Schleck in the longer TT. I think we will see 2 climbers work thier way down to the finish on the way to the finish of 16, maybe someone like sanchez that decends better than the entire peleton can gain minutes easily on this stage, and if he and say, Sastre work together we have ourselves some serious time gains,
And then on stage 17 I think we will see a very tired group of big GC guys ( VDV, Evans, Menchov ) not hang with the little guys ( kohl, Sastre, Schleck ) and loose serious time.
Ullrich went after a time bonus in one of his battes with LA. But Armstrong and US Postal marked him effectively. So they have battled on the final day but only marginally. I dont forsee anything like that in this years tour.
1999 GT Xizang Ti
"i recieved an infraction"
Stage 17? Will depend on who needs to make up time, and who's got legs left on the final climb.
In search of what to search for.
Last year was the second closest tour in history, and the closest ending in a road stage into Paris. Evans made no effort to gain time last year.
As long as the yellow jersey has a lead of more than 1 or 2 seconds, with no time bonuses GC will not change on the final stage.
You could fall off a cliff and die.
You could get lost and die.
You could hit a tree and die.
OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.
Do you know what the decent looks like? This could have a major impact. If it is fairly open hten the group will catch any contenders out front. More technical and the right rider could stay away or perhaps even add time on the decent.
the points competition is often decided on the last day, and I remember Vino snaking the 5th spot from Levi in 2005 on the last day of the race, but the top of the GC decided on the last day?
1989 is the last time I can remember that happening, but that wasn't a mass start stage.
53km TT the day before Paris, it will be decided by the last day no worries
21st Century Living - Matthew Good
This gets asked every year. Never seen it happen though.
i may have overreacted
Tomorrow and Wednesday will answer all the questions.
The next two days should be epic.
Only 2 riders who ended in Yellow have won the final stage and there was not a time gap in any of these cases. I think this includes all contenders since WW II, but not positive about that.