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tour de france 2021-straight...no fantasy chaser

Old 06-30-21, 05:23 PM
  #76  
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Originally Posted by Jose R View Post
Hmmm, when have we seen this type of thing before? When performances defy belief, it is time to squint and be very skeptical.
It would not surprise me, but obviously no solid evidence has emerged, otherwise I'd expect incriminations from competitors. Not saying that others couldn't also be skirting the rules, but right now one rider is far and away better than everyone else and shows no weaknesses (at the TdF anyway). Everyone else in the peloton has been equally as stunned and puzzled since Stage 20.

I will say that ever since he came to my attention winning the Tour of California, Pogacar has shown impeccable racecraft when the stakes are highest, an absolute focus, and a killer mentality. It's just that he's gone from winning to winning emphatically, in a manner that raises more questions than the answers UAE supplies.
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Old 07-01-21, 02:28 AM
  #77  
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dunno what happened to démare the other day on stage four but stage six would seem to be tailored for him.
picking démare (again) for the stage six horrible prediction. if he doesn't have a good showing w/o a significant reason
on this stage, writing him off for this tour. don't make me pick air cav.
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Old 07-01-21, 04:57 AM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by GuitarBob View Post
I read that he 'crashed hard' somewhere likely because of wet roads from a rain shower.
There was due puzzlement on the GCN feed and on Orla's couch about what the heck he was doing going hard. In the wet there was no chance of stage win, only extra risk that was doubly unacceptable because his job is to shepherd Pogacar. He had one job...

I hope he's OK and shakes it off.

Originally Posted by ooga-booga View Post
dunno what happened to démare the other day on stage four but stage six would seem to be tailored for him.
picking démare (again) for the stage six horrible prediction. if he doesn't have a good showing w/o a significant reason
on this stage, writing him off for this tour. don't make me pick air cav.
As long as the Alpecin DS doesn't foolishly pick Philipsen again, I think Merlier has a great shot. Me? I'll go with he who shall not be named for #32. Perhaps a wolf pack feeding frenzy that runs the table, as long as they can find a decent wheel builder and stop losing spokes.

However, I will be happy as long as they all stay upright and we don't fill up the crackerbox again. And as long as someone, anyone, crosses the line in front of Boubou.
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Old 07-01-21, 06:12 AM
  #79  
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Originally Posted by slcbob View Post
There was due puzzlement on the GCN feed and on Orla's couch about what the heck he was doing going hard. In the wet there was no chance of stage win, only extra risk that was doubly unacceptable because his job is to shepherd Pogacar. He had one job...

I hope he's OK and shakes it off.
I was very disappointed to learn he had crashed. I listened to the entire ITT while at work on GCN. I don't remember if Pogacar was in the DS car for Bjerg or McNulty's run but Pogacar was observing - I thought it had been for McNulty. All of a sudden the helicopter focused on Brandon getting a bike change and everyone was confused, plus it was a very long bike change. I was really hoping they were just testing out different equipment for Pogacar's run.

I remember in Adriatico MvdP bested Pogacar (barely) for a stage, now he has denied him yellow. Or has he? It's become very clear that Pogacar is sandbagging to the max!
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Old 07-01-21, 09:56 AM
  #80  
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Holy moly!! Cheers to the old dude...again.
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Old 07-01-21, 09:58 AM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
I must be weird, but I really like watching the TTs.
I try to be interested, but I generally find them almost as nap-inducing as watching golf. That said, I like naps, so I'm fine with it.
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Old 07-01-21, 10:19 AM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
Holy moly!! Cheers to the old dude...again.
Yup. The way he is doing it is great. No flukes here....he looks really strong and with Mørkøv leading him out it doesn't seem like a stretch that he could get a couple more.
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Old 07-01-21, 10:28 AM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
What happened to McNulty? Dead last. Did he crash?
Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
Had to do a bike change early on. At the time, no one was sure why. Looks like he did crash, but I haven't seen footage of it.
Originally Posted by GuitarBob View Post
I read that he 'crashed hard' somewhere likely because of wet roads from a rain shower.
CycingNews live report said that McNulty crash hard and had to get a bike change.
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Old 07-01-21, 10:35 AM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by KJ43 View Post
Yup. The way he is doing it is great. No flukes here....he looks really strong and with Mørkøv leading him out it doesn't seem like a stretch that he could get a couple more.
I love it. I haven't generally been a big fan of Cav in the past, but I can't help cheering for him this year. That said, the Alpecin team is riding really well. I love seeing MVDP in yellow taking a pull on the front of the sprint train in the final K.
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Old 07-01-21, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
I love it. I haven't generally been a big fan of Cav in the past, but I can't help cheering for him this year. That said, the Alpecin team is riding really well. I love seeing MVDP in yellow taking a pull on the front of the sprint train in the final K.
Yes! He may not be able to hold the yellow when it hits the climbing stages but it's been really great seeing MVDP with it on. I've been really enjoying this years tour so far (crashes aside).
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Old 07-01-21, 11:49 AM
  #86  
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Originally Posted by KJ43 View Post
Yes! He may not be able to hold the yellow when it hits the climbing stages but it's been really great seeing MVDP with it on. I've been really enjoying this years tour so far (crashes aside).
MVDP is no climber, but I love how he animates races that are within his range. Alaphillipe, too. Tomorrow's stage might be another opportunity for those guys to put on a great show.
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Old 07-01-21, 12:12 PM
  #87  
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Originally Posted by slcbob View Post
There was due puzzlement on the GCN feed and on Orla's couch about what the heck he was doing going hard. In the wet there was no chance of stage win, only extra risk that was doubly unacceptable because his job is to shepherd Pogacar. He had one job...
.
Horner went on about this also. But McNulty is an ITT specialist, and the team might have figured that the TT was his chance to shine. If the TT effort were to tire him, he'd have two days of flat sprint stages to sit in before the mountains. Crashing was not in the game plan.
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Old 07-01-21, 12:23 PM
  #88  
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Originally Posted by KJ43 View Post
Yup. The way he is doing it is great. No flukes here....he looks really strong and with Mørkøv leading him out it doesn't seem like a stretch that he could get a couple more.
Watching the overhead replay, Philipsen lost the race when he had to take the power off the pedals to avoid colliding with Cav. Seems like he took a poor line and paid for it.
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Old 07-01-21, 12:27 PM
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Also, DQS just rules sprint lead outs, year after year. Whether their lead man is Bennett, Viviani, or Cav, whomever has that train working for them has a leg up.
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Old 07-01-21, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
Also, DQS just rules sprint lead outs, year after year. Whether their lead man is Bennett, Viviani, or Cav, whomever has that train working for them has a leg up.
Seemed like Aplacin had the better leadout today. They just don't have the same caliber closer. Cav is a savvy sprinter and took advantage of the free ride from the Alpacin duo.
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Old 07-01-21, 02:14 PM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
Had to do a bike change early on. At the time, no one was sure why. Looks like he did crash, but I haven't seen footage of it.
The live feed didn't show the crash, but did show both knees bloody as he was on course.
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Old 07-01-21, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
Horner went on about this also. But McNulty is an ITT specialist, and the team might have figured that the TT was his chance to shine. If the TT effort were to tire him, he'd have two days of flat sprint stages to sit in before the mountains. Crashing was not in the game plan.
I haven't had time for his butterflies this week but I do like Horner.

I get it re the ITT worthy goal for McNulty. You're spot on re the recovery opportunities. But once it got wet, the risk-reward calculus completely flipped and I think it was a bad call to pursue.

Fingers crossed he'll get a good dry run at TT 2.
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Old 07-02-21, 02:23 AM
  #93  
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daily/nightly horrible prediction for stage seven...aranburu.
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Old 07-02-21, 11:55 AM
  #94  
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not surprisingly no aranburu but nice to see mohoric get a well-deserved win.
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Old 07-02-21, 12:06 PM
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I absolutely love that MVDP is active in animating and shaping the race while wearing yellow. There is zero expectation that he will be able to keep the jersey for much longer, but it's been a pretty exciting first week.
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Old 07-02-21, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
Also, DQS just rules sprint lead outs, year after year. Whether their lead man is Bennett, Viviani, or Cav, whomever has that train working for them has a leg up.

there hasn't been a good track record of sprinters as of late, after having wild success with dqs, leaving for other teams and having any portion of that success
elsewhere. viviani and trentin immediately come to mind. bennett could buck that trend. even with ackermann and sagan on the bora squad, he may have had more success with bora.
he's definitely been competitive with dqs but not quite the lay-up/shoo-in for the win we may have been expecting with the move to dqs. heck, dqs resurrected
cav so is it the system or the rider or a little of both? has bennett been fighting the dqs system/way a bit? if sagan did end up at dqs, would we see him winning
again vs his 3rd-8th place showings? for 2022, it will be interesting to see if bennett races more and ends up being more of a factor elsewhere than he has been with
dqs.

to be fair, dqs has been loaded the last few years so it's not like a golden goose/caleb ewan at lotto situation. it's been similar to the ineos gt protected rider situation...
too many cooks in the kitchen.

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Old 07-02-21, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by ooga-booga View Post
there hasn't been a good track record of sprinters as of late, after having wild success with dqs, leaving for other teams and having any portion of that success
elsewhere. viviani and trentin immediately come to mind. bennett could buck that trend. even with ackermann and sagan on the bora squad, he may have had more success with bora.
he's definitely been competitive with dqs but not quite the lay-up/shoo-in for the win we may have been expecting with the move to dqs. heck, dqs resurrected
cav so is it the system or the rider or a little of both? has bennett been fighting the dqs system/way a bit? if sagan did end up at dqs, would we see him winning
again vs his 3rd-8th place showings? for 2022, it will be interesting to see if bennett races more and ends up being more of a factor elsewhere than he has been with
dqs.

to be fair, dqs has been loaded the last few years so it's not like a golden goose/caleb ewan at lotto situation. it's been similar to the ineos gt protected rider situation...
too many cooks in the kitchen.
Bennett won tons of races this spring, so DQS was working fine for him, until whatever happened with his knee or attitude or relationship with management once he decided to seek greener pastures.

I have a hard time picturing Sagan working with a disciplined lead out train - it's so not his style. But it would be interesting to see.

I do have a nagging suspicion that Cav is winning now in part because there's a momentary lack in super-pumped sprinters in the field in this TdF. Who else is really on form and not hurt? Bouhani? Philipsen and Merllier are impressive but Cav's challenge is not the same as it would be if Ewan were in the mix.
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Old 07-02-21, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
Bennett won tons of races this spring, so DQS was working fine for him, until whatever happened with his knee or attitude or relationship with management once he decided to seek greener pastures.

I have a hard time picturing Sagan working with a disciplined lead out train - it's so not his style. But it would be interesting to see.

I do have a nagging suspicion that Cav is winning now in part because there's a momentary lack in super-pumped sprinters in the field in this TdF. Who else is really on form and not hurt? Bouhani? Philipsen and Merllier are impressive but Cav's challenge is not the same as it would be if Ewan were in the mix.
We've seen Sagan work from behind a train before, but he's most often left to finding his own way (lack of team firepower?), and he has had a lot of success in exploiting opportunities created by the work of other teams.

I would agree that Cav may be having more success than he would if Ewan was his opponent, but there's no doubt that Cav is in great form, has high motivation to prove his value (to himself, as much as to the team, probably), and is savvy as hell in finding a way to win. Soft competition or not, I'm enjoying watching Cav more than I ever have before.
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Old 07-02-21, 02:39 PM
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stage eight looks to be a barnburner. tons of curves along the route along with some big climbs/descents.
and, afaict, looks to be a pretty decent chance of rain on the second half of the stage. wishing all the boys
make it thru the proceedings safely. something tells me that won't be the case but hoping for the horrible
prediction streak to continue.

https://www.procyclingstats.com/race...today/profiles
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Old 07-02-21, 03:27 PM
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Have to give Mohoric props for the win today. And for nabbing stage wins in all three GTs on their longest days.

Even though his name is familiar, I don't know much about him and he doesn't get much written about him when crazy descending and the supertuck aren't discussed. Reading some post-stage quotes and maybe his low-profile is undeserved. He played it tactically smart today -- by attacking and staying away with 88km still to go! "It was full gas all day, which meant I don't think we even did six hours, so I don't think it counts as super long" he says, after the longest TdF stage in 21 years!
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