TdF '20 Discussn Thread Stage 8 Sep 5 Spoiler Alert. And, a look ahead.
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  1. #1
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    TdF '20 Discussn Thread Stage 8 Sep 5 Spoiler Alert. And, a look ahead.

    TdF '20 Discussn Thread Stage 8 Sep 5 Spoiler Alert

    This is an 85-miler with three healthy climbs. The first at almost the halfway point, and then two climbs in the second half, with a 5 mile downhill that looks pretty freaky straight in its first half, then pretty zig-zag in its second half, then maybe a flat mile to the finish. I looked at this straight downhill on googlemaps: this is gonna be great cycling race viewing!

    The final straight mile or so is a small country town road without much room for a few sets of handlebars, but on this stage the riders are sure to be fairly well spread out.

    It is a long way to Paris. Most likely, GC favorites will play it safe. With the standings so spread out, especially after the Lanterne Rouge echelon of Stage 6, the peloton may very well allow a breakway to form and survive. This favors a relatively peaceful mid-tour day for the GC favorites. Someone can post the question if they want to hear how a non-threatening breakaway can be a desirable thing, and I or someone else can spend time drafting up an explanation. But the GC-aiming guys will not want to be far out; a ten-minute gap by an up-and-comer could be very dangerous at this point. So, at this point in the Tour we havve a slow grind wearing down GC hopefuls, as they try to remain in striking position.

    The time to show up and perform will be Sep 16 stage 17 with two widow-maker climbs including its hors categorie finish, and the day before this, Sep 15 Stage 16, with its sawtooth set-up, and Sep 17 Stage 18, even more serious sawtooth, but with the worst front-loaded. After that, Stage 19 looks like a sprinter's stage, which is quite clever: it almost adds a time-trial type challenge for the GC hopefuls, who will have to watch time gaps across a stage where the speed will be fairly high as teams try to set up sprint finish, and a lot of echelons are sure to develop in the twisty second half. Then the time trial penultimate day, and then on to Paris.

    Wow! Frankly, this year's route seems well-planned for viewing pleasure.

    Besides that GC aspect in Stage 8 of GC contenders wanting to stay in the rocking chair, the race for green points and KOM points is hot. Sagan is not comfortable if he is not dominating green points by now, while popping a wheelie. Obviously, these hills are big for him, but there are some green points up for grabs before the first climb.

  2. #2
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    With the amount of time losses some riders now have, I suspect a break could form and at least some members will survive to end for the stage win.

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