TdF '20 Stage 11 Sep 09 Discussn Thread Spoiler Alert
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  1. #1
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    TdF '20 Stage 11 Sep 09 Discussn Thread Spoiler Alert

    TdF '20 Stage 11 Sep 09 Discussion Thread Spoiler Alert

    This is another 115-miler, and another flat course.
    So, obviously, a sprinter's special.
    This is hard on the overall GC hopefuls: speeds remain high, the riding is risky for falls, and unanticipated developments can spring a challenger off the front. Also, most teams will burn some matches trying to get a sprinter in position for the sprint win.

    This route heads straight away from the coast. So, no more Zuyderzee. Instead of twisty, I might say the route is bendy. Not enough turns or uphills to really help a breakaway sustain. So, the best guess is that the riders mostly stay together. I could be wrong but I do not see a breakaway being allowed to go.

    Whatever team wants a sprint win better get things working by the final 12 or 13 miles, at Beruges, where the road straightens out for a few miles, and will surely need to be in place by 6 miles out, passing La Fenetre. Because within the final six miles, you have 6 sharp turns, including a final 90 degree turn, before the final straight KM up a pleasant city avenue, D162/JFK Blvd (let's keep politics out of this!).

    JFK is divided, with a grassy median. I believe they will have the course run on one side of the divided road, but it would be cool if they let riders pick either side for this final drag race up the street. A sprint on a divided road would be awesome! Sagan would cross the median if things looked better on the other side!

    Weather as they approach the finish should be warm, at 80 degrees or a bit higher. No call for rain. Wind again out of the NNE, at maybe 10mph, which would give a cross-wind for the final 20 miles or so, and something of a headwind for the final km.

    This is the penultimate sprinter's stage; Saturday, Stage 14, offers the final sprinter's stage.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by PJay View Post
    TdF '20 Stage 11 Sep 09 Discussion Thread Spoiler Alert

    This is another 115-miler, and another flat course.
    So, obviously, a sprinter's special.
    This is hard on the overall GC hopefuls: speeds remain high, the riding is risky for falls, and unanticipated developments can spring a challenger off the front. Also, most teams will burn some matches trying to get a sprinter in position for the sprint win.

    This route heads straight away from the coast. So, no more Zuyderzee. Instead of twisty, I might say the route is bendy. Not enough turns or uphills to really help a breakaway sustain. So, the best guess is that the riders mostly stay together. I could be wrong but I do not see a breakaway being allowed to go.

    Whatever team wants a sprint win better get things working by the final 12 or 13 miles, at Beruges, where the road straightens out for a few miles, and will surely need to be in place by 6 miles out, passing La Fenetre. Because within the final six miles, you have 6 sharp turns, including a final 90 degree turn, before the final straight KM up a pleasant city avenue, D162/JFK Blvd (let's keep politics out of this!).

    JFK is divided, with a grassy median. I believe they will have the course run on one side of the divided road, but it would be cool if they let riders pick either side for this final drag race up the street. A sprint on a divided road would be awesome! Sagan would cross the median if things looked better on the other side!

    Weather as they approach the finish should be warm, at 80 degrees or a bit higher. No call for rain. Wind again out of the NNE, at maybe 10mph, which would give a cross-wind for the final 20 miles or so, and something of a headwind for the final km.

    This is the penultimate sprinter's stage; Saturday, Stage 14, offers the final sprinter's stage.
    Good day all, long time no chat. Happy to see you all are still here and at it. First, I have to say this is one of the most enjoyable TdFs I have watched in a while. Even with all of the Covid craziness and Lotto Jumbo kind of dominating, it feels different than the Sky/Ineos days of their train just hammering on the front. Lotto is attacking, sprinting, and mixing it up with different guys, etc. The sprint stages have been close as well which adds to the drama (like today). Enjoying it all around.
    Every climb has its end, for verily with difficulty there is relief...

  3. #3
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    Sagan has dug a hole for himself...

    The news stories and videos are up now, showing how Sagan has really sunk himself into a deep deficit off of first place in the points competition.

    It is hard to discern some of these argy-bargy finishes, but it does look like Sagan did an unnecessary bump. Looking at the official tdf video of the final km several times, it is possible that Sagan bumped the barrier to his right with his front wheel, and was responding to that. Contrastingly, his wheel being over to that right side may have merely been part of his lean and bump of van Aert. It looks like Sagan was trying to open a gap where there was none. van Aert certainly had a line.

    The hard part for Sagan is that the course opened up a bit on the right just after the location of this bump; he could have held his place on van Aert's wheel for yet another moment, then done what he could with this space on his right - possibly not getting 2nd at all, but possibly 3rd - 5th - and sustained his great position in 2nd in the points competition.

    I have looked at a couple cycling web sites and have not seen any comment from Sagan. van Aert has said the two exchanged a few curse words in angry comments.

    Overall, if you have to take the punishment anyway, it is best to acknowledge a transgression, apologize, and move on. It is extremely scary to bump a fellow rider at these speeds and conditions. I don't know what the speeds were, but they would be above 40mph.

    As I get my son out on rides, I am trying to teach him and get him ready for regular road riding. I am teaching him to hold his line no matter what, to survive a variety of hazards. I am getting him used to me pushing him lightly on the back, since riders may do that in panic situations, either to help, or out of panic. It freaks him out but he is getting used to it. Being at speed and getting touched is just scary, and scary because it is dangerous.

    These guys all have awesome skills. A lesser caliber of rider, like me (i would never be there in the first place) would most likely go down with that kind of bump.

    Anyway -

    Sagan has been a force of nature in the points competition in TdF recent years. There is a fine scenario for him getting ahead of Bennett. A lot of ground could be made up tomorrow; having looked at the route and terrain, it could not be better for this.

    Sagan could get back on top in the green category. But if he is not contrite regarding this bump, it won't win him any points in the Most Congenial category.

  4. #4
    dcb
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    Check out the picture in this article of the numbnuts holding the selfie stick out in front of Sagan and Van Aert:

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/cycling/...-live-updates/

    From the overhead videos it looked like Van Aert makes a slight move towards Sagan right before Sagan goes into him. Perhaps a combination of the barrier, the selfie stick and Van Aert's move. But, hard to defend Sagan too much and it definitely took Van Aert out of contention for a top 3 finish.

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    Ion Izagirre has abandoned the Tour due to injury. Nothing official yet, but possible broken collarbone.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcb View Post
    Check out the picture in this article of the numbnuts holding the selfie stick out in front of Sagan and Van Aert:

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/cycling/...-live-updates/

    From the overhead videos it looked like Van Aert makes a slight move towards Sagan right before Sagan goes into him. Perhaps a combination of the barrier, the selfie stick and Van Aert's move. But, hard to defend Sagan too much and it definitely took Van Aert out of contention for a top 3 finish.
    After the Fabio Jakobson incident, sprinters are unlikely to get the benefit of the doubt when they deviate from their lines. The cons just outweigh the pros by a significant margin. Saganís move looked like the good old fashioned intentional bump to claim space. The penalty followed. It is what it is.

    https://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/r...ce-2020-467352
    Last edited by Rashadabd; 09-09-2020 at 04:02 PM.
    Every climb has its end, for verily with difficulty there is relief...

  7. #7
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    I think it was a defensive bump. Kinda like "hey, I'm here. Don't put me into the boards."
    I disagree with Sagan getting relegated to 85th.

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    I think reading the actual language of the rule might help in this case. They donít get to deviate once the sprint has been launched. Intentionally bumping into another rider for whatever reason is a deviation no matter how you slice it. The penalty imposed can be debated, but you are at a violation and he knows this given his recent history in the race.

    https://inrng.com/2010/07/that-uci-rule-on-sprinting/
    Every climb has its end, for verily with difficulty there is relief...

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    Agreed. Sagan leaning in toward Van Aert might have saved them both from hitting the ground. I read articles and heard audio podcasts about the incident that made it seem like it was horrible. Then I watched the video and thought " that's it? ".

    The thing is, only a skilled rider could do it like Sagan, that little push was actually very clean and yeah it might have startled Van Aert but it certainly saved Sagan.

    The issue becomes, 9 out of 10 riders try that little " shove over " and it ends badly. Sagan made it look clean considering how it could have ended.

    If there is any good toward Sagan being penalized, it's because unfortunately most riders could not be in that same position and have it end so clean. So the rules have to be in place to limit this as much as possible.

    Me personally, Im all for the wild shoving and shifting. But Im not the one out there at that level going through it.

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