TdF '20 Stage 17 Sep 16 Discussn Thread Spoiler Alert! The '20 Stage To Watch.
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  1. #1
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    TdF '20 Stage 17 Sep 16 Discussn Thread Spoiler Alert! The '20 Stage To Watch.

    TdF '20 Stage 17 Sep 16 Discussn Thread Spoiler Alert!

    The Alps. Otzi tried crossing a high Alp passage, but learned how formidable they are. It took a rescue crew 5,000 years to get him. Rumors say he had been hit by an arrow. Others say he was trying to be the first human to cycle over an Alp mountain pass.

    We may never know. They did test him and find amphetamines, EPO, nicotine, whiskey, and Spanish beef in his tissue samples, plus tell-tale saddle sores and a musette bag with an "LCL" logo on it.

    But they also found an arrowhead in his arm, and signs of infection. Coulda been the arrow. We may never know the full story.

    Either way. Otzi got famous here in the Alps. And cycling careers are made here. Stage 17 will almost certainly show at least one career receiving a great boost. We have had a tight, small GC contender group this tour, and that pack has begun to fall apart only in the recent two days. With Bernal and then Quintana falling off the back of the GC pack.

    Both may be physically dealing with the aftermath of falls, but either could sleep at a Holiday Inn this evening, and have a rebound for Stage 17. Otherwise, the current top 3 in the GC race are each formidable. The leader, Roglic, arguably may be the strongest of the three in the Time Trial, and he has been looking good otherwise. He may be the favored guy, overall, at this point.

    Stage 17 is the fifth-to-last stage. Stage 18 is a mountainous sawtooth Alps ride, but does not include a widow-maker. Stage 19 offers a much less drastic, and not too long, hilly ride. Then, time trial penultimate day and then Paris.

    So, Stage 17 presents THE hill to climb. Actually, two. First, Col de la Loze, a bit after the midway point. Riders will ascend over 1,500 feet in the 11 miles to the summit. Noted at 8.4%. HC. A corresponding descent, then about 8 miles of calm, and then the climb up Col de la Loze.

    Col de la Loze is less steep. Riders will gain about 1,700 feet in about 13 miles. Noted at 7.8%. Also HC. Summit finish. The final mile is straight, but the rest of this climb is fraught with switchbacks and other turns.

    Weather calls for relatively cold temps at the summits - around 60 degrees F. Wind is expected to be moderate, generally, maybe at 10-15 MPH, but there are almost always unpredictable gusts up this high. Weather calls for wind out of the NW, so maybe a head wind, but the riders will be coming up an approach from the south, so they could be sheltered from this wind a bit by the very mountain challenging them.

    When we heard that the 2020 TdF would be shifted to Aug-Sep, versus Jul, some noted that the relatively colder weather at the high peaks would make this tour quite different. As it turns out, the weather forecast seems OK thus far does not seem to be the deciding factor.

  2. #2
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    24% grades on Loze?

    24% grades on Loze?

    I looked at official TdF feed for an update. they note riders are now headed up Col de la Loze. And, they note it has several steep spots, including 24%. What?

    Will anyone do a Froome - get off the bike, and carry it instead?

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    Looked like some pretty steep sections of road for sure. Nice battle the last few kms.

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    The final of today's stage was definitely worth watching. Impressive win by Lopez. Barring a crash this is Roglic's Tour. Movistar's riders are finally finding some actual form. I think Mas showed that he does have the potential to fight for wins and podiums in the Tour and Grand Tours in general. I won't argue with him about poor timing of form this year. Valverde is finding a way to get yet another GT GC top 10 to add to his record, plus finding form for his goals after the Tour, being Worlds, LBL, and Vuelta.

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    How Alaphilippe got the combativity award in preference to Carapaz is a mystery - apart from him being French. Donít know what Landaís team were trying to achieve
    Last edited by coldash; 09-16-2020 at 01:55 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by coldash View Post
    How Alaphilippe got the combativity award in preference to Carapaz is a mystery - apart from him being French. Donít know what Landaís team were trying to achieve
    Reminds of a Vuelta stage in 2014 (I think) where Valverde got the combativity award for apparently having won the stage. No one could figure out why he got it other than he's a Spaniard. This feels like that, except that Alaphilippe didn't win the stage.

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    I felt sorry for them.

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    It was a brutal stage but I hope it becomes a regular feature. In read that one of the reasons that the Courchevel / Meribel people surfaced this final climb was also to encourage enthusiastic recreational riders to the area in the summer to reduce dependence on winter skiing. Hope they've got the legs

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