TdF '20 Stage 18 Sep 17 Discussn Thread. Spoiler Alert!
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  1. #1
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    TdF '20 Stage 18 Sep 17 Discussn Thread. Spoiler Alert!

    TdF '20 Stage 18 Sep 17 Discussn Thread. Spoiler Alert!

    This is a very challenging stage. This is a 105-miler with five notable mountains to crest before a final downhill finish. No 10-miler uphill, but here we have quantity not quality.

    Besides several climbs, including grades above 11%, there is rain in the forecast...

    The riders depart and immediately are headed uphill. They have sprint points soon, at the 8-mile point. Just after this, they promptly begin the first of the day's five climbs. This, the Cormet de Roseland, is the longest of the day. This is 11 miles at about 6.1% grade. Next, almost mid-way, is Col de Saises, a bit shorter, maybe 8 miles, at 6.4% grade. The remaining three following, Col de Aravis, Montee du Plateu des Glieres, and Col de Fleuries, are not as lengthy.

    Glieres is a particular headache, beginning 25 miles before the finish. This is 3 and a half miles noted at 11.2% grade; this is nearly sadistic planning by the developers of this route. For those who manage to crest this climb, the final climb, Fleuries, is not so challenging, with no climber points, and is nearly four miles to the crest, with a corresonding descent into the town of La Roche-Sur-Foron for the finish. The road in is a small country road, that seems to be divided road as they pass through the city, but goes back to a two-laner as they pass to the other side of the city, but overall is straight and calm. There is a traffic circle toward the end, and sure to be road furniture, but the riders will be well spaced out to reduce the risk from all of this.

    Temps and wind look favorable. But they are calling for rain. This will drop temps from the mid-70s to 70, which gets pretty cold when you are soaked and rolling along at 25+ mph.

    I would guess that the terrain would spread the riders out. Those not seeking palmares today may form a pretty big pub crawl in the back. GC hopefuls will likely hang together in a yellow jersey group, behind a breakaway group, possibly quite large, that is allowed to get away. Behind this yellow jersey group we may see the majority of the riders in a main peloton group.

    The likely breakaway, in this profile, does present the opportunity for a rider, or a rider plus a domestique, to bridge ahead much easier than the typical stage. This possibility will be the wild card in Stage 18. If a GC contender makes a break, and can conquer the final HC climb, and sustain or gain a minute or more, that can affect overall top ten standings.

    Allez! Bon chance!

  2. #2
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    I hoping for a proper break to take the stage for this one.

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    The Green jersey competition will be interesting. Bennett looks to be OK with his lead on points but will he be able to make the time cutoff. Itís a hard stage for him after a very hard stage

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    Can Valverde hold on to top ten overall spot?

    Can Valverde hold on to top ten overall spot?
    Caruso is right behind him, and may be favored in TT, plus there is unlikely to be time differences tomorrow or Sunday.

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    I hope so, esp because Caruso didn't really do his job to help Landa try to get some time on Lopez and more specifically Porte. Watching it, Caruso didn't look very interested in falling back to help Landa even though his chance group had exactly zero chance of catching the Ineos duo. Bahrain's plan was great, but Caruso didn't even appear to try to execute it properly.

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    Agreed. Bahrain as a team isnít quite there yet. Their early push in the stage to Meribel only benefited Jumbo Visma. Whether thatís management (still new to the outfit), individual riders or just lack of talent, I donít know. I hope they get this sorted and that Landa (I just like him as a rider - donít know why) gets some more success.

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    Quote Originally Posted by coldash View Post
    Agreed. Bahrain as a team isnít quite there yet. Their early push in the stage to Meribel only benefited Jumbo Visma. Whether thatís management (still new to the outfit), individual riders or just lack of talent, I donít know. I hope they get this sorted and that Landa (I just like him as a rider - donít know why) gets some more success.
    I'm not sure why either, but they had issues with tactics. You're right there are multiple reasons why they had those issues. I hope they figure it out as well. Landa isn't getting younger and should get a real shot. I also like him. If you haven't seen the Movistar documentary "The Unexpected Day" it's well worth it, even if you have to read subtitles. You really see Landa suffers from confidence issues when things start to go wrong. I've liked him since he was with Astana, but watching that I felt for him as well.

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