TdF Thu Sep 3: Is the Eventual Podium now in the Top 20?
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  1. #1
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    TdF Thu Sep 3: Is the Eventual Podium now in the Top 20?

    Thu Sep 3: Is the Eventual Podium now in the Top 20?

    After six days of riding, things have opened up a bit. Is the Eventual Podium, the Grand Classification 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, now in the Top 20? 20th place is 41 seconds back.

    Could someone rise from 21st or further down to podium? Who?

    What about: within the top 15? This would exclude Valverde, now in 19th, who has amazing staying power. Tdf 2016: 6th. TdF 2018: Performed amazingly well, but always in the service of teammates. 2018: 5th in Vuelta. TdF 2019: 9th, again as domestique. Vuelta 2019: 2nd.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by PJay View Post
    Thu Sep 3: Is the Eventual Podium now in the Top 20?

    After six days of riding, things have opened up a bit. Is the Eventual Podium, the Grand Classification 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, now in the Top 20? 20th place is 41 seconds back.

    Could someone rise from 21st or further down to podium? Who?

    What about: within the top 15? This would exclude Valverde, now in 19th, who has amazing staying power. Tdf 2016: 6th. TdF 2018: Performed amazingly well, but always in the service of teammates. 2018: 5th in Vuelta. TdF 2019: 9th, again as domestique. Vuelta 2019: 2nd.
    These guys have had so few racing days all bets are off IMHO. Stages 15, 16, 17 have some nice long long climbs and will whittle the field and make it easier to hone in on the eventual podium, I think.
    Sorry, I have to write off Valverde from the podium although he's a pretty amazing rider...No way he can hang with Roglic, Quintana, Bernal, Dumolin, Kuss, Kwiatowski, et al once the attacks in the long passes start happening IMHO.
    In reference to the Assault on Mt Mitchell...
    Quote Originally Posted by merckx56
    The easier solution is to find a biker bar in Spartanburg the night before, go in and pick a fight. The ass-whipping you'll get will be far less painful than the one Mitchell will give you the next day!

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    Tour was never a goal of Valverde's. Even his teammate Mas, who is their GC rider for the Tour, said they are riding for a top 10. Coming into the Tour he thought their form was good enough to fight for top 10, but not for the podium. The big thing here is Valverde is Mas' guide and coach. Mas has never led a team and that's one of the big things Valverde is teaching him. Valverde's form looks decent enough so that what Mas basically needs to do is follow Valverde until they get to the high mountains where Valverde is most likely to struggle and then Mas will need to follow the better climbers. 2015 was Valverde's podium and the reality is 2017 was his last best chance for a Tour podium. The Tour's mountains don't fit him and he's always struggled with the French climbs. The big thing he and Mas have going for them is they restarted the season in horrible form and it's very evident that their form is improving with every day they race. So yes again Valverde is in the service of a teammate at the Tour, it's just his role is a bit different. Now we go to the Vuelta and he has found his form we may have a different conversation.

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    My comment made after Sunday's stage 9

    With the 2nd great climbing day delivering a win for Tadej Pogaĉar, he appears to be strong enough on climbs to rise from 7th place to a podium.

    I think the podium is now in the top 7.
    And the 2 men with strongest Teams clearly should benefit - on the flats and in the mountains.

    But any one bad day for any rider........



    and as an afterthought -
    this has been an exciting route, IMO. Brings out the GC contenders early, sprinters have had their stages and 2 more sprint stages after Rest Day (assuming minimal cross winds). More than 2 serious GC contenders and very competitive amongst several riders & teams. The Green Jersey could be competitive as well.

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