Monday, September 21, 2020

Cycling Update

 

 If you followed the Tour I think this video does a pretty good job of recapping things.  It was a pretty crazy race with a completely unexpected ending.  It has become rare for one person to be able to rise above a team, but this year the best rider was able to overcome his lack of strong team and beat the best team.  His name is Tadej Pogacar, he's Slovenian and when he won he was 21 years old.  The youngest rider to win since 1904.  He also won the mountain jersey and the youngest rider jersey.  Here is a simple breakdown of how things went if you didn't follow.  

The action started early for the general classification, GC, contenders this year.  On Stage 2 there were actual hills and right away we got a sense of who was going to be contending for the overall.  The young rider for EF Pro Cycling, an American team, that many thought had a shot to win after winning the prior race the Criterium du Dauphine, Daniel Martinez (Col) had a hard fall and that was the end of his chances.  Also the French hope Thibaut Pinot had taken a hard fall in stage 1 and looked to be struggling in stage 2.  Then in stage 4 we had our first summit finish and the strongest team appeared to also have the strongest rider Primoz Roglic (Slo), team Jumbo-Visma.  Roglic won the stage and we started to see who was going to be competing for the overall.  Here were the top 10 after this stage.  

1Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-Quickstep18:07:04
2Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott00:00:04
3Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma00:00:07
4Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates00:00:11
5Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis00:00:13
6Egan Arley Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers00:00:17
7Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma00:00:17
8Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott00:00:17
9Nairo Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic00:00:17
10Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Astana Pro Team00:00:17

Stage 6 was another summit finish and we saw more weeding down of the top contenders, but the next big day was stage 7 where Jumbo-Visma put their team strength to work and gapped a few of the top contenders in heavy cross winds.  Here was the top 10 after stage 7. 

1Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott30:36:00
2Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma00:00:03
3Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis00:00:09
4Egan Arley Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers00:00:13
5Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma00:00:13
6Nairo Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic00:00:13
7Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale00:00:13
8Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Astana Pro Team00:00:13
9Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ00:00:13
10Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Pro Cycling00:00:13

At this point Jumbo-Visma had things going exactly as they wanted.  They came into the race with two leaders, Roglic and Tom Dumoulin (Ned).  Both were sitting well at the top and they had things well under control.  Three of the top contenders Pogacar, Richie Porte (Aus), and Mikel Landa (Spa) all lost 1:20.  A lot of time to make up.  In the very next stage Pogocar would go on the attack and get back 40 seconds on Roglic and the other leaders.  Then he would win stage 9.  Now the leaderboard looked like this.  

1Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma38:40:01
2Egan Arley Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers00:00:21
3Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis00:00:28
4Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale00:00:30
5Nairo Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic00:00:32
6Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Pro Cycling00:00:32
7Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates00:00:44
8Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott00:01:02
9Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Astana Pro Team00:01:15
10Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain McLaren00:01:42


It's important here to notice a big change.  Tom Dumoulin was no longer in the top 10.  A lot of people questioned Jumbo-Visma deciding to go all in so early for Roglic and they used Dumoulin to support Roglic rather than protect his position in the GC competition in Stage 8.  This will turn out to be critical as the race continues.  

Things would stay settled until stage 13 when Roglic went on the attack and could only be followed by one rider Tadej Pogacar.  Now the top 10 looked like this.  

1Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma56:34:35
2Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates00:00:44
3Egan Arley Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers00:00:59
4Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Pro Cycling00:01:10
5Nairo Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic00:01:12
6Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Astana Pro Team00:01:31
7Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott00:01:42
8Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain McLaren00:01:55
9Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo00:02:06
10Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team00:02:54

This was a frustrating day for EF Pro cycling as Martinez won the stage having recovered from his injuries, but they saw Rigoberto Uran lose time.  It was obvious now that this was a two man race.  Roglic and Pogacar seemed much stronger than the others including last years winner Egan Bernal who was sitting in third.  In stage 15 this would be confirmed as Pogacar won another stage, this time only Roglic being able to stay with him.  The big surprise was Bernal completely collapsing.  He would withdraw from the race in a few days.  

1Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma65:37:07
2Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates00:00:40
3Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Pro Cycling00:01:34
4Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Astana Pro Team00:01:45
5Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott00:02:03
6Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo00:02:13
7Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain McLaren00:02:16
8Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team00:03:15
9Nairo Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic00:05:08
10Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma00:05:12

On stage 17 Roglic would extend his lead and Uran would fall out of the top 3.  

1Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma74:56:04
2Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates00:00:57
3Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Astana Pro Team00:01:26
4Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo00:03:05
5Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott00:03:14
6Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Pro Cycling00:03:24
7Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain McLaren00:03:27
8Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team00:04:18
9Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma00:07:23
10Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team00:09:31

This order would hold going into stage 20 the uphill time trial.  It is important here to note that Roglic won the last major tour the Vuelta a Espana, with Pogacar coming in 3rd.  In that time trial Roglic won the time trial and Pogacar did not even finish in the top 10.  It was assumed by everyone that Roglic would hold on to win the Tour as 57 seconds would be way more than Pogacar could make up in a short time trial against one of the world's best time trialers.  However, everyone was wrong.  Just look at the stage result.  

1Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates00:55:55
2Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma00:01:21
3Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo00:01:21
4Wout van Aert (Bel) Team Jumbo-Visma00:01:31
5Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma00:01:56

In the end here was the top 10. 

1Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates87:20:05
2Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma00:00:59
3Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo00:03:30
4Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain McLaren00:05:58
5Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team00:06:07
6Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Astana Pro Team00:06:47
7Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma00:07:48
8Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Pro Cycling00:08:02
9Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott00:09:25
10Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain McLaren00:14:03


There were two Americans who had a solid Tour.  One was Jumbo-Visma's Sepp Kuss.  He was a critical ally for Roglic in the mountains, often acting as his last support in the highest mountains.  Another was Neilson Powless of EF Pro Cycling.  He had two stages where he finished in the top 5 just coming short of a stage win on both occasions.