Off Topic Tour de France

Discussion in 'Horse Racing' started by NassauBoard, Jun 22, 2021.

  1. NassauBoard

    NassauBoard Well-Known Member

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    This weekend heralds the start of the greatest multi day race in the world, and it looks another brutal and fascinating Tour.

    Stage by Stage Guide - https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2021/jun/21/tour-de-france-2021-stage-by-stage-guide

    The race this year starts with four 'flat' stages and then the first time trial, which should set the race up to be closely contested before going into the hills (stage 7) and then the mountains (stage 8). We then see the massive event of Mont Vontoux on Stage 11.

    The race then calms (in theory) until it reaches Stage 17 which ends on the Portet and Stage 18 which takes on the Tourmalet.

    If the race is still close after all of that then Stage 20 is another time trial, which last year had dramatic impact on the final result of the race. Then its onto the streets of Paris for the big sprint finale.

    Start list - https://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/racing/tour-de-france/tour-de-france-start-list-2-230321

    Last years big two return, with Pogacar trying to regain his crown, he has already won LBL this season and has shown good form in his national races last week. Roglic comes in fresh, he has shown decent form in LBL (13) and has a strong team around him again this year.

    That includes Wout Van Aert who won his national championships and has good form from Milan Sanremo earlier in the season.

    Ineos (former Team Sky) have a whole host of stars, Carapaz (tour de Suisse winner) Porte (Dauphine winner) and Thomas (fell when looking dangerous in the Dauphine) along with Tao GH who memorably won the Giro last season.

    We then have Alaphillipe, Sagan, Van Der Poel and Hirschi who all can light up stage races and all must be looking for big wins and potentially wearing the yellow jersey in the race before they hit the mountains.

    Then the sprinters Ewan, Merlier, Demare and a certain Mark Cavendish!! That makes it a fascinating race from stage to stage.
     
    #1
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  2. OddDog

    OddDog Mild mannered janitor
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    The Andorra stage looks an absolute beast:

    upload_2021-6-22_11-48-45.png

    Stage 18 from Pau to Luz Ardiden is also huge with the Col de Toumalet and then the ascent to Luz Ardiden - that was the climb where Lance Armstrong got his handlebar snagged on a spectator's bag in 2003 - fell off, the leaders waited for him, he got back on and powered past them. Doped or not that was the most memorable thing I've ever seen in the Tour.

     
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  3. OddDog

    OddDog Mild mannered janitor
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    Classic Ventoux stage

     
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  4. NassauBoard

    NassauBoard Well-Known Member

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  5. OddDog

    OddDog Mild mannered janitor
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    I'd forgotten that was on Ventoux - lower down of course, where there are still trees.

    Once had a very nice red wine from Mont Ventoux
     
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  6. Bustino74

    Bustino74 Thouroughbred Breed Enthusiast

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    Thanks Nass. Current plan is to get to France next week so stage 13 looks a good opportunity to sit down for 10 minutes to watch them go by.
    Wouldn’t miss that
     
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  7. redcgull

    redcgull Well-Known Member

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    Another sporting distraction to watch, can't wait... Love the Tour, have done even before I took up cycling, just a mammoth test to human endurance. Though I have to edit, watching back 20 years ago it was a rocket fueled event...?!?! <laugh><laugh>
     
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  8. stick

    stick Bumper King

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    Is it a year already. As one of the top posters on here would say, I had the winner of this race last year.
    Really looking forward to seeing Marc Hirschi again this year, I thought he was real breath of fresh air in last years race.
     
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  9. NassauBoard

    NassauBoard Well-Known Member

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    The problem for Hirschi this year is that he is at a different team and will probably be asked to do a lot of work for Pogacar, rather than be the exuberant rider we saw last year.
     
    #9
  10. NassauBoard

    NassauBoard Well-Known Member

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    GC

    It is probably strange to say, but the General Classification looks one of the lesser competitions in this years TDF, with very few contenders for the yellow jersey in the line up.

    It basically looks a match between last years top two, Tadej Pogacar and Primoz Roglic, who dominated the race last season finishing 3 minutes ahead of the third Richie Porte.

    This year Tadej Pogacar has reinforcements in UAE Team Emirates, with one of last years star performers Marc Hirschi turning up to help him compete for a second successive GC.

    Primoz Roglic has nearly the same team with him, but Tom Doumolin isn't competing, so it will be up to the likes of Sepp Kuss to support Primoz in the mountains. He does have the brilliant Wout van Aert in support. In general though, the team does look to be ageing and could be going into decline.

    Another team with lots of experience is Ineos, who have a very strong line up with Geraint Thomas, Richie Porte, Richard Carapaz and Tao Geoghegan Hart all likely to be showing their form in the mountains. Of all the teams this one looks the strongest, but do they have the star performer to challenge Pogacar and Roglic?

    Israel Start Up Nation have a fun looking lineup with Chris Froome and Dan Martin riding. I can't see them competing for the GC, but Dan Martin did light up a few stages of the Giro, and if dropping enough time early he could be dangerous on a few of the epic mountain stages. The other big names are probably Julian Alaphillipe and Miguel Angel Lopez, who will both be short of the top when competing over multiple stages.

    The betting currently is -

    Pogacar - 6/4
    Roglic - 2/1
    Thomas - 5/1
    Carapaz - 10/1
    Porte - 25/1
    Alaphilippe - 28/1

    With betting being 1/4 for first three it doesn't really make any appeal before the start of the bike race. The three weeks is a long time in racing, throwing in the pandemic and potential health issues from that.

    More interestingly a few bookmakers are pricing up a top 10 market, which is probably more of interest. The likes of Michael Woods, Julian Alaphilippe and Richie Porte can be found at odds against in this market.

    So for top 10 finish - (both bets with SBK)

    1pt Miguel Angel Lopez - 1.60 - Movistar new signing has shown great form, would be my outsider for top 3 but he also looks a fair price for top 10.
    1pt Richie Porte - 3.25 - He has been in great form this season, and whilst he is coming into the race as the third rider for the team, I think top 10 is a possible for him and I wouldn't be too shocked to see him riding as the teams second rider at worst at some point in the second week.

    2pt staked on the GC
     
    #10

  11. NassauBoard

    NassauBoard Well-Known Member

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    Points Classification

    The Points Classification, or as it was previously known, the Peter Sagan green jersey, is another interesting market to me. This years green jersey revolves around two things, the will to win and the capability to get to the end of the race!! The race will be difficult for the sprinters, the mountain stages will be very tough and I am sure we will lose quite a few riders through the race.

    Interestingly this year we have very few green jersey sprints late in stages, so it doesn't look like the usual Peter Sagan attacking over the hills to win breakaway points whilst the sprinters struggle up the hills. This would make me think that Peter Sagan is one to take on in this market, despite being at the head of the market with Caleb Ewan.

    Caleb Ewan is very fast, and if he rides to form he will be favourite for multiple stage wins, however I have to doubt his willingness to get involved in the green jersey competition. He won two stages of the Giro before pulling out with an "injury".

    So if these two aren't to be with, then we have an interesting market. Arnaud Demare is next in, he has been in good form this season with 7 stage wins, this year he tackles the tour rather than the Giro where he won the green jersey last season. He beat Peter Sagan in the competition that time, and can do so again here. He is probably the biggest opponent for Caleb Ewan in the bunch sprints.... UNLESS

    Wout Van Aert, will he be given the opportunity to sprint in the flat stages? If so he could be a danger to all, he would mop up the green jersey competition if it wasn't for his Super Domestique duties.

    The next rider in the market is Sonny Colbrelli, who is in great form but surely he won't be quick enough in the bunch finishes to pick up consistent points to target the green jersey. He could pick up a stage at long last.

    So then what about Cavendish? Nah, not for me.

    So

    1pt Arnaud Demare @ 4.2 SBK
     
    #11
  12. rainermariarilke

    rainermariarilke Well-Known Member

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    Our two cats, Molly and Abdul, are named in honour of Djamolidine Abdoujaparov, and those are the names formally recorded on their cat-passport thingies. Our Pyrenean-born vet - whose English is harder to follow than Jamie Carragher's - finds this hilarious and, at cat-flu-injection time every year, makes a long and complex joke which hinges around Pau sounding a bit like paw. Life can reward you in many different ways.
     
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  13. redcgull

    redcgull Well-Known Member

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    #13
  14. NassauBoard

    NassauBoard Well-Known Member

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    Stage 1 is certainly not one for a bunch sprint, the final 3km climb includes sections of 14% gradient.

    Stage 2 is very similar in that it finishes with climbing.

    So hopefully after those two stages we see some time gaps before the flat stages 3 and 4.
     
    #14
  15. NassauBoard

    NassauBoard Well-Known Member

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    Day 1 - they’ve set this route up to suit Alaphillipe and he can deliver today. The last climb follows on from a few roundabouts and places where the road narrows, which for me will suit the Wolfpack and the strong team they have got here. They should be setting a breakneck pace before the climb and I fully expect Alaphillipe to launch his attack early on the climb with the hope of distancing the field.

    The issue for him might be that the climbing is done sharply in the early stages of the finish, which means that the pack have a section of false flat that can help them challenge for the victory or limit the distance to Alaphillipe.

    The joker in the pack looks to be Van Der Poel whose racing heritage is so strong that his team have used the colours of the past to mark his TDF debut.

    MVDP is explosive and this stage should suit him perfectly, if he can get the wheel of Alaphillipe prior to the finishing climb he will be very tough to beat. I worry that his team isn’t as strong and he might get caught out by the build up to the finish and the hustle bustle of stage one of a tour.

    Not a stage to get heavily involved in for betting but

    0.5pt Alaphillipe @ 7.2
    0.5pt MVDP @ 2.94

    4pt staked so far
     
    #15
  16. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Well-Known Member

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    King Of The Mountains

    Guilaume Martin 12/1 e/w with Ladbrokes and Coral three places, others 9/1

    Top 3 finish

    Enric Mas 14/1 with Sky and Ladbrokes

    Stage 1

    Alejandro Valverde 50/1 e/w with bet365, PP, Betfair and Unibet. All three places
     
    #16
  17. NassauBoard

    NassauBoard Well-Known Member

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    The route suited Alaphillipe perfectly and he delivered a stellar performance. I do think it only tells half the story as MVDP was a long way back when it kicked off.

    some very interesting rides in behind too, but I will need to rewatch this evening to see what needs noting.

    As for the crashes. How stupid!!


    4 pt total staked
    3.7 pt returned (edit as miss posted)
     
    #17
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2021
  18. NassauBoard

    NassauBoard Well-Known Member

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    The review of stage 1.

    That first crash was bizarre and the second one looked awful, with a few casualties including Marc Hirschi who has a bad injury. Plenty lost time and that is an annoying start to a big race. Especially when it wasn't their fault.


    Alaphillipe will rightly get all the plaudits but Dries Devenyns set him up with an excellent bit of power riding at a crucial moment of the stage.

    It had MVDP on the back foot and whilst he put in a surge late in the climb, he was unable to claw back the deficit and ended up in the bunch at the finish.

    A good few unanswered questions but also an answer for who is the stupidest spectator in sport!
     
    #18
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  19. NassauBoard

    NassauBoard Well-Known Member

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    Stage 2

    Another day for the Wolfpack, another stage that Alaphillipe could dominate. However road racing is never straightforward and teams protecting yellow sometimes ride differently.

    0.5pt Alaphillipe @ 3.4
    0.5pt MVDP @ 6.6
     
    #19
  20. rudebwoy

    rudebwoy Well-Known Member

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    indeed , lots can and does happen in the tour , haven’t watched any yet this year , i usually wait for first week to shake the tree , if i wasn’t working and moving house , might cast a look at highlights , worlds greatest sporting event !
     
    #20

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