Giro Stage 7 Preview

Friday, 11 May 2018

A calmer stage after yesterday’s volcano action, today’s stage offers a parade along the Mediterranean coast, an interlude for the sprinters ahead of tomorrow’s uphill finish.

Stage 6 review: as mentioned a year ago the thing about volcanoes is that they don’t erupt very often, instead they sit quiet for most of the time and last year’s stage up Etna felt inert and as cold as granite. This time the stage went positively Plinian from the start. It took an age for the breakaway to form and then finally a maxi fuga of 28 riders went clear including GC contenders like Esteban Chaves and Sergio Henao. Usually riders of this calibre are not be allowed to escape but the stage had a lively start and BMC seemed ready to chase rather than Astana who’d missed the move. So if the move went clear it was quickly contained and never got much more than three minutes despite the hard work of Jack Haig at the front of the race, it was kept under control rather than panic-stations in the peloton. It must have been improvised but it was still textbook stuff from Mitchelton-Scott, to place one contender up the road with a helper too.

Come Etna and the long climb ensured the main group of contenders was quickly shrunk. Miguel Angel Lopez was the first to attack after his Astana team had worked so hard but it was premature and he got countered. There was a flurry of moves from the big names but each move was contained until with two kilometres to go Simon Yates jumped clear with ease and quickly got across to Chaves. This was a risky move, to jump with a team mate up the road risked ruining Chaves’ day but this was no half-measure, the others were left standing. Yates could have a future in politics, his gesture to ensure Chaves got the stage win might have cost him four seconds in a surrendered time bonus but it ensures Chaves got the reward for the risk of going in the breakaway and may buy more than four seconds in loyalty.

Among the main GC contenders there’s little to separate them. Those needing to take time didn’t but as mentioned yesterday their first goal was probably not to lose time so the likes of Chris Froome and Fabio Aru satisfied here even if they’ll both wonder how they can take back time on Yates. Lopez tried but lost, his attacks didn’t deliver much and it was on the kind of terrain where he could barge away normally. Froome didn’t have his habitual mountain train but remember both Henao and De la Cruz were up the road, two important engines. The proximity among the main contenders is a good thing, as much as we want to know the pecking order it’s too early for the reveal. Yates is now in the maglia rosa after a flawless start to the Giro but there’s a long way to go. For starters he’s only got 16 seconds on Tom Dumoulin and could lose ten times that in the time trial stage to come; besides he’ll be haunted by losing Paris-Nice this year having started the final stage in the lead. That day in March was a fine day’s racing, this stage was another to add to the shortlist of the finest days of racing this year.

The Route: 159km north up the Mediterranean coast along the Strade Statale 18 all day, an express road that’s wide and if there are bound to be bumpy sections, it’s the still main road and doesn’t twist and turn through town squares and around villages so there’s little of strategic importance.

The Finish: Praia a Mare has featured before but in 2016 it had more climbs before and a spicier finish with a steep and narrow climb before the finish. Today it’s much more straightforward, some bends through the town and once back down by the seaside there’s a two kilometre long finishing straight, not quite a straight line with the finish only being visible to the riders in the final 250m.

The Contenders: Elia Viviani again? He’s got everything going for him, his two wins for starters, a strong Quick Step team and already Andrea Guardini has gone home and Jakub Mareczko has been on the ropes and struggling to meet the time cut in Sicily. Watch the fight to be on his wheel in the finish among the other sprinters.

Sam Bennett is another contender, an outside pick but capable of big wins and his Bora-Hansgrohe team need a result more than Quick Step so they’re bound to chase. It’s this hunger that seems to be a problem though, it’s making Bennett jump too early.

Sacha Modolo has been close so far and has a strong lead out from his EF Education First-Drapac team so he could be close.

Otherwise there’s a long tail of outsiders. Danny Van Poppel (Lotto-Jumbo) ought to have been up there in the results has has struggled, “Kuba” Mareczko (Wilier-Triestina) has been struggling to the point where he and five team mates are last on GC because the team is trying to keep him afloat for now. Niccolò Bonifazio (Bahrain-Merida) would prefer a hillier finish.

Elia Viviani
Sacha Modolo
Bennett, Bonifazio, Van Poppel

Weather: cloudy and the chance of rain, a top temperature of 20°C.

TV: this isn’t the stage to watch for hours on end, remember that the Giro must Tour Italy first, it can’t always provide action every day so ration your viewing. Host broadcaster RAI offers the best coverage, Eurosport has the rights for many countries across Europe and Australia and it’s streamed via Fubo in the US and Dazn in Japan. The finish is forecast for 5.15pm.

Sam Y May 11, 2018 at 6:12 am

That was a geat stage to watch – I only saw the last 80km but the tension was palpable – I was on the edge of my seat for the last 40km, willing first the break, and then Chavez on!

Huge effort by Haigh, but I’m not going to be surprised if Chavez’ efforts will cost him later into the race.

George Bennett was promising too. If he doesn’t lose too much in the TT I can see a top 5 for him.

Augie March May 11, 2018 at 6:15 am

The three rings you gave Simon Yates yesterday was a good bit of prognostication. I heard an interview with Yates before the start of the race saying Mitchelton-Scott had probably the strongest team in the Giro, and while you’d expect a leader to say that sort of thing, on the strength of yesterday it’s looking less like a generic sportsman’s boast and more like an accurate description.

The other noteworthy ride for me was Rohan Dennis, while he was dropped from the GC group in the final few kilometres he never cracked, and if he can keep his losses to within 30 seconds to a minute on the big mountain finishes he is a good chance for a solid top 10 in Rome.

Utah May 11, 2018 at 6:16 am

Wonderful stage. Yates just seemed so comfortable up Etna that you got the feeling if Chaves wasn’t up the road he would have went earlier and could have put more time into the other GC contenders.

It’ll be interesting the tactics they use from here.

Ecky Thump May 11, 2018 at 7:15 am

Perhaps it’s my wishful thinking, but I got the impression that Dumoulin had something more to give yesterday?
He got in all the right places at the right times and was leaned on by the others when Yates made his move.
He correctly called their bluff too, and can now relinquish the Maglia Rosa for probably another 9 x stages.

In hindsight this can save his team a lot of trouble and effort; their challenge will be defending the Pink Jersey after stage 16 which Dumoulin must have possession of by then.

So, yes, cracking day’s racing. Great for Mitchelton-Scott and Yates / Chavez but I wonder, looking at the bigger picture, if they haven’t done Team Sunweb a huge favour?
Two chiefs equals only six indians for MS and we’ll see how this works out.
It has set the race up beautifully though, that’s the best thing.

Utah May 11, 2018 at 7:56 am

Yes, I’ve been thinking about what they would do if its a mountain stage and they are left with just Chavez, Yates plus the other GC contenders. It would be a waste for chaves to ride on the front, being high on GC, but if Chaves attacks, if i was Sunweb, I would completely close the gap, allowing yates to them attack but just stay within 30 seconds of Chaves. This prevents Yates from attacking or only attacking in the last couple k’s and therefore, limiting Yates and Chaves’ time gains to seconds rather than the required minutes.

All that said, its a great position to be in for MS, it would be a perfect position if one of them was a TT specialist.

Utah May 11, 2018 at 7:57 am

That should have read “I wouldn’t completely close the gap, allowing yates to then attack”

Peter May 11, 2018 at 9:29 am

In a post race interview with NOS Dumoulin said he didn’t have great legs, but also not terrible ones, especially near the end of the climb. Though he is often critical.

tedba May 11, 2018 at 9:44 am

I’d say that Dumoulin is still favourite… but if he is keeping his powder dry thinking he only needs to stay ahead of Froome and then blow everyone else away in the TT it feels like a risky strategy.

MS are holding an ace card now… Chaves can/should continue to attack, given that he still has a slight deficit and is possibly the weaker TT rider of the two… Yates will be free to sit in the pack conserving his energy as yesterday and then pounce. There are a lot of summit finishes still to come, so perhaps only an average of 10 seconds over the TT riders per stage could be enough.

Regardless – the Giro is definitely alive now.

Paul May 11, 2018 at 4:04 pm

+ 1 for “he only needs to stay ahead of Froome”

J Evans May 11, 2018 at 9:55 am

I’d say Dumoulin looked a bit ropey – not as much as Froome, but not as strong as the others who were pulling off the front at one point, but didn’t stick at it (Pinot, Bennett, Pozzo, etc.): those riders missed an opportunity.
If Yates remains as consistently good as he looked yesterday – although it’s worth bearing in mind that with Chaves up front, Yates didn’t have to do any pulling at the front before his attack – his tactics are simple: he needs to attack and take time on TD and CF in the mountains because he’ll lose some in the TT. (He can conserve energy whilst Chaves attacks, but at some point he’ll have to make the move himself and he’d be unwise to leave that too late in the race, limiting his opportunities.)

Digahole May 11, 2018 at 10:35 am

Yates is the man now but a long long way to go. I’d expect CF and TD build into the third week, but Yates has been on top form for, what, two months now?

Has the makings of a gr at Giro.

RonDe May 11, 2018 at 2:01 pm

I’d agree that both Dumoulin and Froome didn’t show themselves at their best here and that doesn’t necessarily bode well for the steeper tests to come. That said, Yates needs to make hay whilst the sun shines as he will need minutes not seconds if he wants to be in pink at the end. As for Chaves, I just don’t see his ITT as good enough to give him any realistic hope of the win.

gabriele May 11, 2018 at 2:48 pm

Despite his great Jerusalem ITT (probably down to very high form?) S. Yates is surely but only marginally better than Chaves against the clock, at least according to his previous results. However, I’ll concede that Simon probably always had got more margin to improve himself than Chaves, which *might* mean that he actually grow better in this specialty recently. Hard to say.
Yeah, anyway they need to take minutes (or some of the rivals cracking).

Anonymous May 11, 2018 at 6:31 am

Haig did well but it’s fair to mention that Tonelli and De la Cruz did most of the donkey work for the break before they dropped off and Haig took over.

Selig being a DNS won’t be helping Bennett’s chances. How much that effects the chase is anyone’s guess but if there’s a bit of cat and mouse between Quickstep and the rest and Bora don’t play ball, a strong break could cause an unexpected result. Here’s hoping.

jc May 11, 2018 at 8:51 am

Well done to Inrng for picking both Simon Yates and Esteban Chaves yesterday.

MS did seem to play the stage perfectly, quite how Esteban Chaves was allowed to get into the break seemed a bit of a mystery though the effort of keeping up such a fast pace and policing the break must be considerable. There must come a point where a break goes no matter who is in it. There is an element of luck.

It will be interesting to see how MS now cope with having the jersey. They have always tried to give the impression of being “Aussie rebels” and revel in guerrilla tactics. I know they have had the jersey in GTs before but not, I think, with a genuine contender. Now they have to cope with everyone else attacking them. As others have pointed out it is a long road to Rome and a long time to keep Pink.

As to the rest, Tom Dumoulin looked as if he was going to ride away at one point but then faded, not sure this was saving energy or not having the legs, the stages on Saturday and Sunday could be interesting. Chris Froome seemed to be struggling a bit but then he often does, he is likely to take time too on the TT but can he out climb Simon Yates?

It seems to be between the three of them with Thibaut Pinot an outside chance if fate plays its part with an ill timed mechanical or crash.

Bonzojess May 11, 2018 at 10:52 am

Think Chavez was in pink for a with a couple of stages to go – http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/giro-ditalia-chaves-ready-to-fight-for-victory-after-taking-pink-from-kruijswijk/but I take your point

RonDe May 11, 2018 at 2:06 pm

Yates has 70 seconds on Froome as we stand which is handy but not decisive. Froome would expect to get that back and more in a 34.5 kms ITT. It will become more worrisome for Froome if Yates deals several further blows before that though. Froome wouldn’t want to be 2 mins + back on Yates, especially if this is as good as he is going to get. From what we’ve seen week 3 Froome will need to have risen up a level or two if he maintains any hope of a win.

J Evans May 11, 2018 at 9:39 am

Could be a crucial few seconds to lose for Yates – he was going so much faster than Chaves that he’d have pulled out more time than the four seconds for the win – but probably a smart move overall as this should ensure that Chaves works for him should Yates become the team leader later in the race (if he isn’t already). And a lovely gesture that lives up to MTS’ reputation as a united team.

The other GC contenders should have combined against Froome (only Bennett seemed willing to do so). If Froome is comparatively weak now he might not be in a week and half: they should have taken time when they could.

STS mentioned Chaves’ injury yesterday and maybe that held him back a bit. However, he took over a minute into the bottom of the climb and by the time he went off on his own he only had 32 sec, so he gave away that time rather than losing it on the road (he held that gap to the end, almost, coming in 26 sec ahead of the pack). Seemed like he was overly concerned with Henao and holding himself back when, if he is a GC contender, he should have been solely concerned with time. But maybe if he’d attacked earlier he’d have lost more time – although you’d expect him to do the climb in about the same time as the others (he didn’t seem to do much work in the breakaway, although it’s still probably more difficult than being in the peloton).

tedba May 11, 2018 at 9:47 am

The eurosport pundits made the point about the six seconds, but I’m not sure I buy it. Right now Yates needs his whole team on board rather than creating another adversary in the peleton…. If he is indeed the stronger of the two (as he appears to be at the moment) then I think having a luxury domestique like Chaves in the final week will be worth more than 6 seconds.

J Evans May 11, 2018 at 9:59 am

I think so too – although he could have charged past Chaves and taken more time on the road.

Digahole May 11, 2018 at 10:47 am

Maybe this is naive, but I rethink you you might underestimate the team spirit.

I don’t think Yates was calculating at all about having Chavez as a domestique in week 3 or whatever. If you’re truly working as a team, it’s just not an option to charge up the road and steal your mates glory… you want him to have it, and I think that’s their real advantage over the other teams with GT contenders… similar at Quickstep this year

Bonzojess May 11, 2018 at 10:54 am

agreed

Anonymous May 11, 2018 at 1:44 pm

Hats off to Yates, what he did was something Chavito will never forget and something worth more than a few seconds. Inspiring!

G Thang May 11, 2018 at 2:07 pm

Yates won’t think so if he loses this race by 4 seconds.

tedba May 11, 2018 at 9:55 am

Just a curiosity – wondering if I’ve missed something…

Looking at the classifications on cyclingnews.com and Poels and Van Rensberg appear to have minus 5 points in the Blue Jersey race… anyone any idea? or just a mistake perhaps? it appears beyond my googling in any case.

The Inner Ring May 11, 2018 at 9:56 am

You can get fined for breaking rules, relegated etc.

Bonzojess May 11, 2018 at 10:55 am

apparently there have been loads of fines as Sean Kelly pointed out on Eurosport someone’s got to pay for that new super duper commissaires video booth

Nick May 11, 2018 at 12:12 pm

They were both penalised on Stage 2 for “pushing off against a car” – presumably their bottles were too sticky. They were fined CHF50 and lost 10 seconds on GC too.

Nick May 11, 2018 at 12:17 pm

The detail is in the official communiques. I don’t know how to find them on the Giro site, but steephill.tv publishes them.

not yoda May 11, 2018 at 9:57 am

would be cruel for Wilier-what is their 2nd sponsor this year to have brought a complete roster to support sprinter Kuba and get nothing out of it.. Unless the Quick Step train runs into accidental trouble probably just 1 of the sprints will slip their hands..

Martijn Stolze May 11, 2018 at 10:10 am

Fascinating fight yesterday. Yates looked the strongest, as predicted, Dumoulin second, as predicted, and Pinot also strong. Interesting to note though how Dumoulin was racing differently to last year. No longer can he wait for others to respond, and with Yates and a few other moves he was just regrouping when it happened, and as a ‘patron’ he had to help. Yates got away in part because nobody could respond. Think Dumoulin will rue this.

G Thang May 11, 2018 at 2:08 pm

How was Dumoulin second strongest? He barely looked better than froome and was hanging on at the end instead of competing with Pinot for the 4 bonus seconds.

Claire g May 11, 2018 at 10:19 am

Are we seeing Froomey’s true level when riding clean? Or is he going to improve later in the race? Has he dropped from his peak, with age, with this just happening to occur after his AAF? Or is he Juan José Cobo re-born which would be ironic?

Unexpected Item In The Bagging Area May 11, 2018 at 10:33 am

Anything to say about Simon Yates’ past? Or is Froome just the official punching bag?

Digahole May 11, 2018 at 11:13 am

Seems only logical to keep the punching to the guy with the AAF hanging over him… that said it’s a tiresomely boring topic with such great racing going on

Kit May 11, 2018 at 12:11 pm

I quite agree – last we heard Yates is on an indefinitely renewed TUE for Terbutaline, which only became public when he served that 4 month ban.
Very happy to make Froome AND Yates be “punching bags” for doubt over drug use, whether legal, TUE, specified or illegal.

Anonymous May 11, 2018 at 12:37 pm

I hope the idiots are not peaking too early, its not July yet! INRG’s annual July idiot competition.

Larry T May 11, 2018 at 4:44 pm

I was all ready to make a comment like, “Well, finally a British guy we can all be happy about” but I figured I’d better check first as I remembered something dodgy about someone named Yates. Oh well. Meanwhile, we were up on Etna yesterday. More details here for anyone who might be interested http://cycleitalia.blogspot.com/2018/05/giro-ditalia-stage-6-caltinessetta-etna.html

gabriele May 11, 2018 at 2:05 pm

Your questions are interesting only in that they show the sheer quantity of complex, intertwined factors (and there are more) that can affect performance. Which makes any direct connection between performance and doping quite laughable, except for some very specific situations (normally surfacing later than most internet commenters are willing to wait).

The Inner Ring May 11, 2018 at 2:10 pm

Eh, if anyone knew they have the scoop of the decade.

CarpofMessina May 11, 2018 at 2:12 pm

Does no one here have a memory longer than the last outrageous internet report? Review the 2014 Vuelta where Froome was often hanging on in the first two weeks but in the third was much better, albeit that by then Contador was clearly the best rider in the race and had it won. We have seen this from him before. At least those of us with more rounded memories have.

Larry T May 11, 2018 at 4:46 pm

Some of us old-farts remember some REAL “hanging on” by Mr. Froome http://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/racing/giro-ditalia/froome-disqualified-from-giro-ditalia-60517

John I May 11, 2018 at 6:51 pm

Froome’s GT strength has also derived from the high quality of his Sky mountain train, with often 5 or 6 super-domestiques pulling him up hill and peeling off one-by-one before the summit. With smaller teams, and in this case with a rider up the road, he doesn’t have the support he’s had in prior GTs.

Bob Fossil May 11, 2018 at 10:55 am

This race has been excellent so far – a good mix of riders in the pink jersey, and all genuine contenders, not sprinters looking for their one chance to wear a leaders jersey. I really sincerely hope Froome doesn’t do one of his magical third week peaks and win this one. His presence is one of the only things dragging this race down. Even if no one is truly clean, lets see some good racing between some of the other guys and keep Armstrong 2.0 away from the podium.

CarpofMessina May 11, 2018 at 2:13 pm

And that’s why I don’t like cricket.

Dime May 11, 2018 at 11:07 am

I would love to see Simon Yates break through and win this Giro, however I am reminded of the Hare & the Tortoise. Tom and Chris have front row seats to witness Simon’s spectacular collapse on stage X. maybe or maybe not?

ocaz May 11, 2018 at 12:51 pm

Great stage, loved the one-two with Chavez and Yates.

Wonder if he will may come to regret those bonus seconds? As this looks like it will be a very close Giro. Understand why he gifted the victory to him considering he had been out on the front for a significant amount of time and the camaraderie between them both after the finish was clear to see both equally delighted for the other.

Hope Yates can last out as he looked very strong bridging to Chavez and if he wanted he could have left him too.

On a side note – constant talk of Froome not looking his best – he always does the classic yo-yo as rides to his own pace and he held the position and didn’t lose time – if he is riding into form he could peak when others start to falter. Also regarding Dumoulin is he been incredibly honest not feeling the best as he had a dig just to see where his rivals were, is he over playing this?

Giorgio May 11, 2018 at 1:47 pm

All the favorites were up there fighting up. But Richard Carapaz, who most pundits confused with Valls, was the largest surprise of yesterday’s stage. Let’s see how much powder he has for three weeks racing, in his first GT. Anyone else surprised?

gabriele May 11, 2018 at 2:30 pm

Let’s see, but this doesn’t come unexpected. He’s surely able to keep performances through a GT – take into account that this isn’t his first GT as you say given that he finished last year’s Vuelta, and on a very high note – but that happened while focussing on mountain stages mainly (and a break): taking care of the GC is indeed a different matter. OTOH, he’s not a neopro anymore, age and experience should imply a notable growth. As I’ll comment below, a different question is if he’ll be able to keep his form level, since he’s got a good Spring already.

The Giro results follow up very good performances in short stage races through March and April: uphill finish and final GC victory in the “Vueltina”; three stage top tens both climbing and ITTing led to final GC podium in Coppi & Bartali, behind two serious WT names like Rosa and Mollema, while beating other promising youngsters like Sivakov, Hamilton, Masnada, Ciccone or Powless; 11th at Pa-Ni against top competition – he left behind Henao, Oomen, Fuglsang, Alaphilippe – with two convincing performances both on the uphill finish of La Colmiane and in the final Nice stage. After such a Spring, he might come short of form for the third week, but his current results are absolutely consistent with what he’s been showing…

…As well as with a promising season last year when he still was a neopro. At the Vuelta (the big one) he was less than 10″ shy from the top ten on Calar Alto, La Pandera and the Angliru (always placing between 11th and 14th place). He had been an impressive 2nd in final GC at Route du Sud, which he lost to Dillier only because of bonus seconds in intermediate sprints (if I recall this right), after a solid Spanish Spring with final GC top tens both in Vuelta a Madrid and in Vuelta a Castilla y León.

A solid and consistent yet still young rider whom actually several Italian commenters had marked on internet forums, even before the Giro started, as one to watch in the Movistar roster when this sort of C-team (no offense meant, it’s just that Movistar has plenty of talent) was announced.

The GCW / Strictly Amateur May 11, 2018 at 1:57 pm

What happened to Formolo? Lost about 5 minutes… unexpected.

The Inner Ring May 11, 2018 at 2:05 pm

He crashed on Etna and took a while to get going and it wasn’t a climb to be left behind, drafting counted. I’ve read about a knee injury too but can’t confirm.

The Inner Ring May 11, 2018 at 2:13 pm

J Evans: please stop posting the same insults to other readers over and over again under different names. I’m out for a long ride and can’t moderate the comments, theirs and yours, that easily for reasons of time and tech with only a phone in my pocket.

J Evans May 11, 2018 at 3:20 pm

I have not posted any insults to anyone.
I have complained about others insulting and making personal comments – e.g. ‘ego’ and ‘Breitbart’ comments of yesterday, someone calling someone else an ‘idiot’ today.
You deleted those comments, so I can’t prove that you are lying and that they contained no insults.
But you are lying.
You are also lying about me using different names.
This did not happen.
I have only used my own name, except when I replied to anonymous (the one calling someone else an ‘idiot’ above) using anonymous for myself (as I sometimes do – if they don’t give their name, I don’t give mine).
I don’t know what your obsession with deleting my comments is – particularly as you leave abusive comments here and mine are not abusive.
I repeat: you have lied. None of my comments were insulting. And I did not post comments ‘over and over again under different names’.

J Evans May 11, 2018 at 3:24 pm

I challenge you to reinstate those comments, which will prove that you are lying about me insulting people or using different names.
Or, at the very least, to not delete my comment for a change.
Lying about someone when you are in a position of ‘authority’ (i.e. it’s your site and people will automatically believe you) is low.

Anonymous May 11, 2018 at 7:42 pm

Stop being so aggrieved JE. It’s a blog. You don’t have some fundamental human right to comment. If all this upsets you this much it’s probably a good sign to take a break, maybe go for a ride. And you could always email INRG instead of post these comments publicly. It seems childish.

J Evans May 11, 2018 at 8:25 pm

As you can see, I was responding to lies being said about me.
End of story, no need for your involvement.

J Evans May 11, 2018 at 8:31 pm

Oh and I did e mail and then inrng put his comment here. I only responded to that.
I don’t know why you feel so ‘upset’ that you need to get involved, nor to post insults, which doesn’t seem particularly non-childish.
My only complaint here is against lies being said about me – if you don’t stand up for yourself in that situation you might have some sort of self respect issues.
None of my posts were insulting, none were sent ‘over and over again under different names’.
Two lies.

Lanterne_Verte May 11, 2018 at 9:42 pm

I too hesitate to wade in on this but feel I should say something in support of INRNG, maybe this all started with a misunderstanding but seriously JE there is no need to launch into what comes across in writing as a hostile tirade which I think is completely out of place here. The best thing about INRNG is the excellent content that is provided free for us all to enjoy. The second best thing in my opinion has always been the maturity and intelligence and breadth of knowledge shown in the comments section that enhance the OP rather than detracting from it as is often the case elsewhere. I hope this is a one-off, an exception that proves the rule as it were. I love this blog, lets keep it on a good level, it would be a great shame if the comments section degenerated and consequently had to be auto-moderated or removed as an option.

The GCW / Strictly Amateur May 12, 2018 at 3:27 am

A+ Lanterne_Verte.

Larry T May 12, 2018 at 7:58 am

+1 This may be the ONLY place where intelligent and interesting discussion survives. It would be a shame to see it ditched or end up like, say, the comments on CyclingNews.

J Evans May 12, 2018 at 9:53 am

As you can see, I was responding to lies being said about me.
I didn’t start this or put it on this blog.

gabriele May 11, 2018 at 9:23 pm

I shouldn’t get involved, either, but despite knowing that… well, the stage’s been quite boring. Never discard some good extra action & polemica!

Well, J Evans, have you even considered that maybe it’s not “lies” but, among several other options:

hypothesis 1) a not so significant mistake by inrng who – while riding! – had to erase a series of comments and perhaps in the heat of the moment attributed to you something in that thread which didn’t belong to you? That might have required a less violent reaction by you, don’t you think?

hypothesis 2) just a different POV about things? Like, something you wrote that you don’t find insulting and the moderator classifies as such? It wholly lies (the other verb, you know) within the authority’s authority to decide what’s insulting or not. And there’s no public trial about that. The referee decided you stepped on the line, maybe you don’t think so, maybe that wasn’t a fair decision, but in this *sport* there’s no video judges to have a replay, so abide by the rules or don’t play. Or, another example, personally I could actually understand deeming “anonymous posting” as “posting under a different name”, given that, unlike others, here you’ve got sort of a definite identity? And are you sure you didn’t try to post the same when it didn’t appear (I ask because it happens to me from time to time)?

All this considered, don’t you think that the above possibilities – even as mere *possibilities* – should have led you to a different approach, even if you needed inrng to clarify the situation?
You’re directly accusing of “lying”, right from post numer one, to the only communication you received by inrng’s bike, when – if any of the above hypothesis was true – that wouldn’t be a fair definition at all for what happened.
In any of those cases, you’d find yourself having been needlessly derogatory.
Asking for more information is okay, even complaining is okay, but getting aggressive in this context (we’re receiving a free while excellent service of discussion management – not to speak of the blog ^__^) is a bit… over the top?

J Evans May 11, 2018 at 10:03 pm

Just didn’t happen.
I quote: ‘the same insults to other readers over and over again under different names’
– there were no insults: inrng knows that and I know that.
To DAVE, yesterday, I said that his comment didn’t seem very chilled and that he wrote almost as much about Froome as I did. I also said that I found it odd that someone would be so opinionated about someone being opinionated.
To anonymous above, who said ‘I hope the idiots are not peaking too early, its not July yet! INRG’s annual July idiot competition.’ – I replied: said the person making personal comments to random strangers on the internet.
Those were the 2 comments that were deleted.
After the second one was deleted, I wrote that I was thoroughly enjoying the insulting comments on this page, keep them coming – something like that.
That was also deleted.
None of the comments were insulting.
None were made under ‘different names’. And ‘different names’ does not mean anonymous – that’s not a name – that’s a blank.
Now, I’m sure nobody gives a **** and, frankly, neither do I. (And I still don’t see why others are getting involved, but that’s their business.)
inrng can delete whatever comments he likes. It’s his blog and if he wants to leave up the personal insults that’s his choice. And he can delete comments complaining about those insults.
But I am not having someone lie about me without me pointing that out.
Same reason I’m refuting your points – I see your points, but I know that in this particular instance I’m right: it’s not opinion.
inrng lied. And inrng knows it too.

Eskerrik Asko May 12, 2018 at 9:40 am

Others gor involved because it ruined the whole atmosphere and it ran a very real possibility of doing so for an unbearably long time,.

There are twelves steps to doing one’s part in keeping a sane, polite and civilized discussion forum sane, polite and civilized. The first eleven all read: “Sit on your hands for fifteen seconds!” The twelfth goes: “Keep it sane, polite and civilized *no matter what*! There are *no excuses whatsoever*”

The thirteenth of the twelve steps is: “Apologize even when you think you know that you have done no wrong”.

PS In one case in another forum on an entirely different subject someone who was much better at various computer tricks than at being a responsible adult posted a s-load of insulting messages under someone else’s name and managed to make them look like they had been sent from that person’s internet address (whatever that is). I’m not saying that was the case now – and I definitely can’t see why anyone would bother, but hey, we are all different which is not always such a wondeful thing…

J Evans May 12, 2018 at 9:50 am

As can be clearly seen Eskerrik, I didn’t make the original post.
Had those accusations not been publicly made, I would not have responded.
If inrng had replied to my e mail (ignoring it was also an option) it would have been discussed privately.
As it is, inrng chose to do it publicly – not me – and he lied, not me.
I don’t want this any more than anyone else does.
(And even though I’m British I’m still not going to apologise when I’ve done no wrong.)

Mark May 12, 2018 at 12:59 pm

J Evans… I didn’t see any of the stuff deleted, so I’m not going to comment on that, but I did laugh at your responses to INRNG’s post, particularly this:

“You are also lying about me using different names.
This did not happen.
I have only used my own name, except when I replied to anonymous… using anonymous for myself (as I sometimes do…)”

I obviously don’t profess to know INRNG’s mind. But “anonymous” is a form of a name. If I was reading a thread that went J Evans, then anonymous, then anonymous (in reply), I’d think it was three different people.

In any case, I’m not sure what the big deal is in any case using “J Evans” when responding to an anonymous post if your perfectly comfortable with the content of your reply.

INRNG’s moderation tools would be able to see IP address’s of posts, so he’d have a pretty good idea when someone is replying under multiple different names.

J Evans May 12, 2018 at 1:39 pm

Mark – the latest person to get involved in this for no good reason (why not just leave it? – I will as long as nobody else is posting about it, but I’m not going to leave things not responded to) – you say:
‘INRNG’s moderation tools would be able to see IP address’s of posts, so he’d have a pretty good idea when someone is replying under multiple different names.’
You might be right. And that is precisely my point – I haven’t replied under ‘multiple different names’. And ‘different names’ suggests actual names, whereas sometimes if you don’t put in your name it comes up as anonymous (we’ve all had it where it doesn’t auto-fill your name).
That’s why I said that was a lie. And the other lie was that I’d posted insults.
(BTW I respond as anonymous to anonymous because my personal choice is not to give my name if they’re not going to give theirs – to me, it’s a courtesy thing.)

In each of the posts here, I have only responded to what others have said – including inrng’s original, untrue post.
I didn’t start this and I have no desire to keep it going (I’m also perfectly happy to take a break from posting as I’m sure people are sick of seeing my name).
But if people are going to post about it, I’m going to respond.
I didn’t post insults – the insults of others are still there to see (as I describe above).
I didn’t start all this – inrng did, when he lied about me.
I’m not the one keeping it going.
Let’s just leave it, eh.

GrannyRing May 11, 2018 at 4:28 pm

How good was Yates’ attack?

I managed to record the last bit so watched again last night. He just hangs off the front of the group but its not until Pinot notices him and tries to cover him that he launches!

gabriele May 11, 2018 at 11:01 pm

It was huge… he essentially inflicted some 25″ or so to the rest of favourites in one single km (from -1.6 to -0.6), then he rode along with Chaves – whose pace looks equal to the chasers, just as it had been from -5.5 to go.
The only doubt I have is how decidedly they actually went after him; mind, they tried hard to catch his wheel and failed miserably, but what I wonder is if the later chase was more or less effective or if they went on watching each other until the flamme rouge or so.
I think I can get some speeds soon… (or tomorrow).

Eskerrik Asko May 12, 2018 at 9:24 am

Yates had to first hang off – just to see if anyone followed – and when no one did he had to make it decisive so that no one would (be able to).
Otherwise he would either just have pulled someone with and effectively robbed Chaves’ chances of maintaining his lead to the finish line *or* wasted energy and a part of his final punch for pretty much nothing.
In any case his attack was not nearly as huge as the impression it made on me:-)

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