Tour de France Stage 14 Preview

A mountain stage, a scenic stage and above all the breakaway stage. A lot of riders will have had today in their diaries as their chance of a stage win.

Stage 13 Review: for riders who can’t climb, yesterday was probably the last chance for a breakaway and a stage win but the wind stayed calm and Deceuninck-Quickstep set about filtering the moves to dampen the chances of anyone staying away and once a trio went clear that was it. B&B Hotel’s Quentin Pacher had a go later on but was reeled in. So we got the first ever bunch sprint into Carcassonne and Mark Cavendish got his fourth stage in the race and his 34th career Tour stage. The finish was more ragged than usual, accumulated fatigue plus a big crash took out several riders and so there were no big trains. DSM tried a late surge like they were doing last year but DQS held them off and for a moment it looked like Michal Mørkøv was going to win the stage before Cavendish launched and, hunched low over the handlebars, surged to the line.

The Route: 183km into the Pyrenees and almost 3,000m of vertical gain. This is an intriguing route using lesser-known roads in the Pyrenees including several passes climbed for the first time by the Tour. After a flat start out of Carcassonne there’s a small climb to Montréal (yes Montréal like Canada, literally “royal hill” and there are many in France, there’s even an association of towns called Montréal in France of which today’s one is a member) but not much, just a point for the big ring sadists to try and create a break. The road continues and often with good visibility, riders can keep a breakaway with a small lead insight.

The Col du Bac is the first marked climb and a regular ascent on a big road and the descent is alright too, just with some wide hairpins. Then it’s along the Hers valley and to Lavelanet for the intermediate sprint, the town known in France for its famous goalkeeping son. Soon after comes the steeper climb towards the Montségur castle, 4km at almost 9% but on a big wide road. The climb is like a gateway, cross it and it feels like you’ve gone from the foothills into the mountains. The Croix des Morts is another steady climb, no surprises but no descent either as it leads to a plateau. After a while there’s a sudden descent and the road gets narrower.

The Col de la Serre, labelled the Côte de Galinagues, is a scenic backroad chiselled into the side of the cliffs and begins with a sharp corner and a narrow bridge and over two kilometres at 9% and then some narrow roads over the top. The unmarked Col de Campérié is a gentle main road. The last climb is the Col de Saint-Louis, 4.7km at 7.4% but with a middle part at 9-10% before reaching the fun spiral bridge to help gain altitude for the pass, readers who are familiar with the Sa Calobra climb will recognise the engineering here. From here it’s not far to the top.

The Finish: the descent is more gentle not too technical but one of those places where it’s hard to chase back: neither steep and twisty enough to reward risk-taking, nor flat enough for a powerful rider to know they’ll mow down a lone climber ahead. The final kilometre is flat and with a gentle left hand bend, but gentle bend more than a corner.

The Contenders: today’s stage is accessible to a lot of riders as the climbs are shorter in duration so it’s a breakaway lottery day. The archetypal winner is Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quickstep) but he’s been burning matches like a bored teenager, as well as helping pull back breakaways so his energy levels won’t be high. Some riders are on GC duty for leaders which reduces the picks too.

Toms Skujiņš (Trek-Segafredo) can handle a hilly day. Magnus Cort (EF Nippo) can too and packs a good sprint and maybe Michael Valgren and Ruben Guerreiro too, all riding on the roads of their team mate Simon Carr who apparently rode the entire stage on 21 December last year. Bahrain have gone quiet of late but Dylan Teuns and Matej Mohorič come to mind for today. DSM are getting a dunking in the Dutch press of late with talk Søren Kragh Andersen wants to leave before his contract is up is a DNS. Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) used to be the breakaway king by brute force, can he finesse a win today? Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) is an insurance pick, tomorrow is too mountainous so today suits if he can get in the break. Otherwise there are more riders capable of getting in the break and over the Col de Saint-Louis, take your pick…

Dylan Teuns, Magnus Cort, Julian Alaphilippe, WVA.
Skujiņš, Mohorič, Schelling, Mollema, Fraile, Guerreiro, De Gendt, Perez, Godon, Clarke

Weather: sunny and 30°C.

TV: the start is at 12.15pm and the finish is forecast for 5.00pm CEST. Tune in to see the fight for the breakaway and stay for the scenery of these Pyreneean backroads.

82 thoughts on “Tour de France Stage 14 Preview”

  1. If you want to see the opposite of a “textbook” leadout that would have been DQS, wonder what the general feeling would have been if Cavendish hadn’t been able to overhaul Mørkøv at the finish….

    • When they interviewed Mørkøv he had the look of someone who was wondering exactly when he would get a chance to win a stage, and whether he too could have 34 Tour stage wins. But someone has to be the king and someone the kingmaker.

      • Yeah the Quick Step sort of motto is that today you might have to sacrifice your chance of winning for the good of a teammate, but tomorrow it might be your turn. And it rings true for pretty much all of them except Morkov. Even Declercq gets the odd go in minor classics. Maybe if Cav gets 35 before Paris he’ll let Markov have a go on the Champs Elysees?!

        • If Cav doesn’t make it to Paris he’ll have his shot in any event. Will he sand bag his team mate over the Pyrenees? Of course not, but you wouldn’t blame him if he has a secret smile to himself if Cav misses the time cut: “Job done, and a chance on the Champs, and a chance on the Champs!” He’ll say to himself.

          • He would consider it a personal faillure if Cav doesn’t make the time cut.
            As for personal ambitions: it’s all about the Olympic Madison gold medal, he has been UCI world champion multiple times in the event that hasn’t featured at the Olympic’s since 2008.

    • Conversely, Cees Bol was set up brilliantly with around 500m to go and then just disappeared. DSM must be disappointed that he hasn’t been more prominent in the sprints, even after his crash. He doesn’t seem to like it when it gets lively in closing metres

      • His preparation has been derailed by illness in the beginning of june, keeping him off the bike for 9 days, according to the press release. He’s had better shape and that translates to positioning too.

  2. “I don’t think I can ever be compared to the great Eddy Merckx, the greatest male road cyclist of all time…”

    Gracious and classy. Comparisons in this case are odious, and Cav knows it.

    Some commentators are saying that Morkov could have won it but deferred to Cavendish. Is this true?

    Whatever the truth, Cav looked utterly spent, and there are grounds for thinking he may not make it through the Pyrenees, which would be sad, not because I want to see Mercx’s record broken, but because Cavendish absolutely deserves green.

    • Merckx’s take on it… slightly less classy.

      Seems Eddy might have benefited from a good case of Epstein-Barr and a few years as a nobody.

      • According to the press, he wasn’t bothered with Cav tying or possibly breaking his record. Seems like a bit of a negative stance, but that could be the translation of the media. I’d rather see him applaud Cav’s achievements.
        Eddy has been put on a pedestal in the cycling community and especially Belgium for years. Come on, it’s a cyclist, not Ghandi or Martin Luther King. Don’t get the celebration of VDB and Pantani either. Sure, they provided great entertainment, but are we really going to make martyrs out of pro cyclists that used doping and tragically got on a downward path after their careers?

      • Hopefully Merckx was set up by a clever question that was designed to elicit a grumpy soundbite – something along the line of “had Cavendish matched your achievements” would do it.

    • It honestly wouldn’t surprise me if Cav knocks it on the head in the Pyrenees and leaves it at 34 apiece?
      Get a one year contract and go to the Giro or something next year.
      To even be mentioned in the breath as Merckx is surely enough for any mortal.

  3. Today is more of a lottery than usual, lots of tired riders. Julian Alaphilippe will likely try but cant see he has the energy left, next Tuesday’s stage might be a better bet. There have been a lot of teams that have been well nigh anonymous so would not be surprised to see a completely left field rider win today. I would imagine the GC folk will be happy to take it very easy.

    The DSM thing is very odd, will there be any riders left next year? There is clearly something wrong with the management of the team.

    • There’s an interesting Cycling Podcast episode solely about the Giant / Sunweb / DSM management. It does seem very different to other teams.

    • There’s certainly a bad vibe in the media about them. They are certainly underperforming, but every team goes through peaks and valleys. If I am not mistaken, they’ve invested in young riders recently, after a few top riders left (Dumoulin, Oomen, Hirshi). It makes sense that they are not as succesful as they were in what seems to be an transition year for them. They’ve had a lot of victories in big races, so the management at least does something right.

      • Hirschi actually „was“ (and still is) a young rider.

        Investing in young riders can mean many things. It actually can mean you invest in young riders (but then you want 1 or 2 to have them learn the ropes in a real team, where they can slot in with the older riders and do not have to carry a whole team). It can also mean wanting people, who are thankful for a break, not very demanding, who are accepting of things, because they know nothing else etc.

    • I was calling them a fascist team years ago and people on the net were howling and being seriously offended by that. But it is not very difficult to see structures, actions and deduct from them what happens. People are not really that difficult or different psychologically.

      In that team there is no you. People are not allowed to think or act as individuals. Everything you have as a human in your toolbox, like feelings, instincts, learned behavior – you call it – has to be given over to THE LEADER/THE CAUSE. HE knows what is best. HE KNOWS. And if HE controls you, tries to break you, it is only out of love and care, because HE knows better than you. And if it is good for THE CAUSE then who are you to be selfish enough to question it? Donˋt you want to reach your potential? Donˋt you think of others you hold back with your behavior? Donˋt you want the best return of your investment? Do you really think you know everything?

      It is something, that unsurprisingly is not that rare. Whole companies work on sad, little, damaging structures like that. But there people can at least go home after work, have rights that get enforced by others for them. There exist at least some kind of objective measures, in a bike race you can always think: well, if he would have tried a bit harder, eat a bit less or whatever, he would have been better. „ And in professional sport people on both sides – the owning and the owned side-have far more the feeling, that they really own the athletes.

      (I dare you to go back and think just a second about the questions I posed at the end of the second paragraph. You will notice, that they will tuck at you. Even in such a sarcastic paragraph. MAYBE it is bad to see everything from your own perspective? MAYBE such trust IS really what you are lacking? You will notice, that they will make you doubt, that it really is THAT bad to ask that of a person. They do that, because they are designed to do that. They are psychological warfare. Just as real and damaging and having way more effect on the real world than any physical weapons, because they are used to manipulate and control everywhere, they steer our way everywhere, all the time.

      You think trump has followers, because of what he says? No. He could say almost anything and they would follow. He could say tomorrow he is now a marxist (whatever that may be) and they, who now actually hurt and even kill people, because they are supposed „marxists“, would follow – as long as he took them with him on that emotional journey. Because they know he needs them. More than anyone in their life needs them. He counts on them. They are real to him, their adoration brings him alive. They know it is all about him. And they love it. Just like cultists do anything for their cult leader. Sadly we are not taught about any of that, sadly we are not taught about emotions, our psyche etc. and so we still are like neanderthal people in that regard. Because of that we are used and use others every day.)

      • Offcourse people are offended and they should be. You are using the metaphore of a fascist supressing regime to describe a management culture that by the looks of it, you do not know from the inside.

        Great job using Trump as a distraction from the hollow words about that team. He would be proud of you for posting 4 paragraphs of semi-social sciences theory that is used to describe a culture in a team that you know no details of except some farts in the media.

        • The psychological structures, the psychological manipulations used are the same. You know that. They are the same, if a government uses them or if one person of a two people relationship uses them. And they are wrong. Closing the eyes before that does not change that. Closing the eyes before that only helps these structures.

          This sounds very personal from/for you, so I wonˋt say more to that.

          Just this in a general sense: We have hundreds of rules for physical contact and abuse. We are not allowed to hit each other, so as not to get hurt. But we are allowed to hurt each other through words, actions and manipulations almost without any rules. And this, although the physical side usually heals and is gone in no time, while our emotional scars last a lifetime and usually determine all our life decisions. So many people, who have lead us were seriously hurt and traumatized beings, trying furiously to get over or hide feelings of shame, loss, fear or inferiority and were chosen for exactly that, by people, who were similarly traumatized and could not stand anything whole, because they themselves felt insecure, fearful, disrespected and so forth.

          That is totally crazy. And it is wrong. It always was wrong. Wrong, that we have let it come to this. That we rather close our eyes than look at our feelings and control then. It is only now, that people finally wake up to that. Since women are allowed to take part in the official discourse, we finally woke up to psychology and emotions in an organized way. And hopefully now we finally see the turn around away from this ridiculous ignorant way we live, that has brought us and this planet so much misery and violence. Hopefully it is not too late.

          • How on earth do you claim to know what the social or emotional concepts of the Néandertaliens were? A few stone tools and some fossilised skeletons are all we have to go on.
            I rather fear that the rest of your diatribe may be similarly flimsy.

        • Who knows with Jumbo. They have let WVA do his own thing from the start of the race. Instead of guiding Roglic who was sort of equal favourite through the hectic opening stages he did his own thing (and that ended well).
          Instead of waiting for Vingegaard when he had a lead on the GC riders he didn’t and Vingegaard was caught (i wonder if WVA had gone back if they may have caught the other 2 and still gone for the win).
          Jumbo have not brought WVA to this race as his main job a domestique.

  4. Its a fact that although the “bored teenager” may well be down to his last match it won’t prevent him from attacking. He follows that great Hinault maxim; “Better to die on the road than accept the anonymity of the peloton.” I hope he wins today. However, ‘be quiet heart’, intones my head – surely this is the stage for De Gendt to make his annual stage play. And surely; it is.

  5. Did anyone watch the ITV highlights of the Tour? Quite frankly I was dismayed at the piece where they tried to explain Pogacar’s dominance. It was a case of the authority fallacy: throw an expert on and use their position to qualify the case. In this case Pogacar’s Spanish coach living in Colorado. Apparently Pogacar has the most excellent mitochondria which processes glucose better than most (or anyone). Which is fine (I don’t believe it to be sure), except that for the reaction to release energy to work you need oxygen, no matter how good your mitochondria are at processing glucose efficiently. Otherwise you just produce lactic acid.
    So you’re back to looking at how Pogacar feeds oxygen into his amazing mitochondria… if you’re going to entertain this palpable BS.
    He then went on to say that all the other competitors had turned up to the Tour in poor shape. Which is like saying all other competitors in the 100m sprint had been boozing the night before the race. It just doesn’t happen. Even if the main GC rider was struggling for form you’d expect a lieutenant to be as good as the struggling leader, and not every other competitor to be in poor form – this is the TdF. There is no reason not to be in your best form for the biggest, most lucrative race in the calendar. More BS. These sorts of pieces do the opposite of giving you reassurance, they make it clear that they are trying to hide something. I was frankly embarrassed for the guy if he thought all his study had led him to put his professional reputation on the line for that tw@twaffle.

    • Well said, RQS. I haven’t seen it yet so I’ll have to watch it directly for myself, but I’ll take your word for its content.

      Talk like this does NOT alleviate anyone’s doubt. At all. Where has this cycling expert been the past two decades? Are we sure he was actually out to defend Pogacar!?

      • You can find good and bad about DrSan Millan on the web. He’s worked in cycling for a long time, so of course he’s worked with dodgy teams. He’s also left them very quickly. JV has defended him in the past, but of course no one can know. I take some heart from Dr Jeroen Swart’s involvement with UAE and Pog’s very early showing as a phenom (11years old). But of course that’s just my personal preference. Everyone’s confirmation bias is there own concern.

        • What I’d like the doping accusers to answer is: If the Rider X, the captain of the team IS doped, why wouldn’t the rest of the team supporting him receive the same “treatments”?
          You know, so they could form a big “mountain train” to zoom him up the climbs at speeds the other teams can’t match, so he just finishes things off? You know, like those teams used to do back-in-the-day with guys like…well…you know….
          But here Pogacar’s team keeps taking criticism for being useless or next-to, so?
          As I’ve posted here too many times already: Put up or STFU….and while I’m on this soapbox, if you think the guy’s doped and it bothers you, don’t bother watching the sordid spectacle…go ride your own bike or watch tennis or football, OK?

          • There can be a lot of arguments about indicators of doping, but there is absolutely zero logic to the idea that if one person on a team is doping, therefore all on the team must be doping, and doping in the exact same way. There are many documented examples of individuals pursuing their own doping programs, separate and apart from anyone directly associated with the team.

            The fact that one rider is performing far above the rest of their team is neither evidence for, or against, doping.

          • How erudite of you?!
            Well I’m only making the point because ITV decided that the piece by Pog’s coach was supposed to close down the argument. Just like your STFU comment. But it really begs more questions and as an argument doesn’t bear scrutiny. If they had not broadcast that piece as an explanation or proof, then we wouldn’t be talking about it. So STFU if these comments bother you. Go ride your bike or kick a football.
            PS love you Larry, but giving you some of your own medicine.
            PPS the effect of doping differs from one person to the next so it does not make them all the same, so your query about differing abilities in a team is moot. And, it does not follow one rider dopes they whole team does. Go ask Basson.

    • This sort of stuff has been around for a while, I tend to think of it as meaningless mumbo jumbo which someone makes money from but who knows.

      The point about the opposition being weak is valid, variety of reasons but true.

      • I can’t imagine there would be this conversation of there were one or two other riders within a minute of Pog – i.e. if Roglic hadn’t crashed so early and perhaps even Thomas (or Bernal had been in the race).

        So many what-ifs conspire to give the times we see today but if the TT was later in the race rather than stage 5 the gaps would be around 2-3 mins to the current challengers. Who would have been surprised to see Pog put that sort of time into Uran or Kelderman? No one.

    • I haven’t seen the piece and it sounds like poorly considered bad tv, but this kind of stuff never proves or disproves anything, just reinforces opinions on both sides and keeps the conversation going.

      Pogacar might be doped. Vingegaard dropped him so he might be doped. A guy about 15kg heavier than the rest of the top 10 that day beat them all up Ventoux, twice. He surely he might be doped.

      It’s a very uneven conversation in which nobody ever changes their mind.

    • @RQS. I saw it. I was intrigued. But not in a good way. So much mumbo jumbo spouted. But it didn’t explain why he was so superior. Couldn’t believe what I was hearing when his coach then suggested the other riders were basically unfit/out of shape. All this and no challenge from the ‘journalist’ or balancing comments. Alarming.

          • Why couldn’t the science that Dr San Milan has researched explain better performance? I’m not sure I know enough about it to be definite that it does, but it might.

            I do know enough to know that lactate is a fuel and that it’s likely that precise knowledge of a rider’s production of lactate during efforts over VT1 would enable a coach to suggest training to optimise their VLaMax to aid their performance for a given goal.

    • But how do you want to prove innocence, all before have tried and never silenced the doubters…

      Numbers, testing, profiling have never silenced anyone, keyboard judges are everywhere.

      Press conferences where all questions are screened and hard questions avoided do nothing to help, and giving responded like the one that can’t be named definitely is not helpful.

      There is no way for us to know, yes be sceptical especially after our sports history, but what would stop the doubt?

      What can he do to prove he is clean or to silence doubters?

    • There is no reassurance possible. Sceptics will allways look for clues that something unlegal is happening and they’ll happily accept them as facts.

      I’m just happy that I am able to finally look at cycling without doubts, simply enjoying the racing. It’s a choice to not end up in unfounded conspiracy theories. If someone gets caught: Good! Until then, everyone is innocent to me and I like today’s racing. Everyone is having bad days again, which creates a lot of excitement. Call me naive, I don’t care, I’m simply enjoying the racing this way, not all the hypothetical nonsense around it.

    • The ITV commentary was a bit mixed – David Millar was opining early in the Ventoux stage that the riders could have a 54-36 chainring up front and a ‘9 or 10’ – 28 on the back. I realise that when asked to talk for several hours with little going on, a certain amount of twaddle is inevitable, but was a bit surprised at his level of ignorance (that or the yet to be revealed new Dura-Ace 12-speed is really something).

  6. What about Brent Van Moer, He won a similar stage like this in Dauhpine, stage 1 – maybe the climb % are a bit too much for him on this one.

  7. Half of the peloton in the break, the other half take it easy. It’ll be interesting to see how Vingegaard does over the next few stages. If he can hang on to the TT, he could be second on GC which would be amazing. Anyone know Vingegaard’s contract situation as I expect Ineos are ringing him with promises of large amounts of cash?

    • Vingegaard is under contract through 2022, it’s unlikely that he will not extend. They have been building him as a GC rider since he turned pro in 2019. His VO2 is out of this world and with 58kg his power-to-weight ratio is insane illustrated by his 2018 record up Coll de Rates (13m02sec).

      They hired him on the spot based on setting the fastest time ever up Coll de Rates in march 2018 just 5month after he broke his femur and hip in the summer of 2017.

      They never even saw him race, they only had him perform a single vo2 and lactic acid test. Other benelux based WT teams tried to sign him as well, Jumbo was chosen because they offered the best development plan for him – especially the mental part about performing on race day when being the favourite and leader where he had struggled as a junoir and u23 rider (ex. U23 worlds in Austria 2018, last stage of Poland 2019… examples are numerous)

      There is a reason why has been put under Roglic mentorship since Romandie 2019 and given free roles in Poland 2019 & 2020. His first race as team leader was Coppa et Bartali this year where he captained their development U23 team, not the pro team.

      The physical talent is freakish – According to TeamDenmark (national elite program): His 2017/2018 tests has only been matched 4 or 5 times in the past 25y across all elite sports.

      As for his junior results, they are rare because you really cant win a bike race at 58kg in Denmark, through the junior ranks he struggled to compete every 2nd year because he reached puberty late.

      • Thanks for that. In other words, he’s another “number’s guy” and when you see him ride downhill it shows. I guess they figure you may be able to make an unskilled rider with great watts/kg into a good bike racer but unless you cheat, you can’t do a lot to improve the watts/kg of a guy who has great skills.
        The greatest rider in the world’s not much good if his engine is lacking – something I found out very quickly after I hung up the moto racing leathers squeezed into the lycra in my first bike race: 1st into and out of every corner but passed like I was stopped on every straight!

    • He is under contract until the end of 2022, and with Kruijswijk declining and Dumoulin’s future unclear, my guess he is going to be the no 2 behind Roglic over the next years, which should be sufficient to keep him on board (compared to Ineos where he would have to compete with Carapaz, Bernal, Martinez and Tao). If he wants to be the sole leader, he should not move there anyway, but rather to Trek or a similar team

  8. The Montréal Association is not the only named based ‘club’ ; there is one for Savigny-s as well. That also went across current national borders, there is a member in Switzerland. I happen to know this because one of the Savigny was the next village to ours in the Veron.

    I never found out that they did much, they had a plaque on the sign as you entered and left the village….probably the mayors had a shindig somewhere.

  9. Alaphilippe really needs to target certain stages, rather than going for too many and wearing himself out. He’d win a lot more that way.

  10. I know history won’t remember it this way, but it’s a measure of how meager the sprint competition is this year that Cavendish’s biggest competition for stage wins (and the green jersey if he’d wanted it) is his own leadout man. Inrng has written about how the stars have aligned just so for Cavendish to get these wins, but at this point it’s not just stars aligning, it’s as if every potential sprint competitor has been sucked into a black hole.

    I’m looking for Cavendish to win stage 21 by half a wheel ahead of Mørkøv, with Mørkøv touching his brakes just before the line to make sure he doesn’t upstage his teammate. Greipel will finish three bike lengths behind in third, and commentators will say this sprint was just as amazing as the final stage in 2013. Ces Bol will have his best stage and take fourth with a bike throw, ahead of Van Avermaet. WvA will have abandoned for Olympic prep, Philipsen after mishaps in the mountains, and Bouhanni will have been DQ’d for sprinting too close to Cavendish.

      • Yes, of course, and that is no less true of Pogacar. Both have had key opponents either not enter the race, or crash out, or turn up in suboptimal form. That said, I’m betting that in retrospect
        the difference between Pogacar winning the GC and Cavendish surpassing the Merckx record is that people will recall Pogacar as having faced weak competition, while Cavendish won’t have the same taint.

        • Cavendish’ story spans 3 generations of winning, losing and fighting setbacks. But yeah, it’ll be forever tainted because Caleb Ewan crashed out once.

          • You miss my point. Cav’s 2021 fairytale won’t be diminished by the absence of meaningful competition. But Pog’s likely will be (and already is). The contrast is striking.

        • Sadly, you are correct. The folks who watched “their guy” (whoever he might have been) not win vs Pogacar or Cavendish at LeTour 2021 will forever live in the “coulda, shoulda, woulda” world.
          But nobody will care, since what HASUK posted above is REALITY, not fantasy.

  11. Bike Exchange have had rotten luck and are down at heel somewhat.
    But the Aussies usually come out fighting, perhaps Matthews can do something and Chaves in the Pyrenees?
    Come on Oz, let’s be having you.

  12. After Stage 13

    72   Deceuninck–Quick-Step
    49 Alpecin–Fenix
    31   Team Jumbo–Visma
    31  Team Bahrain Victorious
    24  UAE Team Emirates
    19   Bora–Hansgrohe
    17  Trek–Segafredo
    17 Arkéa–Samsic
    14   Team BikeExchange
    12   Groupama–FDJ
    10  AG2R Citroën Team
    9  Movistar Team
    7  Astana–Premier Tech
    6   EF Education–Nippo
    5   Israel Start-Up Nation
    4   Lotto–Soudal
    3   Cofidis
    3 B&B Hotels p/b KTM
    2   Intermarché–Wanty–Gobert Matériaux
    2   Team DSM
    1  Ineos Grenadiers
    0  Team Qhubeka Assos
    0 Team TotalEnergies

    Over the last or so I’ve come to the belief that the Team competition doesn’t reflect the race. At present it is based on a team’s best 3 riders times for each stage. This leaves much of emphasis on the mountain stages. What I would prefer a points system that treats each stage equally regardless of whether the stage is a time trial, flat, intermediate, mountain or even a team time trial. The reason for this is that cycling is a team sport where the individual gets all the credit. I am thinking of a sprint train or a mountain train have the same effect in working for the teams objective of the day.

    I would love to see a points system based on the F1 during the 1990s. 1st -10pts, 2nd-6pts, 3rd-4pts, 4th-3pts, 5th-2pts & 6th-1pt. Each stage has the same points. It is only the top 6 positions because it puts the emphasis on finishing very well rather than just being consistent. Plus it follows the bonus seconds for the first 3 in each stage. I will try to update the list each day to show how it could work.
    This was inspired in part by Inrng’s take on team performance over the course of a year.

  13. Hope you heard Ned Boulting quoting your “burning matches like a bored teenager” comment on ITV4 today! It was around 164k to go, if I remember rightly. And he did it with credit, of course.

  14. Interesting that Ineos sent both of their engines up the road today. Are they planning to pick up a Carapaz attack later on in the day?

    On the other hand, given the nature of the route, maybe it makes sense for Ineos to make a forcing next week on the two consecutive mountain stages.

    • Apparently JV also sent both WVA & Kuss up the road in their depleted state. I suppose they really don’t want to put pressure on Vingegaard.

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