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Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 4 Preview

A time trial with three reference points: first to win the stage, second to shape the overall classification with a view to winning the race outright by Sunday… and third a form test ahead of the Tour de France.

Puy-mature celebration: an unusual start to the stage with the break forming only for one of its members Omer Goldstein to sit up and return to the bunch, perhaps deterred by the pesky wind that made life harder. The break already had a B&B Hotels rider in it with Sebastian Schönberger but we got a rare “taxi” move from B&B Hotels where rouleur Alexis Gougeard and German TT vice-champ Miguel Heidemann attacked with team mate Pierre Rolland, the two big riders towing their leader across the four minute gap to the breakaway only the gap began to fall and the move was reeled in. Still, it wasn’t for nothing as Rolland got some more mountains points to keep his jersey and it’s the kind of move that if used more often could pay off for others.

We got the expected reduced bunch sprint but with some GC riders attacking, notably Ben O’Connor but he went into a headwind and the group started to huddle. This let Wout van Aert get back in contention and, towed to the front by Jonas Vingegaard, he launched a strong sprint and looked to have it, sat up and celebrated only for David Gaudu to throw his bike and take the win.

Van Aert’s loss was the story of the day but… Primož Roglič had a hard time too, as everyone was sprinting for the line he seemed to lack the power and finished 12th when he’s normally very handy in a finish like this.

The Route: 31.9km and almost flat, there’s a drag up the second time check but it’s still a rise to take in the tri-bars. Much of the course tracks a canal, it’s that sort of terrain. Last year’s Dauphiné TT saw some surprise results in part thanks to the hilly, technical course with a hard finish but today’s course is much more straightforward.

The Contenders: Filippo Ganna (Ineos) is the obvious pick, he’ll enjoy the flat course. Ganna’s not invincible in time trials – he was beaten in the UAE Tour this year, lost out in the Olympics, Euros and Italian championships last year – but the course suits him and a big goal this season is the Tour de France’s opener in Copenhagen so he’ll need to be approaching top condition by now.

Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) would prefer a climb or two to give him an advantage over the Italian but still won the Tour’s flat TT stage in Bordeaux last year. Primož Roglič could be close and has a big test for the GC and a skinsuit dress rehearsal for the Tour de France but he was going backwards in the finish yesterday which doesn’t auger well, we’ll learn more today. Jonas Vingegaard gets an important test too.

Rémi Cavagna (Quick-Step) is almost a local and he’s starting to win World Tour level TTs but it’d be an upset to beat the names above. Stefan De Bod (Astana) is a TT specialist but how to win? GC contenders like Brandon McNulty (UAE), Wilco Kelderman (Bora-hansgrohe) can place high too.

Filippo Ganna
Wout van Aert
Cavagna, Roglič, Hayter, McNulty, Vingegaard

Weather: 21°C but with a high chance of rain showers. It won’t be windy and the course is often sheltered by woodland and roadside hedges.

TV: it’s a time trial so up to you but it’ll be on TV between 3.00-4.45pm CEST. Look out for any new TT bikes ahead of the Tour de France.

Embed from Getty Images

Local info: the start is in Montbrison, home of Astrid Chazal. Who you might ask but she’s had an interesting sporting career. She started out in football and thrived, being on the French U-19 team and she captained Saint-Etienne in 2011 to their Coupe de France trophy win. So far, so football but those tackles brought injuries and she was forced to stop playing early… and took up cycling, quickly. She soon made the French team and took part in various international races. Unlike football there was no silverware and she picked up more injuries and soon had to stop too telling local newspaper Le Progrèswith hindsight I think the transition between the two sports was too quick” and now works as a physio in the area, presumably adept at spotting worn. She’s not the only cyclist to change sports of course, Remco Evenepoel played football for Anderlecht and Belgium, Elise Chabbey paddled a kayak in the London Olympics and so on… but unusually she did win big in her first sport… plus of course she’s local for today.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • 150 Watts Wednesday, 8 June 2022, 6:44 am

    If the team directors fined the riders for crossing the line with their hands in the air it would bring an end to this repeating farce.
    Having said that you have to admire Gaudu’s sprint.

    • Davesta Wednesday, 8 June 2022, 7:39 am

      The way Gaudu rattled his way through the group to get to the front was like watching a pinball machine! Reminiscent of Dan McClay’s famous sprint a few years ago…

    • The Inner Ring Wednesday, 8 June 2022, 8:41 am

      Van Aert said he saw he was well clear of Lafay on his left so thought he could… until Gaudu appeared from nowhere. They’d been sprinting on the flat but the finish kicked up and so it was easy to lose ground by stopping pedalling and sitting up. Lessons learned but it’s amusing here because van Aert will have many more wins, it’s tragic when someone is close to taking a career-changing move and ruins it.

      • 150 Watts Wednesday, 8 June 2022, 8:45 am

        To my mind it is unprofessional and detracts from the spectacle. You more or less expect Alaphillipe to do it but not Van Aert.

        • Anonymous Wednesday, 8 June 2022, 10:12 am

          lighten up…

        • Cascarinho Wednesday, 8 June 2022, 12:41 pm

          Yes, they should be killed. Showing emotions in sports ? What a disgrace.

          • 150 Watts Thursday, 9 June 2022, 3:07 am

            Yep … and we saw the full gamut from Wout from glad to sadness in the space of about 1 second.

        • gabriele Wednesday, 8 June 2022, 1:20 pm

          One of the most beautiful things in cycling 🙂 and summing up at the same time the commercial nature of cycling (it’s about showing the jersey), the childish emotional rush (“look mum no hands”), that competitive brashness (“leave ’em all well behind so you can even stop pushing before the line”), and, of course, what makes it perfect is that in order to do that you actually risk it all. I’m shocked that they had it forbidden for “safety reasons”, although I suppose that something ugly might have happened often enough among amateurs to justify such a decision (or they’re simply overacting as in other recent control freak stuff about “safety”). No news about it being risky – besides the risk of losing a race or face – here in Europe, at least as far as I know…

        • Eskerrik Asko Wednesday, 8 June 2022, 1:44 pm

          I cannot claim to know the history of the no hands off the bar -rule, but I know that it has been there – possibly on anf off? – for a long time. One of my early memories about road cycling is from 1980 when the winner of the Nordic championships was demoted to second place for celebrating with both hands up in the air.

        • Marek Wednesday, 8 June 2022, 7:48 pm

          You have to remember that pro athletes are really just entertainers. The whole racing business is just the context in which to entertain the crowds. And events like yesterday’s do make for good entertainment. Job done.

      • brent sword Wednesday, 8 June 2022, 8:55 am

        Strange thing for amateur racing in Australia including masters championships and the like you are banned from removing your bars during celebration at least before and around the line for safety reasons. I always figured its an UCI rule but i guess its okay for pro racers. It makes great photo when it does not work though.
        Its not 100% that van aert would have one though. Gaudu had the speed up and may have nipped it anyway.

        • KevinK Wednesday, 8 June 2022, 9:40 am

          Good to note the publicity value of the finish photo with the rider’s arms triumphantly in the air. We see such photos virtually every day in the cycling press, and no doubt sponsors love it (as was noted in yesterday’s telecast). Of course the rider could wait a couple of seconds to do the celebration, but it’s the finish line photo that usually runs.

          And as you say, even if WvA hadn’t raised his arms, would he have won? I doubt he would have done a serious bike throw, given he had no idea Gaudu was coming, and he might have lost by a few cm instead of half a wheel.

        • Sheldon Wednesday, 8 June 2022, 3:58 pm

          Eddie Wingrave an old race commissaire who was a legend in South London was a stickler for this. Some guys lost races for this. He was very firm but a lovely human being. I can hear him now “hands on the bars lads, hands on the bars”. https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/article/roa20120320-road-Eddie-Wingrave-MBE–1916—2012-0v

  • jc Wednesday, 8 June 2022, 7:19 am

    This is a pretty big day for Primoz Roglic, not because he needs to win the stage, but because the evidence for form is not there (though perfectly possible he simply decided to save energy yesterday as little value in fighting it out for the bonus seconds). If he is, say top 3, then he is on for GC here and potentially at the Tour. If he struggles then the questions will grow as will the pressure. No doubt WvA will do well but is that distracting the team from other priorities?

    • Thomas Wednesday, 8 June 2022, 11:28 am

      This will be interesting to gauge today. I really had the feeling that Roglic did not see the value in coming in second or third when TJV’s clear goal was to go for the stage with Wout. What was more interesting: Vingegaard took care of half of the climb, and then found something extra to pull WvA to the front, and still managed to finish in the first group. He is obviously in really good shape, in case Roglic isn’t.

      • Thomas Wednesday, 8 June 2022, 11:38 am

        By the way, for those who have missed it, Jumbo put their documentary on last year’s Tour on Youtube: https://youtu.be/PMIF4IyDM6o

        It will be interesting to see if and how Vingegaard’s demeanor changes if/when he turns out to be ‘better’ than Roglic in this year’s Tour. Will he claim more of the team than last year?

        • Fra Wednesday, 8 June 2022, 10:07 pm

          The WvA’s expression when he learns that Pogacar beat him by 30 seconds in the TT is pure gold. 😀

          Nice little film, but the DSM’s Giro with Kelderman and Hindley was better for me; although to be fair, Roglic, Martin, Vingegaard, WvA and Kuss seem to be realy nice persons. But losers are better watch, be it DSM or Sunderland (Till they returned to the League Championship).

        • Fra Wednesday, 8 June 2022, 10:08 pm

          And thanks for mentioning the video!

  • Larry T Wednesday, 8 June 2022, 7:49 am

    Love that photo-finish image!!! Race ends at the finish-line but sometimes even the best either forget or let hubris get the best of them. A guy in MOTOGP made a similar mistake last Sunday when he celebrated his 2nd place a lap early and ended up 5th, losing valuable points in the season championship battle.

    • The Inner Ring Wednesday, 8 June 2022, 8:38 am

      The Moto GP rider was Aleix Espargaro who’s a keen cyclist, so much so he’s been attending Movistar’s training camps. Not the first Moto rider.

      • Larry T Wednesday, 8 June 2022, 5:26 pm

        Duh, yeah. I knew who it was, just wanted to spare the poor schlub from being named. How you f__k that up after getting to that point in your racing career makes one wonder…same as WVA, but I remember it happening to Eric Zabel at MSR, wasn’t it?

  • DJW Wednesday, 8 June 2022, 8:11 am

    And Froome, who has been claiming hard work and signs of progress – until now invisible to the distant observer. That hoped-for progress finally seems to be coming true finishing just 30 seconds down yesterday ahead of climbers like Barguil, and that after 11th at the Mercan’Tour. He’s not going to win big races again but could justify a place on the IPT TdF squad guiding young and not-so-young colleagues. Meanwhile his courage and determination are admirable.

    • The Inner Ring Wednesday, 8 June 2022, 8:48 am

      Froome rode the Tour last year too so if he made their Tour team then, he’s bound to be in this time. Yes they’ve hired Fuglsang and Clarke but Greipel’s out.

    • KevinR Wednesday, 8 June 2022, 9:09 am

      Get your money on Froome to claim a stunning Tour win. He’s building up his form to peak then and show the young guns like Pog how it is done – winning by his biggest margin after shredding his rivals in the high mountains and smoking them in the TT. (NB don’t bet large amounts as you may face financial ruin).

      • The washer Wednesday, 8 June 2022, 12:14 pm

        It’s more likely Froome peaks for the Vuelta since his season preparation was delayed, I’d expect more from him there (potentially at stage winning level) than in the tour where I think you’d see a lot of him but he wouldn’t be winning stages or GC I don’t think.

        • Marek Wednesday, 8 June 2022, 7:42 pm

          It would be fun to see him in break. No one will think him a GC threat, so why not? He’d certainly get some camera-time that way.

  • brent sword Wednesday, 8 June 2022, 8:58 am

    Down under bias here.
    I am wondering if Durbridge can recover a little of his old TT form. The move to a different bike brand seems to have improved BEX TT this year.

  • Ewen Wednesday, 8 June 2022, 11:24 am

    In the interviews van Aert was suitably rueful about his “rookie error” but as said above, it’s hardly going to affect his career. His and Gaudu’s Twitter conversation afterwards was entertaining too.

    Been a good Dauphine for the French so far which is nice to see.

  • CNull Wednesday, 8 June 2022, 2:54 pm

    Loved it. A great reminder to us and himself that Wout is human. And that nothing is nailed on til it’s over in cycling. It’s why we love this sport so much. After being in the top 5 of the group for so long, it was a surprise when he dropped back on the final climb. Then to have Vingegaard bring him back up. He may have been slightly diminished for the sprint? Which we all know is still better than most. But, watching with my son, the moment he got back up there, I said “it’s over, no one can beat him”. We both jumped out of our seats in shock but in that fun, cycling is crazy, feelin bad for Wout, elated for Gaudu kind of way. Wout will be fine. Embarrassed, maybe. Furious, I’m sure. He’ll knock out another win quickly and move on. Bike racing is the best.

  • cd Wednesday, 8 June 2022, 4:37 pm

    So can we assume WVA would have won today if he had his own skinsuit on and not the sponsors version?

    • DJW Wednesday, 8 June 2022, 5:17 pm

      Surely Jumbo-Visma will have prepared kit in leader’s colours given the clear possibility that he could be leading the race at the start of the TT. Have not the days of ill-fitting leaders jerseys supplied by race organisers now gone, at least for top draw teams?

    • Larry T Wednesday, 8 June 2022, 5:33 pm

      Sure..and buying a Cervelo “Whatever-the-hell” he rode can turn you into a chrono winner too! There was some BS being flung about this earlier during the Giro as if the skinsuit INEOS’ sponsor from just one year ago (Castelli) supplied was going to cost the wearer 30 seconds in a less than 20 km chrono vs the suit supplied by this year’s sponsor. If you believe this kind of stuff you’ll believe Ganna’s Pinarello “Adrenalina Italiana” decal means they make ’em in Italy along with a whole lot of other marketing BS.

      • cd Wednesday, 8 June 2022, 6:57 pm

        That 30 seconds referenced at the Giro was what I was hinting at. Came from Hutchinson right? I don’t buy it but 2 seconds maybe.

      • Simon von Bromley Thursday, 9 June 2022, 10:33 am

        It always surprises me that attitudes such as this still exist. Of course buying a Cervelo P5/Pinarello Bolide/whatever won’t turn a donkey into a race horse, but aerodynamics do exist and there’s plenty of evidence these things can make a difference at the margins, whether you “believe” it or not.

        How do you think Dan Bigham managed to beat Wiggins’ British Hour Record, for example? As good an athlete as he clearly is, he didn’t do it on grunt alone.

        • gabriele Thursday, 9 June 2022, 1:23 pm

          I guess Larry T will later reply himself, if he pleases, but I think that – grumpy grandpa attitude aside – he was stressing a couple of points which pretty much can stand:

          1) aero for the general public might be – in most cases – a marketing issue more than anything else (and a whole lot of what’s being said or shown *pretty much aloud* during competitions is really there for the general consumer public to hear). Larry T’s comment perhaps didn’t look much pertinent as a reply to cd… unless you imply what I wrote inside the parentheses above.

          2) Larry T named a very specific claim which looks frankly weak for a hilly 17-kms-long ITT which was raced well below 50 km/h – actually everybody barring three riders averaged *less than 45 km/h*.

          Generally speaking, people aren’t saying that aero doesn’t factor in, they’re just suggesting that it often becomes a mantra which can justify whatever claim irrespective of specific circumstances you’re dealing with.

          A skinsuit can cost you 2″ over 32 km when you’re averaging nearly 54 km/h? That is, improving 1″ every 1,000″, or a 0,1% bonus. Definitely, especially if it’s a “bad” skinsuit against a “top” one (which is to be seen).
          A skinsuit can cost you 30″ over the whole ITTs of the Giro, let alone only one of them? That is, improving 1″ every 60″, or a 1,6% bonus (if you include *both* ITTs), at an average speed of ~45km/h? Definitely *not*.

          What surprises me (or not!) is that Larry T needs to cite the Giro stuff in order to reply to an otherwise realistic question by cd, whereas Simon von Bromley feels the urge to dismiss as outdated what Larry T said, although his specific observations – as they were put, and strictly speaking – actually made quite much sense.
          Let me add that Larry T surely believes that aero matters, or he wouldn’t have issues with the chrono stuff which supposedly allowed “kite men” to “mow the rest down” in ITTs 😉
          The point is rather *how* and *when* does it matter, the Hour being the perfect extreme example.

  • ZKelly Wednesday, 8 June 2022, 4:48 pm

    That’s why you HAVE finish lines.
    Always sprint Through the line not To the line.

  • KevinK Wednesday, 8 June 2022, 5:06 pm

    By my count this season WvA now has 4 wins, 5 seconds, and 4 thirds, plus two more top 10s, out of 18 races this year. It’s beginning to remind me of young Sagan, finishing in the top ten constantly, winning more than his share, but still ending up with a frustratingly high number of near misses. I think that’s what comes when it’s clear to everyone what you can do and they’re all gunning for you.

    • Larry T Wednesday, 8 June 2022, 5:41 pm

      His national champion jersey makes him easier to keep-an-eye-on too. Certainly not as much as the rainbow stripes but…
      On that note, I remember Pantani’s Mercatone Uno team having to race in pink when the Tour organizers decided their yellow kit was too much like the Tour’s leader’s jersey. EF changed theirs to not clash at the Giro recently but has any team (like Jumbo-Visma) had to change their colors for LeTour since? Watching this race made me think – there’s too much yellow!!

      • Nick Thursday, 9 June 2022, 1:18 pm

        JV did change their jerseys for recent Tours. Up to 2020 it was a pretty subtle (and ineffective) change, but last year and this, they’ve effectively switched from yellow with black to black with yellow. 2022 jerseys at link in name, together with some guff about being inspired by Dutch Masters.

      • ZKelly Thursday, 9 June 2022, 6:24 pm

        ONCE. They normally wore yellow, but switched to Pink for the Tour one year. Another year they were in black and a year w green.

  • Andy W Wednesday, 8 June 2022, 7:51 pm

    The past few days (along with the ToB last year) have really emphasised that Hayter is a real mini-WVA. He has that combination of sprinting power, TT ability, and can handle a tough climbing day – he’s only just a notch below WVA when they’re head-to-head. It’s therefore surprising that he’s done so little in WT one-day racing (not that Ineos lack young talent there). You could see him winning something like Flanders/MSR in various ways (solo effort, sprint from small bunch). Any ideas why it hasn’t worked out for him in those races? I don’t think he’s done Flanders but has mediocre results in semi-classics. Is it the distance, challenge of recovering from repeated efforts in those races, or just given a different role by Ineos?

    • gabriele Wednesday, 8 June 2022, 10:12 pm

      I read here from other commenters that he’s not great in gliding through the bunch when things get messy, which is a serious problem in classics, much more than in stages, even when the latter end in bunch sprints. However, he’s very very young, I think that’s the main point, so he’s obviously several notches below WVA (there’s enough space) and wouldn’t be competitive enough for now. Pidcock is even younger, but that’s not the norm.

      • Andy W Thursday, 9 June 2022, 12:18 am

        Perhaps I overstated the “just a notch below” – agree that he’s several notches below, as Hayter on a good day can almost be the match of WVA on a regular day. His racecraft (or lack thereof) seemed to be evident in Romandie, where he either hovered around the back of the bunch or was winning sprints – I can see how this could be a big issue in classics. As you say, he is only 23 so has time to develop and has a prodigious talent at that age – in races like Omloop this year there weren’t many younger riders ahead of him, while the only younger rider ahead of him at last year’s World Champ RR was indeed Pidcock (although many younger riders like Girmay were in the U23 race).

        • gabriele Thursday, 9 June 2022, 12:55 pm

          No doubt he’s got impressive talent, and – merely out of cognitive habits which may now be out of date – I actually tend to feel more sure about a rider’s future when his development is gradual. Pidcock’s natural talent is probably superior and he’s already a factor at the very top level but the risk of being burnt out soon is huge. And it’s not just about “sooner” vs. “later”, it’s also about how long your career span at the very top of your game actually is.

          For example, the 1990-born generation I’ve often written about during the last couple of years aren’t only retiring soon in several cases (or dropping to a very secundary role), the problem is also that their seasons as top contenders have been fewer than you’d expect anyway. Merckx suddenly declined at 30 and wasn’t a factor anymore at 32, but he won his first Monument when he was 21 and the first GT at 23. Even a rider whose “sporting life span” had been notoriously short as Saronni was quite much a top contender 1978-1986, and at the very very least until 1983 (6 seasons). Tom Dumoulin started being a top contender in 2015 and – some later peak performance notwithstanding – after 2018 he wasn’t really a top contender anymore. Same for Aru – only one year before. Just compare that with Nibali or Contador.

          Perhaps I’m worrying to much about Pidcock, whom I’d love to see as a contender to Pogacar through all the terrains, or in Classics at least, but metabolic woes tend to be bad news. Fingers crossed.
          Hayter looks like he’s progressing on a steady path. Of course, it’s too be seen how high can he actually arrive at, but skills can be improved, or at least you partially make for those you lack with other talents (Valverde never liked “limare”, either, but he had a nice career all the same).

          • Nick Thursday, 9 June 2022, 1:23 pm

            Being interested in “all the terrains” may end up holding Pidcock back as a true challenger to Pogacar; he seems at least as interested in Cyclocross and MTB. Year-round racing isn’t likely to stave off burn-out.

  • CA Wednesday, 8 June 2022, 9:26 pm

    Inrng – unreal call of your race predictions sir… honestly, I wish I was a betting man because your rings is a perfect tip sheet!

    If you bet everyday based on Inrng’s Ring predictions would make you a very rich person!

    • KevinK Wednesday, 8 June 2022, 9:52 pm

      That’s why sports betting is so tempting – the favorites tend to win, and make us feel smart for picking them. The problem is that the odds make betting on favorites a long run losing proposition. In races like this Dauphine, WvA has been the favorite of the first three stages, and got close to winning all three. But if you bet $20 on him each stage, you’d likely only win a portion of that on top of your $20 (I didn’t look at the betting line, but I’m pretty sure he was a prohibitive favorite in at least a couple of those stages). And when he gets pipped at the line, like yesterday, you lose it all. You have to correctly bet on the long shots for a decent pay off, and good luck with that!

      • CA Wednesday, 8 June 2022, 10:37 pm

        Perfect, glad you responded with that – I was about to follow the Inrng Rings Strategy.

        Jk – I never bet, but man, Inrng’s record of picking the top riders is impressive.

    • The Inner Ring Wednesday, 8 June 2022, 10:52 pm

      No, if you were up early, you’d soon be down as cycling betting is very difficult but the market is not big and the odds rarely rewarding enough. It’s like a casino where someone walks in and thinks they’re a genius because the numbers went their way, rather than getting lucky. At least in a horse race if you have special insight into a horse you have, say, a 1 in 8 chance of winning, here in the Dauphiné it’s hard to be certain of a bunch sprint. And all the better for it, the sport is more enjoyable.

      If you do start to make money the bookmakers close your account anyway 😉

      • Eskerrik Asko Thursday, 9 June 2022, 8:12 am

        When the bookmakers have closed your account, you simply ask your cycling friends to open accounts and make your bets through them 😉

        Well, actually I only bet (ith real money) on skijumpers, on who wins the New Year’s competition in Garmisch-Partenkirchen or a competition where I have a certain hunch of whom a particular hill or wind conditions strongly favour…

        But I must admit that I seldom pay for my coffee and cake on group rides, because I tend to do rather well in who picks or comes closest to picking the winner of the day’s stage or race. And I must say that I never choose the rider to back without checking the Inrng preview first!

      • KevinK Thursday, 9 June 2022, 9:41 am

        This little side trip into sports gambling does make me wonder – has European road cycling ever had a gambling scandal the way most other sports have? I understand there’s a long tradition of deal making (as you covered beautifully here: https://inrng.com/2011/11/race-fixing/), but I’m wondering if there have been cases where someone on the inside of some of the not-uncommon cycling collusion has actually been caught gambling on the results, or passing that info on to gamblers.

        I understand that you can now make on-line side bets during cycling races. For example if there’s a breakaway you can bet on the chances that it’ll stay away, and also make mid-race bets on who will win. I recall hearing or reading one cycling gambler saying that if you had a really good race feed you were likely seeing the action a few seconds ahead of most others, and you could quickly make a bet when there was a sudden change in the race, BEFORE the odds makers could adjust the odds. It seems like there could be a powerful temptation for someone associated with the team, who is aware of all sorts of inside information (e.g., a certain favorite is under the weather, there’s some talk between the DS’s of the GC riders in second and third place, some on-the-fly deal making by rival DS’s, a call back to the car that a certain rider is feeling very strong, etc.).

        Given how relatively small the paychecks are for many people associated with professional cycling, it seems like the intersection between the on-line gambling world and the traditional collusion in cycling could lead to some messy outcomes. Have there been any such cases that we know about?

        • Andrew C Thursday, 9 June 2022, 10:21 am

          Interesting question.

          I think gambling is much less deeply embedded in cycling than in many other sports: nearly every top-level football team in Europe has a commercial arrangement with a betting company, for example. I imagine a reasonable amount of money is bet on the TdF winner but not much on lower profile races and when the market is small, the opportunities for profit are correspondingly limited.

        • gabriele Thursday, 9 June 2022, 12:30 pm

          I suspect that most of the times (although not in every example you point out above, of course) collusion happens on the spot well into the race, the most common case being two riders on the attack achieving an agreement. Yes, one of them – or both – could tell their DS via earphone (probably all the team would know, by the way), and the DS could then make the appropriate calls from the team car to have someone else betting. But it’s quite risky, several people would get involved and anyway it would imply suspicious behaviour of sort which can easily be traced back. If you were to bet really big, feel assured that the bookies obliged to pay would have a deep look into what happened.

          The key is that in cycling it’s pretty hard to draw out a very specific plan and make it work. For example, even the very top specialists in making the break don’t always succeed – to make the break in the stage they marked in red, I mean, let alone winning. Knowing things in advance would improve your betting but wouldn’t guarantee anything safe – complicated as it is to put up an alliance against a stronger rival, so many times even if you obtain that… then it simply doesn’t work. As an extreme example, think the Schleck bros up against Gilbert for kms and kms at the Liège and they couldn’t best him.

          Even race sensations as reported live by an athlete are notoriously deceiving, the most recent examples those offered by Carapaz in Turin (he felt better than he actually was going) or Landa on Marmolada (he felt terrible from the very start of the day, and eventually he wasn’t that bad).

          It’s curious, but just as some aspects of cycling are highly predictable, within a range (the leader of a powerful team protecting the jersey, a sprint stage ending in a bunch sprint), victory as such is often a very thorny matter – which, by the way, is one of the reason why we see the leading team giving leeway to the break in hard stages more and more often.

          • KevinK Thursday, 9 June 2022, 5:56 pm

            “If you were to bet really big, feel assured that the bookies obliged to pay would have a deep look into what happened”

            In some cases the bookies are in on the scam. Of course the problem with that is you’re in bed with some pretty unsavory types, who might demand that you continue to serve them.

            “The key is that in cycling it’s pretty hard to draw out a very specific plan and make it work.”

            Yes, betting on winners is tricky. But often the sports betting scandal is about not winning, as in points shaving scandals and throwing meaningless matches. Cycling really doesn’t have the option for points shaving (i.e., winning by a smaller margin to affect the “over/under” line) but it does have places for a favorite in a stage race to take a second or third place when they are the overwhelming favorite to win, as in a dominate sprinter.

            The difficulty of doing something illegal, when there’s money to be made, has rarely deterred people. But you’re right, the nature of road cycling races makes it pretty tricky.

          • The Inner Ring Thursday, 9 June 2022, 5:59 pm

            It could be done in theory but there’s so little chasing things that people would spot the price changing. There are things like match bets for one rider to beat another but this would require the rider to be in on the contest and willing to throw the result and maybe it’s naive here but it’s hard to imagine anyone winning much.

      • The Inner Ring Thursday, 9 June 2022, 6:05 pm

        An alternative strategy can be to ride the route of a stage to know the terrain and then on the morning of the stage discover the bookmakers have made a pure sprinter the favourite when you’ve identified climbs he just won’t get over if teams push the pace and think “there’s value here”. But even that can be ruined if the breakaway stays away too etc, the house always wins in the end.

        • Eskerrik Asko Thursday, 9 June 2022, 7:56 pm

          Pardon me for going on a subject that is entirely off-topic, but it strikes me as a bit funny – quite understandable, but funny – that for most, if not all, commentators betting means bookmakers and fixed odds. It is far from an universal form of betting.
          Parimutuel betting is popular in many countries (and used to be the sole legal form of betting). You are not betting against the bookmaker and the so alled expers who set the odda, but against other idiots like yourself. The house, usually a national lottery, takes its cut and the odds depend solely on how much is bet on the winner.
          The house never loses, but it cannot win more than the set percentage.
          For the sharp – and lucky – betting man who can resist being on favourites it often results in quite decent odds.

          • KevinK Saturday, 11 June 2022, 8:44 pm

            I’m not sure where in this discussion there was an assumption of only fixed-odds betting. Collusion and sports fixing can occur under either system. Also, I’m not sure I agree about someone sharp getting decent odds in parimutuel betting. In that kind of betting structure, the “wisdom of the crowd” starts to come into play, and long-shots that actually have a chance of winning will attract more bettors (assuming it’s a contest with a decent number of bettors), which will quickly lower the odds to be less favorable.

          • Eskerrik Asko Sunday, 12 June 2022, 6:23 am

            What’s wrong with some people who are active in the comment sections? I don’t pretend to know and I don’t want to guess, but I’m afraid or, indeed, pretty sure that the readers who haven’t already included me among those people would do so if I wrote a reply explaining what I actually wrote and what I didn’t write (or didn’t mean, in case I expressed something a casual manner or in poor English).
            Have a nice summer and enjo the Tour!

  • Phil Mickelson Thursday, 9 June 2022, 3:38 am

    Don’t gamble

  • Anonymous Thursday, 9 June 2022, 3:10 pm

    Nice story about Astrid Chazal. Shame about the photo. Was there not another one available because if she tackled like that then there’s no wonder she got injured a lot and her unfortunate opponents too. That’s a horrible challenge which could easily break the other player’s leg or do much damage to her knee.

    • The Inner Ring Thursday, 9 June 2022, 6:06 pm

      That was the only photo going for free and yes, both players look about to snap/bruise something by their knees.