The Closest Tour de France In Decades? | The Cycling Race News Show
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The Closest Tour de France In Decades? | The Cycling Race News Show

October 29, 2019


Welcome to the GCN Racing News Show. Coming up this week, we analyse an enthralling
2nd week of the Tour de France which has left us no clearer as to who the final winner will
be in Paris. We’ve also got La Course by Le Tour de France,
and some potentially big news for women’s cycling. We shall start with the Tour de France though,
where we have had another absolutely brilliant week of racing. It’s setting itself up to be one of the
most exciting editions of the race in decades, because, with just 6 days to go, nobody really
has a clue who is going to win. Don’t forget that if you want to catch up
on any particular stage, we have highlights of them all on GCN Racing, so make sure you
subscribe to that if you haven’t done so already, and click on the bell icon too so
that you receive a notification every time we upload a video. But, to recap very quickly since our last
racing news show, Wout van Aert won stage 10 after a tough day in the saddle which saw
some of the key contenders lose 1 minute and 40 seconds in crosswinds, amongst them Thibaut
Pinot. Caleb Ewan took what was clearly an emotional
win on stage 11, managing to get round Dylan Groenewegen in what was a very tight finish. Simon Yates made the most of the freedom he
was allowed by his team, by winning into Bagneres to Biggorre on stage 12, whilst Julien Alaphilippe
made the most of his current form, by taking a surprise win in the time trial on stage
13 in Pau. Which, for the first time since this race
began, rang alarm bells amongst the other contenders, who until that point, had always
made the assumption that Alaphilippe would eventually crack. Cracking slightly the next day up the Tourmalet
was Geraint Thomas himself – a big surprise given how strong he’d looked on La Planche
des Belles Filles. He did well to limit his losses, just 36 seconds
in the end, but, it gave renewed hope and enthusiasm to his rivals, and in particular
Thibaut Pinot, who won the stage, much to the delight of French fans. And much to the delight of team principal
Marc Madiot, obviously: The whole of the French public, in fact, had
plenty to cheer for. Not only did Alaphilippe not crack that day,
he came 2nd, increasing his advantage at the top of the GC to over 2 minutes, and proving
beyond all doubt that he CAN compete over 2000m above sea level. But, cracks did start to show, finally, yesterday. In trying to follow Pinot, Alaphilippe went
deep, and started going backwards, conceding 1 minute 16 seconds to Pinot, and 27 seconds
to Geraint Thomas. And so, this is how the top 10 on general
classification now looks on the final rest day:
Julian Alaphlippe still in yellow, but by just 1 minute 35 from Thomas, whilst there
are only 39 seconds separating Thomas in 2nd, and Buchmann in 6th. Which means there is everything still to play
for over the final week of the race. I mean yes, we have had closer Tours de France
in recent years. For example, the top 6 on GC are currently
separated by 2 minutes and 14 seconds, but just two years ago, in 2017, the top 6 were
separated by just 1 minute 17 seconds. However, the big difference back then was
that Chris Froome was leading, and didn’t really look like he was going to relinquish
that lead. Now, though, Alaphilippe looks as though he
might be starting to pay for his efforts of the first two weeks. So, we have a race leader potentially on the
decline, we have Thomas and Kruijswijk who’ve basically been treading water, and then we
have Pinot, Bernal, Buchmann and Landa all on the rise. Basically, all the stars are aligning to set
up what should be the most exciting final week we’ve seen for an entire generation,
or two. I mean don’t forget, we have that trio of
mountain stages between Thursday and Saturday, including 6 passes of over 2000m, and a final
mountain top finish on Saturday, up Val Thorens, that is over 2700m above sea level. Really, anything can still happen, and if
the rest of this Tour is anything to go by, it probably will. So what is it that has made this Tour so close,
and so exciting? Well, it’s pretty simple isn’t it, we
haven’t had one dominant rider, or team. The absence of Chris Froome is without doubt,
a big factor, but even the rest of Team Ineos haven’t looked as strong as in recent years. But is it just that, or have the other riders
and teams upped their game? I personally feel it’s a bit of both, certainly
Pinot is on the form of his life, and Thomas isn’t quite the rider he was this time last
year, but whatever it is, it’s making for a race that you simply cannot take your eyes
off. We’ve also had some high profile exits over
the past week – van Aert clipped a barrier in the time trial and sustained a large gash
to the upper thigh, for which he will be in hospital for a few days. Thankfully it wasn’t worse, though – it
certainly looked like it could have been when we saw the slow motion replays. The other, for very different reasons, was
Rohan Dennis. In fact, we still don’t really know why
he retired from the race. Midway through stage 12, he pulled up at the
feedzone and decided to call it quits. Plenty of rumours have surfaced since, but
all I want to say is that I hope Rohan is OK. Other riders, meanwhile, have got through,
but have clearly suffered, a lot. We don’t often get to see how hard it is
for the sprinters to get through the mountains, but this clip of Jens Debuscherre finishing
the Tourmalet stage highlights just how deep they sometimes have to dig to get inside the
time limit. On the other hand, Peter Sagan is just so
bloomin’ talented that he’s able to treat the whole thing like a bit of a game. In other small bits of news from the week,
there was a great ride by Jumbo Visma on stage 14 – the whole team riding exceptionally well
for Steven Kruijswijk, but they also had a little help from Wout van Aert, from his hospital
bed: These are the texts he was sending to Directeur
Sportif Grischa Niermann to keep him updated as to what was going on. How cool is that?! I was also asking myself yesterday whether
Geraint Thomas is too polite for his own good – he said he had to sit on Alaphilippe when
he caught him yesterday because Bernal was up the road. And yes, that’s the obvious tactic, but
I just can’t imagine any other reigning Tour de France champion being quite so selfless
– that, to me, was the mark of a just being a nice bloke. And actually, given how polite Thomas is,
it’s disappointing to hear that he’s still being boo’d by roadside……..fans, for
want of a better word. Having done his work at the front, Jumbo Visma’s
George Bennett rode briefly with Thomas on the Col du Tourmalet, and later expressed
his disappointment on twitter. The basic gist of it was that he was sad to
see some absolute masturbaters at the side of the road booing Geraint. To which Geraint replied, “I think they
were booing at you mate.” Always polite and always with a sense of humour. Before I finish with the Tour, I know that
many of you have been a bit disgruntled at the lack of mentions that we’ve given Emmannuel
Buchmann on the run up to and during this Tour. And you are absolutely right, so, here is
an entire segment dedicated to him. Buchmann currently lies in 6th place on GC,
2 minutes and 17 seconds behind Alaphilippe, but only 39 seconds behind Geraint Thomas. Buchmann is 26 Years old, and comes from Ravensberg
in South West Germany. He turned pro in 2015 at the age of 22 with
Bora Argon 18, and it was then that he first came into my consciousness as he won the German
national championships that same year. That remained his only professional win until
this year, where he has won 2 races, including a stage of the Tour of the Basque Country. This is his 4th participation at the Tour,
his previous best result overall was 15th, 2 years ago, but he did come 12th at the Vuelta
last year. Anyway, he’s really gone up another level,
and with the way he’s climbing, he’s a genuine contender for the podium. If he makes it, he’ll be the first German
podium finisher at the Tour since Andreas Kloden, 13 years ago. Right, let us know who your picks are for
the final podium in Paris in the comments section below. My prediction is as it was before the start,
Egan Bernal for the win. And I think it’ll be Thibaut Pinot in 2nd,
and Steven Kruijswijk in 3rd. Onto La Course by Le Tour de France now which
took place last Friday in Pau, on a course very similar to the men’s Time Trial. An 11 rider group that went clear early was
pulled back by the acceleration of Annemiek van Vleuten on the third ascent of the Cote
de Gelos, by which point the peloton was already down to around 50 riders. Many of the favourites tried their hand at
various points in the race, but the big move came from Mitchelton Scott’s Amanda Spratt. The Australian attacked a small group and
went solo with 25kms still remaining, and carved out an advantage of over 30 seconds. And for a long time, the race hung in the
balance, right down to the last few hundred metres in fact, when Marianne Vos let off
the biggest wattage bazooka I’ve seen in a long time. Everybody knew what she was about to do, but
nobody could do anything about it. As soon as she accelerated on the short but
steep climb near the finish, she gapped the rest and passed Spratt at twice the speed. It was a display of dominance that we were
used to seeing from Vos a few years ago, and it appears from her form recently, with this
win, plus 4 stage wins at the Giro Rosa, that she’s very much back to her best. Especially when you consider that, according
to Lukas Knofler, Vos’s time for the final kilometre was just 2 seconds slower than Alaphilippe
on his time trial bike, and we all saw just how quickly he sprinted up that steep climb
near the finish. Impressive stuff. I think I know which two riders are favourites
for the World Champs in Yorkshire this year…… There was also a glimpse of some potentially
good news for women’s cycling that same day. A senior ASO official told Reuters that they
were setting up a group dedicated to women’s cycling, and that, in addition the Fleche
Wallonne, Liege and La Course, they would also be launching a women’s race that will
be the equivalent to the biggest race in men’s cycling, which is of course the Tour de France. More details than that, we weren’t given,
but it certainly sounds very positive, especially when you consider that, only recently, ASO
seemed to be considering demoting Fleche and Liege from the WorldTour so that they didn’t
have to provide live TV coverage, and that La Course has gone down from three days to
one. Let’s hope they are true to their word,
because that would be brilliant news. Right, that’s all for this week, we will
of course be back next week with a round up of everything that happened. Don’t forget to let us know your podium
predictions in the comments section below, and that you can catch daily highlights of
the race over on GCN Racing. Before then, if you’re into your data, as
I am, you might want to watch this next video. I spent a day with the people from NTT and
Dimension Data to see how they are bringing us closer to the Tour de France than ever
before. You can find that video just here.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Do you think Alaphilippe can survive the Alps? What do you think of Geraint Thomas's chances now? Will Pinot be able to take back more time?

  2. Any chance I can win a GCN t-shirt when my pre-tour prediction of Steven Kruijswijk wins the tour on July 28th 2019? Thanks guys.

  3. To me the podium should be, 1st Dan 2nd Loyd 3rd Loydy… give him a motorbike and he will win the tour…

  4. To be honest Pinot looked so strong on yesterdays stage and the Tourmalet that i really think he is going to win ^^
    Then Buchmann or Bernal

  5. This shows Sky/Ineos are bad for Cycling. They hyper tame pro cycling because they are just too strong and no others can fight it out. Also, I stopped watching wen you mentioned the La Corse junk… what a joke.

  6. I don't want to sound horrible but for the spectators Froome getting injured was the best thing that could have happened to the Tour.

  7. I think Emanuel deserves it to be called Buchmann and NOT Bookman. No german will call Lance "Armstark".

  8. You are awesome. I loved your wrap on the Tour. Thank you for your monitoring and includind the Le Course!!!

  9. I feel bad for Froome and what happened to him, but that said, this has been the most entertaining Tour in years in part because he has NOT been there.

  10. Love the tour but how can I trust cycling since Lance broke all our hearts and now Sky are being scrutinized, Alaphilipes efforts seem extraordinary???

  11. its actually quite opposite in years, or with last year; winner be default.
    Alaphilippe will crack, and its pretty open besides, anyway if France will get there victory, cool.
    Still TDF might have changed for the better, very few if any can go for 3 week like before; last ones seems to be Froome.
    too bad Quintana can't get in form for July, why??

  12. Wow that's quite a time by Vos – 2 secs slower the the male yellow jersey = INCREDIBLE in fact… I actually stopped what I was doing when I heard that…

  13. Geraint Thomas is still my favorite to win TDF. Peter Sagan has the Green Jersey for sure. Egan Bernal has the White jersey as well as a podium spot, which is foreshadowing future time on those steps. Finally, I think Thibaut Pinot is going to take the Polkadot Jersey in the last week and maybe a podium spot also.

  14. Great news if it's true regarding a Women's tour 🍾🤸‍♀️, thanks GCN and keep us posted! My prediction for the podium is, Thomas, Pinot and Buchman.

  15. Great news if it's true regarding a Women's tour 🍾🤸‍♀️, thanks GCN and keep us posted! My prediction for the podium is, Thomas, Pinot and Buchman.

  16. Nothing wrong with Booing someone, it animates the event. Try not to make the fans look bad because they did it, it's normal spectator behavior. Now if they threw urine on him that would be a different story.

  17. Is it possible that Alaphilippe made such a transformation into a GC rider without using banned substances?

  18. 1 Thomas
    2 Pinot
    3 Bachman
    If this had been a few years ago there would have been a lot of suspicion around Alaphillipes time trial and amazing work in the mountains when he has never shone in either discipline?

  19. Re: Women's cycling. I want to see a Women's Tour de France. In fact, I think they should ride it on the exact same course at the exact same time. I'd love to see the strong women climbers dropping men on the nasty climbs. It'd be epic!

  20. Marianne Vos is a phenomenon. I've never seen a person with two completely different personalities on-bike and off-bike like her. I briefly met her on a trade show were she was with her then bike sponsor. She is a calm, soft-spoken, friendly, almost shy person. But when she's racing she looks like she could kill with her bare hands. Great athlete in any case.

  21. You're a cagey old dog Lloydy but I'm on to your shenanigans!
    Pick everyone but G and make the GCN curse work in his favor aye? Brilliant!!! Lol

  22. Sir, you are a scholar and a gentleman! …what an incredible summary of racing this week – fair, articulate, kind and thoughtfully provocative. Thank you : )

  23. INEOS' doctors will make sure that Thomas makes an amazing comeback and wins – guy that hasn't really had any notable results the whole season. Would've be nice if a French won the whole thing though.

  24. The way you have begun breaking your commercial in the middle of a sentence no less is really kind of amateurish.

  25. Am I the only one that thought Yates shrunk at the beginning of this video? First clip was of him making a sharp left turn and then the third clip was from behind finishing the turn but looking smaller!

    Must have just been the way the clips were edited. Messed with my mind for a bit!

  26. Surprised that there hasn’t been much talk about the wide open nature of this Tour and the fact that the number of riders in a team was reduced. Sure, Froome’s absence has clearly weakened Ineos, but does this suggest we might benefit from an entertainment perspective by reducing the rosters even more?

  27. I agree that G is polite – at least I thought so until I heard his parting shot at Matt Stephens yesterday. 😉

  28. I was enjoying Dan's commentary on Eurosport tour de france. Dan please head back soon. Also we saw how Alaphilippe has improved over the last year. Can you guys do a show about how a rider can change so much. He is a better time trialist and so far much better more aware overall rider. I always thought of him like a classics man. What changed, did he lose weight, change his training.. just guessing.

  29. Haha, its funny how you can 'get away'with not mentioning the one that actually is going to win. Kruiswijk!

  30. Super fun Tour this year. Gotta wonder if Sir Dave is kicking himself for going away from the TUE's this year. THIS year of all years…Vos has been bazooka blazing for the better part of 3 weeks now. Kirchmann, on the podium…👍

  31. I would totally watch a women's Tour de France. I really hope they do create a grand tour for the women. They deserve a race of that stature.

  32. Bernal is way much better than Thomas. Putting Thomas as leader in this TDF is just a national political decision as the team is British.

  33. If a GCN presenter predicting you to win is your kiss of death for a race, what's a 30s segment? Poor Buchmann

  34. "Late" prediction:

    1: Pinot
    2: Kruiswijk
    3: Alaphilippe
    No team Ineos on the podium.

    Despite loosing time on the cross-wind, Pinot is still very well in contention. He is in the form on is life and has clearly shown he is the best climber out of the GC guys and the fate of the race will now be decided on 3 consecutive moutain stages.
    Kruiswijk has been largely underestimated as a GC contender, he has raced really quietly, but very well too. I think he is a major threat for the maillot jaune but I don't quite see him bettering Pinot, hence the second spot.
    Although I would really like see Alaphilippe holding the maillot jaune, that is going to be a tough call, but I think I won't fade as dramatically as some people predict and be able to hold a podium spot.
    Despite team Ineos trying to play poker in the press and pretending that they know exactly what they are doing, neither Thomas nor Bernal seem to have what it takes to win (nor secure a podium spot) the tour this year. Yes, Thomas sits second so far, but, despite some sign of bright in Planche des Belles filles G. does not seem to climb at his best; and Bernal sits further back and did a pretty disappointing TT. They still haven't been able to decide who is the true leader of the team, and their teammates lack the form to really hold the race as they used to do. Moreover, on the last 3 mountain stages there is a long list of riders and teams hungry for stage victory, which will produce a lot of aggressive riding making the bunch even harder to control for team Ineos.

  35. Most interesting Tour in the last… 20 years? 30? In large part due to NOT having a superteam dominate it all. Alaphilippe just got wings from wearing the Maillot Jaune and being French on top of it. Most exciting time trial I've ever watched.

    No idea who's going to win it but at least Friday and Saturday should be full of dangerous attacks. Impossible to predict a winner

  36. Wout's crash was a major disappointement, would have really liked to have seen what he could have done the rest of the tour. Despite that, this tour was really exciting so far, and i think this last week will be even better. Hopefully Steven Kruiswijk can be in Yellow in Paris. Although i'd be ok with Alaphillipe or Pinot winning the tour for France

  37. Why the last week Race News Show deleted? "Can Alaphilippe Win The Tour de France? | The Cycling Race News Show"

  38. The 1-day La Course is an insult to Women Pro cyclists. The Giro Rosa has what it takes to become the iconic Grand Tour the Women's peloton deserves. Just extend it to 15 or 16 days, including 2 rest days. Images of the Week – Sagan's wheelie on a TT bike (without crashing), and Vos moped-like acceleration on the last climb (without a motor).

  39. I feel like 2017 will go down as one of the most underrated Tours of all-time. It was very close, and very good.

  40. Where do people think Froome would be in GC if he had not had his Dauphine crash?

    I think he would be P2, but very, very close to Alaphillippe.

  41. Think Pinot is going to have one more huge stage for the win. Alaphilippe will manage to hold off Thomas. Pinot, Alaphilppe, Thomas

  42. Summary: Alaphilippe “surprisingly” on good form whilst Thomas “surprisingly” on bad form, other teams have “somehow” upped their game and oh, before we forget, that Geraint guy is quite polite.

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