2022 Pro Cycling

I know Weight Weenies has this kind of topic but CT has a different group. I meant to start this earlier in the season but didn’t get around to it.

The 2022 pro season. Jumbo-Visma looking pretty good right now with le Tour around the corner…

Just like last year!

Pogacar is a cut above the rest of the competition, he has a better team around him now and will be riding a new bike. I can’t see him losing unless he falls off his bike.

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I think the only way you can beat Pot is have multiple guys good enough to gang up on him. Assuming the main GC contenders aren’t willing to work for each other, that means teams have to have 2 riders who can hang. Roglic and Ving look the best bet, but… I still think they’ll need some luck. Bora showed the merits of the satellite rider strategy and I reckon others will have taken notes.

Pog has shown he can have the odd bad day, especially when it’s very hot, but those days are a) not that common and b) not that bad. He has to be very strong favourite, and barring illness or a crash, I think he’ll win. But I also think it will be closer than last year; I’m saying now (so you can all laugh later) that he’ll go into the final TT with a probably but not definitely decisive lead.

WvA for green looks a good bet, but if Roglic is right up there going into the final week, I wonder if he’ll be asked to work for a greater goal.

In other teams… I wonder if Bora will try and bring Hindley? I’d guess not, but they and he must be tempted. Bardet has to be targeting the top 5 too, I reckon.

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Ineos will be interesting in the TDF, for the first time in a long time they won’t have a rider considered to be one of the favourites for the yellow jersey, realistically it may be Dani Martinez as team leader.

Just checked Skybet and Pog is 8/13. That’s hilariously short for a 3 week stage race where anything could happen but also shows how string a favourite he is.

I know Bernal is recovering well, but more likely to win the tour than Bardet? :rofl:

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Not sure about Bardet, but I would give Bernal the same odds as Mas to actually ride a bicycle into Paris on the last stage.

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Won’t matter…the best defense is a good offense. Pog is strong enough to go with anyone and then simply drop them, voiding the opportunity for a counter-attack form a teammate.

It is exactly what he did last year…he simply went out and destroyed everyone before tactics could come into play.

No one is touching Pog, barring a catastrophe of some kind.

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I know hard core cycling fans love to talk about all the intricacies of team tactics, but I’d love to know an example of the last time someone won the TDF because multiple riders from one team were able to somehow gang up on the strongest rider in the race. In every edition I can remember, the rider who performs the best combination of ITT and high mountain finishes (with no crashes or other major problems) wins. Every time. It is too hard a race over too many days with too strong a field.

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2008 TdF w/ Carlos Sastre……

But the fact that you have to go that far back and only find one example helps illustrate ow difficult and unlikely it is to accomplish.

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I feel like at this point, the GC race is the least interesting thing to follow in the TDF, sadly. You have to hope for some secondary storyline to develop, like Alaphilippe clinging to yellow, Cavendish going back in time, or Van der Poel doing Van der Poel things.

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I always found the best way to watch a grand tour is to focus on individual stage wins. The GC battle just add some tactics distorsion/distraction that can doom or benefits the breaks depending on the situation.

There are eventually the odd stages once in a while like stage 14th of the Giro this year where everything explode but otherwise it is pretty much a test of resistance, recuperation and avoiding crashes and peloton splits for the GC leaders so it is usually pretty boring. It helps when the main TT come at the end of the third week.

i would love to see Wout get his green as he might be built for that even more than Sagan was. Wout should aim for 10 :slight_smile:

Rog has the best chance of anyone to take it to Pog, but he’s going to have to take bonus seconds here and there and then limit losses after explosive attacks from the kid. i think Rog is about the most clever GT rider we’ve seen since Contador (yes yes, i spoke his name) so hopefully he can find some ways to make it a competition.

Personally though, as a fan, i wish Rog would dominate another Vuelta and maybe concentrate on that and the Giro instead of worrying about the TdF, but… i’m guessing i’m nearly alone in all that!

Bonus seconds “here and there” aren’t going to offset minutes gained everywhere else.

And I think Rog is starting to show the signs of inconsistency that comes with age…he just hasn’t seemed as sharp and always “on” as in years past.

I will carry on dreaming of Pinot riding into Paris in yellow…love to see it happen. Maybe the polkas as he has said is his best shot.

Pog just always looks to good I do not think he can be challenged. In his first win when jumbo did the sky train it still did not stop him and that stage 20 tt.

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Rog blew his best chance in 2020…he should have been more ruthless on some of the stages after Pog got caught out on that one stage and lost that time. Instead, he thought he was safe and never put his boot on the throat of the race.

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i mean, sure of course, but i don’t think he can win without the odd bonus seconds.

Rog to me has looked pretty solid in the Vueltas, and aside from that one TT in the TdF a couple years ago fairly consistent otherwise. if he’s feeling springy maybe he has a chance…

agree, there is ALWAYS good reason to pile up extra time. you just never know when you’ll need it…say…when some punk kid shows up and blows the doors off a TT :slight_smile:

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Sorry, I need to extend my rant about the GC race. Not only is the race unexciting, but I think the riders are unexciting, at least the ones most likely to win. Puncheurs are exciting to watch race, sprinters have firey personalities, and second-tier GC hopefuls are compelling tragic figures. Sure, Pogo has that youthful tuft going, but like all top GC guys, he’s a power to weight machine, one that’s better than the other power to weight machines.

But scale down the mountains enough, and a party animal like Bradley Wiggins can win!

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I think we’re pretty much all agreed that something out of the ordinary will need to happen from Pog not to win. But one of the beauties of grand tour racing is that a lot can happen in 3 weeks. Who foresaw opi omi, to give just one example? While that’s an extreme circumstance, it’s quite possible to be involved in a crash that’s not your fault, to have a mechanical at a very bad time, etc etc.

I’m certainly not wishing any of this on Pogacar, and I think it’s all a bit unlikely, but it is possible.

I forget who it was (some economist iirc) who wrote that for sport to be compelling to watch, there has to be the perfect combination of a sense of justice (i.e. the best person or team usually wins) but enough unpredictability to stop it being a foregone conclusion*.

That’s what I’d like to see from this year’s TdF. A contest for yellow that is close enough not to be a done deal going into the final TT, and a few surprises/bits of drama. I think we’ll get those things (though that may be wishful thinking tbh!)

*OT, he cited that the ‘currency’ of the scoring units needs to have a high value (like goals in football/soccer, rather than points in basketball) and for the rules of the game to be straightforward enough that the viewer doesn’t feel the result hangs on technicalities. https://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/08/science/soccer-a-beautiful-game-of-chance.html

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i agree we need more GC racers that are willing to actually reach out and grab a race. Rog does it, Pog does it, but you have to go back to Contador and Valverde at his prime to see others who are willing to grab a race by the scruff. in between it’s been the horrific boredom of staring at power meters from teams with too much money and the race acumen of a box of half-eaten apples.

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