Tour de France 2019 🚲 ⛰ 🌬 🤖 🇫🇷 💉

Starts tomorrow!!!

Grand depart
Brussels!
Will start with lots of footage of Mercyx and then a flat stage looping back to the mannekin pis or whatever. A couple of cobbled climbs ahoy including the Muur van Geraardsbergen, should keep it interesting, even if it will inevitably end in a sprint.

The route
Summary: Lots of climbing; not much time trialling; never more than 2 sprint stages in a row. Good.

TTT on stage 2 (also in Brussels) before the riders head to France, and stay there for the rest of the race.

Stage 3 and 5 are nice hilly stages.

Stage 6 looks will be the first chance for the GC contenders to show their form, with what’s becoming a traditional visit to the board of beautiful women.

A few nice bumpy stages for the the puncheurs, then a day after the rest day, its into the Pyrenees

the only ITT of the race comes on day 2 in the Pyrenees (stage 13), then Tourmalet day on Stage 14. We’ll know who the main contenders are after this. Stage 15 is also a summit finish.

Brief respite for the GC fellas/chance for the sprinters do their staff, then into the Alps on stage 18 for the first of three tough stages in a row. Stage 18 has Col de Vars, Col d’Izoard and Galibier with a fast downhill finish into valloire.

Stage 19 is pretty much all uphill, taking in the Iseran then finishing in Tignes

Stage 20 is the last chance to win and finishes with a 30KM+ climb into Val Thorens.

Then champagne/champs elysees etc etc

The contenders
Chris Froome, Tom Dumoulin, Primoz Roglic… are not taking part. Looks wide open. Lots of ‘now or never’ riders. Can any of them pull it off???

Geraint G THE G MAN Thomags
Defending champion. Has had his preparation hampered somewhat by falling off his bike a few times. He often falls of his bike at the TdF. Can he repeat his success? He’s strong enough, but lack of TT KM might hinder him. Also, he’ll probably crash at some point

Egan Bernal
No doubt in my mind he’s going to win multiple GTs. Will this be his first? I He’s been in fantastic form this year. But will Sky team orders give him the chance?

Jakob Fuglsang
He’s like a bird. He’ll only fly away. To victory??? He’s been in brilliant form this year: only denied more wins by other riders being on even more brilliant form. Despite the likes of Alaphillipe and MVDP he still managed to win Liege Bastogne Liege and the Dauphine. But can he keep it going over three week??? Now or never? Never.

Richie Porte will crash out on stage 9. Poor Richie. Now or never? Never.

A Yates brother both are riding this race. Which is which? No idea. One of them will probably podium at least.

Bardet/Pinot First French champion since Hinault??? Neither of these guys will have a better chance. Neither have been in their absolute best form, but both looking solid. I get the feeling one of them will podium but just miss out on the overall

Nibbles the Shark Says he’s just going for polka dot/stage wins. I don’t believe him. But he’s not exactly fresh after the Giro, so I think winning overall might be too big an ask.

Movistar trident of destiny this actually worked somehow at the Giro. Can’t see it working this time. Mainly because Valverde isn’t going to willingly support Quintana and Landa.

Fabio Aru still recovering from injury. Would be nice to see him properly competing, but can’t see him seriously contending.

Kruijswijk good ol’ shoulders has already had his ‘now or never’ moment end cartwheeling through a snowbank in the Giro. He’s good, but just not as strong as most of the guys mentioned above.

Gosh. That section seemed three times as long as normal. Gonna do some work: if someone wants to preview sprinters/green/polka dot/other business go ahead, otherwise I’ll come back to it later…

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Yay.

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Gideon did his TdF music mix on BBCradio6 last night to get you in the mood

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yes! Will listen to that tonight.

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Be interesting to see how Uran goes. Was brilliant a couple of years ago but been injured all season right?

Also I’ll be backing Michael Matthews for the yellow jersey yet again, obviously

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First time in a long while the TdF has the potential to be the best GT of the year. Not overly fussed, as documented elsewhere, but the Izoard and Galibier stage is on my birthday, so might watch that live. Will catch the rest in ITVs decent highlights, if I can be cba.

Think that Thomas will not finish top 5, and that Bernal will podium but not win. As for the actual winner, no idea.

And nice write up Mr Thewarn

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I just checked the route properly for stage 20 and imho the race will be won not in the val thorens climb (too long and not steep enough), but on the descent that proceeds it, its a crazy difficult one. Someone will definitely come a cropper there :no_mouth: someone else will nail it and steal/seal the yellow. Cough Pinotcough

https://strava.app.link/70ZwAPEq4X

Watch out for a Penge jersey on the telly tomorrow; Mike’s popping over to the Muur.

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?

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remember when fabio aru was a thing? no, me neither

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He’s won a frigging GT for God sake. He’s worse than Quintana

Is Thomas going to have to fall over extra times to make up for Froome not being there to do it with him?

Excellent write up sir

I don’t think you’re getting enough credit for your Fuglsang / Nelly Furtado joke. It made me laugh

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This is exceptionally good, thanks for the link

Good to hear dEUS representing Belgium

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Thanks @thewarn for a great post. Am unusually excited about ale Tour due to 1. Maybe Ineos won’t win?
2. An unusually boring Giro

Have - controversially? Not picked an out and out sprinter in my fantasy league team because of the parcours but have got Begby (does everyone call Allaphilipe Begby or just in our house?) and Saggers. Reckon the fight for KOM AND Green could be ON this year.

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Don’t think there’s enough high quality sprinters to wrestle the green from Sags. He’ll place highly in the sprint days, and will score points on the lumpy days. Would love him him to do a Hushovd-esque raid breakaway through on of the medium mountain days as well.

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ps fantasy TdF here

https://fantasy.letour.fr/#welcome/register/?parrain=to95hkx&ligue=4742&mdp=JXRYC

League number 4742
Password JXRYC

cheers @paidinfull

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Agreed and that’s why I picked him but he’s not had his best season so hoping for some competition. Would love to see him add a couple more stage wins.