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Dang it. I missed it! Got check out the replay. Shoot!

Must be old age, I swear, I have no other explanation; but I almost kinda got emotional seeing Cavendish cross the finish line and in the post-race footage. Truly historic day in sports, not just cycling. 39 years old, to put the jets on and pass Jasper Philipsen who is just a physical freak, probably the strongest bike rider on the planet right now.
 

Must be old age, I swear, I have no other explanation; but I almost kinda got emotional seeing Cavendish cross the finish line and in the post-race footage. Truly historic day in sports, not just cycling. 39 years old, to put the jets on and pass Jasper Philipsen who is just a physical freak, probably the strongest bike rider on the planet right now.
Honestly, never thought he would win another stage. In fact, was starting to get annoyed with the mentioning of it. Shows you what I know.
 

Honestly, never thought he would win another stage. In fact, was starting to get annoyed with the mentioning of it. Shows you what I know.

He really illustrated the art of bike racing today, for sure.

I would have said that for the bunch sprints, spring stages, it's just shear power, laying down 1500+ Watts for 100-150 or 200 meters; may the best man win. But Cavendish has shown over the years that you really have to know how to race your bike. Watching him over the last 500-750 meters, how he navigated the other riders, got on the right wheels, and picked his spot to attack.

It was an absolute clinic.

I was putting off watching it but now I really need to watch the Netflix special on Cavendish. It's supposed to be really good
 

I have a love/hate deal going with e-bikes...

The hate part:

  • People who think they're getting exercise by riding an e-bike are equivalent to someone taking the escalator and thinking they've just climbed a flight of stairs.
My e-bike is a pedal assist only bike. I get plenty of exercise on it.
 




Every day strong and determined men bicycle between the Vic Falls and Livingstone Zambia carrying sugar and other commodities which they can sell for a small profit. The problem is that there are elephants who cluster around the Maramba River Bridge who will gladly attack a biker in order to gorge themselves on the goodies that the biker carries. Even today they were were bikers lined up at The Maramba River Bridge ready to cross when obviously there were elephants waiting to attack them. Seriously, how difficult is your life?
 




Looks as though Jasper was relegated.

I want to like Philipsen, I really do. He's extremely talented. But he really does have a well-documented history of being very reckless in the bunch sprints. Seems to be part of the game almost though with the really talented guys? I remember Peter Sagan, when he was dominating the Green Jersey, was fairly controversial in many of the sprint stages he was involved in.
 

Looking for at least a small shakeup in the GC leaderboard after the Time Trial today. I don't think this is Remco's year (his TDF debut) but I think he takes a dent out of Pogacar's lead today. He's got the TT skill to make up some time on the leader I think, but not enough to take Yellow.

At this point, with how strong his team looks and Visma doesn't look that strong, I would have said the Tour is almost over already, nobody can catch Pogacar. But looking at the last week of the race, particularly the last several days, there are some brutal days there that should favor Jonas at least a little bit.

Love having a TT on the last Stage, especially if it's close enough to make a difference. And for a TT, it looks like kind of a brutal course, one that can absolutely see some changes in the leaderboard.

That being said, the next 4-6 days look relatively boring after today's TT.
 

Remco wins the stage in spite of losing pressure in his rear tire, according to the commentators. TT. Fortunately it was close to the finish.
 

I really didn’t realize the magnitude of the injuries Remco Evenepoel suffered in 2020. Seen a little clip on it recently. Wow.
 



Rest day today after yesterday's gravel.

1Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates)35:42:42-
2Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step)35:43:150:00:33
3Jonas Vingegaard (Team Visma | Lease a Bike)35:43:570:01:15
4Primoz Roglic (Red Bull - Bora - Hansgrohe)35:44:180:01:36
5Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates)35:44:580:02:16
6Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates)35:44:590:02:17
7Carlos Rodriguez (Ineos Grenadiers)35:45:130:02:31
8Mikel Landa (Soudal Quick-Step)35:46:170:03:35
9Derek Gee (Israel - Premier Tech)35:46:440:04:02
10Matteo Jorgenson (Team Visma | Lease a Bike)35:46:450:04:03
 




Jasper with an explosive sprint to win stage 13

Girmay kinda got boxed in there right when it was time to hit the gas. Tough luck for him but good for Jasper.

Well, shit. Roglic abandoned/withdrew this morning after his recent crash. That sucks. Was looking forward to him being a factor when they got to the harder mountain stages later in the tour.
Here's hoping Remco can remain a factor throughout or it will be another 2-horse race; not the end of the world but more contenders would be nice. Carlos Rodriguez of Ineos still has a strong team around him, he could be a dark horse for the podium.
 

Tomorrow should be a FANTASTIC day. The Tourmalet, and that's not even at the finish.

Even after the Tourmalet in the middle, the last climb to the finish is 10.6 km at 7.9%; That will do a serious number on the top 10 standings in the GC.

One thing that the average fan I don't think quite sees while watching the Tour is the grades of some of these climbs. And the TV camera angles really REALLY don't do them justice. Grades of 8% or so on TV look like they are 2-3%.

If I'm not mistaken, US Hwy and Interstate standards mandate nothing greater than 6% (I could be wrong?). I do a shitload of cycling and 8% grades are really pretty challenging. The worst grades I can remember seeing was 13-14% in the Santa Fe NM Century ride (106 miles) and that was only for like 200-300 yards, and I was zig-zagging my way up that to reduce the grade JUST so I didn't have to get off the bike and walk, like most of the other riders. And these guys see 12%, 14%, 17%, even 20% on some of these climbs. I couldn't even imagine an 18-20% grade.
 

Wonder if Pogacar will attack on the last climb today on stage 14?

Edit: He certainly did.
 
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Pretty much going to be a defining day tomorrow on Stage 15. Visma had a number of support guys fall way back today, POSSIBLY to conserve their energy for tomorrow. Wout Van Aert, Jan Tratnik, I think even Keldermann fell back early. Only Matteo Jorgensen stayed up with Jonas V until late. I heard Van Aert was NOT 100% coming into the TDF, he looks it so far; not close to his usual self.

It's far from over, but Pogacar looking strong. More than any recent TDF I can remember, this will be pretty interesting to the end; way too many tough stages in the last several days, unless someone like Pogacar REALLY extends their lead in the next handful of stages.
 

Two climbs left in Stage 15. Visma setting it up. Final climb should be interesting.

Edit: Pogacar is a beast today.
 
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Wow. I'm not sure I expected to see that today. That was awfully impressive.

A lot of hard climbing left yet but over a 3 minute lead for Pogacar. He's going to be very hard to catch.

Good to see Remco solidify his position on the podium in his first TDF appearance. I think he's incredibly talented but from what I've seen of him recently, like this year's Dauphine and the TDF so far, he has some things to learn about bike racing. He spends a lot of time and energy racing by himself and not using the people around him. I could be wrong, what do I know.

There's still a good battle for 4th overall, with just 33 seconds separating 4th-6th.
 

Tomorrow should be a FANTASTIC day. The Tourmalet, and that's not even at the finish.

Even after the Tourmalet in the middle, the last climb to the finish is 10.6 km at 7.9%; That will do a serious number on the top 10 standings in the GC.

One thing that the average fan I don't think quite sees while watching the Tour is the grades of some of these climbs. And the TV camera angles really REALLY don't do them justice. Grades of 8% or so on TV look like they are 2-3%.

If I'm not mistaken, US Hwy and Interstate standards mandate nothing greater than 6% (I could be wrong?). I do a shitload of cycling and 8% grades are really pretty challenging. The worst grades I can remember seeing was 13-14% in the Santa Fe NM Century ride (106 miles) and that was only for like 200-300 yards, and I was zig-zagging my way up that to reduce the grade JUST so I didn't have to get off the bike and walk, like most of the other riders. And these guys see 12%, 14%, 17%, even 20% on some of these climbs. I couldn't even imagine an 18-20% grade.
When I worked the North Star Grand Prix, the last stage was the Stillwater Criterium. That featured Chilkoot Hill, which is .16 KM at an average grade of 13.3%. I think it was close to 20% for the last .08 KM. The men climbed it 20 times, the women 13.
 



Un fricking real. Stage 19 and he is tenacious, relentless. Man amongst boys. All hail Pogacar.

Turned it on basically at the start of the last climb. Never thought Pogacar would catch Matteo, even halfway up but he did. That was just incredibly impressive

Hats off to American Matteo Jorgensen for a great ride and to finish second. GREAT to have a talented young rider from the U.S. to watch for a while.

I wonder if 2nd on the podium is still in play between Jonas and Remco. I'm kinda pulling for Remco, it would be cool to see him catch Jonas.

I would kinda think Remco has to make up at least a LITTLE bit of time tomorrow to have a great chance. I think Remco absolutely tops Jonas in Sunday's Time Trial but I don't know if he can make up 2 minutes on Sunday alone.

Matteo has been Jonas' best support rider this tour, did he burn himself out today, will he have enough in the tank to help Jonas tomorrow? Remco still has Mikel Landa pulling for him, maybe Remco makes a move tomorrow to close the gap on Jonas?

Still enough at stake to make the last two days worth watching. As it stands now, if Sunday was the typical cruise into the Champs, there's probably no way I would watch. With the podium still in doubt and looking at THAT Time Trial profile, I am absolutely going to watch Sunday
 

This stage 20 is brutal also. On the last climb now. I get tired just watching them climb.
Pogacar just toys with the other riders right now. Wow
 
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One of the more dominant performances in a while, no doubt about it. You can debate whether or not Jonas V was 100% but I'm not sure it matters that much. This time around, the Visma team around him wasn't as strong as it usually is; no Sepp Kuss, Van Aert not 100% it seems, etc.

The thing about Pogacar, to my uneducated eyes anyway, is he is an unbelievable climber, but has the punch or strength of a sprinter. On a long Cat 1 or HC climb, when he wants to put the hammer down, there just isn't hardly anyone that can stay with him.

I'm still going to enjoy the Time Trial tomorrow. It's not your ordinary TT, that's for sure. The elevation gain is going to suck for people who like a normal TT.

Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if Pogacar wins again. I think it will definitely be between the 3 guys finishing on the podium.
 




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