Tour de France Stage 21 Preview
Vincenzo Nibali emerged winner of the final mountain stage of the Tour. The stage was played out differently than expected, the Italian snuck onto the breakaway early in the day, and early in the climb went in a group with Zakarin, Woods and Gallopin but attacked with 12 kilometers remaining, soloing to the win. That is because in the peloton, Jumbo pushed since the foot of the climb, Alaphillipe cracked still a long way to go but then the pace strained in the final 10 kilometers with only minor attacks occuring, in fact none of the major GC riders attacked, it came down to basically a sprint in the final section where Valverde took second ahead of Landa.
Positive: Bahrain had Teuns' win but it feels like this win saved the race a bit more. Bahrain came with a super team but were far off any GC result and to get two stage wins is I'll say the minimum to have a solid race here. Besides the expected situation of Kruijswijk leaping into the podium, and Barguil into the Top10 there isn't anything to note.
Negative: Same here, Alaphillipe cracked but it was expected, he kept his Top5 but I can't really point anything negative to him, it's only the circumstance. Porte also dropped out of the Top10 but I feel like he succeded in the task of pulling out a solid Tour. Movistar having second and third in the stage also look to have missed the chance of a stage win as they clearly had the numbers to chase Nibali down.
The final stage is the classic, not much to see as the first kilometers are always done in a slow pace and the real race takes some time to start. As seen last year, after a hard race there is a chance to see some stong riders, the rouleurs mainly attacking inside the final circuit which can be dangerous, but it's been a constant to see the sprinters having the final showdown here.
The finale we know it very well, classic Paris finish.
Usually this isn't even something to consider in such stage but the wind is actually strong enough to perhaps make a difference. Last year the attacks in the final circuit actually made for an exciting finish. The wind will be above 20Km/h in the Champs-Élysées and it will come from the west, which will make for a headwind sprint, will make it hard for a final kilometer attack to stick but the opportunists can seize the tailwind present on half the circuit.
I'll keep it short ;)
I think after 21 days of racing, we deserve it. It was a long race, a lot of work, but mainly as we've had the same competition in pretty much every sprint, we know exactly what to expect.
This is the best leadout in the race for tomorrow, not only because of that great combination but because of those behind it, with Yves Lampaert and Kasper Asgreen, and surely a Julian Alaphillipe willing to help, this is the team to be looking out for, they can be part of attacks or leading out Viviani, both ways they have a great say in the stage and can very well take it.
The leadout is mega strong for Groenewegen but the lack of Wout van Aert and Tony Martin will be heavily felt in this machine. They are strong, but they have to play their cards well, and perhaps focusing more on leaving Groenewegen on the wheel of Viviani than to set him up.
Caleb Ewan will be in their heads, he has a good leadout but it hasn't functioned here, nonetheless he was able to take two wins here, more than enough reasoning to have him as a top contender. Peter Sagan as always, although he's never won here, he will want to make it a first.
Alexander Kristoff is indeed a past winner here, last year in fact, it is a sprint that suits him well but it's hard imagining him beating the top riders ahead, nonetheless he is a good contender for it. Matteo Trentin, Sonny Colbrelli, Michael Matthews, they'll al be there, maybe they'll opt for an attack if the situation presents itself as in a sprint it's very unlikely to see them in front. Niccolo Bonifazio and Jens Debusschere have been there in the sprints too, could be nice surprises.
Riders like Jasper Stuyven, Oliver Naesen could both try to sprint or attack, I would foresee the latter, Ivan Garcia Cortina, Daniel Oss, Stefan Kung, Alexey Lutsenko, Tom Scully, Luke Durbridge/Chris Juul-Jensen, Greg van Avermaet, Nikias Arndt, Nils Pollit/Mads Wurtz/Marco Haller and Edvald Boasson Hagen are all riders I could see giving a dig, and they can make the sprinter's lifes very difficult. Oh, don't forget Andre Greipel!
⭐ Trentin, Colbrelli, Lampaert, Oss, Stuyven, Kung, Wurtz, Debusschere, Bonifazio
The man with a train! With such a strong team Deceuninck have the team to control the attacks I would see, they will come heavy but Deceuninck won't be alone. With the Argentinian/Danish locomotives he's used to follor I think he'll be the next rider to put up his name in Paris.
It's been a pleasure to have you with me, this Tour was quite the journey and a big step up for the blog! From this I take more experience, more people to follow me I hope, and you won't have to wait more than a couple of days to hear from me again. Hope you've liked this year's edition as much as I did, here's to 2020!
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