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We had a discussion back in March and the idea that he could be a contender was pretty comprehensively dismissed. I have to admit I always doubted it too but saw the potential for this situation and backed him at 300/1. I am happy to have hedged a large part of it and I really expect him to fade out of the top ten now; but the romantic in me wants to believe and I think it would be wonderful for the sport. Has anyone changed their mind? Is it possible? He just has to follow Thomas' wheel they say but that is not true Ineos will send Bernal up the road, the same way Thomas won it last year. Can DQS cope?

Interested to hear real opinions.

6 comments

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ktache [2140 posts] 3 months ago
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Well, he has the whole of France willing him on.

That has to be worth a few watts.

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BigYin [32 posts] 3 months ago
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ktache wrote:

Well, he has the whole of France willing him on.

 

and quite probably throwing piss over anyone who attacks him in the mountains...  1

 

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Dr Winston [837 posts] 3 months ago
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I really don’t know Steve. 

The talk is all about when he cracks...but....at two minutes he’s already got a crack for one stage in his pocket at least. 

Today he showed that he can keep up on a long and steady climb above 2000mts....Tomorrow has a really nasty climb in it....shorter but much steeper....If he does well tomorrow then it’s time to say he can go all the way. 

He has a day of after tomorrow....a groupetto finish for the sprint stage after that and similar for the roller stage after that one (bookies have him as favourite but no chance he will waste energy for that one) and he’s good to go again for the Alps.

 

 

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BehindTheBikesheds [3322 posts] 3 months ago
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This story about backing JA at long odds sounds very familar to one I read earlier on the guardian post race saying they'd backed him at 150/1.

I don't think it matters what Ineos do, if they attempt to send Bernal up the road then it won't just be DQS chasing/shutting it down. Given how strong Buchmann was and indeed looked by far the smoothest when it got really tough, Kruijswijk plus TP still with a shout I would think BoraH, FDJ and Jumbo Visma will all be monitoring how things pan out and won't let Bernal get away and potentially sneak it. They are well aware of what he can do even if he's not the finished article yet.

Seeing Thomas rocking as he was relatively early on the climb I knew he wasn't going to get away from JA, he really did not look comfortable and who knows, maybe the TT took more out of him than it did JA?

It will bes interesting to see if the accusations start flying given how JA has seemingly pushed on in his performances significantly despite his polka last year.

Things could get tasty and I wonder if now that Buchmann looks to be ta real contender if BH are going to employ Sagan in a more team type capacity rather than him doing his own thing.

 

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Dr Winston [837 posts] 3 months ago
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BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

This story about backing JA at long odds sounds very familar to one I read earlier on the guardian post race saying they'd backed him at 150/1.

I don't think it matters what Ineos do, if they attempt to send Bernal up the road then it won't just be DQS chasing/shutting it down. Given how strong Buchmann was and indeed looked by far the smoothest when it got really tough, Kruijswijk plus TP still with a shout I would think BoraH, FDJ and Jumbo Visma will all be monitoring how things pan out and won't let Bernal get away and potentially sneak it. They are well aware of what he can do even if he's not the finished article yet.

Seeing Thomas rocking as he was relatively early on the climb I knew he wasn't going to get away from JA, he really did not look comfortable and who knows, maybe the TT took more out of him than it did JA?

It will bes interesting to see if the accusations start flying given how JA has seemingly pushed on in his performances significantly despite his polka last year.

Things could get tasty and I wonder if now that Buchmann looks to be ta real contender if BH are going to employ Sagan in a more team type capacity rather than him doing his own thing.

 

I agree. I wrote on another forum how strong Buchmann looked (and Kruijswijk). All the talk is about Alaphillipe cracking or not, Thomas fit or not and who leads who for Ines....meanwhile nothing flaky or weak about Kruijswijk or Buchmann.

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jollygoodvelo [1879 posts] 3 months ago
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Answering the question: yes, he can.

Will he? I don't think so.

I think maybe we have all been conditioned to expect that 'proven past winners' are more likely to win a grand tour than a new first-time winner and that's why people are expecting Thomas to perform.  Perhaps because in the 17 GTs from Vuelta 2012 to Giro 2018, only three were won by anyone other than Nibali, Froome, Contador or Quintana.  But for some reason, the last three GTs in a row have been taken by a first-time winner, and while Buchmann, Kruijswijk and Pinot all look very strong I'm tipping Bernal: he won't care about either hot or cold weather, nor the altitude.