Tour Debates: What Did Van Aert Play? Pinot, guardian angel or sniper on the Board?

What did Van Aert play?

Laurent Vergne

Wout van Aert then lost his yellow jersey. More than any inferiority, the Belgian was the victim of some circumstances and a somewhat hesitant race scenario, of which he found himself a prisoner. He got into this situation and couldn’t get out of it. In absolute terms, taking the break was a good idea. Maybe even THE very good idea. If I had once gone to the runners of fifteen, ten or even six-seven, we might even be crying genius tonight.

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Except that, in this very fast twisted blow, there were only three, including Jakob Fuglsang, for whom it is still time to aim for a place in the overall. Therefore, the Dane did not give a superfluous pedal stroke. So the question is “Why didn’t Van Aert get up?” It would have been the most logical and the most reasonable, because this rupture had no chance of achieving its ends. Not only was the effort in vain to win the stage, but in the process, the Belgian also sacrificed his yellow shirt.

Emped and then pulled away by the peloton, Van Aert says goodbye to his yellow robe

Had he not insisted and returned quietly to the heat of the peloton, Wout van Aert could have weighed even the end of the race and played for the win. It would probably even be in yellow. Quinn Simmons, the third man on the run, would have been alone in front and the Jumbo Visma could have kept him quiet. So yes, it’s true, Van Aert would probably have given up his shirt on Friday at La Planche. One day or so … And he likes to run with a certain idea of ​​panache. It was beautiful. But that was anything but rational.

Julien Chesnais

Lognwy’s final went perfectly for him, he was a perfect favorite for the win, but he had to get the breakaway to maximize his chances of retaining his yellow shirt. I admit it, it’s paradoxical, but few teams were interested in controlling such a stage, and it seemed clear that Jumbo-Visma had no intention of defending the WVA tunic, its yellow rental was only an accessory parenthesis on certain days . . Whether you end up here or the next day at the Super Planche des Belles Filles, both yellow and black, the goals are elsewhere. So for Van Aert it’s better to have fun and give yourself away, just like a big one, with a little more with his golden robe.

The getaway had every chance on the role of going to the end and so Van Aert did his best to integrate it. He arrived there, congratulations to him, at the expense of a great struggle of which he was the chief architect. As Laurent says, logic would make him stand up, once he acquired the certainty that the trio could not go all the way. But the Tour is still the Tour. It plunges its actors into irrationality, pushing them to act like they would nowhere else. WVA has recognized it for itself. He insisted on honoring his shirt. “I thought about enjoying my last day of yellow and giving something away to the audience. “He was not disappointed. Although it was difficult to follow.

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Will Pogacar give a coat to the Board?

Julien Chesnais

The Super Planche des Belles Filles (7km at 8.7%) is very suitable for Pogacar. It corresponds to your preferred effort range (about twenty minutes) and these high percentages will allow you to make a difference more easily, if you so choose. Given his current form, the Slovene therefore has a great opportunity here to definitively establish his supremacy in this Tour, after the first unleashed blows on the cobbled Arenberg Road and the poignant end of Longwy.

Pogacar: “I had good legs on the last climb, the yellow jersey is an advantage”

Still there should be a frank struggle. The rise of the Vosges is so frightening with its final ramp at 24% that it had delayed the start of hostilities until the red flame in 2019. I fear the story is muttering. Who will want to attack upstream at the risk of being countered by Pogacar? INEOS and Jumbo-Visma could be tempted to let the storm pass, wait for better days to detect a possible Slovene crack and try a play.

So I don’t expect any real fireworks from the favorites. Rather a waiting race where the selection is done by the back. Pogacar can scratch new seconds. But attacking the last ramp, not 5 km from the finish. In any case, it will not be up to him to discover himself first.

Laurent Vergne

A good knife blow to the cobblestones on Wednesday. A good dose of blow (and sprint) Thursday at Longwy. And now, the transition to climbing on the Planche des Belles Filles? If for no reason discourages him, on Friday Tadej Pogacar will find what he loves most. It is not a real mountain stage, but a difficult and selective climb, as you like.

Now that he has the yellow jersey, perhaps earlier than he had imagined, the double starter can obviously play a form of waiting race and behave like a coach. It wouldn’t be absurd, but we saw it again on Thursday in the final towards Longwy – it’s not the house style. When he feels strong, the (very) strong man on the UAE Emirates team never hesitates to put on one or two outings of which he has the secret.

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Especially because Pogacar, if he has already taken a substantial advantage over several of his opponents, only has a margin of about thirty seconds over Jonas Vingegaard, his dolphin in 2021. He likes to take every opportunity. If news comes out on Friday at the Vosges station, you will probably not hesitate to make it fruitful. That doesn’t mean it sticks to the foot of the board. But that could end up on the ground in the last few miles. Story to give a layer, yes.

Pinot, guardian angel or hipster?

Laurent Vergne

Roles have been clearly defined in Groupama-FDJ: a leader, a. His name is David Gaudu. The goal admitted by Marc Madiot is to bring the Breton climber to the podium in Paris. To achieve this, the manager especially trusts Thibaut Pinot. The latter said he was ready to take on a role. “Guardian angel“, in his own words.

After six stages, and when the first ascent worthy of the name is glimpsed on Friday with the Planche des Belles Filles (1st category), Gaudu is in an almost ideal position overall. So the plan is running smoothly so far. At La Planche, Pinot is perhaps what Gaudu will need most. If he is allowed to play his card by taking the breakaway to seek stage victory (personally, his stated goal), it would be in some ways a paradoxical message sent by the team to its designated leader.

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However, the hypothesis is likely: Pinot is at home, in the Franche-Comté, the five letters of his name will appear by the dozens on the road, he knows the climb like the palm of his hand (though he does not know it). he has not been successful on the Tour often), and will no doubt have ants on his legs. It is, of course, the day to go. Except it’s also the first time David Gaudu might need his guardian angel. That said, yes, it is a dry climb, strong but short, and from what it has shown in recent days, the Breton is certainly able to manage on its own. But Groupama’s strategy will be interesting to observe and potentially revealing.

Julien Chesnais

It is not necessary to pass the platoon to the “motivometer”. Thibaut Pinot will undoubtedly be the most transcendent at the start of Tomblaine. The Planche des Belles Filles is his ascent. It is located in 20 terminals of his house, in Mélisey, he has been going up there regularly for twenty years. The Franc-Comtois returned to the Tour for the stages. And if there’s one in the viewfinder, it’s this one.

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You should definitely put on your guardian angel dress for David Gaudu, now that the mountain is about to begin. But I wonder what added value it could bring to Breton given the profile of the stage. There are no notable difficulties before the Board, and it will all come down to a rise of about twenty minutes where the tempo will be borne by others, Jumbo-Visma, UAE Emirates or INEOS. It will be a matter of legs, not team members.

With riders like Kung, Madouas or Storer by his side, Gaudu can completely do without Pinot in this 7th stage. I hope Groupama-FDJ leaves you total freedom for your favorite stage. And basically, even though he’s not the designated leader, I can’t imagine Pinot being tied against his will. Especially on a computer where everything revolves around him for a long time. In addition, the former stage winner at the Alpe d’Huez and the Tourmalet may have already started preparing for Friday. Coincidentally or not, he wasted time in the Longwy final and is now five minutes away from the overall. The platoon will also be able to give you the freedom to escape on a run.

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