Races of the week:
Some serious Tour prep going on.
- Tour de Suisse- the rest of it.
- Tour de Slovenie
- Route d’Occitanie
- Dwars door het Hageland - Aarschot- what’s a week without a Belgian one day race?
We also had the the Japan ITT.
Team of the week:
- Primoz Roglic (3). Won his home tour of Slovenia including the queen stage and the ITT. And people are saying that Cruise Ship is the team leader at the Tour?
- Alejandro Valverde (5). Won La Route d’Occitanie by winning the queen stage and almost nipped the final sprinter stage. Remains atop the leaderboard of FSA-DS.
- Richie Porte. Cruised to the win at Tour de Suisse on the back of the TTT. Can he repeat that at the Tour de France?
- Adam Blythe. Elfstedenronde winner. Fastest Elf on the planet.
- Jakob Fuglsang. 2nd at Suisse. After the opening TTT he was in 104th place and 1:18 behind Porte. Finished the closing ITT in 2nd just 1:02 back. Peak too soon?
- Peter Sagan (3). In a very close points competition at Suisse, he threw his bike across the line to beat Michael Matthews on count back.
- Nairo Quintana. Poor finishing ITT does not hide the fact that he’s got his climbing boots on.
- Enric Mas (2). Winner of the youth comp at Suisse. Won't be at the Tour; will be at the Vuelta. Hopefully he’ll be in Poland or Burgos.
- Michael Matthews. Served notice that the Green Jersey at the Tour is gonna be contested.
Team Team of the Week- BMC
Awarding the team of the week jersey to BMC is kinda cheating as they did their main damage in the opening TTT which happened the week before, but you can say that the team never let another team get within smelling distance of the lead-which is what the team was supposed to do.
FSA DS Team of the week
Que is, que no! ds’ed by ChefSpijker Had all three stage race winners: Valverde, Roglic, and Porte. Oh that’s mighty tasty. For grins they also had Mas, Fuglsang, Lulu, and Venturini to score 1474 points and win the week’s competition by 55.
So we have the Tour prep races finished...
Did we learn anything? Seems like its been mostly negative:
- Porte wins Suisse but his climbing is not at its best. Of course that might be good since he wants to peak next month, not now.
- Quintana can still climb but the teamwork with Landa seems non-existent. And his TT is gonna cost him.
- Meanwhile Landa...
- Team domestique Primoz Roglic, ski jumper extraordinaire, is obviously in better shape than Steven Kruijswijk. Is his climbing good enough? Hard to tell. but its better than Majka’s.
- Valverde looks like a guy that’s gonna hunt stages in France.
- Sagan and Matthews look like a fairly even matchup.
- Geraint Thomas looks good but then like Porte he looks good in a one week stage race kinda way.
- Will the Tour TTT bury Bardet’s chances?
- Can Adam Yates handle the pressure if his team delivers him to the top in the TTT?
- Is Uran on track for another podium?
Previewing the week to come-
A lighter week this week with next weekend being dominated by some national championships:
- Halle Ingooigem. Your basic SSR. A bazillion teams are entered (26) with three WT teams: Quickstep and the two Lottos. Fabio Jakobsen is the QS sprinter here so that should tell you the level of competition here. This race is on Tuesday and I think has video.
- Adriatica Ionica Race. This is a new stage race in Italy. 5 stages, four of them sprinter stages, the opening stage is a TTT, and one mountaintop finish-atop the Passo Giau. Whoo-hoo! There are five WTy teams here plus a decent Italian national team. Most of the names here are sprinters: Viviani is the big name, Cavendish trying to find some kind of form, Nizzolo is hoping his knee problems are over, Minali, Consonni, Canola, Wipert. Alas for climby guys we just got...searching...searching...Mark Padun? Ah Ciccone! Torres, Sosa, Brambilla, Pantano etc. Still I would like to see any stage ending on the Passo Giau.
- I don't have a list of the National Championships unfortunately. Hopefully another Ed will produce one.