Friday Group Ride #459

Friday Group Ride #459

Is it sad that Chris Froome’s serious crash and subsequent withdrawal from the Tour de France has me more interested in this year’s race than I was before? It feels a little sad. Even still I’m conflicted about who to support. It’s not controversial to suggest, for the sake of good sport, it would be nice to see someone not Sky/Ineos win for a change. But I’m Welsh. I can’t not root for Geraint Thomas.

Thomas has just crashed out of the Tour de Suisse, but is still probably de facto leader, even with the promise of young Colombian rider Egan Bernal on the team. Ineos is always stacked with the strongest support riders, and that’s what’s made them such comfortable winners of so many Tours. They control the race more or less from start to finish.

As a team, Movistar provides an excellent foil to Ineos this year with Nairo Quintana and Mikel Landa, supported by Alejandro Valverde. That’s a lot of uphill talent and potential to break individual stages when things get steep. And isn’t that what’s best about the Tour de France, the epic climbing battles. I think so.

And then you have a few others with the potential to get on the podium, including Adam Yates, Thibaud Pinot, and Romain Bardet. These guys are all talented and each has been building to bigger and better things in their careers, but it’s hard to see any of them winning, because their teams just aren’t strong enough.

This week’s Group Ride asks, who do you like in this year’s Tour? And how much will you watch? Are you still an all day, every day follower? Or do you watch text updates from work? The digested evening coverage? Or are you just fully and completely over it?


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  1. Christina

    I watch via all the means. Live at home before work, then text updates, then the recap at home in the evening

  2. Wyatt

    Egan Bernal all the way though Id love to see Nairo finally put one together. I’ll watch as much as I can–certainly all the mountain stages.

  3. Steven Down

    It’s great to think that there might easily be a white jersey contender on the podium. Perhaps Soler.

    I tend to watch mountain stages of all three GTs in full if I can, but rely on summary shows for other days. I’m certainly not as insistent on watching when my son is not at home though. It’s better with banter!

  4. TomInAlbany

    I follow the ticker on Cycling News during the more interesting stages. Sometimes, I’ll head down to the cafeteria and put the last 30 minutes of a mtn stage on. Sometimes I’ll watch a bit of the late night wraps.

    I have no idea who will win. It’s hard to penalize Ineos for doing this well, IF they’re doing it ‘right.’ That said, dynasties generate boredom. I’m going to jump on Rigo’s train because I like to support EF Education First. I hope he’s on his A-game. If he is, he’ll keep things interesting.

  5. Lyford

    I care enough to read text updates during and watch highlights after, but not enough to pay to watch live.

    It’d be nice to see Uran finally get a big win, but I’ll cheer for any underdog.

  6. Scott M.

    The Truth May Be Out There:

    2019 — The year of the prodigy! (Bernal, Evenepoel, Higuita, Soler (if they ride))
    Come late July, we may all be shouting, “Viva la France!” (Bardet, Pinot, Alaphilippe)
    Occupying Le Tour’s top step – a rider who didn’t win either the Dauphine or the Tour de Suisse. (So, not Fugalsang or Bernal)
    We could see a podium with no SKY/Ineos riders. (Fuglsang, Uran, Alaphilippe, Pinot, Quintana, Bardet could gang up to overthrow the Empire)
    Of course, SKY/Ineos could also take all three steps. (Thomas, Bernal, Poels)

    I watch some in the morning over breakfast and DVR the rest to watch after work – drives my wife nuts.

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