Pog will mark Rog (who needs to attack obviously) and then look to counter him once they are away.
I think they go with Mcnulty. Help build him up a bit (in clout and mentally) and save Pog for the TdF.
I think that was the general plan from the get-go…on the 2nd stage, McNulty attacked at one point and Pog clearly was sitting back, giving him his room to make something happen.
But I don’t think McNulty can hang with Rog when he attacks…so Pog will have to cover them, mark him and see if McNulty can work his way back steadily. If he can’t, Pog will be given the green light to go for the win.
I think they can double team Rog, and basically use Pog to hep burn Rog down a bit opening the door for McNulty, and maybe carry some of that burn into the TdF.
You are forgetting Vingegaard. He can race out mcnulty on saturday
Regarding Kuss as a GT contender, I think he could win a Vuelta, or similar with very little TT, or just uphill TT. He would need to be on his TDF form from last year, but we will need to see whether that is possible for him again. The thing is that any GT that suits him, also suits the Columbians/Ecuadorians well.
Kuss probably also needs to “ripe” a bit more. I remember he had at least 1 bad day at the last TDF, were he couldn’t do much. As domestique that’s not too bad. As GC contender in any GT, that’s game over.
I dunno if Kuss has the head to be a leader…not a knock against the guy, just an honest observation. In races where he is given his head, he seems to come up short (UAE, etc). But when he doesn’t need to worry about his results, he can reach another level.
Some people just can’t mentally handle the pressure of leadership…and there is nothing wrong with that. I think Kuss himself has even indicated that he is not interested in the pressure of leadership.
I know at the Tour he had to work a ton on the front for Roglic during one of the crosswind days, and he was cooked after that. This was where he lost most of the time last year.
The point is also well taken that he may not have the mind for it, this is something that will have to be sussed out. At least on pure performance, he has potential, but that’s not everything to be a GC guy.
Got to say, Roglic is hell of a classy cyclist
Boy, UAE made a mess of that stage…didn’t immediately mark Rog, let the gap get too big and had Pog pull / wait too long before leaving McNulty to his fate.
I was critical of Rog for chasing the stage win in P-N when he didn’t need it, and it was the opposite today. He didn’t need to let Goudot take the stage, IMO, since Rog had done nearly all the work until the final climb. He was entitled to that stage win…I’m not being critical of his decision and it was a class move to make, but he would have been entitled to go for the win if he had wanted to.
What a turnaorund for JV in a single stage…from being criticized for bringing a wreak / inexperienced team that left Rog in a bad situation to cleaning up. Impressive work (and ride by Rog).
This one I didn’t really understand… You can’t treat every race, as if it’s the Tour de France and only ever roll out your top dogs.
I think some if it stems from the fact that Wout didn’t have a lot of support in the Classics team, and Rog had an inexperienced team at Pays Basque, so where were some of the better support riders?
But you are right…you can’t have everyone there the whole time. They need recovery as well…and at the end of the day, Pays Basque isn’t that critical of a race.
Who was supposed to do that besides Pog?..They just don’t have the team. It was game optimal move by Roglic.
Both POG and McNulty should have gotten on his wheel immediately. And Hirschi probably should have been called back earlier.
I think UAE thought the move was not gonna go clear…but they underestimated how hard Astana was gonna turn the screws.
That said, it was clear McNulty didn’t have the legs today…and Pog was never able to close the gap in any meaningful way, so the outcome may have been inevitable.
Tour is POG vs ROG
Any other contenders
Pinot if he doesn’t get injured or sick again. Ineos maybe, not sure who their #1 is gonna be though. Bardet… maybe he finds his legs in the new not-french team, although admittedly a bit of an underdog. And it’s the Tour… there is always potential for surprises.
Pinot is focussing on the Giro I thought? With Bernal and Sivakov at the Giro, Ineos’ tour team has to be for Thomas or Yates - I don’t think Thomas can live with Pog or Rog on the climbs, and Yates will lose time on TT’s - so as strong as they are, I can’t see them challenging Slovenia.
Team tactics between JV and UAE will be super interesting. Will JV try and dominate again, or expect UAE to do a lot more work now they have a much stronger team? Looking forward to it.
Ineos are taking Carapaz to the Tour, I think he can live with Rog and Pog on the climbs but will give up too much time on the TTs. Thomas might be a contender if he can get back to 2018/19 form, but it’s a big if at his age.
Assuming they get a decent break after this, they are simply on a different level this year. Carapaz can’t TT with them and Thomas can’t overcome any time losses on summit finishes in the TT’s.
Hot take - Pinot is done. I think he has broken mentally from 2019 and can’t get past it.