You have questions about the 2020 Tour de France, and we have answers and educated opinions. Our veteran reporters, Andrew Hood and James Startt, are fielding your biggest inquiries each day in this Active Pass roundtable column. Today, one reader wonders if Peter Sagan’s attempt to win an eighth green jersey is over, and what will become of Adam Yates once he moves to Ineos Grenadiers.
OK, let’s get to your questions!
Is the race for green over? The intermediate sprint points on the remaining stages all come before the large climbs. It seems like it would be very difficult for Sagan to drop Bennett and accumulate enough points.
Andy: Yes, the battle for green pretty much ended in Lyon when Peter Sagan didn’t win the stage. Sam Bennett needs to survive the next three days in the Alps. Wednesday and especially Thursday are going to be very hard days for Bennett. His team will have riders assigned to help pace him in the gruppetto each day. So long as he can stay protected inside the gruppetto, which works together to make sure they meet the time cut, Bennett should win green in Paris.
James: Just based on points and the possibilities for Sagan to get points in the intermediate sprints, it is definitely going to be tough. But Bennett needs to get through the hardest days of climbing still and he is a patented non-climber. So we will see who is in green in Paris. If Bennett is there he will be in green I reckon and well, all good things must come to an end, even for Peter Sagan, at least for this year!
Obviously Filippo Ganna is a big talent and has impressive palmarès, but I’m struggling to see where he fits into a team such as Ineos Grenadiers. Is he a classics rider? It’s hard to see where he would feature on a team aiming for a GC.
Andrew Hood @eurohoody: You’re right, he’s a huge talent. We will see him develop into a classics rider, as well as perhaps into a GC rider for certain races that don’t have a lot of climbing that also feature a TT. Just having a big motor like that in any race is a huge plus for a team. Just look at Ineos Grenadiers in this Tour. They’re really missing a rider like that who can just sit on the front all day and ride a high tempo, day-in, day-out. Jumbo-Visma has riders like Tony Martin and Wout van Aert who can really take pressure off the other support riders and GC captains.
James Startt: I’ve followed Ganna for a couple of years now. I remember last year he dusted the fiend in the opening TT at the Tour de la Provence, and this year I saw him climbing with the best in the Tour of San Juan. Of course the mountains there are not steep at all. I see him as a big engine that will be an important support rider in the Grand Tours, a bit like Wout Van Aert is this year for Jumbo-Visma. But instead of winning sprints, his team would give him room to run on time trials. Otherwise I see him as a tempo monster.
If Adam Yates lands on the podium at the Tour does that change the role he will have at Ineos Grenadiers next year?
Andy: A podium would only boost his profile inside the team. Yates should slip into that GC captaincy role behind Bernal and Thomas at other smaller races in 2021, and perhaps get a tilt at the Giro or Vuelta if he doesn’t go to the Tour. He’s expected to slip into a support role during the Tour. One can only expect that Bernal’s rough Tour is a one-off, and that he will remain the team captain. Yates brings more horsepower in the mountains, with chances to race for his own results in other races.
James: Well, podium or no podium, Adam is a huge talent and has real Tour potential. It is a smart move for him to go to Ineos as they have real experience when it comes to grand tours and they will get the best out of him. And Adam will give the team some serious reinforcement, something that will take the pressure off of Egan Bernal. And it seems that, if a team wants to win the Tour de France today, they have to go into it with several cards to play. Yates will give Ineos Grenadiers a big card.
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