The rack, the medieval torture device, was used to get information out of people. Once placed on it, the victim's limbs would slowly be ratcheted to the point where their joints would be dislocated and muscle fibers would be stretched to the point that they would be unusable. The Tour de Savoie Mont Blanc was sort of like that this year. The race started off and slowly but surely, the pain ratcheted up. Hunger knock set in. The legs just hit a point of no return and you have to let go. From a breakaway, riders pop off and the numbers dwindle. If you are lucky, you turn and see no one behind you.
Many other places have done a race report but as not to spit out verbatim nonsense, let's go with a few quick things
I was not sure what type of rider Enric Mas was...
until here but even though he showed his climbing chops here, will he be able to sustain it? This was his 2nd GC win of the year but while he was very strong here, there is a nagging feeling in my head that this won't be permanent. Perhaps I am just a bit stunned by his rampant improvement from last year to now.
Adrien Costa isn't infallible and that is okay
Costa made a bit of a comeback later in the race by taking the time trial stage and riding well on the final stage of the Colombiere but he isn't going to win everything. After the Peace Race and here, it is a good reminder that even for prodigious talents, the U23 ranks are necessary.
This race...should it go full U23 or invite more pro teams?
Savoie sits in a weird place on the calendar as they have to invite some Professional Continental teams but they send weird teams, which end up getting beat by a handful of U23s. It isn't all bad for the riders as Pierre-Luc Perichon proved he was back on form and got an invite to the Tour. Granted, there should be opportunities for older continental racers and not everything should be on the U23 circuit but don't let the young bucks show you up.
Léo Vincent is the next big French GC talent
Last year he picked off stage wins. This year, he did an about face and has been focusing on GC efforts. He has gone 3rd and 4th in the Ronde de l'Isard and Savoie Mont Blanc, respectively. Vincent admitted he was afraid on the final stage of Savoie when he backed off of the descents due to rainy conditions and did not have the killer instinct on that day. If he can find away to harness his natural attacking spirit with a focus on GC, the French will be crying for joy.
Wow...just wow. For someone who hasn't raced in the mountains, this was an eye opener. You should have known this name if you have read this blog before but burn it into your brain now. He is the world record holder for the individual pursuit in the junior ranks and his talents could be making their way to a road near you.