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Tour du Faso Discussion
Tour du Faso


2019Chequan RichardsonAzteca - NBCSN
2018Eugert ZhupaSwisslion Cycling Team
2017Sam HarrisonWorld Cycling Centre
2016Geraint ThomasPodium Ambitions
2015Andzs FlaksisEvonik - ELKO
2014Bert-Jan LindemanTeam Hornbach
2013Remco BroersTeam BPost
2012Tomas VaitkusCyclevox
2011Adam Blythe100% Me
2010Niels AlbertJack Wolfskin
2009Luke RoweWiggle - Premier Inn

After last year's shenanigans, the cyclist union threatened to boycott the race unless something was done about those ridiculous cobblestones. The government of Burkina Faso promised to improve the road conditions and the union dropped their protest, so we have the twelfth edition of the Tour du Faso. For the fans it is probably a bit disappointing, this was an event millions would tune into to watch riders get dirty but for the riders themselves it might be the better option (and the reporter to follow all the action). Don't worry, the race will still be difficult, but not of the levels of last season.



The same familiar route returns for another edition. The first stage is asphalted until the final twenty kilometer, and then we get the trademark stones until close before the finish line. The second stage does not contain this hell and might end in a sprint. Stage three is designed by Satan himself, with over half the race over cobblestones. If the government actually went back on its promise it should be less difficult, but still expect the cobblestone specialists to shine here.



pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/lph.png Baugnies797772pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/bsb.png Naesen767576
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/car.png Nolf797370pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/bsb.png Okbamariam767368
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/esc.png Taillefour787755pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/phi.png Paprstka757572
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/sva.png Van Avermaet787472pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/car.png Tsatevich757475
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/gsc.png Taubel787364pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/spr.png Schlechter757466
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/nel.png Manamalage778156pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/bnz.png Weber757377
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/trg.png Maes777864pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/tst.png Abraha757272
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/phi.png Van Lerberghe777473pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/afr.png Lhotellerie757166
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/cdb.png Sinkeldam777468pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/afr.png Minoungou757068
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/tst.png Thomas777375pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/sva.png Kluge747570

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/lph.png Baugnies is the man in form by winning the most recent CT cobblestone race: 1 Jour de Dunkerque. This race is Trois Jours and du Faso, but nevertheless he should be amongst the top favorites, especially with all his experience from higher division.

Another rider with loads of experience is pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/car.png Nolf. He didn't get the best results in Lincoln and Dunkerque but this race looks made for him. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/car.png Tsatevich might think he has Carrefour leadership after a Lincoln win but this race's lack of hills might make the Belgian a better option still.

Looking at the most recent edition of this race, reigning champion Richardson is ineligible to defend his title but the man he beat by one second is back: pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/trg.png Maes. If anyone is determined to win the race his year it's him.

Third place is also back: pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/gsc.png Taubel. He switched teams from the disbanding OMV to Guave, but he has absolutely zero helpers. He'll be isolated quickly on the final stage, which is a slight disadvantage.

To look for a former winner we have to go all the way back to 2016, when pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/tst.png Thomas won this race for Podium Ambition. He definitely has that ambition this year as well, but has to do it for Trans Cycling Team.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/sva.png Van Avermaet is a monument winner, 2018 Ronde van Vlaanderen, and a multiple Paris - Roubaix podium finisher. This race is Paris - Roubaix on steroids three times over. At least he can take his experience from big races into here.

As far as the records go, the accuracy is disputed, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/esc.png Taillefour only participated in 2014, where he finished fifteenth. The race appeared to have been different back then as a team time trial is mentioned. Anyway, he should definitely do better this time around.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/nel.png Manamalage was the victim of an unfortunately timed puncture last year, which cost him a lot of time. He recovered to finish tenth overall, but without it he could have been higher. Hopefully luck is on his side this year.

Another Belgian favorite in the name of pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/phi.png Van Lerberghe. Philips has another decent option in pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/phi.png Paprstka.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/cdb.png Sinkeldam has never raced here, again depending on the accuracy of the records. I wonder what his reaction will be when he sees the cobblestones.

The African teams obviously want to perform well this race. Bralirwa has the duo pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/bsb.png Naesen - pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/bsb.png Okbamariam, the former being runner-up in the most recent CT cobble races but the latter is an African, and could have great motivation in this race. Project: Africa brings the only local rider to the race: pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/afr.png Minoungou, who finished seven- and sixteenth in the two recent editions.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/afr.png Van Heerden807069pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/bsb.png Habtom777868
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/gct.png Kip798063pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/gsc.png Feiereisen777863
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/esc.png Thorsen798054pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/bnz.png Weber777775
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/lph.png Manarelli797961pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/car.png Dakteris777772
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/gct.png Te Brake797666pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/car.png Planckaert777771
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/eur.png Ranneries788261pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/esc.png Cimolai777764
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/gsc.png Page787966pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/esc.png Berger777762
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/car.png Sanikwathi787872pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/eur.png Schorn777762
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/phi.png Boev787868pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/bsb.png Naesen777676
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/esc.png Bogdanovics787760pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/eur.png Kvist767670
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/bnz.png Von Hoff787560pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/nel.png Schwarzmann767571
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/spr.png Lobato del Valle778069pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/cdb.png Eislers767562
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/tst.png Modolo777967pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/phi.png Van Lerberghe757377
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/sva.png Sbaragli777872pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/car.png Tsatevich757575

Stage two could go to the sprinters, as it does not contain any cobblestones. Whether they challenge there depends on two factors: 1) surviving stage one and 2) not letting the breakaway spoil the party like last year.

Project: Africa want to show themselves on every stage, so they bring an option for the sprints as well. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/afr.png Van Heerden is a good sprinter but is known to lack acceleration, so a long sprint is his desire.

Gjensidige has the Dutch pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/gct.png Kip - pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/gct.png Te Brake duo. Hopefully they have decided beforehand who will lead the sprint, otherwise we'll hear some swear words the reporter is able to translate.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/esc.png Thorsen is always someone who shows up on these lists, but he didn't survive stage one last year. Perhaps he will this time but even then it's a battle to even participate. Eddie Stobart also have pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/esc.png Bogdanovics who might have a better chance surviving stage one and sprinting stage two.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/lph.png Manarelli, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/eur.png Ranneries and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/bnz.png Von Hoff might also be in danger of not finishing stage one. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/gsc.png Page, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/car.png Sanikwathi and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/phi.png Boev are ought to finish though and will be at the front for stage two.

Some riders can sprint and ride cobblestones, which means they have the edge on stage one which finishes on a short asphalt section, and they can pick up bonus seconds here. Riders like pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/bnz.png Weber, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/bsb.png Naesen, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/phi.png Van Lerberghe and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/car.png Tsatevich spring to mind.
Manager of Minions
Will be rooting for Sascha Weber here. It's great to see him as a leader, even when it means lower level... A couple of other former riders like Kip, Nolf, Lhotellerie, Veber aswell as (obviously) our loan-out Aimiliano Vila will also be on our radar.

Will be rooting for Sascha Weber here. It's great to see him as a leader, even when it means lower level... A couple of other former riders like Kip, Nolf, Lhotellerie, Veber aswell as (obviously) our loan-out Aimiliano Vila will also be on our radar.

Our first sponsor goal of the season and considering how Naesen has performed so far, anything but that Top 5 goal would be a disappointment. The field ist very competitive though, and I'm a bit concerned that Habtom is listed as our leader by the game. At the same time, being the second team hopefully means the AI will keep us in good position. A wide range of outcomes is possible for us here, we could theoretically win all three stages (obviously not gonna happen) or fail pretty spectacularly.

Thanks for the preview Marco, looking forward to the reports!
Rooting for the home stars and our Slovenian friends. Nice preview Smile
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Obviously eons of flat cobbles are not exactly Sinkeldam's strength. I just hope he stays with the group and finishes as high up as possible. We didn't bring a sprinter here fearing they might abandon stage 1, so it's all in for Ramon.

Thanks for the preview!
RIP Exxon Duke, David Veilleux, Double Feature, and Monster Energy
Baugnies, you know what to do! Would be nice to see Manarelli score some points as well, if he manages to survive the first stage.

Thank you for the preview, Marco!
Only one goal for us: At least one rider should make the time limit on stage 3. Basso should have the best chances to do so, and after his surprising 4th place in Lincoln, maybe he can even do more than just finishing?

The team will be happy when that mess is over, as it's our last cobbled race of the year - finally!
I hope that our good month can go on with this race too and that Geraint and Abraha can do something here as special Geraint is bad on hills and he already proved that he can be good at flat cobbled stages at the start of this seasson. WinkGrin

NIce preview, Marco Smile
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/tst.png i.imgur.com/XZ5vU9L.png
Maes to go one better this year? Probably not.
Need to keep it going after Dunkurque. With BVL, Paprstka and Bovenhuis, we're hoping for three good GC positions. Boev in there too nainly for Stage 2. Hoping we get a good outcome from this race.

Thanks for the preview Marco Smile
Definely not how I hoped the first stage would go. Baugnies didn't try, I just hope he's not on a bad daily form which will continue until the end. Disappointing to see Coronel and Ulloa lose that much time to obviously worse cobblers, but that's the price they pay for their work I suppose (which makes it even sadder that Baugnies was kind of invisible). Congratulations to Tryg and thank you for the report Marco! Let's see if Manarelli has a decent sprint tomorrow!
Thomas Vedel Kvist did much better than we hoped for and with a good result tomorrow, he will be right up there. However, the last stage looks horrible Pfft

Congrats to Tryg for the strong victory and thank you so much for the report Marco!
Hmm. I think I should be happy with this. Naesen did what I had expected from the final group, but it would have been cool to sprint for the stage win there. Unfortunate that Okbamariam couldn't do anything to bring Maes back. Then again, we score some points from the team competition plus Naesen has a decent shot at the points competition, I reckon. The fact that I have some gripes with a second and tenth place finish says a lot about our cobbles performances this year, I guess Grin

Congrats to liefwarrior, Maes may very well actually go one better, it's not going to be easy to make up all that time on him. And thank you for the nice report Marco!
Complete disappointment from Thomas Geraint with an extra gap after main leaders. Angry I hope that the next two stages won't be the same but I hope much better.
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/tst.png i.imgur.com/XZ5vU9L.png
Not a bad start for Sinkeldam. He seemed attentive at least, although it was a bit worrying to see him near the back as the cobblestones ended. He grabs a few bonus seconds as well despite not being a great sprinter, so overall I can't complain. We're in a decent spot for stage 3.
RIP Exxon Duke, David Veilleux, Double Feature, and Monster Energy
Tactically not the best race by Basso. The first attack was fine, for sure, but then insisting until he runs out of gas wasn't great. As a result, he's behind quite some weaker cobblers... At least he finished inside the second group, and if he now uses this time gap for a breakaway win on stage 3, I sure won't be complaining Pfft

The rest of the team obviously was as bad as expected; at least they're still in the race. Which won't be the case after day 3, at least not for Manfredi and BrĂĽngger - but hey, someone had to fill up the roster Embarassed
Ulrich Ulriksen
First time I am disappointed with Rathe this season. The fact he got back to the group behind Maes shows he should have never have been dropped, and he isn't a bad sprinter so a top 10 might have been possible.

Think Stage 3 is too hard for him so this was our chance to shine.

Good to see they young guys prominent in the breaks though.

Congrats to Lief on a deserved win for Maes.
Man Game: McCormick Pro Cycling
Turned into a damage limitation ride in the closing kilometers after the untimely puncture to Van Lerberghe. Hopefully our luck improves in the next two stages.

Congrats to liefwarrior and thanks for the report Marco Smile
Oof, Manarelli came really close in the end. Happy with the team's performance, picking up chasing duties and doing their best to set up a train without really having the best rider to do so. Was hoping for a top-3 (but knew Manrelli falling outside the top-10 was definitely possible), so I am really happy with a second place Smile Congratulations to the winner, this makes the title race even more exciting!

Thank you for another well written report, Marco.
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