Eurosport's experts have urged Ineos Grenadiers and Geraint Thomas to have "no regrets" at the Tour de France and launch significant attacks in pursuit of glory.
Ineos already boasted a clear numerical advantage over their general classification rivals - UAE Team Emirates and Jumbo-Visma - as the race reaches its business end in the Pyrenees.
There was a further boost for the team, and for Thomas, as Rafal Majka suffered a muscle tear and could not start Stage 17 for UAE Team Emirates. Mauro Gianetti, the team principal, confirmed to Eurosport that the Polish rider would be unable to start in Saint-Gaudens in another blow to Tadej Pogacar's hopes of snatching back the yellow jersey from Jonas Vingegaard.
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With that breaking news for context, Eurosport's experts reacted to the situation and implored Ineos to take the race to their rivals and said "they have got to risk it" if they are to secure a famous triumph in Paris.
"I think bringing that morale into the team and allowing riders to do what they want creates a good atmosphere within the team," Adam Blythe said before the start of the stage.
"It is not like each rider is feeling like they are being held back and not being able to do what they want to do, which is ultimately, to go and race.
"I think now the stage they are in at the race, the full concentration is on the GC. This, for me, is the day they have to send not just Adam Yates, but Tom Pidcock, up the road.
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"They have got to risk it with Geraint going up the road. They might let him, they might not, but it is going to be very difficult for him to get anywhere.
"I think the other two [Yates and Pidcock] they might give a bit of room to, but even that - UAE and Jumbo-Visma will just say this morning, 'don't let Adam Yates go up the road and don't let Tom Pidcock go up the road'. Simple as that."
Dan Lloyd added: "I think it has paid off for them, they won the Queen's stage with Tom Pidcock, in incredible style as well.
"The risk for them always was that if they played it the same way as usual and had everyone around Geraint and Yates throughout, they might get towards the end and Geraint has a bad day and slips to fourth or fifth.
"Then at the end of the three weeks you have no stage win and you are not even on the podium.
"I just hope that they get to the end of this race without any regrets because it is very clear that Vingegaard and Pogacar are a level above everybody else in terms of the actual climbing ability.
"They do have those cards to play with Adam Yates, and I think they will regret not getting Pidcock into the break yesterday [Stage 16]."
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