Discussion in 'Cycling' started by Moses, Jul 2, 2011.
So, who amongst us sets up a bike in front of the telly and rides along with le tour?
Winner of stage one gets the yellow jersey, and king of the mountain as well!
SBS covering it this year?
Cadel and Schlek must be very happy with the stupidity of that spectator!
Very handy amount of time they picked up on the first day over contador! While it may not be mean anything right now, it's going to cause Contador (and his team) to spend extra energy to eat the lead down.
Guess thats the price you pay for not being in the front part of the field!
HD as well, pictures look superb
A classic start to the race. No-one sprints up a hill like Gilbert - though he might lose the yellow briefly tonight, he's got an excellent chance of getting it back and keeping it all the way to the Luz-Ardiden accent in stage 12.
I'm keen to see if Gesink or Van Der Broeck can step up for a podium this year, and am also keen to see this supposed miraculous transformation that has turned Tony Martin from a Cancellara copy, into the top ten GC contender that HTC seem to think he is.
Contador 1:20 behind.
Karma is a biatch.
They'll need another couple of minutes of karma up their sleeves to keep Alberto at bay.
Not that I can resist grinning a little at his misfortune. Wonder if Cadel and Schleck have more idiots ready to tangle with his handlebars?
Another good stage today for Cadel. Contador now 1.41 down on Evans and 1.38 (or similar on Schleck). That is not insignificant.
Jeez I'd be happy to see Contador get knocked off this year. Cadel well placed too. I can't help but think his window of opportunity has passed but I'd love to see him get up in this one.
He is excellent form coming into it this year and he finally has some decent blokes in his team.
This is the first year he hasn't competed in the Giro as well which will mean he is a lot fresher than the other riders and has had more time to train on the course.
After ever there was a season that he could do it, this is it!
I hope so mate. Should be a fascinating battle anyway. Plenty of contenders this year.
Love the tour, (well i love the Giro and Veulta more) but it is great to see the whole country take an interest in cycling for 3 weeks a year!
Shleck has got to be favorite now, Contador can easily bring this margin back though.
Cadel. Time will tell. He is a good all round rider but just doesn't have the (amazing) climbing ability of the others. However, he is an extremely consistent rider that will be up there right until the end. One of these days his consistency will pay off, he will be 2nd or 3rd leading into the last week of a GC and one of the favorites will get caught in a crash or get a puncture. Even if he doesn't manage to win a GC, he has had a great career.
I might be forced to eat my words, but though Cadel is a fair chance for a top ten, or even a top 5, he won't win it without a blow out from the other contenders. Both Schleck and Contador could take 5 min from him over the mountains (if they are in peak condition), and neither of them are the soft time trialists they used to be (Contador has actually become quite proficient). I've watched Cadel throughout his career, since he switched from mountain biking, and I can't say he's ever looked like winning a tour. I know he's come close, but even while finishing only 23 seconds behind, he never actually looked like he was actually able to take enough time to win.
All of that said, he's in with a chance, and I'd simply like to see Cadel on the podium. He needs to overcome quite a few people in order to get there, and (as well as Contador) he's taken valuable time on Vinokourov (31s), Van Den Broeck (38s), Roche (52s), Basso (56s), Hesjadal (1:13), Kreuziger (2:20), and Sanchez (2:35). Of those you can probably discount Vino, who simply can't climb well enough now, and possibly Roche and Hesjadal, who I don't really think are anything more than low top ten riders at the moment (willing to be proved wrong, but their results suggest they won't be winning any grand tours quite yet).
In the race for the podium, the time on Van Den Broeck, Basso and Sanchez will be extremely helpful. Sanchez came 4th last year, and was running third until Menchov produced a skull crushing final time trial, while Van Den Broeck came 5th. Basso bombed out completely, but he had already won the Giro, so that might have had something to do with it. All are good climbers, but Cadel can beat both Sanchez and Basso in a time trial - though Van Den Broeck has shown little sign of it recently, he is potentially the best time trialist of all the major contenders.
Of those he didn't get time on, I suspect he'll need to watch Gesink (12s behind) who's another younger climber, Wiggins (4s) who's really quite similar to Cadel in terms of style, though not quite as good a climber, and Tony Martin (5s) whom I still don't think can climb, but who has an almost Cancellara like ability in the TT. Radioshack will be there too, with both Horner and Kloden posting good results this year.
If he wants to podium, and assuming Andy and Alberto are in a two horse race, he'll also need to get over Schleck the elder, who is, at least on paper, almost as good a climber as his brother. If Frank is performing well he'll be able to out climb Cadel by a wide margin, but he's a poor time trialist, so Cadel has a chance to take back big time there.
Cadel has one final problem, and that is the prevalence of uphill accelerators in this year's tour. Contador, both Schlecks, and Gesink (and potentially Sanchez and Basso) can all accelerate up a hill, and continually change pace, in a type of mountain attack that Cadel has never been able to follow. Add to this his age and it will be very difficult for him to stay in contention over the worst sections of the HCs. That said, Van Den Broeck, Wiggins, Kloden, Leipheimer, Martin, and a host of others who don't mind climbing, but can't dance up a mountain, will be there, so he'll have company.
Being a relatively new viewer I get blown away by the contrasts you see in Le Tour.
Last night when the peleton allowed one rider to break away that seemed quite odd, until it was explained he is a local to that area and the custom is they allow him to get ahead and say hi to the wife and kids. How awesome that must have been for the rider heading through his home town on Le Tour.
Tonight's stage will be a good race for 2nd place. (Gilbert will win). Cadel's form in the hills has been pretty good so hopefully he gets even more time on other GC contenders, and probably the yellow jersey tonight.
My pick for todays stage is Cavendish. He will be really pissed off after HTC stuffed up the lead in on Stage 3 and will be out to make amends.
On the money. Agree about the comment regarding Cadel and his climbing though I reckon he'll give it a real hot go. Would love to see another climbing battle like last year when it was Schleck v Contodor, I was loving the death stares from Andy and his ability not to let Contodor shake him off - hopefully see another battle like that this year.
Tonight will be an interesting stage. Could be a day for Hushovd, the run into the finish is about 6% but flattens out in the last few hundred meters.
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