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Le Tour 2012

Discussion in 'Cycling' started by Jethro Tah, Jun 21, 2012.

  1. Cutter Nicholas Shehadie (39)

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    With BMC allowing Gilbert of the front today does that mean:

    1. He's going up ahead to allow Evans to attack later and Evans' previous attacks that have been reeled in have just been feints aimed at tricking Sky into thinking they can just grind him down, they don't actually have to follow the attack.
    2. BMC have given up on the yellow jersey and Gilbert is going for the win himself.

    Discuss.
  2. tigerland12 John Thornett (49)

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    This may be one of the (probably last) stage Evans will attack, he still can aim for second spot, so I suspect he will look to get time off wherever possible.

    That being said, I reckon Gilbert will go for the win aswell, Sky is not chasing them, as they haven't for the past few days. Basically if you get into the breakway you have a good shot at winning.
  3. Cutter Nicholas Shehadie (39)

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    Disagree with that. Stages 18 and 19 are going to full of action.
  4. tigerland12 John Thornett (49)

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    fucking that'd be right, BMC screwing up as always.
  5. The_Brown_Hornet Michael Lynagh (62)

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    Cadel, FAAAAAARK!

    He really did win in spite of these clowns last year didn't he..
  6. Jethro Tah Bob Loudon (25)

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    Sky has slowed down to let Cadel catch up.
  7. Jethro Tah Bob Loudon (25)

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    My opinion of Sagan has increased after his effort today.
    The_Brown_Hornet and Gagger like this.
  8. Jethro Tah Bob Loudon (25)

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    Cadel can't catch a break today. I would hate to be his tech guy tonight.
  9. Jethro Tah Bob Loudon (25)

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    It seems they gave him two chances but picked up the pace despite his third wheel change.
  10. Jethro Tah Bob Loudon (25)

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    Ah but no, they let BMC catch up. Great sportsmanship. Gotta love Le Tour.
    The_Brown_Hornet and Cutter like this.
  11. tigerland12 John Thornett (49)

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    Same, very guttsie. You rarely see a Green Jersey holder consitantly making a fist of it in the moutains.

    Word that there was thumbtacks on the road, which led to about 10+ riders with flat tires. We will hear alot about this in the news.

    Good sportsmanship from the peleton and Rolland (who obviously fell back when he got word).
  12. G&GR News Bot Bob McCowan (2)

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    For a stage in which there was no change within the top 8 positions of the GC, there was certainly plenty of drama.
    At the top of the Mur de Péguère – the final climb of the day – Cadel Evans, cycling with the peloton alongside Wiggins in the yellow jersey, pulled up with a flat rear tyre. Because of the thin road and strung out peloton, it seemed to take an age for the team car to get to him and he’d lost more than a minute on Wiggins. In Cadel’s own words:
    After a hard start, an easier transition to a dramatic final – a little bit more drama than we are used to today…three punctures in the last 38km, mostly of them downhill, all caused by tacks. I do not know how or why the tacks were on the road; I’m guessing someone who was watching on Tv can piece together the facts to draw a conclusion. For me, first a rear puncture in the last kilometre of the climb. ‘Stevo’ came but had a puncture already, Amaël gave me his wheel which went flat. Giorgio, Michi, Amaël and the ‘Quinzi’ came together like only my ‘BMC Guardian Angels’ can, only for me to puncture in the front (that could have been dangerous), then we could finally go fast and get back.
    In the meantime Wiggins had heard about the situation and neutralised the peloton until Evans had caught up.
    I don’t have a tv on my bike – as many of the press do not seem to understand – so I do not know what went on in the yellow jersey group, reports tell me ‘Wiggo’ was the sporting one….some others not so sporting… On a day like that you learn a lot about your colleagues.
    That other colleague he refers to is the frenchman Rolland, who decided it was his time to attack. He was brought to heel by the pack before the finish line.
    The notable rides of the day were from Luis-Leon Sanchez for Rabobank who took the overall stage win, but only after wrestling it away from Peter Sagan, who not only took the intermediate sprint, but then rode like a cannibal to the finish, almost all alone through the climbs.
    The post Stage 14 Review: A tacky drama – Limoux-Foix appeared first on Green and Gold Cycling.

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  13. The_Brown_Hornet Michael Lynagh (62)

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    Great performance by Sagan last night and also hats off to Wiggins and team for hanging back after that disgraceful incident. Apparently the Police have been called. What kind of arsehole does something like that?
  14. Ash Michael Lynagh (62)

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    Yeah, hope they catch the people who threw tacks on the road.

    The worst part is it was near a descent - a crash due to a flat on a descent could be life threatening. Bunch of idiots.

    Good sportsmanship from Wiggins et al to wait too. Good to see that sort of fair play.

    Lucky for Evans that they waited, otherwise it was a repeat of Vuelta '09 all over again. For those that missed that one, Evans cites it as a reason he doesn't race much in Spain any more. On the Queen stage, Evans got a flat on the final mountain climb of the day while in the leading group. The neutral service vehicle was right behind, but then (rather comically) couldn't get his rear wheel off to replace it. Meanwhile, Evans' team car was stuck behind a log jam of cars, made worse by the neutral service car now blocking the road. Evans' mechanic actually ran up the mountain with a spare rear wheel and swapped it out. Evans was now well over a minute behind the leaders group. He killed himself to get back to about 30 to 40 seconds down, then blew up and finished about 1.5 minutes down, roughly the margin he lost the Vuelta by.

    Meanwhile, it's a slightly lumpy day today, with just three classified climbs. Surely it will be a sprinter's stage, with just one chance for the sprinter's teams left after today. GreenEdge still don't have a win, so you can be sure that they will be working very hard for Goss today to hopefully chalk up their first TdF win. However, my bet is on Andre the gorilla Greipel to take another.

    If you are only going to watch a couple more stages, then Wednesday and Thursday will be the days (nights) to watch.
    Gibbo likes this.
  15. G&GR News Bot Bob McCowan (2)

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    Let’s look at a few of the controversial aspects of their Off-road antics. They are fast becoming the New York Yankees of Cycling. Backed by bucket loads of cash and a PR team that might have just graduated with a speed typing diploma from TAFE. Is their PR department the proverbial ventilation shaft to the Empire’s Death Star.
    The Leadership debate

    Wiggins or Froome (or the current World Champ Cavendish). Froome is probably the strongest rider, Wiggins has earned the leadership over time and Cav has the Rainbow Stripes. In my opinion Wiggins should be the leader. Froome is a machine for sure but hasn’t earned the leadership. His immaturity was shown in the prologue when he took off with cotton wool stuffed up his nose for the Time Trial. He came in 11th in the prologue.
    Froome showed his strength (and ego) on stage 11 when he dropped team leader Wiggins only to be called back over the team radio to help defend the Yellow jersey. He has openly stated that he could win but not on Team SKY.
    “I could win this Tour, but not at Sky,” he told L’Equipe. “I cannot lie to you, it’s difficult, but it’s my job. It’s a very, very great sacrifice. We have a strategy around Wiggins and everybody respects it.”
    He is contracted with SKY until 2013 and expects (based on the route) to take the leadership if it is suited more to climbers than Time Trial specialists like Wiggins. TJ Van Gaarden showed what it means to sacrifice for your Team lead when he pretty much had to come to a standstill for Cadel Evans as the tempo of their attack got the better of the defending champ. Van Gaarden was also carrying the White jersey for best young rider and could have easily extended his lead in the under 26 age category.
    Have a look at this tweet from Chris Froome’s girlfriend to Brad Wiggins’ wife to show things aren’t all Champagne and strawberries at Team SKY.
    Typical! RT @Cathwiggins1981: See Mick Rogers and Richie Porte for examples of genuine, selfless effort and true professionalism.
    — Michelle Cound (@michellecound) July 12, 2012

    The Doping suspicions

    • The dodgy Doctor from Rabobank
    • Trips to Tenerife
    • The Yellow jersey is tainted.
    Wiggins’ rant on doping was epic and has been well documented but he could have handled it a bit F*&^ing better [IMG] . The youth on the team (Froome, Porte, Boasson Hagen) have come through in the past few years knowing the outcomes of doping. These guys have seen Tour leaders stripped of all wins and credibility. They know the consequences. 16 years of tour leaders has seen 8 winners. Only two have not been painted with the doping brush, Sastre and Evans. Wiggins and Mick Rogers have clean histories.
    [IMG]
    Team SKY should have predicted that their preparation, training, support crews, the amount of time in Yellow would force them to answer countless questions on doping. Team BMC only had one day in the Yellow last year and now George Hancapie is reportedly embroiled in the Lance Armstrong saga. Again Team SKY’s management should have predicted this. Wiggins shouldn’t have to put his testing passport out their to stop the queries. The team management should have had a strong PR message and stuck to it.
    Press Conference lock down

    This image on the Right is pretty much how Team SKY has been handling the post stage press conferences. This has been nicknamed the Burqa of Silence.
    Respecting the Rainbow

    It might have been fueled by a few too many Moet and Chandons but the comments from former Rainbow stripe winner Gianni Bungo are pretty accurate.
    “Team Sky are a disgrace to cycling. They should be upholding certain standards as the team with the special honor of having the world road race champion, especially one recently declared the greatest sprinter of all-time byL’Equipe. A man of his stature deserves an entourage and red-carpet treatment, not the asinine disgracing for the service of that guy wearing the maillot jaune - When I was world champion, I never fetched a bottle, no matter how much better a teammate may have been, and that includes Laurent Fignon. What’s next? Being demoted to shuttling groupies to the leader’s room?”
    He’d obviously had a few in the VIP car following the peleton (the car got ‘escorted from the building’ for excessive alcohol consumption) but Cavendish has shed a few kilo’s and just doesn’t look the imposing figure that he did with HTC Highroad as the worlds best sprinter. He was unstoppable last year and now he is being sent back to the team car. He’d even spent a fair amount of time on the front setting the tempo. I wonder if Mick Rogers will ask him to go back and get him a drink during the London road race.
    The actions of Wiggins did a great job to show that he’s a competitor and fair play to him. The actions of the team on the road have been nothing short of phenominal. The pace setting and chasing that Rogers, Boasson Hagen, Porte et, al. have done has been scary to say the least. Their PR and management department need to be a little more open and accepting than evil emperors and mind tricks.
    David Millar summed it up pretty well after spotting the Death star outside his Hotel window.
    I’m still half asleep. Climb back into bed trying not to imagine them ripping us to pieces on every climb. All I wanted was blue skies.
    — David Millar (@millarming) July 16, 2012

    The post Seriously Team SKY could you have done any worse on the PR front? appeared first on Green and Gold Cycling.

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  16. G&GR News Bot Bob McCowan (2)

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  17. G&GR News Bot Bob McCowan (2)

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    • Pierrick Fedrigo wins from the breakaway.
    • Bugger all else happens.
    After all the tacky tension yesterday, the peloton decided to take the day off on stage 15.
    Pierrick Fedrigo won from a breakaway group of six but the only other highlight was the profile on Jens “Shut up Legs” Voigt at the start of the coverage on SBS.
    Bradley Wiggins didn’t even get pissed off at anyone. Pierre Rolland wasn’t a tit, there was nothing for Jens’ legs to shout about, Cadel didn’t puncture and Australian fans had no reason to boo Michael Rogers or Richie Porte.
    The peloton let a group containing Thomas Voeckler, Samuel Dumoulin, Christian Vande Velde, Nicki Sorensen, Dries Devenyns and Fedrigo escape and gain an advantage of almost 12 minutes by the end of the stage.
    Sorenson signalled game on in the breakaway with a show of aggression 10km from the finish. A flurry of attacks followed before Federigo and Vande Velde grabbed a 10 second lead. Not wanting to drag any of the others up to the Frenchman and the American, the fight-back from the remaining four riders was chaotic and ultimately futile.
    Federigo was stuck on the front for the entire final kilometre and while Vande Velde jumped first, the Frenchman reacted quickly and was far too strong in the sprint. It was the FDJ team’s second win of the Tour and France’s fourth.
    A total of six riders – including Sylvain Chavanel and Aussie Green-Edge rider Brett Lancaster – abandoned the tour. Lancaster had been suffering and after yesterday’s stage tweeted:
    That was by far one of the worst days I have had on the bike. 3 crashes this tour on my left Glut= no power in my left leg. #theshowmustgoon
    — Brett Lancaster (@bdlancaster) July 15, 2012
    The other withdrawals were Giovanni Bernadeau (EUC), Kenny van Hummel (VCD), Jerome Vincent (EUC) and Yauheni Hutarovich (FDJ).
    There are no changes in the GC, Fredrik Kessiakoff keeps the climber’s jersey, Teejay Van Garderen stay in white while Peter Sagan – with a 102 point lead over Andre Greipel – looks to have the green jersey competition sewn up.
    Tomorrow is a rest day and there will probably be more action than there was today.
    The post Fedrigo Sprints to Another French Win appeared first on Green and Gold Cycling.

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  18. G&GR News Bot Bob McCowan (2)

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    A view of the Col far below as we hiked down to join the festival of the bike, and yell for Cadel.
    [IMG]

    The crowd has well and truly settled in about 3 hours before the riders had arrived at the Col.
    [IMG]

    Campervans galore on the Col. Some would have arrived the day before in preparation for the Col party yet only catch a fleeting glimpse of the riders.
    [IMG]

    The occasional tourist cyclist, seen here in a white, green and gold striped aussie jersey, in the tail end of the publicity caravan. See also one of the few policemen on the Col that made minimal effort at crowd control.
    [IMG]

    The crowd is on their feet as excitement builds. Word filters around that Cadel has attacked early on the Col – well in hindsight that is my translation of the many foreign languages heard on the Col.
    [IMG]

    And here they come. A Europcar rider and an Astana rider lead the charge up the Col. Considering they were already topping the second of three HC efforts of the day, these guys were peddling mighty fast.
    [IMG]

    There goes our favourite soap dodger in yellow. Now where are those tacks and flares I had stashed?
    [IMG]

    Cadel was going so fast, all I caught a glimpse of was his team car, and the policeman picking his nose in boredom. After watching Le Tour on TV for many a year and yelling for the crowd to just GET OFF THE ROAD, I was going to resist the temptation and take the moral high ground.
    [IMG]

    Nah, stuff that. I wanna see some blood, sweat and tears up close and on the Col.
    [IMG] [IMG]

    And boy, you could get close if you really wanted to. “C’mon, do it for Alberto”.
    [IMG]

    C’mon Basso and Kloden, I thought you guys were supposed to be good.
    [IMG] [IMG]

    WTF Gilbert, you are supposed to be helping Cadel, not the Groupo.
    [IMG] [IMG]

    Check this out – it’s the 21st century and they are still shoving newspapers down their tops to avoid the chill on the decent, I kid you not.
    [IMG] [IMG]

    Saxo – without Albert, you’re shite.
    [IMG]

    The Groupo thins and still no sign of Cav.
    [IMG]

    Oh well, back to the couch and tele to watch them go up La Toussuire.
    [IMG]
    The post An afternoon on the Col – Stage 11, Col de la Croix de Fer appeared first on Green and Gold Cycling.

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    Manuel likes this.
  19. light Peter Fenwicke (45)

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    Frank Schleck has tested positive for drugs and has withdrawn from 2012 TDF.
  20. Ash Michael Lynagh (62)

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    First of the remaining two big mountain stages tonight, and it looks a cracker. Here's the profile:

    [IMG]

    Unfortunately the Col d'Aubisque is too close to the start for much too happen, but it will get some climbing into the legs. Here's the profile, but it's a little wasted.

    [IMG]

    A tough climb that really gets going after the 6km mark.

    The first important climb will be the Col du Tourmalet:

    [IMG]


    Note that even before the above profile there is a nice 14km ride up what looks to be more than a false flat, where the Col du Tourmalet climb actually starts.

    Col du Tourmalet is one of those mystical climbs for me, and one of my favourites to watch. I have vivid memories of previous years ascents as they go up, until the hit the small ski centre at the top.

    I would love to see someone go on the attack there, but they will be over 70 kms out from the end of stage and it's probably a bit too far. Although the rest of the stage is mostly climbing and descending, the first 8 km of the next climb are not too much more than a false flat.

    If Team Sky are still on the front with Cav, Eisel or Knees setting a nice easy pace up the Tourmalet, then I think BMC, Lotto and Leakygas have gone wrong. They need to make Froome and Wiggins feel the pain of multiple climbs, instead of being soft pedalled by their team the entire stage. If I was the Sky DS, my wet dream would Rogers and Porte leading the peloton up the final climb of the day after having kept an easy tempo for the rest of the day. Remember, Wiggins looked in a spot of trouble on the last climb of the day in the last big mountain stage, and Nibbles and Evans have just two days to take 4 mins+ out of him.

    After the Tourmalet comes the Col d'Aspin:

    [IMG]

    The first 8 km or so are a nice easy gradient, after which it kicks up to the top.

    Around the 8km to 9km mark is where I think Evans and Nibali and co need to start thinking about going and getting a gap over the descent. It's hard to go earlier and get a good gap in the less steep sections, where Sky can ride a hard tempo from Rogers and Porte.

    The plan should be the same as before, Evans goes with TJVG and meets up with one or two BMC riders who hopefully made the break. Looking for 30 sec+ before the descent should be enough to hammer the descent and have, hopefully, well over a minute at the bottom.

    Finally, they hit the final climb of the day, the Col de Peyresourde:

    [IMG]

    A shorter climb than the previous one, but more irregular gradients with some nasty ramps. Another chance to attack team Sky if they contenders haven't already done so, but if they haven't isolated Froom and Wiggins by now, then it may be all too hard and too late.

    Hopefully we'll see Evans go on the attack early and hopefully he has ridden into some form. I am hoping he goes on the attack early and takes a few minutes. Anything is possible these days in the Tour, as Andy Schleck showed last year in the stage to the Galibier.

    A comment on the stage design:

    Ideally, this stage would have been reversed, and we'd have the two Cat 1 climbs followed by the tougher HC climbs and finish after the descent. Having the stage with the Cat 1 climbs first makes it a little bit easier, as the HC climbs at the start will not be ridden as hard. In fact, we may not even get to see the first climb up the Col d'Aubisque as they may not start TV coverage until after it is over.

    However, if it was the other way around, we could have ended up with this (disappointing) stage from a few years ago:

    [IMG]

    With the last climb finishing 60km before the end of the stage, the stage becomes effectively neutralised and it's a gift to the breakaway, as the GC contenders (apart from Alberto!) will all be too hesitant to attack with 45km+ of flat-ish terrain to be caught on.

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