Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

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Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 25 Jun 2012, 1:59 pm

I thought I would start the ball rolling on the TDF 2012. It is less than a week away now.

My predictions:
Yellow Jersey: Bradley Wiggins - Gotta go with the Brit
Green Jersey: Peter Sagan - Imperious form and I think Cav will go for stage wins not the Jersey
Polka dot jersey: Anyone's guess. Probably a Frenchman.
White Jersey: Again up in the air.
Best Team: Team Sky or BMC for me.
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Josiah Maiestas on Mon 25 Jun 2012, 2:22 pm

Robert Gesink for the mountain stages.
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Zander on Mon 25 Jun 2012, 8:47 pm

I really think it will be between Evans and Wiggins who wins the Yellow Jersey. Although Menchov and Basso could spoil the party.

Green Jersey could be wide open. Cavendish could still win it but it is more likely to be someone else this year. I haven't seen much of Sagan.

Polka Dot Jersey is usually someone unusual so it's very difficult to pick.

White Jersey could be well be Gesink.

Team winners could be any of Sky, Saxo Bank, Radioshack or BMC.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Guest on Sun 01 Jul 2012, 5:53 pm

Sagan looked immense today grabbing that win, the hype was justified. Was Wiggins dropped on that climb or was he just holding back and not wanting to show his cards early on?

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Zander on Sun 01 Jul 2012, 6:09 pm

John wrote:Sagan looked immense today grabbing that win, the hype was justified. Was Wiggins dropped on that climb or was he just holding back and not wanting to show his cards early on?

I think he was just holding back a bit, he didn't really need to go for the stage win and doesn't want to give too much away and also conserve a bit of energy.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Big on Mon 02 Jul 2012, 10:07 am

Morning all, a sporadic cycling fan coming over from the rugby boards here.

Yes Sagan does look superb, great win for him - though I can't help but feel a bit for Cancellara who seemed to do much of the hard work at the end.

I wouldn't say Wiggins was dropped or not wanting to show his cards - he just had no need to chase. All the main contenders for the GC were in the same group or behind him at the finish, he probably just wanted to conserve as much as he can for the stages that count (in GC terms). As long as they were in the lead group I doubt any of the GC contenders would have been too fussed about this stage.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by leslie case on Mon 02 Jul 2012, 10:31 am

Wiggins will peddle faster later!

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Guest on Mon 02 Jul 2012, 10:52 am

Big - I'm right there with ya on the move here from the rugby boards.

Agree with the consensus about Wiggins saving himself for later really. Why push himself too hard now when there's no need?

And I keep forgetting how amazing Cancellara is. The guy is just brilliant.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Guest on Mon 02 Jul 2012, 11:08 am

Stage 2 should be a bunch sprint, will be interesting to see what condition Cavendish is in for the sprint. He's lost top end speed due to his weight reduction in preparation for the Olympics but hopefully he's still got enough. I just can't see Cavendish having a good Tour with 4+ wins this year like previous tours due to the Wiggins priority factor and loss of speed.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Big on Mon 02 Jul 2012, 11:29 am

Agree John. Part of me thinks Cav has made a bit of a balls up really, he had a formula that worked very very well and I'm not sure the changes will pay off. He's being moved into different territory and there's nothing yet to suggest he can dominate that as he has done in the out and out sprints - he may regret the move to Sky before too long if he doesn't already. Sadly I can see him just falling short both in the TdF and olympics. I suppose it's good for the neutrals if the sprints are a bit more open, but for my part as a partisan supporter I was quite happy for him to dominate as long as his legs hold out.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 02 Jul 2012, 1:27 pm

I think Cav will win the Olympics but maybe only 1-2 to stages on the TDF. I think he has made the Olympics his priority and has sacrificed the TDF stage wins to try and get gold.

But never rule Cav out of getting 3-4 stage wins, he will always be there or there abouts
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by dummy_half on Mon 02 Jul 2012, 1:45 pm

About yesterday's finish - was perfect for Sky other than that EB-H wasn't quick enough to take the win against Sagan and Fab Fab. Wiggins got to the end without coming under any pressure from his main competitors, and only had to do what overall contenders should be doing in the first few stages - stay out of trouble and up to the front near the finish.

Today should be a bunch sprint - as others have pointed out, Cav may not be as dominant in the flat sprints as in past years, partly because he won't have as much of a lead-out train (Sky should be saving themselves for the mountains as much as possible) and partly because of his weight loss (so that he can get round the Olympics course with the front group) perhaps compromising his absolute speed. Might though mean he's in contention on one or two of the lumpy stages where he'd usually let the main group go.

Tomorrow could be interesting - I believe the finish is on a short but steep cat 4 climb, with a decent cat 3 hill preceding it in the last 10km. Looks like Gilbert/Chavanel country, but could also give the chance for one of the overall outsiders to test some legs.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Guest on Mon 02 Jul 2012, 3:42 pm

Even today's sprint finish could favor a Sagan or Goss where there's a gentle climb for 800m before last 200m being flat.

I don't think Cavendish will even attempt to get the green jersey this year, again beaten by Goss & Renshaw in the intermediate sprint, that shouldnt be happening if he's fully focused and in usual shape

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 02 Jul 2012, 4:36 pm

YES CAVENDISH YOU COMPLETE BOSS Yahoo
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Zander on Mon 02 Jul 2012, 4:47 pm

Well done Cavendish, even without a leadout train you can still beat all the other sprinters. Yahoo

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Big on Mon 02 Jul 2012, 4:48 pm

Clearly I know nothing, happy to be proved at least a little bit wrong! Very Happy

Although I do think Goss might have had it if he had positioned himself a bit better...

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Zander on Mon 02 Jul 2012, 5:45 pm

Big wrote:Clearly I know nothing, happy to be proved at least a little bit wrong! Very Happy

Although I do think Goss might have had it if he had positioned himself a bit better...

I still think Cavendish has lost a bit of his acceleration though as he only just made it past Greipel to win. Shocked

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Guest on Mon 02 Jul 2012, 6:04 pm

He still made it though! Very Happy chuffed for him.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 02 Jul 2012, 6:07 pm

To be fair Greipel has always had a bit of a better kick than Cavendish, so Cav did quite well to make it past him. I agree in yesteryears it would have been a bigger margin of victory, but this year cos of the Olympic weight thingy, they will be close sprints
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 02 Jul 2012, 7:10 pm

John wrote:Even today's sprint finish could favor a Sagan or Goss where there's a gentle climb for 800m before last 200m being flat.

I don't think Cavendish will even attempt to get the green jersey this year, again beaten by Goss & Renshaw in the intermediate sprint, that shouldnt be happening if he's fully focused and in usual shape

Just seen it on the highlights and Cav gets boxed in so couldn't make his proper challenge thumbsup
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by djlovesyou on Mon 02 Jul 2012, 7:16 pm

Nice to see Griepel congratulate Cav straight after they finished.

Some people might learn a thing or two.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Big on Tue 03 Jul 2012, 7:59 am

So who do people think is in the running for Stage 3?? Another uphill sprint for Sagan, or a breakaway after the intermediate sprint getting to go the distance? Possibly Gilbert in the case of the latter making up for his failure to win Stage 1 in front of his home crowd.

I would assume that British interest in this one is whether or not Wiggins losses or gains time on the GC contenders if/when the peloton cracks. However, Millar may have a small chance of getting into a late breakaway.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by dummy_half on Tue 03 Jul 2012, 9:32 am

Big
Given the lumpiness of the last 15km or so (2 x 4th cat and 1 x 3rd cat climbs) and that the finish is at the top of a 700m long and (reportedly) quite steep climb, I'd be looking more for the likes of Gilbert, Chavanel or perhaps Valverde (who has the best finishing kick for this type of finish) than for Sagan (who's good, but I don't think quite strong enough for this if it finishes as a big group).

Quite like the idea of someone like Millar having a go in a small group - in a way this is more like a transition stage (i.e. one of the lumpy stages between the Alps and Pyrennees) than a normal early-race stage, and so you could be looking at the roleurs who don't have too much by way of team obligations - in fact, on that basis expect the winner to be someone from one of the lesser French teams where one stage win would make their race.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Guest on Tue 03 Jul 2012, 11:45 am

Congrats to Cavendish, he proved the doubters wrong.

Today's stage is where the Tour starts though. I'm fully expecting attacks from Gilbert or Valverde. After today though, Cavendish has got to be targetting at least two stage wins this week from Wednesday to Friday being sprint finishes.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Tue 03 Jul 2012, 2:38 pm

Cavendish takes the intermediate sprint pretty easily, heck he even had enough time to rib Kenny Van Hummel for his aggressive sprinting Laugh
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by djlovesyou on Tue 03 Jul 2012, 2:43 pm

Olly wrote:Cavendish takes the intermediate sprint pretty easily, heck he even had enough time to rib Kenny Van Hummel for his aggressive sprinting Laugh

I would say it most more like Cavendish acting like a Mr Winklechops again. He can barely go a day these days without some histrionics. Just nice that we won't have to see him gurning at the finish and 'graciously' doing the whole 'love my team' routine.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by dummy_half on Tue 03 Jul 2012, 4:55 pm

Sagan wins again (shows what I know), with EB-H and Cancellara again well up (2nd and 4th).

Nothing from Gilbert or Valverde, although Chavanel had a dig towards the end.

Big crash in the last km, which caught Wiggins, although he rode in after about 45 seconds (doesn't count as time lost, as it was in the last 3km), so doesn't look like an issue for him - probably just held up by falen riders rather than hitting the deck himself. Worse news for Sky is that Suitsou has abandoned after an earlier crash - lost a valuable domestique there.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Guest on Tue 03 Jul 2012, 4:59 pm

Gilbert was caught up in one of the crashes I think so was in the 2nd peloton.

So many crashes today. Seemed to be loads of riders suffering from punctures too!

Really enjoyed Chavanel's bravery towards to the end, so wanted him to win the stage, but it was just great riding from Sagan. He's having an amazing 1st TdF

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Tue 03 Jul 2012, 5:01 pm

Gilbert was indeed caught up in an earlier crash.

Think if Chavanel wouldn't have lost his momentum when he ran wide on that corner he might have been able to do it, but after that it was inevitable. Sagan is looking really good.
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Zander on Tue 03 Jul 2012, 5:05 pm

dummy_half wrote:Sagan wins again (shows what I know), with EB-H and Cancellara again well up (2nd and 4th).

Nothing from Gilbert or Valverde, although Chavanel had a dig towards the end.

Big crash in the last km, which caught Wiggins, although he rode in after about 45 seconds (doesn't count as time lost, as it was in the last 3km), so doesn't look like an issue for him - probably just held up by falen riders rather than hitting the deck himself. Worse news for Sky is that Suitsou has abandoned after an earlier crash - lost a valuable domestique there.

Yep he was, he had to stop so that he didn't ride straight into one of the riders in front of him on the floor. No damage done, thank goodness!

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by djlovesyou on Tue 03 Jul 2012, 5:09 pm

Valverde was very prominent with about 5km to go but he overshot a roundabout and dropped to the back of the front group, so had no chance of getting back to the front.

Chavanel had a really good go, but there was no way he could have held them off no matter what. By the time they got to the final hill his legs were gone, he would have needed a much bigger gap, perhaps even in upwards of 20 seconds.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Guest on Tue 03 Jul 2012, 5:34 pm

So Peter Sagan has a fifty per cent record in stage wins so far in his TdF career chin

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Big on Tue 03 Jul 2012, 9:14 pm

Nore Staat wrote:So Peter Sagan has a fifty per cent record in stage wins so far in his TdF career chin


It's very impressive. However, I hope for his sake that expectations don't get too high. It may be difficult for him to get too much more now - I doubt very much that he will keep with the GC contenders in the proper mountain stages, and he is unlikely to get away from the out and out sprinters on the flatter stages.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by djlovesyou on Wed 04 Jul 2012, 12:11 am

I don't understand what you mean about 'expectations getting too high'. I don't think anyone with any sense thinks he can compete with the best sprinters on a pan flat stage and him and his team have already stated he has absolutely zero GC ambition.

There are still a few stages that he win and he should have the green locked up from here. Although he's not going to win in the big mountains, there are still some nice medium mountain stages that Cav and co don't have a hope, but he can.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Big on Wed 04 Jul 2012, 7:32 am

djlovesyou wrote:I don't understand what you mean about 'expectations getting too high'. I don't think anyone with any sense thinks he can compete with the best sprinters on a pan flat stage and him and his team have already stated he has absolutely zero GC ambition.

There are still a few stages that he win and he should have the green locked up from here. Although he's not going to win in the big mountains, there are still some nice medium mountain stages that Cav and co don't have a hope, but he can.

I suppose the problem is that not everyone has any sense, or at least if they do they sometimes choose not to use it. Specifically I'm thinking of the way that the press like to build people up and knock them down over here - no idea if they are similar in Slovakia but hope for his sake they aren't.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by dummy_half on Wed 04 Jul 2012, 11:36 am

Big
I'd be pretty sure that the Slovak journalists realise Sagan has as much chance of winning the Tour overall as does Cavendish (i.e. none whatsover), and that his job in this year's TdF is to take stage wins and hold the green jersey as much as possible - he's doing a bloody good job so far on both counts.

The question of whether Sagan can develop into a challenger in stage races in the future is one that we shall have to wait to see the answer to - could be the heir to Sean Kelly and Jalabert, as initially a sprinter who has the strength to hold on in the mountains especially with a little weight loss. Perhaps though more likely to be a challenger in shorter races like Paris-Nice, where you only need to climb well for one or two days rather than surviving the high mountains for 5 or 6 days out of 8 or 9.

Today's stage - very flat, but the first 2/3rds follows the Channel coast closely, so there could be some splits if the wind gets up. Also there's apparently two tricky corners about 1km from the end as the peloton swing onto and off a bridge. Should though be a day for the likes of Cav and Greipel to do their stuff - same pattern as always, in that a small group of no threat riders will break away early and be caught in the last 10km before the sprint trains take over for the run to the line. Might see someone (Cancellara?) try and jump away near the end if the corners break up the lead-out, but that's not likely to be successful.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Big on Wed 04 Jul 2012, 11:48 am

I'd hope so dummy half - but then I see headlines like "Wiggins thwarted in Tour prologue" from the BBC when he has got about the best result he could possibly get. I've no doubt cycling fans and proper cycling journalists understand what is going on, but you get some random generic sports journalist punching away at a keyboard and who knows what they will come out with. I've no idea how big cycling is in Slovakia, but if it's anything like here where many major media outlets won't have a specialist cycling reporter the press may be appauling.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Zander on Wed 04 Jul 2012, 4:53 pm

Well done Greipel, however had Cavendish not gone down in the crash, I thought he might have been able to win this stage.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Big on Wed 04 Jul 2012, 5:00 pm

Depressingly ITV player wasn't working brilliantly today so I didn't catch what happened there. Obviously disappointing for Cav, but well done Greipel - I'm very pleased for him.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Zander on Wed 04 Jul 2012, 5:09 pm

Luckily it was within 3km as Wiggins was caught behind the crash. Erm

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Guest on Wed 04 Jul 2012, 7:52 pm

I agree with the majority of the experts that Cavendish moving to Sky and him not being able to rely on the protection or lead out of the HTC team will lead to events such as today.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu 05 Jul 2012, 4:29 pm

Cavendish just didn't have the legs today. That uphill drag combined with the crash yesterday just was too much for him. If Sagan wouldn't have crashed I am sure he would have won that stage
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Zander on Thu 05 Jul 2012, 5:08 pm

Olly wrote:Cavendish just didn't have the legs today. That uphill drag combined with the crash yesterday just was too much for him. If Sagan wouldn't have crashed I am sure he would have won that stage

I'm not so sure, Greipel is looking pretty good at the moment.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu 05 Jul 2012, 5:10 pm

Zander wrote:
Olly wrote:Cavendish just didn't have the legs today. That uphill drag combined with the crash yesterday just was too much for him. If Sagan wouldn't have crashed I am sure he would have won that stage

I'm not so sure, Greipel is looking pretty good at the moment.

So is Sagan. I don't think Greipel had much to beat today. I mean Cav struggled with the uphillness of the finish, Goss went way too early and who else was there to challenge? Dumolin Laugh

I would like to see Sagan against Greipel on a stage like this, think Sagan would have took it today but you never know
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Guest on Thu 05 Jul 2012, 5:11 pm

Do you think if Greipal wins tomorrow's stage Cavendish may not finish the tour? I fear that a combination of the Olympics and the break up of the HTC lead out has probably scuppered Cavendish's chances of challenging for 30+ tour wins. The Sky train is quite poor and the Olympic weight loss has just bought him straight into the pack now with Greipal. I mean there's no guarantee that he will even win the Olympics. The Olympic road race has historically not even been considered a major event for the top riders, it's only because of it being held in London, has it brainwashed Cavendish into altering his training and targets. Do you agree?

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by djlovesyou on Thu 05 Jul 2012, 5:24 pm

John wrote:Do you think if Greipal wins tomorrow's stage Cavendish may not finish the tour?

No. I think Cav has a set point when he's goingt to leave anyway. It'll be near on impossible to go all the way to Paris and recover in time for the RR just a few days later


I fear that a combination of the Olympics and the break up of the HTC lead out has probably scuppered Cavendish's chances of challenging for 30+ tour wins.

There won't be an Olympics next year, there are plenty more chances for him to win stages if good enough. The breakup of the HTC leadout was one of the best things to happen to the sport in recent times.

The Sky train is quite poor

It's not that poor. It's just that they haven't brought a team to lead Cav out. Even today SKY were only on the front to protect Wiggins. Once they got through 3km to go, Cav was alone with EBH. This has always been the plan this year.

The Olympic road race has historically not even been considered a major event for the top riders, it's only because of it being held in London, has it brainwashed Cavendish into altering his training and targets. Do you agree?

It's a very big deal. Some of the biggest stars in cycling have completely changed their plans in order to peak for the Olympics. Boonen isn't even riding Le Tour in order to prepare. A gold medal for Cavendish (or anyone) is massive. He might not get another chance on a friendly parcours - a lot like the WCRR.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Big on Fri 06 Jul 2012, 6:38 am

Would agree largely with djlovesyou. I'm assuming Cav's targets this year were to complete his collection of grand tour points jerseys and win the Olympics. It's a justifiable shift in focus as a full set of points jerseys is a rare and special achievement, as is being both world and Olympic champion. He only just fell short on the first target and was arguably a little unlucky. He may or may not achieve the latter, however, even he if does fall short that wouldn't mean he was wrong to go for them.

Next year the tour is likely to be his target again, he is likely to put that bit of weight back on. With that explosive power back I would have expected him to win yesterday - even without the lead out, and I'm pretty sure he'll win more tour stages in the future.

Regardless of the above and my optimistic outlook, lets not forget that even if he wins nothing else he still has 4 grand tour wins this year. Hardly a mean achievement! Personally I'd have been very excited at the idea of a Brit winning 4 grand tour stages 5-6 years ago, all the more so if they did it while wearing the world champ jersey!

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Guest on Fri 06 Jul 2012, 12:02 pm

Interesting reading your comments. We shall see what today brings as it should favor another sprint finish before the GC contenders begin their work at the weekend.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Zander on Fri 06 Jul 2012, 4:23 pm

Well done Peter Sagan but that crash looked nasty. Good job Team Sky kept Wiggo right at the front as so many GC contenders lost about 2 mins to Wiggins and Cadel Evans.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Guest on Fri 06 Jul 2012, 7:48 pm

It's getting worse for Cavendish. Sagan beating Greipal was a suprise on the flat and Liquigas have even got plans on getting him in yellow over the weekend but I can't see it.

Expecting fireworks tomorrow after a haul of GC contenders lost major time on Wiggins & Cadel. Attacks should be on the card tomorrow. Cavendish should just focus on the Olympics now, green jersey is gone and he offers nothing to Wiggins in terms of supporting him over the mountains.

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