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

First topic message reminder :

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 Big on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 2:12 pm

John wrote:haha, i was getting excited when he attacked and was pace setting the early break and then it all fell to pieces.

Looks like Liquigas pace setting for Nibali to attack later. He worried Sky big time on that first descent. I think Nibali for the stage, do you agree? Can't see anyone with an explosive finish on the climb, maybe Valverde or Costa can do something but i doubt it.

Not sure whether the escapees are tired from yesterday's effort, or the yellow jersey group is going that bit quicker (haven't tuned in yet, just looking at the letour.fr live thingy). However, they don't look to be getting enough of a lead and I suspect it will be the GC contenders that get to the finish first. I'd like Nibali to win, I think he deserves something for the way he has kept at it with the attacks. However, if I had to bet I'd put my money on Froome, though I expect there will only be a few second between the three of them at the finish.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Guest on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 2:16 pm

Liquigas are pushing because they feel Froome is on the edge of cracking, well that's their opinion, it maybe true.....wait and see. Yes, the breakway is going to fail. Going to be fireworks up last climb and hopefully something more exciting that yesterday.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Big on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 2:20 pm

John wrote:Liquigas are pushing because they feel Froome is on the edge of cracking, well that's their opinion, it maybe true.....wait and see. Yes, the breakway is going to fail. Going to be fireworks up last climb and hopefully something more exciting that yesterday.

Fair enough, I'll tune in soon (there are limits to what I can get away with at work). Not sure how realistic it is, but if Froome does crack and Wiggins can stick with or at least not get too far behind Nibali it may knock the wind out of some of his detractors.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by dummy_half on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 2:24 pm

Big

It's interesting how many of the same riders went in the early break today as yesterday. Clearly Voeckler, Kessiakoff and Sorenson are looking primarily at the KOM, while others will be interested in trying to keep ahead for the stage win.

Given that Leaky Gas are leading the peloton along the valley towards the Port de Bales climb, and that the lead is only 2.30, I expect the GC riders to be leading the field by the top of the climb (OK for Voeckler, as he's now got a solid KOM lead after taking the win on each of the three climbs so far). Expect Nibali to attack on this climb, at least with the intention of burning off the Sky domestiques before the descent and final climb.

Nibali for the stage (unless Basso does a great pacing job, in which case he might be gifted the stage), but it's unlikely he'll take the big chunks of time he needs to out of Wiggins.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Guest on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 2:26 pm

Pressure is being piled on Sky from Liquigas, Cavendish & Porte have just had an incident together, one less in the Wiggins train.

Nervous times.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 2:35 pm

Realistically Nibali needs 3:30 mins on Wiggins this stage to have a chance to beat him in the ITT. And unless Wiggo completely cracks like Evans did yesterday I can't really see how he is going to do that
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Guest on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 2:37 pm

No, Nibali is going after Froome in my opinion. I would be amazed if Wiggins blew up or lost anywhere near 3 minutes, more like 30 seconds at most.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 2:39 pm

Thing is Nibali will need a minute of Froome for the ITT I reckon at least. And again I cant see him getting that much on the climb today, it isn't particularly tough
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Guest on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 3:06 pm

Liquigas are just thowing everything at this attempt. It's slightly wet, foggy conditions and the descent before hand will be quite dangerous. It's not the toughest climb but you've got to rememeber we are at the end of a three week tour, anything can happen. I still think Wiggins has no major worries, it's all about taking Froome's second place on the podium. Rui Costa & Valverde are leading a joint attack for Movistar but I doubt it will succeed at only 2 minutes.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 3:13 pm

Liquigas aren't setting a very high pace if EBH is still with the main group Laugh
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by LastDamnation on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 3:46 pm

Nibali is most likely racing againt Froome - he probably doesn't need that much since he has more experience of riding an ITT in the third week of a GT (iirc there wasn't one in the last week of the Vuelta last year?)

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Guest on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 4:06 pm

anti-climax

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Guest on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 4:10 pm

haha froome waiting again for wiggins

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Guest on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 4:11 pm

ridiculous this, having to wait. the tour's won just go and win the stage froome.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 4:22 pm

Well Nibali was a failure, Liquigas set it up all day, and then he did nothing. Him vs Van Den Broeck in the ITT will be interesting. Van Garderen getting Top 5 clap

Also Dan Martin and Nicolas Roche doing very well.

And well done to Froome and Wiggins. Never thought I would see a british 1-2 at the TDF. Bravo chaps clap
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Big on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 4:23 pm

Totally bemused by that. The stage was very much there for the taking, Wiggins would have been fine riding solo behind him... it'll be interesting to hear why he waited in the interviews. I suspect the only reason he didn't go for it was to make my prediction wrong yet again.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 4:25 pm

I shouldn't imagine Wiggins would have told Froome to wait, and he didn't seem to be talking to the Radio. Interesting, but in the end who gives one!! WIGGINS WILL WIN LE TOUR (Disclaimer: If he crashes before the end don't blame me)
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Mike Selig on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 4:28 pm

Ridiculous! It's all very well to work for your leader, but once Froome had ridden everyone else off his wheel, what on earth stops him from having a go at Wiggins? The tour was won, it's meant to be a race.

Sorry, but for me that was on par with Barichello letting Schumacher past him in the last straight. Wasn't right.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Guest on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 4:29 pm

Wiggins, Froome is faster than you. Can you confirm you understand that message?

Wiggins has won the tour, he should cherish this moment because I can't see it happening ever again.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by alfie on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 4:35 pm

Enough with the Wiggins knocking , eh ? The man has done whatever he has needed to do , and barring an accident he has done the job...

Speculation as to what Froome might do is just that : he is the little matter of 2.05 behind the man in yellow , and I fancy Wiggins has a bit up his sleeve on the TT.

A bit of undiluted praise for Wiggins would be nice to see.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 4:52 pm

It isn't Wiggins who is holding Froome back. It is either the Director Sportif or Froome waiting himself. So can we stop knocking Wiggins. Froome was telling Wiggins to catch up, not Wiggins telling Froome to wait
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Big on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 5:04 pm

That was my assumption Olly. I'm just surprised at the decision, and if it came from Yates then I'm a bit disappointed. Speculating I think that Froome probably got his first real taste of how the press can twist things the other day, and perhaps preferred to catch Valverde with Wiggins or not at all.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Guest on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 5:06 pm

Froome is clearly the superior rider at Sky and sadly for Wiggins that is what will stick in fans thoughts after this tour is done and dusted. After performances like what we saw today, it always leaves a bad taste and when team politics is involved and so blatantly effects the outcome of a race, then of course questions are going to be asked. For such a great tour, it's just a shame that a rider in such great form, irrelevant of team position or stature, is so obviously hand-cuffed. It's not Wiggins fault but a team fault that must be said that I'm sure will cause conflict at a later date, if it has not already.


Alot of things have fallen into place for Wiggins in the tour and he's taken full advantage, that must be congratulated. I do question the amount of TT in the tour but I'm guessing Wiggins will not be complaining. Next year will be a complete different story when the tour celebrates 100 years of the Alps and many of the GC contenders will be back or in better shape. Wiggins has his place in history and he should cherish the moment, regardless of it being controversial or not with regards to Froome. thumbsup



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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by ChequeredJersey on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 5:10 pm

Is he clearly the superior rider?He's doing a different job and he's a different type of cyclist. Also, Wiggins has never looked out of touch or even concerned at any point that I've seen on Tour, so it's hard to ascertain exactly what his best is
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 5:30 pm

I would say Froome is the superior climber but not by too much. Wiggins has kept with him most of the time and they have both looked stronger at different points. Plus Wiggins is a far superior time trialler so to suggest Froome is the far superior rider is silly. If he was the far superior rider why is he not the team leader?
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Guest on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 7:26 pm

Team Sky origins come from the track cycling and transforming that achievement and success onto the road and eventually the grand tours. Sky had a five year plan and Wiggins was always the main player within the Team in 2010 and they were going to build a team around him. What they probably did not expect was the rapid improvement and ability of Froome to compete among the best at this level. Do you really think they would want to get themselves in this kind of difficult situation regarding two riders and the controversy it is now producing.

Froome's ability in the mountains is extroadinary and you can claim that we haven't even been able to see the true ability of Froome in the mountains as he's been told to slow down on multiple occassions and pace Wiggins everytime he has attacked. He has the natural ability to explosively attack like Contador, however we've been denied the chance to see it's impact. There is no doubt there has been way too much TT in the tour, an area which suits Wiggins over Froome, so he was always going to gain time on Froome in that area.

Froome has apparently been labelled disrespectful towards Wiggins and I have some doubt that he will play second fiddle to Wiggins for future tours. Froome has been quite clever in his actions and gestures throughout the tour. He's shown everyone on many occassions he's got more to give and waving at Wiggins to hurry up is just emphasising this point. Will be interesting to see if he stays at the team or gets an extraordinary offer at another team.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Imperial Ghosty on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 7:29 pm

The difference is though Olly that Froome has to expend a lot more energy pace setting for Wiggins than he would if he was able to sit in the pack and attack when needed. Wiggins gained 30 seconds on Froome in the TT and I would bet a lot of money that Froome could take a lot more than that out of Wiggins on the mountains, as a climber he looks different class to everyone else.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 7:30 pm

You see in all these post stage interviews Brad has said he will repay Froome, and said he will have his day in the Tour and that he will support him. Also he said he couldn't concentrate on the final climb, as it had hit him that he has all but won the Tour. Froome is a class act, and I am sure he will get the help in future tour's from Sky. However Froome's wife (although insanely hot) seems to be towing a different line on twitter
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Imperial Ghosty on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 7:37 pm

Froome will win the tour in the next couple of years, he has a turn of pace climbing that only an on song Contador can match, be interesting to see what happens. I'm delighted that britain looks set to get a 1-2 in the tour, who cares who wins, we should just savour this moment as it wont happen very often if ever.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 7:39 pm

Imperial Ghosty wrote:Froome will win the tour in the next couple of years, he has a turn of pace climbing that only an on song Contador can match, be interesting to see what happens. I'm delighted that britain looks set to get a 1-2 in the tour, who cares who wins, we should just savour this moment as it wont happen very often if ever.

Definately Ghosty. Froome's time will come, and I am sure next year he will be the leader for Team Sky. Wiggins is no mug, and he is an honest bloke. He knows that this year suited him, and next year will probably suit Froome more, so he will be happy to repay the favour for Froome.
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Imperial Ghosty on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 7:44 pm

Have to say Olly that is a fairly naive view of it, as defending champion Wiggins will play second fiddle to no one, winning the tour is one thing but defending it is something completely different. Froome will leave SKY by next year I guarantee that.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 7:45 pm

I have to agree I think Froome will leave SKY, but I think he is a fool for doing so. He won't get the support and facilities that he would at SKY. Hell SKY are probably the best team in Pro Cycling at the moment, and I think he would be a fool to leave
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Imperial Ghosty on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 7:49 pm

His climbing ability is so good I don't think he needs the support of SKY, he'll join a team with a couple of very good domestiques and that's all he'll need.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 7:50 pm

But it's not just about the actual race. The preparation before the tour, all the equipment and advantages they have at SKY, he won't get that anywhere else
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by CaledonianCraig on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 10:24 pm

Jeez you can tell this is a British-based forum. A British sportsman standing on the verge of becoming the first ever British winner of the Tour de France and Bradley Wiggins gets sly digs and little credit. I'll be buggered if I can work it out. Typical - be successful and get no credit but be a loser like Eddie Edwards and you are a hero.

Well done Bradley. What a great achievement.

And for all of you who wish to belittle Wiggins because there are team orders I have news for you. It is part and parcel of the sport and the likes of Lance Armstrong, Bernard Hinaux, Eddie Merckyx etc etc all won in the same circumstances but no doubt they get credit.
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 10:28 pm

Completely concur with that Craig. Cycling is a team sport, where the individual gets the glory.
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Mike Selig on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 10:31 pm

I have used the comparison with Heras before - it is by no means certain that Froome if team leader will ride as well as he has here. People have talked about how maybe he doesn't have the mentality of a leader - for some people (e.g. coaches) helping others is more motivation than personal gain.

People also frequently say stuff like "he's a good climber so he doesn't need a team" but this has been shown time and time again to be wrong - for a start a good team will keep you out of trouble on the flat, and early on in the mountains, but as Olly says there is also a question of ressources before, and dedication. A french journalist made the very good point that Sky have put all their efforts this year towards winning the TdF with Wiggins, with great professionalism. A lot of the teams fight on loads of fronts, and you wouldn't necessarily get that.

I have no issue at all with Wiggins - he has ridden a brilliant tour, according to his strengths. He is clearly the best TTer there and the 2nd best climber (at least). He fully deserves his more than likely overall win.

My problem was that what happened at the end of today's stage made a mockery of what is meant to be a race: there was absolutely no good reason for Froome to wait for Wiggins. We don't know who the initiative came from, Sky, Wiggins or Froome himself (and he could have two reasons anyway: a way of rubbing in that he feels the superior rider? Or genuinely wanting to pace his leader until the end?). But we should agree it was wrong.

I should say I am not in any way belittling Wiggins - up until today I had no qualms at all with the team orders and tactics. As has been rightly pointed out everyone has done it. My beef is what happened today.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 10:35 pm

Wiggins said himself after todays stage he would support Froome in the same way. If you watch/read his interview youll also hear it wasnt him being tired or a lack of ability that stopped him from pushing to win the stage, but that he lost concentration and had an emotional rush from realising he had almost certainly won the tour. Obviously he may be talking sht but the only evidence we have that Froome would have beaten him to the stage win had they both been racing is guesswork.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by CaledonianCraig on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 10:36 pm

It is a race in which team orders over-ride all. Now I'd hazard a guess that it is many many years since in GC the same team have held the first two positions in the race hence the rare situation you got today. However, if the same situation had arose in any other year with Armstrong, Hinaux, Merckyx etc etc then the same thing would have happened. Mark my words.
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 10:37 pm

Well Mike I can assure it won't have been Wiggins who said that. My feeling is that Froome himself wanted to pace his leader, it is after all his job at this TDF to look after Wiggins, and that is at the end of the day what he is being paid to do
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Mike Selig on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 10:44 pm

Olly wrote:Well Mike I can assure it won't have been Wiggins who said that.

No you can't. Unless you're somehow close to Brad (in which case I apologise) you can't assure us of anything of the sort. You can give your opinion, which I must say I agree with - from his interviews and general attitude it seems extremely unlikely that Wiggins would insist on being paced up (and his words after the stage seem more than plausible) but no one who's not involved with Sky would actually know.

I suspect we may have seen such stuff from Hinault/Lemond when they both rode for the same team, but the fact that "anyone else would have done the same" (which is totally unsubstantiable anyway) isn't an argument in favour anyway. A comfortable majority of the UK population support capital punishment - that doesn't make it right.

Once again, I wish to separate Sky's team tactics previously (which have been spot on in playing to their strengths and objectives, and have delivered the perfect result from their point of view) and what happened today. The final 3 kms were not racing.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 10:47 pm

Mike Selig wrote:
Olly wrote:Well Mike I can assure it won't have been Wiggins who said that.

No you can't. Unless you're somehow close to Brad (in which case I apologise) you can't assure us of anything of the sort. You can give your opinion, which I must say I agree with - from his interviews and general attitude it seems extremely unlikely that Wiggins would insist on being paced up (and his words after the stage seem more than plausible) but no one who's not involved with Sky would actually know.

I suspect we may have seen such stuff from Hinault/Lemond when they both rode for the same team, but the fact that "anyone else would have done the same" (which is totally unsubstantiable anyway) isn't an argument in favour anyway. A comfortable majority of the UK population support capital punishment - that doesn't make it right.

Once again, I wish to separate Sky's team tactics previously (which have been spot on in playing to their strengths and objectives, and have delivered the perfect result from their point of view) and what happened today. The final 3 kms were not racing.

I am in fact Brad's brother Whistle

Nah I dunno but it is pretty obvious Brad was in another world on that climb, so I doubt he would have told Froome to wait
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Guest on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 11:04 pm

I think the biggest surprise that has developed is not that Brad is going to win the TdF (subject to acts of God), but how easy he is going to win it. The only person who appears to be potentially able to challenge him is his own team mate and fellow Brit Chris Froooooooome. However, I am sure that Brad has been keeping things in reserve himself. The final time trial should see him extend his lead even further.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 11:06 pm

You make a good point Nore. It's not as if Brad has even been extended by anyone apart from Froome.

I personally think that Contador would have been the only one who could challenge Brad this year. And that's if he is off the drugs. Schleck would have lost soooo much time in the ITT's he wouldnt have been able to make it up in the mountains IMO
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Mike Selig on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 11:13 pm

TBH for me it was only ever going to be Wiggins or Evans given the route. Evans has shown he hasn't got his legs of previous years. Who else was there realistically? Nibali is a good climber but 100 kms of TTing was always going to see him off, ditto Van Den Broeck. Some people talked up guys like Menchov.

Contador would have made a good challenge. Schleck also because he'd have had to go for it, but lack of MT finishes would probably have seen him off.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 11:20 pm

Mike Selig wrote:TBH for me it was only ever going to be Wiggins or Evans given the route. Evans has shown he hasn't got his legs of previous years. Who else was there realistically? Nibali is a good climber but 100 kms of TTing was always going to see him off, ditto Van Den Broeck. Some people talked up guys like Menchov.

Contador would have made a good challenge. Schleck also because he'd have had to go for it, but lack of MT finishes would probably have seen him off.

Totally agreed Mike. For me this year would have been Contador vs Wiggins/Froome. And Contador isn't here (and rightly so). Andy Schleck wouldn't have been a serious contender, top 5 for sure, but not enough in the mountains for him to make up his losses in the ITT's
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Mike Selig on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 11:28 pm

Schleck would have been fun to watch though...

But actually I've enjoyed the indivitual stages this year - each and every one of them has had their interests. Even today the Voeckler-Kessiakoff battle for the polka dots was great, as was Valverde's ride (in all the controversy over the Froome waits for Wiggins thing perhaps we haven't given him enough credit).

The lack of spectacle has been the battle for GC, but that's just because Sky have been so dominant (and Wiggins is not as spectacular rider as Armstrong was, which was the last time GC was predictable; mind you there is plenty Wiggins has going for him which it seems unlikely Armstrong did...).

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 11:31 pm

Mike Selig wrote:Schleck would have been fun to watch though...

But actually I've enjoyed the indivitual stages this year - each and every one of them has had their interests. Even today the Voeckler-Kessiakoff battle for the polka dots was great, as was Valverde's ride (in all the controversy over the Froome waits for Wiggins thing perhaps we haven't given him enough credit).

The lack of spectacle has been the battle for GC, but that's just because Sky have been so dominant (and Wiggins is not as spectacular rider as Armstrong was, which was the last time GC was predictable; mind you there is plenty Wiggins has going for him which it seems unlikely Armstrong did...).

Yeah I have enjoyed the Tour, each stage has been interesting except for the one where none of the teams chased the breakaway on the flat stage, that was boring lol. Hopefully Wiggo and Froome can get the 1-2 and Cavendish can win on The Champs Elysees and we can celebrate Yahoo
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Mike Selig on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 11:43 pm

I like Fédrigo so I didn't mind so much. Plus the ITV commentators were going on about Vandevelde which was amusing as he never had a chance of beating Fédrigo in a sprint.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Imperial Ghosty on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 11:44 pm

It's quite clear who the best two riders in the tour are this year and they are one and two in the standings, that they ride for the same team has led to much speculation over team orders but going into the race Froome knew precisely what his role was. It is very rare for a support rider not to crack at some point having to reel in countless attacks in the mountains but in Froome it appears that the second place at the Vuelta wasn't a fluke by any means.

Last year it should be remembered that it was the time trial that also decided the fate of the yellow jersey, Andy Schleck was clearly superior in the mountains where Evans clinged on just enough to make it comfortable come the TT. I'd personally rather see it won in the mountains where in my opinion true champions are made but going back years it's a tactic that Stephen Roche used to great effect overhauling Delgado.

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