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 Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 11:44 pm

Mike Selig wrote: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.

Yeah I watch it on Eurosport. I prefer there commentators, they seem to know more about cycling. Plus I have a weird hatred of Gary Imlach.
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Big on Fri 20 Jul 2012, 8:59 am

+ 1 to Mike's comments.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Big on Fri 20 Jul 2012, 9:14 am

Imperial Ghosty wrote: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.

If you prefer to see it won in the mountains that is your opinion and fair enough. Riders that are good in the mountains are also likely to win more as well as more courses are better suited to them. However, I'm not convinced that makes them better riders, just better at mountains - the best after all can do a decent shift at both. I'm also not sure what you are getting at with true champions, either someone wins or they don't - the man that gets round the course fastest is the champion. Maybe Wiggins is only good enough to win on a course that suits him and with a good team about him, but that's still a fantastic achievement. Personally I prefer watching the mountain stages, but have more respect for the TTers. In the Time Trial it is just you, the bike and the road - what else could give a less diluted measure of a cyclist??

On Froome I don't think he is going anywhere. I think he will be leading the team in the Vuelta, and if as seems likely next year's Tour has a lot of big mountain stages I expect he will be team leader for that as well. If he leaves Sky he is less likely to win GTs as not only will they give him a stronger team than anyone else can they are also getting the best out of him.

... given the accuracy of my predictions so far you can now expect Froome to walk away from Sky by the end of this week.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by dummy_half on Fri 20 Jul 2012, 9:47 am

IG
From your comments, you wouldn't consider Miguel Indurain a true champion. Wiggins has followed the Indurain template - gain time in the TTs and then don't lose it in the mountains.

In fact, I think you are being quite harsh on Wiggins, as his performances on the mountain stages (including the Vosges / Jura stages where I expected him to struggle on the steeper climbs, as well as the high mountains) has seen him as at least the second strongest climber in the field, and on some days he's looked stronger even than Froome (yesterday wasn't one of them). Everyone else, including Nibali, has lost time on the Sky duo through the mountain stages.

I actually disagree in part with Big's comment - I don't think the course has been responsible for Wiggins's advantage, especially as we haven't even had the final TT. The other climbers (bar Froome) have not been strong enough to match him on the stages where they were expected to take time, and there's no reason to think that this would have been different if the mountain stages had been tougher - Wiggins has never looked like cracking because of the efforts of his rivals.

Now, you can make an argument that it hasn't been a particularly strong field this year - Contador, A Schleck, Rodriguez absent, Heysdjal crashing out early, Voeckler coming into the race on the back of a knee injury, the older riders (Evans, Menchov, Leipheimer, Horner, Kloden etc) all showing signs of decline in form and the youngsters (Rolland, Pinot, van Garderen) being not quite ready (Pinot) or good enough (Rolland) to challenge for the top of the podium.

The result of this weak field was that the race was really Sky v Nibali and to a lesser extent Van Den Broek. For me, VDB is a bit like Frank Schleck - good enough to regularly place in the top 10 and sometimes top 5, but not a realistic winner. Nibali is a very good GC rider in 3 week races, but simply hasn't been quite strong enough this race.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Guest on Fri 20 Jul 2012, 10:03 am

If Wiggins hadn't broken his collar bone last year he could be about to defend his title. All ifs and buts but results stand.


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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Imperial Ghosty on Fri 20 Jul 2012, 10:27 am

My comment was aimed more at Evans last year who was not amongst the best climbers in the field, he lost quite a bit of time to andy.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Big on Fri 20 Jul 2012, 11:23 am

dummy_half I appreciate that my comment sounds a bit harsh. I wasn't really trying to knock him down, more pointing out that the worst criticism anyone can legitimately throw at him still represents a big achievement on his part.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Mike Selig on Fri 20 Jul 2012, 11:28 am

Evans was also the 2nd best climber last year, he was the only one who could chase Schleck at times. Last year's route was meant to be tailor-made for Schleck if you believed the pre-race chat. I do think Evans (and Wiggins) get a raw deal sometimes.

Wiggins this year has been the best in the TT and the 2nd best in the mountains (and at times - like during the 1st Pyrenees stage where he chased Nibali because Froome couldn't - not far from the best). He has been the best all-round rider and wins the tour. Simples. As with Indurain, and Ullrich in the past.

Contador wasn't the best climber in 2010 (Schleck was) but no one seemed to care too much...

Dummy-Half's comments are spot on IMO.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Fri 20 Jul 2012, 1:26 pm

So who to win today? Sky have been clever putting EBH in the break, no work for them today. If the breaks goes I can see EBH winning, if it doesn't I hope Cav does it but I see Greipal taking it
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Mike Selig on Fri 20 Jul 2012, 1:50 pm

If the break stays away you'd fancy EBH or maybe Paolini, but the advantage is fairly slim.

Also with a couple of bumps not far from the finish someone like Vino or Rui Costa may have a dig.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by djlovesyou on Fri 20 Jul 2012, 1:53 pm

If that front group comes down to a sprint I would fancy Boeckmans all the way.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Big on Fri 20 Jul 2012, 1:58 pm

Olly wrote:So who to win today? Sky have been clever putting EBH in the break, no work for them today. If the breaks goes I can see EBH winning, if it doesn't I hope Cav does it but I see Greipal taking it

I'm really not sure, I'd probably go with Greipal as well. Would be good to see Cav getting a decent lead out this time, after all Wiggins and Froome aside everyone else can take it easy in the TT and the ride into Paris.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by djlovesyou on Fri 20 Jul 2012, 3:16 pm

Vomit

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by alfie on Fri 20 Jul 2012, 3:17 pm

Lovely finish from Cavendish !

One of his best ever wins I reckon clap

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Big on Fri 20 Jul 2012, 3:24 pm

It was very very difficult not shouting out loud and attracting unwanted attention in the office! Fantastic sprint. Yahoo

Feel for the breakaway, massive credit to all of them for keeping clear for so long and getting so close to taking it.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by djlovesyou on Fri 20 Jul 2012, 3:27 pm

To be fair, the only ones who got close to winning were those who attacked late. The rest were completely cooked.

Great stage, shame about the result.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Guest on Fri 20 Jul 2012, 3:38 pm

Yes, Cavendish what a win Very Happy

Also a very long stage, up and down all day and a nasty climb towards the end......if anything a very good sign for Cavendish for the Olympics. I also won £12, so i'm very happy.

Have Sky confirmed there giving leadership to Froome for the Vuelta? Will be fascinatin to see Froome given the chance to express himself against riders like Contador......mouthwatering duels in the mountains await.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by LastDamnation on Fri 20 Jul 2012, 4:01 pm

Mike Selig wrote:Evans was also the 2nd best climber last year, he was the only one who could chase Schleck at times.

No way - Sanchez, Frank, Rolland and Vanendert were all stronger climbers last year.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by ChequeredJersey on Fri 20 Jul 2012, 4:04 pm

Dj what was wrong with the finish?
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by djlovesyou on Fri 20 Jul 2012, 4:07 pm

Cav won. Simple as that. I didn't want Cav to win.

I wanted someone else to win.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Big on Fri 20 Jul 2012, 4:08 pm

I'm not aware that Sky have confirmed the team/leader for the Vuelta. I'm guessing that will come in a month or so. Still, the route is a good one for the climbers this year, and is probably better suited to Froome than Wiggins. There is only one ITT at 40km and even that has a 10km climb at about 5% (if I recall rightly). I can't imagine that they will have Cav as team leader as he will have done two grand tours and the Olympics by then. May do the first week or so and try to get a couple more opportunistic stage wins, but I'd imagine he'll need some rest before too long. Unless he gets injured or needs the rest himself it would be odd not to give Froome a run at it.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by killer938 on Fri 20 Jul 2012, 4:12 pm

I don't see how anyone could want to deny Cav a win today, he been completely selfless during this tour so far and he deserved his moment today and he will deserve it on Sunday in Paris if he gets that as well.

Well done Cav, a true team player, always the first to thank his team mates when he is winning and hasn't made any fuss about taking a back seat this year.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by djlovesyou on Fri 20 Jul 2012, 4:16 pm

He can't ever really be described as a 'true team player' because essentially his main contribution to the team was not to spit his dummy out because he wasn't getting full support. He got the bottles a couple of times, but I can't see how he deserves a win more than say EBH who was far more selfless and is arguably a better rider overall.

Loads of great riders have sacrificed themselves this year and in previous years, it's only because Cav is liable to run his mouth that we have to give him extra credit for not doing so.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Fri 20 Jul 2012, 4:19 pm

Haven't managed to see the stage yet but from what ypu guys are saying that was pure class from Cav!!!! 22 TDF wins and 1 away from becoming the best sprinter ever in the Tour!! It's almost written for the Champs Elysees!!!
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by ChequeredJersey on Fri 20 Jul 2012, 4:21 pm

And because he is on past evidence the best sprinter in the world and could have been competing for the green had Wiggins and Froome not been in the team and leading the GC?

Cav has more to complain about because he can win things. Doesn't mean he can get away with being surly but if he were it would be more understandable
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by djlovesyou on Fri 20 Jul 2012, 4:27 pm

I don't think he would have won the green this year, even with a HTC 'train of tedium'.

Sagan was just picking up too many points where Cav just couldn't, and enough points where Cav was good.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by alfie on Fri 20 Jul 2012, 4:31 pm

What is it with you and Cav , dj ?

Were you bitten by a Manx cat or something ? You aren't usually so prejudiced against an individual - or at least not without good reason.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Guest on Fri 20 Jul 2012, 4:35 pm

Cavendish had no chance of green this year and he quickly knew it, therefore he played the team player role. The problem with the green jersey is that the intermediate points on offer over the mountains are completely out of reach for him, whereas Sagan or a Thor Hushovd can climb and grab them. The green jersey or the sprint jersey isnt really a true reflection of the best sprinter.

I hope Hushovd is back next year because him against Sagan is as mouthwatering as seeing Contador against Froome in the Vuelta. Tour's are all about duels, that's what make it exciting for me.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by djlovesyou on Fri 20 Jul 2012, 4:36 pm

Don't like him, therefore don't want him to win. Not that complicated really.

My green jersey comment stands though, almost impossible for him to win that one.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Fri 20 Jul 2012, 4:37 pm

I have to agree Cav probably won't have won green with the lack of proper sprint finishes. However nice to see him pick up a couple of stage wins and especially without a properly designed train. Just the fastest man on a bike
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler on Fri 20 Jul 2012, 4:38 pm

Cavs clearly never made an effort to chase the green jesey , not only because it wouldnt have been his teams main priority but also because his focus is on the Olympics.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by ChequeredJersey on Fri 20 Jul 2012, 4:41 pm

Yeah but there must be a reason WHY you don't like him, surely?
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Guest on Fri 20 Jul 2012, 4:57 pm

Froome should of won yesterday, Cavendish won today, Wiggins will be favourite for the TT and Cav once again has the chance to win in Paris. If all goes well then that's three stage wins in a row and should have been four. Quite astonishing domination this year and when you look at how many teams have completely failed this tour, just emphasises how strong this unit is.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by djlovesyou on Fri 20 Jul 2012, 5:00 pm

Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler wrote:Cavs clearly never made an effort to chase the green jesey , not only because it wouldnt have been his teams main priority but also because his focus is on the Olympics.

You sure. He seemed pretty seriously going for the intermediates in the first week.

I'm allowed not to like a rider, I don't like the fact he complains every time he gets beaten. He always comes straight out and blames someone else, despite the fact that often it was not their fault and sometimes his own fault. Every rider has their petulant moments, but we're talking multiple incidents per race.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler on Fri 20 Jul 2012, 6:21 pm

So basicaly Britain now has a phenomenal talent bursting through to the top of the sport who looks like he could be the best rider for some years to come, the top time trialler and all round solid pro whos leading a dominant team, and one of the top sprinters in world cycling .....but we arent allowed to like or value any of them because ones "obviously on spinach", one is only winning because he is which isnt fair because all the best riders got banned for cheating (except Froome whos better and its not ok to beat him even though we know he must be cheating), and the other one is a dick for not complaining as much as he usually does.

Fun times.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by djlovesyou on Fri 20 Jul 2012, 6:25 pm

I said I didn't like Cav and then gave my reasons why I didn't like Cav.

Where did I say anything about who anyone else should support? I didn't have a go at anyone for supporting Cav or celebrating his win.

I certainly didn't mention anything about Wiggins or Froome.


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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Guest on Fri 20 Jul 2012, 7:54 pm

I thought Wiggins and Froome would take it easy today in preparation for the TT but no they covered the breaks and got Cavendish to the front. Not sure how that will affect them in the TT. However it seemed that yesterday Wiggins took it easy on the final climb when the moment got to him and he couldn't stop grinning.

This also shows that Cavendish isn't going to pull out "before the Pyrennees" to save himself for the Olympics. He said today he hadn't done anything in the Tour and had loads of energy left to burn. Not sure what he means by that but maybe it was just an honest statement from his perspective. Cavendish now equals Lance Armstrong for stage wins, although Lance is likely to be expunged from the books in due course.

On 606 there used to be quite a dedicated group of cycling followers / cyclists - and the vocal majority of them didn't seem to like Cavendish - a few more intensely than dj ... but they explained why and it was fair enough. The main complaint was 1) Cavendish's lack of versatility, 2) that he didn't do "any work" during the stage race - he would be delivered to the front at the end of the race by the indominatable HTC train, where he would do his little thang for the last 150 m or so 3) the impact this had on brave breakaways (they would generally get squashed - the peleton generally has it easier when organised due to the wind shield and tow effects) 4) Cavendish tetchy and whiney outbursts and 5) Cavendish's "preceived" lack of respect to other riders.

Maybe things have changed a little but those were the arguments as I recall.

Anyway Cavendish has shown this TdF that he can last the the tour plus challenge for the Olympic title (with the help of his team mates). I also think he is becoming a better rider with each new year.

Congratulations to Cav for his 22nd stage win clap

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler on Fri 20 Jul 2012, 8:32 pm

djlovesyou wrote:I said I didn't like Cav and then gave my reasons why I didn't like Cav.

Where did I say anything about who anyone else should support? I didn't have a go at anyone for supporting Cav or celebrating his win.

I certainly didn't mention anything about Wiggins or Froome.


That wasnt levelled entirely at you, it was a combination of the total negative views on the British riders expressed by the combined might of 606v2
They may be legitimate gripes, but its kinda sad when British cycling is at its highest point ever that we are taking the time to run down our own rather than laughing at the French.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by djlovesyou on Fri 20 Jul 2012, 9:03 pm

The general opinion of British riders on this forum seems to be on the whole very positive.

It was only one guy going on about Froome's improvement really and Wiggins not being a great winner.

If your main reason for enjoying British success at the TDF is to laugh at the French, I don't really have much in the way of sympathy if my anti-Cav sentiments upset you.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Big on Fri 20 Jul 2012, 9:18 pm

djlovesyou wrote:The general opinion of British riders on this forum seems to be on the whole very positive.

It was only one guy going on about Froome's improvement really and Wiggins not being a great winner.

If your main reason for enjoying British success at the TDF is to laugh at the French, I don't really have much in the way of sympathy if my anti-Cav sentiments upset you.

Ditto to that!

I would also add that it is refreshing to have been on a forum where there has been reasonable debate and different opinions offered without resorting to mudslinging, namecalling, etc.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Mike Selig on Fri 20 Jul 2012, 10:50 pm

I didn't particularly like what Cavendish + HTC + race radios did to racing, but have just seen the highlights and you have to say, that was a most awesome show of power. Paradoxically I can see that aversely affecting his chances of Olympic glory - it shows that when it comes to sprints without anything else to do is still miles ahead of the field, so I can see many teams and riders attacking him. We saw in the Commonwealth games that Cavendish can't win if he has to chase all the attacks himself, so he better hope GB's team is up for it, but with not many riders it may be difficult.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by djlovesyou on Fri 20 Jul 2012, 10:59 pm

To be fair, I don't think many people could have won chasing all those attacks at the Commonwealths. That race was just too open with not enough strong teams for a strategy like that to work.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Fri 20 Jul 2012, 11:00 pm

The thing is with only 5 riders it will be hard to control the race. So unless multiple teams with sprinters work together it will be insanely hard to chase breakaways
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Guest on Fri 20 Jul 2012, 11:36 pm

Mike mentions another key factor that kills the brave breakaways - team radios. There was an attempt to do away with the radios in the TdF a year or two ago but the riders and teams went on strike and the idea had to be abandoned. When were the radio communications introduced?

Presumably at the Olympics and Commonwealth radio communications are not allowed? If so then this would make it difficult to "track" the breaks and reel them in slowly via an organised peleton.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by djlovesyou on Fri 20 Jul 2012, 11:46 pm

If anything, no radios make everything even more tight and tense.

They're not allowed team radios in *.1 and *.HC races at the moment and it hasn't had a huge effect on breakaways, etc.

It seems often that a team is less likely to let a breakaway get much of a lead without radios.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Guest on Sat 21 Jul 2012, 1:55 pm

BBC wrote:Sir Chris Hoy has claimed if Bradley Wiggins wins the Tour de France then it will be the "greatest sporting achievement" by a British athlete.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cycling/18934242

I would change that to the "greatest sporting achievement" by a male British athlete

The females have won the feminine equivalent three times (Nicole Cooke x 2, Emma Pooley x 1). I think Beth Tweddle transformed British Gynastics, and Kelly Holmes double gold at the Olympics after a career plagued by injury are near enough equivalent.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by ChequeredJersey on Sat 21 Jul 2012, 2:28 pm

5 Golds by Redgrave over 16 years isn't bad either
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Guest on Sat 21 Jul 2012, 2:54 pm

ChequeredJersey wrote:5 Golds by Redgrave over 16 years isn't bad either
Yea and there's Ben Ainsley as well. Maybe Hoy is being a little over the top but Wiggins winning the TdF is certainly right up there with the best. Wiggins himself is a multiple world and Olympic champion and former world record holder which is an indication of his sporting pedigree. He already has an OBE so the next thing is to be knighted and made Lord Admiral of the realm or something.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by ChequeredJersey on Sat 21 Jul 2012, 3:00 pm

If Wiggins can win Gold this year too, the same year as he wins the Tour, that would be spectacular
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by alfie on Sat 21 Jul 2012, 4:10 pm

Cadel Evans struggling over these last couple of days ...young van Garderen has passed him already in the TT and he is going to have to watch out that van den Broeck doesn't knock him down another spot here...

Wiggins smashing them all again clap

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