Tour t' France

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Tour t' France

Post by Lowlandbrit on Thu 26 Jun 2014, 1:09 pm

First topic message reminder :

It's nearly time for the biggest race of the year, the event that has everyone so excited that the England football team made sure they'd be back in time to see the start in Leeds. Froome and Contador are the big favourites for yellow, with Nibali as biggest outsider. Meanwhile Sagan is the favourite for green, just ahead of Cavendish and Kittel.

Teams (riders left):
Sky (7):
1. FROOME Christopher (GBR)
2. EISEL Bernhard (AUT)
3. KIRYIENKA Vasil (BLR)
4. LOPEZ David (ESP)
5. NIEVE Mikel (ESP)
6. PATE Danny (USA)
7. PORTE Richie (AUS)
8. THOMAS Geraint (GBR)
9. ZANDIO Xabier (ESP)
Movistar (8):
11. VALVERDE Alejandro (ESP)
12. ERVITI Imanol (ESP)
13. GADRET John (FRA)
14. HERRADA Jesús (ESP)
15. INTXAUSTI Beñat (ESP)
16. IZAGIRRE Ion (ESP)
17. PLAZA Rubén (ESP)
18. ROJAS José Joaquín (ESP)
19. VISCONTI Giovanni (ITA)
Katusha (6):
21. RODRíGUEZ Joaquim (ESP)
22. ISAYCHEV Vladimir (RUS)
23. KRISTOFF Alexander (NOR)
24. PAOLINI Luca (ITA)
25. PORSEV Alexander (RUS)
26. SILIN Egor (RUS)
27. SMUKULIS Gatis (LAT)
28. ŠPILAK Simon (SLO)
29. TROFIMOV Yuri (RUS)
Tinkoff-Saxo (7):
31. CONTADOR Alberto (ESP)
32. BENNATI Daniele (ITA)
33. HERNáNDEZ Jesús (ESP)
34. MAJKA Rafal (POL)
35. MøRKøV Michael (DEN)
36. PAULINHO Sérgio (POR)
37. ROCHE Nicolas (IRL)
38. ROGERS Michael (AUS)
39. TOSATTO Matteo (ITA)
Astana (9):
41. NIBALI Vincenzo (ITA)
42. FUGLSANG Jakob (DEN)
43. GRIVKO Andriy (UKR)
44. GRUZDEV Dmitriy (KAZ)
45. IGLINSKIY Maxim (KAZ)
46. KANGERT Tanel (EST)
47. SCARPONI Michele (ITA)
48. VANOTTI Alessandro (ITA)
49. WESTRA Lieuwe (NED)
Cannondale (8):
51. SAGAN Peter (SVK)
52. BODNAR Maciej (POL)
53. DE MARCHI Alessandro (ITA
54. KING Edward (USA)
55. KOREN Kristijan (SLO))
56. MARCATO Marco (ITA)
57. MARINO Jean-Marc (FRA)
58. SABATINI Fabio (ITA)
59. VIVIANI Elia (ITA)
Belkin (8):
61. MOLLEMA Bauke (NED)
62. BOOM Lars (NED)
63. CLEMENT Stef (NED)
64. KRUIJSWIJK Steven (NED)
65. LEEZER Tom (NED)
66. TANKINK Bram (NED)
67. TEN DAM Laurens (NED)
68. VANMARCKE Sep (BEL)
69. WYNANTS Maarten (BEL)
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step (8):
71. CAVENDISH Mark (GBR)
72. BAKELANTS Jan (BEL)
73. GOłAś Michał (POL)
74. KWIATKOWSKI Michal (POL)
75. MARTIN Tony (GER)
76. PETACCHI Alessandro (ITA)
77. RENSHAW Mark (AUS)
78. TERPSTRA Niki (NED)
79. TRENTIN Matteo (ITA)
AG2R-La Mondiale (9):
81. PERAUD Jean-Christophe (FRA)
82. BARDET Romain (FRA)
83. CHEREL Mikael (FRA)
84. DUMOULIN Samuel (FRA)
85. GASTAUER Ben (LUX)
86. KADRI Blel (FRA)
87. MINARD Sébastien (FRA)
88. MONTAGUTI Matteo (ITA)
89. RIBLON Christophe (FRA)
Garmin Sharp (7):
91. TALANSKY Andrew (USA)
92. ACEVEDO Janier Alexis (COL)
93. BAUER Jack (NZL)
94. HOWES Alex (USA)
95. KING Ben (USA)
96. LANGEVELD Sebastian (NED)
97. NAVARDAUSKAS Ramunas (LTU)
98. SLAGTER Tom-Jelte (NED)
99. VANSUMMEREN Johan (BEL)
Giant Shimano (8):
101. KITTEL Marcel (GER)
102. CURVERS Roy (NED)
103. DE KORT Koen (NED)
104. DEGENKOLB John (GER)
105. DEVENYNS Dries (BEL)
106. DUMOULIN Tom (NED)
107. JI Cheng (CHN)
108. TIMMER Albert (NED)
109. VEELERS Tom (NED)
Lampre-Merida (5):
111. COSTA Rui (POR)
112. CIMOLAI Davide (ITA)
113. DURASEK Kristijan (CRO)
114. HORNER Chris (USA)
115. MODOLO Sacha (ITA)
116. OLIVEIRA Nelson (POR)
117. RICHEZE Ariel Maximiliano (ARG)
118. SERPA Jose Rodolfo (COL)
119. VALLS Rafael (ESP)
FDJ.fr (8):
121. DéMARE Arnaud (FRA)
122. BONNET William (FRA)
123. DELAGE Mickaël (FRA)
124. JEANNESSON Arnold (FRA)
125. LADAGNOUS Matthieu (FRA)
126. PINEAU Cédric (FRA)
127. PINOT Thibaut (FRA)
128. ROY Jérémy (FRA
129. VICHOT Arthur (FRA))
Lotto Belisol (7):
131. VAN DEN BROECK Jurgen (BEL)
132. BAK Lars Ytting (DEN)
133. DE CLERCQ Bart (BEL)
134. GALLOPIN Tony (FRA)
135. GREIPEL André (GER)
136. HANSEN Adam (AUS)
137. HENDERSON Gregory (NZL)
138. ROELANDTS Jurgen (BEL)
139. SIEBERG Marcel (GER)
BMC (8):
141. VAN GARDEREN Tejay (USA)
142. ATAPUMA John Darwin (COL)
143. BURGHARDT Marcus (GER)
144. MOINARD Amaël (FRA)
145. OSS Daniel (ITA)
146. SCHAR Michael (SUI)
147. STETINA Peter (USA)
148. VAN AVERMAET Greg (BEL)
149. VELITS Peter (SVK)
Europcar (9):
151. ROLLAND Pierre (FRA)
152. ARASHIRO Yukiya (JPN)
153. COQUARD Bryan (FRA)
154. GAUTIER Cyril (FRA)
155. GENE Yohann (FRA)
156. PICHOT Alexandre (FRA)
157. QUEMENEUR Perrig (FRA)
158. RéZA Kévin (FRA)
159. VOECKLER Thomas (FRA)
Trek (6):
161. SCHLECK Fränk (LUX)
162. BUSCHE Matthew (USA)
163. CANCELLARA Fabian (SUI)
164. IRIZAR Markel (ESP)
165. RAST Gregory (SUI)
166. SCHLECK Andy (LUX)
167. VAN POPPEL Danny (NED)
168. VOIGT Jens (GER)
169. ZUBELDIA Haimar (ESP)
Cofidis (7):
171. NAVARRO Daniel (ESP)
172. EDET Nicolas (FRA)
173. GARCíA Egoitz (ESP)
174. LEMOINE Cyril (FRA)
175. MATE Luis Angel (ESP)
176. MOLARD Rudy (FRA)
177. PETIT Adrien (FRA)
178. SIMON Julien (FRA)
179. TAARAMäE Rein (EST)
ORICA-GreenEDGE (6):
181. GERRANS Simon (AUS)
182. ALBASINI Michael (SUI)
183. CLARKE Simon (AUS)
184. DURBRIDGE Luke (AUS)
185. HAYMAN Mathew (AUS)
186. KEUKELEIRE Jens (BEL)
187. MEIER Christian (CAN)
188. TUFT Svein (CAN)
189. YATES Simon (GBR)
IAM (6):
191. FRANK Mathias (SUI)
192. CHAVANEL Sylvain (FRA)
193. ELMIGER Martin (SUI)
194. HAUSSLER Heinrich (AUS)
195. HOLLENSTEIN Reto (SUI)
196. KLUGE Roger (GER)
197. PINEAU Jérome (FRA)
198. REICHENBACH Sebastien (SUI)
199. WYSS Marcel (SUI)
NetApp-Endura (8):
201. KöNIG Leopold (CZE)
202. BáRTA Jan (CZE)
203. DE LA CRUZ David (ESP)
204. DEMPSTER Zakkari (AUS)
205. HUZARSKI Bartosz (POL)
206. MACHADO Tiago (POR)
207. MENDES José (POR)
208. SCHILLINGER Andreas (GER)
209. VOSS Paul (GER)
Bretagne-Séché (9):
211. FEILLU Brice (FRA)
212. BIDEAU Jean Marc (FRA)
213. DELAPLACE Anthony (FRA)
214. FEILLU Romain (FRA)
215. FONSECA Armindo (FRA)
216. GERARD Arnaud (FRA)
217. GUILLOU Florian (FRA)
218. JARRIER Benoit (FRA)
219. VACHON Florian (FRA)


Last edited by Lowlandbrit on Thu 24 Jul 2014, 3:51 pm; edited 42 times in total

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Re: Tour t' France

Post by Guest on Mon 14 Jul 2014, 11:30 am

today could be a big day.

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Re: Tour t' France

Post by Guest on Mon 14 Jul 2014, 2:55 pm

what happened to contador, frame smashed up apparently etc and lost loads of time.

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Re: Tour t' France

Post by Guest on Mon 14 Jul 2014, 3:02 pm

CONTADOR ABANDON.  picard 

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Re: Tour t' France

Post by Lowlandbrit on Mon 14 Jul 2014, 3:02 pm

He's in the car now. No Cavendish, no Froome, no Contador; this race just can't seem to keep hold of its stars.

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Re: Tour t' France

Post by Guest on Mon 14 Jul 2014, 3:21 pm

Bizaare really, no footage & was going uphill apparently. Blow for the tour but the fight for podium now will be interesting. Nibali`s to lose.

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Re: Tour t' France

Post by Azabache on Mon 14 Jul 2014, 3:29 pm

Off-topic comment perhaps, but Lance's reign-relatively injury free-and even allowing for the cheating-was a remarkable feat.

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Re: Tour t' France

Post by Lowlandbrit on Mon 14 Jul 2014, 5:04 pm

I know he hasn't been short of luck, but you can't say the Shark hasn't grabbed this race by the throat.

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Re: Tour t' France

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 14 Jul 2014, 5:46 pm

Think this tour might be looked back at what could've been

Could've had a great battle between three great GC riders and a great sprint battle between Kittel and Cav

Unfortunately this is one of the dangers of bike racing tho
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Re: Tour t' France

Post by Lowlandbrit on Mon 14 Jul 2014, 9:53 pm

Apparently Contador fell twice, has a broken tibia. According to Van den Broeck it was his own fault; he tried to pass someone on a descending section where it probably wasn't a good idea, hit something (he says pothole, someone else said it was a wheel) and flipped.

In other news: Tiago Machado (who crashed and was briefly listed as having abandoned) and a teammate came in ten minutes late, but it looks like they're being allowed to continue.

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Re: Tour t' France

Post by Guest on Mon 14 Jul 2014, 10:52 pm

Thought he might of made the Vuelta with Froome & Quintana but not with a broken tibia. Can't see Nibali losing this now, other than abandoning, because his rivals looked shot today.

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Re: Tour t' France

Post by dummy_half on Tue 15 Jul 2014, 7:03 am

Very good win by Nibali, ably assisted by Scarponi to a couple of km from the end. Looked in a different class wen he attacked, but ultimately only gained 12 seconds on the best of the rest.

Not absolutely over (it's hard to keep the top form Nibali has shown at the start of the race right to the end), but you'd much rather be in Nibali's place with a 2:30 lead already before the high mountains than being one of the guys trying to close that gap.

Also, I'm not sure Porte and Valverde are consistently strong enough climbers not to have a bad day somewhere. Certainly be surprised if the current top 3 are the final podium.

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Re: Tour t' France

Post by Lowlandbrit on Tue 15 Jul 2014, 6:55 pm

So, let's look where we are on the first rest day:

180 (of 198) riders managed to make it through the first 10 stages, although only 179 will start tomorrow (Cancellara's going home). 8 of the 22 teams are still complete.
Yellow jersey Vincenzo Nibali has been racing for 42 hours, 33 minutes and 38 seconds; lanterne rouge Cheng Ji is 2 hours, 21 minutes and 1 second behind him. Geraint Thomas is 14th at 5m17s, Simon Yates is 113th at 1h20m06s.
Green jersey Peter Sagan has 287 points, only 15 fewer than numbers 2 (Coquard, 156) and 3 (Kittel, 146) combined. Simon Yates is leading Geraint Thomas by 11 points to 4.
Polka dot jersey Joaquim Rodriguez has 51 points, Voeckler is second on 34, Tony Martin is third with 26, Nibali has 20. Simon Yates is the only Brit with points (5).
White jersey Romain Bardet has been racing 42 hours, 36 minutes and 39 seconds; Elia Viviani is 26th and last in the category at 2h04m08s. Simon Yates is 13th, 1h17m05s behind.
Best team so far is AG2R at 127h48m28s, Bretagne-Séché are in last, 2h11m23s behind. Sky are 4th, 4m56s behind. Astana have won the most money so far (€36.740), Lampre have won the least (€3.080). Sky have won €10.750 so far, putting them in 13th place.

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Re: Tour t' France

Post by Lowlandbrit on Thu 17 Jul 2014, 2:36 pm

Andrew Talansky is the 20th withdrawal from this year's race after struggling in yesterday. And now we've lost de la Cruz after a really painful looking crash.

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Re: Tour t' France

Post by whocares on Fri 18 Jul 2014, 10:10 am

Today is the start of some relatively light alps stages. Relative to previous years with no classics such as the Galibier or alpes d'huez. Some of the climbs are long but not super tough so might see a non specialist winning one of them. Will be interesting to see if Astana tries to control those stages but am not convinced that they have that many riders that can help him. That said valverde and porte will probably try to keep close to nibali if anything. One of the french rider might have a go as they have nothing to lose.

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Re: Tour t' France

Post by Guest on Fri 18 Jul 2014, 10:43 am

today, maybe rolland but hes looked sketchy this year

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Re: Tour t' France

Post by whocares on Fri 18 Jul 2014, 11:09 am

Well he sort of peaked during the Giro. He has no chance in the overall standings so why not.

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Re: Tour t' France

Post by Lowlandbrit on Fri 18 Jul 2014, 2:29 pm

I really love those shots where they sweep up everyone that's fallen off the back on a climb.

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Re: Tour t' France

Post by Guest on Fri 18 Jul 2014, 3:48 pm

the elite group is there, waiting for attacks now. porte going out the back.

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Re: Tour t' France

Post by Lowlandbrit on Fri 18 Jul 2014, 4:11 pm

Nibali's too good, and everyone else is too busy fighting each other for second.

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Re: Tour t' France

Post by whocares on Fri 18 Jul 2014, 4:13 pm

Nibali having it easy so far. Behind him they dont seem to communicate well.

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Re: Tour t' France

Post by Guest on Fri 18 Jul 2014, 4:24 pm

no competition whatsoever for Nibali, too easy. pretty much game over, bar a crash. Porte must of lost nearly 8 minutes.

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Re: Tour t' France

Post by whocares on Fri 18 Jul 2014, 4:24 pm

Nibali cruising to victory. Valverde only really interested in cementing his 2nd position. Bardet can thank van Garderen who did some top work in the late part of this climb.

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Re: Tour t' France

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Sat 19 Jul 2014, 9:43 pm

Interesting battles for the podium places developing, Valverde struggled today with Pinot, Bardet and Van Garderen all gaining. Tejay with the ITT approaching might fancy his chances...

Also Leopald Konig is on the brink of making me much wealthier! Smile
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Re: Tour t' France

Post by Hammersmith harrier on Sat 19 Jul 2014, 9:57 pm

Should have been a fascinating Tour but with the withdrawals of Froome and Contandor combined with Valverde, Porte and Rodriquez being out of form it's turned into a forgettable tour.

They need to change the green jersey rules too, Sagan simply isn't the best sprinter and as far as i'm concerned it's a jersey for the power men.

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Re: Tour t' France

Post by Lowlandbrit on Sat 19 Jul 2014, 10:10 pm

White jersey battle is shaping up to be a classic. Pinot and Bardet fighting for the jersey, the podium, and the adulation of France.
I'm also starting to wonder how many people are going to be left by the end of this. 169 riders made it to Paris last year, this year there's only 171 left and it's not even the second rest day yet.

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Re: Tour t' France

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Sun 20 Jul 2014, 4:20 pm

Fantastic stage, heartbreak for Elminger and Baeur, but Kristoff each way at 8/1 has won me a little monies
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Re: Tour t' France

Post by Lowlandbrit on Mon 21 Jul 2014, 3:29 pm

Second rest day is here, let's look where we are:

171 (of 198) riders managed to make it to the end of stage 15, although only 170 will start the next one (Yates is going home). 5 of the 22 teams are still complete.
Yellow jersey Vincenzo Nibali has been racing for 66 hours, 49 minutes and 37 seconds, and has extended his advantage over lanterne rouge Cheng Ji to 4 hours, 13 minutes and 17 seconds. Geraint Thomas is 18th at 20m18s, Simon Yates is 83rd at 2h17m10s.
Green jersey Peter Sagan has 402 points, giving him a 176 point lead over Bryan Coquard, with Kristoff now in third on 217 points. Simon Yates is leading Geraint Thomas by 22 points to 19.
Polka dot jersey Joaquim Rodriguez has 88 points, the same amount as Rafal Majka, and only 2 points ahead of Nibali. Simon Yates has 17 points, Geraint Thomas has 10.
White jersey Romain Bardet has been racing 66 hours, 54 minutes and 27 seconds, with a 16 second advantage over Thibaut Pinot, and 3h44m01s on last placed Davide Cimolai. Simon Yates is 13th, 2h12m20s behind.
Best team so far is AG2R at 200h46m47s, Giant-Shimano are in last, 4h32m35s behind. Sky are 3rd, 38m32s behind. Astana have won the most money so far (€52.090), Lampre have won the least (€3.730). Sky have won €12.420 so far, putting them in 17th place.

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Re: Tour t' France

Post by Lowlandbrit on Tue 22 Jul 2014, 8:03 pm

Apparently Europcar's directeur sportif has said Albasini made some sort of racist comment towards Reza. Will be interesting to see how that plays out.

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Re: Tour t' France

Post by Lowlandbrit on Wed 23 Jul 2014, 12:50 pm

Shortest stage of the Tour is underway. Gerrans and Hollenstein are the 30th and 31st withdrawals this year, meaning there will be fewer finishers than last year.

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Re: Tour t' France

Post by Mike Selig on Thu 24 Jul 2014, 4:35 pm

So, erm, Nibali sprints up a mountain and runs past Nieve without getting out of the saddle. Erm... just me, or?

This tour has been a bit like last year's really, except the battle for the other podium places has been perhaps more interesting. The stages themselves have had some great racing (the route has been very good I feel; contrary to some I like the cobbles - it is meant to be a test of ALL your cycling skills). Watching Pinot try to climb his way onto a podium finish has been great as well. Van Garderen would be right up there but for his poor stage earlier. Both of those will surely be in contention for GT wins in years to come.

However there has been no suspense as to the overall winner.

Watching Bardet leave the others in his group for dead in the last few 100m also makes you wonder what he could have done the last couple of days if not working for Peraud.

Valverde is annoyingly good at limiting his losses. He has been in difficulty ever since the 2nd day in the Alps really, but hasn't lost much. Looks like he'll now be rewarded with a podium finish - expect both him and Peraud to TT past Pinot - which is a shame, I really can't stand his way of racing.

Van Garderen should probably overtake Bardet to make the top 5 - even allowing for the fact that TTs at the end of GTs can produce some strange results, you would expect TJ's power to make up a couple of minutes.

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Re: Tour t' France

Post by whocares on Thu 24 Jul 2014, 4:36 pm

Nibali once again proving he's way ahead of the rest of the peloton. Climbing the last 11km on his own. great win. would like to know at what speed he climbed the hautacam to see if he was really fast or if the others just didnt bother to follow him...
at least the suspense for the podium is still on with a few secons between 2nd (Pinot) and 4th (Valverde) with still a TT to come.

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Re: Tour t' France

Post by whocares on Thu 24 Jul 2014, 4:50 pm

just found the data (thanks to https://twitter.com/ammattipyoraily)

Nibali not so fast basically, 37 min 20 sec for the hautacam is the 26th fastest time of all time (although the profile of the stage was different 20 years ago...).his power output of 6.1 w/kg is not in the "suspicious" range.


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Re: Tour t' France

Post by Lowlandbrit on Thu 24 Jul 2014, 5:07 pm

whocares wrote:just found the data (thanks to https://twitter.com/ammattipyoraily)

Nibali not so fast basically, 37 min 20 sec for the hautacam is the 26th fastest time of all time (although the profile of the stage was different 20 years ago...).his power output of 6.1 w/kg is not in the "suspicious" range.
Ehh... it's on the boundary at least, and he seems to have been pushing that boundary all race. Could just be very good, but the only faster time on Hautacam not set in '94 or '96 was Armstrong's in 2000.

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Re: Tour t' France

Post by Mike Selig on Thu 24 Jul 2014, 5:24 pm

Worth thinking about when comparing times that Nibali basically rode the climb up today solo, whereas most/all of those ahead of him probably only rode the last few kms up on their own (if that). Besides, it's not as if that list is exactly a list of the cleanest riders of all time either.

On the other hand there are a couple of points in Nibali's favour:
- his opposition has not been the best (not trying to be disparaging, I am a fan of a lot of the riders). The fact that Valverde despite clearly being close to the red a few times may well still finish 2nd illustrates this. In all honesty you would expect Nibali to beat the likes of Peraud, Pinot et al. If he was riding away from Froome or Contador like this, different story.
- the gaps have in general been small. Even today Nibali took only just over a minute over his rivals. We're a long way from the days of Armstrong putting in several minutes on Ullrich and Beloki. We've also seen escapees successfully making it to the finishing line with 2 or 3 minutes advantage at the start of the final climb - again this is a long way away from the days of reasonable climbers like Jalabert, Virenque needing 5 or 6 minutes to stand a chance (and even then they usually finished 2 or 3 minutes back)

Some are saying that Nibali is deliberately preserving himself and not putting those kind of times in so as not to appear too suspicious. Perhaps a tad too cynical, but I guess when you've followed cycling during the dark years it is hard not to be.

He certainly looks remarkably comfortable (but then some riders always look more comfortable, that can be an optical illusion also) and fresh even after the stage (again, can't read too much into that).

The thing about today though was that ride past Nieve without getting out of the saddle. Sorry to say but that was a bit too reminiscent of some past performances...

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Re: Tour t' France

Post by whocares on Thu 24 Jul 2014, 5:30 pm

Nieve was probably burnt after his cycling most of the tourmalet on his own. wont read much into that, otherwise it would make Froome Ax les Bains climb equally more than borderline

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Re: Tour t' France

Post by Lowlandbrit on Thu 24 Jul 2014, 5:47 pm

Mike Selig wrote:Some are saying that Nibali is deliberately preserving himself and not putting those kind of times in so as not to appear too suspicious.
He's attacked everywhere the road has gone up. If he was trying to hold back, someone needs to explain the concept to him a bit better.

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Re: Tour t' France

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu 24 Jul 2014, 9:28 pm

Don't think something that can be underestimated is the advancements in technology and training. Now these teams are getting every ounce out of high altitude training, provide the best equipment, have better understanding of recovery etc etc. Makes a difference.

Anyways Nibali is just clearly a cut above this field. Would've been interesting to see how he'd have done against Froome/Contador but that'll always be a what if now.

Can't see Peraud missing the podium now and its gonna take a monumental effort from Pinot to hold off Valverde in the ITT (Valverde actually a fairly underrated time trialler) Bardet is going to lose heaps and heaps of time to Tejay
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Re: Tour t' France

Post by Mad for Chelsea on Thu 24 Jul 2014, 10:05 pm

like Mike I found watching Nibbles today a little... uncomfortable. Then again I felt the same with Froome last year. It's almost certainly in part due to having watched cycling through its darker times, so you tend to get suspicious of anyone performing to those levels.

I too think it's a shame that Valverde will most likely make the podium in Paris. I find his way of racing unlikeable to say the least (he's got a good kick but never attacks and has basically spent the whole tour just hanging on to his rivals for second place - hopefully Peraud will at least take that from me).

The French are quite rightfully delighted that they've had a great tour, and will be rewarded with at least one place on the podium and three in the top 6. I'm wary of making too many predictions before the final ITT, as it tends to throw out odd results given it comes after nearly three weeks of racing, freshness will play a big role.

I've loved the route this year, something for everyone, thought Nibbles rode the cobbles stage absolutely superbly, and probably mentally as much as anything laid down a huge marker there. The fight for yellow has been non-existent, but it's been excellent racing for the other GC places, and also a great effort from Majka for the polka-dot.

Sagan will clinch the green comfortably despite not winning a stage yet, his ability to be competitive on all but the high mountain stages make that a certainty for several years to come you'd think.

All in all, this tour will also be remembered for a couple of battles which could have been: Froome vs Contador vs Nibbles and Cav vs Kittel.

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Re: Tour t' France

Post by Hammersmith harrier on Thu 24 Jul 2014, 10:30 pm

The psychology for Nibali has played a big part this year too, he hasn't had anybody who can test him, were Contador or Froome in this race properly you wouldn't see him attacking all the time. He'd be preserving energy in anticipation for an attack from either or both of them and frankly he's not as good as those two. Yes it was two years ago but Froome dragged Wiggins up the mountains and took significant time out of him.

I hate to say it but he's been very lucky this year.

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Re: Tour t' France

Post by Mike Selig on Thu 24 Jul 2014, 11:27 pm

Lowlandbrit wrote:
Mike Selig wrote:Some are saying that Nibali is deliberately preserving himself and not putting those kind of times in so as not to appear too suspicious.
He's attacked everywhere the road has gone up. If he was trying to hold back, someone needs to explain the concept to him a bit better.

You misunderstand me. People are suggesting he is attacking, gaining 20 or 30 secs rapidly, then deliberately riding within his capabilities so as not to open up huge gaps which would cause eyebrows to be further raised.

As I say, it is a cynical outlook. Even if he was riding within himself (which would answer the "he looks so fresh" points) it could just as equally be in an attempt to save energy and minimise the risk of blowing out later.

Cynical doesn't necessarily mean it's wrong though. Those of us who didn't believe in the Armstrong fairytale or Landis's ride from the heavens were also told we were miserable so and sos, that cycling had entered a new era etc. etc.

I will say I believe recent years have been cycling's cleanest for a long long time, and actually cycling currently may well be one of the cleaner sports out there (just that others *cough* athletics, football, tennis *cough* aren't so keen to put their house in order). Partly this is based on the numbers, partly this is based on sheer impressions (watch Armstrong sprinting up a mountain; then watch someone like Evans or Wiggins ride - not comparable). The problem with the latter is that as soon as anybody makes it look easy, you tend to be cynical again.

I do wonder how long it will be until cycling fans don't look at somebody riding very well and go "hmmm, I wonder if he's on something other than mineral water"? Unfortunately that's the legacy we've been left with.

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Re: Tour t' France

Post by Mike Selig on Thu 24 Jul 2014, 11:33 pm

I admit also to being torn over the green jersey. Much as I admire Sagan's endeavours (although in all honesty his tactics have been pretty poor in a couple of races) you would be very hard pressed to argue that he is the best sprinter on the tour this year. Even more than that, what possible argument could you make that Cocquard has been the 2nd best?

If the green jersey is really meant to reward the best sprinter* then I fear it is not doing so accurately enough.

*I realise that people will point to the polka dots not really reward the best climber. However Majka's win is certainly not far removed from others in recent history (it is in fact consistent). I would suggest that there are very few recent TdF's where you could nominate 2-4 clearly better sprinters (Kittel and Kristoff are givens; Greipel is debateable; Cavendish would be there (and not have won green) if he'd been around) than the ultimate winner of the green jersey (O'Grady never won it for example).

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Re: Tour t' France

Post by dummy_half on Fri 25 Jul 2014, 7:35 am

Mike

Pretty much agree with all your comments - Niballi has been very good, and it is difficult not to be suspicious of someone that much better than their opponents. However, look at who those opponents have been:
Peraud - occasional top 10 GC rider over the years
Pinot / Bardet - talented young climbers but a year or two before their prime
Valverde - Consistently solid all-rounder, but never for me the greatest climber in the high mountains.

Would you expect Nibali to be consistently about a minute better than these guys on high mountain stages based on previous performances? For me the answer is 'probably yes'.

Does it mean I think Nibali is the new king of clean cycling? Errr...

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Re: Tour t' France

Post by Lowlandbrit on Fri 25 Jul 2014, 8:24 am

Mike Selig wrote:You misunderstand me. People are suggesting he is attacking, gaining 20 or 30 secs rapidly, then deliberately riding within his capabilities so as not to open up huge gaps which would cause eyebrows to be further raised.
But then why ride away from Konig and Majka on Chamrousse? Why attack Horner so soon yesterday? I can understand people being suspicious of Nibali, but if he's been trying to fly under the radar he's done a terrible job.

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Re: Tour t' France

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Sat 26 Jul 2014, 4:41 pm

I'm gonna become a bit of a leopald Konig mark at this rate. You lovely Czechoslovakian
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Re: Tour t' France

Post by Dave. on Sat 26 Jul 2014, 5:24 pm

I do love a good time trialist.

That's Tejay up to 5th, JCP up to 2nd.

Bit Tony peerless as ever.

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Re: Tour t' France

Post by Mike Selig on Sat 26 Jul 2014, 5:38 pm

Tony Martin does what we all thought he would do and smashes everybody. Well played.

Valverde cracked in the end. Couldn't have happened to a nicer person. Another reminder that final week ITTs in Grand Tours don't always throw up the results you'd expect.

Excellent effort from Pinot to hold on to his podium place, and the French are of course delighted at sticking two men on the podium with Peraud's effort as well. First time since 1984 they've had two on the podium and first podium finish since Virenque in 97.

Elsewhere TJ moved up to 5th for just 2 seconds over Bardet who had a puncture. Gutting for Bardet who is a lovely climber, but I like TJ as well - one of those in the mountains who doesn't mind putting his shift in at the front.

The future of GT cycling looks exciting with TJ, Bardet, Pinot, Quintana et al.

Other impressive performances from Konig and Zubeldia.

And of course Nibali who beat all the other GC riders and finished 4th of the stage.

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Re: Tour t' France

Post by Lowlandbrit on Sat 26 Jul 2014, 7:20 pm

Awful TT for the Belkin riders, must be regretting the decision to use the new bikes they didn't get a chance to ride until the second rest day.

At the other end of the race, Ji Cheng has a 41 minute 'lead' for the lanterne rouge. Considering he's in the same team as Kittel, that could be even more by the end. If he loses 7 more minutes on Nibali he'll be over 6 hours behind him.

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Re: Tour t' France

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Sat 26 Jul 2014, 8:58 pm

Mike Selig wrote:Tony Martin does what we all thought he would do and smashes everybody. Well played.

Valverde cracked in the end. Couldn't have happened to a nicer person. Another reminder that final week ITTs in Grand Tours don't always throw up the results you'd expect.

Excellent effort from Pinot to hold on to his podium place, and the French are of course delighted at sticking two men on the podium with Peraud's effort as well. First time since 1984 they've had two on the podium and first podium finish since Virenque in 97.

Elsewhere TJ moved up to 5th for just 2 seconds over Bardet who had a puncture. Gutting for Bardet who is a lovely climber, but I like TJ as well - one of those in the mountains who doesn't mind putting his shift in at the front.

The future of GT cycling looks exciting with TJ, Bardet, Pinot, Quintana et al.

Other impressive performances from Konig and Zubeldia.

And of course Nibali who beat all the other GC riders and finished 4th of the stage.


Even guys like Aru, Uran, Kelderman, Majka and Rolland who performed top 10 in the Giro are all young and promising. Also the majority are good racers who like to attack, which always is the type of climber I prefer.

Even British cycling with Kennaugh and the Yates brothers has promising kids coming through.

Its good for the TDF to have French contenders again, although Pinot/Bardet are going to have to improve in the ITT to become realistic contenders you'd feel
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Re: Tour t' France

Post by Dave. on Sat 26 Jul 2014, 9:25 pm

I'm going to throw this out there.

Yes, Nibali won this at a canter. But it's been an exciting tour with great stages. I liked seeing Wiggins and Froome win, but Sky sucked the fun out of it.

Anyone else feel a non dominant Team Sky made for better racing?

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Re: Tour t' France

Post by Lowlandbrit on Sat 26 Jul 2014, 9:44 pm

Dave. wrote:I liked seeing Wiggins and Froome win, but Sky sucked the fun out of it.

Anyone else feel a non dominant Team Sky made for better racing?
Can't say I've missed Sky's Armstrong-esque riding that much, just a shame the group behind Nibali was so weak. Contador's exit probably just as important though, things would have looked very different with all those guys just riding for him.

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Re: Tour t' France

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