2018 season thread

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2018 season thread

Post by Lowlandbrit on Sat 13 Jan 2018, 10:02 am

First topic message reminder :

New World Tour season is about to start and, in good news for commentators with airtime to fill, Vaughters' lot are now 'Team EF Education First-Drapac powered by Cannondale'.


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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by Azabache on Wed 30 May 2018, 3:45 pm

(Have had to re-set the site-the "Privacy" nonsense prevented my accessing)...
the BBC is trashy now in so many areas; I really feel that it's shot its legitimacy for the licence fee. As for its ageing, jumped-up, vain presenters like John Humphries and Sarah Montague, they make my skin crawl; the "younger" ones like Dan Snow are part of a virtual hereditary peerage where Dad has obviously been an influence. Let's be thankful that we have such a choice of outlets now (I followed the live coverage last Friday on the Cycling News site).

I really don't know how this Froome thing will pan out; but I know I'll get my informed comment from here and other (non-BBC) sources...

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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by No name Bertie on Mon 11 Jun 2018, 11:46 pm

The BBC are running a headline: " Froome reputation 'tarnished forever' "

It is headlined as a major sports story on the BBC homepage and news homepage, alongside an image of Chris Froome.  

Looking at the screaming headline and the prominence given to it I was left with an impression that Froome has been found guilty of doping and will now have a ban.  When I clicked on the story - I found it was a clickbait scare mongering headline - as the actual story is Lizzie nee Armistead concern that Froome has been mistreated and that the allegation should never have been made public until a final decision is made.

Now not everyone is going to click on the clickbait link, so will be left with the impression he has failed a drugs test and is hence a drugs cheat.

I have just had a look at the BBC Sports Webpage - and this time the headline is different: " Froome's reputation unfairly tarnished over anti-doping case - Deignan ".  The key word "unfairly" is missing in the headline on their homepage and news homepage.

BBC Homepage headline:


BBC News headline:


BBC Sport headline:






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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by Azabache on Tue 12 Jun 2018, 11:33 am

Raise a complaint with them.

They are after all the State Broadcaster-they would violently protest that status but that's the reality.

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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by Azabache on Tue 12 Jun 2018, 11:46 am

I've just had a chance to read the article. Actually, IMHO, it's quite fair and balanced!

I think what soured this whole saga was the MPs getting involved in some other issues like the Wiggins mystery; this then tainted Sky et al with that farcical Star Chamber being broadcast and us having the unedifying spectacle of Tories lecturing sports people on Ethics!

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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by Lowlandbrit on Tue 19 Jun 2018, 11:50 am

Steady stream of TdF selection news; Valverde, Quintana and Landa all starting for Movistar, apparently as joint team leaders. Not sure how well that's going to play out...

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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by Azabache on Tue 19 Jun 2018, 12:09 pm

I followed, and admired, Landa last year. It will be interesting to see if he's as good with Movistar..

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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by Lowlandbrit on Thu 21 Jun 2018, 3:07 pm

Mitchelton-Scott all aboard the Adam Yates train, leaving Caleb Ewan at home.

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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by Azabache on Fri 22 Jun 2018, 10:34 am

The BBC reverted to type yesterday I see (Froome-Hinault's remarks).

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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Fri 29 Jun 2018, 2:03 pm

Dimension Data are fully behind Cavendish with that team - imagine they're looking for him to pickup a lot of stage victories, then maybe a breakaway stage win too
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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by Azabache on Fri 29 Jun 2018, 2:30 pm

It will be interesting to see if the glory days are still here for Cavendish-he's had too many crashes recently for my liking.

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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by Just John on Sun 01 Jul 2018, 11:42 am

The organisers of the Tdf have demanded that Chris Froome is banned from competing in this year’s race, due to his ongoing investigation & the damage it will do to the image of the race, if he competes.

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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by whocares on Sun 01 Jul 2018, 1:15 pm

Sky did launch an appeal though . Not sure how long it takes and might take a while keeping the tour starts quite soon... this decision has caught me by surprise !

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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by Azabache on Mon 02 Jul 2018, 10:27 am

Not sure how "true" this all is. I saw it on the biased BBC!

Also, you have to allow for the vanity of this new UCI (French) head, and, of course, the Tour organising body, which will do anything to try to get a French winner.

"Damage to the image of the race". He, he!

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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by LondonTiger on Mon 02 Jul 2018, 10:48 am

According to the BBC, UCI have dropped the Froome case citing closing the case was "based on expert opinions".

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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by whocares on Mon 02 Jul 2018, 10:56 am

The UCI should be blamed for not clarifying their position towards Froome earlier leaving organisers to make their own calls. Regardless of Froome being probably innocent there will always be a cloud of suspicion surrounding him till UCI says something which is not good for anyone . Having Froome Bering booed every day is certainly damaging the image of the race (or the little that is left).

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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by Azabache on Mon 02 Jul 2018, 11:39 am

Just caught up with the UCI decision (via the BBC). My gut feeling throughout was that the chap was innocent but, as an aside, my osteopath-whom I was having a very brief course of treatment after a dose of sciatica-was of the view that he would be very lucky to prove innocence on the dehydration argument.

I guess that having a powerful organisation and millions behind you to fortuitously delay the procedure for months on end is not unhelpful; and one wonders how some little chap on a small team would have fared. This is not at all to suggest that Sky have put any undue pressure on the process.

Not that I'm any expert at all on this, and am still red-faced in believing in Armstrong-mainly on quasi-legal grounds of innocent until proven guilty. Reading Tyler Hamilton's "The Secret Race" should be mandatory to all, probably twice a year!

It's interesting to compare Froome's approach to this adversity to Armstong's. I was chatting to some Americans last year on a "following the Tour" holiday and their view was that he brought himself down ultimately by being such a "Dick". This is not at all to suggest that Froome is involved in any practices like Armstrong. I think that if he ever were "exposed" I would stop following the sport forthwith.

Froome is certainly a model of courtesy and reservation in what must have been a very trying time; to have scored that stunning victory in the Giro against all adversity and with this as a backdrop is beyond remarkable. I look forward to him replying to the French in his usual way-courteous and restrained off the bike, a veritable Demon on it!

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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by Lowlandbrit on Mon 02 Jul 2018, 1:32 pm

Have to say, UCI clearing Froome within 24 hours of ASO saying they wouldn't let him start if it wasn't sorted isn't a great look.

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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by dummy_half on Mon 02 Jul 2018, 2:30 pm

Lowlandbrit wrote:Have to say, UCI clearing Froome within 24 hours of ASO saying they wouldn't let him start if it wasn't sorted isn't a great look.

Feels a little bit like a convenient decision. I think the problem is that the current WADA rules for Salbutamol are a mess, and that there was enough doubt regarding the Froome case to make it impossible to sanction him.

My gut instinct is that this is like the Scottish verdict of 'not proven', which has been paraphrased as 'not guilty and don't do it again'...


Last edited by dummy_half on Mon 02 Jul 2018, 3:25 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by Lowlandbrit on Mon 02 Jul 2018, 3:17 pm

I am slightly baffled by the official explanation too, which seems to be that they accepted Froome/Sky's explanation because it was such a specific chain of events that it can't be recreated in a lab - which we presumably know because Sky have unsuccessfully tried every test they could think of to explain how this happened in a way that isn't clearly against the rules.

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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by Azabache on Mon 02 Jul 2018, 4:11 pm

Let's abandon all sanctions, allow anything, encourage pharma companies to sponsor teams, bring back Dr. Ferrari to head up some official body...it will drive the greatest accelerated advance in performance knowledge outside of War conditions...

Only joking!


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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by Just John on Sat 07 Jul 2018, 2:30 pm

Fernando Gaviria wins stage 1

Froome down with 5k to go. Loses 48 seconds, along with Porte.

Puncture for Quintana in the last 5km too.

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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by Lowlandbrit on Sat 07 Jul 2018, 3:03 pm

Quintana stopped at about 250m before he would have been given the group time. Surely he could have held on just a little longer?

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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by Just John on Thu 12 Jul 2018, 5:02 pm

Dan Martin win stage 6. Van Avermaet remains in yellow

Van Avermaet +0
Thomas +3
Van Garderen +5
Alaphillipe +6
Gilbert +12
Jungels +18
Uran +45
Valverde +51
Majka +52
Fuglsang +53
Porte +53
Froome +1.02
Dumoulin +1.03
Nibali +1.08
Martin +1.27
Bardet +1.45
Quintana +2.10








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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by Azabache on Thu 12 Jul 2018, 6:05 pm

Early days yet, but Quintana already concerns me, but the real mountains will turn everything on its head.

They'll have a nice surprise on Stage 10 (was last Sunday's Etape)!

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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by Just John on Sun 15 Jul 2018, 12:13 pm

Porte abandons - done his shoulder

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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by Just John on Sun 15 Jul 2018, 3:31 pm

Degenkolb wins today’s stage

Standings

Van Avermaet +0
Thomas +43
Gilbert +44
Jungels +50
Valverde +1.31
Froome +1.42
Nibali +1.48
Dumuolin +2.03
Bardet +2.32
Quintana +2.50





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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by Lowlandbrit on Sun 15 Jul 2018, 3:39 pm

Spectacular stage, but since Bardet and Landa managed to get back the only real casualties seem to be Uran and Porte (would it be too harsh to call them the usual suspects?).

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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by Azabache on Mon 16 Jul 2018, 11:07 am

And Quintana surprised me. Maybe the much discussed "3 Competing Vanities" on Movistar will work out OK...

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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 16 Jul 2018, 11:14 am

Did think Porte would struggle yesterday, didn't think he'd fail to even make it to the cobbled sections...

Was a gruelling stage, but glad to see most made it through without much damage. And it's setup beautifully for the mountain stages!

What are people's thoughts on Cavendish? Is he completely done? He's been nowhere near in the sprints so far
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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by Azabache on Mon 16 Jul 2018, 11:26 am

He hasn't been that far away but, as commented on ITV4, there are half a dozen absolutely top flight sprinters competing, some younger, maybe more fearless (the crashes Cav has had must have some mental effect surely?).

Also, is he moaning too much in interviews?

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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by Lowlandbrit on Mon 16 Jul 2018, 3:21 pm

CCC will be taking over as title sponsor of the BMC team. Not sure what's going to happen to the Pro-Continental team they sponsor now. GVA has signed a new contract, presumably will be the guy they build the squad around.

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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by Lowlandbrit on Wed 18 Jul 2018, 3:54 pm

Well, you can't say nobody's giving it a go.

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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Wed 18 Jul 2018, 5:04 pm

Thomas and Froome atop the overall standings, will be interesting to see what Team Sky do - albeit they managed to control it today pretty well and then allow them to race each other.

As ever Quintana is off the pace early in the GC
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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by Afro on Wed 18 Jul 2018, 5:14 pm

Reminds me a lot of 2012 when Froome was supporting Wiggo and looked the stronger. Froome is the undisputed team leader so its pretty clear what will happen.

Thomas will have to fall in line and support Froome. If he doesn't, he's going alone which is never going to work in the TdF. you don't win without good domestiques.

Thomas only really comes into the GC reckoning if something happens to Froome, so essentially he's the insurance policy.
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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by whocares on Wed 18 Jul 2018, 8:47 pm

So what happens if Thomas is still ahead of Froome before the TT? I don’t think he needs to sacrifice himself to protect Froome given the poor opposition...

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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by Afro on Thu 19 Jul 2018, 9:48 am

whocares wrote:So what happens if Thomas is still ahead of Froome before the TT? I don’t think he needs to sacrifice himself to protect Froome given the poor opposition...

Interesting question and I don't know the answer to that TBH. Not really taken it into account.

Given it is effectively the last competitive stage it could be interesting. Even if Froome is a little ahead of GT, GT's time trialling could still move him ahead of Froome with no further stage for it to be reversed.

I think today and stage 17 are probably the two crucial ones, yesterday made a lot of the GC contenders put in a lot of effort ahead of a tough day today, whilst Froome didn't really and still put time on all apart from GT and Doumoulin.

I wouldn't be surprised to see GT work himself into the ground today for Froome's benefit
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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by Azabache on Thu 19 Jul 2018, 10:40 am

You all seem to be assuming that Thomas is the stronger, and will be to the end?

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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by Lowlandbrit on Thu 19 Jul 2018, 2:56 pm

Greipel, Groenewegen and Gaviria all abandon. Cavendish and Kittel took too long yesterday. Not going to be a lot of sprinters left in Paris.

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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by Azabache on Thu 19 Jul 2018, 3:06 pm

Crikey!

Is Christian Prudhomme going to achieve his life-long ambition of designing a Tour so tough that no-one finishes?!

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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by Just John on Thu 19 Jul 2018, 4:42 pm

Heartbreak for Kruijswijk

Thomas wins. Wow

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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by whocares on Thu 19 Jul 2018, 4:50 pm

Thomas attack at the end is looking more and more like a statement to his team...

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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by Afro on Thu 19 Jul 2018, 4:56 pm

Wow. With 4k to go it looked like GT was riding for Froome, but what a finish.

Be interesting to hear what Team Sky have to say now
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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by Azabache on Thu 19 Jul 2018, 5:00 pm

I'm only reading this not viewing but I wonder if Froome is gifting the stage to him as a reward?

There's still a week and a half to go. Wait 'n' see..................

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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by whocares on Thu 19 Jul 2018, 5:12 pm

I think the Froome of last year would have kept up with GT pace in the end or even kept attacking (when this time he stopped after 2 minutes) and won with 30 secs margin.
There is now 3 mountain stages left with only one with a uphill arrival.

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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by Azabache on Thu 19 Jul 2018, 5:32 pm

As said, let's wait 'n' see but we should remember that Froome is, still, presumably, the Leader so Thomas will have to follow orders unless the Leader has a collapse and he receives new instructions.

If Thomas disobeys orders he'll be sacked; and other teams will be wary of taking on a potentially disruptive rider.

But I don't think this scenario will unfold at all. Brailsford is playing a typically canny game, and it seems that not only the riders but also the spectators are losing sight of basics here.

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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by Lowlandbrit on Thu 19 Jul 2018, 6:02 pm

Azabache wrote:I'm only reading this not viewing but I wonder if Froome is gifting the stage to him as a reward?
That's certainly not how it looks.

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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu 19 Jul 2018, 6:26 pm

Great result again for Sky, but let’s not forget that Thomas often struggles in the third week of Grand Tours, whereas Froome will often get stronger - as we saw with Yates in the Giro, there’s a long way to go yet...
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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by dummy_half on Thu 19 Jul 2018, 6:37 pm

Remember Froome (and DuMoulin) rode the Giro, so probably had a recovery phase and then an attempt to arrive at the TdF with improving form, while GT had the more conventional preparation with riding the Dauphine (competitively), and so is probably further ahead on the 'form' curve.

As we saw with Simon Yates and Froome (the opposite way) in the Giro, form in the first week or so does not necessarily determine your finishing position in a grand tour.

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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by Afro on Thu 19 Jul 2018, 7:53 pm

And let’s not forget that astonishing ride by Froome on stage 19 of the giro. Not many, if any, others that could do that.
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Re: 2018 season thread

Post by No name Bertie on Thu 19 Jul 2018, 9:01 pm

Geraint Thomas crashed out of the Tour de France last year on stage 9 while in second place in the GC.  Thomas is 32, Froome 33.  Bradley Wiggins was 32 when he won the Tour De France.  If Thomas is ever going to win the Tour de France it is probably going to have to be this year or the next.  Maybe he has three more years left if he wants to challenge for it.  Thomas has a large lead and if he can maintain his strength without having to kill himself in support of Froome then he surely must be considered a challenger.  I suppose at the least he should be thinking of a podium finish.

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Re: 2018 season thread

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