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selkie

Le Tour and Other Cycling Talk

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Come chat about Phil, Paul, Bobke, and the greatest spectacle in all of sports as skinny guys fling themselves up and down mountains and through barbed wire fences.

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Looking forward to the Tour kicking off on Saturday .But I get to watch the whole traveling circus from the bottom of my street on Sunday morning as the race route goes through my town.

 

Stage 1 Preview

 

 

 

Stage 2 Preview

 

 

@1:30 is my hometown .

Edited by Humbugged

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Wow, lucky you! I sometimes see people watching from their front porches, or balconies as the Peloton passes and I always feel a bit jealous, To see it live has to be a thrill even though it's just a few minutes since they go so fast.

Contador fan here, but very sorry to hear about Daryl Impey's problem. I really liked him last year.

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Wow, lucky you! I sometimes see people watching from their front porches, or balconies as the Peloton passes and I always feel a bit jealous, To see it live has to be a thrill even though it's just a few minutes since they go so fast.

 

It's been a whole thing .All the teams have been here off and on for weeks doing their recces of the stages and even for that the crowds have been pretty big.On the day the publicity caravan comes through 2 hours before the riders and they give free crap away and we have had one of the parks turned in to a huge camping site with massive big screens and various attractions .

But I'll watch them go past then scuttle off back home and watch the rest on the TV - in the UK we are getting full coverage from start to finish of the first 3 days .

 

I hope Cav wins on Saturday simply for the fact that the finish is in the town where his mother was born and grew up.

 

ETA

 

 

up and down mountains and through barbed wire fences

 

and down big drops if the weather forecast for the next 2 days if anything to go by .The weather today has been atrocious - high winds on the tops and driving rain.There has been a load of accidents as the amateurs are all up on the hills riding the route on the greasy roads and 1 guy hit a wall going through a S-bend on a descent ,shot across the road and over the fence where there was a 150 foot drop .

Edited by Humbugged
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I am bummed that Quintana is not in the Tour this year. He was my fave last year, so now I have to pick a new favorite.

I hope the graphics people identify the sights the cameras capture. They have already shown a gorgeous ruined abbey but didn't mention it at all so I have no idea what it was.

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The cameras typically leave it up to the announcers to discuss the sights. I guess Phil was too caught up in doing his 'things to watch for' talk that he didn't consult the magic and hugely comprehensive research book he makes for all the Grand Tour races he covers.

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Too bad they didn't go north of York in this stage--they could have raced past my favorite place in England, Rievaulx Abbey.

ETA: They did show Rievaulx, 1:06 and again at 1:09 into the morning broadcast, yay!

I feel for Cavendish having to pull out in his home country. Last I heard, his collarbone was dislocated and his ligaments were stretched, ouch! I will be watching Gearants to see how he recovers from that spill.

Edited by Sharpie66

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Hee--you can tell Christian Vande Velde is from Chicago, since he just called Buckingham Palace "Buckingham Fountain"!!

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That stage was brutal. And it wasn't the cobbles, but the wet tarmac that caused almost all of the spills, well, except for that spectacular somersault over the handlebars. And it sounds like it is supposed to rain tomorrow, as well.

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Too many people were pushing too early in the slop in order to have better position going into the cobbles. Seems like the leading teams should have controlled the pace a little better ,even if it meant letting more of the breakaway than Bloom have their day.

 

Reports are that Chris Froome has broken bones in both hands, but can keep fitness by riding on the trainer and is now hoping to make it to the Vuelta. Which Sky had apparently promised to Bradley Wiggins after leaving the 2012 Tour winner off the France squad this year in the name of 'team chemistry' and is now regretting because Richie Porte is more of a top 20 GC guy than one who will make the podium.

 

Who said pro wrestling gets all the good story lines.

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Contador is out!! They are dropping like flies, well, except for Nibali. Wow, he is just powering through. Can't wait for Wednesday's stage to see what happens next.

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Apparently the bike frame broke and he went flying. I've never heard of that happening before, are the bikes so lightweight that this is a risk?

He rode on with blood falling down his leg plus with the broken bone he must have been in quite a bit of pain.

Love the mountain stages, they really shake up the standings. Nibali's got a decent lead now.

My favorite scene was seeing Peter Sagan crossing the finish line slowly ... while popping a wheelie.

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Not only popping a wheelie, but popping a wheelie on a 20% incline!!!! The commentators were going bonkers over his bike-handling skills when they saw that.

 

I'm interested in watching tonight's recap to see if they have any more info on the rider whose name I can't remember offhand who had been near the front during yesterday's stage, but ended up crashing so bad that everyone thought he had left the race, only to find out that he got another bike and kept on going. According to the reporter on the motorbike who had come up to the rider not long after he crashed, there was a100-foot long skid in the grass from when he spilled off the bike.

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They detailed the Contador incident in this morning's coverage. Apparently, Contador just crashed, leaving his bike in good shape. However, to make sure of it, Nicholas Roche, his teammate, gave Alberto his own bike, and then sent Alberto on ahead. However, he pulled off a few hundred meters down the road due to his injury, which is where the cameras caught up with him, after passing Roche on the road with Contador's old bike (the initial reports were that Roche had crashed as well). While the team car was trying to catch up to them both, they passed too close to the Team Belkin car, and that is when Contador's replacement bike on the roof of the car got caught up in the two cars passing and then it snapped in half.

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That makes much more sense! Thanks Sharpie.

I tracked the race this morning via the letour website feed and saw Talansky was out then back in and finished the stage. He's not having a good tour. Looking forward to watching tonight's coverage.

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The only good thing about watching Talansky struggle during yesterday's stage was the fact that they dedicated a camera to his efforts, and I was able to see how the crowd supports all of the racers, including the ones at the back of the pack, just ahead of the broom wagon. That was really sweet, and something that the tv watchers never get to witness.

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Something new--they just showed two racers pull up to a camper and go inside to use the bathroom. Both Bob and Christian said they had never seen that before, but thought it was a brilliant idea.

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Such an exciting finish to today's stage! I was all tense those last two km and really feel for the two guys who got caught out at the end.

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I have to confess I had tears in my eyes as I watched Bauer's two teammates try to console him while he just sat there with his head bowed.  They looked so sweet and encouraging and concerned for him.  

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Same here. For a rider like Bauer, those kinds of chances will always be few and far between and he knew it.

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Cycling fans might be interested in the documentary about Greg Lemond and Bernard Hinault - the Tour edition that got me interested in the TdF, on ESPN tonight.

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Nibali's strength is just blowing my mind! He is so consistently in the top five or ten of every single stage, it is just amazing to watch.

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I know - it seems in most tours the yellow jersey changes hands a few times before the mountain stages then the eventual winner gets it. I thought Nibali was going to fade but it seems like this is his year. It probably also helps him that both Contador and Froome were forced out, if they were still racing it might have been a totally different race.

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I just started watching this morning's coverage on my dvr. One thing I have been enjoying this year is the extensive face time that Chris Horner has been getting. He has a really natural style on camera, and if he wanted to, he might have a good post-racing career being a commentator.

ETA: Just saw the little promo for the Col de Tourmalet, which was all set to exciting music, all fast little clips from previous Tours of racers ascending through the crowds, graphics of the scary stats, and...cows?!? Very funny to see a group of cows staring at the camera in between all the intensity.

Edited by Sharpie66

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The sad thing about cycling is that a tremendous performance like Nibali's today will always start speculation about the D word.

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Yeah, and while you never can say someone is clean with 100% confidence, I think he probably is and that this is just a year when everything fell into place for him- in addition to Froome and Contador, Quintana needed a break after the Giro, Wiggins got left off Sky for 'team chemistry' which looks like a horrible mistake in retrospect, Cadel Evans left off BMC for the same reason,  and Valverde has been consistent over the years but never quite good enough to be there. So Nibbles caught a year when he was just about the only serious contender left and is taking full advantage of it, which is probably a good thing because the next generation is looking very strong- so many guys high in the GC or in other jersey contention like Sagan and Majka are still eligible to win the white.

 

The changing of the guard is probably going to hit hard in the next year or two.

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During today's coverage, Todd, Bob, and Christian got into a discussion about doping and how everyone, including, by his own admission, Christian, was doing it by the mid-2000s. The Garmin team in 2008 was the first to be strictly clean, which was the team Christian was on. Interesting conversation which didn't last nearly long enough.

I also watched the ESPN film on Lemond and Hinault. That was fascinating, and really delved into team dynamics. Lemond was convinced not to go for a stage win in 1985 to keep Hinault in the lead with the promise that Bernard would support him the following year. But then, such a shock, the coach just happened to change tactics that winter and said it was winner takes all for all team members and no one had to support anyone. No wonder Greg and his wife were paranoid, especiallly after the man who ran the race told Greg towards the end of the three weeks to watch his back, since the vast majority of the peleton was rooting for Hinault to win and were willing to deliberately crash Greg to ensure the win. I am surprised no one has made that race into a feature film.

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Gotta say I got a bit misty-eyed when Peraud was bawling his eyes out with his team at the end. He's 37, and at that age, you aren't going to get that many more chances at a podium finish at a Grand Tour, and he knows it. Nice to see him able to take advantage of the opportunity he's had this July.

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It's a stand-alone race that's been run since 1903, but it is considered to be one of the three major European races (the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a España are the others) that make up the Grand Tours--all three are three weeks long. The TDF is a UCI World Tour event, which just means that the UCI ProTeams are all included in the roster, as well as other teams that the TDF specifically invite.

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With the Tour preview on NBC sports network tonight, it is time to revive this thread--yay!!

Things I learned:

Contador is having a really good year;

Nibali is not;

Probably because five of his team members have been caught doping (Estana is only in the Tour because they won in court);

Froome is up and down, but healthy;

Quintana is coming back (my favorite--yay!!);

Race is starting in Holland;

Cobbles will be back in an early stage;

Kittel has been pulled by his team for not being in good shape;

And hearing that theme music gets me all revved up to watch this year!

Edited by Sharpie66
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During the spring racing season, I've come to develop a fondness for plucky underdog continental team MTN Qhubeka, who was apparently drawing some grumbling that they were an 'affirmative action' entry since they've the first African-registered team to be invited to the Grand Tours (apparently the old Barloworld team was European-registered even though they were South African-funded)

 

And then the announcers have been saying it's not the case- they've got some good Stage hunters on their squad and they were invited because organizers felt like they could bring some excitement to the race. And then Daniel Teklehaimanot won the King of the Mountains jersey by a good margin at the Criterium du Dauphine,.

 

They don't have a high GC guy on their squad, but I'll be cheering for one of their guys whenever I see him tryig for a long breakaway.

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Wow, was that smash up really bad!! I wonder how bad the second one was that immediately followed. At first, I was wondering why they paused the race, but when they explained it was to make sure that the ambulances could catch up, it was probably a good call. It will be interesting to see how the injuries play in today's stage.

I am holding out hope that Quintana can keep moving up through the standings. He's already gone from 44 to 17 in yesterday's climb, and gained nearly a minute. But, he is still the fourth of the Big 4.

Edited by Sharpie66

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Two guys out with spinal fractures makes for a very bad day.

 

I am a bit amused that Peter Sagan is still eligible for the best young rider jersey for about the eighth year in a row. He seems like he's been around forever at this point, and has become one of my favorites since he seems to be the most multidimensional of the current crop of sprinters.

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Yeah, I was shocked to see Sagan in the white jersey, too! He's been big as long as I've been watching the race, and I know I've been watching for more than just a few years.

 

I've been confused about the yellow team jerseys in previous years, as well. The only way I can determine the Yellow Jersey from the team jerseys yesterday was to look for the Sky emblem on Froome's back, but I don't know how I would tell if/when Contador gets it on his back.

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Unless there is big break away at some point Martin will be leading ill at least Sunday and the TTT .

 

5 major crashes today again  and some big names lost a shed load of time . Richie Porte and Hesjdal losing 14.5 mins !!

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Disappointed that Jack Bauer once more had the worst day of his like (Damnit!) and is out after crashing twice.

 

Since the Thunder God retired, I think he's got the best name in pro cycling.

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What a day again - soap opera stuff

 

Yellow changes hands on a crash again - Martin broke his collar bone. All the contenders were involved in the pile up apart from Bertie.

Nibali lost the plot and mouthed off blaming Froome (Martin caused the chain reaction) ,Froome stormed the Asatana team bus and got apology.

Quintana had three gear rings embedded in his knee and needed stitches and has also ankle damage

 

Great win by Peter 2agan's mate Subie .Helped by Peter and his hopeless road tactics again .Will he ever learn to tuck up out of the road and maybe someone else will help chase things down .They see him .know he is faster and see no point in helping him win a stage  .So 2nd again for him - he stays Peter 2agan

 

Tek becomes the first Black African to wear a jersey  in the KOM . 13 pts down (of which he has 3) 450 to fight for .

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I'm bummed about both Martin's collarbone and Quintana taking collateral damage. He's the big name among the GC guys I can cheer the most for.

 

I teared up  a couple of times near the end of the stage, something I'm not usually prone to doing.

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Quintana is still staying with the yellow jersey, so it'll be up to the Pyrenees for him to gain some time. The tv guys were talking to one of his teammates, and he said that they are just trying to keep him with the leaders until the mountains. It will be interesting to see what happens with the TTT tomorrow.

Today's leg was pretty standard on the road, but I had fun watching the scenery and the crowds. Brittany is always so gorgeous, I loved the bride and groom standing outside with their wedding guests surrounding them in a heart shape, all waving at the helicopter and the racers, and they had a neat video piece on five Englishmen who had seen the race last year in Yorkshire and decided to catch it in France. They wanted to dress up in Wizard of Oz garb, but the big burly guy didn't want to be Dorothy, so they went with a circus theme instead since they already had the lion costume. They were fun to watch!

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I couldn't figure out if the bride and groom were a moment of ultimate sweetness or an impressive bridezilla showing. I'll go with the nicer interpretation because it just fits the spirit of the day and I love the human art and hay bale art we see in flatter areas.

 

Speaking of superfans, Didi the Devil had apparently talked about retiring from the gig because he lost his sponsor and his 500 euro a month East German engineer's pension only goes so far, but apparently a company stepped up to keep him in red spandex and his health is good enough for him to go on the road.

 

He has a facebook page here:

 

https://www.facebook.com/didisenft

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Ivan Basso from Tinkoff Saxo just announced that he found out today that he has testicular cancer and is (obviously) withdrawing from the race for more tests. So sad.

 

Also, Richie Porte announced he'll be leaving Team Sky to become the leader for another team (TBD) sometime after the race is over.

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Rumor mill has Porte to BMC.

Not a bad replacement though for the Death Star   --  Michał Kwiatkowski current holder of the World Championship from SAXO

 

Ivan is lucky in way .It could have been a while before they caught the cancer if he hadn't nutted himself when he fell off

Apparently they are giving him a 98% chance of a full recovery

Edited by Humbugged

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Phil just got a bit dark. The helicopter cameraman got a really neat shot of a buzzard flying alongside the chopper, and after Phil talked about tge species'succesful reintroduction to the region, he said, "Well, if a rider falls, maybe he [the bird] could help himself." That's some funny morbid humor!

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