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Le Tour and Other Cycling Talk


selkie
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Those two crashes were nasty, but I loved seeing Alaphilippe just take off, leaving everyone in his dust.

It is so great to see Le Tour return in its usual June/July time slot! I am looking forward to seeing the fields of sunflowers and lavender. 

I’ve been working on my family genealogy this past year, and I just found one branch last night that started in France! My 10th great-grandfather was a French Huguenot from outside of Lille who boarded the ship the Gilded Otter in Amsterdam in 1660 (for a four month journey!) and ended up in the Catskills near Woodstock, NY. (Weird thing is that we had no idea there was any connection to New Amsterdam, and this is the second branch with early colonists there—I have a Dutch/Moroccan 11th great-grandfather who arrived in Manhattan in 1630 and became possibly the first Muslim permanently settled in North America.)

I am definitely going to be looking at the stage maps to see if they get near Lille this year.

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(edited)

Did they prohibit fans from running alongside riders on mountain ascents? If so, prudent. It's not a tradition I'll miss. It always made me nervous even before this year's crash.

Edited by xaxat
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(edited)
4 hours ago, galaxygirl76 said:

One more stage win will tie Mark Cavendish with 'the cannibal' Eddy Merckx for most stage wins. Which is quite the feat because I never thought this day would come.

I thought Cav was washed up and done a few years ago. I hope he gets the record.

Edited by emmawoodhouse
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Congrats to Cav! It looked like it took a lot out of him—I hope he makes the cut tomorrow.

That first crash into the deep ditch was scary. Sad to see Simon Yates have to end his race.

Even with the broken record and everything, I think my favorite part of the broadcast was the short feature on Lachlan Morton of Education EDF riding an Alt Tour on his own for charity. 
 

 

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(edited)
3 hours ago, bosawks said:

I don’t know if I should congratulate Sepp Kuss more for his stage win or his awesome name. 

USA! USA!

eta: in my best Bob Roll voice...from DURANGO, COLORADO!!! 😀

Edited by emmawoodhouse
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(edited)

Speaking of American stage winners, I was surprised to see Armstrong’s name in the list. I am guessing that when they stripped him of his titles, they didn’t also strip the stage wins?

I am happy that they’ve not brought him in for Zoom commentary so far this race. I was not pleased to see him on my tv last year. The podcast American Scandal had several episodes on him last month, and he is even more of an entitled asshole than I thought!

Edited by Sharpie66
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3 hours ago, Sharpie66 said:

Speaking of American stage winners, I was surprised to see Armstrong’s name in the list. I am guessing that when they stripped him of his titles, they didn’t also strip the stage wins?

I am happy that they’ve not brought him in for Zoom commentary so far this race. I was not pleased to see him on my tv last year. The podcast American Scandal had several episodes on him last month, and he is even more of an entitled asshole than I thought!

I was surprised to see that as well.  IIRC they listed ‘93 and ‘95 before his tour “wins”, maybe they were outside the timeframe of the officials investigation? IMO he’s “one who shall not be named “.  I checked the stage wins for the 2000 tour and saw he was stripped of his win for the 19th stage and if memory serves he had other stage wins in that time period that were probably stripped.

Anyway the only ones I really cared hearing about were the first and last.  I couldn’t believe it when they said the last American stage win was 10 years ago, I watched that stage when it happened, it didn’t seem to be that long ago!

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(edited)

Damn, Tadej! Two mountain stages in a row. He’s going to win three jerseys in Paris for the second year in a row, too.

Dan Martin’s last minute sprint was also impressive. I remember several years ago when he went from the far-lagging peleton to the front group while in the middle of a two-peak ascent, and this reminded me a bit of that move.

Edited by Sharpie66
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Can someone alleviate my ignorance about the Tour's final stage?  I thought the final stage was basically a triumphant joy ride, where people pretty much stay in the order they were on Saturday.  But people are saying Cavendish is going to go for the stage win in order to beat Merckx's record.  Doesn't the yellow jersey always finish first on Sunday?

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(edited)

@Frost

No, because he only needs to win the race with the cumulative lowest time over the 21 stages.   He’d need to win the last stage only if #2 behind him was so close in time that they could win the stage and take the title.  The last time it was close was the 1989 tour when Greg LeMond won with a 8 second advantage over Laurent Fignon.  He won the final stage to do this. About this year’s race the deficit between #1 and #2 is too great for #2 to make up in one stage - unless Pogacar falls off his bike and doesn’t recover he’s the winner. 

Oh, in the case of the ‘89 Tour the yellow Jersey was going back and forth between LeMond and Fignon starting at stage 5, Fignon had it for the few stages before 21 until LeMond won the last stage.  I didn’t see it when it happened but it must have been some race to witness.  

Edited by Cobb Salad
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(edited)

'89 was unusual in that the Tour ended with a time trial. Fignon and LeMond were racing against the clock, not each other. No team strategy to lure in breakaways or anything like that. 

I prefer the traditional celebratory stage finale.

Where else can you see athletes drinking champagne while they are still (technically) competing?

Edited by xaxat
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2 hours ago, Cobb Salad said:

No, because he only needs to win the race with the cumulative lowest time over the 21 stages.   He’d need to win the last stage only if #2 behind him was so close in time that they could win the stage and take the title.  

I know Pogacar is far ahead.  Maybe my memory is faulty.  I seem to remember watching past finales where the last day was ceremonial, not a real race day.  Everyone basically finished in the same order they were in on Saturday.

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The final stage is generally ceremonial when it comes to the GC standings (except for the one or two times when the final stage was a time trial), but the riders will compete to win the stage. It usually ends in a mass sprint but occasionally a breakaway rider will manage to stay just ahead of the peloton.

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As stated above, the final stage is a celebratory jaunt into the edge of Paris, and then becomes a positioning scrum in the multiple laps that go around the Arc de Triumph to get the sprinters’ teams in their spots, then the sprinters go for it in the final straightaway. If someone has a mechanical problem in that last lap, they are screwed.

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Thanks everyone for the explanations!  I hope if Cavendish is in contention at the end, that the other rider's don't slow down to give him the win - even one of his teammates.  Beating Merckx's record is meaningless if Cavendish doesn't have to earn it.  I heard a commentator saying Wout van Aert would be the "villain" if he sprinted past Cavendish at the end.

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  • 11 months later...

We’re back!! And not just the race, but Phil and Bob are back in France. Yay for a small dose of normality! And I love Bob’s white goatee/mustache, it makes him look very distinguished, if about fifteen years older.

I’ve spent this year soaking up pro cycling race recap videos on YouTube, as well as some excellent analysis from channels like GCN and Chris Horner’s rather cantankerous/uninhibited takes on the day’s races, especially when team tactics don’t go with how he would have done it. So, I am more familiar with the new racers as well as the current potential of returning riders than I have been in previous TdFs.
 

It’ll be interesting to see how Covid impacts this year, especially after what happened at Tour de Suisse, where one day’s test results took out 29 riders! I was rather shocked to see the utter lack of masks in the tightly packed crowds in Copenhagen today. (I had my hair cut at the salon yesterday, and I was the only one wearing a mask in the place.) I had heard it was more prevalent in Europe than here, especially in France. Keeping my fingers crossed that they don’t lose too many riders this year, either to Covid or to crashes.

I was worried the loss of NBC Sports Channel would impact the coverage, but it looks like USA Network is doing a good job providing live coverage, even though they are not offering an edited evening broadcast. In today’s world of DVRs and streaming, though, I guess that later showing isn’t really necessary.

I can’t wait for the rest of the race!

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(edited)

A stage where Phil and Bob were marveling at the lack of crashes but worrying about crosswinds ends with multiple crashes but remarkably little wind impact on the final stand. That shoving between Jacobsen and Sagan before the line was standard for sprinters, especially Sagan, so I was pleased to see Jacobsen shove back.

I loved seeing Magnus Cort celebrating that final point in mid-race. He was so damn happy!

Edited by Sharpie66
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Well, that was fun!! I always love the cobblestone stages, and this was a good one. The breakaway stayed away and ended with a sprinter’s throw of the bike by Simon Clark, who didn’t have a contract for months after his former team dissolved at the end of 2021 and had never won a TdF stage in his 30-something years. Yank Nelson Powliss is in second to Van Aert who managed to keep his yellow jersey even after crashing. I thought Pogacar would catch up to the leaders, but he ended up in 4th in the GC rank. The big surprise for me was Van Der Poel lagging not due to a mechanical or crash, but he just couldn’t stay with the head of the peloton.

I spent the first few minutes of my viewing researching the day’s route. When I saw they started in Lille, I had to see if they went past my 10th great grandfather’s village of Wicres, but it’s to the west of Lille and they went east.

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Just a warning - the Alpe d’Huez stage tomorrow will not be live on USA network. They’re showing the opening round of the British Open instead. It’s going to be shown later in the day on USA, but maybe live on Peacock?

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(edited)
On 7/8/2022 at 9:43 AM, cambridgeguy said:

People are going to have to die before they move fans back to a safe distance, aren't they?

The redhead sticking her head out got a full head-on hit from a helmeted rider.  I'm pretty sure a nice photo isn't worth it.

The fans are out of control right now. The flares with their trails of smoke getting in the riders faces, it's just too much. I figure if the riders didn't like it they'd complain to change things 🤔? TBH, I enjoyed watching the Tour during lockdown when there were no spectators at all but I'm probably alone in that one.

I also miss the old rivalries like the days of Pantani and Ullrich going head to head on Alpe d'Huez. But today was pretty good, it's always my favorite stage route. And hey, we even got a Devil sighting yesterday!

Edited by gingerella
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(edited)

Today was just fun! Wout going totally nuts from the beginning, ending up third for the stage with the potential to have ended up with both the green jersey AND the polka dots!! That lovely moment after Tadej crashed and Jonas slowed down for him to catch up—I’m guessing he had utter confidence that he would drop Tadej on the next climb, which he did, with the help of Sepp Kuss and Wout. And that moment when Tadej just couldn’t keep up and Jumbo Visma pulled away. I really thought about ten days ago that Tadej had this in the bag—it’s nice to be surprised!

Edited by Sharpie66
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  • 3 months later...

Dropping in to do a late spectating report- we were on the final hill for the Megeve stage (July 12) because we figured that Alpe d’Huez on Bastille Day in the middle of a pandemic wasn’t the best idea. 

If you ever have a chance to see a stage in person- go for it! Le Tour is pretty much a three week moving tailgating party and slow tourism at its best. Pick your spot, preferable on an uphill so the riders are a little less blurry when they go by and then hang out with your picnic supplies until the publicity caravan comes by. The polka dot t-shirts were getting passed out pretty freely because it’s the French way to make thing look good for the tv cameras and all and I got multiples of both the shirts and the hats. 

They say to listen for the helicopters to know when the riders get close; the other thing to listen for is the other fans down course starting to scream ‘Allez! Allez! Allez!’ To urge the riders on. While there are the occasional idiots who want to run too close to the riders, the vast majority do respect the social contract of the race. 

The ASO, who is in charge of the Tour De France, is utterly amazing at the logistics of getting the race run and televised around the world. They’ve got multiple teams of semi trucks who leap frog over each other to make it all work, and those semi drivers are going up some crazy switchbacks to get to some of the mountain finishes. If you ever need to arrange to have a small foreign country invaded, see if they’d take the contract because they’d be really good. 

Our hotel had some of the teams booked in there- the ASO handles all hotel bookings in an attempt to equalize things so the high budget teams couldn’t take the nicer options to give their riders an advantage. The Ineos Grenadiers were down the hall from us. We saw a few support staff in the common areas of the hotel but the riders disappeared into their rooms pretty quickly after the stage for covid control reasons. There was a note above their drinks station in the hall reminding them to ‘use your Dysons for sanitary purposes’ I assume they mean air purifiers. 

12/10 of an experience, plan to go back again in a few years to chase more stages. 

Edited by selkie
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