/ Criterium du Dauphine (Spoilers)
Didn't sound well though, did he ;-)
Stunning finish today - http://www.steephill.tv/players/youtube3/?title=Last+5+Km+of+Stage+2&dashboard=criterium-du-daup...
Watch it as live if you haven't seen it.
Another stage win for Froome - sounds like he was out to prove a point - although he didn't manage to drop Bertie.
Also sounds like Porte has had another bad day - is he simply on the team as a bed blocker?
He maybe there to try and prove himself so that Brailsford doesn't have to pick Wiggo.
Very impressive. Looks like Nibali is a bit off the pace.
Wonder if Froome is showing a bit too much of himself too early though? Still good to see someone riding so aggressively.....
It'll be a big call for Brailsford....Porte is not on form and i think if Wiggins does (genuinely) want to ride the tour he will show it in Switzerland. I'm not convinced Wiggins is playing it straight at the moment...
Superb attacking racing today. Reminiscent of the height of the EPO era.
Yep - exciting finish - well, as exciting as you get these days - watching Slaying the Badger has made me very nostalgic for the 80s and the days before race radios and power meters (and EPO). Not so sure about Andy Hampsten's sunglasses
Froome is clearly on good form but I find the notion that the rest of the team are as good as they could be quite laughable. Nieve maybe, and of course the others may have done their work early on but Porte is a shadow of his former self. He is clearly not a Plan B, but as we know, Brailsford doesn't do Plan B. Can Froome win the TDF without his support - yes, unless he has a bad day or two. Which is always a possibility
Jaw dropping stuff.
Froome killed himself today, whilst bertie couldnt beat him, I wonder if he will be fresher tomorrow
Great racing, cant wait for 3weeks of this on the tour
Just saw today's highlights on eurosport. Great racing and an awesome ride by froome and contador...
Not much opportunity for Bertie or anybody today, and as long as the break doesn't have anybody within several minutes of the lead then it should be an easy stage for Sky to control.
Exciting stuff and very aggressive by Froome, but I can't help wondering if completely burying himself to secure a 12 second lead might come back to bite him. If he does that every day and Contador follows it only takes one lapse of concentration to allow Contador to break and take 30s.
Unbelievable (I hope not impossible) display of strength by both riders. I'm not sure I can recall the last time I saw someone out of the saddle at full bore for so long on an HC climb.
> Unbelievable (I hope not impossible) display of strength by both riders. I'm not sure I can recall the last time I saw someone out of the saddle at full bore for so long on an HC climb.
Last year's Vuelta?
Notice the different styles too: 'Sprinting' for the line CF didn't get out of the saddle, while AC was 'dancing' much of the time. Gearing choice?
It was stirring stuff, and I think Contador simply though CF would burn out, and not be able to take it to the line. He may have done just as much trying to hold on - The fact he wouldn't take a turn when Chris asked him to may have looked like calculated tactics, but may have also been the fact he just couldn't.
Bertie was very clearly thinking that, and had he managed to pip Froome to the line then everybody would have been hailing his tactical masterstroke, and calling Froome inexperienced. But that's not what happened! Certainly Froome played a risky game but he had the strength to back up his balls, so he rightly takes the plaudits.
The Brailsford way is to have a very simple plan, let everyone know what it is and stick to it. Dominate and control the race, break everyone else's spirit. And very successful it has been too, both on the track and the road. But Contador's tactic is to play his cards much closer to his chest - stick to Froomes wheel but not to give away too much information on his current form. And of course say he isn't interested in winning this race, that he's not ready yet.
The Plan A and only Plan A tactic failed badly in the Olympic road race, partly because the team wasn't strong enough, and partly because everyone else knew the plan, let Team GB do all the work and didn't join in and then attacked a tired team at the end. Froome may be strong enough to do his part, but the lack of strength in the team will make him vulnerable over 3 weeks.
Agreed. Unless Porte's form improves dramatically, Froome will be exposed and I don't think he will win the TDF.
I think it depends critically on whether Sky see only one other danger (e.g., AC) or several. The 'isolation' is only really a problem if there are more than two GC contenders ("Which one do you watch/follow?"). If it boils down to CF vs. AC it's less of a problem ("mano a mano"). Worst case scenario is if you have multiple apparent GC contenders on the same team (you can't let either of them steam ahead, but one may be a 'fake') which could be a possible tactical reason to including BW in the Sky team (if DB can solve the 'other' problem).
I don't think it's a given that he'll be back to where he was for the Tour last year, but it's 5-6weeks before he really needs to be hitting form to support Froome so he's got every chance of being in sufficient condition to do what he needs to. Unless what he's been suffering returns. It'll add an interesting element to the Sky story.
How did no one go down in today's finale? It was wild.
So apart from Porte who is in wobbly form who are Skys superdoms for the hills? If Brailsford gets Wiggins to behave it strikes me as foolish to leave him at home out of spite.
Even tho' many here believe him only to be a lucky punter and barely credible as a gc tider.......
Kiriyenka often seems epically strong, but usually ends up in a role burying himself on the front until he pops spectacularly, so I don't know how he'd do having to be there at the end chasing down breaks.
Likewise Nieve and Cataldo seem very good when the road goes up, but generally do a driving roll before coasting in. It's possibly a flaw in the Sky strategy - there could be a number of great super domestiques for the end but are rarely given the option of waiting around until the final showdown.
Cracking stage yesterday - Contador on the attack, Porte back on form in his defence of Froome and another fine show from young Yates.
Meanwhile the Tour de Suisse lineup is taking shape
Far harder to call than the Dauphine, since it's hard to know who's targeting the overall.
Costa, Evans, Schleck, Mollema, Ten Dam, Kreuziger
And will it be Wiggins or Henao leading for Sky ?
The Tour of Switzerland looks brutal. There's a lot of climbing and fast time trial stages. I can't see that far past Sky who look like they've a strong squad out but others have looked pretty good recently. I think Sky might ride for Wiggins, but then I thought he'd be in the Tour team...? Henao hasn't had a race in a while so to ride for him seems a risk to me.
As Mr Fuller says, with a lack of recent racing it would be an unusual decision to make Henao leader, though he may be working to show if he's ready for the Tour.
Of Sky, has anyone heard much of Josh Edmondson lately? I'd have thought he'd be given the opportunity to prove himself worthy of a place in the team, given the start in his home city, but have heard nothing of him racing over the last few weeks.
Nasty crash for Froome (and Nibali) today, late on but managed to rejoin the peleton without losing any time.
2 (big) stages to go
Which (if any) TV channel will show race or highlights for tomorrow?
Looking forward to see what Wiggins does....if he really is serious about riding the tour he should perform really well! I remain sceptical!!
Thanks for pointing me at Steephill.tv folks, I have been keeping up with the race nicely, which not having satellite, is usually quite hard.
Lot of unusual emotion in Chris' voice today as he thanked the peleton, and particularly AC and Nibs eh? Absorbing stuff...loving it.
Is it just me or is the commentator on Eurosport (not the Irish one) very partridge-esq?!
Edit - Sorry, not the Scottish one!
Carlton Kirby. Only Hugh Porter is worse.
> > Costa, Evans, Schleck, Mollema, Ten Dam, Kreuziger
On the basis of current form there's only one winner from that list!
yes, very Partridge - like this excerpt from stage 2 "always seems to be looking down at his stem, Froome, not looking where he´s going. It´s a wonder he doesn´t crash into something... must have a sort of bat-like sense, a sonar if you will"
I think it was stage 3 where he waffled on about train lines, had me in stitches!
Fireworks in the last 2k....Bertie's been on the steak and took 20 seconds off Froome.....8 seconds lead for Contador now. Big day for sky tomorrow and Froome needs to attack.
Great finish by Westra after being just beaten yesterday..
Unbelievable really. I watched the stage on Monday when Froome was smashing it on the Col de Béal. Was I the only person thinking WTF was froome doing?
Contador sat behind him playing the perfect poker game and even feigned somed difficulty on the line and now it's working out out for him - bags of class.
Jesus - if Froome had a brain he'd be the best cyclist in the world for many years to come.
Meanwhile in Switzerland, Wiggo in 15th place an 32 seconds down in the opening time trial, if this carries on Sky's dilemma may well go away
You weren't alone in thinking that! I think he was trying yo put a mark in the sand but then hasn't thought about any tactics....then again i think sky are lacking in tactics since yates left..
I'm still not convinced he actually wants to ride in the tour...a couple more days and it should let us know...
Superb stage today. Great to see a proper battle. Westra is a class act too.
Hate to say I told you so!
And then Contador does exactly the same thing playing silly buggers with Froome and loses the race. Sent a message to Froome though - I can give you a good kicking when I've only got half a team and you've got most of your top boys out.
Here's to eight fingers being held aloft in July.
He doesn't quite see it like that
What a day, both in France and Switzerland.
Contador - tainted yes but an electrifying rider. That's how Sky need to ride if they want to win people over (perhaps they don't want that). And whilst everyone said it was a 2 horse race Talansky capitalised on that. One of the best day's racing I've seen.
Meanwhile in Switzerland, when it looked like Tony Martin might lose his lead in the TdS he hit the front in the last 5k and laid down a world of hurt. Beast.
Not sure which is the naffest celebration
Froome doing Saturday night fever http://cdn.velonews.competitor.com/files/2013/07/froome-wins.jpg
Or Contadors Pistolero http://media.trb.com/media/photo/2010-07/55161004.jpg
Been out on the bike all weekend (literally - two 13 hour days!) so just catching up but it looks like two fascinating stages
Doesn't seem to be much attention to the fact that sky won the stage. I'm guessing that Froome's injury was worse than was than first claimed, so they realised he wouldn't be competitive today so gave Nieve free reign to salvage something. Maybe Sky can switch to plan b mid race
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