/ Tour de France 2014 (may contain spoilers)
I'm looking forward to the Yorkshire stages with the Cote de Blubberhouses and Cote de Holme Moss!
Hoping it's a properly contested tour this year.... I think Bertie might shade it on pre tdf form, but then he's just lost one of his strongest teammates.
Nibbles didn't look anywhere near at the Dauphine will be interesting how he'll be by the time they get into teh Alps
I'm going to stick with my earlier prediction - beefy, Froome, Valverde, nibbles. Except I reckon at least one of them will have a disaster on either stage 2 or stage 5.
What disasters do you predict??+
A big name is going to stack it somewhere on a humpbacked bridge in yorkshire, there will then ensue a mighty row about whether the others should or shouldn't have waited for him.
There'll be badly timed punctures in Flanders.
I had completely forgotten about the Shlecks - haven't heard a thing about their form (although I suspect it has mysteriously fallen off somewhat since a few years ago)
Beefy - Alberto Contador so named as he has a penchant for well dosed beef
Nibbles - Vinzenzo Nibali (I don't think he bites?)
There was a great line from Rony Robinson on Radio Sheffield this morning.
'The Tour de France has been going since 1903, but it's never before been through Wincobank"
I hope Froome falls on his arse. I would rather any of the other GC contenders won.
Long live Wiggo
Got it. I thought Monster Munch had started sponsoring a team.
I think there will be a lot of that kind of sentiment amoung brits this year... very sad that a sporting hero has been treated the way he has (as in not been able to defend his title, or even ride the tour since winning even as a domestique.
My thoughts entirely.
I think it's almost inevitable that at least one fairly big name rider will be out of contention by the time the race leaves Yorkshire, and another will come to grief on the cobbles of stage 5. Picking the 'purist' fantasy team will be problematical. For all you who aren't in it yet the UKC Velo mini league is up and running on http://fantasy.road.cc/leagues ID 73316
Crashes are a possibility, but even if everyone stays upright, the narrow, steep twisty roads at the end of stage 2, and the cobbles on stage 5, should mean there will be breaks in the peloton and you could lose several minutes. That will itself make everyone nervous and desperate to stay near the front....
It is a shame but it would be silly to take that frustration out on Chris Froome. Its a Sky management (ie Sir Dave)decision, after all and we don't know on what closed door conversations with either rider it was based on.
Yes its a shame Wiggo isn't there but its great that a British GC contender is.
Oh yes there are some very narrow roads in Yorkshire and I hadn't looked at Stage 5 properly.
Which British GC contender are you talking about? Froome's not British
no British win this year then?
i reckon no more wins for us for a while as they've caught up with whatever froomie was on..
He was on his bike. What are you on?
Thanks for link, how do you think Cav will do?
I reckon he'll get a couple of stages, but I doubt he'll be top dog this year, Kittel has come on in leaps and bounds lately, and probably has the better sprint team now. I think Sagan will be up there in the points comp as he'll pick up a few of the stages with short uphill finishes.
What is your definition of 'British' then ?
Ah, thanks for the road.cc ID.
Hang on - it doesn't work for me. 73316 ?
Whoops -- typo -- ID should be 77316
Thanks - just requested admission
Would it be okay if I joined the league too? I am in a mini league with a couple of mates, but three is hardly enough to foster any real competition! I'll send a request.
Got my team for first stage all prepped (as many expensive sprinters as possible, then the four cheapest riders - I'm not sure that's a particularly secret or unique tactic!). Second stage might be a bit trickier to call though.
I'll play purist. Largely because i'm too lazy to spend the entire tour changing my team.
So one team is picked and i'm sad to say I picked Kittel as the only sprinter. Still wondering if Sagan wouldn't have been a better choice.
Sagan for me.
He races on a British license.
So ITV or Eurosport coverage? Im going with ITV. Cant handle Carlton Kirby for 3 weeks and the addition of Millar to the ITV crew has to be a bonus?
Definitely ITV for me. Looking forward to tomorrow, hope the weather picks up and the rain stops.
If it was Kelly then Eurosport all the way. Otherwise ITV.
It's all about to kick off. Stage 1 (Leeds to Harrogate))live coverage starts at 10.30 on ITV4 and highlights are on at 7 this evening.
His is British. I suspect Springfield is a EDL supporter.
what's UK TV showing ? on France 3 its been a piece on fish & chips & now its Petula Clark singing a medley of songs in french & english. Hopefully we'll get some cycling eventually
Here we go!... My arse is firmly glued to the sofa today. The Cote de Oughtibridge beckons tomorrow.
TV has just been showing Chris Froome being grilled about where he's buried Wiggo's corpse.
Right....thats me on itv4....lasted 10 minutes on eurosport untill that idiot started talking about viaducts!!
the crowds are amazing,even more than the olympics
The crods are amazing.....riding through Otley now and i cant believe the nimber....what a great turnout....im well chuffed for us!!
Well, that mallarkey at Harwood (sp?) House was embarrassing. Red Arrows was nice though.
Jens Voigt on the break. Where else would he be on day 1 of the Tour?
Spelt Harewood, pronounced Harwood
The crowds are amazing and Yorkshire looks fantastic...and Jensie in the break! Great viewing!
Dales look amazing - A very special day.
the few muppets who on other threads moaned about the tour were right,yorkshire obviously didnt want it,wonder where the crowds are
Confused. Was that the Cote de Cray, or the top of Mont Ventoux? Huge crowds.
Didn't see anyone climbing at Malham on the helicopter view. Must be watching the Tour.
Kilnsey looked quiet too.
Voigt out on his own.....how the hell does Greipel get over big hills he's bloody huge!
Voigt is king of the dales!. Amazing crowds and a bit of a traffic jam for the peloton on the way up the Cote de Buttertubs.
Bugger. I have to go out now arghhhhhhh going to miss the rest of this stage, bugger.
Leeds was rammed, looked like a couple of hours queue for the train on to the finish as well.
Well chuffed that the north has put on a great show and so many are out there supporting.
230,000 in Leeds alone, madness
How is the race going. I can't log on to BBC but can log on to UKC!
11km to go, one big group.....
What about letour.com
Tjis will be tight!!
Cav looks badly injured!
Bad luck Cav, well done Yorkshire. Fantastic show. Hope he's OK.
Fingers crossed he isn't out of the race.
seems to happen too often to be bad luck. hope the other riders are ok..
Of course we do. But Cav is class, and capable of winning, and if, in those last few moments, that I can't imagine, not really, he fails, I still cheer for him, and curse when he falls.
Looked like Cav caused the crash and pretty sure he's broken his collar bone
It's called being a sprinter.
Jens Voight is The Master of the Universe.
In his spare moments,he races bikes.
i read robert millers book once and i cant get into the tdf now, crowds looked great though, thats always good to see, but what does 'cote de' mean? is that a cycling or tdf thing?
It's the French for hill!
Just watched the highlights looked like Cav was leaning and possibly caused the crash. He has not broken his collar bone but has ligament damage
on the web ITV is reporting that Cav is accepting responsibility for the crash and will call Gerrans to apologise.
anybody know whether the itv tour programs will be on the itv "player", I ve never used it and can only find little 2/3 minute clips. Can I watch the full shows ?
It means by the side or to the side of or next to.
i jumped out of my seat when spartacus made a break,really thought he could pull it off,shows what form he is in to stay ahead for as long as he did
Anyone know if Cav is going to try and continue with TDF today?
news on twitter is he HAS withdrawn :-(
#i know it's not Über cool in the cycling playground to like the dastardly Christopher.But;
What the hell .I like the guy.
I'd like to see some more of Spartacus belting away off of the front
Anybody know how to use google earth to do a fly through of the stages? I'd be grateful if anyone could help me to do this.
Nibali wins stage 2......great break with 1.5k to the finish....other big names marking and wat hing eachother. Another great day in Yorkshire...
i think sky and tinkof will be happy with that . dont want the yellow jersey this early. ley astana tire themselves out for a few days.
It was interesting how little people were bothered by the GC there - I kind of expected Mr Nibbles to keep his head down to maximize his advantage, rather than sitting up to celebrate, and conversely expected Bertie and Froome to try to keep it together rather than worrying about the stage win. Meanwhile Sagan chucked it by trying to break away from a bunch of people who are basically better than him over distance but worse sprinters. Strange decision making all round. Bloody entertaining, though.
Only just caught up on replay, been out cragging. Mr Nibbles in Yellow!
Had a great day today on Holme Moss... fantastic atmosphere.
Good to see Nibbles in the lead for a bit...
Looked brilliant on TV, great support throughout. It has been an overwhelming success bringing the TDF to Yorkshire.
As a tea fanatic I was so excited, I nearly exploded when I managed to get some promotional swag today! :-P
But did anyone notice the confusion of Phil with the reservoirs? Surely the race route is along the Crowden reservoirs not the Derwent reservoirs used to try out the bouncing bomb?
It is easy to miss specific Liggett / Sherwen mistakes, they make so many!
Even my wife noticed that while she was doing the ironing. Ahem.
Who do you think will win todays stage?
Best I could manage was a Champion Systems Musette, Velochampion Drypac, and a packet of Haribo! I told the others that we shouldn't have gone so far up the the Cragg Vale Climb - the riders had got rid of most of the unwanted stuff from the feed zone by then!
Great day out nontheless, and I can now say I've ridden part of the TDF route 'on the day' .
You did well with the Haribo - they didn't seem to be handing it out with much frequency. I managed to get a YBS band and a frisbee for the boy. said boy (4 yrs) was quite underwhelmed by riding part of the course - despite getting cheered and allez'ed on the way up Woodhead. Brilliant day out!! The bike jam on the wood head coming back was amazing, with the crowds parting for 2 or 3 stragglers.
Let us all pray that every holder of the polka dot jersey refrains from wearing polka dot shorts. I have proper horror memories of last year.
Marcel Kittel is going really well winning his second stage with Peter Sagan second.
I understand that Contador and Froome had arranged that little skirmish on the top of Jenkin Road "for the crowds".
A nice touch I thought.
Cav is now out of the Commonwealth games, he is having surgery on Wednesday and will be out of action for six weeks. Shame.
Bet the Isle of Man team are gutted.....
Can't have many medal contenders I would imagine.
Just watching highlights on eurosport.....who the hell would want to live in London when you vould live in yorkshire!
Superb crowds out along the way today as well. Just saw ITV's coverage of today's stage and its all bloody London !
Yes highlights meant London. Hang on, lots if great crowds and scenery before that.
The other thing i thought watching the sprint was what a shame Cav wasn't there as nobody but Cav or Greipel (not sure where he was today) can compete with Kittel....on a wide road like that today it could have been a real contest betwen Cav and Kittel..
dont think cav can live with kittel anymore
I don't think anyone can? He didn't even look like he was properly sprinting.
This might be a bit premature but I fear the sprints aren't going to be very interesting this year.
Sagan doesn't look close (but, to be fair I think he is developing into more of an all rounder?)
Where is Greipel? Lotto seem to have done loads of work on both days and then dropped away at the end
They seem to have managed well keeping the national road champion's jersey on the island for the last couple of years. I'm not sure what support he'll have but Kennaugh is still likely to be a potent force.
I would have made it into the two page picture at the back of the Sun (it was on the counter of the bacon butty van - honest) this morning if some lycra clad oafs hadn't got in the way of the picture ! Lovely shot of the Peloton coming into Saffron Walden.
So is Froome out now?
Nasty crash and it sounds like he may be in a bad way.
Still riding today, so not totally buggered - sounds like a potential dodgy wrist, though, which isn't ideal with the cobbles coming up.
Copied from the Letour website live feed
Portal: "It's okay"
In an interview with France Télévisions, Team Sky directeur sportif Nicolas Portal had good news on Chris Froome, who fell towards the start of the stage: "It's okay, it's okay... We were scared out of our wits, like everyone else, but after talking with him, everything seems okay. He hit the tarmac hard, but everything's all right. We gave him a splint and, of course, we're taking things extra carefully now. I'm not superstitious, but this is one fall we could've done without."
Even without Cav they have got the current British Road Race Champion who also happens to be a Team Pursuit World and Olympic Champion.
Yes of course, my mistake.....
Well, well Marcel...
OK that was a pretty cool finish today...
Doh I've not seen the highlights yet, but another win for Mr Kittel, impressive.
I refer you to the thread title :-)
I know I wrote it, heard results on radio. Just watched the highlights. Not sure how Froome will stand up with his wrist to all the shake, rattle and roll tomorrow on the cobbles. Could be a fun day!
How pissed off is Wiggo going to be if Froome retires after stage 4?
Shouldn't have chucked his rattle out of the pram! ;-)
cav wouldnt live with kittel even if he was still in it.
Thought it was quite a contrast in spectator numbers today. Made me even more proud of the support in the uk.
So cobbles tomorrow, and the forecast is heavy rain... predictions?
I think we may loose a contendor tomorrow, and if froome's wrist effects his bike handling I fear it maybe him.
Think i'll go for Spartacus for the stage win
You don't think? All things being equal (lead out, etc) I reckon it would be pretty even, and I'd probably still put my money on an on-form Cav, but what do I know.
I disagree. I think Kittle is just too strong this year, and I think Cav's star is beginning to wane, a bit like Greipel's. But we'll never know.
Today's stage is going to be a complete lottery. I have carefully crafted my fantasy team to be full of in-form classics riders. Yet if it's raining I may as well have just picked names at random.
My only prediction is for froome to lose at least 2 minutes.
Is today the day when they hit the cobbles? The route runs through Roubaix, so I'm assuming that they do.
Yeah.... if Froome gets through today with a dodgy wrist I'll forgive him all past misdemeanours.
Froome Is OUT!
Oof, looks like Sky need a Plan B!
Bet they wish they kept wiggins in now
Super... That confirms my suspicion that it wasn't exactly a stroke of genius including this stage at the start of a three week race
Hopefully won't lose more big contenders.......
Where's Wiggins then ?
Murdoch run team lose leader. Ho hum.
He fell off well before the first section of cobbles, AIUI...
Its been done many times before and is always a success in terms of spectacle. Any old crash can take a rider out of the tour e.g. wiggo in 2011. This is supposed to beone of the hardest endurance events in the world.
Looking forward to eight fingers held aloft
I completely agree. I didn't fancy Froome/Sky's chances this year even without the pave. The other teams were getting to grips with the Sky approach even last year and with Contador back I didn't think he would have it all his way.
That said Froome's fall yesterday was unlucky but it's hard not to think he was out-psyched today. Would Wiggo have done better today? - doubt it on the evidence of last year's world champs.
That said Sky completely shot themselves in the foot from a PR point of view with the Wiggins debacle. Wiggo is a much bigger asset to the team IMO and Froome should have been forced to rein in his ego and allow Wiggins to support him, given that he had promised to do so.
Finally, what's with people complaining about the cobbles being in the tour? It's meant to be EPIC and it's fantastic to see things being shaken up like this. Going to be a fascinating day with Sagan, Cancellara, Nibbles and Contador in the mix!
Because he never fell off, did he?
Going to be an stage now, whatever.
Re: including a cobbled stage - I think it's good. Whoever wins this won't just have the best team, the highest cadence, the best endurance. They'll also have to handle their bike better and be an all round rider.
Although I may be proved wrong - that depends on how many others come off on this stage!
Yep.. Don't disagree - just introduced a large likelihood of not seeing the main battle take place... I love Paris roubaix, but always seem to watch it (as a tour stage ) agreeing with the riders and just wanting it to finish!
Anyhow... Has to be contador's to lose now? Has tallansky got a shout?
This is nothing like Paris-Roubaix tho.. much shorter with far fewer pave sections. He didn't make it to the pave.
Also a good point...... ;(
Cant help thinking Sky got their tactics wrong this year -- they should have been up near the front alongside Berie and Mr Nibbles teams -- they've been prominent by their ability to avoid crashes.
Because he never fell off, did he?
Not the point I was making
they gambled on having only one potential contender and it failed
We don't know what Wiggo said to Brailsford in terms of supporting Froome. We don't know whether its one or two egos need to be reined in.
As do most teams.
Let's hope for an interesting TDF, like the last couple of Vueltas, rather than a Sky snoozefest.
Fair points. I still don't think Froome should have shot his mouth off in his book though ;-)
How many teams have two potential winners?
Oh I do, it was howlingly funny.
The book timing was interesting. I thought it was a very interesting read - you can see how there is a total clash of styles and egos there.
I'm not really sure the tour last year was the product of Sky snooze fest as the dominance of one rider on the mountains and the time trials.
If you have two riders in contention why put all your eggs in one basket by only putting one in the team
Plus when you had fignon and lemond on the same team the tour was far more interesting to watch
I rather think they have a plan B and a plan C.
The operative word here is probably "team"
Of course, I was being a bit naughty :)
I think we all knew Brailsford should have gone with Wiggins.
Speak for yourself.....
I think Froome is a far better grand tour rider personally. At least at this stage of Wiggins career.
Not today he ain't ! ;-(
Looks like Contador's going to lose a lot of time to Nibali today too - 1:50 down currently
>> they gambled on having only one potential contender and it failed
that's the problem i reckon. teams within teams would be better (ie big mistake to drop wiggo)
Sports personality of the year show will be about 10 minutes long at this rate
Contador loses 2:52 to Nibbles, Porte loses 2:15, Cancellara just 1:01
Obviously the question is: can Astana defend the yellow jersey for the remainder of the Tour? Usually the main GC contenders are happy for others to wear the Maillot Jaune until about the halfway stage.
Ooops. Wonderful ride for Boom today.
Great stage today. Shame to see Froome out, but I fear the damage was done yesterday he didnt look at all happy on his bike today. I bet there'll be some interesting conversations at sky about team selection in the coming days, but will be good to see them get behind Richie Porte
Nibbles has kept the tour interesting with that time gap over contador. Great ride from him today.
Sagan showed another of his many strengths makes me wonder wether he will challenge for gc in the future if he can get his climbing better
Sky, two years ago?
Question to all really. Do you think that geraint Thomas has the potential to be future GC contender?
Hes shown well in the white jersey comp a few times, so its quite possible, but needs to develop his climbing a bit more
Absolutely. Just watching the highlights - fantastic racing. Why anyone would want a stage like this taken out is beyond me. This is what it's all about.
A bit like comparing Germany and England in the World Cup. Those who really want it shine through ;-)
G was ace just then talking to Matt Rendell - anyone would have though G was pleased Froome was out of it ;-)
Weird interview. He seemed so happy, "Great racing, awesome stuff" strange just 2 hours after your team leader had just pulled out?
I liked the "Get on my wheel..." comment.
Think wiggo has done relatively ok in some of the classics in the past as opposed to floaty light froome. Definitely some finishes int top thirty ish. I would say a decent pedigree!
I was thinking of the world champs last year mainly when Wiggo was one of the first to drop out (I think).
(Which reminds me Nibali was bloody superb in that race)
But I agree Wiggo's overall record speaks for itself.
With the GT interview I just thought he was holding the party line but couldn't suppress his pleasure over the race. Who could with racing that exhilarating? Has there been much tittle tattle about tensions with Froome?
Not nice to see Froome down and out though...
We're still laughing at that here in the Veloventoux household. Not only that but he said "lets smash it"
He could've been sat in the bar in Mallorca with a bunch of punters like us and come out with the same comment - love it!
I've been a big fan of the G ever since he gave my Welsh buddies a thumbs up and grin on last years Vaison-Gap stage. He was leading the peleton up a short steep climb but as soon as he saw the dragon flag and capering idiots screaming his name he just lit up.
Do you have a link to the interview?
Best bit of the day ? Boom being very happy with the weather : )
Not renowned for going well in the wet though, is he ?
As a fellow welshman always had a soft spot for Gee, and he loves a hard race
Don't forget that Porte was supposed to be Sky's GC rider for the Giro before he was ill.
It does sound as if the team will work for Porte with considerable enthusiasm and perhaps more than for the other two. Doesn't necessarily win a tour but fewer will bugger off to OPQS and OGE.
There is big pressure off the team now. Whereas before they were expected to win - now anything they achieve as a team or individually is a bonus.
really ? All the reading I've done suggested Froome was amongst the GC favourites, but with serious competition from Contador for a start.
I thought there could possibly be a couple of reasons for this
1 - G isn't Chris Froome's best mate.
2 - Sky pretty much knew beforehand that Froome wouldn't get through yesterday's stage
I imagine they were expected to win by the Sky management team, wouldn't you ? and probably by the British public at large as well.
more obvious to me would be 3) G was talking for himself and he enjoyed the stage.
sorry- thought we were talking about amongst cycling fans rather than the public at large.
- Didn't think it was that weird at all. I thought it was typical Sky - trying to put a very positive spin onto a very bad day.
I'd imagine more pressure comes from sponsors and the team than the relatively few 'genuine' cycling fans.
This explains a lot!
Gt had a malevolent look in his eye, whilst suppressing a smile me thinks, but he gets to be a bit more of a free spirit and maybe allowed to go for a stage? Which I'm sure he'll like, being a domestique is probably not his dream role.
And agreed about Froome.
Mmmmmmm, he came through the amateur ranks in the UK. So he'll have had fair grounding in drizzle! But no, agreed, not A Gilbert du lasselle mud plugged type!
Anyway - my take on this is that froome and his girlfriend have spun it for the last few months making Wiggo out to be the bad guy. Now Froome's gone the team are buzzing.
Just need G and Wiggo to move on to another team with a bit of class and all will be well.
Um... not sure about this, but im a bit concerned about the speed of the race this year.
Today, 194k in the pissing rain in 4h 11m (46.4kph av)
Yesterday, over wet cobbles, 152km was done in 3h18m (46kph av.)
Tuesday 163k in 3h 36m (46.5 av)
Is this normal? I know its not epo days fast but struck me as pretty high especially yesterday on the cobbles and mud.
Please tell me im just being paranoid and the tour is usually this quick in the first week
Dream team, and I can't think of any other cyclists I'd rather go out on the lash with :o)
The last two days have had 20kmh + winds in the exact same direction of the race? Maybe?
Speed is always high with every team trying to get their leader (or potential stage winner) onto the cobbled sections in the leading group because the race always splits in these situations, more so with rain and wind added to the mix.
Has it been a tail wind then? I know the wind was fierce today when they split the bunch
Tail wind yesterday
True, but thought the conditions would slow them down with all the braking for corners and having to re-accelerate.
As I said, its only a niggle, and I hope im wrong.
Yes you're right but very little time is spent cornering compared to going flat-out so doesn't affect ave speed that much.
Also got to consider that early in the race there's very little time difference between the yellow jersey and the rest so it's harder for breaks to stay away - the peleton will always chase them down compared to later in the race when the yellow may have more of a cushion over the rest - naturally makes the racing faster over the first week.
I hope/believe that the vast majority of riders are now clean and you'll probably see riders paying for their efforts later in the race and not riding with the same testosterone-enhanced magical powers of recovery of years gone by.
Marginal gains - skin suits instead of normal shots and jersey, not the best choice for rain and pave?
Agreed. Wiggo needs the freedom to be out of Froome's shadow, and G needs a team which encouranges him to "smash it" as often as possible. Orica Greenedge or Garmin being the obvious options, given that both teams seem to appreciate such riding (aka actually, y'know, enjoy this bike riding lark).
I loved the sight of him (G) pinning it on the cobbles in the pissing rain, and dragging a slightly uncertain Porte behind him, leaving Contador in their dust (or mud). Made me proud to be Welsh!
Not a big fan of Brailsford's 'total professionalism' man management and tactical approach, then ?
Do you know what the conditions are today for the Épernay/Nancy stage?
It looks like they'll have a cross - tail wind for most of the day, though of fairly low strength.
That looked like a Sky rider down very hard there at the end??
Photo finish. Trentin just ahead of Sagan.
Didn't think Sagan got it.
Did Sagan go too early trying to break away?
I think it was Talansky who fell on final sprint?
I meant the two or three who went down at the corner. Talansky seemed to fall pretty hard on his shoulder!
no. should have given a dead heat. was the photo finish camera exactly in line?
good move by porte going off the front just before the bad corner where there was a big crash. quick thinking to stay out of trouble.
What is with all the pre-stage pressure heaped onto sagan today in the interview by the itv team? Quite uncalled for I thought...
I was also impressed by that. And it paid off, given that there was a crash.
Looks like it's going to be rather atmospheric today. plenty of rain about, and low mist... A day for Nibbles to stretch the lead a bit on the descents?
Saxo/Tinkoff seem to have taken up the Sky tactics of running a train at the front of the YJ group on the climbs... was hoping it would break up a little more today - ah-well, still a climb to go.
Must feel good for Richie P not to have to lead the peleton up the climbs for once!
A week in and the race is shaping up to be a classic. Can't remember many more interesting opening weeks in recent years. Just a pity that Cav and Froome couldn't stay upright.
Did Thomas crash today ?
yep... he fell with talanksy (who's not had a good week!) a little before the final climb and couldn't get back on
Have just discovered that, having watched stage 2, I came back down the A61 a second faster than Niki Terpstra ! Ok he was near the back of that stage, but he had a good day today and did win Paris Roubaix this year
Really? Isn't the winner already decided, barring accident?
Not yet... Nibbles has a good lead and shouldn't be written off
On another note Froome has fractures: http://road.cc/content/news/123439-fractures-both-hands-chris-froome
Go on then...
Bertie may still be the favourite, but that is based primarily on his form leading up to the race, rather than anything he has done on it. He won't win by taking 3 seconds per stage. And during last years race we expected him to suddenly burst away and he never did.
I wouldn't rule Valverde out either - he's just won the Spanish TT. Also Porte is still in contention and looking good - just have reservations about how he'll last
Expect more GC action on Monday. Yes I'd expect Contador to take a bigger chunk, but the question is how much. Which is why I think it's building up nicely
Pretty much my thoughts, plus Nibbles has lost a bit of weight of late, he may have some more staying power on the long climbs, and he may also be peaking at the perfect moment.
Looks like we might see a Frenchman in yellow on Bastille day. Canny move by Astana to take the pressure off for a couple of days, or a sign of weakness ?
Canny, very canny.
The question whether Contador will get his minions to lay it on thick on the cat 1 coming up. Which they may do, just to keep pressure on.
Tony Martin, totally awesome!
That's the received wisdom but I can't see it making that much difference. What are Astana going to do tomorrow if Bertie, Porte or Valverde attacks - wait for Lotto to act ? A couple of minutes hesitation and sharp glances and the guys got away.
You're right, now I think about it. Tomorrow they still have to control the race. They should have lost it a couple of days ago!
Lotto (for Gallopin) and Europcar (for Rolland) may assist in controlling the early pace and who gets away because they now have something to potentially lose. Astana can concentrate on watching Tinkhoff, Sky and Movistar whilst remaining a more anonymous position until the racing really kicks off properly later on.
Of course I'm speculating and they may have made an error of judgement.
I guess that's a good point - they get help in the pace setting, assuming that is that the teams want the same pace. And I suppose that will force Tixo saxoff to set a pace themselves and burn people off that way rather than via a solo attack by Bertie. And of course there's just a chance that galloping or Rolland will get a dose of Bastille fever and end the day in yellow.
That's all any of us can do - it's the possibilities that make it so interesting
yeah you wrong,drugs dont make that much difference,plus all of the teams wouldnt have decided 2014 is the year we dose up like worlds strongest men competitors
tony martin was superb.he deserved the stage after the vuelta when he nearly did it solo.
Only saw the highlights; I agree Tony Martin was brilliant. It should be interesting today in the mountains.
Conditions not so good today rainy and misty so far
Contador's fallen ...
well he's back on his bike but must have lost some time
Lost 4 mins and doesn't look good. Peloton riding piano to wait for him, but in doing so Kwiatowski is up front and in virtual lead. And he's far more of a GC contender than gallopin
supposedly a frame failure ???
reports that his frame snapped on the BBC live feed
Great advert for Specialized, who's ruthless pursuit of trademark infringements (Cafe Roubaix) is justified by stories of fake frames snapping
Can anyone explain who ought to be sitting up and waiting for who at the moment? I know the general principle is to sit up and wait for a GC competitor if they have a mechanical - does that apply here? Should the lead group be waiting as well as the peleton? All seems a bit confused...
looks like Contador's abandoned the race
It was quite early in the stage, so the peloton hadn't started racing in earnest. Would have been interesting to see how long they would have delayed for, they were already starting to pull away.
Going to be a cracking Vuelta - Quintana, Froome, wiggins, Bertie, Rodriquez, Horner
That's a shame, I wanted to see Nibali beat the doping cheat in the hills.
Wow - all set up for Nibali now then......
It appears from reports that his frame snapped but it's not clear if that was the cause of his crash or as a result of it.
Another incredible ride by Tony Martin today, but even though it's unlikely I'd like to see Gallopin stay in yellow
No particular reason - http://www.milanofixed.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/marion.jpg
Horner? Not yet.
I was a bit baffled as to why she is a podium girl as well as a rider? It it that badly paid being a female cyclist? Does she really want to do it?
The BBC are reporting that the crash happened on a climb not a descent.
Apparently Froome has just tweeted comiserations to Contador and see you at the Vuelta......
He really is a knob isn't he?
Quote from BBC site:
"The word coming in over the Tour radio is that Alberto Contador's crash might have been caused by a bike falling from the roof of one of his team cars after Tinkoff-Saxo changed a wheel for support man Nicolas Roche."
Very poorly paid, often poorly organised as well, and woefully under-reported (three successive wins for Emma Pooley at the Giro Rosa didn't get much of a mention. Rousse is working on Eurosport and on the judging panel for the combativity award, which is why she was presenting the award .
Harsh - the tweet seemed like genuine commiserations to me
Horner and Rodriguez both riding the tour for fitness following injuries. Mind you Horner isn't that far down the GC
Im talking about his assumption that he's going to The Vuelta.
You might want to read what he wrote:
Big loss for the TDF today. Recover well @albertocontador & hope to see you at the Vuelta
And to hell with everyone else, 'specially those who want to ride it as preparation for the Worlds.
And back to the racing, magnificent.
Great win for Mr Sheffield !
I'm not necessarily Froome's greatest fan but I can't see what's wrong with that tweet. Other than being the normal sanitized robot banality.
I read it as froome's already picked the Vuelta team ;-)
Err, excuse me, it's not an exercise in nationalism for all of us.
And I can bet that Macarena doesn't tweet.
You never seem to miss an opportunity to have a go at Froome. You seem obsessed with interpreting everything he says or does in a bad light. I respect your cycling knowledge but your continued criticism of Froome is biased and predictable.
Contador apparently has a broken tibia. Pretty incredible that he got back on his bike for 15 minutes and even overtook a bunch of riders. Cue comparisons with footballers.....
Any 'official' reason why he crashed ? I've read several explanations, from his frame breaking, a bike falling from a team car & problems with his shoes but all seem a bit odd
Apparently the bike that broke was a spare that fell off the team car, nothing to do with the crash - but still not a great advert for Spez
It always will be I think. I'll never forgive him for La Toussuire. Even though I'm still 100% convinced Wiggins would still have won that tour Froome tainted (ever so slightly) the greatest ever sporting achievment in my lifetime.
Now I have to answer the same question day in day out - could Froome really have won?
Also the timing of his book and the way the Sky team selection panned out.
G's attitude after stage 5 spoke volumes.
Then there's his classless robotic riding style - but that's just being personal ;-)
I can't stand him.
Although I will give him his due for getting good while growing up in Africa, that requires balls.
This. I get sick to the back teeth of people saying Wiggins only won it because of Froome and that time trialists couldn't generally win the tour. 1. Wiggins is so much more than just a time trialllist, 2. anyone heard of Miguel Indurain?
and this too. :o)
not to mention his habit of falling off. I wanted to like him after his podium speech last year, but have spectacularly gone off him and team Sky (not the riders) in general, though lets not take away from Dave B what he's done for brit cycling.
Funny how people have different perspectives on these things – I thought Thomas was suitably gracious about Froome, but buzzing after riding away from Contador. I’m sure they’re all ambitious/mercenary and pleased when opportunity arises. Has there been much wailing and gnashing of teeth over Cavendish in the OPQ team ? Was Thomas criticised for crashing not so long ago?
I thought the same, but you'd never have guessed that a wheel had just come off his team going by the upbeat vibe. I actually thought that at some point he caught himself being a bit too cheerful while Froome's retirement was being discussed.
I'm sure all teams have their tensions and conflicts, but not necessarily all at the heart of the team. Could be wrong of course. One thing about riders being mercenary, I reckon that once into a team the vast bulk of riders will bottle up their ambition and belief and do the job they signed up for, which Froome barely did in 2012 and only with a massive teenage grudge about it.
So is the Vuelta going to be the TdF that never was with Contador, Froome and/or Wiggins? Is it conceivable that Sky could put Brad and Chris in the same team?
If they have a manager who is going to show a bit of authority ,and backbone;
They should be on the same team.as they are in the same team.
"Everyone hears what they want to hear and disregards the rest"
I thought Thomas was simply spinning the party line, well rehearsed. They knew on Tuesday night that Froome was unlikely to survive the stage so Plan B would come into play. Notice how little time Porte and Thomas lost that day, compared to Roche and Rodgers today.
Whilst I much prefer wiggins to Froome, I think Froome is more popular amongst his team mates, and that Wiggins is difficult to be with for three weeks. But both have huge egos and are selfish - you don't win the TDF without such qualities. And Thomas's glee was probably more to do with the fact that he'd got through a stage without crashing !
Nah, the bike had Contadors number on it, so. It would be odd to put that on a broken frame. Spesialized have changed tune on this a few times already.
He hit a pothole, and it has ban said his hands slipped then. Whether the pothole, or a team car broke the frame is another q
It may be hard to find the truth with heavy news management by a major sponsor
nibali has said he came past them on a descent in the wet,hit a pot hole and went over the bars at 60kmh
a pothole or an object in the road, and the team are saying they dropped a bike off the car by accident which is where the cracked frame story has came from. If I were Specialized, I'd want the dropped from the car story to be believed, and in the absence of any better evidence, I do.
Did anyone see Sagan as he crossed the finish line today? Pulled a wheelie (which he's done before when crossing the line) but then kept the wheelie going no handed! It was a WTF moment, I had to do a rewind on the PVR to make sure I'd seen it.
Yeh, I saw it, cool as :o)
or Jacques Anquetil -- he was almost unbeatable in time trials. He won the Tour five times, the Giro twice and the Vuelta once - picking up 23 stage wins along the way - not all of which were time trials. Add to that numerous other stage race wins, one day classics, and multiple wins of the GP des Nations Time Trial in the days before there was a Worlds TT title - and the small matter of the Hour Record. Many though his record would be unsurpassed until Mercx arrived on the scene.
Most great Grand Tour winners have had the ability to ride great time trials - and some great time triallists have developed in to Grand Tour winners. It will be interesting to see how Tony Martin develops if he can manage to shed a bit more weight 'a la Wiggo' without sacrificing too much power. At 29 he's approaching the peak age for Grand Tour riders.
i do like sagan,total opposite to froome.he is interesting and unpredictable.
Another one bites the dust. Fabian Cancellara has withdrawn.
Not exactly a surprise that one!
So did contador snap his frame or was it another bike that fell off a team car as Specialized are claiming?
I thought they were claiming it happened when they drove in to the Belkin car.
Storey seems to change but broken bike had Conti's number on it. I didn't think spare bikes were numbered?
team car got tangled up with another car (belkin i think) trying to get to contador after he crashed. bike got ripped in two . just showed it on ITV highlights.
there is a photo of the tangled bike at the bottom of this.
Did you see the picture of his shoe, yikes, 60kph down the road really does a lot of damage, no wonder he had to change them only having half a cleat and sole.
Seems he has broken his Tibia..
Great stuff from Gallopin today!
Why am I suspicious? (can't help it, very sad to say it, and I hate the conspiracy idiots). But...
Indeed, but where was Marion Rousse today ?
Why are you suspicious ? Classic move from a small break, with the others hesitating and hoping that someone else will pull him back, all worried about handing it to Sagan
Yeah, admittedly that was before I realised members of the break had sat up/refused to work with Sagan. But he had a mega day on Sunday, was destroyed on Monday, and then like I say he seemed to ride away strong from a lot of strong riders. I'm probably wrong.
Talansky looked in a bad way with back pain.
Yep - perfect counter attack which left that small bunch all looking at eachother waiting for someone to chase but not wanting to lead Sagan up for an inevitable victory.
The move wasn't even clever - schoolboy stuff.
I get your point - I was thinking the same about Tony Martin at one point today.
Bit of a deviation from the main thread but I'm sure a lot of you will be interested in this news, especially anyone who's done the Etape du Dales or the Brian Robinson Challenge
Best wishes to Brian for a speedy recovery
I think Tony Martins contract is yet to be renewed which would explain his heroics. The fact he completely blows up after his efforts makes him look human to me.
Have heard him talking about his first win a couple of times in the last week. He finished second when his rival blocked him into the barriers on both sides of the road. He accepted the result but the team manager appealed and the result was overruled. Sounds like a great character.
Will Froome and Wiggins be this friendly in 30 years time ?
Though I think Lemond should be wary of the fact that Hinault is hiding a fist behind his hat !
Meanwhile Talansky is out - no suprise
It's a TdeF thread, I hope that we've all heard of him.
Probably not all of us but he does have a bit of a TdF connection
The question from the OP...
"Do you think it is a two horse race this year between Froome and Contador?"
If any more of the top boys climb off, it'll have all on be a one horse race.
Sagan misses out again, he'll be a happy boy tonight!
still the star of the show..
Bugger. He was on ITV4's coverage on the rest day.
Hope he recovers quickly.
I'm sure he'll be telling the podium girls how he always comes second.....
I loved Sylvan Chavanel's reaction to his spat with Andre Greipel yesterday. "He said it was my fault, I'm not going to drop my trousers for him." <very gallic shrug.>
Good wee interview with Hinault on the ITV4 highlights last night too re his accident before finishing at St Etienne. "I broke my nose and had a hole in my head, but, that's cycling." <very gallic shrug>
If you get chance, watch "Slaying the Badger". Hinault was meant to be the bad guy in the film, re Greg Lemond. but his charm and his character won you over.
Any links to where I might see the film? I had a search but couldn't find anything. Would love to see it, Hinault was a god to me when he was so obviously The Man In Charge of the tour.
I'm reading the book at the moment. So far a bit of a disappointment - I think he could have done with a better editor. There's a lot of rambling, a bit of repetition and a lot of cliche.
That's awesome ? sounds more like a playground retort to me.
Was there a conclusion as to whether anyone was at fault or was it just a 50/50 ?
This is going to be good now.
Dunno. Greipel certainly has strong views on it, though he was well forward and missed out on a sprint finish as a result so not surprising.
oh c*ck, I've successfully avoided seeing the result all day and on auto-pilot I just checked facebook on auto-pilot and saw the winner.
i doubt froome could stick with nibali if he hadnt crashed out.the man is on fire
Hard to know. No one could stick with Froome on Ventoux last year either.
Looks like its going to be even more of a procession to Paris now than even 2012 or 2013
I'm still sticking by this....
Nor on Alp d'Huez after he'd had a cheeky energy gel.
I was wondering when you'd reappear ! Nice try.
I'll point out that I ridiculed the notion of the notion of Porte as plan B before the race started. He's had a poor season, so the chance of him getting through three weeks without a bad day was slim at best. Didn't expect him to be quite as hopeless as that.
Admittedly Nibbles hasn't done much this season either. Though.i guess he was simply aiming to peak at the right time.
Nibali was excellent again, is it now a foregone conclusion?
This is a bit harsh, but I wonder where this leaves Richie Porte as a future GC candidate ? He had a pretty spectacular blow last year, now today?
But it seemed obvious (from my no cycling knowledge viewpoint) that Nibali was just toying with Contador while he was still around?
Anyway; my money is still stuck on the bloke currently 2nd (on your suggestion I think :-)).
Yep - for all those people who said Brad's win was a snore fest - well you got one now!!!
The white jersey fight between the future of French cycling is looking tasty though.
Today they are cycling through my home territory. Riding these famous cols gives you a true sense of suffering. The Col d'Izoard is particularly brutal.
Very hot but storms forecast for later.
For any of you climbers watching today, look at the rock, its magnificent ;)
I think we can now agree that Sky is done on this tour. I can't see anyone on the team winning a stage and I suspect there won't even be a top ten finish by the end.
And great to see the aerial shots of the Queyras, pity I won't get there this summer.
>> More to the point, how long before Nibali gets popped?
I think Nibali showed a bit of class there. I'm 100% positive he could've won the stage but knowing he was going to get at least 4 minutes on Valverde who he he now knows he can drop at any time - what would be the point of pinching a stage off a rookie like Majka? It would be like pinching a kid's Christmas presents on Christmas Eve.
Yeah, love that area Hautes-Alpes, Briancon down to Gap, although it is quite stark in places. Can't understand why more British walkers, as opposed to climbers, don't holiday there, weather so much better than up near Chamonix. Hope to be there myself soon, looking for a base to buy.
Getting here is too much trouble for many. Its a long drive from the UK. Its such a shame though because its stunningly beautiful and the air is so clean.
We get lots of kayakers, cyclists and climbers in the summer but very few walkers.
I hope you find a nice place here :)
Felt sorry for Bauer and Elmiger today. Bauer caught virtually at the line. Weather looked pants in France today.
Trouble is the prices have been pushed up, even a small studio is 90k in somewhere like Embrun. I will be having another look next month. But yes, it is two long days on the road from Calais.
Everyone did. Can't help feeling they started playing cat and mouse a bit near the end which cost them both.
You're so lucky to live there - we spent 10 days in Vallouise last Sept, had a brilliant time. Did the Bouclé D'Izoard (northwards direction). I was *not* in shape and it nearly broke me. Worth it for the amazing food at the little auberge down from the summit though.
> Everyone did. Can't help feeling they started playing cat and mouse a bit near the end which cost them both.
Yep I was thinking that too, they didn't seem as connected in the last few km. Probably why Bauer was really gutted.
Yep you are probably right about the cat and mouse tactics. Stage 16 Carcassonne / Bagnères-de-Luchon tomorrow, steep finish.
Did you meet the local wolf dog in Vallouise? All the villagers feed him. He's an incredible animal.
The prices have gone up ridiculously high because so many people have purchased accommodation for holiday lets. There isn't enough holiday makers to fill them though, so most stand empty.
Popped into Carcassonne this morning to watch the start - people are far less angsty than they were in Yorkshire about road closures etc - the bus was a bit late and took a different rout: "c'est le tour...".
Skipton locals may have spotted that our favourite Embsay anti-cyclist councillor has just been banned for drink driving - could explain all those wing mirrors being knocked off...
Seems Sky have given up on Porte - G took about 4 minutes out of him today and is now top Sky rider on GC in about 16th. Be nice if he could get a wee bit further up the standings.
Marvellous - must tell Mr TC :-)
Is that the massive beast hanging around outside the bakery in the little square? If so, then yes, pretty much every day! Didn't realise he was a wolf dog though.
Great place, will definitely be back...
looks like Bertie's going to miss the Vuelta as well. Real shame.
Good article here http://in.mobile.reuters.com/article/idINKBN0FQ1UC20140721?irpc=932 on why Nibbles is getting an easy ride from journos over doping, despite the dodgy history of his team, and in particular his DS.
I think the fact that there are so many French riders in the top 10 is a big factor
Team in complete disarray - unlike Tinko-Saxoff who've recovered to take a couple of stages. Big shame for G that he had to give up his chances on stage 5 to rescue Porte and has been on domestique duties almost every day since. And yet he could still be only the 5th (?) Brit to finish in the top 20 !
How do you take two long days..it's nine hours from Calais taking the slower scenic route over the col du Lautaret
I was interested to hear Presenter Gary Imlach on the itv4 'highlights' show on Monday being cynical about anything Vinokourov said. He was also incredulous about a foreign Tv station (think he said French) employing someone previously involved in doping, as part of their Tour De France coverage for next year.
And yet ITV4 have used David Millar in this years coverage, and are apparently taking him on to be involved in their future cycling/ tour coverage.
David Millar has talked very openly about doping, Vino has said absolutely nothing. There a whole bunch of cyclists found to have doped and these two are polar opposites in terms of their attitude. ITV4 even did an interview with Millar about it. Is the French guy Virenque ? Years of tearful denials, now doesn't talk about it.
Also Vino has never explained why he made large payments to rival cyclists just after he has beaten them in major races.
The FdJ scooter has been fairly active for the last couple of days, so maybe Brailsford is hoping something can come of it today to salvage their tour.
Kiryienka's putting in a sterling performance with a 1 minute 50 lead in a solo break
I see there is now a racism row brewing in the tour... just as we finally get some representation from non-whites.
Always a bit surprised that someone hasn't found a few good Kenyans that would compete well as cyclists
what's the tour racism?
Yep, it was Virenque that Imlach referred to. He, Vinokourov and Bjaarne 'big ring' Riis are a different bag eels to Millar. Imlach's commentary is brilliant: "You have to wonder if an assurance from the likes of Vinokourov is worth the French it's mumbled in."
I hope this isn't the death knell of the thread.
I'd kick any of the unrepentant dopers out of the sport completely, including management, and those involved with teams, such as the doctors of the '90s.
Saxo Tinkoff don't do themselves many favours with Vino in charge and what seems like a result-obsessed team manager. The guy winning today raised my suspicions with his attacks, perhaps more-so because of his team. I hope I'm wrong.
I'd have thought there might be some sort of peleton code in these situations where you don't steal a win from someone who's been out at front for an entire race. Seemed like the noble thing would have been to let those cross the line, then skirmish for third.
Maybe I'm too sentimental
It wouldn't be a real win in that case. As much as I enjoy seeing a breakaway succeed it drives me nuts when the peleton let's them go, ruins all the excitement.
are you talking about Kiryienka? Great ride and it was a real pity they caught him but there was still 22 km to go when they did catch up so holding back for the last 22km would have been beyond the call of sportsmanship I think.
It's a bit different when they catch someone on or near the line like Bauer the other day - that did seem cruel. Although a few stages back Nibs showed class by letting someone who had been out from for a good while roll over first and win the stage
Maybe the odd GC contender might let someone go but every other man in the race is desperate to win a stage, and most never will. It's cruel to watch for sure but I think it'd be a much duller sport if everyone didn't try to win.
sorry forgot the link: http://road.cc/content/news/124595-europcar-boss-accuses-michael-albasini-racism
If true (and provable) this should be punished in a very harsh way as a example - its the last thing the sport needs
i watched one rider stay in his seat today whilst others were on the pedels.obviously doping,hope im wrong
Yeah, you're right I got the dodgy managers mixed up. 'Mr 50%' is hardly a saint either. I'd ban them both.
50%, if only .
It's usually about this time in a tour that someone (often in the last couple of years someone who's not done anything anyway) tests positive, so we will see.
I do like how this year, as in the past two or three, people seem human: they have good days, they have bad days, and no one is just steam-rolling the field. Nibali is dominant but not overly-so, and though his attacks are vicious, he often slows it down afterwards and people recover.
Was caught on the penultimate climb. I thought he might get the combativity prize, which I think would have been the first time a Sky rider has been on the podium in the tour, but no, they gave it to Roman Bardet.
I see G dropped down today - may mean he is going to attack tomorrow. Then again, maybe not
Why is this a bad thing (the results-obsessed I mean, doping is obviously an unsupportable stain)?
I know similar criticisms have been levelled at David Brailsford. I would have thought that as long as everything is above board then that's the point of sport.
I agree that some ways of winning are more laudable than others, but even if you do have a tendency to win by tactics that are bit borderline (perhaps I should say body line), the nature of cycling is such that eventually it'll come back and haunt you with a peloton that flatly refuses to work with you under any circumstances.
Not trying to start a fight here, just curious if you have any particular instances where Vino crossed the line without actually cheating.
So what do we think of Majka tugging on the moto ? Youthful exuberance or blatant cheating? I was expecting a 20 second penalty and wondered if it was going to cost him the stage. At least we can be sure that the penalty was more than the benefit, unlike Froome last year.
No you're right, I wrote that in haste and got confused in the process. I meant Tinkoff himself, who in the brief interviews I have seen of him, seems obsessive about results and nothing else - not the welfare of the riders, anti-doping, etc.. I may be reading it all wrong of course, and I am sure at an elite level of sport there is always going to be a lot of perform-perform-perform or you wouldn't get anywhere. He's not done anything against the rules that I know of.
youthful exuberance more than blatant cheat - it didn't have any effect on the result. On the other hand I do think they should give him a penalty since this kind of thing shouldn't be discretionary.
You might find it interesting to read up around that subject. If you can persevere with the training, build strength in the right areas, in the saddle is a more efficient way to climb. So I hear. Mind you, we're all made differently and I'm puny enough that for some hills if I don't get out of saddle there's no way I can get enough weight on the pedals to make them move.
I've just looked at the team classifications - Sky have been playing a canny quiet game since they lost Froome - they're 4th in the team classification.
Tinkoff-Saxo is down in 12th and they've won 3 stages
First place in the team standings means you get to stand on the podium in Paris, but as a prize it's small beer. 4th place means diddly squat. 3 stages wins in the tour is a good return - 3 in 3 days is exceptional
I hear you have a new job. Congrats and, erm, good luck !
Majka was impressive again yesterday. I think it was youthful exuberance. Wonder if he can do it again today? (I mean win not pull on the moto)
I wonder if Sir Dave would rather be trackside in Glasgow right now, doing his old job?
Mr Nibbles wins stage 18 and now leads by 7 minutes 10 seconds over Pinot, dominating the TDF. He should be able to drink champagne all the way to Paris. (Not seen highlights yet)
When do they put The highlights on itvplayer
Thanks for the clarification. I entirely agree with you about Oleg Tinkov; his public comments about Contador's commitment earlier this were deeply unnecessary and unprofessional. If he had concerns he should have aired them in private.
He seemed a bit more supportive after Contador's crash so maybe Riis managed to reel him in a bit.
Nibbles said a few months ago that he planned attempting the giro-tour double next year. Sounded ridiculous at the time, but a bit less so now. Been a very impressive ride
Although Jalabert is commentating on the France Télévision channels, so doping doesn't seem to be too much of a barrier to a TV career... not that he's ever admitted it, of course.
I agree. I think its commendable that broadcast journalists are taking the mild risk of demonstrating that they also know what we all know, but are careful enough to not say it so blatantly that they get a lawyer chasing them.
re. whoever made the comment about Millar on ITV: anybody who knows anything about cycling will know that there is light years of difference between David Millar and Richard Virenque.
Should be interesting but is a big ask.
I was expecting to see Valverde moving up to second today, as it is he's only just hanging on to 4th. Can't say I'm upset
He's looked quite vulnerable over the last few days, whenever he wasn't surrounded by teammates, so I'm not too surprised. Very pleased about the French 2nd & 3rd places, you'd have got good odds on that before the start of the Tour!
The brilliant thing about the Tour - the GC was decided yonks ago (I wonder if Contador would've done Nibbles anyway - pretty certain Froome wouldn't have), but the race for the podium was awesome today - so glad Peraud has done it, even with the bike swap. Money on a French winner in the next 2/3 years?
Interesting chart on prize money shows just how bad a tour it was for Sky - down amongst the wild cards
But I don't see how you can be certain that Froome would have lost out to Nibbles - after all, on previous form you would have expected Peraud, Pinot, Bardet, TJvG to be that sort of distance behind Nibbles - Pinot was 8'04 down at last years Vuelta, and 8'15 down at the tour !
Of course Froome may not have been on his 2013 form - his team certainly weren't - but we'll never know and it the end it doesn't matter
I just thought Froome looked crap in the Dauphinee, whereas last year he looked awesome. Also not sure if the team was up to it this time - I don't think he's got the ability (as Nibbles appears to have) to survive without team-mates. Just saw the pic of Astana yesterday - all 9 riders still in - was surprised at that as Nibbles seemed to only have a couple of riders with him at best.
Froome looked like winning the Dauphine until he crashed. We've no idea whether that crash would have affected him - physically or mentally - at the tour, but it was an indication that his bike-handling skills are a weakness. Not that they were to blame for his crash on stage 4 - that was sheer bad luck.
The time gap that Nibbles took on stage 5 put pressure on Bertie and may have been a factor in his crash, maybe Froome would have done the same, but nothing is certain.
Lets hope next years TDF is more interesting and closely fought!
Yep - be careful what you wish for. Brad's win by far the best tour for many years.
Tommy V donning his mask of suffering whilst desperately trying to hang on to yellow made for a good event the year before.
I think if you exclude top spot this hasn't been a bad Tour for desperate attempts to make time on each other from podium hopefuls and KoM was aggressively contested. Even if he romped away Nibali seemed to do it with flair.
I assume you are being sarcastic?
The most boring tour ever when he won - this year was so much more exciting with a winner who actually rode like a winner throughout the tour and attacked
> I assume you are being sarcastic?
> - this year was so much more exciting with a winner who actually rode like a winner throughout the tour and attacked
Agreed. I really enjoyed Brads win but the last 2 years have been much more interesting.
Really? For about the last fortnight there's been pretty much no possibility of anyone getting close to Nibbles, he's ended up with the biggest time gap in about 15 years, the most stage wins by a legit winner in 20 years and the most stages in yellow since Eddie Mercx. For the last two weeks we were basically left trying to care about who'd get second and third and how long Nibbles was going to leave it before dropping everyone this time. It's impressive, certainly - I don't want to be one of those people who moans about sportspeople for being too good - but hardly exciting...
Not even The Jensie's escapades???
Even with the certainty he still attacked - the last day in the Pyrenees was really exciting with his amazing attack and the battle for 2nd and third
When Wiggins won it was just Sky doing a load of work and getting him to the line - pretty dull and soon became predictable
Got to be a good tour when Valverde gets booted from the podium on the last mountain stage :-)
But someone attacking isn't that exciting in itself - there's a difference between a dramatic showdown with a strong contender trying to claw back some time on the race leader, and someone with an already unassailable lead riding into an even more unassailable lead by attacking a bunch of people who we're pretty sure by now won't be able to keep up with them.
Not at all. Loved every minute of it knowing what he was going through and that feeling for the first time in years that most of the big hitters were clean.
I'm with Rambling Dave on this one - maybe even a bit stronger - but after the first week, this year's tour was shite - so much so I didn't panic about getting home from the ride to watch.
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