/ Tour de France (with spoilers)
As anyone been able to workout what happened to Cav?
He seem to be dropped at one point but was listed as finishing in the front group.
Got held up, got back, but was too out of position to sprint?
I saw an interview with him - he didn’t seem to know what had happened to him...
never write him off, but I think he no longer has the speed, the nerve or the remarkable self belief he once had. He may have to find a different way to win.
Meanwhile, g to take yellow on Monday?
“We will see next year why it’s hard to beat them”
What on earth is he on about?
He didn’t look right at the pre stage interview, he was bouncing round like he was on cocaine. I’m not suggesting he was, he just looked like he was.
All that said, I don’t think cav would be there if he didn’t think he could win.
All sounds very strange...
His usual disappointment when he does badly. He is very articulate when interviewed away from the race, and very aware that the whole team is working for him, so he shoulders the responsibility if he doesn’t deliver.
But I know what you mean about the bikes, is he unhappy with them ?
A nice segment on ITV's highlights this evening showing Cav having a strop with a camera bike earlier in the week
Blimey that is some result today. Anyone know what happened to Adam Yates ? I only saw the ticker feed of the last 20 minutes
> Blimey that is some result today. Anyone know what happened to Adam Yates ? I only saw the ticker feed of the last 20 minutes
Yates was 4'42" back
Brilliant stage today. Wonder if they’ll be lenient with the time cut.
Just seen that only 90 riders made it in - I believe Cav is way off and told Renshaw to leave him on the penultimate climb. Groenwagen made it in time, and will every reason to be upset if all his rivals are given a reprieve.
I guess the way Sky rode they made it look like a fairly gentle pace, most of the team still up at the front until 5km or so, letting Valverde and Dumolin go clear. But with the big names dropping off the back at regular intervals it was clearly anything but.
Apparently Cav is still on the road, determined to finish. Renshaw and Kittel have also both missed the cut
Kwiatkowski came to a standstill after his turn, and wonderkid Bernal had blown before he even did a turn. Really enjoyed the stage; TdF at its best - amazing scenery, drama - the works.
Agree, very exciting, and not just because of the outcome. Nice scenery too. God only knows what will happen tomorrow on Alpe d'Huez
And if it's true that only the top 90 made the cut, then Sagan, Moscon, Uran, Gaviria, Rowe, Degenkolb and Groenwagen would all be out
Edit - It seems that top 90 bit was based on original rules, not the amended ones, so only 4 riders eliminated (inc Cav and Kit)
I predict a Sky 1,2 tomorrow.
Dumoulin to finish third.
The rest nowhere.
Wonder what odds William Hill will give me?
I'm hoping Froome turns up at the start line in a La Vie Claire top !
> I'm hoping Froome turns up at the start line in a La Vie Claire top !
That would go down well !
> Yates was 4'42" back
Ouch that's a shame. Anything happen to him ? He was looking strong
He dropped off the back quite early on the final climb
Just watching last nights highlights. I wasn't expecting him to have such a bad day so early in the 3 weeks.
At a guess the cobbles nobbled him... he may yet recover somewhat though
I think the road has decided !
Still a'ways to go.
G on top now but if I were Brailsford I'd still be expecting a "day without" from him.
With Dumoulin and Froome those are the guys for the podium.
The young Sky Colombian done some job today!
Meanwhile Peter Sagan's extended his Green Jersey lead from 121 points to 210 without actually gaining any points...
Only one more summit finish - but that's the short and very nasty one next Wednesday, with the F1 start, so if someone has a bad day, it could be a very bad day.
Plenty of other pitfalls ahead, but it will be interesting to see if Froome and Dumolin start to pay for their efforts in the Giro, or will their GT experience pay off.
Sounds like Nibbles was taken out by a moto, in which case he should be awarded the same time as the lead group - the way he finished he looked pretty strong. Quintana on the other hand, time to get behind Landa.
That was awesome! I’ve ridden Croix de Fer and Alpe d’Huez, and it made watching it even better.
The time cuts / difficulty of the stages has made the Champs a bit of a non-event though. I can’t think if there’s any pure sprinters left? Sagan might win on the Champs.
My money is on John Degenkolb becoming a sprinty sprinter again.
He's obviously in great shape and his earlier win will have given him some confidence back.
I think we'll see Froome take 30sec or so on Saturday.
I'm looking at G cracking on Friday's stage 19.
I had been thinking yesterday's stage was the short one!
i wondered why the F1 start had not been mentioned...
There really might be no sprinters left after that stage!
Ah, yes, I’d forgotten about him.
Changing the subject a bit, what about van Vleuten’s win in La Course? She must be the gutsiest racer in the men’s and women’s peletons. Got a lot of admiration for her.
> Sounds like Nibbles was taken out by a moto,
I'm not a big fan of Nibbles, but I'm very sad to see he seems to be out with a fractured vertebra.
Disgraceful, disrespectful behaviour from the so-called 'fans'.
If he does have a fractured vertebra, then his ride to claw his way back almost to the leaders was very gutsy.
Demarre could be in with a chance in Paris, but I reckon Sagan is favourite.
Stage 17 could well be a damp squib, but until it’s tried we won’t really know. Will the leaders wait for their domestics ? Will other teams gang up on Sky and try and isolate Thomas and Froome? Would make it interesting, but you often get quite conservative riding that deep in the third week.
one thing that has struck me is that Dumoulin is now in a stronger position than Froome - you’d back him to easily take back 11 seconds in the TT, and has beaten him on the last two stages. Also think there are two stages with steep downhill finishes, which could be an opportunity for Roglic to show off his descending skills.
Unfortunately we won’t see whether Nibbles can shake things up. He’s out after that crash. Looks like a combo of smoke flares and a fan with a camera rather than the moto. Given that Thomas was right on his wheel it shows how easily the race could change.
Agree, very gutsy. There are a couple of vids on twitter - you can’t see exactly what happened due to the flares, but you can see he was back on his bike, despite obvious pain, in less than 15 seconds.
> Agree, very gutsy. There are a couple of vids on twitter - you can’t see exactly what happened due to the flares, but you can see he was back on his bike, despite obvious pain, in less than 15 seconds.
Something needs to be done. More marshals or police. I did see one person who ran out get grappled to the ground but there there were many more in the way.
Real shame about Nibbali. I'm no fan of his but he's a great competitor who usually animates things.
On the face of it Dumoulin is better placed than Froome, but he hasn't had the support Froome has and has done some massive pulls out front.
You can't help feeling that G still has a disasterous day up his sleeve
Anyone else surprised by how far off the pace Adam Yates is looking ? He was right there in the mix with G and Bardet in the Dauphine.
On Eurosport, they had a short clip of Juan Antonio Flecha riding up Alp d"Huez leaving all hobby riders standing, even though he was continuously chatting to the camera!
Puts my own performance on these climbs in perspective, even though I was quite a bit fitter when we rode the famous tour passes 25 years ago and felt quite heroic....
Being a watcher of road cycling, rather than a cyclist exactly, how much of an advantage will Sky have if Thomas and Froome can work together on the stage with the f1 style start?
If they're 1-2 can they get away and just keep going?
I don't think they've written the text book on that one yet !
> If they're 1-2 can they get away and just keep going?
Almost certainly not, because there's still only two of them and the other guys would start working together. That said, it's uphill so drag is less of a factor, but still its a massive risk for them both to go into the red that early in the stage the sky
More likely is that someone else will attack, take enough contenders that Thomas and Froome have to respond and so isolate them from their team mates. Obvious scenario is Movistar (currently 6, 8 and 11) go for it and hope that Kwiatowski (59), Poels(60) or even Bernal(19) miss the split.
Do you know whether the cut off time is extended for this stage ? that could be interesting if not.
I hope so, it seems the cut-off time calculations are from a different era...
Then again it seems that yesterdays stage wasn't particularly fast, or at least not on Alpe d'huez. Thomas was not only over 4 minutes off Pantani's record, he didn't even make it into the top 100.
So maybe we shouldn't be so sad that the pure sprinters have been eliminated as it will give more opportunity to the rouleurs to make a name for themselves. As much as we enjoyed Cav winning 6 stages, it's better entertainment if they are spread around a bit
It would be interesting to see a table of times for similar stages. They’ve done TTs up the Alpe, haven’t they?
Is there an individual time trial still to come? How Long?
31 km, on Saturday
from inner ring
"A time trial around the Basque Country and much harder than the profile suggests, this is as much a test of freshness as it is power and pacing. There’s barely a metre of flat road, the descents twist and turn and the final climb of the Pinodieta is a steep wall. It’s still a course for a time trial bike but the riders will need to consider what gears to use and strong brakes count too. This suits the GC contenders much more than the pure TT specialists."
Though it should be noted that the current top 4 on GC are all also TT specialists.
> Do you know whether the cut off time is extended for this stage ? that could be interesting if not.
Just stumbled upon the answer on inner ring. It's the same rules as for a TT, 25% of the winners time, regardless of the speed.
> The time cuts / difficulty of the stages has made the Champs a bit of a non-event though. I can’t think if there’s any pure sprinters left? Sagan might win on the Champs.
I was wondering whether the shortage of pure sprinters - and hence the lack of chasing from their teams - might make life easier for breakaways, but on the evidence so far the second-stringers seem to be taking up the slack boringly well.
> Sounds like Nibbles was taken out by a moto, .
taken out by a fan with a camara . strap caught on the bars
Meanwhile business as usual for Sagan.
I wonder whether the loss of sprinters (and in Ewan's case, the non appearance of a sprinter) is an unforeseen (although arguably foreseeable) consequence of trying to make the GC more interesting by restricting team numbers and fiddling with the parcours format. For interesting, read breaking Sky's current dominance.
MTS’s decision to drop Ewan and go all in for Yates hasnt exactly worked out has it? But did it really make sense? You know Sky are going to bring a very strong GC focused team, so let them do all the work. It comes down to a bit of bluff and brinkmanship. Yesterday they fooled Movistar and AG2R into doing a lot of the early work, and then still had 5 or 6 riders laters on. Maybe the other teams should think about being different to Sky, rather than trying to copy their tactics.
So is it easy to say how Geraint Thomas will fare against Chris Froome on the time trial?
> So is it easy to say how Geraint Thomas will fare against Chris Froome on the time trial?
No. It's twisty and turny and up and downy and it's 7 stages away.
> Meanwhile business as usual for Sagan.
He really is brilliant at what he does.
> He really is brilliant at what he does.
Which is handy, given that he's a cyclist?
... Personally, I've always been convinced that I'd be brilliant at what I don't do: I'd make a fantastic lion tamer; I've trained for years using domestic cats.
For all the complaints that this tour is harsh on the sprinters, let’s just remember that so far we have 4 stages won by the pure sprinters, 4 by rouleurs who can sprint and the other 4 by rouleurs who can climb.
And let’s not forget that Cippolini never made it to Paris
> And let’s not forget that Cippolini never made it to Paris
But he had a note from his Mum saying he didn't have to do those nasty hilly bits. Any sweat would ruin his outfits.
Echelons are go - no sheltering in a peleton.
Biggest question of the day - WTF is Gary Imlach wearing?
My god.. the aerial footage of the Ardeche gorges!
> Which is handy, given that he's a cyclist?
> ... Personally, I've always been convinced that I'd be brilliant at what I don't do: I'd make a fantastic lion tamer; I've trained for years using domestic cats.
Don't give up on being a comedian Darren. You never know, you might crack it one day.
I'm here all week... Try the chicken!
Wiggins is a media professional these days - very good commentary on the state of the race and the sport in general.
> Wiggins is a media professional these days - very good commentary on the state of the race and the sport in general.
Apart from upsetting a lot of Gerrunts compatriots with the pronunciation of his name - apparently - you would think that being team mates for quite a few years he would have learned how to pronounce his name - or call him G as the BBC does
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