/ Tour de Suisse
Just seen the start list for this years Tour de Suisse and it looks like a very strong line up for many teams. Perhaps not very surprising as this and the Critérium du Dauphiné are the traditional warm ups for 'The Tour', but what did catch my eye was the movistar line-up including Quintana, Valverde and Landa ! could be a bit of a tussle for supremacy there, despite the team insisting that there will be only one 'leader' ;-)
Yes, it will be interesting to see how Quintana is going especially. And Porte for BMC.
Yup, BMC have also put out a really strong team, in theory, the winner should come from one of these two teams, however cycling is getting increasingly unpredictable ;-)
One last chance for Quintana ? Probably a bit unfair cos his palmares is pretty good, but he always seems to disappoint in the tour. Will Landa be expected to sacrifice himself, or will they let the road decide ? Would be great if they took a leaf out of the MTS playbook.
Porte hasn't done much since his crash in last year's tour - 3rd in Romandie - so who knows. Can't see the start list but Quintana has to be favourite surely. Is Uran there ?
Dauphine has Nibbles, Bardet, Thomas, Martin and A Yates - pretty strong field. I wonder how Thomas feels, unsure whether he will get to lead to lead at a GT this year. Needs a good result here, but he must be thinking it's time to leave sky
Froome's vulnerability in the early part of the Giro would have given the contenders hope, but his victory was a bit ominous. Hopefully I wrong but with just 3 summit finishes I can see them all being a bit too defensive yet again
Quintana just doesn't seem to have the vision when it comes to attacking or a game plan, he just seems to follow hoping somebody will crack.
Just waiting to see if Landa will follow team orders at Movistar after moving from Sky because he had to follow team orders ! ;-)
> Dauphine has Nibbles, Bardet, Thomas, Martin and A Yates - pretty strong field. I wonder how Thomas feels, unsure whether he will get to lead to lead at a GT this year. Needs a good result here, but he must be thinking it's time to leave sky
Suisse has Kruijswijk, Fuglsang, Kellderman, Wellens, Mollema, and last years winner Spilak but the likely contenders are either in BMC or Movistar
11 PORTE Richie
12 GERRANS Simon
13 KÜNG Stefan
14 DENNIS Rohan
15 SCHAR Michael
16 VAN AVERMAET Greg
17 VAN GARDEREN Tejay
111 QUINTANA Nairo
112 BENNATI Daniele
113 LANDA Mikel
114 OLIVEIRA Nelson
115 AMADOR Andrey
116 ROJAS José Joaquín
117 VALVERDE Alejandro
And there's some chap called Peter Sagan as well ;-)
There's also a good bunch of sprinters, Degenkolb, Greipel, ,Gaviria, Demare, Kristoff and that chap Sagan again! (my money's on Gaviria)
> Just waiting to see if Landa will follow team orders at Movistar after moving from Sky because he had to follow team orders ! ;-)
Or vice versa if it comes to it. Would Quintana put in a real shift for Landa ?
Dauphine looks really interesting - G needs a big performance either to make sure he gets protected spot in the tour or, if he is leaving, keep his value high. There were rumours of him looking around at the end of last season.
It would be good to see a tour where both Froome and G kept rubber side down !
Assuming Froome is allowed to ride
It's a mess, and it's fair to say Froome won't be popular in France
Problem is, does the damage to the reputation come from Froome's action, or the UCI for leaking the details of the case ?
> It's a mess, and it's fair to say Froome won't be popular in France
I think it would be fair to say that Froome wouldn't be popular in France regardless of the outstanding Salbutamol case just because he rides for Sky and they hate sky ;-)
It doesn't help that no Frenchman has won the TDF for nigh on 40 years and an 'Englishman' has won five out of the last six ;-)
Hinault has been a bit of a dick stirring things up (a man who refused to take a drugs test just after his 1982 tdf win).
It's going to be a bumpy ride (sic), lets hope that there is no repetition of Urine-Gate !
Based on his finishing form, and the squad Sky have, who are his real challengers ? Nibbles possibly but he doesn't have the team strength. Porte possibly but he is still unproven over an entire Grand Tour as leader. Bardet would need to have put in some serious work on his TT. Movistar need to decide who is number 1 and get behind them. Who else ?
No doubt someone will be along soon to say this in an insult to their intelligence, Pippa York says you can't ride into form in a grand tour and Kenny Pryde used to be a cheerleader for the Texan, but nonetheless...
The way the giro went, Team Sky didn't have to do much work early on, so when they did, and when everyone else was knackered, it had a devastating effect.
I'm afraid I have a feeling that we will see a very conservative tour controlled by Sky. Unless of course Froome crashes out on the cobbles, which is always a possibility. Hopefully Nibbles will try, but essentially we are asking one contender to sacrifice themselves for the benefit of the others.
The secret pro had a good piece on froomes big day. He thought it was believable, although he also thinks he shouldn’t have started the giró in the first place
yep, read that. My first reaction was that it was all a bit 2006, but once you analyse it it does look more credible. Which is not to say i’m confident Froome is clean, far from it, but merely that i’m prepared to keep an open mind and simply enjoy the racing.
i can also understand why people don’t think Froome should be racing, but my legal education has left me with notions of fairness and natural justice. I think the procedures need to be tightened up to ensure such cases are dealt with quickly, assuming that the process survives the onslaught from Sky’s lawyers. However as things stand he does have the right to race.
> It would be good to see a tour where both Froome and G kept rubber side down !
From now on you shall be known as Psychic GrahamD ;-)
Between them, Froome and G probably spend more money on replacement saddles and handlebar tape than on tyres !
You keep on hoping that his luck will change, but maybe luck has nothing to do with it. Clearly on good form and did incredibly well to limit his loses to 21 seconds but such a heavy crash is surely going to hinder him for a week or so and so it's likely that Sky will switch to Kwiato as their main man. Again.
One problem for G is that his opportunities to lead the team are limited, so he feels under a lot of pressure when one comes along.
As the TV coverage pointed out last night, he appeared to have adopted a new and more aggressive position on the TT bike which may have contributed to the crash.
On the plus side the injuries don't look too terrible (but who knows) and there are a couple of relatively quiet days after the prologue (but again there don't seem to be any quiet days in pro cycling!). Still on the plus side he didn't lose much time and seems to be psyched for this one.
Repeat one hundred times :-
Rubber side down.
Rubber side down.
Rubber side down.
He crashed on his right, but flipped over and scraped his left side. That's gotta hurt, not to mention making it difficult to sleep. I've loved his comment that he's not a soft as Froome but I wouldn't be surprised if he withdraws after the TTT
Right! now that the Dauphine if done and dusted it's back to the Tour de Suisse, although there are a few talking points from the Criterium, namely well done G, looking in good form and managed to keep his cool when Ag2r took the opportunity to twist the knife when he punctured, I'd love to know what he said to Bardet when he eventually caught up! Also, Tao Geoghegan Hart has been a bit of a revelation for sky, future GC contender ? A well done to Adam Yates as well, looking very cool on that stage finish yesterday to take second on the poduim overall, but a total heart-breaker for Navara. Not sure what Nibbles game plan was I guess we'll find out on the Tour and finally Dan Martin looks to be back on form and up for a fight ! ;-)
Anyway back to the TdS ;-) Surprised to see Sagan out-sprint Gaviria to take stage two, but Sagan is a phenomena so shouldn't be surprised !
> I wouldn't be surprised if he withdraws after the TTT
Well I got that one wrong didnt I ?
Has the TDS started yet ? Been in Belgium riding up the Kwaremount, Paterberg, Koppenberg, Kappellmuur etc etc
TDS stage three today, place your bets Porte or Quintana for GC ?
> Been in Belgium riding up the Kwaremount, Paterberg, Koppenberg, Kappellmuur etc etc
How were the rides Chris? I may be going over in August to do the same.....I'm using a compact with a 12 - 25 on my roadbike at the moment but thinking id better change the cassette!?
Great fun, as long as your idea of fun involves a healthy dose of masochism. I have a 32t cassette and needed it on the Paterberg and especially the Koppenberg, which somehow manages to be polished smooth and rough as a badger’s arse. On the other hand the Kwaremount isn’t too bad and I tried to put it in the big ring near the top, but the chain was bouncing too much. It’s really easy to string those 3 together but harder to include the Kappelmuur. Well worth it because it’s beautiful and iconic.
we took the Hull-zeebrugge ferry, cycled to Ghent and had 2 nights in an apartment there. That meant we were carrying baggage for a very flat 40 miles, and then did a 100+ epic on the Saturday. If you want a GPX drop me a PM
Watched the last 5km today and thought for moment Quintana might actually make an attack, but no, he was merely getting a better view of Porte’s arse before it disappeared up the road. Obviously Quintana, like Nibali, will be looking to peak in a few weeks time, not now, but I still don’t see him challenging.
Not been able to follow the live coverage of the TdS so just been reading the on-line reports but it already seems that it's Porte's to lose, it's a bit difficult to determine from written reports of the stages but there doesn't yet seem be to a great deal of desire to attack (by the GC contenders) they just seem content to hang in and hope something magical will happen on the last stage or two. Someone needs to take a risk!
you aren’t missing much
landa took a risk on Thursday with a good attack, but was defeated by a strong headwind. The obvious tactic would have been a follow-up attack by NQ, but it didn’t happen. Got me thinking about how rarely he animates a race. His most memorable attack was on the Stelvio to set up his Giro win, and the race was neutralised (or not).
I'm just following the text updates too, but I agree Porte sounds as though he is going well.
Be interesting to see whether he has a strong enough team to keep him out of trouble at the TdF. He's a pretty clear second favourite in the betting.
> Well I got that one wrong didnt I ?
I'm making a habit of this.....
Still not enough though, Richie rides a mean TT ;-) Which could make tomorrows stage interesting ;-)
And so ends a not very exciting TdS, not sure if it gives us any pointers for the TdF other than Movistar really need to work on their individual TT's !
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