/ Tour de France - CONTAINS SPOILERS

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elsewhere on 01 Jul 2017
Great result for Thomas AND(!) Froome.

Movistar have confirmed that Alejandro Valverde is out
JLS on 01 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

Shame for Valverde as he'd been having a great year. Still, that's one of the great things about the Tour, the winner needs 21 days of good fortune. Any day can turn the results on there head.
richlan - on 01 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

Well, as Valverde didn't finish it was a given the game was up, didn't need much confirmation, looked a bad one, broken left kneecap.
Chris the Tall - on 01 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

Brilliant to see Thomas win, but quite amazed that he wasn't amongst the crashes today. Has his luck turned at last ?

Impressive by Froome as well. Been saying all year that he is way off his best, but here's a interesting theory - has he sacrificed his usual spring form for better form later, I.e at the Vuelta ? Timing it so he reaches his top form during the Tour, rather than before it, knowing how long he can sustain it for ?
nufkin - on 02 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

I wonder what difference the rain made to Tony Martin's effort? The ITV gang seemed to be heavily hinting that the course was near enough designed for him and the first day's yellow was his for the taking
richlan - on 02 Jul 2017
In reply to nufkin:

Looks like he went out too hard, all the top boys ran negative splits I think, he was much slower in the second half.
balmybaldwin - on 02 Jul 2017
Toby_W on 03 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

Pouring rain, of course the Welshman was going to win!

Cheers

Toby

Chris the Tall - on 03 Jul 2017
In reply to balmybaldwin:

Stunning photo - has a touch of the 'Raft of the medusa' about it with the range of emotions on the faces.

Let's hope that's Thomas's only crash this tour, rather than the first of many
Yanis Nayu - on 03 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Froome's?
Chris the Tall - on 03 Jul 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

Thomas has had a reputation as a crash magnet ever since he lost his spleen as a junior. This is why I was so amazed that he won on Saturday in treacherous conditions. But it does seem recently to be genuine bad luck - the gust of wind in Flanders, the barging from Barguil, the moto in the giro. And again yesterday, right at the front of the race is usually the safest place to be, but no, the guy in 2nd or 3rd place goes down and G has nowhere to go.

I did like his answer as to whether he considered waiting for Froome - 'nah, he's got 7 other guys to do that for him'

Would be nice to see his luck change.

But also this year's race might require some creative tactics, something other than the usual dominance of the Sky train, so it will be interesting if he is at full strength
nniff - on 03 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

What's interesting about that crash is that Phillippe Gilbert knew the road, knew they were going too fast and knew the crash was going to happen, told those around him and so Cav, Renshaw et al sat up and were safely out of harms way. A little bit of local knowledge is always handy
felt - on 03 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Guernica for me with that limb
nufkin - on 04 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> I did like his answer as to whether he considered waiting for Froome

Definitely a character to cherish. As is Sagan - a regal wave to ice the stage win
Greasy Prusiks on 04 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

What's everyones opinion on the ITV4 coverage?

I really like the actual commentary, especially David Millars insights but find the prerecorded clips pretty excruciating. Personally I'd prefer it if they replaced the prerecorded bits with a mixture of racing and interviews probably swap Boardman out for Juan Antonio Flecha as well. Maybe I'm just being picky.

Good racing so far though. Sagan didn't even look like he was flat out yesterday.
richlan - on 04 Jul 2017
In reply to Greasy Prusiks:

I like it, i like Boardman, i like the little articles too.
GrahamD - on 04 Jul 2017
In reply to Greasy Prusiks:

I quite like the little prerecorded 'funnies' in the highlights. Stops the programme getting too geeky and keeps the appeal of the show wider. Have to agree with David Millar. He is superb.

Not sure whether we learnt anything from yesterday. Sagan on that sort of finish was always going to be a hard man to beat and no time gaps between the the GCs really (unless you count Dan Martin and Simon Yates as genuine GC)
Yanis Nayu - on 04 Jul 2017
In reply to Greasy Prusiks:

I like their coverage. That watch ad drives me mad though. Wankerish to the extreme.
balmybaldwin - on 04 Jul 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> I like their coverage. That watch ad drives me mad though. Wankerish to the extreme.

I thought that... and I also thought what self respecting cyclist is going to buy a watch that costs more than a (very good) bike?
GrahamD - on 04 Jul 2017
In reply to balmybaldwin:

> I thought that... and I also thought what self respecting cyclist is going to buy a watch that costs more than a (very good) bike?

My brother in law would, for one.
Welsh Kate - on 04 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

Ouch. Hope Cav's ok.
GrahamD - on 04 Jul 2017
In reply to Welsh Kate:

Not looking good, is it ?
Ken.Garner - on 04 Jul 2017
In reply to Welsh Kate:

I would think it's tour over after that - on his way to hospital, shame as he had a real chance there.
gethin_allen on 04 Jul 2017
In reply to balmybaldwin:

Surely that must be against "the rules". If you're supposed to always make sure the bike on top of the car is worth more than the car the watch on your wrist can't cost more than the bike.
kevin stephens - on 04 Jul 2017
In reply to gethin_allen:

good sell by the ITV4 advertising sales team, most viewers would rather spend their money on bling carbon wheels rather than a second hand Rolex. But suits me if it pays for me to be able to watch (sic) the highlights for free
ads.ukclimbing.com
kevin stephens - on 04 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

According to BBC R4 Sagan DQ!!
Siward on 04 Jul 2017
In reply to Ken.Garner:

Peter Sagan now disqualified from the tour for attempting to squeeze through a non existent gap.

Let's see if Cav is on the starting line tomorrow..
Welsh Kate - on 04 Jul 2017
In reply to Siward:

Wow, a huge decision, surely they'll appeal that?
balmybaldwin - on 04 Jul 2017
In reply to Welsh Kate:

Yes a big decision, but rules apply to everyone, and it's good to see a WC is as likely to be punished as anyone else.

I guess they will appeal tho, but as I haven't seen it yet (just pictures) I can't comment
Chris the Tall - on 04 Jul 2017
In reply to Greasy Prusiks:

Disagree re the pre-recorded bits, always find both Boardman and Friebe's contributions very interesting. And whilst for years Sherwen and Liggett were the voice of the tour, I think Boulting and Millar do a much better job

Yes the adverts/sponsorship bits are annoying, but unfortunately you can assess the value of the audience by the quality of the adverts targeted at them - very few aimed at cyclists, mostly at people with nothing better to do
Chris the Tall - on 04 Jul 2017
In reply to balmybaldwin:

Big decision to DQ Sagan, but his elbows did look bad and deliberate. Also a suggestion that he caused the earlier crash.

By the look of Twitter it's taken a lot of people by surprise - most feel Sagan should have been relegated at worst. Can't help but feel that many think because he's such a loveable character that he couldn't have meant any ill. I'm sure if he had the reputation of Bouhanni - remarkably blameless this time - then no one would have argued
gethin_allen on 04 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> Big decision to DQ Sagan, but his elbows did look bad and deliberate. Also a suggestion that he caused the earlier crash.

> By the look of Twitter it's taken a lot of people by surprise - most feel Sagan should have been relegated at worst. Can't help but feel that many think because he's such a loveable character that he couldn't have meant any ill...

I find Sagan a bit to much of a big head. The thing that really got me was his trash talking about winning the Olympic MTB race despite having hardly been on a MTB for 15 years and then failing so badly because of his poor bike handling skills compared to the other leaders.
And yet people just seem to love him and lap up every crumb that falls from his table.
balmybaldwin - on 04 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Seen it now.

To be fair he went to speak to Cav straight away, and cav didn't seem to be his normal outraged self when he's been cut up, if anything at one point i though he was going to saw its harsh.

Personally I'm not sure he did much wrong...yes he caused it but it wasn't an elbow in the face as such more elbow near face. think the original penalty was harsh enough
Greasy Prusiks on 04 Jul 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

Fair enough, it seems I'm in the minority. I'd probably want it to be more geeky than most.

Hope Cavs OK. Can't make my mind up about Sagan decision, it seems harsh but rider safety has to be top priority.
elsewhere on 04 Jul 2017
In reply to balmybaldwin:
Sagan is a great competitor and great entertainment so a real disappointment he's out.

Seems harsh but might be the right decision for all I know.

Cav didn't look good - when one of these tour hard men doesn't bounce up they're usually out

Two riders rode right into Cav and went down, hope they're OK.

It's a brutal sport.
Toby_W on 04 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

I think it's a shame they're both out. I suppose they did dq renishaw for the head nodding a few years back though and there was no crash then. Not a huge fan of kitten so I hope he does not dominate now.

Cheers

Toby

Toby_W on 04 Jul 2017
Blasted auto correct

Toby

balmybaldwin - on 04 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

Just saying on 5 live Cav is confirmed out.

Rumour Sagan was involved in the earlier crash
ablackett - on 04 Jul 2017
In reply to Toby_W:

> Not a huge fan of kitten

Love this. Always preening his hair and pounces at the last minute. Brilliant autocorrect.

Welsh Kate - on 04 Jul 2017
In reply to balmybaldwin:

Yeah, confirmed now, broken shoulder
elsewhere on 04 Jul 2017
In reply to balmybaldwin:

> Just saying on 5 live Cav is confirmed out.

Bugger!

Minneconjou Sioux - on 05 Jul 2017
In reply to Toby_W:

> I think it's a shame they're both out. I suppose they did dq renishaw for the head nodding a few years back though and there was no crash then. Not a huge fan of kitten so I hope he does not dominate now.

> Cheers

> Toby

LOL, I thought he had a new nickname. I guess he does now
Yanis Nayu - on 05 Jul 2017
In reply to Welsh Kate:

Gutted for Cav, thought DQ harsh for Sagan (although he was involved in the earlier crash too apparently - involved as in caused it), got a bit of a man crush on Kittel.
Bwox - on 05 Jul 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> got a bit of a man crush on Kittel

He does have a nice smile and a wholesome Teutonic air.




And wholesome Teutonic hair.
GrahamD - on 05 Jul 2017
In reply to kevin stephens:

> good sell by the ITV4 advertising sales team, most viewers would rather spend their money on bling carbon wheels rather than a second hand Rolex.

You would be surprised how broad the demographic is for the Tour coverage and especially the highlights. My poor old mom in law is struggling to even walk far now but is glued to the coverage. Mind you she wouldn't buy a Rolex either !
Chris the Tall - on 06 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

So Froome back in Yellow- will he hold it all the way to Paris ? Aru looks like he might be more of a challenge than Porte, Quintana looked very tired.

BMC did them a big favour yesterday, doing the pace setting work for the first 90% of the stage and then disappearing as soon as the climb started. Sky were so fresh that they still had 6 riders on the front with 3k to go.

Has to be said sprint stages are a lot less interesting without Cav or Sagan
GrahamD - on 06 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

It reminded me slightly of the time a couple of years back when Movistar towed Sky to the foot of Ventoux. Very strange tactics from BMC. Surely the easiest way to have killed the break would have been to put GVA in it ?

Agree about the Cav and Sagan. Still really undecided on the ins and outs of Sagan's disqualification - did the commisaires have access to video footage we haven't got access to, I wonder ? clearly they (collectively) saw something that other commentators haven't.
Chris Harris - on 06 Jul 2017
Martin W on 06 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris Harris:

Hmm...some of the descriptions of the "events" listed in that video seem more than a little subjective!
Chris Harris - on 06 Jul 2017
In reply to Martin W:

> Hmm...some of the descriptions of the "events" listed in that video seem more than a little subjective!

Wot, on the interweb? Shurely not!

Here's another one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRgJT2IZkUg

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Siward on 06 Jul 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

Interesting to hear that Sagan's team are in the midst of an appeal with the promise from him that, should the disqualification be lifted, he would immediately re-engage with the tour. Now that would be interesting...
The New NickB - on 06 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris Harris:

The important bit is actually just before most of these videos start, which slow Cavendish moving forward into space at Demare's rear wheel and Sagan switching his line to also try and the same wheel. It is definitely Sagan's fault, but I am sympathetic to view that it is simply a racing incident, with Sagan not knowing that Cavendish was there, until too late.

The evidence that some people seem to be using to suggest wrong doing by Cavendish, i.e. His head against Sagan's side, looks to my like Cavendish trying to stay upright. Sagan's elbow may be exactly the same thing, but I can understand why it might look different if you on the end of it.
GrahamD - on 07 Jul 2017
In reply to Siward:

> Interesting to hear that Sagan's team are in the midst of an appeal with the promise from him that, should the disqualification be lifted, he would immediately re-engage with the tour. Now that would be interesting...

It would be interesting but I can't really see it happening. Both politically (who has the jurisdiction ?) and practically.


Chris Harris - on 07 Jul 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

> It would be interesting but I can't really see it happening. Both politically (who has the jurisdiction ?) and practically.

Quite. When's he going to ride yesterday's stage?
Ramblin dave - on 07 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

Out of interest, are there cycling fans out there who watch TV coverage predictable flat stages like today's one with rapt fascination, picking up on all sorts of subtle, slow burning tactics around the positioning of riders in the peloton and so on? Or is literally everyone just counting down the miles until the break gets caught and the sprinters do their stuff?

(I say this with 25km still to go, which probably means that someone's going to make a surprise late breakaway and solo to the line. But assuming that that doesn't happen...)
Dave Kerr - on 07 Jul 2017
In reply to Ramblin dave:

Nah. Last 5k is all you need to see on such stages.
Welsh Kate - on 07 Jul 2017
In reply to Ramblin dave:

Part of the reason for watching it is enjoying the commentary on the countryside and places the peloton passes. Today on Eurosport we've had fascinating digressions on wine and throwing Action Man Paratrooper off Stanage to see how well the parachute worked.
GrahamD - on 07 Jul 2017
In reply to Welsh Kate:

David Millar and Ned Boulting have also been on form on ITV4. Its very reminiscent of listening to test match commentary.
balmybaldwin - on 07 Jul 2017
In reply to Ramblin dave:

There certainly are some subtleties that you can pick up on, but it's less about racing more about how the domestiques operate, plus there's always the chance of Echelons if the wind blows which can be more decisive than mountains
Greasy Prusiks on 07 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

That was pretty close.

Can't help thinking Cav would have been mopping up wins if Bossen Hagen is that competitive in the sprints.
Siward on 08 Jul 2017
In reply to Welsh Kate:

Yeah the parachute never worked, in my experience. Cracked action man
Welsh Kate - on 08 Jul 2017
In reply to Siward:

That's sad. I cultivated a relationship with the boy next door but one when I was young because he had an Action Man. We equipped him with a home-made parachute and threw him up in the garden. After a few days caught in the pine tree he fell back down with no serious injuries, though slightly damp and probably mildly hypothermic.

I guess it's some consolation that we didn't waste pocket money on the 'real' kit.
Chris the Tall - on 08 Jul 2017
In reply to Ramblin dave:

Up in the lakes so you'd expect a lot of rain, but this week it's only raining when there's a boring stage on ! Watched the start of Tuesdays (?) stage with a single breakaway - you could hear the disappointment in Millar and boulting, plus the dreadful realisation that they had 4 hours of dead air to fill
Chris the Tall - on 09 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

By my reckoning that's 3 crashes in a week for G ! Lets hope he can stay upright today - it's going to be challenging stage both up and down.
Chris Harris - on 09 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> you could hear the disappointment in Millar and boulting, plus the dreadful realisation that they had 4 hours of dead air to fill

You can imagine the meeting earlier in the year.

Producer: "Great news"

Millar/Boulting: "What's that?"

"We've got the whole lot, live from the start"

"What, even the flat stages?"

"Yup"

"Oh bollox"

nufkin - on 09 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> By my reckoning that's 3 crashes in a week for G ! Lets hope he can stay upright today

Looks like G. 'crash magnet' Thomas has other plans
gethin_allen on 09 Jul 2017
In reply to nufkin:

just as i went to make a sandwich, ag2r mix things up and GT crashes. bugger.
Chris the Tall - on 09 Jul 2017
In reply to nufkin:

Just come back to watch the second half - is he out ?
Welsh Kate - on 09 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Yes - suspected broken collarbone.

Doug on 09 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

14:26 Abandon de Geraint Thomas

Touché à l'épaule après sa chute, le 2e du classement général quitte la route du Tour de France.
Chris the Tall - on 09 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

Broken collar bone for Thomas - unlucky?

Looks like the rest of the GC hopes are still together
Yanis Nayu - on 09 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

I could be a GT rider if I hung onto a car as long as Quintana has on this stage.

Bummer for G. A girl I follow on twitter just said he's got a black box instead of a bike computer...
Chris the Tall - on 09 Jul 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

Oh FFS, just race will you guys ! Enough of this 'respect for the yellow jersey', there are very few opportunities to attack Froome, they should take them !
Yanis Nayu - on 09 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Horrendous crash. Hope Porte is ok.
Welsh Kate - on 09 Jul 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

That looked horrible.
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Chris the Tall - on 09 Jul 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

Terrible. Porte out, not sure about Martin
Yanis Nayu - on 09 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Martin's still in. Bardet looking good.
Welsh Kate - on 09 Jul 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

Meanwhile they're falling like ninepins at the cricket too...
Chris the Tall - on 09 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

Incredible win for Uran Uran - great skill and a lot of luck to avoid the Porte/Martin crash, not sure if that's when he broke his rear derailleur but apparently he just had two gears at the end

Now then, did Froome barge Aru deliberately or accidentally? DQ or time penalty ? My guess is neither
Chris Harris - on 09 Jul 2017
In reply to Welsh Kate:

> That looked horrible.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDZDwlX8Knk

No room between Martin (taking the apex of the corner) & edge of road, or going off anyway?
elsewhere on 09 Jul 2017
In reply to Ramblin dave:

> Out of interest, are there cycling fans out there who watch TV coverage predictable flat stages like today's one with rapt fascination, picking up on all sorts of subtle, slow burning tactics around the positioning of riders in the peloton and so on? Or is literally everyone just counting down the miles until the break gets caught and the sprinters do their stuff?

> (I say this with 25km still to go, which probably means that someone's going to make a surprise late breakaway and solo to the line. But assuming that that doesn't happen...)

A great weekend for watching the last few hours of each stage.

Some amazing racing - team leaders duelling on the climb then working together for the chase.

Terrible crashes, hope Richie Porte is OK, looked really nasty.

AG2R team kept their sponsor happy today.

https://trends.google.co.uk/trends/explore?date=now%207-d&q=Ag2r
elsewhere on 09 Jul 2017
Richie Porte suffered a fractured right clavicle and pelvis

https://twitter.com/BMCProTeam
bouldery bits - on 09 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

Carnage.
Dave the Rave on 09 Jul 2017
In reply to bouldery bits:

My Mrs said just before the crash that someone would go off the road. Is she a sage or a witch?
john arran - on 09 Jul 2017
In reply to Dave the Rave:

Could try drowning her to find out.
Dave the Rave on 09 Jul 2017
In reply to john arran:

> Could try drowning her to find out.

Best not, eh? She might predict a winner though?
JLS on 09 Jul 2017
In reply to Dave the Rave:

Back on an earlier thread I predicted...

1 Porte
2 Valverde
3 Aru

I think we can safely now say Aru won't see Paris...
balmybaldwin - on 09 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris Harris:

They are saying Porte & Aru touched wheels going into the braking area which is what pushed him off line. I haven't seen it on video yet tho
Chris the Tall - on 09 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

According to Aru, Froome was knocked off balance by a fan, went into him and apologised a minute later, so no issue there

Still think the top guys should declare that unwritten rule null and void. It doesn't come from the golden era of cycling, but from the Lance era and should be treated like the other traditions of back then. What would Hainault or Roche do ?

As for Thomas, it seems Majka crashed just in front of him and he had nowhere to go.
felt - on 10 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> Still think the top guys should declare that unwritten rule null and void. It doesn't come from the golden era of cycling, but from the Lance era and should be treated like the other traditions of back then. What would Hainault or Roche do ?

In a sport so disfigured by cheating, the observation of such etiquette does them considerable credit.

felt - on 10 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> Still think the top guys should declare that unwritten rule null and void. It doesn't come from the golden era of cycling, but from the Lance era and should be treated like the other traditions of back then. What would Hainault or Roche do ?

In a sport so disfigured by cheating, the observation of such etiquette does your modern rider considerable credit.
Yanis Nayu - on 10 Jul 2017
In reply to JLS:

> Back on an earlier thread I predicted...

> 1 Porte

> 2 Valverde

> 3 Aru

> I think we can safely now say Aru won't see Paris...



I went for Froome, Bardet, Quintana. Aru is looking better than Quintana at the moment.
Chris the Tall - on 10 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

Thomas retains his sense of humour https://www.instagram.com/p/BWWNZrDnEwd/
John2 - on 10 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

The ITV4 slow motion clearly showed Martin's foot hitting Uran's derailleur when Porte knocked him off.
Chris the Tall - on 10 Jul 2017
In reply to felt:

> In a sport so disfigured by cheating, the observation of such etiquette does your modern rider considerable credit.

Yes it's all very sporting and nice, but it's outdated. Modern bikes should be able to withstand the rigours of a days racing, so unless there is some outside influence - a crash or tacks on the road for example- a mechanical or puncture is not bad bad luck but down to a rider mistake or poor choice of equipment. An emergency toilet break is due to poor health or too many gels.

But the real issue is that, as fans, we want action. A 3 week race now comes down to 10 or 20 minutes of action on 4 or 5 stages. Do we really want the race leader to be able to neutralise those at will as well ? ASO have tried to shake things up a bit this year, but I think it may have had the opposite effect and it's hard to see anyone taking the lead from Froome. Was yesterday's crash-strewn stage a success? And is it now back to slumber mode until stage 13?
Sir Chasm - on 10 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

But Froome didn't neutralise Aru's breakaway. There was nothing to stop Aru carrying on with his attempt, he gave up because nobody wanted to work with him and he didn't fancy his chances on his lonesome.
Chris the Tall - on 10 Jul 2017
In reply to Sir Chasm:

Porte was the main instigator in the neutralisation, and obviously is Froome's mate, but that's not the point. The peloton has its ways of dealing with riders who break with convention, so what is required is for the top guys to agree that this convention isn't good for the sport and should be ended.
Sir Chasm - on 10 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Yes, I know it was Porte, so I was puzzled when you said it was the race leader. And I don’t think it’s this convention that has put you into slumber mode, the tour seems to have been quite lively so far and it’s possibly a bit premature to write off the rest of the race (unless you'd accurately predicted how the first 9 days were going to go).
And I certainly don’t agree with this “A 3 week race now comes down to 10 or 20 minutes of action on 4 or 5 stages”, it seems awfully blinkered (and to miss the whole idea of the grand tours) to concentrate on those 10 or 20 minutes and ignore the efforts and racing that teams go through to try and put their riders in the right place at the right time.
Chris the Tall - on 10 Jul 2017
In reply to Sir Chasm:

> Yes, I know it was Porte, so I was puzzled when you said it was the race leader.

It was a rhetorical question, not a description of events passed.

I'm not blaming anyone for their actions, nor saying this is the reason why the tour is in slumber mode, if indeed it is. And obviously i know there is more to the tour than the GC battle, so stop the cheap digs.

But seriously, if you can, are you not concerned that we are seeing less and less GC action?
Sir Chasm - on 10 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

No. And even if we accept the flawed contention that there is a lack of GC action could it not be down to no Valverde, Quintana looking poor after the Giro, Contador being off the pace, Aru not being able to pull away from Froome (never mind whether he can sustain it for another week and a half), no Porte, some teams seemingly a lot less interested in the big prize rather than sprints etc, etc, etc. All in all I think it's been a fairly eventful tour so far and if the peloton choose not to take advantage of mechanicals then that's fine by me.
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tim000 - on 10 Jul 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> I went for Froome, Bardet, Quintana. Aru is looking better than Quintana at the moment.

neither of them are pretty .
balmybaldwin - on 10 Jul 2017
Chris the Tall - on 10 Jul 2017
In reply to Sir Chasm:
It's not just this race, it's not just this year.

Some blame it on race radios, some blame power meters. Some blame Team sky, some blame lance, some blame it on the boogie.

Some say it's the legacy of doping, some say it's the lack of doping.

Some want smaller teams, some pin their hopes on shorter stages.

But hardly anyone denies there is less attacking racing these days.
Sir Chasm - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> It's not just this race, it's not just this year.

You know we can’t actually turn the clock back to some (imaginary) golden era?

> Some blame it on race radios, some blame power meters. Some blame Team sky, some blame lance, some blame it on the boogie.

Some people always want something to blame, I like the Sky blame “you’re going too fast for us”. But I’d have no problem with losing the radios and power meters.

> Some say it's the legacy of doping, some say it's the lack of doping.

Yes, let’s have more doping. Or less. Or something.

> Some want smaller teams, some pin their hopes on shorter stages.

We could make it a few solo laps of the Arc de Triomphe and get it over with in an afternoon, some people have short attention spans.

> But hardly anyone denies there is less attacking racing these days.

Better training, better nutrition, better preparation, better care of the team on the road have all led to increased speeds, perhaps they’re running at their limits and can’t push it any harder without blowing up, perhaps attacks just aren’t sustainable if you’re running at a higher pace – I suppose they could all go slower and then have a bit of an attack for entertainment. Perhaps some think they’re not trying and if only they put a bit of effort in we’d see more of a challenge for the GC. What do you think is preventing the other 21 teams from attacking Sky for the GC?
baron - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Sir Chasm:

The Tour, like most big sporting events, has become far removed from its origins.
We need to return to men(and women) on bikes completing set routes over a number of days.
No teams, no support teams, no sponsorship.
Just keep it simple, maybe have a glass of wine on the way, don't forget to carry your spare wheel.
Sir Chasm - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to baron:

Your spare wooden wheel? And a small vial of ether to dull the pain?
Bob Hughes - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> It's not just this race, it's not just this year.

Are you talking about the Tour or GTs or bike racing in general? The Giro was fantastic this year!

baron - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Sir Chasm:

I think steel wheels are acceptable - musn't hold back the introduction of technology.
No ether - drugs have no place in my new Tour.
Mike Highbury - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:
> It's not just this race, it's not just this year.... But hardly anyone denies there is less attacking racing these days.

Grand tour racing, it's just a bit shit. Everyone in Flanders knows that the year finishes in early April.
Post edited at 09:33
GrahamD - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

I'm not so sure. I never really found the string of Miguel Indurain wins that exciting to be honest. I think this notion that we had all out attack in the past is not entirely accurate - we tend to remember the few exciting stages but not the rest of it. This year we have had two photo finishes already and Froome definitely not in total control of the race with Astana having two left in the top 5.

If I were to try to do anything I think I'd try to up the number of breakaway stages to try to get a few 'dark horses' up there with significant time gains.
Chris the Tall - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Bob Hughes:

Indeed it was, not least because they didn't wait when the leader needed a dump. If they had then the final TT would have been a procession

Racing has evolved and you can't turn back the clock, but artificial restraints can be dropped
steveriley - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

I too miss the glorious madcap attacks and the shelling out the back the following day. Nowadays it's all 'better drop down 5W, that effort isn't sustainable' and 'don't need to chase that attack he's only got 1 lieutenant and I've got 5'. Is there a league table somewhere of team spend? Bet Sky is massive. Be depressing if there was a correlation
Chris the Tall - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

> I'm not so sure. I never really found the string of Miguel Indurain wins that exciting to be honest.

It's obvious I know, but the first one I watched in full was 89 and Lemond vs Fignon. Indurain was the start of the decline !

>I think this notion that we had all out attack in the past is not entirely accurate - we tend to remember the few exciting stages but not the rest of it. This year we have had two photo finishes already and Froome definitely not in total control of the race with Astana having two left in the top 5.

Watch Slaying the Badger, or read up on Roche's double

> If I were to try to do anything I think I'd try to up the number of breakaway stages to try to get a few 'dark horses' up there with significant time gains.

With Demaire and Porte out you have one less team interested in a sprint and 2 more whose only really hope is a break. Still I reckon it will be another win for Kittel today.

Don't get me wrong - it's still the tour, and stage 9 was a classic, but let's just drop this notion that 'respect for the yellow jersey' is a long standing and important tradition
Chris the Tall - on 11 Jul 2017
GrahamD - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> Don't get me wrong - it's still the tour, and stage 9 was a classic, but let's just drop this notion that 'respect for the yellow jersey' is a long standing and important tradition

I think the 'respect for the jersey' is always going to be a tricky one and given the greater TV coverage and greater number of armchair fans (myself included) maybe there is a case for greater clarity on the unwritten rules, but I'm not convinced. The ins and outs of it are part of the mystique of the event to a certain degree. It is the sort of equivalent of ungentlemanly conduct other sports have - hard to define and probably not static over time but generally well understood by those in the thick of it .

On a different note, to me it looks as though Froome is becoming an old style patron of the Peloton, which is something I don't think it has had for a while (Armstrong, in a very different way ?) and he is, to an extent, able to boss things a bit more than others.
Sir Chasm - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:


Bobet cheated. Not sure what lesson we want to take from that, cheats prosper?
Chris the Tall - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

Some excellent chateau chat from Boulting, boardman and Millar, and look, there's a Wanty Goubet rider in the break
GrahamD - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Herr Kittel is looking a class apart right now. Wonder how many stages he has in him ?

As a total aside - who supplies the yellow race jerseys ? do Castelli have a few they have for Sky or are they supplied by the organisers ? its all very well going on about high tech kit the team uses if the leader doesn't wear the kit most of the race !
balmybaldwin - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

That's because most of his competition has gone. Greipel isn't as good as he looked on his debut.
Chris the Tall - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

Race supplies the kit and you have to wear it. Some said Dumoulin was happy to relinquish pink before TT so he could wear his own skin suit
gethin_allen on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

A few years ago froom had a team special yellow tt suite as the race provided one fitted like a binbag. I think they've improved things a bit now.
Yanis Nayu - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

> Herr Kittel is looking a class apart right now. Wonder how many stages he has in him ?

A God among men.

> As a total aside - who supplies the yellow race jerseys ? do Castelli have a few they have for Sky or are they supplied by the organisers ? its all very well going on about high tech kit the team uses if the leader doesn't wear the kit most of the race !

GrahamD - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> Race supplies the kit and you have to wear it. Some said Dumoulin was happy to relinquish pink before TT so he could wear his own skin suit

So all this guff about how good Castelli claim their kit to be for Sky is somewhat lost on their main man ?
GrahamD - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to gethin_allen:

> A few years ago froom had a team special yellow tt suite as the race provided one fitted like a binbag. I think they've improved things a bit now.

That was wiggo wasn't it ? With the unfortunate yellow shorts
GrahamD - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to balmybaldwin:

> That's because most of his competition has gone. Greipel isn't as good as he looked on his debut.

Gone ? mainly not good enough this year. Most of the 'names' are still there. Admittedly we don't know Cav's form but I'd be surprised if glandular fever wouldn't have taken its toll - especially as the race went on.
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Chris the Tall - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

If today is a re-run of yesterday then half a dozen DSs should be taken outside and shot

You aren't going to beat Kittel is a straight sprint, so try something different. Put riders in a break and force Quick-step to do the chase. I've no idea what Wanty Goubet are selling, but I'll buy it !

Same in the GC battle, everyone would rather stay in the safety of the peloton and have an easy time
balmybaldwin - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

Half the sprinters were eliminated the other day... it's not just Cav and Sagan that are gone.
Sir Chasm - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> Same in the GC battle, everyone would rather stay in the safety of the peloton and have an easy time

Perhaps the plan is to save their legs and attack tomorrow - I wonder how effective that'll be if they practically give Sky another rest day today.
stubbed on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Mike Highbury:

Personally, even without the dull stages, without Cav / Sagan / Thomas / Porte it's not as interesting anyway. Although I am starting to become a fan of Kittel strangely.
GrahamD - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to balmybaldwin:

> Half the sprinters were eliminated the other day... it's not just Cav and Sagan that are gone.

Getting eliminated by timing out is part of the race though. Kittel managed to get through the mountains without timing out.
nufkin - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> A God among men

It's all in the hair. Probably getting a constant trickle of caffeine into his system from the Alpicin shampoo
elsewhere on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to GrahamD:
> Getting eliminated by timing out is part of the race though. Kittel managed to get through the mountains without timing out.

They need a numerate organiser in the grupetto! Sometimes they pull people back so the group* is too big to eliminate.

*20% of the riders
Post edited at 12:15
cb294 - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

Erik Zabel was the inofficial leader of the "autobus" in many TDFs , and back then they would sometimes call back half the sprinter teams for exactly that reason.

CB
captain paranoia - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> Race supplies the kit and you have to wear it.

I shall make enquiries with the Sky Team...
Lusk - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:
Currently showing footage of an arrow straight, flat road, surrounded by trees, stretching to the horizon.
Sums up today's stage, roll on tomorrow!

edit: they've just gone round a bend
Post edited at 13:53
GrahamD - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Lusk:

Nearly lost the script up until the last couple of hundred metres, but situation normal in the end.
Chris the Tall - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to nufkin:

> It's all in the hair. Probably getting a constant trickle of caffeine into his system from the Alpicin shampoo

They quickly dropped the "its doping for your hair" slogan. Odd that
Hardonicus - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:
Never mind the hair, it occurred to me today that Imlach and Boardman are engaged in an epic battle of the eyelids!
Post edited at 00:01
the sheep - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to Hardonicus:

Wow, Froome cracked!!
Stuart en Écosse - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to the sheep:

> Wow, Froome cracked!!

Awesome final km! Just when I was getting bored with the Sky procession. AG2R lM will be scenting blood. Actually looking forward to the rest of the tour now.
gethin_allen on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to the sheep:

> Wow, Froome cracked!!

And Aru would have an even greater lead if Bardet and Uran didn't take the time bonuses
GrahamD - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

I think from that the the pre tour signs from Froome were right - he doesn't appear to have the legs of previous seasons. Most telling for me was losing out badly in the Dauphine time trial. Interesting to see how Sky tactics go from here. Even without Thomas they still probably have the strongest GC overall team there.
elsewhere on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to GrahamD:
Sky looked very strong and the last remaining domestique (Mika Amda) looked amazing.

Then it all went wrong at very slow speed.


Hardonicus - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

Definitely mixed things up there hasn't it!
Chris the Tall - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to the sheep:

> Wow, Froome cracked!!

Not so sure. It was a very steep finish, and he usually seems happier to pace himself rather than respond to an explosive effort.

Plus, with tomorrow's short stage, Sky might be happy that another team has the responsibility that comes with the yellow jersey. Astana are nowhere near as strong as Sky, so that will add to the potential for chaos. And there is the possibility of using Landa as a decoy - albeit with the risk that he will go rogue!

I've got a feeling the Eddie Izzard stage will be more up Froome's street, and you can expect him to take a minute back in the TT, so Aru and Bardet still have lots to do
Wanderer100 - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> Not so sure. It was a very steep finish, and he usually seems happier to pace himself rather than respond to an explosive effort.

> Plus, with tomorrow's short stage, Sky might be happy that another team has the responsibility that comes with the yellow jersey. Astana are nowhere near as strong as Sky, so that will add to the potential for chaos. And there is the possibility of using Landa as a decoy - albeit with the risk that he will go rogue!

> I've got a feeling the Eddie Izzard stage will be more up Froome's street, and you can expect him to take a minute back in the TT, so Aru and Bardet still have lots to do

He lost 22 seconds in the last 300 yards. He had no response to the charge to the finish line by Bardet and Aru. He definitely cracked.
veteye on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

I have not had chance to see much of the Tour this year, but would like to catch up, and I'm seldom around when it is on live, due to work. This question may have been asked already, but it's quicker to ask again.

What is the best site to watch again, on catch-up?

(I don't want to sign up to ITV iplayer as it involves incursions into my computer that I do not want)
Chris the Tall - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to veteye:

Not sure of your issue with ITV and Presume you don't want to pay for Eurosport either, so you are best searching via YouTube. There's quite a lot on the official channel

A good round up of the first week can also be found at http://cyclocosm.com/2017/07/how-the-race-was-won-2017-tour-de-france-stages-1-9/
veteye on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Thank you.
Eurosport seems to be linked up with Amazon and I try to avoid anything to do with Amazon.
If I could just get Eurosport without supporting Amazon I would.
ITV wants to have the right to send all sorts of connections to my email including advertising by third parties, all of which I want to avoid.
elsewhere on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to veteye:
You can get disposable email addresses to sign up for things.
ads.ukclimbing.com
felt - on 14 Jul 2017
GrahamD - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Looking at the stage with the benefit of hindsight, Froome looked to be keeping Landa for much further into the stage than he normally would which makes me wonder whether he knew he needed protection from a long way out. In the past I would see Sky try to distance everyone a lot earlier but pretty much all the contenders were able to stick with Sky
Doug on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to veteye:

The official Tour de France website has a series of short videos each day including a summary, although I'm not sure if they are available in the UK (I live in France) - see eg http://www.letour.fr/le-tour/2017/us/stage-12.html (scroll down to 'The stage in videos")
Chris the Tall - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

Just watched the highlights and Landa looked effortless throughout, so maybe Froome was telling him not to go to hard and bluffing the others. But, as with sprinters, I think that most times they simply don't know how they will react to an explosive effort until they try. And again, as with sprinters, you can pay heavily the next day. Froome's mask on invincibility may have been lost - 20 seconds in 300m is amazing- but I'm not convinced it's indicative of a deeper problem.

I see the UCI have avoided having to sanction Barnet for his illegal bottle by dropping the penalties against Uran and Bennet. On the 50th anniversary of Simpsons death it did seem odd to be enforcing rules that could lead to dehydration - going back to team cars is another matter
Yanis Nayu - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

I tend to agree. I think the finale of yesterday's stage was too short and sharp for Froome. It might be a signal that he's weak in general, but I don't think it's possible to conclude that for sure.

Nice to see Bardet win. I'm not sure why but I can't stand Aru.
GrahamD - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> I tend to agree. I think the finale of yesterday's stage was too short and sharp for Froome. It might be a signal that he's weak in general, but I don't think it's possible to conclude that for sure.

> Nice to see Bardet win. I'm not sure why but I can't stand Aru.

Knowing how sharp it was I'm surprised they didn't try to drop people on the previous long ascent unless he really was being nursed. Would it have mattered by the top of Peyresourde if Froome had burnt his whole team in an effort to gap the others? how much assistance can your domestiques really give you on a final short sharp climb ?
abr1966 - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> Nice to see Bardet win. I'm not sure why but I can't stand Aru

I don't think he did himself any favours attacking the yellow jersey on a mechanical a few days ago....I know there were differing views on it but it looked very obvious to me that he say Froome's arm go up and then attacked.

I think Froome will bounce back after yesterday and still see him as favourite....the very steep stuff suits the real climbers rather than a GC/climber like Froome and the longer Alps climbs suit him. Landa was exceptional yesterday and deserved the stage....he was stronger than anyone.

Short steep stage today, I thing Aru would have to put at least a couple of minutes in to Froome today to be in with a chance of GC...

Chris Harris - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> I'm not sure why but I can't stand Aru.

https://plus.google.com/+JonathanSeyghal/posts/aVbDk9ZQ1ya

Maybe?
elsewhere on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to abr1966:
Froome is expected to gain time in the 22.5km timetrial at the penultimate stage in Marseille.

Don't know about other GC contenders but Aru was 40 seconds slower than Froome over 14km in the opening timetable.

It is safe and sensible (yawn) for Froome to wait until Marseille.

Froome could win the GC without winning a stage. I don't think that has been done before and it would be considered bad form.

But that all assumes Froome is not weakening compared to Aru & others...
Post edited at 13:35
Sir Chasm - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:
And they're off. Apparently it's the time ever 3 riders are within 30 seconds on GC after stage 12, closer than a close thing.
Post edited at 13:51
nufkin - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> On the 50th anniversary of Simpsons death it did seem odd to be enforcing rules that could lead to dehydration

The rule seems a bit peculiar - presumably the riders can drink from bottles they're already carrying, but can't take it from their car in case it's secretly zoom juice. Is the worry that there might be team plants among the spectators?
nufkin - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris Harris:


With a big stick on moustache he'd also look a bit like Borat
the sheep - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to nufkin:

Turning out to be a cracking stage so far!!
kevin stephens - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to the sheep:

and it did too. Very exciting finish and hopefully promises of some cracking racing to come
Pedro - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

I still think Gollum will win, but whats its got in its pockets ?
elsewhere on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to the sheep:
> Turning out to be a cracking stage so far!!

Two consecutive days of great racing - breakaways and GC contenders battling it out.

Landa out of contract next year, will he be a team leader?

French stage victory and mountain jersey on Bastille Day too.
Post edited at 20:42
Yanis Nayu - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to nufkin:

I think it's to prevent sticky bottles at key points in the race, and also to prevent cars getting too close to riders when the race is 'on'.
Bogwalloper - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:


> Froome could win the GC without winning a stage. I don't think that has been done before and it would be considered bad form.

>

It's been done 6 times.

Can't remember Greg Lemond's 1990 tour win being called bad form.

Wally

Greasy Prusiks on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:
Can anyone work out why sky were chasing down Landa today? Utterly bizarre.

Only thing I can think is Froome wants to remain team leader.
Post edited at 22:42
Chris the Tall - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Greasy Prusiks:

Froome kept on trying to break Aru, but never too hard that he might drag him and the rest back up to Landa. Probing for weakness without going full gas. Leaving Aru in yellow until the alps isn't a bad tactic.
Chris the Tall - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:


> Nice to see Bardet win. I'm not sure why but I can't stand Aru.

I've got no problem with him, but a huge issue with his team and DS. Don't want to see a unrepentant doper and cheat like Vino celebrating another TDF victory.
JLS on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Na, Froome was trying to save his save his status as designated team leader. Tactically, it was in team SKY's best interests to have Landa in Yellow if possible. Froome's attacks did nothing but shorten Landa's advantage. For the "one two" to work effectively the guy in the back group has to be prepared to let his team-mate ride off to glory.

Clint86 - on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to JLS:

Yes. It must be quite a big blow to your ego suddenly becoming number 2.
Chris the Tall - on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to JLS:

It wasn't just Froome attacking, Uran and Bardet both had digs, Yates and Martin got away eventually. Stop-go attacks helped the break as they were working together better.

Plus you had Quintana in the break. Yes he looks tired (in as much a you can tell anything from his expression) but is now just 2 minutes back from Froome. Remember how far back Nibbles was in the 2016 giro ? If he were to suddenly come good he could do some real damage.

There is only so much you can do to control time gaps on the road, but I think right now Sky will be thinking that, all things considered, they are quite happy with the GC
Lusk - on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Had to find a video of Peyragudes ...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpxmURxvAf0
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Andy Say - on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to Pedro:

I've always thought of him as 'The Mekon' - but that's probably an age thing
kevin stephens - on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to Andy Say:

> I've always thought of him as 'The Mekon' - but that's probably an age thing

So who would be Dan Dare? Wiggo?
elsewhere on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to Bogwalloper:
I didn't realise it had happened or so often.
kevin stephens - on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to balmybaldwin:

> I thought that... and I also thought what self respecting cyclist is going to buy a watch that costs more than a (very good) bike?

Thinking about it it's a well targeted ad, they'll be swamped by cyclists wanting to sell their inherited or anniversary present Rolexes to fund a pair of carbon wheels
The New NickB - on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to balmybaldwin:

> I thought that... and I also thought what self respecting cyclist is going to buy a watch that costs more than a (very good) bike?

You are in denial, what the advertisers know is that cycling is the new golf. Much as that dismays me, it's the truth!
GrahamD - on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to kevin stephens:

The adverts aren't aimed a dyed in the wool cyclists are they ? TDF coverage attracts a lot of us MAMILs
GrahamD - on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

Froome is a pretty spooky key racer when pushed isn't he ? Great tactics again
gethin_allen on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

I'd say it was poor tactics from Aru. Loads of non GC riders rolled in with Froome so really there shouldn't have been any time gap between them today.
rocksol - on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to gethin_allen:

Back in yellow Well done Froome dog and Sky. Is it just me who thinks The Times have a real downer on Sky, looking for something that doesn't exist but suggesting it does nevertheless !
Chris Harris - on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to balmybaldwin:

> I thought that... and I also thought what self respecting cyclist is going to buy a watch that costs more than a (very good) bike?

And the advert breaks Rule 49.

http://www.velominati.com/the-rules/

wbo - on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to gethin_allen: Didn't really see these loads of other cyclists - Yes Aru made a mistke but Froome was 7th in a tough stage as a deliberate decision after Sky spent a long time engineering this. Can't really fault him for tactics
gethin_allen on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to wbo:

"> Didn't really see these loads of other cyclists..."

6 people finished with Froome 1 second down and then there were 6 riders 4 seconds (+5 overall) further back and 3 riders 7 seconds behind (+12 overall) with many more trickling in every few seconds. So it wasn't like Froome was in some special group, and if the peloton had been strung out a bit more maybe even Aru could have stayed in a group and got a better time.
wbo - on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to gethin_allen: Did you watch the last kms? It as very narrow , turny and you needed to be on the ball. Aru was invisible for a long time - if they'd been more strung out he'd have lost even more time

gethin_allen on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to wbo:
It would be a bit remiss of me to be commenting like this if I hadn't watched it.
It didn't seem much narrower than a lot of the stages, the 10% gradient in the last 500m was probably more responsible for the group getting strung out a bit. Aru was fairly invisible but he was with the same group as Froome, just not well placed in it. Froome wasn't looking too hot 2k from the line but he had a for team to fight for him. Aru didn't have a load of domestics to force a way to the front.
wbo - on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to gethin_allen: OK, here's what i saw over the last kms - Sky were very active, including bringing the break back. Aru was in that group for sure but variable positioned. It was then thin and fast in the kms leading to the final climb - very thin, very fast i would say, and these kms Froome and co were active, Aru had driftes back. Even his teammates say so. So by the time final climb started Aru was very badly positioned, and so far back i couldn't even say he wasnt effectively gapped already by the bottom.

Good tactics by Sky, bad from Aru. In the final 3, 4 Kms the most obvious yellow was the Belgian champs jersey - Aru was already back.

gethin_allen on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to wbo:

As I saw it, I think Froome didn't look super strong and was lucky to be included in the finishing group he was (the +1 second group) and it was just the team that kept him in it. Anyway, there are some more mountains coming up soon so that will be the decider.
With everything being so close in the GC, 6 seconds yesterday, I was wondering if it was as close on the final day would it still be a roll in to Paris for the GC and a bit of a sprint for those that way inclined as is custom or would the GC runner up try and make up the time?
It's all pretty impressive that they are so close after almost 60 hours combined riding.
Yanis Nayu - on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to gethin_allen:

There's no getting round the fact that it was poor tactical awareness by Aru.
Greasy Prusiks on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to gethin_allen:

It's not as simple as just riding at the front though.

Getting to the front of a group and staying there is really difficult without teammates to help. By comparison Froome had a much easier time.
Toby_W on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:
Yes, Aru said himself he new he was done for at the 5km mark.

Cheers

Toby

gethin_allen on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to Greasy Prusiks:

> It's not as simple as just riding at the front though.

> Getting to the front of a group and staying there is really difficult without teammates to help. By comparison Froome had a much easier time.

Exactly, so it was the team that made it.
Chris the Tall - on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

Astana may have weakened by crashes but that was still a huge blunder today - looks like complacency. Aru should have been sticking to Froome's wheel. Apparently Kiryenka saw his position as he dropped back and radioed the info - reaaly useful to have a classic specialist like Kwiatowski on hand to force the gaps.

Another report is that sky expected a difficult stage and decided to feed from the cars rather than use the feed zones. I wonder if they had soigneurs by the roadside with stones in their musuettes ( a la Roche 87) ?
Lusk - on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

That is a GREEN lake!
elsewhere on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> Aru should have been sticking to Froome's wheel.

That was Aru's job for the day. Itv4 commentary was wondering why they couldn't see Aru shadowing Froome.

> Apparently Kiryenka saw his position as he dropped back and radioed the info - reaaly useful to have a classic specialist like Kwiatowski on hand to force the gaps.

Good teamwork.

> I wonder if they had soigneurs by the roadside with stones in their musuettes ( a la Roche 87) ?

What does 'stones in their musuettes' mean?



elsewhere on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> There's no getting round the fact that it was poor tactical awareness by Aru.

Frome has the same problem today and punctures!

Great move by AG2R LM.
Chris the Tall - on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

It was a tactic used by various teams - those of Roche, Delgado and Mottet I believe - in order to facilitate an ambush on the yellow jersey JF Bernard. Roche denies that there was collusion before the stage and that they all came up with the same plan independently - rather than slowing down to feed, you attack. The stones are a way of hiding the intention. Bernard had punctured a few km before the feed zone - not that anyone waited back then - and caught the peloton just as the others attacked. Sounds like he never recovered mentally, and has about as much affection for Roche as Roberto Vicentini.
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Yanis Nayu - on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

Wow. Great effort by the Sky lads.

Fantastic stage.
Wanderer100 - on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

Unbelievable ride by Froome and Landa.
Most exciting TdF for many a long year.
elsewhere on 16 Jul 2017

Start of ITV4 Sunday highlights - good explanation from Boardman for what went wrong for Aru on saturday and interview with Astana teammate not happy with Aru.

Millar and Boulting are really good together commentating - Millar instantly spots what is really happening and knows why. Was he tactically astute rider?

Quick Step are great with both Marcel Kittel and Dan Martin - one team to sucessfully competing for two jerseys!

Top 4 gc all within 29 seconds - let's hope none of them have mechanicals.
Post edited at 20:33
kevin stephens - on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

quite amusing comparing the Astana interviews before and after the official team brief. Aru petulant prima-donna and not a good team player?
Wanderer100 - on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to kevin stephens:

There was a lot of back peddling going on wasn't there. An irate DS apparently gave the team a bit of a verbal bashing then the following morning and a sheepish looking domestique sent out to explain himself and his lack of apparent moral support for Fabian Aru.
captain paranoia - on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to kevin stephens:

> quite amusing comparing the Astana interviews before and after

Yes; I enjoyed that.

"Ask him..."
"Good..."
kevin stephens - on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to captain paranoia:

Actually Aru's ride was very similar to my club ride today
Greasy Prusiks on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

Great rides from Martin and Mollema. Martin has such an endearing style, always attacking and never easing up.

Froome was superhuman today.
Chris the Tall - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

Interesting to see the prize money so far

http://inrng.tumblr.com/post/163084523968/prize-money-so-far-on-the-second-rest-day

Trying to work out where Lotto Soudal have got their money from - I think they've been pretty anonymous so far. And I presume Orica get nought (but publicity) for Yates being in white. But the other teams in the bottom third of that list haven't exactly being doing a good job for their sponsors
GrahamD - on 17 Jul 2017
Chris the Tall - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

Shades of Kimmage and Armstrong

Lusk - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

Sir David, language!
“You can stick it up your arse”

Alun - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:
> Shades of Kimmage and Armstrong

I hadn't seen it that way, but now you mention it, Brailsford's attitude is not dissimilar.

Although I think it should be said that a few years ago (I think 2013) I stopped reading cyclingnews because it was so relentlessly anti-Sky, yet gave carte blanche to convicted dopers such as Contador and Valverde. I haven't been back there for a while, but I think it's a bit rich for them to be playing the hard-line anti-doping card now, when their history is for overlooking such things for 'favoured' riders in the past.
Chris the Tall - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to Alun:

Can't say I've noticed any bias or double standards, but I do think it's a poor website - inner ring is far better. Not only do they adopt a click bait still of writing, but they are one of those sites that host a lot of dubious click bait adverts as well, drip feeding their poison.

That said I don't think Brailsford's approach is a sound one - not that he has ever been good with the media - as it creates a story and suspicion in itself. But the number of questions on doping that Sky have to answer does seem to be excessive compared to their rivals with more dubious histories.
Alun - on 18 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> That said I don't think Brailsford's approach is a sound one - not that he has ever been good with the media - as it creates a story and suspicion in itself.

I agree!
Yanis Nayu - on 18 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

At least saying "Stick it up your arse!" is better than repeatedly saying "The process" while waving his hands around like a third rate magician.
Mike Highbury - on 18 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:
> Can't say I've noticed any bias or double standards, but I do think it's a poor website - inner ring is far better. Not only do they adopt a click bait still of writing, but they are one of those sites that host a lot of dubious click bait adverts as well, drip feeding their poison.

Which is like comparing UKC with UKB. For sure there is less crap on UKB but UKC is a commercial organisation / news service and the other a hobby.
Sir Chasm - on 18 Jul 2017
In reply to Alun:

Pieces like this http://www.cyclingnews.com/features/strong-and-stable-dave-brailsfords-year-of-saying-nothing/ possibly haven't endeared Cycling News to Brailsford, I'm not sure I'd particularly want to talk to them after that, other media outlets are available.
Mike Highbury - on 18 Jul 2017
In reply to Sir Chasm:
> Pieces like this http://www.cyclingnews.com/features/strong-and-stable-dave-brailsfords-year-of-saying-nothing/ possibly haven't endeared Cycling News to Brailsford, I'm not sure I'd particularly want to talk to them after that, other media outlets are available.

Certainly no worse than Marina Hyde's articles on the subject. But then the Guardian has some way to go to counterbalance BW's 2012 Tour diary ghosted by William
Fotheringham.
Post edited at 08:34
GrahamD - on 18 Jul 2017
In reply to Sir Chasm:

> Pieces like this http://www.cyclingnews.com/features/strong-and-stable-dave-brailsfords-year-of-saying-nothing/ possibly haven't endeared Cycling News to Brailsford, I'm not sure I'd particularly want to talk to them after that, other media outlets are available.

That article is almost certainly the main reason for the antagonism. The problem is that actually it raises too many genuinely valid concerns.
GrahamD - on 18 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:


> That said I don't think Brailsford's approach is a sound one - not that he has ever been good with the media - as it creates a story and suspicion in itself. But the number of questions on doping that Sky have to answer does seem to be excessive compared to their rivals with more dubious histories.

I think its more specific than questions on SKy doping. As far as any evidence goes its actually all centred around Wiggins and Brailsford. G for one is pretty upset by being associated with events around Wiggo during that period.
Chris the Tall - on 18 Jul 2017
In reply to Lusk:

> Sir David, language!

> “You can stick it up your arse”

>

Planet X offering 20% of Chamois cream with the code PRDAVEB20 !

<We always figured that Sir Dave Brailsford had learnt some key management phrases during his former years at Planet X but the latest internet news is simply down to a misunderstanding that can easily be explained away.

We figured he may simply have been misquoted by cyclingnews.com. Whilst discussing the latest huge range of chamois cremes available at his former employer Planet X and on hearing that there was going to be a chamois creme mid summer sale this week Brailsford was so excited he simply said, "You can stick it on your arse." >
Chris the Tall - on 18 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

Another unexpectedly interesting stage.

Great stuff by Sunweb, bad day for Quickstep and unlucky again for EBH.
Chris the Tall - on 18 Jul 2017
In reply to Mike Highbury:

> Which is like comparing UKC with UKB. For sure there is less crap on UKB but UKC is a commercial organisation / news service and the other a hobby.

By "crap" do you mean content - articles, photos, logbooks, databases - or adverts ?

UKB is just a forum. UKC may have adverts, but they aren't the clickbait style ones like Cyclingnews. It's the Daily express ones that I really dislike
gethin_allen on 18 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> Planet X offering 20% of Chamois cream with the code PRDAVEB20 !

> <We always figured that Sir Dave Brailsford had learnt some key management phrases during his former years at Planet X but the latest internet news is simply down to a misunderstanding that can easily be explained away.

> We figured he may simply have been misquoted by cyclingnews.com. Whilst discussing the latest huge range of chamois cremes available at his former employer Planet X and on hearing that there was going to be a chamois creme mid summer sale this week Brailsford was so excited he simply said, "You can stick it on your arse." >

Genius marketing
ads.ukclimbing.com
the sheep - on 19 Jul 2017
In reply to gethin_allen:

Hmmm, Kittel is out so Mathews in green. Bertie looking good atm, must have had a good steak dinner last night
Alun - on 19 Jul 2017
In reply to the sheep:

> must have had a good steak dinner last night

It might have been tasty but now it's clear that it wasnt a 'special' steak...
elsewhere on 19 Jul 2017
In reply to the sheep:
Another great stage, attacks within the yellow jersey group on the climb then work together on the descent to distance Aru, Dan Martin and Yates.

Kittel - pity that so many are crashing out.
Chris the Tall - on 19 Jul 2017
In reply to Alun:

Interesting how the small gaps at the summit got amplified on the descent. Aru and Martin didn't seem to be very far behind at that point. Unlucky for Yates, again not far behind, but ended up with only one other rider for company.
Should be another interesting stage tomorrow

As for the Green, it's a pity for Kittel and for the race - things were hotting up really nicely with Matthews and Sunweb doing a great job.
Lemony - on 19 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

> Another great stage, attacks within the yellow jersey group on the climb then work together on the descent to distance Aru, Dan Martin and Yates.

Best tactical race I can remember, every second's having to be scrapped for. It will be a bit of a shame if Marseille ends up deciding it.
GrahamD - on 19 Jul 2017
In reply to Lemony:

I think it would be great if Marseille decides it. There are still two TTers in contention right now and Froome hasn't shown totally devastating TT form of late.
Chris the Tall - on 19 Jul 2017
In reply to Lemony:

> Best tactical race I can remember, every second's having to be scrapped for. It will be a bit of a shame if Marseille ends up deciding it.

After a slow start with some truly tedious stages, it's blossomed into a thrilling race which has had GC action all over the place, due to the fact that no one can rely on a summit finish or a TT. So I hope that the final TT does decide it, rather than tomorrow's stage, cos I hope tomorrow will see all the contenders attacking and a further shakeup of the GC. It will be rather anti-climatic if Froome extends his lead to over a minute tomorrow, or if he has a disaster and loses a couple of minutes.

Mind you at this rate we might see Froome, Uran and Bardet sprinting for bonus seconds on the Champs Elysee !

Kimono - on 19 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:
Well, personally I'm looking for another great days racing in the Alps as i shall be positioned on the Col de Vars.

Bring it on!

Yanis Nayu - on 19 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> After a slow start with some truly tedious stages, it's blossomed into a thrilling race which has had GC action all over the place, due to the fact that no one can rely on a summit finish or a TT. So I hope that the final TT does decide it, rather than tomorrow's stage, cos I hope tomorrow will see all the contenders attacking and a further shakeup of the GC. It will be rather anti-climatic if Froome extends his lead to over a minute tomorrow, or if he has a disaster and loses a couple of minutes.

> Mind you at this rate we might see Froome, Uran and Bardet sprinting for bonus seconds on the Champs Elysee !

Well all the sprinters have gone home!
Chris Harris - on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

Good right hander by Le Plod to stick the fan in the ditch. Chapeau.
elsewhere on 20 Jul 2017

Any suggestions where to spectate on the Paris circuit and how early to arrive?

The publicity caravan is due at 1611 and the race at 1806.
Post edited at 16:59
Chris the Tall - on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris Harris:

Didn't see it, but I wish they'd do it more often !

keith-ratcliffe on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:
I went last year and we watched from the corner where the Rue de Rivoli enters La Place de la Concorde. We saw 12 laps of the race and at that corner the final sprint is just developing. Arrived about 11am and by 12 all the front row places had encampments. Lots to see all day but take a picnic. If you arrive later then a small stepladder would be useful for seeing over the crowds. We took lots of water and ended up having to talk nicely to a cafe owner for toilets - I expected to see lots of Portaloos but not so.
Post edited at 17:10
elsewhere on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:
French TV2 currently attempting to do a live interview from motorbike to Romain Bardet in team car going down the mountain!

Correction, not attempting, they're really doing it.
Post edited at 17:38
Chris the Tall - on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

Wonder if this will get shown on tomorrows coverage

https://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=171355

Walking across that scared the bejeezus out of me, but I wouldnt be surprised to see someone on a bike on it tomorrow, if there's cameras around !
Chris Harris - on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> Didn't see it, but I wish they'd do it more often !

It was a real good one. Ought to be on the highlights tonight. A few k from the finish, typical fan running alongside being really helpful........absolutely flew into the ditch!

The motorcycles should have electrified outriggers.

I suggest a coordinated "Punch a twunt", on the first Cat 1 climb of the race, just to set the mood. At a set point, all 189 riders stop, punch a twunt, get back on & carry on riding.

At least one camera should be trained on Greipel, I bet when he punches a twunt, they stay punched.
kevin stephens - on 20 Jul 2017

TdF 2018: changing of the guard

So many upcoming talents, some held back due to bad luck or team orders
only Froome left standing from the old guard this year but can he last another year?

it should be a hard call for the bookies and brilliant racing

Clint86 - on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to kevin stephens:

No, I don't think so.
Chris the Tall - on 21 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris Harris:

Seen not one but 2 clips on twitter- quite possibly the same copper. Once when behind Barguil (a Columbia with a flag) the other when behind Atapuna (so probably more columbians). Both powerful pushes then sends the idiot off the road ( and hopefully into a ditch) but With the second he pushes him into another idiot and so scores double points !
Chris the Tall - on 21 Jul 2017
In reply to kevin stephens:

Who else is in the old guard ? Obviously Bertie is past it but what about Quintana ? He may look 70 but he won the white jersey just a couple of years ago. And Uran isn't much younger than Froome

Bardet was second last year, so a podium finish isn't a shock, but he's closer this year, partly down to a stronger team. Aru has suffered due to bronchitis and a weak team. Landa is of course the big unknown, but where does he go ? Rumour is Movistar, presumably agreed before the tour cos right now I'm sure he could do better (and be a full team leader)

But bear in mind some riders are uncomfortable in the position of GC contender - Pinot for example, possibly Barguil as well
yorkshireman - on 21 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

> Any suggestions where to spectate on the Paris circuit and how early to arrive?

This article is chock full of hints and tips - there's a section at the end about spectating in Paris.

https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2015/07/spectating-tour-france.html

I've only ever viewed mountain stages on the side of a steep climb so the logistics are very different. Enjoy
GrahamD - on 21 Jul 2017
In reply to kevin stephens:

Possibly a changing of the guard, but remember that arguably the strongest starter this year was 32 year old Porte and you wouldn't have put the odd stage beyond 37 year old Valverde or a 32 year old Cavendish.

balmybaldwin - on 21 Jul 2017
In reply to yorkshireman:

On the corner that is the first exit of place de La concorde you get to see them twice a lap (as they come past but also as they enter the finish straight.
nufkin - on 21 Jul 2017
It was nice to see both men and women riding (some) of the same course yesterday. A bit disappointing there weren't podium hunks for the lasses' presentation though, unless I missed them
Chris Harris - on 21 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> Seen not one but 2 clips on twitter- quite possibly the same copper. Once when behind Barguil (a Columbia with a flag) the other when behind Atapuna (so probably more columbians). Both powerful pushes then sends the idiot off the road ( and hopefully into a ditch) but With the second he pushes him into another idiot and so scores double points !

This one.

https://au.sports.yahoo.com/a/36451979/tour-de-france-savage-cop-sends-tubby-fan-tumbling/#play

ads.ukclimbing.com
Chris the Tall - on 21 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris Harris:

Heres the othe one (hopefully)

https://twitter.com/mummyjilly/status/888167485832388609
Chris the Tall - on 21 Jul 2017
In reply to nufkin:

I think the days of the podium girls are numbered - the Vuelta is dropping them

The womens race was short but interesting. Complete screw-up by Boels though, Deignan would have been far closer to winning if she hadn't done some much work for her team mates on the climb.
GrahamD - on 21 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> The womens race was short but interesting. Complete screw-up by Boels though, Deignan would have been far closer to winning if she hadn't done some much work for her team mates on the climb.

It certainly looked as though they didn't realise who their strongest rider was on the day.
Chris the Tall - on 21 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

Really good to see EBH and Dimension Data/Qubekha finally get a stage win

(God knows what else has happened - been done the pub since 3 and just back in time for the last 5 km !)
Lusk - on 21 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Good use of a roundabout!
Wanderer100 - on 21 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> Really good to see EBH and Dimension Data/Qubekha finally get a stage win

Absolutely. How weird to watch the peloton roll over the finish line in team formation with Team Sky very dominant at the front.

I wonder who will win the TT and if Froome can extend his lead over Bardet and Uran?

elsewhere on 21 Jul 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:
Stage 1 Dortmund
Froome + 0'12"
Uran +1'03"
Bardet +0'51"
Landa +1'08"

Froome Bardet Uran in that order in Paris?
Post edited at 17:59
Wanderer100 - on 21 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

Probably.

Great to see Yates hold onto the White jersey.

Warren Barguil has been magnificent as king of the mountains.

Very bad luck for Kittel but Matthews is a worthy recipient of the Green Jersey and will be there or thereabouts on the finish line on the Champs Elysee.

A lot of what if's for Porte, Thomas, Sagan, Cavendish.

What a great Tour de France.

Time for Froome to concentrate on the Vuelta or the Giro?
JLS on 21 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

I think Uran will overhaul Bardet. I expect he has more belief in himself than he did three weeks ago and some of his time trialling ablitity of old will resurface. Also, I think he's just been riding more conservatively than Bardet and will be fresher for it.
JLS on 21 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

EBH must in with a shout for Sunday too.

Chris the Tall - on 21 Jul 2017
In reply to JLS:

I hope you're right but my money is on Gripel Bouhani and Matthews in that order
Chris the Tall - on 21 Jul 2017
In reply to Lusk:

Was it EBH or Arndt who lead the way in choosing that side - whoever it was had done their homework but it's rare to see something so decisive and missed by so many - chapeau!
Chris the Tall - on 21 Jul 2017
Lusk - on 21 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

A went first. Great to watch the way they went flying ahead.
From the brain frazzled post race interview, I think they'd both reconned.
captain paranoia - on 21 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Maybe he should just let the hairs on his legs grow...

(they shed vortices, just like the dimple suits...)
Yanis Nayu - on 22 Jul 2017
In reply to captain paranoia:

I think from aero testing they've concluded that shaved legs (compared to averagely hairy ones) give as much aero gain as a trick aero bike.

Mind you, the bike is cheaper than the razors.
Toby_W on 22 Jul 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

No.

Shaved on the front hairy on the back. No one seems to do it though. Go figure?

Cheers

Toby
Yanis Nayu - on 22 Jul 2017
In reply to Toby_W:

> No.

> Shaved on the front hairy on the back. No one seems to do it though. Go figure?

I can't begin to imagine.

http://www.stickybottle.com/uncategorized/are-you-more-aero-and-faster-with-shaved-legs-these-wind-t...
Toby_W on 22 Jul 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

Just no, this is why.

http://road.cc/content/news/201932-how-high-should-you-shave-your-legs-shorts-sculpted-razor

Toby

Sorry, you didn't need to ever know what hamster pants where did you?


matt perks - on 22 Jul 2017
In reply to Toby_W:

Coast round Marseille looking amazing. Huge cave and masses of rock straight into the water for DWS.
Wanderer100 - on 22 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

1 Froome
2 Uran
3 Bardet

Landa misses a podium finish by 1 second!!

JLS on 22 Jul 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:

I wasn't expecting Bardet's ride to go quite so pear shape... Still, he's been luck to hang on to his podium spot.
elsewhere on 22 Jul 2017
In reply to JLS:
> I wasn't expecting Bardet's ride to go quite so pear shape... Still, he's been luck to hang on to his podium spot.

Bardet woke up feeling unwell this morning and he looked terrible on the steep section today switching between sitting and out of the saddle every few pedal strokes.

Would have been embarrassing if Froome had caught him.

Landa vs Bardet on the Champs Elysese? A gap in the strung out peleton would be the enough.
Post edited at 17:25
Yanis Nayu - on 22 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

I was feeling for Bardet on that climb; he'd completely gone.
bouldery bits - on 22 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

Not a proper tour win without a stage victory.

Froomey better win the sprint tomorrow or it doesn't count.
ads.ukclimbing.com
JamButty - on 22 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

> Landa vs Bardet on the Champs Elysese? A gap in the strung out peleton would be the enough.

How does that work with the etiquette stuff. Understand the yellow jersey is protected, but what about the other places. Would be funny, but I suspect Landa would get lynched!!
mbh - on 22 Jul 2017
In reply to bouldery bits:

Disagree. Consistency is the thing. Froome has been magnificent this year, first among a very strong group of leaders, with some terrific racing. Fully deserved.
Greasy Prusiks on 22 Jul 2017
In reply to bouldery bits:

Hahaha agreed. Not been a classy ride from Froome and sky IMO.

Bardet and especially Barguil have been brilliant though, AG2R put their heart and soul into it this year. Dan Martin for some proper old school grit and guts as well.

I think Contador was riding into some decent form towards the end, worth watching at the vuelta maybe? In fact any bets for the vuelta people? It's been better racing at the vuelta for the last few years in my opinion and the parcours looks really good, should be fun.
GrahamD - on 22 Jul 2017
In reply to bouldery bits:
> Froomey better win the sprint tomorrow or it doesn't count.

We'll see what the records say on Monday, eh ?
JayK - on 22 Jul 2017
In reply to Greasy Prusiks:

Not been a classy ride from Sky?! Are you joking?! They have been utterly utterly immense - with potentially only one slightly weaker link (Hinao, who was uncharacteristically weak in the last few mountain stages.)

If anything the main disappointments were the lack of challenge from the other GC riders and the lack of summit finishes. Bardet never really looked like he was ever going to take any real time out of Froome and the commentators were constantly trying to big up the Uran TT threat in a bid to keep interest in the contest. Porte was the only real threat (could also argue that Movistar were set up to push Valverde as Quintana was knackered from the Giro.) It's all set up nicely for next year with Landa at Movistar, Porte at BMC, Dumoulin and Froome - add a few more summit finishes and it will be a classic.

Oh - and whoever said Froome now needs to focus on the other grand tours - he is only 1 TdF yellow jersey away from joining the likes of Merckx, Anquetil, Hinault and Indurain. Imagine saying that in 2010.....

What an absolutely brilliant time for British sport.
Christheclimber on 23 Jul 2017
In reply to JayK:
> Not been a classy ride from Sky?! Are you joking?! They have been utterly utterly immense - with potentially only one slightly weaker link (Hinao, who was uncharacteristically weak in the last few mountain stages.)

> Oh - and whoever said Froome now needs to focus on the other grand tours - he is only 1 TdF yellow jersey away from joining the likes of Merckx, Anquetil, Hinault and Indurain. Imagine saying that in 2010.....

Well said, I totally agree. Four TDF wins is an amazing achievement.
Post edited at 09:32
JamButty - on 23 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

Aye well done Froomey and Sky, interesting to see if anyone plays any games today.....

Interesting article on BBC about Froome's popularity. I suspect one of the reasons he hasn't won SPOTY is that in recent years there have been some big British sports wins in the more mainstream sports.....

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/40692045


ablackett - on 23 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:


> Landa vs Bardet on the Champs Elysese? A gap in the strung out peleton would be the enough.

It would need to be a 3 second gap as the rules have changed this year on flat stages to make time splits less likely in a bunch finish. Landa's only options are to try and ride away from the bunch or get top 3 in the sprint for the time bonus.

Wanderer100 - on 23 Jul 2017
In reply to JayK:

> Oh - and whoever said Froome now needs to focus on the other grand tours - he is only 1 TdF yellow jersey away from joining the likes of Merckx, Anquetil, Hinault and Indurain. Imagine saying that in 2010.....

It was me that said he should start to concentrate on the other GTs and I stand by that.

The first 3 names you mention all won the Giro and the Vuelta as well as multiple victories on the TdF. Indurain won 2 Giros in addition to his 5 Tour victories.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Grand_Tour_general_classification_winners

Froome has the ability to claim true greatness and he can start by winning this year's Vuelta.

> What an absolutely brilliant time for British sport.

Agreed.

Chris the Tall - on 23 Jul 2017
In reply to JayK:


> Oh - and whoever said Froome now needs to focus on the other grand tours - he is only 1 TdF yellow jersey away from joining the likes of Merckx, Anquetil, Hinault and Indurain. Imagine saying that in 2010.....

Froome not at his imperious best this year, but there is still the possibility that he is aiming to peak later this year, in order to carry his Tour form into the vuelta. Or he may be struggling with a back injury. If the vuelta has it's usual steep finishes then he could lose time, but he shouldn't be so vulnerable to a Movistar/contador combo this year. And if he wins the vuelta, then why not go for the giro and complete the hat trick. Not sure if anyone has held all 3 simultaneously

> What an absolutely brilliant time for British sport.

Chris the Tall - on 23 Jul 2017
In reply to JamButty:

I suspect he hasn't won Spoty because he's never lived here, and rarely races here.

I reckon if Thomas gets nominated- and in the past a stage win an 4 days in yellow would be more than sufficient- he'd beat CF in the vote. Regrettably I think it will be another Monegasque tax-dodger who wins.

The women's cricket team are in the final today, but no stand out figures. And England beat Scotland 6-0 in the women's euros - did anyone notice ?
Chris the Tall - on 23 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

Just seen the highlights from yesterday- how close did Uran come to crashing and blowing his second place !

Nice tactic by Froome to finish at the same time as Bardet and so avoid too much booing!
Greasy Prusiks on 23 Jul 2017
In reply to JayK:

I'm not joking! I agree that sky put in a very impressive performance and were undoubtedly the strongest team. However for me it didn't have the flair and panache of other wins.

The way sky race relies on their massive budget, to have enough riders with enough fire power to control the race in the way they do can only be done with money. This tactic makes it very difficult for a rider to attack early enough on a mountain stage to gain substantial amounts of time. Combine this with Froomes brilliant time trialing and it means you can ride a very effective defensive race.

Personally I like the opposite style of racing where the focus is much more on individual riders attacking to gain time and win stages than holding other riders in check. I think with this style you get much more of the drama and adventure than with sky's tactics.

I'm not denying the effectiveness of sky or of Froome but I just don't find it as inspiring to watch.
kevin stephens - on 23 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

so how much of an impact would banning race radios have had on this year's tour and on the result (if any)?
gethin_allen on 23 Jul 2017
In reply to Greasy Prusiks:

Next year the teams are smaller (by one) so there may be a slight change to the way a team can dominate.
I don't really buy the thing that sky won purely because of their budget. Early lone breaks will never work in any team race if the person up front is anywhere near the GC. Even a bunch of average pro riders will reel in a solo break.
The mountain stages do normally split things up as the aero benefits are minimised but then that's the responsibility of the course organiser not the teams and this year they went with fewer mountain finishes so it was closer that ever.
gethin_allen on 23 Jul 2017
In reply to kevin stephens:

> so how much of an impact would banning race radios have had on this year's tour and on the result (if any)?

I reckon the teams would develop some sort of work around, banning power meters would have a big impact IMO.
kevin stephens - on 23 Jul 2017
In reply to gethin_allen:

I agree, sometimes the Tour is too much about closely monitored lab rats
Wanderer100 - on 24 Jul 2017
In reply to kevin stephens:

> I agree, sometimes the Tour is too much about closely monitored lab rats

It's not just the Tour though is it? All Pro cycling operates at the same level and radios, power meters and Team tactics are part of nearly all race set ups.
wercat on 24 Jul 2017
In reply to Greasy Prusiks:

do you mean it's a bit that they ride in a way that IBM would ?
Yanis Nayu - on 24 Jul 2017
In reply to gethin_allen:

I reckon the effect of power meters on racing is a bit overstated.
Mike Highbury - on 24 Jul 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:
> It's not just the Tour though is it? All Pro cycling operates at the same level and radios, power meters and Team tactics are part of nearly all race set ups.

Yes and no. Grand tour racing is much more about organisation, conserving oneself and managing one's team and resources across the three weeks and, presumably, the period beforehand.

A small example was one of the South African (I think) rider's comments on TV how, to be selected for the Tour, he so destroyed himself during the preceding two months that he was a carcass by two weeks in.
Chris the Tall - on 24 Jul 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

Agree, and removing them would have little effect - the genie is out of the bottle. Riders are always going to train with them, so they have a better understanding of how to stay at the required levels. What would be good if all riders had standard head units and all the data was made publicly available after the stage.

As to race radios, the teams and the riders always cite safety reasons. Maybe all riders should just receive the race radio feed ? But I always feel sorry for the guy who finds himself on a solo, doomed, breakaway. If that was me, I'd get my team to pipe in some music, or a read a book to me !
malk - on 24 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:
how accurately would they be able to gauge wattage without meters?

has anyone been following LA's podcasts? what did you think?
Post edited at 11:45
GrahamD - on 24 Jul 2017
In reply to Greasy Prusiks:

> The way sky race relies on their massive budget, to have enough riders with enough fire power to control the race in the way they do can only be done with money.

Actually the Sky budget these days isn't that far different from other top teams like Katusha or BMC.

I don't think changing the number in a team by 1 makes much difference either given that Sky lost their main domestique early on.

I think the reason Sky do what they do is partly because other teams let them do it, partly because they focus more on the tour rather than other races but mainly because they have the best stage racer of the generation.
Yanis Nayu - on 24 Jul 2017
In reply to Mike Highbury:

That was the Kiwi, Jack Bauer. Stylish rider.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Mike Highbury - on 24 Jul 2017
In reply to GrahamD:
> I think the reason Sky do what they do is partly because other teams let them do it, partly because they focus more on the tour rather than other races but mainly because they have the best stage racer of the generation.

Rot, that's Alberto.
GrahamD - on 24 Jul 2017
In reply to Mike Highbury:

> Rot, that's Alberto.

Not now it isn't. 3 years ago maybe.
Mike Highbury - on 24 Jul 2017
In reply to GrahamD:
> Not now it isn't. 3 years ago maybe.

Only on TV does a generation last 5 years.
Chris the Tall - on 24 Jul 2017
In reply to Mike Highbury:

> Only on TV does a generation last 5 years.

Which is longer than his dominance of the peleton lasted

9 GT wins in 10 years is an impressive stat. 7 wins in 10 years is still pretty impressive. But failing to get on the podium at the TDF for the last 6 years, when CF has won 4 of them and been runner-up once, implies that he hasn't been the best rider for a number of years. Possibly not a "generation", but longer than he was top dog for.

He may well be the most exciting racer in recent years. but even without speculation as to why his form has dipped so sharply since 2010, is he really the best rider of the post-Lance era ?
the sheep - on 24 Jul 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:


> He may well be the most exciting racer in recent years. but even without speculation as to why his form has dipped so sharply since 2010, is he really the best rider of the post-Lance era ?

You two really have got a beef with each other on this score

Greasy Prusiks on 24 Jul 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

I agree that sky focus on the tour more than others do. It's funny I think in Britain the tour is considered more important than it is in Europe.

I disagree that Froome is the best stage racer of a generation. He's undoubtedly very good and has been the strongest rider for a few seasons but Contador has a more impressive set of results.
captain paranoia - on 24 Jul 2017
In reply to Mike Highbury:

> Rot, that's Alberto

Contadope...?
Stuart en Écosse - on 24 Jul 2017
In reply to malk:

> has anyone been following LA's podcasts? what did you think?

Who?
Hugh J - on 25 Jul 2017
In reply to Stuart en Écosse:
Perhaps the guy of Dodgeball fame?
Post edited at 06:57
GrahamD - on 25 Jul 2017
In reply to Greasy Prusiks:

I guess I see AC and CF as slightly different generations but I think your right. Not sure what their head to head records look like in stage races ?
Mike Highbury - on 25 Jul 2017
In reply to malk:
> has anyone been following LA's podcasts? what did you think?

They could do with an edit, that's for sure. A couple of things come to mind. He doesn't like talking about the tours that were taken off him! More significantly, he said how Froome has too many mechanicals and falls off too much and that must influence his chance of winning. (Being incredibly well supported and the odd decision in his favour has been a help, certainly.) LA added that he suffered only one, a puncture, during his seven winning rides. Is that right? Didn't his bike snap when the child caught his bars with the tat?
Chris the Tall - on 25 Jul 2017
In reply to Mike Highbury:
Luz Ardiden - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEqQW1-casM - chain and pedals problems, but don't think he needed a bike change

Heard the one puncture stat a few times, in contrast to his comeback years which were fraught with crashes, injuries and mechanicals (not to mention angry mormons). There is a view that "bad luck" generally follows from trying too hard, pushing the margins etc etc and that having a buffer gives you the mental ability to do stuff like this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gr89ku-K2WU

Not listened to his podcast - read his book years back and even though I believed him (until the Simeoni incident) I thought he was thoroughly obnoxious and arrogant.

Chris the Tall - on 25 Jul 2017
In reply to elsewhere:
2018 route leaked - Alpe d'Huez, Ventoux then the Pyrennees. 3 TTs

https://twitter.com/festinaboy/status/889771365443792896

But it might be a fake !
Post edited at 11:12
elsewhere on 25 Jul 2017
Chris Frome says ...

To win the Tour and the Vuelta in one year would be absolutely incredible. I’ve got that opportunity now and I’m certainly going to go for it.

https://www.teamsky.com/article/froome-looking-ahead-after-fourth-tour-success

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