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2011 Tour de France Stage 18 - Pinerolo - Galibier Serre-Chevalier 200.5km

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19 Jul 2011 11:45

The Hitch wrote:Well thank god for that. I really wasnt in a mood to do a preview for this stage today.

And very nicely done.

Col d Angel is what can really make this stage. Forget, Plateau de Beille, Alpe d huez, Galibier, Mont Ventoux, this is Le Tours Zoncolan (or maybe its Finnestre) though its gradients obviously dont match up to those standards.



+1 Rolland has impressed me more than anyone in this Tour. Though if you have him there, you also have to have Vanendert and there never was no magnificent 9.


Thanks for the praise Hitch (and everyone else). :D

Agnel is a real beast, I was amazed at its profile, can't believe its not been used before more often!

Rolland's climbing has been superb but he's not one of the 7 with a shot at winning it. I did give him a mention with Voekler though, a worthy sidekick if any (now why didn't I think of that when writing :D). Vanendert would've been there then as well. And then a case to be made about Peraud, Uran, Cunego...

Very surprised most articles, blogs, opinions in the media only think 3-5 riders have a chance to win. Considering how variable the race is you'd have to imagine its quite open!
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19 Jul 2011 12:06

The Alpe d'Huez more prestigious than the Tourmalet? My ***.
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19 Jul 2011 12:14

jsem94 wrote:Yeah, I don't think Vanendert will want to sacrifice himself to set a tempo up Galibier.


Yeah, it would be pretty stupid to sacrifice a potential stage win so that Gilbert can move up from third to second place in the green jersey classification.
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19 Jul 2011 15:37

Any news on whether the stage will be shortened.

I wanted to see Crostis but with the GC situation atm, having the full stage here is of even greater importance.
The Hitch: Winner 2013 Vuelta cq game. Winner, Velorooms prediction game 2012, 2013. 2nd all time cq rankings.
The Father of Clean Cycling, Christophe Bassons wrote:When I look at cycling today, I get the impression that history is repeating itself: riders who are supposed to be rouleurs are climbing passes at the front of the race, and those who are supposed to be climbers are riding time trials at more than 50 kilometres per hour.

The story is beginning again, just as it did 14 years ago


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19 Jul 2011 15:45

I just checked the weather for Thursday. Over the Agnello it should be around 9 degrees and sunny, so no problem. The Galibier - should be OK, but there is a chance of rain/snow, and it will be pretty cold.

Of course, forecasts change all the time, so we won't know for sure until Thursday morning.
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19 Jul 2011 16:00

The Hitch wrote:Any news on whether the stage will be shortened.

I wanted to see Crostis but with the GC situation atm, having the full stage here is of even greater importance.

I wonder what alternatives Prudhomme has planned. Could snow on the Galibier lead to a MTF on the Granon?
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19 Jul 2011 17:33

update times if you can please :)
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19 Jul 2011 20:40

Okay, I'll ask you all to channel your inner Bjarne. Where does Contador attack to make time on this stage? (Assuming no major GC shake-ups in Stage 17... which is perhaps a big assumption after the action of Stage 16 earlier today).

Both Col Agnel and Col d'Izoard look tailor-made for one of Contador's patented blistering attacks when it starts ramping up 7-8k from the summit. Galibier, however, looks like a long slog more suited for the diesels, until it kicks up a bit in the last 4k or so.

Will Contador be able to wait for that last section of Galibier to attack, or will he have a go on one of the earlier climbs? If he goes early and gets a gap, he risks getting caught on the descent (Evans/Sanchez) or having the diesels (Evans/Basso) gradually reel him in on the long ascent of Galibier. If he waits until that last 4k, he risks making only minimal time gains on his rivals and perhaps leaving too much to regain in the last two stages.

I'm sure that Contador would prefer the order of the climbs were reversed on this stage, but as it is... where would you recommend he attack if you were his DS?
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19 Jul 2011 20:41

I think if Evans can stay 30 seconds or less behind Contador in this stage, he'll win the Tour.

I don't think he will though.
Depending on the time losses in Stage 17, the Schlecks HAVE to attack in this stage.

Great Preview Tuarts!!!

This stage will be Superb!!

And NO SNOW PLEASE! Andy doesn't need another excuse :p
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19 Jul 2011 20:49

I am *really* looking forward to this one :)
Great preview - ty!

PS: As to where Contador will attack... I guess it depends alot on how things turn out on stage 17 ;)
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19 Jul 2011 21:00

valentius borealis wrote:I wonder what alternatives Prudhomme has planned. Could snow on the Galibier lead to a MTF on the Granon?


That would be awesome. But realistically maybe they'd just finish at Lautaret?
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19 Jul 2011 21:17

Fus087 wrote:Also, the Alpe d'Huez stage, just like the Lourdes stage, will be a "short mountain stage", with 3% more time limit than the "normal mountain stages". So it's actually more likely to get Cavendish eliminated on the Galibier stage.


As a Cav fan, I agree. The Alpe d'Huez stage should be fine. The Galibier comes early in the day on that one, when he'll be fresh. There then follows a massive descent - almost 50 kms of it - and as a good descender, he'll make up any lost ground to the bus. You're then straight into Alpe d'Huez. And it's really not that tough.

This one is really tough. Giro tough. There'll be carnage all over the road up Agnel - and there's still another 100km and 2 HC climbs left. I think HTC will be concerned.
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19 Jul 2011 22:26

Rojas to get in the break and get some points for the Green Jersey.
RIP Wouter Weylandt - 27 September 1984 – 9 May 2011.

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RIP John aka theswordsman - 2 July 1957 - 1 August 2011

Wouter, John and Xavi, you all will be missed.
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19 Jul 2011 22:35

Why should Cavendish be eliminated? He climbed perfectly fine today and didn't try to go as slow as possible to conserve energy for the coming stages.
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19 Jul 2011 22:39

roundabout wrote:Why should Cavendish be eliminated? He climbed perfectly fine today and didn't try to go as slow as possible to conserve energy for the coming stages.


Andy was towing him up the climb.
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19 Jul 2011 23:20

Califootman wrote:
Both Col Agnel and Col d'Izoard look tailor-made for one of Contador's patented blistering attacks when it starts ramping up 7-8k from the summit. Galibier, however, looks like a long slog more suited for the diesels, until it kicks up a bit in the last 4k or so.


I'm sure that Contador would prefer the order of the climbs were reversed on this stage, but as it is... where would you recommend he attack if you were his DS?


I've ridden the last 75km. The start of the Izoard is a long drag and you still feel that you are on a valley floor through Arvieux but at Brunissard the D902 turns into the trees and the hairpins. This is the place for attacks as you are quickly out of sight. The gradient hits 10% almost all the way to the top with 1 short flat section and once over the top there is a very fast descent into Briancon on a good road surface. I'm not sure of the route they will take through the town but there is an option to take an extremely steep, climb of maybe 1km in the town centre before the start of the Lauteret/Galibier climb. The first 15km of this is pretty flat but the pitch gradually increases as you approach the Lauteret and turn right onto the Galibier.

If anyone has the invention to go on the Izoard the chase behind would be desperate. The Agnel climb will have dispatched most, if not all of the favourites' team mates.

As for snow. The top of the Galibier really is a barren and exposed place. You are in a different world. We climbed from a furnace like Briancon to a freezing hailstorm in May. The worst conditions I have ever cycled in on a seriously scary road as we dropped back to the Lauteret (TdF will do this on stage 19) ............but then again I'm not a pro. They wouldn't complain of having to descend in the wet would they?
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20 Jul 2011 02:32

Magic Spanner wrote:I've ridden the last 75km. The start of the Izoard is a long drag and you still feel that you are on a valley floor through Arvieux but at Brunissard the D902 turns into the trees and the hairpins. This is the place for attacks as you are quickly out of sight. The gradient hits 10% almost all the way to the top with 1 short flat section and once over the top there is a very fast descent into Briancon on a good road surface. I'm not sure of the route they will take through the town but there is an option to take an extremely steep, climb of maybe 1km in the town centre before the start of the Lauteret/Galibier climb. The first 15km of this is pretty flat but the pitch gradually increases as you approach the Lauteret and turn right onto the Galibier.

If anyone has the invention to go on the Izoard the chase behind would be desperate. The Agnel climb will have dispatched most, if not all of the favourites' team mates.

As for snow. The top of the Galibier really is a barren and exposed place. You are in a different world. We climbed from a furnace like Briancon to a freezing hailstorm in May. The worst conditions I have ever cycled in on a seriously scary road as we dropped back to the Lauteret (TdF will do this on stage 19) ............but then again I'm not a pro. They wouldn't complain of having to descend in the wet would they?


Good post. The little climb in Galibier is the one they finished on in 2007, quite a narrow path? On the profile it looks like there is a ramp at the same point of Briancon so they should be doing it. Although 2007 they came off Galibier the way they go up this year.

I hope Contador has the legs, that way he can light Izoard up like he did the Giau (although to be fair, it was Rujano and Rodriguez who kicked that off?).
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20 Jul 2011 07:45

The stage will be superb. However i can maybe envisage a break going before stage 19. Cadel is good in the cold as he won't catch one. The lightly built climbers might.
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20 Jul 2011 07:48

Ferminal wrote:Good post. The little climb in Galibier is the one they finished on in 2007 ?, quite a narrow path? On the profile it looks like there is a ramp at the same point of Briancon so they should be doing it. Although 2007 they came off Galibier the way they go up this year.

I hope Contador has the legs, that way he can light Izoard up like he did the Giau (although to be fair, it was Rujano and Rodriguez who kicked that off?).


The climb in Brancon town centre is steeper than anything on the Izoard or Galibier. A real leg stinger. More like the short sharp Derbyshire climbs I'm used to. They used part of it for the finish when Soler won the stage for Barloworld - 2008? It starts off as a proper road on a good surface in the town centre. It can be extended by going into the old town and then it's a cobbled climb with a gutter in the middle at the same gradient. DiLuca won when this was used as a finish in the Giro in 2007. Don't think they will use this bit on stage 18 which is a shame.

Check it out on Google Earth. Av De La Republique which is the D2 in Briancon and then Grand Rue in the old town.
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20 Jul 2011 08:01

Oh how I would love a stage finish in Briancon. That 07 Giro stage was beautiful
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