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

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22 Jul 2011 09:25

Great stage and a great tour.

Yes, it seemed baffling at the time when Cadel got no one to help in chase, but by the top the reason was clear. NO ONE had both the legs and a reason to do so!

Europcar : Kudos for strategy, if not necessarily the sportsmanship. Rolland had strength to help, but Cadel had already pushed Voeckler on limit. Maillot Jeune would have been hurt, not helped if Rolland participated in pace-setting 'cause any extra pace or aceleration would have probably cracked Tommy.

Cadel saved the jersey for them and Tommy's two main challengers (AS and Cadel) ended just as deep in a red-zone as he himself. There is a STRONG possibility those two will not have energy in Alpe d'Huez to do more than defend... FS will probably go, but he needs to take close to two minutes out of TV, AS & CE to be secure of winning. Especially if others can rest a bit tomorrow while Fränk burns his matches...

For EVERYone criticising Rolland. He was doing a PERFECT race yesterday and was immensely strong! It was obvious that Tommy V expected himself to lose contact with contenders at some point. Rolland was saving himself to shepherd MJ up and LIMIT the losses. When his captain did actually enter the final km intact and with a chance of saving the jersey, Rolland immediately went to work - BUT was cried off by exploding lungs of Voeckler as he found out inside 10 secs he couldn't match Pierre. PERFECT helper.

Outside Rolland, Europcar never had anyone to help in pace-making in the valley. Was even Charteau there at that point anymore? Even if he did reach the MJ group for a while, he had nothing left.

Maybe a bit disappointed that Szmyd couldn't/didn't pull at least for a solid km, but maybe he just didn't have legs or maybe Basso didn't feel strong enough.

Conti & Samu didn't have it. Simple. Remember that Samu f ex had to let VDV, Zubeldia etc go in the end and lost a full minute to them! Just holding Haimar's wheel would have kept him in competition for top-5 finish.

Prognosis for today : F.Schleck goes for a rampage and may be joined by some stage-hunter like Jeannesson, Uran (if he recovers) or possibly given a big hand by Arroyo (who could work to eliminate/further penalize Cav).

Others who may feel brave are Contador (stage win would salvage a bit), Samu, Vanendert (KoM race + stage honours). Basso and Cunego are in unfortunate situation of not really contending overall anymore, but still too close to be let go...

My feeling is that after totally knackering themselves yesterday and with a long TT looming, the trio of AS, Cadel & TV will ride defensively. The latter two don't want to let Fränky-boy to win the Tour today, but neither will any of them want to risk the legs for TT for a small gain.

Voeckler MAY crack completely, but we have been waiting for that for a week already... Besides, he has the best domestique in his service.

So, Maillot Jeune to finally change shoulders today to Fränk Schleck, but overall title only to be decided in TT.

GC after Stage 19 :
Fränk Schleck
Thomas Voeckler +37
Andy Schleck +44
Cadel Evans + 1.41
Ivan Basso + 3.55
Alberto Contador +4.11
Damiano Cunego +4.19

The rest (including S.Sanchez) upto 7 minutes down.
seldon71
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22 Jul 2011 09:35

Dekker_Tifosi wrote:Unfair then. BMC did everything they could. In fact, they did more than they could when I look at the team before the Tour.

many classics riders did what they do best, keep Evans out of the problems on the flat/hilly stages.
The few climbers they have did what they do best, stay with Cadel until the foot of the final climb.

BMC haven't failed in any way. He just lacks 1 super domestique, someone like Heras in the Armstrong era.


This.
Maybe not Heras-like, but a really good climber.
User avatar Zoncolan
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22 Jul 2011 11:07

hrotha wrote:What did he say?


Dekker_Tifosi wrote:Unfair then. BMC did everything they could. In fact, they did more than they could when I look at the team before the Tour.

many classics riders did what they do best, keep Evans out of the problems on the flat/hilly stages.
The few climbers they have did what they do best, stay with Cadel until the foot of the final climb.

BMC haven't failed in any way. He just lacks 1 super domestique, someone like Heras in the Armstrong era.


He said it on a morning radio show on a station called Triple M. Paul's an interesting character to say the least.:cool:
diggercuz wrote:second post ever after reading the forum for the last few years and one thing i must say, ACF94 is probably the most intelligent poster here, never biased to BMC or Cadel, and never gets worked up over anything.
User avatar auscyclefan94
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22 Jul 2011 11:13

Zoncolan wrote:This.
Maybe not Heras-like, but a really good climber.
So Pierre Rolland to BMC? :D
User avatar cineteq
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Location: Montreal, Canada

25 Dec 2012 16:58

ericthesportsman6 wrote:I wouldn't panic. There is still a loooong ways to go.


Brilliant idea
User avatar iZnoGouD
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25 Dec 2012 17:00

issoisso wrote:Final climb: 5ºC, rain, headwind.

He's going to blow up so hard. Still, kudos for attacking


you're not good at predicting races
User avatar iZnoGouD
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25 Dec 2012 17:25

Nice bump there
burning
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26 Dec 2012 12:32

iZnoGouD wrote:you're not good at predicting races


Brilliant bump. :D
"It is going to be very scary." - Tom Boonen*
User avatar Panda Claws
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26 Dec 2012 14:01

pointless bumb. . . .

/thread closed
User avatar Parrulo
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