Belgium Stages - Will we see similar chaos like the Giro

Feb 18, 2010
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Less road furniture than Holland, but not completely devoid of it. More stewards. The roads into Brussels are wide and big and should be fine.
I don't expect carnage like in Holland, but then again I didn't expect it when they hit Liège in the Vuelta last year either.
 
Mar 11, 2009
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I would expect someone like Saxo to hit the front and drill it through the cobbles to try and cause people problems. I think it's a fair bet that at least one rider's GC ambitions will be shattered by the pave stages, the only question is whose. Last time it was Iban Mayo.
 
Jan 11, 2010
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The biggest differences in the first week of the Giro were caused by the echelons in the Zeeland stage. They'll ride most of these roads again in the 2nd stage of the Tour, but in the first half of the stage. If there are teams willing to do some damage there, time differences could be massive, but somehow I doubt it.
 
May 20, 2010
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See I wondered if Saxo Bank would try and rip it apart on the cobbles given that their team will have Breschel, Cancellara and O'Grady. But why would they if it causes as much damage to the Schlecks as it would to other GC contenders.

Ok it might keep Cancellara in the GC for a good bit longer, but Contador and co would know they just need to wait until the mountains. I honestly can't work out who will do what.
 
hughmoore said:
Not long to go now, are the Belgium Cobble stages and roads narrow with lots of road furniture similar to the Giro routes, will we see similar chaos.
I don't think so, and here's why:

1) The Giro included one stage which was literally all along the coast, which split things apart very early.
2) The Tour de France péloton tends to go quicker than a Giro or Vuelta péloton because more is riding on the race, therefore the need to control the race is stronger.
3) The Giro and Vuelta invited a bunch of local ProConti teams when they started in the Low Countries. Teams like Colnago-CSF, Contentpolis-Ampo, Andalucía-Caja Sur and Androni Giocattoli are filled with featherweight climbers from Spain, Italy and Latin America, none of whom are used to riding in those conditions, and many of whom have some suspect bike handling skills, which made the péloton on edge. With the six wildcard teams at the Tour being Radioshack, Sky, Garmin, Katyusha, BMC and Cervélo, that factor is removed, because all of those teams feature all-rounders, and include experienced hands used to racing in all conditions.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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Libertine Seguros said:
I don't think so, and here's why:

1) The Giro included one stage which was literally all along the coast, which split things apart very early.
2) The Tour de France péloton tends to go quicker than a Giro or Vuelta péloton because more is riding on the race, therefore the need to control the race is stronger.
3) The Giro and Vuelta invited a bunch of local ProConti teams when they started in the Low Countries. Teams like Colnago-CSF, Contentpolis-Ampo, Andalucía-Caja Sur and Androni Giocattoli are filled with featherweight climbers from Spain, Italy and Latin America, none of whom are used to riding in those conditions, and many of whom have some suspect bike handling skills, which made the péloton on edge. With the six wildcard teams at the Tour being Radioshack, Sky, Garmin, Katyusha, BMC and Cervélo, that factor is removed, because all of those teams feature all-rounders, and include experienced hands used to racing in all conditions.
I agree. It won't be carnage but 1 or 2 contenders could fall behind and lose big time.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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No, there won't too as much trouble, but there should be some big time gaps right away.

Andre
 
Jun 3, 2009
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Buffalo Soldier said:
The cobbles are in france.
not all of them
Secteur pavé d'ormeignies (350m)
Secteur pavé d'Hollain (1,200m)
Secteur pavé de Rongy (700m)
are belgium cobbles.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Libertine Seguros said:
3) The Giro and Vuelta invited a bunch of local ProConti teams when they started in the Low Countries. Teams like Colnago-CSF, Contentpolis-Ampo, Andalucía-Caja Sur and Androni Giocattoli are filled with featherweight climbers from Spain, Italy and Latin America, none of whom are used to riding in those conditions, and many of whom have some suspect bike handling skills, which made the péloton on edge. With the six wildcard teams at the Tour being Radioshack, Sky, Garmin, Katyusha, BMC and Cervélo, that factor is removed, because all of those teams feature all-rounders, and include experienced hands used to racing in all conditions.
Erm , most people here would include Sky in the "suspect bike handling skills" catagory based on the first week of the giro.
 
Jul 17, 2009
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Wet cobbles might make it interesting.

Team tactics might be 'protect and swerve' as they send one guy off the front those early stages
 
Mar 11, 2009
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TeamSkyFans said:
Erm , most people here would include Sky in the "suspect bike handling skills" catagory based on the first week of the giro.
Wiggo got a top-25 in Paris-Roubaix a year or two ago, which is I am fairly certain the best P-R finish for any of the GC contenders at this year's TdF. Doubt it will be a factor, but still.
 
TeamSkyFans said:
Erm , most people here would include Sky in the "suspect bike handling skills" catagory based on the first week of the giro.
The Tour squad will be better marshalled (Arvesen), and have the likes of Flecha to guide them. I suspect they'll be better in the Tour than they were in the Giro, no worries about that.

And even so, they were hardly Juan Mauricio Soler out there.
 
Jan 11, 2010
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Libertine Seguros said:
I don't think so, and here's why:

1) The Giro included one stage which was literally all along the coast, which split things apart very early.
2) The Tour de France péloton tends to go quicker than a Giro or Vuelta péloton because more is riding on the race, therefore the need to control the race is stronger.
3) The Giro and Vuelta invited a bunch of local ProConti teams when they started in the Low Countries. Teams like Colnago-CSF, Contentpolis-Ampo, Andalucía-Caja Sur and Androni Giocattoli are filled with featherweight climbers from Spain, Italy and Latin America, none of whom are used to riding in those conditions, and many of whom have some suspect bike handling skills, which made the péloton on edge. With the six wildcard teams at the Tour being Radioshack, Sky, Garmin, Katyusha, BMC and Cervélo, that factor is removed, because all of those teams feature all-rounders, and include experienced hands used to racing in all conditions.
Like I said, they're riding the exact same roads in the first stage of the Tour.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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Libertine Seguros said:
The Tour squad will be better marshalled (Arvesen), and have the likes of Flecha to guide them. I suspect they'll be better in the Tour than they were in the Giro, no worries about that.

And even so, they were hardly Juan Mauricio Soler out there.
I don't want to think about Soler will be like on the cobbles.
 
Nov 17, 2009
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euanli said:
See I wondered if Saxo Bank would try and rip it apart on the cobbles given that their team will have Breschel, Cancellara and O'Grady. But why would they if it causes as much damage to the Schlecks as it would to other GC contenders.

Ok it might keep Cancellara in the GC for a good bit longer, but Contador and co would know they just need to wait until the mountains. I honestly can't work out who will do what.
I think the only way we see a big impact from the cobbled stages are:

1. a team without a GC guy like Quickstep decides to push the pace for a stage win... thus creating larger gaps.

2. somebody important falls and gets hurt.

Lance has to hope #1 happens. His team isn't good enough on the cobbles to create a real selection... but if one does get created then he's got a good shot at being in an earlier group then some other GC guys because of his experience on the pave. He's no expert... but he's at least competent. I'm not sure any other GC contender has proven even competency.
 
theyoungest said:
Like I said, they're riding the exact same roads in the first stage of the Tour.
But the difference is, it will all be in the first 70km that they're on those roads. After that they turn inland. It will still be windy, but it won't be the absolute battering they got in the Giro. The Giro stage was ALL along the coast, and finished in Middelburg. It will be very difficult for those first 70km to do anything like as much as they did in the Giro as there will be so much time to bring it back together in the unlikely case that one of the big contenders gets distanced. The teams will all know what's likely because they'll have watched the Giro, they'll all get right up near the front, and Soler will crash. Also, the main people who lost time in the Giro were people like Cunego (Lampre team) and Pozzovivo (a team consisting almost solely of Italian climbers). People like Moncoutié and Urán lost time, but the only contenders were lightweight climbers few people thought would win anyway.
 

Polish

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Mar 11, 2009
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Didn't the guy who had problems on the dirt road end up winning the Giro?

Didn't the guys who did well on the dirt roads end up doing not so good in the end?
 
Mar 11, 2009
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Polish said:
Didn't the guy who had problems on the dirt road end up winning the Giro?

Didn't the guys who did well on the dirt roads end up doing not so good in the end?
Yeah, but the giro had ACTUAL MOUNTAINS, something the Tour de France organisers seem to be afraid of.
 

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