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Impressive surprise

Jul 16, 2010
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Which rider, team or incident in this year's Tour made you sit back and think "Wow! I wasn't expecting that!"
For me it would be Hesjedal's 7th place in the GC. I was thinking top 15 but he never gave up and rode better in the mountains than I expected .
That and the refound sprinting of Petacchi. He's not faster than Cavendish, no one is, but he's ridden with a confidence and dedication I haven't seen in quite a while.
 
Jul 14, 2009
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Roadrage said:
Which rider, team or incident in this year's Tour made you sit back and think "Wow! I wasn't expecting that!"
For me it would be Hesjedal's 7th place in the GC. I was thinking top 15 but he never gave up and rode better in the mountains than I expected .
That and the refound sprinting of Petacchi. He's not faster than Cavendish, no one is, but he's ridden with a confidence and dedication I haven't seen in quite a while.

Agreed on Hesjedal. To a lesser extent, Sammy Sanchez and VDB surprised me as well. Also, the strength of Astana's climbers, and the way Vino managed to recover from the Giro. I was also expecting Basso to be AC and AS main challenger, but he just collapsed. Oh and Chavanel, with so many near misses and only one stage win coming into this tour, takes two in the first week. Anthony Charteau was a surprisingly legit KOM winner, and Lotto had some seriously strong climbers to support VDB. In the incident category, obviously the chain, Contador's struggles in the TT, Menchov not crashing, Stage two's crashes, and how aggressive Andy Schleck was on the Madeline stage.
 
Roadrage said:
Which rider, team or incident in this year's Tour made you sit back and think "Wow! I wasn't expecting that!"

Liestrong's 23rd place. I didn't expect failure of that magnitude. That's not to say I didn't enjoy every second of it. :)

Seriously though, Hesjedal's performance has been superb. As has VdB2's.

I expected a bit more from Wiggins though.
 
Sep 16, 2009
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Moose McKnuckles said:
Liestrong's 23rd place. I didn't expect failure of that magnitude. That's not to say I didn't enjoy every second of it. :)

:D Yep - Anyone who says they didn't enjoy it are telling fibs. I know I enjoyed it.
 
The performances by Hesjedal, VDB and Rodriguez surprised. Menchov and Sanchez did better than expected. Gesink rode very well, but for me the biggest surprise was how close Schleck came to winning. Contador seemed to struggle to hold his form for the entire 3 weeks. Horner was not a surprise. he just continues giving his all.
 
Jul 14, 2009
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movingtarget said:
The performances by Hesjedal, VDB and Rodriguez surprised. Menchov and Sanchez did better than expected. Gesink rode very well, but for me the biggest surprise was how close Schleck came to winning. Contador seemed to struggle to hold his form for the entire 3 weeks. Horner was not a surprise. he just continues giving his all.

Not sure how these two are a big surprise. Rodriguez is only a year removed from being the only climber to hang with Contador on the Angliru at the Vuelta. We already knew he was an excellent climber. And for Menchov, well he was bound to have a Tour with no bad luck eventually, and this was it.
 
Mar 12, 2009
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I thought, when CVV inevitably crashed, that Ryder might make top 10 if he had great form and better luck. But to be honest, as soon as I posted that I kind of regretted it; based on his past I really thought maybe I was getting carried away because we share hometowns. Glad to say I was wrong. Timewise, he's a long way from the podium but with the confidence gained this year I do think he can improve even more.
 
Feb 14, 2010
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Andy Schleck's high level day in and day out after injuries and crashes really hurt the first half of the season. I expected him to look more like Wiggins did this year.
 
ericthesportsman6 said:
Not sure how these two are a big surprise. Rodriguez is only a year removed from being the only climber to hang with Contador on the Angliru at the Vuelta. We already knew he was an excellent climber. And for Menchov, well he was bound to have a Tour with no bad luck eventually, and this was it.

Point taken. Have not seen Rodriguez race much except the Ardenne classics where he did very well. Menchov was due for a change of luck but I still thought we had seen the best of him in the Tour. Happy to be proven wrong. Looks like he won't ride the Giro next year after this performance. Contador is still talking about the Giro but I have my doubts.
 

SpartacusRox

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May 6, 2010
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Hugh Januss said:
I was impressed by VDB, Hesjedal, Horner, Schleck's TT and how totally deep in the tank Armstrong went.

Agree on all of those. Was also impressed with Chavanel who really stepped up for QS and gave them some good credibility. I also like to see Tommy V winning, a great effort to honour his French champions jersey.
 
Jan 19, 2010
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Contador was the biggest surprise to me. Not his overall win, but his epic fail yesterday losing to Cancellara by 5:43. I base this on his performance last year when he beat Spartacus in the long TT.

Did he quit using the juice this year?

It is clear that LA couldn't top up given his dismal results, but I didn't expect the same from AC.
 
Terrible fail on your part sir.

Cancellara was one of the early starters, when there was barely any wind.
Then, a few hours later, there was a fierce headwind for all GC contenders

If you didn't notice by now, most of them finished in the 50th to 150th place region.

Riding a TT with a hard headwind is a lot different than riding a TT with just a little headwind. Especially if it's flat, one way, and 52km :rolleyes:
 
Also everyone seems to have forgotten that last years TT was 10k shorter with a Cat 3 climb on it.

Was about to choke on my coffee when I saw you could get odds 2.5 for AC not making top 3. Too bad I was broke.
 
the uneventfullness of the pyranees, how they managed that? well it was really impressive.
Stage 14 was boring but i thought, no worries, there is a good climb tomorow, things will change. But then nothing happened on stage 15 (other than a mechanical) so i thought, well its going to imrpove dont woryy

Then on stage 16 i woke up and thought, this can not possibly be more boring than the previous 2 stages, but by the end i really was standing up and saying WOW, you have managed it again. And then the anticlimax on the tourmalet, i stood up and asked, WOW how did they manage to f**k that one up.

in conclusion, wow how did they manage do go 4 for 4 in the pyranees. That is 4 stages, 4 boring stages
I guess and distant second would be the performance of Sammy Sanchez in the mountains
 
ericthesportsman6 said:
... Menchov not crashing ...

This.

Also, I agree with the general sentiment about Hesjedal & VDB. Class riding from those two, and I hope to see more of it in the future, but I have my doubts about Hesjedal's being able to ride like this again next year. We'll see, though--here's hoping he proves me wrong!

Other surprises: And Petacchi (likely) in green, Contador's less-than-stellar form (too much in the spring?), Armstrong/Kloeden/Leipheimer all being out-ridden by Horner (to The Clinic!), etc.

Another surprise for me was Cancellara's apparent promotion to patron.
 
Agree with others on VDB(poorACF94) and Hesjedal, another rider now on the Garmin A programme clearly:rolleyes:

Charteau, but the Polka dot jersey is a bit of a joke these days.

I was surprised that Contador was not at his top level but I guess it kept it more interesting.
 
Moose McKnuckles said:
Liestrong's 23rd place. I didn't expect failure of that magnitude. That's not to say I didn't enjoy every second of it. :)

yes. i wallowed it. loved every minute of it. it was one time in the last ten years that i wished there was more camera time for it. it was fabulous. i only wish it had been much much "worse" (i.e. better)...i guess that will come when he is behind bars. then i'll need tissues...:p
 
Going off at a bit of a tangent and a bit of an anoraky stat but i was surprised at the number of finishers given the tough course, number of early falls and the often hot weather. 170 out of 197 starters. Similar percentage to last year and they must have both been roughly the highest proportion of finishers ever. This year's finishers number was the highest ever although there were more starters than usual. Glad i didnt put a bet on there being less than 161 finishers (betfair).:D

http://bikeraceinfo.com/tdf/tdfstats.html
 

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