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Official thread TdF Stage 15 Pontarlier - Verbier - 207.5 km

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Jul 18, 2009
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Sadly, I suspect we'll see a group of 15 at the finish, no big changes in GC, maybe Kirchen will win (again) in a sprint from the group.

Hopefully, we'll see some attacks from Evans, Schleck and Sastre, but I don't think Verbier will be tough enough for major gaps. I worry that everyone is waiting for Ventoux (like Alpe d'Huez last year) and that it will be too late by then.

The Astana/Columbia show is boring... unless the race explodes on the Ventoux, the race organizers should resign... the Giro, even without serious mountains, was much better (mostly thanks to Di Luca, and no Bob Roll)
 
Jul 14, 2009
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I hope I am wrong, but I don't predict much of a change in anything tomorrow. Alpe pretty much spells it out above.


I have already mentioned elsewhere that I see Tuesday's stage as a perfect setup for Lance to pull a gap on the descent, thereby claiming the rights to the jersey without ever even being a dominant man in the climbs.

I hope I am wrong..
 
Mar 19, 2009
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Sastre performs better in the third week of a GT. He didn't have the team in the Giro but he ran away from them in two climbs.

Looking at this climb today, it should only be rated a cat 2. 9km and 8% is ****** all considering they finish half way up the climb instead of at the top.

Todays stage will be a disappointment I feel. The break will get this again. The gaps will only be seconds with 60 riders finishing probably within 30 seconds of each other.

The only way this stage is interesting if someone forces pressure up the cat 2climb. If the peloton wait till Verbier, then Sastre, Evans, Schleck can all go home tonight. In actual fact they give yellow to Contador and say the tour is ended.

Based on how Arcalis was, we're in for a boring stage unless teams control the race early.

This stage is perfect for Cancellara if he's in a break. The climb isn't too tough for him with what we saw in Switzerland. Hell, Freire will probably finish with the main peloton tomorrow.

This years parcours is rubbish! They want it to be decided on Ventoux. They should be shot.
 
Agree totally. The final climb is not testing enough to see any gaps of note between the main GC contenders.

I would say there is about a 90% chance that a break succeeds today. That means the two favourites should be Pellizotti and Moncoutie. Despite what he did at the Tour De Suisse, I would be very surprised if Cancellara were able to win.

I will be interested to see if Columbia tries to keep it together through the early part to give Cav a chance of picking up a point or two on the first intermediate sprint. If they don't do this a few times in the next few stages then it will be just about impossible for him to make up enough on the final stage to win the green jersey.
 
Interesting if you look at the entire course of the Tour, as Mellow pointed out, Arcalis could have been a Cat 1 climb, not HC. Tomorrow really should be a Categor 2 finish. There are several Category 2 climbs that should be 3's, 3's that could be 4's, etc.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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Yep

If the break doesn't stay away then Sastre should do enough to take the stage win. But you think that this is tailormade for Moncoutie or Pellizotti.
 
May 13, 2009
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Alpe d'Huez said:
Interesting if you look at the entire course of the Tour, as Mellow pointed out, Arcalis could have been a Cat 1 climb, not HC. Tomorrow really should be a Categor 2 finish. There are several Category 2 climbs that should be 3's, 3's that could be 4's, etc.

Last time the Tour climbed Arcalis was HC, but it was after doing Ordino, Envalira and some other one..this time I agree, HC is too much. Deux Alpes is a similar climb to Verbier, and is cat 1, but is usually located after Telegraph-Galibier.

I don't understand why the organizers skipped the usual classical hard routes such as: aubisque tourmalet val louron, glandon madeleine courchevel, colombiere sasse (sp) joux plane, etc.

It seems that the Tour is designed for a TT with a strong team to win.:(

I hope I am wrong, and someone makes tomorrow stage hard.
 
Jul 4, 2009
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I think the course is boring !
I don't know what the organisers were thinking ( maybe: easier stages = more french wins ?!), but the course is very weak.

You guys talk about the the third week, but :
Stage 15 : easy run in, 1st cat climb, very easy = easy stage

Stage 16 : only 160 km, long downhill at the end ( 30 km ) none of the gc guys will take chances on it = nothing will happen here move along

Stage 17 : may seem a hard stage but, there is a downhill of 13 km at the end, if someone attacks he gonna use a lot of energy to get away from the guys behind him + the day after that its the ITT . so I don't think anyone gonna attack here because he might be to0 tired for the ITT the day after = nothing gonna happen!

Stage 18 : ITT , very short ( 40 km ) , how much time will [ Andy, Evans,Sastre,Lance? ] will lose to AC? lose too, much the next stages gonna mean/change nothing major in the GC.

Stage 19 : easy stage, breakaway gonna win, cat 2 , 20 km from the end = GC guys stay together.

Stage 20 : easy run in to the Ventoux , fireworks gonna happen , but I'm afraid only for the minor gc spots ( 3,4,5,6 ) LA and AC gonna be on top, and I think after the ITT AC will have a big time gap on LA, so LA will only fellow to keep his spot.

Stage 21 : cav wins :)

so as you can see. we waited 2 weeks for nothing! bad course!!
 
I think this is probably going to end up being an almost exact replay of the Arcalis stage with little change in the overall GC. Evan and Andy Shleck will probably try some attacks early in the final climb with Astana riding defensively to chase them down. Contador Armstrong (most likely Contador) will eventually counter closer to the top and might get away alone, but as at Arcalis the time gap probably won't be too large.
 
Jun 13, 2009
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This won't be a stage the breakaway wins, too many teams with interests in chasing it down.

Therefore Contador will win after chasing down attacks from Cadel and Sastre on the final climb.
 
Jul 19, 2009
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This stage would have been perfect for Laurent Jalabert, if he were still riding

I do agree, that this finishing climb is not really that difficult

If Laurent Jalabert were still riding, I would pick him on this stage, because these kind of Catergory 1 clmbs like this, were the ones that he excelled on

Because he was never a rider for the hors catergory climbs, but a climb like this to Verbier would have suited him perfectly

So a rider that is similiar to Jalabert should get the victory here
 
Jun 22, 2009
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Last year's Tour came down to one attack on one stage, and the race was done. Both Lance and A. Schleck have made similar statements about the nature of the course, also. Lance sees the race coming down to the penultimate stage, and Schleck too sees it as a one shot deal. I think this TdF is fairly typical though, except the Pyrenees weren't tough enough, and the TTT spread the GC guys out too much. But the sprint stages are the same every year. At least this year the breaks have worked.
 
subzro said:
This won't be a stage the breakaway wins, too many teams with interests in chasing it down.

Assuming an escape group has no one within about five minutes of the lead I don't see any team having motivation to chase it down. We shall see ...

Good betting market support for Rigoberto Uran suggests he will be having a go for a breakaway. Likewise David Moncoutie (as always).

Igor Anton has done nothing so far this Tour. I have to think he'll try to escape either today, Tuesday or Wednesday. Like Uran and Moncoutie, he is certainly good enough to make it stick if he does.
 
Jul 8, 2009
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I have had a solid crack at Uran, I think he is good chance. I feel Laurens Ten Dam is under-rated in the market though, given his attacks so far and Rabobank's need to salvage some pride, so have taken him accordingly. If Moncoutie fails to show up, I think Moinard is another great shout as well. Paying well over 200-1 and I liked what I saw in stage 11 of last year's tour.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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subzro said:
This won't be a stage the breakaway wins, too many teams with interests in chasing it down.

Nup! Depends what the peloton do.

The peloton will wait till the last climb to make attacks. By that stage, a strong breakaway rider will be on a solo venture more than half way up the climb and won't be caught.
 
Jul 7, 2009
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[quote




Agree +1000. Say what you will about Danilo's past, but the heart of a champion that guy has. His riding in this year's Giro puts every single rider in the Tour to complete shame.

Agree +2000

I haven't given up all hope. I think we'll see some splits on Stage 16 and 17, though the downhill finishes on both won't help stir things up. But I really think we're going to get to Annecy and Ventoux before we see real racing. And that would be astounding. The Tour reduced to that, and maybe even decided by the TTT. :([/QUOTE]

I have to agree and this scenario is certainly good for Kloden who manages always to stay under everyone's radar and produce a great result, the best of which was 2nd in 2004 He is looking VERY easy so far, rides a terrific TT and I really hope he doesn’t support Lance when the crunch comes, remembering that 2004 Tour, Stage 17, on the Col de La Croix Fry when Lance furiously and ‘superhumanly’ chased down Klodi's seemingly inevitable win, pipping him at the line, because Landis could not take the win that Lance had planned for him. I expect to see Kloden on the podium, probably with Lance, unfortuantely, and Contador, pleasingly!
 
The last time a major tour climbed to the summit. Make of it, what you will.
I think it's fairly telling, when you consider DeVolder attacked from the base:

2008 Tour de Suisse Results

1 Kim Kirchen (Lux) Team High Road 5.29.23 (34.264 km/h)
2 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Astana
3 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas 0.06
4 Sergei Ivanov (Rus) Astana 0.12
5 Stijn Devolder (Bel) Quick Step 0.20
6 Andy Schleck (Lux) Team CSC
7 Thomas Lövkvist (Swe) Team High Road 0.27
8 Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0.29
9 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre 0.31
10 Markus Fothen (Ger) Gerolsteiner
11 Christian Knees (Ger) Team Milram 0.38
12 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank
 
A

Anonymous

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Susan Westemeyer said:
Boonen will not start today, the team says he is sick.

Susan

just sums up what a sh1te decision it was to put him in davis;s place in the first place.. :/
 
Mellow Velo said:
The last time a major tour climbed to the summit. Make of it, what you will.
I think it's fairly telling, when you consider DeVolder attacked from the base:

2008 Tour de Suisse Results

1 Kim Kirchen (Lux) Team High Road 5.29.23 (34.264 km/h)
2 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Astana
3 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas 0.06
4 Sergei Ivanov (Rus) Astana 0.12
5 Stijn Devolder (Bel) Quick Step 0.20
6 Andy Schleck (Lux) Team CSC
7 Thomas Lövkvist (Swe) Team High Road 0.27
8 Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0.29
9 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre 0.31
10 Markus Fothen (Ger) Gerolsteiner
11 Christian Knees (Ger) Team Milram 0.38
12 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank
This says it all really.
Although you can lose a lot in the final 200m, I remember how Devolder cracked and it was a pretty steep final 200m.

Oh well. Contador will gain some seconds for sure.
 
Jul 7, 2009
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Mellow Velo said:
The last time a major tour climbed to the summit. Make of it, what you will.
I think it's fairly telling, when you consider DeVolder attacked from the base:

2008 Tour de Suisse Results

1 Kim Kirchen (Lux) Team High Road 5.29.23 (34.264 km/h)
2 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Astana
3 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas 0.06
4 Sergei Ivanov (Rus) Astana 0.12
5 Stijn Devolder (Bel) Quick Step 0.20
6 Andy Schleck (Lux) Team CSC
7 Thomas Lövkvist (Swe) Team High Road 0.27
8 Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0.29
9 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre 0.31
10 Markus Fothen (Ger) Gerolsteiner
11 Christian Knees (Ger) Team Milram 0.38
12 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank
Ugh, I was really hoping for some excitement today. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

If we have a 2nd consecutive borefest on a weekend before a rest day.....