Official thread- TDF Stage 7 Barcelone - Andorre Arcalis 224km

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Jun 22, 2009
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Sorry to break into your little chat here boys, with a few thoughts about tomorrow.

Am I the only one to think Moncoutie, (not necessarily alone) might try to get away early and keep going as long as he can? I wouldn't see him being able to hold on all the way though, as the conventional wisdom - the Astana train drops all but a handful halfway up the final climb - is likely to play out. I can't see Schleklet being allowed enough room to threaten the yellow, which will certainly be on an Astana rider after the race.

The killer for me is that I have to go out during the final climb and drive to Rotterdam for a fantastic concert that I've been looking forward to for ages. There's no way I can wait till I get home way after midnight to watch the rest, so I'll have to make do with.....radio. I'm going retro. :confused:
 
Jul 9, 2009
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I would have loved to be at Astana's table tonight. The race heads upwards and they are in perfect position to play whatever hand the cycling gods choose to throw at them. The strongest team in the strongest position when the race turns upwards into the mountains. Sastre and the Schlecks vs Kloden, Leipheimer, Armstrong, and Contador. I love those odds.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Amsterhammer said:
Sorry to break into your little chat here boys, with a few thoughts about tomorrow.

Am I the only one to think Moncoutie, (not necessarily alone) might try to get away early and keep going as long as he can? I wouldn't see him being able to hold on all the way though, as the conventional wisdom - the Astana train drops all but a handful halfway up the final climb - is likely to play out. I can't see Schleklet being allowed enough room to threaten the yellow, which will certainly be on an Astana rider after the race.

The killer for me is that I have to go out during the final climb and drive to Rotterdam for a fantastic concert that I've been looking forward to for ages. There's no way I can wait till I get home way after midnight to watch the rest, so I'll have to make do with.....radio. I'm going retro. :confused:

Who?....... (I hate this short post prohibition)
 
Jul 9, 2009
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byu123 said:
Hinault is an a$$ of the first degree.
Gee, how long did it take you to figure that out. I lost all respect for him the year he promised to ride in support of Greg Lemond, who was clearly the stronger rider, and forced Greg to halt his attack in the mountains and ride in support. I am also the type of fricking American who threatened to buy a Lemond frame and paint Hinault over it when Greg openly attacked Lance.
 
May 13, 2009
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Thoughtforfood said:
No, its like comparing apples to apples that came from the same tree, began growing at the same time, ripened exactly the same, and were picked the same day. To suggest that Lance has shown more class in his career in terms of his comments is to overlook his comments.

heck, you could even say that Hinault is an elegant gentleman compared to his Texan replica :p

As for tomorrow: AC probably has some internal/unwritten rules so he has to depend on others. I really hope Sastre and Evans go, and go hard so that AC could have the opportunity to counter.

Kloden seems to be in shape but based on past experience he always seem to have a bad day or two that keep him out of the yellow yersey, lets see tomorrow

Schleck needs to attack, this is the only actual Pyrenees mountain stage and the Alps are not enough!!!

If Astana rides tempo to the top without fireworks I won't watch the TDF this year anymore.
 
Jun 22, 2009
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Thoughtforfood said:
Who?....... (I hate this short post prohibition)

First night of the annual North Sea Jazz Festival, been going on for decades. I'm going to see my main man, Joe Bonamassa, play just ahead of his mentor, the man who gave him his first chance in the music business at age 12 - the legendary BB King, whom I have never seen live, and who hasn't got that many more concerts in him. So, I am stoked for this, big time! I am hoping that BB will call Joe out to join him. If he does, I'll film it and youtube it.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Amsterhammer said:
Am I the only one to think Moncoutie, (not necessarily alone) might try to get away early and keep going as long as he can?

I think he has set his mind on a different stage with more KoM points. This one has 4-3-1-3-HC (points 3-4-15-3-40) but I doubt he'll take the finish. A lot of effort for 25 points... I think on Saturday he can take an early 1cat for 15 points already reducing his deficit on the one that goes at it from the start tomorrow... He has set his mind on stage 17 I think with 1-1-2-1 (15-15-10-15= 55) and an early HC (20) in stage 16 while eating up the crums in the other mountain stages.
 
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Anonymous

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Amsterhammer said:
First night of the annual North Sea Jazz Festival, been going on for decades. I'm going to see my main man, Joe Bonamassa, play just ahead of his mentor, the man who gave him his first chance in the music business at age 12 - the legendary BB King, whom I have never seen live, and who hasn't got that many more concerts in him. So, I am stoked for this, big time! I am hoping that BB will call Joe out to join him. If he does, I'll film it and youtube it.

My mom saw BB in his club in Memphis a few years back. Yea, sometimes good music trumps everything.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Juan Pelota said:
If AC attacks, will Lance go right after him?!

Are Levi and Klodi going to lead the train up the mtn?

If there is an escape group, it's possible that LL or Kloden will be in it. A pawn for later and to put the pressure on other teams...
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Rechtschreibfehler said:
No way they would be allowed to go in an earlie escape group.
Also, noone would ever join them it would be stupid as hell.

I guess the people in the break away would not be too happy having them try and join them, so that'll be out of the question :eek:
 
Mar 19, 2009
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Mick Rogers and/or Denis Menchov get in the break today and stays away

Vinokourov lost time on one stage by crashing or getting held up, next stage he made a statement

Landis did the same

Will Rogers do it? If he has the legs, he'll get in today's break.
 
May 13, 2009
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Amsterhammer said:
First night of the annual North Sea Jazz Festival, been going on for decades. I'm going to see my main man, Joe Bonamassa, play just ahead of his mentor, the man who gave him his first chance in the music business at age 12 - the legendary BB King, whom I have never seen live, and who hasn't got that many more concerts in him. So, I am stoked for this, big time! I am hoping that BB will call Joe out to join him. If he does, I'll film it and youtube it.

Enjoy that man, he played in my town last year, and his set was short (about 40 minutes) but the crowd loved it. He was talking to us like he knew everyone in there, and was just fantastic.

I'm hard pressed to say what order the finish will be, but I think AC, Andy Schleck, Evans, and Roman will be the top dogs. I'm predicting lance will finish in 23rd place.
 
Jul 7, 2009
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Five time Tour de France champion Bernard Hinault is backing Alberto Contador in his power struggle with Astana team mate Lance Armstrong. “If I were Contador, I would attack Armstrong tomorrow in the climb to Arcalis to set the record straight and show him who’s the boss,” he told Reuters in an interview on Thursday.

Which is somewhat ironic considering Hinault's rather infamous exploits.

Listen, going back and forth regarding who the bigger a$$ is doesn't exactly put you in the best light either. They are both arrogant men who should be a bit more humble. Let's just leave it at that shall we?

_________________

Re: Tomorrow's stage...

It is a monster stage. It's a long stage to start with, but the fact that the last half of the stage is nearly all uphill will sap a great deal out of the legs of any of the lesser, more fringe riders.

Were this the Discovery or Postal squads, I'd expect to see them riding tempo at the front of the race for 3/4's of the time tomorrow. However, given the certain internal conflicts as well as multiple riders having personal asperations, I am not too sure we'll see that. If you do see them riding at the front tomorrow for a good portion of the race...it would be a good indicator that they have sorted things out internally and have a specific goal in mind with regard to how the last 10km of climbing will be sorted out.

If that doesn't happen then things remain very interesting.
Last Climb will probably look something like the following...
Given the time spread I would expect Sastre, Evans, or one of the other further back GC riders to try and go clear early on the last climb. It will in turn require a response from any of the riders close to them in the GC and will quickly make a selection of 10-12 of the strongest riders/climbers. I'd expect to see all four of the Astana boys there but I would be shocked if one of them cause this selection.

If the Astana boys don't keep the front during a good portion of the race, I can definitely see Saxo trying to keep tempo high to try and give Cancellara the best possible chances of staying in Yellow tomorrow. I would also expect to see Cancellara try and stay with that initial selection of 10-12 riders but I don't think we'll see him stay with them for more than a few kms. If he's there within 5 kms of the finish I'll be shocked. The stress of the yellow and the fact that he's really not among the elite climbers of the world just don't give him a lot of hope.

Once that selection of 10-12 riders goes clear there will be more attacks. I would think the likes of Vande Velde and Menchov to be there, but don't really expect much from either. If this were ages past I would also be looking for some Spanish climbers to come out and try and win a stage as the Tour goes into their neck of the woods. But Zubeldia will be riding for the only other spanish climber that I expect to see in that elite group....that of Contador.

Levi I see being dropped fairly early. Levi is a cool guy, but he's never shown to be able to handle the hard attacks and accelerations on climbs. He's much better at tempo riding up the big mountains.

LA will hold on past Levi is my guess. I'll even give him possibly holding on to within 5kms of the top. I just don't see him winning the stage tomorrow. Too old in too long of a stage with too much climbing during the stage. I think it will sap him.

Final Selection and eventual winner.
#1. Contador
#2. Sastre
#3. Menchov / Evans
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Bainreese said:
Which is somewhat ironic considering Hinault's rather infamous exploits.

Listen, going back and forth regarding who the bigger a$$ is doesn't exactly put you in the best light either. They are both arrogant men who should be a bit more humble. Let's just leave it at that shall we?

And commenting on us commenting on who is the bigger *** puts you in the same club.

Bainreese said:
_________________

Re: Tomorrow's stage...

It is a monster stage. It's a long stage to start with, but the fact that the last half of the stage is nearly all uphill will sap a great deal out of the legs of any of the lesser, more fringe riders.

Where this the Discovery or Postal squads, I'd expect to see them riding tempo at the front of the race for 3/4's of the time tomorrow. However, given the certain internal conflicts as well as multiple riders having personal asperations, I am not too sure we'll see that. If you do see them riding at the front tomorrow for a good portion of the race...it would be a good indicator that they have sorted things out internally and have a specific goal in mind with regard to how the last 10km of climbing will be sorted out.

If that doesn't happen then things remain very interesting.
Last Climb will probably look something like the following...
Given the time spread I would expect Sastre, Evans, or one of the other further back GC riders to try and go clear early on the last climb. It will in turn require a response from any of the riders close to them in the GC and will quickly make a selection of 10-12 of the strongest riders/climbers. I'd expect to see all four of the Astana boys there but I would be shocked if one of them cause this selection.

If the Astana boys don't keep the front during a good portion of the race, I can definitely see Saxo trying to keep tempo hide to try and give Cancellara the best possible chances of staying in Yellow tomorrow. I would also expect to see Cancellara try and stay with that initial selection of 10-12 riders but I don't think we'll see him stay with them for more than a few kms. If he's there within 5 kms of the finish I'll be shocked. The stress of the yellow and the fact that he's really not among the elite climbers of the world just don't give him a lot of hope.

Once that selection of 10-12 riders goes clear there will be more attacks. I would think the likes of Vande Velde and Menchov to be there, but don't really expect much from either. If this were ages past I would also be looking for some Spanish climbers to come out and try and win a stage as the Tour goes into their home country. But Zubeldia will be riding for the only other spanish climber that I expect to see in that elite group....that of Contador.

Levi I see being dropped fairly early. Levi is a cool guy, but he's never shown to be able to handle the hard attacks and accelerations on climbs. He's much better at tempo riding up the big mountains.

LA will hold on past Levi is my guess. I can even see him holding on to within 5kms of the top. I just don't see him winning the stage tomorrow. Too old in too long of a stage with too much climbing during the stage. I think it will sap him.

Final Selection and eventual winner.
#1. Contador
#2. Sastre
#3. Menchov / Evans

The commentary regarding the race however is pretty good.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
What I would really like however is for something completely unexpected to happen that will leave most of us saying "why the hell have we been only concentrating on Armstrong and Contador this whole time!" I would love for neither to win actually, and for someone to take everyone by surprise. Anyone got some spare blood we can send Spartacus?
 
Jul 9, 2009
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My top 10 for stage 7

This is my prediction for tomorrow:
(Please comment, and make other rankings):

1. A Contador
2. C Sastre
3. C Evans
4. A Schleck
5. D Menchov
6-10: Klöden, Nibali, Leipheimer, Efimkin, Kreuziger
10+ Armstrong, Hincapie, VandeVelde, F Schleck, Pellitzotti, Martin, Arroyo, Anton.

Have I forgotten someone..? I feel so right now...
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Thoughtforfood said:
What I would really like however is for something completely unexpected to happen that will leave most of us saying "why the hell have we been only concentrating on Armstrong and Contador this whole time!" I would love for neither to win actually, and for someone to take everyone by surprise. Anyone got some spare blood we can send Spartacus?

That lil rampyou were talking about, could that be this 15% gradient for 500-1k?
 
I guess it'll all really depan on how fast the race will be before it hits the final climb.
If the riders decide to have a nice da for the first 210 kilometers the pretty flat climbing, espeacially as the climb gets longer might produce guys like Spartacus(please not), Martin oder even Wiggins(if he is as good as he believs to be) to stay in a big group close before it all ends.

I really hope some teams group up to make the race real hard from Serra-Seca on. That way things might get interesting in the end.
Also the lenght of the stage should help as this should suit Sastre and the Schlecks a lot for example.

But anyway.
We'll atleast find out if Armstrong,Cancellara,Martin,Wiggins can stay close to the top guys.

I expect to see a sprint for the stage win out of some kind of group (2-10 guys).
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Bala Verde said:
That lil rampyou were talking about, could that be this 15% gradient for 500-1k?

That looks to be the one. I think we will see some fireworks there myself.
 
Jun 26, 2009
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Bala Verde said:
That lil rampyou were talking about, could that be this 15% gradient for 500-1k?

Damn! Can that data be right??? I know its only 100m but a 36% gradient!
What do they get off and walk the bikes at this point???

FYI all . . . make sure you view BV's link using a Firefox browser as opposed ti IE. Link has cool dynamic graphics which only work in Firefox. (don't get me started on how bad Microsoft sucks).

For visual context . . . here is a pic of the 24% gradient climb of the Plan de Corones from the 2008 Giro. No the picture is not slanted. 24% gradient is that steep.

CORONES3.Teaser.jpg
 
Jul 7, 2009
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I also think that Contador will get the stage and fully expect Armstrong to lose quite a bit of time. If Contador does get the win it will mean the other GC riders will have some real hard work to do for the rest of the race. Menchov seems to have dropped back from his Giro form so this stage should be make or break for him.
 
Thoughtforfood said:
If it happens, lets hope whomever it is has more class than Ben Stiller
bettiniphoto_0040644_1_fulltn_600.jpg

I'm still disappointed that Fabian didn't give Ben a kiss on the cheek ;)

I have a feeling the stage is going to end up being a bit anti-climatic. There will probably be attacks early in the climb from the climbers who are trailing on GC (Andy Schleck, Sastre, Evans) with Armstrong and Contador just following wheels. Ultimately the climb is not going to be difficult enough to see any big time gaps, I expect a big group of the GC favorites to come in together (like in the first mountain stage from this year's Giro).
 
Bala Verde said:
I think he has set his mind on a different stage with more KoM points. This one has 4-3-1-3-HC (points 3-4-15-3-40) but I doubt he'll take the finish. A lot of effort for 25 points... I think on Saturday he can take an early 1cat for 15 points already reducing his deficit on the one that goes at it from the start tomorrow... He has set his mind on stage 17 I think with 1-1-2-1 (15-15-10-15= 55) and an early HC (20) in stage 16 while eating up the crums in the other mountain stages.

I thought I remembered reading somewhere Moncoutie saying if he was not in the top 10 of KOM by the end of the first week he would not go for it. Regardless of whether it's tomorrow or one of the next days he is definitely going to be in a long break one of these days. He has already lost a ton of time so that he has the freedom to get in one of these breaks and take the polka dot.