TDF stage 3...

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Apr 14, 2010
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How does Cadel do on the cobbles? I wonder if it could be a good stage for him to sit on Georges wheel and gain a little time on the true climbers.
 
Publicus said:
I can see Saxo putting up 4 or 5, but I don't think Radio Shack has 4 or 5 guys to offer (Rast and Murayev; maybe Popo). I still find it curious that given all of the attention given this stage and that so many teams will be attempting to use it get time on AC, folks still think Astana is going to sit back and be a willing participant in their own demise. I think they are going to be supremely focused that day.

Frankly I think there is a better chance of getting a gap on Stage 1 in the wind.
You don't see Radio Shack putting Lance, Kloeden, Leipheimer (the contenders) up front to be in the selection should the field split? I sure do.

I'm not saying it's going to work and that Astana is going to let it happen, but I do think Saxo/Shack have to try.
 
Mar 12, 2009
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I actually think sky could have a decent team here (depending on final roster). Ebh, flecha, arvesen, Thomas, Barry and even wiggo are all decent on cobbles
 
red_flanders said:
You don't see Radio Shack putting Lance, Kloeden, Leipheimer (the contenders) up front to be in the selection should the field split? I sure do.

I'm not saying it's going to work and that Astana is going to let it happen, but I do think Saxo/Shack have to try.
My understanding was that (under the scenario) they would put 4-5 guys from each team on the front to create a split. I don't see that happening. And certainly without it causing reactions from all sorts of GC candidates including Astana. It's not like Astana consists of a bunch of US Continental riders--though reading the way folks predict this stage to play out, that might be giving them too much credit.

Vino is a wily veteran and who, if the Giro is any indication, knows to keep himself up front (and is a great bhike handler). My guess is AC is right behind him and Noval, who also has considerable experience on the cobbles. If Iglinksy makes the team, he's another guy who will be instrumental in keeping AC in the front.

Maybe I'm just more confident in their ability as a squad, but I just don't see them having a mental lapse on the one stage that everyone is targeting as THE stage to catch AC out. I honestly think it could happen on Stage 1, given everyone's obsession with Stage 3.
 
Sep 11, 2009
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I hope Boonen powers away from the lead group including Cancellara :D:D:D

Unfortunately I don't think Boonen will have the form to do this with his recent knee injury.

Anyways if he pulled it off it would be a great way to make amends for his spree of 2nd places.
 
Nov 24, 2009
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Andrichuk said:
I hope Boonen powers away from the lead group including Cancellara :D:D:D

Unfortunately I don't think Boonen will have the form to do this with his recent knee injury.

Anyways if he pulled it off it would be a great way to make amends for his spree of 2nd places.
As he is going for the green this will be an important one for Boonen to go for the full points tally as he probably won't have the outright speed for the pure sprint wins where he will be looking for top 5s, like Hushovds stage last year in Barca
 
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Anonymous

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Big GMaC said:
As he is going for the green this will be an important one for Boonen to go for the full points tally as he probably won't have the outright speed for the pure sprint wins where he will be looking for top 5s, like Hushovds stage last year in Barca
Great sig, is that a real conversation?
 
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Anonymous

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I had a chance to ride 50kms of P-R this year the Friday before the race. Couple of things;

If they race au bloc early AND if the North wind is blowing there will be significant time gaps for some of the GC guys. They can't all be at the front and if one GC guy knows he has gapped another they will drop the hammer.

The stones are for real and they ain't for 140lb guys that can fly going uphill.
 
Nov 24, 2009
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Thoughtforfood said:
Freaking great work!
I reckon 'erythropoietin' would have been a harder challenge at the spelling bee though.

Its not even in the MSword dictionary so there would have been no spelling bee doping either.
 
Apr 11, 2010
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Teams with serious GT contenders, will do everything to ensure that the damage to them are limited. We will likely see a team with no serious GT contenders push a break and try and get the glory of the day.
Some GT contenders will LOSE time, and it will be interesting to see how they can limit the damage. Those with serious classic specalists in their team (e.g. Saxo and BMC), will easily be able to do this (the latter will be helped by Evans MTB background). Here's hoping 1-2 Radioshack members loose big time, as it will make the remaining stages quite interesting!:p
 
Aug 6, 2009
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klmorgan said:
Teams with serious GT contenders, will do everything to ensure that the damage to them are limited. We will likely see a team with no serious GT contenders push a break and try and get the glory of the day.
Some GT contenders will LOSE time, and it will be interesting to see how they can limit the damage. Those with serious classic specalists in their team (e.g. Saxo and BMC), will easily be able to do this (the latter will be helped by Evans MTB background). Here's hoping 1-2 Radioshack members loose big time, as it will make the remaining stages quite interesting!:p
The person who needs to loose time to make the race interesting is Contador. If Radioshack riders loose major time they'll be out of contention. End of story, no drama there. If Contador loosed 4-5 minutes he could still very well win, he'll just need to work a lot harder.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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I hope all the gc contenders stay close except Lance. Lance will fall behind and nobody will be able to help him because no radios to tell the team to fall back.
As the old saying goes, No radio, no shack!
 
Jan 18, 2010
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hfer07 said:
Looking at the teams lineup, I only see two (4) teams with the men power & the experience to do some serious damage: Saxo, Quickstep, Cervelo & BMC.

Saxo & the Shack have already made a pact to work together to put massive time gaps on AC-or at least try-but they could be selfish & just get themselves the prize.
I think you can discount BMC. SKY can be added to the list they have solid riders experienced on this terrain - but obviously need to stay upright.

Radioshack will sit on near the front and wait till later and conserve energy i reckon.
 
Pharazon said:
i bet nothing unusual at all will happen... as usual a break will go away, the favourites will leave it to the mountains, and that'll be it..

this is the tour... unusual stuff doesn't happen
Since they put 10km of cobbles in the last 20km of the race it's pretty sure there will be gaps, but I doubt people will lose more then 2 minutes.
Someone allready pointed out that it's impossible to get 200 riders in 1 group past the cobbles. It will break and since all the favourites want to be at the front i'm afraid this will result in some crashes.
 
May 26, 2009
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Why do some(or most) people think Astana will be so passive on this stage?

Sure they may not have all 9 riders where it matters at the right time(but will any team have all 9 at the front when it matters) but I'm guessing they'll do their best to have Contador at the front and yes Saxo may have the better riders to guide the Schleck's over the cobbles but they can't actually do the riding for them. The GC contender I'm most worried about is Menchov I mean it's not like he's known for great bike handling skills.
 
Nov 17, 2009
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BYOP88 said:
Why do some(or most) people think Astana will be so passive on this stage?

Sure they may not have all 9 riders where it matters at the right time(but will any team have all 9 at the front when it matters) but I'm guessing they'll do their best to have Contador at the front and yes Saxo may have the better riders to guide the Schleck's over the cobbles but they can't actually do the riding for them. The GC contender I'm most worried about is Menchov I mean it's not like he's known for great bike handling skills.
Is being in the front all that's really necessary?

Or will a fast pace over cobbles cause a light GC rider with no experience on the surface to possibly struggle or drop off even if they are near the front?

If Quickstep decides to put the hammer down right at the beginning of the 4th cobbled section... will a 130 pound climber (in general) be able to stay near the front by the end of 20 km with 10km of cobbles? Is positioning really the primary factor?
 
As far as I know, only 2 GC candidates have actually reconned these cobbles: the Schleck Brothers and AC. Obviously there is more time to do so, but I think that will play a factor as well (amongst the GC candidates).
 
Aug 6, 2009
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kurtinsc said:
Is being in the front all that's really necessary?

Or will a fast pace over cobbles cause a light GC rider with no experience on the surface to possibly struggle or drop off even if they are near the front?

If Quickstep decides to put the hammer down right at the beginning of the 4th cobbled section... will a 130 pound climber (in general) be able to stay near the front by the end of 20 km with 10km of cobbles? Is positioning really the primary factor?
It's certainly one of the big factors. No amount of personal skills will get you around a crash in front of you, and if a gap forms in front you that can get you in trouble even if you're individually ok on cobbles. On the other hand being in the front might not save you from just not being able to follow the pace.
 
Originally Posted by BYOP88
The GC contender I'm most worried about is Menchov I mean it's not like he's known for great bike handling skills.
Oh man... he's gonna hurt himself.
I'm 100% sure Menchov wil lose time. He's the kind of rider who is always at the back of the peloton. I'm also always afraid Gesink will hurt himself so I hope he decides to lose time in this stage just to stay healthy for the mountains :)
 
kurtinsc said:
Is being in the front all that's really necessary?

Or will a fast pace over cobbles cause a light GC rider with no experience on the surface to possibly struggle or drop off even if they are near the front?

If Quickstep decides to put the hammer down right at the beginning of the 4th cobbled section... will a 130 pound climber (in general) be able to stay near the front by the end of 20 km with 10km of cobbles? Is positioning really the primary factor?
I think a pure climber is definitely at risk. I'm not as worried about AC and a guy like Levi who have good engines (TT). I'm more inclined to worry about the Schleck Brothers and Gesink.
 

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