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The Tour de France is over after stage 4

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Jul 3, 2009
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Bagster said:
You are a classic.

If you are so learned regarding big tours you would know that it is stupid to talk about an overall winner until the major mountain stages are over. In this case that may not be until Ventoux. Speaking of not having a clue...since when is cycling a school yard 'pick me' contest, there never has been and never will be an even distribution of talent amongst teams, they call that professional sport! While I am no favorite of the TTT in grand tours, the overall GC is hardly an "individual event", it's a team event with an individual winner, though watching Cancellara drag Saxo's sorry asses around the course today it looked more like a an individual event!

As for excitement, that is not only found in the overall result, well not for me anyway. Each day is its own race with their own excitement. Think of it this way, you have the potential of watching an exciting spring classic every day!

Bravo....well said Sir, well said.
 
May 26, 2009
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Bagster said:
If you are so learned regarding big tours you would know that it is stupid to talk about an overall winner until the major mountain stages are over.

This is not black and white. In fact the past learnt us many times that the GC was pretty much set out before the mountains (that is the proximal classification between contenders, non climbers fell away of course). For every TdF where the mountains caused an upset I can give you a Hinault, Fignon, Lemond, Miguel, Lance win. These were usually pretty obvious before they even passed a molehill.

Another problem with your reasoning is that the Us Postal/Astana crew usually wins if they are in the situation to defend a GT winner (Lance, Heras, AC). They will try to TGV up to the last climb, smothering the climbers and then Lance and/or AC will take off. In the past this has never been beaten, so altough it is possible, odds seem to be against it.
 
Jun 28, 2009
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I think the battle between Contador and Armstrong in the mountains is going to make this the best tour in years. If you don't want to watch no one is making you. If you don't like seeing the best riders in the world duke it out then I question what type of cycling fan are you? There is always the Tour of Austria to follow.
 
Bagster said:
More like they are more compelling because no one has dominated the field like he did during his tenure with everyone on the startline wondering who would be second. But that happens when you have a rider who is so much better than the others, no different to Jaques,Eddie, Bernie, Mig and even whiny Greg.

Or are you saying that it is Armstrongs fault that ASO included a TTT? Man that guy is just sooooo influential!:rolleyes:

Miguel Indurain, every year apart from 91 was the same, first TT before the Tour, Big Mig hammers everyone, in theory, he could have lost it in the mountains but he never did, everyone knew once Big Mig won the TT, the Tour was over in practice.

Then Lance was the same, first TT or mountain stage, Lance would put the hammer down, in theory a long way to go but the race was always won by Lance, what about the year he caught Ullrich in the prologue, I remember people saying the Tour was over, first day. Only year any different was 03.

When there are a number of potential winners, 87-90/96-99 and 06-08, there has been more potential for changes I agree. But Astana are so dominant this year, it will be the biggest shock in cycling ever if one of them dont win. Logical no. When there is one team/rider dominant in the Tour, it is always the same. That is why neither Big Migs or Lances Tour victories are regarded by CYCLING FANS as great Tours. I tell you what, you find me evidence of a major threat to Lance or Mig once they landed that first knockout punch and I will agree with you that the Tour is still wide open.

As each for stage being a classic, you are calling me classic, your a joke, I have lost count of the times breaks have gone in the first week only to be caught by sprinters teams, middle week/third weeks, groups of non-GC contenders go away, usually get huge gaps and battle out the win, only stages are usually interesting are mountain stages, definitely not on the same level as a Sping classic. TDF stage equal to Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, I dont think so.

My point on the TTT is that it always elimiates potential contenders, dont tell me it wouldnt be more fun if Evans, Sastre, Menchov were all within 1-1.30 of Astana going into the mountains, might get the same result but the suspense would last longer. I dont have favourite riders so I like the most competitive race I can watch. The defending champion, runner-up and Giro champion being eliminated after 4 stages is not my idea of excitement.
 

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Jun 23, 2009
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pmcg76 said:
Miguel Indurain, every year apart from 91 was the same, first TT before the Tour, Big Mig hammers everyone, in theory, he could have lost it in the mountains but he never did, everyone knew once Big Mig won the TT, the Tour was over in practice.

Then Lance was the same, first TT or mountain stage, Lance would put the hammer down, in theory a long way to go but the race was always won by Lance, what about the year he caught Ullrich in the prologue, I remember people saying the Tour was over, first day. Only year any different was 03.

When there are a number of potential winners, 87-90/96-99 and 06-08, there has been more potential for changes I agree. But Astana are so dominant this year, it will be the biggest shock in cycling ever if one of them dont win. Logical no. When there is one team/rider dominant in the Tour, it is always the same. That is why neither Big Migs or Lances Tour victories are regarded by CYCLING FANS as great Tours. I tell you what, you find me evidence of a major threat to Lance or Mig once they landed that first knockout punch and I will agree with you that the Tour is still wide open.

As each for stage being a classic, you are calling me classic, your a joke, I have lost count of the times breaks have gone in the first week only to be caught by sprinters teams, middle week/third weeks, groups of non-GC contenders go away, usually get huge gaps and battle out the win, definitely not on the same level as a Sping classic. TDF stage equal to Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, I dont think so.

My point on the TTT is that it always elimiates potential contenders, dont tell me it wouldnt be more fun if Evans, Sastre, Menchov were all within 1-1.30 of Astana going into the mountains, might get the same result but the suspense would last longer. I dont have favourite riders so I like the most competitive race I can watch. The defending champion, runner-up and Giro champion being eliminated after 4 stages is not my idea of excitement.

I never said that a stage in the TdF was equal to Falnders etc, those races are unique in both terrain and conditions and I agree tend to be a lot harder to predict. Having said that, how many different riders have won P-R in the past few years, Boonen has largely had a mortgage on it and even when he hasn't won it you could pick the winner from a handful of genuine contenders. I don't disagree that the likely winner will come from Astana but I wouldn't count out several other contenders. Menchov? Well he has been a disaster from the first TT. I actually agree with you about the TTT not having a place in a GT but Liquigas showed today that you can have a moderate team on paper but ride well as a team if you are disciplined and pace yourselves well...Cadel did neither today.
 
A

Anonymous

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Clemson Cycling said:
No one, but the battle between them is going to epic. I think we will see all the Astana riders in the top 7 or so but it is going to be interesting.

wtf-is-that.jpg
 
Mar 13, 2009
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It's over as a contest for sure. Have a think about the likely scenario.

LA will inherent the maillot jaune in stage 7 simple. Astana will then be riding tempo on every col, with Kloden, Zubeldia and Leechy neutralising every attack from the front. The two leaders will not lose time on these stages. It comes down to whether Contador has the balls or the rein to attack his team leader. Then it's a shoot out at the ITT. Only way I don't see this happening is if Armstrong is not the climber he once was but on yesterday performance he looked super strong, much to my dismay.

Sad day for cycling for the true fans and 4 steps back into the dark ages, but hey that's life.
 
Jun 28, 2009
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Sad day for cycling for the true fans and 4 steps back into the dark ages, but hey that's life.

What? Every Lance victory except one has been a blow out, and this time he is not the favorite. Just because one team has 4 of the top all round riders it is bad? Why is it 4 steps back into the "dark ages"? I guess if you wanted to be really dour then you could say that Cav has the green locked up so there is really no reason to watch. Go watch the Tour of Austria, that should make you more optimistic.
 
unsheath said:
It's over as a contest for sure. Have a think about the likely scenario.

LA will inherent the maillot jaune in stage 7 simple. Astana will then be riding tempo on every col, with Kloden, Zubeldia and Leechy neutralising every attack from the front. The two leaders will not lose time on these stages. It comes down to whether Contador has the balls or the rein to attack his team leader. Then it's a shoot out at the ITT. Only way I don't see this happening is if Armstrong is not the climber he once was but on yesterday performance he looked super strong, much to my dismay.

Sad day for cycling for the true fans and 4 steps back into the dark ages, but hey that's life.

Agreed except i think only a.schleck has any chance left of winning the tour.
 
Jul 7, 2009
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With or without Lance in the team Contador was considered by many as the favorite before the tour started. I think he is still the favorite as I don't think Lance will be able to stay with him on the big climbs. There is also another TT to go and Contador has already shown he has the legs of all the other GC contendors in this discipline. I think we have a very interesting race on our hands and just hope it is down to who's the best rider and not some freak accident.
 
Jun 10, 2009
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unsheath said:
Sad day for cycling for the true fans and 4 steps back into the dark ages, but hey that's life.

I don't know, I'm watching the tour for the first time in HD on a 52" Plasma. Looks pretty far from Dark Ages too me. :D
 
Mar 10, 2009
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pmcg76 said:
So who outside of Astana or AC/LA do you consider a potential winner?
Evans, Sastre, Schlecklet, Menchov. Outside/slim chance but still possible: Martin, Kreuziger, Vande Velde, Rogers, Karpets, Arroyo, LL Sanchez, Gesink...
 
Mar 10, 2009
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hfer07 said:
After today's slaughter, I just can't see this tour anymore or expect anything else of what is evident to come !! even to the point that as much as I hate to see LA pulling his eight title, It seems inevitable-Contador will be second and Leech-aimer/Kloden third.
for those like me who still love & practice cycling, today is just a funeral--waiting a god damn year to watch the tour and the entire race is already decided.....
feel free to opine

The glass is either half full or half empty. You're going to miss a great tour. Sorry you can't enjoy the EVENT!
 
hfer07 said:
Can anybody tell me how on earth is it that a 3-week race is now a private affair between the Astana members? WTF
So I guess for some people around here is going to be so interesting who's going to take the Astana's "LEFT OVERS".....right?

Hmmm... Not sure I got your your inference, but damned sure that you didn't get mine.

Anyone projecting a winner based on the TTT results, before a single col has been climbed or descended, is suffering from a severe case of Cranial Rectitus, and in need immediate medical attention.

This RACE will be contested all the way to the top of the Ventoux
 
pmcg76 said:
Miguel Indurain, every year apart from 91 was the same, first TT before the Tour, Big Mig hammers everyone, in theory, he could have lost it in the mountains but he never did, everyone knew once Big Mig won the TT, the Tour was over in practice.

Then Lance was the same, first TT or mountain stage, Lance would put the hammer down, in theory a long way to go but the race was always won by Lance, what about the year he caught Ullrich in the prologue, I remember people saying the Tour was over, first day. Only year any different was 03.

When there are a number of potential winners, 87-90/96-99 and 06-08, there has been more potential for changes I agree. But Astana are so dominant this year, it will be the biggest shock in cycling ever if one of them dont win. Logical no. When there is one team/rider dominant in the Tour, it is always the same. That is why neither Big Migs or Lances Tour victories are regarded by CYCLING FANS as great Tours. I tell you what, you find me evidence of a major threat to Lance or Mig once they landed that first knockout punch and I will agree with you that the Tour is still wide open.

As each for stage being a classic, you are calling me classic, your a joke, I have lost count of the times breaks have gone in the first week only to be caught by sprinters teams, middle week/third weeks, groups of non-GC contenders go away, usually get huge gaps and battle out the win, only stages are usually interesting are mountain stages, definitely not on the same level as a Sping classic. TDF stage equal to Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, I dont think so.

My point on the TTT is that it always elimiates potential contenders, dont tell me it wouldnt be more fun if Evans, Sastre, Menchov were all within 1-1.30 of Astana going into the mountains, might get the same result but the suspense would last longer. I dont have favourite riders so I like the most competitive race I can watch. The defending champion, runner-up and Giro champion being eliminated after 4 stages is not my idea of excitement.
I didn't agree with the poster at the beginning, but I have to say that you make a compelling argument here to prove me otherwise. Nice summary.

Don't forget that crashes are also a part of the race. So still anything can happen.
 
Jun 15, 2009
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still havent seen what andy schleck can do in the mountains... will take something extra special to bring this back but all of a sudden fridays trip into the mountains looks like it will be very exciting... i wonder what the chances are that the schlecks, sastre and evans help eachother out in the mountains...
 
Jul 8, 2009
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During the TTT, when the camera's went to Garmin's car there was a very brief moment when White was on the radio- and it was quick and somwhat muted but he said "there goes the tour"

This was after they dropped 3 riders and had 6 left. He actually thought they had 8 together until he saw the TV shots of his riders blowing up.

It's funny, but I thought the same thing. Basically, it's over for Garmin, HTC, Rabo, Cervelo and Silence. It is going to be very difficult for Menchov, Evens, Vandevelde, Lovkvist, Rogers and Sastre to make up the deficits.
Oh I forgot to mention the 'schmuck' brothers...although they don't have
a snowballs chance.

Why they get the accolades they do is beyond me.
Yea, yea. Champion of something...they aren't truly good all-around riders,
which is what it takes to win the tour.

But it is early and anything could happen, although it is unlikely.
Astana will win the Tour but exactly who is still up in the air.
I believe that it will still be an exciting race to watch.
 
Jul 8, 2009
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jamese

This is my first time on forum but I agree that the tour appears to be all but over half way through 1st week.The MAJOR prize of any grand tour is the overall individual winner,so what is a team stage that treats 9 riders as one got to do with it.Team time trialing is a track discapline is it not.My thoughts are given suffering great dissapointment at Cadel Evans current position.