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The Tour de France is over after stage 4

Page 3 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
May 26, 2009
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VeloFidelis said:
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

As I and others pointed out, it's not nearly as crazy as you try to make it look. Most of the time it is indeed in the bag in a situation like this. That's not us being pessimistic, it's just looking at how the last 35 years the game is played. Strong teams with a headstart are rarely toppled. Pantani is perhaps the closest exception.
 
May 26, 2009
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armstrong said:
If LA does manage to win, do you think he could have swept all 11 tours from 1999-2009???

It's conjecture, but sure another two-three wins weren't out of the question also considering AC wouldn't be leading Astana in that case but be on Caisse which is not as strong I think.

But I for one are happy Lance left, it was just too much. He is more acceptable nowadays as it is fascinating to see if he can manage it, but he still has the stink of Bassons/Simeoni/Andreu over him.

I don't really mind him being a doper, as I'm utterly convinced the others were as well. But I do mind his treatment of others.
 
Yes it does look like Astana has it wrapped up, but why we watch the tour??? We want to see greatness.

I recall in 98 Ulrich was going to for sure run away wit hthe Tour with 5 or 6 stages left and a 3 minute lead on 2nd overall Julich and a massively long TT which he was expected to dominate. No way he could blow. Well Joux plane happened and Marco Pantani took 9 minutes out of no where.

Remember 06, Periero and the famous 29 minute break, then after Landis lost 10 minutes on La Touissiere, he was out of it...Wait a minute . Yes I know the end result, but how many of us watch that stage thinking how great it was since we didn't know as the events unfolded that he would test positive 3 days later.

My point is we should all keep watching the TOur because you do not know when greatness will happen. Somebody pull off the unbelievable . This is what I am waiting to see.
 
Apr 21, 2009
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Drop the TTT Trial

I have never been a fan of the TTT in Le Tour. From memory it was in the Olympics and that was a great place for it. I personally love that style of paceline riding, but not in the Grand Tours.

Whilst a GC winner must have the support of his team, yesterday's TTT clearly shows what a weak team will do to the aspirations of a GC rider. The formula is stack the team with good riders, post a great TTT and provided the GC rider is a great time trialist the tour is almost finished.

Apart from this years tour having an appalling TTT course, it will now make the task of GC contenders who were favourites just a few days ago almost impossible.

The only possible thing the other teams can do is to form alliances to all systematically attack Astana. If they can all claw back 2 minutes then we will have a real race on our hands. However I am afraid that all we are going to see is a repeat of the original Lance years. Put the team on the front, keep the pace high so attacks cannot come and that's the end of the race.

To me, the 2008 race (doping aside) was gripping because the tension was always there and we really didn't know who was going to win until Alp du Huez.

I will admit on this forum to liking Lance. But I want to see a real race, and not just one between him and Contador. Let's hope that the TTT hasn't wrecked the 2009 tour after just 4 days of racing!

Let's hope the team directors of the other teams get together quickly and form alliances to save this tour.
 
A

Anonymous

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ok first the tour aint over... stupid post stupid thread.. but anyway..

why does everyone seem to think (if it is) that its all lances fault, or astanas fault.. if LA wasnt in the tour astana would still have 3 in the top 5..
Yes astana rode a great TTT, but the other teams have all known about the TTT for months, they did know it was happening, they didnt have to make such a royal balls up of it yesterday

I dont blame astana for the way the GC looks, i dont even blame the organisers, i blame, frankly, the pathetic performance weve seen from anyone outside of cancellera, astana and columbia..

saxo ok, the schlecks where never going to do much till friday, and theyve got canc in yellow, menchov has been very poor, cadel has been laughable (and boy have i laughed).. Its going to be very interesting seeing some of the other teams tactics over the next few days.. (and cadels face) :D
 
Jun 16, 2009
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The fact that this tour may well be decided by the uphill duels between the world's most freakishly talented climber and a 38 year old man who has been out of the sport for 3 years, who has only ridden 3 serious races and looked averagely good in them is absolutely bizarre.

Chris Boardman's comments on things that look too good to be true don't so much spring to mind as imprint on the inside of my skull as if written in flames in the night sky.

Let's not forget that top climbers and GC riders are still putting out 6.5 - 7 w/kg on the climbs, so for Lance to ride away from his competitors as he used to do he will need to be better than he has ever been. If that happens it will be ridiculously unrealistic. I wonder if the journalists will be laughing in cynical disbelief at the sheer ridiculousness of trying to maintain serious coverage as they were in 99?

My worst nightmare is that we will see LA and AC goading each other at a previously unseen 7.5 w/kg, while Evans en co gasp in disbelief down the road.

Lance lovers and casual fans worldwide will rejoice, but quietly all over the world experienced observers will turn off their televisions, and more worryingly, ambitious young elite amateur riders will know that there is only one way to get your threshold power up from the morally possible 5.5 w/kg to the cynically possible 7w/kg.

Thanks Lance and Johan!
 
Jun 16, 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

Geez, best run a hot bath a grab a razor blade eh?! If you really think the race is over then you really do have an aweful lot to learn about bike racing. Armstrong or Contador may well end up as the winner, but considering it is only the fourth day of racing there's still a damned long way to go!
 
Mongol_Waaijer said:
The fact that this tour may well be decided by the uphill duels between the world's most freakishly talented climber and a 38 year old man who has been out of the sport for 3 years, who has only ridden 3 serious races and looked averagely good in them is absolutely bizarre.

Chris Boardman's comments on things that look too good to be true don't so much spring to mind as imprint on the inside of my skull as if written in flames in the night sky.

Let's not forget that top climbers and GC riders are still putting out 6.5 - 7 w/kg on the climbs, so for Lance to ride away from his competitors as he used to do he will need to be better than he has ever been. If that happens it will be ridiculously unrealistic. I wonder if the journalists will be laughing in cynical disbelief at the sheer ridiculousness of trying to maintain serious coverage as they were in 99?

My worst nightmare is that we will see LA and AC goading each other at a previously unseen 7.5 w/kg, while Evans en co gasp in disbelief down the road.

Lance lovers and casual fans worldwide will rejoice, but quietly all over the world experienced observers will turn off their televisions, and more worryingly, ambitious young elite amateur riders will know that there is only one way to get your threshold power up from the morally possible 5.5 w/kg to the cynically possible 7w/kg.

Thanks Lance and Johan!

+1

Dr. Ferrari must have been putting in some serious overtime in June. I always knew this race would turn the sport into a farce and reverse the movement in the right direction that the ASO tried to make the last three years.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Mongol_Waaijer said:
The fact that this tour may well be decided by the uphill duels between the world's most freakishly talented climber and a 38 year old man who has been out of the sport for 3 years, who has only ridden 3 serious races and looked averagely good in them is absolutely bizarre.

Chris Boardman's comments on things that look too good to be true don't so much spring to mind as imprint on the inside of my skull as if written in flames in the night sky.

Let's not forget that top climbers and GC riders are still putting out 6.5 - 7 w/kg on the climbs, so for Lance to ride away from his competitors as he used to do he will need to be better than he has ever been. If that happens it will be ridiculously unrealistic. I wonder if the journalists will be laughing in cynical disbelief at the sheer ridiculousness of trying to maintain serious coverage as they were in 99?

My worst nightmare is that we will see LA and AC goading each other at a previously unseen 7.5 w/kg, while Evans en co gasp in disbelief down the road.

Lance lovers and casual fans worldwide will rejoice, but quietly all over the world experienced observers will turn off their televisions, and more worryingly, ambitious young elite amateur riders will know that there is only one way to get your threshold power up from the morally possible 5.5 w/kg to the cynically possible 7w/kg.

Thanks Lance and Johan!

It's as if Operacion Puerto and Landis never happened. We are right back to square one on the Tour, with a bunch of blood dopers dominating. I really hope that I'm wrong, and the mountains will tell us for sure.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Mongol_Waaijer said:
The fact that this tour may well be decided by the uphill duels between the world's most freakishly talented climber and a 38 year old man who has been out of the sport for 3 years, who has only ridden 3 serious races and looked averagely good in them is absolutely bizarre.

Chris Boardman's comments on things that look too good to be true don't so much spring to mind as imprint on the inside of my skull as if written in flames in the night sky.

Let's not forget that top climbers and GC riders are still putting out 6.5 - 7 w/kg on the climbs, so for Lance to ride away from his competitors as he used to do he will need to be better than he has ever been. If that happens it will be ridiculously unrealistic. I wonder if the journalists will be laughing in cynical disbelief at the sheer ridiculousness of trying to maintain serious coverage as they were in 99?

My worst nightmare is that we will see LA and AC goading each other at a previously unseen 7.5 w/kg, while Evans en co gasp in disbelief down the road.

Lance lovers and casual fans worldwide will rejoice, but quietly all over the world experienced observers will turn off their televisions, and more worryingly, ambitious young elite amateur riders will know that there is only one way to get your threshold power up from the morally possible 5.5 w/kg to the cynically possible 7w/kg.

Thanks Lance and Johan!
think everyone has misestimated Contador's ability in the high mtns.

His ability to accelerate and his explosivity in the mtns tends to give the perception he can ride off the front.

In 2007 Rass was clearly superior. In the final mtn stage, Rass and Contador attacked Evans consistently, and finally dropped him, after LL set the pace, and a final raising of speed. They rode off the front for a few kms, then Rass dropped Contador. Then LL caught Contador and pass him!

In 2008 Giro Ricco was superior in the mtns in my eyes. In the 2009 Vuelta, LL won if you net out the bonifications on the finish.

So, what we have is
1. 2007 Tour. Rass clearly better. LL better clearly on final climb. In fact, if Conta works for LL from the get go, his time would have been closer to Rass on GC than Conta was, if you net out LL 20 second time penalty.
2. 2008 Giro. Ricco better in the mtns.
3. 2008 Vuelta. LL net time, beats Conta on GC.

Remember how good Ricco was in the mtns last year before he was kicked out of the Tour? He was fantastic. He was no different to the other GC riders, he just got caught AND booted. Scapegoat.

So, tell me why Conta is the best rider of his generation in the mtns. The theory does not meet scrutiny. He has been fortunate.

Now, what HAS changed. He has changed his chrono into world class, top few chrono riders in the peloton, potentially the best GC chrono rider.

Liggett said last night that he could not tt previously. WRONG. Manalo Saiz signed him up on the basis of him winning the u23 Spanish national chrono in his first year in the espoirs. He could always bust a prologue, just developing the pro strength for the long GT chronos.

So, he is great all-round now. But it is not so cut an dried in the mtns. He does not have the threshold to just ride away by himself and put two minutes into his competitors. He has the acceleration to stick 45 seconds into some in the final 2 kms. But he cannot hold a higher threshold, and rider away for a gain of multiple minutes.
 

whiteboytrash

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Mar 17, 2009
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BroDeal said:
+1

Dr. Ferrari must have been putting in some serious overtime in June. I always knew this race would turn the sport into a farce and reverse the movement in the right direction that the ASO tried to make the last three years.

Yes how the Tour has changed. This from an Italian blog on the differences from 2008 to 2009....
__________

Niki Terpstra, the Milram rider, approached the stall after finishing Monday's stage, jersey zipped to the waist, boiling hot and barely able to stand.

"Acqua," he said.

The man behind the stall offered some alternatives in English. "Coke, Coke Light, Sprite...?"

"Acqua," said Terpstra, more insistently.

"Coke, Coke Zero...?"

"Acqua!!"

Finally he was given water after insisting for water no less than 5 times.

He then poured the entire bottle of water over his head.
_____

Riders must be seen drinking Coke not water he was later told.
 
May 26, 2009
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blackcat said:
Liggett said last night that he could not tt previously. WRONG. Manalo Saiz signed him up on the basis of him winning the u23 Spanish national chrono in his first year in the espoirs. He could always bust a prologue, just developing the pro strength for the long GT chronos.

Thank you for confirming this for me. I was under the impression that I first heard about him as a TT specialist. As he currently was seen as a climber who learned to TT I was wondering if I remembered correctly.

I checked his Palmares and indeed... he started out as TT specialist. It's the other way around as people think also it's not "amazing" that all of a sudden he can TT.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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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:

My point was that the TTT skews the GC disproportionately. Whether ASO included the event because they knew of Armstrong's likely reemergence is idle speculation and seems unlikely. Having said that, given their alleged disdain for the man, I doubt that they would include an event in which JB's teams have always excelled. Perhaps they were counting on Garmin/Columbia/Saxo sticking it to Astana? If so, their plan backfired badly.
 
LugHugger said:
My point was that the TTT skews the GC disproportionately. Whether ASO included the event because they knew of Armstrong's likely reemergence is idle speculation and seems unlikely. Having said that, given their alleged disdain for the man, I doubt that they would include an event in which JB's teams have always excelled. Perhaps they were counting on Garmin/Columbia/Saxo sticking it to Astana? If so, their plan backfired badly.

What alleged disdain for the man? The ASO was always deferential to Armstrong. The former head of the race made some comments in 2005 after Armstrong was proven by retrospective testing to have used EPO in 1999. He and his staff were tossed overboard in the reorganization of the ASO last year. The new direction of the ASO is to ignore the doping problem and concentrate on making money. Tilting the race to help Armstrong is a very real possibility.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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BroDeal said:
What alleged disdain for the man? The ASO was always deferential to Armstrong. The former head of the race made some comments in 2005 after Armstrong was proven by retrospective testing to have used EPO in 1999. He and his staff were tossed overboard in the reorganization of the ASO last year. The new direction of the ASO is to ignore the doping problem and concentrate on making money. Tilting the race to help Armstrong is a very real possibility.
Evans needed Dekker, Kohl and 6 Cancellaras. Otherwise, gameover.
 
Jun 22, 2009
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A serious question in the context of this discussion, which I do not have time to research myself right now - when exactly were this year's stages announced? When did LA announce his intention of riding again this year? I suspect that the course was set before LA ever announced his return, but can't prove it with a link. Anyone?
 
Jun 16, 2009
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Amsterhammer,

Your point is valid, but we don't know if there was a difference between it being publically announced that LA was making a comeback and it being announced behind the scenes.
 
May 15, 2009
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Amsterhammer said:
A serious question in the context of this discussion, which I do not have time to research myself right now - when exactly were this year's stages announced? When did LA announce his intention of riding again this year? I suspect that the course was set before LA ever announced his return, but can't prove it with a link. Anyone?

I'd heard, though just through speculative rumour, that the organisers had a course in mind but tore it up when LA announced he was riding. It does seem a little coincidental that his comeback tour is the one where there's a reduction in TT miles and a mountain finish rather than a TT on the penultimate day.
 
RhodriM said:
I'd heard, though just through speculative rumour, that the organisers had a course in mind but tore it up when LA announced he was riding. It does seem a little coincidental that his comeback tour is the one where there's a reduction in TT miles and a mountain finish rather than a TT on the penultimate day.

Armstrong met with the UCI and ASO before he announced his return. I am pretty sure it was before the route was announced. The race director of the Giro, Angelo Zomegnan, travelled to Texas to meet with Armstrong before the Giro route was announced.
 
Franklin said:
As I and others pointed out, it's not nearly as crazy as you try to make it look. Most of the time it is indeed in the bag in a situation like this. That's not us being pessimistic, it's just looking at how the last 35 years the game is played. Strong teams with a headstart are rarely toppled. Pantani is perhaps the closest exception.

Gadzooks!, a historian... Thanks for the lesson. Have you really been paying attention for 35 years? Wow! That brings back some memories. Like getting my daily TDF results via Telex from a friend in Belgium back in the 70's. How'd you get yours?

If you really have been around that long, how can make such a hapless comment. Tell me who are you betting the farm on?... Lance or Alberto? And you're sure it is a forgone conclusion well before the Ventoux? Have you ever climbed Ventoux? I have... and please pardon my naivete in thinking it will play a decisive part in this years tour. It seems to be a pretty strong opinion among the GC contenders. By the way, can you name another Tour ever, where the Queen stage was the day before Paris?

So let's look at your formula for this forgone conclusion, and I won't back any further than your 35 years. You of course picked Merckx over Thevenet in 75, but a kidney shot is hard to call... hmmm, not part of the formula. Van Impe in 76... not exactly formula. Hinault... OK, formula working, but tough about that 1980 abandon to Zoetemelk...didn't see that coming. Fignon for a few years while Hinault was having surgery... more formula. But Lemond in 86? ...rivals on the same team? Tell me your you had Lemond all the way. I'm sure of it.

Roche in 87, Delgado in 88, Lemond over Fignon by seconds in in 89?... all totally predictable. Indurain in 91 coming from 10th the year before ... obvious choice. Super domestique Riis to topple Indurain? Ullrich to step over team mate Riis? Pantani, ahh... you are correct, the little climber without a team, and tired from a Giro victory, pulled a rabbit out of hat on a cold day in the mountains and and took over 7 minutes back from Jan. Of course getting the dose right surely helped.

Then there was Armstrong is 99. We ALL saw that coming right? Personally, I had Ullrich over Basso in 06, as did the formula I am sure, but hey, a drug scandal? Who'd have thought? But Landis... I mean Periero was the obvious go to guy. The formula was working again in 07 when Alberto and Johan stomped the entire field by a whopping 23 seconds, and of course we all had Sastre dialed in from the start for last years Tour.

You are correct. The Tour has had it's many dominant riders with teams built for their success, but only Induain and Armstong's wins were all consecutive, and some of those were tight. Surprises have consistently been part the Tour whether it's crashes, scandals, or heroic efforts.

I also agree that Astana is in the Cat Bird seat with their TTT victory, and Lance and Johan do not make many mistakes. But 37 year old legs against the 26 year old winner of the last three Grand Tours. You're going to make the call on that? Yeah it seems obvious, but... Whose going to crack? Whose going to crash? Whose going to ask for their B sample to be tested?

The drama and that unpredictability of the Tour, even when it looks very predictable to those well informed bloggers here, is what makes it one of the most watched and most love sporting events on the planet. I, for one like it the way and will continue to tune in to see how it plays out. And despite your obvious resignation, I suspect you will too.
 

whiteboytrash

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BroDeal said:
Armstrong met with the UCI and ASO before he announced his return. I am pretty sure it was before the route was announced. The race director of the Giro, Angelo Zomegnan, travelled to Texas to meet with Armstrong before the Giro route was announced.

Correction. The route was decided in October last year and Armstrong comeback was much later - November.

However you're right he did meet with ASO.

The two parties agreed no drug busts as long as Armstrong didn't behave like a rockstar and was assessable to the public. He also had to agree to curtail the anti-French comments. Also Kloden had to ride to pacify the German media who threatened to pull out of showing the Tour if Armstrong rode again.

Although I'm not sure what another Armstrong win brings to the Tour ?

Not a lot really. A few people get rich but I'm not sure what else..... will it make anyone outside the US ride a bike ? Probably not. So what was the point.
 
whiteboytrash said:
Correction. The route was decided in October last year and Armstrong comeback was much later - November.

However you're right he did meet with ASO.

He met with the UCI and the ASO before he announced his comeback. The talks with the UCI were long before the TdF announcement. I am pretty sure the talks with the ASO were also before the route announcement.