Will the ITT decide this thing?

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Mar 18, 2009
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Escarabajo said:
The stage 17 to Grand Bornard looks very difficult.



It finishes on a descent but the last two climbs are very close together.

Km 140.5 - Col de Romme - 8.8 km climb to 8.9 % - Category 1
Km 154.5 - Col de la Colombière - 7.5 km climb to 8.5 % - Category 1

Total distance for the last two climbs is 16.3 km with higher than 8.5% gradient. That's tough. The small descent between both climbs is only 6.5 km.

Andy Schleck said before the tour that this would be one of the key stages. This stage along with the ITT and Ventoux will probably decide the race.

Just my two cents.
Looks like a good stage for Astana - who can isolate most of the potential contenders from their teammates by pounding on the early climbs. They should easily be able to reach the bottom of the final climbs with AC and LA each having two helpers, then complete the shredding.

Anyone with a minute or two over the top of the last climb should be able to hold it on the 20k descent, especially if the chasers are mostly working independently too.
 
Chomsky said:
Monaco had two parts to the stage a 7.5km climb and a technical descent. many of the Tour contenders like Contador and Armstrong did not put much effort into the descent. So essentially it became a 7.5 km climb which separated many of the contenders. Stage 18 is not as technical. Its 40km with 3.5 km of climbing and 37 km of not climbing. Meaning the climbing is not as significant in the stage as Stage 1. Stage 1 favored a good climber assuming all equal on the technical descent. Stage 18 does not favor the climber but appears to favor one who excels at long mostly flat time trials.
I guess I saw a different first stage. Armstrong went relatively easy on the initial ascent and bombed the descent. Same for Contador and the other GC contenders. Spartacus was/is just a better descender than most of them.

As for the Cat 3 climb, it's 3.7KM with an average gradient of 6%. I'm not a professional cyclist, but I have to imagine that is going to hurt the legs after 25KM of false flat. At a minimum it is going to significantly disrupt the rhythm of the diesel engines amongst the peleton.
 
Ninety5rpm said:
...Anyone with a minute or two over the top of the last climb should be able to hold it on the 20k descent, especially if the chasers are mostly working independently too.
Correct.

It looks like the Morzine stage from previous tours. Even though it ends in descend, the riders arrive to the finish mostly isolated.
 
Jun 24, 2009
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anubisza said:
I don't think you can argue that Contador is time trialling better than Armstrong, so the chances of LA taking time out of him on the ITT are slim to none in my opinion. And even if he does, Contador is a much better climber. So there is no contest.
Contador's also going to have the advantage of knowing Armstrong's splits when he's out on the course...or is this going to be a "no-radio" stage ?:D
 
Apr 20, 2009
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Publicus said:
I guess I saw a different first stage. Armstrong went relatively easy on the initial ascent and bombed the descent. Same for Contador and the other GC contenders. Spartacus was/is just a better descender than most of them.

As for the Cat 3 climb, it's 3.7KM with an average gradient of 6%. I'm not a professional cyclist, but I have to imagine that is going to hurt the legs after 25KM of false flat. At a minimum it is going to significantly disrupt the rhythm of the diesel engines amongst the peleton.
Lance lost 3 seconds to Contador on the descent and time to Levi. Both Levi and Contador are very poor technical riders. The old LA used to be a very good technical rider and likely would have put considerable time on Contador on the descent. LA said after stage 1 that he felt very uncomfortable on the bike, had poor bike handling skills on stage 1 and his years off produced quite a bit of rust. If you watched him descend he looked terrible, taking some very poor lines, some hesitant turns with far to much brake. He looked like a guy who had not ridden in four years. Thats only my opinion but similar to what Lance said after the stage. But then again he has never been one to praise his own performance. That is what we have Versus for. I Agree on Cancellera and other ITT spoecialists like Zabriske bombing the descent .But that is why Cancellera came to the tour to win the ITT's. I think the GC contenders were far more concerned with survival than 10 or 20 extra seconds and it showed on their performance in the descent.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Chomsky said:
Lance lost 3 seconds to Contador on the descent and time to Levi. Both Levi and Contador are very poor technical riders. The old LA used to be a very good technical rider and likely would have put considerable time on Contador on the descent. LA said after stage 1 that he felt very uncomfortable on the bike, had poor bike handling skills on stage 1 and his years off produced quite a bit of rust. If you watched him descend he looked terrible, taking some very poor lines, some hesitant turns with far to much brake. He looked like a guy who had not ridden in four years. Thats only my opinion but similar to what Lance said after the stage. But then again he has never been one to praise his own performance. That is what we have Versus for. I Agree on Cancellera and other ITT spoecialists like Zabriske bombing the descent .But that is why Cancellera came to the tour to win the ITT's. I think the GC contenders were far more concerned with survival than 10 or 20 extra seconds and it showed on their performance in the descent.
Based on what I saw of LA in the TTT and the mountain stages since the Stage 1 TT, I believe that TT was not as good an indicator of eventual outcome in this Tour as I expected it to be, at least not with respect to LA.

Maybe he was just nervous or something, but, whatever it was, he seems to have gotten past it now.
 
*Depends on the time gaps prior to it:
*How close are AC/LA to they contenders, but here is the tricky part:


If LA is in yellow- He will go full gas on this stage. He prefers to take advantage in the ITT and defend his gains in the Ventoux.
If AC is in Yellow- He'll ride hard enough to limit time losses & save energy for the Ventoux to back knife LA.
Leechaimer can pull a surprising ITT like in 2007, destroying the filed and taking the yellow-but will AC/LA ride for him? don't think so..
And I guess, Kloden & A. Schleck will- must likely- be fighting over crumbs...
 
Chomsky said:
Lance lost 3 seconds to Contador on the descent and time to Levi. Both Levi and Contador are very poor technical riders. The old LA used to be a very good technical rider and likely would have put considerable time on Contador on the descent. LA said after stage 1 that he felt very uncomfortable on the bike, had poor bike handling skills on stage 1 and his years off produced quite a bit of rust. If you watched him descend he looked terrible, taking some very poor lines, some hesitant turns with far to much brake. He looked like a guy who had not ridden in four years. Thats only my opinion but similar to what Lance said after the stage. But then again he has never been one to praise his own performance. That is what we have Versus for. I Agree on Cancellera and other ITT spoecialists like Zabriske bombing the descent .But that is why Cancellera came to the tour to win the ITT's. I think the GC contenders were far more concerned with survival than 10 or 20 extra seconds and it showed on their performance in the descent.
One would think after having ridden the Tour Down Under, Tour of California, Tour of the Gila, Giro D'Italia and the Nevada City Crit, the rust would be knocked off. :rolleyes: And lest we forget, he was telling folks that he had ridden the course somewhere north of 30 times, which really undermines his claims about bike handling, etc.

Your initial point was that they took it easy on the descent, which by all appearances just wasn't the case. Contador BEAT Armstrong up and down the same course, that doesn't mean Armstrong took it easy. It just means that he was slower than Contador. Both looked like they gave it their all on the descent--at least that's what the look on their faces said to me when they crossed the line. Obviously they could have been faking it. :D
 
hfer07 said:
*Depends on the time gaps prior to it:
*How close are AC/LA to they contenders, but here is the tricky part:


If LA is in yellow- He will go full gas on this stage. He prefers to take advantage in the ITT and defend his gains in the Ventoux.
If AC is in Yellow- He'll ride hard enough to limit time losses & save energy for the Ventoux to back knife LA.
Leechaimer can pull a surprising ITT like in 2007, destroying the filed and taking the yellow-but will AC/LA ride for him? don't think so..
And I guess, Kloden & A. Schleck will- must likely- be fighting over crumbs...
If AC is in yellow, why would he need to "back knife" LA? Wouldn't he be worried about the opposite?
 
Jun 22, 2009
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Reason to descend conservatively

Ninety5rpm said:
Maybe he was just nervous or something, but, whatever it was, he seems to have gotten past it now.
Maybe this is a factor in the lack of desire to go all out on a hairy descent the first day of the Tour. Any crash on that shoulder would be painful and debilitating.

 
Jul 9, 2009
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Escarabajo said:
The stage 17 to Grand Bornard looks very difficult.



It finishes on a descent but the last two climbs are very close together.

Km 140.5 - Col de Romme - 8.8 km climb to 8.9 % - Category 1
Km 154.5 - Col de la Colombière - 7.5 km climb to 8.5 % - Category 1

Total distance for the last two climbs is 16.3 km with higher than 8.5% gradient. That's tough. The small descent between both climbs is only 6.5 km.

Andy Schleck said before the tour that this would be one of the key stages. This stage along with the ITT and Ventoux will probably decide the race.

Just my two cents.
would be cool if astana did an early team attack on that stage. not that it will happen.
 
May 11, 2009
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I think Contador may gain some time over Armstrong on the summit finish Sunday and possibly also on stage 17, but due to the course layouts it probably won't be a significant amount of time. Going into the time trail Armstrong is probably going to be close enough to have a very good shot at taking the yellow jersey back from Contador. This could set up a very exciting finish on the Ventoux stage, I don't see either Armstrong or Contador holding back due to team considerations when a chance to win the tour is on the line.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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Because of the downhill finish I don't see too much seperation between the top riders. We may see another inconsequential French rider go off and win. The tour seems to be set up for them to win stages. The main group of contenders may be as large as 40 again...all coming to the finish line together. I hope not!!!


Andre:eek:
 
Jul 8, 2009
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Escarabajo said:
The stage 17 to Grand Bornard looks very difficult.



It finishes on a descent but the last two climbs are very close together.

Km 140.5 - Col de Romme - 8.8 km climb to 8.9 % - Category 1
Km 154.5 - Col de la Colombière - 7.5 km climb to 8.5 % - Category 1

Total distance for the last two climbs is 16.3 km with higher than 8.5% gradient. That's tough. The small descent between both climbs is only 6.5 km.

Andy Schleck said before the tour that this would be one of the key stages. This stage along with the ITT and Ventoux will probably decide the race.

Just my two cents.
...well this is the monkey in the wrench with regards to the next days time trial...the riders will have absorbed some punishing kilometers in the alps and that could affect the results because no one will be fresh coming out of Le Grand Bornand...
 

runninboy

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Jun 16, 2009
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vrusimov said:
...well this is the monkey in the wrench with regards to the next days time trial...the riders will have absorbed some punishing kilometers in the alps and that could affect the results because no one will be fresh coming out of Le Grand Bornand...
I agree, it will be interesting to see who can recover well enough to tt
there could be huge time gaps as a result.
 
May 15, 2009
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I think the ITT will have more impact on the final GC than Ventoux.

I can imagine the Ventoux being another climb with Astana on the front, breaks not getting away until near the end and the differences being small.

Though I hope I'm wrong, I'd love to see some chaos on the penultimate day :)
 

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