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EastAnglianFox

Le Tour 2018

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Love this time of year and the start of the tour, understandably under the radar with the world cup going on.

 

Hoping its not a Froome and team Sky procession, would love to see Ritchie Porte finally win it or somebody like a Mikel Landa for the years of donkey work he has put in.

 

Sprint wise I honestly cant see Cav winning a stage unfortunately, doesnt really have the back up of a decent train either this year. Did genuinely call it some time last year that in an out and out sprint of the big guns that Gaviria was now at a different level to that of even a Kittel. Even if it comes to a more technical finish then wouldnt now fancy Cav to beat the likes of Demare or Sagan.

 

Here's hoping to a great few weeks

Edited by EastAnglianFox

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I'm afraid to say that Cav looks like he has lost his sprinting legs and I can't see him overhauling Merckx for the overall stage wins although I would love him to do it. Sagan will undoubtedly win the green jersey again and I agree that other riders need to come forward and show that they can challenge Froome and the Sky dominance for the good of the race and to keep the interest with the general public particularly amongst the French.

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So it's now twenty years since the Festina affair when a series of doping scandals rocked the tour and since then the word doping has always been brought up when mentioning the tour particularly after the Lance Armstrong saga and cycling more than any other sport has suffered from doping. and with the stuff that's gone on at sky with the TUE's (therapeutic use exemptions). every rider that does well like Chris Froome is automatically under suspicion. the fans want to believe in a clean sport and so to do the sponsors and we all want to see a great race but a clean race. we will just have to see if anyone in this years race gets caught out for doping or whether we can go a whole tour de France and afterwards without any controversy.

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great ride by Dan Martin to win the stage up the Mur De Bretagne, he looked like he attacked too early but was able to keep it going for a great win while Geraint Thomas has climbed to second in the overall classification.

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Porte has abandoned after crashing early on the stage today, gutted for him, looks like its a broken collarbone. 

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Cavendish and Kittel out after not finishing within the allowed time yesterday, strange tour from both, neither really got into it.

 

The big one today,  Alp D'huez, always a fave...Team Sky better be prepared for some serious hassle up this one

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14 minutes ago, EastAnglianFox said:

Cavendish and Kittel out after not finishing within the allowed time yesterday, strange tour from both, neither really got into it.

 

The big one today,  Alp D'huez, always a fave...Team Sky better be prepared for some serious hassle up this one

They're in first and third position already after just a couple of mountain stages.

I think all the other teams have to collaborate if they want to stand a chance of beating Sky this year.

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8 minutes ago, EastAnglianFox said:

Cavendish and Kittel out after not finishing within the allowed time yesterday, strange tour from both, neither really got into it.

 

The big one today,  Alp D'huez, always a fave...Team Sky better be prepared for some serious hassle up this one

Saw more of Kittel in that awful Alpecin shampoo ad than in the Tour. Gaviria seems to have stolen his mantle as the best sprinter around. Cav has been on the slide for a couple of years now. Doubt he'll win another Tour stage now.

 

As for Sky, do they have a leadership battle looming? Or is Froome still the no.1 and Thomas the no.2?

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5 minutes ago, shen said:

They're in first and third position already after just a couple of mountain stages.

I think all the other teams have to collaborate if they want to stand a chance of beating Sky this year.

 

Oh I agree, now down to the others to do something different to try and split that Sky train up, in terms of the hassle up the mountain I meant more in terms of the aggro from the supporters who will be very much up close and personal.

 

6 minutes ago, SouthStandUpperTier said:

Saw more of Kittel in that awful Alpecin shampoo ad than in the Tour. Gaviria seems to have stolen his mantle as the best sprinter around. Cav has been on the slide for a couple of years now. Doubt he'll win another Tour stage now.

 

As for Sky, do they have a leadership battle looming? Or is Froome still the no.1 and Thomas the no.2?

 

Yeah that advert is an absolute cringe fest! Gaviria has to be the quickest about in a straight drag to the finish even with Cav and Kittel still about, Kittel I fancied to dominate over the next few years after his showings in 16 and 17 but all is not well within Katusha and he's had plenty of fallings out with people including his team director.

 

Froome will strongly remain as number 1 unless he has serious problems in the mountains which I can't really see as he just knows what to do and when to win a 3 week race, plus he still has the individual time trial up his sleeve if he's down a few seconds, that being said Thomas has turned into a damn good tt rider over the years and wouldn't surprise me at all if this is his last year as a number 2 rider.

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fantastic stage win for geraint thomas to take the yellow jersey, team sky are just so strong. Valverde tried a long range attack but couldn't really do anything and team Sky's rivals just didn't have any answers. the way Thomas caught the lone leader for the stage win was brilliant and i am really pleased for him. it will be interesting to see the team dynamic now Thomas has a commanding lead in the general classification with Froome second. sad way to see Cavendish go out the tour by being eliminated. it was such a tough stage for the sprinters and although we want to see great racing it shouldn't be at the expense of other riders like the sprinters who find irt really difficult to climb. hopefully Cavendish will be back next year but who knows!.

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So today the mythical Alpe d'Huez awaits the riders and it should be an explosive stage up the most famous mountain in Tour De france history and the one which all pure climbers want to win. the mountain is steep with hoardes of fans screaming and shouting at the side of the road and it is such an amazing spectacle to see.

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Gaviria going to be able to coast to victories in the remaining sprints at this rate.....Greipel and Groenewegen have now also abandoned

 

Scrap that, Gaviria now abandoned ?? getting ridiculous now

Edited by EastAnglianFox

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5 minutes ago, EastAnglianFox said:

Gaviria going to be able to coast to victories in the remaining sprints at this rate.....Greipel and Groenewegen have now also abandoned

It requires that Gaviria completes these stages first! It's all depends on how much he, Sagan, Kristoff and Démare have left in the tank. 

 

Edit: Ha, as I typed that Gaviria just abandoned too!

Edited by shen

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Get in G!!! What a brilliant last 15km or so, unbelievable how quickly a 5 minute lead can be chewed up.

 

The one thing that I've always thought has held Thomas back from being a main GC contender was his own self belief and confidence....love how their is almost an air of arrogance about his riding now...love it!!

Edited by EastAnglianFox

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1 hour ago, shen said:

It requires that Gaviria completes these stages first! It's all depends on how much he, Sagan, Kristoff and Démare have left in the tank. 

 

Edit: Ha, as I typed that Gaviria just abandoned too!

 

 

Surprised he went before the D'huez, he's no mug at climbing!

 

Absolutely no chance Sagan abandons, good climber and has the legs to finish well within the time limit and the small matter of the green jersey.

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Great to see Geraint Thomas winning on l'Alpe d'Huez, he's looking really good. I feel a bit sorry for Kruijswijk who attacked a long way out and had six minutes at the bottom of the climb but he just didn't have the legs at the end. Great ride by Egan Bernal of team sky to set a good pace for Thomas and Froome and although Nibali and Quintana tried to attack they just couldn't sustain anything. the crowds were booing team sky and one spectator tried to land a punch on Chris Froome but luckily missed. Great day and tour for team sky and although every Frenchman hates it, it looks good for them all the way to Paris unless Dumoulin can stay within touching distance.

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5 minutes ago, Gerbold said:

As was said during the conversation, the French are getting tired of Sky's dominance, yet also dislike any  team overstaying its welcome

I was listening to Thomas Voeckler (and his is a pretty common view in France) there's also an anger at Sky 'buying' victories (being able to afford the super-domestiques etc) with their budget AND at the manner in which Sky win (in the mountains) It's seen as sapping the sport of its panache. I see it as partly a cultural difference. Tradition is a big part of life in France and this is reflected in cycling. Sky are seen as being somewhat disrespectful of cycling's tradition.

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Sky are certainly removing all the romance from the sport with their clinical, scientific approach. It does leave me feeling cold sometimes. It's the same every mountain stage. They put their 8-man train at the front of the peloton and set a high tempo that makes it nearly impossible (and almost always suicidal) for anyone to attack them. If I was the Tour organisers I would look into possibly doing the following.

 

1) Dilute Sky's dominance by reducing the number of riders per team even further. They've already gone from 9 to 8, but I would look to go as low as 6.

 

2) Reduce the number of mountain stages and increase the number of stages that are similar to the One-day Classics. There are just too many mountain stages and the race becomes too attritional (and thereby encourages doping). It bends the race too much in favour of the climbers, and is too penal on the all-rounders/sprinters like Sagan, van Avermaat and Alla-Phillippe. I'd love to see someone like Sagan have a crack at winning Le Tour one day.

 

3) Increase the number of time trial km's. Time trials are called The Race of Truth for a reason, they are the truest measure of a bike rider.

Edited by SouthStandUpperTier

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So a 20min stop in todays race. Protesters on the road so an idiot copper used his mace. 60/70 riders affected.

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3 minutes ago, TheyCallMeMrCarbohydrate said:

Policeman accidentally maces half the competitors! You couldn't make it up!

I bet he ends up looking for another job. He won't be the first copper sacked for fecking up.

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