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Biosphere

Stage 8 TdF: Sun, July 8th: Belfort - Porrentruy 158km

A Terrific Launch Pad

Jean-François Pescheux wrote:
In my opinion, this could very well end up being the key stage of the Tour! The course is just 157 km long, but it has been designed to promote attacks and comebacks. If a favourite loses three minutes on the previous day's final climb, he will get the chance to make amends on this stage. There is a succession of six climbs, including the Col de la Croix a mere 16 km from the finish. This 3.7 km climb with an average gradient of 9.2% is a terrific launch pad! In short, this course is reminiscent of the one in Les Rousses, where Sylvain Chavanel stole the show two years ago. Back then, Andy Schleck regretted not having scouted the stage beforehand. This time he cannot say no-one has warned him.


What Jean-François Pescheux should have wrote:
The canton of Berne will go ape shit if Cancellara can hold onto to yellow until today, but that would be too much of a fairytale.










http://www.steephill.tv/2012/tour-de-france/previews-results/stage-08/
smarauder68

Gotta be a day for a break to stay away. I can see an exclusive group of about 20 to 25 riders trying to close down the break in the final 15km.
berck

I was thinking the same thing SM.
Bartali

Got to be an opportunity for Nibali and Evans to attack Wiggins ....
Biosphere

Well I've FPed a break today.

If the likes of Nibali and Evans want to attack, the penultimate descent looks like their better opportunity for making something stick.
Fontfroide

Not what most people think Wiggins is good at, a succession of climbs.  

Would be kind of exciting if the last descent or eve the last two, were contested.  For that matter the last climb could even be contested.

Could be fun to watch.  At least we can be fairly certain that they won't all arrive at the bottom of the last hill together, since there is not last hill.  I think it will be a surprising stage, but of course have no idea what the surprise will be.
kathy

I love this type of stage!  It's exciting already, although I'm not sure they'll let Rui Costa stay away!
HuwB

Well, so far this stage is living up to it's potential.
It's as if someone has thrown a bunch of hand grenades into the peloton.
A lot of riders already under the shadow of the dreaded hors delay.
HuwB

Gesink gone already.
Pack it in, lad.
kathy

Rojas must be crazy!  He's back on his bike today, two days after the operation on his clavicle!
Severo

I love the early part of a stage like this. Voigt is going for it which is the least surprising part of the day, especially as he said he wanted to attack today on Twitter.

ITV4 commentating with Imlach, Boardman and Rendell. They'd be better if they had this commentary team the whole time.
gerry12ie

Valverde and Samu down
gerry12ie

Samu out
HuwB

Samu's race is done.
kathy

Spain's Olympic team in tatters!  Rojas, Freire and now Samu!
Severo

Kathy, who else was in the Spanish team? The Spanish team selector must be pissed.
Boogerd_Fan

gerry12ie wrote:
Valverde and Samu down


what actually caused that? a touch of wheels in front of him, and he went over the top? it was just deceptively close to the line of crowd at the side - maybe another spectator involved?
kathy

I'm not sure it's been picked yet, but those three and valverde, who's also having a hard time, would certainly have been there!
kathy

BF, it seems they ran into a spectator, who actually had his chair on the road!!
kathy

People who haven't seen a stage live just have no idea how fast those guys are travelling.
HuwB

Gilbert departs through the rear door.....
Voeckler will not get to Paris.
kathy

I forgot LLS from the Olympic squad - and he's had a bad time as well!
kathy

First news on Samu - fractures of clavicle and hand
HuwB

Lead group up to 4 at just over 3 minutes.
Riders all over this climb.
Severo

kathy wrote:
First news on Samu - fractures of clavicle and hand


And dislocated shoulder.
kathy

Severo wrote:
kathy wrote:
First news on Samu - fractures of clavicle and hand


And dislocated shoulder.


Ooh  The EE man didn't tell us that
Severo

kathy wrote:
Severo wrote:
kathy wrote:
First news on Samu - fractures of clavicle and hand


And dislocated shoulder.


Ooh  The EE man didn't tell us that


CN reported
Fontfroide

Latest.  Samuel does not have broken clavicule, just hand.
kathy

Think all the reports of Samu's 'fractures' came before he'd had the Xrays!

Damn!  I nearly picked Pinot today!
Severo

Taaramae dropped. Kessiakoff caught by Pinot.
Fontfroide

kathy wrote:


Damn!  I nearly picked Pinot today!


Me too.  Instead Sanchez
Fontfroide

Allez thibaut.  He deserves it.  But it will be close.
Fontfroide

Teeeeboooow
kathy

Wow!  What a stage!  Never mind the cyclists - I think they should dope-test Madiot!
Fontfroide

Thibaut only lost 30 seconds in ten k against the following hot shot riders.  Astounding.
ullrichfan

Great pictures of Madiot!  Fantastic win for FDJ.
HuwB

Madiot would be great playing Adolf Hitler. Laughing

Gilbert Grape wins.

I enjoyed that.
For once profile potential achieved.

Great ride by Taaramae to hang on to white.

Bit naughty of Evans to revert to his best Levi Leipheimer impression.
kathy

So, 15% cut off is 39 minutes for the stragglers to get in without being hors delai.

Editted!
Fontfroide

Now we wait 35 minutes to see if the World Champ makes it home in time.
kathy

There were quite a few, Farrar etc, who dropped off long before Cav.
gerry12ie

Great stuff by Pinot, FDJ and the wonderful Madiot.  I think I FP'd Pinot for young rider but I'm not sure.  It certainly looks like it will be a more hotly contested classement than GC.  

As Huw said, Evans reverting to type was a bit disappointing
Fontfroide

HuwB wrote:
Madiot would be great playing Adolf Hitler. Laughing

Gilbert Grape wins.

I enjoyed that.
For once profile potential achieved.

Great ride by Taaramae to hang on to white.

Bit naughty of Evans to revert to his best Levi Leipheimer impression.


+1

Except the last remark about Evans.  I saw him in front several times.  He was alone.  There were three RS and two Sky.  You are not being nice or fair.  Or so I think.
Fontfroide

I have been picking this guy for stages for a bit now, I am delighted he has won.  Delighted.  Unlike Sicard and Feillu, I think this guy is the real deal.  And he is funny, and eccentric too.  Glad to see some French guys making it to the top, or on the way.  

Gallopin third, a sprinter, or a classics guy anyway.

Vive la France.
kathy

Cav finishes with plenty to spare.
HuwB

Fontfroide wrote:

+1

Except the last remark about Evans.  I saw him in front several times.  He was alone.  There were three RS and two Sky.  You are not being nice or fair.  Or so I think.



So, you didn't see Nibali leave a gap grow, then pull over and tell Evans to come through?
He was back there with another, well known......er.....wheel follower, for most of the flat.
No need to take monster pulls, just come through and do your bit.
It was in the interest of the group that all worked to gain time. Would have been daft if they had all sat up, for the sake of a small amount of cooperation.
Fontfroide

@ Huw
THREE Shacks, TWO Sky, and you are complaining about Evans sitting in?  I still think that is unjust and not fair.  I would never take pulls if I were isolated and there were other teams with 3 and 2 riders.  

But still, maybe you have some point, I might not have noticed.  You do have a better eye than I do.  I think Cadel gets picked on a bit too much.  I like the guy, even if he is a bit strange compared to most riders.

Didn't he attack before the end with JVDB
maffy

four radio-shackles...

agree with ff, evans did nothing wrong. tried to wang off and gain a couple of seconds on wiggins once or twice on the way down, then sat in and took the points.  after jvdb took the short thru the traffic circle and he "efforted"* to latch on no need to do more today.

gallopin's not a sprinter, unless you're a commentator looking at the shacklesquad for one. 5th on green mountain, and rvv may well have been different were it not for his puncture. <had him at 500 that day.>

HuwB wrote:
Madiot would be great playing Adolf Hitler. Laughing

fine ride by pinot. did anyone start subtitling yet? fun stage. poor samu.

<stores more kirby for inevitable tellyrant>

---
ff -  i'll add st1 settimana ciclistica lombarda '11 to your swagpile.

*in the dickshunree wif podiumed, that is
kathy

I thought this was a great stage - we need more of them.  They're usually much more exciting than 'true' mountain stages.  And the scenery was great!  Do you know, until I saw the Dinosaur on the roundabout, I never associated the Jura with Jurassic Park!!

I think it was a bit harsh to criticize Evans today, given the circumstances.
HuwB

kathy wrote:
I thought this was a great stage - we need more of them.  They're usually much more exciting than 'true' mountain stages.  And the scenery was great!  Do you know, until I saw the Dinosaur on the roundabout, I never associated the Jura with Jurassic Park!!

I think it was a bit harsh to criticize Evans today, given the circumstances.


No really criticism, just an observation.
They allowed him to sit on; they could all have sat up.
The same scenario no doubt well play out again, later in the race,
with just that result.
smarauder68

Looks like Wiggo can mark anyone's wheel he wants.....except for Froome perhaps...pity they're teammates...
Boogerd_Fan

SM your love for Froome knows know limit!

Very Happy

I like Wiggo. He doesn't mind telling it how it is. Of course, this kind of statement would be quite ironic if he was juiced. But as i wrote in Stage 7 thread, i have faith in him. Just not in his team.

Bradley Wiggins wrote:
They are just f***ing w*****s. I cannot be doing with people like that. It justifies their own bone-idleness because they can’t ever imagine applying themselves to anything in their lives. It’s easy for them to sit under a pseudonym on Twitter rather than get off their arses in their own life and apply themselves and work hard at something and achieve something, and that’s ultimately it. C***s!


MJM would be proud Very Happy
Fontfroide

MJM would not be proud, he would be accusing Bradley and all of Sky of doping.  In many posts.

But would have liked Bradley's language, that's for sure.
ullrichfan

Where is the grumpy bastard anyway?  Laughing
kathy

ullrichfan wrote:
Where is the grumpy bastard anyway?  Laughing


Bucaresti, according to his Facebook page.
MAILLOT JAUNE

That's good to know that MJM is still alive!!!!!!!  Very Happy

I just had a horrible feeling that MJM could've passed away when he stopped posting.
gerry12ie

I think Huw's observation of Evans style was fair enough.  There are a limited number of opportunities to put Wiggins/Sky under pressure and yesterday was the last of those before the TT.  He is bound to lose more time to him today (and probably to Froome as well) but made no real attempt to capitalise yesterday.

If Evans thinks that kicking on 20 metres from the summit on a not so technical descent with a flat run in is going to put the Wiggo in difficulty well I really dont rate his chances at all this year.  

<John McCririck Roar> Can anyone stop Wiggins??
maffy

gerry12ie wrote:
<John McCririck Roar> Can anyone stop Wiggins??

probably not.

jvdb via velonation wrote:

"In the descent, our explorer Mario Aerts had told me to go left at the roundabout, instead of going right like all the rest,” he explained. “It enabled me to get away. Soon Cadel Evans joined, but I was unable to go through again. I only thought about the time gain, not the stage win. When you see which riders have lost time in recent days, you know everything is possible."



froome didn't seem to able to bring them back, jvdb couldn't do another turn, wiggins had to bring them back himself.
Biosphere

kathy wrote:
. . .  And the scenery was great!  Do you know, until I saw the Dinosaur on the roundabout, I never associated the Jura with Jurassic Park!!


Poor palaeontologists. Centuries of work on the Jurassic Era usurped by a movie Wink

I'll try post a few proper photos of stage later, but yes it's a beautiful and fairly unspoiled place. It really is geared up for cycling around there, and there are a huge number of trails and farm lanes to explore. Had to go cross country to get to summit of the final climb.

Stopped to take a snap with trousers phone (as the eldest calls it) and a family on their way home from stage rolled into frame. Made for a nice pic.


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Getting back to the Jurassic, it's rather easy to find fossils there. For example it might not take that long to find one on the road in the picture. Just a bit odd when you're at 700m altitude and about 400km from the nearest sea to find prehistoric "sea shells".
MAILLOT JAUNE

D'oh! I didn't realise that Jurassic came from Jura!!!

Liking the Maillot á Pois jersey!!!!
Biosphere

I'm going to post too many photos again but it's a slack day tomorrow . . .

As I posted last week, had a bit of a potter in the Juras for Stage 8. Climbed up to the summit of Les Rangiers (very close to the summit of the penultimate climb) and it was just me, a load of abandoned cars a a kite circling around overhead on the thermals. They're huge birds when you get up close to them.


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After being held for 20 mins by an enthusiastic policeman who reckoned it was too dangerous to walk for 150m along the route when the caravan was passing (I suppose he thought once I got 10m away from him I was going to hop on bike), I made it to the cross country trail that brought me over to the ultimate climb of the day - the Col de la Croix. Too late for the freebie Polka dot T-shirts Sad


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I could buy 10 testicles for €20 from the party girls though - I guess it's one of those French delicacies that sound disgusting but are quite tasty.


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It was quite a nice atmosphere on top with people able to wander around and not worry about fighting for a good vantage point.


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and then the main show started. I was just after where Pinot caught Kessiakoff


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then things got a bit relaxed again


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It's maybe not always so obvious on TV, but they do a very good job of hiding in each others wind shadows. There's just a hint of Evans, no Froome . . . It's a human centipede that wont upset the film censors


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From left to right - Froome's target finishing order.


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I suppose convention dictates I need to post at least one of these.


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Onwards and upwards


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Rolland, Vande Velde and Basso get some encouragement


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Peter Velits tries the Voeckler look


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Valverde I think


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Nerz leads De Weert


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I thought this was an out of focus Hoogerland, but where are the tattoos? Is it someone else?


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Human after all. Sagan is reminded of his mortality by a pasty, overweight Irishman with a camera.


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Thanks to the interweb, there can be plenty of speculation about Tony Martin's distended tummy


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Bole and Marzano


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Il gruppo di Goss included Gilbert


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Oss was on his own. Back to tattoos, he seems to have a big Hokusai wave . .


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Eisel looks around to check he hasn't lost Cavendish (who is in there somewhere)


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The final gruppo Greipel's nickname is apt - he's huge


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The party's over. The Croix at the summit


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Reluctant to leave or fulfilling national stereotypes by blagging a good spot for next year?


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gerry12ie

Brilliant stuff Bio, thanks.
Fontfroide

Very atmospheric photos.  Snapshots, but rather high quality.  Riders clear and in focus.  

Thank you.
berck

Bio,

Looks great. I'll have to wait till I get home to properly view them. Kind of hard on my phone. Smile
Bartali

Great shots Bio!  Thx

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