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Biosphere

Tour 2013, Stages 12-14: Southward Bound, 11th - 13th July

Childhood memories of a ferry crossing from Ireland to Brittany followed by a day long drive towards Lyon is what these 3 days are reminding me of. Hopefully it will be a bit more exciting this time around.

Stage 12
Jean-François Pescheux wrote:
Never Give Up
This is a long stage (218km) because we wanted to be able to reach Lyon in three days. The finish should suit the sprinters. But it will all depend on what ambitions everyone has now? The idea that Quick Step, Orica-GreenEdge and Lotto will shackle the whole peloton in order to set up Cavendish, Goss and Greipel can't be excluded, and this scenario will automatically suit the team that has the yellow jersey. I would prefer to see some attacks, some movement... Contrary to a perceived idea, the Sky riders do have weaknesses. At the Olympic Games, they exhausted themselves on the front of the peloton chasing behind everyone. That should make everyone else believe they should never give up. Last year's winners will not necessarily be this year's winners.






Stage 13
Jean-François Pescheux wrote:
A Strange Situation
On this kind of stage where there is no obvious difficulty, the likelihood is that Sagan, Cavendish or Greipel will be wearing the green jersey and wanting to consolidate their grip on it at the finish... However, I've done some sums and realised it is not out of the question that a man like Contador might spend several days in green! He will score points in Corsica, in the Pyrenees and in the time trial. On those occasions, the top sprinters, save for perhaps Sagan, will be right at the back. In other words, we could see quite a strange situation that could spice up the race. It would be like a race within a race, confirming the unexpected is always possible on the Tour.







Stage 14
Jean-François Pescheux wrote:
Strength in Numbers
A 191km stage that takes us to Lyon, where, on paper, there is little chance of the sprinters being in contention. Once again the exception to that rule is Peter Sagan, who has got a broader range of talent than the usual candidates for the green jersey. In addition, he should find this finish is right up his street since it is located after the Côte de la Croix-Rousse and the Côte de la Duchère. In short, it's a tricky stage, and certainly tricky enough for Lotto and Quick Step to have no interest in pace-making? Before the rendezvous with the Ventoux, there is another scenario too. A number of the baroudeurs will put a tick next to this stage. That could mean there is strength in numbers...




Fontfroide

Big houses on rivers.
Fontfroide

Admittedly other than big houses, not much to say, but still.  No doubt more comments will appear later.
berck

Was there a crash?
Nolte

berck wrote:
Was there a crash?


the question is whether it was in the last 3 or not.

i think dan martin was down in it.

looks like kittel won to me.
berck

Hmm, Cav or Kittel?
Fontfroide

Kittel.
Crash in last three k.
Fontfroide

Bonnet touched Sagan's wheel, is first verdict.
Nolte

Fontfroide wrote:
Bonnet touched Sagan's wheel, is first verdict.


the pressure of my weight on bonnets back must have got to him Sad
HuwB

King Kittel.
Looks as if EBH could be badly hurt with possible collar bone damage.
Garmin rider right at the bottom of the pile up.
SlowRower

HuwB wrote:
King Kittel.


Indeed. Thanks, Cav. It was great while it lasted, but there's always a bigger fish.  Sad
berck

Dang, Greipel got caught up with the crash.
Fontfroide

Brailsford says it is not a collarbone break.
Fontfroide

However, latest news from x=rays is that EBH has a fractured shoulder something.  Also they say he probably won't ride tomorrow.

No doubt more later.
JohnD

Is there a minimum number of riders teams have to have or is it last man standing/riding?
HuwB

@VgNettAnders: Sky bekrefter til VG: TdF over for Boasson Hagen.

The Sky is falling......
Fontfroide

JohnD wrote:
Is there a minimum number of riders teams have to have or is it last man standing/riding?


Last I knew riders can ride as long as they can, no minimum on a team.  By contrast, if they have less than three riders, they are removed from the "team classification".  Things may have changed.  But I think it is "last man standing".
Boogerd_Fan

King Kittel?

Super Sagan!
Another flat day goes by with not just continuing his lead, but even extending it!
Although, To be fair, he benefited from Greipel not being there at the end.
HuwB

Another finish designed to produce a mass pile up, tomorrow.



Will they ever learn?
MAILLOT JAUNE

What's wrong with just going straight over at the roundabout????
Biosphere

Just caught up with today. Unlucky for EBH. Kittel is very fast and improving.

Heard them talking about that kink towards the end on TV. That's far worse than I expected from their description. Or maybe I didn't listen properly.
mazda

Echelons.

Going to develop into anything / anyone important look like getting dropped ?
Biosphere

mazda wrote:
Echelons.

Going to develop into anything / anyone important look like getting dropped ?


Just saw about the echelons on CN. Seems like everyone important (GC and Stage) is in the first bunch. Wait and see I guess.

Edit: Kittel is in bunch 20s back and OPQS are hammering it.
Biosphere

Think I saw Moreno and Schleck in the Kittel group which is nearly a minute down now. Belkin working hard with OPQS so seemingly GC considerations at play too.
mazda

Not sure I see the realtionship between Belkin and Schleck/Moreno.
Looking at GC or Team seems unlikely Saxo or Movistar would be missing their big guns.
mazda

Elastic stretching ...
Biosphere

mazda wrote:
Not sure I see the realtionship between Belkin and Schleck/Moreno.
Looking at GC or Team seems unlikely Saxo or Movistar would be missing their big guns.


I didn't think it was specifically for Schleck or Moreno, but I presume there was some GC consideration driving them. Do they have a credible sprinter?

Now that Valverde is in the gap, Belkin have a clear GC motive, so be interesting to see what they do.
mazda

Bit of drama with Movistar.
Interesting what Saxo will do.
mazda

Movistar will possibly merge with the Kittel group.
Which may help both of them.
Biosphere

CN Ticker

Quote:
Valverde made a huge mistake by not taking a teammate's bike. He could have quickly got back up to the group but wasted time by changing his rear wheel.


It's a TTT for Movistar now and not really going anywhere.
Boogerd_Fan

Belkin might be US sponsor but thats still a DUTCH team hi 5!! Smile
mazda

This has been going for nearly 50 km now.

Euskaltel helping now - for Nieve and Anton.
Not sure whether those are having to help or if there are other orange team mates.
HuwB

From the dullest of rock like stages, we get a little polished gem.
Finally the crosswinds do their thing.
King Kittel caught on the throne and Valverde getting a good clogging
from the Dutch.
mazda

Got this virtual GC

    2. +1 MOLLEMA Bauke 164 BELKIN PRO CYCLING 49h 42' 19'' +03' 37''  
    3. +1 CONTADOR Alberto 91 TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF 49h 42' 36'' +03' 54''  
    4. +1 KREUZIGER Roman 94 TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF 49h 42' 39'' +03' 57''  
    5. +1 TEN DAM Laurens 167 BELKIN PRO CYCLING 49h 42' 52'' +04' 10''  
    6. -4 VALVERDE Alejandro 121 MOVISTAR TEAM 49h 43' 23'' +04' 41''  
    7.   KWIATKOWSKI Michal 153 OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP 49h 43' 26'' +04' 44''  
    8.   QUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander 128 MOVISTAR TEAM 49h 44' 00'' +05' 18''
Biosphere

Gap heading down towards 40s now. Might all come back together.
gerry12ie

Damn silage and damn hay Evil or Very Mad
Biosphere

Biosphere wrote:
Gap heading down towards 40s now. Might all come back together.


It's somewhat fluid today Smile

If anybody knows what the current gaps are they're doing well. Valverde looks like he's isolated now with all his team gone?
mazda

Gap looks to be back up to 1'40"
HuwB

Quintambrogio turning out to be as strong in the echelons as he is on the climbs.
Lucky he's such a big guy.
Biosphere

mazda wrote:
Gap looks to be back up to 1'40"


2'40'' now. They've given up. Hadn't initially realised that Valverde had slipped off the back with his team.
Nolte

saxotinkoff put the hurt on
Boogerd_Fan

OMG OMG Nosebleed Mollema attack!
mazda

Saxo leading Team classification ?
They benefit as much as Belkin, but no doubt AC wants Movistar help later in race.

Edit: So much for that.
How much help has Froome got ?
Says BMC and Katusha are assisting Sky.
Fontfroide

Like that, Bio, "somewhat fluid".
phildange

Yeah, a real stage ! good racing intelligence by Conti . Vale !
Boogerd_Fan

c'mon get to that lump and watch the gap grow out.. C"MONNNNN
Biosphere

Saxo have taken 30s quite quickly!
Fontfroide

Movistar boys will be a bit wasted tomorrow.

I still don't like Valverde getting a puncture and being dumped from the Tour.  Not right.

I guess Quintana is their guy now, although where is he.
phildange

Too bad for Valverde, bad luck . Very impressive performance from the 2 Dutch newbies .
I would have liked Froome in Valverde's position ...
44 seconds between Conti and Froome now .
kathy

Just got in - exciting goings on today?  All echelons,no crashes?
Fontfroide

If it were Froome in the back with a puncture, the entire team would be ordered to bring him back.  No idea why Movistar just ditched Valverde, he must be steaming.  Surely he could have got a bit of help.
Nolte

Fontfroide wrote:
If it were Froome in the back with a puncture, the entire team would be ordered to bring him back.  No idea why Movistar just ditched Valverde, he must be steaming.  Surely he could have got a bit of help.


they had at least 6 riders chasing at one point. got to within 12 seconds of the back but unfortunately couldn't get nearer
phildange

Movistar waited for Valverde, except for Quintana .
Froome shows he's a bit young .
phildange

Everything good for Cav today . Kittel out with the first "bordure", Greipel out with the second one !
mazda

He still has to get over that bump with Sagan.
Boogerd_Fan

Ack, can't believe i'm going to miss the last 10k to go shopping Sad

Final GOOooo to Mollema Very Happy
phildange

Yeah, Sagan is a better all rounder . He'd better leave alone now, he has no chance in a sprint . But can he leave alone ?
mazda

Well, if you are actually watching I'd ditch the shopping for another 10 mins.
You don't get a stage like this every week.
HuwB

Another Bertie ambush and Froome reaches for the radio, instead of the accelerator.
Geraint looking tidy, though.
Fontfroide

phildange wrote:
Movistar waited for Valverde, except for Quintana .
Froome shows he's a bit young .


Missed that.  I kept seeing Valverde alone.  You mean he had his entire team riding and could not catch the previous group?

As for Froome, seems he was quite alert, but his team is not that good.  What do you mean "young"?  Still too much action.  Why do I ask such questions?
Nolte

i think saxo tinkoff should launch nicholas roche for the sprint Wink

they'd have had more work from opqs if sagan had missed it. shame.
phildange

Yes, Movistar were a lot with him, they were like 30 seconds behind, they tried their best but lost second by second, and they gave up late .
mazda

Fontfroide wrote:
phildange wrote:
Movistar waited for Valverde, except for Quintana .
Froome shows he's a bit young .


Missed that.  I kept seeing Valverde alone.  You mean he had his entire team riding and could not catch the previous group?


You don't catch Tony Martin on the flat into a headwind.

Did AV help the chase with his team mates or not.
It is usually the case that the protected rider just sits in those circumstances.
He may be rueing those few seconds right at the start where they nearly got back.
Nolte

mazda wrote:
Fontfroide wrote:
phildange wrote:
Movistar waited for Valverde, except for Quintana .
Froome shows he's a bit young .


Missed that.  I kept seeing Valverde alone.  You mean he had his entire team riding and could not catch the previous group?


You don't catch Tony Martin on the flat into a headwind.

Did AV help the chase with his team mates or not.
It is usually the case that the protected rider just sits in those circumstances.
He may be rueing those few seconds right at the start where they nearly got back.


valverde was working as hard as his team mates to bring it back
mazda

That's good, i never understand why they sometimes do that.
Is Quintana in Froome group ?
mazda

Cav easy.
Fontfroide

mazda wrote:
That's good, i never understand why they sometimes do that.
Is Quintana in Froome group ?


Apparently, as the GC still his him about where he was.
HuwB

Let's put it this way. Valverde will be fetching his water from now until Paris.
Quite an interesting stage that.
Froome's team really don't look up to the job.
Something really not right with Porte.

You can guarantee one thing: Bertie will keep on thinking outside the Sky box.

Cav surprisingly much stronger than Sagan, there.
billgull

Now that was an interesting stage!
Glad to see a bit of a shake-up in GC.
phildange

Apart from Valverde's huge loss due to a puncture, which I deeply dislike, that stage was what I like .
When a Yellow J. has not all the other good riders in his team there's more fun ...
Froome showed some panic and never looked like a confident Maillot Jaune, able to organize things in difficulty . He should never have been caught by surprise, to start . Can't see Hinault or Merckx tricked like that .
Biosphere

kathy wrote:
Just got in - exciting goings on today?  All echelons,no crashes?


Probably you've gathered by now that Valverde was a puncture. Bad timing.
kathy

Well, the Sky team's weakness has been shown up today.  Should give Belkin and Saxo an impetus to launch more attacks in the days to come!
berck

I see Bertie pulled and Armstrong today... Wink
phildange

Yes, it seems a clever team leader should order many attacks in every next stage, because Sky can't help for a long time, and Froome won't be beaten by anybody if they wait for the summit to attack . He is the best climber up to now, but could be exhausted if he had to react himself at each attempt . Quintana, Kreuziger, the two Dutch cousins and my little Alberto could at least try if they hope a final victory .
They can't rely on ITT to win, can they ?
I still think Froome is too strong to lose, but hey, bad choices, a bit of panic, who knows .
Biosphere

berck wrote:
I see Bertie pulled and Armstrong today... Wink


Armstrong was right - Contador needed to learn how to ride on a day like today. 2009 showed him how it was done Wink
mazda

I thought it was a clever move by Saxo at the end of the stage.
I wonder who we should give the credit to ?

I'll be watching back to see where the line broke for the front 14 to get away.

Hopefully Movistar won't be too dispirited and will light up the race from now on.
I was relying on them to make things interesting.
Valverde or Costa are good enough to win AdHx2 or Ventoux.
phildange

We've seen 2 clever moves today, very good ! I've been wondering since the first day when Sky weakness appeared why the other contenders didn't try to attack from far and often .
Valverde must feel desperate, but maybe his pride will make him do some "nothing to lose" exploits .
Let's follow these Dutch youngsters too .
Hope ...
HuwB

The two glaring mistakes made today were:
1) Froome not committing to bridging.

Energy used wouldn't come close to equating to time lost and collective team resources used up.
The only plus side was seeing Geraint there as last man standing. May be of more use, come the mountains than I thought.

2) Movistar calling back Costa.

The chase was clearly unlikely to succeed. ( I thought it futile from very early on)
Result is, they no longer exist as a team threat; no one to send up the road to threaten the GC.
All they have left is solo Quintana (crazy good today) and like last year, Valverde hunting a stage win.
gerry12ie

Grrr, I'm snarling I missed this and no highlights til 9.30.  I would be very surprised if this had happened to Sky under Kiryienka's watch - still they were happy to let Rodgers go and it might come back to haunt them yet, as he apparently called the move.  

Stages like this are great!
Boogerd_Fan

Ecstatic. 1m09. Mollema second on GC.. that's like riding provisional 1st once they pop Froome.

Only negative i'd say, is why Mollema or LTD really do many turns? 1m09 could've been a bit more had they contributed to the train.

So Cav managed to finish it. I'm sure Sagan is happy to collect the "next best" amount of points on offer though. That lead still looks good, considering tomorrow is Sagan terrain.
mazda

Boogerd_Fan wrote:
Ecstatic. 1m09. Mollema second on GC.. that's like riding provisional 1st once they pop Froome.

Only negative i'd say, is why Mollema or LTD really do many turns? 1m09 could've been a bit more had they contributed to the train.


I wouldn't be too hard on yourself / on them.
Belkin did a helluva lot of work earlier on.
Fontfroide

So was it Kwiatowski who left a gap in the original break, the one Cav just barely got on?
mazda

gerry12ie wrote:
Grrr, I'm snarling I missed this and no highlights til 9.30.

I'm even going to risk watching ITV4 highlights at 7pm !
gerry12ie

mazda wrote:
gerry12ie wrote:
Grrr, I'm snarling I missed this and no highlights til 9.30.

I'm even going to risk watching ITV4 highlights at 7pm !


For some strange reason certain ITV4 programmes are geo-restricted here, including the TDF - although not being able to listen to P&P isn't necessarily a bad thing...
HuwB

Fontfroide wrote:
So was it Kwiatowski who left a gap in the original break, the one Cav just barely got on?

Yes indeedy.
Trying to bridge for his boss, he ran out of gas, so Cav decide to go for it and moved him out of the road.........meanwhile, Froome decided to order up a Chinese on the radio! Razz
mazda

HuwB wrote:
Fontfroide wrote:
So was it Kwiatowski who left a gap in the original break, the one Cav just barely got on?

Yes indeedy.
Trying to bridge for his boss, he ran out of gas, so Cav decide to go for it and moved him out of the road


If he had made it then OPQS would have helped Saxo, but don't know how much difference that would have made.
Saxo must have been fresher at that point.
Would have made White Jersey more interesting.

About to reach that point on ITV4.

Some velonation articles

http://www.velonation.com/News/ID...s-a-minute-in-the-crosswinds.aspx
http://www.velonation.com/News/ID...r-thrilling-stage-13-victory.aspx
mazda

Camera is in fromt of the Saxo line.
You see flashes of Kwiatkowski with Cav behind him.
Next time you see past the Saxo lead man Cav has made it and Froome is passing Kwiatkowski, and then stops !

20 seconds at 450 Watts would have got him across  Laughing
Boogerd_Fan

only after the rest day Very Happy
ventoux

gerry12ie wrote:
mazda wrote:
gerry12ie wrote:
Grrr, I'm snarling I missed this and no highlights til 9.30.

I'm even going to risk watching ITV4 highlights at 7pm !


For some strange reason certain ITV4 programmes are geo-restricted here, including the TDF - although not being able to listen to P&P isn't necessarily a bad thing...


You sure about that Gerry? I get ITV4 no problem in Donegal.. I have a basic freesat box.....
gerry12ie

ventoux wrote:
gerry12ie wrote:
mazda wrote:
gerry12ie wrote:
Grrr, I'm snarling I missed this and no highlights til 9.30.

I'm even going to risk watching ITV4 highlights at 7pm !


For some strange reason certain ITV4 programmes are geo-restricted here, including the TDF - although not being able to listen to P&P isn't necessarily a bad thing...


You sure about that Gerry? I get ITV4 no problem in Donegal.. I have a basic freesat box.....


Yep, it's through UPC and usually there are a couple of hours per night that are restricted.  You must be getting the Northern service direct I guess?
Fontfroide

HuwB wrote:
Fontfroide wrote:
So was it Kwiatowski who left a gap in the original break, the one Cav just barely got on?

Yes indeedy.
Trying to bridge for his boss, he ran out of gas, so Cav decide to go for it and moved him out of the road.........meanwhile, Froome decided to order up a Chinese on the radio! Razz


Good, that is what I pieced together, especially form the ITV highlights.  I remember when Paulinho left a gap near Montpellier for Armstrong (intentionally or not).  Someone always has to lose a wheel for a gap to happen.
Bartali

phildange wrote:
Apart from Valverde's huge loss due to a puncture, which I deeply dislike, that stage was what I like .


So Don Alejandro punctures and no one sits up ... not sure what the etiquette is here, but it doesn't seem to be applied consistently.
mazda

The nicest thing you can say is that slowing up for Movistar would have allowed the other group to gain back some time as well and they didn't want to do that.

I was wrong about AV not helping his team chase back on, but my point seems to be relevant for Froome later on.
I never saw him helping chasedown Saxo at any point in the ITV highlights.
It was even mentioned at the end (by Gary?), and why Froome was so far back in that group, and what if there had been another split.
But his observations were misinterpreted.
Fontfroide

Bartali wrote:


So Don Alejandro punctures and no one sits up ... not sure what the etiquette is here, but it doesn't seem to be applied consistently.


I had the same intuition.  Who knew who was where and when is always a question with these earpieces that sometimes don't work, sometimes are taken out and generally are an unreliable piece of machinery.  Nevertheless, you would have thought …  On the other hand, does the etiquette extend to anyone in the top five, or just the yellow jersey?  Rules are one thing, and common courtesy and etiquette are not written down.  

I still think your point is valid.  Losing the Tour becasue of a puncture is not right.  Not just the tour, but dropping 14 places in really not right.
HuwB

ventoux wrote:
gerry12ie wrote:
mazda wrote:
gerry12ie wrote:
Grrr, I'm snarling I missed this and no highlights til 9.30.

I'm even going to risk watching ITV4 highlights at 7pm !


For some strange reason certain ITV4 programmes are geo-restricted here, including the TDF - although not being able to listen to P&P isn't necessarily a bad thing...


You sure about that Gerry? I get ITV4 no problem in Donegal.. I have a basic freesat box.....


Yup.
ITV 4 definitely available via freesat in SD, but not HD.


Bartali wrote:
phildange wrote:
Apart from Valverde's huge loss due to a puncture, which I deeply dislike, that stage was what I like .


So Don Alejandro punctures and no one sits up ... not sure what the etiquette is here, but it doesn't seem to be applied consistently.


Not sure how they can just sit up, after going at it for 10kms.
Of course, it doesn't help that for some mysterious reason, Belkin decided to add their weight to the charge at exactly the same time. Rolling Eyes  Wink

Seems that Valverde is more often bitten, that the biter in these situations.
JohnD

Recorded the stage & looking forward to watching it all tonight - sounds like a cracker!
Biosphere

Belkin were certainly involved in a significant way in driving it along at the front before the Valverde incident. It is probably fair to say that they upped their efforts once they actually had a clear reason for doing so.

I can remember Valverde benefiting from Evans having an issue in the Vuelta, and also attacking Leipheimer after he had an issue in Paris Nice so it seems to be a bit of what goes around comes around. I also saw comments about Mollema taking revenge for an incident in Switzerland when Valverde attacked him after a mechanical, but I don't recall that.

In general, and without wanting to offend his fans, I'm not sure that Valverde and etiquette are natural bedfellows. Nevertheless, I would sympathise with him if an attack was suddenly initiated after he had a mechanical, but I feel today he was caught in the crossfire of something that was in progress and he was partaking in before his mechanical occured.
Biosphere

I'll stick this here for want of somewhere better, but the thoughts that crossed my mind about this Cervelo were did it meet UCI specs and what type of a mutant VAM could Froome achieve on it Smile

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-23293676
Bartali

Huw / Bio - I think I agree, but we all remember situations where the race was slowed down by Cancellara, Wiggins etc to support riders who fell or had mechanicals.  Not clear cut here ... but what the hell were those Frenchies doing pulling at the front?
Slapshot 3

Cracking stage. Don Alejandro never seems to have any luck in France mind you in a lot of these cases you make your own luck. My feel on the etiquette is basically you don't attack yellow if he's had a mechanical, Belkin chose to push at the right time with others he could have grabbed a bike rather than change a wheel, they MUST have a guy designated for that.

Brilliant stage!

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