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Tour 2014, Stages 11-14: Poulet de Bresse, 16th-19th July

As I thought, I'm backed into a corner and listing foods I've never heard of Rolling Eyes Apparently some of the finest chicken you can get anywhere and retails for €15 a kilo. I'll let Huw suggest an accompaniment from the cellar.

The stages themselves look rather tasty and the transitionals to the Alps are more complicated than I expected. Two more chances for Sagan?

Stage 11, Wednesday, July 16th: Besançon / Oyonnax - 187.5km
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Stage 12, Thursday, July 17th: Bourg-en-Bresse / Saint-Étienne - 185.5km
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Stage 13, Friday, July 18th: Saint-Étienne / Chamrousse - 197.5km
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Stage 14, Saturday, July 19th: Grenoble / Risoul - 177km
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levi

stage 11 P.ROLAND he's got come good sometime.
HuwB

That cat 1 climb on Friday is a bit tasty. Very uneven and includes a downhill, so it's 6.1% average gradient is very misleading.



A pity there's no one left in the race to exploit it.
Where's Quintana when you need him, Alejandro?
Bartali

Forza Nibali!
mazda

Looks like a quiet day, just 3 escapees.
Martin Elmiger (IAM Cycling), Cyril Lemoine (Cofidis), and Anthony Delaplace (Bretagne-Séché Environnement)
HuwB

Talansky in serious trouble.
Off the back and struggling, while his team are drilling it on the front.
Small group sprint finish coming up.
Boogerd_Fan

Garmin such a fun team. Talansky unfortunately not able to hold on… but now his team come to the front and make it impossible for him to get back.
mazda

I think the idea is that now they have hit the pointy bits he will either catch the "bus" or he won't.
Whether they attack or not makes no difference to that.

What I am surprised with is that Van Summeren is not looking after him any more.
Mrs John Murphy

Another French win. Not a bad tour for Gallopin. Stage win and a day in yellow.

Dirty Mick fucks up.
Nolte

ruia alberto faria da costa loses time (i don't like the shortened version), i think 1'39

good win for the galloper who galloped away from the peloton and then from the 4 man group
Nolte

chris boardman thinks time for talansky to get home should be 37 minutes behind the galloper and feels he should be able to do it
HuwB

Sagan shows once again that being the strongest means nothing, if you are tactically clueless.
Burns all his team mates up fetching back the early break far too soon.
Then has to combat the inevitable attacks.
Result is no team mates to burn up the hills.

Gallopin? Lotto's answer to Tony Martin.
Being empty only makes them stronger.

Strike Costa from the dwindling list of GC podium contenders.
Lost 92 seconds on a course that should have been right up his street.
mazda

HuwB wrote:
Sagan shows once again that being the strongest means nothing, if you are tactically clueless.
Burns all his team mates up fetching back the early break far too soon.
Then has to combat the inevitable attacks.
Result is no team mates to burn up the hills.

Not sure they were quite that bad this time.
De Marchi (?) was there to the top of the final descent.

Kwiatkowski following him was a problem as the two clearly refuse to ever co-operate and it was a fantastic piece of psychology by Gallopin.
gerry12ie

I'm not sure the lift at chateau Sagan goes all the way to top floor. Sometimes you have to lose to win but he isn't actually doing a huge amount of winning. Too easily spooked by Cancellara and Kwiatkowski and now add Gallopin to the list.
Mrs John Murphy

Sagan seemed to be caught in no mans land.

What seemed to happen was that once the small group caught Gallopin the first time, they didn't work together because they feared Sagan and no one wanted to tow him, Gallopin took advantage and attacked, the three looked around at one another for maybe 10+ seconds and that was enough.

So I don't think that Sagan is the only one who got it tactically wrong today. Rogers and the Flower didn't get it right either.
gerry12ie

There has always been riders that the rest refuse to bring to the line - Kelly, Maertens, de Vlaeminck etc. However, they usually found a way to win and Sagan doesn't seem to have worked out a way yet. Sometimes watching Sagan I can't help but think of the old moral about the young bull and the old bull. I think he is going to have to learn to WALK down the hill... Wink
Boogerd_Fan

I think Sagan is stuck at the moment, until he wins a monument everyone is on his back.

Sometimes he tries to do too much, uses up too much strength and brings riders back.... i'm pretty sure there is a calmer way to win races, let the others chase down moves and then win the sprint. But while he is nervous for monument wins and a Tour stage win, he is going out of his way to get in moves or try things that don't make sense.

Desperation. I guess.
HuwB

Mrs John Murphy wrote:
Sagan seemed to be caught in no mans land.

What seemed to happen was that once the small group caught Gallopin the first time, they didn't work together because they feared Sagan and no one wanted to tow him, Gallopin took advantage and attacked, the three looked around at one another for maybe 10+ seconds and that was enough.

So I don't think that Sagan is the only one who got it tactically wrong today. Rogers and the Flower didn't get it right either.


Yeah, pretty much it, for the run in.
Before the run in, that's a different matter.
Why go so hard and catch relatively weak break, 50kms before the finish, is where he has me stumped.
mr shifter

gerry12ie wrote:
I'm not sure the lift at chateau Sagan goes all the way to top floor. Sometimes you have to lose to win but he isn't actually doing a huge amount of winning. Too easily spooked by Cancellara and Kwiatkowski and now add Gallopin to the list.
Sagan is no diesel like Martin as he seems to perform in shortish efforts and gets most of his results by wheelsucking.


I'm putting this bit of bad news here in GT because he deserves his place on a GT thread.
British cycling legend Brian Robinson, 83, has been taken to hospital after being knocked off his bike near his home in West Yorkshire.

The pioneering veteran road racer was hit by a car while out riding with friends in Thornhill Lees on Wednesday.
He is being kept in hospital overnight and is being treated for a suspected broken collar bone.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-28339481
Mrs John Murphy

HuwB wrote:
Mrs John Murphy wrote:
Sagan seemed to be caught in no mans land.

What seemed to happen was that once the small group caught Gallopin the first time, they didn't work together because they feared Sagan and no one wanted to tow him, Gallopin took advantage and attacked, the three looked around at one another for maybe 10+ seconds and that was enough.

So I don't think that Sagan is the only one who got it tactically wrong today. Rogers and the Flower didn't get it right either.


Yeah, pretty much it, for the run in.
Before the run in, that's a different matter.
Why go so hard and catch relatively weak break, 50kms before the finish, is where he has me stumped.


That's on the DS surely rather than Sagan?

On the subject of wheel sucking Porte seems to be channelling the spirit of shit-tats Pozzato and Cuddles.
HuwB

Talansky quits the race.
After struugling to get in before yesterday's time cut, DNS today.

Mrs John Murphy wrote:


That's on the DS surely rather than Sagan?

On the subject of wheel sucking Porte seems to be channelling the spirit of shit-tats Pozzato and Cuddles.


Probably down to the DS.

As luck would have it, Geraint on Porte:

http://velonews.competitor.com/20...impressing-teammate-thomas_336705
SlowRower

HuwB wrote:
Talansky quits the race.


I'm not a particular fan of Talansky, but he gets a "Chapeau" from me for riding yesterday's stage without a functional back.
Mrs John Murphy

HuwB wrote:
Talansky quits the race.
After struugling to get in before yesterday's time cut, DNS today.

Mrs John Murphy wrote:


That's on the DS surely rather than Sagan?

On the subject of wheel sucking Porte seems to be channelling the spirit of shit-tats Pozzato and Cuddles.


Probably down to the DS.

As luck would have it, Geraint on Porte:

http://velonews.competitor.com/20...impressing-teammate-thomas_336705


Passive aggressive like Cuddles. Let's hope no one steps on his dog.
mazda

Surely that's your job ?
Mrs John Murphy

If I find it I'll make sure I do a jig on it.
HuwB

Sean Kelly on Sagan's DS: "Not the sharpest tool in the toolbox."
Fontfroide

Those Frenchies are getting quite uppity.  They think they can win any stage at all.  Big change.  I bet Bryan Coquard thinks he can win if the peloton catches his mates.
Fontfroide

As nearly always, I like these end games when the escape may make it, but may not.  Lends a little drama to a stage which went through nice enough countryside, great for riding it would appear, but not a whole lot happening.  Looks like a huge sprint, minus Kittel and Renshaw.

Allez Matteo.
mazda

I would say something about the Russians and firing their missiles, but Kristoff isn't Russian is he ?
mazda

How do riders get -ve points in the Green jersey comp ?
Do they get fined "time" in the overall as well, but that isn't as easy to spot.

123 Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Garmin - Sharp -5
124 Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale -5
125 Tiago Machado (Por) Team Netapp-Endura -13
126 Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Team Netapp-Endura -20
Fontfroide

mazda wrote:
I would say something about the Russians and firing their missiles, but Kristoff isn't Russian is he ?


Norwegian.  But he rides for Putin's team, so …

Edit:  Sorry, too elliptical, but Katusha is also the name of the most well-distributed cheap rocket shell lobber around.  So when any poor people try to revolt, this is the end result of the war game, the arms game.  Beyond Katusha (a very old and reliable system) you have to have big bucks.  

I will delighted if J Rod gets the jersey, but he rides for just another "more bad" sponsor.  I keep seeing something about military hardware on Nibali's hat.  But I stop.

I think it is a great Tour so far, and I should probably keep my rants to myself.  But I don't.  

I really am enjoying this Tour immensely, and it has hardly started.  I am caught in a moderate wave (engineered by reading l'Equipe everyday) of French national pride.  I rather like it, even if I am not and never would wish to be French.  But the youngish lads are showing themselves, eh?
HuwB

Just watched the end. Not much to say about that, other than I can't buy a fp.
Posted a swap to Kristoff, then read (so many joker July pundits) elsewhere that he was likely to suffer in the heat, so went back to Coquard, to cock up.

Sagan=The new JJ Rojas. Embarassed
Mrs John Murphy

mazda wrote:
How do riders get -ve points in the Green jersey comp ?
Do they get fined "time" in the overall as well, but that isn't as easy to spot.

123 Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Garmin - Sharp -5
124 Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale -5
125 Tiago Machado (Por) Team Netapp-Endura -13
126 Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Team Netapp-Endura -20


It is normally penalties from the commissars for things like holding on too long when getting a water bottle, drafting behind the team car etc etc
Fontfroide

Just to add perhaps unnecessary elaboration to MJM's correct response, assuming things have not changed for seven years.

http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/road/2007/tour07/?id=features/FAQ

How do you get a negative number of points in the points classification?

A number of readers have commented on a curiosity in the points classification in the fight for the maillot vert (green jersey), where some riders actually have negative points. This arises because the organisers impose penalties for various infractions in a number of ways. The most common is a fine of so many Swiss Francs. A harsher penalty is to deduct time from the rider's GC time, or deduct points from their points tally. If the rider has been particularly naughty, they will be disqualified from the race. Riders can be penalised in a lot of ways, e.g. hanging onto a team car, or taking too many "bottles" from the director sportif; answering the call of nature in front of the public (when you gotta go, you gotta go); causing another rider to crash, or otherwise riding dangerously in the bunch; hitching a ride to the finish in the Tour director, Christian Prudhomme's car; giving spectators the evil eye, and so on.
mazda

Fontfroide wrote:
causing another rider to crash, or otherwise riding dangerously in the bunch;


So how many points has Gerrans lost ?
I see that Trentin was repositioned to 60th yesterday, effectively taking points off him.
mazda

Gap finally out to over 4 minutes today.

Brice Feillu is the best placed.
A 3-way fight to get back in the KoM race with Visconti, De Marchi and Kadri all in the break.
Nolte

katusha and europcar bring break under a minute
HuwB

Bad fall for Fuglsang!
mazda

I suppose J-Rod got 2 KoM points, which is 2 more than he would have got if they hadn't done any work.
Why didn't he just go with the break this morning ?
He said he would if it was a large break.
mazda

Peloton slowing down so that Fuglsang can get back on.
A tad generous, but nobody was setting the pace at the time.
Fontfroide

Just turned up.  Looks like it happening shortly.

Thought more would happen on the first climb.
Fontfroide

Maybe there is an online betting shop where you can bet on who will attack first.  Mind you, I would have no idea who to bet on.  

Looks like the white jersey is up for grabs today, if Bardet falters.  Guess I wold bet on ,,, no idea who will attack..

Looks like J Rod loses the maillot today.

Soon only the tenors are left, and ...
mazda

There is 16km to go.
It is steepest at the bottom.

Valverde will attack at some point.
If I was being uncharitable I might say with 1 km to go.
Fontfroide

Looks like Porte is fading badly.  Oh dear.  One less guy to worry about for Nibali.
Nolte

porte loses contact with main group, snowy there to help
gerry12ie

The gates of defeat are opening for Porte?
Fontfroide

Pinot, eh?  But not a big attack.  

Dropped Rolland and Stetina with that little burst.

Horner and Costa also gone.

Who is next?
berck

Porte cracks, dang.
Fontfroide

Big dudes don't care yet about the three new attackers.  Good to see Majka feeling frisky.

Valverde attacks.  Nibali counters, Pinot tacks himself on.  Love it.
Bartali

All kicking off today ...
Bartali

I'm afraid work is on temporary hold ...
Nolte

valverde, nibali, pinot and ten dam together
Nolte

time check has said bardet et al at 1'09 to majka and konig while nibali group at '11 seconds
gerry12ie

Still 10k to go but this is a consummate GT performance from Nibs so far.  Real good stuff by Pinot, too...
Fontfroide

Go Romain, catch Thibaut.  Whew, GC changes ahead.  

Oh oh, Romain not up to it.  Costa and Rolland back on.  Love this kind of stage where there are little attacks, slow down, little attacks, slow down.  

Guess soon enough the big attack will come, but I hope before the last k.  Getting too good to write.
Nolte

porte 2'40
gerry12ie

Porte's ship has sailed
gerry12ie

Vincenzo you are so cool Cool
Bartali

And its down to Piti and Pinot to work here ....
Nolte

groupe nibali looking at each other so gap to majka and konig goes to 25 seconds.
Bartali

Forza Nibali
mazda

gerry12ie wrote:
Vincenzo you are so cool Cool


Put your tongue back in  Laughing

This is looking like a podium performance, unless one of the TTers can get back into it.
I'm not sure Pinot has finished with today's stage just yet.

edit - Well, that blew that theory out of the water.
Fontfroide

Nibali is really hot.  
But Bardet is attacking now.

Not over yet.  Good race!
Nolte

nibs attacks and glides to lead group

bardet has attacked behind to close down to pinot
Bartali

Fontfroide wrote:

Not over yet.  Good race!


It is for Porte!!
gerry12ie

Champagne on ice, Bartali?
mazda

Very nice of Nibali to help Konig and Majka.
They are extending on the pair behind.

Talking of which - "Pinot is frustrated because Valverde isn't working".
Smile
Nolte

these 3 kilometers are at around 8% before the final km at 3.1%
Fontfroide

Nibali looking super good.

Tejay seems to be feeling good too.  There will be gaps, but that is what the Alps are for.

Rather enjoying the French lads.
mazda

Who is going to get the stage - Nibali ?

Given that everything else I've written has gone wrong a few seconds later perhaps I should just leave them to it.
Bartali

gerry12ie wrote:
Champagne on ice, Bartali?
On ice?  I'm half way tho' my second glass!! Smile
Bartali

FORZA NIBALI!!!  Inside the last 2km
Bartali

Porte will be 10m down tonight ... so much for Plan B!
Nolte

majka and kinig only about 12 seconds behind nibali

come on majka
gerry12ie

Two weeks of flawless Grand Tour riding by Nibs
berck

Nice wheel sucking by Valverde.
gerry12ie

Val...merde
mazda

Kwiatkowski only 4 minutes down on the day.
He looked like toast earlier.
Bartali

gerry12ie wrote:
Two weeks of flawless Grand Tour riding by Nibs
 Fingers crossed!!
mazda

Looks like a good day for AG2R in the team comp.
You'd have to say that the 2 other French teams are more noticeable earlier on the stage, but AG2R are getting the results.
Bartali

Nibs says he wins it to commemorate Uncle Gino!! Smile
Fontfroide

What an excellent stage, attacking, surprises (Porte), and the younger guys still around.  Then again, Nibali has ridden such a good race so far.

The Tour is long, many things can happen.
Fontfroide

Interview with Nibali after.  He sounded like a champ, modest, no waffle, acting like it is exactly where he should be.  Most impressive.  Hard not to like the guy, whether he is talking or riding.
Bartali

It's not over yet for sure FF!  But another great day in the Bartali household!
Fontfroide

Interview with Bardet.  He sounds like an articulate young man of 26 or 28.  Remarkable.  Hard not to like him too.  Bardet claims that he knows of other days in the mountains that would suit him more.  Tomorrow?
gerry12ie

mazda wrote:
Kwiatkowski only 4 minutes down on the day.
He looked like toast earlier.


Second time this week he has finished better after looking like toast in the early final.  Majka has a GT in him in a couple of years I reckon...
Fontfroide

Nice short film on the water truck that follows the caravan and cools down the  road surface.  Temperature of road 51 where he measured it.  Imagine the chutes if they didn't cool it a bit.  On the descents on a curve.

Most of my life I didn't know the road could melt in the heat.  Not til I came to France on the bike.  Is this the only country where that happens?  Never melted much in Yorkshire or Lancashire.
SlowRower

Bartali wrote:
It's not over yet for sure FF!  But another great day in the Bartali household!


Enjoy the tipple tonight, Bart. 😃

I bet Wiggo will be drinking a toast to Sky's success tonight!
Fontfroide

I keep forgetting stuff like there 250 people, two planes, six helicopters and seven motos that send us and 150 other countries the fine pictures we watch.  Chapeau.
Bartali

SlowRower wrote:
I bet Wiggo will be drinking a toast to Sky's success tonight!


Laughing  Laughing

I feel a bit sorry for Porte.  He has these bad days and for me that makes him very believable.
SlowRower

Bartali wrote:
SlowRower wrote:
I bet Wiggo will be drinking a toast to Sky's success tonight!


Laughing  Laughing

I feel a bit sorry for Porte.  He has these bad days and for me that makes him very believable.


Indeed. It doesn't half hurt when you need to go faster up hill and you just can't do it. He won't die wondering, that's for sure!

I wasn't having a go at Porte with the Wiggo comment. Just Froome and Brailsford. Froome for being too stupid/arrogant to "play the game" in 2012 and Brailsford for being a shite manager of people.
HuwB

As an Individual stage it was OK, thanks to the French, but the GC battle is dead in the water.
The fact that Valverde is now the only remotely viable candidate to challenge is even more depressing.
A singularly uncooperative rider. "The Chase Killer", to be found either attacking or wheel sucking.

The rest are already playing the dreaded "after you, Claude", for the big 5th place in Le Tour.
Bartali

SR - Do you not think that wiggins being a prima donna isn't also a big part of the problem ... not that I disagree with your comments. IMO they both act like spoilt children tho wiggins is easier to warm to.
SlowRower

Bartali wrote:
SR - Do you not think that wiggins being a prima donna isn't also a big part of the problem ... not that I disagree with your comments. IMO they both act like spoilt children tho wiggins is easier to warm to.


Definitely. The way he can flip from being highly motivated to embarrassingly "can't be arsed" to highly motivated (ToC, Tour of Switzerland, National TT) in the space of a month must be a nightmare to deal with.

I think if Fergie had been in charge at Sky, Wiggo would have been riding for someone else this year. He always showed troublemakers the door, even the Sainted Beckham.
Mrs John Murphy

gerry12ie wrote:
Val...merde


Shiti Piti

Bartali wrote:
Fontfroide wrote:

Not over yet.  Good race!


It is for Porte!!


Where is Nelson Muntz when you need him

Mrs John Murphy

LOL. Torygraph declares that Nibali is not universally popular (I'm guessing in the english speaking media who need an anglophone to hype and talk about), accuses Nibs of doping citing the improvement in form, and in the same article claims that if Froome, Dertie and Quinatana had been riding then Nibs would be fourth...

Ah, the British media. Check the passport first then write the story. If the situation had been reversed and Porte had put 9 mins into Nibs, we'd be hearing all about the genius of Sky and a coming of age performance by a new superstar.
Boogerd_Fan

they can go to hell.. Nibs is a worthy leader.

this years parcours was also about keeping bike upright for first week. Shit luck that Froome and Bertie couldn't do that.
gerry12ie

I can only repeat that IMO Nibali has been flawless in these first two weeks. Simply flawless. I can't see how an upright Froome or Contador could be ahead of him.
I see the first half of the Telegraph report is all about Porte, Brailsford and Sky... They can't control the race and Brailsford can't control his star riders, but they can sure control the media Rolling Eyes
gerry12ie

SlowRower wrote:
HuwB wrote:
Talansky quits the race.


I'm not a particular fan of Talansky, but he gets a "Chapeau" from me for riding yesterday's stage without a functional back.


Nice Talansky interview SR http://m.espn.go.com/general/story?storyId=11232200&src=desktop
gerry12ie

Pinot understandably not too happy with Piti ...

Quote:
"There wasn’t great understanding with Valverde and that made it harder to get the biggest gap possible on the riders behind us," Pinot said. "It cost us time. We wouldn’t have caught Nibali but we would have gained more time on the rest."

As Nibali’s gap yawned open – he would be 50 seconds clear at the summit – Pinot could be seen gesturing to Valverde, asking him to make some contribution to the pace-setting. "When he was on my wheel, he told me that he was à bloc. I believed it but then he attacked me. I don’t understand why he sat on my wheel for the final kilometres and then jumped away in the sprint at the end. I didn’t understand that tactic, but that was his game
."

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