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Biosphere

Tour 2014, Stages 19-21: Royale with Cheese, 25th-27th July

Well I had to pull a few strings but I got us a table at the McDonalds on the Champs Elysees Wink


Link


Meanwhile, the only stage that will presumably be of any remaining importance is Saturday. Bookended by a pair for the sprinters . . .

Stage 19, Friday, July 25th: Maubourguet Pays du Val d'Adour / Bergerac - 208.5km
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Stage 20, Saturday, July 26th: Bergerac / Périgueux - 54km
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Stage 21, Sunday, July 27th: Évry / Paris Champs-Élysées - 137.5km
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gerry12ie

That sure is a tasty burger!
Fontfroide

gerry12ie wrote:
That sure is a tasty burger!


Just in case anyone is interested, there is a huge increase in Burger bars of one kind or another, including "French" burgers, in Montpellier over the last two years.  I think someone counted and there are now about fifteen.
Fontfroide

More seriously, there is much talk in the paper about how Valverde, Pinot and Peraud will do in the ITT.  Some talk about whether Bardet will be overtaken by Van Garderen too.  As for the latter it seems a consensus that Bardet will lose his fifth place to Tejay, although everyone seems to think that things are less predictable at the end of the Tour than in the middle or in the first week.  However, Tejay seems to have got stronger and Bardet weaker in the third week, so Tejay will take the minutes needed for a top five.

As for the podium, the overall consensus that I vaguely pick up, is that Peraud is the best, Valverde has ween working on the TT and is next, and Pinot is the lowest ranking.  Comments in L'Equipe seem to say that this is not so obvious.  Various people point out that Pinot has progressed greatly as well.  Some quote Pinot's performance in the Tour two years ago, where he beat Peraud by 1.07 and Valverde by 3.06, over 53.5 k.  Pinot is also known for being a good recuperator.  I am not keen enough to deconstruct the situation at the end of that Tour, but Pinot did save his tenth place.  It is also pointed out that over 19k in the Tour of Romandie, Thibaut beat Peraud, but only by a few seconds.  Plus in the Tour de Suisse, Thibaut was 9th at 1.13 over 25k against Martin.  Peraud however, beat Pinot by 50 seconds in the Pay Basque.

I mention all this, not to pump up Pinot but to say that it is not obvious to everyone how the ITT will turn out.  With the trivial gap that separates the three, I am pretty sure I will tune in to the last hour or so of the ITT, although usually I feel I can miss it and check the results later.
HuwB

I agree FF.
Pinot is, imo, quite competent in the ITT.
If all perform to par, I don't see huge gaps.
The pauper steps of the Tour podium are still wide open.
My feeling is that Valverde will fade and that the two French riders ahead will swap places.


While the UK continues to enjoy a proper Summer, the races plods on through grey skies and rain....



Could it still play a part in the outcome of the race?
I wouldn't fancy these conditions, tomorrow.
Fontfroide

I will be out until the last half hour or so, so I will depend on you all to announce any untoward events, so I can catch up quickly when I tune in for the sprint finish, or whatever happens.

Merci.
mazda

Pinot tried to be part of a group bridging across to an early break.
Unfortunately he wasn't allowed to go.
mazda

Looks like Cannondale are planning some carnage on the final hill if it is still pouring down when they get there.
HuwB

Topsy turvy weather this year.
They must be having our jet stream.
A very technical finish in a cloudburst?
Could wake me from my end of tour coma.
Razz
Bartali

HuwB wrote:
I agree FF.
Pinot is, imo, quite competent in the ITT.
If all perform to par, I don't see huge gaps.
The pauper steps of the Tour podium are still wide open.
My feeling is that Valverde will fade and that the two French riders ahead will swap places.


I'm with you that Valverde will fade.  For whatever reasons his powers have been on the wane as the tour has progressed.  He's a wiley old fox, but there will be no hiding tomorrow.

As for the French guys ... I warm to Pinot, but have absolutely no idea how it will pan out.  It will be interesting.
Nolte

come on navardaskus
gerry12ie

Forza Nolte!!!
gerry12ie

You should get double points for that pick, N...
mazda

How far out was the crash ?
HuwB

Pick the bones out of that, as they say.
Well inside the 3kms so no worries bar injury.

An awful stage on a horrible day.

I guess we'll get the casualty list as the evening goes along.
Hopefully nothing serious, but there was a Netapp rider holding his arm.
Bardet a possible...........
Bartali

gerry12ie wrote:
Forza Nolte!!!
Very Happy
Bartali

I'm only following the tracker feed.  Was it a bad one??

Hopefully all are safe and sound.
billgull

Chapeau, Nolte!!!  Very Happy
Fontfroide

What I like about the French guys, other than they are French and I live in France, is that I know a bit about them, they have personalities that I know slightly from all the nationalistic hoo haa in the press and interviews on TV. I doubt if any of them could beat Nibali, Contador, Quintana or Contador.  Although of course we won't know for sure until they ride the Tour next year.  Don't forget, there is also Warren Barguil, who should really find another team if he hopes to ride much.  Stunning that a guy as good as him was not put in the race.  At least as a ninth guy to see what he could do.

Maybe what I might mean is that I speak and read French, so I can understand more, because sometimes I wonder why I know so little about some of the Spanish or Dutch or Italian riders.  Wish I were a bit more competent in those languages, and read those sites.

The French guys represent the various kind of cyclists that exist everywhere.  Rolland, the not very bright, not too articulate, hugely talented rider who can't really find his sense of strategy.  Bardet, the quite educated, calm (for is age) and articulate rider who sees his future and seems quite confident, even when he loses time.  Peraud, the calm older guy who only got into road racing yesterday, and rides very carefully, but is the only guy who could regularly follow Nibali.  Pinot, the local lad with immense talent and a youngish rebellious sense of fun.  I look forward to the next five years to see how they mature and if they can really beat the acknowledged big guys.

I guess its like the Brits, after quite a few years of nobody all that great, suddenly some winners.  Although the French have not been waiting quite so long.
Nolte

thanks Smile
i just thought he has been riding well, a strong rider and i might as well pick him Smile
Fontfroide

Nice pick Nolte.  Care to share more about your strategy, reflections of what form of lucky charm you used?  Your modest thoughts above are like Nibali's careful but not too informative comments.  Mind, I like your style of picking, glad one came through.

By the way, they interviewed a few crash victims, and so far none seem poorly.  Bauer, Bardet, Sagan, Peraud, Schleck and couple of others.
Biosphere

Nice pick Nolte Smile

Another miserable day of weather - it's been a rough few weeks.

Reading that Bardet has whiplash after the crash so he might be a bit stiff tomorrow.
Mrs John Murphy

HuwB

The crazy weather in France continues.
Today, no wind, no rain and no warmth.

http://www.letour.fr/PHOTOS/TDF/2014/etape_20.gif

The profile is very misleading too.
None of those "hills" are more than 3%, so it really is pretty flat
and, after the opening kms, pretty straight.

Martin>main GC boys>the other TTers>the other GC boys>the rest.
gerry12ie

Is Mollema riding a bike or doing the breast stroke? Very Happy
Fontfroide

Looking like the two French guys on the podium.

Allez les bleus.
Fontfroide

gerry12ie wrote:
Is Mollema riding a bike or doing the breast stroke? Very Happy


Even on the breaststroke all that head weaving about would look bad.  How come he does that, seems obviously a poor style.  A little bit, OK, but he does look ugly.
gerry12ie

Konig going really well
Fontfroide

Can anyone give Peraud a water bottle, he left it behind?  24k without a drink?
Bartali

I did 110km without a drink today FF.  He shouldn't need it for an hours effort let alone 24km IMO.

Valverde's having a mare ... I did want Pinot to secure second, but not so sure after Peraud's bad luck.
Bartali

Peraud back in the driving seat ..
Fontfroide

I had no idea Konig was so good at the ITT, I thought he was more a climber.
Bartali

Forza Nibali ... he's going to eek a bit more out again today.  Love him to get top three on the day!!
Bartali

I love the way these French lads lay their bikes down gently when getting the spare bike.  Very classy!  Respect!!!
gerry12ie

NetApp appear to have made the right decision by not bringing Sam Bennett, but seeing as Konig did most of what he did on his own maybe they could have afforded to bring the sprinter anyway.

TVG close but all too late... Nibali just about to join a small and very elite club
gerry12ie

The transformation from the Ag2R of a couple of years ago when Roche was the GC man Rolling Eyes to now is quite a turnaround
Bartali

Pleased for this Pinot lad after his mare last year.
Bartali

Huge transformation of French fortunes ...
Bartali

Will Nibs get top 3 on the day??
Bartali

Not quite ...Smile

FORZA NIBALI!!
berck

Fontfroide wrote:
Looking like the two French guys on the podium.

Allez les bleus.


Yep, and another in the top five. When was the last time we saw this?
Bartali

Nice that Kirby and Kelly have finally conceded that Nibali would probably have won irrespective of Froome and Bertie.
Fontfroide

Utterly delighted the old fellow gets second.  Thibaut does a very good TT, although Martin did the job.

And Vincenzo shows total class.  TOTAL.

A good result overall, especially for the French.  Sure has changed over the last few years, as the doping slows to a crawl and the young French lads emerge.

Overall seems like the results that are very satisfying.
gerry12ie

I've said it before and doubtless will say it again but Tony Martin is a horse of a man Cool
I wasn't aware that Valverde vetoed Quintana riding the Tour? I never had the impression the TDF was on his radar after the Giro win but thats what Kirby seemed to say - or did I pick it up wrong? I have to say Kirby wasn't as rabid over the last three weeks as I might have expected. Kelly like a good wine just gets better with age, so maybe he is having a calming influence...
HuwB

Pretty much panned out exactly as I expected.
Valverde the last man to get within 10 minutes of Nibali.............just.
More time 1st to 2nd than 2nd to 10th.
Bartali

berck wrote:
Fontfroide wrote:
Looking like the two French guys on the podium.

Allez les bleus.


Yep, and another in the top five. When was the last time we saw this?


1965?  

2 Raymond Poulidor (FRA)
4 Henry Anglade (FRA)
5 Jean-Claude Lebaube (FRA)
Bartali

berck wrote:
Fontfroide wrote:
Looking like the two French guys on the podium.

Allez les bleus.


Yep, and another in the top five. When was the last time we saw this?


1965?  

2 Raymond Poulidor (FRA)
4 Henry Anglade (FRA)
5 Jean-Claude Lebaube (FRA)
Fontfroide

Too bad about Bardet's puncture, but it does mean he has a possiblity to do a decent respectable TT in the future, as he matures.  

And then we (the French) have Warren Barguil as well.
berck

Just noticed that Bardet dropped to #6. Make that three in the top six, with two on the podium. Very impressive year for the French. I believe then need to tell Froome and Contador 'Merci beaucoup'.
Fontfroide

berck wrote:
Just noticed that Bardet dropped to #6. Make that three in the top six, with two on the podium. Very impressive year for the French. I believe then need to tell Froome and Contador 'Merci beaucoup'.


Bardet's puncture will seem massive to him today, two seconds from fifth.  But still … he is young.  Way young.
gerry12ie

Konig is another on the right curve - 9th at the Vuelta, 7th at the Tour and this on a small team.
Mrs John Murphy

Nolte wrote:
thanks Smile
i just thought he has been riding well, a strong rider and i might as well pick him Smile


Maybe Huw can correct me, but isn't he the rider that Vaughters was challenged about.

Vaughters tells the story that everyone thought he was dirty because he was so good at his previous level but that when he came to Garmin and they did all the tests it turned out that he was actually clean (as he said he was) and really talented.

Of course it is JV so you have to potentially take it with a pinch of salt.
Mrs John Murphy

HuwB wrote:
Pretty much panned out exactly as I expected.
Valverde the last man to get within 10 minutes of Nibali.............just.
More time 1st to 2nd than 2nd to 10th.


Perhaps a function of the likely riders who might have filled 2-5 being DNF?
Boogerd_Fan

gerry12ie wrote:
Is Mollema riding a bike or doing the breast stroke? Very Happy


That was as shocking a time trial i have seen from him. To think in his build up races he had become quite useful against the clock.
Boogerd_Fan

gerry12ie wrote:
Konig is another on the right curve - 9th at the Vuelta, 7th at the Tour and this on a small team.


He is a very classy young man... 26... so the next contract is going to be very interesting. Surely a WT spot.. Anywhere but SKY please!?!

There was one really bad day in the Pyranees that cost him a few mins... other than that very solid.
gerry12ie

Great idea to utilise the course for the women's race - and for TV to pick it up.
Mrs John Murphy

gerry12ie wrote:
Great idea to utilise the course for the women's race - and for TV to pick it up.


Now if only they were to do it on the 20 previous stages then we might have a women's TDF.
gerry12ie

Some Dutch newcomer Wink
gerry12ie

I'm having my traditional Tour Paris Sunday - listening to Jacques Brel at the moment with some Gainsbourg lined up afterwards. A happy day with a tinge of melancholy...
Nolte

cheng ji has been lapped. will he be classified at the end?
Bartali

Last 2km .... I'd love Sagan to get one.
Nolte

splits in the peloton as they cross the line, could bardet have reclaimed the 5th place?
Bartali

Kittel wins and Kirby shouts "he's a young man" ... whats that all about?? Shocked
Nolte

Mrs John Murphy wrote:
Nolte wrote:
thanks Smile
i just thought he has been riding well, a strong rider and i might as well pick him Smile


Maybe Huw can correct me, but isn't he the rider that Vaughters was challenged about.

Vaughters tells the story that everyone thought he was dirty because he was so good at his previous level but that when he came to Garmin and they did all the tests it turned out that he was actually clean (as he said he was) and really talented.

Of course it is JV so you have to potentially take it with a pinch of salt.


he wasn't putting up big results as a continental rider
http://cqranking.com/men/asp/gen/rider.asp?riderid=6909
gerry12ie

Hectic and sloppy but Kittel is still the heavyweight champ. Could someone please do something about Kirby's ridiculous overuse of 'stylee'? Embarrassing...
Bartali

Fighting back the tears ... Bravo Vincenzo!!!
Bartali

Nice to see one of the 'little men' on the top step of the podium Wink
Bartali

Lemond comes to life right at the end .. nice to see him animated!
Mrs John Murphy

Nolte wrote:
Mrs John Murphy wrote:
Nolte wrote:
thanks Smile
i just thought he has been riding well, a strong rider and i might as well pick him Smile


Maybe Huw can correct me, but isn't he the rider that Vaughters was challenged about.

Vaughters tells the story that everyone thought he was dirty because he was so good at his previous level but that when he came to Garmin and they did all the tests it turned out that he was actually clean (as he said he was) and really talented.

Of course it is JV so you have to potentially take it with a pinch of salt.


he wasn't putting up big results as a continental rider
http://cqranking.com/men/asp/gen/rider.asp?riderid=6909


I think JV was talking about these results:

http://cqranking.com/men/asp/gen/...year=2010&all=0&current=0
gerry12ie

Nice set of pics in the Guardian

http://www.theguardian.com/sport/...r-de-france-2014-cycling-pictures
berck

Nibali credits drug testing for his win...

Improved drug testing helped me win, says Vincenzo Nibali
HuwB

Having to watch yesterday on a Monday morning.
The Monday morning after the Tour has finished is....................sad.
We are now entering the holidays and leftovers part of the season.
Not complete cold turkey with Wallonie on live today and the great, all singing and dancing starting two weeks earlier than normal on Wednesday. Smile

Off to BC's training Island on Saturday, so I'll be absent for such monuments as Poland and the ENECO tour.

All in all, a good Tour, but as I suspected when the parcour was announced, the sting came in the first half of the race and the tail really only wagged for the French.

Loved, Lemond's comment about yesterday's sprint finish being "proper, like a track sprint!"
mr shifter

gerry12ie wrote:
Hectic and sloppy but Kittel is still the heavyweight champ. Could someone please do something about Kirby's ridiculous overuse of 'stylee'? Embarrassing...
Kirby Carlton's most irritating (of many when not on Mute) is "he has gone back" to them.
Please Sean will you educate the whimp (like you almost completed with Harmon) that the rules state you cannot ride back during a race but you can stop or slow down for whoever to catch up.
The GT parcours become a One Way route during a race day and nobody goes back.
He also slipped in P 3 and P 4, so he is back to motor racing again.

It seems that Kittel has an inner strength that he can find when he is being beaten and then what an effort he produces.
Bartali

Kittel is monster of a man ... a gentleman too!  I sense it is now 'his time' but it will be interesting to see him and Cavendish battle it out over the next couple of seasons ...
SlowRower

Bartali wrote:
Kittel is monster of a man ... a gentleman too!  I sense it is now 'his time' but it will be interesting to see him and Cavendish battle it out over the next couple of seasons ...


And Kristoff. He lost very little by way of top end speed to Kittel yesterday.
sabcarrera

SlowRower wrote:

And Kristoff. He lost very little by way of top end speed to Kittel yesterday.


It might have been a different result had Kristoff not had to get back onto the gruppo by himself when he had a mechanical.
Fontfroide

gerry12ie wrote:
Could someone please do something about Kirby's ridiculous overuse of 'stylee'? Embarrassing...


Don't usually come across him.  But, really trivial question, what does "stylee" mean, and in what language or what accent?
Fontfroide

Over here, we never got much in terms of comments from CAv about the tour his injury,his state of mind and so forth.  We heard he was riding in a car for one or two stages, but nothing like interviews of any kind.  Usually he speaks out easily.  Anyone know of any comments or observations?

I am sure there is nothing much from Froome, as he is so well controlled.  And Contador says very little as well, but I wonder if there is anything making the rounds.
Slapshot 3

Fontfroide wrote:
Over here, we never got much in terms of comments from CAv about the tour his injury,his state of mind and so forth.  We heard he was riding in a car for one or two stages, but nothing like interviews of any kind.  Usually he speaks out easily.  Anyone know of any comments or observations?

I am sure there is nothing much from Froome, as he is so well controlled.  And Contador says very little as well, but I wonder if there is anything making the rounds.


Nowt much on the Contador front other he says he's out of the Vuelta. The wounds taking more time to heal than expected rather than the break. Either way the Vuelta could be immense
gerry12ie

Oh man, can Belkin be serious?  With two riders in seventh and eighth on GC they opt to use brand new, unraced Bianchi TT bikes.  Ten Dam lost 6 minutes and Bauke swam in nearly 10 minutes down...

Quote:
Bianchi told Cyclingnews that the team pushed for the new bikes but that they only tested them on the second rest day of the race. That’s one day of testing and no race practice. The Italian manufacturer stressed that the new bike provided much better data than the previous model and added that they put no pressure on Belkin to use the bikes. The team failed to return Cyclingnews’ requests for comment but to Mollema’s credit he admitted that he had made the wrong call. Speaking directly to Cyclingnews two days after the Tour, he said. “In tests the new bike was proven to be better than the old bike but I think I wasn’t used to the position and it was slightly different. I made the wrong decision to use the bike. I can’t say where I would have been if I used the old bike but had cramp after 10km and I never had that before. I knew it was risk. I couldn’t put any power on the pedals with the cramp. The race was over after 20km more or less. The old bike was on the roof and at one moment I thought about changing but the muscles was already fucked by then.” (DB)


http://www.cyclingnews.com/featur...lusions-from-the-tour-de-france-1
Bartali

Oh my ....

I always feel a bit sorry for Belkin.  They seem to have two really good solid riders in Mollema and Ten Dam - but just not quite good enough.

Both seem very credible and likable ... but its hard to see either of them actually winning anything.  Its a shame ... I'm not sure what I would be thinking if it were my team.
gerry12ie

I'm sure Boogie will have something to say! Rabo/blanco/belkin always strike me as being a bit naive or uncoordinated, especially in GTs but it's hard not to like them cos they race in an open (but sometimes brainless) way. I guess riding a TT on unraced bikes is about as endearing as you can get... Embarassed
Boogerd_Fan

It was embarassing viewing, but at least this excuse is kind of believable.. and not just the fact that Mollema SUCKS!

the Ten Dam TT was about what i expected btw... but Bauke has been doing well in the TT leading up to the Tour.

Despite his good form in Suisse i thought Mollema struggled all Tour to find his climbing legs. Can put that down to illness (but everyone had to deal with the dodgy first week conditions) and the TT bike, but yeah - Race of truth just confirmed his bluff basically. Mollema was a podium contender in my view - especially should've benefited from Bertie/Froome falling off - but for some reason didnt!

Ten Dam has done well to transform himself from totally nearly man who falls off, to totally nearly man... is two Top 10's in Tour now look rather like overachievement compared to rest of career, but the slimline LTD has proven he can hang with the front group long enough to limit his losses quite well. I was surprised how well he was climbing this year, especially in Pyranees.

If i were BrandLoyalty-Lotto-Bianchi i would build team for 2015/6 around Kelderman and if the other pretenders to leader didnt like that, they're free to find team lead slot somewhere else.

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