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HuwB

Tour 2016, Stages 10-13 Across the Divide, July 12-15th

Stage 10:-





Mountain passes & hills Escaldes-Engordany / Revel 197KM

   Km 24.0 - Port d'Envalira (2 408 m) Souvenir Henri Desgrange22.6 kilometre-long climb at 5.5% - category 1

   Km 190.0 - Côte de Saint-Ferréol1.8 kilometre-long climb at 6.6% - category 3



Stage 11:-







Stage 12:-







Stage 13:-





HuwB

A very high expectancy of crosswinds mid week. Smile
HuwB

Weather forecast for today:-
HuwB

Stellar break, mucky weather.
Nothing much should happen until the last hour at the earliest.
mazda

There is a 15 man breakaway approaching the sprint point.
Sagan and Matthews are in the break.

Earlier on Rui Costa and Tom Dumoulin were #1 and #2 over the top of the Henri Desgrange.
Some confusion at to which Dumoulin was where, but Tom has 8 extra points in the KoM standings.

Take your pick from :
Mikel Landa (Sky),
Gorka Izagirre (Movistar),
Vincenzo Nibali (Astana),
Peter Sagan (Tinkoff),
Samuel Dumoulin (AG2R-La Mondiale),
Damiano Caruso and Greg Van Avermaet (BMC),
Edvald Boasson Hagen and Stephen Cummings (Dimension Data),
Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Soudal),
Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida),
Luke Durbridge, Daryl Impey and Michael Matthews (Orica-BikeExchange),
Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie)

Caruso is the only rider placed well on GC at 12'13"
mazda

Sky have two IAM helpers on the front.
Someone just had to go and tell them to ride more on the left due to the side
wind.
HuwB

Bunch chasing hard. Could go either way, now.
Biosphere

The break is like an for a fantasy break competition. Very strong. If it's only Direct Energy chasing, they probably won't catch?
mazda

Impey attacks from the back and barely gets as far as Sagan.
mazda

Haven't seen GVA do much.
mazda

Matthews gets it.
Leadout by Impey worked for them.
HuwB

Orica Bike showing Etix Quick Step just how easy it is to win a bike race when you have 3 riders against 1.
(apologies to Sam D, GVA and EBH)
mazda

Only 35 / 25 pts for the Green.
Sagan still probably satisfied with taking 45, largely unanswered points today.
Nolte

mazda wrote:
Sky have two IAM helpers on the front.
Someone just had to go and tell them to ride more on the left due to the side
wind.


I think the iam riders on the front was called punishment for not being in the break
HuwB

OMG. How is this for a cross tailwind?

Fontfroide

On the other thread I said there was not much wind, but sadly I made a mistake.  I have my weather page set for where I live, which is NOT the plains.  Setting it for Magalas, maybe an hour and a bit from Montpellier, I find that Huw is right.   Could be 33-35 kph, which is windy, but not that windy.  That would be cool, some echelons to liven things up.

Look to the north, the left as they are racing, during the last hour and half.  If you see some mountains, or at least some foothills, that is where I live.  Wonderful cycling country. Not famous or "discovered", but well worth the trip.
Biosphere

Excitement is building about the prospect of wind -  probably means it will be a damp squid of a stage

https://twitter.com/inrng/status/753156694566400000?s=09

And the hotels from last night. I'm sticking with damp squid Wink

https://twitter.com/inrng/status/753162007101206529
mazda

Smile
Not only do IAM have a rider in the break today, it is Leigh Howard putting his 4th place in the Lanterne Rouge standings at risk.
I suppose he has a ready made excuse to fall off the back later on when the peloton catch him.

Vichot and Howard with a minute.
Biosphere

Already a not too serious crash. Will only make everyone more nervous about being at the front.
mazda

4 separate crashes reported already.

Pinot and Bennett
VDB and LLS
Craddock, Grmay and Theuns
Howes
mazda

We've had a Tinkoff rider in a ditch.
Reichenbach also hurt.
Fontfroide

If watching live, then after St. Chinian, look to the left.  If you see foothills, or what might even look like mountains, that is where I live and ride.   I have ridden to St. Chinian.  And there is a great bike shop there with very high quality stuff.  And as they continue toward Magalas, they cross the plain I ride on during the winter when the hills a little forbidding.  Kind of flat where they are riding though, but still has a certain charm.  Some of villages are cute.

I won't go into why I am at home and not by the side of the road somewhere, it is complicated.  Age and health and lack of a good pal to go with about sums it up.
HuwB

Lulu Sanchez, E Thuens, Bennett, Howes, Jurgen VDB and a couple of others have all been down.
Quite at the moment, but it's edgy.

Much talk about the Ventoux summit being unrideable tomorrow. Here's why:-



Chalet Reynard almost a certainty now, which won't suit some.

100+kph wind up there today.
Biosphere

Fontfroide wrote:
I won't go into why I am at home and not by the side of the road somewhere, it is complicated.  Age and health and lack of a good pal to go with about sums it up.


Think of us as being on the virtual TV sofa with you Smile
Fontfroide

Now in St. Chinian wine area.  The limits of where I ride to.  Keep looking to the left in the distance.
Fontfroide

Noticed Cav way up in the front.  I think he wants to be cautious and win the stage.
HuwB

Fontfroide wrote:
Now in St. Chinian wine area.  The limits of where I ride to.  Keep looking to the left in the distance.


St Chinian hasn't changed much. Murviel les Beziers I know well.
Love the wine.
I think I know the hills of which you speak.
Fontfroide

Now you can see the mountains to the left,the north.
HuwB

The peloton is now in 3 pieces.
Fontfroide

Moderately serious pieces of the peloton left behind.  Like Pinot, not watching, a bit careless.  Or… maybe resting for tomorrow.  2-3 minutes behind.  Not obvious they will catch up.  But I suppose they will

In Cessanon if you see the river, they train the white water canoe people.
HuwB

Proper echalons.....lots of them
Fontfroide

Lovely shots of classic echelons.  Will it make a huge difference or not.  Pretty to look at, horrible to be in them.
Fontfroide

My foothills of the Cevennes should be clearly visible for about 20k.
mazda

Gatto, Majka, Ancona and Caruso down now.
mazda

FF, would you describe those hills as the foothills of the Massif, or are they just a little too far south ?
Fontfroide

If you run a B and B in the area, you might advertise that it in the Cevennes, clearly part of the Massif.  I would say we are the very last valley of the Massif, of the Cevennes, one pass and you are in the littoral, the flat bit to Beziers.  If you cycle north for an hour, you are very much in the Massif.  For example, the Causse de Larzac is about 50 minutes ride, including a 6k climb.  Basically 25 minutes ride south and you are in the flat bit they just rode through.  And for 250k north it is all hills and mountains and plateaux and volcanoes and wonderful valleys.

In short we are the borderland area.  The foothills.  But not so small.  I can ride, in one morning up to 1100 metres, and get home for lunch.  Not that I have done it for about five years.
Fontfroide

My wife says Thibaut is too fat and that's why he is having such problems.
mazda

Sagan and Froome - 10 km out ?
Biosphere

mazda wrote:
Sagan and Froome - 10 km out ?


Optimistic or opportunistic?
HuwB

Bodnar, Sagan, Froome and Thomas. Cool
gerry12ie

Fontfroide wrote:
My wife says Thibaut is too fat and that's why he is having such problems.


I thought that too
Biosphere

Chase is more organised now but gap up to 26' according to dongles
Fontfroide

I keep watching and laughing.  Who would have guessed?  Love it.  Ok Sagan might do stuff like that, but Froome and Thomas!
mazda

Rodriguez is further back.
Anyone else ?
Biosphere

What were the odds of a Tinkoff Sky collaboration a week ago?
mazda

More bonus seconds  Very Happy
Fontfroide

Utterly outrageous.  What's not to love.
Biosphere

Froome gained about 13s?
mazda

Fantastic.
Green and Yellow finishing together.
Boogerd_Fan

No words. Just speechless. Amazing Smile
Boogerd_Fan

Just the simple audacity of that.... Where on earth did that come from
Boogerd_Fan

Just the simple audacity of that.... Where on earth did that come from
HuwB

Well, not quite how I expected it to happen, but happen it certainly did!
Another psychological kick in the nuts for Quintana and co.

And Sagan did that after yesterday? Outrageous is right. Awesome, too.
Yates now at 28 seconds, Martin at 31.
mazda

Rodriguez and Meintjes lose out.
Fontfroide

Can't imagine that was in the team briefing or even over the earphones.  Obviously Sagan could do that and even might have been expected to do that, but no way anyone would expect Froome OR Thomas to go for it.  I think Froome is being influenced by Sagan.  If you had told me this would happen I would have laughed out loud, which of course I did during the entire attack.

Given that Ventoux is tomorrow, Froome must be feeling VERY strong to waste energy like that.  He must be having fun, like Sagan.  He even tried to beat Froome, which really was bad manners given Sagan was trying to give the win to Bodnar.  

Made the stage almost worth watching for that alone.  Yellow and Green sprinting it out.
mazda

Agreed.
It is almost as if Froome wants to provoke someone to try and attack him.
Despite all the talk of this being a close race all the way to the end it probably suits them if the number of contenders is whittled down sooner rather than later.
Biosphere

Shortening of Ventoux stage confirmed. Finish moved down to Chalet Reynard.

Quote:
“It will be a spectacular climb of 10km. Rider safety is more important,” Prudhomme said, announcing the shortening of the stage.


Probably moves the stage win within the reach of Sagan Wink
mazda

Biosphere wrote:
Shortening of Ventoux stage confirmed. Moved down to Chalet Reynard.

Cycling news with an unintended typo.

Quote:
Forecasts of 10km/h winds forced the organiser to shorten the stage


To be fair the lower 8km is the longer, steep part.
The teams will just have to start their shenanigans a bit earlier, a bit harder.
Bartali

Fair play ... Froome is riding like Nibali.
HuwB

The altered finish for tomorrow:-
Biosphere

Tomorrow could be like today in terms of 200km of nervous cross winds followed by a HC climb. Echelons could take someone out of contention even before they reach Bédoin?
Nolte

Chapeau froome Sagan on today's performance

Caught the sprinter and other GC teams out napping in a breeze.
Fontfroide

mazda wrote:

It is almost as if Froome wants to provoke someone to try and attack him.


I don't think so, although of course I have no real idea.  I figure he was riding in front, like Sagan and others.  H was feeling pretty good, as it was not really a hard stage if you have protection from teammates.  He seems to be in a slightly spontaneous and playful mood.  He thought, knowing that Sagan with a teammate is a pretty good bet.  Don't know if he had time to communicate with Geraint, but he is no dummy either.  So Froomie thought what have I got to lose, let's have a go.  He certainly worked hard enough to stay away.  He does know that seconds can count, especially with Quintana in good form.  And they pulled it off.

I still have a slight regret that he didn't let Sagan give the stage to his teammate.  That would have been nice, won him a few pals, including Sagan.

Absolutely stunning end though.  Too bad about Cav, becasue he was riding up front the whole day, waiting.
gerry12ie

Tremendous old-fashioned racing that.  Sagan is just a monster, and Froome has developed some serious smarts to be alive to the opportunity to snatch some time.  Even though it was only a few seconds, the psychological damage done to the quickly whingeing Quintana and Movistar is probably more important.  

It's no wonder Specialized are prepared to break the bank to keep Sagan in their saddle

Roll on tomorrow - and work Sad
Nolte

It seems to me that it will be the build up to midventoux where the big damage will be done.

I think as we saw in previous years when ventoux has been windy, this has essentially neutralised the climb (whatever year it was the last Saturday of the race and the schlecks were there). In that respect, it's a really good thing they took the unsheltered bit out  (does our blasphemy laws cover cycling)

It might be problematic for guys like quintana, bardet, teams with weak roleurs and getting caught out in the run up to the climb.

Or a rider with misfortune at  a bad time

But that is cycling.
mazda

gerry12ie wrote:
Tremendous old-fashioned racing that.  Sagan is just a monster, and Froome has developed some serious smarts to be alive to the opportunity to snatch some time.  Even though it was only a few seconds, the psychological damage done to the quickly whingeing Quintana and Movistar is probably more important.  

It's no wonder Specialized are prepared to break the bank to keep Sagan in their saddle

You do wonder if Sagan will fit in quite so well at Trek.
Oleg might be considered a hard taskmaster, but I have no doubt that Sagan is allowed to race however he sees fit.
mazda

Fontfroide wrote:
I still have a slight regret that he didn't let Sagan give the stage to his teammate.  That would have been nice, won him a few pals, including Sagan.

I didn't notice that the first time I watched.
Bodnar did make reference to it but said there wasn't enough time to play with.
Biosphere

I thought the rumor was that Sagan was going to Bora?
gerry12ie

mazda wrote:
gerry12ie wrote:
Tremendous old-fashioned racing that.  Sagan is just a monster, and Froome has developed some serious smarts to be alive to the opportunity to snatch some time.  Even though it was only a few seconds, the psychological damage done to the quickly whingeing Quintana and Movistar is probably more important.  

It's no wonder Specialized are prepared to break the bank to keep Sagan in their saddle

You do wonder if Sagan will fit in quite so well at Trek.
Oleg might be considered a hard taskmaster, but I have no doubt that Sagan is allowed to race however he sees fit.


I did hear mention of Trek but I also read that Specialized were prepared to pay a hefty chunk of his wages to keep him on their machine.  At the moment that would be Astana or the more obvious Etixx.  I guess that Trek could probably match whatever Specialized were prepared to throw in to the deal...

Whether he would toe the party line anywhere else is moot, but I guess that most teams would prefer to have him in the tent pissing out than vice versa Wink
mazda

Breakaway of 13 has 12' lead.
5 more are at 3'.
So probably eliminates time bonuses as a factor for the GC men.

Navarro is the highest placed at roughly 33' down on GC.

Bertjan Lindeman and Sep Vanmarcke (Lotto-Jumbo)
Stef Clement (IAM)
Serge Pauwels and Daniel Teklehaimanot (DiData)
André Greipel and Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal)
Bryan Coquard and Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie)
Iljo Keisse (Etixx-Quick Step)
Chris Anker Sørensen (Fortuneo-Vital Concept)
Dani Navarro and Cyril Lemoine (Cofidis)
gerry12ie

I am going radio silent until the highlights tonight

Aux armes, citoyens Very Happy
HuwB

The break has almost 20 minutes.
It's a dud, with no wind takers.
mazda

Probably a nice 25mph tailwind at the moment.
Small group in the middle is still going well.
Gaps are 18'40" and 5'40".
mazda

Etixx and Trek driving the peloton now.
Gaps 14'30" and 6'00.
A large group off the back - Pinot, Majka, Sagan.
HuwB

So, the team that had two of the biggest "safety" critics yesterday have their team drilling it on the front, today?

Go figure.

Causing carnage again.
mazda

An element of "this is how you do it" on a wide open road ?
Wind factor will only worsen as they turn slowly northwards.

Astana with problems.
First Grivko changes a wheel, then problem for Aru and he has to take Fuglsang's bike.
Two Astana make it back to the leading peloton and two end up going back to the second peloton at a further 70".

Leaders still have 10km lead - timed at 12'36".
Biosphere

Decided to go home early and at least see the climb and the run up to it. Glad it's coming to life. On the train now. Huw can you unpack the team with safety critics comment a bit? I'm lost.
mazda

Main peloton under 50 riders.
So probably short of a few GC contenders - Barguil definitely behind.

edit - in fact the Barguil peloton is now much larger.
Can consider the Etixx led peloton as a 3rd breakaway group.
mazda

De Gendt gets the single point.

5 BMC now lead the Yellow jersey group.
HuwB

Gerrans manages to do what nobody else could.................Put all of Sky out the back. Embarassed
mazda

That's changed the shape of the stage quite a bit.
mazda

I can only assume from the antics of Etixx and Gerrans, that Martin and Yates are feeling good.
Or is the latter a resurfacing of the obligation to help at some point in order to earn the right to attack to win the stage ?
Of course the main peloton is now unlikely to win the stage due to the crash.
mazda

Gap at 8' with 11.5 km.
I think all of group two have been absorbed.
Biosphere

ITV don't half like their ad breaks. Tommy d G on a mission.
mazda

The KoM is a full bloodied fight this year.
mazda

Pauwels and Navarro drop TDG.
Biosphere

Biosphere wrote:
. . Tommy d G on a mission.


And he self destructed 10 seconds after accepting his mission.
mazda

Pantano coasts off the front.
Valverde goes after him.
mazda

That has dislodged Nieve and Thomas.
Still Landa, Poels and Henao with Froome.
mazda

Quintana attacks.
Poels leads the response.
Martin at the back.
mazda

About 13 left.
TDG is back up to the leaders.
mazda

Martin about 30" back, catching Kreuziger.
mazda

Biosphere wrote:
Biosphere wrote:
. . Tommy d G on a mission.


And he self destructed 10 seconds after accepting his mission.


He's dropped them both again  Shocked
mazda

Unfortunately still Poels, who has looked knackered for the last 3 km.
mazda

Pauwels back up with TDG and has a little attack.
mazda

About a minute ago Froome moved back up to 3rd.
Porte followed him.
Now Froome attacks.
mazda

Froome and Porte.
Then Quintana.
Aru having to lead the rest back up.
mazda

As they catch Quintana, Mollema attacks.
Looks like he is maintaining it, until the next attack comes after him.
mazda

Navarro makes it a 3-man fight in the last 600m
mazda

De Gendt just rides away for the win.
Not sure he got the full KoM as there was some jiggling some 500m earlier at the KoM flag.

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