or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Off-Season Sports & The Lighter Side › Cycling › 2009 Tour "day" France
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

2009 Tour "day" France - Page 2

post #31 of 201
 Nobody? Leave all the work to Saxo and Columbia. MAybe the little guys will want a piece of the action today though. Let's hope, but with that flat finish it's hard to picture a break staying away.
post #32 of 201
And that, ladies and germs, is why we watch the flat stages too.
post #33 of 201
The teams of the big dogs that are a couple minutes off the back are going to have to join forces in the mountains to try and toast Astana.  I think this has the potential to be a very exciting Tour.  Watching Lance hang with the leaders and do just enough to win in past years was getting a little boring.  The desperate situation of Evans, Schleck, Sastre and a few of the others is going to make them pull some tricks out of the bag we haven't seen before. Even if they don't work, it'll be fun to watch.  Add in the Lance/Contador fight and we could see somebody trying to pull a Landis and go off the front alone for a 100 km in the mountains.

It's going to be hero time where you have to go big (and maybe blow up big) to take the win, which is what the TdF should be about.
post #34 of 201
Any predictions on attacks tomorrow?      I'm in for CTT and CdE.

Friday looks to be a young man's game, maybe Liquigas' and Andy Schleck's chance to get up in it.

I think Sastre will sit tight until Sunday.
post #35 of 201
These stages where the winds are high are tough for all the teams.  Today was no exception.

Tomorrow's stage, from Girona to Barcelona, should break things up with five categorized climbs (all 3s and 4s).  And Thursday is where we'll see the ace climbers finally show their mettle.  Look for big attacks from the Astana four (Armstrong, Contador, Klöden and Leipheimer), as well as a lot of action from Sastre, Evans, the Schleck brothers, Vande Velde, Michael Rogers, and possibly some dark horses like Nibali, Pellizotti, Menchov or one of the Euskalel-Euskadi riders, who will have a lot of fans along the way.

All I can say is that it's almost certain that Cancellara will no longer be wearing yellow by EOD Thursday.
post #36 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot View Post

.....  The desperate situation of Evans, Schleck, Sastre and a few of the others is going to make them pull some tricks out of the bag we haven't seen before. ......and we could see somebody trying to pull a Landis and go off the front alone for a 100 km in the mountains.

It's going to be hero time where you have to go big (and maybe blow up big) to take the win, which is what the TdF should be about.

Agree, that is what it will take for Evans and a few of the other sitting a couple of minutes back at this stage (maybe ban radios for the rest of the race?).

And on Landis, I'm still not convinced he was dirty, but.... irrespective......  that was still one of the most awsome stage rides I have ever seen.  Sporting moment wise, up there with Franz Klammer at Innsbruck in 1976 and Ben Johnson in Seoul in 1988 (They were all on dope so it should have stood or given the gold to the fastest non-qualifier).
post #37 of 201
I think the radio ban will play perfectly into the wild tactics required to salavage the Tour for some of the big names.  It'll be a return to the classic style of racing like when Eddy Merckx would ride away from the peleton and solo 50 miles in the mountains to win.   If the teams don't know what the breaks are doing up ahead it'll make for some crazy racing.  If nothing else, the Landis solo move proved it can still be done.  Evans, Schleck, Sastre, Vande Velde and the others have nothing to lose and everything to gain, and Astana can't cover everybody all the time, especially if the other teams are cooperating.

I think Astana's tactic will have to be to continually push the pace so no one can get away in the mountains.  Just like in the old days of Lance's domination, they would ramp up the pace and pretty soon there would only be a dozen guys left, but half of them were his teammates.

Because Lance and Bruyneel are so connected financially and by history, I think Contador knows that if it comes to a choice he will be sacrificed for Lance to win.  I predict that if Lance is hanging on the climbs Contador will take an unauthorized solo flyer to assert his leadership position.  In any event, it is going to be totally unpredictable and very exciting, right up to the end of the climb on the penultimate stage.
post #38 of 201
 Even the French are evidently conceding that Lance has brought excitement back to the tour.  Vive la Tour!

Now, if Vinokurov would just crawl back into whatever hole he's been hiding out his suspension for the last two years.

Mike
post #39 of 201
Sorry guys, I'm not seeing solo flyers winning much at all in this race, unless they're protected by their teams.

Especially not with the mountain stages laid out like on Sunday, or on Stage 16 to BSM, or on Stage 17,  where the HC climb is in the middle of the stage, and there's gobs to go before the finish.   I see those playing out much like Stage 16 of the Giro did:  solo flyers get caught by whoever wins the chase pack battle.
post #40 of 201
 
post #41 of 201

Dumb Tour questions:

I enjoy aspects of the Tour, but don't understand the various tactics and strategies. Is Lance's current status at only one second back for real? Is he a strong bet to take the overall race for his 8th title or is he just a support rider for his team? How is it decided who supports and who goes for the title on a team? Is it absolutely predetermined before the Tour ever begins or can an athlete "emerge" from the pack on his own volition based on unexpectedly strong daily performances? Perhaps an even more basic question: I don't understand the value of riding with a team during specific stages, is this critical to competitiveness due to logistics and aerodynamics?

Thanks.

post #42 of 201
 The Team matters. A lot! Tactics will vary depending on where you stand, but it's always easier to ride if you have some help. Did you watch Gesink try to chase back after his crash yesterday. He had only one teammate trying to help him and lost 9 minutes. If he had been one of Astana's GC riders you can be sure that the whole team (maybe not the other GC riders) would have gone back to help and they would likely have caught back up to the peloton. By the same token if they are in the mountains and a break goes up the road it's easier to chase that as a team than as alone. When you are isolated like Cadel Evans probably will be, you have to judge where and when to make your efforts and you havea lot less options than a rider on a strong team.

As for who is the leader, that's a funny thing. It can be decided ahead of time, but best laid plans and all that. Even Cancellara right now might sacrifice himself to help Michael Rogers who probably has a better shot at the final podium than himself.
post #43 of 201
You think Rogers has a shot?   

I had Cancellara nursing his strength for a stage win in Annecy.
post #44 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post

Sorry guys, I'm not seeing solo flyers winning much at all in this race, unless they're protected by their teams.

Especially not with the mountain stages laid out like on Sunday, or on Stage 16 to BSM, or on Stage 17,  where the HC climb is in the middle of the stage, and there's gobs to go before the finish.   I see those playing out much like Stage 16 of the Giro did:  solo flyers get caught by whoever wins the chase pack battle.
 
If that is true, then the yellow jersey is out of reach for everyone but Astana.  No one is going to jump out of the front of the pack on a final climb and get more than a 20" unless Lance, Contador, Kloden and Levi all blow up at the same time.  Without the radios on some of the stages there may at least be a chance of someone doing a long solo to a win.  As it stands now they have computers in the cars calculating exactly how many seconds per km they have to make up to catch a break.  I agree that under normal circumstances that kind of move is doomed, but desparate times call for desparate measures, and the other contenders really have nothing to lose, because the difference between 20th and 50th doesn't really matter to them.  If the other teams cooperate in continuing to attack Astana, sooner or later someone like Andy Schleck will get a chance to go crazy, and that's what is needed to get yellow at this point.  Dirty or not, Landis proved it is possible, and I think without radios even more so.
post #45 of 201
They're not -all- like that.     Tomorrow isn't, and I expect Saxobank to try something for sure.     Verbier isn't, and that's where both Sastre and Menchov should make their presence felt.
post #46 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post

 The Team matters. A lot! Tactics will vary depending on where you stand, but it's always easier to ride if you have some help. Did you watch Gesink try to chase back after his crash yesterday. He had only one teammate trying to help him and lost 9 minutes. If he had been one of Astana's GC riders you can be sure that the whole team (maybe not the other GC riders) would have gone back to help and they would likely have caught back up to the peloton. By the same token if they are in the mountains and a break goes up the road it's easier to chase that as a team than as alone. When you are isolated like Cadel Evans probably will be, you have to judge where and when to make your efforts and you havea lot less options than a rider on a strong team.

As for who is the leader, that's a funny thing. It can be decided ahead of time, but best laid plans and all that. Even Cancellara right now might sacrifice himself to help Michael Rogers who probably has a better shot at the final podium than himself.


Rogers has NO shot and never did.  Sastre, Schleck and Evans has chances but they are gone now (maybe Schleck can pull himself back in

The podium will be all Astana.  

Contador
Armstrong
Kloden

This race is over for everyone but Astana...the only GC threat with even a remote chance of getting on the podium is A Schleck
post #47 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post

You think Rogers has a shot?   

No. I just think he's the Columbia protected GC rider. If they even have such a thing. But you know what? Last year nobody would have expected a 4th out of Vandevelde. That's why we watch.

edit: Wow! I hadn't seen where Rogers lies in the GC now. 159th! Just goes to show how plans change, Columbia must have come in with him as protected rider, but now he'd have to work for Tony Martin.

Edited by epic - 7/10/2009 at 12:21 pm GMT
post #48 of 201
Needed to refresh my memory on the great Landis breakaway of 2006.  Fun read, even if the doping scandal makes it artificial greatness:
 http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/writers/austin_murphy/07/20/murphy.landis/index.html
post #49 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesj View Post

Needed to refresh my memory on the great Landis breakaway of 2006.  Fun read, even if the doping scandal makes it artificial greatness:
 http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/writers/austin_murphy/07/20/murphy.landis/index.html

I still think that's one of the best Tour stages of all time. Watching it live was amazing.
post #50 of 201
Here we go.   They're on the false flat before the true climb.

Did  no one scout this thing?
post #51 of 201
Thread Starter 
The Astana train is rolling up the mountain......
post #52 of 201
That was simply spectacular.

Is Levi that vulnerable or is that the crashed bike? 
post #53 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post

Is Levi that vulnerable or is that the crashed bike? 

In what respect?  He crashed because part of the front of the peloton got tangled up behind a Rabobank rider who ran headlong into a piece of "road furniture."  Levi's regular bike got fairly well banged up, so they put him on a spare that wasn't entirely to his adjustment - especially the seat height and setback.  So, under the watchful eye of the race referee, Astana's mechanic did the adjustments.  He wasn't needing the free ride (though it couldn't have hurt), but his knees and back were grateful for the proper setup once the hill really kicked in.

In the end, he was up there marking Evans, Schleck and Sastre with Lance.  No worries just now.
post #54 of 201
I mean later on, when he doesn't quite have the juice to respond to Evans.
post #55 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot View Post

I predict that if Lance is hanging on the climbs Contador will take an unauthorized solo flyer to assert his leadership position.
Pretty good prediction.
post #56 of 201
How's Floyd Landis doing?
post #57 of 201
I think Contador's attack may have been a mistake. Now as far as Lance is concerned, the gloves have to be off. The attack was not to plan and Contador did not take yellow so Lance owes him nothing.
post #58 of 201
Where was Kloden anyway?
post #59 of 201
Lance is riding well, but I don't think he can accelerate up the steeps like Contador.  If they were each left to their own I doubt if Lance could beat Contador, so the only way he can do it is if Bruyneel controls the team and Contador to structure a Lance win.  Who knows, maybe Lance will set up a huge payoff of Contador in exchange for his support, but I don't see Contador letting Lance win without a fight to the finish.

Lance always used the first mountain stage to assert his dominance over the field, and it sure looked like that's what Contador was doing today, especially over Lance.

Excerpt from Cyclingnews.com interview after today's stage:  As he recovered at the summit finish to Friday's seventh stage, Armstrong dropped another hint or 10 that he and Alberto Contador, who attacked his group with 2 kilometres remaining, are racing to different agendas.
 

Asked if Contador's move had been pre-arranged, Armstrong said, "That wasn't really to the plan, but I didn't expect him to go by the plan, so [it was] no surprise."


Edited by mudfoot - 7/10/2009 at 11:57 pm GMT
post #60 of 201
Anyone care to make the call for tomorrow?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cycling
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Off-Season Sports & The Lighter Side › Cycling › 2009 Tour "day" France