Le Tour



  • One of my favourite TV sporting events, mainly because the visuals are incredible. 
     
    I was going to make the comment that it had become so very boring over the past few years. Every stage has looked the same, with a breakaway full of guys with no chance to win, and the peloton with 6 Sky riders at the front, and the yellow jersey in the middle of them. Every stage of every year, looking the same, completely dominant. 
     
    But this year, it appears that's because i am missing the best bits. Chris Froome is having a real go at breaking his competitors, and in different areas than on the climbs. He's attacked on a descent, successfully. And then last night in a breakaway on the flat, again successfully. Any other GC competitor has done precisely nothing. 
     
    Tonight's big climb looks like it will probably be shortened because of the wind, meaning this race is probably over (if it wasn't already)



  • sorry mods, please move to the Sports forum for me? Cheers



  • Gutted that Mt Ventoux will likely be shortened, as will Quintana no doubt.
     
    Does open up a fe betting options though, I've chucked a lazy 10er on Voekler as he likes a breakaway and any breakaway is a good chance of staying ahead now.



  • Any other GC competitor has done precisely nothing.

    Precisely why it's boring as shit. I stopped watching after the Pyrenees. Everyone else appears perfectly happy to let the Sky train dictate the pace and ride for second. Quintana did nothing on Stage nine while Richie Porte and Adam Yates were attacking.



  • Precisely why it's boring as shit. I stopped watching after the Pyrenees. Everyone else appears perfectly happy to let the Sky train dictate the pace and ride for second. Quintana did nothing on Stage nine while Richie Porte and Adam Yates were attacking.

    Quintana made huge ground on froome in the final week last year, would make sense that he's waiting for the last 4 days, which pretty much in the mountains (except for the time trial)
     
    I think that's where Movistar plans to bring it to sky.
     
    But then again you never know when someone is having a bad day, you should be ready for that as Froome has shown he is.



  • Also it's a bummer that Contador is out, he'd be attacking on Ventoux for sure. He was amazing in the Dauphine prologue



  • The problem this year is it is basically between Quintana and Froome and both of them are so boring. Quintana never seems to like to attack. What Sammy says about his third week tactics are true but that approach isn't going to win you fans. Froome has done some interesting things but it is hard to root for someone who can't convey a personality. Then there is the fact that Team Sky buys riders who could maybe be competitive in their own right and turns them into domestiques.
     
    The cool thing about the tour is that something is always going on. Sagan has one of the best personalities of any professional athlete (both on and off the bike he is great). We finally seem to have developed a New Zealand cyclist who can stick with it on the tough days in George Bennett. He clearly can't climb with the best but at least he can be competitive. Then we have the cool scenery, stage winners and the minor jerseys to worry about which gives us plenty of entertainment even if the main show hasn't been thrilling so far.



  • Sagan is awesome. He pretty much does all this by himself, what a machine.



  • One of my favourite TV sporting events, mainly because the visuals are incredible.

    I'd love to spend the tour and two weeks either side just doing the campervan thing through France, or backpacking



  • I'd love to spend the tour and two weeks either side just doing the campervan thing through France, or backpacking

    If you plan carefully you could even find the French equivalent of Palmerston North or Wanganui to stay at. 😉



  • Froome running was hilarious, in a sad way.



  • I'd love to spend the tour and two weeks either side just doing the campervan thing through France, or backpacking

    Me too. And the good thing about it is, it's in France, so the missus is on board. Definitely an option in a couple of years.
     
    Sounds like utter carnage this morning, not a good look for an event this televised. 
     
    Froome all over this with little competition.



  • If you plan carefully you could even find the French equivalent of Palmerston North or Wanganui to stay at. 😉

    Wanganui was charming, actually 🙂 Would go back.



  • Me too. And the good thing about it is, it's in France, so the missus is on board. Definitely an option in a couple of years.

    Oh right - I was going to ditch the ball and chain as its unlikely she'd EVER do the campervan or backpacking thing. EVER.



  • lets just work through that particular conversation shall we?
     
    "hey Mrs Mariner, we've sorted out our destination for our annual boys sporting piss trip"
    "ok, cool. Where too? Footy in Sydney this time?"
    "nah, we're going to to get a campervan and follow the TdF for a couple of weeks"
    "  "
    "what? you never want to come on my boys trips"
    "   "
    "fuck"




  •  
    This just got interesting.



  • I think it's been a great Tour de France so far. Lots of attacks and no shortage of incident. Just shows how costly that puncture was for Richie Porte. He's looking very strong and would have been challenging for GC for sure. I hope Quintana is saving something for the last week because he's not looking good at the moment and likely to lose more time on the time trial today.
    As others saying, hard to see anyone challenging Froome at mo, which is a shame as the race has got everything else. Oh and punching spectators who wave a flag in your face should become mandatory.



  • Pleased to see common sense has Froome retaining the yellow jersey. They need to do something about the idiots in the crowd. Some fatal beatings from gendarmes would be a start.



  • Froom just killed them today in the TT. He's just to strong at the moment and the others don't have an answer. This years tour course was supposed to suit
    Quintana but he hasn't had an answer to Froom in the mountains, on a descent, on flat or in the TT. He should sack his chemist :whistle:  :fishing:  :mocking:



  • Froom just killed them today in the TT. He's just to strong at the moment and the others don't have an answer. This years tour course was supposed to suit
    Quintana but he hasn't had an answer to Froom in the mountains, on a descent, on flat or in the TT. He should sack his chemist :whistle:  :fishing:  :mocking:

    Froome - best climber, second best time trialist, sprinting with Sagan a few stages back.
     
    Not surprised people have questions about him.



  • Need to be a surgeon to get a needle in those arms



  • Need to be a surgeon to get a needle in those armsHe probably has a personal phlebotomist



  • in my opinion Froom is clean. Just a very good rider



  • Froome - best climber, second best time trialist, sprinting with Sagan a few stages back.
     
    Not surprised people have questions about him.

    He's not that far ahead of other people. Quintana will probably get some time back before the tour ends.



  • in my opinion Froom is clean. Just a very good rider

    He's the best "very good rider" the tour has had in decades....



  • in my opinion Froom is clean. Just a very good rider

    The problem was he went from nothing to winning a GT overnight.
    Dave B was saying they picked him from what they saw in the comm games way back. I looked up what he did there, it was above average club cyclist performance.
    Would love to know what they saw in him...



  • The problem was he went from nothing to winning a GT overnight.
    Dave B was saying they picked him from what they saw in the comm games way back. I looked up what he did there, it was above average club cyclist performance.
    Would love to know what they saw in him...Then read about Bradley Wiggins career on wiki, he had won a lot before he raced in the tour and raced in the tour before winning it



  • Froome had 3 top 5's in grand tours before he won his first tour.



  • It's the nature and the history of the sport that makes me question the validity of any extraordinary occurrence, a bit like any game of cricket involving the Pakistan cricket team



  • It's the nature and the history of the sport that makes me question the validity of any extraordinary occurrence, a bit like any game of cricket involving the Pakistan cricket team

    Yeah - with cycling I've adopted an "if it seems too good to be true, it probably is" line. Possibly unfortunate for Froome but if he doesn't like it he can take it up with the multitude of cheating fluffybunnies who preceded him.
     
    To me, Froome's performances in climbing and the time trial seem a bit too much like winning the Olympic 10,000 metres and picking up silver in the 800 metres.



  • I might be a sucker, but my view is Sky have got more to lose than most if they get caught up in a doping scandal - they are associated with so many sports, their brand gets seriously tarnished if associated with doping. It could affect them bidding for broadcast contracts. Hence their zero tolerance stance.
    Now I know that doesn't necessarily mean all their riders are clean, but I would imagine their contracts are such that Sky would absolutely take them to the cleaners if caught. Basically if you're going to dope my guess is you are better off doing it with another team.



  • I remember in 93 when I first learnt about the Tour de France I was in Pamplona for the San Fermin (running of the bulls) and Miguel Indurain was in yellow. The square out side the town hall was packed with people and the side streets where so crammed in. The crowd was sing Indrain, Indruain, Indurain and bouncing up and down, put we were so packed in it lifted you off your feet and you surged forwards and backwards above the cobble stones. That was one hell of a week and I have been a fan of Le Tour ever sense.



  • After today's stage I cannot work out whether Quintana is keeping his powder dry for the mountains next week, or if he's a busted flush. I hope it's the former and we see some proper attacks from him because he's shown very little so far.



  • After today's stage I cannot work out whether Quintana is keeping his powder dry for the mountains next week, or if he's a busted flush. I hope it's the former and we see some proper attacks from him because he's shown very little so far.

    Judging by his attack and Froome's counter on Mont Ventoux, I'd say Froome has him well covered.



  • Genuine question - what is Shane Archbold's role in this tour supposed to be?
     
    He seems to be struggling.



  • He is lead out for Sam Bennett. Bennett crashed quite badly very early on I think so has been struggling. I think in the sprint stages Archbold has effectively been left to his own devices. It's his first Tour so everything is probably a shock to the system too.



  • This made me laugh too. From The Daily Mash ...
    Chris Froome abandons bike after realising they’re for kids
    CHRIS Froome has completed a stage of the Tour de France on foot after suddenly realising that cycling is not what a grown man should be doing.
    The 31-year-old leapt from his bike after seeing attractive girls watching the race, wondering if they were impressed that he was riding so fast, then abruptly understanding that his thinking was that of a 12-year-old.
    He said: “I was cycling along as usual, musing on who my ultimate Robot Wars champion was and whether I’d be able to stay up late to play Mortal Kombat at the weekend, when I unexpectedly realised I’d been stuck in a developmental rut for the past 20 years.
    “I dropped the bike, trying to give the impression I’d only been on it ironically as a joke anyway, and crossed the line sensibly and sedately like an adult would.
    “I’ll still finish the race, but in a car while listening to Fleetwood Mac. If there’s a nice view in the mountain stages I might even stop for a coffee.”
    Team Sky boss Dave Brailsford said: “It’s natural for cyclists to go through this. We’ll get him back once he hits 40 and realises that being an adult completely sucks.”



  • He is lead out for Sam Bennett. Bennett crashed quite badly very early on I think so has been struggling. I think in the sprint stages Archbold has effectively been left to his own devices. It's his first Tour so everything is probably a shock to the system too.

    Thanks - that makes sense.
     
    I'd noticed him coming in at the back of the field in most stages recently and given his background in things like the points race, I was wondering what his specialty was supposed to be and if it was sprinting why he wasn't further up the field.



  • I'm really enjoying the Cavendish Renaissance and hopefully he'll have another crack today. I like way he can almost hide behind the bigger sprinters in the final lead out to the line and then seems to spring from nowhere.
    He isn't the most powerful sprinter by a long way, so has to rely on smarts and his ability to go well into the red on his RPMs. Probably why he's such a bolshy bugger when interviewed straight after.



  • Cavendish has announced that he is abandoning the race so he won't be in the final 5 stages.
    I would have liked to see him give it a crack in Paris, but the word is that he is managing his fatigue levels because he has an eye on the olympics.
    Still, a great tour for him.
     
    Froome I think has been great on this tour. Less robotic than the usual Sky tactics allow and he appears to have strategized really well for the route this year.
    Can't make out what the story is with Quintana who I believe is the only real threat left for Froome. He could just be outclassed this tour, or maybe he is pulling one of the most audaciously brilliant deception stunts on his rivals we have seen in ages. I am hoping for the latter to make the last stages interesting, but I suspect it is the former.


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