View Full Version : Tour de France 2009


J-man
Jul 03, 2009, 10:30 AM
The Tour de France will start tomorrow (Saturday 4th of July) and there was no thread about it, what a shame. So I had to start one so we can discuss:

Favorites, who do you think will win? Favorites include Carlos Sastre (won in 2008), Denis Menchov (won the Giro this year), Cadel Evans (finished 2nd twice) BUT most eyes will be on Alberto Contador and Lance Armstrong. Contador won 2007 and was banned in 2008, Armstrong won seven times in a row.

My money is on Contador. Armstrong is a very good rider but didn't get any younger and sustained an injury which interfered with his preparation. Armstrong's preparation was rigorous (and perhaps legendary), he only trained for the Tour but this time has also performed in other races.

Doping, doping plague's the Tour every year and 2009 will be no different. Alejandro Valverde and Thomas Dekker have been banned. How many cyclist will get caught during the race?

dutchfire
Jul 03, 2009, 10:34 AM
I think at least 5 cyclists will get caught during/after the race.

I think Contador is the most likely winner, but I have some hope for Menchov.

pacesplace
Jul 03, 2009, 11:02 AM
Lance will crush the field!

(I wish.)

It'd be nice if none of the big names got sent home this year. And I think Contador can win it again.

Eniotna
Jul 03, 2009, 02:32 PM
I think Contador will take it. I don't expect Sastre, Menchov and Evans to be able to do anything more than following. The main threat for the Astana boys will be the Schleck brothers imho. Although they'll lose a lot of time in the TT's.

I'm happy Boonen will be allowed to participate, that means we'll see our national champion's jersey :goodjob: Even though he'll probably be pwned and humiliated by Cavendish :lol: Oh well...

I don't really know what to think about Lance Armstrong. I don't think he can wit this but I have to say that his performance in the last week of the Giro was impressive.

J-man
Jul 03, 2009, 04:16 PM
I don't really know what to think about Lance Armstrong. I don't think he can wit this but I have to say that his performance in the last week of the Giro was impressive.

If Lance would be able to grab the yellow jersey I wouldn't be surprised when one of the French spectator to grab him and pull him of his bicycle. They really dislike him.

Azale
Jul 03, 2009, 04:44 PM
If Lance would be able to grab the yellow jersey I wouldn't be surprised when one of the French spectator to grab him and pull him of his bicycle. They really dislike him.

I hope he punches them in the face. :)

mrt144
Jul 03, 2009, 06:12 PM
I'm stoked!!!

Eniotna
Jul 04, 2009, 12:49 AM
If Lance would be able to grab the yellow jersey I wouldn't be surprised when one of the French spectator to grab him and pull him of his bicycle. They really dislike him.

I hope they won't do that but with some cycling "fans", you never know.

But I don't think they dislike him as much as they did 4 years ago.

El Koeno
Jul 04, 2009, 04:24 AM
Oooohh... I'm already looking forward to the Mont Ventoux! What a great place to have the decisive stage.

As for contenders: Contador is the main one IMO.

Doping: I'm quite optimistic. Last year the riders who really seemed to be too good were caught, so perhaps the others were clean? But Dutchfire's guess of 5 riders getting caught seems realistic.

Eniotna
Jul 04, 2009, 04:52 AM
Oooohh... I'm already looking forward to the Mont Ventoux! What a great place to have the decisive stage.

As for contenders: Contador is the main one IMO.

Doping: I'm quite optimistic. Last year the riders who really seemed to be too good were caught, so perhaps the others were clean? But Dutchfire's guess of 5 riders getting caught seems realistic.

Don't be too optimistic. :p It's getting harder to take doping unpunished but I think it's still doable if you do it carefully.

dutchfire
Jul 04, 2009, 06:36 AM
Doping: I'm quite optimistic. Last year the riders who really seemed to be too good were caught, so perhaps the others were clean? But Dutchfire's guess of 5 riders getting caught seems realistic.

Beltran, Duenas and Fofonov were too good?

El Koeno
Jul 04, 2009, 07:03 AM
Okay, maybe I'm just a bit naive. :)

As long as I get a good show, while hanging out on the couch with a hangover, I'm satisfied.

dutchfire
Jul 05, 2009, 10:15 AM
Well, okay, we can throw away Menchov for the Yellow Jersey now.

And Cavendish won the first one, but that was bound to happen.

El Koeno
Jul 05, 2009, 02:55 PM
Well, okay, we can throw away Menchov for the Yellow Jersey now.

Yeah, a shame. You knew he was going to screw up, but this is pretty soon. You know, every one keeps saying how boring he is, but to me he seems a pretty nice guy. I wouldn't mind having a beer with him.

And Cavendish won the first one, but that was bound to happen.

By this much? I don't know why other teams bother with sprinters anymore. Sure, you can beat Cavendish, but the chances are pretty slim.

Eniotna
Jul 06, 2009, 06:16 AM
The crash in the last kilometer helped Cavendish. The only one who was in his wheel was Farrar. Freire, Bennati, Boonen and Napolitano were held up and Ciolek and the Cervelo's were too far away and had to make an effort to come back in his wheel. Still very impressive win by Cavendish nonetheless.

dutchfire
Jul 06, 2009, 10:46 AM
The Boss shows he's still the boss, letting Popovitch and Zubeldia do work while Contador is in the second group.
Contador won't like that :)

El Koeno
Jul 06, 2009, 02:23 PM
It was the good move by Armstrong though. Contador only lost time on Cancellara and Armstrong. He should be able to manage Cancellara, and Armstrong is his team mate so that shouldn't matter too much. Kind of weird that the other teams did not manage to close the gap just a little bit. Saving for tomorrow?

dutchfire
Jul 07, 2009, 12:33 PM
well done by the Astana's today.
Rabobank keeps sucking.

J-man
Jul 07, 2009, 01:06 PM
Rabobank keeps sucking.

Perhaps Menchov's (voluntary) interrogation has something to do with it.
Although we have seen it before, Menchov not living up to expectation.

Volum
Jul 07, 2009, 03:18 PM
I wonder how many excuses Hushovd will have this year, i was quite surprised yesterday when he aactually said Cavendish was better then him. Doubt he'l get the green, only time he got it was because Mckewen was punished and lost points.

Both Hushovd and Arvesen should be able to win atleast one stage each tough.

Eniotna
Jul 07, 2009, 04:02 PM
I kind of hope there will really be a nasty battle between Armstrong and Contador... else this Tour will be boring, it pretty much looks like Astana has already won it.

Rabobank indeed failed again. They had a team to compete for the yellow jersey, the green jersey and the white jersey. Looks as though all three will be nearly impossible to win.

@ Volum : Hushovd is actually the only one who can still beat Cavendish for the green. Hushovd has got 54 points if I'm not mistaken (16 less than Cavendish, a lot but not too much) and most of the other sprinters have 0... Hushovd can try to grap some points in the hillier stages.
Stage win by Hushovd is possible, stage win by Arvesen is less likely. He's a strong rider but he'll need to get in a breakaway to win a stage and you always need a bit of luck to win like that.

El Koeno
Jul 07, 2009, 04:33 PM
...

Rabobank indeed failed again. They had a team to compete for the yellow jersey, the green jersey and the white jersey. Looks as though all three will be nearly impossible to win.

...

Polka Dot Jersey! Seriously, it's actually quite good. All they can do now is attack.

As for Contador vs. Armstrong: that is indeed the most interesting fight within this tour. My money is on Contador.

NKVD
Jul 07, 2009, 08:13 PM
3 days only and it think its been my favorite tour to date... only have them on tv here for the last 4 years though

El Koeno
Jul 08, 2009, 11:01 AM
Another disaster for Rabo. Astana looked strong again... Man, I won't be home to watch Friday's stage. :(

thetrooper
Jul 08, 2009, 06:12 PM
I wonder how many excuses Hushovd will have this year, i was quite surprised yesterday when he aactually said Cavendish was better then him.

He used all of them last year ;)

I'll have to watch a few mountain stages before I say anything about this years favorite.

wrt doping - hopefully it's more or less clean this year... Yeah, I am naive.

thetrooper
Jul 09, 2009, 10:59 AM
Well, no excuses from Hushovd today ;)

I feel sorry for Millar though - so close...

NKVD
Jul 09, 2009, 09:27 PM
yeah what a final once again!

Irish Caesar
Jul 11, 2009, 01:51 AM
Wow.

That was just a fantastic stage. I have to admit, I was a little concerned that Astana had been doing too much of the work the last couple of days... but they sure showed me with a beautiful piece of racing.

I was impressed with Contador a couple of years ago, and once again, he doesn't disappoint. It's a shame he couldn't run last year's Tour; it would have been great to see what he (and Levi!) could have done.

Volum
Jul 11, 2009, 12:12 PM
Hushovd in green now. 11 points isnt much. Does anyone know how many typical "sprinter laps" are left?

dutchfire
Jul 11, 2009, 12:45 PM
stage 10, 11, 12, 14 and 21 look like sprinter stages. (though some of them will likely feature escapes)

NKVD
Jul 11, 2009, 01:11 PM
hey i heard by the telecast that there are stage where the runners are not allowed to have a communication device with their manager. why is that...?

even more i'd prefer if it was this way all the way. no?

also I saw a ( i think it was Sanchez) drinking a Coca Cola one hour before the end of the race. I mean how can that be a good nutritional choice ? even though he won...

J-man
Jul 11, 2009, 01:28 PM
Perhaps it was diet coke? and regular coke hsa lots of sugar in it, so that's a lot of energy.

Eniotna
Jul 11, 2009, 02:48 PM
hey i heard by the telecast that there are stage where the runners are not allowed to have a communication device with their manager. why is that...?

even more i'd prefer if it was this way all the way. no?

also I saw a ( i think it was Sanchez) drinking a Coca Cola one hour before the end of the race. I mean how can that be a good nutritional choice ? even though he won...

The TdF direction has decided to ban the earpieces during two stages as a test. The problem with the earpiece is that the directeur sportif controls the race too much, not giving the rider the "autonomy" of deciding himself how to race. The organisators hope that the race will be more spectacular, with riders taking the initiatives themselves instead of waiting the orders of the DS's.

Of course, the earpiece has its benefits. The can prevent a rider from a certain danger, or help a riders who's crashed or punctured. Moreover, all riders don't blindly listen to the order, a lot of them decide themselves already. Just look at Contador's attack yesterday.

About the Coke, like J-man said, cyclists use a lot of energy during the race so they need a lot of sugar. That's why it's not unusual to see them drinking coke.

Eniotna
Jul 11, 2009, 06:50 PM
Tomorrow (Today), the riders will climb two legendary mountains (Aspin and Tourmalet) ... and then they'll ride 70 km in the valley :lol: Yet another boring stage in prospect. The Pyrenees were dissapointing, but I expected it a little. Hats off to Evans though, the only one to really attack. First time in years that I actually rooted for him. I hoped the Schlecks would try a little more, but I guess they're not better that the other pile of losers who're afraid to attack before the last mountain stage. :rolleyes: Congratz, you won a 5th place!

So, Astana is in an ideal position. I don't see how the team couldn't win. But who will it be? Contador seems to be the strongest and I think he will take it easily. But Contador usually weakens in the end of a GT (remember Aubisque 2007, where he was dropped by Rasmussen AND Leipheimer or the difficult ending in the Giro and the Vuelta last year). So he might need to attack in order to get a bigger advantages on his contenders/teammates. Cause he might lose time in the last stages (especially the TT in Annecy).
Then again, he's a little older now, thus a little stronger and maybe he'll recuperate better than the previous years.

NKVD
Jul 11, 2009, 10:22 PM
it was not coke diet. i mean coke is very acid and hard to digest. sure it has a lot of sugar but its carbonated which is really bad. funniest thing is that the day before at the TDF on Tv here there's a nutritionist that makes a 45 seconds workshop on what to eat, drink, how, when , how much. She clearly said to never drink carbonated liquid.

Catfish
Jul 11, 2009, 11:14 PM
I think Contador will take it. I don't expect Sastre, Menchov and Evans to be able to do anything more than following. The main threat for the Astana boys will be the Schleck brothers imho. Although they'll lose a lot of time in the TT's.
I kind of hope there will really be a nasty battle between Armstrong and Contador... else this Tour will be boring, it pretty much looks like Astana has already won it.Agree on both. Any reason why they reintroduced the team time trial? It's not like the top riders need a leg up. Makes the race less interesting.

Irish Caesar
Jul 12, 2009, 02:16 AM
Wow.

That was just a fantastic stage. I have to admit, I was a little concerned that Astana had been doing too much of the work the last couple of days... but they sure showed me with a beautiful piece of racing.

After sleeping on it, I've decided that it's totally rotten for us, the fans, that the top riders happen to be on the same team. I would have loved to have seen if Lance and Levi had anything for Contador on Arcalis; now we'll never know if Contador was really that dominant or if the rest of Astana was legitimately playing as a team. We already know who has the best team; I wanna know who the best riders are within the team!

thetrooper
Jul 12, 2009, 06:04 PM
also I saw a ( i think it was Sanchez) drinking a Coca Cola one hour before the end of the race. I mean how can that be a good nutritional choice ? even though he won...

I do a lot of mountain/terrain biking and after 3-4 hours using some of the largest muscles on my body I'm totally drained for energy. I need to get that energy back into my system pretty fast. Even though I do not approve of regular Coke for this (blood sugar too 'spiked') I can surely understand why these guys do so. They are burning much more than I do! I alternate between carbo gels and energy bars. And a solid dose of protein shake when I get back.

El Koeno
Jul 13, 2009, 10:28 AM
I've actually been impressed by Rabobank the last few days. Okay, Menchov has spent the entire first week sleeping, losing a minute each day, but they've shown that their team isn't total crap. They've done stuff in the front, Freire has been dangerous in the sprint... Just too bad they've been focusing on Menchov.

As for Astana: the only thing that can prevent them from winning the Tour is getting kicked out on doping charges. That's even worse for the fans than a single team dominating the race. :(

NKVD
Jul 13, 2009, 06:00 PM
I've actually been impressed by Rabobank the last few days. Okay, Menchov has spent the entire first week sleeping, losing a minute each day, but they've shown that their team isn't total crap. They've done stuff in the front, Freire has been dangerous in the sprint... Just too bad they've been focusing on Menchov.

As for Astana: the only thing that can prevent them from winning the Tour is getting kicked out on doping charges. That's even worse for the fans than a single team dominating the race. :(

does anybody believe that somebody can gain like 9 minutes on Mont Ventoux in an incredible breakaway?

dutchfire
Jul 14, 2009, 05:15 AM
Oscar Pereiro Sio won like, what, 30 minutes in a single day in an escape in the tour he (/Landis) won a couple of years ago, so everything is possible.

thetrooper
Jul 14, 2009, 06:37 PM
Yeah, everything is possible...

Seems that Arvesen is out with a fractured clavicle. I can't imagine getting up on the bike again to finish another 100 km in his condition, but he did! A big loss for a minor country like Norway and a major blow for team Saxo Bank.

thetrooper
Jul 15, 2009, 12:39 PM
Cavendish is so superior in the sprints. I'm impressed by Colombia as a team too - not so by Cervelo, Milram, Quickstep and Rabobank...

El Koeno
Jul 15, 2009, 06:07 PM
Pfff.... boring days. Looking forward to Friday.

Sir Bugsy
Jul 15, 2009, 09:34 PM
Oscar Pereiro Sio won like, what, 30 minutes in a single day in an escape in the tour he (/Landis) won a couple of years ago, so everything is possible.
Yes, but Landis was juiced. I think part of the "boringness" of this year's TDF is the fact that no one is doped (which I think is a good thing BTW). There is much more parity. Everyone is conserving their energy for the Alps. It will get exciting starting next Tuesday. The last week will be crazy . . . I hope.

NKVD
Jul 16, 2009, 07:34 PM
i think they must use the self transfusion ''doping'' if this is doping. since there is a level of red blood cells to respect they are legally doped...

Formaldehyde
Jul 17, 2009, 12:40 PM
Did anybody else catch the referee car hitting the poor little doggy yseterday? The incident also almost caused one of the riders to crash into the car after it suddenly braked.

BTW go Lance!

dutchfire
Jul 17, 2009, 02:10 PM
Apparently Freire (and some other riders, like Dean) were shot during the race today! We'll see how that newsstory develops.

Linky-dinky (http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/freire-dean-shot-at-during-tour-stage)

Irish Caesar
Jul 17, 2009, 10:07 PM
Hm, I hadn't heard that. Good news that both are feeling good enough to start tomorrow.

It's a shame Levi broke his wrist; it's not the first time he's had to abandon, either. Bad racing luck, I guess?

Formaldehyde
Jul 18, 2009, 08:52 PM
I'm surprised there isn't more of that. Or perhaps some of the flats aren't accidents...

El Koeno
Jul 19, 2009, 05:13 AM
Fireworks today? I sure hope so.

Hopefully Kenny van Hummel (http://www.kennyvanhummel.com/) will make it. He's sort of the cult hero of this Tour. Well, at least for Dutch, who have little else to cheer for. :)

Irish Caesar
Jul 19, 2009, 05:21 AM
Yep, it'd be nice to see some shake-up in the GC. I would've loved to see George take the yellow yesterday... really, five seconds? If I was him, I think I'd almost have preferred to just get caught like every other breakaway.

And Kenny for lanterne rouge, I take it?

El Koeno
Jul 19, 2009, 05:26 AM
And Kenny for lanterne rouge, I take it?

Yes! If he makes it over the alps that is. You've got that extra 40 minutes of excitement after the first guy finishes before you know if Kenny made it. ;)

EDIT: Ooph... I just heard he had to let go already today. It's going to be a tough one for him.

Irish Caesar
Jul 19, 2009, 05:53 AM
How is the time limit for completing a stage determined? I've heard that it's being within a certain percent of the leader's finishing time, but that it's not a constant percent; that doesn't seem very consistent to me, though. Is it spelled out somewhere?

dutchfire
Jul 19, 2009, 06:35 AM
The percentage depends on the type of stage (mountain, flat, time trial etc.)

Sir Bugsy
Jul 19, 2009, 03:18 PM
Contador is looking very strong. Unless he has a complete breakdown, I can't see anyone beating him. Astana is going to protect him very well.

That being said, there are still two major mountain stages left, plus Ventoux is still out there.

El Koeno
Jul 19, 2009, 04:19 PM
Contador looks set to win this one. What's Wiggins going to do? He will need one hell of a time trial to beat Contador. While I enjoyed Contador's attack, I'm afraid it killed whatever excitement was left in the battle for the yellow jersey.

thetrooper
Jul 19, 2009, 04:27 PM
Contador was the only one not looking totally exhausted after todays stage. I hope we have a clean tour this year (yeah, I'm still naive).

Irish Caesar
Jul 20, 2009, 12:22 AM
No surprise there.

Contador looks like he's been wanting to go the entire time, and this was making up for what he didn't get the command to do in the Pyrenees. Oddly enough, Astana has been doing a lot of the pace to this point anyway...

I'm impressed with the old man, actually, I never expected he'd be running second at this point.

J-man
Jul 20, 2009, 05:17 AM
Finally some action! Very little happend until yesterday. This could become the most boring Tour I've ever seen.

Good work by Contador, Armstrong couldn't keep up. I hope Armstrong will attack in the Alps, for the excitment. I wonder what the other Astana members will do when this happens. Although this very unlikely of course.

Formaldehyde
Jul 20, 2009, 10:38 AM
It appears to be all over unless Contador has a huge mishap. Armstrong said he is happy to be his domestique from here on out.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/cycling/lancearmstrong/5871549/Tour-de-France-2009-Lance-Armstrong-happy-to-support-Alberto-Contador.html

El Koeno
Jul 20, 2009, 10:52 AM
Man, I just heard Kenny van Hummel made it... Incredible. I thought he was out. At some time I will have to start seriously respecting the guy. :)

Lambert Simnel
Jul 21, 2009, 09:56 AM
Anv views on the Cavendish vs Hushovd spat on the green jersey ? Linky (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/other_sports/cycling/8158113.stm)

Clearly Hushovd will keep the jersey now, but will it "have a stain on it" as Cavendish has suggested ?

El Koeno
Jul 21, 2009, 10:32 AM
Anv views on the Cavendish vs Hushovd spat on the green jersey ? Linky (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/other_sports/cycling/8158113.stm)

Clearly Hushovd will keep the jersey now, but will it "have a stain on it" as Cavendish has suggested ?

Nah, these things happen all the time, whether you agree with them or not.

Thank god for the Schlecks. They made today's stage exciting.

thetrooper
Jul 21, 2009, 11:11 AM
Clearly Hushovd will keep the jersey now, but will it "have a stain on it" as Cavendish has suggested ?

Hard to tell really. Cavendish is obviously the best sprinter, but Hushovd is by far the most dedicated to take 'sprint points' on the harder stages. He is also regarded as the toughest rider on the tour when it somes to downhill cycling. All sprinters have been disqualified at some point in their careers. The Cavendish case is not as obvious as previous ones. I remember McEwen ramming his head into O'Gradys' shoulder a few years back...

Hope Jens Voigt will be ok. Another hard blow to the Saxobank team.

Finally congrats to Astarloza!

J-man
Jul 21, 2009, 01:54 PM
Hope Jens Voigt will be ok. Another hard blow to the Saxobank team.

That was nasty fall! I think he face planted at like 60-70 kph!

thetrooper
Jul 21, 2009, 05:17 PM
That was nasty fall! I think he face planted at like 60-70 kph!

From what I've heard even more!

Apparently, and hopefully if this is true, he 'got away' with a fractured zygomatic, heavy concussion and lots of bruises. I have no idea how fractured his cheekbone is though. I guess that most of the front muscles are thoroughly beaten too! But that's peanuts compared to what could have happened.

Irish Caesar
Jul 21, 2009, 10:11 PM
Man, I just heard Kenny van Hummel made it... Incredible. I thought he was out. At some time I will have to start seriously respecting the guy. :)

And he lives to race another day!

Thank god for the Schlecks. They made today's stage exciting.

Indeed. It's good that Andy will be running with Contador for years to come; I'd hate to see Alberto dominate unchecked for the next few years.

It was also nice to see the old man plow up the mountain on his own, I was disappointed he didn't continue the acceleration once he caught up to the rest of the leaders. Once again, I'm curious if he'd have anything for his teammate (although I sincerely doubt it... he's probably happy he's racing with Contador instead of against him).

Finally congrats to Astarloza!

I was stunned when they said he'd never won a stage of anything before. I thought he was way too good to have never won... but of course, now he has.

That was nasty fall! I think he face planted at like 60-70 kph!

The guys in the Versus booth said almost 50 mph, so that's 80 kph... either way, I cringed pretty hard watching it. I'm glad he's "okay," though, I think that's the hardest crash I've ever seen.

J-man
Jul 22, 2009, 03:51 AM
The guys in the Versus booth said almost 50 mph, so that's 80 kph... either way, I cringed pretty hard watching it. I'm glad he's "okay," though, I think that's the hardest crash I've ever seen.

The worst crash I remember was when I was a kid and I watched the tour with my father in 1995 when Fabio Casartelli crashed at about 88 kph (55 mph) and hit a concrete block, he died. The guy was 24 and IIRC just married and his wife was pregnant. Very sad.

El Koeno
Jul 22, 2009, 04:33 AM
And he lives to race another day!


Today will be the toughest day for him. He jokingly said to Dutch TV that with all his practice lately, he might be a threat to Contador in the time trial. :)

thetrooper
Jul 22, 2009, 07:39 AM
What is happening?

Hushovd breakaway! :crazyeye:

thetrooper
Jul 22, 2009, 10:55 AM
Clearly Hushovd will keep the jersey now, but will it "have a stain on it" as Cavendish has suggested ?

No stains after what he did today:

...but Hushovd is by far the most dedicated to take 'sprint points' on the harder stages. He is also regarded as the toughest rider on the tour when it comes to downhill cycling.

Congrats to team Saxobank (or is it team Schleck now?)!

Even though they couldn't hammer Contador enough.

classical_hero
Jul 22, 2009, 10:55 AM
Well he did for the Green points and after that he just did what he normally did.

El Koeno
Jul 22, 2009, 12:35 PM
Great job by Hushovd today.

The Schlecks once again proved the Tour needs them to put some spice in the race. Still, I feel Contador could have won it if he went for it. Why did he wait? For Kloeden?

And the Kenny van Hummel story has ended. :(

thetrooper
Jul 22, 2009, 03:18 PM
The Schlecks once again proved the Tour needs them to put some spice in the race. Still, I feel Contador could have won it if he went for it. Why did he wait? For Kloeden?

Yeah, Contador could have won if he tried a little harder. I think he had full control for the last 30 km or so but didn't go out of respect for (the unlucky) Saxobank team. Voigt is a guy that 'everyone' on the tour respects and likes. Contador didn't even try the last 200 m - and the Schleck boys aren't exactly hard to beat in a sprint. There are no bonus seconds to grab anymore either. I'm disappointed by Sastre and Evans though. Sastre tried at least but you could easily see that it was a futile attempt.

Rik Meleet
Jul 22, 2009, 06:01 PM
Yeah, Contador could have won if he tried a little harder. I think he had full control for the last 30 km or so but didn't go out of respect for (the unlucky) Saxobank team. Voigt is a guy that 'everyone' on the tour respects and likes. Contador didn't even try the last 200 m - and the Schleck boys aren't exactly hard to beat in a sprint. There are no bonus seconds to grab anymore either. I'm disappointed by Sastre and Evans though. Sastre tried at least but you could easily see that it was a futile attempt.Contador didn't want to take any risks in the descent - trying to get rid of the Schlecks would mean a risky descent. Risky in the way of a fall and bye bye yellow jersey.

thetrooper
Jul 22, 2009, 06:05 PM
Contador isn't able to get rid of the Schlecks in any descent.

Sir Bugsy
Jul 22, 2009, 08:37 PM
Contador didn't need to get rid of the Schlecks. Short of a major crash or a major blow up, AC has this thing wrapped up. Actually I think all four jerseys are wrapped up, they just need to make it to Paris. The only question now is: who will have 2nd and 3rd on the podium?

SF23
Jul 22, 2009, 10:19 PM
WTF happened to Cadel Evans? He is 37 minutes down and he is behind guys like Hebert DuPont and Sylvain Chavanel, who aren't exactly great climbers. Also, it would appear that the coveted last in the GC position belongs to Yauheni Hutarovich now.

J-man
Jul 23, 2009, 12:51 PM
Impressive feat by Contador this day! He has pretty much won the Tour. Armstrong started out good but then 'collapsed'. I wonder if it is his old age or his preparation. I hoped that A. Schleck could pull of some miracle but he didn't.

thetrooper
Jul 23, 2009, 05:46 PM
A question for you all:

What makes Alberto Contador a great ITT cyclist?

I can understand why Cancellara and Wiggins are good...

J-man
Jul 24, 2009, 03:46 AM
He's very good at time trails and good in time stages. That's necessary to win the Tour. You don't need to have sprint capability.

thetrooper
Jul 24, 2009, 04:50 AM
ITT - Individual Time Trial

So I repeat, what makes Contador so good at ITT?

J-man
Jul 24, 2009, 05:30 AM
:lol: I thought you meant international tournament or something...

I've heard he has a very good aerobic capacity. He can transport a lot of oxygen to his muscles.

thetrooper
Jul 24, 2009, 06:16 AM
;)

Yeah, must be aerobic capacity. I'd like to see his values and compare them to people like Bjrn Dhlie and Miguel Indurain (both 96 mL O2 per kg (bodyweight) per minute) and Said Aouita (93).

El Koeno
Jul 24, 2009, 06:45 AM
Its also a mental thing. He really wanted to win today, and gave everything. Afterwards he said he had been beaten by Cancellara so many times in downhills, he did not want to have that happen today.

Why he wanted to beat Cancellara is beyond me, but I guess he thought he'd be quicker than Schlecks anyway, and by winning the ITT he'd proof to Armstrong who's boss.

dutchfire
Jul 24, 2009, 07:18 AM
Also, he took most of his time on the mountain (his speciality), while he lost to Cancellara downhill. And I think Cancellara might have been a bit tired, he's had to do a lot of work for the Schlecks.

J-man
Jul 24, 2009, 12:04 PM
Bye the way, about the aerobic capacity (VO2max).
Greg LeMond more or less suggested that Contador has used performance enhancing drugs. Based on a calculation that Contador had a VO2max of 99.5 on his ascent to Verbier (last Sunday's stage).

Cyclingnews.com has redone the calculations and finds a VO2max value of 80 mL/kg/min. (These calculations are more of an estimate) This is lower then Lance Armstrong (83.5 according to wikipedia) Indurain (88) and (ironically) Greg Lemond (92.5) Also according to wikipedia.

El Koeno
Jul 24, 2009, 12:31 PM
What a nice finish today. I don't think anyone expected Cavendish to pull this off. Rabobank certainly didn't... Armstrong managed to take a couple of seconds. Who know, combined with the time he take in the cross winds in the first week, it might be enough to get him in the third spot, based on cleverness.

Irish Caesar
Jul 26, 2009, 01:59 AM
Looks like it's all over. Not a bad little stage today... I was surprised just how evenly matched the contenders were up the mountain.

I've been impressed with Wiggins and Nibali this year, since I don't remember them from other Tours. Hat is also off to Kloden, that guy has been a tank.

Its also a mental thing. He really wanted to win today, and gave everything. Afterwards he said he had been beaten by Cancellara so many times in downhills, he did not want to have that happen today.

Why he wanted to beat Cancellara is beyond me, but I guess he thought he'd be quicker than Schlecks anyway, and by winning the ITT he'd proof to Armstrong who's boss.

He hasn't been a bad time trialist, though, has he? He ran a pretty respectable time trial last time he won. Makes sense to me that someone who can climb well would time well, I'm surprised the Schlecks don't time well by comparison.

Greg LeMond more or less suggested that Contador has used performance enhancing drugs.

He's said the same about Armstrong, too. Maybe he should keep his mouth shut and mind his business; the Tour has a proud history of booting your sorry saddle out of the race along with your team if they catch you.

dutchfire
Jul 26, 2009, 10:45 AM
Wow, that wasn't a sprint, no one even got close to Cavendish. Pure pwnage

thetrooper
Jul 26, 2009, 02:44 PM
Yeah, I told you so...

Hushovd made a big mistake there as he ended up too close to the fence trailing two Milram guys. I don't think he could've matched Cav today anyway - so don't attack me on that ;)

Congrats to all yerseys!

And a belated gratulation to Rabobank yesterday - a miserable tour all in all for that team.

The good: Cavendish, Contador, Hushovd, Pelizotti, Schleck brothers and the old man himself.

The bad: Sastre, Evans, Rabobank and Boonen.

The ugly: placeholder for riders caught when everything gets analyzed.

No dope so far?!?

That's good... Almost too good to be true, eh?

J-man
Jul 26, 2009, 03:58 PM
No dope so far?!?

That's good... Almost too good to be true, eh?

Yeah, that does sound to good to be true. It can still happen but I assume the riders have stopped using Cera, since it can be detected since 2007. Maybe there are now using a new substance that can't be detected.

thetrooper
Jul 26, 2009, 04:54 PM
Anyone using Cera will be caught - happened to Di Luca after Giro d'Italia. I guess that the tests are quite time-consuming. There are certainly a new generation of substances out there, but as I've said previously in this thread, the riders look more exhausted after the harder stages this year compared to previous ones. There is one exception but he is innocent until proven guilty.

Edit: and thanks for digging up some info on VO2(max) J-man.

:)

Darkness
Jul 27, 2009, 01:52 AM
Who would've thought that the most astute cycling observation from an American sports journalist about this years Tour de France would be SI's Peter King (who covers football, not cycling)....

"Armstrong Third in Tour de France.'' It's a great accomplishment that a man can sit out of such a competitive sport and then return as one of the oldest men in the race and finish third in the biggest bike race in the world. But as a teammate, Lance Armstrong strikes me as more Manny Ramirez than Tom Brady.

On the day when Astana teammate Alberto Contador virtually clinched the 2009 Tour de France title -- quite precisely, minutes after the stage was over and Contador all but copped the Tour -- Armstrong announced on his website, on a Twitter page and on a corporate website that he was forming a new team for 2010 in conjunction with RadioShack. How distasteful. How selfish.

Why couldn't Armstrong wait a few days? This day was a day to congratulate Contador and give the champ his due; instead, the New York Times (and I'm sure papers and media outlets around the world) focused on Armstrong forming a new team in that day's story about the Tour, rather than on Contador.


I've been browsing some US-based sports websites during the TdF and all (SI, ESPN, FOXsports, CBSsports) were only focussed on Lance Armstrong. Alberto Contador, Andy Schleck and everyone else really was just an afterthought. Pretty depressing level of sports journalism, IMHO.

But King hit it spot on: Armstrong = great champion, but selfish man and louzy teammate.
And still, even though Americans will never agree to this, not the best cyclist ever. That title remains with the Cannibal...

El Koeno
Jul 27, 2009, 04:09 AM
Anyone using Cera will be caught - happened to Di Luca after Giro d'Italia. I guess that the tests are quite time-consuming. There are certainly a new generation of substances out there, but as I've said previously in this thread, the riders look more exhausted after the harder stages this year compared to previous ones. There is one exception but he is innocent until proven guilty.

Edit: and thanks for digging up some info on VO2(max) J-man.

:)

I think the detection rates are still pretty lousy. I've heard than any protein analysis is hard to do, and likely to fail. They're probably focusing on riders with anomalies in their blood values, but even then it'll take some time to catch cheaters. I don't believe this sport is clean, but as long as I'm entertained, I'm satisfied.

Serutan
Jul 27, 2009, 11:24 AM
Who would've thought that the most astute cycling observation from an American sports journalist about this years Tour de France would be SI's Peter King (who covers football, not cycling)....


Very sad but true. The Versus (nee OLN) coverage, despite flatly stating that
there was tension within Astana, and giving other riders their due, was nauseatingly
fawning in their coverage of Lance. How he was a great teammate :rotfl: - Translation : it was obvious he didn't have enough to beat Contador, so it was now
"We have raised the chocorat from 30 grams to 25 grams" time.


But King hit it spot on: Armstrong = great champion, but selfish man and louzy teammate.


Lance has shown over time that he has quite the petty/vindictive streak, the timing
of the new team announcement being just the latest example of that. And it was also obvious that he was never going to do anything that would jeopardize his chance at a podium position (i.e. helping out Kloden).



And still, even though Americans will never agree to this, not the best cyclist ever. That title remains with the Cannibal...

This one does. :p

J-man
Jul 27, 2009, 11:51 AM
I think the detection rates are still pretty lousy. I've heard than any protein analysis is hard to do, and likely to fail. They're probably focusing on riders with anomalies in their blood values, but even then it'll take some time to catch cheaters. I don't believe this sport is clean, but as long as I'm entertained, I'm satisfied.

I thought that Cera can be detected because of some 'marker' that has been added to it by the company who makes it. I could be wrong though.

Cera is hard to detect in urine but (I assume) easy to detect in blood. Perhaps they should take blood samples instead of urine sample on suspected cyclists.

Formaldehyde
Jul 27, 2009, 01:56 PM
On the day when Astana teammate Alberto Contador virtually clinched the 2009 Tour de France title -- quite precisely, minutes after the stage was over and Contador all but copped the Tour -- Armstrong announced on his website, on a Twitter page and on a corporate website that he was forming a new team for 2010 in conjunction with RadioShack. How distasteful. How selfish.Yeah. How rude of him to use the publicity of his own incredible finish to help him with next year's effort.

Why couldn't Armstrong wait a few days? This day was a day to congratulate Contador and give the champ his due; instead, the New York Times (and I'm sure papers and media outlets around the world) focused on Armstrong forming a new team in that day's story about the Tour, rather than on Contador.That's not going to happen no matter what Armstrong does or doesn't do. Most people in the US could care less about any rider in the event who wasn't American. It's not a coincidence that a second-rate cable channel provides all the coverage of the race.

Ironically, Armstrong generating even more press in this way is actually helping Contodor and the rest of sport of cycling by keeping it in the public eye a bit longer than it otherwise would have been.

El Koeno
Jul 27, 2009, 03:38 PM
I thought that Cera can be detected because of some 'marker' that has been added to it by the company who makes it. I could be wrong though.

Cera is hard to detect in urine but (I assume) easy to detect in blood. Perhaps they should take blood samples instead of urine sample on suspected cyclists.

Hmm not sure. I remember that Roche indeed helped the anti-doping agencies to be be able to detect Cera. But I'm not sure about the detection rates.

Yeah. How rude of him to use the publicity of his own incredible finish to help him with next year's effort.


Except that he hadn't finished yet. The race was still on, and the rider he was supposed to be riding for just did a great time trial. It was a really pathetic move by Lance.

thetrooper
Jul 27, 2009, 05:41 PM
This picture (http://www.vg.no/sport/sykkel/tour-de-france/2009/artikkel.php?artid=564821) says everything there is to know about the rivalry in Astana ;)

Scroll down a bit. Never mind that the text is in Norwegian...

El Koeno
Jul 27, 2009, 06:04 PM
This picture (http://www.vg.no/sport/sykkel/tour-de-france/2009/artikkel.php?artid=564821) says everything there is to know about the rivalry in Astana ;)

Scroll down a bit. Never mind that the text is in Norwegian...

Awesome photo.

Serutan
Jul 27, 2009, 07:15 PM
The soap opera (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/other_sports/cycling/8170479.stm) beginneth.

Irish Caesar
Jul 27, 2009, 07:23 PM
Both guys are such team players that on the podium, they choose to wear the caps of their team. Oh, wait, no, Lance has his project on his cap and Alberto has his stupid pistol gesture he makes when he wins.

They both have massive egos, but so what? The personality behind the sport makes it more fun to watch. Any sport would kill to have this sort of rivalry.

Serutan
Jul 27, 2009, 09:33 PM
They both have massive egos, but so what? The personality behind the sport makes it more fun to watch. Any sport would kill to have this sort of rivalry.

This is true. What irks me is that a lot of the American media coverage seems to be trying to pretend that that is *not* true in Lance's case.

Formaldehyde
Jul 28, 2009, 12:13 AM
Except that he hadn't finished yet. The race was still on, and the rider he was supposed to be riding for just did a great time trial. It was a really pathetic move by Lance.Ah. I thought it as something he had done at the end of the Tour, not while it was still going on. i really don't know enough about bicycling to form an opinion about the appropriateness of that, but it does sound like a case of bad timing.

And I sense that some of you seem to resent Armstrong quite a bit from all the comments. I knew the French didn't like him from the coverage of previous races, but I didn't realize it had become the past time in Europe.

I think it is quite clear that Lance Armstrong has such a following in the US because he fought terminal cancer, not so much because he won the Tour de France multiple times. Most Americans still don't know who Greg LeMond was, and they could really care less about bicycling under normal conditions. And I think that reality likely reflects in the Versus reporting because they are trying to generate more interest to boost their ratings. If you haven't noticed yet, we are a very provincial country when it comes to international sports, and our sports coverage isn't exactly investigative journalism at its finest.

J-man
Jul 28, 2009, 03:47 AM
And I sense that some of you seem to resent Armstrong quite a bit from all the comments. I knew the French didn't like him from the coverage of previous races, but I didn't realize it had become the past time in Europe.

I don't resent Armstrong and I don't think other Europeans resent him (except the French :)). Keep in mind that the cycling world is a hard one and can be dirty. There has been mudslinging to Armstrong but also from Armstrong himself. I think Europeans are generally more informed of this because the sport is more popular here nad has more 'tradition'.

Darkness
Jul 28, 2009, 04:36 AM
And I sense that some of you seem to resent Armstrong quite a bit from all the comments. I knew the French didn't like him from the coverage of previous races, but I didn't realize it had become the past time in Europe.


Europeans, with the possible exception of a portion of the French, don't resent Armstrong at all. We're simple able to put his performances more in perspective (compared to Americans) due to the bigger awareness of cycling history and tradition.
For the record: I think he's the 2nd best cyclist ever. He worked extremely hard to achieve what he did and nothing but respect for him from me.



I think it is quite clear that Lance Armstrong has such a following in the US because he fought terminal cancer, not so much because he won the Tour de France multiple times.

Let's not get ahead of the facts here. Lance Armstrong had testicular cancer with metastasis to the brain and lungs. Terrible disease, but terminal cancer is something else alltogether. Armstrongs prognosis was poor, but people with terminal cancer are in the late stage of the disease and are dying without any hope of recovery whatsoever.
Semantics, perhaps, but there's a big difference between the disease that Lance Armstrong had and the disease you say he had...

El Koeno
Jul 28, 2009, 06:03 AM
And I sense that some of you seem to resent Armstrong quite a bit from all the comments. I knew the French didn't like him from the coverage of previous races, but I didn't realize it had become the past time in Europe.


Well, I used to respect Armstrong more than I do now. He has a great story, but Sastre said it best when he said that Lance is a great champion, but as a human being, he has a lot to learn. And because he could not win this tour, his negative side took the the upper hand this year. But anyway you put it, reaching the third place was quite an achievement.

Formaldehyde
Jul 28, 2009, 12:52 PM
I think Europeans are generally more informed of this because the sport is more popular here nad has more 'tradition'.There is no doubt about that. Bicycling in the US is probably 10 times more popular than it was a few decades ago, but it is still largely ignored for the most part.

Let's not get ahead of the facts here. Lance Armstrong had testicular cancer with metastasis to the brain and lungs. Terrible disease, but terminal cancer is something else alltogether. Armstrongs prognosis was poor, but people with terminal cancer are in the late stage of the disease and are dying without any hope of recovery whatsoever.
Semantics, perhaps, but there's a big difference between the disease that Lance Armstrong had and the disease you say he had...

I characterize terminal cancer as being any form where you are not expected to survive, not where you don't have "any hope of recovery whatsoever".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terminal_illness

Terminal illness is a medical term popularized in the 20th century to describe an active and malignant disease that cannot be cured or adequately treated and that is reasonably expected to result in the death of the patient. This term is more commonly used for progressive diseases such as cancer or advanced heart disease than for trauma. In popular use, it indicates a disease which will end the life of the sufferer.

Darkness
Jul 28, 2009, 01:09 PM
Ahh, the ultimate truth that is wikipedia... ;)


I characterize terminal cancer as being any form where you are not expected to survive, not where you don't have "any hope of recovery whatsoever".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terminal_illness

Let's just agree to disagree here. No need to go discuss this in a cycling thread...

Eniotna
Jul 28, 2009, 06:29 PM
I didn't like Armstrong and I think a fair part of cycling fans didn't either. This for the following reasons:

1) He dominated the Tour for 7 years. And no-one likes dominators. Poulidor has always been far more popular than Anquetil or Merckx.
2)The way he dominated. Every year, it was the same scenario: give the opposition a first slap in the face at the TTT then definatively crushing it in the first mountain stage. Then he would just let his team control the race and deal with the ones who still dared to attack him. Way to kill the excitement for the rest of the Tour! He'd always try to use the least possible energy during the race to achieve his goals and win the Tour. A very modern and very professional approach of cycling, but not the most popular. People want to see a winner with a bit more panache, someone who would take a risk, give everything he can or even more.
3)No offense, but he's an arrogant jerk.

There were also the doping allegations, but I think that since Operacion Puerto, people know better.

I think Armstrong is less hated this year, precisely because he lost and because he's more relaxed. Still, what he did to Contador this Tour sure doesn't make him friendlier.

Serutan
Jul 29, 2009, 09:04 AM
2)The way he dominated. Every year, it was the same scenario: give the opposition a first slap in the face at the TTT then definatively crushing it in the first mountain stage. Then he would just let his team control the race and deal with the ones who still dared to attack him. Way to kill the excitement for the rest of the Tour!

Indurain was even worse (more boring) in that respect. I don't think he ever won anything other than a TT in his yellow jersey years.

Jan H
Jul 29, 2009, 01:01 PM
I don't think he ever won anything other than a TT in his yellow jersey years.
iirc, that's true. He won two mountain stages, but that was when he was still the master-aid of Pedro Delgado.
On the other hand, I think he could have won more stages later in his carreer, but some say he let his opponents win the stages, to keep them happy, and so that he could focus on the overall standings... (I remember a stage in Lige, in 1995, where he escaped together with Johan Bruyneel)

MCdread
Jul 30, 2009, 04:09 PM
For the record: I think he's the 2nd best cyclist ever. He worked extremely hard to achieve what he did and nothing but respect for him from me.


Hmm... what abut Hinault? Surely he's the only guy that ever performed remotely close to Merckx's standars.

Anyway, I don't think europeans hate Armstrong systematically at all. I think even the french case is a bit blown out of proportion and he's admired by many people there. I suppose the ambiguous relation might stem from the fact that in his early winning years, many people at the top of the cycling hierarchy used his personal story to boost the popularity of the race and thus avoiding taking serious action to address the problems and unprecedented crisis that developed after the Festina affair (despite whichever opinion one has about doping and Armstrong).

A same development is taking place again this year btw, as the ASO bosses decided that the anti-doping rhetoric of the race organizers (ie, their employees) was devaluing their race. A few people were thus replaced and the Armstrong vs. Contador soap opera came at just the right time to quietly promote this change of attitudes.

J-man
Jul 30, 2009, 04:33 PM
Here's is the ranking of Daniel Marszalek
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Marszalek%27s_cyclist_ranking

Considered THE ranking in cycling. The latest is from 2007 so a little outdated.
Armstrong is ranked only 15th but that is mainly because he almost exclusively rode the Tour de France. Also, cyclists who where active in the eighties 'suffered' very though competition.

J-man
Jul 31, 2009, 10:49 AM
Astarloza has been caught in an out-of-competition doping check. I have no English source yet.

dutchfire
Jul 31, 2009, 12:20 PM
Alas, no clean tour again.

J-man
Jul 31, 2009, 12:25 PM
Alas, no clean tour again.

Few people expected this tour to be clean. After so many years of doping history, it's going to take a couple of years to root it out. If that's at all possible.

thetrooper
Jul 31, 2009, 05:10 PM
Finally congrats to Astarloza!

Oh well!

Another Spanish rider...

Another EPO CERA case?

I wonder how long this dope is effective - a week, a month, several months?

J-man
Aug 01, 2009, 04:35 AM
Oh well!

Another Spanish rider...

Another EPO CERA case?

I wonder how long this dope is effective - a week, a month, several months?

It's EPO, probably CERA but I don't know for sure.
CERA is the form of EPO with longest half-life of all forms of EPO. Probably effective about a month or so.

Serutan
Aug 02, 2009, 12:11 PM
How long does it take to process these tests? On the surface it seems awful smelly that they
waited until after the Tour to announce a drug test result from before the Tour.

J-man
Aug 02, 2009, 04:36 PM
How long does it take to process these tests? On the surface it seems awful smelly that they
waited until after the Tour to announce a drug test result from before the Tour.

Note sure but during the Tour they take a LOT samples, so I guess they still have lot wich are not processed.