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Tour de France 2011

Discussion in 'Sports Talk' started by dutchfire, Jul 2, 2011.

  1. Tacit_Exit

    Tacit_Exit King

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    If I hear Phil Liggett or that other commentator say 'job of work' one more time . . .

    Most annoying, inane and pointless saying.

    Carry on, just had to get that off my chest :D
     
  2. trader/warrior

    trader/warrior Deity

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    Show your awesome downhill skills Hushovd! You can catch that mountain goat!

    Edit: W00T!!!
     
  3. rugbyLEAGUEfan

    rugbyLEAGUEfan Deity

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    Could someone give me a hand confirming my vague understanding of the rules and tactics from here on in ? I'm really only getting into this properly for the first time so excuse my ignorance . Bare in mind I'm also watching from a very Evanscentric viewpoint .

    I'm assuming only 5 guys can realistically win . The Schleck brothers , Contador , Evans and Basso(?) . So these 5 guys watch out for each other more than someone who breaks away trying to win a stage but can't win the Tour . The second last stage is a time trial and ultimately decides the winner as the final stage is actually processional and you are not meant to challenge the leader . So good so far ?

    The time trail simply adds this time to your existing time , so if Evans trails the leader by 9 seconds but picks up 10 seconds on him in the TT he wins the Tour . Evans is considered the strongest at this discipline and would therefore be content just to go into this stage a few seconds behind Schleck and try to win from there . It is impossible for Contador to pick up the minute or so he is behind in the TT , so at some point he has to win a stage to get back into it .

    Have I sort of got this right ? Would really appreciate some feedback cause it will greatly add to my enjoyment of the concluding stages if I have my head around this . Definitely a convert to this awesome event .
     
  4. MCdread

    MCdread Couldn't she get drowned?

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    I'd say so. Samuel Sanchez is a bit too far back, but can still podium. Cunego is there but you always expect him to lose 8 minutes at some point.

    Yes, but it can be a bit more complex. Alliances can be forged during the race, a stage or parts of a stage and other type of tactics can play a big role. For example, Ivan Basso is what some times people call a "diesel climber", i.e., he doesn't have the sudden bursts of acceleration of the Schlecks or Contador, but he can slowly increase his pace and keep a steady rhythm. If he's in form few riders can follow for too long. Therefore, if Contador attacks he might decide not to respond and climb at his own rhythm. In the past Evans usually would try to go to his limit and react to these attacks. Eventually, he'd become cooked. So maybe in a situation where one of the Schlecks or Contador try to go away it might be more beneficial to him to ally with Basso, pace each other up and try to catch up later.
    Fränk Schleck is considered the lesser of the 2 brothers and at least until he gets too big an advantage, others might try to respond to Andy's attacks but let Fränk go. Andy would then not chase his own brother (and teammate) and his threat is therefore neutralized.
    If the race finishes after a downhill following a long climb, and someone like Samuel Sanchez attacks then you might want to try to follow him and leave your competitors behind because Sanchez is considered an excellent descender and you can perhaps gain more time by following him in the descent rather than attack before a mountaintop finish.

    There's an implanted honour system in the peloton as well. Like rider X helped Y in some race last year. Rider Y will now help X. These things are not apparent sometimes.

    Then there's also team tactics. Many times teams try to put one or two of their riders in a long breakaway on a mountain stage day. The idea is that, after the final selection is made and only the favourites remain in the main group, there'll be a guy to help you out ahead in case of need. Obviously the team leaders will not react to these attacks themselves but their teammates are often very busy trying to figure this out, responding, "choosing" the ones to let go and the ones to react to, etc.


    I'm not sure Evans is that much stronger than Contador in the time trial. If Contador keeps struggling yeah, but otherwise I'd say a healthy Contador could beat Evans in a 42 Km hilly TT.
    Some people say Andy has improved but I'm not sure. In any case, Evans has twice gone to the last TT with a good chance of overcoming the deficit and win, and failed both times, so predictions are hard to make for the final TT. Part of the reason is that it comes after 3 hard weeks of racing, so it's usually not about who is the best in the discipline but how tired and motivated one is. Amongst many other examples: Contador, even though he's more than a decent TTrialits, beat Cancellara, one of the all-time greats in the discipline, 2 years ago, and Pantani was 3rd in 1998 defending his yellow jersey, after placing 180th in the prologue (the short TT that used to be the start of the Tour until a couple of years ago) 3 weeks before.
     
  5. rugbyLEAGUEfan

    rugbyLEAGUEfan Deity

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    Thanks I appreciate it . What is a realistic deficit that can be made up in the final TT ? Is the 1.54 that Contador is behind too far ? Am I right in saying at some point he has to attack ?
     
  6. MCdread

    MCdread Couldn't she get drowned?

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    Oh yeah, most definitely!
    At best Contador would need to be level with Evans and maybe a minute down on Schleck to make it a contest and plant seeds of doubt on them. But ideally, he should take more than that on Evans.
    If he's feeling okay, he has to attack before the last climb. Who knows, maybe he and the Schlecks will form a partnership today to get rid of Evans and Basso, and then Contador and Andy Schleck settle it out between themselves next week.

    Edit: Although it seems more likely that if any alliances are forged today, it's more like everyone uniting for the common goal of eliminating Contador while he seems vulnerable instead of waiting for him to possibly recover before the Alps next week.
     
  7. MCdread

    MCdread Couldn't she get drowned?

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    And to illustrate on the subject of teams, you can already see that Leopard has put Voigt and Gerdemann on the breakaway today, which is an indication that the Schlecks are planning to do something today (whether they'll be able to do so on the moment is a different matter, cycling and the riders' physical condition is very unpredictable). These guys are not there to win the stage but to help their leaders later on. Ditto for BMC and Liquigas who are also represented on the break.
     
  8. dutchfire

    dutchfire Moderator Moderator

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    Incredible job by Hushovd yesterday!
     
  9. Formaldehyde

    Formaldehyde Both Fair And Balanced

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    I really felt sorry for Roy though - what a gallant effort to try to win the stage...
     
  10. Eniotna

    Eniotna Warlord

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    Jelle Vanendert :cool: :cool: :cool:

    If this continues like this, Voeckler is going to win the Tour :lol:
     
  11. MCdread

    MCdread Couldn't she get drowned?

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    Is Andy scared of dropping his brother or what? Fränk is ballast on Andy, just like 2 years ago. Telling that the year Andy almost won the Tour - last year - was the year Fränk crashed out of the race...
    Leopard is doing a very bad race imo: Fuglsang can't help in the mountains and their secondary riders drop each other out of the péloton constantly at the early part of the climbs and then they have no one to set the high tempo they want.
     
  12. Darkness

    Darkness Shadow creature

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    IMHO Leopard is trying very hard not to choose on which of the Schleck brothers it wants to bet to win the race. Andy held back to avoid dropping Frank today (team strategy?)...

    I wonder if this will come back to haunt them. They just gave Contador more time to recover.

    Evans was solid again, but his lack of decisiveness might hurt him in the long run. He's not good at the stop-and-go thing, so why not just set a really strong pace by himself and see if they all can follow (and at the very least at a faster pace there will be fewer breakaways)....
     
  13. kronic

    kronic Deity

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    That's what Ullrich tried to do against Armstrong all the time. Never worked out.
     
  14. Jan H

    Jan H Prince

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    He lives in the same town as me :goodjob:
    I heard that the city counsel is already planning a party for when he returns home after the tour... :D
     
  15. Serutan

    Serutan Eatibus Anythingibus

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    Is it just me, or do the 'big names' the last couple of years seem to be scared of trying an all out
    attack a la Vino/Pantani/Armstrong? Just seems no contender is willing to go for it, and it makes for boring mountain stages.

    McDread - I'm thinking if the pre-race favorites are more interested in marking each other than trying to stomp everyone into the dust, Voeckler could have the last laugh on the podium. What do you think?
     
  16. Darkness

    Darkness Shadow creature

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    Tricky stage today, with the top of the col de Manse at 12 km before the finishline at Gap. With the rains forecasted for today that last descent into Gap could be a bit dangerous....
     
  17. Eniotna

    Eniotna Warlord

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    Indeed, it is really frustrating. I think the attacking-spirited rider is Contador but either his directeur sportif is discouraging to do so, or he doesn't have the legs to do it. (or both)

    I don't think Voeckler can really win it though. The favourites usually give their best shot in the last mountain stage. And at that point, I think Voeckler will be dropped. Voeckler is someone who can answer well on an accelaration, but if the big guns decide to continue on a steady rhythm, they will get rid of 'Voeckler for sure.

    There's been a snowstorm on the Galibier two days ago though, and the weather forecast says there could be more snow on Wednesday and/or Thursday. The Galibier is to be climbed on those two days (the most difficult Alpine stages) and if there's snow, the directors might change the route of those stages to avoid the Galibier, which would (allegedly) be bad news for the Schlecks and Contador.
     
  18. Boundless

    Boundless Deity

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    So crushed for Wiggins, he was in with a real chance this year after winning Switzerland and then goes and crashes out breaking his collarbone :(.
    Come on Cavendish! 19th stage win now, that's.. er.. winning!
     
  19. Rik Meleet

    Rik Meleet Top predator Retired Moderator

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    Great stage today. :)
     
  20. Volum

    Volum The Zapper

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    "It was just like the Norwegian Championship" - Thor Hushovd.

    And if your thinking 3. placed Ryder Hesjedal has an unusual last name for a Canadian its because his great-grandparents emigrated from..........Guess ;)


    But the entire stage was good today, alltough extra from a Norwegian point of view ofcourse :)
     

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