Author Topic: Tour de France  (Read 658 times)

jim-ratliff

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Re: Tour de France
« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2011, 08:46:48 pm »
Schleck is likable sure, but likable has never won a bike race. You have to be brutal, you have to attack at the right moment with out thinking of any negative consquences, you have to put a hurt on your opponent while not making yourself hurt so bad you have to quit.  Shleck has the aggression of a bowl full of pudding, he will not win this tour.



Bushwacka:  He may not win, and we don't know what he has left for tomorrow, but "Bowl of Pudding Andy" certainly acted like a winner today, attacking at the right moment without worrying about the negative consequences.  No guts, no glory?
« Last Edit: July 22, 2011, 06:58:46 am by jim-ratliff »
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bushwacka

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Re: Tour de France
« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2011, 04:10:33 am »
Andy yesterday for sure proved me(and a bunch of other people) wrong.

LivingProof

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Re: Tour de France
« Reply #17 on: July 22, 2011, 02:18:08 pm »
Andy yesterday for sure proved me(and a bunch of other people) wrong.

Been said a million times, but, "that's why they play the game".....especially in a 21 day bike race.

I've really been impressed with Tom Voekler......the man just does not quit even in mountain terrain which is not his best area of performance. He yellow jersey with great distinction. While he will not win, he is a champion.

Prior to the Alps, I thought the TDF to be too predictable. Team leaders just covered each other, peloton wore down chase groups, sprint finish. More visually spectacular than great racing. But the last 2 days have been wonderful. Andy Schleck showed a lot of guts / brains yesterday with his breakaway.

Cadel Evans seems the intelligent rider who knows what is required to be in position to win on the last day of team racing in the time trial. He knew yesterday that he had to ride down Schleck, today, he knew not to work with Schleck so that he's ready for the showdown tomorrow.

A prediction is that Contador will not ride hard tomorrow as he does not to be on the stand in Paris to hear the nay-sayers. Not the same guy who destroyed the field in the Giro.

Andy or Cadel???? My guess is Cadel, but, if it's Andy then, all I can say is "very well done". Anybody else remember Greg Lemond riding down Fignot to win in a time trial that ended in Paris on the last day? He became a hero that day, lost a lot of the luster over the years.

Monday without the TDF will be a little boring. Here's too all that rode the TDF, better men than I ever was!

jim-ratliff

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Re: Tour de France
« Reply #18 on: July 22, 2011, 03:18:17 pm »

I agree.  I was beginning to understand and appreciate some of the sprinter's team logic, but other than that it was very boring and wasn't holding my interest.

And I too thought the Schleck strategy yesterday was awesome.  Send two guys out in the break-away so that IF Andy is able to get away he has pre-positioned support.  Keep Frank on Contador's wheel, and if Andy fails then it's on Frank's shoulders.  Team strategy -- and amazing how seldom there was much team around Contador!!

Absolutely agree with your assessment of Tom Voeckler -- his "all-in" efforts at honoring the yellow jersey have been suspense all by itself.

Winner tomorrow?  I think Andy holds on, only because there is enough mountain in the time trial to mitigate his individual weakness (plus, the Yellow Jersey gives you wings)?
Most admired?  Frank Shleck right behind Voeckler.  Playing the same role for Andy that George Hincapie did for Lance Armstrong.  I don't know whether Hincapie could have won on his own, and I don't know if Frank could, but I admire people who sacrifice themselves for the support of another.  I think there are 4 people that might have a real shot at the yellow tomorrow. (Can Voeckler come back from 2 minutes down in a time trial?)

 :( :(    But I now just read that Andy Schleck says that he hasn't even previewed the time trial course???  I will guarantee that Lance Armstrong would not have been that casual about what stands between him and the sealing the deal after the Alps.  I now believe that Andy won't win.  Too cavalier, will choke under the pressure and burn himself up somewhere along the way.

Compare his casual attitude with today's stage winner, who's ridden the Alpe d'Huez a dozen times in practice AND watched the cadence and pace of past winners.  Video in bike racing, now  THAT's preparation.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2011, 03:21:41 pm by jim-ratliff »
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midwif

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Re: Tour de France
« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2011, 04:28:37 pm »

 :( :(    But I now just read that Andy Schleck says that he hasn't even previewed the time trial course???  I will guarantee that Lance Armstrong would not have been that casual about what stands between him and the sealing the deal after the Alps.  I now believe that Andy won't win.  Too cavalier, will choke under the pressure and burn himself up somewhere along the way.

Compare his casual attitude with today's stage winner, who's ridden the Alpe d'Huez a dozen times in practice AND watched the cadence and pace of past winners.  Video in bike racing, now  THAT's preparation.

Unless he's said that to put off the competition. They may have the same reaction you did. And underestimate him.

Agreement on LA being the master of preparation for the TDF.
And all the noses in the air thru the years at his focus on just the TDF.
Did Contador lose the TDF in italy?
Or is the lack of "additives" in his diet, given the on-going allegations, that have lessened his riding style this race?

AAHH, conjecture. Fun.
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meput

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Re: Tour de France
« Reply #20 on: July 23, 2011, 09:00:39 pm »
Ah sweetness. The Tour is wonderful. Cadel rode a wonderful Tour. His time trial today was superb. To go from 57 seconds down to a 1 minute, 34 sec up is amazing. Voeckler once again has won the hearts of all cyclists by defending the the yellow jersey many more days than anybody thought he could. He did the yellow jersey proud in '04 and again this year. Contador rode well the last couple of days but rode dumb early in the Tour. Bottom line, he got stomped  :-*.

I love the Tour!

jim-ratliff

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Re: Tour de France
« Reply #21 on: July 25, 2011, 10:48:49 am »
Cadel and Voeckler are clearly the heroes of the Tour this year (along with Mark Cavendish's whole team).

Every time they needed to dig deeper to stay in contention or to defend the yellow jersey, they were able to do it.  And without much of the media fanfare surrounding the Schlecks and Contador.

It took a while this year for it to catch my interest, and now I'm sorry it's so soon over.  Needs more GC competition earlier in the Tour rather than merely three days at the end.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2011, 09:06:18 am by jim-ratliff »
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LivingProof

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Re: Tour de France
« Reply #22 on: July 26, 2011, 07:42:47 am »
Jim,
Agreed that if there is a down side to the TDF, it's modern team based cycling makes it impossible for an all-around rider to win the tour, unless, that person happens to be an excellent climber and therefore very light in weight. I believe Evans weights 150 pounds, but looking at him, he appears muscular. The Alps stages rule and it takes 17 days just to get there. Are there any other sports where it takes a team to win, but, one person is crowned the champion

As I said above, I'm in awe of the physical ability of TDF riders just to get to Paris.

Well done Cadel both in the physical and the tactical sides. In the final time trial, the difference in the body type and power of Evans vs Andy was stunning. Man vs boy.

Just a final comment on Lynn's thoughts about Contador's performance. It's been said many times that to win, things have to go perfectly in the Tour.  Loosing time early due to a road crash, then falling himself several times, possibly having minor injuries all combine to a sum total larger than any one factor. It never seemed his team really worked or supported him, heck, his biggest ally was another Spanish rider on a different team. Armstong always stated that Contador does not develop team support and provide the recognition. Evans was mobbed by a very happy team at the end of the last ride, and, it seemed they were all ecstatic to see him win. Did Saxo Bank know Alberto just did not have it in him, or, perhaps his team was making a statement?

There's always next July (and next ski season which will come in several months :D)

midwif

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Re: Tour de France
« Reply #23 on: July 26, 2011, 07:29:05 pm »
LP
Jim and I noted the same lack of "team support" you did.
For Contador to not have the support of a team built for him,
he really has to have done things to foment that kind of or lack of ) sentiment.

Hats off to Evans, Cavendish and " The Schlecks". These guys all work hard
and seem to endear the kind of sentiment that leads to the best support of those around them

Makes one appreciate the team that Lance built around him even more.
I remember my spanish brother in law saying that Roberto Herreras was obviously as good as LA. ( This was when RH was a domestique on LA's team, I can't remember if USPS or Radio Shack)
Herreras had helped Lance make it up thru the Alps and position himself for the climbing wins.

Tthe following year, when RH DID HAVE a team built around him, he..... broke his leg. Badly. Never really made it back.
I seem to remember him then being implicated in the drug scandals in spain.

I spent the past 2 wks of the TDF working almost non-stop. My thanks to Jim for the daily updates via text.

Vive la Text!

Sweltering in NYC.

Lynn (TDF fan and winter ski enthusiast)

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ToddW

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Re: Tour de France
« Reply #24 on: July 26, 2011, 08:48:53 pm »
Lynn (TDF fan and winter ski enthusiast)

Lynn,

Since you won't be using it, may I lay claim to your share of Fall and Spring snow?  I'll trade you some of my hot air to inflate your bicycle tires with in exchange for your share of spring snow.  Hot air makes for lighter-than-air tires -- hills have never seemed so easy as they will when I get your spring snow.



jim-ratliff

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Re: Tour de France
« Reply #25 on: July 26, 2011, 09:00:28 pm »
Todd:
I hate to disappoint you, but Lynn has no shortage of hot air and therefore doesn't have any reason to make the trade that you suggest, unless of course you are offering to deliver said warm air to the Seagull Classic in October (just in case we have an early fall)?


Lynn:
And I'm sure Roberto was completely objective in saying that Herreras was as good as Lance. By the way, what's his opinion of Contador and of Sammy Sanchez??
« Last Edit: July 26, 2011, 09:55:10 pm by jim-ratliff »
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midwif

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Re: Tour de France
« Reply #26 on: July 27, 2011, 09:18:09 am »
I think I've been insulted. In fact, I'm sure of it! :o

I'll have to ask my Br-in-lw about the spanish take on Contador and Sanchez. I
don't think he really follows the TDF closely, but anytime a spaniard is doing well internationally,
the whole country takes notice and national pride/opinions swell.

L.

Full of hot air indeed...Hummpphhh ???

 ;) :D
"Play it Sam"

jim-ratliff

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Re: Tour de France
« Reply #27 on: July 27, 2011, 11:38:24 am »
I think I've been insulted. In fact, I'm sure of it! :o

Full of hot air indeed...Hummpphhh ???

 ;) :D


 :o :o   Nay, Nay, my Bronx Belle of puckish wit and charm.  (and whose birthday is tomorrow).
I DID NOT say that YOU were full of hot air, only that you had no current shortage of Hot Air and that, therefore, Todd's offer was probably of little interest.  Me thinks you jumped to a wrong conclusion -- being a bit over sensitive perhaps?   

Perhaps the fall over the handlebars and onto your noggin' has affected your normally clear headed reasoning pow'rs?


===> There is hot air a'plenty across the eastern two thirds of these United States these days (and only in Washington is most of it not due to the weather).
« Last Edit: July 27, 2011, 01:22:16 pm by jim-ratliff »
"If you're gonna play the game boy, ya gotta learn to play it right."