Odd course for today. Two fairly tough climbs, and then a lengthy straightaway:
Can an attack succeed here? I would guess not, but that second climb, up the Col du Granier (8.6% gradient) might cause a contender to suffer. A close-up:
It's a bit odd, but not hard to see what they're doing; you wipe out the sprinters, then throw the doors open to anyone else who wants a stage win. That last rise near the end is tailor-made for an attack.
This is a day off for GC, in theory.
I'm going to take a slight chance in my prediction here but I predict that every guy will be full of PEDs
Ok, I guess I'll just have to start making this post in every single baseball thread that comes up since we can't seem to go a stage thread without it.
I'm sorry I didn't mean to mischaracterize the riders. I know Lance Armstrong never ever used any of them. He just beat all of the riders who were full of PEDs by natural talent and heart alone.
Indeed. Name one.
(for my views on Lance feel free to read my diary on the topic, but only if you're not afraid of the idea that PEDs are widespread in almost all sports).
I read and enjoyed your diary. Good work on that. That basically is my view also that PEDs are widespread throughout all of sports and it really doesn't tarnish any sort of legacy for me. It is more of a fun thing to make jokes about.
I've been on the record many times amongst my friends in that there is absolutely zero chance that I personally wouldn't take PEDs if I was an elite athlete. Especially while in college, where you are never going to test positive and the difference in pay of profesional sports between getting drafted in the 1st and 2nd rounds is vast.
Even looking back at my high school football team, there were 4 or 5 of our 14-15 starters that were using roids (not me). I have to go, but point being I'm not naive enough to think only a small percentage of the athlete demographic is using. I also think there is no way in hell Lance didn't use.
Sidenote: I was wondering how there were so many Tour de France fans because personally I have never met one. Your story makes sense though that the small fandom that the sport possesses happened during the Lance Armstorng run.
Regarding fandom, it really depends on where you are. I make an annual trip to Colorado every fourth of July to climb and backpack and just about every bar with a tv will have the tour on with people glued to it throughout the day. Back in MI, not so much.
Born and raised in Michigan so this could help explain why I have never met an avid Tour fan.
I got into the Tour when I was in France a few years back when it was going on. It is an incredible spectacle to see firsthand. There are tourists from all over the world there, and many of them follow the route of the Tour in their RVs (or bike it themselves). It's like a giant, moving street party. When you see some of the roads these guys go on - very narrow roads with hairpin turns and steep climbs - you can't believe there aren't far more crashes or withdrawls. As a spectator, you can get really close to the action (which occasionally has led to crashes), and when the race is over, it's pretty easy to go and talk to the riders after. It's a very different experience than any other sporting event I've been to.
I've got to go back one of these years. When I was there, there were no French riders in any kind of contention. I was told that if there is one, the atmosphere is absolutely nuts. I thought it was pretty lively as it was.
(Seriously) cool story man. Sounds like fun to witness in person.
Nice, reasoned rejoinder. I appreciate that.
Stop it. Believe it or not, it's possible to be an American cycling fan and not be a Lance fanboy.
If you indeed believe that PEDs are a problem across sports (which I agree with, incidentally), then I look forward to your posts about this in other sports' threads.
You are misinterpreting me if you believe that I think PEDs are a "problem." I don't really care at all. In fact, I might even prefer my athletes to be taking them. It makes for a more exciting game. Also, who am I to judge someone if the best way to put food on the table for their family is to take some steroids or whatever. I went to Michigan and am currently in law school and I will never make as much money as some of the guys who took all these PEDs to get into an early draft position in the NFL, NBA, MLB, etc.
For the avid sports fan who doesn't care at all about sports like this and basically only gets general content from ESPN, I feel like the Tour de France is known for two things; Lance Armstrong and PEDs. That is it. Which is why I felt the need to post a PED comment.
waste of a day. why can't we have an 8% mountain top finish this year.
This stage is tailor-made for Peter Sagan... again. No one has the sprinting power an climbing ability.
Wouldn't be too surprising to see Sagan shine here again.
Also, I'm hoping that TJ can hold that white jersey. I love rooting for the American guys, especially when they have such a bright future ahead of them.
Well, he's pretty much got a 50-50 shot. He's got only one real competitor now:
1. Van Garderen (USA) ---
2. Pinot (FRA) 1'54"
3. Taaramae (EST) 27'55"
Pinot seems to be a more consistent climber and is gaining strength as the Tour goes on. It'll be a battle. TJVG seems to be a better time trialist, so if he can keep pace through the Pyrenees, I think he'll win the jersey.
like the small mountain stage that Thor took last year. Really looking forward to watching tonight. Maybe a guy like Chavanel today? (although it is hard to argue against Sagan.
As for the PED crap...if you don't like the sport no need to troll this thread. The sport has had and does have a problem, but it is still fantasic to watch.
Looks like the peloton is giving up the chase. Kinda interesting considering most of the sprinters made it over the climbs ok. Maybe everyone just wants a day to recover. Almost 13 min gap with 44 km to go. Looks like a day for the breakaway.
Also smart riding by Kiserlovski to wipe out the KOM points for his teammate Kessiakoff who leads the competition while placing himself well in the KOM competition.
whooo! I love me some Millar! Great win by the old man.
Matt Goss is relegated for moving off his line in the sprint for 6th with Sagan. Since the two had opened a gap to the next riders, Goss only loses one spot (6th to 7th) however he is docked 30 points in the green jersey competition, giving Sagan a commanding margin.
Question the logic of the decision? Fresh on the heels of my endorsement of Cyclocosm.com for videos, here is the defining description of sprinting rules. I really can't speak highly enough of Cosmo's HTRWW series, it's worth spending an hour or two digging through them to see his sharp-snark summaries of races, even if the races are old.
This video is old but precisely explains the rules that Goss violated. Now, if he had just drifted at an angle to give Sagan a longer trip around, he wouldnt have been dinged for it; but he made a sharp move just as Sagan was pulling around, forcing Sagan to slow and nearly unclip, cutting him off, a clear violation. If Sagan hadn't pulled up just right he could have crashed, which would have been a disaster--particularly with the yellow jersey near the front to stay out of trouble.
I haven't seen the video of the sprint yet (on non-decisive days, I watch the text news feed at work and DVR recording when I get home). Seems like it's as you say, it was subtle but Sagan was forced to take evasive action to avoid a crash. Kinda sucks they docked Goss as many points as they did. That's heck of a lead Sagan has now over everyone else.
Not the best stage. It would have been better if they'd gone the other way, with the climbs at the end. The straightaway here was too long for any mountain attack to have much of a chance. I liked that Wiggins gave it a try, though.