It's a grown man's bike race today:
Not one, not two, but three hors-catégorie climbs. Yikes.
Time for everyone to lay it on the line. Should be fun to watch.
Go Thomas Voeckler.
My buddy who I went to elementary school with is racing in this...crazy!
Team would that Be ?
Brent Bookwalter. He is a Domestique on team BMC and has proven pretty valuable. IMO Evans rode himself into yellow come Sunday in today's gutsy performance.
Freekin' interviews- have to set the DVR.
Contador is the same as Chef Skinner from Ratatouille
Hahlol that's awesome!
Really looking forward to seeing what happens, I have a feeling that having a few teammates around until the final climb could pay off for whoever has the strongest team. Sanchez and Contador will attack like mad men on the final climb if there is no separation. Poor Voeckler is going to kill himself to keep Yellow but he cannot do it, can he?
Voeckler does have a surprisingly strong teammate in Pierre Rolland. On the Plateau de Beille, Rolland was the only domestique climbing there with the big names. If that happens again, Tommy V might stay in yellow one more day.
Can someone explain how this works? Do riders work as teams? Was lance with a team when he won his races? How come only he is mentioned if he was part of a team? I'm a little confused can someone explain how it works
There are 18 teams, each one has 9 riders, every team picks a "capitan" or 2 who will be their bet at winning the whole tour and everybody else is there to help them acomplish that, some teams will try to get another goals though, like HTC Highroad which is trying to get the green jersey (as they have the best sprinter in the tour), there are teams like Leopard Trek that has 2 capitans (Schlek brothers) and teams like Saxobank which only has Contador as it's strong card and everybody else in the team is there to help him and nothing more, so there are teams that seek stage victories, others seek the Tour itself, Point championship (green jersey) etc.
To go further, some of this riders job is to help their capitains, set the pace, organize the pursuit, slow down some other riders (If they are in a get away for example), cut the wind, hand their wheels (or the whole bike for that matter) etc.. There are also stages like a Team Time Trial in which the average time of the team counts towards each ones personal time, and there´s a Team championship also.
Paolo Salvodelli, George Hincapié, Chris Horner, Levi Leipheimer, Yaroslav Popovych among others were Lance's teammates
There are 22 teams - 18 that qualify and four that are invited as wild cards by the Tour (usually local teams). Voeckler's Europcar team was actually a wild card, but now is in third place overall.
I thought Europcar was a pro tour team, has almost the same riders as bouygues telecom had (unless they were a continental team also) thanks, it's really hard to keep the track of all those teams
Hmm, someone doesn't like Cycling.....
Upvoted everyone ha!
Considering they aren't the best time trialists - today is their make or break day.
I think this will be Frank's year. Andy should just pace him through today
I really hope you are wrong and the Schlecks crack themselves out of the podium. With the way they piss and moan now, I can only imagine the sense of entitlement if one of them actually wins the damn thing.
Anyone but the Schlecks!
Well Andy Schleck has attacked already, 60 kms to go still, looks like it'll be a great race
....that you couldn't possibly be an Evans fan.
Today must hurt.
Tomorrow Frank may have a breakaway day .. possibly with Ivan Basso
Man, it's hard to fathom the shape these guys are in, doping or no. I climbed Alpe d'Huez about 10 years ago. At the time, I was racing Cat 4 (strong enough not to be dropped, but nowhere near the lead). It took every bit of will I had to get up that awful mountain (the switchbacks are just indescribably hard on both legs and head). I slept 14 hours that nite, could barely walk the next day and couldn't get on the bike for like 4 days afterward. To do three of those climbs the same ride, then race the next day...
I think the Schleks must attack the second mountain. After watching yesterday, if Contador/Sanchez is with them at the second summit, they will ride away on the descent and go into full attack mode on the 3rd mountain.
Going into the 3rd mountain I think all the favorites will be even with each other and this race will break wide open with attack after attack and someone will crack and someone will set themselves apart from the rest.
Here is to hoping Cav and the other sprinters make it through this hellish day, Paris would be quite boring without the main sprinters in the end.
Back on French Soil . . .
Can we get a "Live Thread?"
Andy Schleck had something in reserve after all. It's going to be a heck of a finish.
Monfort is really providing incredible service to Schleck. He's gotten him an extra 30 seconds on the chase group. 3.40 lead now is going to be tough to make up unless schleck cracks (and ths headwind might just do that).
Voeckler's not looking like he's going to win the Tour, but Versus could at least include him in the "virtual leaderboard." He is in second place, not Evans.
Pierre Rolland is once again at his side. He's doing monster work.
Schleck's breakaway down to 3 rider. Schleck still looks strong and pushing the pace. I don't like him but this has been an amazing ride.
Contador's moving up to lead the chase. All the domestiques in this chase really fell short in not closing Schleck's lead. Contador's got no choice but to try to go himself if he wants to win the tour.
Evans pissed at the lack of effort riders, especially voelker are putting into this. Voelker looks content to wheel-suck and just try for the final podium.
WHAT IS GOING ON!? WHY IS NO ONE FROM THE MAILLOT JAUNE GROUP HELPING TO CHASE!? They need to man up or Schleck is stamping this one as his own. He has put in a monster attack, that very well may silence his competitors. He is on form today.
Right on queue, the man, Cadel takes off. I knew he would be the one to do it. Cut this down, Cadel. Make it interesting.
Schleck now climbing out of the saddle. Can he keep this up? And can this chase get their act together? He's got 4 minutes on the others.
Damn. Schleck just drops Iglickski without seemingly any effort at all. Just kicks the pace up and ... goodbye. All alone now.
Is Schleck finally starting to fade? Evans might be closing the gap a bit.
Loosing a lot of respect for Contador, he's not showing any signs of attacking. Or even really helping the chase. Evans is really impressive right now, doing all the work. Going to be a painful and lonely next couple miles for Schleck.
Voeckler's quietly having a terrific ride. If he's got anything in the tank, with an attack he just might snatch back the jersey. If only he hadn't gone off the road yesterday during the descent.
Did anyone else just see The Mask running behind Schleck!? Awesome. That's a new one.
Contador is popped! Getting dropped like a dog now! This is getting wild.
Voelker is really fghting to keep the yellow jersey. Much stronger than anyone thought.
Voeckler keeps the yellow!
IMO they will finish as a group tomorrow, with Evans taking yellow on Sunday. Schleck 2nd, Voeckler 3rd.
Just looking at that makes me want to vomit.
I was thinking that the GC guys would all end together, obvs not the entire peloton (if there even is a recognizable peloton at the end of the stage). Although it does look more and more like Frank may just have a go at it and put Evans in a lurch.
FWIW, I think 2004 was a TT climb of Alpe d'Huez (which was a bad decision by the organizers, I seem to recall several collisions between riders and spectators).
Given how drained they all looked at the end today, you maY be right. That said, it's hard to keep a group together on that final climb, especially if someone's pushing the pace. Seconds are really at a premium now, so I wouldn't be surprised to see an attacks at the end and either evans or schleck pick up 20 seconds that could make all the difference. There's no way we'll see the kind of 60 km break we saw today, though (even though the stage sets up for it with the initial hors catagorie climb).
Agree. It's a long TT and Evans will make up the time.
l'Alpe d' Huez
Tommy Voeckler! Wow, i had the stage Dvr'd. Holy cow. I love this race!
I also DVR the race, and actually watch with my bike set up in front of the TV on a trainer (thank you Kurt Kinetic, and it is so much nicer than riding in the 110 degree heat).
nice to see someone with some balls, that was an impressive attack. Tomorrow will be really interesting. Andy worked hard today, and Evans worked to catch him. Watch for frank to attack on the final climb.
Voeckler needs to win this stage. Let it all hang out and go.
That is a long descent Perfect time and place to do it.
If Voeckler can do this, France has a new national hero.