Tour de France

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Paquito
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Tour de France

Post by Paquito » Thu Jul 03, 2008 2:28 pm

This year's event starts on Saturday and it looks like a particularly open race. Cadel Evans has been installed as the favourite in the absence of Contador and the Astana team, with the likes of Alejandro Valverde and Denis Menchov being mentioned too. I guess Carlos Sastre will continue to be there or thereabouts but 2 to look out for are Riccardo Ricco, a brash climber and maybe, just maybe, the heir to Pantani's throne. He probably should have won the Giro d'Italia but his timetrialling skills aren't great. One other who can climb and time trial is Samuel Sanchez of Euskaltel - he was very impressive in last year's Vuelta and could be an outside bet for a podium finish.

Whatever happens, I just hope it's an exciting race and that we can get through 3 weeks without there being some sort of drug story.

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Re: Tour de France 2008

Post by Jono Volpone » Thu Jul 03, 2008 9:31 pm

I wish I could still watch it on TV. I really miss it, but we don't have Sky or Cable or whatever and it's no longer on terrestrial:-( I'll try and watch some of it online though, as I did with the Giro.
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Re: Tour de France 2008

Post by Martijn » Sat Jul 05, 2008 10:21 am

It's the only time of the year that I kind of regret not having a TV. This year, we'll even be without internet for most of the event, so I won't see much of it I'm afraid.

I'm quickly losing touch with all the names, there's quite a few participants this year that I hadn't heard of before. It's nice though, Ullrich and Basso and Jacksche and all those got very boring. I just think Cunego might do well.

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Re: Tour de France 2008

Post by Concrete » Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:55 pm

I was planning to go and watch the start this year, as it was in Brittany, so not very far. But then my friends decided they were broke, busy putting on art exhibitions this week or unable to make it, so it kind of fell through. As it is, I've not really followed it, but will no doubt catch up soon. Millar did well today though, didn't he? Was that expected before the stage, form-wise, or are we going to hear about a failed drugs test next week?

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Re: Tour de France 2008

Post by Paquito » Wed Jul 09, 2008 9:22 am

Watching the highlights last night, the ITV interviewer aggressively asked Stefan Schumacher about his arrest for drunk driving and the subsequent finding of amphetamines in his bloodstream - Imlach later said that they had to ask those questions. It was a bit off, but after last year is sadly inevitable - guy wins a stage out of nowhere therefore he must be on something.

Millar says he's back to his best and that it's taken him 2 years to do so. I think he's drug-free, you wouldn't go to a team founded on the principles of clean racing and then EPO yourself up. Whether he can stay with the main GC riders in the mountains remains to be seen though.

Good race though so far and it should get more interesting - stages with cat. 2 climbs in the Massif Central before the Pyrennees.
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Re: Tour de France 2008

Post by Paquito » Wed Jul 09, 2008 10:58 am

In other news, I've went and bought the Pro Cycling Manager game. That should seal the deal for never going out again.

Cavendish's day today? I think the teams with the best sprinters will have learned their lesson with Monday's breakaway staying out so anything that goes away early will be chased down.
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Re: Tour de France 2008

Post by Paquito » Mon Jul 14, 2008 10:36 am

Well, it looks like it's just me watching it. Story of my life...

Looking forward to today immensely, although I'd rather be at home watching the stage live as opposed to looking at updates online while at work. This is where the Tour starts. Yesterday was most fun, nobody could live with Ricco on that final climb but they did let him stay away and limit the gap to just over a minute, if he was further up the GC then he would have been brought back on the descent and the run-in to the finish. Will be interesting to see what happens with him today though.

I've found myself not wanting Evans or Kirchen to win, they're both reactive, defensive riders (good riders of course, anybody who can haul themselves over mountains near the front of the Peloton are no slouches), I'd rather someone goes for it, a Ricco or a Sanchez (all of a sudden in the top 10 without anyone mentioning him) or maybe a three-headed CSC attack from the Schlecks and Sastre.

So aye, an attacking rider to win in Paris please, if Evans wins without winning a stage (like Contador did in the Giro) then although it'll show that he was the strongest rider I still would like somebody to win with a bit of flair and panache. It'll be Ricco's year next year I hope.
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Re: Tour de France 2008

Post by Colin » Mon Jul 14, 2008 11:43 am

Paquito wrote:Well, it looks like it's just me watching it. Story of my life...
I'm watching it! I missed yesterday's stage though. Sounds like it was a good one.

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Re: Tour de France 2008

Post by Jono Volpone » Mon Jul 14, 2008 2:14 pm

I'm trying to keep up with watching it on the internet! I'm just going to watch the weekend's stages now in fact.
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Re: Tour de France 2008

Post by Paquito » Mon Jul 14, 2008 3:52 pm

It's hotting up now and I'm still stuck at fucking work. Grr...

I do this every year but I get strangely annoyed at the diddies who go on the attack on the mountain stages and last out front for ages before getting reeled in by the group containing all the GC riders. It's a strange predilection I have for sure.

CSC appear to have played a blinder this stage, I'll go for one of them to take it at the top. Famous last words I know, that's it likely to be a Ricco-Piepoli 1-2 now I've said that!
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Re: Tour de France 2008

Post by Concrete » Mon Jul 14, 2008 10:45 pm

Paquito wrote:Well, it looks like it's just me watching it.
No, I've been watching it. Just not got round to posting anything about it. Obviously I can only watch the highlights, and only those if I manage to get out of work by half 6, which is a rarity at the moment. Although I did watch some live stuff over the weekend, before going out on my mountain bike for a bit.

The overall standings aspect to today's stage was great. Evans getting in by one second; I was on the edge of my seat watching the highlights. What happened to Cavendish? I heard something about a crash...

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Re: Tour de France 2008

Post by Paquito » Tue Jul 15, 2008 12:54 pm

Great stage yesterday. Awesome stuff from Cancellara and Voigt especially to drive the lead group on towards Hautacam, just a pity that their man couldn't live with the 2 Saunier Duval riders towards the end of the climb.

And now it's up to Evans to defend the jersey. And defend it he probably willl, being the dullard strongman he is. He may prove me wrong by attacking in the Alps, I hope he does but I can see it being an Indurain-esque holding job until the final time trial. Mind you, with so many riders only under a minute behind him, we may see some fun and games in the mountains to come.
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Re: Tour de France 2008

Post by RITH » Thu Jul 17, 2008 10:03 am

This is the first year in a few that I'm not watching. I think last year's Tour was too much of a letdown. Won't get fooled again? The fact that I was on vacation during the first week also helped me staying away from it. I'm still reading the newspapers though and following Rabobank with a little more interest than I think I should.

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Re: Tour de France 2008

Post by Paquito » Thu Jul 17, 2008 1:14 pm

Fucking Ricco...
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Re: Tour de France 2008

Post by RITH » Thu Jul 17, 2008 2:17 pm

RITH wrote:Won't get fooled again?
Paquito wrote:Fucking Ricco...
My God. There we go again. It's so sad. I love this sport so much, but I seriously can't enjoy a good effort anymore without waiting for news like this. Which is, indeed, completely unfair towards the sporters going through extreme efforts to show what a great sport it actually is.

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Re: Tour de France 2008

Post by RITH » Wed Jul 23, 2008 12:38 pm

Did you see Augustyn yesterday? Scary!


anders

Re: Tour de France 2008

Post by anders » Wed Jul 23, 2008 3:57 pm

That was scary. That could've happened anywhere, really, and some other places there was nothing at the side of the road. I guess he was pretty lucky. It's crazy though, what they're doing. Driving downhill for some 25 kilometers, reaching speeds at over 100 km/h, with next to no protection.

I've been listening (/watching) today's stage all day and soon I will be getting ready for Alpe d'Huez. Should be spectacular. And I wonder what CSC can do. They need to get a couple of minutes, really.

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Re: Tour de France 2008

Post by RITH » Wed Jul 23, 2008 4:03 pm

anders wrote:I've been listening (/watching) today's stage all day and soon I will be getting ready for Alpe d'Huez. Should be spectacular.
Yes, I'm watching too. Alpe d'Huez will be crazy again. So many people getting in the way (most of them Dutch, I predict). It's very annoying, but very much part of the charm somehow as well.

I really like how it's still completely unclear who'll win this Tour.

anders

Re: Tour de France 2008

Post by anders » Wed Jul 23, 2008 4:15 pm

Yeah, it's really exciting this year! There's still 5-10 men could win this. But I think that Evans will take it unless Schleck or someone else gets a couple of minutes on him up Alpe d'Huez today.

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Re: Tour de France 2008

Post by Jono Volpone » Wed Jul 23, 2008 9:33 pm

Young Andy Schleck's looking like a future winner for sure! Really enjoyed watching the stage live (on TV of course) today. I've never managed to do that before, but I had the afternoon of work especially for it. Hopefully I'll get out on a good long, hilly, sunny ride tomorrow as I'm feeling totally inspired right now!
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