View Full Version : The Tour de France that begins in Belgium

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Garden Kitty
06-28-2012, 06:10 PM
I haven't had a chance to do a real write up for this year's Tour, but it starts this weekend and the Team Presentation was today.

The GC race is being touted as a battle between Brad Wiggins and Cadel Evan's, the defending champ. Brad has had a great early season including winning one of the classic Tour warm up races . The parcours this year suits a strong time trialist and Brad has been lighting up TT's this year. The only drawback for him is that the Sky team also has Cavendish this year, so the team may be distracted trying to win stages for the World Champ on the usual "off days" for GC teams. But Mark has said his goal this year is a yellow jersey for the team and a gold medal in London, and that he's not aiming for the Green Jersey. Did Brad peak too early or is this "his year", we'll see.

Cadel has had a pretty quiet start to the season. He showed some grinta in the Tour de Suisse, but didn't come away with a win. Has he been laying low getting ready for his season highlight, or is his form not really there? We'll see. BMC didn't invite Thor to the race around France, so no divided sprint loyalties for them. (but :( for Thor fans)

Garmin is bringing the Giro Champion "Weight of a Nation" Ryder Hejesdal to the Tour, but the Tour typically isn't kind to people who went all out in the Giro. But a possible podium spot would cement Ryder's position in the "elite GC" field.

So who isn't here? Alberto Contador is still sitting out due to a suspension for a positive test in the 2010 race, but he'll be back with Saxo Bank (now Saxo Bank/Tinkoff Bank) for the Vuelta. Saxo's leader, Bjarne Riis has said Wiggins better win the Tour while he can, because Bert will be back next year.

Also missing is Radio Shack's Andy Schleck who got injured in the TdS. Andy already won a Tour this year, getting the nod for 2010 when Contador's victory was taken away as a result of the positive test. Andy's brother Frank will be there, but has said he's too tired from the Tour de Suisse to be a "team leader". It seems like the Schleck brothers are biding their time this year until they can get away from Bruyneel (who won't be at the Tour because the USADA is investigating him as part of the Lance charges. Plus this year has lots of individual time trials, not Frank's strong suit.

With Thor not there, the sprint stages are being touted as a battle between Cavendish who says he's saving himself for London and Sagan who just kept winning at Tour of California. Farrar should be in there as well, but he's been pretty quiet this year so far.

Official Tour site (http://www.letour.fr/indexTDF_us.html)

Cyclingfans (http://www.cyclingfans.com/)- for stage profiles, summaries, live updates and coverage links

And one of the real highlights of any Tour for me - the Tour de Schmalz (http://nyvelocity.com/content/features/2012/tour-day-schmalz-2012-preview) and his unique preview (with daily summaries!)

If you want the quick and dirty preview of this year's Tour de France it is as follows: Bradley Wiggins and Cadel Evans are the favorites and the Tour will essentially come down to who can most effectively avoid the most flying Spaniards in the hectic stages of the first week of the Tour (I'm looking at you, Euskaltel—you crash a lot—you know it's true).

06-28-2012, 08:52 PM
From Schmalz:

The good news is that Fränk won't have to worry about looking around for Andy during the race. The bad news is that he'll be searching at 6th place—and he'll lose so much time in the time trials that he'll finish in 2008.

Unless Frank attacks and gains several minutes on a couple mountain stages....or unless the RadioShack handlers can disguise Fabian Cancellara as a scrawny Luxembourger for the time trials....Frank has no shot.

I'm rooting for Cadel. I'm not sure Wiggins has enough in the tank to last 3 weeks; I see him bonking epically on one of the mountain stages.

Garden Kitty
06-30-2012, 03:25 PM
Jens as a trucker (http://cyclocosm.tumblr.com/post/26209865170/im-normally-pretty-lukewarm-on-tdf-commercials)

Satirical tweeter, Tweeter Sagan, has this to say on Sagan's misfortune during the prologue:

Sagan triple salko-double axel-double toe loop combo on sixth corner maybe mistake. Also sharp Leffe with Stijn Devolder in kilometre two.

Aussie Willy
07-01-2012, 02:23 AM
So it has begun. So glad Australia has a team this year. Go Orica GreenEdge.

I am disappointed Andy Schleck isn't competing. I like him.

07-01-2012, 07:35 AM
I'm sad that Tony Martin got into trouble with his bike!

If Cav and Wiggo have another slap fight as predicted by Tour de Schmalz, I hope it ends up on youtube!

He's basically been included in Europcar's Tour roster due to his stifling Frenchness,

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

but I can't see any of the other sprinters beating Cav or Sagan without help from Spain and gravity.

Spain and gravity help 1-2 sprinters a year beat Cav in the tour! They've got a shot!

Garden Kitty
07-01-2012, 05:29 PM
Ryder has a fancy new bike with a Maple Leaf theme (http://velonews.competitor.com/2012/07/news/tour-tech-ryder-hesjedals-special-edition-cervelo-r5ca_226823)

I don't care who won the stage, Cance showed he deserved that yellow jersey today. What a ride.

07-02-2012, 09:10 PM
:cheer: :cheer2: :cheer: Cav! I haven't seen it yet, but I heard it was awesome. I'm totally shocked he won the stage today. He pretty much never wins the first bunch sprint in a grand tour. And he's been going on about not really being on form.

I was surprised when he joined a team that wouldn't give him a dedicated lead out train. And I'm still not sure it was the right decision. But Cav has always been able to win even when the lead out train fell apart. So it's not that shocking he can do it now.

07-03-2012, 06:40 PM
It was a great win. I'm really enjoying this tour (had to sit last year out for the most part- no cable, and watching on my computer doesn't really work for me). The sprints will be more interesting with Cav not having the lead out train.

Garden Kitty
07-03-2012, 08:47 PM
Sitsou is out with a broken leg which isn't great news for Sky.

Tom Danielson has a separated shoulder - presumably he's out as well but I guess we'll see. Not a good day for Garmin even though Ryder stayed safe in the crashes.

Garden Kitty
07-05-2012, 02:36 AM
Velonews is reporting that Didi the Devil had blood clot surgery and won't be attending the Tour. You know you've arrived as an uber fan when there are news articles about your not being at an event. :lol: Speedy recovery to the Devil, even though that sounds wrong!:EVILLE:

07-05-2012, 06:27 PM
oh no- the Devil is NOT joining in!

07-06-2012, 04:15 AM
Was anyone able to see how Cav disappeared from the sprint? I haven't seen an angle of where he went between the shot where he was following Boassen Hagen to the point where he was several wheels back and couldn't catch Griepel and Goss.

I can't believe Farrar crashed again! This time it looked like he kind of started it but man, does he hit the deck a lot.

07-06-2012, 01:48 PM
I can't believe Farrar crashed again! This time it looked like he kind of started it but man, does he hit the deck a lot.

The Patrick Chan of the TdF? :lol:

Been having trouble sitting up for it, just haven't been able to make it! :lol: Still, nice to see Cadel hovering around, ready to pounce, and of course, go OricaGreenEdge! :cheer:

Garden Kitty
07-06-2012, 01:57 PM
I can't believe Farrar crashed again! This time it looked like he kind of started it but man, does he hit the deck a lot.

I thought Cav got caught up behind a crash, but I was on a work call and missed the ending and haven't caught up with my tape yet.

Did you read the reports of Tyler's injury from the day before? Ouch that sounds painful, particularly if you are going to be bouncing around on a bike for hours the next day.

07-06-2012, 06:11 PM
No! I didn't hear about Tyler's injury, what was it?

Yesterday Cav didn't get caught behind a crash, he was 4th, but today he did! I guess he's finally having a bad Tour de France. Had to happen at some point. Lol. In the 6 stages (not counting the prologue) he's had 1 win, 2 where he got dropped on hills, 2 crashes, and 1 outright loss.

Sounds like Greipel crashed twice early in the stage but was still able to contest the sprint. But man, what a crash at 25km! Frank Schleck and Ryder Hesjedal are totally out of the GC race. Neither was a favorite, but both were certainly expected to be chasing podium/top 10 finishes. Cav got caught in the crash and missed out on the sprint. At least three abandons including Tom Danielson. Crazy!