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  1. #1
    Tranquillo
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    Tour de France 2014

    The Tour starts Saturday with a Grand Depart in Yorkshire. The region seems very excited for the race and has been actively promoting it - I even saw a pic of sheep dyed to match the leaders' jerseys.

    Lots of story lines to develop over the next three weeks, and a few that started before the race begins.

    Defending champion Chris Froome's team, Sky, made headlines by leaving Sir Bradley Wiggins (the 2012 champion) off the team. Lots of polemica about whether Brad and Chris don't get along and if Chris forced the exclusion, and whether Brad is a free agent who can't be trusted to ride for Chris, but in the end Brad took the high road and has indicated he'll go to the Commonwealth Games instead

    Garmin left David Millar, a veteran cyclist in his final year and one of the founding riders for Team Garmin, off their team and that let to David tweeting a lot about how his team wasn't taking his calls and lots of other public handwringing.

    Froome's biggest competition is likely to be Alberto Contador who was getting frisky at the Tour warm up Dauphine. Contador insisted he wasn't trying to win, just get in shape, but he challenged Froome frequently and showed his usual attacking style. Contador is hurt by the loss of one of his main support riders for the Tour, Roman Kreuziger, who is sitting out due to some passport irregularities (not the "I can't get a visa kind of passport problems, his bio-passport). Valverde is supposedly all in for a challenge, but it remains to be seen if he'll be competitive in the GC or if he'll try to get a notable stage win.

    The sprinters will have their fun, with Cavendish trying to hold off Kittel, Sagan and a host of newcomers. The NBC Sports broadcasters will be busy trying to promote the US riders. BMC's Tejay Van Garderen has yet to really fulfill the potential he's shown and Taylor Phinney is out recovering from a serious leg injury incurred in the National Championship road race. Garmin's Andrew "Pitbull" Talansky rode into the headlines with a surprise win over both Froome (injured from crash) and Contador in the Dauphine. Ted King will be there for Cannondale so expect fashion reports from the King of Cycling Style.

    Cycling Weekly's Race Preview

    And Cyclingfans is a great site for links to live coverage and stage reports
    "The Devil is joining in, and that's never a good sign." Phil Liggett

  2. #2

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    Thanks for starting this thread Garden Kitty Official Tour de France Yorkshire Grand Depart website http://letour.yorkshire.com/

    I am thrilled that the Grand Depart is almost on my doorstep and I'll be up on the wild and windy moors early Sunday morning. I am so excited! There are yellow painted bikes everywhere it seems and in the weirdest places - I had this email from my sister yesterday 'they’re going tour de France mad round here, someone put a bike complete with rider on top of a tree! I nearly crashed driving past! ' There is knitted bunting strung out in the villages - TdeF coloured mini sweaters https://uk.images.search.yahoo.com/i...K&fr=yfp-t-202 and yarn-wrapped bikes https://uk.images.search.yahoo.com/i...K&fr=yfp-t-202 , the buildup has been incredible over the past twelve months.


    ETA Live TV from the peloton http://www.letour.fr/le-tour/2014/us...e-peloton.html
    Last edited by skatefan; 07-03-2014 at 08:15 PM.
    'The one. The only. Daisuke Takahashi ' Chris Howarth, EurosportUK

  3. #3
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    Can't wait to hear your report, Skatefan! Have fun!

    ETA: here are the color coordinated sheep

    And one of my favorite parts of the Tour, the Tour Day Schmalz - here is his preview
    Last edited by Garden Kitty; 07-04-2014 at 02:06 AM.
    "The Devil is joining in, and that's never a good sign." Phil Liggett

  4. #4

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    'The one. The only. Daisuke Takahashi ' Chris Howarth, EurosportUK

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    The weather has changed, it's been pouring down with rain + strong wind all afternoon

    A couple of months back a German TdeF cyclist training here was asked what he'd learned about Yorkshire. He said 'the rain falls horizontally'. He may have been psychic

    Here's hoping it clears overnight.

    I don't know how they'll get up some of these hills in the rain.
    'The one. The only. Daisuke Takahashi ' Chris Howarth, EurosportUK

  6. #6

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    I was hoping someone would start a thread. Thank-you Garden Kitty. I had a look at the teams yesterday and was pleased to see Jens Voight made it on the TREK team. Reading his blog on bicycling.com, he has written a lot about retiring from competition after this season. (I tried to put in a link but was unsuccessful. Not a techie type - sorry) Have fun watching the race live in person Skatefan. Thanks for posting more fun stuff. I can't wait to check out the sheep-cam. What will they think of next.

  7. #7

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    Relief here that we currently have a mixture of cloud and sun. Tomorrow's forecast is thunderstorms and hail I feel sorry for those guys riding up the cobbled Main Street in Haworth (Sunday) which is incredibly steep https://uk.images.search.yahoo.com/i...02&fr2=piv-web - they'll be riding past the Parsonage Museum, former home of the Brontes, at the top of the hill. There's also the looooong steep climb up from Keighley to the Yorkshire moors plus Buttertubs Pass (today) and the longest consistent climb in the UK at Holme Moss. I hope at this point they having a following wind The roads are narrow bordered by drystone walls so not much room for mistakes up there.
    Last edited by skatefan; 07-05-2014 at 10:57 AM.
    'The one. The only. Daisuke Takahashi ' Chris Howarth, EurosportUK

  8. #8

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    Oh my that was AMAZING! Just got home, feet on fire and aching, haven't seen the news as yet so I don't know who arrived in Sheffield first, but that was just brilliant! Thank goodness the weather forecast was hopelessly wrong and there was warm sunshine up here. No wild and windy moors today So many people! We walked the long uphill lanes from my brother's house up to a great viewing spot on the Yorkshire Moors above Oxenhope - we could see the riders coming down the hill at the other side of the valley towards us and when they came, just wow. But it's over so quickly - I know at that point there was a leading group of seven who went by in a flash, no time really to spot anyone individually, followed a little later by the peloton and that was a sight to see - they moved together like a single enormous wheeled beast, so close to me at the side of the road, back to a wall, that I could have touched them, in fact I moved back in case they rode over my feet - those lanes are narrow! but the precision with which they flowed up the hill was incredible, just the slightest mishap at the front and they'd have been down like ninepins. Poor guys were greeted with a moving wall of sound from the crowd as they climbed the hill, cheers and clapping, it was great - I hope they don't mind that ...

    Off now to find Sky replay and watch it all

    Oh and among the freebies thrown out (at high speed) I came away with a red polka dot hat
    Last edited by skatefan; 07-06-2014 at 08:31 PM.
    'The one. The only. Daisuke Takahashi ' Chris Howarth, EurosportUK

  9. #9
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    The pics from the first day were just amazing - such huge crowds! So glad you got to enjoy the day, Skatefan. And I knew Kate was supposed to be there to give out the jerseys to the winners, but it was nice to see William and Harry there too. Great support for the event.

    One of the riders posted this pic from sign in for Stage 2!

    SPOILERS:

    So sad to see Cavendish crash and not able to start today. I will miss him a lot on the sprint stages. And teams invest so much in this race, I hate to see any of them lose their stars so early on. The sponsors are so important to the sport and I want them to get a payoff for their investment. Poor Mark looked so gutted.

    But yay for Jens getting the climbers jersey after stage 1!
    "The Devil is joining in, and that's never a good sign." Phil Liggett

  10. #10

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    Yeah, it was sad to find out about Cav, so disappointing for him. And so close to the finish line yesterday. He said it was his fault, trying too hard to find a gap where there wasn't one and that he would apologise to the Australian cyclist also involved. I've just seen an interview where he said he's in much more pain today than he was yesterday.
    The climbers jersey - King of the Mountain I think it is - that would be red polka dots of the hats being thrown along the route by the sponsors' caravan wheeeeee it's on display in the back of my car
    'The one. The only. Daisuke Takahashi ' Chris Howarth, EurosportUK

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    It was hard to know that the TdF is over for Cav this year but I'm afraid he brought it on himself...

    These days in GB have been great. I don't think I've ever seen so many enthusiastic fans all along the stages. Congrats to the crowd as well.

  12. #12
    GPF Barcelona here I come
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    Skatefan thanks for your first hand reports! I'm loving the tour - love it every year and last year my daughter and I were in the south of France and the tour went right by our friends villa in Biot.. all the stories of the canals and waterways made me make plans to book another boating holiday in England next June.. LOL.. Can't believe the crowds - fantastic to see and what a sporting weekend in England with the F1, Tour and Wimbledon..
    Thanks to PI .. I discovered I'm actually a Nontheist

    "Love is better than Anger, Hope is better than fear" Jack Layton 1950-2011

  13. #13
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    I'm going to France in two weeks but I'll miss the finish day by one - we leave for London the Saturday before! Bah!

  14. #14

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    Skatefan- I also enjoyed your reports. Glad you got to see the race. I really enjoyed the English part of the tour- I hope they go back there again soon.

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    about Andy Schleck. He isn't the Andy of years past, but I was hoping he'd win a stage this year. My only favorite left is Sagan!

    Kittel always reminds me of Dolph Lundgren and Cody Simpson.
    Sometimes I think I lost something really important to me, and it turns out I already ate it.

  16. #16
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    The Tour hits the cobbles tomorrow - I hope nobody gets hurt, there are already too many injuries. Henderson abandoned, and Froome is nursing a sore wrist from his fall.

    Interesting article about Andy's DNS

    ETA: funny blog entry from Jens!

    Sheep dyed to match the leaders' jerseys is soooo this past weekend.
    Last edited by Garden Kitty; 07-08-2014 at 10:00 PM.
    "The Devil is joining in, and that's never a good sign." Phil Liggett

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garden Kitty View Post
    The Tour hits the cobbles tomorrow - I hope nobody gets hurt, there are already too many injuries. Henderson abandoned, and Froome is nursing a sore wrist from his fall.
    It was a scary stage today
    Sometimes I think I lost something really important to me, and it turns out I already ate it.

  18. #18
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    Truly an epic stage, cobbles in the rain! I had a conf call early today, so I only saw the end of the race, but I can't wait to go back and watch the whole thing. What I would have given for a Wiggins cam today!

    ETA: Some great pics from today's stage.
    Last edited by Garden Kitty; 07-09-2014 at 08:22 PM.
    "The Devil is joining in, and that's never a good sign." Phil Liggett

  19. #19

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    Gutted to learn Froome is out - he's taken quite a pounding over the past 24 hours
    'The one. The only. Daisuke Takahashi ' Chris Howarth, EurosportUK

  20. #20
    Tranquillo
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    "The Devil is joining in, and that's never a good sign." Phil Liggett

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