2019 Tour de France

Garden Kitty

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Race preview in this year's Tour Day Schmalz preview. Always a unique take on the race.

It still seems weird that Geraint Thomas won the Tour last year. Every time I’m reminded that Thomas won last year, I have to say, “Oh, yeah that happened.” to myself. Thomas is an all-arounder and last year he was able to hang on valiantly on the climbs, but this year there will be chunks of Geraint left all over the Tour’s high climbs.

It seems weird to me to not have Cavendish at the race, but time isn't kind to sprinters. Also sad to hear of Mark Renshaw's retirement after the season. He and Cav were such a good team for many seasons.

I fear this may be another Ineos (Sky) domination. Quite a testament to the team that they can lose a 4 time winner and still have the dominant team with multiple legitimate contenders. But there is always something unexpected and fun at the Tour, even if it's not the GC race.
 

Aceon6

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I’m wondering what the broadcast will be without Paul Sherwen. I’ve never followed a Tour without him.

ETA, found this at the nbcsports site

The NBC Sports broadcast team includes Phil Liggett and Bob Roll in the race commentary booth. Roll succeeds Paul Sherwen, who died Dec. 2 at age 62 after being involved in 40 Tours de France. Liggett and Roll will be joined by Jens Voigt, who started 17 straight Tours from 1998 through 2014.

Paul Burmeister again hosts pre-race, post-race and primetime studio coverage along with retired U.S. cyclist Christian Vande Velde. They will be joined for the first time by Chris Horner, the 2013 Vuelta a España champion.

Steve Schlanger and Steve Porino reprise their reporter roles.
 
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Aceon6

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Ugly crash for Groenewegen in the bunch just behind the leadouts. Sagan just edged out at the line by Teunissen. Fuglsang provides the first bloody crash so we didn’t have to wait until the twisty stages.
 
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Garden Kitty

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i hope Fuglsang is ok. Sad to see a GC contender impacted badly on what is supposed to be a quiet stage for them.
 

Aceon6

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i hope Fuglsang is ok. Sad to see a GC contender impacted badly on what is supposed to be a quiet stage for them.
Last I heard, he was transported to the hospital for stitches and a scan. Fingers crossed! This is going to be interesting as Teunissen was pegged as a domestique for Fuglsang, yet Mike T is clearly strong enough to compete on his own.
 

Aceon6

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Lots of nail biting in today’s TTT. No one predicted that Jumbo would hold the yellow jersey against Ileos fka Sky. The sight of Thomas realizing that he missed out on the Jersey was the look of the day.
 

Garden Kitty

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NBCSN has an interview show with sportscasters called "Off Script" and today's episode featured Bob Roll. Very good interview that discusses some of the experiences with 7-11 team and the classic LeMond/Hinault Tour and the 86 Giro. Bob has a knack for telling a funny story, but he also been involved with some great cycling moments.
 
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Theatregirl1122

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Cav wanted to ride the Tour this year and felt that he was in shape, so I expect we’ll be hearing about his new team in the next couple of months!
 

Aceon6

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Sagan grabs one! I can’t wait to see this on replay (out with DH at the moment)
 

Garden Kitty

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I'm glad that the sprint stages are being spread around various riders so far - keeps things interesting.
 

Aceon6

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Bastille Day! Can Julian hold, or is today the day that Team Ineos tries to get that minute back? The route today is just lumpy enough for some movement.
 

Aceon6

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Holy GC shakeup, Batman! If anyone was doubting Ineos (fka Sky) this result should bring them back to reality. Thomas in great position for the Pyrenees, but this race just got more interesting!
 

Aceon6

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What a TT! Van Aert out after a hard crash on the last right turn. Whoda thunk Alaphillipe would EXTEND his lead?
 

Garden Kitty

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While the climbers still have a chance to shine in the final week, this tour is already more interesting and unpredictable than many of the last few years. The last few years, the winner's team was already decided by this stage.
 

Aceon6

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While the climbers still have a chance to shine in the final week, this tour is already more interesting and unpredictable than many of the last few years. The last few years, the winner's team was already decided by this stage.
Agree. Today’s stage is bumpy and might allow Ineos to mount an attack, but QuickStep still has a full team to block them. I’m going to be watching for Bernal and Mas to see which team is all in for their leader.

ETA, QuickStep has dropped two riders including Mas into the lagging group. I don’t get it as Mas is close enough in GC to provide a distraction. Movistar really wants the team prize as they’re keeping most of the team at the front.

ETA2, what a finish! The GC just got a LOT closer.
 
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Garden Kitty

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Funny exchange on twitter - George Bennett tweeted after Saturday's stage that he was riding with Geraint Thomas for some time during the stage and that people were booing Thomas and that he (George) thought that was wrong. (Presumably Thomas was booed because either the locals viewed him as threat to the French yellow jersey leader, or because they resent Sky/Ineos's domination).

One of he first replies to Bennett's tweet was from Thomas joking "ah, I think they were booing you". :lol:
 

Aceon6

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I’m thinking that today’s stage is putting an end to Ineos/Sky. Allaphillippe has countered every move. It doesn’t help that Movistar is chasing the team prize despite the team dysfunction.
 

Aceon6

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Well, I won’t spoil it for those who taped it, but WHOA NELLY! The penultimate stage is going to decide it all. Will QuickStep find someone to pull Alaphilippe? Will Thomas pull for Bernal? Can Jumbo or Bora go nuts?

For those in the US, the action switches to NBC tomorrow. Start time is 8 Eastern. There’s no pre-show, unfortunately, as I’d love to hear what they think going in. Everything’s later on Sunday with the pre-show on NBCSN at noon. Race coverage starts on NBCSN at 12:30. NBC has coverage at 2.
 

Aceon6

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...And it is done. Barring an overnight attack of norovirus, Bernal is the lion and Ineos will have a huge payday. It looks like France will salvage something with Bardet taking the KoM as Alaphilippe has slipped more than 2 minutes back of third place. The only mildly interesting tactical battle is to see if Bora jumps off the front to try to get Buchmann the 15 seconds he needs to be on the podium. If they do, I expect that all of Jumbo will go with them to defend Kruijswuik.
 

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