Le Tour

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Le Tour

Postby ribs » July 7th, 2010, 9:36 am

I've been following Nicolas Roche's daily articles in the Indo (yes, they are online too). They are well written and seem to come from the heart - you can nearly feel whether he is having a good or bad day. He also says what he thinks that is pretty refreshing for a sports participant these days. Highly recommend that you take a peep while the rugby season is quiet.
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Re: Le Tour

Postby jezzer » July 7th, 2010, 11:17 am

Must do that. He certainly came across well on Off the Ball the other day.

Great performance yesterday. To have finished so strongly on the toughest non-mountain stage is a big plus for him. He'll have his best days on the mountain stages, so a top 10 finish for him is not beyond the beyonds.
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Re: Le Tour

Postby ribs » July 9th, 2010, 4:48 am

Another good article today. I see he has them on his own website: http://www.nicolasroche.com/
...a beautiful weighted pass...it is 3 on 2...it is 3 on 1...Hickie!...Magnificent!
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Re: Le Tour

Postby jezzer » July 15th, 2010, 10:58 am

I've been following the Tour and Roche's exploits so far and it's been fascinating. As ribs says, his candidness in the Indo articles, his modesty and his openness in discussing tactics, form, his emotions etc. are incredible. It has put a very human side into the guy and the sport.

I'll tell you one thing, though. The disorganisation and the haphazard management of the teams makes Saipan look like a planning masterclass! You'd have thought these guys would be staying in top-class spa hotels with hydrotherapy suites and all mod cons. Instead they're in hostel type accomodation with uncomfortable beds, parties roaring around them, the frequently seem to get lost or end up staying somewhere miles from the tour route. Diet and proper nitrition for one of the world's most gruelling events seems to be out the window. It's all a bit of a shambles and you wonder how much better a team like AG2R La Mondiale (Roche's team) could do if the riders were better looked after.

In some respects, it's a welcome throwback to the amateur era of sport and makes comparison between todays cycling greats and those of the past more relevant. But hell, you wouldn't want to be a perfectionist.

Anyway, Roche is doing really well. In reality he's a talented rider who isn't yet at the level of the top tier of riders. He's the nominated leader of the team, but I don't think he has the other riders at his beck and call like Contador, Schleck or Armstrong have. So, to be 13th and in with a decent shot at a top 10 finish is a serious achievement for him. He rode yesterday's stage very cleverly - taking a minute and a half out of the peleton without risking his energy levels for the rest of the tour. He seems to be a good all-rounder (having looked like he would be a sprinter in his early career). The heat - over 40 degrees at times - can't be helping his chances, but he is keeping out of trouble (of which there's been a lot so far) and hasn't once dropped off the back of the peleton.

Check out the Indo articles if you get a chance. "Get out of that saddle, Nicky!"
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Re: Le Tour

Postby Xanthippe » July 15th, 2010, 2:24 pm

jezzer wrote: He rode yesterday's stage very cleverly - taking a minute and a half out of the peleton without risking his energy levels for the rest of the tour.


It's just a pity he wasn't the AG2R rider in the breakaway - that would have put him in Yellow. I wonder if he's well known enough to be considered a threat if he did try to breakaway.
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Re: Le Tour

Postby jezzer » July 15th, 2010, 3:30 pm

Xanthippe wrote:
jezzer wrote: He rode yesterday's stage very cleverly - taking a minute and a half out of the peleton without risking his energy levels for the rest of the tour.


It's just a pity he wasn't the AG2R rider in the breakaway - that would have put him in Yellow. I wonder if he's well known enough to be considered a threat if he did try to breakaway.


According to his last article he considered it. With 40 degree heat he figured that, even if he gained 10 minutes and wasn't reeled in (unlikely as he's a team leader) he'd be banjaxed for two or three days and would get slaughtered in the mountains. So taking a handy couple of minutes without much risk or extra effort was a pretty canny move.
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Re: Le Tour

Postby jezzer » July 15th, 2010, 4:46 pm

Roche just finished towards the front of the bunch sprint (Cavendish took the stage) to stay at 13th overall in the general classification.
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Re: Le Tour

Postby ratpack » July 20th, 2010, 11:04 am

Great article in the Indo today from Roche, pulls no punches. Have to say I really like this guy, great to a sportsman that speaks his mind.

http://www.independent.ie/sport/other-sports/cycling-i-wanted-to-smash-his-head-in-i-couldnt-stand-to-be-near-him-2264978.html
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Re: Le Tour

Postby jezzer » July 20th, 2010, 10:34 pm

It's an unbelievable article. He's just laying his whole TDF bare for people to get right into the race.

Gadret is a cock. He left Roche out to dry and is now only two places behind Roche in the classement. I guess Roche only just got made leader of this group and he's not that much better a rider than the likes of Gadret for his authority to be absolute - he' s making big progress but not up to the level of the leaders of the big teams. Still, the team has to support the leader and Gadret was a very naughty boy. The Chef d'Equipe clearly wasn't happy, but I doubt it has put Gadret's future in jeopardy - you have to be pretty selfish to make it at the top of this sport I guess. and everyone knows it.
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Re: Le Tour

Postby jezzer » July 22nd, 2010, 5:06 pm

Great ride by Roche on one of the killer stages of the Tour. Contador and Schleck led the race up the Tourmalet. Roche couldn't quite hang onto the chase group but finished well ahead of the peleton and put some serious time into some of his main rivals for the top 15 in the General Classification. He's now 15th, 2 mins ahead of the 16th place guy (Vinoukorov). With two flat stages and a time trial to go, he has a very good chance of hanging onto that gap and meeting his goal of a top 15 finish.
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Re: Le Tour

Postby Darce » July 22nd, 2010, 5:21 pm

Schleck is such a pussy. Basically conceded the tour by not continually attacking Contador today
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Re: Le Tour

Postby jezzer » July 22nd, 2010, 7:00 pm

Schleck timed his attack pretty badly, but Contador had him in his pocket all day. NOt a very exciting climax to the "Queen Stage" of the Tour. Was a bit lame Contador giving Schleck the stage in return for "chaingate", but Contador looks fairly comfortable.
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Re: Le Tour

Postby ratpack » July 23rd, 2010, 12:02 am

I like Schleck but I couldn't figure his tactics today, he'd nothing to loose by going for it even in the last 500 metres. Contador is not gonna f**k up these last few days, eight seconds, it may as well be eight minutes because Schleck hasn't a hope now imho.

Impressed by Roche today though, did pretty well today.
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Re: Le Tour

Postby fourthirtythree » July 23rd, 2010, 11:10 am

I don't know what you think Schleck should have done. It was nearly perfect. His team flogged themselves to a standstill isolating Contador, just after Vino popped out the back of the pack Schleck attacked. What wasn't perfect was that he would have preferred another two riders (like say Menchov) to have gone with him and had a race (which suits him) with two people Contador didn't have to race - which suited him. And the fact that his legs weren't up to it. Contador never struggled with the injections of pace.

He attacked, I believe, 11 times on the final climb and not one of them stuck. The two best riders on the tour duked it out and the best man won.
As for the last 500M? The previous 6KM hadn't exactly shown up that Schleck could put time on Contador had it? Contador, correctly, let Schleck have the win as he had done the lead work up the mountain.
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Re: Le Tour

Postby tate » July 25th, 2010, 5:31 pm

congrats to nicolas, remarkable achievement considering he was a bit of a (although he was cycling with the veggies!!)
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