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Tour de France

Postby artaneboy » July 8th, 2011, 9:32 pm

Just getting drawn in to the Tour after years of snorting contempt. Guilty scepticism doesn't being to describe the emotion vis-à-vis drugs et al. Still it is a soap opera on two wheels and what a fascinating character actor Mark Cavendish is. Brilliant, arrogant, whinging, entertaining. Looking forward to seeing him struggle in the mountains after his strutting this week. But if he wasn’t there……? :)
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Re: Tour de France

Postby Hornet » July 9th, 2011, 12:37 am

artaneboy wrote:Just getting drawn in to the Tour after years of snorting contempt. Guilty scepticism doesn't being to describe the emotion vis-à-vis drugs et al. Still it is a soap opera on two wheels and what a fascinating character actor Mark Cavendish is. Brilliant, arrogant, whinging, entertaining. Looking forward to seeing him struggle in the mountains after his strutting this week. But if he wasn’t there……? :)

Cav is a sprinter. He's well back at present in GQ and off the pace a little, regards the Green Jersey. 17 Tour stage wins is not to be sniffed at (pardon the pun) :D . The best Road's Sprinter in the world at present, bar none. I have him down for another two stage wins, into Montpellier and Paris. Now eighth in the all time Tour stage wins list. Feel for Wiggins today. Thought he might have challenging for Yellow in the Mountains and on to Paris after his victory in the Dauphine. Sky's luck has turned to shite. Wiggins out and Murdoch blocked in buying them out. Must be fate!
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Re: Tour de France

Postby artaneboy » July 9th, 2011, 9:39 pm

Hornet wrote:
artaneboy wrote:Just getting drawn in to the Tour after years of snorting contempt. Guilty scepticism doesn't being to describe the emotion vis-à-vis drugs et al. Still it is a soap opera on two wheels and what a fascinating character actor Mark Cavendish is. Brilliant, arrogant, whinging, entertaining. Looking forward to seeing him struggle in the mountains after his strutting this week. But if he wasn’t there……? :)

Cav is a sprinter. He's well back at present in GQ and off the pace a little, regards the Green Jersey. 17 Tour stage wins is not to be sniffed at (pardon the pun) :D . The best Road's Sprinter in the world at present, bar none. I have him down for another two stage wins, into Montpellier and Paris. Now eighth in the all time Tour stage wins list. Feel for Wiggins today. Thought he might have challenging for Yellow in the Mountains and on to Paris after his victory in the Dauphine. Sky's luck has turned to shite. Wiggins out and Murdoch blocked in buying them out. Must be fate!


Oh I know he’s a sprinter and will naturally struggle in the mountains. As a cycling-apostate, I know the culture and form. I don’t even grudge him your predicted two more wins; I’d say he’s good for it. And I admire his racing style. It’s his attitude that gets my goat. In the two interviews I witnessed on Eurosport after he won, he spent a minute each time complaining about…. Everything - except his team mates! The organisers were trying to set finishes to squeeze him out; the officials were picking on him for lack of discipline; other riders were not showing enough respect (huh! :lol: ) in trying to join/ disrupt the htc “train”. Please! So I’m going to enjoy him this week and in Paris (he could win that too) but also partake in a little schadenfreude in the Alps and Pyrenees.
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Re: Tour de France

Postby Hornet » July 10th, 2011, 4:10 pm

Wouldn't like to be the driver of the France TV car after his overtaking attempt on the leading bunch. Typical French Driver! :shock:
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Re: Tour de France

Postby icebaby » July 10th, 2011, 10:43 pm

I'm really enjoying de Tour this year. Nicholas Roche sneaking up quietly. The Mountains to look forward to....
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Re: Tour de France

Postby artaneboy » July 12th, 2011, 11:27 pm

That was a brilliant stage today. Cavendish beaten in a sprint by an ex-team mate. Ooh- he won't have liked that! :D The organisers may not be able to control their own ‘traffic corps’ from taking riders out at a rate, but their selection of stage finishes has definitely made the traditionally boring procession of the first week much more enjoyable. Great stuff and as has been noted by soemone else - Roche is lurking ith the seeming cunning of his father! Come on week two!!! :happy clapper:
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Re: Tour de France

Postby IanD » July 13th, 2011, 12:40 pm

artaneboy wrote:Oh I know he’s a sprinter and will naturally struggle in the mountains. As a cycling-apostate, I know the culture and form. I don’t even grudge him your predicted two more wins; I’d say he’s good for it. And I admire his racing style. It’s his attitude that gets my goat. In the two interviews I witnessed on Eurosport after he won, he spent a minute each time complaining about…. Everything - except his team mates! The organisers were trying to set finishes to squeeze him out; the officials were picking on him for lack of discipline; other riders were not showing enough respect (huh! :lol: ) in trying to join/ disrupt the htc “train”. Please! So I’m going to enjoy him this week and in Paris (he could win that too) but also partake in a little schadenfreude in the Alps and Pyrenees.


I have to say I like Cavendish. He is spot on about the organisers trying to squeeze him and other sprinters out. They claimed at the time of the launch of the route that they were trying to turn things on their head. I think that climbers get their days in the mountains and sprinters should get their day on flat stages. Sprinting and climbing is all part of the sport and both should be embraced.

Not so sure about the respect thing. He was responding to a couple of ex sprinters who gave him some abuse. They other teams are trying to break up HTC's train and this is disrespectfull. As Cav said get your own train and leave his alone. HTC is built around him to win stages - I am not aware of any other tem set up for just one sprinter this makes their train great.

Why take pleasure in his and other sprinters pain and not admire a group of men bursting a gut to climb a mountain that they are not built or trained for?

If you want to dislike someone why not go for blood dopers Vinokourov or Ivan Basso or druggie David Miller?

Back to Cav - he does admit his mistakes.

http://www.itv.com/tourdefrance/2011/ne ... -10-error/

I am enjoying this Tour immensly. Looking foward to tommorrow and the Pyrenees. Not really impressed with the route in the first week. I think this lead to more crahes than normal and as I said I like to see some sprint finishes on a nice flat stage.
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Re: Tour de France

Postby Lar » July 13th, 2011, 2:43 pm

I have always enjoyed watching the Tour de France but all I know is what you gather watching TV or reading about it in the papers. My gripe with it is that it never seems to get the balance right between fast riders and climbers. OK - there have been many over the years who have won who are good at both but the balance always seems to favour the climber.

Sure there is room for flat stages and chances for the out and out sprinters to win, but they will never win the yellow jersey in Paris as they just can't climb. But the climbers never lose time to them because the peloton invariably comes in at the same time as the best sprint finishers.

In a three week tour there might be say four alpine and two pyrenees finishes with amybe one stage around the Massif Central. Thats say a third of the finishes/stages being mountain stages.

But aside from the prologue you will get maybe two individual time trials and one team version. That's only a tenth of the stages that favour the 'true' cyclist.

I have only ever seen the Tour myself once (when it was here for the start in '98) but it strikes me that the time trials are just as compelling as a spectacle as the stages where the peloton races past in the space of maybe 15 seconds. Other than the atmosphere created by the event it is hardly compelling stuff.

Why don't they have more time trials? It would surely mix things up more and give the cyclist who has raw speed but maybe not so much climbing ability, a chance at overall success.
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Re: Tour de France

Postby IanD » July 13th, 2011, 3:31 pm

Time trails are completely differant from sprints and climbs. Fabian Cancellara has 2 Time Trial World Champion titles yet cant sprint or climb well enough to be a contender. On a day of climbing in either the Alps or Pyrenees most of the peleton can come in up to 40 mins toone hour back. Time trails are generally between 30 mins to one hour so a good time trailer is not going to make up enogh time to be a contender.

The main competitors for the overall win dont specialise in a one disipline but are good at each. It is rare to see a GC contender win too many stages - Cadell Evans for instance has only 2 stage wins in the Tour.

I like a good Time Trial too but have to say I dont like the Team Time Trial - it does look great though. I dont like to see riders lose time because they cant afford good time trialers on their team. Roche as an example lost 53 seconds to the stage winners and 49 seconds to BMC and Leopard Trek - makes his attempt to get into the top ten tougher.
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Re: Tour de France

Postby Hornet » July 13th, 2011, 4:19 pm

artaneboy wrote:That was a brilliant stage today. Cavendish beaten in a sprint by an ex-team mate. Ooh- he won't have liked that! :D The organisers may not be able to control their own ‘traffic corps’ from taking riders out at a rate, but their selection of stage finishes has definitely made the traditionally boring procession of the first week much more enjoyable. Great stuff and as has been noted by soemone else - Roche is lurking ith the seeming cunning of his father! Come on week two!!! :happy clapper:

He looks a bit happier today! :D
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Re: Tour de France

Postby artaneboy » July 13th, 2011, 10:40 pm

IanD wrote:
artaneboy wrote:Oh I know he’s a sprinter and will naturally struggle in the mountains. As a cycling-apostate, I know the culture and form. I don’t even grudge him your predicted two more wins; I’d say he’s good for it. And I admire his racing style. It’s his attitude that gets my goat. In the two interviews I witnessed on Eurosport after he won, he spent a minute each time complaining about…. Everything - except his team mates! The organisers were trying to set finishes to squeeze him out; the officials were picking on him for lack of discipline; other riders were not showing enough respect (huh! :lol: ) in trying to join/ disrupt the htc “train”. Please! So I’m going to enjoy him this week and in Paris (he could win that too) but also partake in a little schadenfreude in the Alps and Pyrenees.


I have to say I like Cavendish. He is spot on about the organisers trying to squeeze him and other sprinters out. They claimed at the time of the launch of the route that they were trying to turn things on their head. I think that climbers get their days in the mountains and sprinters should get their day on flat stages. Sprinting and climbing is all part of the sport and both should be embraced.

Not so sure about the respect thing. He was responding to a couple of ex sprinters who gave him some abuse. They other teams are trying to break up HTC's train and this is disrespectfull. As Cav said get your own train and leave his alone. HTC is built around him to win stages - I am not aware of any other tem set up for just one sprinter this makes their train great.

Why take pleasure in his and other sprinters pain and not admire a group of men bursting a gut to climb a mountain that they are not built or trained for?

If you want to dislike someone why not go for blood dopers Vinokourov or Ivan Basso or druggie David Miller?

Back to Cav - he does admit his mistakes.

http://www.itv.com/tourdefrance/2011/ne ... -10-error/

I am enjoying this Tour immensly. Looking foward to tommorrow and the Pyrenees. Not really impressed with the route in the first week. I think this lead to more crahes than normal and as I said I like to see some sprint finishes on a nice flat stage.


There's two issues here: my attitude to Cavendish and separately- my attitude to the stage set up for sprinters.

I just don't like Cavendish! I admire his talent and enjoy watching him. But I don't like his attitude and thus i don't in the final analysis like him. Maybe it's that I understand the argot and recognise the swagger all too well from other sports played in these islands. And maybe if Eric Vanderarden and others of the greats in my 'Tour Sprinters Pantheon' had broad scally accents to go with their personality kinks, I might feel the same about them. Maybe it’s just my snobbery?! :oops: But I bear him no real ill-will, just the slightly guilty pleasure of seeing his ability to track a wheel until the last 100 meters negated by the totally different and visceral talent of just keeping those pedals turning despite the pain of the mountains.

Hey- and on the drugs. If you read my original post I make just that point, that despite my 'drug-driven' cynicism, my interest has been piqued by the first week - and notably by the bould Cavendish!

And that's the second thing. Yes, this is stage racing, but the type of flat stages and particularly finishes you pine for are tedious in the extreme. TEDIOUS! And they have been for years. The organisers are dead-right to make the changes they did. We've had a great week due to the fact that the sprinters could not rely on their trains towing them to a simple bunch finish that negated all the work of break-away groups. Please don't pedal (sorry :D ) the line that it disrespect to break up a team train. It's inconvenient for the team and the star sprinter but its a perfectly legitimate and reasonable strategy to adopt. As it is Cavendish has won three stages and other sprinters a couple more - not bad at all, and more entertaining.

On the primacy of the climbers; remember that sprinters have it largely their own way during the Classics. Climbers are due a week of so in the sun and they suffer the same as all the rest of the pelathon in the mountains. They just get there faster! Also the Alps and Pyrenees stages are definitely the most dramatic and earned more by a single riders own efforts. Okay i know there are 'domestiques' pacing star climbers up mountains, but the climber has to make the break himself well before the end and is out there to be shot at and can lose the Tour in an afternoon. I like sprinters but I love climbers! But in fact it is usually a good all-rounder who wins the big tours. Pure climbers rarely do; just as pure sprinters don't.

I do agree it's been a great Tour this year though and i can't wait for tomorrow and the Pyrenees.
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Re: Tour de France

Postby jezzer » July 14th, 2011, 11:50 am

I don't get the Cavendish hate at all. He's a very passionate guy, very emotional, but not at all unlikable IMO.

As for drugs, several commentators, incl Lemond, have commented that they think cycling hasn't been cleaner in a generation since before the Giro. Cav didn't appear very high on the UCI Index of Suspicion (Level 2, with F. Schleck, Hushovd, L.L.Sanchez etc) that was leaked earlier this year. Sure, that's historical and he wasn't squeaky clean on it either (unlike our Nico Roche, Level 0), but I think he's a superb sprinter and a creditable mountain climber who is no more suspicious a racer than any of the other riders who have little/no history of drug involvement. By contrast, Rojas was Level 5 (with Contador et al) and Gilbert was not incl. in the list.

Sprinting stages are an integral part of the GTs. I'd hate to see them go, though there's not much you can do about peleton tactics making for some pretty boring stages (other than the recent changes to intermediate sprint bonuses, which was a good idea)
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Re: Tour de France

Postby IanD » July 14th, 2011, 12:16 pm

I did not mean to connect drug use with Cavindish at all.

My point was why dislike him when drug cheats are still in the race now. Vinokourov (I am aware he is out), Ivan Basso and David Miller have all been suspended but started this years tour.
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Re: Tour de France

Postby artaneboy » July 15th, 2011, 12:46 pm

IanD wrote:I did not mean to connect drug use with Cavindish at all.

My point was why dislike him when drug cheats are still in the race now. Vinokourov (I am aware he is out), Ivan Basso and David Miller have all been suspended but started this years tour.


Well, I do agree with that - in the final analysis. It's the drug cheats that I really despise and which killed my faith in bike racing. In fairness I never implied or stated that Cavendish was dirty. I'm more than happy to watch him do his thing. It's a separate issue.

On the drug issue, I would not grade all the above as equally 'guilty'. If they've done the time for the crime- I'm prepared (if not enthusiastic) to see them back. But I think that Contador's presence in the Tour is a disgrace.
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Re: Tour de France

Postby ribs » July 17th, 2011, 12:24 pm

artaneboy wrote:On the drug issue, I would not grade all the above as equally 'guilty'. If they've done the time for the crime- I'm prepared (if not enthusiastic) to see them back.

Interesting point there that I've never been able to reconcile in my mind. My understanding is that cheating with drugs allows the cheater to either train harder or recover faster from training. Wouldn't the cheat still retain some of the physiological gains even after the ban is lifted? On the other hand I appreciate that it must be difficult for the cheat to continue enthusiastically training during a ban and so will have had some fall off in performance. Not sure what the balance is here - I suppose the ban needs to be long enough.
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Re: Tour de France

Postby claire_m » July 18th, 2011, 4:30 pm

artaneboy wrote:
But I think that Contador's presence in the Tour is a disgrace.


I agree and I'm just hoping that he won't win (though it's starting to look like he won't, just because he couldn't get into the break on the 1st day or so). On the other hand, I just don't like Cadel Evans, so I'm hoping he won't win either!

I am a big fan of Cav and I hope he does retain the green jersey. He's phenomenol.
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Re: Tour de France

Postby Hornet » July 18th, 2011, 5:04 pm

claire_m wrote:
artaneboy wrote:
But I think that Contador's presence in the Tour is a disgrace.


I agree and I'm just hoping that he won't win (though it's starting to look like he won't, just because he couldn't get into the break on the 1st day or so). On the other hand, I just don't like Cadel Evans, so I'm hoping he won't win either!

I am a big fan of Cav and I hope he does retain the green jersey. He's phenomenol.

Loved Cav's slagging of the other team's after yesterday's stage win. He has a very good point with regard to the other teams not getting their sprinters in the frame. He admitted it was his fault when he just missed out on the stage win a few days back. He beat himself up about and then repaid the team the following day. Cav's my kind of Sportsman. Arrogant, Imperious and does the buisness in spectacular fashion. He's a winner, and that what any team wants. He is close to becoming one of the legends of the Tour. Not bad for a lad from a rock in the middle of the Irish Sea, more famously known for it's providers of two wheeled motorised legends, as opposed to the two wheeled human motor form. Cav to take the win in Paris, and with it the Green Jersey (Just!). Just hope they don't play that awful Manx National Anthem on the final podium!
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Re: Tour de France

Postby olaf the fat » July 19th, 2011, 11:13 am

I did not realise Cav was an IOMer, hell he is nearly one of us so!

Come on the CAV!!

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Re: Tour de France

Postby jhc99 » July 19th, 2011, 11:50 am

jezzer wrote:I don't get the Cavendish hate at all. He's a very passionate guy, very emotional, but not at all unlikable IMO.

As for drugs, several commentators, incl Lemond, have commented that they think cycling hasn't been cleaner in a generation since before the Giro. Cav didn't appear very high on the UCI Index of Suspicion (Level 2, with F. Schleck, Hushovd, L.L.Sanchez etc) that was leaked earlier this year. Sure, that's historical and he wasn't squeaky clean on it either (unlike our Nico Roche, Level 0), but I think he's a superb sprinter and a creditable mountain climber who is no more suspicious a racer than any of the other riders who have little/no history of drug involvement. By contrast, Rojas was Level 5 (with Contador et al) and Gilbert was not incl. in the list.

Sprinting stages are an integral part of the GTs. I'd hate to see them go, though there's not much you can do about peleton tactics making for some pretty boring stages (other than the recent changes to intermediate sprint bonuses, which was a good idea)



"The French l’Equipe newspaper has leaked a list drawn up by the UCI, which catalogued an estimation of the doping ‘risk’ of each rider in last year’s Tour de France, Ranking the riders from zero [no suspicion] to ten [very suspicious], each rider who took part in the race was indexed according to their biological passport information and a control taken on July 1st, the day before the start of the Tour.

It also pointed out that none of those with a high rating of suspicion tested positive, nor have they been sanctioned under the biological passport.

As a result, the list should be viewed for what it is; a document helping to steer testing, rather than one which in itself determines wrongdoing.

According to the list, those who were deemed most worth of additional scrutiny were Carlos Barredo and Yaroslav Popovych, each ranked 10/10. One point below was Denis Menchov, while those on 8/10 were David de La Fuente, Jose Ivan Gutierrez, Danilo Hondo, Matthew Lloyd, Iban Mayoz, David Muravyev, Rinaldo Nocentini, Daniel Oss, Kevin Seeldrayers, Konstantin Siutsou and Jurgen Van den Broeck.

Reassuringly, the list of those with no grounds for suspicion is the biggest of all. Riders present included Michael Barry, Edvald Boasson-Hagen, Fabian Cancellara, Simon Gerrans, Chris Horner, Robert Hunter, Mark Renshaw, Nicolas Roche, Thomas Voeckler, Fabian Wegmann and David Zabriskie.

Read more: http://www.velonation.com/News/ID/8426/ ... z1SXyluZKc

Read more: http://www.velonation.com/News/ID/8426/ ... z1SXyh6FMX

Read more: http://www.velonation.com/News/ID/8426/ ... z1SXxsw600
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Re: Tour de France

Postby artaneboy » July 20th, 2011, 4:08 pm

jhc99 wrote:
jezzer wrote:I don't get the Cavendish hate at all. He's a very passionate guy, very emotional, but not at all unlikable IMO.

As for drugs, several commentators, incl Lemond, have commented that they think cycling hasn't been cleaner in a generation since before the Giro. Cav didn't appear very high on the UCI Index of Suspicion (Level 2, with F. Schleck, Hushovd, L.L.Sanchez etc) that was leaked earlier this year. Sure, that's historical and he wasn't squeaky clean on it either (unlike our Nico Roche, Level 0), but I think he's a superb sprinter and a creditable mountain climber who is no more suspicious a racer than any of the other riders who have little/no history of drug involvement. By contrast, Rojas was Level 5 (with Contador et al) and Gilbert was not incl. in the list.

Sprinting stages are an integral part of the GTs. I'd hate to see them go, though there's not much you can do about peleton tactics making for some pretty boring stages (other than the recent changes to intermediate sprint bonuses, which was a good idea)



"The French l’Equipe newspaper has leaked a list drawn up by the UCI, which catalogued an estimation of the doping ‘risk’ of each rider in last year’s Tour de France, Ranking the riders from zero [no suspicion] to ten [very suspicious], each rider who took part in the race was indexed according to their biological passport information and a control taken on July 1st, the day before the start of the Tour.

It also pointed out that none of those with a high rating of suspicion tested positive, nor have they been sanctioned under the biological passport.

As a result, the list should be viewed for what it is; a document helping to steer testing, rather than one which in itself determines wrongdoing.

According to the list, those who were deemed most worth of additional scrutiny were Carlos Barredo and Yaroslav Popovych, each ranked 10/10. One point below was Denis Menchov, while those on 8/10 were David de La Fuente, Jose Ivan Gutierrez, Danilo Hondo, Matthew Lloyd, Iban Mayoz, David Muravyev, Rinaldo Nocentini, Daniel Oss, Kevin Seeldrayers, Konstantin Siutsou and Jurgen Van den Broeck.

Reassuringly, the list of those with no grounds for suspicion is the biggest of all. Riders present included Michael Barry, Edvald Boasson-Hagen, Fabian Cancellara, Simon Gerrans, Chris Horner, Robert Hunter, Mark Renshaw, Nicolas Roche, Thomas Voeckler, Fabian Wegmann and David Zabriskie.

Read more: http://www.velonation.com/News/ID/8426/ ... z1SXyluZKc

Read more: http://www.velonation.com/News/ID/8426/ ... z1SXyh6FMX

Read more: http://www.velonation.com/News/ID/8426/ ... z1SXxsw600


That's an amazing list! I can think of no other sport where it would exist - even as a confidential document.
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