Skip to comments.Tour de France *** 2011 *** [LIVE THREAD]
Posted on 07/01/2011 7:58:26 PM PDT by Ready4Freddy
These last 2 days have just about killed me. I DVR’d both but couldn’t watch until after 6 pm b/c I wanted to wait and watch with my husband. You can’t imagine how hard it is to stay away from this thread, facebook, twitter, the TdF site, etc all of which are spoilers.
I was so nervous as we watched today’s stage. Epic. There’s no other way to describe it. Three HC’s in. one. day. Inconceivable.
I think the reason that Cadel and the others didn’t chase Andy when he attacked was that it was sooo far from the end of the stage. There was a long descent and valley ride + the climb up the Col de Galbier. (= brutal) I think they thought there was no way he could stay away for 60.4 km and that they would waste their energy in chasing him.
It’s interesting but Tuesday Mark Steyn was subbing for Rush and he said that the British special forces have a motto which is “He who dares, wins”. MS was discussing politics but it could not be more true for today’s stage.
Andy who dared, won.
Just when everyone (Phil and Paul) had written him off. Just when everyone was saying Contador is back! It all changed. Andy won his first stage, Contador cracked, Voekler held on to yellow in a HEROIC effort, Frank breezed in , Cadel challenged but couldn’t match, Sanchez cracked, Cunigo looked strong.
Paul said “this is a great move! It is an iconic move! It is the sort of thing that is written about in the legends of the Tour de France!”
Tomorrow is a brand new day. Wouldn’t you just love to hear what was said at the dinner tables of all the teams tonight?
I think tomorrow, the Schleck brothers hit the field with the old 1-2 again. This time perhaps Frank wins but both can attack the peloton. Frank has won Alpes D’huez before so we shall see what the tactics are.
Cadel needs to regroup and stay strong if he is going to finish high this year. Contador is going to either be desperate or resigned. My guess is desperate. Ditto Sanchez. Basso is going to hang around and look for an opportunity.
I, for one, can’t wait! I told my husband that we may just have to watch it live starting at 6! ha! Forget about work! ;-)
ps. After the stage Phil predicted the 2 Schlecks and Cadel Evans on the podium this year. IN MY DREAMS!
My mistake! Phil or Paul said that today was Andy’s first stage win but that was wrong. He won a stage in last year’s TdF- stage 8.
Even on the stage when the commentators were all about, “Contador is back!” I was scratching my head as you. “Whuuut!?” He was never back. This will be a Schleck/Evans podium. Personally I hope Cadel prevails. We shall see!!
For those that are up early:
http://cycling.sportrightnow.com/?refresh (selected cycling tweets)
I see Robbie Mcewen was throwing out a few tweets.
The real question in my mind is what does Andy Schleck have left in the tank after yesterday? He spent a lot of time out front on those long climbs. If he really needs at least another half minute on Evans, he’s going to have to push hard enough to escape on him or drop him — having his brother right there will help, but even if he manages to do so, will he have the energy to keep the lead in the TT tomorrow?
I’m definitely looking for someone(s) in that 5-9 bunch to make a major attempt today, while the top 4 are keeping eagle eyes on each other.
Voeckler has truly been a lion, but he probably loses the yellow jersey today. If he somehow manages to hold onto it, though, I wouldn’t bet against him in the TT, even if he only leads by 1 second going in — he’s been written off too many times so far to take any stock in it at the very end.
This is where the team will have to do their job and get him in position to win
If he really needs at least another half minute on Evans, hes going to have to push hard enough to escape on him or drop him having his brother right there will help, but even if he manages to do so, will he have the energy to keep the lead in the TT tomorrow?
And that's why it's called the "race of truth". Should be a fantastic finish. Not sure the last time so much has been up in the air going into the last two days.
Maybe he's conserving, but Phil says he couldn't hold the break.
...Contador smelling blood?
...Voelkler smelling podium?
Stage 19 - Modane Valfréjus > > > Alpe-dHuez - 109.5 km
Friday, July 22, 2011
Km 26.5 - Col du Télégraphe (1 566 m) - 11.9 km climb to 7.1 % - Category 1
Km 48.5 - Col du Galibier (2 556m) - 16.7 km climb to 6.8 % - Category HC
Km 109.5 - Alpe d'Huez (1 850 m) - 13.8 km climb to 7.9 % - Category HC
Voeckler weaving all over the road, but he’s digging in and digging in some more. This is proving to be an epic stage of the Tour already. Evans is 1:07 down on Contador.
Contador has now caught the break and he’s ripping right through them. Flecha can’t believe what he’s seeing.
Voeckler is still out there on his own and chasing Schleck and Contador. Surely he should sit up and wait, and then use his teammates.
And now a bike change for Evans. Is the Tour slipping away from the Australian?
Voeckler has been dropped too and Contador now just has Andy with him.
Ah there is a problem with Evans’ bike but he’s lost time there and he’ll either have to chase or sit up and wait for the bunch. He has Burghardt with him.
Evans has cracked. he thinks it’s his bike but it’s his legs.
Stage 19 - Modane Valfréjus > > > Alpe-dHuez - 109.5 km
Friday, July 22, 2011
High Mountains - A sporting perspective
JEAN-FRANÇOIS PESCHEUXS ANALYSIS: The stage everyone is afraid of
Todays route runs in the opposite direction to yesterdays. The riders tackle the successive climbs of the Col du Télégraphe and the Galibier, and then finish with the climb to Alpe dHuez, which returns after an absence of three years. It is a short stage. Nevertheless, all of the riders will be afraid of it. Those who arent going so well will be concerned about the cut-off time for elimination and the favourites will know that they will pay a heavy cost for any sign of weakness. The shortness of the stage allows the climbers to attack from very early on, which is not something they will be used to. This stage will be thrilling and, bearing in mind that it comes on the back of two other tough days, there is a chance that a lot of damage will be done today.
I think it’s a little early there Conti...
Pulling a Floyd with some Floyd juice?
So I have a question for you guys: I know that having a teammate in the breakaway group that is there to work with you if you can get away from the peloton in high mountain stages like yesterday is important. Just what does the domestique provide to the GC contender? Drafting is not an issue on high mountain stages (yes, I know, it was very important in the valley yesterday b/c of the headwind) b/c they are moving so slowly. Is it for pacing? Psychological?
How about Cavendish being penalized b/c the grupetto finished outside the time limit? They let them all stay in the race but took 20 green jersey points away from him ( and all the other riders in the group). Rojas was not affected so it could be very important in Paris.
--- I can't believe Voekler is staying so near the gap all by himself. This will take a lot from him. AC and AS look very fit.
Frank is handcuffed. He want to get up there and help Andy, but would have to take Evans and Basso with him.
82 riders out of time limit yesterday?
Thanks, Bay! I figured it was something like that. I noticed immediately yesterday that BMC, Leopard Trek, RadioShack and a few other teams were represented in the breakaway but Saxo Bank was not.
I am beginning to wonder if AC’s team really doesn’t like him and won’t work for him. Even this morning Sorenson and Navarro made a small effort for AC when he attacked but neither stuck around...
I’ve always heard that drafting on the mountain stages saves you 30% in energy expenditures. Lance’s domestiques were legendary on the mountain stages.
30% on the flats is a given. Into a wind it’s even more value. On an incline it’s less physically, but no less important.
If this all comes back together D-Huez is going to be a massacre.
Just hoping Andy has enough left in the tank. Doesn’t seem to be in too much trouble yet. Getting back with Frank should definitely help.
Will Evans be strong in the switchbacks?
Will AC or Andy be able the break it all up?
I have a feeling it might be those two all alone at the top.
Which 2? Andy and AC? I predict that Frank will ride a strong Alpes D’Huez. He is just cruising right now- not working at all.
It is well established that no one can truly climb with AC and AS when they go full bore. But I don’t know if they have expended too much so far. If not, it will be just the two of them, and a bunch of pained confused faces down the mountain.
AC has to try it. It's all or nothing today. This is the end of his tour.
I thought the same thing yesterday when Schleck made his move. Can you say blood transfusion?
The test kits are all lined up in the medical van today!
There goes Evans!
Oops... pulled back. There goes Contador!
You wearing a hole in your carpet yet?
Frank Schleck is back with Sanchez and Cunego. Sanchez is setting the pace, but we’re still a long way from the finish, anything can still happen and Contador drops Rolland at last.
The Spaniard stamps on the pedals again, one look back, and he’s gone. Evans and Andy Schleck dont need to worry about Contador just yet, he’s almost 5 minutes down on GC.
I’m sorry to see Voekler gone. He has shown a lot of heart.
And Velits jumps off the front of the favourites’ group, and Sanchez goes after him.
The Schlecks need to test Evans more than they are. They can’t afford to wait for the TT.
Lucky for me I have hardwood floors!
I’m wondering if Cadel can take a minute on Schleck in the TT? This last week has been amazing.
He has but you knew it was coming. The only question was when. He did a great job holding on yesterday. He’s had a great Tour.
8.5 K to go - Contador has one minute on them he’s going out of sight. They need to be able to see him. I expect something from Evans soon.
Help! Im stuck up in the mountains of NM with lousy internet coverage and no tv coverage. Whats going on??????
Contador is almost caught and Evans is attacking from the chase group.
Cunego is attacking the group. Sammy Sanchez is catching Contador but Pierre Rolland has gone in an effort to win a stage for France.
The tour will not be decided today. OH MY!
Closing on 3k to go. Contador has been caught by Sanchez and Rolland. A Frenchman coud win the d’Huez stage!
Evans just attacked his little group, which includes the Schlecks. They’re a bit over a minute behind, so Contador is out of it. Evans is best placed going into the TT tomorrow if all holds as is.
how is AS doing?
Rolland takes the stage, Contador 3rd. At least he’ll get to stand on the podium once...
maybe I can find somewhere tomorrow with a decent connection to stream live coverage. At least its recorded and waiting for me at home. If I do find live coverage will be difficult as DH didn’t get to see yesterdays stage yet, so he is totally in the dark. Im gonna bust trying not to give it away!!
Best thing to do if you have internet (which you obviously do) is to follow the newsflashes on the official Tour de France site. They do a very good job of keeping you up to the minute.
For what? Most aggressive?
Taos. My daughter has been dancing at a summer intensive here for the last month. We are here to pick her up and see the final preformance! One of the few things I am willing to miss Alp Dhuez for
My internet connection is so spotty it keeps kicking me out Believe me Ive tried!
Andy will be in yellow tomorrow, and will start the TT last. Brother Frank is currently second at 53 sec, Aussie Evans third, but only 57 sec back.
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