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Kiffster

The Peloton: General Cycling Topic

Recommended Posts

Kiffster

Fantastic stage today, except for Contador's crash!

 

Nibali wins his second stage and reclaims the yellow jersey after a great ride up the final climb. Also nice to see Valverde right behind him and coming in 3rd, and being 3rd overall 2'47" behind Nibali.

 

But this year certainly looks like Nibali's year now...

Edited by W2B

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Eram

Just now I was able to watch the final 40 kms...

 

Outstanding stage!

 

Fact of the day - Without any doubt Contador's crash.

His bike wasn't broke on the crash though, it seems that after his crash it was runned over by Belkin's car.

 

Here's a pic of his knee (viewers discretion is advised):

 

 

10458002_780964848602154_726116147093616

 

 

Amazing T. Martin stuff, yet again, though he was surely "doped" by his previous stage win and mostly by Germany's WC 4* achievement :)

 

Congrats to Nibali, he nailed it (though he should buy some drinks to Scarponi, that had a hell of ride an some awesome crash while working long for his fellow Italian mate), unless he crashes or has some other weird problem...

 

I still believe that some Rodriguez-Valverde alliance is possible at the steep mountains still to come, but at the TT >50 kms, Valverde will most probably loose some time to Nibali and even Porte.

 

Most of my credit for this stage is going to Tiago Machado though (3rd on start, rather surprising imho).

He had a hard crash (just a few mins before Contador did, on the same descent), Le Tour officials even advanced that he quited, but he just didn’t. He was the last one to finish (180th), some 43 mins behind, but still though he was out of the regular timeline, his outstanding effort was duly rewarded, as the commissioners “recovered” him and he’s still on (now 47th, some 44 mins behind). Hard spirited guy (again, viewers discretion is advised):

 

 

10494825_781151615250144_209708014698660

 

10501703_781151618583477_997164725577472

15350_781151605250145_651469013153306177

10413338_781157041916268_911168899582539

 

 

 

2014's La Vuelta will surely be awesome with Froome, Contador, Quintana (maybe also Valverde) and Rodriguez going for it :p

Edited by EramVerdes

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Kiffster

2014's La Vuelta will surely be awesome with Froome, Contador, Quintana (maybe also Valverde) and Rodriguez going for it :p

Yeah I'm definitely looking forward to the Vuelta.

 

Also...

 

Team-MTN-Qhubeka-Blog.jpg

 

:cool: nuff said :cool:

 

(I really hope they get a wildcard entry into next year's tdf. The Tour needs more South Africans haha. There's currently only one South African in the Tour thanks to Impey's scandal, and that's Robbie Hunter, one of my all time favourites who was the first African to ride the Tour and the first one to win a stage. Now THAT was an awesome year. He's not riding anymore though, but he's team manager of Garmin, so he's in the team car lol. I miss him, he was a great sprinter)

 

Anyway, first week of the Tour already finished. Time flies. One of the craziest weeks ever.

 

Tomorrow's stage will be much easier than the last couple of days with only a few cat 3 and 4 climbs. Might be another day for a successful breakaway.

 

E: jesus the OP is getting long. Hope there's not a limit because we're only halfway through the Tour....

Edited by W2B

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Kiffster

So this year for the first time they've put cameras on some of the riders' bicycles, and I just saw some of those shots. It's awesome, especially during high speed descending, but I wish they would show us more of that during each stage.

 

Remember when Barloworld's John-Lee Augustyn misjudged a corner in the high mountains in 2008 and went head over heels over the edge in a spectacular crash?

 

augustyn-700-80.jpg

 

He was stuck on the steep slopes and had to be helped back up to the road by a spectator, but his bicycle was never seen again as it continued to slide down the steep mountain lol... A bicycle-mounted camera in such a crash back then would've been amazing!

Edited by W2B

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Mister Pink

Every time the Tour De France is on, I got to bust out this album from 2003...

A certain band are obsessed with cycling so they made a whole album about Tour De France..

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dANSs9kZCxI

 

In fact, they had a track about it in 1983...

 

 

I was hoping to get more in to le Tour De France but have no one to share the interest with at home.

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Kiffster

Haha, I have no one to share the interest with at home either. Whenever I talk to my girlfriend about anything sport related it's like talking to the freakin walls. She watches it sometimes though... But it's not as if she's interested.

 

No one at work watches tdf that I know of, none of my friends are that interested in cyclng... it's just me.

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Mister Pink

Oh no... thank f*ck for the interwebz!!

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Kiffster

He might have lost the yellow jersey after just one day, but Gallopin got his stage win. Great ride.

 

Another pre race favourite, Talansky, had a pretty nasty day and is currently in danger of getting eliminated, but I think he should be fine. Good to see Robbie Hunter though :)

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Eram

On board cams - This will be the next big thing on cycling, hopefully on 2015 TdF we'll have this regularly.

 

Atm it's just kinda "independent cams", so most if not all of these videos aren't live accessible to the TdF tv director. Maybe also some copyright issues will pop up in the near future ;)

 

Sprint's images "caught" by both front/rear Degenkolb's cams at Tour of California (I believe this were the 1st ever, on a World Tour race) were just awesome, including elbowing and headers, though no biting so far...

 

@Mister Pink, nice to have you on board, we're 4 now and still 10 stages to go!

I've never heard of Kraftwerk before (I'm not so found of electronic music), but I've listen to you're posted youtubes and realized that some of it were familiar sounds.

Sorry for off-topic but what do you think of this (yes, I've checked your music awards :))?

Top Summer hit here for sure!

 

As for tomorrow's stage, Sagan should try to go on the 1st breakaway for the Sprint points and also those last 50 kms should be interesting. No steep climbs but long ones. Maybe finally a Voeckler's day all the way (T. Martin could also do it, again!). I'd really like to see T. Machado going for it, but he's still pretty hammered so probably only on week 3 he'll have another go.

Edited by EramVerdes

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Kiffster

Talansky finished yesterday, but didn't start today's stage. Don't blame him because his back is messed up after he was involved in a couple of nasty crashes. The pre race favourites are dropping like flies this year.

 

Even though it's going to be difficult to beat Nibali at this stage, I'm still hopeful that Valverde (who is now my favourite after Contafor's exit) can do something in the upcoming high mountains. Although I have to say after Nibali's performance this year, he definitely deserves the yellow jersey once they get to Paris.

 

@Eram - I am actually surprised that Voeckler is nowhere to be seen in today's stage, but I think he might be saving his energy for the next couple of days in the Alps. (I predict he's gonna fail again though haha)

Edited by W2B

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Kiffster

Great ride by Nibali to win stage 13 and extend his lead. Valverde made a move but couldn't shake Nibali who broke away from them instead. Still, Valverde is now second overall after a poor ride by Porte who finished the stage over 8 minutes behind. It's all over for Sky me thinks.

 

Nibali proved today that he's the best remaining rider in the Tour, but there's still a week of racing left....

 

Today was the first high mountain stage in the Alps, and tomorrow they'll have to do it all again on another very tough day.

Edited by W2B

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Eram

Yep, great ride from Nibali, yet again, 3 stages now!

 

Today will be a really hard stage. I expect Rodriguez to get on the early breakaway so he can get those polka dot points.

The final descent is tricky and very long. Some rain is possible, so some crashes could happen...

 

Also great race so far from the French riders (though not from Europcar, maybe today....) with 3 on the top 6, but the >50 kms TT in a week will not be so kind to them.

 

I'm starting to think that Van Garderen could very well finish 2nd overall. He's by far the best on the TT from the top 10 and imho he can pull back a lot of mins that day. Valverde must be well clear from him if he wants to finish 2nd.

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Kiffster

Nibali extended his lead again over all his rivals, and Valverde struggled up the final climb. He's now in danger of losing his position to white jersey wearer Bardet who had a much better day in the Alps. Even some of the other dudes now pose a threat to him if he continues to struggle like that.

 

Valverde shouldn't have any trouble tomorrow, and he should hold on to second place by the end of the day unless something goes wrong. They head to the Pyrenees after the rest day for the final week of racing, and some of the toughest climbs of the Tour are still ahead. Valverde's chances are not looking good if he had such a difficult day today.

 

Meanwhile, Nibali has been totally flawless this year.

 

Tomorrow is one for the sprinters again, but I think a break might also be successful. It's downhill almost all the way!!

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Eram

Strong crossed wind (50-60 k/h) and thunderstorm for the last 50 kms today. Ummm...

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Kiffster

Damn, bad luck for Jack Bauer (not the guy from 24) who was in the breakaway the entire day, but was caught on the finish line. I really thought he (or Elmiger) would take the stage. And then he doesn't even get the most aggressive prize! Heartbreak man, heartbreak :cry:

Edited by W2B

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Eram

A real shame that Kiefer, sorry JB from NZ, missed it for just 15 mts or so.

 

Today's Port de Balès climb/descent should be epic, if only Nibaly had to recover some time from either Froome or Contador...

Still, I predict some amazing stuff from some of the others. A lot of teams still missing a stage win (Movistar, BMC, Europcar, Lampre, etc..), it's their chance to have a go!

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Kiffster

Yup, quite a lot of teams represented in the large breakaway today, and they're currently just over 9 minutes ahead, and the gap keeps growing. Looks like they might survive today. Voeckler is in the break with two teammates, so I'll be keeping my eye on him...

 

Edit: well Voeckler ALMOST won the stage. He crossed the line in second place 9 seconds behind Rogers. At least the breakaway managed to survive today. Other than that, the longest stage of this year's Tour was pretty uneventful.

 

They did pass by the memorial of Fabio Casartelli again this year, who was killed during the TDF in '95 after going down and hitting his head against a stone barrier. Very sad googling his name and seeing pictures of him lying in the road, already dead. Damn!

Edited by W2B

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Kiffster

Don't know what it is about him, but there's just something about Rafal Majka that rubs me the wrong way. Don't like the guy very much. But whatever, he got his second stage win...

 

Nibali rode brilliantly again today, extending his lead slightly over Valverde who just can't stay in contact with him up these difficult climbs. Nibali is just too awesomely good this year and I wonder how different the results would have been if Froome and Contador were still in it.

 

Tomorrow is the final mountain stage going over the legendary Tourmalet and then the final ascent up to Hautacam, and I suspect Nibali might extend his lead even more.

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Eram

Not sure if you're raising any suspects on him (Majka, I really hope there will be nothing strange found on him (or anyone else...) in the near future), but Imo he's doing just amazingly this season.

He finished 6th overall at Giro. and wasn't supposed to be at TdF, even publicly complained about being on it (last moment "signing" as Kreusiguer replacement to support Contador on the mountains).

Contador was sadly off, so he became a "loose cannon", good for him!

Just imagine Tinkoff with Contador climbing with Majka, Roche, Rogers and Paulinho supporting him @ the mountains. Nibali was frequently lefted alone (no team at all, of course "the mummy" Fuglsang would also be much better if not crashed before).

 

Majka was/is (just) supposed to be the team leader at the Vuelta, no Polka Dot demanding @TdF by Mr. Tinkoff, I believe.

It's most amazing that he'll manage to race the big 3 on the same year. Rodriguez will also do it, but still he was early off the Giro so he just recheduled his season & is also loosing "his" Polka Dot so far.

 

Awesome stage in prospect, hopefully...

The final descent (pretty wet akaik), will probably throw T. Pinot a bit down on the overall.

Nice to see Voeckler (again) on the breakaway and also T. Machado (my Portuguese fellow mate, after that big crash).

Nieve could do it today and kinda save Sky's TdF, meaning Tinkoff (n/Contador) won 3 so far!

Movistar and AG2R also seem to go for it, as they placed some riders on the breakway (Valverde was "saved" yesterday by this placement).

Bardet & Pinot are lousy @TT, unlike Peraud and even Valverde, so the "young Frenchs" must act today!

Edited by EramVerdes

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Kiffster

I'm definitely not suggesting that Majka is a doper or anything like that (although he did cheat slightly yesterday by grabbing onto that motorbike to launch himself forward, but he probably didn't gain much if anything from the move. Still cheating though, and he was penalized).

 

But I don't know, he just seems to be a bit too arrogant for my liking, and after complaining about his teammates, also a bit selfish. Just my personal opinion...

 

There's no doubt about it though, he's an excellent rider.

 

Speaking of cheating, just as I write this, Jose Joaquin Rojas has been disqualified after holding on to his second team car. The team car has also been kicked out of the Tour as a result.

 

And holy sh*t, Nibali is doing it again, leaving everyone behind and going for the stage win! This guy is f*cking incredible!

 

Edit: absolutely brilliant performance by Nibali as he wins his 4th stage. He's now over 7 minutes ahead of Pinot and Peraud. Valverde unfortunately struggled yet again and crossed the line 1'59" behind Nibali, which drops him down to 4th place overall @ 7'29". He can still make it onto the podium though, it's all up to the TT for him now.

Edited by W2B

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Kiffster

As expected, Tony Martin wins the TT. Jean Cristophe Peraud climbs to second place overall, and the young Frenchman Pinot is 3rd. Two French riders on the podium after tomorrow's final stage!

 

Unfortunately, Valverde had a pretty poor TT and stays in 4th place overall, so he won't make it onto the podium :(

 

Nibali on the other hand had an excellent TT with the 4th best time. Not that it mattered at all to be honest, because Nibali wins le Tour de France 2014!!!!!!

 

He dominated this year's Tour and was basically untouchable.

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Eram

I almost thought that you were gone W2B :)

 

Yep, pretty poor performance by Valverde, I honestly expected he'd be at least 3rd (even 2nd) on overall after today's TT.

Pinot should lost 9 out of 10 TTs to him, but still not today's.

Imho Valverde will now (next season) be someone's "top water man" (though getting his chances @some classics, but no more WT team leader status @TdF, I'm affraid ) while earning many $ (ie like Basso or even Rodriguez).

Contador would appreciate him and surely Mr Tinkoff has a lot of $...

 

Tony "The Bullet" Martin easily won it, as expected, and made an hell of a Tour imho! He also needs some team change...

 

My ups & downs coming up tomorrow (in some 30 hrs from now), just before thread's closure ;)

 

Take care buddy!

Edited by EramVerdes

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Kiffster

I almost thought that you were gone W2B

Why? I'm always here lol. Yesterday's stage was just a bit meh, nothing really interesting happened (well except that Robbie Hunter's team finally won a stage)

 

Anyway, it's been a great Tour, but it was a little bit disappointing that Nibali's main rivals had to abandon. Still, Nibali was absolutely brilliant this year, and his victory is well deserved.

 

Really looking forward to the Champs-Elysees tomorrow. With Cavendish gone since day 1, who's it gonna be? Kittel? Greipel? Sagan?

 

My money's on Kittel again... Sagan doesn't need to take any risks, he's so far ahead in the points competition, but he's definitely gonna have a go for victory. He still hasn't won a stage and there's no better stage for the sprinters than the one on the Champs-Elysees.

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Eram

Tomorrow, Kittel for sure!

Sagan (Green Jersey apart) is still eager on winning one, but no such luck for him this year imho, he had some chances and missed them all .

 

I'd surely like to see some last km breakway doing it @Champs Elysees (Vinokourov style), but I don't think Giant will allow it.

 

If not Kittell, I can only see Kristoff doing it, though Démare will also be fighting hard for it so he can finally justify "Bohuhanni's Gate" non-presence!

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Kiffster

champs1.jpg

 

Great sprint by Kittel to win on the Champs-Elysees, but damn it was close. Kristoff is second followed by Navardauskas and then The Gorilla Greipel.

 

CORVOS_00023554-045.jpg

CORVOS_00023554-102.jpg

 

Sagan crossed the line in 9th position.

 

CORVOS_00023554-143.jpg

NIBALI WINS LE TOUR DE FRANCE 2014 with Jean-Cristophe Peraud in second place and Thibaut Pinot in 3rd

CORVOS_00023554-011.jpg

 

CORVOS_00023554-114.jpg

PETER SAGAN WINS THE GREEN JERSEY, Alexander Kristoff is second and Bryan Coquard 3rd.

 

CORVOS_00023554-111.jpg

RAFAL MAJKA IS KING OF THE MOUNTAINS, Nibali second followed by Joaquim Rodriguez

 

CORVOS_00023554-106.jpg

THE BEST YOUNG RIDER IS THIBAUT PINOT, second Romain Bardet, third Tom Dumoulin.

 

CORVOS_00023554-137.jpg

AG2R-LA MONDIALE is the best team this year.

 

And finally, ALESSANDRO DE MARCHI WAS AWARDED AS THE MOST AGRESSIVE RIDER

 

 

CORVOS_00023554-055.jpg

Edited by W2B

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Eram

Kittel showed again that he's the fastest, though Kristoff was not that far. Maybe if Katusha found their way sooner it would have been even better for him - 1 hr to go and they still were looking for the starting line :)

 

My tops:

Nibali (no doubt the strongest, 1st ever stage win at TdF and kept on adding);

Kittel (another 4 stages to add);

T. Martin (never seizes to amaze me);

Tinkoff (showing strong even without Contador);

Bardet, Peraud & Pinot (how long didn't the French riders got this good on final overall?);

The huge crowds at the 3 English stages;

Jens Voigt 17th TdF (he will surely be missed).

 

Bottoms:

Froome & Contador crashing (we can only think, what if?);

Movistar and almost all Spanish riders (Valverde, Rodriguez, Moreno, etc. none being able to match their own expectations);

Voeckler, Rolland and Chavanel (I expected at least 1 stage win from one of them);

The whole Sky team, except maybe Zubeldia (even without Froome they should have done much better);

Kwiatkowski (at least top 10 was expected from him and top contender to the white jersey);

Cavendish (fortunately those headers on stage 1 didn't KO no one else).

 

@W2B - Many thanks for creating the thread and keeping it up to date every day.

Maybe "see you" at the Vuelta.

All the best mate!

Edited by EramVerdes

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Kiffster

Thanks man, and you're welcome :p

 

In the end it was just the two of us because Hodgey sucks haha.

 

Highlights for me were of course Nibali's awesome performance this year, the craziness of stage 5, Robbie Hunter :p , Cavendish crashing out on day 1 lol, and the usual guys like Martin, Kittel etc. Honorable mentions to Voigt and (for the hell of it) Ji Cheng, first Chinese rider and despite finishing last overall, he had a great Tour leading the peloton on a few occasions and was also partly responsible for destroying the hopes of quite a few breakaways.

 

Disappointments: The scandal surrounding Daryl Impey, Froome and Contador abandoning (but even if they didn't go, I wouldn't be surprised if Nibali won the Tour anyway), Jack Bauer getting caught (actually a highlight as well), no stage wins for Sagan, the absence of Quintana, and definitely Valverde's 4th place finish, although it's still an excellent result. He just couldn't match some of the other guys.

 

Great Tour, it's been fun. Looking forward to next year, starting in Utrecht, and of course this year's Vuelta.

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Kiffster

I remember following this news back in 2003 and all the theories like his death being orchestrated by certain Italians because he starred in Citroen ads, or that he was killed by competitors while he slept, but I dont think Pantani was murdered. He was a drug addict and was totally high on cocaine the day he died, screaming at hotel staff and guests, trashing his room etc just an hour or so before he was found. His behaviour in the months or so leading up to his death became increasingly strange.

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Doc Rikowski

I don't know the theories back then but what I know is that if the magistrates decided to re-open the case it means something new came up.

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