Tour de France 2011

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    Kris
     
     

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    Tour de France 2011

    Post by Kris on Wed Jun 22, 2011 6:03 am

    So, the big race in France will be starting the 2nd of July. Seeing as I'll be in Iceland, until the 5th of July (I'll be missing the TTT, damn Sad ). I think I'll get this thread started.

    Pre-race favorites:

    Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-Sunguard/Spain):
    Obvious favorite is obvious, really. This man has never finished worse than second in a grand tour (2007, he officially won - because of the corruption in the sport). Great in the mountains, as well as a good time trialist and with no weaknesses, Contador would be the most likely winner, unless he's still tired after owning the Giro d'Italia. The Danish based team will be bulit to give Contador the victory. Contador is a serious contender for the treble this season.

    Andy Schleck (Leopard Trek/Luxemburg):
    The Luxemburg based team started out with quite a lot of riders leaving Saxo Bank (read: most of the stars), including the Schleck brothers. Andy Schleck is probably the only rider who can match Contador in the mountains. Andy Schleck has the best team around him, with the strongest second man (his brother, Fränk). His weakness, besides not being that good at time trials, is that he isn't nearly as cynical as other top riders. He's the top challenger against Contador, and finished only 39 seconds after the Spaniard last year.

    Fränk Schleck (Leopard Trek/Luxemburg):
    As a rider, Fränk Schleck is pretty much the same as Andy Schleck, except a bit technically worse and not as good on time trials. The big strength of the Leopard Trek team is also the big weakness. The best climbers on the team are the Schleck brothers, but both of them aren't cynical enough and stick together too much, when it comes to getting rid of Contador. If they've lost that weakness on the new team, I believe one of the brothers will win.

    Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky/Great Britain):
    Wiggins is another rider to watch out for, at least based on his form. The winner of Dauphine Libere showed that he might be one to look out for. He is one of the best time trialists in the pack, and possibly the best of the GC contenders on that field. He isn't as good as the three before mentioned riders in the mountains, and his team doesn't look to be the strongest in the mountains, so he'll have to manage on his own.

    Samuel Sanchez (Euskatel/Spain):
    The captain from the mountain-strong Basque team, he might have a hard tour this year. Sanchez is great in the mountains, especially downhill, with one of the strongest mountain teams in the tour, but Euskatel riders usually rely on offensive tactics. Where that makes them an entertaining team to follow, they usually don't mount the big GC challenges. Sanchez finished 4th last year, losing 3rd place on a time trial against Menchov.

    Cadel Evans (BMC/Australia):
    One of my friends made a joke today, while talking about TDF: "Evans have always pulled up good results, despite being on shit teams". He was right. Evans hasn't really been on a shit team, during his time at Lotto. A team which wasn't the most powerful powerful in the mountains, Evans has always been working with what he has been given. He's good in the mountains and on time trials. He's not the most offensive rider, but he's one of the best riders in the pack at holding on when things get tough. He finished second in the Dauphine.

    Robert Gesink (Rabobank/Netherlands):
    It must suck for a skilled rider like Gesink to be on a team that's actually afraid of winning. Gesink is a raelly good climber, not afraid of attacking and is improving in time trials. Not having had the most impressive season before the tour, not even finishing in top 10 of Dauphine, Gesink might have to share captainicy of the team with another young Ducth talent, Steven Kruijswijk, who rode a great Giro and finished 3rd in the Tour of Switzerland.

    Previous winners:
    2001: Lance Armstrong (USA)
    2002: Lance Armstrong (USA)
    2003: Lance Armstrong (USA)
    2004: Lance Armstrong (USA)
    2005: Lance Armstrong (USA)
    2006: Oscar Pereio Sio (Spain)
    2007: Michael Rasmussen (Denmark)*
    2008: Carlos Sastre (Spain)
    2009: Alberto Contador (Spain)
    2010: Alberto Contador (Spain)

    *Contador officially won in 07, but due to the rather strange nature of Rasmussen being taken out of the tour that year, I still - and will always - recognize him as the winner that year.

    Standings:

    Stage result:


    General classification:



    Points competition:


    King of the mountains competition:



    Youth competition:


    Team competition:



    Last edited by Kris on Wed Jul 06, 2011 5:01 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Edited in some more shit)
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    Re: Tour de France 2011

    Post by Guest on Wed Jun 22, 2011 6:07 am

    Kris wrote:2007: Michael Rasmussen (Denmark)*

    *Contador officially won in 07, but due to the rather strange nature of Rasmussen being taken out of the tour that year, I still - and will always - recognize him as the winner that year.
    Biased.
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    Re: Tour de France 2011

    Post by Ben on Wed Jun 22, 2011 6:09 am

    I was just about to make a thread on this. Laughing

    Did you watch the Tour de Suisse or California or Giro? These RadioShack guys have gotta be on drugs Dry Smile

    I fancy Wiggo to do quite well, he's in great form having just got the biggest win of his career in the Critérium du Dauphiné.

    Hopefully Schleck wins, dislike Contador. The finish at the top of Col du Galibier will be amazing.
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    Re: Tour de France 2011

    Post by Guest on Wed Jun 22, 2011 6:11 am

    I didn't think people enjoyed this except for the ones that actually ride.
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    Re: Tour de France 2011

    Post by Ben on Wed Jun 22, 2011 6:14 am

    Surprised I love it. Partly forced upon me by my dad though, I doubt I'd watch any of the other Tours if it weren't for him.
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    Re: Tour de France 2011

    Post by Kris on Wed Jun 22, 2011 6:20 am

    kyro7 wrote:
    Kris wrote:2007: Michael Rasmussen (Denmark)*

    *Contador officially won in 07, but due to the rather strange nature of Rasmussen being taken out of the tour that year, I still - and will always - recognize him as the winner that year.
    Biased.

    Biased? No fucking doubt there, I wouldn't bother arguing against it.

    That being said, had he been thrown out regularly, I would have written Contador as winner that year, so here's why I Rasmussen should be mention as the winner:

    • He has never tested positive for doping. Contador has been closer to a positive test - even before the clenbuterol steak.
    • He is the first and only rider ever to get a warning for something that wasn't proven. He later admitted to being in Italy at the time he was supposed to be in Mexico. The thing is that had he got the warning at the appropriate time, he would probably have never gotten the 3rd, since he recieved it for something he did after being in Italy
    • Danish Cycling Union's complete lack of professionalism. Breaking confidentiality, as well as spreading false information (he never had 4 warnings, despite the claims of jesper whore)


    The first might not be a direct argument, but the two others..
    Biased, yes. But since things happened in this case, which never happened before and haven't happened since, I believe I'm allowed to be.
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    Re: Tour de France 2011

    Post by dena on Wed Jun 22, 2011 6:24 am

    Andy Schlek DO IT DO IT.

    I hope he wins the mountain race thing cause those polka dots look so good him.
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    Re: Tour de France 2011

    Post by SBSP on Wed Jun 22, 2011 6:25 am

    I think Lance Armstrong will win.

    shifty
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    Re: Tour de France 2011

    Post by Kris on Wed Jun 22, 2011 6:29 am

    Ben wrote:I was just about to make a thread on this. Laughing

    Did you watch the Tour de Suisse or California or Giro? These RadioShack guys have gotta be on drugs Dry Smile

    I fancy Wiggo to do quite well, he's in great form having just got the biggest win of his career in the Critérium du Dauphiné.

    Hopefully Schleck wins, dislike Contador. The finish at the top of Col du Galibier will be amazing.

    I watched the Giro, but I don't really rate RadioShack to be that top team. (Tour de Suisse was during the 3-week-hell at uni (officially named 3-week project), and I haven't been able to watch the Tour of California). Levi Leipheimer won the Tour of Suisse, but I doubt he can to a top level grand tour anymore. Same applies to Klöden. I'd like to see them give Brajkovic a shot at captainicy.

    Bigger chance for Andy Schleck to win the KOTM, because of the new rules in the competition.
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    Re: Tour de France 2011

    Post by Ben on Wed Jun 22, 2011 6:33 am

    Yeah, Leipheimer winning the Tour de Suisse and the 40+ year old Chris Horner winning the Tour of California just after Hincapie admits they used drugs doesn't really bode well for them Laughing

    Meh I doubt he really cares about the KOTM, and with his new Leopard Trek team behind him he'll be backed all the way. I still expect Contador to win though Dry Smile

    Hopefully Cav wins the green jersey this year too. It's amazing that he hasn't yet.
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    Re: Tour de France 2011

    Post by Kris on Wed Jun 22, 2011 6:38 am

    I'm pretty sure Cavendish will win the green shirt this year.

    As I wrote about the Schleck bros, they have the best team in the race behind them. I still believe that their weakness is that they stick together. On their own, or the way they've been riding the last few years, they could never win, but if they're a bit more cynical, they can best Contador, hands down.
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    Re: Tour de France 2011

    Post by Ben on Wed Jun 22, 2011 6:52 am

    I don't think Frank could, but if he's willing to properly sacrifice himself for Andy then Andy certainly could.
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    Re: Tour de France 2011

    Post by Kris on Wed Jun 22, 2011 7:03 am

    Maybe Frank can't, but that he can't makes it possible for him to do just that anyway.

    Andy, Frank and Contador are the 3 strongest riders in the pack, when it comes to climbing (IMO, I'm pretty sure you'll agree), so we can expect some battles between those 3.

    Now, Andy and Frank have the advantage that they're on the same team, so they can basically have one attack - Contador must catch him and the other attacks. That could run anyone, even Contador, down.

    You say if Frank is willing to sacrifice himself, I believe the real problem would be if Andy will allow Frank to sacrifice himself (I agree, Andy has a bigger chance)
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    Re: Tour de France 2011

    Post by Ben on Wed Jun 22, 2011 7:22 am

    Weren't Andy and Frank both at CSC for the last 5 years? And yeah, there's no doubt about it that they're the 3 best climbers. I just don't get how Contador is a good time-trialer, me and my dad are both convinced he's on drugs. I think the dodgy steak was bullshit.

    That's a good point actually, I hope Andy see's sense and is selfish enough to let his brother sacrifice himself.

    I think Tony Martin will have a good tour, he showed his quality on the climb up Ventoux a few years ago but his problem will be that his entire team is racing for Cav and not him.
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    Re: Tour de France 2011

    Post by Kris on Wed Jun 22, 2011 7:45 am

    I agree about Tony Martin's team, that's why I didn't mention him among the top contenders.

    How Contador is a good time trialist: Practice.

    I agree with you and your dad. My dad and I believe the same thing, about Contador, Schleck bros and really everyone in the pack. The only clean rider, I'm sure I've seen during a grand tour for many years, was Lance Armstrong last year.

    Contador was really unlucky about the lab he got tested at, but I'm sure he'll walk
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    Re: Tour de France 2011

    Post by Ben on Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:00 am

    Oh yeah I think virtually everyone is on some kind of untraceable performance enhancing drugs, but I believe Contador is on more than others, along with the Radioshack team.

    Why do you think Lance was clean last year?
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    Re: Tour de France 2011

    Post by Kris on Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:22 am

    Simple. Lance has, ever since his magnificent return from cancer, always done great in the Tour. Even in his comback, in 2009, he finished 3rd - as helper for Contador. I don't think Armstrong would have performed that badly during a TDF, unless some factors made him "weaker" than the others. The only reasonable explaination I can think of is that he was completely clean.

    About Contador. Maybe he's on more drugs, but he could be a physical wonder at the sport, like Eddy Merckx (who actually did have a genetic advantage).


    Last edited by Kris on Wed Jun 22, 2011 7:23 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : *slaps myself hard for misspelling Merckx' name wrong*)
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    Re: Tour de France 2011

    Post by Ben on Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:31 am

    I'm still not sure, I just think he is genuinely too old now and because the quality of cyclist is improving (in my opinion), it's harder for the old boys to compete properly. He also had an ageing team supporting him too.

    Yeah but Merckx was racing in a time where drug abuse was rife too.
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    Re: Tour de France 2011

    Post by Guest on Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:08 am

    Ben wrote:Surprised I love it. Partly forced upon me by my dad though, I doubt I'd watch any of the other Tours if it weren't for him.
    You watch it?

    When I have ever seen it it just looks like a guy riding a bike ,I know you can put that on any sport, like it's just a man hitting a little ball with a racquet, but it doesn't seem like there is any drama or anything, maybe I haven't seen it enough. Neutral
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    Re: Tour de France 2011

    Post by dena on Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:09 am

    The time trails are good, and the last stage is good, otherwise you need to watch it in specific moments, like uphill mountain climbing or during the speed stages. I watch it every year but only in bits.
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    Re: Tour de France 2011

    Post by Muhkoo on Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:08 pm

    The only governing body in this sport worse than UCI is DCU. Both should be executed by being forced down mountains on bikes with no breaks.

    Im looking forward to this, will be able to catch most of the race except for maybe the last 2 days (not sure) as i will be in Greece at the time (hopefully). Rooting for Andy as i have been for the last couple of years. Saxo Bank this year looks stronger than the Astana team Contador was on last year, the ability to really pull hard up the mountains is stronger with the combination of the Spanish riders from Astana and the workers from Saxo Bank

    In the end it will just come down to Saxo Bank vs Leopard Trek. I think the rest of the teams just don't have the same cards to play for the Yellow Jersey.
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    Re: Tour de France 2011

    Post by Kris on Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:52 pm

    Is it alright if I put this quote in my sig?

    Muhkoo wrote:The only governing body in this sport worse than UCI is DCU. Both should be executed by being forced down mountains on bikes with no breaks.

    I agree on your analysis about Saxo vs Leopard.
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    Re: Tour de France 2011

    Post by Guest on Thu Jun 23, 2011 1:56 am

    What channel is this on?

    Eurosport?
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    Re: Tour de France 2011

    Post by Ben on Thu Jun 23, 2011 3:10 am

    kyro7 wrote:
    Ben wrote:Surprised I love it. Partly forced upon me by my dad though, I doubt I'd watch any of the other Tours if it weren't for him.
    You watch it?

    When I have ever seen it it just looks like a guy riding a bike ,I know you can put that on any sport, like it's just a man hitting a little ball with a racquet, but it doesn't seem like there is any drama or anything, maybe I haven't seen it enough. Neutral

    Yeah. Like Dena said there's key moments where it's exhilarating but at parts it can be quite dull. I tend to watch it all though (from when it starts being broadcast, which is about 100km in) because I know quite a lot about it so just hearing that can be interesting. It's brilliant when there's a break away too, which is nearly all of the time.

    Jelavic18|RFC wrote:What channel is this on?

    Eurosport?
    Eurosport live during the day and then ITV4 highlights at night. At the weekend ITV4 have live stages too.
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    Re: Tour de France 2011

    Post by Guest on Thu Jun 23, 2011 3:18 am

    I'll watch the highlights then. Smile
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    Re: Tour de France 2011

    Post by Muhkoo on Thu Jun 23, 2011 4:59 am

    On the flat stages it's really only the last few minutes before the finish i bother with, mountain stages on the other hand i can easily sit infront for 3-4 hours and the time trials i usually catch the top teams starts and to the end, which is easy enough as the best riders start last, excluding Cancellara.
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    Re: Tour de France 2011

    Post by Ben on Thu Jun 23, 2011 6:10 am

    I have it on all the way through but I don't really pay attention until the last 30km on the flat stages, but yeah I could watch the mountain stages all day. Time trials I watch from Cancellara onwards really.
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    Re: Tour de France 2011

    Post by ayvee1 on Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:52 pm

    Looking forward to this. Would love to see Andy Schleck push Contador all the way.

    Kris wrote:
    *Contador officially won in 07, but due to the rather strange nature of Rasmussen being taken out of the tour that year, I still - and will always - recognize him as the winner that year.
    Only had himself to blame IMO. Gotta play by the rules in pro cycling.

    kyro7 wrote:
    Ben wrote:Surprised I love it. Partly forced upon me by my dad though, I doubt I'd watch any of the other Tours if it weren't for him.
    You watch it?

    When I have ever seen it it just looks like a guy riding a bike ,I know you can put that on any sport, like it's just a man hitting a little ball with a racquet, but it doesn't seem like there is any drama or anything, maybe I haven't seen it enough. Neutral
    Watching whole 200km stages can be challenging for even the biggest fan of cycling IMO Laughing

    But for excitement it doesn't get much better than the last climb of the day on a yellow jersey deciding mountain stage. I used to love the battles between Armstrong, Ullrich, Beloki, Pantani, and more recently Contador, Schleck and Evans.
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    Re: Tour de France 2011

    Post by Ben on Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:11 am

    Starts on Saturday Crazy

    It's a bit odd, there is an outright sprint stage to start off the tour and then a (team) time-trial in the second day. Usually the prologue and then the first stage.
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    Re: Tour de France 2011

    Post by Muhkoo on Sat Jul 02, 2011 11:41 pm

    They have started ze bike riding.

    Cavendish to go in the Yellow jersey and give HTC the best starting position for the team trial tomorrow? Of course.

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