Are you watching TDF (Tour De France) ?

BBW

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 7, 2010
123
betwixt and between
BB
I'd forgotten about it!:eek: Normally we're with some friends during the TDF - and the husband of the pair used to be a pretty serious bicyclist...not a professional but he sure did love it.
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
Yeah, I'm a TdF junkie (and Giro de Italia as well, and some of the spring classics). Cadell got a big break today but I don't think he's got grand tour winner ability. He could be on the podium again, but if he beats either Andy Schlek or Contador, I'll be very very surprised.

-Ray
 

Armanius

Bring Jack back!
Jan 11, 2011
123
Houston, Texas
Jack
Yes! Gilbert is a monster!!! I wonder how many classics he'll win next year!

Happy to see Contador lose 1:20 today!! Being an American, I'm pulling for the Radio Shack boys. But if they don't win (and they probably won't), I hope Andy Schleck or Cadel Evans can come through. Just not Contador please!!
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
Yes! Gilbert is a monster!!! I wonder how many classics he'll win next year!

Happy to see Contador lose 1:20 today!! Being an American, I'm pulling for the Radio Shack boys. But if they don't win (and they probably won't), I hope Andy Schleck or Cadel Evans can come through. Just not Contador please!!
Why the hate for Alberto? I love watching that guy ride in the mountains. Like Pantani but with smarts and discipline. I think the way he overcame Lance and Radio Shack when Lance had the whole team working against him and wouldn't even give him a ride back to the hotel was amazing. And he stayed classy throughout that race when Lance was acting like a petulant little baby. In the mountains, he barely needs a team he's so strong. His ride in the Giro this year was one of the most dominating I've ever seen. I don't know if he can maintain that form through le tour, but I'd love to see it.

Sure, I'd love to see Levi win one, but its not gonna happen. He's sort of like Cadell - a fine rider who's had a fine career and has landed on the podium. But to win the tour de france, you have to be able to FLY and neither of those guys can - they can grind it out but they can't fly. So unless Alberto and Andy run into a string of bad luck, I don't think its gonna matter. I don't think the time Contador lost yesterday will matter either, except as regards Schleck - Andy is the only guy who might stay within a minute of Alberto in the mountains if his form is good. Then again, last year Alberto never rode well and Andy was on fire and he still only rode to more or less a tie (taking away the gap from when he dropped his chain). If Alberto is on form, I don't think its gonna matter with Andy either.

And I don't get the Passage du Gois. It seems to be the only place where its not only accepted but mandatory to attack after a crash. In the mountains, you wait for a rival after a crash to make it a fair fight. But when Zulle went down there in '99, Lance attacked him and got about the winning margin of that year's race from that move. Yesterday, everyone attacks Contador when he got caught up. Oh well, all's fair I guess.

-Ray
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
Well jeez, if we're gonna disqualify everyone in the race who dopes, we're gonna be watching a different sport altogether. Bike racing (along with most other major sports) is what it is. You either love it for what it is or you don't, but I don't find Contador's denials any more objectionable than anyone else's and frankly find them a lot easier to take than Lance's. But that's just me. No need to get into a whole discussion of doping in cycling here - there are plenty of other forums where you can spend your life on that stuff if you want. I loved watching Pantani ride - he doped. I loved watching Lance ride - he doped. Basso, Ullrich, DeLuca, Floyd, Viranque, Merckx, Anquatil, Coppi, etc, etc, etc. That's a whole separate topic.

-Ray
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
Most of the guys who got busted red handed in Operation Puerto never failed a test either. The regulators are always a couple of steps behind the innovators and the teams have the money to innovate in all areas, including doping. If you really believe Armstrong rode clean we just live in different worlds.

But, hey, we can both photograph our worlds!

-Ray
 

Armanius

Bring Jack back!
Jan 11, 2011
123
Houston, Texas
Jack
I dislike Contador because he's a jerk. Classy? Gotta be kidding. Lance was no saint. But neither is Contador. Saying that he did not see Schleck's chain drop was the biggest lie of the year. I did not have a problem with him taking advantage of the mishap. But be a man and say that you did. As for doping, that's a long long discussion for another day while sipping a beer. :)
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
I dislike Contador because he's a jerk. Classy? Gotta be kidding. Lance was no saint. But neither is Contador. Saying that he did not see Schleck's chain drop was the biggest lie of the year. I did not have a problem with him taking advantage of the mishap. But be a man and say that you did. As for doping, that's a long long discussion for another day while sipping a beer. :)
I did have a problem with him attacking when AS dropped the chain - last year's Tour was a blemish on his record as far as I'm concerned. I'm not claiming he's wonderful, but he seems to be liked and respected in the peloton in a way that Lance never was, even as he dominates the grand tours. I thought the way he rode the Giro this year was one of the most impressive rides I've seen, at once overwhelmingly strong, but handing out victories to preserve alliances and maintain relations (to his benefit, of course). I started off really liking Lance a lot but came to like him less and less over the years the more I learned about him. I haven't had that reaction to Contador at all, at least yet. But he's been at the top of the sport for a while now, so I'm guessing he's not gonna sour on me that much.

As for the doping discussion, over beers OK, but I may not have the energy for it - I may need some EPO or HGH. :biggrin: But I've had some friends and acquaintances pretty close to the highest levels of the sport and I believe what they told me. Nobody races clean at that level. The guys that weren't willing to do what it took got weeded out in the minor leagues. There may be a few domestiques in the peloton who ride clean, but not many, and even there the line between "doping" and "recovery products" can be so blurred its almost not worth trying to distinguish. So I don't judge guys harshly for doping - its a largely level playing field and the best are still the best. And lying about it just comes with the territory. Doping was never my problem with Lance. And I never lost respect for him as a rider - he was one of the best ever.

-Ray
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
My opinion of Cadel is changing rapidly. He did an AMAZING ride today in defense of his position, under pressure from another incredible ride from Andy Schleck. Cadel doesn't seem to have an attacking physiology or mentality, but geez, he can DEFEND like a MUTHA!!! One more day in the mountains. I gotta figure Andy's cooked after today. Cadel's biggest threat might be if Frank Schleck, who was sitting in the wheels all day today, takes a flyer tomorrow and Cadel can't chase him down as effectively. But Frank's gonna have to take a good chunk of time because he can't time trial and if Cadel is within a minute and a half or so of any of these guys, he should win in the final TT. Turned into a great race after all - sure looked like it was gonna be boring until this week. Contador obviously can't ride at his highest level two tours in one year - I'm amazed he hung in as long as he did but it was something to see him going backwards on the Galibier today. So I'm pulling for Cadel. As hard as he's worked and as determined as he's been, he deserves one. And if he didn't before, he SURE does after the effort he put in today.

-Ray
 

BillN

Hall of Famer
Aug 25, 2010
123
S W France
Bill
I have watched most of the stages, and so far it has been an extremely good, (exciting Tour)

you have to admire how Thomas Voeckler has ridden - especially yesterday

I would think that "anything" can still happen,

Stage 20, the 42km time trial will be the day that will make or break the Tour for Evans, although todays stage, (Friday), will be very interesting and could decide the fate of several "contenders"

I hope Voeckler gets a "podium" as I feel that he deserves it
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
I love Voekler. I'd love it if he won, but I don't think that's in the cards and I think he'll be hard pressed to make it onto the podium, but it would be beyond wonderful if he did. He's answered pretty much every attack until yesterday (without Cadel pulling like a monster, nobody would be within 3 minutes of Schleck today), and his team has risen to the occasion also. If he can answer the attacks for one more day and pull off the time trial of his life, though, he could make it. I'd love to see a French rider actually win that race again someday and nobody deserves it more than Thomas...

-Ray
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
Another epic stage today. Too bad for those of you who don't get what's going on with the racing - the last two days are as exciting as any stages I can recall in the last 15 years or so. Pretty cool when there's no dominant rider in the race. And Cadel Evans probably won the race today - we'll find out tomorrow for sure. But he made absolutely incredible efforts the last two days to chase down guys who were running away with things and he really deserves to win. I've never been a fan of his, but he really made me one this week. He SHOULD be able to get back the minute he needs against the two Schleck brothers in tomorrow's time trial, but that's why they actually hold the races, because woulda, coulda, shoulda just doesn't work in sports...

And, yeah, the scenery is insane, particularly now that they show it in HD! And some of those mountain descents really make me nervous - I used to ride a ton and I was a pretty good descender, but those guys are just SICK, taking corners at insane speeds when one mistake and they're flying out into space!

-Ray
 

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