Pro Cycling Thread III - Le Tour 2014 (Preview pg 14)
I think it will be the end of the "marginal gains" era. Salbutamol and other drugs like it (legal to a certain level) will all be taken off the banned list soon enough. It wasn't so long ago that caffeine was on the list. In the end I'm glad it's settled before the TdF but it should've been over and done with long before the Giro.
As for the tour, I don't think he'll be in the picture. Yes there is an extra week between the Giro & Tour this year but I still can't see any GC contenders doing the double. The Giro was even more greulling than usual this year and although there is the extra weeks recovery, this years Tour is brutal. Narrow roads and wind in the first week, cobbles, the Alps and the Massif Central in the second the finshing off with the Pyrenees (stage 19 is insane!) and a TT. Movistar have a 3 pronged attack with Soler to help and Yates, Thomas, Bernal, Uran, Bardet, Roglic etc. will be far too strong. I can't see Dumoulin finishing and wouldn't be surprised if Froome joins him.
Can't wait for stage 17. It's either going to be an abomination or it's going to be on from the start and ends up being the future. The biggest concern I have is it is too short. The climbers are going to have a much quicker pace than normal so the autobus will be in real danger of missing the cut.
I've set up a fantasy league of anyone wants to join. The scoring rules are the same as previous years.
League Name: Col Du Salbutamol
League Code: 379493817
Well this is disappointing:
Due to a recent legal notice, entries into the current Fantasy Grand Tour game are currently suspended until further notice.
It is fair to say I am absolutely gutted about this turn of events, but do not want to comment further until the situation progresses.
At present it is looking unlikely that the current Fantasy Grand Tour game will go ahead as planned.
Yours in fantasy cycling, George
It was a little narrow but I wouldn't call it brutal. Everyone was safely navigating it at the front until 1 rider (I'm sure it was Impey) completely misjudged it coming up the inside carrying too much speed and pretty much straightlined it into everyone. I think turning onto the pave in stage 9 is more brutal/dangerous going from a wide road into a country lane barely wide enough for 1 car. All the GC contenders will be aiming for the same bit of road as well as the guys going for the stage victory. A little bit of rain and it will be carnage.
Some photos from the end of stage 7. Had a great day in Chartres with a nice meal and quick checkout of the cathedral and then managed to find an awesome fence spot on the last major corner about 2km from the finish. Definitely happy I made the trip from Paris.
The "caravan" before the race comes through is probably the weirdest thing I've ever seen.
Hey careful, man, there's a beverage here!
I was going to ask how you went. Great spot and awesome shots!
I love the caravan. When you're a poor backpacker the free satchels of washing powder are like gold!
As for the race I think it's so evenly poised. GT will move into yellow tonight but from there who knows what Sky will do. He's adamant that he is a team leader whereas Froomey says he is the only leader. Does GT play the Froome role as Froome did to Wiggins or does Sky allow him to have a shot but not support him?
Bardet is looking very strong. He's limited his losses over the 2 stages that don't suit him and his legs were as good as Porte's in the lead up. His team is supporting him well and Pierre Latour should be able to stick with him over the next 3 days but much like Quintana I can't see him making up close to 4 minutes prior to the TT.
It will be interesting to see what Movistart do with Quintana. He won't be allowed up the road and there's no way he can make up the best part of 4 minutes before the final TT. I don't see him wanting to support Landa (there appears to be friction there) and I don't think Valverde will be able to keep up in the highest mountains so protecting him may not be an option. He's pretty much going to be in limbo for 2 weeks.
I backed Primoz Roglic to win and I'm still confident with that pick. Of all the GC contenders ahead of him only GT & Froomey can TT with him. He's had great legs in the big mountains all year tempos with the best of them. The only concern I have is whether he can last the 3 weeks.
I can't believe the outcry over stage 9. A Grand Tour should contain every kind of stage riders encounter throughout the season in that country and any contender should be able to go over all terrain. If they can't then don't nominate for the race. The sprinters have to go over HC climbs why shouldn't the climbers go over cobbles? With less and less breakaways making it to the finish it's good to give the classics specialists a shot at a stage. It was one of the most exciting stages since the similar stage in 2015.
Brutal stage tonight. If this is the damage being done now the Pyrenees will obliterate the peleton.
Christian Prudhomme has maybe made it a little too hard this year, particularly for the quick men, but I think it's the most exciting TdF since Cadel won and that was only because of the Australian factor.
Maybe they should have the rest day after a short format stage in future but overall I think ASO have the race going in the right direction. Sky still control the race but their grip is nowhere near as strong.