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Old 06-25-06, 12:43 AM   #1
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Stage 13: Béziers - Montélimar

Stage 13: Béziers - Montélimar, 231 km

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Old 07-14-06, 03:22 PM   #2
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Much as I love this year's TdF, I will be sad for the next two stages. For the last three years Montelimar was our closest "big city", though pretty small by U.S. standards.

These were my regular riding grounds. In Stage 14 - though too early in the stage to be covered on TV - they are traversing some of my favorite routes. The Dauphine went through there again too this year, but a few days after we had left.

Fortunately, The Great North Woods has similar terrain, so the rides can be just as challenging. But the wine, bread, and cheese leave something to be desired.
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Old 07-14-06, 03:59 PM   #3
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I'm betting on Robbie for this one.
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Old 07-14-06, 04:43 PM   #4
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Eddie Merckx will come out of retirement, ride the courses of the first 12 stages while the rest of the peloton rides from the start of 13 and win!
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Old 07-14-06, 05:54 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by platypus
Eddie Merckx will come out of retirement, ride the courses of the first 12 stages while the rest of the peloton rides from the start of 13 and win!
You misunderstood the press release. Axel signed up for another year.
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Old 07-14-06, 07:20 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by gmason
You misunderstood the press release. Axel signed up for another year.
Classic!!!
It's a shame the timing didn't work out better for you. I had noticed that your location changed, didn't know it was something more than a temp thing. I hope you packed your woolies, it gets much colder much quicker in NH.
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Old 07-15-06, 05:12 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by maalea
Classic!!!
It's a shame the timing didn't work out better for you. I had noticed that your location changed, didn't know it was something more than a temp thing. I hope you packed your woolies, it gets much colder much quicker in NH.
Thanks. It has been quite an adjustment, but I still await -40F with some curiosity.
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Old 07-15-06, 05:26 AM   #8
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I'd be confident of a break staying away....neither quickstep or Davitamon are interested in chasing....so it will be up to Phonak again. If the break gets the right combination of blokes that are no threat on GC....no-one will care much
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Old 07-15-06, 05:40 AM   #9
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Really bumbed about this stage. Wanted to go up and cheer for Hincapie.It starts only 80 miles away. Planned to go up on the train with our bikes and ride back. Easy ride - all coastal.
But tourist season is in high gear. Trains were full.
Never drive if we can help it. Riding back. What would we have done with the cars.
Rained had threatened the tour today, But it disappeared.
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Old 07-15-06, 10:20 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hitchy
I'd be confident of a break staying away....neither quickstep or Davitamon are interested in chasing....so it will be up to Phonak again. If the break gets the right combination of blokes that are no threat on GC....no-one will care much
They need care with someone like Pereiro in the yellow, especially going into the Alps.

I had expected Pereiro to break at least twice in the alps, but never expected him to break on a flat stage. I was wondering about his absence from the polka dot contention, particularly with Rasmussen supporting Menchov. Now we see Pereiro was after the GC. I would have thought with Valverde out, Karpets was their GC man.
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Old 07-15-06, 11:02 AM   #11
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Can somebody explain why it was necessary for Landis to give up a half-hour to give away the maillot jaune? I don't understand the strategy behind giving up that much time. I understand that it is easier not to defend the MJ this early in the Tour but to give away 30 minutes?! That must take an enormous amount of discipline for these riders so accustomed to doing well. I figured that they'd stop the bleeding at about 15-20 minutes or so...
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Old 07-15-06, 11:29 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patrick07
Can somebody explain why it was necessary for Landis to give up a half-hour to give away the maillot jaune? I don't understand the strategy behind giving up that much time. I understand that it is easier not to defend the MJ this early in the Tour but to give away 30 minutes?! That must take an enormous amount of discipline for these riders so accustomed to doing well. I figured that they'd stop the bleeding at about 15-20 minutes or so...
That's true, but 30 minutes was the only way to give up the yellow jersey. Now Pereiro's team will have to waste their energy (instead of phonak) helping defend the jersey. Phonak wants to wait till the mountains. Of course, Landis is taking a risk. Last two years, Pereiro was 10th in GC. Given that 4 guys above him from last year are gone (5 if you include Lance), he is essentially coming into this year as the
ranking #5/6 rider on the tour. he's no slouch. Of course, I think given that he gave up 21 minutes in the pyranees to Landis, Landis can easily gain 2 minutes on Pereiro in the Alps. Still, if Pereiro's team is stronger than Phonak, Landis is in for a heap of trouble.

It was a risk, but likely one worth taking.
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Old 07-15-06, 11:39 AM   #13
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I think it was a stupid move to give it up just so they won't have
to defend. Defend what 1 flat stage? then the alps where Floyd is
supposed to take it again?
yah, Pereiro was 28 minutes back today but so were alot of other riders
who are GC hopefuls. I think this is a huge mistake on Phonaks part.

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Old 07-15-06, 12:41 PM   #14
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Let's just hope it doesn't come back and bite him in the butt.
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Old 07-15-06, 12:43 PM   #15
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It also is likely that all the members of that breakaway will be burned out for several days. It was a long stage, and getting into a breakaway is not without it's consequences. I don't think Phonak has too much to worry from Pereiro. Considering what he lost in the last mountain stages, and the effort he put into today, he will have to deal with potentially sluggish legs going into some very tough stages.
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Old 07-15-06, 12:54 PM   #16
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I'm still fairly new to understanding bike racing so surrendering that much time seems counterintuitive. I hope Phonak's decision bears fruit in the long run. If I read that correctly, Landis makes many of the stratigic decisions of the Phonak team. If it was the wrong one, he'll have an awful lot of "down time" to think about it after the surgery. I don't envy him in that position but I suppose that's what being a leader is all about.
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Old 07-15-06, 12:59 PM   #17
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Did anyone notice one of the Quickstep guys getting hit in the face with water right at the finishing sprint. He flinched, but didn't weasel the bike. Lucky there wasn't a crash.

BTW I'm happy for Jens. He's always got style. Just not always smarts.
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Old 07-15-06, 01:01 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grebletie
It also is likely that all the members of that breakaway will be burned out for several days. It was a long stage, and getting into a breakaway is not without it's consequences. I don't think Phonak has too much to worry from Pereiro. Considering what he lost in the last mountain stages, and the effort he put into today, he will have to deal with potentially sluggish legs going into some very tough stages.
Yep - I wouldn't be suprised if Pereiro gets dropped in the mountains like he's towing a rock after his effort today.

I mean, just look at the last k of the race. Jens isn't a sprinter, and the commentators were picking Pereiro to take the sprint...he didn't have the legs, and a very drained JV took the stage win.
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Old 07-15-06, 01:43 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by patrick07
I'm still fairly new to understanding bike racing so surrendering that much time seems counterintuitive. I hope Phonak's decision bears fruit in the long run. If I read that correctly, Landis makes many of the stratigic decisions of the Phonak team. If it was the wrong one, he'll have an awful lot of "down time" to think about it after the surgery. I don't envy him in that position but I suppose that's what being a leader is all about.
He surrendered time to riders who have no chance of winning the whole race. No reason for Phonak to burn themselves out chasing down riders who won't be there when they hit the alps. There's a lot of hard riding to come.
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Old 07-15-06, 03:06 PM   #20
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I think the GC's thought Landis was bluffing by giving such a big lead to the break. I guess he showed them he was not. Riders in positions 5 and up are probably slightly irritated.

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Old 07-15-06, 03:44 PM   #21
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Riders in positions 5 and up are probably slightly irritated.
Then they should have taken up the chase themselves.
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Old 07-15-06, 04:05 PM   #22
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Then they should have taken up the chase themselves.
I agree.

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Old 07-15-06, 04:42 PM   #23
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I'm just bummed that Discovery didn't put somebody in that breakaway. No way would the peloton let
Aczevedo get that far ahead but they might not have blinked had Hincapie took off.
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Old 07-15-06, 09:14 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gomez308
Did anyone notice one of the Quickstep guys getting hit in the face with water right at the finishing sprint. He flinched, but didn't weasel the bike. Lucky there wasn't a crash.

BTW I'm happy for Jens. He's always got style. Just not always smarts.

No kidding. I flinched myself just seeing him take it right between the eyes.

Jeez, do these yahoos think they are helping anyone? If that sort of crap happened in Phila. at an Eagles game, the whole sporting comunity would be labeled as hacks by the national press.


BTW - I have a huge man crush on Jens. So I was very happy today. He should be the true Patron of the peloton. The way he did not contest the stage in the Giro, that Garate won. A true sportsman. Someone worthy of being called a hero. For those who didn't see the stage it was almost identical to Hincappie's win last year in the TdF, in a breakaway on a mountain top finish wherein the other man did all the work because your team mate is in the leaders jersey, at about 200 meters Jens told Garate it's your stage and did not contest it.

Pure class. This is not an attack on George because lord knows he earned his TdF stage win, but if you had 8 Voits on your team you might never lose a grand tour.
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Old 07-16-06, 12:24 AM   #25
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I for one was enjoying watching the teams with riders in the top ten squirm a little. For the last seven years the peleton grown quite accustomed to Postal/Disco running the show up front, and I think they've gotten used to the way Bruyneel calls a race. Floyd made no secret that they weren't interested in burying themselves to keep the yellow jersey during the transition stages. Kudos to them for showing the peloton they weren't screwing around. As for giving time away, Periero is good for one strong mountain stage. He might give l'Alpe d'Huez a go, but by the time the Tour hits Joex-Plaine he'll be popped.

Phil mentioned that Moreau was complaining about Phonak not working hard enough with about 50k left....if he wants to keep his 10th place then he needs to work at it. Personally, I like the Darwinism involved in a Tour devoid of a dominant leader. Reminds me of '87....
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