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  1. #1
    rider of small bicycles geneman's Avatar
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    Ahh the annual "gift" to the French

    Happened on stage 8 this year, a surprising 5 days before Bastille day, but it happened nonetheless. France's great white hope (not) makes an amazing (not), overpowering (not) break from a leading group of 6 to take a remarkable win. Is it a surprise that this happened on the day that France was to play for World Cup glory? Is it a surprise that this happened in Brittany, the heart and soul of French cycling? Is it amazing that not a single team was willing to even ride tempo to bring this fool back?

    Call me a callused fool, but depending upon how much is owed the French in the eyes of the cycling world, we should see a repeat performance 5 days from now (which, not so ironically, is a planned transition day between the Pyrénées and Alps). My money is on Virenque, oh wait ... I meant Moreau

    Blah, the politics of the tour!

    Mark

  2. #2
    In Memory of One Cool Cat Blackberry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geneman

    Call me a callused fool
    You are a calllused fool.
    Dead last finish is better than did not finish and infinitely better than did not start.

  3. #3
    The Kaiser
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    I like the pace that the motorbikes were setting for him...

  4. #4
    Senior Member roadwarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geneman
    Happened on stage 8 this year, a surprising 5 days before Bastille day, but it happened nonetheless. France's great white hope (not) makes an amazing (not), overpowering (not) break from a leading group of 6 to take a remarkable win. Is it a surprise that this happened on the day that France was to play for World Cup glory? Is it a surprise that this happened in Brittany, the heart and soul of French cycling? Is it amazing that not a single team was willing to even ride tempo to bring this fool back?

    Call me a callused fool, but depending upon how much is owed the French in the eyes of the cycling world, we should see a repeat performance 5 days from now (which, not so ironically, is a planned transition day between the Pyrénées and Alps). My money is on Virenque, oh wait ... I meant Moreau

    Blah, the politics of the tour!

    Mark

    Yeah, but that was trumped by Zidane getting kicked out of the World Cup final because he head-butted an Italian player...what an idiot.

    So they got a stage, but lost the World Cup....

    "Nothing is so typical of middling minds than to harp on the intellectual deficiencies of the slightly less smart, but considerably more successful."
    Bret Stephens, WSJ

  5. #5
    Industry Maven Thylacine's Avatar
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    Either your girlfriend dumped you for a French guy, or LOOK OUT! THEY'RE ALL COMING TO GET US! ARGH! QUICK! TO THE BUNKERS!
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  6. #6
    Senior Member AnthonyG's Avatar
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    No gift. It was just circumstance. If you listened to the pre race interviews, well with the Australian riders anyway they were all predicting that this would be the day for a break away to make it for a couple of reasons. No 1 is that tommorow is a rest day so a breakaway could realy go for it and have a day to recover from the effort.

    No 2 and maybe more important was that T Mobile had the yellow jersey and so everyone had there eye's on them but they had no interest in helping out the teams of the sprinters by chasing down any breakaway. T Mobile had a rider in the main breakaway and that was enough for them to protect their interests. The mountains are coming too so the main sprint contenders are thinking about saving enough energy to get over them before Paris so realy it was just circumstance.

    It was the day when a breakaway was most likely to succeed and it was just a Frenchman who had the most motivation to give it his all.

    Regards, Anthony
    Last edited by AnthonyG; 07-10-06 at 07:06 AM.

  7. #7
    My Name is Nobody
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    Quote Originally Posted by geneman
    Happened on stage 8 this year, a surprising 5 days before Bastille day, but it happened nonetheless. France's great white hope (not) makes an amazing (not), overpowering (not) break from a leading group of 6 to take a remarkable win. Is it a surprise that this happened on the day that France was to play for World Cup glory? Is it a surprise that this happened in Brittany, the heart and soul of French cycling? Is it amazing that not a single team was willing to even ride tempo to bring this fool back?

    Call me a callused fool, but depending upon how much is owed the French in the eyes of the cycling world, we should see a repeat performance 5 days from now (which, not so ironically, is a planned transition day between the Pyrénées and Alps). My money is on Virenque, oh wait ... I meant Moreau

    Blah, the politics of the tour!

    Mark
    Yepp, and because of World Cup, Wimbledon tennis players all agreed to let French Mauresmo win it on Saturday.

    Blah, the politics of tennis!!

    But more seriously, I would tend to agree with you under other circumstances, but not for Sunday's stage.

    1. The peloton was close to catch up on breakaway, when Tom Boonen had to change bike. This was the main reason for nobody leading the chase anymore
    2. Phonak have clearly shown their cards by wanting to protect Landis in the GC, because Zabriskie and Kessler were in the leading break. This means all other teams will from now on simply let Phonak do the work, when it comes to chasing a breakaway
    3. Just after a TT he finished on 115th place 6 and half minutes behind Honchar, and just before a rewarding rest day, this was THE stage for a break to succeed. Well done Calzati, you had to have the guts to keep on riding, when peloton was just 2 and half minutes behind you.

    [mabe you'll say now, that it was a stupid French that sabotaged Boonen's bike, so the pack couldn't catch Calzati]
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  8. #8
    rider of small bicycles geneman's Avatar
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    I guess the tour is more fun to watch when you believe that everyone is truly riding their guts out. I'll take the TT's and mountains ... you can all have the rest.

    Mark

  9. #9
    Montani Semper Liberi wvxc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alpe d'issaquah
    I like the pace that the motorbikes were setting for him...

    Yeah, right when two riders were trying to reel him in. Man, that had to piss them off.

  10. #10
    Banned. El Diablo Rojo's Avatar
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    So if the exact same thing had happened but it was an Italian rider it wouldn't have been a gift? Right. As mentioned above Boonens wheel change shut down the chase and that's what made the difference.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Diablo Rojo
    So if the exact same thing had happened but it was an Italian rider it wouldn't have been a gift? Right. As mentioned above Boonens wheel change shut down the chase and that's what made the difference.
    Good point, and FWIW, Calzati's father is Italian. Don't know how that tilts the tinfoil hat.

  12. #12
    1. e4 Nf6 Alekhine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harlond
    Good point, and FWIW, Calzati's father is Italian. Don't know how that tilts the tinfoil hat.
    Hehe, not only that, but Calzati openly admitted he was rooting for the Italians in the World Cup. Tinfoilers might have picked a better Frenchman to alleviate the sting!
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  13. #13
    Senior Member rufvelo's Avatar
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    This one may or may not have been a gift, since even experienced teams botch the chase with poor information from management, disruptive events or unfair tactics between teams.

    On the other hand plenty of stages have been gifted in the Tour's history, to teams and individuals, for every imaginable reason, so it is always possible that this one was too.

  14. #14
    My Name is Nobody
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Diablo Rojo
    So if the exact same thing had happened but it was an Italian rider it wouldn't have been a gift? Right. As mentioned above Boonens wheel change shut down the chase and that's what made the difference.
    Hahaha Diablo, good one, A Frenchman with an Italian name (Calzati), this guy could simply not lose yesterday
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  15. #15
    My Name is Nobody
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    Quote Originally Posted by rufvelo
    This one may or may not have been a gift, since even experienced teams botch the chase with poor information from management, disruptive events or unfair tactics between teams.

    On the other hand plenty of stages have been gifted in the Tour's history, to teams and individuals, for every imaginable reason, so it is always possible that this one was too.
    I agree it's possible. And Patrice Halgand admitted, when Calzati left, he would definitely not be the one chasing a Frenchman. But as the others (Carlstrom, Kessler, Zab.) didn't take up the chase, he went for it, but too late ("Yesterday, Calzati was the strongest fromus...").

    But true, true, there have been, are, and will be "friendly" arrangements.

    But before the end of this Tour, apart from the GC, you'll probably have a Thomas Voeckler festival (between Pyrenees and Alpes?), the usual Moncouti&#233; mountain stage win (he's a guy with great potential, but has always stated he's got no chance against "doped" stars, so all he does is keep low profile for 20 days, and get out of the boy on ONE mountain stage. If lucky, he wins it. Bingo). Oooh, and I'm pretty sure we'll have the Christophe Moreau show for the polka jersey (Jalabert and Virenque style). Take the longest Pyrenees stage, and he'll go for it right from the start. Finallky the big unknown is Sandy Casar. He had a very good Giro this year, but still hesitant: should he go for the GC or a stage? He'll probably settle with stage try.

    14th July will be a tough one. Not good enough for sprinters, because their teams will be struggling after the 2 tough mountian stages, but ideal for a so-called baroudeur Jacky Durand. A nice breakaway right from the start. Leading teams will allow for this, as those guys are no threat to them. There, the arrangements are simple. if the breakaway has between 5 and 8 riders, there will most probably be at least 50% French riders present, and those will stick together somehow.

    But sorry, got carried away. really looking forward to this year's 2nd and 3rd week. Jef Bernard (ex. hinault helper) said this year's Tour was so open, even a guy 8 minutes back could make up in the mountain stages. Thinking of Iban Mayo?
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  16. #16
    Industry Maven Thylacine's Avatar
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    Of course, I see it now. The Tour de France is just one big French conspiracy, where French riders who aren't on the same team 'pretend' they're on 'Team France' and do whatever they need to do to 'make' French riders win, despite what the teams (who actually pay them to ride) say.

    It's all clear to me now. Thanks for clarifying that up. I was thinking there was something wrong there, ever since I read the DaVinci Code and those clever Iraqis bombed the World Trade Centre.
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  17. #17
    Banned. El Diablo Rojo's Avatar
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    Some other considerations, Kessler could have move into the top 5 by going with the attack as could have DZ. I think if DZ had the legs to chase him down Riis would have had him go. I don't understand why Kessler didn't unless he was to busy marking DZ. I also found it puzzling that Kessler never contested any of the sprint bonus' and let DZ take more time from him. The way this tour is going those few seconds might mean the difference between them. Either way this was no gift.

  18. #18
    Senior Member godspiral's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adamastor
    But sorry, got carried away. really looking forward to this year's 2nd and 3rd week. Jef Bernard (ex. hinault helper) said this year's Tour was so open, even a guy 8 minutes back could make up in the mountain stages. Thinking of Iban Mayo?
    maybe rasmussen

    its been a crappy first week... looking forward to the next 2. I think it would be better if they seperated the 2 mountain ranges with some flats in between, instead of bunching so many in the first week.

  19. #19
    Senior Member rufvelo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by godspiral
    maybe rasmussen

    its been a crappy first week... looking forward to the next 2. I think it would be better if they seperated the 2 mountain ranges with some flats in between, instead of bunching so many in the first week.
    Sounds ideal, just that there are transfer limitations too, so you can't move a thousand people from the mountains to some flatter regions and back just like that. Sure you may find some flat terrain in between stages but all the local towns there don't have the facilities/resources to support the Tour caravan, nor will they pay for a stage start/end.

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