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Old 07-21-08, 08:36 AM   #1
Flak
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If the top few guys stay this close...

...do you think all bets will be off in Paris and they will actually race it?

That'd be interesting.
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Old 07-21-08, 08:41 AM   #2
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...do you think all bets will be off in Paris and they will actually race it?

That'd be interesting.
I can't imagine that so many will be close after Wednesday's stage. However, if there is just a few seconds for yellow on the last day ... I guarantee the GC guys will make a race of the final stage.

... Brad
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Old 07-21-08, 08:41 AM   #3
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It would be indeed but I doubt it.
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Old 07-21-08, 08:42 AM   #4
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With no time bonuses? Probably not.
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Old 07-21-08, 08:45 AM   #5
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The profile is pretty flat, and the sprinters want a chance at final glory. Without significant crosswinds, I can't see a way for any one GC contender to gain time on his rivals.
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Old 07-21-08, 09:37 AM   #6
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The profile is pretty flat, and the sprinters want a chance at final glory. Without significant crosswinds, I can't see a way for any one GC contender to gain time on his rivals.
Does mean they won't try.

However...
After L'alpe Duez & the TT I don't see it close enough for anything to happen on the final stage.
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Old 07-21-08, 09:47 AM   #7
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The profile is pretty flat, and the sprinters want a chance at final glory. Without significant crosswinds, I can't see a way for any one GC contender to gain time on his rivals.
Add in the crash rules and it nbecomes even more unlikely. Also what is it 12 circuts? Even if a rider was able to get away on main roads the pack will catch him during them.

Hopefully the GC contenders will no tbe trying to get time on the last stage, because the only way I see A chance is taking advantage of a mechanical or a crash, something I expect all the contenders have too much class to attempt.
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Old 07-21-08, 09:51 AM   #8
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Stage 17 will turn these 20/30/40 seconds split to 1 / 2 / 3 minutes splits. for the TT CSC needs to have 2-3 minutes on the others to feel OK about their chances. And really they have to do it with Sastre as he is better than Schleck in the longer TT. I think we will see 2 climbers work thier way down to the finish on the way to the finish of 16, maybe someone like sanchez that decends better than the entire peleton can gain minutes easily on this stage, and if he and say, Sastre work together we have ourselves some serious time gains,



And then on stage 17 I think we will see a very tired group of big GC guys ( VDV, Evans, Menchov ) not hang with the little guys ( kohl, Sastre, Schleck ) and loose serious time.
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Old 07-21-08, 09:55 AM   #9
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Ullrich went after a time bonus in one of his battes with LA. But Armstrong and US Postal marked him effectively. So they have battled on the final day but only marginally. I dont forsee anything like that in this years tour.
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Old 07-21-08, 10:00 AM   #10
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Stage 17 will turn these 20/30/40 seconds split to 1 / 2 / 3 minutes splits. for the TT CSC needs to have 2-3 minutes on the others to feel OK about their chances. And really they have to do it with Sastre as he is better than Schleck in the longer TT. I think we will see 2 climbers work thier way down to the finish on the way to the finish of 16, maybe someone like sanchez that decends better than the entire peleton can gain minutes easily on this stage, and if he and say, Sastre work together we have ourselves some serious time gains,



And then on stage 17 I think we will see a very tired group of big GC guys ( VDV, Evans, Menchov ) not hang with the little guys ( kohl, Sastre, Schleck ) and loose serious time.
I think Sanchez is a good call on stage 16. Also, the stronger TT guys may slip away from the flyweights on the descent. I don't think this will be the decisive stage though.

Stage 17? Will depend on who needs to make up time, and who's got legs left on the final climb.
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Old 07-21-08, 10:02 AM   #11
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Last year was the second closest tour in history, and the closest ending in a road stage into Paris. Evans made no effort to gain time last year.

As long as the yellow jersey has a lead of more than 1 or 2 seconds, with no time bonuses GC will not change on the final stage.
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Old 07-21-08, 10:13 AM   #12
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Stage 17 will turn these 20/30/40 seconds split to 1 / 2 / 3 minutes splits. for the TT CSC needs to have 2-3 minutes on the others to feel OK about their chances. And really they have to do it with Sastre as he is better than Schleck in the longer TT. I think we will see 2 climbers work thier way down to the finish on the way to the finish of 16, maybe someone like sanchez that decends better than the entire peleton can gain minutes easily on this stage, and if he and say, Sastre work together we have ourselves some serious time gains,



And then on stage 17 I think we will see a very tired group of big GC guys ( VDV, Evans, Menchov ) not hang with the little guys ( kohl, Sastre, Schleck ) and loose serious time.
I'd say you are right. I'll go a step farther. If there is not some serious preasure put on during this stage then the race belongs to one of the TT guys.

Do you know what the decent looks like? This could have a major impact. If it is fairly open hten the group will catch any contenders out front. More technical and the right rider could stay away or perhaps even add time on the decent.
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Old 07-21-08, 10:54 AM   #13
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Last year was the second closest tour in history, and the closest ending in a road stage into Paris. Evans made no effort to gain time last year.

As long as the yellow jersey has a lead of more than 1 or 2 seconds, with no time bonuses GC will not change on the final stage.
also there is sort of a tradition. If you haven't made your time up in the mountains and the final time trial, you are expected to be a sportsman and accept that. You already had your fair chance.

the points competition is often decided on the last day, and I remember Vino snaking the 5th spot from Levi in 2005 on the last day of the race, but the top of the GC decided on the last day?

1989 is the last time I can remember that happening, but that wasn't a mass start stage.
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Old 07-21-08, 11:02 AM   #14
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53km TT the day before Paris, it will be decided by the last day no worries
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Old 07-21-08, 04:19 PM   #15
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This gets asked every year. Never seen it happen though.
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Old 07-21-08, 04:26 PM   #16
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Tomorrow and Wednesday will answer all the questions.

The next two days should be epic.
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Old 07-21-08, 04:43 PM   #17
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This gets asked every year. Never seen it happen though.
Successful or attempted? I know of none that worked. But in 75 Merckx did attack on the final stage and did escape. After being pulled back he then finally told Thivenet (sp) he was now a TDF champion. Joop Zoetemelk attacked on the final stage in 1979. Hinault caught him. In checking for the year I found that Zoetemelk failed the drug test on the final stage and was penalized 10 minutes and lost his stage placing. (He still finished second overall). It looks to have been a nasty stage Aside from the 2 off the front there was a gap of 4 1/2 minutes between 48th and 49 and a couple way off the back (that last may have been due to a crash).

Only 2 riders who ended in Yellow have won the final stage and there was not a time gap in any of these cases. I think this includes all contenders since WW II, but not positive about that.
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