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Old 07-16-11, 02:54 PM   #51
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Maybe so, but Lance ain't in this race. And there were serious efforts at early and late breaks today and he had no problem covering them. His form is excellent this year. I don't think he's going to get dropped early on d'Huez.
Contador has a few days to recuperate.

If he stops sucking, he'll be the one to wreck Alpe D'huez.
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Old 07-16-11, 02:55 PM   #52
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I think the big 4 are AFRAID to commit to a real attack - if they dig too deep and it doesn't work they might not be able to respond when one of the others attacks... so we get all these lame semi-buttock pseudo attacks that don't shell anybody. Somebody's going to have to stretch out their neck if he wants the ultimate prize.

"Voeckler" is the Alsatian word for "tenacious scrapper"... he's making this Tour.
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Old 07-16-11, 02:57 PM   #53
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Stage 19 is going to be the toughest one for Voeckler. He's not a pure climber, so days like today have to take a lot out of him. The good news for him today was that yesterday's Stage 13 gave him a chance to recover from Stage 12. Stages 18 & 19 bring two MTFs in a row, so there's no time to recover. It's hard to count him out, though, especially if all the favorites just watch each other.

People say he's a bad TTer, but how many of his TTs have been meaningful? A breakaway artist like him usually sees TTs as recovery days. Right now he has 2:06 on Evans. He lost 1:58 on Evans in the Dauphine TT, which was the same route they'll use in the Tour.
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Old 07-16-11, 03:05 PM   #54
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Schleck has no 'attack instinct'. He waits until everyone knows he's going to attack, launches when they're looking at him, and then acts apprehensive. Sometimes, getting a 20 ft gap, and acting like a total badass is enough to intimidate. Look what the sneak attack did for Frank.

Contador can't stand because of his knee, and can't sit because of his butt. Poor guy needs more of that Spanish protein!

Someone better be dropping Voeckler soon. I'm not so sure he can't cover a couple of minutes in the TT. There's no shortage of heart with that dude! I think he's got more "want-to" than any of them.
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Old 07-16-11, 03:11 PM   #55
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Wev were all typing almost the same thing at the same time. If Voeckler has 2 minutes at the TT, hell either win it, or his heart will explode!

His will, and determination have made a fan out of me.
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Old 07-16-11, 03:12 PM   #56
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Schleck has no 'attack instinct'. He waits until everyone knows he's going to attack, launches when they're looking at him, and then acts apprehensive. Sometimes, getting a 20 ft gap, and acting like a total badass is enough to intimidate. Look what the sneak attack did for Frank.

Contador can't stand because of his knee, and can't sit because of his butt. Poor guy needs more of that Spanish protein!

Someone better be dropping Voeckler soon. I'm not so sure he can't cover a couple of minutes in the TT. There's no shortage of heart with that dude! I think he's got more "want-to" than any of them.
I'm thinking this as well. That might just be what gets him to Paris in yellow.
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Old 07-16-11, 04:13 PM   #57
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"Voeckler hasn't been the best ITT rider in the past," Hmmmm well u never know, why? because if you are not the star of the team and you are in a team to just help you don't run the ITTs because you are not there to race them decently, somebody said that for some guys the ITT is a rest day, for voeckler is the same situation and probably the guy can TT decently and maybe better now with the yellow jersey on.

The same happens with some sprinters that are domestiques, they pay the guy to be a nanny, not to win sprints and is the same situation with Voeckler, He looks struggling in the mountains and makes sense but he is not a climber, I see the situation like a "this guy finally got a team to work for him", so now we see the results of that.

If the can make it fine to the last mountain stage he will win this thing, and hope he does. I agree, contador looks dull and hope he puts a good show in the last mountain stage. Agree, the ****tttttty attachs of the polidor borthers simply sucks, why u have to look behind like 20 times before to attach?? then u stop?? Never seen that before. Makes sence the guys have a higher tempo than years ago but if you see old videos the guys were just flying off the pack and if somebody was behind them they basically continue pushing hard until they cut them off the wheel. So those crappy accelerations this guys put are bad, if you look at it it means that they can't give anything else.

Voeckler, evans and basso are the real problems for the brothers, I would love to see a 1-2 then a 3 - 4 coming from voeckler, basso or evans to leave them there waiting for contador to do something. Contador is not winning the race he can stay there doing nothing until next week.

Good for Voeckler!!!
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Old 07-16-11, 04:37 PM   #58
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I'm sorry to say this, but some of these riders are stupid. If your specialty is to climb, then climb ffs, stop looking at the other riders.
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Old 07-16-11, 05:10 PM   #59
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Don't overlook Sanchez either. He has more sense than the others have shown. He knows what his limit is, and he rides it.

Voeckler has impressed the heck out of me. I thought for sure he'd be blasted out the back at the start of the final climb.

Contador - hard to say. He's definitely not at the top of his game right now. He rode a lot better today than two days ago. In a week - he might be back close to 100%. I'd like to see another dogfight like he had with Andy last year - but without Contador holding back.

As long as Andy and Frank think of themselves as partners on a climb, one of them won't be riding up to their potential. They haven't figured that out yet apparently.

Evans - might pull it out if we have more stages like this.

Basso - could make the podium, but I don't see him winning.
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Old 07-16-11, 05:15 PM   #60
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I love Voeckler! I can't believe the way he's been climbing. There is no energy rationing at all, he just muscles up the mountain with everything he has. I keep half expecting him to explode, not like bonk, but literally detonate physically in a huge fireball of blood and guts.
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Old 07-16-11, 05:59 PM   #61
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Evans looks like a bulldog when he climbs...he's almost in a sprint position...in the drops...weight forward...quite different from most other's upright climbing style. It's not pretty but it sure is getting the job done.
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Old 07-16-11, 06:46 PM   #62
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As long as Andy and Frank think of themselves as partners on a climb, one of them won't be riding up to their potential. They haven't figured that out yet apparently.
yup. The 1-2 punch only works if you understand who is being set up for the haymaker.
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Old 07-16-11, 06:49 PM   #63
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You guys are being pretty hard on Andy. He didn't continue with the attacks because they were covered. He is human afterall. Imagine this race without Frank and Andy. They are the only ones attacking. I am not saying they are doing a great job at this point, but at least it doesn't look like a group ride up a hill.

R
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Old 07-16-11, 06:56 PM   #64
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You guys are being pretty hard on Andy.
At the end, Andy looked like he was fresh enough to do the climb a second time. He's got to give everything he has and finish dead at the end.
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Old 07-16-11, 06:57 PM   #65
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Im not sure Andys attacks were ever long enough to find out if they would stick. It was almost like each time they attacked the brother got put into a little trouble so they waited for each other each time.
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Old 07-16-11, 06:58 PM   #66
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At the end, Andy looked like he was fresh enough to do the climb a second time. He's got to give everything he has and finish dead at the end.

Yeah he had an awful lot of power for the final 100m...seems had he dished that out over the final 2k he would have had a chance to gap the boys.
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Old 07-16-11, 07:14 PM   #67
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As much as it pains me to say it, with the exception of Voeckler it looks like the other GCers were handed a script at the start of today's stage. Or maybe the race director is telling them what to do in their ears. "Okay Frank you take off now for about 30 yards then slow back down. Evans you go with him. Andy it's your turn now. Basso, you cover him."

Come on guys, put some heart into those attacks!
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Old 07-16-11, 07:16 PM   #68
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The race will be decided on the Alpe.
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Old 07-16-11, 07:36 PM   #69
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Voeckler's been very impressive, yes, but what about his faithful pilot fish? Pierre Rolland was there up the whole climb, both today and on Luz-Ardiden. I don't see anyone else's teammates being able to hang with the big boys that long, unless you count Fränk Schleck as a super-domestique (I think of FS more as co-leader).

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Old 07-16-11, 08:29 PM   #70
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This is just a great TdF. The narrative of AC vs. AS is totally out the window. We're all blowing smoke b/c we haven't a clue who really has the upper hand. Voeckler really does seem to have a chance. Evans and Basso are both looking really strong and both can TT. The Schlecks could still do something amazing in the Alps. About the only thing I'm convinced of is that AC is spent.
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Old 07-16-11, 09:06 PM   #71
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... About the only thing I'm convinced of is that AC is spent.
His performance has not been what I expected, but I'm not ready to write him off yet either.
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Old 07-16-11, 10:45 PM   #72
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His performance has not been what I expected, but I'm not ready to write him off yet either.
If AC had been capable of it, he would have attacked in stage 14. He said so himself the day before:
http://www.velonation.com/News/ID/90...st-attack.aspx
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Old 07-16-11, 11:28 PM   #73
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Voeckler's been very impressive, yes, but what about his faithful pilot fish? Pierre Rolland ...
Age: 23 [another site says 24]
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Hmm good observation! This guy is my exact same height and weight but somehow I don't quite look like him on the bike I wonder why...
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Old 07-17-11, 12:10 AM   #74
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About the only thing I'm convinced of is that AC is spent.
Let me tell you something, the GC men really made a big mistake not attacking Contador, imo. I mean the guy can only sit on one side of his butt, he can't stand because of his knee, he's basically all busted up from crashes and is grimacing every 5 minutes, and still everyone is terrified of putting in a serious attack against him.

So now they let him survive another day and set him up with a flat stage and a rest day to recover. Maybe nothing will happen, but I think it's dangerous to give a guy like Contador a chance to recover. They're basically giving him a chance to ride himself back into the Tour.
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Old 07-17-11, 01:56 AM   #75
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Agree... in my opinion the tactic is back firing and they are simply toasted.

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Yeah he had an awful lot of power for the final 100m...seems had he dished that out over the final 2k he would have had a chance to gap the boys.
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