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Old 06-30-11, 01:37 PM   #1
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Stage 12: Thursday, July 14 211 km Cugnaux → Luz Ardiden

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Old 07-01-11, 03:51 PM   #2
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we all know a frenchman would dearly love to steal this day. gadret? chavanel? moncoutie? something tells me it"s gonna be a spaniard tho.
contador, zondio, txurrruka, arroyo or egoi martinez...
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Old 07-09-11, 09:05 PM   #3
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I won't be getting a lot of work done in the morning. This will be quite a stage.
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Old 07-09-11, 09:14 PM   #4
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I'm definitely looking forward to this one.
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Old 07-09-11, 09:36 PM   #5
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Somebody is going to have a bad day here.
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Old 07-10-11, 02:26 AM   #6
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Somebody is going to have a bad day here.
somebody will have a great day here. somebodies are going to have a bad day here.
more than one contender will fall out of contention on this first true mountain stage.
curious to see how kloden (as the main guy for once) does with levi playing the role of super-domestique
and possibly breaking away to set up kloden for the luz-ardiden summit. the descent off that cat 1 climb
looks pretty gnarly and could bite someone big-time...

and verry glad i have the morning off to watch the entire versus telecast.
looks like it's a little over 3,000 m & close to 10,000 ft of climbing. epic.

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Old 07-10-11, 12:18 PM   #7
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This is the first stage I won't be able to watch live.
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Old 07-10-11, 12:20 PM   #8
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At the rate we're going, I'm wondering if there will be any GC contenders left for this stage. A lot of the guys that were supposed to be racing up the mountain will be watching from home or the hospital.
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Old 07-10-11, 01:14 PM   #9
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This is the first stage I won't be able to watch live.
Consider yourself lucky, I just found out I am camping for the final mountain stage and the final time trial!
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Old 07-10-11, 01:53 PM   #10
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Coverage starts at 3:30am on west coast. Coffee will be brewing early that morning.
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Old 07-10-11, 03:30 PM   #11
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Could be a very significant stage but then again it might not be. Stage 16 in 2010 Bagneres-Pau was somewhat similar but without the mountain top finish and that ended with a breakaway group of about 8 riders inc. LA getting to the finish nearly 7 mins ahead of the peloton. Didn't make any difference to the GC.

I'll be watching it live but then I don't have to get up at 3:30am.
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Old 07-10-11, 07:53 PM   #12
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if the attrition continues at the current rate, they won't hafta worry about
singletrack, skinny roads by the time the race hits the alps. there will be plenty of room.
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Old 07-13-11, 09:12 AM   #13
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I aim to tour in France next year and do some of the Tour climbs, including the Tourmalet, so I have an extra reason for being interested in this. But tomorrow should Be interesting in its own right. It'll tell us how much trouble Contador is in, anyway.
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Old 07-13-11, 09:18 AM   #14
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Cav and Thor should ride in hand in hand.
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Old 07-13-11, 09:20 AM   #15
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Old 07-13-11, 09:45 AM   #16
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I'm very curious to see what Contador does here. Usually he's good on the first mountain stage and he likes to attack there, but how is his knee and is he tired from the Giro? If he goes for it, the stage could be very exciting. If he doesn't, I would anticipate a lot of looking around from the other guys. A few guys would drop off because they just don't have it and/or are hurt (Kloden?), but no real fireworks.

Some people are saying Contador has to attack on this stage, but I don't see it that way. He only needs to gain back 1 minute on Schleck before the TT and gaining the time back on Evans will probably take care of itself. To me, the scenario of chipping away 5-10 seconds day by day is a lot less likely than just having one good day and gaining 45+ seconds at once. If his knee really is hurt, it seems like he should give it a day to get used to the mountains without pushing it too hard and making it worse. Then again, we all know that if he is feeling good he won't be afraid to attack. There are plenty of tough stages to come, though, so if he's not feeling it tomorrow there's no need to force it.
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Old 07-13-11, 11:41 AM   #17
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Agreed on Contador. The difference between the majority of GC guys and Contador is that Contador is actually fun to watch because he's not afraid to attack. Just because he likely CAN gain 30 seconds on someone in an ITT, doesn't mean he won't attack them before then. Even if he's in the maillot jaune (or maglia rosa as he showed earlier) and up by MINUTES, he'll still attack to buffer his lead in case of unforseen bad luck.

I'd expect Contador to attack no matter what. The results of those attacks will tell us how he and his knee are doing.
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Old 07-13-11, 12:13 PM   #18
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with gadret pulling a dns for stage 11, we'll have one less animator
for the stage. at least we'll have voeckler who is a great barometer for us
mere mortals. on these big mountain stages, the redness of his face and his
climbing 'style' show us exactly how difficult it is. you feel every exhausting,
painful pedal stroke with tommy v.
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Old 07-13-11, 12:32 PM   #19
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I'm also excited to see Tom Danielson in his first Tour de France mountain stage. He's one of the few billy goats of America and I expected him to do about as well as Horner since he can also time trial well.
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Old 07-13-11, 12:34 PM   #20
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would love to see tommy d. win a mountain stage but unless vandevelde cracks big-time, not expecting him to get the green light.
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Old 07-13-11, 01:14 PM   #21
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That's possible, although Vande Velde is 31 seconds down to Danielson, and I think he's crashed once, while Danielson hasn't. Considering that Danielson outrode Vande Velde in the Tour of California this year, I really hope they let him do everything he can. I think he could be in the top 10 if he stays healthy and has team support.
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Old 07-13-11, 01:38 PM   #22
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What do Hors Categories eat for hors d'oeuvres?
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Old 07-13-11, 01:44 PM   #23
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cats. lots and lots of cats. cat ones, cat twos, cat threes and cat fours...
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Old 07-13-11, 01:51 PM   #24
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I predict the the GC contender will mark the pretenders, and that the pretenders will mark the contender.

This will probably be boring but one can hope I'm wrong.

This stage needs a bonafide contenders and unless cuddles gets his back up I don't think there will be any.
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Old 07-13-11, 06:46 PM   #25
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hmmm.

Im not sure if its this stage or 14 that Cadel Evans shows why he isnt a TdF contender.

Tomorrow will answer alot of questions and unfortunately alot of the riders that should be contending are knocked out already. The Tour organizers really need to have the GC contenders a little more straightened out before stage 12. Only so many teams can ride on the front at once.

I dont think i heard Paul or Phil mention AC once on todays broadcast. I hope hes healthy.
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