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Old 07-14-12, 01:55 PM   #1
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2012 Tour de France - Stage 16 - Pau → Bagnères-de-Luchon - Wednesday July 18

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Old 07-15-12, 05:14 AM   #2
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a terrific descent to the finish and the best chance remaining for noted descenders evans & nibali to claw back significant time on wiggins. van den broeck is far enough back in the gc that i think he wins this stage but by less than 30 seconds over the other principals.

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Old 07-16-12, 11:49 AM   #3
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Waiting for the final descent is too late. There is no way Evans can make up enough time on Wiggins to take a lead, much less a large enough lead to survive the final TT.

If I were BMC, I'd make the move on the Tourmalet descent. There are no flats beyond that point, so there is a reasonable chance that a breakaway could stay clear. And Evans would have 3 descents to gain time on Wiggins instead of just 1.

Getting free of Wiggins will be tough, but IMHO it would to worth trying.
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Old 07-16-12, 12:20 PM   #4
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Col du Tourmalet. Such a beautiful, brutal ascent. Wish there was a tighter battle to force a bloodbath, but maybe Cadel will try his luck (legs) anyway.
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Old 07-16-12, 01:00 PM   #5
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There will be a few very good descents for Nibali and Evans to push there limits to get back into this race. But Wiggins is one cool customer, so it certainly won't be easy.
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Old 07-16-12, 01:05 PM   #6
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Cadel for the win.
After chasing back Nibali down that last descent.
Wiggins/Froome finish same time, because that's all they have to do.

Sky are looking too strong for anything else.
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Old 07-16-12, 02:22 PM   #7
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Cadel for the win.
After chasing back Nibali down that last descent.
Wiggins/Froome finish same time, because that's all they have to do.

Sky are looking too strong for anything else.
A likely story, but I hope something more interesting happens. That said, as boring as this tour has looked on paper, a lot has happened. Sky has just done an incredible job on containing it.
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Old 07-16-12, 02:26 PM   #8
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I'm gonna go out on a limb, because I've been fairly bored to tears with this entire edition of the TdF. I say the combined attacks of VdB, Nibali, Evans (who is showing he really doesn't have much left in the tank), and maybe a surprise guy or two, will finally crack Wiggins, and Froome will go up the road (as he said he will). However, I think he will sit on whatever group is out front, and if Wiggins can't climb back up, it will come down to a small group at the end containing Froome. The obvious choice for the win is Nibali, so I'll say he will shed guys on the final descent.
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Old 07-16-12, 06:53 PM   #9
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I think Farrar will attack on the Tourmalet and TT to the finish.........go you good thing!
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Old 07-17-12, 12:01 AM   #10
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I'm gonna go out on a limb, because I've been fairly bored to tears with this entire edition of the TdF. I say the combined attacks of VdB, Nibali, Evans (who is showing he really doesn't have much left in the tank), and maybe a surprise guy or two, will finally crack Wiggins, and Froome will go up the road (as he said he will). However, I think he will sit on whatever group is out front, and if Wiggins can't climb back up, it will come down to a small group at the end containing Froome. The obvious choice for the win is Nibali, so I'll say he will shed guys on the final descent.
Yea what he said!!!!
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Old 07-17-12, 12:04 AM   #11
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But Id really like to see Nibali and Evans with a fighting chance in the final TT. Ya know like + - 30 seconds and maybe hope Bad Brad has a flat or something. The next two days are crucial.
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Old 07-17-12, 07:12 AM   #12
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I am going to be really surprised if Cadel is able to mount an attack that Sky won't be able to control, he just doesn't seem to have the legs.

Nibali on the other hand might put his descending ability to good use, but it isn't like Wiggins can't hold his own on a fast downhill.

Something better happen tomorrow, it seems this year's high attrition rate may in part be caused by boredom .
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Old 07-17-12, 08:31 AM   #13
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I'm gonna go out on a limb, because I've been fairly bored to tears with this entire edition of the TdF. I say the combined attacks of VdB, Nibali, Evans (who is showing he really doesn't have much left in the tank), and maybe a surprise guy or two, will finally crack Wiggins, and Froome will go up the road (as he said he will). However, I think he will sit on whatever group is out front, and if Wiggins can't climb back up, it will come down to a small group at the end containing Froome. The obvious choice for the win is Nibali, so I'll say he will shed guys on the final descent.
I like this scenario, and I'm putting Haimar Zubeldia's name in as one of the "surprise guys".
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Old 07-17-12, 08:35 AM   #14
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Is this what a clean TDF looks like? A group ride.
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Old 07-17-12, 08:53 AM   #15
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Queen stage
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Old 07-17-12, 11:43 AM   #16
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Is this what a clean TDF looks like? A group ride.
Yep - apparently there is a limit to what a human body can do without PEDs, and all of these guys are at that limit fairly equally. Therefore they are just cruising the countryside together.
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Old 07-17-12, 11:53 AM   #17
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Yesterday was what a clean TDF looks like. Sprinter stage, where the teams are so tired, no one wants to chase the breakaway. Tomorrow will still be interesting.

A lot still has to do with the fact of this year's race route. No super hard uphill finishes leaves the climbers a bit wary to attack hard and often on the climb.
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Old 07-17-12, 12:17 PM   #18
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Is this what a clean TDF looks like? A group ride.
This is what the TDF looks like without Contador and Schleck.
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Old 07-17-12, 01:58 PM   #19
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This is what the TDF looks like without Contador and Schleck.
^this.
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Old 07-17-12, 07:02 PM   #20
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Is this what a clean TDF looks like? A group ride.
Suggestion for next year: on rest days you can take any drugs you want, uppers, downers, coke, epo, spanish beef, the lot. Then everyone goes bonkers on the next day doing wheelies up Mt Ventoux; should keep the riff-raff happy.
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Old 07-17-12, 07:42 PM   #21
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Suggestion for next year: on rest days you can take any drugs you want, uppers, downers, coke, epo, spanish beef, the lot. Then everyone goes bonkers on the next day doing wheelies up Mt Ventoux; should keep the riff-raff happy.



That would be interesting.
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Old 07-17-12, 07:55 PM   #22
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Bring back the time bonuses.

Then there would be more incentive to attack especially early in the tour.
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Old 07-17-12, 09:27 PM   #23
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I don't see too much happening in this stage, sadly. Well, in the GC race anyway. I hope I'm wrong. Maybe Nibbles will send what should be a very strong team in the mountains to the front and shatter the field, and then kill the descent and TT to the finish. He has the courage for such a move...
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Old 07-18-12, 12:11 AM   #24
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Evans has stated that he's still feeling good, getting better in fact. I don't know if he's got the legs - plus Froome & Wiggo are in pretty rare form too.
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Old 07-18-12, 04:42 AM   #25
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Very hot out there today, over 30c even at altitude. Lots of people are going to suffer badly before the end.
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