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Old 06-30-13, 05:34 PM   #1
Darkglasses
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Tour de France - Stage 3, July 1, Ajaccio - Calvi, 146km

Terrific stage yesterday, long may it continue.

Another medium mountains stage tomorrow, as the tour winds its way back north up to Calvi. Unfortunately it's also our last day in Corsica this year. It is very up and down all day, despite a flattish finish I can't see the sprinters getting involved at the end. Instead, they will want to stay alert at the intermediate sprint 28km in.

The critical climb will be the Col de Marsolino at 14km to go, 3.3km long at 8%. Sagan would be doing well to get over it with whatever front bunch is still intact then. It's a stage begging for a strong opportunist to break away for the victory. Strong descending skills will be valuable, so watch out for Voeckler and Chavanel.

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Old 07-01-13, 03:04 AM   #2
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Hm ... Johnny Hoogerland could do something (if he don't crash :-) )
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Old 07-01-13, 03:37 AM   #3
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I'm not sure how hard the peloton will be racing today. I'm sure the teams want to leave Corsica with no major incidents before the team time trial tomorrow. And, I doubt Radioshack will be defending the Yellow Jersey with any sort of tenacity. If Cannondale can get Sagan over the "mountains" he's got a great chance to take this stage.
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Old 07-01-13, 06:53 AM   #4
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Mike Smith has just reported on Eurosport that Geraint Thomas discovered last night that he has a hairline fracture in his pelvis. He's clearly in pain today, he might try to do some work on the upcoming TTT and then pack it in. Very impressive, but again I don't think he should be riding today, obviously in great discomfort.

Elsewhere, Yoann Bagot and Andrey Kashechkin have abandoned already.
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Old 07-01-13, 08:21 AM   #5
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Pierre Rolland attacking at just the right time, he's going to pick up more KOM points.

The sprinters are going out the back, Kittel, Greipel and Cav are out of the running now.

Ooh! Chavanel is having a go now at 11km to go, this could be a winner.
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Old 07-01-13, 08:37 AM   #6
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Another fine finish. And these three stages have definitely put Corsica on my bike touring list.
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Old 07-01-13, 08:37 AM   #7
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Wow! Simon Gerrans takes it by a hair. Sagan second. Bakelants stays in yellow.

JJ Rojas, Kwiatkowski, Gilbert, Flecha, Gavazzi, Bouet, Simon, Izaguirre follow.
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Old 07-01-13, 08:38 AM   #8
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Another fine finish. And these three stages have definitely put Corsica on my bike touring list.
Looked amazing today, I'd say the bookings will be coming in thick and fast.
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Old 07-01-13, 09:53 AM   #9
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Looked amazing today, I'd say the bookings will be coming in thick and fast.
I was lucky enough to be stationed in Sardinia back in 83, which is the big Italian island directly below Corsica. Simply a beautiful place and very similar to Corsica, which I visited a few times. Either island is heaven on earth. You just have to decide whether you like Italian food or French!

Great sprint by Gerrans, who I think completely surprised Sagan with that great inside move. Another few feet, and Sagan would have won.

A question - why wouldn't the sprinters, especially Kittel, go out hard with that first break to get the maximum points for the green jersey? The sprint point was only 20-something kilometers into the race and he could have scored 20 pts and prevented Sagan from taking the green jersey. Then he could have laid back the rest of the way, because none of the sprinters really had a shot at winning to today, except Sagan...
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Old 07-01-13, 11:06 AM   #10
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I was lucky enough to be stationed in Sardinia back in 83, which is the big Italian island directly below Corsica. Simply a beautiful place and very similar to Corsica, which I visited a few times. Either island is heaven on earth. You just have to decide whether you like Italian food or French!

Great sprint by Gerrans, who I think completely surprised Sagan with that great inside move. Another few feet, and Sagan would have won.

A question - why wouldn't the sprinters, especially Kittel, go out hard with that first break to get the maximum points for the green jersey? The sprint point was only 20-something kilometers into the race and he could have scored 20 pts and prevented Sagan from taking the green jersey. Then he could have laid back the rest of the way, because none of the sprinters really had a shot at winning to today, except Sagan...
Lovely!

I'm as surprised as you are that there wasn't more interest in the intermediate sprint. As Sean Kelly would say, they made the calculation that the amount of points wasn't worth the amount of energy expended. But as you say, none of them were in with a chance today anyway.
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Old 07-01-13, 04:36 PM   #11
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Awesome sprint by Orica! Congrats to Gerrans!

the intermediate sprint points are nice but not as good as the finish ones. And once these guys realize their positions, they turn off the turbos.

They know they need to save some energy for the rest of the stage so if they are there, fine, they go for it, if not, well, there's next time.


This new intermediate sprint system they put in place last year is SO much better than what they had before. I really like it a lot. And since there's actually a fight for those points now, the fans at the roadside get some great action to watch. In the past, the breakaway never bothered with them and there were no points to be had by the peloton later.
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Old 07-01-13, 05:11 PM   #12
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Awesome sprint by Orica! Congrats to Gerrans!

the intermediate sprint points are nice but not as good as the finish ones. And once these guys realize their positions, they turn off the turbos.

They know they need to save some energy for the rest of the stage so if they are there, fine, they go for it, if not, well, there's next time.
I hear what your saying, and maybe I'm very wrong here, but the intermediate sprint point was only 28 kilometers in. I think it could have shaken up Sagan if Kittel would have jumped out there with the first breakaway and scored the 20pts.. It wasn't like he was going to be there in the end, so I think it would have been worth the energy spent. Now it will be next to impossible for anyone to beat Sagan, unless he really falters, for the green jersey. Opportunity missed?
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Old 07-01-13, 05:15 PM   #13
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As soon as a Kittel or Sagan or Greipel tried to go off the front of the peloton, the peloton EN MASSE would have gone after them. They don't get to tell the others "hey, I'm just going for the intermediate sprint; I promise I'll be back in the peloton shortly."
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Old 07-01-13, 05:17 PM   #14
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No bus on the podium today? Booooorrrrrriiiiiiinnnnnngggggg!
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Old 07-01-13, 05:23 PM   #15
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No bus on the podium today? Booooorrrrrriiiiiiinnnnnngggggg!
the Orica bus tested positive for EPO and steroids and received a two year ban.
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Old 07-01-13, 05:24 PM   #16
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They're going to ram it into the Arc de Triomphe on the last day I believe.
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Old 07-02-13, 07:39 AM   #17
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I always knew that bus was too fast to be pani aqua!!! Now I just want to see how many other busses will stand up and come clean.
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