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Potential Spoiler: A "Why I Like to Watch Cycling" sort of stage

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Potential Spoiler: A "Why I Like to Watch Cycling" sort of stage

Old 07-02-23, 09:52 AM
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Potential Spoiler: A "Why I Like to Watch Cycling" sort of stage

So ... Sunday's stage ... after a real stage on Saturday (no prologue, no TTT .... an actual regular race stage) was another challenging affair with a lot of climbs hard enough to be selective and bring the GC contenders out to contend.

Unlike so many "mechanical" stages, predictable and with the winner either foregone or unimportant, on Sunday there was an actual battle for the yellow jersey, head-to-head clashes between the race favorites, and the race was hard enough to reveal the actual fitness levels of the major teams on top contenders.

Pogacar is still the strongest, it seems, but he is not tactical. Vingegaard is not quite as fast but smarter---but this time, his team is not as overwhelming as last year or other races this year. Van Aert proved that he might be human, and that he needs good team mates to win .... and Jumbo Visma was, as mentioned, not as dominating, which means a dozen meters mattered.

On top of that, after several crazy ventures by other riders, a Cofidis rider addressed the team's 15-year drought of TdF wins ... he attacked at what, 1100 meters, and held out to win by only a second .... after 999 of 1000 breakaways get caught in the final 500 or even 50 meters ... this time it worked.

Basically everyone won, no one lost, a long-suffering French team got a great win, (always nice to see a "classic" team get a sponsorship-inflating win (so they might last another while)) and good to see a French team win (just for the local fans.) Always good to see the GC riders actually compete---so many years they are just passengers until the final day before the first rest day, or even the middle of the second week.

Every year ASO has a chance to assemble a good par cours or not ... and this year I'd say they hit it.
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Old 07-02-23, 10:30 AM
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Funny, but I think these hard but not full mountain days in oft rainy country are perfect to have safer first weekend racing. Hard enough that everyone has to think about their legs and not ride stupid. Roads that see enough wet that there's no oil rising to the surface if it does rain. Yes, we lost two team leaders yesterday. But today, despite a lot of road furniture, not a lot of crashes. Big contrast to some of the big tour starts of recent years.
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Old 07-02-23, 04:55 PM
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Sunday was a great stage and the way it was won but tarnished because of the idiot(s) who threw tacks on the course causing at least 20 punctures. I hope they are able to identify the culprit. Hopefully the riders won't get mixed up the current political situation in France.
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Old 07-02-23, 07:23 PM
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Definitely agree about the morons and thumbtacks. Absolute BS.

With respect to UAE, they did add Majka and Yates, among others, so I think they size up better against Jumbo-Visma, and Tadej needs to remember he doesn’t have to go out like a madman like he did last year.

Through only 2 stages, this is already an exciting Tour!
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Old 07-02-23, 07:59 PM
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It was interesting to see how quickly WVA personally responded to Pidcock’s attack. I would love to see TP bag another stage this year.
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Last edited by Eric F; 07-03-23 at 09:43 AM.
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