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Stage 18: Thursday, July 21 201 km Pinerolo (IT) → Col du Galibier - Serre Chevalie

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Stage 18: Thursday, July 21 201 km Pinerolo (IT) → Col du Galibier - Serre Chevalie

Old 07-21-11, 12:05 PM
  #126  
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Originally Posted by AnthonyG View Post
Actually I don't think that he will complain because with the advantage of 20/20 hindsight the ONLY person who COULD have helped him was Frank and he simply wasn't going to. Cadel left everyone else behind and Voekler was absolutely SPENT. I can't see Voekler doing the same tomorrow.

Anthony
I agree with this for the most part on the climb. Basso and his domestique tried to come up for a pull but immediately got passed by Evans, same for Voekler towards the end.

My question is what the hell was everyone thinking on the descent of the Izoard and in the valley. Andy only had 2 mins at the top but had 4 by the beginning of the Galibier. I can understand not wanting to chase up the Izoard, but how the heck do you let someone as dangerous as AS take another 2 minutes on the descent and flats?

I think if anything, that will be Cadel's beef (no pun intended) at the end of the day, that there was no organization in the chase BEFORE the final climb. If everyone took a pull, they probably would have kept the gap at 2 mins, or even closed it down a bit, and most likely chased Andy down by the finish today instead of spotting him 2 minutes.

Still, epic ride for Cuddles and hats off to Andy to finally prove the doubters wrong and show some courage. Best stage so far.
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Old 07-21-11, 12:12 PM
  #127  
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Originally Posted by USAZorro View Post
I'm still not a fan of the brothers Schleck, but Andy definitely put in a courageous move. I think though, that the Tour is Frank's to take tomorrow. Everyone else who is anywhere near contention suffered miserably today. Tomorrow's strategy - Frank bolts, and Andy marks. Anything else would be stupid - barring Contador returning from the dead, or Basso growing wings.
Andy was amazing today, but not amazing enough to follow wheels tomorrow. Less than a minute on Cadel and 15 seconds down from Voeckler might not be enough going into the ITT.
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Old 07-21-11, 12:14 PM
  #128  
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Originally Posted by USAZorro View Post
I'm still not a fan of the brothers Schleck, but Andy definitely put in a courageous move. I think though, that the Tour is Frank's to take tomorrow. Everyone else who is anywhere near contention suffered miserably today. Tomorrow's strategy - Frank bolts, and Andy marks. Anything else would be stupid - barring Contador returning from the dead, or Basso growing wings.
Agreed. Andy finally got it right by putting in a real attack and not worrying about Frank. Problem is, he's less than a minute ahead of Evans right now and he needs more time than that before the TT. Cadel might be tired tomorrow, but Andy should be even more tired. How is he going to gain more time?

Frank is only 4 seconds ahead of Evans, so he would need an equally impressive ride tomorrow. He should be fresh, so it's not impossible. Here's the big problem for Evans: Who is going to help him chase? Voeckler wasn't interested in working today and I don't see any reason why Contador should chase down any Schleck attacks tomorrow. Basso couldn't do anything today and he's too far away from the podium to be motivated to chase. Same for Sanchez. Evans has a decent team and tomorrow is a short stage, but I don't see BMC being strong enough to ride at the front all day.

Tomorrow should be a good one.
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Old 07-21-11, 12:21 PM
  #129  
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When I saw A-schrek going solo I thought that somebody was going with him or at least were going to keep him on sight (1 minute at most) and let him toast himself to dead. Then I thought, oh they are going to do what armstrong did, teammates ahead will wait for him and tow him big time. Then I thought (mabe this was the plan from the beginning), that the other schreck brother was going to the attack later on ending the stage together with his brother.

Contador and sanchez cracked big time, the euzkadi team needs to find more climbers because the ones they have sucked big time. TV?? great for him!... sincerely i'm wishing for him to win this thing but he needs more legs with him. Cadel did the best he could, what bothers me is that not even basso helped a tiny bit, probably he was just going by inertia tho.

What I think it will happen tomorrow is that the GC guys will stay together until the end of the stage. The old schreck brother could attack tomorrow and do the same than his brother but if cadel and TV are smart tomorrow nobody, but absolutely nobody has to leave the GC group and get more than 30 secs from them. Cadel still can win this thing because the Schrecks are still on sight for the ITT but tomorrow is better for the BMC team to stay put or one of the schrecks will be at the podium, sincerely there are still chances that they dont get podium on sunday, all depends of what happens tomorrow.

AC looked bad today, maybe a bluff??? doubt it but who knows, Last year's in the ITT contador did 1.30 secs aprox outta AS, TV did like 2 minutes worse than AS but he was not a GC so probably he will do better. The best it could happen is that AC and SS could give a big hand to TV tomorrow to keep the thing all together, if the schrecks wins this race it will be worse than listening sprinters speak of who is better and for a long time.

I dont like AC but his palmares is way hudge than the schreck bros, thats why i rather have somebody else to win than them. Really annoying guys. So ALberto if you are reading this better for you to do something to save yourself and get some podium position or help somebody else, even cadel needs helps now, U really dont like those two in the podium next sunday.
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Old 07-21-11, 12:33 PM
  #130  
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Finally Andy shuts up and really attacks. About time, great ride from him. But he certainly benefitted from no one chasing until he was almost 4 1/2 minutes up.

When Cadel finally got up front, and then AC too, they started putting time into AS quickly. It was very strange when AC suddenly sat up and drifted back — if he hadn't done that I would assume he bonked later, but that move makes me wonder if something went *plonk* in his knee and he just hung in there for the rest of the stage... until he couldn't.

What a stage! NOT what I expected today at all.
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Old 07-21-11, 12:51 PM
  #131  
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Originally Posted by Hornbiker View Post
Finally Andy shuts up and really attacks. About time, great ride from him. But he certainly benefitted from no one chasing until he was almost 4 1/2 minutes up.

When Cadel finally got up front, and then AC too, they started putting time into AS quickly. It was very strange when AC suddenly sat up and drifted back — if he hadn't done that I would assume he bonked later, but that move makes me wonder if something went *plonk* in his knee and he just hung in there for the rest of the stage... until he couldn't.

What a stage! NOT what I expected today at all.
I'm sorry - we must have been watching different feeds ...

They took time out of him in the last 2km. But nothing quick happened other than Andy getting away. CE drained himself. Again, the US must get other feeds but Andy finished the stage looking like a kid who just hit the bottom step of the stairs on Xmas and Franck was PLAYING Cadel at the end.

USAZorro has it right - brother Franck goes all out to pressure Cadel (He is leading Cadel now) and they see what happens. I think if the rest of Leopard recovers tonight we'll see how much of a team sport this really is with the LT guys obliterating the lower slopes of l'Alpe (steeper) in hopes of springing the very small group that Basso wanted so much!

Finally - this tour is fun for a Luxembourger! We have options! Hope! A (real) chance! Huel Se!!!
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Old 07-21-11, 12:57 PM
  #132  
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One more missed the bus today. Down to 168.

Abandoners:
Van de Walle.............DNF 4
Kern.....................DNS 5
Brajkovic................DNF 5
Murillo..................DNS 6
Kiryienka................HD >6
Boonen...................DNF 7
Wiggins..................DNF 7
Pauriol..................DNF 7
Horner...................DNS 8
Intxausti................DNF 8
Garate...................DNS 9
Poels....................DNF 9
Brutt....................DNF 9
Vinokourov...............DNF 9
Zabriskie................DNF 9
Willems..................DNF 9
Van Den Broeck...........DNF 9
Txurruka.................DNF 9
Popovych.................DNS 10
Kolobnev.................DNS 10
Gadret...................DNS 11
Feillu...................DNS 12
Galimzyanov..............DNF 12
Steegmans................DNF 13
Boom.....................DNF 13
Kloden...................DNF 13
Isaichev.................DNF 13
Bonnet...................HD >14
Tiralongo................DNF 17
Bertagnolli..............DNF 18
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Old 07-21-11, 12:59 PM
  #133  
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Awesome day. The one thing I don't get is Europcar. Why didn't Pierre Roland drive the pace for a while and then fall off? He has finished almost every stage alongside Voeckler. It he couldn't pull for a while, then how was he able to stay with the group. Here's hoping Cadel hangs on tomorrow; it would make the final time trial quite interesting!
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Old 07-21-11, 01:02 PM
  #134  
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Originally Posted by luxroadie View Post
Andy finished the stage looking like a kid who just hit the bottom step of the stairs on Xmas and Franck was PLAYING Cadel at the end.
There's a reason the gap plummeted almost a minute in the last 1.5k, Andy barely crawled over the line. Another couple of kilometers and they may have caught him. Frank's show of strength must be weighing on Cadel's mind, but then again it's hard to read too much from a finishing sprint effort from someone that was following wheels (rightfully so) all day.

We'll see how everyone recovers overnight. Tomorrow will be very very interesting.
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Old 07-21-11, 01:02 PM
  #135  
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Originally Posted by USAZorro View Post
I'm still not a fan of the brothers Schleck, but Andy definitely put in a courageous move. I think though, that the Tour is Frank's to take tomorrow. Everyone else who is anywhere near contention suffered miserably today. Tomorrow's strategy - Frank bolts, and Andy marks. Anything else would be stupid - barring Contador returning from the dead, or Basso growing wings.
That's exactly what I was thinking. Frank attacks early, which he should be able to pull off because he was the only guy who showed anything in the tank at the end of today's ride. Andy sits back and lets the other GC guys pull him the way they pulled Frank today. If they close the gap, Andy attacks and wins (if he has the legs after today!). If they don't close the gap, Frank takes it. Perfect tactics for Leopard Trek today.

Jens Voight finished 31 minutes back today and didn't spend a lot of time at the front. Might he be ready to pull a heavy load tomorrow?
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Old 07-21-11, 01:06 PM
  #136  
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Originally Posted by luxroadie View Post
I'm sorry - we must have been watching different feeds ...

They took time out of him in the last 2km. But nothing quick happened other than Andy getting away. CE drained himself. Again, the US must get other feeds but Andy finished the stage looking like a kid who just hit the bottom step of the stairs on Xmas and Franck was PLAYING Cadel at the end.
The moments he's referring to happened closer to the start of the final climb. Nobody wanted to chase, then all of the sudden you saw Navarro hit the front with Contador nearby. Contador and Evans traded pulls for maybe 2 minutes at the most. The gap came down a little, and if they had kept it up they could have slowly brought the time back. It was a very long climb. Not long after that Contador pretty much disappeared and he was near the back of the pack for the most part. I think he knew he didn't have it.

Andy was tiring a little bit towards the end, but the climb was also steeper at that point, so it probably looked worse than it was. As for Cadel, he's an experienced guy and a very solid TTer, so I doubt he is completely drained. Maybe a little tired, but not drained.
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Old 07-21-11, 01:07 PM
  #137  
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Cadel will mark Andy, Thomas will mark Frank. Basso or Sanchez will win the stage and everything will be up to the ITT.
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Old 07-21-11, 01:08 PM
  #138  
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So I'm sitting here watching the feed from Belgium, munching on Biltong and Droewors and after taking
a call from a client look back and Andy has hit the GC group, hard. Well after I nearly choked on the
biltong I'm wondering what the hell's going on?
I sit in stunned silence except for the announcer going on in Flemish watching Andy
take time out of everyone.

Here's my question, did Frank's surge in the last 2k drag everyone else along and
allow Voekler to keep yellow? Sure looked that way to me.
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Old 07-21-11, 01:15 PM
  #139  
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Originally Posted by lotek View Post
Here's my question, did Frank's surge in the last 2k drag everyone else along and
allow Voekler to keep yellow? Sure looked that way to me.
I really feel like I was watching a different race ...
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Old 07-21-11, 01:18 PM
  #140  
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Originally Posted by lotek View Post
So I'm sitting here watching the feed from Belgium, munching on Biltong and Droewors and after taking
a call from a client look back and Andy has hit the GC group, hard. Well after I nearly choked on the
biltong I'm wondering what the hell's going on?
I sit in stunned silence except for the announcer going on in Flemish watching Andy
take time out of everyone.

Here's my question, did Frank's surge in the last 2k drag everyone else along and
allow Voekler to keep yellow? Sure looked that way to me.
Nope. Frank sprinted the last 100 or so meters to take some time from his group.
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Old 07-21-11, 01:29 PM
  #141  
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Originally Posted by TommyL View Post
Awesome day. The one thing I don't get is Europcar. Why didn't Pierre Roland drive the pace for a while and then fall off? He has finished almost every stage alongside Voeckler. It he couldn't pull for a while, then how was he able to stay with the group. Here's hoping Cadel hangs on tomorrow; it would make the final time trial quite interesting!
Europcar's tactics on the climb were sound imo. Voeckler was already at his limit with Cadel pushing the pace, no reason for Roland to push it any harder. Roland was there to help pace Voeckler if and when he cracked. If Roland pushed it then fell off and Voeckler cracked, it would have been bad news.

Only criticism I have of Europcar and BMC is that they didn't use guys to push the pace on the lead up to the main climb. Allowing AS to increase his lead going into a headwind was huge mistake. They should have been able to reel him back to about a minute or so and then caught him on the climb if they had organized the chase at all.
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Old 07-21-11, 01:35 PM
  #142  
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well that's what I get for trying to watch at work. damned clients interrupting me

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Old 07-21-11, 01:40 PM
  #143  
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Originally Posted by TaintedBeef View Post
Europcar's tactics on the climb were sound imo. Voeckler was already at his limit with Cadel pushing the pace, no reason for Roland to push it any harder. Roland was there to help pace Voeckler if and when he cracked. If Roland pushed it then fell off and Voeckler cracked, it would have been bad news.
That makes sense. Well said. I think I am letting my hopes for Cadel influence my objectivity
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Old 07-21-11, 01:43 PM
  #144  
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I wonder if a couple had gone with Andy on the breakaway he would have called it off like the other times he has in the last 2 weeks.
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Old 07-21-11, 01:55 PM
  #145  
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Originally Posted by TommyL View Post
That makes sense. Well said. I think I am letting my hopes for Cadel influence my objectivity
I am likewise pulling for Cadel and was yelling at the TV for someone to help him on the climb but it became clear that the only guy with the legs to do so was Frank and he wasn't going to do anything to help for obvious reasons. Everyone else was hanging on for dear life. I still think Cadel is in pretty good shape if he doesn't lose any time tomorrow. We'll see, should be an exciting conclusion either way.
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Old 07-21-11, 02:03 PM
  #146  
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Originally Posted by lotek View Post
Here's my question, did Frank's surge in the last 2k drag everyone else along and
allow Voekler to keep yellow? Sure looked that way to me.
Frank didn't surge in the last 2k ... he snuck around Cadel Evans in the final 25 meters. Before that, he was planted solidly behind somebody the entire day.

There was a funny sequence where Evans and Contador started trading 30-second pulls at the base of the final climb, and it looked like something really interesting was about to happen, then suddenly Contador dropped off. Frank was so glued to Contador that he dropped along with him and ended up near the back. Then everybody in the group spent a couple of minutes going "wtf just happened?"
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Old 07-21-11, 02:16 PM
  #147  
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Originally Posted by globecanvas View Post
There was a funny sequence where Evans and Contador started trading 30-second pulls at the base of the final climb, and it looked like something really interesting was about to happen, then suddenly Contador dropped off. Frank was so glued to Contador that he dropped along with him and ended up near the back. Then everybody in the group spent a couple of minutes going "wtf just happened?"
Yup, that's what I was referring to. Kind of strange.
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Old 07-21-11, 02:30 PM
  #148  
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Originally Posted by TommyL View Post
Why didn't Pierre Roland drive the pace for a while and then fall off? He has finished almost every stage alongside Voeckler. It he couldn't pull for a while, then how was he able to stay with the group.
'Pulling' on a climb is far different than pulling a relatively flat section. On the climb, you are pacing as much as pulling, and have to keep the pace at whatever is doable for the person you are helping. It's comparatively easy to hang onto a line on the flats, where wind resistance is paramount; not so true on a hard climb, where gravity is king. When they are in the lead on a climb, Europcar is trying to set a pace that is just barely manageable for TV, and not one bit faster. This is why, every now and then, you will someone's domestique open up a gap, then look around, and you can almost hear them say "wups"; then they back off. They set a pace their leader couldn't match.
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Old 07-21-11, 02:33 PM
  #149  
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Originally Posted by NathanL View Post
I wonder if a couple had gone with Andy on the breakaway he would have called it off like the other times he has in the last 2 weeks.
That's a good question. Voeckler couldn't quite make the initial reaction and then everybody started playing the "no, you chase" game. They never should have let him get more than a minute in the first place.
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Old 07-21-11, 02:37 PM
  #150  
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Originally Posted by TaintedBeef View Post
I am likewise pulling for Cadel and was yelling at the TV for someone to help him on the climb but it became clear that the only guy with the legs to do so was Frank and he wasn't going to do anything to help for obvious reasons. Everyone else was hanging on for dear life. I still think Cadel is in pretty good shape if he doesn't lose any time tomorrow. We'll see, should be an exciting conclusion either way.
I wouldn't be surprised to see that Big George Hincapie has reserved himself and tomorrow will be of great help to Cadel on the final hill.
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