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BigFatCoward

Cycling 2019 - the British are coming.

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Looking forward to the stage today. As BFC says the only pity is that there's a long flat leading up to the last climb, which somewhat dents the impact of the first two HC climbs. No point attacking on the first two climbs if there's a long flat for everyone to catch up to you again.

I'm guessing there'll be an initial breakaway by all the King of the Mountain wannabes, but all the main GC guys will stay together until the final climb when things will hopefully get interesting.

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5 hours ago, Jeor said:

Looking forward to the stage today. As BFC says the only pity is that there's a long flat leading up to the last climb, which somewhat dents the impact of the first two HC climbs. No point attacking on the first two climbs if there's a long flat for everyone to catch up to you again.

AG2R have disagreed with you and it's made this much more entertaining 

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Porte is in an ambulance and out of the Tour. Such a shame.

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How unlucky is Barguil? That photo was a tyre width at most.

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I was holding my breath till I saw Porte move when the guy looked like he might have been checking for a pulse, that looked really nasty.

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Terrible crash for Porte. The footage looked really nasty...it's easy to see how fatalities are an actual real risk in the sport.

Uran getting the win with a single gear is kind of amazing, but feel bad for Barguil. Another photo finish, a bit like the Boassen-Hagen and Kittel one.

Froome steals a small time bonus again. Aru looks like his main contender now.

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Well that sucks sounds like he is going to be ok. Shame for him and for the race as he looked for me like the only one of those guys who was going to be capable of challenging froome.

 

Also Aru is a dick, sees the leader with a problem and hand in the air and goes on the attack

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Yeah, Aru is kind of lucky that Porte's crash has overshadowed what would have been a lot of focus on him for that unsportsmanlike attack.

I'd prefer Froome to win over Aru now. But it looks unlikely anyone is going to unseat Froome anyway. My dark horse favourite would be Dan Martin but I don't think he's got quite enough Grand Tour legs on him as the other proper GC guys.

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After Giro 15 attack on Contador when he had a mechanical, and now this, i think we can all agree that Aru is a fucking slag (police vernacular for a wrong un).  

Geraint Thomas has been so unlucky this year, i hope he gets back in form and full team dedicated to him next year at the Giro as a thank you, he has done everything that could be asked of him this year. 

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Demare missed the time limit and is out, I guess that makes Kittel even more favoured for the green jersey unless Matthews can keep on with the Sagan-style intermediate points.

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I thought Aru's move was perfectly acceptable. Did anyone see Froome brake hard ( or even glance back when Porte and Martin crashed into the rocks). It's a race, and Froome consistently benefits from these things as well.

Anyway, really annoying stage today for a couple of reasons:

  • Porte going out. The best contender by the looks if it, I was shocked when he fell and kept hoping he would be ok. Another Tour wasted for him, and so the years go by don't they. I think he's 31 or 32 already, and his injuries are severe. I wonder how long he will need to recover. Out for the season for sure. What a shame for the tension..
  • Dragging Dan Martin along so that the Irishman, who is finally having the GC of his life, loses 1.15 to Froome. Otherwise he would have stayed in that group and likely won the stage, as he is by far the best sprinter of that group. I hope he will remain with the best as it goes on as he still has a very strong chance to perform something very remarkable here.
  • Quintana being in shit form. Don't do the Giro -Tour again dude, which is basically what everyone already said in advance, It is too tough. He is worse than he was in the Giro, for sure.
  • Contador's final downfall. It seems the end is near for him, or came sometime ago.
  • What on Earth are Aru and Fuglsang doing helping Froome bring Bardet back into the fold? Let Froome do the work and bring Bardet back, he was 35 seconds ahead! But no no no, they bow to their master and help him bring Bardet back, and then they also allow Froome to get the bonus seconds. 

All in all the Chris Froome show continues, even with Thomas out and Poels not in the Tour. Can this last? It's a long way to go yet. 

Don't get me wrong btw, nothing against Froome, just want to see an exciting Tour and losing Porte and Martin losing over a minute because of it is not good, obviously. Suddenly the roster of competitors is pretty bare.

 

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Froome benefiting from Porte's crash is quite different to Aru attacking when Froome had a mechanical. Two reasons:

1. Riders crashing are, generally speaking, much more down to rider skill and decision-making than mechanicals. If the gentleman's agreement was to stop every time someone crashed, that would just encourage everyone to be haring down as quickly as possible, knowing that if they crashed everyone would wait up for them. It takes any skill out of descending. In previous tours, sometimes riders have stopped or waited up for someone if a spectator caused a crash, but if it's just a normal crash, that's cycling.

2. Aru actually attacked Froome when he had the mechanical. The correct analogy in the Porte situation would be if Froome realised Porte crashed and then decided to suddenly accelerate even more to exploit it. Froome just kept on riding normally, he didn't purposely accelerate to take even more of an advantage from it.

Quintana and Contador are definitely cooked. Demare out with the time cut is a real shame - the green jersey may have been the best competition left given the way the GC is going.

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Given the speed of the descent, if Froome had looked back to see if Richie was OK the headline probably would have included Froome crashing out of the race as well, possibly with a worse injury than Porte. That's just not even a safe thing to suggest, assuming he even knew. He and Richie are genuine friends from their time together at Sky, if he knew the crash had happened I'm positive he'd have been worried - its not remotely comparable to attacking because you saw the yellow jersey put their hand up with a mechanical and literally rode under his raised arm in your attack.

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Alright, maybe not a great comparison to compare it with Froome not stopping during the descent.

My point is more that most cycling insiders say that the Tour goes on and doesn't stop for anyone, and this applies to everyone.

Remember in the Giro when Dumoulin had his "problem". They didn't stop then. All day long he had to go alone into pursuit behind Nibali and Quintana. Mechanical issues is similar. It's not praiseworthy to attack in such a moment but this is what cycling is, riders try to gain from any advantage they can, and Chris Froome certainly does that as well. Especially opponents who are in a situation where they have to deal with the overwhelming Sky Train every day, they grab what chances they can. 

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God this tour is boring.  Wish Cav was still here at least to keep Kittel honest.  At least they are back in the mountains tomorrow. 

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Yeah thankfully there are only two flat stages and four genuine mountain stages before the Tour reaches Paris.

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Everybody who's watching and commentating seems to agree that it is very boring indeed.

Hopefully the Tour will finally learn it's lesson and be more like Vuelta and Giro.

We may get some fireworks today and tomorrow.

 

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Given his unsportsmanlike tactics, I don't want Aru to actually win, but it'd be nice to see him try something to up the excitement. However it's probably more likely we'll see attacks from Dan Martin or Bardet. Whoever it is, I hope they start attacking Froome en masse.

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Bardet lived up to my expectations and attacked at the end for the win.

Most intriguing though, is that Froome lost some time and looked a bit vulnerable. He couldn't keep up with the attacks and Aru managed to lose him and get the yellow jersey. What's frustrating about this is that, given the screw-up where both Aru and Froome went off-road and no one in the peloton attacked, both of them could have been made to work a lot more this stage.

Anyway, GC looks a lot more interesting:

1. Fabio Aru
2. Chris Froome, 0.06
3. Romain Bardet, 0.25
4. Rigo Uran, 0.55
5. Dan Martin, 1.41

I know 6 seconds is virtually nothing (Froome could easily get that back on time trial) but at least from a token point of view things have gotten more interesting. Uran and Bardet being close shouldn't be discounted either. It's a shame Dan Martin is 1.41 back, if he hadn't had that crash with Porte he would be right up there too.

Quintana (4:01) and Contador (7:14) are well out of it now.

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if froome is meant to be riding into form, he needs to start soon, though realistically with the TT still to come he still has a big advantage. 

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