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BigFatCoward

Cycling 2019 - the British are coming.

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This next stage is going to be interesting. Very short mountain stage (101km) . With it being so short, with three Category 1 climbs means there is lots of opportunity to attack as riders should theoretically have lots in the tank knowing it's only a short stage. With Froome having shown some weakness yesterday, this stage would really be the time for Aru, Uran and Bardet to really go for it.

The thing that annoys me a bit is that Froome showed some obvious weakness and must have been hiding it quite well these past dozen stages. If one of the contenders had really properly attacked him earlier it would have blown the Tour wide open, but as it is, he has managed to survive relatively unscathed (so far) just based on his reputation and the strength of the Sky team. If people hadn't been so hesitant to chance their arm against him, he may well have been further down the standings by now.

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Quintana is clearly either carrying illness/injury or paying the price for the Giro this year. I agree with the Aussie commentary that in previous years he has looked like he needed the time to ride into form, so I'm not sure why it seems to have gone the other way. Generally speaking I also find he performs much better than the colder weather of the Alps than the warmer climbs in the Pyranees, but yesterday was the cooler day so that clearly wasn't what is going on this year.

Really frustrated that the other contenders waited for Froome and Aru after their stuff up, the stage could have caused much more shake up but Froome is clearly vulnerable now.

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Very interesting development yesterday. What the Tour needed after Porte went out.

Very curious to see how it unfolds now in the toughest mountain stages next week.

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The Australian commentators had a theory that Quintana spent way more energy in the Giro than he expected to (and still lost to Dumoulin). There was the suggestion that he was arrogantly expecting to win the Giro without too much fuss and he pushed himself a bit too far when he realised Dumoulin was going to take the win.

I'm now going for Bardet and Dan Martin. Bardet has been the most attacking of the GC riders all Tour, so I'd like to see him in yellow. And Dan Martin I just feel sorry for with the Porte crash.

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Can't believe that UCI reversed Bennett and Uran's time penalties rather than award the same penalty to Bardet. Crazy.

The TDF commentators just about had an aneurysm when Landa refused to wait for Chris Froome at the end of Stage 12. So much drama!

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A bit of a frustrating stage - Aru got away with doing virtually no work, and maddeningly Froome and the other contenders like Bardet ended up doing much more work than Aru who was happy to follow everyone else.

Really, Froome and the others should have called Aru's bluff and let Landa get into the yellow jersey, forcing Aru to take up the chase himself. But I suspect Froome didn't want Landa in yellow for fear of losing the leadership of the team, in which case Aru was helped big time considering he had no teammates for the whole stage.

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Well that was interesting, Aru should be toast now, he got far too easy a ride from AG2R and Meintjes teams.  

Landa must breath through gills or something, never seems to open his mouth.  Still expect Froome to win, but no idea who rounds out the podium. 

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The last time trial is going to be interesting. Bardet isn't a good TTer so unless he gains a lot in the remaining mountains, he probably won't win. But Uran and Froome could probably expect to be the best of the GC contenders and Aru is not too shabby either. Not sure what Dan Martin or Landa's time trialling is like.

It would be kind of amusing (and very interesting) if Landa and Froome go head to head in the time trial for yellow.

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Uran has been a good TT'er in the past, but was poor on the prologue.  Bardet, Martin, Uran and Aru all lost enough time that if the result was replicated over the longer one they should lose at least a minute to Froome.  

With the remaining route i expect Froome to run out the winner by at least 90 seconds, and everyone to be looking back going 'what was all the fuss about'?

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The betting agencies agree with you...the odds are still heavily in favour of Froome, and Aru is next at $5.

I agree the time trial gives him a significant cushion. He could probably even just ride defensively until then and re-take it.

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I love the added drama of Landa knowing he is probably the strongest rider right now. Must be so tempting to want to add just a little more time into the GC race. 

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On 15/07/2017 at 1:41 AM, Jeor said:

A bit of a frustrating stage - Aru got away with doing virtually no work, and maddeningly Froome and the other contenders like Bardet ended up doing much more work than Aru who was happy to follow everyone else.

Really, Froome and the others should have called Aru's bluff and let Landa get into the yellow jersey, forcing Aru to take up the chase himself. But I suspect Froome didn't want Landa in yellow for fear of losing the leadership of the team, in which case Aru was helped big time considering he had no teammates for the whole stage.

The Aussie commentary speculated tonight that while this might have been the original plan when Quintana was suddenly showing life again you potentially let him back inside a minute if you go with that plan and it wasn't worth the risk. Particularly when they seemed pretty confident they would take it again tonight and did.

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great win by matthews yesterday and the gc is actually getting more interesting as froome doesnt seem as strong as everyone expected. The short stage was excellent entertainment although it was frustrating that they didnt make aru do the chasing all the main guys seem a bit too keen to help each other chase down others in the top 10

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On 15-7-2017 at 1:25 PM, zelticgar said:

I love the added drama of Landa knowing he is probably the strongest rider right now. Must be so tempting to want to add just a little more time into the GC race. 

I wouldn't say he's the best, but clearly he is good enough to keep up with the big 5 and he has to be thinking to himself, this is my chance. Certainly, at his age he will think there will be more chances but you never know in cycling ( or anywhere).  He will be leaving Team Sky to go for his own chances next year. But today he behaved like a good domestique for Froome.

Another good stage today, it was clear that all the top riders were gassed and at the limit. Massive stages on Wednesday and Thursday. Uran is looking solid as a house btw.

On 14-7-2017 at 3:24 PM, Newstar said:

Can't believe that UCI reversed Bennett and Uran's time penalties rather than award the same penalty to Bardet. Crazy.

 

Yeah that was remarkable. They give that penalty to Uran and when the media provide footage of Bardet taking water as well, they withdraw the penalty. It confirms what you already think. They have a chance to have a Frenchman win a Tour here for the first time in what, 30 years?

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Nice to see Matthews pick up a second stage win in a few days, as well as further close the points gap with Kittel. The race for the Green Jersey is looking less one-sided than just a few days ago.

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There better be some fucking action today. I'm night duty, and if I set my alarm, just for everyone to follow each other up the galibier and down into serre chevalier I will be pissed off. 

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I think we will definitely see a lot happening today, and tomorrow again.

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it will be a let down if the top 5 dont seperate over the top of the galibier. Matthews is doing a great job making the green jersey interesting the last few days. If he can hang with de gent over the hc he could finish in the points today as well but that would take a massive effort.

 

Sad to see Kittel go out because of a crash with the green jersey battle getting so close

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Well that was underwhelming.  I'd like to see Froome give it a proper go tomorrow, and Landa be given the freedom to go for the podium, if they can get a gap on Bardet and Uran and work together to the top of the final climb. 

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I agree , underwhelming.

Commentators are saying we should expect more tomorrow because it's an uphill finish, which to be true has merit.

It has great effect in the Vuelta, but the Tour de France makes far too little use of it. An oft voiced complaint.

I think it will be all or nothing for Bardet tomorrow, he is guaranteed to keep going on that final climb.

Froome seems to have resigned himself to being a follower, but might try something for once tomorrow as it is late in the game.

I cannot imagine Uran will continue to follow though, I think he will observe as long as he can and then try to create distance.

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