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Le Tour de France 2010

 
 
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Jul, 2010 08:20 pm
Home town hero Simon Gerrans has suffered 3 heavy falls and is covered in bruises gauze and stiches but as they say here in the mountains,
his courage still undaunted and blood is firey hot,
for never yet was mountain horse a cur.
Simon Gerrans Blog
http://www.simongerrans.com/
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InfraBlue
 
  2  
Reply Mon 12 Jul, 2010 04:24 pm
As expected Cadel Evans has taken the lead in the Tour after Sunday's stage to Morzine-Avoriaz sorted out the contenders from the also-rans. His biggest threat comes from the Luxembourger, Andy Schleck, who, in winning the stage took 10 seconds out of Cadel's lead, and is only 20 seconds behind him. Contador finished the stage with Cadel, so his time gap is still one minute, one second behind. The biggest loser of the day was Lance Armstrong who had a disastrous day crashing three times, and ultimately losing almost twelve minutes to Evans. Armstrong's Tour contention is veritably over.

http://cdn.media.cyclingnews.com//2010/07/11/2/bettiniphoto_0056520_1_full_600.jpg

Andy Schleck is most dangerous in the mountain stages where he excels, and tomorrow's stage to Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne with its finish on the Col de la Madeleine features another mountain top finish. Contador also excels in the mountains, but he will have to put in a tremendous effort to gain a minute on Evans. Evans is a very, very good all-rounder, and has the strength to limit his loses to the more pure climbers that are Schleck and Contador. Tuesday's promises to be another exciting stage!
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InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jul, 2010 04:39 pm
Wow! Who would've expected Cadel Evans to crack like a walnut in today's stage? He lost about eight minutes to Andy Schleck who is now in the Tour leader's yellow jersey, with Alberto Contador in second place, forty-one seconds behind. But, Cadel and his team revealed sometime after his miserable performance in the stage that he rode with a fractured elbow and injured hip that were results from a crash on Sunday stage. Team manager Jim Ochwicz stated that, "We decided as a team not to tell anybody about it and try and fake it through the race and get to the finish. We didn't want to let our competitors know and have them attacking him during the race on the early climbs."
http://cdn.media.cyclingnews.com/2010/07/13/2/img_0820_600.jpg
Amazingly, Evans intends to continue riding and finish the race to Paris.


This year's Tour is shaping up to be a contest between Frank Schleck and Alberto Contador who finished today's stage together despite the former's repeated attacks to try and drop the Spaniard.
http://cdn.media.cyclingnews.com//2010/07/13/2/bettiniphoto_0056603_1_full_600.jpg
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dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jul, 2010 02:23 am
I'm a fan of both Schleck and Contador, though I keep rooting for Contador a little more. Sorry to hear about Evans, he's a good one.

....can't say i'm terribly sorry about Armstrong though, not that I wish him any harm personally.
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InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jul, 2010 01:58 pm
I referred to Andy Schleck as Frank Schleck. Frank is his brother who, up until the cobbled roads of the third stage, was Andy's lieutenant. Frank crashed badly on that stage, broke his clavicle, and had to abandon the race.

The next three days will see the Tour cover relatively flat ground. It'll give the race leaders a chance to rest before the Tour heads into the next mountain range, the Pyrenees, which separate France and Spain which, beginning Sunday, will feature four stages with finishes in the mountains. The race leaders' teams, however, will have their hands full making sure that no breakaways or opportunists get away too far to endanger their captains' leads.

Contador and Schleck look pretty evenly matched in the mountains. Contador, however, has the advantage in that he is a better time trialist, i.e. he also excels in the individual races against the clock. If all else remains the same after they ride back down from the Pyrenees, the penultimate stage may see Contador taking his time deficit back from Schleck, and then some. But there is still half a Tour to ride, and anything can happen before the Tour reaches Paris.
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panzade
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jul, 2010 02:21 pm
Great reporting. Just cause Lance isn't in it doesn't mean it's not a great race.
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jul, 2010 03:44 pm
@panzade,
Thanks panzade.

When Lance was winning in the way he did, seven consecutive Tours de France, I felt an ambivalence between thinking, "wow, can he really win another one?" and "man, where's the competition? Is he really going to win another one?"

Here's a pic of the pack leaving the Alps:
http://cdn.media.cyclingnews.com//2010/07/14/2/bettiniphoto_0056786_1_full_600.jpg
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InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Jul, 2010 04:11 pm
In today's hilly stage to Mende, Contador tested Andy Schleck and his Saxo Bank team and took 10 seconds out of Schleck's lead. Also, it seems that Contador's teammate, the Kazakh Alexandre Vinokourov--who has come back this season after a two year ban for doping--was trying to reel back time for himself on the general classification by attacking and attempting a breakaway with three other opportunists. Saxo Bank organized a chase to bring these fugitives back to the fold, and that's when Contador took the initiative and put in an explosive effort to help reel in the break, and also put time on Schleck. This is a portent of what's to come this weekend in the Pyrenees.


http://cdn.media.cyclingnews.com//2010/07/16/2/bettiniphoto_0056888_1_full_600.jpg
In this photo you can see Schleck in the background on the left in yellow. In the foreground, is Contador in light blue putting ten seconds on him, and blowing past Vinokourov, who is on the right also wearing light blue.
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dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Jul, 2010 07:38 am
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InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Jul, 2010 02:07 pm
Alberto Contador was booed today for his bad sportsmanship as he took over the race leader's maillot jaune (yellow jersey) from Andy Schleck, having attacked the latter after he suffered a mechanical failure. Contador now leads Schleck by eight seconds.

Here's Schleck dealing with his dropped chain:
http://cdn.media.cyclingnews.com//2010/07/19/2/bettiniphoto_0057260_1_full_600.jpg

And here's Contador, along with some contenders for third place, attacking while Schleck was down:
http://cdn.media.cyclingnews.com//2010/07/19/2/bettiniphoto_0057231_1_full_600.jpg
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InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jul, 2010 03:44 pm
Today was the second rest day of the Tour for the "convicts of the road." If Andy Schleck is to take time back from Alberto Contador it will be tomorrow or never. Tomorrow's stage finishes on the famed Col du Tourmalet almost 7,000 ft high in the Pyrenees mountains.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/5f/Col_tourmalet_01.jpg/800px-Col_tourmalet_01.jpg

The way they're both riding they are evenly matched, and it took a low blow attack on Contador's part while Schleck was down to gain an advantage. The debate is raging as to whether Contador was justified or not in his attack given the circumstances.

Contador is expected to put time into his lead against Schleck in the 19th stage's Individual Time Trial.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jul, 2010 03:49 pm
I follow this thread more for the tour, as I said, than the race, now that I've figured it's a matter of chemical levels past the training (still amazing anyway), but I've thought that since the first Landis squawk, whenever that was, and maybe before that. Still, gooooo, Contador...

gorgeous photo, Infrablue.

Adds, I guess that was tacky of Contador; I don't know enough of the tour culture to just concur.
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InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Jul, 2010 12:02 pm
Yesterday Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck finished the toughest stage of the Tour together, with Contador conceding the stage win to Schleck perhaps in a seeming act of gentlemanly contrition after having sucker punched the latter in stage 15 to take the overall lead. What's more important is that Schleck couldn't gain time on Contador, and Contador has this year's Tour virtually in the bag.

That the two were so evenly matched made for a rather anticlimactical race, and it took the controversy of the fifteenth stage to impart some drama into it. Also, their close friendship detracted from their rivalry in this Tour.

It was more of a bromance than a rivalry.

http://cdn.media.cyclingnews.com//2010/07/22/2/bettiniphoto_0057555_1_full_600.jpg

That the number one and two riders of this year's Tour was a boon to Specialized Bikes, who sponsors both Astana and Saxo Bank, Contador's and Schleck's teams respectively.

Here's a cutesy Specialized commercial featuring both riders:


A Tour champion is expected to win at least one stage of the Tour, and Contador hasn't won one yet. His last chance for a stage win is during Saturday's Individual Time Trial where he will most certainly put more time on Schleck.
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