2012 Le Tour? Oui?
Since Andy Schleck is out I think it's anyones guess.
Wow, I didn't know Andy Schleck was out. Injured, I assume. Guess I have been asleep, other than the press about Lance and the fallout of Johan Bruyneel not joining Team RadioShack at the Tour. And with Contador stripped of his title, it seems doping controversies constantly overshadow the Tour. Sigh.
But I'll tune in as I always do. Is Levi Leipheimer back in form? I hope there's at least one American contender. Thanks for the bump Scott.
Here we go again, A few things from the local news leading up to the Tour, that may or may not be known to all of you. Lots of turmoil on the Radio Shack team, Jakob Fuglsang got ditched from the tour, got a bit vocal about it and is now benched for the rest of the World Tour. That's real shame for Jakob, he is a quality rider. Bruyneel will not even be at the tour, an interesting soap opera in progress concerning that team. The sports news here says Team Eurocar is being investigated for doping, what else is new? Bjarne Riis got a new sponsor, a Russian Bank, and there is talk about him getting Cancellara back, but just talk so far. Cancellara says anything is possible. Andy and Frank Scheck haven't had all that great success since leaving his team. Riis' team is really hurting with Contador's points, and there is a court fight with the UCI in the offing over them.
With Wiggans being touted as a favorite, Cavendish was talking about " a different role" in this tour. Don't hear much talk about Evans, but he has to be a favorite. Without Andy and Contador, it doesn't seem so interesting this year, but it has a way of changing. Something unexpected always manages to happen.
We're just about to finish the European Soccer championships, Spain-Italy in the finals Sunday, should be a Cracker Jack if you get a chance to see it, then on to cycling.
It's official. Prologue today. Cancellara won - no surprise there. They say this year's tour favors the time trial specialists and speedier riders with fewer mountain stages and difficult climbs that favor the mountain goats.
Yeah Spencer, from what I read, Wiggins and Evans are the top contenders. Others challengers include Nibali (Italy), Gesink (Netherlands), Hesjedal (Canada), and Sanchez (Spain), according to several journalists. Then there's the injury factor and the doping factor, so as you say, something unexpected manages to happen.
Of course I'm going to root for Americans Leipheimer, Horner, Danielson, VanGarderen, Farrar, VandeVelde, and Hincapie. Leipheimer is touted by some to be a dark horse, but it's arguable that he hasn't regained his top form after breaking his leg on a training ride. We need a new hero to offset what may be the loss of Armstrong if the USADA prevails.
Enjoy the tour mes amis!
This is a surprisingly cool video of an amateur sponsored by a UK bike dealer doing 5 stages of Le Tour.
Thought you'd all appreciate it.
I'm catching the tour highlights on ITV's web site the day after since my wife and I lack a tele. Lots of crash this year in weird places (straightaways in the country rather than descents, cobbles, or corners). I wonder if it has anything to do with the olympics or a relative lack of doping. (Are teams hiring "enforcers" now?)
BTW, does anyone else find Peter Sagan a bit annoying?
Predictions: Wiggins or Evans. Frank Schleck is not going to win it. None of the American contenders are doing well. And Garmin-Cervélo are having all kinds of difficulty with the crashes. Four riders out, including Hejedal. I wonder what they'll do to salvage some kind of positive outcome from the tour.
No more annoying than a lot of others. Good stage today, that is an interesting mountain. At the start, the serpentine is spectacular, then it is straight up hill forever. The commentators here said it was the first time there, and they hoped it would be a regular. Talk here is that the only possible weakness they see in Wiggans is his down hill technique. Nibaldi took a minute on the down hill attack, but lost it without help. Look for an attack on a stage that ends on a down hill run from a mountain, most likely from Nibaldi if he doesn't lose a lot of time in the meantime. Voekcler (sp?) is recovering from a knee injury, and had a real good run today, but is too far behind to be a contender. He will probably make a run for the polka dot jersey.
Sky looks really strong, and Evans is pretty much alone most of the time, of course that didn't bother him last year. Looks like a two-horse race at best, but something strange and unexpected often happens, that's why we waste so much time watching it
It's not been a dramatic Tour this year. I've been a bit disappointed by the coverage. TSN in Canada has been offering the NBC Sports feed. The usual dramatic aerial views have been obscured by advertisements. Wiggins looks like he won by default, or at least on the shoulders of Froome. The withdrawal by Frank Schleck just continues to put a cloud over the whole race. The only shining point was when Sky held back to allow Evans to rejoin the peloton.
I think maybe Wiggans' time trial on Saturday was a high point. Man, that guy is fast! At an average of 31mph over 53km (Time 1:04) he was going faster on flat land than I was able muster going downhill with the wind at my back on Saturday!
Of course I don't have the slick as baby-spit TT bike or the oh-so-flattering to a middle aged man with a bit too much in the middle skin-suit.
Changed my mind about Sagan. He's just a kid. Kids do silly things.
BTW, the UK is getting an education in competitive cycling because of Wiggans and Froome. Might help make the roads safer.
Not the most exciting tour in history, reminds me of the Indurain days when Banesto was in charge, and he won the trials big time. Maybe one of the most brutal, though. Wout Poels, injured in an early crash is still in the hospital, how many collar bones? One due to some idiot throwing tack on the road.
Don't know how much the rest of the world heard about it, but Chris Anker Sørensen's ride over the mountains with the hand injury was indredible. He was a bloody (no cussing intended) mess, and weak the next day because he had lost blood. Everbody here is really proud of him, he had a good tour before that. I surely wouldn't like to get my hand in the spokes coming down a mountain. He said it was either that or crash, since there was a newspaper in his front wheel and he needed to get it out. Broke 3 spokes in the process, and actually said he was lucky he didn't go over the bars and break a lot of bones.
Oh well, now I can get back to work and picking.
Can't wait til next year!
I agree that this Tour did not pique my interest as much as others, but my hats off to Wiggins, Froome, Cavendish, and the whole Sky team. Nice to see the Brits win the Tour for the first time, especially with the Olympics being in London on the heels of the race. The crashes were dramatic as usual (as were the doping allegations and acrimony). Yes, Spencer, I surely noticed Sørensen's accident. I can't imagine soldiering on like he did. Simply amazing. Americans should be excited about rising star Tejay Van Garderen. Looking forward to a little Olympic cycling action to avoid the post-Tour let down.