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Tour de France 2012

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Tour de France 2012
With less than a month to go and Cadel taking stage 1 at Dauphine, I thought it was time to get the Tour 2012 thread going.

The route

Running from Saturday June 30th to Sunday July 22th 2012, the 99th Tour de France will be made up of 1 prologue and 20 stages and will cover a total distance of 3,479 kilometres.

These stages have the following profiles:

9 flat stages
4 medium mountain stages - one with a summit finish
5 mountain stages - two with a summit finish
2 individual time-trial stages
1 prologue
2 rest days

http://www.letour.fr/2012/TDF/COURSE..._parcours.html

Over 100km of individual TT and only 3 summit finishes. Without a doubt, Bradley Wiggins has to be the major threat to Evans.

Also on tour related news...
Andy Shleck was awarded the 2010 crown at long last a few days ago.

http://www.sbs.com.au/cyclingcentral...tour-de-france
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Can't wait to watch Cadel go b2b.
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Epic \o/

Andy Schlek dropped on a cat 3 climb last night as well. Or is he just taking it easy? He lost 26 or something seconds on the prologue that was only ~6kms long.

Hopefully Cadel can stay out of the yellow jersey at the TdF as long as possible so they don't have to defend it for too long.

Also, I didn't realise Phillippe Gilbert was now with BMC, there could be some interesting stregies with him on the team.
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It's about this time of the year I usually contemplate taking up cycling, the outcome is always the same... have to ride up big fucking hills? Na.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by avatar_karma View Post

Epic \o/

Andy Schlek dropped on a cat 3 climb last night as well. Or is he just taking it easy? He lost 26 or something seconds on the prologue that was only ~6kms long.

Hopefully Cadel can stay out of the yellow jersey at the TdF as long as possible so they don't have to defend it for too long.

Also, I didn't realise Phillippe Gilbert was now with BMC, there could be some interesting stregies with him on the team.

You sort of want Wiggins to get the yellow jersey after the prologue by like 1sec so his team is forced into defending in the early stages. But following the stage 9 ITT then it would be unwise to let go of any time advantage whatsoever if Cadel is in yellow at that point.

There are a total of 25 cat 1 or 2 climbs which is more than previous years, but not much opportunity for mtn top finish gaps to blow out, so I have no doubt that it will go down to the final 53km ITT because by then the gaps up front will still be too close to call. Whoever has the legs left will thus emerge the winner. Only time will tell (haha boomtish pun intended )
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Haven't taken a close look at the stages themselves, but I heard on commentary of the Dauphine last night that there are a few descent finishes in the TdF rather than mountain tops. That should suit Cadel more than others; what's Wiggins like on the downhill?

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I think Cadel can go b2b

99th. Boom! That means I'll be over there for the 100th. Sweet!
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Can't see past Wiggins if he stays upright.... His form is better than last year, his Sky squad is stronger and riding in form (hopefully Mick Rogers gets a ride and acts as a super domestique), his motivation is high & I've heard rumour that Cav may not ride Le Tour.
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I've heard more along the lines of Cav will basically just use the tour as a warm up for the Olympics - see how he's going when it gets to the mountains and probably drop out there
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Cav's got a tough Giro in his legs already.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by avatar_karma View Post

Haven't taken a close look at the stages themselves, but I heard on commentary of the Dauphine last night that there are a few descent finishes in the TdF rather than mountain tops. That should suit Cadel more than others; what's Wiggins like on the downhill?

Apparently Wiggins is known to be a bit wobbly on the downhills and also sometimes has a problem staying in position up front during tough windy stages. The former could play into Cadel's favour (as it just showed in the Dauphine) but I think the latter is something that Wiggins' strong team will prevent.

Hushovd is out which is a shame for BMC. He had some viral illness this year and is not prep'ed for le tour
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Quote:

Originally Posted by weekender View Post

Can't see past Wiggins if he stays upright.... His form is better than last year, his Sky squad is stronger and riding in form (hopefully Mick Rogers gets a ride and acts as a super domestique), his motivation is high & I've heard rumour that Cav may not ride Le Tour.

Hopefully Mick Rogers stays in the pack. He's had horrible luck in recent tours
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He's in form, won the Bayern Rundfahrt
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schleck will do what basso did in the giro - except nobody is expecting him to do well.

Im gunna put a trillion dollars on goss for the green jersey. Cav will have zero team support for the intermediate sprints, and much less support than usual in the finishes. Cav may also disappear early due to olympics. And greenedge have one goal only: green jersey.

I just feel like wiggins is going to fade at some point. He's done a lot of racing already, as opposed to cadel who is coming into it suuuper fresh.
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Sup tour de france fans. Signing in.
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I also feel that now that Cadel has now won a grand tour, the monkey is off his back and he'll go on to win a thousand of them.

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So is BMC better equipped to back Cadel this year, or will he just punch it out on his own again?
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with only 5 days of climbing and two strategically placed time trials, it looks taylor made for Wiggins. I was going to have $50 on Samuel sanchez at $22/1 before he crashed in the Dauphine, but not sure how he will recover for the Tour de france.

Evans and sanchez are the best overall riders, but this year's course looks ideal for the time triallers
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BMC will have a pretty strong squad, but I think the Team Sky squad is a little bit better.

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Fuck. I'm diving in the Pacific July 1-20... I highly doubt the telecast will be a popular event in Chuuk Lagoon.
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posting for tour excitement. last year was my first and a great introduction. will be pleased if cadel makes it 2 from 2 for me

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well, according to dictionary.com
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bring it on!!

Cadel and BMC have looked strong so far in the Dauphine. With Gilbert and the improvement of Van Garderen they should be stronger than last year. We will see on saturdays climb up to Morzine.

Apart from Wig and Cadel, I reckon Van Den Broeck is going to be around there for the tour. Has put in some super rides the last few years.
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I wonder how many people have sold their bikes they bought after suffering through that ad last year?
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Here's to hoping its on Eurosport and I don't have to suffer through those fucking ads.
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rode up this yesterday



views at the top were mint!



day before rode port de bales and peyresourde (same way the tour is going this year)



tough but beautiful



^if you look closely, you can see the spot andy schleck had to wrestle with his chain in 2010.


i'm now extra pumped for le tour!
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Niiiice. 6.7% doesn't sound like fun though

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6.7% soft

looks magic, glad you have picture perfect weather.

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well, according to dictionary.com
chilli is hot pepper food etc.
chilly is cold temperature.

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that's so misleading, because the first km or two are at 2 or 3%, so you race up those and then bam. 10kms of +7% it seems. unrelenting, the tough thing is you can see the top from about 8 or 9kms out. so you'll see a campervan or something on it's way down at the top and then 10 minutes later it will pass you, and you realise you have a long long way to go.

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looks magic, glad you have picture perfect weather.

very thankful indeed, i have taken a ton of photos, album here

if anyone wants a tour related screen saver let me know, i can upload a hi-res version or something.

on day 1 it was cold and raining, we rode into spain and did the col du portilhon, coming down i nearly froze to death.

tomorrow - col du tourmalet! (then aspin, then peyresourde, then drag my sorry ass home, hopefully triumphant but no doubt absolutely knackered). that will be about 500kms over 5 days. i think my legs will feel very toured by then.
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the tourmalet! sick man. tell me that you have some mad commentary going on in your head when you are going up these climbs?
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Ahhh, now you're getting the crazy idea in my head that I want to ride these climbs too.

Fuck.

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Theres a solid chance I'll head over there next year. sooo many cool places to pedal through.

Dart what were your holiday plans? Just over there to ride and then return? take your own bike?
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Aydo View Post

the tourmalet! sick man. tell me that you have some mad commentary going on in your head when you are going up these climbs?

today I did Superbagneres and it was a struggle the whole way up.

there was time for a billion things to go through my head, intense bargaining, figuring out when to eat the food i had bought with me, how many kms left, if i go at x km/h and there's 8kms left in the climb, how long till that take me, don't look up, just look at my wheel, don't look at my wheel look at the mountains, it can't be much further, etc etc

it was a miracle i made it. i even passed someone!

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Theres a solid chance I'll head over there next year. sooo many cool places to pedal through.

Dart what were your holiday plans? Just over there to ride and then return? take your own bike?

it's pretty amazing, the number of picture postcard little french villages you go through is astounding.

The traffic here is great too, all the drivers slow down and pass you by going right into the other lane, all the routes are well sign posted and everyone is really friendly to cyclists.

my original plan was to do a guided tour, where you start say in Pau and then over a week head from place to place taking in mountains and so on. but that fell through about 6 weeks before I was due out here so i found a B&B in Bertren run by an English couple which is a cycling B&B. It's really cheap and they do breakfast and dinner. I can't recommend these guys enough: http://www.pyractif.com/

re: own bike

well yeah, i bought my own bike, so to make that situation work i also bought a bike bag, and sussed an airline with 30kgs luggage, paid excess luggage from paris to toulouse, bought tools.

I did this because I really wanted to be riding my own bike over the mountains, I thought it would make a huge difference.

Anyways, when packing up my bike (cervelo s1) for the trip out here, i pushed the seat post in a little bit to make it fit in the bag. BUH BOW! By the time I get to france I can't get it out again. So my bike is useless.

Luckily they had a hire bike which after a bit of tweaking fit me perfectly. Not sure what I'm going to do for the e'tape, will find a hire bike somewhere I guess.

the best thing, I can't wait to watch the stages which will go over the roads i've ridden on, should bring back some good memories and make me realise even more what insane machines all of the pro-tour riders are. to ride up one of these is one thing, to race up it, they must be crazy.
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surely you could find a shop that would cut the old seatpost out and replace it? or is the frame damaged? that sucks

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well, according to dictionary.com
chilli is hot pepper food etc.
chilly is cold temperature.

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Quote:

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surely you could find a shop that would cut the old seatpost out and replace it? or is the frame damaged? that sucks

we tried everything short of tying the frame to one car and the seatpost to another and setting them off in different directions.

took it to 2 different bike shops none of them could help either.

it's not a round seatpost, but a teardrop shaped one, which makes it difficult to apply pressure in the right spot.

anyways. . the hire bike has gone quite well.

tourmalet day today. my legs feeling broken from yesterday's superbagneres punishment, i can't believe they had a time trial up this thing, that's insane..

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Dart you are amazing!!
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wiggins fucking owning Cadel at the moment in the TT crit.

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Officially fucking owned. Beat him by 1'43". As long as Cadel holds strong in the mountains, I'll be happy with his performance.

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I was somewhat impressed that Cadel held on actually. that shows guts when you don't carry water for a 53km time trial.

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today's jaunt, Pierrefitte-Nestalas > Col du Tourmalet > Col d'Aspin > Bertren.

113kms, 2500m climbing.

brutal. legs are wrecked. glad i'm not riding anywhere tomorrow.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Bracko View Post

I was somewhat impressed that Cadel held on actually. that shows guts when you don't carry water for a 53km time trial.

why would you carry water for a 53km tt? that's barely an hour's work for those machines!

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well, according to dictionary.com
chilli is hot pepper food etc.
chilly is cold temperature.

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Wiggins said it was that windy he couldn't afford to take his hands off his handle bars and take a drink, in case he got blown away.... Beat Tony Martin by 34s. Yes, that Tony Martin. Epic form, as has Mick Rogers.

Sky looking impeccable at the moment after Edvald Boasson Hagen took stage 3 and Brad holding yellow. With young stars like Froome on his team... well, the sky's the limit. Guffaw.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by rancho View Post

why would you carry water for a 53km tt? that's barely an hour's work for those machines!

was pretty warm... they might have wanted a drinkeedoodle.

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well done sofu, perhaps your most offensive post yet!

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I can't wait to see them fall to pieces in the TdF.

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that was pretty emphatic.

But the TDF is a different ballgame to all the leadup stuff and i think there are plenty of chances this year.

Valverde and Menchov always had good from going into the TDF but have never really produced, so for all the hype around wiggins, he has no better or worse chance than about 6 or 7 riders. The two time trials are well placed for him though
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Quote:

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Yes, that Tony Martin.

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for what it's worth, the french edition "officiel programme 2012" ranks cadel as 1 point higher out of 40 than wiggins in the pre-tour rundown and as such ranks him as favourite.
cadel, wiggins, menchov.

then over the page schleck, nibali, sanchez (printed prior to breaking ribs), schelck.

and there's a great interview with cadel, which i can't read, because it's all in french.

pictures are cool though and they have all the maps of the stages too.

YES! it's a good time of year!
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Damn impressive stuff from Wiggins in the TT. Even though this tour looks perfect on paper for a TT specialist it still has more climbing overall than previous years, just less mtn top finishes. Wiggins has yet to prove he can TT with such epic form on the very last day of the tour de france, and in the 5th stage he was exposed and Team Sky had to work hard to pull back a breakaway group with Evans and Martin.
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What's going on with schleck? Tactics or just not good enough?
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