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Tour de France 2018

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1 Tour de France 2018 on Mon Jul 02 2018, 11:26

Sluffy

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I know I usually talk to myself when I post about cycling but I thought I'd mention that Chris Froome has just been cleared of his 'failed' drugs test when he used his asthma inhaler a bit to much (or at least that's what the test result came back as) on one particular day - and as such 'should' be racing in the Tour that starts on Saturday.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/44679483

I say 'should' because the Tour organisers have already told him he couldn't ride because he would bring the race into disrespect.

The Tour organisation is run separately from the world cycling organisation and it can and sometimes does do things its own way at times and they certainly hate Froome, indeed one of France's cycling superstars from years gone by, but who they all love has already asked for the cyclist to go on strike if Froome rides!

It's all pure theatre and as I say every year to those who have no time for cycling - you don't know what you are missing - there's twist and turns around every corner - and I don't mean just on the road!


The Tour starts Saturday - with or without Froome!

2 Re: Tour de France 2018 on Mon Jul 02 2018, 12:22

rammywhite

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Frank Worthington
Frank Worthington
Sluffy-I'll be watching it, so it might just be the two of us.
If Froome doesn't ride ,then there might be a whole team missing!!I'll bet he will and get daily shit from the petulant and infantile French crowds who don't like Brits winning.

3 Re: Tour de France 2018 on Mon Jul 02 2018, 12:33

BoltonTillIDie

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
He has been cleared and is free to compete

4 Re: Tour de France 2018 on Mon Jul 02 2018, 12:50

Sluffy

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I'd be delighted to share this thread together Rammy not often I get much company on my cycling threads!

I don't mind much about the French being pissed off by us Brits but they take it to extremes, fans throwing cups of piss at Froome, Virenque calling Froome a drugs cheat during the race on TV, Hinault campaigning for riders to boycott the Tour if Froome is allowed to ride!

It's not as though France even have a rider with a decent chance of winning, Bardet being their best hope.

Anyway all good fun and I'm looking forward to it as usual.

5 Re: Tour de France 2018 on Mon Jul 02 2018, 13:33

Norpig

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
He has his backroom team in place now  Very Happy

6 Re: Tour de France 2018 on Mon Jul 02 2018, 13:49

Sluffy

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@Norpig wrote:He has his backroom team in place now  Very Happy


It was funny when they did that.

Froome had an amazing finish to that race - this years Tour of Italy (known as the Giro), an amazing solo break from over 50 miles out - the sort of thing that simply doesn't happen in cycling in the modern era as real contenders such as Froome are heavily marked by the other teams.

If it was done drug free - and fwiw I believe it was - it shows how great a rider Froome really is and it's a bit sad in a way that because of all the history of drug taking in the sport, he isn't recognised as one of sports true great athletes which he really is.

To be fair he rides in the best team which allows him to win as much as he has but at the end of the day he has to deliver the win himself and he does more times than not.


7 Re: Tour de France 2018 on Mon Jul 02 2018, 14:01

Norpig

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
I'm not a big cycling fan but i think that any rider now who is miles ahead of the rest is automatically under suspicion of being a drug cheat. The sport has had so many incidents of doping that it's tainted the whole sport which is a massive shame.

8 Re: Tour de France 2018 on Mon Jul 02 2018, 14:51

Sluffy

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@Norpig wrote:I'm not a big cycling fan but i think that any rider now who is miles ahead of the rest is automatically under suspicion of being a drug cheat. The sport has had so many incidents of doping that it's tainted the whole sport which is a massive shame.

You're right.

What some cycling teams are now doing is to share with the public the performance of their cyclists on certain rides, in an attempt to show that the cyclists are capable of achieving their rides 'cleanly'.

There is a sort of cycling/running GPS system called Strava which shows how long the rider got from one point to another, how long it took him (or her) and what power output they would have to achieve to be able to do so.

The idea is that a cyclist is tested in the 'gym' to see what output they can achieve and for how long as a sort of point of reference, and when they do a wonder ride in a race, the two can be compared to see if it looks fine or dodgy.

I feel I've not explained myself to well but the idea is to open things up a bit more and hopefully convince people the sport isn't as bad as its reputation.

Of course cheating still goes on and the reputation of being a sport riddled with drugs cheats will still persist.

In a warped sort of way the cheating does add a great deal to the theatre of the sport, Froome's dodgy sample is all the cycling world talked about the last nine months or so - and I think we will still hear moans about it for quite some time to come.

If you don't take the cycling too seriously - and I don't, it is a wonderful sport to follow. Although this may sound a bit bizarre it is a bit like chess on wheels, there is so much going on, races within races, teams having different objectives, teams sacrificing themselves for just one man, plotting how to use the terrain to ambush the other teams, etc, etc, etc.

I've loved following the sport for years now and it seldom disappoints me with all the plotting and sub plotting which goes on, on and off the bikes!

Add to the beauty and tranquillity of the scenery they pass through each day.

People really don't know what they are missing if they think its just about drugs.



9 Re: Tour de France 2018 on Mon Jul 02 2018, 14:53

boltonbonce

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
It'll be difficult to stop them. NFL also has a drug problem,as does athletics,in fact,any top class sportman/woman,where the stakes are so high,are going to fight tooth and nail,to be one step ahead of the testers.
It's a sad situation,and it's left me with a rather sour opinion of people,who should,in a fair world,be held up as heroes.
No more heroes any more,as the song goes.

10 Re: Tour de France 2018 on Fri Jul 06 2018, 16:05

Sluffy

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I see the French are already booing Froome!

Chris Froome loudly booed by French crowd at Tour de France team presentation



Chris Froome found himself drowned out by a chorus of boos and whistles as he and his Team Sky team-mates took part in the pre-race presentation ahead of the Tour de France on Thursday.
Riding onto the stage at the presentation in the town of La Roche-sur-Yon in the the west of France, which will host the finish of the opening stage of the race on Saturday, the boos for Froome and his Team Sky team-mates were already easy to hear, with the jeering only getting louder as Froome was asked about his attempt to win a fifth Tour de France title.

“It will be incredible if I am able to win my fifth Tour de France,” Froome said, doing an admirable job of keeping a smile on his face and appearing upbeat despite the hostile reception. “I’ve got an amazing team here to support me and we’re going to give it everything we’ve got.

As well as booed and hissed at as he stood on the stage, Froome was also jeered as he rode through the crowds on the way to and from the stage, a a far cry from the hero’s reception that French GC contender Romain Bardet got as he made the same journey.
Froome stood in front of the crowd at the team presentation just three days after the UCI took the decision to drop an anti-doping investigation into him, deciding that the British rider had no case to answer after he was found to have a high concentration of salbutamol in his urine after a stage of last year’s Vuelta a España.

The 33-year-old was cleared after his legal and scientific teams built a statistical model to show the likelihood of false positives under current World Anti-Doping Agency regulations, with the scientist who helped to come up with the regulations saying that he made a “terrible blunder”.

However this seems to have counted for little for the French public, who gave Froome a similar reception to that which Alberto Contador received in 2011 having tested positive for clenbuterol at the previous year’s race.

Read more at https://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/racing/tour-de-france/chris-froome-loudly-booed-french-crowd-tour-de-france-team-presentation-385388#6XYEjbUxLlrtby7E.99

11 Re: Tour de France 2018 on Fri Jul 06 2018, 18:00

Growler


Nicolas Anelka
Nicolas Anelka
The French football team is wasted on the French, this is what they are really passionate about.

The president of the UCI (governing body for cycling) has said Team Sky's wealth gave them an advantage to fight the Froome case that no other team would have.I don't like Sky buying their success and usually want anyone but a Sky rider to win the race.
The mountain stages of the big tours are some of the highlights of the sporting year for me.

12 Re: Tour de France 2018 on Sat Jul 07 2018, 00:01

Sluffy

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@Growler wrote:The French football team is wasted on the French, this is what they are really passionate about.

The president of the UCI (governing body for cycling) has said Team Sky's wealth gave them an advantage to fight the Froome case that no other team would have.I don't like Sky buying their success and usually want anyone but a Sky rider to win the race.
The mountain stages of the big tours are some of the highlights of the sporting year for me.

Well Sky is certainly the richest of the world professional cycling teams and no doubt their wealth helped pay for the medical research that led to the doctor who wrote the rules on the in-hailer medicine being flawed and leading to 'false positives' such as happened in Froome's case.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the Doctor who wrote the rules in respect of the 'doping' incident Froome apparently failed - both full agreed that the test was now shown to be completely unsafe and giving 'false positives' when in reality there were non to be found.

But isn't this just the way in this world, the rich get better access to everything, legal representation, health care, education, travel - indeed anything you can think of, whilst the rest of us just accept the rules and regulations that are there and occasionally, usually with great public support, every now and again are able to change something or other than hadn't been as fair as perhaps it should have been.

Cycling isn't that much difference than football in the sense that the top teams simply hire the best cyclists because they pay the biggest wages.

United, City, Chelsea, Liverpool have been the best teams in the country over say the last 30 years simply because they spent more money than other clubs - similarly abroad Real Madrid and Barcelona have done the same.

Sky are the richest team, with the best cyclist (and in Froome the greatest cyclist of his generation) so are always going to be the team to beat.

Cycling does have a randomness to it though that other sports don't have, so anything could happen and sometimes does - but Froome will be the man to beat - but he and Sky are beatable if 'chance' decides to play a part in things.

Sky at the end of the day is a British team, headed by an Englishman, with probably it's best two riders being British (3 out of the 8 riders of Sky are British) and all the other teams together in this years Tour only have a further two British riders in them (one of them Simon Yates from Bury being amongst the other favourites of the race) - the great Mark Cavendish being the other, getting on a bit now but still in with a decent chance of a stage win or two - I really hope he does.

Got to agree with you about the mountain stages being one of the great spectacles of sport in any year and I too are really looking forward to them.

13 Re: Tour de France 2018 on Sat Jul 07 2018, 15:00

Sluffy

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Froome falls on the very first stage!

Already 51 seconds down on some of his rivals.

It's so random and pure theatre is cycling!

Long way to go though and the Team Time Trial on Monday should mix things up again.

Fernando Gaviria (Colombian) looks to be the future of sprinting though.

Great first stage finish for all sorts of reasons - all good fun.

14 Re: Tour de France 2018 on Sun Jul 08 2018, 01:06

Sluffy

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Video clip Froome going down on Stage 1

https://twitter.com/twitter/statuses/1015613932575305729

15 Re: Tour de France 2018 on Sun Jul 08 2018, 13:45

Sluffy

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There is an American cyclist called Lawson Craddock who is riding the Tour this year, his Tour number is 13 - lucky for some but not for him.

Yesterday he fell and badly hurt his shoulder but he got back on his bike and finished the stage in last place.  X-rays later showed he had broken his shoulder blade.

However he got back on his cycle and started todays stage (stage 2).

He tweeted this -

A broken scapula and a few stitches is not how I wanted to start @LeTour, but this Texan will fight as much as I can to continue. I will donate $100 to the @AlkekVelodrome for Harvey relief for every stage that I can finish. Anyone care to match?

Fair play to him!



https://twitter.com/lawsoncraddock/status/1015697616125026304

16 Re: Tour de France 2018 on Wed Jul 18 2018, 17:39

Sluffy

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Fantastic stage today - best I've seen in ages.

Loads going on, marvellous cycling from Thomas and Froome, brilliant tactics from Sky, Dumoulin showing he's a real contender, my one to watch for the future from last year Roglic showing he's a serious contender and my current favourite rider Dan Martin livening up the race at the end.

My money still on Froome to win but Thomas might well have a big say in that - maybe he'll sacrifice himself for Froome - maybe he won't!

As a side note Cavendish 'timed out' of the Tour - looks as though his great career is coming to an end.

Alpe d'Huez tomorrow.

Should be fun!

Very Happy

17 Re: Tour de France 2018 on Wed Jul 18 2018, 19:10

rammywhite

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Frank Worthington
Frank Worthington
@Sluffy wrote:Fantastic stage today - best I've seen in ages.

Loads going on, marvellous cycling from Thomas and Froome, brilliant tactics from Sky, Dumoulin showing he's a real contender, my one to watch for the future from last year Roglic showing he's a serious contender and my current favourite rider Dan Martin livening up the race at the end.

My money still on Froome to win but Thomas might well have a big say in that - maybe he'll sacrifice himself for Froome - maybe he won't!

As a side note Cavendish 'timed out' of the Tour - looks as though his great career is coming to an end.

Alpe d'Huez tomorrow.

Should be fun!

Very Happy

Froome's day tomorrow. He'll be in yellow at the end of it.

18 Re: Tour de France 2018 on Wed Jul 18 2018, 20:25

Sluffy

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@rammywhite wrote:
@Sluffy wrote:Fantastic stage today - best I've seen in ages.

Loads going on, marvellous cycling from Thomas and Froome, brilliant tactics from Sky, Dumoulin showing he's a real contender, my one to watch for the future from last year Roglic showing he's a serious contender and my current favourite rider Dan Martin livening up the race at the end.

My money still on Froome to win but Thomas might well have a big say in that - maybe he'll sacrifice himself for Froome - maybe he won't!

As a side note Cavendish 'timed out' of the Tour - looks as though his great career is coming to an end.

Alpe d'Huez tomorrow.

Should be fun!

Very Happy

Froome's day tomorrow. He'll be in yellow at the end of it.

I can't see Thomas losing a minute and a half tomorrow, so I think he will still be in yellow if he doesn't crash or is ill or something.

Will be fascinating to see what unfolds tomorrow as to how the other GC teams play it, do they mark Froome and let Thomas go up the road or do they stick on Froome and give Thomas a free ride? How do Sky play it too?

Froome is definitely still the team leader but they won't give away Thomas lead for nothing - there's still a long way to go and cycling is so random that anything can happen to Froome or Thomas before Paris.


19 Re: Tour de France 2018 on Thu Jul 19 2018, 17:54

Sluffy

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Another absorbing day on the 'Queen' stage of the Tour (the stage that is considered to be the hardest single day of the race).

Great win for Thomas and awesome strength again from Team Sky chasing down Kruijswijk (Dutch rider) with a notable classy turn by the youngster Egan Bernal (Columbian) who clearly will be a star rider for the not too distant future.

Froome is clearly still the team leader but on the day it just didn't quite work out for him leaving Thomas to win probably the most iconic stage in world cycling - Alpe D'Huez.

Seems to be now only Dumoulin to be wary of on the way to Paris but in cycling anything can happen.

On paper a quiet few days ahead until we get to the firecracker of a stage next Wednesday but nothing is ever that straightforward in this sport!

20 Re: Tour de France 2018 on Thu Jul 19 2018, 18:33

Growler


Nicolas Anelka
Nicolas Anelka
@Sluffy wrote:

Alpe d'Huez tomorrow.

Should be fun!

It was fun for a time while the Dutchman had a realistic chance, but ultimately a dull ascent controlled by the Sky money.Sky's hired Colombian took them most of the way up the mountain, nullifying any chance of exciting breaks from the top men and without Thomas and Froome having to do the work. I was watching at work with the sound low, it seemed Thomas was jeered as he rode through the finish line.
I'm struggling to care which of the Sky team wins.Probably prefer Thomas although i didn't like his interview where he was acting as  if it was a huge shock for him to win the race.

21 Re: Tour de France 2018 on Thu Jul 19 2018, 18:47

Sluffy

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@Growler wrote:
@Sluffy wrote:Alpe d'Huez tomorrow.

Should be fun!
It was fun for a time while the Dutchman had a realistic chance, but ultimately a dull ascent controlled by the Sky money.Sky's hired Colombian took them most of the way up the mountain, nullifying any chance of exciting breaks from the top men and without Thomas and Froome having to do the work. I was watching at work with the sound low, it seemed Thomas was jeered as he rode through the finish line.
I'm struggling to care which of the Sky team wins.Probably prefer Thomas although i didn't like his interview where he was acting as  if it was a huge shock for him to win the race.

I assumed the jeering was for Froome.

Not sure what you've got against Sky money - don't you think any team with the most money wouldn't hire the best cyclists?

The way Sky rode today is the same way the top teams have been riding since Armstrong and US Postal started the tactic nearly 25 years ago.

As for Thomas he clearly rode for Froome - he was acting as his domestic once Bernal blew - so clearly the plan was not for him to win.

Fair play to him doing so though once Froome couldn't.

22 Re: Tour de France 2018 on Tue Jul 24 2018, 16:35

Growler


Nicolas Anelka
Nicolas Anelka
As far as the race for the yellow jersey is concerned today was another boring day in the mountains controlled by Sky.The commentator said tomorrow's mountain stage is so difficult it is impossible for it to be neutralised by the Sky team, we'll see.

Bury lad Adam Yates will be sick, he was first up the final mountain with a 15 second lead but crashed  on the descent and finished 3rd.He wasn't the first leader to crash either, a Belgian chap did the same on the previous mountain descent.

23 Re: Tour de France 2018 on Tue Jul 24 2018, 16:42

wanderlust

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Tear gassing the riders definitely adds an element of surprise to the race.

24 Re: Tour de France 2018 on Tue Jul 24 2018, 17:00

Growler


Nicolas Anelka
Nicolas Anelka
The Belgian's crash was a scary one, right over the wall but thankfully to a small drop and not his death.He got back on his bike and rejoined the race

https://twitter.com/koenbert/status/1021750917434155009

25 Re: Tour de France 2018 on Tue Jul 24 2018, 20:27

Sluffy

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@wanderlust wrote:Tear gassing the riders definitely adds an element of surprise to the race.

Well it certainly surprises me - seeing that it DIDN'T happen.

You certainly don't bother about any facts if they get in the way of whatever story you are making up.

If you bothered to do the most basic check you will see that what happened was that just a single policeman, attempting to stop a small protest squirt some pepper spray - but unfortunately into the wind and at the same time the riders were cycling past.

Bad timing for everyone involved but certainly no deliberate attempt to seriously disrupt the race.







26 Re: Tour de France 2018 on Tue Jul 24 2018, 20:33

Sluffy

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@Growler wrote:The Belgian's crash was a scary one, right over the wall but thankfully to a small drop and not his death.He got back on his bike and rejoined the race

https://twitter.com/koenbert/status/1021750917434155009

Spectacular crash indeed - Certainly worth a watch if you haven't seen it!

The rider was Philippe Gilbert and he's now abandoned the race.

He landed on a pile of rocks too, so it wasn't a soft landing either.

27 Re: Tour de France 2018 on Tue Jul 24 2018, 21:03

Sluffy

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@Growler wrote:As far as the race for the yellow jersey is concerned today was another boring day in the mountains controlled by Sky.The commentator said tomorrow's mountain stage is so difficult it is impossible for it to be neutralised by the Sky team, we'll see.

It was boring but I hardly think that was Sky's fault.

Quite often the following days race directly effects what happens on the day.

Tomorrows race is designed as an all out drag race, where the race is a 'sprint' and 'all out' from the start. As such no one was going to flog themselves on today's stage (second longest on this years Tour) and leave themselves drained for the big scramble tomorrow.

Tomorrows race is an innovation, just 65k long (today's was 218km for instance) and could shake everything up or just keep everything the same nobody knows for sure.

The day after (Thursday) is a sort of easy day and Friday the last big chance to do anything in the mountains. Saturday is the Individual Time Trial and Sunday the procession into Paris.

So with Thursday being easy, it hoped that everyone will go for it tomorrow.

If nothing changes much after tomorrow, then unless someone does a 'Froome' where he gambled everything and went on a successful individual attack (and the others for various reasons letting him go) in the Giro earlier this year - then it's all going to be down to Dumoulin to do something to win it - as it stands now nobody else is in with a chance of unseating Thomas from winning in Paris.

At least tomorrows stage is different - and should be fun.

Hope so anyway.



28 Re: Tour de France 2018 on Wed Jul 25 2018, 09:42

rammywhite

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Frank Worthington
Frank Worthington
Sluffy,- sounds like you're giving up on Froome. I suspect that he's got something up his sleeve. My moneys still on him to lead the procession on Sunday

29 Re: Tour de France 2018 on Wed Jul 25 2018, 10:34

Sluffy

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@rammywhite wrote:Sluffy,- sounds like you're giving up on Froome. I suspect that he's got something up his sleeve. My moneys still on him to lead the procession on Sunday

I can't really see how Froome can win it now without Thomas having a bad day.

I think today's race is random, with anything happening but it really is going to take something special from those who are outside the top four to put over three and a half minutes into Thomas in just 65kms.

It wouldn't surprise me if say Bardet (French) made a big effort to try and get into the top three because he's no Time Trialist and all the current top four are much better than him at it.

It's up to Dumoulin to make a move to gain time back and the last thing Sky will want is for Froome to inadvertently help him in anyway, say by going on a break himself with Dumoulin sitting on his wheel.

Froome is in danger of being overtaken for second on the podium because Dumoulin could easily put 11 seconds or more into him at the Time Trial but I doubt he could put almost two minutes into Thomas.

So my thinking is that Froome, Thomas and Dumoulin will finish up in a group together today and on the 'easier' stage tomorrow and that depending on how others do in those two days it will mean that Dumoulin will attempt to break Thomas on Saturday's 'Queen' stage, with Froome riding defensively behind him.

IF it does play out something like that - and if Thomas did crack - then Froome could hopefully come over the tiring Dumoulin towards the close of Saturdays stage putting enough time into him to be able to hold him off sufficiently in the TT to win (the only worry being in Roglic tagged a long with them both and had gained a bit of time himself on todays stage as well, to put him close to Froome and Dumoulin to overtake them on GC in the TT).

After saying all that, I think Thomas is the strongest rider in the Tour so far and will not crack.  I think he will win in Paris.

I'm a big Froome fan and would dearly love him to be on the top step in Paris and be on five TdF wins with the other 'greats' but he won't attack Thomas and it's down to Dumoulin to do something to win back nearly two minutes to take the lead.

Then again this is cycling and anything could happen both on and off the bike!!!

30 Re: Tour de France 2018 on Wed Jul 25 2018, 13:44

observer


Andy Walker
Andy Walker
@Sluffy wrote:
@Growler wrote:
@Sluffy wrote:Alpe d'Huez tomorrow.

Should be fun!
It was fun for a time while the Dutchman had a realistic chance, but ultimately a dull ascent controlled by the Sky money.Sky's hired Colombian took them most of the way up the mountain, nullifying any chance of exciting breaks from the top men and without Thomas and Froome having to do the work. I was watching at work with the sound low, it seemed Thomas was jeered as he rode through the finish line.
I'm struggling to care which of the Sky team wins.Probably prefer Thomas although i didn't like his interview where he was acting as  if it was a huge shock for him to win the race.

I assumed the jeering was for Froome.

Not sure what you've got against Sky money - don't you think any team with the most money wouldn't hire the best cyclists?

The way Sky rode today is the same way the top teams have been riding since Armstrong and US Postal started the tactic nearly 25 years ago.

As for Thomas he clearly rode for Froome - he was acting as his domestic once Bernal blew - so clearly the plan was not for him to win.

Fair play to him doing so though once Froome couldn't.
True enough... though when Lemond defeated Fignon on the final day, it was an individual time trial and Lemond alone pedaled 58 seconds faster than Fignon to win by 8 seconds. 24.5 Km and 8 seconds separated the two of them... what a great race!  No one drafted in front of Lemond... sheer individual effort to wear the maillot jaune!!!

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