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Tour de France

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1Tour de France Empty Tour de France on Fri Jul 04 2014, 20:16

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
Kicks off in Leeds tomorrow morning.

I'll be glued to it as usual, should be a great race.

Tommorows couse (like the first stage last year) is designed to let Cavendish win it - thus wear yellow the next day - so the Tour will have an iconic pictures of one of the greatest stage winners in its history to add to its archieves (Cavendish as never yet lead the race - so as never been in yellow).

The thing is he's no longer on his own as the best sprinter in the world and he was beaten to the line in 2013 by Dolph Lundgren lookalike Marcel Kittel and I think the same will happen again.

Even if he doesn't Kittel's team mate John Degenkolb and the gorilla of a man Andre Greipel will both be hard to beat.

As for the overall race I think it will be closest in years.  Froome will start as favourite but his preparations for the race have been a bit naff - he pulled out of one race sick and another because he fell off his bike and hurt himself!

His main rival (an who was once banned for drug taking!) is Alberto Contador, from Spain, who as been on top form recently.

These two will be joined by Italian Vincenzo Nibali, who I suspect, all things being equal, will make up the top three.

Froome should win it, but his team, Sky, seems to be weeker than the last few years - no Bradley Wiggins (rightly so to) and a couple of cycling pensioners in their late 30's in the team of nine.

Then again Contador as just lost his right hand man Roman Kreuziger, yet another who has fallen foul of the drugs police!

The ace up Froome sleeve is that on the last full day of racing - not the jolly into Paris - there is the only Time Trial stage of this years Tour - where the rider rides alone against the clock, and Froome is usually that much better than his two other main rivals.

So if Froome is in top form and his team is strong enough to support him, he should win but things in the Tour never always go to plan!

It should be fun and if you've never watched it before (I believe it will be on ITV) you're depriving yourself of a treat.

A month of pure theatre.

Better than any soap, with wonderful countryside thrown in - even in Yorkshire!

Enjoy it - I know I will!

2Tour de France Empty Re: Tour de France on Fri Jul 04 2014, 20:23

Guest


Guest
I am ashamed to admit that the teenage me used to try and sprint up Smithills Dean Rd on my 12 gear Townsend racer (made in Bolton on Shiffy St - remember them?) wearing a spotty King of The Mountains jersey that I bought on holiday in France.

Twat........I know.

Always loved the tour and grew up wanting to be Bernard Hinault.

3Tour de France Empty Re: Tour de France on Fri Jul 04 2014, 20:30

boltonbonce

boltonbonce
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Two Irishmen were sitting in a pub watching the Tour de France on TV.
Seamus shook his head and asked, "Whoi t'e hell do they do that?"
"Do what?" asked Mick.

"Go on them boikes for moiles and moiles, up and down t'e hills, round t'e bends. Day
after day, week after week. No matter if it's oicy, rainin?, snowin?, hailin? .. .. ..
why would they torture themselves like that?"

"Tis all for the prestige and the money," replied Mick, "You know the winner gets about
a half a million Euros?

"Yeah, I understand that." said Seamus, "But why do all the others do it?"

4Tour de France Empty Re: Tour de France on Fri Jul 04 2014, 21:49

karlypants

karlypants
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Breadman wrote:I am ashamed to admit that the teenage me used to try and sprint up Smithills Dean Rd on my 12 gear Townsend racer (made in Bolton on Shiffy St - remember them?) wearing a spotty King of The Mountains jersey that I bought on holiday in France.

Twat........I know.

Always loved the tour and grew up wanting to be Bernard Hinault.        

Used to get my bikes from ride n' drive around there when I was a kid! Smile

5Tour de France Empty Re: Tour de France on Sat Jul 05 2014, 12:25

Leeds_Trotter

Leeds_Trotter
Andy Walker
Andy Walker
Came right near where I live and work, roads were just full of parked cars. 'twas crazy.

6Tour de France Empty Re: Tour de France on Sat Jul 05 2014, 16:37

Guest


Guest
This is set up for a really interesting sprint finish.

Cav's poised nicely......

Edit (post crash) - That may be the end of his Tour cos it looks like a broken collar bone to me ........Bollocks!

7Tour de France Empty Re: Tour de France on Sat Jul 05 2014, 19:29

Reebok Trotter

Reebok Trotter
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Terrible blow for Cavendish. He hit the ground pretty hard and I can't see him recovering tbh.

8Tour de France Empty Re: Tour de France on Sat Jul 05 2014, 20:38

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
I think that's the end of Cav for this Tour.

Shame but I think his career as peaked and he's not the main man of the sprints anymore - Kittle is.

I expect Marcel to win probably 3, 4 or even more stages of this Tour now - certainly worth a punt if you're a betting man.

Saying that I don't think tomorrows stage is right for him - looks a bit 'hilly' - more to more 'gutsy' riders such as Peter Sagan's liking - he's the one in the team in all lime green - Cannondale.

Kittle will more than likely win Monday's stage that finishes in London - hope someome off here get's to see it live - the atmosphere will be amazing.

Anyway one day at a time, Yorkshire again tomorrow and what a fantastic show the tykes have put on so far.

Fair play to them.

9Tour de France Empty Re: Tour de France on Sat Jul 05 2014, 20:39

Reebok Trotter

Reebok Trotter
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
The people of Yorkshire have certainly turned out in droves. A pleasure to watch.

10Tour de France Empty Re: Tour de France on Sat Jul 05 2014, 22:07

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
Mark Cavendish dislocated his right shoulder and suffered ligament damage after crashing near the end of the Tour de France's opening stage in Yorkshire.

The Briton collided with Simon Gerrans during the sprint finish in Harrogate, which was won by Marcel Kittel.

Cavendish was due to have an MRI scan with a decision on whether he will continue racing made on Sunday morning.

"It was my fault, I'll apologise to Simon. I tried to find a gap that was not there, I wanted to win," he said.

"I felt really strong and was in a great position to contest the sprint thanks to the unbelievable efforts of my team. Sorry to all the fans that came out to support - it was truly incredible."

German Kittel raced clear to win the stage from Slovakia's Peter Sagan and Lithuania's Ramunas Navardauskas.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cycling/28176625

11Tour de France Empty Re: Tour de France on Sun Jul 06 2014, 09:47

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
Mark Cavendish is out of the Tour de France after he dislocated his shoulder and suffered ligament damage in a crash near the end of stage one in Yorkshire.

Tour de France _76077979_cav_afp

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cycling/28182383

12Tour de France Empty Re: Tour de France on Sun Jul 06 2014, 22:43

Guest


Guest
Just watched the Lance Armstrong film on BBC4.

Interesting insight into his lies and deceit.

I'll admit I was gutted when it all came out but I'm glad it did.

Is Pro Cycling clean nowadays.....?

Hope so but you never know........

13Tour de France Empty Re: Tour de France on Sun Jul 06 2014, 23:21

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
No, it's not clean, there's always somebody somewhere who thinks they can beat the system.

Armstrong was the best rider of his generation and personally I think he should be recognised as such and not completely vilified as he has.

Everybody was doing doping back then and the people who finished second, third, fourth, fifth and so on to him in all those races have also been found out to be doping too.

Indeed it was SO preverlent that it's fairly certain that the sports governing body knew full well what was going on but didn't want to ban all their stars as that would have probably killed off road cycling stone dead for a generation or two!

Even to this day the view of cycling by the general public is that it is riddled with drugs.

That's why places like Yorkshire could afford to stage the race. Towns pay for the Tour to start or to finish at them - I can't remember now how much Yorkshire bid (a few million iirc?) was nothing compared to staging any other sort of major European / world sporting even - and the coverage, exposure and publicity for Yorkshire per pound spent would be / was certainly great value for money.

If the Tour was thought to be 'pure', more 'sponsors' have would wanted it to come to their towns and the less chance there would have been for Yorkshire to find the money to match the increased competition from other places in Europe to stage the start.

If you follow cycling a bit like I do, you sometimes wonder what the true story behind this cyclist or another suddenly not being picked for a race, or a sudden and unexplained loss of form.

I personally take cycling at face value - a good drug catch makes it more juicier to follow!

Fair play to Armstrong for being the best (possibly of all time) but where he went wrong for me is when he took the money knowing he cheated then sued others to keep them quiet about it - he should just have waived the prize money or given it to charity or something. He still could have had an easy life just on the back of his seven Tour wins.

14Tour de France Empty Re: Tour de France on Sun Jul 06 2014, 23:45

Guest


Guest
I think it's cleaner now than it ever has been. (By that I mean in the modern era - they weren't taking EPO in the 20's I hope.)

But I agree that there are some serious question marks over sudden notable losses of form and "disappearances" of prominent riders which have never been explained properly.

As for Armstrong, I'm still a bit mixed in my thoughts about him.

Yes he won it seven times when they were probably all at it, so he proved he was the "first among equals" but as you point out, he thrived on and revelled in his success, which is what came out in the film.

Given the fact he knew he was using all that banned stuff, he could have toned down his "I'm a Super Hero and you can believe in me!" shtick.

But then again, he gave hope and inspiration to millions of cancer victims, which under any circumstances, has to be a good thing........

Just wish he'd been a bit more humble and less "threatening"........

As I said, I'm a bit conflicted where Lance is concerned.

Bernard Hinault was definitely clean though and I'll punch anybody who says otherwise.  Very Happy  

15Tour de France Empty Re: Tour de France on Mon Jul 07 2014, 00:05

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
He probably was.

A famous rider before Hinaults day - Jacques Anquetil, said this - "only a fool would imagine it was possible to ride Bordeaux–Paris on just water".

Tommy Simpson the first great British rider died of a drugs overdose during a race, again before Hinaults time.

Am interesting link on doping and the Tour if you like that sort of thing -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doping_at_the_Tour_de_France#2000_Tour_de_France



16Tour de France Empty Re: Tour de France on Mon Jul 07 2014, 00:18

BoltonTillIDie

BoltonTillIDie
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Didn't realise Yorkshire had to pay to host the tour. Looked it up and looks like a total of £4million was the staging fee and another 2.5 million for costs involved in hosting it. However they do expect to make £100million for the local economy, which is why they wanted to host the race.

http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-21050740

17Tour de France Empty Re: Tour de France on Mon Jul 07 2014, 00:36

Guest


Guest
Wow!

Had never heard of Tommy Simpson.

That was a very informative read. Cheers, Sluff.

I love Le Tour and always have, but reading that, I'm starting to think it's been tainted longer than I thought it was.

Balls.......

I always thought the drugs were a (fairly) modern thing.........  

Cheers, mate.

Don't tell me F1 is rigged too.........Please.



'  


'

18Tour de France Empty Re: Tour de France on Mon Jul 07 2014, 00:48

Guest


Guest
Bernard Hinault got me to drive myself up Smithills Dean Rd as a 17 yr old in record time and I'll never forget the sense of pride I felt upon completing Le Col de Smithills back then.

But I did lie in the bath for a good hour afterwards and I couldn't feel me legs for a week.......

But I was clean.

Apart from the Boddies bitter in the Blue Boar.  Very Happy

19Tour de France Empty Re: Tour de France on Mon Jul 07 2014, 01:16

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
Yes, road cycling it is an unusual financial model of a sport in that it doesn't have any revenue from spectators - it is free to watch, it as no 'home' venue - theres no equiverlent Wembley or San Siro Stadium or anything - just the public roads, and the teams derive all their income from sponsorship - Nigel Mansell the racing driver had his own (second division) team until this year - so his son could race!

Sponsors get their 'value' from having their brand seen in the media such as TV, and when they think their image could be damaged (such as by doping scandals) they simply pull out of the sport and the team dies.

Of course over the year some things become more permanent - there is a long history of a handful of one day races (known as the classics) mainly based in the north of France or Belgium, but these aren't big enough to sustain cycling throughout a whole year.

Some of the teams sposors are quite bizzare really, you can understand cycle related businesses and media ones such as Sky being involved but you also have ones from wooden floor makes (Quick Step), a country (Astana - Kazakhstan), a mining business (Orica), a national lottery (FBJ - France), a steel company (Lampre) and the Brittany Tourist Board (Bretagne) which is quite ironic as the nearest the Tour goes to Brittany this year is probably todays finish in London!

It all adds to the threatre of the sport for me!

Anyway I probably should have mentioned it earlier but there is a young Lancastrian in this years Tour - first year pro, just riding for experience really but he and his brother are amongst the next generation of our home based cyclist to follow Wiggins and Froome at the top we hope - Simon Yates (Orica) - keep an eye open for him.

20Tour de France Empty Re: Tour de France on Tue Jul 08 2014, 14:04

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
Froome knocked off his bike - ouch!

Tour de France _76122180_76118727

Tour de France _76122182_76122181

21Tour de France Empty Re: Tour de France on Tue Jul 08 2014, 14:41

Guest


Guest
Bet he's not looking forward to tomorrow's nine sections over cobbles......

22Tour de France Empty Re: Tour de France on Wed Jul 09 2014, 14:43

Guest


Guest
...and he's down again.

(Before he even got to the slippery cobbles of Roubaix.)

Three times in two days and he does not look happy.

Tour over.

Unlucky Chris, but I think the cycling gods were trying to tell you something, mate....



Last edited by Breadman on Wed Jul 09 2014, 14:48; edited 1 time in total

23Tour de France Empty Re: Tour de France on Wed Jul 09 2014, 14:47

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
Damn, just been watching this.

Porte is a good rider and will now lead the team.  I expect good things for him but Contador to win the Tour now I think.

24Tour de France Empty Re: Tour de France on Wed Jul 09 2014, 14:53

Guest


Guest
Agree about Contador.

He's got a great team behind him and he knows how to win this race.

Wonder what Wiggins makes of Froome's misfortune......?

25Tour de France Empty Re: Tour de France on Wed Jul 09 2014, 15:03

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
They can't stand each other.

Wiggins isn't a nice bloke, only cares about himself, he cost Froome the Tour of Spain and the 2012 Tour he won and Froome came second because Froome had team orders to carry him up the mountains and sacrifice his own chance of winning both in doing so.

Shame for Froome.

Hope someone else wins other than Contador - he's got a very big drugs cloud hanging over his head.

26Tour de France Empty Re: Tour de France on Wed Jul 09 2014, 15:21

Guest


Guest
Like Armstrong, I've never really been able to make my mind up about Wiggins.

Is he good for the popularity of cycling in Britain? 

Undoubtedly.

He's perceived as a "character" and makes for good copy with his daft haircut and "Mod" image.

But, as you say, I've always sensed there was something a lot darker lurking underneath.

Dave Brailsford recently hinted that Wiggins was omitted from the Sky team for this year's Tour because he can be a bit of an arse'ole if he doesn't get his own way all the time.

And I can see that.....

Feel sorry for Froome.

Will Sky make the same gamble next year or was this his big chance for cycling immortality? 

Only time will tell.

(Although I can't see Wiggins riding for Sky next year.)

27Tour de France Empty Re: Tour de France on Wed Jul 09 2014, 16:39

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
Wow, great stage.

Nibali puts nearly 3 minutes into Contador - and he won't lose that to him in the mountains - so Contador as got to attack him all through the race now to get time back - makes for a great Tour now and should make things more interesting.

Should be fun!

28Tour de France Empty Re: Tour de France on Wed Jul 09 2014, 17:36

Reebok Trotter

Reebok Trotter
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Shame for Froome. They said on the news it was his wrist that was injured?

29Tour de France Empty Re: Tour de France on Wed Jul 09 2014, 19:02

Soul Kitchen

Soul Kitchen
Ivan Campo
Ivan Campo
@Reebok Trotter wrote:Shame for Froome. They said on the news it was his wrist that was injured?
That's his wanking up the creek as well! Very Happy

30Tour de France Empty Re: Tour de France on Wed Jul 09 2014, 19:03

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
He already seemed to have some sort of banage on it from yesterdays fall.

He was certainly limping when he got into the car to take him away and didn't seem to be able to move to close the car door.

Part of the theatre of the race, it claims good guys just cycling along the road - Froome crashed out on a normal road and not in the dangerous cobbled sections.

The stage as certainly handed the advantage to Nibali - which means the others have to attack him.

Should be interesting what they come up with.

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