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  #576  
Old July 9th, 2014, 02:03 PM
johnlee johnlee is offline
John Lee
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Pics from the Hell of the North stage.

Froome:

Quote:
Shortly before the first section of cobbles, Chris Froome crashed a second time. This time the injuries sustained were significant, forcing the defending champion to abandon the Tour de France. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

You can tell he's in great pain just from the way he's sitting on the bike all contorted out like that. That sucks.

What it looked like today:



Quote:
From crashes to mechanicals, the horrid conditions caused problems for many of the riders on a pivotal stage 5 of the Tour de France. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Look at the wind in the flags. That looks more like Paris-Roubaix than the Tour de France. I don't know if it's global warming or something, but Roubaix has been very dry the last several years.

Nibali on the pave:

Quote:
Vincenzo Nibali had an incredible day on the cobbles. Riding like a classics specialist, Nibali dropped Fabian Cancellara and Peter Sagan in the final sectors. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

What a ride by Nibali. Nibali's looking so good there that for a second I thought I was looking at Tornado Tom:


Even Sagan and Cancellara couldn't hold Nibali's wheel at the end. Nibali is known as a very good bike handler and one of the fastest descenders in the peloton. Today he proved that he can ride the pave as well. This guy should get Honorary Flandrian for today's effort.

Sagan couldn't deliver the W:

Quote:
Late in the race, Peter Sagan was well positioned to try for a stage win. When the crucial time to attack came, Sagan didn't have the legs to make it happen. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

That doesn't make him a loser. He just couldn't deliver. For me, the loser on the day was Fabian Cancellara:

Quote:
Fabian Cancellara had never raced the Roubaix cobbles in such wet conditions. One of the best classics riders ever, Cancellara surprisingly finished in fifth place, just over one minute behind stage winner Lars Boom. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Cancellara after the stage:

Quote:
"The race was a mess. When I heard on the radio what was happening just with our riders, I could imagine what must be happening with the others - in my opinion this does not have a place in a Grand Tour," he said according to the Trek Factory Racing team website.

"It was completely different than in April because the field is so different. Also the wet roads made it very dangerous - the whole course was now dangerous."

"The problem was that there was always a gap because someone was tired, or slipped a bit, and you could not pass him on the cobbles. When the three Astanas and Boom went, this is what happened. Also, on wet cobbles, it is very different, you cannot use a high cadence like when it's dry, which is how I like to do it."

That was after the stage. Before the Hell of the North stage, Cancellara was all excited about it and defending it:

Quote:
"I hope nobody crashes and loses a chance of winning the Tour de France because of what happens on the pavé. But it's racing. Roubaix is Roubaix. We all know what it’s like."

"I've already been asked if I'll ask for the stage to be neutralised if it rains but this is different. I know that it’s not a nice stage for Froome, Contador, Nibali and even our GC riders. But my reply is: so why not take out the climbs to make it easier for us? That never happens, so it's only right we race on the cobbles. It’s a risk for everyone, including me, but we've got to live with it and calculate the risks involved."

Cancellara's just pissed he didn't win. And I'm sure Cancellara's embarrassed that a GC rider like Nibali rode him off his wheel.
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  #577  
Old July 9th, 2014, 10:40 PM
johnlee johnlee is offline
John Lee
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Quote:
Eddy Merckx and King Philippe of Belgium visit the riders before the start of the stage held in Ypres.

Road stages in the Tour usually feature a rolling start but King Philippe did the honors:

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  #578  
Old July 9th, 2014, 10:44 PM
johnlee johnlee is offline
John Lee
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Love these pave pics:











So much love. All of the gayness of today's tour like the color-matched shorts and $300 sunglasses and kustum paint jobs don't seem to matter in the Hell of the North. Also, the dayglo gay tropical fish colors of today's uniforms are muted by the dirt. I'm sick of stupid kustum stuff like this splashed about the Tour:


Quote:
Peter Sagan’s new paintjob on his Cannondale parked at sign-in.

Sagan got dropped in the Hell of the North, and he rode a standard team bike:



Perhaps the Wolverine build was sidelined for some reason. Unfortunately, his kustum Wolverine helmet build wasn't. This helmet lets Sagan look down at the ground all the while letting his competitors think he's looking straight at them. It's like having eyes on the back of your head.

World Chump Rui Costa on his kustum rainbow bike and gay rainbow shorts and rainbow socks and rainbow helmet and rainbow gloves and rainbow glasses and rainbow arm warmers:


Yellow Jersey Marcel Kittel on his kustum yellow build with yellow tires and bar tape:


Neither of these guys nor their kustum builds was anywhere to be seen in the Hell of the North. Kittel is an awesome sprinter and I think it's sweet that he got the yellow jersey, but he looks like a maillot chumpe there. He should be looking badass like this:

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  #579  
Old July 10th, 2014, 04:56 PM
johnlee johnlee is offline
John Lee
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The Tour de France and the Great War:


How the three Tour victors were killed:


The Germans claimed another victory today:


That's six stages done and four German victories.

The roads were slick:


You can see Arnaud Demare resplendent in the French Champion's jersey. For several years now, the trend has been to integrate a champion's jersey into the standard team uniform. Astana are still doing this and this is how Nibali's Italian Champion jersey looks:


I think that looks terrible.

Demare's red shorts have to go, but the complete and clean French tricolor jersey is a start. The jersey isn't even all sponsored out, which is how it should be. I think this is something Marc Madiot picked up from his old directeur sportif Cyrille Guimard, who also had his French Champions wear clean tricolor jerseys. Yvon Madiot:


Marc Madiot:


Even with those hideous paneled shorts, the Madiot bros. were looking pure.

Greipel was resplendent in the German Champion's jersey:


His shorts are black. They're all trimmed out at the cuff, but it's a start.

Tour Beauties:


For whatever reason, my favorites are usually the stage winner and the points girls. That's usually true every year.
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  #580  
Old July 10th, 2014, 05:38 PM
johnlee johnlee is offline
John Lee
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More pics from yesterday's Hell of the North stage.

Quote:
King Philippe of Belgium and Eddy Merckx were on hand at the start of the stage in Ypres. Photo: BrakeThrough Media

I guess homegirl's job is to walk everywhere with an umbrella and make sure the King doesn't get soaked. That's kinda neat at some level, but I can't help but feel that Eddy Merckx is looking cooler with the rain jacket and uncovered. One doesn't win seven Milano-Sanremos, two Tours of Flanders, three Paris-Roubaix, five Giri d'Italia, and two Lombardias if he's bothered by rain.


Froome at the start:

Quote:
Chris Froome started the much feared cobbled stage, already injured from a crash the previous stage. Froome would ultimately fall twice more during stage 5, forcing him to withdraw from the Tour. Photo: BrakeThrough Media

Froome crashed out even before reaching the pave. Imagine how much agony he would have gone through had he reached the pave. His wrist would have felt every single stone.


Quote:
The peloton rolled past one of many WWI cemeteries at the official start of stage 5 from Ypres to Arenberg Porte du Hainaut. Photo: BrakeThrough Media


Quote:
On the first secteur of cobbles at Gruson, the peloton was already in pieces from multiple crashes due to the rain-slicked roads. Photo: BrakeThrough Media


Love seeing the Mavic motorbikes in the Tour:

Quote:
Mavic neutral support brought in their special motor bikes, normally used once a year during Paris-Roubaix. Photo: BrakeThrough Media

As the caption says, Mavic does neutral support for the ASO events like the Tour, but usually doesn't bust out the motorbikes. The motobikes usually aren't needed in the Tour because of the relative rarity of flat tires and broken wheels. In Paris-Roubaix, many more wheels are needed and Mavic supplements the cars with motorbikes:




Quote:
In typical Paris-Roubaix fashion, team staff lined the pavé holding up spare wheels and bottles as the riders made their way through the cobbled secteurs. Photo: BrakeThrough Media


Quote:
The cobbles are all about pleasure and pain. French national champion Arnaud Démare appeared to be enjoying the bumpy ride alongside sprinting ace Marcel Kittel. After the race Sep Vanmarcke tweeted "I love the wet pavé!" Photo: BrakeThrough Media

Not everyone had such a good time:

Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing): “You guys got your drama, but that takes the race down a notch when you got your top favorite [Froome] out. In theory, it could make the race less exciting toward the end. I think ASO need to rethink having days like this in the race. For me, It could have been worse, it could have been better. We will just have to move forward.”

Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing), winner of 8 stages in the Tour, three-time winner of Paris-Roubaix: “The race was a mess. When I hear in the radio what was happening just with our riders, I can imagine what must be happening with the others – in my opinion this does not have a place in a Grand Tour. It was completely different than in April because the field is so different. Also the wet roads made it very dangerous – the whole course was now dangerous… ”

Matthew White (directeur sportif of Orica-GreenEDGE): “This mini-Paris-Roubaix should not be in the Tour de France. Does anybody want to see an Alberto Contador or a Chris Froome break a bone and be out of the Tour de France? The Tour de France is for the most complete bike rider in the month of July and a part of that is not Paris-Roubaix. The Classics are the classics. This is not the Classics.”

No, this is not Flanders or Roubaix. But if today's Tour riders want to be compared to the Giants of the Road, they're going to have to suffer the same hardships. A Hell of the North stage every few years is necessary and appropriate. This is especially so because past GC riders like Coppi, Merckx, Hinault, Gimondi, etc. all won Paris-Roubaix. Today's GC riders don't even enter. Giving them a taste of the pave isn't unreasonable I think. And I think the centennary of WW1 is a perfect time for a Hell of the North stage. It was WW1 that gave the region the name "Hell of the North":

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  #581  
Old July 11th, 2014, 01:00 PM
johnlee johnlee is offline
John Lee
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Torrance, CA
Posts: 12,536
Another win for Italy:


American Andrew Talansky hit the deck hard:





Quote:
Tour de France contender Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) crashed and rolled in the finishing straight of Nancy at the end of stage seven on Friday. He got up, rode in and put the blame on Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge).

“I want a personal apology,” Talansky said when he stopped at the Orica team bus afterwards. Orica sports director, Julian Dean shook his head and replied, “You looked the wrong way.”

Talansky, when arriving at the Garmin bus further on, said to staff: “He took me out for nothing.”

“Unfortunately, he fell over my back wheel there,” Gerrans said to press later.

“I saw the footage afterwards and I saw that Talansky went down, and from what I saw, he kind of looked over his right shoulder as I was coming from the left.

“I don’t think either of us really did too much wrong. It was as just an unfortunate thing that happened under the circumstances.”

The TV footage shows Talansky in a select group of around 30 riders, racing under the one kilometre banner, avoiding a crash at 900 metres and after looking around, crashing at 400 metres. Like in stage one, Australian Champion Gerrans was fighting for the stage victory.

“What happened?” Garmin general manger, Jonathan Vaughters said. “He just got moved over on in the sprint by Gerrans, who just took out his front wheel.

“He wasn’t looking back, but looking over and trying to move out of the way. He was out of position to win the sprint, so he was trying to move out of the way.”

Vaughters said that he did not think that Gerrans would apologise, but blamed Gerrans.

Here's the video:

http://www.steephill.tv/players/720/...059514&yr=2014

If we're going to point fingers and whine about it and demand apologies, I'm with the GreenEDGE squad on this one. It's Talansky's own fault. He shouldn't have looked to his right side during the sprint and veered left. Follow Talansky's line and Gerrans' lines. There's an interrupted white line down the road, so it's very easy to tell. Talansky veered left across the line right before the two riders made contact and Talansky lost control. Gerrans stayed relatively straight. It was only after Talansky went flying that Gerrans moved to his right.

I can understand why Talansky is pissed. Hitting the deck hurts. But Talansky shouldn't be pissed at Gerrans, whining like a baby, or demanding apologies.

Quote:
“I want a personal apology,” Talansky said when he stopped at the Orica team bus afterwards. Orica sports director, Julian Dean shook his head and replied, “You looked the wrong way.”

Classic.
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  #582  
Old July 12th, 2014, 10:48 AM
JSQ JSQ is offline
Jack Quinlan
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Reading this year's installment of John's TdF posts are better than watching the Tour itself.
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  #583  
Old July 12th, 2014, 02:10 PM
greghirst greghirst is offline
Greg Hirst
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  #584  
Old July 13th, 2014, 07:46 PM
johnlee johnlee is offline
John Lee
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Location: Torrance, CA
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Nice video of stage 5:


They're not even rolling that fast and yet the cars are bottoming on the pave. Love that.
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  #585  
Old July 13th, 2014, 08:03 PM
johnlee johnlee is offline
John Lee
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Torrance, CA
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Germans take another one:

Quote:
Tony Martin (Omega Pharma - Quick Step) completes an impressive 59 km solo attack from the early two men break.

A 60k solo break in the Tour is pretty darn good. Quick-Step's directors were impressed:

Quote:
“That was probably the strongest individual performance that I ever saw,” said Brian Holm. Patrick Lefevere, Omega’s CEO, called the performance Merckxian.

Der Panzerwagen had a good day. He took the stage:


King of the Mountains:


and most combative rider:


Quote:
“It was hard to ride solo but I never got out of my comfort zone. I have an excellent condition now,” said Martin. “We were close to the German border and I could hear so many German fans shouting my name on the roadsides.”

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  #586  
Old July 14th, 2014, 05:23 AM
ronward ronward is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSQ
Reading this year's installment of John's TdF posts are better than watching the Tour itself.

Indeed. Great coverage John...keep it up.
____________________
Ron Ward
2004 Discovery
& a couple nice watches

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  #587  
Old July 14th, 2014, 08:41 PM
hks3sgte hks3sgte is offline
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Location: Los Ángeles, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnlee
They're not even rolling that fast and yet the cars are bottoming on the pave. Love that.


I like how they crack up when a car scrapes the pave.
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  #588  
Old July 17th, 2014, 03:54 PM
johnlee johnlee is offline
John Lee
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  #589  
Old July 23rd, 2014, 01:38 PM
johnlee johnlee is offline
John Lee
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Torrance, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greghirst
Team FDJ deserves to win the Tour on Marc Madiot's passion alone-


It's possible FDJ might get on the podium. Thibaut Pinot raced a great stage 16:


Mr. Grape is currently in third in the GC standings and wears the white jersey:


We'll see if he can hold it. I hope he can.

It's a bummer that Pinot is such a bad descender:


FDJ reportedly had him racing cars and seeing a shrink in the off-season to try to improve his descending abilities. If he could descend as well as he climbs, he would be a much more complete rider.
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  #590  
Old July 24th, 2014, 09:39 AM
johnlee johnlee is offline
John Lee
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  #591  
Old July 24th, 2014, 12:13 PM
johnlee johnlee is offline
John Lee
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Peep this guy's bike-handling skills:


That's some Jedi shit.

Bravo.
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  #592  
Old July 24th, 2014, 12:31 PM
johnlee johnlee is offline
John Lee
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Pinot now stands in second in GC and holds the white jersey:


All of France is stoked. Even Raymond Poulidor showed up:


Poupou is looking great and seems to have lost some weight:


Poulidor never won the Tour. He raced against Anquetil and Merckx, so he had a rough time. But he is loved today and remembered for his tremendous attacks:


I love his victory at Sanremo:


That pic is full of win.
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  #593  
Old Yesterday, 01:22 PM
johnlee johnlee is offline
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