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Instead of using 1 OF 3 tour contenders to soften up some legs and get Valverdere/Evans to chase, they just let Sastre and both Shlecks suck wheels and put no time into anyone.

Now they get Fabian in a break this morning? Come on. Like that won't come back.

They better have some other plan... Not sure what Rjiis is thinking?
 

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Lemur-ing
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Well there are 24 in the break so it can really work if everyone goes hard for it actually.

But I was surprised no one from them attacked yesterday. Let's see how it plays out later.
 

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I can recall a number of breaks in the past few years where a worker who has all but no chance of winning the tour gets into a break and as they are caught they are about to help their team leader. Jens Voight two years ago in a break with the chicken (i think) stoped to help his team and popovitch agian in a break helped contador and levi bring back the chicken after a long break. I think its great move and good tactics from the team bosses.
 

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Riis put on a major show of good tactical decisions today, compared especially to caisse d'epargne, who spent way too much useless energy in the first week and paid for it today. They put FC in the break exactly to be there between the two climbs to pace the group to the start of the final climb, which he did to perfection and ended up ripping the legs off of caisse d'epargne. Then Voigt took another turn pacing up the final climb until Andy Schleck too over and finally Frank went away, with Sastre riding with Evans and Menchov.

Evans rode smart, but lost almost 2 minutes to Schleck on the final climb. Will be interesting to see how Evans deals with CSC in the alps.
 

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Misplaced priorities?
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CSC's tactics were superb, but they didn't get the end result they were looking for. Frank Schleck benefitted from it, but all of their work was done for Sastre who couldn't make the final move. Schleck taking Yellow would've been a nice consolation prize for CSC.

The silver lining for CSC is that they learned that both Evans and Menchov have teams who can't support them in the mountains.

The real beneficiaries from CSC's big effort were the boys from Saunier Duval who got a free ride to the final climb, took the stage, got Ricco both the Dots and the White, and gave themselves a second card to play with Cobo getting within shouting distance of the top of the GC. While it's unlikely that either Cobo or Ricco can win the Tour, having them close on GC should make the Alps even more exciting.
 

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Cpark
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Here is my take on today's stage.
Team CSC put a hammer down to eliminate Cunego and Valverde. Succeded.
They also found out that the most of the contenders are on par as far as their climbing abilities are concern.
Team CSC has the strongest team.
This leaves Evans, Menchov, Sastre and Vande Velde to fight out for the podium spots.
This means Sastre needs some time on the other guys since he is the worst time trialist out of the 4 contenders. Also, can't count out the Cobra the way he can explode in a mountain stage.
What an awesome tour.....
 

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Fly on a windshield
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cpark said:
Here is my take on today's stage.
Team CSC put a hammer down to eliminate Cunego and Valverde. Succeded.
They also found out that the most of the contenders are on par as far as their climbing abilities are concern.
Team CSC has the strongest team.
This leaves Evans, Menchov, Sastre and Vande Velde to fight out for the podium spots.
This means Sastre needs some time on the other guys since he is the worst time trialist out of the 4 contenders. Also, can't count out the Cobra the way he can explode in a mountain stage.
What an awesome tour.....
Of all your points we're not sure whether F.Schleck or Sastre are CSC's GC guy and I'm quite sure that Sunderland and Riis won't be giving us any hints either.
It could be that Frank's position will be used to catapult Sastre past the other 3 podium contenders. However if Frank is feeling well come this weekend we may see brother Andy going up front and waiting to pull him all to the top of l'Alpe d'Huez. Either way expect Evans and Menchov to work their butts off.
 

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There will be some stages that have minor shake ups inthe GC but for satstre the pure climber of the final 5 who are realisticy looking at gc he has to gain 2 minutes or more on the three TT specialists on stage 17 alp d Huez. that will be another stage worth you watching.
 

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Cpark
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MG537 said:
Of all your points we're not sure whether F.Schleck or Sastre are CSC's GC guy and I'm quite sure that Sunderland and Riis won't be giving us any hints either.
It could be that Frank's position will be used to catapult Sastre past the other 3 podium contenders. However if Frank is feeling well come this weekend we may see brother Andy going up front and waiting to pull him all to the top of l'Alpe d'Huez. Either way expect Evans and Menchov to work their butts off.
I have to agree with you that Menchov and Evans will have to do some serious work up coming week.
Team CSC has a lot of cards they can play like sending Frank and/or Andy on the attack and forcing Mencho/Evans/Sauvier Duval-Scott to chase.
If I'm a gambler, I'd have to say that Sastre is the CSC's GC guy.
Frank's ITT result (46th and losing over 2 mins in less than 30K) makes him a weak GC guy in my opinion but I could be wrong.
Either way I love Riis's tactic. It's making the race unpredictable and fun...
 

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Run1stBike2nd said:
CSC's tactics were superb, but they didn't get the end result they were looking for. Frank Schleck benefitted from it, but all of their work was done for Sastre who couldn't make the final move. Schleck taking Yellow would've been a nice consolation prize for CSC. .
I believe CSC pretty much planned all of this to perfection.

I agree with Cpark and Slowdave. Sastre looked to be relax ( always is breathing funny ) and menchov looked superb. Sastre attacked then Schleck. Schlecks attack stuck and the GC guys did not counter. So off goes Schleck. Sastre was not to attack again because his team mate was up ahead in the 1 st group. From then on Sastre did the correct thing to defend and sit on everyones wheel and let the others do the work. I think Menchov looked the most comfortable but he usually gets weaker as the Tour progresses. Menchov has never finish higher than Sastre at the Tour. Which is much a different animal than the Vuelta espana.

Also now with Schleck close to the GC menchov , Evan, Ricco, etc.. have to be concerned with him and with andy now completely available to attack with no real GC ambitions this can get very wild and play into CSC's hand. Keep in mind the kind of damage Sastre did in 2006. He was the one that cracked Landis. I think Sastre will Podium ahead of Menchov and will have yellow going into the final TT only to lose it to Evans by seconds.

Menchov - no Support and will have a bad day.
Evans - will hold off an Schleck attack only to have Satsre blow him away.
Ricco, will be in 3rd position but will fall to 5th in the finall TT
VandeVeld - 4th strong TT and OK in the Apls
Valverde will claw his way to 6th

Schleck will top 10 but will fall apart in the ITT
 

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TWD
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I just don't think Sastre can get 2 minutes in any one day. He needed 1/4 of that today and the rest in the alps. That 2 minutes might get him 2nd place but probably not 1st. His only chance is that Evans is really hurt and he now has a couple of days to ride in the draft to recover.
Look to stages 15-18 so see who can now get some real time. Doubt positions in the GC will change much if any till then. I hate to say it but I would bet on Cadel right now although would sure like to see VV or one of the Schlecks pull a fast one.
 

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I agree it wil be difficult to make up 2 minutes and really Sastre needs 4 minutes or more when you consider the ITT. However on summit finishes it is possible to put big gaps. Also when you have multiple options like CSC has.

If CSC plays things right they can crack one of the big boys and it can be over. look at Kirchin Today and Valverde. loss alot of time and they were considered real favorites. Valverde was well over Carlos Sastre.

in 2006 when Schelck won the Apls D Huez Stage 15 this is how it play out. Must consider F.Schleck was not anywhere near the GC, And Sastre prepared to ride for Basso not his own ambitions, till Basso was canned with Operation Puerto.

2006 Stage 15 Alps D Huez
1 Fränk Schleck (Lux) Team CSC 4.52.22
2 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Fondital 0.11
9 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC 1.35
11 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 2.21
16 Cadel Evans (Aus) Davitamon-Lotto 2.49

This stage will tell us who the winner is in 2008
 

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did the 06 Alpe d'huez stage follow the same route as this years, which has Galibier and Croix de Fer? This is the classic, brutal version. There's really only this stage and maybe stage 15 for the climbers to make up time on Evans before the last ITT. Someone needs to go before the last climb of d'huez to get enough time on Evans.
 

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Fly on a windshield
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tete de la tour said:
This stage (Alpe d'Huez) will tell us who the winner is in 2008
There is another possibility, less likely but still possible.
Strong sidewinds can also break up a peloton. Which means both Menchov and Evans will have to stay near the front all the time, especially when the weatherman is calling for strong winds.
CSC is in a great position here as well, considering they have Voigt and three superb classics specialists in Cancellara, O'Grady and Arvesen.
 

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let's see

MG537 said:
There is another possibility, less likely but still possible.
Strong sidewinds can also break up a peloton. Which means both Menchov and Evans will have to stay near the front all the time, especially when the weatherman is calling for strong winds.
CSC is in a great position here as well, considering they have Voigt and three superb classics specialists in Cancellara, O'Grady and Arvesen.
2 main threats are all but done
you have 2 solid riders in high GC spots
you have forced a rider with little team support to defend the yellow
you put your #2 hope further up the rankings
and your #1 had not too nasty of a day

to me it was predictable
was a classic move by a GC experienced DS

when Jens was invisible the first week you knew they were saving him
the big lug dumped Valverde and Cunego riding nothing more than hard tempo

when you think how much heavier Jens is, the fact that he rode the front for all those ks,and then think about watts to weight, think how much higher his sustained wattage was over those 2

Jens Rulez, I've always liked the guy, now I like him more
 
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