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Seems like everyone short of Nairo Quintana and TJ (BMC) took a shot at Froome today. Nairo seems content to ride behind Froome all the way to Paris. Moviestar had 3 people in the break early including Valverde. Valverde may not have the legs to for the GC win in the Tour since he just finished with a podium spot in the Giro d'Italia but he certainly is a more interesting rider than Nairo. I thought for sure with Moviestar keeping two people in the break all day, that it was the perfect setup for Nairo.
 

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Nairo likely figures he stands his best chance if Froome crashes out or gets ill, since he will get annihilated on the long TT coming up.
It's "Movistar," by the way - a cellular communications company.
 

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I seem to recall that Movistar was planning on being strong in the last week of the Tour (Alps) - so maybe some of this is intentional.
 

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I seem to recall that Movistar was planning on being strong in the last week of the Tour (Alps) - so maybe some of this is intentional.
risky strategy. As so many Tours are done and over before the last week
 

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Quintana thinks Froome was tired out in the last week of 2015. A few others have said the same thing.
I think Movistar's strategy is just to stick close and wait for Froome to burn out or fall off. And Movistar will wait for Froome's team mates to burn out. Those guys cannot ride at that pace on the front every day...or can they?
Quintana's weakness is that he has no response to Froome's jump. Quintana can climb along at an even pace but cannot match Froome's bursts.
Quintana is going to lose time in the time trial as well.
 

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risky strategy. As so many Tours are done and over before the last week
maybe but Quintana has last the tour in the first 10 days all to often. so the fact he is on par now is good for him. And clearly this tour is far from over after the first week.
 

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I think to he is waiting for the last mountain stages because of what he did last year against Froome in the mountains. He pretty much won the Tour if not for the first week of racing. I think we are going to be surprised by his TT because he has shown well this year in other TT. Froome is a great rider and climber but I think Quintana will try to win Tour with one summit finish where he distances Froome by a minute or so. If it goes like this till the end it will be one hell of a few weeks of racing to watch for us spectators. Win win in my eyes,
 

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NQ countered every move Froome made and never looked even remotely gassed.

Movistar has a plan, just not sure when they intend to implement it.
 

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One of the Euro commentators said that Froome slightly changed his training to peak later in the Tour so if Quintana is waiting for that it's going to be a looooong Tour. Never saw Quintana out in the wind at all...Martin, Porte, even Yates tried.
At least Stickman showed some panache yesterday, didn't think that would ever happen.
 

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To answer the question about Valverde, he's not that close to peak form. I think he said he was starting the Tour at around 75 to 80% of peak. He's trying to peak at the Olympics, 2 weeks after the Tour. He also kept claiming he was going to loose time in the first week so he could go out in breaks and not have the other teams worry about him. He hasn't yet managed to loose the time needed to be able to free to go into breaks. He said as long as Contador was in that break with him he was confident in it working, but when he saw Contador starting to struggle he knew he couldn't stay in the break if it had any chance to suceed and it wasn't fair to the others that were there to not let it have a real chance to suceed. He made the decision to go back to the peloton Movistar never called him back. As for Movistar keeping two guys in the break and Quintana never putting in an attack maybe they were also trying to get the lead in the team classification to try to win it for 2 straight years? Who knows, but they are one of the few teams that actually does place an emphasis on the team classifications in races.
 

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Seems to me that Quintana waits too long into a GT to take decisive action. I sometimes get the feeling that he is one of those guys that is a little scared to attack for fear that it won't have the devastating results that he imagines it will, or worse yet, backfire.
I used to really dislike Froome, but have come to like and respect him very much over the last couple of years. He never seems satisfied with his abilities and wants to get better and better at every aspect of his riding. That stage eight descent was awesome and very un-Froome-like.
 

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I seem to recall that Movistar was planning on being strong in the last week of the Tour (Alps) - so maybe some of this is intentional.
I agree. Yesterday's moves were done to put stress on Sky. Valverde off the front with two teammates? Not good for Sky even if Valverde has the Giro in his legs.

I think there is a psychological game going on too. Froome spent the day waiting and waiting for Quintana's attack and it never came. Froome had to expend energy pulling back everyone else's attacks while Quintana just sat there on his wheel.

Movistar played their cards brilliantly yesterday. The peloton has made it through the Pyrenees and Quintana is only 23 seconds off Froome. They are clearly waiting for the third week to launch Quintana.
 

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was hoping for an attack from Quintana yesterday, thought maybe Froome's legs were a bit torched from the previous stage.

but, it was just Nairo watching Froome watching his stem.

cat and mouse games...waiting to pounce.
 

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Does anyone think Movistar doesn't have a plan? Really? Sure, NQ is just wheel sucking along. Maybe he doesn't have any more than that? Who knows? He's wheel sucking a giant champion in the sport... Consider that... I'd guess Movistar has a plan though... Now, having a plan and implementing that plan are two different things. Maybe they have a perfect plan and everything is falling nicely into place? Maybe they had a plan but NQ can't implement it? It's not like Froome is chopped liver. I think the answer to that question is a big part of what makes grand tour cycling so unbelievably exciting.
 

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I'm sure Movistar has a plan. Exactly what it is only they know for sure. However, I do remember Valverde claiming to anyone who would listen he was going to loose time in the first week so he could go out in breaks later in the Tour. We're all still waiting for this loosing time so he can get out in breaks. Although apparently yesterday he decided forget the loosing time part, let's just go get in the break anyway and make Sky work harder than they want to at this point of the stage.
 

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I think Sky should keep Niro off Froome's wheel on the climbs, like placing another Sky rider there to keep breaking up the rhythm and expending more of Niro's energy.
Otherwise he is just going to wheel-suck until stage 19.
 
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