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i dont even know where to start with this one. the polka dots is still pretty tight, buit ricco said he was after stage wins. its not an uphill finish, but comes right after that last lil burp in the road. this may be teh stage valverde tries to crack evans and get some time back. same with sastre. i think we will see a concerted effort with 2-3 teams ganging up on evans. csc, caisse, and rabobank will join forces to push evans into the hurt locker. too bad the boogie man is not racing this year. rabo could really use him...

not making a pick yet. need to see how things shake out after today and watch the riders' faces during the stage.
 

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weltyed said:
i dont even know where to start with this one. the polka dots is still pretty tight, buit ricco said he was after stage wins. its not an uphill finish, but comes right after that last lil burp in the road. this may be teh stage valverde tries to crack evans and get some time back. same with sastre. i think we will see a concerted effort with 2-3 teams ganging up on evans. csc, caisse, and rabobank will join forces to push evans into the hurt locker. too bad the boogie man is not racing this year. rabo could really use him...

not making a pick yet. need to see how things shake out after today and watch the riders' faces during the stage.
Wait, you can pick during the stage still? :idea:
 

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iliveonnitro said:
No pick for me, yet. I think it will be a sprint finish. Sprinters are not climbers, but that last category 3 blip on the profile should be easily cleared by anyone.
It's easily a toss between sprinters, Valverde or heck, a breakaway even.

I'm towards no breakaway as yet due to the GC still very closely knit thus far. And, no one wants to risk allowing another Emmanuelle Sella ala the Giro D'Italia this year.
 

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weltyed said:
i meant watch their faces during today's stage once i get home.

heck, even waiting for the stage today wouldnt help until 2k to go...
Ah gotcha.

Heck, I'd never have expected Schumacher to win the TT the other day at all and I bet many were in the same boat too. Nice to see Kirchen in yellow too. This tour is pretty neat so far without the time bonuses huh?
 

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its not the Cat 3 blip that makes me wonder. those double Cat 2s might be where someone who can climb AND descend. contador would have done good. what about popovich getting the win while protecting evans (i was gonna say dragging evans, but didnt wanna get flamed again).
freire?
flecha?
too many options!!!!
iliveonnitro said:
No pick for me, yet. I think it will be a sprint finish. Sprinters are not climbers, but that last category 3 blip on the profile should be easily cleared by anyone.
 

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I am not ready to make a wild guess yet, but I don't see this being a sprint finish. Maybe Flecha takes a flyer? Maybe Cancellara makes one his final k surges? Maybe Schumacher is really pissed and makes a charge? Maybe Hinault comes out of retirement?
 

· Cannot bench own weight
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I don't think the stage is going to be won by the GCers. The first two climbs are ripe for a breakaway that just manages to stay away.

I'd like to pick Samuel Sanchez, however I think he's a bit too high on GC to be allowed to go.

I'll go with Jens Voigt
 

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Tough choice this stage. There is 40k between the Pas de Peyrol summit and the finish with a cat 3 bump in the way. The descent off Pas de Peyrol is labeled "treacherous." Still, that leave about 30km for riders to get organized for the finish.

The winner is likely to come from one of the favorites who can take a sprint. I don't think the break is going to hold. Kirchen seems a good choice but I'm not sure he wants to take risks in a print finish. This might be a stage for Hincapie. He helps Kirchen over the cat 2s, regroups on the descent, and bombs in for the win.

How about Devolder? He looks to have legs to get over the hills and he can win races. This might be his best opportunity to win a stage.

Valverde is a safe pick too -- as is Evans. They are going to be within a couple of places of each other at the end.

David Millar could take this one two.

So many choices. I'll have to cogitate a bit.

Valverde for the win
 

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Sylvain Chavanel.
 

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Millar

for me. But I sort of expect to be wrong. I am guessing a breakaway, probably some vaguely obscure French rider out for glory - which will be fun at least.

Still can't believe Cunego choked on a 1.5 km climb, even a steep sucker like that one.
 

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I think Carlos Sastre, I'm tempted to go with Voigt as it looks like a stage where a break would be able to get away and we know how much he likes to be in a break and has been waiting his time for the right stage. But I'm staying with Sastre
 
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