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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
TdF'16 Stage04 0705 Discussion Thread. Spoilers!

[Please note that I mostly deal in miles, not KM, and degrees Farenheit, not celcius or centigrade, and that my interest leadingly is in what each stage portends for the overall podium, and I prefer to see surprises and guts on any given day, but not at the expense of good sportsmanship. Also, I get paid very little - I am voting for Bernie so I can get boosted to $15/hour. Along with the low pay, I hardly get any rep. for my efforts. Others have more knowledge and different knowledge than I have - feel free to post thoughts and observations. Especially if you have interesting tidbits about the locales through which Le Tour passes, or relevant TdF history.

But beware - if you get political, like discussing Bernie or minimum wage, we will get thrown into PO, and if you discuss doping, we will get thrown into the doping forum.]

As would be expected, not much has yet occurred in the 2016 Tour to affect overall podium. Contador's crash may be forgotten by the first mountain stage.

Stage 04, July 05, is tame, but long. It is about 140 miles, with most of it looking like a damnable false flat, cresting about 15 miles from the finish, leaving a decent downhill to the finish. The descent has some twists and turns, but once they hit city level the road is not very complicated. There is a zig and a zag at about 1 km from the finish, then a drag strip to the finish line.

So, there is not much for a GC contender to work with. It will be a day for sprinters, with a run-in that is more pleasant than most.

There is no chance of rain in the forecast, and wind will be very light, with temps in the low to mid 70s in the latter half of the ride.

If Cavendish can again sleep at a Holiday Inn, he could try to top Hinault in TdF stage wins, moving Cav from tied-for-second-most at 28 (Hinault), to second-most at 29, following Merckx with 34.

Manx Man could not ask for a better set-up, except that the competition is so deep this year.
 

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I don't know how to make the rep thing work, so I publicly avow that I rep your low pay, I rep your fealty to analog measurements (the west was won by the inch, the yard and the mile by gum!), and I rep your daily posts which do a great job of framing the discussion.

I do not rep your hopes for Cavendish as he didn't make it onto my fantasy team. Maybe if there'd been a coffee break my man Kittel wouldn't have faded in the finale!

Unfortunately, only Paris, Pay de Gex, Alsace and Burgundy are on my French travel palmares, so I can't provide any local color.
 

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I follow along almost religiously so long as I'm current and don't get behind since I watch the stages via DVR. Thanks! And I'm with you on everything... Notice, I'm avoiding political references on good advice.

Tommorow has the potential to suck again... Coast along, maybe a better pace than today but same thing, just a little faster. Posturing about 10-15K out, real excitement inside 1K. Aaaand roll 'em.

Is Cav back to his old form from track training? Or is the team all about him winning stages the reason he's back? Notice, I'm avoiding EPO references on good advice... Maybe tomorrow is Kittle's day? Would anyone else like to see them start in the mountains for a few days to make the "pure" sprinters actually have to climb rather than treating the early stages like a different race then dropping out? The "over-specialized" nature of this makes it boring and a little bit irrelevant, at least in my opinion... Personally, I'd rather see contenders do something other than sit in their team protection and wait for a mountain. It'd be cool to see these stages matter more to the overall tour. The way it is now, you can only be hurt by a crash or mechanical, otherwise it's just sit in the same group to get the same time... If you climbed right away you'd get rid of the bottom of the field right away or they wouldn't even be on teams.

Thanks PJay! Can't rep, have to spread it around...
 

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Is Cav back to his old form from track training? Or is the team all about him winning stages the reason he's back? Notice, I'm avoiding EPO references on good advice... Maybe tomorrow is Kittle's day? Would anyone else like to see them start in the mountains for a few days to make the "pure" sprinters actually have to climb rather than treating the early stages like a different race then dropping out?.
finishers in Paris in 2015: Greipel, Cavendish, Degenkolb, Kristoff, Sagan, Couqard. Bouhanni crashed out and Kittel did not start. What do you mean by them dropping out?
 

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Is Cav back to his old form from track training? Or is the team all about him winning stages the reason he's back? Notice, I'm avoiding EPO references on good advice... Maybe tomorrow is Kittle's day? Would anyone else like to see them start in the mountains for a few days to make the "pure" sprinters actually have to climb rather than treating the early stages like a different race then dropping out? The "over-specialized" nature of this makes it boring and a little bit irrelevant, at least in my opinion... Personally, I'd rather see contenders do something other than sit in their team protection and wait for a mountain. It'd be cool to see these stages matter more to the overall tour. The way it is now, you can only be hurt by a crash or mechanical, otherwise it's just sit in the same group to get the same time... If you climbed right away you'd get rid of the bottom of the field right away or they wouldn't even be on teams.

Thanks PJay! Can't rep, have to spread it around...
Cav's main goal this year is the Olympics. He's going on the track and his training there seems to have improved his results this year in the Tour. I fully expect him to bail out after the first week or so and not risk anything for Rio.

This year's Tour seems like the old Tours of the '80s where the first week was just flat stage after flat stage. I don't like them too much, but the mountains will come soon enough.
 

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This year's Tour seems like the old Tours of the '80s where the first week was just flat stage after flat stage. I don't like them too much, but the mountains will come soon enough.
Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday are all mountain stages, so not long at all!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Based on a well-played early mountain stage, last year's tour was boring once Froome grabbed a bit of a lead - that is why the tour cannot have significant geography in the first week. Frankly, Quintana's late-tour challenge was about the only thing that really got my heart rate going last year.
 

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Based on the original post, perhaps we should do away with timing and those special jerseys and just opt for juice boxes and participation ribbons. Is it really fair that some are more gifted?:)

As for stage 4, it looks pretty ho-hum...and Contador hopes so.
 

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Cav's main goal this year is the Olympics. He's going on the track and his training there seems to have improved his results this year in the Tour. I fully expect him to bail out after the first week or so and not risk anything for Rio.

This year's Tour seems like the old Tours of the '80s where the first week was just flat stage after flat stage. I don't like them too much, but the mountains will come soon enough.
strange year in pro cycling. The fastest sprinter and the top one day racer not going to context the Olympic road race of all things. No Cav nor Sagan, just a bunch of climbers?? They want a South American (Columbian) to win it maybe? Then watch as Valverde snags the gold. :D
 

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strange year in pro cycling. The fastest sprinter and the top one day racer not going to context the Olympic road race of all things. No Cav nor Sagan, just a bunch of climbers?? They want a South American (Columbian) to win it maybe? Then watch as Valverde snags the gold. :D
what on earth would a sprinter do on this course?
 

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what on earth would a sprinter do on this course?
that's what I mean. Why make it so steep/hilly, when it eliminates 2/3 of the big stars.

though .. I never considered the O RR a major race. And maybe they do not either. Still, to participate in the Olympic spectacle and take home a medal is nothing to sneer at - ever
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Is it just me?

Every time I hear 'Hansen," I hear "Mmmm-Bop, MMM MMM Mmm-Bop,"...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Maybe tomorrow is Kittle's day?
PBJ calls it.

Not quite Nostradamus level, but it does make me feel like all is well in the world when Kittel pulls in one of these.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Wow! The finish could not be closer.
If we have to accept the early-tour sprinter's stages, then at least we can be happy for stages like today.

Plenty of contenders vying in the final KM. Cavendish was close but oh-so-far. Sagan again quite close - the Valverde of the sprinting world - ALWAYS up front, and occasionally grabbing the win by making his own luck, as they say.

Thank God the pressure amongst the several teams with sprint contenders to be up front, plus the pressure for GC contenders to be up safe to be safe, did not add up, today, to a spill.
 

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ya for Kittel. monkey off his back.

and in an up hill sprint. Kristoff is off this year I guess, cause it almost seemed his for the taking until the hill caught up to his legs
 

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Wow! The finish could not be closer.
If we have to accept the early-tour sprinter's stages, then at least we can be happy for stages like today.

Plenty of contenders vying in the final KM. Cavendish was close but oh-so-far. Sagan again quite close - the Valverde of the sprinting world - ALWAYS up front, and occasionally grabbing the win by making his own luck, as they say.

Thank God the pressure amongst the several teams with sprint contenders to be up front, plus the pressure for GC contenders to be up safe to be safe, did not add up, today, to a spill.
Well said! These finishes are making the flat stage finishes worth the wait! And again, great to see some diversity in the sprint! Amazing finish... Again!
 

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What happened to Griepel today, he looked down at his bike and started going backward (well, forward, but slower)?
Kudos to Kittel - on an uphill sprint - two photo finishes now!
 
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