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August 19, 2017
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  • d;

    go go Rigo

    • David

      I hope so

      • rocktheboat

        Hope not and unlikely. He has not done enough to deserve it, one very good stage win aside. Followed everyone’s wheels (as Bardet complained) and has not once tried to take the race to anyone. Everyone else in the top 6 has at some stage made attacks.

        • Jon Bayley

          He’s ridden the same race as everyone else. Would love it to go down to the wire. Even as a brit I’m more interested in a good race than who actually wins. Was really hoping Bardet would get some time on Froome to force a counter attack.

        • Creighton Suter

          He’s 30 seconds back on a three time TDF winner supported by a team so dominant, comparison isn’t even fair. On top of that he has the stage win. Tell me again how he doesn’t deserve it?

        • Matthew Conner

          Uran has essentially had no team support (I believe Cannondale-Drapac has the smallest budget of all the teams, and both Talanksy and Rolland, who have been Top 10 before, are currently in terrible form), while Froome has consistently had 3+ Sky riders supporting him. If anything, Uran has been the most impressive rider in the whole tour.

          • DaveRides

            Cannondale-Drapac is estimated to have a budget of about €13M now that Drapac has bought in, which puts them in the middle of the pack at 12th out of the 18 WorldTour teams.

            Teams below them are Sunweb, Trek, Ag2r, Bora, FDJ, UAE and the four Pro Continental teams.

    • rocktheboat

      So the guy who has made no attack and wheel sucked (like Bardet complained) the whole way around deserves it over the other top 6 guys who have at least tried something? I don’t think so.

      • GeorgeB

        Thats Racing, and it you dont automatically get faster by ‘deserving it’, regardless of what we all think, he has been the 2nd most consistent GC rider this tour, with the tactical knowledge to do as little as possible and still sit in 2nd place… “deserved” maybe not, or maybe so?

        • rocktheboat

          Uran is in 3rd place (as of Stage 18).

        • Creighton Suter

          He who can pedal the least often wins the race.

      • Samaway

        ABF – anyone but Froome

  • NEcyclist88

    With Froome in yellow, does that mean he cannot wear the controversial vortex skinsuit for the TT? If so, and if ultimately Uran wins by a handful of seconds that would be an amazingly ironic outcome.

    • Spencer Martin

      That is a good question. I would imagine he has to wear the Yellow skinsuit provided by the Tour. But it wouldn’t surprise me if Sky have thought ahead and had a special yellow skinsuit made.

      • sps12321

        I assumed that he had to wear the tour one.

      • rocktheboat

        In recent years the top contenders all go to the yellow jersey supplier to be fitted for the skinsuit to minimise any disadvantages.

    • Patrick

      as i recall, the rule is a jersey wearer has to wear the supplied jersey. however in past sky have managed to be allowed to use their own custom items. seems fair enough that jersey weareres shouldn’t be penalised, except for it being against the rules.
      might not be such a big issue though as i understand the vortex suit is actually slower below 50km/h. the longer and more technical nature of this course as compared to the opener might mean they revert to their normal skin suits (which are probably still faster than the race supplied ones but not as much)

      • Jon Bayley

        Could be like the gabba issue. He might wear a Castelli one with no logos or printed with official ones (le coq sportif still?).

    • Spencer Martin
  • Not unprecedented, but unlikely. Although it would be cool. And don’t forget about tomorrow too.

  • Michele

    No.

    • George Darroch

      If anything, he’ll lose time.

  • Ed Goss

    I’m really really really looking forward to it.

  • Dba

    While a win for Froome would be good for us Brits, I feel that a win for Uran would be good for cycling.

    • rocktheboat

      How so?

  • Mark Blackwell

    Rigo chased down Froome’s attack with such apparent ease last night that this doesn’t feel unlikely to me… or maybe I’m just grasping at the last straws of possible excitement in what has been an underwhelming tour.

    • mouse

      Kinda curious as to what would qualify as an exciting tour with the relatively small time gaps between the top 3-5 places.
      Maybe more explosions?
      Maybe kittens?
      Ooh! Exploding kittens!!

      • Mark Blackwell

        You make a good point (and not just about the exploding kittens)… but on GC, it’s been clear for a while that Aru, Martin, Bardet and arguably Rigo needed to go on a longer range attack to take a minute or two out of Froome. What we got instead were low-risk attacks in the closing kilometres, that were only ever likely to win back a few seconds. The Green jersey was just getting exciting when Kittel dropped out… but prior to that Kittel’s five wins were becoming a procession. As were the formulaic, hopeless breakaways from the small French teams… that in particular is just getting tired.

        I know what you’re saying. I look forward to the TdF every year and always love it, but this race needed a cobbled stage 5 or TT stage 9 to shake things up.

  • Andy B

    Good breakdown, froome has the upperhand in my eyes, consistently more reliable

  • JBS

    Can he do it, who knows? Do I want to see him give it a red hot go? Hell yes, lets take this race down to the wire!

  • Warwick

    I juts hope Rigo has been saving his legs in the last stages following the moves rather than attacking, and saving his legs for TT. Doubtful, but would be great to see it come down to a handful of seconds.

    • rocktheboat

      Well he certainly gave himself a good chance by wheel sucking his way around and doing minimal work exactly as Bardet complained.

      • Bärlach

        Poor Bardet, his innocent world has been shattered.

        • rocktheboat

          At least Bardet has had a go unlike Uran who just sat there anonymously letting others do the work.

          • Patrick Murphy

            Has it ever crossed your mind that he has done what he is capable of? Sick and tired of comments about riders not attacking, the fact of the matter is, Froome and SkyPostal have been way too strong, Kwiato and Mikel “recovery ride” Landa have been incredible. And when needed Froome has just taken the baton and done what he needed to do.

            Martin has attacked on numerous occasions, but this has flattered to deceive, truth is Sky have always had him where they want him, he’s actually worked well for them as others had to do the chasing. In my opinion Martin has probably been the biggest threat but because of his crash he’s been allowed to do things or at least race a certain way because of his time gap.

            I hope Uran can pull it off, but it’ll need a mechanical for Froome to make it happen. But without the amount of bike changes (very suspicious) that riders seem to have these days I doubt that’ll even make a difference. The team car will be there, doubt anyone would lose more than 10-15 seconds for a bike swap.

            • rocktheboat

              Well you reveal yourself with your dismissive ‘SkyPostal’ jibe (as well as some pretty naff English grammar). I feel sorry for Bardet because he will lose his place to Uran and I cannot see how that is remotely deserved. Personally I hope Froome absolutely smashes the TT like he did at last year’s Vuelta. He deserves to win far more than Uran who like I said has wheel sucked his way to where he is. Fair enough he can do what he wants but let’s see it for what it is.

              • Patrick Murphy

                Even the most ardent believer that Sky are clean would surely have had moments where they were reminded of what Postal did in years gone by? I’m on the fence with them personally, it wasn’t a jibe it was an observation. As for the grammar? Sorry, I didn’t realise my comments were part of an exam, grow up.

                • rocktheboat

                  It was clear what you meant so your explanation was redundant. Any comparison between Sky/Froome/Brailsford and US Postal/Armstrong/Bruyneel is absurd unless you belong to the conspiracy theory brigade. It is not an observation at all, it is supposition. Regarding the grammar the point is it shows poor attention to detail and that is revealing, like I said.

                  • Patrick Murphy

                    It has nothing to do with poor attention to detail, I really don’t understand why people feel the need to go down this route when the object of the post is to discuss the topic at hand and not a persons grammar shortcomings. Sorry to rain on your parade but we aren’t all academics which judging by your attitude is probably just as well. Have a nice day.

                    • rocktheboat

                      Sun is shining. It has much to do with attention to detail and that is why it is easy to critique what you wrote. As a minimum it undermines credibility. If you focused on the subject points more than the thing that hit your nerve you might have moved on but you didn’t, you chose to drag it out.

                    • philipmcvey

                      HA.. If you’re going to be haughty and arrogant about other people’s ‘English grammar’ you might want to get your own right first. It’s ‘At a minimum’ not ‘As a minimum’. The word ‘English’ in ‘English grammar’ is redundant. He’s writing in English so it’s self evident his grammar is ‘English’, and is therefore just plain old ‘grammar’.

                      While we’re at it; ‘Sun is shining’.. where’s the definite article? And then there’s your habit of ramming the phrase ‘like I said’ in to every second sentence. That’s also pretty naff ‘English grammar’ in my opinion. But then, it’s only an opinion. Just like yours.

                      For what it’s worth, I do agree with your opinions about cycling. Bardet has given far more to the race than Uran has.

          • hornk

            y’all motherfuckers act like sitting in the wheels going up the Izoard is easy.

            • rocktheboat

              At that elite level it is a lot easier to sit in. The pace is so high there are drafting benefits.

          • Bärlach

            Spare us the moralizing, if you please.

            • rocktheboat

              I’ll do what I want. Take a short walk…

              • Bärlach

                Too much agro, take it easy.

  • Balanced Argument

    Do they count split seconds for GC? If it is a tie is there a count-back to see who had more stage victories? Would be interesting to see what happens there…

    • lefthandside

      Yes, the time trial gives the split seconds. Without a TT I believe they look at stage placings to determine an order if riders are on the same time.

    • DaveRides

      The split seconds from the individual time trials are only used as a tie breaker. Froome has 0.75s from the Düsseldorf ITT stage and Uran has 0.82s.

      The second tie breaker (if tied on split seconds or if there aren’t any individual time trials to use) is to add up all the stage placings (1st = 1, 2nd = 2 etc) for each rider with the lower total winning.

      In the unlikely event of the first two tie breakers both being equal, the higher placing on the final stage is the third and final tie breaker.

      The countback method as used to break a tie in the Formula 1 World Championship (i.e. number of first place finishes, then number of second place finishes etc) is not used for the GC in cycling. The only time I can ever remember the added stage placings method deciding a win (the 2012 Tour Down Under, which didn’t have an ITT) saw Simon Gerrans awarded the win, but the countback method would have seen Alejandro Valverde win the race as he had a stage win while Gerrans did not.

  • d;

    CT, do you have a pic of Rigo stuck on the 11 cog with Froome grovelling to keep up? Change your current poster pic to this!
    I say again ‘Go go Rigo!’

    • rocktheboat

      Er in a sprint you will always be on a 11 cog so what is special about that? How big was the time gap on the line remind me?

      • David King

        No, not every sprint is ridden in an 11. Many uphill or headwind sprint can and will be in gears lower than that.

        What’s the relevance of a time gap in a sprint?

        And why do you have it out for Uran? You’re taking his ride personally and taking every chance you can to swipe at him.

        He’s riding this race to get the best result he can. You’re welcome to disagree with him, of course – it amuses the rest of us when others say a rider doesn’t “deserve” for “wheel sucking.” Welcome to Bicycle Racing Tactics 101 where we’ll discuss why pointless attacks and riding on the front in order to ride on the front and impress people don’t win you races.

        • rocktheboat

          Really? Thanks, hadn’t figured that one. The context was the flat sprint that Uran won and the time gap comment referred to the ‘grovelling’ comment, i.e. hardly any grovelling. FWIW I think Uran’s tactics are smart, how smart we’ll see. He seems content with 2nd unlike Bardet, A|ru and Marton who at least tried. The strong anti-Froome sentiment on here is quite distasteful and unwarranted. Akin to the abuse he receives on theFrench roads but he seems to channel it well to higher preformance so all good.

      • d;

        I think you may have missed the boat here, rocktheboat. The article is about ‘can Uran do it?’ And as most CT readers are astute they know the answer is not likely. So the stuck-on-11 with The dog grovelling would be dope as the poster pic.

    • Neuron1

      Problem is, that Rigo got into that gear illegally, and should have had to stop at the side of the road to get it fixed, or docked a minute. It’s not that I dislike the guy, because I don’t, but the rules are the rules and they weren’t followed.

      • Jackson

        Lol

      • Matthew Conner

        Why don’t you go ahead and point out where in the rules it says that you can’t be serviced by the neutral support car after a crash then? That’s the whole reason why neutral support and mechanics are out on the road during the race.

        • DaveRides

          2.3.030
          Whatever the position of a rider in the race, he may receive such assistance and mechanical check (brakes for example) only to the rear of his bunch and when stationary.

          Penalty:
          20.2 Stage Race: During last 20 km of stage: 200, relegation to the last place in his group, 1’ penalty in general classification.

          According to this, Uran is actually 1’41” down due to the penalty having the following effects:
          1. Uran’s 10″ bonus for winning the stage is void due to his relegation to sixth place.
          2. Extra 2″ bonus for Froome due to being upgraded from third (4″ bonus) to second (6″ bonus).
          3. 1′ penalty applied to Uran’s GC time.

    • rocktheboat

      Froome ‘grovelled’ quite well in that TT don’t you think? Apparently he took it easy on the corners too.

      Clear Uran pushed it literally into the barriers. Good second place for him, genuinely a fine race beyond expectation. It was what he was after and what he got.

  • singlespeedscott

    Love to see it come down to less than a couple of seconds and see the final stage on the Champs-Elysees turn into a hammerfest.

  • David

    One of Uran’s teammates to T-Bone Froome (gently) and leave Froome stuck on the 11 cog. Please.

    • rocktheboat

      Why?

  • Holby City

    Possess not posses! Very different meaning!!!

    • Neal Rogers

      Gah! You’re right. Apologies. My bad. Fixed.

  • Holby City

    This has been the most boring tour in decades in terms of the Yellow Jersey. The battle for Green and Polka dots (silent L for everyone listening, including the commentators). Don’t be fooled by the narrow time gaps, in today’s racing they are huge. Froome has been in control the whole way and it has been so frustrating to watch how poorly other teams have raced. I still cannot believe Astana helped Froome into Chambery. Only Richie Porte was stronger than Froome leading up to this tour and the other great shame is we were robbed of Valverde. Froome has had so much good fortune and I hope it all comes unstuck over the next 3 days, that would be both brilliant for the specators and fitting in this Tour de crashes.

  • Holby City

    This has been the most boring tour in decades in terms of the Yellow Jersey. The battle for Green and Polka dots (silent L for everyone listening, including the commentators). Don’t be fooled by the narrow time gaps, in today’s racing they are huge. Froome has been in control the whole way and it has been so frustrating to watch how poorly other teams have raced. I still cannot believe Astana helped Froome into Chambery. Only Richie Porte was stronger than Froome leading up to this tour and the other great shame is we were robbed of Valverde. Froome has had so much good fortune and I hope it all comes unstuck over the next 3 days, that would be both brilliant for the spectators and fitting in this Tour de crashes.

    • Craigus

      I disagree to a point here, though the tdf is my least favourite grand tour -( as selfishly I like be able to tape it and enjoy the race that night with no fear of a news story during the day ) I think this has year had some moments of pinache especially on the flats and some great team work – contador moments of brilliance and spunk having a go – even Quintana off the canvas to swing then falling back down, we forget I think the sheer exhaustion they are feeling and the expectations that are placed on them – the average speeds are mind boggling for an old campaigner like me

      I think anything can happen tonight and especially in the time trial ( remember Quintana’s time trial crash years ago) with possible punctures, slip ups and bad legs – I can’t wait.

      the fact I’ve lead from start to finish in my velo comp has probably helped as well, go blingo

    • rocktheboat

      What a load of guff. The yellow jersey is the only one still open, the other jerseys have been a no contest (even the green – first it was Kittel out of sight, now Matthews out of sight). If no one else is capable of challenging Froome that is their problem not his.

      Clear from the interview with Michael Valgren that Aru is not well liked in Astana. Hardly surprising as Aru is a conceited and condescending egoball with little integrity. Valverde took himself out, I don’t feel robbed so don’t speak for me. Valverde is also an unrepentant drugs’ cheat don’t forget and should have been banned for life for what he did.

      Froome ‘good fortune’, hardly. When he punctured at the bottom of the climb AG2R were putting the hammer down yet he clawed himself back into it. His team helped for sure but he had to push his own pedals to get back on so whatever Froome gets he has earned. Don’t forget he also crashed through no fault of his own so you could argue the other way that he is due some good fortune.

      • Neuron1

        Please clarify. How do you know that “Aru is a conceited and condescending egoball with little integrity”. Are you on the inside at Astana, drive the bus, fill the bottles, clean the toilets? Or do you just quote TSP, who hides behind his anonymity to cast aspersions. Aru buried himself at the Dauphene to help Fulgsang win the GC. He rode the Olympics aggressively in support of Nibali. Not the actions of “Aru is a conceited and condescending egoball with little integrity”. BTW, Froome is an verified unrepentant drug cheat as is the hierarchy at Team Sky. He and Wiggins used intra race glucocorticoids, beta-2 agonists, NAC, sodium nitrate/nitrite and other “legal” drugs in a manner to enhance his performance. This is against UCI and WADA rules. Just beacuse he can justify it with the TUE drivel, does not make it legal.

        • rocktheboat

          Wow don’t let evidence (or lack of it therein) get in the way of a good bile filled, fact-lite rant eh. Where are the suspensions and bans? Exactly; conspiracy theory, 1+1 = 27 guff. If UCI (WADA) rules are broken then he, like anyone else will cop one so again where are the sanctions? Nonsense, unsubstantiated, contradictory statements you make.

          As for Aru you only need to listen to his interviews to witness his cocky, ungracious nature; fair enough it’s his style. Comical the way Valgren dissed him after he lost yellow. Said he couldn’t hold the wheel very indifferently and when told Froome had regained yellow he said “good”. As for Aru’s integrity he was the only one who attacked Froome when he had a mechanical, his fellow pros shut him down to his frustration. Fair enough there is nothing to say he can’t but it demonstrates the bloke’s nature. No love lost between him and Nibali (and we’ll all remember Nibali’s cheating car lift in the 2015 Vuelta). A couple of prancing, whining peacocks who deserve each other.

          • Neuron1

            Clearly you are new to the sport. Valgren’s response had nothing to with being glad Aru lost the jersey, just that Astana couldn’t defend it and therefore would be an energy saving situation. It would allow them to try to take it back later, on their terms. By this point in the race Cataldo and Fulgsang were out. Nobody could foresee the Aru would get ill in the last week. And my “rant” is not light on facts, just I have enough intellect to be able to put the pieces together. Team Sky did not join MPCC because they were going to use glucocorticoids as part of their training and racing plan. In fact Froome stated that they were offered to him by the team when he was flagging in the 2015 TDF. If you understood exercise physiology, you would know that the drugs I noted above, when used in the correct doses and sequence will produce profound effects. This literature originated in the U.K., check it out. I have corresponded with one of the world experts on sodium nitrate/nitrite in combination with NAC, and he was astounded that the combination would be legal in endurance sport. And finally, Froome was tossed from the Giro for doing the same as Nibali, and if you were a knowledgeable fan, you would also know that Nibali slowed the peloton in 2014 on stage 5 after Froome crashed twice. Also, watch the chase back when Sky are lined out behind the team car for many consecutive kilometers. Aru or any rider can and should attack at any time during a race, unwritten rules be damned. See the article on Inrng for more details. And finally, Aru and Nibali are good friends and training partners. The live very near each other in Lugano.

            • rocktheboat

              Arrogant much. You talk a lot and say very little of practical value or meaning. Where are the sanctions, where are the bans? You either break the rules or you don’t. Nothing there but lazy conjecture, accusation and conspiracy theory. There is a difference between scrutiny and harassment.

              As it happens I am an ex-racer and the top guy in our team who moved to pro ranks could not break beyond the UK base due to the necessity to ‘conform’ with the program if you wanted to make it on the continent (he made a Milk Race podium). In that era there was nothing but the dark side at the elite level and it was a miserable place to be if you saw it as a profession.

              Wrong on Valgren too. Astana did little to nothing to defend the jersey when they had it so your argument is specious at source. It was clear what he meant and what his sentiment was. All the TV commentary around it suggested exactly that.

  • Frank

    Vuelta a España, to give it its proper name.

    • Neal Rogers

      Correct. My bad. Fixed.

  • Bärlach

    Go Rigo Go!

    • rocktheboat

      You do realise you cannot wheel suck on TT so he’s gonna have to face some wind for a change.

      • mrp33p3rs

        you sound like the authority on sucking.

        • Bärlach

          lol

        • rocktheboat

          A direct personal insult. Well done, a really valuable contribution, not.

          I hope you were not making a homophobic reference btw. I would be careful if I were you, unacceptable on all levels.

          • Bärlach

            Call the political correctness police! Immediately!

            • rocktheboat

              So you thought it was homophobic too? Interesting confirmation.

              • Bärlach

                No, in fact I thought you’re being hysteric.

            • Arcesio Cabal Barona

              There is some good stuff being discussed herein, but also a lot of nonsense. The fact of the matter is that strategy is fundamental to win the big tours. I seriously doubt that Froome could have won the TDF on previous years riding for “Cannondale, Cofidis, or Trek”. Anyone with common sense knows that a strong team is fundamental to prevail on the Grand Tours, and team “Sky” is a Powerhouse that should get most of the credit for his success. Let’s face it Froome is no Eddy Merckx. Uran’s strategy has been to take advantage of the strength of other teams to remain a GC contender in the TDF, because his own team is a disaster. He should be praised for being on the podium with such a mediocre team.

              • Bärlach

                Well said.

              • rocktheboat

                Yes Uran should be praised for his performance but that is ungracious to suggest that Froome is only winning because of his team. That is not right. Your memory is short. 2013, for example, in the Pyrenees the day after Froome first made yellow he rode stage 9 entirely without his team as they got dropped en masse shortly after the start. No one pushes his pedals but him and he has won on iconic stages. He was the strongest in 2012 too when he rode for Wiggins so could be looking at his fifth title now.

                Let’s get some perspective here, Uran used to be with Sky and Omega-Pharma where he underwhelmed achieving sporadic stage victories but never a stage race title. He may well come out on top in theTdF this year and that would be remarkable but your elevation of him beyond his status is premature.

                • Arcesio Cabal Barona

                  I am not claiming that Froome is a bad cyclist, he is definitely one of the best nowadays. I am also aware that he’s had some extraordinary performances in previous races, but then again most good riders do. Just go back in history and review past performances of Indurain, Dumoulin, Nibali, Contador, and Quintana, and you’ll find similar accomplishments that compare favorably against Froome’s 2013 race as you described.

                  Still, the power of the “SKY TEAM” cannot be taken lightly, at least 3 or maybe 4 of Froome’s teammates could be GC contenders themselves in any of the three big races (Giro, Tour, or Vuelta). The truth of the matter is that most people who follow U.C.I cycling do agree that without his powerful team it is unlikely that Froome could have prevailed 3 or 4 times in the TDF.

                  • Eric

                    And most especially not with a tiny team like ADR, which Greg Lemond did, in 1989.

                    In fact, when compared on this aspect, relative strength and amount of team support, Lemond comes out looking quite good.

  • jfosorio

    Uran never did a god TT ad Cannondale. Perhaps the bike is not good enough, or they are not working enough in the wind tunnel. In anycase this is a good moment to get everything he had.

    • Steve

      you are correct, cannondale fully admit they cant really afford Wind tunnel testing due to budget.

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