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Tdf Stage 9, the cobbles
Last Post 02/24/2014 02:09 PM by stronzo nonfumare. 10 Replies.
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79pmooney

Posts:1189

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02/21/2014 12:38 PM
Velonews has an article today on that stage and what key riders are saying and doing about it, but I think they miss a few key points.

http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/news/nerves-already-ratcheting-up-ahead-of-tours-cobble-sections_317730

Valverde talks of it being a matter of luck and being familiar with the cobbles.  Nibali will ride Flanders.  Contador's spring plans include a camp in cobble country. 

But what the Velonews article does not touch on is the matter of race smarts.  They talk of Contador's ride in 2010, "...who, in 2010, made it through the cobbles relatively intact..." and Valverde's bad luck last year.  "...only to see his chances collapse with a mechanical just as the peloton was fracturing in crosswinds in stage 13..."  The point of rider smarts is completely missed here.  Valverde chose <!--[if gte mso 10]> chose  to continue on with a sick rear wheel that in the late miles of a very hard chase he did almost entirely alone rubbed so badly he could not stay with the group finally he joined.  Those decisions were huge.  Valverde burned 8 minutes between waiting for his bike and being caught in a vicious crosswind as his rivals powered echelons up the road.  Contador, riding his heart out on that damaged wheel, kept his losses to little over a minute.  The only real difference between those two rides was race smarts.  If they had each made the other's decision, Contador would have been out of the 2010 Tour and Valverde would have hit the Alps in the mix.

Velonews does make an intersesting point though.  Froome is Sky's man and Wiggins is there to help.  But Froome is a lightly built guy who has raced cobbles once as a neo pro.  Wiggins has real time on the bumpy stuff and is good at it.  Suppose Froome has a bad Stage 9 and Wiggins is in the mix?  Sky could hit the mountains with Froome well down and Wiggins now their main man.  Interesting!

Ben
<!--[if gte mso 10]>
Cosmic Kid

Posts:1171

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02/21/2014 03:23 PM
But Froome is a lightly built guy who has raced cobbles once as a neo pro. Wiggins has real time on the bumpy stuff and is good at it


We talking about Bradley Wiggins? Seems he has the same "lightly built" challenges as Froome. Dunno about "good at it" either.....he raced P-R once, IIRC (see pic).

Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Ride On

Posts:452

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02/21/2014 05:44 PM
He finished 8 th in 2010 TDF stage 3 that had cobbles in it.
winterale

Posts:45

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02/21/2014 06:55 PM
Wiggo doesn't look like a healthy bloke in CK's pic above, bloody hell.
79pmooney

Posts:1189

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02/21/2014 07:17 PM
winterale, I think CK put a cadaver in a Garmin uniform.

Ben
Orange Crush

Posts:1233

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02/21/2014 08:20 PM
some real cobble races coming up soon - TDF is way far out.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:1171

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02/21/2014 09:41 PM
That pic (along with Wiggo's concurrent ascension to the top levels of GC riders) has all the hallmarks of AICAR.....and he technically would not have been doping at the time since it was not banned until 2011, IIRC.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Orange Crush

Posts:1233

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02/22/2014 02:52 PM
The whole thing is overhyped IMO.

"Every GC contender knows that a puncture, a split, or even worse, a crash, can doom GC hopes in an instant on the cobblestones. And the tension is already building as the Tour’s top contenders begin to build toward July."

There are so many things every year that can wipe out TdF hopes in a split second and be career enders. Ask Beloki.

All this cobble stone stretch is meant to do is create anticipation and publicity. They're not that hard to ride on even in a pack. I rode up the Muur in a 150 pack; was ~50th at the base (made the mistake of pacing too much in the lead up and all this juggling for position is not my thing), ~10th at the top.

BTW It is Stage 5 on July 9, not Stage 9.
stronz

Posts:313

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02/22/2014 10:03 PM
at the risk of being accused of spewing hate, I hope the cobbles eat up team sky and spit them to the curb unceremoniously. I dont like how Froome rides, his ungainly pedalling and his 80th place finish in 2008 in what has to have been one of the weakest fields in a long time, cant get beyond Wiggins never attacking style and utterly ungainly appearance on the bike. So-- bring on the cobbles and lets see what happens.
Yo Mike

Posts:276

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02/24/2014 06:03 AM
and waiting in the wings is Richie Porte

Other major stage races
Race 2010 2011 2012 2013
Paris–Nice DNF 22 68 1
Tirreno-Adriatico – – – –
Volta a Catalunya – – DNF –
Tour of the Basque Country – 127 – 2
Tour de Romandie 10 121 4 8
Critérium du Dauphiné – – 9 2
stronz

Posts:313

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02/24/2014 02:09 PM
jeez must be something in the water at sky.
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