2014 Tour de France

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2014 Tour de France

Postby mashjaja » Wed Oct 23, 2013 4:19 am

Route was announced today, celebrating Big Mig apparently!

From letour.fr:

In front of more than 4,000 spectators, including some who are pretenders for victory, the route for the Tour de France 2014 was unveiled at the Palais des Congrès in Paris. From the county of Yorkshire to the Champs-Elysées, the 100th edition could be won or lost at many different points: the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix will have a part to play, as will the high altitude finishes in the Pyrenees or the sole time-trial at Périgueux, but the Vosges Mountains could also lead to an unexpected cull among the favourites.

The 101st edition first and foremost signals a return to England. The fourth visit to the Island will be the 20th grand start of Le Tour to take place outside French borders, 60 years after the first experiment in Amsterdam and seven years after London. The pack has fond memories of the welcome received in 2007, but can expect an even warmer welcome thanks to the success of British riders. Since then, Mark Cavendish has become the leading collector of stage wins on the professional circuit, with 25 victories, whilst Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome respectively met with overall triumph in 2012 and 2013. The first three stages, with finishes programmed in Harrogate, Sheffield and London, promise some highly intense racing.

Once on the continent, other familiar sights have been organised for Le Tour's riders, who will have to be at their most vigilant on the cobbled sections of Paris-Roubaix that figure fairly regularly as one of the star features on the Big Loop. The nine portions and 15 kilometres of bumpy terrain in total awaiting the pack, could lead to upheaval in the race hierarchy on the 5th stage. Before reaching the rest day, the favourites will do battle in the Vosges Mountains. “It will be clear to see that the Tour de France indeed crosses three mountain ranges,” underlines Christian Prudhomme, who describes the stage at Planche des Belles Filles, for example, as a genuine challenge for climbers.

The two ski resorts of Chamrousse and Risoul will host the two Alpine stages on which the festival of climbing will continue, during the 13th and 14th stages. However, the scheduling of the difficulties should maintain the suspense until the Pyrenean trio… and even beyond! The kings of the gradients will again be at the forefront on the two particularly dense stages at Saint-Lary Soulan (125 km) and Hautacam (145 km). It will be in their interest to take advantage before the 54 km of time-trial between Bergerac and Périgueux, which is the unique opportunity for the specialists against the clock to display their superiority. Maybe someone will use it to stage a hold-up at the very last minute…
"Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride." --John F. Kennedy
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Re: 2014 Tour de France

Postby jprice906 » Wed Oct 23, 2013 5:49 am

Cobbles on 5th Stage! Froome should have the team to escort him through and limit any loses the way Cancellara did for Schleck in 2010. The most vulnerable may be Quintana, poor little dude is going to get jossled around like a rag doll out there.
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Re: 2014 Tour de France

Postby mashjaja » Tue Jul 01, 2014 11:33 am

My preview:

This Saturday, the 101st Tour de France will start, running until Sunday, July 27th. 3664kms will be totaled over 21 stages. Of these stages, 9 are classified as flat, 5 are hills, 6 are mountains (of which, 5 finish at altitude), and there is only one long ITT, running 54kms from Bergerac to Perigueux on Stage 20. There are also two rest days.

This year, nine cities will be newly featured: Harrogate, York, Sheffield, Cambridge, Ypres, Oyonnax, Risoul, Maubourguet Pays du Val d’Adour, and Leeds which will play host to the Grand Depart. This year, in addition to the United Kingdom, Belgium and Spain will also host various moments of the Tour.

The first three stages are within the UK. This is only the 4th Tour to have stages in England, and it is the only Tour to ever have more than 2 stages there. Also, stage 3 will end in London.

One unique aspect of this year’s Tour is the taste of Paris-Roubaix that awaits the riders on Stage 5. The route on July 9th travels 156kms from Ypres to Arenberg Porte du Hainaut, but 15.4kms of that include cobbles covered in the “Hell of the North” every spring.

Another unique feature in this year’s Tour is that on the final day, 20 teams of 6 women will take part in the race—in a sense: they will be riding “La Course by Le Tour de France,” finishing on the Champs-Elysees a few hours ahead of the men’s peloton.

There are 22 teams that will take part this year, including the 18 World Tour teams and 4 wild cards. The participating teams are: Ag2r; Astana; Belkin; BMC, Cannondale; Cofidis; FDJ; Garmin; IAM; Katusha; Lampre; Lotto; Movistar; OPQS; Europcar; Orica; Giant-Shimano; Sky; Tinkoff; Trek; Bretagne-Seche Environment; Team Netapp-Endura.

For anyone unfamiliar with the Tour, there are multiple prizes at stake. For one, winning any stage in the Tour is the dream of most professional cyclists and can guarantee a rider a lucrative future. Beyond that, a jury of cycling specialists nominate the day’s “most aggressive” rider. One rider then wins the overall after the last stage of the race. The daily winner receives a small cash prize as well as red bib numbers to wear the next day. The best team also is much sought after as it gives your team car ideal placement in the motor caravan the days when your team leads. This prize is determined by adding the times of the best three riders for each team in each stage. As there are no time bonuses in the Tour anymore, teams seeking this prize must force themselves to place well on a daily basis. The members of the leading team wear yellow bib numbers to indicate to all that they are currently winning that competition.

There are also 4 jerseys “up for grabs.” These are handed out daily, and for many riders, simply wearing one of these once is considered the highest honor. However, for others, the goal is to be the last one wearing the jersey in Paris to become the overall winner of that classification. The first of these is the white jersey. This is worn by the rider highest on overall classification who was born on or after January 1, 1989 (so around 25 years old). Many rookies and breakout stars have taken this prize, announcing to the world their presence within the peloton. My predictions for men to watch to compete for this jersey include: Michal Kwiatowski (OPQS); Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp);Romain Bardet (Ag2R); Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Shimano); Tejay van Garderen (BMC); Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo); Thibault Pinot (FDJ).

The red and white polka dot jersey is given to the “king of the mountain” classification. KOM represents the best climber based on points earned on classified climbs. Climbs are classified as categories 4 (the “easiest” based on distance and gradient), 3, 2, 1 or hors categorie (HC) for those climbs that are considered too hard to classify. Each category of climb awards points to variable numbers of riders to summit, depending on difficulty of climb and if the climb is located at the end of the stage. This is traditionally a very difficult jersey to predict because most riders in contention for the soon-to-be explained yellow jersey also accumulate quite a few points in this competition. So, it happens on occasion that the rider who wins the Tour overall “accidently” takes the KOM jersey as well. That being said, some riders do target this jersey as their overall goal. What usually happens is early in the Tour, guys who consistently go out in the day’s breakaway accumulate points to earn and hold on to this jersey for the first 10 days. However, as the climbs become more difficult as the Tour enters its second week, usually a leader emerges. This year, two of the riders I don’t consider to be “true” GC contenders who could take the win here are Pierre Rolland (Europcar) and Michele Scarponi (Astana).

The green jersey is awarded to the best sprinter. This is similar to the KOM jersey in that it is based on points earned on certain stages. Points are awarded to the first 15 riders to cross the line at both an intermediate point on each stage as well as the finish. Different finishes (flat, hilly, mountain, or time trial), however, award a different number of points. Because anything can happen in the blink of an eye, and flat finishes often produce very dangerous sprints where leadouts can fail and the most obvious choice for the stage victory can get “boxed in,” it is not always easy to predict this jersey, either. However, I feel there are four men who are top contenders for this prize: Mark Cavendish (OPQS); Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano); Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol); and Peter Sagan (Cannondale).

Lastly, the ultimate prize in the Tour de France is the maillot jaune, or yellow jersey, for the overall winner. This is awarded to the man who, at the end of each day, has covered the total course in the least amount of time. For many, this year’s Tour is between two former winners: Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) and defending champion Chris Froome (Team Sky). However, I feel that Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) could also be very competitive and could sneak into the overall if Froome and Contador aren’t paying attention. Lastly, because a Tour victory could be lost in a crash or inattention to winds or other contenders, dark horse potential winners always sit in waiting. For me, Tour de Suisse winner Rui Costa (Lampre) and Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Lotto-Belisol) are two great potential dark horse winners….if VDB can conquer his historic Tour ill luck. And, I have a soft spot for the Schlecks of Trek. It is highly unlikely they will perform well given their poor results of late—they appear as shadows of their former greatness. However, I would love to eat my words and watch them at least finish in the top-10!

So, there you have it. This year’s Tour doesn’t have the luster of last year’s 100th edition, but it isn’t any less important or exciting!
"Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride." --John F. Kennedy
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Re: 2014 Tour de France

Postby PeteC53 » Wed Jul 02, 2014 1:09 pm

I'm here, I'm here...

Don't take off without me.
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Re: 2014 Tour de France

Postby PeteC53 » Wed Jul 02, 2014 5:35 pm

Got three American Teams this year. Some old names, some new names, American names, European names - and of course Mr Down Under. Lets see what they can do.
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Re: 2014 Tour de France

Postby mashjaja » Thu Jul 03, 2014 6:52 am

okay---start the "who do you want to win" discussion....GO!
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Re: 2014 Tour de France

Postby PeteC53 » Thu Jul 03, 2014 10:55 am

Trek? Not a deep thinker but I like Trek and would like to see some sparks from Andy, Frank and Fabian. Don't think any of them would be wearing Yellow in Paris - but would like for them to have been talked about.

BMC? I think Evans doesn't have the juice anymore, should retire with some grace. Tejay? BMC, let him fly, let him fly.

Garmin-Sharp? Some excitement on the road but nothing in Paris.
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Re: 2014 Tour de France

Postby Fat Lip » Fri Jul 04, 2014 7:33 am

Hey Mashie.... Hi Pete I found myself rooting for Contador in the Daphine, but I'm a Geraint Thomas fan, so in a bit of a quandry whenit comes to Froome. On Independence Day I have to go the full Red, White and Blue and admit I'll be rooting for Talansky too. And then there's folks like Kwiatkowski. Love a dark horse. Basically, I'm just a fan in it for the drama! Still a few hours to get my bet in.
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Re: 2014 Tour de France

Postby Fat Lip » Fri Jul 04, 2014 7:49 am

Pick your team for bragging rights Only hours left to do it.

http://tdfchallenge.nbcsports.com/
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Re: 2014 Tour de France

Postby dvora » Fri Jul 04, 2014 3:26 pm

Dvora's "stomach is full of anger" and she's here to celebrate and commiserate with you all. Allez les gars!

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Re: 2014 Tour de France

Postby PeteC53 » Sat Jul 05, 2014 12:03 pm

Wow, that was so like last year's stage one - even as to who has yellow, I do believe.
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Re: 2014 Tour de France

Postby dvora » Sat Jul 05, 2014 12:56 pm

I hated to see Cav on the floor, even if the pictures showed him to have some culpability in the incident.

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Re: 2014 Tour de France

Postby Fat Lip » Sat Jul 05, 2014 2:36 pm

Don't forget to go to the Jello Room during the race for some informative and entertaining chat. Today we had our first polemic between Mashie and Golevigo over the merits of Talansky and his team, re Millar exclusion.
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Re: 2014 Tour de France

Postby mashjaja » Sat Jul 05, 2014 6:11 pm

dvora wrote:I hated to see Cav on the floor, even if the pictures showed him to have some culpability in the incident.


Cav said it was his fault and he was "gutted" and extremely apologetic towards Gerrans. So I give him that at least. Def. a lot more mature than in year's past.

Fabs had me going there for a minute haha!!
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