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TDF: Survivor Day 1 (Mountains)

July 12, 2006, 11:54 a.m.
Posts: 7543
Joined: June 17, 2003

So the real race started today as the Tour hits the mountains. Today wasn't even a mountaintop finish and the GC race is already over Mayo, who came up seriously lame (again), and Leipheimer, who is still suffering from whatever ailment affected his poor TT performance.

Other non-surprises include the T-Mob team (the Black Hole of cycling) showing its usual lack of racing smarts. After driving the peloton all day, they ended up losing the yellow jersey, giving up 7 minutes to the break, and putting Gonchar in difficulty on the climbs. Very smart riding, guys.

From what I can tell, Disco and Phonak were quiet today, setting up for some major fireworks tomorrow. I think the climbing specialists will be going off like crazy tomorrow for the win, maybe Rasmussen, Pereiro or another Spanish climber.

Anyone else want to take a stab at predicting tomorrow's winner?

"The song of a bird…We used to ask Ennesson to do bird calls. He could do them. How he could do them, and when he perished, along with him went all those birds…"-Return from the Stars, Stanislaw Lem

"We just walk around, and sometimes we go out and dance, and then we listen to the environment."-Ralf Hutter, Kraftwerk

July 12, 2006, 1:58 p.m.
Posts: 11203
Joined: Nov. 18, 2004

Cadel or Floyd. Might not win the stage, but either has a good chance of putting some time in on the others.

I'm expecting Kloden to try something soon, then drag up some contenders to keep pace.

I don't think anyone from Disco will attack, just react.

All the main players are within roughly 6 minutes of first overall, but they're all so close together its going to be tight.

Of course this is all conjecture, as anything can happen in this tour.

July 12, 2006, 2:33 p.m.
Posts: 7543
Joined: June 17, 2003

Of course this is all conjecture, as anything can happen in this tour.

This is definitely The Tour That No One Could Predict.

Big names that could be pedaling backward out of the lead peloton tomorrow: Leipheimer, Cunego (only hung on today) and Savoldelli (gassed from the Giro).

Maybe Kloden, too. I think his one TDF podium might have been due to a freak alignment of planets-he's just not consistent enough.

Disco should try to send Rubiera or Egoi Martinez up with the early break. They've got nothing to lose at this point.

"The song of a bird…We used to ask Ennesson to do bird calls. He could do them. How he could do them, and when he perished, along with him went all those birds…"-Return from the Stars, Stanislaw Lem

"We just walk around, and sometimes we go out and dance, and then we listen to the environment."-Ralf Hutter, Kraftwerk

July 12, 2006, 3:54 p.m.
Posts: 1922
Joined: Nov. 22, 2002

I'm keeping my mouth shut on this one, although I would be surprised if Landis or Evans made a charge for the yellow. I'm figuring they'll want to stay close to the overall lead but not so much that they'd have to defend and counter before they move into the next mountain phase…

I wouldn't be surprised to see an underperformer go for it tomorrow, with the dude who took yellow today trying to hang onto the gc lead for a while… Maybe Mayo was playing the ringer today? Ok, maybe not…

Should be another exciting day, even though today's sprint for the finish was a little anti-climactic.

"It's, like, so much fun."

July 12, 2006, 4:11 p.m.
Posts: 7543
Joined: June 17, 2003

One key breakaway could shape this year's podium. T-Mob will be gassed from today, so I figure Phonak will have to set chase. I don't see Phonak putting anybody in the early break. There might be a Disco rider in the early break, but the rest of the team will just react to Phonak. Everything for Disco will be decided on the road.

"The song of a bird…We used to ask Ennesson to do bird calls. He could do them. How he could do them, and when he perished, along with him went all those birds…"-Return from the Stars, Stanislaw Lem

"We just walk around, and sometimes we go out and dance, and then we listen to the environment."-Ralf Hutter, Kraftwerk

July 12, 2006, 5:07 p.m.
Posts: 3598
Joined: Sept. 27, 2004

I love to add something to this thread but I change my mind every two seconds… Disco could do this, Landis that, Darkhorse from the back. So many possiblitys… but

Is it just me, or is this years race….. more bland then last year. I seemed to be, more into it last year.

"X is for x-ray. If you've been bikin' and you haven't had an x-ray, you ain't goin' hard enough." - Bob Roll

July 12, 2006, 5:42 p.m.
Posts: 7543
Joined: June 17, 2003

Is it just me, or is this years race….. more bland then last year. I seemed to be, more into it last year.

Not enjoying the Tour of Nobodys?

It is indeed sad that we won't get to see photos of Basso's sister…

"The song of a bird…We used to ask Ennesson to do bird calls. He could do them. How he could do them, and when he perished, along with him went all those birds…"-Return from the Stars, Stanislaw Lem

"We just walk around, and sometimes we go out and dance, and then we listen to the environment."-Ralf Hutter, Kraftwerk

July 12, 2006, 6:28 p.m.
Posts: 11203
Joined: Nov. 18, 2004

Hey! Pack filler finally has a shot at the big show! My people.

July 12, 2006, 8:38 p.m.
Posts: 3598
Joined: Sept. 27, 2004

Hey! Pack filler finally has a shot at the big show! My people.

I don't think pack filler will be on the podium at the end of the tour.

But right now, it's soooo open… Everyone and there dog is thinking they could be the next Lance…

Oh Wayne … I don't think you know what pack filler is all about. I am the epidimie of Pack Fodder… My entrence fee goes to the Winner everytime.

"X is for x-ray. If you've been bikin' and you haven't had an x-ray, you ain't goin' hard enough." - Bob Roll

July 12, 2006, 9:17 p.m.
Posts: 15446
Joined: May 29, 2004

IT would be nice to see Evans get the jersey,being a mountainbiker and all.

Did Rassmusen ride MTB as well?

July 12, 2006, 9:31 p.m.
Posts: 7543
Joined: June 17, 2003

Did Rassmusen ride MTB as well?

Yup, Landis too.

"The song of a bird…We used to ask Ennesson to do bird calls. He could do them. How he could do them, and when he perished, along with him went all those birds…"-Return from the Stars, Stanislaw Lem

"We just walk around, and sometimes we go out and dance, and then we listen to the environment."-Ralf Hutter, Kraftwerk

July 12, 2006, 10:29 p.m.
Posts: 388
Joined: June 10, 2005

I'll go out on a limb and predict that Rasmussen will be on the hunt tomorrow. So many KOM points up for grabs and the big team not afraid of him re GC (they can always bump him off in the final TT).

The rest of them will look at each other and react nervously at every twitch.

Good to see T Mobile hasn't changed, they still eat their own young. 4 guys in contention for GC and none of them want to work, ye tthey still managed to ride away from their own yellow jersey.

I think Disco are being cagey, conserving energy until they see who has the form, then throw their weight behind that guy.Wouldn't be surprised to see Martinez in the break tomorrow.

Final thought: I was disappointed to see Dessel contest the sprint today. Surely having secured the yellow and the polka dot jersey he should have done the courtly thing and let Mercado have the stage as a thank you for co-operating to hold time on the peloton. Simply not cricket, old boy.

Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

July 12, 2006, 10:40 p.m.
Posts: 7543
Joined: June 17, 2003

Final thought: I was disappointed to see Dessel contest the sprint today. Surely having secured the yellow and the polka dot jersey he should have done the courtly thing and let Mercado have the stage as a thank you for co-operating to hold time on the peloton. Simply not cricket, old boy.

Good point. Maybe we'll see some good 'ol fashioned spiteful retribution tomorrow, like going to the front and driving the peloton as soon as Dessel starts to go out the back. Or chasing any and all breaks that include an AG2R rider.

Probably not, but we can only hope.

God, I hope they don't waste all the TV coverage on Dessel going backwards tomorrow. Of course, it's guaranteed to happen because of the French feed.

"The song of a bird…We used to ask Ennesson to do bird calls. He could do them. How he could do them, and when he perished, along with him went all those birds…"-Return from the Stars, Stanislaw Lem

"We just walk around, and sometimes we go out and dance, and then we listen to the environment."-Ralf Hutter, Kraftwerk

July 13, 2006, 1:12 a.m.
Posts: 2265
Joined: Nov. 22, 2002

According to La Gazzetta, Mercado was offering Dessel money for the win, but the amount wasn't right. I guess Mercado didn't like his chances in the sprint, so he stopped doing turns at the end to save some energy.
Their team cars were also beside each other, windows down. Anyway, the right result came about even if it wasn't done the sporting way.

http://www.cyclingnews.com/road/2006/tour06/?id=/riders/2006/interviews/juan_mercado_tdf06

Today…well. All the contenders are claiming to be quite nervous. Interesting to note that in the past, everyone was an underdog, except Lance, so they could watch him and decide what to do - T-Mobile has gotten so accustomed to being a "follower" that I think being in the driver's seat is an unknown. Consequently I doubt they minded giving up yellow for now. Someone with balls will take the peloton by the short 'n curlies tomorrow. Rasmussen is a good call as a few of you mentioned, but if he goes, others will follow because he was so good in the mountains last year you have to think that a few runaway performances and he could be in contention. Long shot? Yes, but no one will want to take risks. If Vino was around, you could count on him to put it on the line today.

Instead it's the Tour de Caution. Yellow jersey = yellow light. I think the jersey will be a hot potato until the Alps, none of the real contenders or their teams seem to want it right now. But the teams with more than one potential leader or who aren't first tier faves (Disco, Rabo, AG2R, T-Mob, Gerolsteiner, et al) will probe, go for a win, or at least see who has form for the future. Watch out for Rujano riding for his new team. So disappointed for Leipheimer, but that's racing. Probably a bit out of gas after winning Dauphine…who knows? Watch Gerolsteiner for another climbing stage win like Totschnig did last year - they have him, Leipheimer, and Wegmann who are all strong in the mountains - overall they have one of the stronger climber's teams. In fact, they formed their team around the mountains, ignoring the sprinters which, in hindsight, might have been a mistake.

Oh, derwood, yes Rasmussen not only crossed over from MTB, he is a former world champ, like Evans, but never as dominant as the diminutive Aussie who was world champ twice (or was it 3x?). Landis still rides a lot of MTB - apparently he's a bad-ass descender.

Today is gonna be sweet.

July 13, 2006, 1:46 a.m.
Posts: 7543
Joined: June 17, 2003

Watch out for Rujano riding for his new team. So disappointed for Leipheimer, but that's racing. Probably a bit out of gas after winning Dauphine…who knows?

Rujano was quoted as having foot problems, so he might be one of the guys going backward today.

Leipheimer definitely has some kind of ailment. He said as much in one of the post-stage interviews, but didn't want to give the goods away.

"The song of a bird…We used to ask Ennesson to do bird calls. He could do them. How he could do them, and when he perished, along with him went all those birds…"-Return from the Stars, Stanislaw Lem

"We just walk around, and sometimes we go out and dance, and then we listen to the environment."-Ralf Hutter, Kraftwerk

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