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Tour de France 2012

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by EricF, Jun 28, 2012.

  1. EricF

    EricF Habitual User

    Sep 26, 2005
    Pasadena, CA
    Can Cadel Evans repeat? Will we see some unexpected surprises? It seems that this year's route isn't quite so brutal in the mountains as we've seen in the past, but 3 weeks of racing in France is never easy. Although it always takes someone who can combine great climbing with strong TTs, with over 100k of TTs combined, the balance is shifted a bit away from the pure climbers.

    My picks for the final top 3:
    1. Cadel Evans (BMC)
    2. Bradley Wiggins (Sky)
    3. Robert Gesink (Rabbobank)

    Evans has dedicated his year soley to repeating his win from last year, and Evans' confidence has imporoved greatly. His combination of TT strength and climbing power are balanced tight for this year's course. The key, as always, is no bad days. His team's dedication to a single focus is going to be a big help to Evans' bid for the top step in Paris.

    Wiggins is stepping up to be the GC leader of the Sky squad, and seems to be carrying a lot of confidence. However, his team will also be looking to set up Mark Cavendish for sprint wins. The dual focus is going not the best situation for Wiggins.

    Gesink is a very strong climber, but will give up a lot to his GC rivals in the TT. He's young and has finished well before, but I'm not sure his team can do enough to support him.

    Frank Schleck (Radio Shack) - Without his brother, with questionable conditioning, and on a team that isn't sure who the real leader is, he's going to be lucky to be in the top 10 in Paris.

    Chris Horner (Radio Shack) - A teammate of Schleck, he could rise to show himself as the team leader. Horner has the ability to put in a great race, but after missing a lot of racing due to injury, his form may be in question. A great ride can put him in the top 5, but a couple of bad days could easily ruin his drive and kick him out of the top 10.

    Levi Leipheimer (Omega Pharma) - His star seems to be fading, and hasn't been able to really get over the hump to be a true podium contender. Levi can TT, and can climb well, but often falls victim to bad days or (like last year) bad luck. I don't expect a lot of focused support from his new team. Top 10.

    David Zabriskie (Garmin) - His TT strengh is world-class, but has been a little below where he needs to be in the high mountains. He's been very focused on training well for this year's Tour, and we might see him start to shine a little brighter. Top 10.

    Samuel Sanchez Gonzales (Euskadel) - SSG is a powerful rider, and can crush it with the best in the high mountains. Compared with the other top GC contenders, his TT strength is going to cost him. Top 5.

    NOTE: Let's PLEASE try to keep this thread focused on the race rather than turning into a doping troll-fest or a discussion of the current investigation of Lance Armstrong (there's already a thread for that)
  2. Might have to get me some cable or something. I don't think I watched a minute of last year's tour. What are my other options?
  3. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    Velonews? I think they stream highlights.
  4. colcifer

    colcifer Esteemed Nitpicker Supporting Member

    Feb 10, 2010
    A Galaxy Far, Far Away
    I'll have to check that out. I love cycling but to follow the Tour properly, you have to watch at least the last two-three hours of each stage, IME. It's tough for me to do.
  5. The bad part for me is that it will make me realize I [DEL]want[/DEL] need a road bike. :)
  6. EricF

    EricF Habitual User

    Sep 26, 2005
    Pasadena, CA
    Then you should definitely not go to www.cyclingnews.com and read about the new bikes that are being used in the Tour. ;)
  7. Well, I tried- but the dizzying array of options made me, well, dizzy. I found a link to pics of a top-heavy actress in a swimsuit, though; thank you for that.

    Derail over. :)
  8. I'd probably predict Wiggins or Evans for GC or someone entirely unexpected. I'm very awful about predicting, so I don't want to jinx anyone.

    Could we also forbid folks claiming they are tougher than both Schlecks combined?? :eyebrow:
  9. Although it would be nice to see cuddles repeat this year I think we will see someone unexpected win.
  10. DerHoggz

    DerHoggz I like cats :| Banned

    Feb 13, 2009
    Western Pennsylvania
    Wiggo, Wiggo, Wiggo.

    Radioshack's plan:
  11. CapnSev


    Aug 19, 2006
    Coeur d'Alene
    I weigh as much as both Schlecks combined.
  12. DerHoggz

    DerHoggz I like cats :| Banned

    Feb 13, 2009
    Western Pennsylvania
    I weigh as much as (both Schlecks combined)/2.

    I should really start lifting.
  13. EricF

    EricF Habitual User

    Sep 26, 2005
    Pasadena, CA
    Why? It's so much fun. I will claim that my 7-year-old daughter is tougher than all the Schlecks in the Tour (no Andy this year, just Frank).

    I used to really like the Schleck bros, but their whimpy attitude has turned me off. I have much greater appreication for guys who can battle through the pain and suffering on determination alone.

    Anyone remember Tyler Hamiltion winning a mountain stage (and finishing the Tour) with a broken collarbone? Tough little bastard, he was.
  14. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Which was an amazing geat until the whole juicing thing came up for him and it makes one wonder about the pharma influence on that performance... Which is sad. He was easy to root for ...
  15. EricF

    EricF Habitual User

    Sep 26, 2005
    Pasadena, CA
    Agreed. My overall favorite tough guy is Voigt. His bike has a custom paint job that is a reminder of the abuse and broken bones his body has endured. If I recall, on the top tube it says "Shut Up, Legs!" (or something to that effect).
  16. I weigh less than either Schleck. :atoz:
  17. Good for Tyler, but the best he ever did was 4th. Andy is now a TdF winner. ;)

    Many folks dismissed Cuddles as a wimp until last year's ride.

    Even the mighty Wiggo crashed out last Tour.
  18. For those who need coverage, and don't mind being up at 4:30/5:00 AM Pacific time, try this link...some of y'all may remember that I watched it for-real live last year, and this is where I got it from.

    How it works;
    - some form of hi-speed/broadband/etc is mandatory...this won't work on a dial-up
    - the link I posted takes you to the SportLEMON home page...look for the tab for cycling and hit it
    - that will take you to the cycling page with links from various Euro channels that are carrying the live coverage each morning. Right now, there is only one (dead) link, but there should be a half dozen or more links on that page
    - select a link and see if it works where you are...some will, some won't. Some might not be in English, either. But, if last year is any indication, at least two or three will be in English and available where you are
    - I suggest keeping two links going, if possible (mute the sound on one of them)...I got dropped once or twice from my 1st link but was able to switch to the 2nd link and miss maybe a few seconds at most
    - note that this is live coverage and on THEIR local time, which meant that I had to be up around 5 AM here to catch that day's stage...coffee is your friend here

    Make sense?

    - EDIT - if that up there doesn't work, try this one...same thing, only different (I think)
  19. DerHoggz

    DerHoggz I like cats :| Banned

    Feb 13, 2009
    Western Pennsylvania

    He is such a class act as well, if he retires this year as well as Hincapie I will be extra sad.
  20. fokof

    fokof One day ,I'll be in the future

    Mar 16, 2007
    My pick:
    (And I know I'm never good at this)

    1- Evans
    2- Hejedal
    3- Wiggins

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