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Tour de France - Stage 9

Tour de France
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Mark Cavendish

As the leading riders climb out of bed, flex their Pyrenees and start mountain their bikes, it will be in the knowledge that today the Tour starts in earnest.

The ride from Toulouse to Bagneres-de-Bigorre is not only long - at 224km - it also has no fewer than seven climbs, including two first-categories in the last 60km; the Col de Peyresourde (1569m) and the Col d'Aspin (1489m).

A week ago the weather in the Pyrenees for l'Etape du Tour was awful - fog, rain and temperatures down to 2 degrees atop the Tourmalet.

And today's forecast isn't much better - 10 degrees and cloudy on both big climbs, with 100% humidity, and raining at the downhill finish into Bagneres-de-Bigorre.

It's a day for the climbers and for those with serious aspirations to the yellow jersey.

Mark Cavendish and the other speed kings will be hoping simply to get through it.

While keeping an eye out for David De La Fuente, Sylvain Chavanel and Thomas Voeckler contesting the King of the Mountains competition, the real action should involve Alejandro Valverde and his Caisse d'Epargne team attempting to draw out the Australian lurker, Cadel Evans.

But don't overlook Denis Menchov, Kim Kirchen and the wildcard of the Tour so far, Stefan Schumacher.

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comment by gravy (U11549636)

posted Jul 13, 2008

ps...Cadel's odds are drifting alarmingly this evening on betfair, maybe it's just punters speculating but betfair is usually the first signs of insiders knowing something we dont.

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comment by gravy (U11549636)

posted Jul 13, 2008

Those who can back and lay there is another opportunity for a free bet, this time with Oscar Pereiro, the Ricco bet yielded around 40 points which now is hot after his odds tumbled today.

Anyway..William Hill go 75/1 for Oscare and on Betfair you can lay him off for 49/1...that's 26 points difference if you can afford to get on both, given that he looks strong at this stage it would be a worthwhile bet.

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posted Jul 13, 2008

Something in that stage bugged me: Maxime Monfort. He attacked and there was absolutely no reaction. He almost got to the top of Col D'Aspin before the peloton and he certainly would have figured into the story if he took back 30 seconds on the day. And he still has the energy at the end of the day to beat Valverde in the sprint.

Cofidis are bound to realise this. But are they willing to sacrifice their chance of a bastille day victory for one of their french riders for a chance at overall? Perhaps, they've won a stage already. What's to stop them playing both cards? Send one of their other climbers up the road to support Monfort later on in case they get caught. Why stop at one?

The best thing is, I don't think the peloton consider him to be any kind of threat, despite in the past year finishing top ten in some tough stage races.

As for Valverde... It was odd how much he was rocking his shoulders in the climb, as everyone else seemed rather comfortable. We'll see tomorrow, but I don't think he's as bad as everyone's making him out to be.

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comment by omgidbi (U8078647)

posted Jul 14, 2008

G_F - completely agree - good observations. will all make for an interesting day....

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posted Jul 14, 2008

.. saw Jeremy Clarkson's SPEED yesterday on BBC Prime .. he fitted a jet engine to a bicycle !!
Wonder if the French teams will all have one fitted today :-)

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comment by GawnaB (U11553033)

posted Jul 14, 2008

i'm so impressed by ricco,we'll see how far he will goo,PYRENNIE jus started..Des ALP still to come..N'way he look like he is gonna give them hard time.
Valverede, pls stop 2support,he is gonna break ur hurt..Nillll

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posted Jul 14, 2008

Surely Ricco needs to go for vicotory now....you never know, he may not get another chance this good. Never plan for next year, It may never come....

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posted Jul 14, 2008

Ricco` said on Italian TV after this win that
tomorrow I want to help Leonardo Piepoli to win a stage.
He and Piepoli are both great climbers and Piepoli is so modest that he helped both Ricco' and Simoni to mountain stage wins in last year's Giro d'Italia, and won a stage unassisted himself. He is quite old now but you never know - Ricco' usually means what he says.


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posted Jul 14, 2008

What did I say!

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posted Jul 14, 2008

Good prediction there, Forget It!

Those Saunier Duval climbers are relentless. Their acceleration and crazy attacks left everyone else in the dust. Nice <gift> for Piepoli from the team, a well-deserved win.

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