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Stage seven - Barcelona to Andorra Arcalis

Tour de France
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This Tour just gets better and better, non?

Poor old David Millar found out how cruel this race can be when, after a heroic - and eventually solo - effort in yesterday's stage, the Scot was overhauled on the hill to the finish line in Barcelona and did not get the stage win he richly deserved.

Thor Hushovd won the eventual sprint finish, but Mark Cavendish keeps the green jersey for a fifth straight day.

Today the focus will be back on yellow, as Le Tour enters the mountains for the first time this year - and it promises to be another cracker.

It's the longest stage of this year's race, starting in Barcelona and ending at an altitude of 2240m at Arcalis in Andorra.

Expect the Astana team to have a big say in how today shapes up - could we see team-mates Alberto Contador and Lance Armstrong fight it out on the slopes today to try to assert their authority on this year's race?

You can follow all the action here:
news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/oth...

Enjoy, and let me know your thoughts about this stage and the overall state of play in Le Tour.

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posted Jul 10, 2009

without time bonuses and such like they might finish dead-heated the rate its going!

This is going to sound terribly dramatist and almost cliched but Lance is doing a great job of becoming a 'real life Rocky Balboa'......you can see it now juxtaposed alongside one another Rocky running up the steps with that lung busting effort and Lance doing the same up Ventoux...with 'that' music playing! Oh god...the more i think about it the more i believe its going to happen! <run>

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posted Jul 10, 2009

It won't happen, but I do think that Lance will win up Ventoux.

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posted Jul 10, 2009

someone slap me round the head with a wet kipper....i might wake up then! <laugh>

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posted Jul 10, 2009

@lonestargal - l agree about the astana team leader thing. CSC did the same thing last year when Frank Schleck held on to yellow, drew attention to himself and left the 'real' team leader Carlos Sastre to attack on Alp D'Huez and take yellow off his back. May be that scenario is what we have in Astana where Lance draws the attention leaving Alberto to attack like he did today.
I was rather hoping that Andy Schleck would attack today rather than let Astana dictate where the Yellow went. Something tells me that Andy (and Frank) are lacking something that marks winners from also-rans.

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posted Jul 11, 2009

"Contador is amazing, 22 secs over his main rivals in 1.5 kms. unreal!!!!"

Into a headwind... on a not very steep climb...

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posted Jul 11, 2009

DRUSS..
Taking any hometeam favorite loyalty out of it, I believe Contador is, in the words of my teenage niece "ALL THAT" plus more. A.C. IMO is a heck of an athlete. The fact that he & L.A. are on the same team drives me wacky, would've loved to see them just go after each other with no team allegance involved.

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posted Jul 11, 2009

Good point, Lonestar.

As I see it, Contador has the jets for incredible acceleration on the climbs, which few can match, and we've not yet seen whether LA can match it. It's going to be decided in the Alps, anyway IMO.

Andy Schleck looks very good thus far - I don't think he's been in any difficulty at all.

As for Brice Feillu - he was in the yellow jersey group today (17th over the line), which is commendable after yesterday's exertions. It would be great if we were seeing a future star of French cycling.

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posted Jul 11, 2009

Im_partial,
In the Alps I'm afraid that Lance's time away from the circuit & his age may be the pivotal factors in trying to contain the super-human power Contador's legs seem to develop in the mountain stages. But that said, it's Lance, who seems to thrive on competition, but I'd still bet $$ on Contador.

I like Andy, w/many distractions like over the top media frenzy this tour, he justs keeps on trucking, very focused on his goals.

Feillu, wow, looks like it may soon be changing of the guard in this sport, he & others who's names we're fast becoming familiar with are not tainted by the shadows of the recent past & talented enough to take on the seasoned vets. Plus as my 15yr old niece advised me, he's dreamy (there's one new fan on board)

I really like this BBC site, posters that are keen fans, know the athletes, write thought provoking messages & don't trash talk, love reading the posts & updates during the actual stages. I went on the Austin Statesman site (Lance's hometown newspaper) & the comments, holy moley, someone needs to sell those football crazies a clue about this sport.

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posted Jul 11, 2009

>>he's dreamy

<laugh>

I can't claim to know anything about little girls' likes and dislikes, but if she is also a cycling fan, then that's good!

Yes, the cycling board is for the most part excellent, especially for the decided lack of ranting, team taunts, outrageous hyperbole and "txt spk" for which our footbal boards are famous.

Welcome - it will be interesting for us to have an American perspective given that there are so many American cyclists who are riding well. I assume the return of LA to the peloton has been given a lot of coverage given where you are?

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posted Jul 11, 2009

Lonestar - it's superb to find an American Lance-fan whose not completely insane about him and a) froths at the mouth about Contador and b) thinks anyone who supports other riders supports cancer - some of the boards I've seen (and comments left on British newspaper sites) have been really scary in their vitriol. You remind me that I'm being stupid to assume all Lance-fans from the USA are that way inclined - I guess I keep seeing the loud ones! So thanks, and welcome!

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