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Tour de France stage 14

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posted Jul 18, 2010

I think it also exposes the paucity of sky that wiggins was a podium prospect. the difference between this year's and last year's route is huge and it was obvious (barring crashes) that only a real climber could win.

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comment by Esquain (U841842)

posted Jul 18, 2010

Stages like today highlight the loss of Frank Schleck. Were he there today, and possibly on the Madeleine, Andy wouldn't have to defend as he'd be able to tag team with Frank as they did on the Colombiere last year, when they came closest to cracking Alberto. Without him, Andy is reluctant to go alone.

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posted Jul 18, 2010

Yes without Franck, I don't see a chance for Andy to take 1 mn to contador . As he's supposed to loose by at least 1.30 in the TT, Contador just has to stay with him . Will Menchov and Sanchez be able to take 2.30 on them two if they play again their track game ?
If not probable, it introduces an hazardous element I enjoy
But I thought, and I still hope, Conti is proud enough to attack in the mountain to affirm his superiority and to win a stage . So, in a good day, Andy might counterattack, who knows ? Well, in a very good day .

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posted Jul 19, 2010

Now I really want AS to win, but the general consensus is he needs to take some time off AC before the TT. I think he will & win the TdF, he is in a team that is not as capable as Astana & he has lost his main protector, so generally hd is the better rider.

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comment by matzov (U14204141)

posted Jul 19, 2010

As boring as it sounds, I think AC should just ride AS's wheel. There is no need for him to attack - all the pressure is on Schleck to extend the lead, because AC will rinse him in the TT. And if others attack, then, again, the onus is on AS to defend so he doesn't face the prospect of losing 2nd or 3rd to a superior TTer (Menchov and Samu are both in this category).

By attacking, AC is giving us all a great deal of entertainment, but tactically I think its a mistake, as he could conceivably save his energies for responses, and the TT. Pyschologically I suspect he wants to bury AS on a climb, and then again in the TT to show everyone he's all-round the best. But really there is no need if he wants to win in my opinion.

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posted Jul 19, 2010

AC will want a lead going into the final TT so is liable to attack before then. The guy wearing yellow has consistently been able to dig deep in the TT to minimise losses and i reckon AC wants to be in yellow for the TT.

As regards Wiggins comments he souldn't be too hard on himself about this year. Obviously the course and weather suited him last year and this year's didn't. It's really hard to train outside what you are comfortable with and to get as good as he wants to be really means practicing climbs in significant heat = fun!! I still cheer him on, plus team sky plus all the brits. Really proud of them all

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posted Jul 19, 2010

message to wiggo.. brad.. you need to stop beating yourself up mate.. last year may have been a fluke but you need to keep going and afterwards work out how to regain your fluke form and how you got it in the first place.. my suggestion.. skip the giro next time? (like denni menchov has).. in fact you remind me of how menchov usually looks.. a bit creamed

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posted Jul 19, 2010

Wiggins should go with the break tomorrow.

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posted Jul 19, 2010

As previous post said, he needs to skip the giro, success in the giro seems to lead to mediocrity in the tour, not suggesting that Wiggins even had a successful giro! But to some extent even in that race you feel he was holding himself for the tour.

It's interesting to think about reasons for Wiggins lower position. He's around esteemed company on the standings at the moment, Kloden, Evans (as much as i hate him) and Sastre, people you could possibly argue are the old guard when looking at the current top ten.

Personally i think Wiggins had more support last year at Garmin even when he wasn't the original team leader. Millar was always able to give his all for a good distance in the mountains and although Vande Valde wasn't in great shape to be a GC contender, he was able to stick with Wiggins high up in the Pyrenees, whereas now it seems Wiggins' Sky teammates are dropping off a lot further near the bottom of the first big climbs of the day.

Maybe also the pace is a lot higher consistently throughout the race than last year. With Contador and Armstrong on the same team there was a lot of in fighting and individual pushes, i struggle to remember the pace being as high as it has been this year with Astana constantly on the front on all the climbs hammering out a ridiculous pace with just Contador in mind.

So for me it's just the consistent high tempo in the mountains and real lack of support in the mountains. But ultimately it comes down Wiggins himself. Top three was never really going to happen but top ten will always be a very realistic target for Bradley in the tours for at least maybe the next two years (Olympics allowing).

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comment by matzov (U14204141)

posted Jul 19, 2010

mourndekai - "AC will want a lead going into the final TT "

Why??

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posted Jul 19, 2010

I think the reason for wiggins downfall this year is alot of other riders have uped there game

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comment by pvandck (U1688237)

posted Jul 19, 2010

I don't understand any of the criticism of Bradley Wiggins. It takes a combination luck, skill and good form to win the TDF.
Luck, or bad luck, comes in several forms. Crashes, loss or bad form of team mates, type of course... Wiggins has had more than his fair share of bad luck. Comparing last year to this, he didn't have the crashes and he had much better team support. As regards the course, arguably it suited him better than the current one.
As regards his own form, he is the best judge of that but undoubtedly he has the ability to do very well in the TDF. He's currently in 18th place out of 150+.

It also worth remembering the other great cyclists who are struggling in this year's tour. Basso, Sastre, Evans, Klöden, Armstrong... Even Vinokourov is down in 11th place behind Basso.

It's so easy to be an armchair cyclist and criticise Bradley Wiggins (or any of the TDF riders) but Wiggins is the one doing the work. He's not sitting in front of his computer dreaming about it.

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posted Jul 19, 2010

Comparing last year to this, he didn't have the crashes and he had much better team support. As regards the course, arguably it suited him better than the current one.
--------
But he moved to Sky on the basis of team support. Not that it would have mattered were he still at Garmin - VDV crashed out on stage 2 and there's not much anybody can do about that.

But there's no arguably about it - last year's route suited him much better than this year's. The first set of mountain stages were almost neutralised, which meant that he was still in a very good position coming into week 3, and the confidence and determination that gives you has a marked effect. The TTT and the first ITT being so long put him into an enviable GC position, which it was simply impossible to duplicate this year. Finally, you have the riders; the race this year has been far more hotly contested than last year's. Last year's saw the TTT eliminate several major contenders from contention, and put Astana into such a dominant position that they were able to control the race practically every day and set the tempo, and apart from a couple of times with Saxo, nobody really challenged their right to do so.

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posted Jul 19, 2010

About Wiggins: "He's currently in 18th place out of 150+."

Yes, but you need to compare him to the GC contenders only. It is not fair counting the domestiques, sprinters etc. If you look at Wiggins' position amongst the leaders of GC teams, he is almost last. He is preceded by at least 12 other GC contenders, plus a few 'super-domestiques' like Vino or Klöden. Behind him is only Le Mevel really - the others are either from teams with another agenda (HTC, BBOX, Lampre). Or a lesser known agenda like Footon, Milram.

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comment by Toobab (U14074797)

posted Jul 19, 2010

Wiggins terrible failure is a laugh. He's a youngish, drug-free (I'm pretty sure) British rider, able to ride within a few percent of the top of the GC consistently over two weeks of the tour. He was lucky last year, and he has been unlucky this year, partly because there is no day which really suits him until the TT, and partly because getting yourself 100% for a race is not really an exact science and this is a race which needs 100% for the important parts of the 3 weeks, and high 90s for the rest (which is why it is pretty much impossible without drugs or pure luck).
If next year is a little bit more of a tester's route, and he is a little bit better, it is difficult to see who could beat him.
Why on earth are the British media not supporting him? Do they not like his sideburns?

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posted Jul 19, 2010

A cynic would say the penalties dished out to Cavendish and HTC columbia this year and last are simpy because the French don't like anyone else conitinually succeeding, just ask Armstrong, but particulary when they're British and I doubt they particularly like to see a Brit doing well in the GC.

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comment by pvandck (U1688237)

posted Jul 19, 2010

I wrote:
"It also worth remembering the other great cyclists who are struggling in this year's tour. Basso, Sastre, Evans, Klöden, Armstrong... Even Vinokourov is down in 11th place behind Basso."

Sorry but 'super-domestiques' (whatever they are) or not, they are still struggling. Basso was in 10th place this morning, Evans was 19th. They aren't domestiques or sprinters. Armstrong is way back in thirtysomething place. Can't remember where Sastre was, and he's not a domestique or sprinter either. But they are suffering too. Vinokourov would try and win if he could, he'd certainly be closer to the front. Same for Klöden.

And on the issue of bad luck, today Andy Schleck had chain problems and as a consequence lost his yellow jersey. Is that a reflection of his form or ability - whatever one might think Contador would or wouldn't do in the time trial? Or does it suggest that a bit more is required to win the TDF than simple ability?

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posted Jul 21, 2010

I don't think Contador will break this early but regular concerted efforts by all of the teams that have a GC hope,alternating attacks on different climbs from here on in may be the answer......however the rest day tomorrow may put back in to his legs whatever he loses today although first week has not been a normal first week by any stretch of the imagination by all accounts.

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