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Heading for the hills

posted Jul 15, 2007

Sod the Australians, the Germans have it worse: I hear Patrik Sinkewitz broke his nose after colliding with a spectator after finishing.

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posted Jul 15, 2007

Positions after Stage 8 (Stage 7 in brackets):

BBC's Yellow jersey dreamers:

4 (18) Alejandro Valverde +00:02:51
6 (13) Cadel Evans +00:02:53
7 (21) Christophe Moreau +00:03:06
9 (28) Frank Schleck +00:03:14
10 (17) Dennis Menchov +00:03:19
11 (27) Carlos Sastre +00:03:35
12 (6) Andreas Kloden +00:03:46
13 (16) Levi Leipheimer +00:03:53
14 (15) Oscar Pereiro +00:03:54
22 (44) Alexander Vinokourov +00:05:23
23 (8) Vladimir Karpets +00:06:09
Michael Rogers (DNF Stage 8)

Brits:

88 (53) David Millar +00:41:58
104 (83) Charles Wegelius +00:50:43
151 (147) Bradley Wiggins +01:06:14
160 (161) Geraint Thomas +01:09:22
Mark cavendish (DNF Stage 8)


After 9 days we are down to just 172 (from 189 riders). 9 withdrawals, 5 non-starters, and 3 outside time limit (Herve, Napolitano, and McEwen).

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posted Jul 15, 2007

Lowlandbrit,

Rasmussen will lose time in the TTs, but you have to think about how much time he will lose against who's left in the race.

This is how much time various riders gained over him in the last 3 Tour TTs

2006
Gonchar 8.51
Kloden 8.10
Landis 7.40
Pereiro 6.11
Evans 5.10
Menchov 4.18
Rogers 4.16
Sastre 4.09
Karpets 3.54
Popovych 3.53
Hincapie 3.21
Moreau 3.18
Schleck 3.12
Leipheimer 2.49
Wiggins 1.16
Rasmussen

2006
Gonchar 6.29
Landis 5.29
Rogers 5.06
Kloden 4.46
Menchov 4.46
Evans 4.40
Karpets 4.38
Moreau 4.26
Sastre 4.19
Pereiro 3.49
Hincapie 3.47
Wiggins 3.20
Popovych 3.13
Millar 2.55
Schleck 1.14
Mayo 0.53
Leipheimer 0.24
Rasmussen

2005
Armstrong 7.47
Ullrich 7.24
Vinokourov 6.31
Basso 5.53
Landis 5.45
Evans 5.41
Popovych 4.38
Sastre 4.37
Moreau 4.36
Leipheimer 4.34
Pereiro 4.22
Cancellara 3.44
Rogers 2.29
Contador 1.35
Menchov 0.54
Rasmussen
Mayo -1.57

No Armstrong, Ullrich, Landis or Rogers to worry about. Vinokourov and Kloden are losing time.

If Rabobank don't at least consider Rasmussen's overall chances, they're fools. The opportunity is there to ride for GC, not just the KoM.

Or he might decide to spend the rest of his life thinking, "I could have won that Tour".

Anyway, rest day tomorrow. Plenty of time to think over new strategies and options.

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posted Jul 15, 2007

Concerning the timetrials there are a few things to take into account.

1. A rider in the yellow jersey always is able to do more than when he's ranked 6th (Rasmussen would have lost less in previous years, if he something/more to cycle for). Furtermore Rasmussen supposedly has worked on his timetrails (he'll never be good at it, but every minute gained is one)
2. The 1st long timetrial (before the Pyrenees) is not flat at all. Should be an advantage for climbers (ie they will loose less).
3. During the last timetrial (a flat one, after the Pyrenees) of the Tour it's always harder for timetrialists to gain on cyclists good at climbing (than it would be if it was in the opening week).

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posted Jul 15, 2007

Rasmussen doesn't actually have a huge lead yet though, it's only 3-4 minutes and he's unlikely to be able to do this again.

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posted Jul 15, 2007

@lowlandbrit
Beg to differ. Each Pyrenees stage is (much)more difficult than today's stage (and more suited to Rasmussen). I expect Rasmussen to win additional time (minutes) in the Pyrenees. Haven't got a clue if it will be enough though (to make up for lost time in the timetrials).

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posted Jul 15, 2007

And yet I'd put money on someone else wearing yellow this time next week.

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posted Jul 15, 2007

Whoever will be wearing the yellow jersey in a week will have a very narrow lead over Rasmussen.

Thereafter there a 3 tough mountain stages for Rasmussen (much more suited to him than today's stage) to gain back the lost time & create a cushion for the final timetrial.

He's not my fav to win the tour. But he's as much fav as a lot of others now.

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posted Jul 15, 2007

What do people think of Linus Gerdemann's chance to see yellow again?

He wont win the Tour i am sure - however i was amazed how well he lasted today after his work on saturday. Tuesdays stage while intense has a long decent and a fair stretch of flat at the finish which to me suggests their wont be the pressure at the finish - so i expect him to not lose big time.

Linus Gerdemann is a decent time trialist - and could well be 45 seconds faster than Rasmussen, and with over 2 minute lead over the big time trialists i feel he has a shout to hold the jersy again come the end of the 13th stage.

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posted Jul 15, 2007

The thing is, for such a long time the Tour has been won by someone who can win in the mountains and the ITT, or boss the ITT and hang on in the mountains. That sort of strategy has become a habit and an assumption.

Last year was different, but then again it was also mad! This year, it might be time to give a different strategy a try.

Rasmussen looks capable of attacking all day in the mountains. If the peloton pursues him, Menchov gets his chance.

Rabobank have to take this opportunity seriously. They could win the Tour! For them to just assume that Rasmussen will lose it in the TTs, that'd be ridiculous.

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posted Jul 15, 2007

Gerdemann could well win another yellow in a next Tour, very very unlikely in this tour.

Tmobile are deicmated. Furthermore he's not as good as the real topguys (yet) The only chance he has is to get in an early breakaway group & Rabo allowing him to go (I expect Rabo to control the race tomorrow), assuming the Pyrenees will be to heavy for him.

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posted Jul 15, 2007

*tomorrow should be Tuesday

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posted Jul 15, 2007

in all fairness i think rabbo need to decide on who there leader is like some of the other teams ie astana with Vino and kloden. With some of the strong riders rabbo have rasmussen could win it.

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posted Jul 15, 2007

rasmussen will put 'more' time into them in the remaining mountain stages.. unless he has an incredible collapse or bad luck he's won it already.. valverde and co lost it by not coooperating with moreaeu and i was a little disappointed with his attitude (sprinting for the line was a bit poxy imo)

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posted Jul 15, 2007

Is anyone else slightly dissapointed with the so called 'pre race favourites' i know its early days and some of them have been unlucky, but really they didnt seem to have the fight. Also why didnt team dsc hire someone with real pedigree such as kloden to ride for them, levi seems abit of it. of course i could be jumping ahead...erm Great tour so far though.

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posted Jul 15, 2007

Here's the final GC from 2005

1 Lance Armstrong 86.15.02
2 Ivan Basso (Ita) 4.40
3 Jan Ullrich 6.21
4 Francisco Mancebo 9.59
5 Alexandre Vinokourov 11.01
6 Levi Leipheimer 11.21
7 Michael Rasmussen 11.33
8 Cadel Evans 11.55
9 Floyd Landis 12.44
10 Oscar Pereiro 16.04
11 Christophe Moreau 16.26
12 Yaroslav Popovych 19.02
19 Andrei Kashechkin 28.04
21 Carlos Sastre 34.24
41 Michael Rogers 1.24.32
50 Vladimir Karpets 1.43.45
60 Iban Mayo 2.07.48
85 Denis Menchov 2.35.00
128 Fabian Cancellara 3.32.40

This year there's no Armstrong, no Ullrich, no Basso and no Mancebo.
Rasmussen finished 32 seconds behind Vinokourov, and would have beaten him if he'd stayed upright in the final ITT (I think).

He also finished ahead of all this year's favourites. And I doubt that anyone was just 'letting' him get away because he was only interested in the KoM; not when it means he's moving so far up on GC.

Granted, least year Rasmussen finished half an hour down. But then, I'll never forget last year when Oscar Pereiro was in yellow, and Echavarri said his team had no definite plan how to defend his lead. He said they'd just wait to see what happened, and take it from there.

That summed up last year's Tour. Nobody knew how to take control of it. This year looks like being the same. There's no team really good enough to dictate the action, so they're all going to react to each other, and anything could happen.

There's certainly nobody with ITT ability big enough to impose their will on GC. Pure climbers like Bahamontes, Van Impe, Delgado and Pantani have won Tours before. They and others like Chiappucci and Virenque have finished in the top three many times. That's why it's daft to ignore Rasmussen's potential.

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posted Jul 15, 2007

Totalsportfanatic,

Have you read what Christophe Moreau said? "To watch the big leaders waiting and watching each other upset me. I was the only one to take risks. I did not receive much help. It is a pity, there was a big chance for the other guys to create a big gap on Vinokourov and Klöden".

I already said it above, but none of these team leaders are good enough, confident enough, or arrogant enough to think they've got the beating of the others.

By 'good enough', I mean none of them are clearly better than any of the others. Likewise, there's no one outstanding team, either.

It's a pity that Michael Rogers crashed. Not just because I was cheering him, but because he'd attacked the other leaders.

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comment by Matt_05 (U9018898)

posted Jul 15, 2007

Granted theres still along way to go but I think Rasmussen has a realistic chance of winning the tour. On the evidence of this year so far and last years race he is easily the best out and out climber in the tour - I suspect that Armstrong at his best would have struggled to stay with Rasmussen today.

Yes, hes not the best timetrialist but if he can get 3 mins+ on his rivals in the remaining mountain stages, particularly the two summit finishes in the Pyrennes next week he could easily have 10 mins to play with in the TTs - with the motivation of a tour win at stake I can see him holding on..... Dont forget Pantani was a similar rider to Rasmussen and he won overall in 1998.

On the other hand one bad day and he could blow it all... Alot also depends on his Rabobank team in my opinion - is Menchov the leader or are they now riding exclusively for Rasmussen - he will need his team to be at their best in order to repell the constant attacks that will surley come from Mayo, Valderde, Moreau etc

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posted Jul 15, 2007

Actually the poor (78 year old) pedestrian is in a really bad way compared to Sinkewitz's nose.

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posted Jul 15, 2007

anyone have any ideas on alberto contador chances
got £10 ew at 40/1 at start of tour he looked bvery fresh yesterday and today hers hoping

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