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  1. #1
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    Stage 12: Bourg-de-Péage to Mende - 210 km

    I'm gonna confess here: I didn't watch the entire stage. I read about the live finish on CyclingNews and just had to see the end. Then I read the fate of Renshaw, and knew the rest of the stage would be dull to watch.

    So, Saxo ratched up the pace and were almost able to create a break. That would have been incredible. From what I saw of the stage, it looked like they were going 35-40mph for a long while. Ouch. And then the sprint finish.
    All season long Renshaw had complained that he should be the lead sprinter. He had trouble proving his point during the Giro, especially as Cavs was mopping up on his own in other races. When the Tour came around, it seemed the pecking order had been re-established and Renshaw would be the leadout. After blowing at least one leadout (going too soon), they started to click and Cavs was tied with Petacchi and Chavanel with two stage wins. The Boy Racer desperately wanted to add another set of crossed samurai swords to his top tube, and Stage 11 would be the last good chance for quite some time (I think Stage 13 will go to a breakaway - possibly Chavanel or Flecha). Even with all the bodies in the final runup, the lead out looked strong. Then Renshaw went Mel Gibson.
    A few headbutts to one Garmin rider, then almost checking Tyler nearly into the boards. I thought Rocket Robbie had switched teams mid-stage. In a post-stage interview he talked about how he is viewed as the cleanest sprinter, and he didn't know what people were complaining about. But he did it with waht I perceived as a smirk. With my foil hat on, part of me thinks he did it on purpose, hoping to get sent home and leaving Cavs without his leadout skills for the rest of the race. "Yeah, Cavs is good...When I'm there for him."
    Oh, and Thor lost the Green to Petacchi.

    But now we are on to Stage 12. Back to a hillier stage, and I think I heard the steepest climb of the tour. We go Cat3, Cat3, Srint, Cat2, Cat3, Sprint, Cat2. Thor has been known to go out and pacman the sprint points, even in the mountains, but I think Petacchi can follow him. Plus, Cervelo might still think Sastre can podium, and the next day might be easier for Thor. If it is true and the steepest stage takes place here, I could see Contador working with Andy a bit, then drill him to psychologically beat him.

    The final peak is named after Jalabert. Bastille day didn't go to a Frenchman, will Chavanel try to strike out today? Possibly.Hondo? Pineau is only ahead by 2 points...I say Cungeo and Egoi strike out ahead and Egoi gets it.


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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by weltyed
    All season long Renshaw had complained that he should be the lead sprinter. He had trouble proving his point during the Giro, especially as Cavs was mopping up on his own in other races. When the Tour came around, it seemed the pecking order had been re-established and Renshaw would be the leadout.
    Renshaw wasn't racing the Giro this year, he was helping Cav at Tour of California at the time, and I don't remember him ever complaining about being lead-out for Cav. Are you thinking about Greipel, perhaps?

  3. #3
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    Will go to a breakaway, but the real action will be the Schleck-Contador fight to the top with 2nd tier GC hopefuls Menchov, S. Sanchez, Van de Broeck trying to fight it out for a podium shot. Contador will need to use this short steep climb to chip away some time, but will not get enough to take yellow, which suits him just fine. Gap will fall to just 20 seconds.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by 55x11
    Renshaw wasn't racing the Giro this year, he was helping Cav at Tour of California at the time, and I don't remember him ever complaining about being lead-out for Cav. Are you thinking about Greipel, perhaps?
    I think he must mean Greipel. Renshaw knows his place as leadout man. Greipel has wanted to be the number 1 sprinter for HTC last year as well.
    Sometimes I ride my bike to nowhere, to see nothing, just so I can ride my bike.

  5. #5
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    I bet the early miles will be brutal fast, since the green jersey contenders will want those points and won't want to let each other get in the break.

    And +1 for the break staying away, but the real action with be Conti and Schleck, testing each other on the steep parts.

    I did a lot of Google street-viewing of this stage; it's up and down all day with skinny twisty roads; lots of opportunities for random TdF craziness to happen.
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  6. #6
    jd3
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    How bout a shot in the dark. Chris Horner.
    “You can't control the wind, but you can adjust your sails.” – Albert Einstein

  7. #7
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    I was gonna say Lance Armstrong but that gradient looks too steep. What the hell, I'll go for big Tex. Lance for the win.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dougydee
    I think he must mean Greipel. Renshaw knows his place as leadout man. Greipel has wanted to be the number 1 sprinter for HTC last year as well.
    holy cow, do i feel feel stupid. yeah, im thinking greipel. renshaw has been cavs final leadout man pretty much all season.

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  9. #9
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    interesting stage developing here. Saxo bank letting the head rule the heart..let the jersey go for the moment untill the pyrenees.
    you cant say 3rd without turd.

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  10. #10
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    No clue.

    But coffee swilling has commenced here at casa oeh.

    Enjoy the race y'all. If we're lucky, there'll be a five or six riders left at the end who haven't been crashed out, flatted out, or thrown out.

  11. #11
    jd3
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldEndicottHiway
    If we're lucky, there'll be a five or six riders left at the end who haven't been crashed out, flatted out, or thrown out.
    Laugh out loud. (Lance says I can't use LOL)
    “You can't control the wind, but you can adjust your sails.” – Albert Einstein

  12. #12
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    Go Thor!

  13. #13
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    yep, he got some points for the green jersey ealier on, a good days work whatever happens

    also Kloden [RS], Vino, Hesjedal in the break, if they want to keep the jersey saxo bank have ride, if they continue to chase they are using silly energy keeping a jersey for the next few days before the pyrenees, when they actually will need to work and keep it..and for good reason then, now not so much
    you cant say 3rd without turd.

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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by weltyed
    holy cow, do i feel feel stupid. yeah, im thinking greipel. renshaw has been cavs final leadout man pretty much all season.

    egg, meet face.

    Would it make you feel better if we throw pie instead?

  15. #15
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    Hesjedal is now in 3rd place GC on the road. Go Ryder!

  16. #16
    jd3
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    Did you see the photographer with the double lens camera?
    “You can't control the wind, but you can adjust your sails.” – Albert Einstein

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by TmaxR
    Hesjedal is now in 3rd place GC on the road. Go Ryder!

    Would be cool if a relative unkown could podium (and redeem Garmin in the process) but I don't think it'll happen with the Pyrenees looming.

  18. #18
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    I love it when Sean Kelly talks about his riding career. Just said he won a food mixer for his first international victory in Montreal. when he sat on a break and took the sprint, and "it's still going."

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    Farrar abandoned? =,(

  20. #20
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    Farrar abandons? That surprises.

  21. #21
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    Tyler Farrar abandoned?

    WTF?
    "I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it." John Stuart Mill, 1866

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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by harlond
    Farrar abandons? That surprises.

    Well there goes the neighborhood. What next?




    This race stinks.

  23. #23
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    I figure some pure climbers deep down in the GC will be allowed a generous leash and may take it to the finish. Schleck and Contador will probably try to establish enough ground between them and the #3 spot.

    No clue who will be gunning for that #3 spot, but I could see something happening in that department today.


    Quote Originally Posted by harlond
    Farrar abandons? That surprises.
    I wonder why. Sure he lost Hunter, but Cav lost Renshaw. Sad.

  24. #24
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    IMHO Phil and Paul including the editors were irresponsible in their announcement of Tylers withdraw. The cut to Cav who gave the cut across the throat gesture and mentioned that that was his reaction on the announcement. Cav was just saying that he was not up to the intense pace the peloton was setting... (he was off the back)

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by spade2you
    I figure some pure climbers deep down in the GC will be allowed a generous leash and may take it to the finish. Schleck and Contador will probably try to establish enough ground between them and the #3 spot.

    No clue who will be gunning for that #3 spot, but I could see something happening in that department today.




    I wonder why. Sure he lost Hunter, but Cav lost Renshaw. Sad.

    He was fairly miffed yesterday, Dean was not. Wonder if there are some internal issues at play. Whatever it is, whether fact or not, I wouldn't be surprised if it's written off to tweaking too hard his wrist fracture yesterday and reinjuring himself.

    My prediction, Dean will be riding for HTC next year.

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