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  1. #1
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    Stage9: Morzine-Avoriaz to Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne - 204 km

    Did anything exciting happen in Stage 8?
    So, with one specific rider out of GC contention, there is a major shift in tactics. Cadel is wearing the golden fleece, but Andy Schleck is just 20 seconds down. Contador, who had trouble following Andy after being repeatedly attacked, is another 41 seconds back. The big surprise is Menchov is only 9 seconds off of that. Where did he come from? Last I saw him he was suffering otb last year. This was after a dramatic Giro victory, but still.

    Stage 9 comes after a day of rest, but nearly all riders go out and ride to stay loose. Some even use the day to preview spots of the stage. They go Cat4, Cat1, Cat2, Cat1, a long recovery descent, then the HC Col de la Madeleine. This will break things up, and the true GC contenders will be vetted. Expect to see Basso, Levi, Sastre, Schleck, Evans, Contador, and Menchov goin at it. A mountain goat might try to get away and score a victory, but it is not a mountain top finish. In fact, it looks like the stage the Schlecks teamed up with Contador to doom both Armstrong and Kloden. With Frank gone, and Andy actually aspiring to win, not place, I don't expect that to happen.

    I think a lot will come down to who can go downhill the fastest. But I don't really knwo who has the best chops. Used to be il Falco, but he isn't racing.

    I'm gonna go out on a limb and say Basso. The climb is too steep for Cadel to hang if there are any attacks (Basso, Conti, Schleck), so he might even pass the maillot jaune on to Andy.


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  2. #2
    always right sometimes
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    Lance will be the winner by 13 minutes.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by rydbyk
    Lance will be the winner by 13 minutes.

    hehehe... would be fun to see him try something, but it won't be on this stage. Basso could pull something down the big run in... Cadel would catch Andy going down hill

  4. #4
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    I highly doubt Basso wins it. He is a lousy descender (on the other hand, his teammate Nibali is an amazing descender but is not at the TdF) thus even if he did gain time on the Madeleine, he will be caught on the backside.

    My guess is that none of the top GC guys win the stage (they'll let someone way down on the GC get away) but its quite possible that one of the remaining top GC guys will falter and lose enough time to be out of contention. Wiggins perhaps loses any chance of making the podium in the tour tomorrow....

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by rydbyk
    Lance will be the winner by 13 minutes.
    LOL. Shades of Landis taking back 8 mins the day after his epic collapse.

  6. #6
    Fly on a windshield
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    Quote Originally Posted by otiebob
    I highly doubt Basso wins it. He is a lousy descender (on the other hand, his teammate Nibali is an amazing descender but is not at the TdF) thus even if he did gain time on the Madeleine, he will be caught on the backside.

    My guess is that none of the top GC guys win the stage (they'll let someone way down on the GC get away) but its quite possible that one of the remaining top GC guys will falter and lose enough time to be out of contention. Wiggins perhaps loses any chance of making the podium in the tour tomorrow....
    Sastre (along with the elder Schleck) is one of the worst descenders I've seen lately. I predict he looses time tomorrow.
    God gave up this world, its people long ago.....Peter Gabriel 1971

  7. #7
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    My prediction is there will be someone from Euskatel and/or Footon in the break and they will not make it stick.

  8. #8
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    Sammy Sanchez

    How about Sammy Sanchez makes it to the top with the other GC men, but after that long descent has enough time to hold of the chasers on the 10km flat to the line? Probably won't happen, but it would exciting!

  9. #9
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    Matty Lloyd to chase some polka dot points, he won't win the stage but hopefully gets some good points.

  10. #10
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    No idea. Just going to enjoy the show. I think they (the players) will let the "also rans" take off for their own glory given that there's a huge descent and a mild grade into the finish. If this stage were further on down the line, I'd say expect fireworks.

    The only prediction I can make with some degree of certainty is coffee, Le Tour, and a beautiful morning.

  11. #11
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    If we're talking GC contenders who are also capable on descents then surely Evans has to be the favourite here. Of course to come down one first needs to go up. Schleck and Contador will be looking to unhitch him before the top.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhatTalc
    How about Sammy Sanchez makes it to the top with the other GC men, but after that long descent has enough time to hold of the chasers on the 10km flat to the line? Probably won't happen, but it would exciting!
    Sammy Sanchez is the correct answer. Great pick.
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  13. #13
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    i couldnt pick sammy again. i thought about linus, but decided not to go that route either. not sure either one could hold off the group on the downside. i saw the GC group sticking together up front, thus the basso pick. i dont see cadel hanging with the group, and i wasnt sure who is the better descender of the group. so i went basso. doubt he can do it, but i wanna cheer him on.

    some have pointed out this could be like the landis stage for armstrong. i doubt that for a few reasons:
    1) landis didnt kiss the concrete the day before
    2) pretty early in the race for an effort like that
    3) phonak didnt have another GC contender
    4) armstrong should not be drinking "whiskey" now

    Quote Originally Posted by PhatTalc
    How about Sammy Sanchez makes it to the top with the other GC men, but after that long descent has enough time to hold of the chasers on the 10km flat to the line? Probably won't happen, but it would exciting!
    I don't normally "do people." - Dr. Roebuck

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frith
    If we're talking GC contenders who are also capable on descents then surely Evans has to be the favourite here. Of course to come down one first needs to go up. Schleck and Contador will be looking to unhitch him before the top.

    Evans is my secret guilty pleasure.

    The little pia is due a good turn.

  15. #15
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    I'll go for Luis Leon Sanchez.

    I think the win will come from a breakaway. He's just far enough behind for them to let him go. It would be great if Chris Horner were in that breakaway too.

  16. #16
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    Samuel Sanchez on his Orbea!!

  17. #17
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    Route is suited for Sammy Sanchez with his solid climbing ability and more importantly, incredible descending skills. The other top GC riders will play it safe downhill and finish together. The last climb will be brutal, however, so guys like Wiggins, Hesjedal will all get dropped and may or may not catch up.

  18. #18
    jd3
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    Basso can't go downhill. I really don't know how well Andy, Cadel and Conti descend. Andy needs to get all the time he can while they are in the hills. I don't see him just playing it safe. I think he'll go for it.
    “You can't control the wind, but you can adjust your sails.” – Albert Einstein

  19. #19
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    I rode this stage once from Cluses in about 10 hours. Think they can touch that?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnHemlock
    I rode this stage once from Cluses in about 10 hours. Think they can touch that?
    The pro riders will ride it in about 5.5 hours. But once you add in the commercials, the intro, the recap, the product placement and the podium that's at least 10 hours in Versus time.
    Old La Honda in less than 20 minutes! Or you can watch race video from the low-key hill climb on Welch Creek. More at www.biketelemetry.com.

    "I think," said Christopher Robin, "that we ought to eat all our Provisions now, so that we shan't have so much to carry.", Winnie-the-Pooh, A. A. Milne.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnHemlock
    I rode this stage once from Cluses in about 10 hours. Think they can touch that?
    Cav might give you a run for your money.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by dougydee
    Matty Lloyd to chase some polka dot points, he won't win the stage but hopefully gets some good points.
    Well he needs to as he is 40 points adrift at the moment. Bearing in mind he came in behind LA on Sunday I doubt he has the legs to do it, let alone the motivation.

  23. #23
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    dayyyyyuuuuummmm

    Quote Originally Posted by il sogno
    Cav might give you a run for your money.
    I don't normally "do people." - Dr. Roebuck

  24. #24
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    I pick, Alberto Contador.
    Quote Originally Posted by tconrady
    If I can get some more tomorrow.... I thought it'd grow on me but I'm not feelin' it....wait..
    Allez United!

    Glory, Glory Man United, and the Reds go marching on!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by fornaca68
    Sammy Sanchez is the correct answer. Great pick.
    Actually, the Double Sanchez may be an even better answer: Sammy and Luis Leon. Shades of Paris-Nice 2009, anyone?

    Sammy to attack on the downhill and Luis Leon to tow a two-man breakaway all the way to the finish.

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