*Tour de France*- Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Archive: The Arena' started by Ree, Jul 19, 2008.

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  1. Ree Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2005
    star 5
    Though there is only about a week to go on the Tour this year, it's going to get exciting as the end gets nearer.

    This thread is for general discussion of, and obsession over the Tour. Any topic concerning the Tour is not to small to chat about e.g. your favorite, your least favorite, performance enhancers, favorite team, the French countryside etc.

    Anyone and everyone is welcome!! So start posting!
  2. halibut Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2000
    star 8
    So you've got a guy (Mark Cavendish) who wins 4 out of 13 stages, and yet is 144th in the race?

    Bizarre
  3. Kyptastic VIP

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2005
    star 5
    I've been watching a fair bit of this, and I've enjoyed it, especially with Cadel Evans in the lead.

    Cavendish has been outstanding, and looks to be the dominant sprinter in the future. Should be an interesting Olympics as well.
  4. Ree Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2005
    star 5
    Yeah. I only started watching the race this year. It's hard to get to grips with. He has won 4 stages, but may have been right at the back of the field in ALL the other stages so far, so doesn't have the times. You win money if you win a stage anyway.
  5. Ree Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2005
    star 5
    Ok. So now i know why there wasn't a thread for the TOUR here. Obviously no one is interested!

    But I'm excited coz not only did the Aussie Simon Gerrans win the 15th stage last night, but he is my boyfriends good friend which is cool. I know someone hehe. I suppose that makes it more interesting.
  6. DarthIntegral Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2005
    star 7
    I was barely interested in the Tour during the Lance Armstrong era. And my interest has only gone down from there. Sorry
  7. Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 7
    I was interested enough to follow it when Lance was still racing, but like Inty, its dropped off since then. I still have a lot of respect for the guys who do it, though, despite all the doping issues.
  8. Kyptastic VIP

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2005
    star 5
    Was the whole Floyd Landis issue big over in America when it occurred?
  9. Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 7
    It got a fair amount of coverage, but not a ton. Certainly less than Lance got, but then thats as it should be.
  10. yankee8255 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2005
    star 6
    I started following the Tour when Greg LeMond first came to prominence in the late 80s. It's really a remarkable event that has sadly been nearly destroyed by the doping scandals. The Tour officials and especially the International Cylcing Union have been the sports worst enemies, waiting until it was almost too late to finally crack down. Maybe I'm just gullible, but I do think they're (at least the Tour, the UCI I'm not so sure about) finally taking the issue seriously, and that the people who have been caught so far are the last vestiges of of the problem who didn't heed the warnings, rather than just the tip of a corrupt ice berg.

    The final week should be great, with 6 Riders within a minute of each other. Especially excited to see an Austrian, Bernhard Kohl riding strongly, 2nd overall and holder of the dotted jersey. Probably doesn't have a realistic chance of winning the overall, as he's not strong enough in the time trial, but the climber's jersey would be a tremendous achievement.

    Not bizarre at all, total time counts, not number of stage wins. Each win was by a fraction of a second in a finishing sprint. For the other stages he finished well back. Shame he withdrew, I assume he would have taken the green jersey easily.
  11. yankee8255 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2005
    star 6
    Well, the decisive stages start today. I have a feeling the leaders will be a bit conservative today, though, looking to save their strength to for the classic Alpe D'Huez climb tomorrow. That's where I think Schleck and CSC will really attack hard, trying to maximize the lead over Evens and Menchov to give as big a cushion before the Time Trial Saturday.

    The one person I could see really attacking today is Kohl, who has neither the team strength of CSC and Schleck that would be necessary to dominate tomorrow, or the excellence at time trials, so that wearing yellow in Paris is almost impossible. I suspect he may be the one to attack today, looking to secure his climber jersey lead and take a shot at wearing yellow for a day, becoming the first Austrian to do so since the 20s or 30sa.
  12. yankee8255 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2005
    star 6
    Dramatic finish coming up today. Schumacher has led for ages, but looks like a group of pursuers are about to catch im (currently :30 back). The group around the yellow jersey has been in a furious catch up, 12 minutes back not that long ago, now only 4:50. All the leaders except C Vandevelde in that group.
  13. Ree Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2005
    star 5
    Hmm. OK I don't know that much about the tour :p But well done for posting all that without a reply!
    I'm getting excited now as we get closer to the end. THere are probably about 5 guys now that are probably within catching distance of Schleck. I want Cadel to win just coz he's an aussie :p . But CSC is very strong. SO who knows!?
  14. yankee8255 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2005
    star 6
    Today is really the big day, with the final ascent up to Alpe D'huez. Schleck and Kohl have to attack, because they're not as good at time trials as Evans or Menchov. Menchov needs to position himself ahead of Evans though after falling back a bit yesterday.
  15. Kyptastic VIP

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2005
    star 5
    It's all going to come down to Saturdays Time Trial. Sastre has a good lead, but Evans is far and away a better time trialist. Should be an excellent race.
  16. yankee8255 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2005
    star 6
    Right on the money there, 'tastic. Sastre's lead is just enough to make it interesting. Any less and Evans would almost definitely overtake him. Evans really gave an incredibly gutsy performance on the Alps D'Huez, CSC was trying everything they could to break him and he hanged right in there with the Schleck's despite no support from his team.
  17. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    Cycling's so dirty, it's not even worth watching.
  18. yankee8255 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2005
    star 6
    If you're going to take that attitude, stop watching sports altogether. Olympics included.

    The Tour at least, if not the sport, has actually made a good bit of progress this year.
  19. Trika_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 1999
    star 6
  20. Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 7
    Very interesting... also somewhat surprising, given that he's been retired a few years now.
  21. Trika_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 1999
    star 6
    He definitely has kept busy, though, and it'll be interesting to see what he does and how the media covers the races leading up to the Tour next year.
  22. Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 7
    They'll easily get double the coverage they've been getting. And that estimate is so conservative, its ludicrous.
  23. JediANGELA Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 28, 2002
    star 6
    Its not a rumor...http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080909/ap_on_sp_ot/cyc_armstrong_comeback



    Lance Armstrong coming out of retirement for Tour

    By JIM VERTUNO, AP Sports Writer 31 minutes ago

    AUSTIN, Texas - Lance Armstrong is getting back on his bike, determined to win an eighth Tour de France. Armstrong's return from cancer to win the Tour a record seven consecutive times made him a hero to cancer patients worldwide and elevated cycling to an unprecedented level in America.

    The Tour "is the intention," Armstrong's spokesman Mark Higgins told The Associated Press, "but we've got some homework to do over there."

    Added Bill Stapleton, Armstrong's lawyer and longtime confidant: "We're not going to try to win second place."

    What team he'll ride with and in what other races he'll compete are undecided, Higgins said.

    "I am happy to announce that after talking with my children, my family and my closest friends, I have decided to return to professional cycling in order to raise awareness of the global cancer burden," the 36-year-old Armstrong said in a statement released to The Associated Press. "This year alone, nearly eight million people will die of cancer worldwide. ... It's now time to address cancer on a global level."

    In an exclusive interview with Vanity Fair, Armstrong told the magazine he's 100 percent sure he's going to compete in the Tour de France next summer. "I'm going back to professional cycling," he said in the story posted Tuesday on the magazine's Web site. "I'm going to try and win an eighth Tour de France."

    On Monday, the cycling journal VeloNews reported on its Web site that Armstrong would compete with the Astana team, led by close friend John Bruyneel, in the Tour and four other road races ? the Amgen Tour of California, Paris-Nice, the Tour de Georgia and the Dauphine-Libere.

    But there are no guarantees Astana would be allowed to race in the 2009 Tour. Race officials kept the team out of the 2008 Tour because previous doping violations.

    Armstrong's return to competition raises the question of whether he risks damaging his athletic legacy. And his own words likely will cause some to wonder if he'll approach his return with the same steely-eyed determination and passion.

    In an interview published in the October issue of Men's Journal, Armstrong said, "I'm glad I'm not cycling anymore ... It was fun while it lasted, and I liked it, but I'm so focused on other things now that I never think about it."

    He's certainly thinking about it now.

    With his riveting victories over cancer and opponents on the bike, to his work for cancer awareness and gossip-page romances, Armstrong has become a modern-day American icon.

    He was an established sprint champion when he was diagnosed in 1996 with testicular cancer that had spread to his lungs and brain. Doctors gave him less than a 50 percent chance of survival.

    Surgery ? he has a half-moon scar on his head from the brain operation ? and brutal cycles of chemotherapy saved his life. From there, it was determination and powerful self-discipline that led him back to the bike.

    His stunning win at the 1999 Tour de France was just the start. Under the guidance of close friend and U.S. Postal Service team director Bruyneel, Armstrong morphed from a sprinter into a technical expert who could climb mountains at speeds that punished other riders.

    Armstrong's goal every year was to win the Tour de France, the sport's biggest race, and he dominated the Pyrenees and Alps like no other rider ever had.

    The victories also forced him to defend himself against skeptics who questioned whether he was cheating by using performance-enhancing drugs. He got in several public spats with officials at the World Anti-Doping Agency.

    While many riders were caught doping, Armstrong never tested positive and has always maintained he was a clean rider, using hundreds of passed drug tests during his career as proof.

    His Lance Armstrong Foundation has raised hundreds of millions of dollars for cancer awareness and survivorship. The foundation'
  24. yankee8255 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2005
    star 6
    Exciting news, though I'd have been more excited if I hadn't become so jaded about doping in the past few years. He addresses the topic head on in the Vanity Fair interview, is going to subject himself to more testing than required, and is, in part, hoping to counter suspicions about how clean he was.

    And yet I'm still not convinced. Everyone else was doping but him, and he managed to dominate everyone? Given what we know about how easy it can be to fool the testing, I just can't get past having lingering suspicions.
  25. Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 7
    Call me naive or an optimist, but I'll continue to believe Armstrong's clean until there is good evidence otherwise, namely, the results of a drug test.

    But since this got mentioned on ESPN, can we get over the idea that if he has extra testing now, comes up clean, but doesn't win, that supposedly means he was doping before? Thats just ridiculous. He'll be 37 by the time the race comes around again, and the oldest winner in Tour de France history was 36, and that was way back in something like 1920. If he doesn't win, its a product of age, not doping or lack-thereof. That said, if he does win, and comes up clean on all the tests, I think that would just be further evidence to call him the greatest cyclist ever.
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