We’re baaaack! Anna is sad Contador is leaving, Boonen is OUT, what will become of MPCC, now that Lampre is out? We talk about all the fun of Omloop, KBK, Strade Bianche and Paris Nice. Jeff comes up with another name for those one week races: mini Grand Tours. He also tries out his Lance Armstrong/Clint Eastwood voice. Kat makes an appearance.
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Nibali is sending a message. And that message is “Oh, you’re going to attack me? That’s cool, as long as you don’t mind me attacking you right back SO HARD your face will fall off and then I’ll go win the stage for fun. So, you know, go ahead and attack me!”
- However happy I am that Nibali won another stage, I do kind of wish he would have let either Majka or Koening get the win. I’m often of two minds about ‘giving away the win’, but for someone who’s already got two stages AND will most likely win the overall, the win might not mean as much as someone from a smaller team or someone who’s a domestique.
- Pretty sad to see Porte drop out the back I liked him and enjoyed watching him get some time in the spotlight.
- Tejay was pretty great today! Was impressed with his climbing and the way he stuck with Bardet. He’s now moved up to 5th!! Maybe he could move up into 3rd? But the French are strong right now- will be a battle to topple them, I think.
- I’ve seen a little chatter on my timeline about how some people think, after seeing Nibali perform, that Froome or Contador being there wouldn’t have made a difference. I disagree to a point- who knows what could’ve been. It’s all coulda, woulda, shoulda at this point. I think fitness-wise, he’s a good match to Bert and Froome. But he would have to pit his Astana team against the super strong Sky and Saxo teams. And I’m less sure his team would have been up to battling those teams.
Looks like there was a little testing going on today! Contador did a little attack to see where that got him and while Nibali was able to keep up, i think Contador was testing him…
- Some weird weather today. Decent weather, then they rode right into some nasty rain! Then cleared up again, then raining again- gross. I’ll admit i’ve never minded riding in the rain, but I’ve never had to ride 3 hours with wet shoes and chamois.
- Never did I guess this would happen in this Tour- torn between Contador and Nibali! It feels so weird to be rooting against Contador, but… I have to admit I am!
- So Contador attacks on the last climb. Nibali follows right with him and is on his wheel the whole way up. However, he faded in the last few meters and looked pretty wrecked once he crossed the line. I’m not sure he would have kept up on a longer climb. But, his climbing style is different than Contador’s- Contador is a bit more explosive. I don’t think this stage shows Contador for sure as the overall winner, but it will make the mountains interesting.
- It was so interesting to see those two climbing next to each other- Contador is a standing climbing and Nibali is a seated, grinding climber. Nibali’s style reminds me a bit of Cadel, but perhaps a little less grimace-y.
- Richie Porte was impressive! Stayed close to those two when most couldn’t! Maybe Team Sky’s plan b will work out..
- Talansky crashed again- things not looking good for him!
- Tejay was with the front group and even though he wasn’t able ot keep up with the front three, he was able to make up time and is now in the top 10.
- Right now I could see the podium being Contador, Nibali, Porte. But we’ve still got 2 weeks left and we’ve barely had a taste of the climbing to come!
Oh my, what a day! Highs and lows, crashes and recoveries and abandons.
- Biggest Low: Froome out 😦 For whatever reason, I’m no fan of Froome, but I felt a little teary when I saw him crash, then climb into the car. It always sucks to see a big contender pull the plug.
- And cue the chorus of people proclaiming “Where’s Wiggo now??” In my opinion, Sky still made the right choice by not bringing Wiggo. It never works to have 2 team leaders along- and if you think Wiggins wouldn’t have forced there to be two team leaders, then you’re delusional!
- And it looks like Sky already has a Plan B: Richie Porte. He stepped up today and is 8th overall!
- Let’s talk for a minute about what an awesome job Jakob Fuglsang did today! He worked hard at the front to make sure Nibali stayed out of trouble AND helped Nibali gain quite a bit of time!
- There was some chatter exclaiming how surprising it was that Nibali was doing well in the crap weather. I’m not sure where that was coming from, as I’ve always thought of Nibali as a poor weather rider- he doesn’t seem affected by any weather at all! And today was no exception.
- And the debate rages on: should stages like this be neutralized? Tejay said something interesting in an interview– when asked if stages like this should be included, he shrugged and said “That’s for the viewers to decide”, which to me seems like an odd comment- shouldn’t the RIDERS decide what’s safe to ride in? I’d like to see more collective action by the rider, like on the 4th stage of the Giro, where the riders protested racing in crap conditions, and neutralized the first 100km. I have no idea what should have been done, but I was happy they at least took out 2 sections of cobbles- even though it wasn’t the cobbles that caused most of the crashes!
- Speaking of Tejay and crashes- poor Tejay did crash 😦 Sad to see that happen and hopefully it won’t affect his overall performance!
- I was a bit surprised that Sagan and Cancellara weren’t up there to contest the final sprint. What happened there? I clearly wasn’t paying close enough attention. But it seemed to me that either a) they got caught out and missed the break or b) left it too late to chase the lead group back. Either way, would have been pretty cool to see those two duke it out! And actually, I think I really wanted Fabian to win today!
After an unintended and forced hiatus, Pelotonitis Podcast is BACK, baby. This week, Jeff Chandler (@c_fiddy) and I tackle tough subjects, such as, will the world end if Nibbles leaves Liquigas and is Jeff also powerless against Jakob’s dimples? And Jeff also makes Anna choose between Boonen, Taylor and Nibbles. The choice is obvious.
- We are forced to contemplate the unthinkable: Nibali leaving Liquigas link link Jeff wagers it won’t happen and will buy Anna a cap from his new team if Nibbles does move.
- Is charging to watch road races going against the spirit of the sport? link
- In the “shocking news” department, comes Richie Porte’s statement that he feels more at home on Sky than Saxo Bank link
- Also in the “shocking news” department, Jakob Fugulsang is probably going to leave RadioShack link
- In the “extremely cocky” department, Alberto Contador says he still thinks of the 2011 as “his” link
- You may not remember Jan Ullrich, but he’s been through some tough times link
- Giro d’Italia: Fast becoming Anna’s favorite Grand Tour, her massive fangirl crush on Taylor Phinney is evident as we moan poor Taylor’s luck.
- Tour of California: May’s other supremely important race. Jeff make a BOLD prediction and if he’s right, Anna will buy him a cap from that player’s team. Or maybe not.
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