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Episode 88: The Tour is Dead, Long Live the Tour

We wrap up the last week of Tour and talk about the takaways! Included: Jeff is disappointed in Cancellara, Anna is impressed with Saxo, Jeff wonders if Tony Martin could be a GC threat someday, and Anna looks back at Nibali’s racing history. Also: Anna rubs it in that she was right about Wiggins moving to the track and Jeff rubs it in that he beat Anna in the fantasy league.

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Deep Thoughts: TdF ’14 Stage 15

You know, I’ve never really liked Nibali’s “Shark” nickname, but I’m starting to see how it’s appropriate…

  • Look. Nibali has LOADS of time of the guy in 2nd. I mean, he has over 4 FUCKING MINUTES on Valverde in 2nd. There’s no reason for him to attack. And if he were on Team Sky he definitely wouldn’t be attacking- he’d juts be chilling, riding defensively to save his lead. But the Shark is bored. He’s bored just sitting in the peloton, waiting to see if anyone attacks him so he has someone to toy with. I mean, just look at his face when he’s climbing. BORED. So, even though he attacked yesterday and WON THE DAMN STAGE, he decided to attack again today, just to alleviate the boredom. It’s like a fun game to him, seeing how much he can make his rivals suffer. So. I’m started to appreciate his “Shark’ nickname.
  • I was hoping he wouldn’t make an effort to catch Majka. Majka had tried so hard yesterday and Nibali crushed him like a bug. So today when I saw Nibali’s gap to him was holding steady at 30 seconds, I was very happy Nibali wasn’t making a effort to chase him down- see, he’s not all shark!
  • Do you suppose when Majka heard over the radio that Nibali attacked, he heard the Jaws theme in in his head? da-DUN. da-DUN. da-DUNdaDUNdaDUN
  • I couldn’t keep the Frenchies straight today- I’m a little ashamed of that. Regardless, those 3 French young’uns are really putting on an impressive show! The French commentators were crapping themselves, watching those 3 go at it.
  • Tejay did an amazing job today, keeping up with Pinot and Bardet when they went. He wasn’t able to cross the line with them, when they started sprinting, but losing a second or two is way better than minutes!
  • Speaking of losing minutes- HAHAHAHA VALVERDE!

Deep Thoughts: TdF ’14 Stage 14

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.

GC