Tour de France 2007 thread (1 Viewer)

rettucs

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To someone not in to the sport the etiquette of cycling seems really complicated
check this video. This is Mark Renshaw, Mark Cavendishes main lead-out man for years. He got ejected from the race for this. I believe that was only because he wasn't the main sprinter. If he was, he simply would have been relegated.


Here's a photo of what happened just before Bennett's actions yesterday


Count back 4 places from the front. You'll see 2 guys together in blue. Bennett is the 2nd in line of those. The first is his lead-out man. Just to Bennett's left you can see Emil Leipins. The positioning is crucial here. The place Bennett needs to be is on the wheel of his lead-out man. Thats to ensure he is out of the wind and has full advantage of the draft. Also, it will be pre-arranged with Sam, more or less, when the lead-out man's job is done and Sam has to ride around him and start sprinting. What's happening in the photo is that Leipins is trying to disrupt Sam by forcing him off his lead-out man's wheel.

Here's the video of what Sam did to defend his position


The crucial points here are that Sam's hands never left the bars. If he did, thats automatic disqualification. And, in contrast to what Renshaw did in the first example, Bennett lead with the shoulder. That sort of bustle is completely normal and expected in the sprint. Its why GC men never get involved. A lead-out man is as specialised a position as sprinter itself is.

The other thing to note about this video is the reaction of Leipins. There was no protest from him. In fact he tried to do the same thing a second time, and Sam had to react a second time. Bennett is the top sprinter in this race. Teams know they can't beat him in a straight-up sprint so they need to try tactics like this to try and put him off his game. Sadly it worked yesterday but, it wasn't Leipins team that took the stage, it was Sam's old team, Bora. Ironically, Ackerman is why Sam had to leave that team last year. They're a german team and they wanted a german sprinter. Fair enough, I suppose, but they replaced Sam with an inferior sprinter purely because of nationality.

As you rightly said, this is etiquette, not necessarily rules. Sam knows to expect this shite, and he has a right to defend himself. That's what makes yesterday so fucking infuriating. Had he not defended his position he would have lost out anyway, as his momentum would have been completely disrupted.
 

IFF

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The way leipins moved into Bennett line, it really looked like was that to try to get Bennett either off the wheel of morkov or into barrier.

I thought Bennett was justified in order to protect himself to do so from being hit into the barrier but when I saw it, I knew it would be a dq

If you want a dangerous sprint, look at what ackerman did 2 weeks ago in scheldeprijs.
 

nuke terrorist

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well done all - excellent analysis here.

if you read my post previous post from Thursday 29th, it only makes sense because
I didn't know Bennett was disqualified until the TV coverage started on Friday (!)
there was not one suggestion that anything was wrong when the Eurosport coverage
finished on Thursday.

the crash Ackermann caused in Scheldeprijs was awful. three riders were badly hurt
because of his very dangerous manoeuvre in the finishing sprint.


the rules on sprinting are very strict and have been for a long time.
in the 1997 Tour de France, 5 stage results were overturned for irregular sprinting
and some of those decisions were absurd:

stage 11 1997 Tour--------- 3 man sprint starts at 1:55:30
Laurent Desbiens (Cofidis) a French rider on a new team (who were having a crap debut Tour)
was given the verdict over Ukrainian Sergei Outschkov.

and better remembered was stage 19 of '97 Tour - Voskamp and Heppner
despite crossing the line 27 seconds later in 3rd place, Mario Traversoni (Mercatone Uno)
was given the win (great commentary by Duffield and Roche):
I remember seeing Martin Bruin the tall Dutch commissaire at the tour of Ireland in 2007.
he's a big guy - 6 foot 5'' - so I didn't bring any of this up with him.

a couple of months later Voskamp got some revenge he beat Heppner (prick)
in another two man sprint to win a Vuelta stage
 

flashback

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I'm into this year's Vuelta.

I mean... I'm into all of this shit I suppose.

For the Scheldeprijs I'd give Ackermann the benefit of the doubt. I don't think he intended to take that lad out, I think he thought he could jump into that gap. I'd agree with him getting a DQ, but I'd call that a mistake, unlike Alaphilippe in LBL where I think it was to do with anger.

The thing with Bennet getting DQ'd, I'd be siding with that not being fair. When I was racing, there was alllll kinds of pushing going on. There was pushing going on at the 3/4 mark of Sunday club rides FFS. Pushing is fine, in context. You put the shoulder in, lean, but there's room. This would be lads I'd be riding with, not even being aggressive, just being tired and wanting out of the wind. Swinging the head looks more dramatic, but it's almost a gesture: the fuckoutta my space, Bud. If you're really leaning on people it can look invisible to the commissars. You'd normally be leaning, and then if there was a problem you'd say shit and push them off. Or get pushed off. Heh.


So leaning is almost like a static thing, like a squeeze when the road tightens up or something. Having a cunt switch onto your line is different, and that's when I get annoyed. Bennet didn't switch anyone, he got involved in pushing. And, like, pushing is what happens almost all the time when it's windy, or some the lads up front are pinning it and you have to chase them.
 

flashback

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Just looking at that Voskamp link @nuke terrorist posted up there. Yeah, that was bollocks.
That's another category. He got crashed into. Obviously he had come off his line a tiny bit because you'd feel the lad beside you coming in. If he didn't lean in he'd be in the barriers.

That's horrible. I've never been hit like that in a sprint. I guess even the idea to plough into him is some big balls action. The fucking sprints are scary. The idea you'd actually plough into people in the middle of a sprint... fuck me.

Sprinters do get used to that though. There was a lad I used to ride with, Willie Byrne, who'd be a decent sprinter (?), and he'd be pushing the fuck out the likes of me all the time. While giving me advice on how not to crash. Like, I had a man crush on the guy because he was older and cool and kicked ass in the sprints. But that was the deal with sprinters, they'd be pushing all of the time; it wasn't a big deal.
 

nuke terrorist

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Heppner was an East German guy who finished 10th in his first Tour in 1992.
he then settled into being a domestique in the Telekom machine for years.

when after years frozen in storage the 1998 Tour blood samples were finally tested,
Heppner who won the first stage back in Brittany after the race left Ireland, was one
of the riders who was positive for EPO, for which there was no test until 2001.

Heppner refused to admit he had been doped and accordingly lost his job as manager
of what was later known as the Bora team.

Bo Hamburger was the first sportsperson in any sport to test positive for EPO in 2001.
 

rettucs

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Sprinters do get used to that though. There was a lad I used to ride with, Willie Byrne, who'd be a decent sprinter (?), and he'd be pushing the fuck out the likes of me all the time. While giving me advice on how not to crash. Like, I had a man crush on the guy because he was older and cool and kicked ass in the sprints. But that was the deal with sprinters, they'd be pushing all of the time; it wasn't a big deal.
Sprinters are gas craic to go for a training spin with. I never raced but trained with lads who did, and at the top level. The best cyclist I ever cycled with (coulda been pro except for homesickness) was the soundest fucker, and the biggest arsehole, in equal measures. We'd arrive at a hill and he'd be like, lets take it handy up there, then bam, off he sprints. Prick. But he'd always apologise and make some excuse about not being able to resist, or that he needed to test himself or some other bollox. But I laughed it off. I could climb better than him because he was a big unit. But by god was he never going to let me, a non-racer, ever beat him on a climb. I remember us tapping away up stocking lane one day when he started to drift backwards. I could hear him getting flustered and annoyed, then all of a sudden he powered past the rest of us (one of the other lads with us was a former national hill climb champion) all the way up to viewing point. We kept tapping away and when we arrived at the top, he was flat out on his back on the ground, nearly passed out. Mad fucker.

Yeah, sprinters.

What did we all make of the Angliru? Thats another mountain to add to my list of climbs I never want to go near. I can't even imagine what that's like. I've done 100m stretches at 25% on training camps in the canaries. 100 meters. And I'd be pedalling squares. These fuckers were riding stretches of over 20% for multiple kms. I know they're skinny fuckers, they're all juiced up, and probably have motors, but still, fuckin bonkers. That must be the hardest climb in pro-cycling (though isn't that one in thailand (gentling highlands?) meant to be harder? Great to watch, but rather them than me. The hills in Spain are deffo harder than the ones in France. I've been on some of them in both countries and the gradients in Spain are severe, to say the least.
 

nuke terrorist

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I've watched the Angliru stage of the Vuelta every time since it surfaced
20 odd years ago.
10 seconds is no distance on a prolonged 20% climb - I'm not fit and almost
never cycle - the steepest thing I ever cycled up was a less than 500m length
job that rose up about 70 metres back 20 years ago.
feel free to laugh but I weighed over 14 stone and could hardly get to the top.

I can't begin to imagine how someone is able to keep a bike moving on a 20%
climb never mind several km's of it.

only 26 seconds between the top 7 on L'Angliru is the least difference it's ever
made on G.C. Kuss saved the day for Roglic and Kuss would have won the
stage if he had been able to ride for himself.

Carapaz put in a big effort and only gained 10 secs - disaster for him.
Roglic should almost wrap up the win in the TT tomorrow.

barring disaster Dan Martin has, at a minimum, a top five place sewn up.
6th place being 5 minutes behind him now.
Carthy is the most likeable of the established British riders and his big day was
coming for a while.
 

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i don't get out southside much on the bike, but the worst i've faced was kilmashogue which hits 20% on at least two ramps IIRC. haven't managed to make it up without stopping.
there's a particular point where you round a bend and you're already in trouble (if you're like me) and the psychological impact of seeing the road kick up by about five degrees for the next couple of hundred metres is just a killer.
 

flashback

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Yeah, sprinters.

What did we all make of the Angliru?
The universal thing I noticed about good riders was they could go down hills fast. I'd be coming off a motorbike, and used to speed to some extent, but good riders would just drop down hills like rocks.

The Angliru looked like that nightmare where there's a monster chasing you, and you're wading through treacle trying to escape it.

At a point it must start becoming logistically difficult to build roads on surfaces that inclined. Then you have to drive heavy machinery back down the bastard. The drivers would be finishing up that job with PhD level brake maintenance knowledge.
 

flashback

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i don't get out southside much on the bike, but the worst i've faced was kilmashogue which hits 20% on at least two ramps IIRC. haven't managed to make it up without stopping.
there's a particular point where you round a bend and you're already in trouble (if you're like me) and the psychological impact of seeing the road kick up by about five degrees for the next couple of hundred metres is just a killer.


haha. I was thinking... kilmashogue... rings a bell. I used to live a few minutes from there.

Yeah, you'd want a bit of a run into that kicker alright. It was so short it would be over before it started though.

This would be the steepest thing I ever rode up:


It doesn't look bad on google maps, and it wouldn't have been so bad, but the incline keeps increasing all the way up, and the last 20 meters are silly. And when you hit that part, you have zero momentum.
 

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there are two things about it which aren't fun; it's a cul de sac, so when you reach the top you've to turn back around; and it's quite technical, so you never really get as much payback on the descent as you'd like for the effort put in on the climb.
 

flashback

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Right. You can loop back and it's a nice ride up past The Blue Light, and on out that way.

All of these hills are around sea level too. Can you imagine hitting that sort of stuff 4,000m up? Pretty much the Tour de Colombia. Pro Conti riders arriving home with 1,000 yard stares and PTSD.
 

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