Tour de France 2007 thread (2 Viewers)

rettucs

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Cheers for your insight on all that rettucs.
I only know Kilian Kelly as statistician. if you read my own posts they are full of facts but very lacking on inside knowledge or real understanding of bike racing - so I am more likely to be impressed by statistics than I should be.

on the whole cycling is in a big mess :
The worst team sponsors money dirty can buy, totally ineffective anti doping, apathetic fans (e.g. me!)

almost nobody gets caught doping - who was the last big name who was caught ? I can't remember anyone. Froome should have been banned but the Sky lawyers dragged the case out so long the UCI didn't have a enough money to contest it and get him banned - a truly horrendous moment for all sport that that could happen.
Cherrie Prudhomme who is the DS for Israel CP is commentating today - she has only good things to say about Froome - one step forward, one step back.

on moral grounds really we should not be watching this at all but it's not going away and in certain places - like Ireland - cycling has never been more popular. in the 2000's i would have been shocked at the level of apathy I have about cycling now. I took it very seriously and was very anti doping and only really liked the likes of Moncoutie or Pinotti now I only watch it for the crack and don't follow it closely.

the one ray of light is a rapid rise in women's cycling and David Lappartient is the first half decent UCI president.

the Giro is now on a really beautiful climb they used in Trentino in 2014 that I remember well with 50 km to go. it's narrow, VERY steep and beautiful forest the whole way up.
I should have added more context to this. I allowed myself get too invested in the whole anti-doper thing about 5-6 years back. It definitely wasn't good for my mental health and ended up souring me off cycling.

I can't even rationalise how I felt about it. Like, I was clearly happy to turn a blind eye for some, but was knives out for others, depending on whether they were a prick or not.

The Sky story has been all sorts of ridiculous. Like the most obvious case of doping-in-plain-sight I've ever seen. Obviously US Postal were up there too, but we didn't know the half of what we know now about what goes on during pre-race training camps, or in the evenings after stages where blood bags are hooked onto hotel room lights as riders get their infusion.

You're so right though. There is zero appetite to catch dopers. ZERO. And I have to lay the blame for this squarely at the door of the british. We pretty much know now that London 2012 was a massive state-sponsored doping effort designed to lift the national mood, and show the rest of the world how big their dick is. This is evident nowhere more than in British cycling, and stories coming out about how USADA delegated testing of British 'athletes' to 'UKADA' (akin to the Tory party conducting inquiries into themselves). Basically, if the British are so plainly and evidently protecting their top 'athletes', then why the fuck wouldn't other countries do the same.

When is the last time we heard stories or whispers about what particular teams might be up to? When is the last time we had a whistleblower case? Even a disgruntled ex-rider pissing all over their former team(s) because they were fucked over ?

The last semi high-profile case I can recall is Stefan Denifl, and his name wouldn't even register as being well-known, even among cycling fans.

Maybe there are still people fighting the good fight. I get the sense that there's weariness there, and the stark demise of Froome, with no obvious successor to go after, has sated the appetite.

The big GC riders of today - Roglic, Pogachar, Bernal, etc, etc - its hard to have any dislike for them on a personal level, so people are not going to get a bee in their bonnet over whether they might be doping or not (and we already know there was a serious smoking gun around Roglic when he was still barely known).

That may change during the Tour de France, especially if Sky do well. But while I expect Geraint Thomas will do top 5, I don't think he'll trouble the Slovenians too much.

And I didn't mean my stats comment to be as condescending as it came out. That was specifically in the context of Kelly, an absolute mouthpiece and, in my opinion, a fucking wanker. But that opinion is very much in the context of what I said before - I let myself get far too deep into the anti-doping thing before and it fucked me up a bit.
 

rettucs

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Super win by Dan yesterday. When he set off up the last climb by himself with 10km left, I figured there was no chance he'd make it. I guess he was helped by the fact that Bernal had a bad day. If he and Yates had been ding-donging off each other all the way up that last 5km, they'd have reeled Dan in.

Whatever else about Dan, and I know some people have mixed feelings about him on a personal level (mostly because his dad wasn't meant to be a particularly easy guy to get along with), hes one gutsy fucker.

I've had the pleasure to have crossed paths with Dan a few times. He was never anything but a complete gent. I think hes a little on the introverted side, and likes his privacy. Some people thing the stars of their sport should be more engaging and outgoing. I admire Dan for sticking to his guns. Hes always been generous with his time, and has done some great charity stuff here in Ireland.

I have a feeling he could pack it in at the end of the season. I just get the sense that the hunger isn't there in the same way. This is since the twins came along, and priorities have changed. I can see him going to settle in Girona where his dad is, and get involved in the bike shop business they have out there.

In fairness, though not the same as the Kelly-Roche era, its not been a bad last decade or so for Irish cycling fans. We've had plenty to cheer about. There may be a quiet spell in a couple of years, but hopefully we'll continue to see the odd lad sneak through to the top ranks to keep us going.
 

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I reckon all things considered if there was no doping there would be very few riders better than Dan Martin.
nice guy who has all my fave abilities in a rider - hilly classics expert, excellent climber and one of the best in a short steep uphill finish.
great to hear he's as genuine in person. what a pity he didn't get to race here much.
I remember seeing him at Tour of Ireland in 2008 ? but he was at the back of the peloton and didn't finish the stage which started in Thurles.

I should have added more context to this. I allowed myself get too invested in the whole anti-doper thing about 5-6 years back. It definitely wasn't good for my mental health and ended up souring me off cycling.

I can't even rationalise how I felt about it. Like, I was clearly happy to turn a blind eye for some, but was knives out for others, depending on whether they were a prick or not.

The Sky story has been all sorts of ridiculous. Like the most obvious case of doping-in-plain-sight I've ever seen. Obviously US Postal were up there too, but we didn't know the half of what we know now about what goes on during pre-race training camps, or in the evenings after stages where blood bags are hooked onto hotel room lights as riders get their infusion.

You're so right though. There is zero appetite to catch dopers. ZERO. And I have to lay the blame for this squarely at the door of the british. We pretty much know now that London 2012 was a massive state-sponsored doping effort designed to lift the national mood, and show the rest of the world how big their dick is. This is evident nowhere more than in British cycling, and stories coming out about how USADA delegated testing of British 'athletes' to 'UKADA' (akin to the Tory party conducting inquiries into themselves). Basically, if the British are so plainly and evidently protecting their top 'athletes', then why the fuck wouldn't other countries do the same.

When is the last time we heard stories or whispers about what particular teams might be up to? When is the last time we had a whistleblower case? Even a disgruntled ex-rider pissing all over their former team(s) because they were fucked over ?

The last semi high-profile case I can recall is Stefan Denifl, and his name wouldn't even register as being well-known, even among cycling fans.

Maybe there are still people fighting the good fight. I get the sense that there's weariness there, and the stark demise of Froome, with no obvious successor to go after, has sated the appetite.

The big GC riders of today - Roglic, Pogachar, Bernal, etc, etc - its hard to have any dislike for them on a personal level, so people are not going to get a bee in their bonnet over whether they might be doping or not (and we already know there was a serious smoking gun around Roglic when he was still barely known).

That may change during the Tour de France, especially if Sky do well. But while I expect Geraint Thomas will do top 5, I don't think he'll trouble the Slovenians too much.

And I didn't mean my stats comment to be as condescending as it came out. That was specifically in the context of Kelly, an absolute mouthpiece and, in my opinion, a fucking wanker. But that opinion is very much in the context of what I said before - I let myself get far too deep into the anti-doping thing before and it fucked me up a bit.
I hate hypocrisy and can't deal with it at all.
I used to watch 24 hour news channels and be stunned how agenda driven the news was. those channels drove me nuts.
I wouldn't want to be a pro sportsperson, it's grim most of the time and the punters only remember the best parts.

as you said anti doping is barely on the agenda now it's almost like everything from the Tour 98 through to the biological passport days never happened and it's like the EPO generation again.

Stefan Denifl was very harshly dealt with he got a prison sentence and was ordered to pay back wages to his employers (if I got it right). compare that with what Dr Ferrari etc got away with.

I didn't think what was you said was condescending at all !
I am better at remembering results n stats than tactics and I'm OK with that.
I know a guy who watches about 10 soccer matches every weekend - he knows everything I know and five times more. ask him who was the most fouled player in any World Cup and he knows, lovely guy who loves to share his knowledge. love hearing from people who know more than me.
 

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Yeah, I think Dan Martin would be one of the top riders for sure if there was no doping. That's assuming he doesn't dope, but looking at his performances it really looks like he doesn't, any time he has a good day and wins a stage he's usually totally fucked the next day, unlike the dopers.
 

rettucs

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I reckon all things considered if there was no doping there would be very few riders better than Dan Martin.
nice guy who has all my fave abilities in a rider - hilly classics expert, excellent climber and one of the best in a short steep uphill finish.
great to hear he's as genuine in person. what a pity he didn't get to race here much.
I remember seeing him at Tour of Ireland in 2008 ? but he was at the back of the peloton and didn't finish the stage which started in Thurles.
Dan had saddle sores that day. He was genuinely devastated to leave the race, as that was his one and only year as national champ.

Those 3 years of the Tour of Ireland were fantastic. The first 2 years they were 5-days, and 3 days the last year (when Lance Armstrong rode).

Its strange looking back on it - really a race like that would barely register on the overall international calendar, but to cycling fans in Ireland it was absolutely everything. But that final year - that was the year McQuaid 'waived' some rules for Lance so he could take part. He had just come out of retirement and you have to be part of the anti-doping programme for 6 months before you could compete. Not Lance though. And things spiralled from there. The following year was the Tour de France where both he and Contador were on the same team, and absolutely hated each other. Contador barely had an ally in the team, and doping aside, that makes his victory that year all the more remarkable (I'm not sure if he was subsequently stripped of that title - probably not). The year after that was Radioshack where Lance podium'd. Then all hell broke loose and we say the eventual demolition of the Armstrong myth.

Just on that, and in relation to what we were saying about how there is no appetite to out dopers anymore (because lets face it, riders are a commodity to the sport of cycling - without their top stars, the sport is worthless), just as Armstrong was about to be outed, there was a last-minute attempt to bury the USADA report by Travis Tagart (I think was his name). Only that it (somehow) got leaked to the media that night, the whole thing would have been buried and Armstrong would have gotten off scott-free.

Armstrong still rightly believes that he is a 7-times TdF champion and, you know what? I do also. He was no dirtier than anyone else that ever won. A bigger prick, yes, but dirtier? Nope.

And say what you like about Pat McQuaid and the role he had in facilitating Lance and his antics, but it was under McQuaid's tenure that the sport of cycling reached unprecedented heights (in terms of interest and publicity). The McQuaid family have done (and continue to do) a lot for cycling in this country. Wasn't it the brother, Andrew, who was responsible for those 3 editions of the Tour of Ireland?
 

rettucs

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I think I misremembered that about Lance and the Tour of Ireland. The anti-doping rules were waived so he could ride the Tour Down Under that january. Apparently he took a massive 6 figure appearance fee, simply by taking part.

The scandal around the Tour of Ireland was that they allegedly paid him 3 million just to be here. That might have been a lot of the reason why they couldn't run the race the following year. Then they lost their slot in the calendar, and other than Andrew McQuaid saying he was working on resurrecting the race, its unlikely to return.

There was also the Livestrong conference that took place in the RDS the week after that race, and his big group ride in the Phoenix park that thousands turned up to. On the one hand that was a nice gesture by a prick like Lance. On the other hand, it was meant to have been incredibly dangerous with pile-ups caused by people turning up who weren't used to riding in groups and causing crashes.
 

rettucs

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Yeah, I think Dan Martin would be one of the top riders for sure if there was no doping. That's assuming he doesn't dope, but looking at his performances it really looks like he doesn't, any time he has a good day and wins a stage he's usually totally fucked the next day, unlike the dopers.
Dan is a top rider and has been for his whole career. But you're right - there's always been this thing about Dan where people think he never got to his full potential. I even remember an interview with some clown in RTE who asked him if he ever thought he could reach the top level. Dan mentioned to him that he'd won 2 monuments, 7 days races, and at that point, at least 4 grand tour stages (not to mention having been national champion).

RTE have form for being clueless idiots when it comes to cycling, but this was something else.
 

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Yeah Dan has often been in the top 10 or at least 20 in the World rankings at the end of the season.
I meant that he might be in top 5 of his generation and more about Valverde mark palmares wise all things being equal.
Dan is great rider and about 2010 I remember predicting what I expected him to do in his career and apart from I thought he might have won another classic or maybe 2 he didn't do anything I wouldn't have expected. I can't be a 100% that he's honest but he could very well be.
Dan and Sam should both have been RTE sportsperson of the year and Dan's achievements should have been more acknowledged - he's always been one the best Irish sportspeople for over a decade.

Lance got 200,000 to make a speech at the cancer conference after the 2009 Tour of Ireland but I don't know anything about an appearance fee. Remember he got a huge sum to do the Tour Down Under twice and there was a political investigation into that afterwards.
The last stage of 2009 in Cork they had to go up Patrick's Hill
3 times the weather was terrible and lazy Lance got off in Cork without going up the finishing circuit once.
The Nissan Classic used to be like the Tour de France in Ireland. Huge event - it was the McQuaid dynasty's finest hour. There wasn't much chance to watch sport on TV back then or any major international events here.
I think Greg LeMond never finished the Nissan. Rode 3 (?) times and had to have gotten a big appearance fees.

Lance took nothing anyone didn't have BUT he got lucky that doping transformed him. It made him a different beast only the odd guy like Riis benefited more.
Some poor sods got little improvement from doping.
 

rettucs

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The last stage of 2009 in Cork they had to go up Patrick's Hill
3 times the weather was terrible and lazy Lance got off in Cork without going up the finishing circuit once.
I was on Patrick's Hill that day. I went to the stage start in Enniskerry on the friday, was at a stag in Lahinch on the saturday (after stopping off a that epic Clare - Galway U21 hurling semi-final in thurles on the way down), then drove to Cork on the sunday morning. I remember roads being flooded and there being such torrential rain that the visibility at times was beyond dangerous.

There's a coffee shop down the bottom of Patrick's Hill - I think its called Cork Roasters, and I had the most enjoyable cup of coffee I've ever had in my entire life from there that day. Morto though, I was wearing a Saxo hoodie I'd bought from ProBikeKit. When I ordered my coffee I looked to my left and who did I see, only the whole Saxo backroom team sitting having coffee, all wearing the same hoodies, and they all looking at me wondering who the hell I was!

The original plan for that day was to do 3 circuits of Patrick's Hill. They took out 1 loop due to the weather. In the couple of hours we were stood there waiting on the race to arrive, there was a lot of Livestrong reps handing out tat. I still have a box of Livestrong yellow sticks of chalk. The road was plastered with people writing stuff with that chalk, but shur the next shower of rain came and washed the lot away.

As you said, Lance climbed off. He tweeted afterwards - 'no Patty's hill for me' - prick.

I didn't care. Phillip Deignan and Sam Bennett (for an Post that time) were riding that year. I really wanted to see them. Both got up safely in the pack.

Lars Peter Nordhaug won that stage. Russell Downing won the race. Both ended up with Sky contracts, either as a result of that, or not long after.

One other curious thing about that race. The race passed, as did the motor cavalcade after it. A while after the cavalcade passed they started dismantling the barriers, the road was opened to traffic again, and the crowds were walking everywhere. Afterwards I read that, I think it was, Stuart O'Grady, finished the race 30 minutes down on the pack, by himself. So he did 2 loops of Patrick's hill, by himself, with traffic back on the road, and the crowds swarming everywhere. I had no idea that he was still on the road until I read about it the following day.

Incidentally, the first year of the Tour of Ireland, Stijn Vandenberg won it after taking the yellow jersey by winning the first stage into Cork (maybe Wexford) from a break he was in. The lead was too much to take him back so the result was never really in doubt.

The last day though, had a finishing circuit that took in Merrion Square. I was in there that day. I can remember the stage was on telly and some aul lad had a portable tv we were all watching on. I could see the break was so far ahead when it arrived to the Phoenix park that if it arrived into the finishing circuit with the sort of time gap it had, it would lap the bunch. And thats what happened. The 4 or 5 riders out front (I remember Martin O'Loughlin was one of them), lapped the bunch on around the 4th of 9 circuits.

The problem was, Matti Breschel was that breakaway. Back in the pack was Edvald Bossen Hagen (then for Joker-Bianchi) in the sprinters jersey. Breschel was 2nd in that competition and there weren't enough points up for grabs for him to be take the jersey of EBH. But, the race commisaires lost track of the number of laps the pack were doing - their race was effectively neutralised once they were lapped, and the bunch was stopped after doing 8 of the 9 circuits. Unbelievably all 'technically' DNF'd, including EBH, who ended up losing the sprinters jersey to Breschel. It was a bit embarrassing and EBH was rightly livid. But, he'd already gotten his contract sorted with T-Mobile so I'm sure he was grand in the end.

I spoke briefly to both Schleck brothers on Merrion Square that day. Both were very generous with their time, and very pleasant when interacting with fans. I was always a fan of both as a result of this.
 

nuke terrorist

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yeah I remember the three lads catching the peloton chasing them (!) in 2007 in Merrion Square it was live on RTE. but there's a lot of detail in you post I don't remember - poor EBH.
the Italian guy who won that day went on to have a good career.
had check his name it was Marco Mercato still pro with UAE.

I saw two stages in 2007 - the depart in Kilkenny where the Schleck brothers were the star attraction total gents to everyone who approached them especially kids. didn't talk to them myself. that stage finished in Cork won by Vandenberg who had fine career as top domestique in the pave classics after.
I saw Eric Vanderaerden cycle past me in Kilkenny which made my day! poor Nico looked really nervous at sign in interview - he was sick and had to quit the stage.
the other stage I saw that time was at Ennis won by another guy Slovenian Borut Bozic who had a really good career.

in 2008 on roadside for stage going through mountain rime near Thurles the day Dan had to quit.
then saw Cav win in Salthill. the next day saw the start of 4th stage in Limerick to Dingle.

in 2009 saw Russ Downing win opening stage in Waterford and the start the next day in Clonmel.
my aunt was there that day and got lots of photos of Sam, Kelly, Pinotti etc.
Lance went up the sign on last.

I have an idea !
this thread has being going since 2007 so what we posted back then is still there if we look back through it.

I was thinking about Contador winning the Tour in 2009 when the whole team was full of Lance loyalists.
there was a TT stage early on in that Tour which left Lance only a few seconds off yellow.

Pat McQuaid and the UCI seemed to spend months from Contador's positive for clenbuterol at the Dauphine in 2010 to September when it came out trying to bury the story.
Contador kept racing and it cost him his 2010 Tour win to Andy Schleck and his 2011 Giro victory to Michele Scarponi.

I knew Max Richeze had won two Giro 2007 stages but couldn't remember either until Rob Hatch said why in commentary in the other day - Petacchi won both stages and they were retrospectively given to Richeze
because of Petacchi was positive for Salbutamol (asthma inhaler)
same thing Froome should have been banned for.

another guy who won two Tour de France stages without crossing the line first was Kim Kirchen.
one of those stages was won by Ricardo Ricco.
 

nuke terrorist

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a quick glance back through the thread shows the Tour of Ireland didn't get a whole lot of mention.
I mention the 2007 edition at post #139 and rettucs responds but we both got into far more detail in 2021 than back then.
the 2008 race is not really mentioned ?!
Lance at the 2009 version and the Phoenix Park ride in get some coverage.
 

nuke terrorist

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I fell off the cycling radar on the Sunday the Tours of Belgium/Suisse/Slovenia ended but have started building up again watched some of national champs last Sunday...

felt sick yesterday when I heard Sam wasn't going to get to the Tour. Lefevere has had a go at him and Kelly has now defended Sam.


every time I think of Sam Bennett problems making news it's been the other parties fault (e.g. Bora choosing Ackermann instead) and the international cycling public have always had that view. this is no different.

Caleb Ewan must be dying to get going. his main rivals will be Demare, Merlier/VDP, Sagan, maybe Van Aert (who would be perfect for the Green if he wasn't tied up with Roglic) and a few over the hill guys like Cav, Bouhanni and Griepel.
Merlier even got beaten by Cavendish in Belgium so apart from maybe Demare, Ewan hasn't got a huge amount to worry about.

Dan Martin is starting though but no Nico or Eddie Dunbar who has done Trojan work for Ineos all year.
 

rettucs

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I fell off the cycling radar on the Sunday the Tours of Belgium/Suisse/Slovenia ended but have started building up again watched some of national champs last Sunday...

felt sick yesterday when I heard Sam wasn't going to get to the Tour. Lefevere has had a go at him and Kelly has now defended Sam.


every time I think of Sam Bennett problems making news it's been the other parties fault (e.g. Bora choosing Ackermann instead) and the international cycling public have always had that view. this is no different.

Caleb Ewan must be dying to get going. his main rivals will be Demare, Merlier/VDP, Sagan, maybe Van Aert (who would be perfect for the Green if he wasn't tied up with Roglic) and a few over the hill guys like Cav, Bouhanni and Griepel.
Merlier even got beaten by Cavendish in Belgium so apart from maybe Demare, Ewan hasn't got a huge amount to worry about.

Dan Martin is starting though but no Nico or Eddie Dunbar who has done Trojan work for Ineos all year.
I'll give it a go this year but I expect I'll lose interest. One of the Slovenians will win. Brailsford will come out with veiled accusations about how they're doping. Thomas will probably podium.

Lefevre is a bollox. I hope for Sam's sake he has his contract sown up for next season already. I expect he probably does. But its well known that most of the contract wheeling and dealing gets done on the tour rest days. Teams aren't allowed to announce their new signings until September, so speculation is all we have to go on.

I've said it here before about Cavendish that I admire him as a sportsperson. His arrogance has contributed to his success, but hes very difficult to like on any kind of human level. Its hard enough to see him finish out the race. There's been somewhat of a soft touch to his victories this year, and even though he has finished ahead of Ewan, Ewan didn't really contest that sprint at full-pelt. Cavendish will have Morkov, so it will be interesting to see if Ewan decides that his own train is better, or whether to just jump in on the DQS train. Either way, head-to-head, I can't see Cavendish winning. He could still take a stage if the others position themselves badly, so given the team's issues with Sam, they're right to bring him.

Bora favouring Ackerman over Sam was completely understandable - a German sponsored team wanting to back a German sprinter. Even at that I found myself wanting Ackerman to lose every sprint, and there was something sweet about Sam beating him. Wherever Sam finds himself next season (and I have a horrible suspicion it will be Sky), he'll be extra motivated to beat the shit out of whoever DQS' main sprinter will be.

Was scanning the team announcements this morning and was thinking how great it would be for Sam to go to a team like Sunweb. There'd never be any arguing over what the team goals would be.

Roll on La Vuelta!
 

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Jaysus... The Froome just posted up something on youtube, and I being a good clickhead clicked away on it.

He's looking remarkably skinny compared to the last time I saw him. He mentions that he's *ahem* shedding the pounds a bit, but not so that it would affect his health. So presumably the asthma has been kicking in.

But yeah, certainly rolling up to the previous things looking relatively non-skeletal contributed to him being completely irrelevant. Be kind of interesting to see if he can regain any relevance at all.
 

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If Sam Bennett goes over to the Brits he's getting cancelled
Ah lads. He's no more going over to the Brits than I am, surely.

Lefevre is an out and out asshole. Oleg Tinkov at least knew fuck all and was more of a stochastic dickhead who you could claim he doesn't know any better, but Lefevre... prick. Just prick all the way down.
 

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ahh the Boss of Belgian Cycling or Clinton as he was sometimes called (due to his hair going grey when he was about 40) Lefevere is way to powerful for anyone's else's good.
to his credit he gives proper respect to the other races and his team has won so many races he's not bothered if they never win grand tours.
although people have tried to dig up dirt on Quickstep over the years nothing major has materialised or stuck doping wise.

Sam B going to Ineos would make no sense career wise - Cav went there at his peak and only lasted a year citing the lack of the full lead out train he wanted. only Telekom managed to get Yellow and Green that I can think of (Zabel + Riis / Ulrich)
 

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Clinton as he was sometimes called...

Sam B going to Ineos would make no sense career wise - Cav went there at his peak and only lasted a year citing the lack of the full lead out train he wanted. only Telekom managed to get Yellow and Green that I can think of (Zabel + Riis / Ulrich)
Wow, Clinton is the perfect name for him. I'd like to believe it was less because of the hair, and more because of a shared conniving, gangstery, weasel personality.


Thinking about it more now, sprinters have dangerous and potentially short careers. Sam has demonstrated he's classy, I'm sure he'd like to prove more but realistically he's already made it.

If Ineos plunked down a massive 2 year contract in front of him with some vague promises he might realise that could be a sensible option from the perspective of financial stability 20 years down the line.
 

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