Velominati Super Prestige: Tour de France 2015

Cobblestones make the race, I’m not ruining any fantasies telling you that. Wet cobblestones, well, those make a legend. Nibbles rose in my esteem considerably when he rode the wet cobbles as well as he rides any mountain descent or climb; that is a boy with some nerves and some mad bike handling skills.

Wet cobbles are scarier to ride that dry ones, but they aren’t really that much more difficult to ride; you’re still playing the lottery that your wheels keep pointing where your bike is trying to go. But wet stones are definitely more draining; the mud and silt you ride through make it like riding through molasses. Awesome molasses, but molasses nonetheless.

The cobbles are back this year, and hopefully so will the rain. Let us pray for rain, because last year’s stage made the race.

The Tour de France needs no introduction but the VSP prizes deserve a gentle reminder. This is a Grand Tour, people, lots of points at stake. And those points are going towards amazing prizes including a Jaegher frame and a Café Roubaix wheelset. There is plenty of time for you to Delgado this thing, too, if you wait around until the last minute. So my advice is that you avoid doing that.

Give yourself enough time to enter your picks so if something has gone amuck, you have time to hit “reload” or come back V minutes later to try again before the event closes. Remember, your procrastination in this matter will not result in our emergency to enter your picks for you. All that said, if you do encounter a problem, please be so kind as to take a screenshot and upload it because the descriptor “it didn’t work” or “hm, not working” doesn’t help us debug the problem. Also, Internet Explorer is not supported and apparently only shows one Pick Entry box, so use Chrome, Firefox, or Safari instead.

The scoring for the Grand Tours is a tad more involved than the one-day races and one-week Tours, so look the guidelines over before making your prognostications.

So get your picks in before the countdown clock goes to zero, hit the go button, and good luck.

 

[vsp_results id=”33262″/]

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520 Replies to “Velominati Super Prestige: Tour de France 2015”

  1. @brett

    I’ve been watching every stage live and it’s been an absorbing Tour, and I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed every stage. I think your (understandable) cynicism has killed the Tour for you so it wouldn’t matter who was winning or how you wouldn’t be able to enjoy it. I feel a bit sorry for you.

  2. @ChrisO

    I guess Movistar were just trying a show of strength. To say they weren’t afraid and maybe to get into a one on one situation – in the past Quintana has at times been better than Froome when they are in direct competition.

    Regarding the suspicion, yes there is some element of being stuck in the past but isn’t that also because nobody has done a lot to move into the future.

    • there’s a voluntary code of conduct followed by some teams when it suits them;
    • teams with terrible records are not punished or sanctioned by the UCI;
    • the evidence to the drugs commission was that far from having stopped, there was still considerable doping it had just become more precise – as always the dopers are ahead of the testers;
    • teams still refuse to publish (or allow independent third-party access) real data about training or racing to make everything open and transparent and criticise anyone who tries to work with this – possibly the only information which could settle the argument.

    There is a lot of scepticism about Froome from sensible people who have been looking at the performances of top riders over a lot of years. I’m talking about sports science and data specialists, not haters on message boards.

    Froome was estimated to have done 6.1 w/kg for 40 minutes yesterday. That level for that duration is extremely suspect. Unfortunately we don’t know his HR and physiological details. The only people with the data to confirm or deny it is Sky and they are setting lawyers on people.

    Until teams and the sport’s administrators realise that it isn’t good enough to sit and say “He was tested, he’s clean, we don’t dope” then it is going to continue.

    Of course, you brought logic to the gunfight!
    From their perspective, why then do the teams not want to provide their data? What is the risk?

    I can only see that then opposition will be able to target specifically? (we know he can do 6.1w/kg for 40 minutes, so lets burn our guys out and hold at 6.2w/kg pace for him and then put our GC on the front).

    Is that it? I mean, even then power numbers from a race are only specific to that race, so the past numbers wouldn’t really reflect their form the next year unless they did the exact same preparation, correct?

  3. @Beers

    @ChrisO

    I guess Movistar were just trying a show of strength. To say they weren’t afraid and maybe to get into a one on one situation – in the past Quintana has at times been better than Froome when they are in direct competition.

    Regarding the suspicion, yes there is some element of being stuck in the past but isn’t that also because nobody has done a lot to move into the future.

    • there’s a voluntary code of conduct followed by some teams when it suits them;
    • teams with terrible records are not punished or sanctioned by the UCI;
    • the evidence to the drugs commission was that far from having stopped, there was still considerable doping it had just become more precise – as always the dopers are ahead of the testers;
    • teams still refuse to publish (or allow independent third-party access) real data about training or racing to make everything open and transparent and criticise anyone who tries to work with this – possibly the only information which could settle the argument.

    There is a lot of scepticism about Froome from sensible people who have been looking at the performances of top riders over a lot of years. I’m talking about sports science and data specialists, not haters on message boards.

    Froome was estimated to have done 6.1 w/kg for 40 minutes yesterday. That level for that duration is extremely suspect. Unfortunately we don’t know his HR and physiological details. The only people with the data to confirm or deny it is Sky and they are setting lawyers on people.

    Until teams and the sport’s administrators realise that it isn’t good enough to sit and say “He was tested, he’s clean, we don’t dope” then it is going to continue.

    Of course, you brought logic to the gunfight!
    From their perspective, why then do the teams not want to provide their data? What is the risk?

    I can only see that then opposition will be able to target specifically? (we know he can do 6.1w/kg for 40 minutes, so lets burn our guys out and hold at 6.2w/kg pace for him and then put our GC on the front).

    Is that it? I mean, even then power numbers from a race are only specific to that race, so the past numbers wouldn’t really reflect their form the next year unless they did the exact same preparation, correct?

  4. @Beers

    From their perspective, why then do the teams not want to provide their data? What is the risk?

    I can only see that then opposition will be able to target specifically? (we know he can do 6.1w/kg for 40 minutes, so lets burn our guys out and hold at 6.2w/kg pace for him and then put our GC on the front).

    Is that it? I mean, even then power numbers from a race are only specific to that race, so the past numbers wouldn’t really reflect their form the next year unless they did the exact same preparation, correct?

    Whoops, keyboard slip above… it’s a good question.

    Dr Ross Tucker of Sports Scientists compared it to a runner wanting to have the timeclock covered up. It’s pointless to hide it. So many other things go into a performance – tactical, mental etc.

    Look at yesterday. There was a widely published photo of a warmup routine stuck on Contador’s bike which clearly stated his FTP was 420 watts. He weights 62kg, let’s say 65kg on a bad day. That should give him the ability to maintain 6.4-6.5 w/kg for an hour. But he can’t – he never has and never will.

    Look at Nibali – he’s capable of nearly 6w/kg, he did it last year, but Fuglsang said he just gave up in his head.

    Even if the teams were worried then the least they could do would be to release a wide range of training and race data to an independent third-party on a confidential basis. And then for selected data on key races or stages to be publicly released for all riders.

    The fact that people are unwilling to do this leads to suspicion. We’re right to ask “Why not?” and the answer is uncomfortable.

  5. I’m surprised by a lot of the comments here. The TDF is not my favourite GT but I have been glued to this one. Great first week, crosswinds, cobbles and Stybs getting a stage. The late TTT just added to the mix and the current time gaps will surely lead to Froome being attacked over the four cols today. As @Jay states, he’s gotta be tired.

  6. @Erik

    @frank

    @Erik

    Well, barring a crushing collapse, which I suppose is possible, this race is for the scraps.  Ah, I got nothing in my VSP.

    This first-mountain-stage crushing routine is a bit tiresome but that was one crazy stage.

    It was a cracker of a stage. Fun to watch, even though I was watching my VSP collapse. Froome was positively amazing. Quintana’s face never reveals anything, but he didn’t look bad. TVG kept it together, relatively. Truly enjoyed it.

  7. @ChrisO

    Given that Froome appears to be a fair bit bigger than Porte and Quintana and given that neither were massively behind Froome my uninformed logic would seem to extrapolate that all 3 would have had similar power output per kg over that climb?

  8. @Teocalli

    @ChrisO

    Given that Froome appears to be a fair bit bigger than Porte and Quintana and given that neither were massively behind Froome my uninformed logic would seem to extrapolate that all 3 would have had similar power output per kg over that climb?

    Quintana and Porte were estimated around 5.9 w/kg. To put that in perspective it’s around or slightly higher than most winning performances for the Tour in the last four years. But behind Froome.

    Robert Gesink has actually published his data and if his weight is assumed to be 71kg then he did around 5.8 w/kg so the Quintana, Porte and Froome estimates seem to be validated relatively.

    One of the weird things about Froome’s ride is that he only attacked halfway up. So his 6.1 w/kg is likely to have been around 5.8/5.9 w/kg for 20 mins then 6.4/6.5 w/kg for 20 mins. That’s extra-terrestrial.

  9. @ChrisO

    That’s extra-terrestrial.

    Maybe that explains the elbows/knee thing?

    Also what’s that stat that along the lines that if a human could run as fast as a spider proportional to human height : spider length then a human would do 100 metres in sub 2 secs.

  10. @ChrisO

    @Teocalli

    @ChrisO

    Given that Froome appears to be a fair bit bigger than Porte and Quintana and given that neither were massively behind Froome my uninformed logic would seem to extrapolate that all 3 would have had similar power output per kg over that climb?

    Quintana and Porte were estimated around 5.9 w/kg. To put that in perspective it’s around or slightly higher than most winning performances for the Tour in the last four years. But behind Froome.

    Robert Gesink has actually published his data and if his weight is assumed to be 71kg then he did around 5.8 w/kg so the Quintana, Porte and Froome estimates seem to be validated relatively.

    One of the weird things about Froome’s ride is that he only attacked halfway up. So his 6.1 w/kg is likely to have been around 5.8/5.9 w/kg for 20 mins then 6.4/6.5 w/kg for 20 mins. That’s extra-terrestrial.

    which bit of Froome is bigger than anything? At least Quintana has calves! Sorry @frank.

  11. @ChrisO

    @Beers

    From their perspective, why then do the teams not want to provide their data? What is the risk?

    I can only see that then opposition will be able to target specifically? (we know he can do 6.1w/kg for 40 minutes, so lets burn our guys out and hold at 6.2w/kg pace for him and then put our GC on the front).

    Is that it? I mean, even then power numbers from a race are only specific to that race, so the past numbers wouldn’t really reflect their form the next year unless they did the exact same preparation, correct?

    Whoops, keyboard slip above… it’s a good question.

    Dr Ross Tucker of Sports Scientists compared it to a runner wanting to have the timeclock covered up. It’s pointless to hide it. So many other things go into a performance – tactical, mental etc.

    Look at yesterday. There was a widely published photo of a warmup routine stuck on Contador’s bike which clearly stated his FTP was 420 watts. He weights 62kg, let’s say 65kg on a bad day. That should give him the ability to maintain 6.4-6.5 w/kg for an hour. But he can’t – he never has and never will.

    Look at Nibali – he’s capable of nearly 6w/kg, he did it last year, but Fuglsang said he just gave up in his head.

    Even if the teams were worried then the least they could do would be to release a wide range of training and race data to an independent third-party on a confidential basis. And then for selected data on key races or stages to be publicly released for all riders.

    The fact that people are unwilling to do this leads to suspicion. We’re right to ask “Why not?” and the answer is uncomfortable.

    I am in two minds about this I have to say.  I am concerned about the stats but I if it were my team and I did not have to publish the data then I would not do so.  There is an awful lot of stuff that we don’t see but a competing team would be able to break down and figure out.  When a gel was taken, or a sip of the “special” beedons they use during the closing stages.  Once you publish the data, you just get a load more questions, then people starting ask what you are eating/drinking, or any other element of the race (legally) that you are seeking to look for marginal games.

    I don’t really buy the covering the clock for a runner.  On a track, they hear the bang, they run, they win or lose, cycling is far far more complex the analogy just seems a little too simple for me.

    Having said that, it is a brave person who pipes up and says “Yup they are clean let’s just give them the benefit of the doubt”.  I want to believe Froomey and until proven other wise I will continue to cheer him on, but that does not mean I won’t be surprised if suddenly the headlines one day have him signing for Astana!!

  12. Having recently read Charlie Wegelius’ book (and by no means being any form of expert here) one thing that struck me is that the doping era, to some extent, leveled the field in that everyone ended up with a haematocrit of as near 50% as they could manage.  So someone like Wegelius with a naturally high haematocrit was effectively disadvantaged as they would get no performance gain from doping.  So as a general observation as cycling becomes clean(er) you might expect a) that those naturally advantaged physiologically will rise to the top b) there  may be larger gaps in performance than in the known doping era (till you end up with natural selection creating the new norm).

    Of course the sad extension of this in some ways is that anyone wanting to enter an endurance sport may be selected out at the outset as a result of physiological testing but hopefully there is still space for those prepared a) to work hard and b) who have that psychological trait to push themselves beyond the norm.

  13. @Teocalli

    I think Froome would have to be daft as a brush to be doping, with the level of scrutiny on the sport. And if he’d started recently it should be shown by his blood passport, unless he’s been using EPO since before he turned pro? And the way Porte and GT performed yesterday if I was going to accuse Froome of doping I’d have to accuse them too. And if that’s the case, then what are the chances of the 3 main riders on a team doping without the management knowing? None. So it would mean Sky had a doping programme.

    And if that’s true, then I would be astounded if it was just Sky and not, say, Astana, Tinkoff, BMC, etc who were doing it.

    I think I’d prefer to believe that none of this is the case, and that while there is doping in the sport it is not widespread and the main contenders are clean. I may be proved wrong.

    However, if Froome happened to be an Astana rider I’d be a lot more suspicious so I don’t know if that makes me a hypocrite…

  14. @Oli

    @brett

    I’ve been watching every stage live and it’s been an absorbing Tour, and I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed every stage. I think your (understandable) cynicism has killed the Tour for you so it wouldn’t matter who was winning or how you wouldn’t be able to enjoy it. I feel a bit sorry for you.

    Oh, no need for pity mate! I’ll get over it in a week or two…

    The thing I get bored with is the GC being decided in the first week of most GTs, and especially the Tour. We get excited (yes, me too) every year when on paper it looks like a great contest coming, but every year there’s very little fighting for the GC (at least the top step). The individual stages can be exciting for sure, but if the race is decided by the first rest day then there’s not much to get excited about I’m sorry.

    Having said that, I really hope I wake up tomorrow morning and see that Froome had an off day, Nibbles and Conti battled out the stage win and Quintana did something, anything, and the race is a contest again.

    @mouse

    @brettYou should get a new hobby.

    Hobby? Fucking hobby?

  15. @brett

    @Oli

    Having said that, I really hope I wake up tomorrow morning and see that Froome had an off day, Nibbles and Conti battled out the stage win and Quintana did something, anything, and the race is a contest again.

    Even as someone who likes to see Brits, including Froome, do well, I’m quite hoping for that.

    Even that someone else has a go would be enough to make you think there might be an actual race to Paris.

  16. Folks, I don’t think that these cats are doping in the traditional sense of blood bags and steroids and whatnot… but we can be confident that there is some pretty powerful science and associated medicine going on with their training and recovery and maybe even performances in competition. That’s gotta be the reality of the situation. That’s gonna be the world in years to come. Money and access equals science and medicine that’ll help people live longer healthier lives, delaying aging, illness and disease, and that research and development might well be happening with world class athletes. There are more than a few doctors I’m guessing that are not interested in treating disease but are interested in maintaining and improving health and performance. And to be involved with these world class athletes pushing the boundaries of human capabilities? At a very minimum the skinny dude flying up the mountain is huffing on an asthma inhaler yes? And that’s it??? Right… Anyways, I’m still fascinated by it all. And yesterday was cool.

  17. @RobSandy

    @brett

    @Oli

    Having said that, I really hope I wake up tomorrow morning and see that Froome had an off day, Nibbles and Conti battled out the stage win and Quintana did something, anything, and the race is a contest again.

    Even as someone who likes to see Brits, including Froome, do well, I’m quite hoping for that.

    Even that someone else has a go would be enough to make you think there might be an actual race to Paris.

    Lemond was quoted with an interesting observation before today’s stage, “The race for the top step is over, unless someone is willing to sacrifice second…”

    Good way of putting it, it’s going to take someone walking up to the table & chucking their whole pay packet on black to be in with a chance of dethroning the spider.

  18. @Erik

    Bardet just threw up on the climb. I can sure pick them this TdF.

    yup, heatstroke*. Apparently it was still 33 degrees at the top of the Aspin.

    *this information was relayed by PnP, so take that with however large a pinch of salt you desire.

  19. As to the doping conversation above, when I said Froome looked amazing, I meant it in a good way. Had I said, “His training sure is paying off,” then I would be saying that in a bad way.

    Was watching the Pantani movie “Death of a Cyclist” last night. Good gravy how could we ever have thought that those guys weren’t doped? It was like they had motors on their bikes.

    Here is food for thought: Assume Wiggins didn’t dope. I don’t think he did. He had such praise for Pantani in the film. I can’t remember the exact quote, but he felt that he didn’t feel worthy to be in Pantani’s presence. Wow.

  20. A slightly different piece of speculative science off the back of last night’s stage from Jeroen Swart of Science2Sport in South Africa.

  21. If you aren’t watching live and catch a replay or recording, don’t skip the descent off the Tourmalet, where Barguil makes up about 45 seconds on the yellow jersey group.

    As the camera follows him down you can hear the moto’s tyres squealing every time they go around a corner, still losing ground as Barguil throws it around, and then trying to accelerate up to him in the short straights.

    Scary stuff.

  22. @chris

    Very good question – exactly what I was hoping they would ask him, but they didn’t. No doubt it will come up at the full press conferences.

    My suspicion is they had him in the break as a possible help to Contador if it all went off. Then when they saw Sky were happy to ride tempo they let him go on the Tourmalet.

  23. Could have just been giving him a chance. Sky were unlikely to attack today, so maybe Saxo were giving Majka a stage win.

    I was watching tonight and had a thought. Tactically is sky better off letting a breakaway with no GC contenders go to avoid the other contenders getting time bonuses?

    From Quintanas comments in the past few days it sounds like he’s holding off for week 3 and trying to limit damage before attacking, but given the gap that’s opened is that too big a risk?

  24. @ChrisO@Roobar

    I’m not convinced that they looked at Sky, saw no attacks coming and decided to have an easy day today.

    No attacks on Froome is as good as giving him a rest day. Leaving it until next week or whenever is relying on him having a properly bad day rather than chipping away at his lead and putting him under pressure to force the bad day out of him.

  25. @ChrisO

    @chris

    Very good question – exactly what I was hoping they would ask him, but they didn’t. No doubt it will come up at the full press conferences.

    My suspicion is they had him in the break as a possible help to Contador if it all went off. Then when they saw Sky were happy to ride tempo they let him go on the Tourmalet.

    Or, they didn’t expect big gains to be made today anyway, and let him go rub one out.

  26. Team tactics aside, I’m just thankful he kept those Oakleys on and didn’t wink at the camera

  27. @ChrisO

    If you aren’t watching live and catch a replay or recording, don’t skip the descent off the Tourmalet, where Barguil makes up about 45 seconds on the yellow jersey group.

    As the camera follows him down you can hear the moto’s tyres squealing every time they go around a corner, still losing ground as Barguil throws it around, and then trying to accelerate up to him in the short straights.

    Scary stuff.

    Not to mention the fact he had to dodge a couple of bovine road intruders at around 80km/h!

  28. @chris

    @ChrisO@Roobar

    I’m not convinced that they looked at Sky, saw no attacks coming and decided to have an easy day today.

    No attacks on Froome is as good as giving him a rest day. Leaving it until next week or whenever is relying on him having a properly bad day rather than chipping away at his lead and putting him under pressure to force the bad day out of him.

    This. Everyone is too scared to give up 2nd or 3rd in Paris, so it’ll be a free ride for Froome from here. TvG just doesn’t have the ip to attack so he’ll be happy with 2nd, but Conti and Qunti should be going nuts trying to put Froome under pressure. They have fuck-all to lose and a shitload to gain.

    G Thomas hanging in the mountains? What’s going on there?

  29. @Mikael Liddy

    Not to mention the fact he had to dodge a couple of bovine road intruders at around 80km/h!

    That was nuts. Loved it.

  30. @brett

    @chris

    @ChrisO@Roobar

    I’m not convinced that they looked at Sky, saw no attacks coming and decided to have an easy day today.

    No attacks on Froome is as good as giving him a rest day. Leaving it until next week or whenever is relying on him having a properly bad day rather than chipping away at his lead and putting him under pressure to force the bad day out of him.

    This. Everyone is too scared to give up 2nd or 3rd in Paris, so it’ll be a free ride for Froome from here. TvG just doesn’t have the ip to attack so he’ll be happy with 2nd, but Conti and Qunti should be going nuts trying to put Froome under pressure. They have fuck-all to lose and a shitload to gain.

    G Thomas hanging in the mountains? What’s going on there?

    A guy who has always been mooted to have GC potential starting to show it now that he’s stopped dividing his attention between track & road, and therefore has shed some track weight?

    Sky didn’t have to do any work on Tuesday before halfway up the final climb, yesterday they could just ride at a high enough tempo to discourage attacks, without having to overly exert themselves.

  31. @rfreese888

    @Dean C

    We got Degs and Kittle selling caffeine shampoo on Eurosport every 30 minutes!

    Interesting how they now call it “German Engineering for your Hair.” The ads are awful because it sounds like they are dubbed and Kittlel’s hair is far from it’s pompadour best.

    While I’m here, Dan Martin needs to improve his tactical nous. He could have had two stages by now if he had been in the right place at the right time.

    I’m avoiding the Froome drugs issue. I just can’t warm to him. GT I do like, seems like a top bloke and I hope Sky are willing to pay him big $$ to keep him. TJ better shape upif Richie P is going to BMC. That could be awkward unless TG hits the podium. IMHO he’s getting the hell tested out of him. And you knopw they are testing for everything.I’m watching the Tour here in the UK and after Tuesday a lot of folks were basically saying it’s a done deal. Au contraire. There’s a long was to go. Today (Thurs) is nasty and the Alps are still to come. Bad days happen. f he blows, the others will pounce mercilessly.

    My VSP picks were/are shite.

    PhilLiggett is also shite. If he just has to focus on one rider at a time and the race is unfolding slowly, he can handle it. If it’s fast and messy, he can’t cope.

  32. @brett

    @chris

    @ChrisO@Roobar

    I’m not convinced that they looked at Sky, saw no attacks coming and decided to have an easy day today.

    No attacks on Froome is as good as giving him a rest day. Leaving it until next week or whenever is relying on him having a properly bad day rather than chipping away at his lead and putting him under pressure to force the bad day out of him.

    This. Everyone is too scared to give up 2nd or 3rd in Paris, so it’ll be a free ride for Froome from here. TvG just doesn’t have the ip to attack so he’ll be happy with 2nd, but Conti and Qunti should be going nuts trying to put Froome under pressure. They have fuck-all to lose and a shitload to gain.

    TvG is in 2nd more by accident than design. Listening to his rest day press conferences, all “if this happens…”, “I hope…” and “maybe”, he’s no GT leader. It’ll be a fucking travesty if he’s on the podium.

    Nairo, if he doesn’t pull something out of the bag or die trying, it’ll be an anti climax the like of which we haven’t seen since, er, Peter Sagan.

    As for everybody else, you’re right they’ve nothing to lose. What happened to the days of team alliances. Astana, Etixx and one or two of the teams with riders in places eight to 12 of the GC could pull together to hurt the top five and push their riders up the rankings.

    Having said that, I’d love to see Thomas on the podium in Paris. A future British GT winner?

  33. If Contador or Quintana are going to have a go at Froome, surely it’s got to be today, on the climb to the finish? Or if they really have the cohones, go on one of the earlier climbs and try to stay away.

  34. @wiscot

    @rfreese888

    @Dean C

    We got Degs and Kittle selling caffeine shampoo on Eurosport every 30 minutes!

    Interesting how they now call it “German Engineering for your Hair.” The ads are awful because it sounds like they are dubbed and Kittlel’s hair is far from it’s pompadour best.

    They were using the “German Engineering” line last year on the sponsorship stings on eurosport, so that’s not new. And the ads look dubbed because some of them are! There are 2 versions of the one with Degs, but they only shot it once, but then produced a second one with a dubbed final line. And because the that was the first one I saw, it sticks in my mind that they’re all dubbed.

  35. @ped

    Team tactics aside, I’m just thankful he kept those Oakleys on and didn’t wink at the camera

    This ^

    I like a wink once, but more than once is just creepy…

  36. @chris

    Does Majka’s stage win chasing mean that Saxo Tinkoff have given up on Bertie as a contender?

    I doubt it. It’s the usual break away tactic, send one of your team up front then you have an excuse not to take a turn on the front of peleton. If anything it means Contador got a relatively easy ride with the rest of the main GC riders.

  37. @RobSandy

    My hero…

    I have basically worshipped the ground G rides on since the 2013 Tour (the race that first got me into cycling) and he rode the whole three weeks with a fractured hip!

    I also love that character-wise he is the perfect medium between Cav & Wiggo (very entertaining but can be total dicks when they want to be) and Froomey (friendly and soft-spoken, but kiiiiiiinda boring). G is basically really funny and also really cool.

    There was also a yoghurt with his face on it last year, which made me laugh SO MUCH. It was also delicious!

  38. @Julez @RobSandy

    He was the Pro Guest associated with the Dunkerque – Roubaix ride (along with  Stephen Roche) and was really open with everyone there.  Came over as a really nice guy and really mixed in with the participants.

    Below is the moment when Froomey rang GT during the pre-ride dinner presentations.  The “skipper” saw Froomey’s name come up on GT’s phone so got GT to turn it on speaker and then also proceeded to interview CF.  CF actually came across really well, though must have wondered what the hell was going on.

    To paraphrase:

    CF – Just wondered if you fancied going for a ride tomorrow

    GT – Sorry mate I’m a bit busy tomorrow.

    CF – Oh OK

    GT – Look mate you are talking to a room with about 120 people in it and a guy here wants to ask you some questions…….

  39. @Mikael Liddy

    @brett

    G Thomas hanging in the mountains? What’s going on there?

    A guy who has always been mooted to have GC potential starting to show it now that he’s stopped dividing his attention between track & road, and therefore has shed some track weight?

    I’ve never heard him touted as a GC guy… not saying he hasn’t been, lots of riders get the next big Tour thing status (Talansky, what a joke). Some even claimed that Pharmy was touted as a GC guy before cancer and never having finished a Tour. So I don’t doubt that there are some making these claims, but I’ve always believed GT was an OK Classics rider, not someone hanging with the big guys in the Pyrenees. Losing weight is probably it though, it seemed to work for Pharmy and Wiggo.

  40. @brett

    Yeah, I’m still not convinced he’s a good enough climber to be  a true GC contender (although he’s improved a lot), and I always think he should TT better than he does. I just think he’s fucking cool.

    Here he is at our local track, where my son is starting out cycling and I train and race.

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