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Tour Stage 7 Preview

A rare regular sprint finish, or at least as close as it gets because the final few hundred metres kick up. We should get another bunch sprint while Chris Froome gets a new and unwanted spell in the yellow jersey.

Stage 6 Review: the no-hope breakaway went clear with three wildcard teams? Three wildcard teams yes, only for once there was a big difference, instead of no-hope it was a good news story with as Daniel Teklehaimanot went clear collected enough points to take the mountains jersey. They were probably dancing on the streets of Eritrea last night. Curiously when he took the jersey in the Dauphiné his breakaway companion was the same, Europcar’s Perrig Quéméneur. For the bunch behind it was a calmer day, the sea breeze cooling the pack rather than raising the temperature and the race finished far behind schedule. Several riders finished well down – Majka, Basso, Porte, Kangert, Westra et al – presumably in economy mode ahead of the team time trial and mountain stages.

Tony Martin

On the final climb of the Côte Sainte-Marie there was a tangle with Tony Martin drifting across Bryan Coquard’s wheel and then he collided with Warren Barguil and seem to slam on the ground as if he’d been karate chopped. Immediately Martin was seen doing the collarbone clutch, confirmed by an X-ray scan and he’s out of the race. Chris Froome gets the yellow jersey again and he won’t want this. Forget nonsense about curses, the rational reason is he simply doesn’t want to inherit the race lead because it means more demands on his time.

Which brings us to Zdeněk Štybar and his stage win, the success was almost anecdotal, a footnote to the day’s drama. Yet here was a fine win, he launched clear on the climb and behind nobody had a team mate to chase, prompting a stand-off. Peter Sagan collected his 14th second place in the Tour. He was lucky because Martin fell just behind him and they could have tangled.

The Route: the modest Côte de Canapville is the launchpad for the day’s breakaway. Used in Paris-Camembert it marks the start of a hilly early section and should let some riders get away. While most breakaways on terrain like this look futile, there’s a slightly better chance today. The big teams are tired of toiling and with calmer weather they’ll be less forceful on the front of the bunch. Still this is one of the few chances left for the sprinters so the odds are still firmly on a bunch sprint, if anything the day’s breakaway just has a greater chance of staying away for longer.

The rest of the stage doesn’t have too many features, there’s more and more woodland to provide more shelter. Look out for the big crowds as the race heads into Brittany where the sport is so popular. Expect Bretagne-Séché to be lively as they ride into their home region.

The Finish: Fougères is a small place and there a few roundabouts to negotiate on the approach road around town, part of which is downhill and therefore a crash risk because it elevates the speed. There’s a pinch point roundabout within the final kilometre and then a wide road until the line. It kicks up right before line with a 4% rise for the last 250m.

The Contenders: The uphill run to the line is perfect for Peter Sagan. As we saw in Amiens he was close to beating André Greipel. Now gravity is on his side as the slope will slow others a bit while he deploys his full force. If Štybar clipped away yesterday, today’s finish is too much of a high speed run to the line for a late attack to survive. So far so good but he’s proving adept at playing runner-up. It’ll be interesting to see how his bid for the green jersey plays out, he’s on 158 points to Greipel’s 161 and can expect to overhaul Greipel by scoring points on the hillier days. There’s also the team politics, we’ll see how his bid flourishes if Alberto Contador’s does not.

André Greipel is next and could well win. The bookmakers have him as the prime pick but I’m not sure they’ve checked out the uphill finishing line which suits Sagan more. Certainly the slope isn’t what he’d chose but he’ll be fine as it’s short. His sprint train is suffering from injuries which reduces his chance a touch too.

John Degenkolb is getting close to a win and apparently raging at the defeats. Here’s the perfect chance for him, in a pure speed contest he’s being beaten but the rise to the line is ideal. Mark Cavendish is at his most dangerous when he’s been written off and today is the chance to get that elusive stage win especially as he comes with fresh legs after finishing 52nd yesterday. His sprint in Stage 5 saw him just outridden by the rest and he’s far from the bankable certainty he once was.

Don’t rule out Arnaud Démare. He launched a strong sprint too early in Amiens after he got too excited by the sprint on home roads, excusable for a junior race but not ideal in the Tour de France. He’s won uphill sprints too. The same for Bryan Coquard, third yesterday but how he goes better today is hard to see unless fortune smiles on him. Alexander Kristoff looks out of sorts but he’s got the power while Edvald Boasson Hagen keeps lurking in the top-10 too.

Peter Sagan, André Greipel
John Degenkolb
Kristoff, Cavendish, Démare, Boasson Hagen

Weather: Sunny and warm with a top temperature of 27˚C. A light SE wind means a small crosswind but it’s not forecast to be much.

TV: the finish is for 5.20pm. Tune in for the final half hour for the rising tension as the sprint finish approaches.

If you can’t find it on TV, you’ll find it online with Cyclingfans and steephill.tv for links to feeds and streams.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Anonymous Friday, 10 July 2015, 6:23 am

    I am glad for Tony Martin that Zdenek Stybar won-this was at least one good thing to concentrate on. But I must say, Tony Martin sounded remarkably philosophical in the press: he is happy that his dream came true to wear the maillot jaune and that his story is now one of the legends of the Tour. Very good for him, that he can see it this way. Hopefully the op and the healing goes well and he can attack again at the world championships.

  • Oleg Tinkov Friday, 10 July 2015, 6:52 am

    Peter better not lose again, or else the KGB will be after him

    • Augie March Friday, 10 July 2015, 7:00 am

      I thought they re-branded themselves as the FSB, but it really was just a case of changing the letters on the sign….

      Anywho, it was interesting that Brian Holm took the blame for Cav lacking in the sprint on stage 5 due to the directors asking him to stay with the leading group over the cobbles whereas apparently the Lotto Soudal DS told Griepel to hang back and save himself for the next day.

      • Adam Friday, 10 July 2015, 10:46 am

        From what I’ve seen the Etixx “sprint train” has been more of a haulage train than Stephenson’s Rocket. They seem to be getting to the front way too early, hauling all of the main sprint contenders and their leadout men into the last 1.5-2 km and then getting completely swamped before the actual sprint-leadout even gets started.

        I think Cavendish would be better off trying to follow other people’s wheels seeing as his team seemingly doesn’t have the strength to dominate the sprints like the Highroad team of yesteryear. It’s great to see Greipel back on top form this year and it’s a shame that Kittel didn’t get back to fitness in time given his fantastic early season performances, but I still think Cav is the fastest man in the peloton if he can just get his positioning sorted out.

        • cnicholl33 Friday, 10 July 2015, 12:38 pm

          Same thing happened last year. It looked like Lotto’s job to chase down the breakaway, Etixx’s job to set up the sprint train for Giant to finish off in the last 500m for Kittel to take the win. Thankful that has all changed for this year – Lotto has learned their lessons at least.

          Cav had 20 TDF wins in 5 years with Highroad & only 5 since in 3 TDF since (plus none in this edition). Not sure how much says how good Highroad were or how much Cav has declined or how poor his teams have been with sprint since leaving Highroad.

          • J Evans Friday, 10 July 2015, 1:01 pm

            Also, the competition has also greatly improved since then – a lot of those victories came against the likes of Farrar and Goss.

          • Cilmeri Friday, 10 July 2015, 1:09 pm

            To be fair to Cav, looking at those 3, he won 2 or 3 times with Sky, when he had no lead out train. Last year he crashed on the first stage, and the other was the first year with Ettixx, and the emergence of Kittel.

            Saying that though, those years at Highroad were phenomenal!

        • Adam Friday, 10 July 2015, 9:50 pm

          I can only assume Patrick Lefevre read my comment and told Cav what to do!

          If you’re reading this as well, my consultancy fee is 20%.

  • sete Friday, 10 July 2015, 7:12 am

    And to think that if BMC’s Jim Ochowicz had his way we’d never see such a great moment as Teklehaimanot’s polka dot jersey. What a tool. I think I understand his concerns, but the way his presents his case is unbelievable. Makes me wish for more riders on the road, not less. What an idiot.

    • Anonymous Friday, 10 July 2015, 7:30 am

      He seems to forget that he needed wildcards too in the beginning…

    • Narkie Friday, 10 July 2015, 7:33 am

      I think this reads better 🙂

      “And to think that if BMC’s Jim Ochowicz had his way we’d never see such a great moment as Teklehaimanot’s polka dot jersey. I think I understand his concerns, but the way his presents his case is unbelievable. Makes me wish for more riders on the road, not less.”

    • The Inner Ring Friday, 10 July 2015, 8:51 am

      It does appear that Ochowicz is talking his own book. There are concerns about safety and smaller teams is one idea instead and it could make the racing better but bigger teams lose an advantage, namely they can bring nine big/expensive names and out-power others whose finances don’t stretch so far. But even shrink the bunch to 150 and would surely be problems, no sooner is the width of the road full then you have riders behind who want to be closer to the front.

      • Kendrick Friday, 10 July 2015, 2:36 pm

        Is the main problem with crashes not that both GC riders and sprint teams all want to be at the front at the finish?

        If the GC riders and their teams didnt need to be at the front of the peloton at the end then there’d be around half the riders there are now in the mix causing crashes no? Can GC riders not share the same time at the 3km mark on a sprint stage and then get the hell out of the way? or something similar? Surely there must be a sensible solution to this issue?

  • Danny Friday, 10 July 2015, 7:22 am

    Martin’s crash looked fatigue induced. He’s been on the front more than most yellow jerseys in the last few days. Who was he pulling for yesterday? Stybar said his was an opportunistic move so it wasn’t him.

    • Cilmeri Friday, 10 July 2015, 1:12 pm

      I think Cavendish. Given he was there right behind Renshaw, I think they planned to see whether they could be swept up to the top of the short climb in a big bunch. Otherwise Cav and Renshaw would’ve been coasting off the back surely?

  • SD Friday, 10 July 2015, 7:34 am

    Boassenhagen again a pick – really? Consistently there yes, but enough to actually win a stage i think not

  • Des Mount Friday, 10 July 2015, 8:44 am

    I’m interested in people’s thoughts on what the Nibali vs Froome spat tells us, if anything.

    From the TV it’s hard to understand why Nibali would have thought it was Froome who caused the crash. Unless Froome really does have a reputation for causing problems in the peloton – so the immediate reaction if anything happens near Froome is to blame him?

    • The Inner Ring Friday, 10 July 2015, 8:45 am

      Remember that on TV we see a lot more than the riders do, especially in the heat of the battle. It did look odd and they settled things quickly after.

    • Rouleur Friday, 10 July 2015, 9:28 am

      Maybe he just got so pissed at Froome cos he’s so hard to look at on a bike. Compared to Nibali, watching Froome ride his bike is giving me a headache!

    • hoh Friday, 10 July 2015, 9:52 am

      More interesting is the aggressiveness shown by Froome both on/off the bike. He doesn’t seem to have this air of “don’t mess with me” in yesteryears.

    • Nick Friday, 10 July 2015, 12:24 pm

      I guess Froome was the last person Nibali collided with before crashing, so his immediate reaction that Froome caused him to crash (if not caused the crash overall) might be understandable in the heat of the moment.

  • Mark Rushton Friday, 10 July 2015, 9:26 am

    Be nice if Froome declined the jersey until the end of the day in the spirit of eg Merckx/Ocana and others.

    • PH Friday, 10 July 2015, 9:27 am

      Chris Froome ‏@chrisfroome 7m7 minutes ago

      For those asking, I won’t be wearing yellow today! All the best to @tonymartin85 with his op & recovery #MaillotJaune #TDF2015

      • Anonymous Friday, 10 July 2015, 11:02 am

        Is it not a sponsor requirement that the jersey be on display in the race after stage 1?

        • Sam Friday, 10 July 2015, 11:11 am

          The race jury have made the call, declaring that as Martin is not starting, there’s no race leader and so no maillot jaune

      • SeeingElvis Friday, 10 July 2015, 10:20 pm

        I am wondering why wasn’t Fabian C accorded that same courtesy.

        • gabriele Friday, 10 July 2015, 10:25 pm

          Interesting point.

        • Alan Friday, 10 July 2015, 11:41 pm

          Because Cancellara finished the stage well down on time, so Froome became the new leader that night. With Martin, his crash was inside the last 3 k, so he was given the same time and therefore remained the leader until the end of today’s stage.

          • SeeingElvis Saturday, 11 July 2015, 12:07 am

            Ah, right, thanks for the clarification, Alan.

          • gabriele Saturday, 11 July 2015, 1:31 am

            Thanks!

  • SuperDom Friday, 10 July 2015, 9:44 am

    Great to see Teklehaimanot in the spots. He needs to get some help with his bike fit though. He’s not sitting square on his saddle (by a long shot). He’s hanging over on his right hand side (er, so to speak).

    • The Inner Ring Friday, 10 July 2015, 9:54 am

      Apparently one leg is longer than the other.

      • Bilmo Friday, 10 July 2015, 11:15 am

        I heard this on the cycling podcast. Would it not be possible to have different crank lengths?

        I dont understand the biometrics but I would have thought there would be a way to help a pro out at least.

        • The Inner Ring Friday, 10 July 2015, 11:38 am

          You can use inserts in the shoes

        • gabriele Friday, 10 July 2015, 6:19 pm

          Different crank lenghts are considered a good option (people are afraid that shoe insert will make them lose some of the advantage granted by super-rigid carbon shoes).
          The question also is: if your system works like that, will making the legs equal bring in only positive consequences? Reality is you’ve got to do a lot of trial-and-error, with a huge number of variables hard to keep under control and… well, you should be training and racing at your best as long as possible, if you want to stay pro, which means you don’t always have the margins to go and try new settings.
          I believe that Chiappucci had a similar problem and it was corrected quite effectively with inserts, whereas, for example, Pantani suffered from it after the femur accident but decided not to correct it with inserts, while working on a different bike position and so (more out of the saddle pedalling etc.). These aren’t but vague memories, hence if someone has got different information, improving references is welcome.

      • irungo txuletak Friday, 10 July 2015, 1:12 pm

        I think this was the case with the legendary VDB (I mean franck of course). He suffered a bone break in car crash when child, if I remember well. In his case, it didn’t look as a major inconvenience for riding a bicycle.

      • frank Friday, 10 July 2015, 7:37 pm

        So that’s why Gerard holz was looking the guys leg on french TV. Seemed to be some scare tissue around the left knee.

  • Richard S Friday, 10 July 2015, 9:57 am

    I wonder when it will dawn on Sagan that if he wants to win a race, especially the type of race he specialises in, he might have to do some work/track an attack?! To see him pull to the side as Stybar took off was very frustrating and felt like ground hog day with a couple of stages last year. He specialises in punchy finishes, the type of which where puncheurs like Stybar, Gallopin, Gilbert and van Avarmaet will go on late attacks ‘punching’ clear ahead of a sprint. If he wants to beat them he has to go with them. There’s no point expecting a tow to the line off someone else, for the same reason he doesn’t want to tow them. For someone who’s been around quite a while he strikes as being a bit simple does Peter.

    • The Inner Ring Friday, 10 July 2015, 10:02 am

      He’s pals with Štybar and said he wanted someone else to chase. He’s paid to win of course but had Sagan gone he’d have towed everyone across and probably got swamped and finished 7th. Bryan Coquard said the same, he could have followed Štybar but it would have been a gift to the others. Credit to Štybar for exploiting the others and their waiting game.

      • Richard S Friday, 10 July 2015, 1:41 pm

        His options are watch Stybar go away and definitely not win or chase Stybar and potentially win. It’s not just in the Tour though, he does it a lot in Classics. There’s no point saying ‘oh I’m not towing everyone with me’, he has to if he wants to win. Could you imagine Merckx or Kelly pulling over and looking over at everyone else? No way. He should be alert to the fact that someone will go and then go after them, or go himself. The fact is, every time he turns to everyone else he doesnt win, and he seems quite relaxed about it. Maybe he has the physical attributes of a great but not the mind.

        • BR Friday, 10 July 2015, 2:06 pm

          Oh? Care to list which noticeable classics he’s done this in recently?

          MSR’14 – Contested the final sprint, came 10th or something
          E3’14 – Won
          GW’14 – Contested final sprint, podium
          RVV’14 – Didn’t make the final selection
          PR’14 – Made the final group, no legs to contest the sprint

          MSR’15 – Contested the final sprint, came 4/5th?
          E3’15 – Made final group and blew up
          GW ’15 – Didn’t make the final selection
          RVV’15 – Chased with GvA but couldn’t bridge to Kristoff/Terpstra
          PR’15 – Mechanical cost his chances of contesting

          In none of these do I remember him sitting up and waiting for someone to chase when he had a chance to go for the win. Are you watching different classics to the rest of us?

    • RonDe Friday, 10 July 2015, 10:16 am

      Unnecessarily harsh on Sagan who is here, as he and everyone else Tinkoff Saxo related keeps saying, to shepherd Contador not to win stages or green jerseys. That said, is he really doing that bad of a job? Considering the guy is basically on his own I’m very impressed with him. A couple of his finishes were pretty close. In Zeeland it wasn’t even a tyre’s width. And at the start of stage 7 he is 3 points off the green jersey with stages in the future where Greipel will struggle to take points that he can go for. Should he get green again this year that would be 4 years in a row. And that, to me at least, would be a great achievement.

    • RT Friday, 10 July 2015, 10:47 am

      You make it sound like he’s never won a race let alone a TdF stage in his career.

      Where is the criticism for other guys in the group like GvA/Degenstache/Coquard etc who are chasing their first TdF wins and are spared the bulk of babysitting duties that he has? Not to mention he is always isolated in the finales.

      • Bilmo Friday, 10 July 2015, 11:21 am

        I thought Sagan did the best he could yesterday. Last year he chased a couple of breaks like Stybars’s, got swamped after towing the rest to the finish and then got loads of stick for it. He obviously thought why chase my mate and us both lose.

        Fairly certain he is going to win the green jersey again and I hope he does get a stage because he seems a nice guy and an exciting rider. The way he took final corners to win stages in Switzerland and in particular California were brilliant to watch.

        • J Evans Friday, 10 July 2015, 12:21 pm

          A nice guy who works with the Israelis and s3xually assaults women.

          His timing and positioning in the sprint is so often poor – e.g. in Amiens where he might have won had he timed it better. I think he gets so much criticism because unlike others mentioned above he should win more than he does, with his abundant talents.

          • JP Friday, 10 July 2015, 1:37 pm

            (Don’t quite understand the relevance of your Israel quip)
            In regard to his positioning in sprint, it is not an exact science, but I think most of the time Sagan does a pretty good job. He uses his bike skills and good acceleration to fight against pure sprinters, who have longer sustained sprints. In Amiens and Zélande, he used the slipstream to maximum effect and almost got it. Not bad for a guy who can outclimb half the peloton…

          • J Evans Friday, 10 July 2015, 2:01 pm

            JP, plenty of books on Israeli history out there (including the genocide perpetrated by their current Prime Minister) and the present apartheid system – this isn’t the place for that debate.
            I think Sagan did well in Zeeland; not so much in Amiens – as he often does, he started from way too far back.

          • JP Friday, 10 July 2015, 3:55 pm

            I am very familiar with Israel history. Both sides. And I agree that this is not the place to debate or mention the issue.
            Sagan was perfectly positioned just behind Greipel until 300 m to go. Degenkolb got in the way (like sprinters do all the time) and pushed Sagan off Greipel’s wheel. Sagan then used Degenkolb’s wheel to maximum effect, chose a different route (left side, less congested) and almost caught Greipel. Great sprint.

          • J Evans Friday, 10 July 2015, 4:33 pm

            Then why ask what I meant?

          • whippet Friday, 10 July 2015, 6:15 pm

            J Evans,

            Working with someone in Israel doesn’t necessarily make him a zionist zealot. Perhaps you are correct, but you need some supporting evidence to make such a statement. Again, you might be right, I don’t know anything about the situation. Enlighten me.

          • The Inner Ring Friday, 10 July 2015, 6:16 pm

            I’d rather this doesn’t go down the rabbit hole of Israeli policy. Comments on this topic will get zapped. There’s a race on after all.

    • Lanterne Vert Friday, 10 July 2015, 12:38 pm

      Simple really, he needs a leadout man.

      • Special Eyes Friday, 10 July 2015, 1:19 pm

        Is Sagan doomed to be the lonely Nomad of the Grand Tour cycling universe, drifting from team to team but forever having to play the lone wolf ?
        He’s an extremely talented cyclist (and is still a “young” rider, let’s not forget) – in fact you could argue that he is too versatile for his own good in a way – but unless he is able to grow in to a GC contender, it seems as if the bigger teams are not prepared to set him up as the team leader and provide him with support. It seems to me that he should forget riding for your Tinkoff Saxos / Sky / BMC / Astana et al. They might pay the larger contracts but it’s a case of ‘there’s your money, now go out and do it yourself’.
        He needs to be on a team that values the Green Jersey in its own right.

        • Othersteve Friday, 10 July 2015, 5:55 pm

          Interesting take on PS’s potential career trajectory.

    • irungo txuletak Friday, 10 July 2015, 1:18 pm

      If someone is to blame of not going with Stybar, this should be GVA, not Sagan. There was no way for him to win the sprint with the individuals remaining in the bunch. As result, he did not even reach the podium he is so used to.

    • AK Friday, 10 July 2015, 1:55 pm

      So you are suggesting to Sagan the tactic that made Matthews lose Amstel this year? Chase a better climber up the hill and have no energy left for the sprint.
      To use a cliche: in order to win you have to be willing to risk losing. Who knows if one of the others gets nervous and gives you a wheel to sit on. If he had chased he would most probably have been second after Degenkolb.

      • ZigaK Friday, 10 July 2015, 7:55 pm

        ^this
        He has been marked man for a few years now, and last year it was obvious that his tactics of covering every move won’t work anymore.
        I kind of see this as a win win situation for Sagan – eventually it will bring him some wins, in the mean time he is on a very good way to winning green.

  • SirDave Friday, 10 July 2015, 10:18 am

    Sagan was quoted last night as saying that he refuses to tow everyone up to the finish line anymore. Fair play to the lad.

    • Richard S Friday, 10 July 2015, 1:44 pm

      Well if he’s willing to accept not winning then yeah, fair play. Somebody has to go after Stybar and if he wants to win one of these days it will have to be him.

      • Anonymous Friday, 10 July 2015, 2:40 pm

        As far as I remember Katusha had riders in the group, they should have taken control, surely not Peter Sagan in that situation. He is there to support Contador, not to win stages or a jersey. Stybar is no threat to the maillot vert and his second place brought him closer to wear it. Maybe it was even the ride that won him that jersey in the end. If he is to win a stage, it is a bonus-not a must this year. That we are frustrated, that he isn’t the one to win, with that form and that talent is natural. But I don’t know, if you understand the situation or his purpose in this Tour well enough- he is the only one of the “sprinters” without team support and on top of that he has to work for another rider. In that situation he has to look at the bigger picture and not foolishly waste his energy. It is indeed the other way around: It is great that he has so many podium places in that situation!

    • Adam Friday, 10 July 2015, 2:38 pm

      I think it’s fair to say that his reputation of winning in these “select sprints” is what has got him into this problem in the first place; he’s clearly one of the strongest finishers, so that last thing anyone wants to do is help him out in the last 500-1000m.

      As you say, he’s now getting a reputation as someone who’s willing to lose rather than tow everyone else, so perhaps people think twice about relying on him to do the chasing. The only problem is that for most of the other riders in these bunches, people view a podium as a good result; for Sagan they just see it as another race he came up short.

  • Alex Friday, 10 July 2015, 10:56 am

    Mad props to me for dropping the shoutout to Teklehaimanot to wear the polkadot jersey in the “who will wear x jersey” thread. #boastpost

    • Sam Friday, 10 July 2015, 11:12 am

      #antihumblebrag

      🙂

  • Lanterne Vert Friday, 10 July 2015, 11:17 am

    I was amazed at how many big names were in the pile up. Martin in yellow, Nibali, TJVG, Quintana and Barguil, with Froome having a narrow escape. Where was Contador?

    • hoh Friday, 10 July 2015, 11:43 am

      He was too far behind to be affected.

  • Jens Friday, 10 July 2015, 11:17 am

    Do you think MTN will do the sprint for Farrar today?

    • The Tashkent Error Friday, 10 July 2015, 12:31 pm

      Tyler Who?

      • Jens Friday, 10 July 2015, 12:39 pm

        Well, for some reason they planned to do the sprint for him on stage 5, so I was just wandering if they wanted to give him a second shot…

    • Spofferoonie Friday, 10 July 2015, 12:42 pm

      Even Farrar doesn’t think MTN will spring for Farrar today. He’s, at best, a leadout man these days

  • Nick Friday, 10 July 2015, 12:31 pm

    Interestingly (at least to me), while Degenkolb doesn’t quite *seem* to have the same top end speed as the others, the new GPS tracking site said he recorded the fastest speed of yesterday’s stage, and the fastest speed at the intermediate sprint. Perhaps the top speed was during a downhill section?

    • Cilmeri Friday, 10 July 2015, 1:18 pm

      Is this the new dimensions data? I’ve heard that the speeds produced by that data is being questioned.

      Inrng – any insight into it (apologies if I’ve missed an article on it…..)?

      • The Inner Ring Friday, 10 July 2015, 5:00 pm

        Not much insight really, I’ve avoid it because it’s got bugs and problems.

  • nestor Friday, 10 July 2015, 1:33 pm

    Contador seems fatigue!!! In the mountains he will suffer more…. Nibali its getting better

  • AK Friday, 10 July 2015, 3:15 pm

    Not really related to this stage, but I noticed that this year on the live video feed of Dutch broadcaster NOS that you get two different camera views, one in a large image and one small, with the possibility to switch what you want to see large. It’s the first time I’ve seen this, and it seems like one of the innovations in race broadcasting that some have been calling for. Is NOS the only one doing this? It’s geo-restricted of course…

    • The Inner Ring Friday, 10 July 2015, 5:00 pm

      French TV have been doing this for years and it’s available to Australian viewers and others too.

      • gabriele Friday, 10 July 2015, 5:39 pm

        In Spain you don’t have it on the ordinary TV broadcast, but you can choose between several cameras if you follow the race on the website.

      • AK Friday, 10 July 2015, 5:43 pm

        Ok, so apparently we just caught up here in NL

  • djconnel Friday, 10 July 2015, 4:01 pm

    Cavendish finally gets to exploit his aerodynamic advantage: win Cavendish.

    • gabriele Friday, 10 July 2015, 6:10 pm

      Nice!

      Taking into account inrng’s description of the finish, today could confirm theories we’ve been reading around here (sorry, I can’t remember who exactly deserves the quote) about Cav being slightly turning towards endurance against pure explosivity.
      Still his final surge was clever, cold-minded (along with his *legend*) and indeed pretty explosive. It must also be said that the sprinters’ field in this Toure has a very reduced depth right now. Let’s see what happens in those few sprinters’ stages from now on.
      I’m among those who think he isn’t anymore the fastest man on a bike and hasn’t been for some two or three years now – however, he’s still a better sprinter than faster guys.
      *Dodgy* HTC times apart (I’m half-joking here, don’t really want to get the subject started :-P), I think that it’s the kind of evolution most sprinters face while years go by – and as it usually happens with most riders, if you start to fight with the best when you’re very young, you also grow “old” a bit sooner. Riders of any type being able to stay on the top of their game for more than 7-8 years are extremely rare and gifted (albeit considering that, obviously enough, a champion who isn’t anymore “on the top of his game” may still be good enough to best most of the rest).

    • J Evans Friday, 10 July 2015, 8:05 pm

      Yup, he finally learned to go BEHIND Greipel, not in front of him.

  • J Evans Friday, 10 July 2015, 8:30 pm

    Paolini may be stupid – IF he has taken cocaine – but should he be thrown off the race?
    It’s not performance-enhancing, so I don’t think he should face a ban.
    Boonen wasn’t banned, although he wasn’t allowed to ride the TDF I seem to remember.
    But has the classification of cocaine changed?

    • J Evans Friday, 10 July 2015, 8:39 pm

      Certainly no more performance-enhancing than the ubiquitous inhalers – asthma seemingly a prerequisite of being a professional cyclist.

    • gabriele Friday, 10 July 2015, 8:39 pm

      It’s all about in or out of competition testing, I suppose.

  • Alex 2 Friday, 10 July 2015, 10:05 pm

    I read this on dutch site.
    Cocaine is allowed out of competition. Mabye his blood is from that period ?

    • The Inner Ring Friday, 10 July 2015, 10:06 pm

      It’s a stimulant, it’s banned http://list.wada-ama.org/list/s6-stimulants/

      • J Evans Saturday, 11 July 2015, 10:43 am

        A lengthy ban would be completly unnecessary. This isn’t cheating.

        • The Inner Ring Saturday, 11 July 2015, 10:52 am

          Like it or not it’s banned in the WADA Code as a stimulant. He can try to provide mitigating evidence to plead for a shorter ban but if the B-sample comes back positive he’s done for.

  • Will Friday, 10 July 2015, 11:03 pm

    “I am wondering why wasn’t Fabian C accorded that same courtesy.”

    Because he wasn’t the GC leader after stage 3, Tony Martin was the GC leader at the end of stage 6. Had Cancellara’s crash happened in the last 3 km he would’ve been given the same courtesy (and had a much shorter ride with a broken back!).

  • SeeingElvis Saturday, 11 July 2015, 12:11 am

    Got it, thanks Will.
    I am still heartbroken over his exit- and Martin’s as well.

  • Caravandish Saturday, 11 July 2015, 2:53 am

    ‘Props’ to the lad, real class to win given the expectation and pressure on him. Would love to see him to surpass Bernhardt Hinault.

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