Off Topic Tour de France

Discussion in 'Hull City' started by Chazz Rheinhold, Jul 1, 2017.

  1. askewshair

    askewshair Well-Known Member

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    That's a strong statement. Presumably because he's a total unknown and come from nowhere? Are experts saying the same? Couldn't it just be the rise of a phenomenal superstar? it does happen in sport occasionally. Will cycling fans always assume it's drug related?
     
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  2. Help!

    Help! Member

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    It’s probably stronger than I meant to be fair - that strength is based on my years of watching the TdF and the cynicism that’s come with it rather than Alaphillipe per se (and would probably be a bit more blinkered if they were British I suppose in light of the rest of my comment)

    After revelling in Pantani soaring off on mountain stages, or seeing the dominance of numerous riders who were a bit more mundane but just more powerful than everyone else in the Nandrolone days you become hardened to it and no, I can’t just enjoy a performance like that without wondering where it’s come from.

    I don’t read the cycling press now, but when I used to they rarely spoke of drugs in the present tense - they might talk about the bad old days but there was a bit of a head in the sand mentality about it. I guess that’s not changed much, but happy to be corrected if anyone does read it.
     
    #282
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  3. John Ex Aberdeen now E.R.

    John Ex Aberdeen now E.R. Well-Known Member

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    It certainly is, best Tour watch for a few years, even though I want a Brit to win, SKY/Ineos tactics of smothering the front of the race, doesn't always give you the best racing to watch. As you say Thomas shouldn't lose heart, he is 2nd, and anything can happen, a crash, illness or just Allphillipe blows up on one of the climbs.
     
    #283
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  4. Godrevy Buoy

    Godrevy Buoy Well-Known Member

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    There is a hell of a long way to go in this tour and won’t be decided until the end of the mountain stages. It may be Thomas is not quite as strong overall due to the loss of Froome from the team. I still have a feeling that Thomas may have selected a mountain stage to come to attack and if he can break the Frenchman two minutes is easily recovered.
     
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  5. AlRawdah

    AlRawdah Well-Known Member

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    It's not as black and white as you make out though. Alaphilippe is a young road racer whose career has been on an upward trajectory for a few years. Sometimes team structures don't allow young talent to shine - Thomas was often regarded as a workmanlike domestique for several years, I assume there isn't an inevitability that he is drugged up.

    Pantani was a great racer in his own right who succumbed to drugs later in his career as injuries took a hold - his incredible career probably wasn't entirely EPO-fuelled.

    I do agree with your earlier post though, this has been a great tour. A key change for me has been getting the time trials over and done with early, too many times in past years the TT has been pivotal to the outcome and I think the Tour is a mountain race, not a pseudo-track race.
     
    #285
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  6. John Ex Aberdeen now E.R.

    John Ex Aberdeen now E.R. Well-Known Member

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    I wasn't suggesting he was drugged up, I was merely pointing out how fickle the French are when Froome was doing well, they were throwing urine in his face and trying to push him off his bike as well as shouting dope. Now they have one of their own they say nothing.

    I think the reason people have been amazed about JA, is that he can sprint, climb, get in a breakaway and stay there, but has never fared well on the long climbs, this time he is proving everyone wrong. Sagan is very similar but has never mastered the big climbs.
     
    #286
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  7. balkan tiger

    balkan tiger Well-Known Member

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    Does he have asthma?
     
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  8. Help!

    Help! Member

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    I can't disagree with any of that. Thomas is a thoroughly likeable guy who has put some of the integrity back into the TdF for me, but often all that separates the domestiques from the GC contenders is how they're treated by their own team - Froome could and arguably should have won one of Wiggins' years if he hadn't been told not to. But (unlike Froome) Thomas is no all time great and him being beaten is not a big surprise. I don't think either Froome or Thomas are cheats (the jury's out on Wiggins), but this one feels a bit suspect to me.

    I can't over-emphasise the 'to me' part of that though. It's me that's changed as much as anything. I used to love cycling and still enjoy watching it. Being too young to have seen the '66 World Cup final live my equivalent to "...some people are on the pitch" etc came in 1987 and started with "..and just who is that rider coming up behind? Because that looks like Roche, that looks like STEPHEN ROCHE!!". I could almost remember it word for word before I just checked it on YouTube to make sure, but I can't watch that now without wondering if he was on anything too. It doesn't mean he was, but how I view it has changed, which is a real shame.
     
    #288
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  9. AlRawdah

    AlRawdah Well-Known Member

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    But JA has been a domestique to other riders in past years. It’s not that he has only just discovered hill climbing talent, it’s just that he wasn’t permitted to show it as a lead rider.

    Sagan is a green jersey rider. I suspect he has the talent for GC if he put his mind to it. He breezed up the first Cat 1 climb yesterday in the lead group.
     
    #289
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  10. John Ex Aberdeen now E.R.

    John Ex Aberdeen now E.R. Well-Known Member

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    If my memory serves me correctly, this taunting of Froome was before he had this issue with his inhaler for asthma, so that wasn't the issue. It was because he was doing well, as JA is doing now. There was of cause this old story of Bradley Wiggin's parcel that has not helped SKY, but Froome himself at that stage had had no issues I believe.
     
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  11. John Ex Aberdeen now E.R.

    John Ex Aberdeen now E.R. Well-Known Member

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    Fair point, but I think, even so, no one really expected JA to be a GC contender.
     
    #291
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  12. balkan tiger

    balkan tiger Well-Known Member

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    I was teasing a little bit, the topic has been discussed on here before. I don"t believe it can be a coincidence that all the best riders suffer from asthma.
     
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  13. Mr Hatem

    Mr Hatem Well-Known Member

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    Today's stage is a bit of a Prat.
     
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  14. tigerscanada

    tigerscanada Well-Known Member

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    When you look at all the exhaust fumes they must inhale (deeply) during the tour, it wouldn't surprise me .
     
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  15. Ron Burguvdy

    Ron Burguvdy Well-Known Member

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    This has been a good stage ~ I've changed my avatar to celebrate, with a photo from my club ride this morning ...
     
    #295
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  16. TIGERSCAVE

    TIGERSCAVE Well-Known Member

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    As I thought, definite chinks in Alaphillipes armour, I think Thomas is judging this perfectly, I think two big mountain stages left...
     
    #296
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  17. GLP

    GLP Well-Known Member

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    GT needs to make the most of the remaining mountain stages. Definitely Allaphillipes achilles heel.
     
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  18. Ron Burguvdy

    Ron Burguvdy Well-Known Member

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  19. TIGERSCAVE

    TIGERSCAVE Well-Known Member

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    Just looked at the official web site... Rest Day tomorrow... Tuesday categorised as 'hilly'.... and then 3 successive mountain stages...
     
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  20. Ullofaman

    Ullofaman Well-Known Member

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    Is that what speed writing refers to?
     
    #300
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