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I dont understand this stuff and, as I said above, I suspect they all have done drugs at some stage of their career, but I do see Voekler is a zero and Michael Rogers measures a seven. Cadel and Wiggins at 4 and 5 isnt actually ringing alarm bells statisticaly and I have no doubt any Tour rider would read differently from myself.

What they do for a living must make changes to a body that is probably already outside the normal range anyway.

I suppose that is taken into account though I wonder how Sherpas would measure up?

You've just got to wonder whether a 2 year ban is enough of a deterrent . There seems to be a flagrant disregard of the rules of fair play . I reckon a lot of people are getting tired of hearing about these cheats . For the sports sake , Lance hopefully will be found not guilty or absolved of all charges . If he's guilty , what happens then ? ...

A tipping point could be reached where masses of people just stop watching . I know I'm watching with less interest and it's not because of Cadel's position . I'd like Nibali to make a break tonight but there's a possibility of some cynicism on my part if that happens (unfortunately) .

As for the Sherpa's . :)

Edited by Macca

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The 'endgame'. Stage 18...

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THE VIEW OF JEAN-FRANCOIS PESCHEUX

Many elements may be decided but glory is still on offer..

"For days now, the focus has been on how the Pyrenees would influence the race for overall honours but stage 18 is different. Even the race leader Bradley Wiggins allowed his mind to wander in the closing kilometres of stage 17 because, finally, he dared let the thought that he was actually going to win the Tour de France enter his mind. Sky has effectively been on the front of the peloton most of the way for the 1,520km from La Planche des Belles Filles to the final summit finish of the 99th edition. The team of the GC leader has to take that responsibility and Wiggins and his colleagues won't be idle in the race from Blagnac to Brive-la-Gaillarde but they can allow themselves the luxury of a little bit of rest as their thoughts turn to the final time trial... and the journey to Paris as it seems that the title winner has indeed been decided.
The final Friday of the 2012 Tour might have a few hills but the mountains are behind the peloton. The prize jerseys have all effectively been decided but there's still the glory of a stage win on offer. The profile begs for a sprint finish and tired legs will limit the number of candidates for an escape but 14 teams are still without a victory. This is a day for them to seize one of the few remaining chances that are on offer in this year's race..."

Edited by Macca

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Time trial tonight . Stage 19...

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THE VIEW OF JEAN-FRANCOIS PESCHEUX

Who will graduate from the final test?

"The last big challenge of the 99th Tour de France is an individual time trial that comes after 3,314.5 kilometres of competition. Baring disaster, we effectively know who the winner of the 2012 ‘maillot jaune' is going to be but there's many other tests taking place on the roads between Bonneval and Chartres and much of it relates to the future.

Can the two Frenchmen in the top 10, Pierre Rolland and Thibaut Pinot – limit their losses in a discipline that they haven't excelled in before? Can Jurgen van den Broeck hold on to his fourth overall and eclipse what his fifth place from 2010? Will Cadel Evans actually be the best placed of the BMC team or will Tejay van Garderen win the white jersey by being better than last year's yellow jersey winner?

Another critical question will be answered in the 19th stage: is Bradley Wiggins really better than his super-domestique Christopher Froome? The rider in the yellow jersey won the first long time trial but can he win the second . We'll have all the answers on Saturday evening. And then comes the parade to Paris."

Edited by Macca

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Congratulations to Bradley Wiggins . A worthy winner . Stage 20 ...

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THE VIEW OF JEAN-FRANCOIS PESCHEUX

Always magnificent

"A little road stage, the shortest of the Tour (120 km). But it will no doubt be an apotheosis, with the traditional finish on the Champs-Élysées. Always the same, always magnificent since 1975. We already know more or less what will happen: a festive start in Rambouillet, two short hours before things really get going, and then a sudden, spectacular acceleration to mark the peloton’s arrival in the Parisian circuit. All of this before 1.5 billion TV viewers, nothing to sneeze at! For the rest, I do not think any brave riders will be able to slip under the radar of the sprinters' teams. On paper, Mark Cavendish can dream of a fourth straight win."

Edited by Macca

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Great effort by Sky and Wiggins they looked comfortable from the get go and never looked under any pressure, besides Froome and Wiggins. Cadel just looked like he was under done and so much for his stronger team this year.

Here's hoping Cadel comes back bigger and stronger next year.

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Thanks for the daily updates throughout the tour Macca. They've been great.

Did I miss anything last night :wacko:

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Thanks for your work Macca.......How good were Sky? The yellow jersey leading out Cavendish for his 4th final sprint win.and Froome......game set and match. Until next year at least

Edited by IRW

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THE VIEW OF JEAN-FRANCOIS PESCHEUX

Au revoir 'Demonlanders'

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Thanks for your work Macca.......How good were Sky? The yellow jersey leading out Cavendish for his 4th final sprint win.and Froome......game set and match.     Until next year at least

Yeah, well done Macca and good thread. You tipped it IRW and we'll do it all again next year. I'll tip Froome from 12 months out !

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Andy doesnt do TT's and even though they say there wont be the same long TT stages next year Froome was super strong on all stages and the Sky team (even one down) was awesome... Andy vs Contador vs Sky could be a mighty battle

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Froome v Andy v Contador would be unreal. There should be one TT.

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Lance Armstong accepts USADA drug charges

There comes a point in every man's life when he has to say, 'enough is enough'. For me, that time is now

Will likely be stripped of his Tour de France titles and receive a lifetime ban.

Sad news.

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Lance Armstong accepts USADA drug charges

Will likely be stripped of his Tour de France titles and receive a lifetime ban.

Sad news.

Madness, he still denies taking anything but he is not going to arbitration with the USADA. The UCI was backing his legal defence against the USADA's authority in the matter. The USADA was set up to find drug cheats, Lance says no physical evidence has been presented but the USADA states it has blood samples from 09/10 fully consistent with blood doping and 10 witnesses ready to testify. Just a sad situation all round.

Livestrong huh....

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Here we go again! Figure we can just use the same thread started by 'dee-luded'. Maybe a name change?

Anyway, here's an excellent BBC audio documentary ... 100 years of the Tour De France Goes for nearly 2 hours but well worth a listen. It can be downloaded here on the BBC podcast page. You will need to scroll down on the 'linked' page for the podcast.

Had a quick look at the stages and out of the 21 of them, 6 would be regarded as having 'medium to hard' level climbs and a further 6 would be regarded as having very tough and/or extremely difficult climbs. The last 7 stages leading up to the final stage all involve mountain stages (4 of them extremely tough)

Here's a quick run down of the stages with a brief description ...

Stage 1 - Sat 29th - Flat

Stage 2 - Sun 30th - 3 x medium, 1 x hard (climbs)

Stage 3 - Mon 1st - 2 x medium, 1 x hard

Stage 4 - Tues 2nd - Time trial (flat)

Stage 5 - Wed 3rd - 1 x medium

Stage 6 - Thurs 4th - Flat

Stage 7 - Fri 5th - 2 x medium, 1 x hard

Stage 8 - Sat 6th - 1 x very difficult, I x extremely tough

Stage 9 - Sun 7th - 1 x hard, 4 x very difficult

Rest day - Mon 8th

Stage 10 - Tues 9th - Flat

Stage 11 - Wed 10th - Time trial (flat)

Stage 12 - Thurs 11th - Flat

Stage 13 - Fri 12th - Flat

Stage 14 - Sat 13th - 7 x medium

Stage 15 - Sun 14th - 1 x extremely tough

Rest day - Mon 15th

Stage 16 - Tues 16th - 1 x medium, 2 x hard

Stage 17 - Wed 17th - Time trial (involving 2 x medium/hard climbs!)

Stage 18 - Thurs 18th - 1 x medium, 2 x hard, 2 x extremely tough

Stage 19 - Fri 19th - 1 x hard, 2 x very difficult, 2 x extremely tough

Stage 20 - Sat 20th - 3 x medium, 1 x hard, 1 x very difficult, 1 x extremely tough

Stage 21 - Sun 21st - flat (starting at the 'Palace of Versailles' and ending at the 'Arc de Triomphe' - finishing at 5.45am our time - 9.45pm in France)

Legend (climbs)

Category 3 or 4 - medium level

Category 2 - hard

Category 1 - very difficult

Category 'HC' - extremely tough

This link takes you to the official site.

Edited by Macca

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my grandfather s best mate rode in the race many moons ago

they drank wine to STAY AWAKE and checked in most days if around the scores shed

it was each to his own and see you at the end of the tour

great stories and wonderfully told by my gramps

things have changed slightly

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BRING IT!!! I have been bereft of Hockey and Bball finals as I no longer have foxtel.... I am farken haaannngggiiiiinnnggg out to watch this years race. COME ONE CADEL!!!

I think Froome and Sky have it absolutely sown up as Froome has been in great form already. Contador has not been at his peak (gees I wonder why....) and Cadel everything must go right for him, no colds, no virus, no bike issues and issues for Sky/Froome, as I think age maybe be catching up to him, his team mate Tejay might even over take him as the team number 1 during the Tour.

Keen to get along to Domestique pop up bar, in Fitzroy at some stage to enjoy it too, might be a tougher ride home....

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BRING IT!!! I have been bereft of Hockey and Bball finals as I no longer have foxtel.... I am farken haaannngggiiiiinnnggg out to watch this years race. COME ONE CADEL!!!

I think Froome and Sky have it absolutely sown up as Froome has been in great form already. Contador has not been at his peak (gees I wonder why....) and Cadel everything must go right for him, no colds, no virus, no bike issues and issues for Sky/Froome, as I think age maybe be catching up to him, his team mate Tejay might even over take him as the team number 1 during the Tour.

Keen to get along to Domestique pop up bar, in Fitzroy at some stage to enjoy it too, might be a tougher ride home....

Maybe it's not a fait accompli just yet ... Familiar faces to help Cadel Evans regain Tour de France title

Froome will be hard to beat but he hasn't been to the top of the mountain. I expect him to win but wouldn't be surprised if he has some problems in the last few days of the tour. It's a tough, tough finish in the last 3 days, prior to the finishing day.

Stage 18, 19 and 20 ...

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Stage 1

Jean Francois Pescheux's view ...

Magnificent countryside

"Why isn't there a prologue? Quite simply because we wanted to take the fullest advantage of Corsica, the only region of France that has never previously welcomed the Tour de France. With that in mind, we've put together a first stage of 212km that runs through magnificent countryside: we will start off by heading to beautiful Bonifacio! There's little doubt we will also start with a win for a sprinter.

This is a golden opportunity for the likes of Cavendish, for example, to claim the yellow jersey. I'll remind you that the previous road stage "openings", at Plumelec and Les Herbiers, finished on the top of hills, which favoured the puncheurs. Here, the advantage lies with the pure sprinters."

Tour-de-France-Stage-1-1372232120.pngPROFIL.png

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Maybe it's not a fait accompli just yet ... Familiar faces to help Cadel Evans regain Tour de France title

Froome will be hard to beat but he hasn't been to the top of the mountain. I expect him to win but wouldn't be surprised if he has some problems in the last few days of the tour. It's a tough, tough finish in the last 3 days, prior to the finishing day.

Stage 18, 19 and 20 ...

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It is just a BRUTAL 3 days!, The "Alpe" twice in one day, Col De Madeleine on day 2 and finishing off with a "relaxing 125k" with Annecy to finish. How many will drop out on the 3rd day of that triple header?!

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It is just a BRUTAL 3 days!, The "Alpe" twice in one day, Col De Madeleine on day 2 and finishing off with a "relaxing 125k" with Annecy to finish. How many will drop out on the 3rd day of that triple header?!

The 2nd Weekend (Fri, Sat, Sun) will be tough as well. Stages 7, 8 and 9 are very tough. I like the way they've set up the tour this time - especially the last 8 or 9 days. Even the last time trial involves 2 medium level climbs.

These first 2 days in Corsica will be fascinating. Tomorrow's stage involves a few reasonably hard climbs. Hopefully the footy team gets up for a win tonight for a nice lead in!

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“I’m not as strong as Brad was in the time trials but I’m stronger in the mountains than him. I can accelerate more easily, answering the attacks of the pure climbers. That can change the face of the Tour,” says Froome. “Last year the objective was to stay at the head of the peloton with Brad but this year, without doubt I’m going to try to attack in the mountains.”

Watching him last year "waiting" for Wiggins on a couple of the climbs, he seems even more confident this year and to see him stake he will attack on the climbs. Not many will go with him if any I think.

PS fark the doper who needs to just go away for good.

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There's a bus stuck at the finishing line under the banner. Hard to believe something like this could happen.

They've moved the bus. Is Reg Varney at the wheel?

Chaos!

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Oh good lord what a finish!! OGE bus no less! Crashes galore, the best sprinters knocked out, everyone given the same time. Amazing start to 3 weeks racing.

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