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After I read the Wiggins article I actually started to go through in Wiki the winners and the guys caught and there is very few "clean" winners in what seems like a long time....

Correct. It's a sad state of affairs. I've been involved in cycling (in a peripheral fashion) all my life really.

Once the amatuers became professionals it all went to shizen (see Olympics).

Edited by Trident

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Well , here we are , day 1 . And 'Le Tour' starts with a 6.4 kilometer prologue . Kicks off at 10pm . The profile below is a bit 'unexciting' but they will get more interesting as the event progresses (stage 3 on Tuesday , for instance)

PROFIL.jpg

THE VIEW OF JEAN-FRANCOIS PESCHEUX

A rare opportunity

"6.4 km in the heart of Liège on the very same course where Fabian Cancellara burst onto the scene in 2004. I guess he wants to perform particularly well, even if just to get even for the bad luck which kept him out of the spring classics... Moreover, I have not forgotten he is the defending champion, having won the most recent prologue in Rotterdam (2010). In 2013, the 100th Tour will start directly with a road stage, just like last year’s, so it goes without saying that prologue specialists should do their best to seize this opportunity."

Edited by Macca

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It's just been announced that Lance Armstrong has been formally charged with doping.

I hope that there's little truth to it as he seems to do a lot of charity work and the like and genuinely give back to society. But as there have been so many before him I guess it's not totally irrational for most people to come to the conclusion of guilty by association.

It's interesting that they're basing the charges on witness statements, due to the fact that he's never returned a positive result to any of his 500 odd tests.

Not great publicity for the tour, releasing details on the charges only a day or two before it starts.

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It's just been announced that Lance Armstrong has been formally charged with doping.

I hope that there's little truth to it as he seems to do a lot of charity work and the like and genuinely give back to society. But as there have been so many before him I guess it's not totally irrational for most people to come to the conclusion of guilty by association.

It's interesting that they're basing the charges on witness statements, due to the fact that he's never returned a positive result to any of his 500 odd tests.

Not great publicity for the tour, releasing details on the charges only a day or two before it starts.

Yeah , USADA are certainly going after Lance and they've previously said that at least 10 of his former teammates and associates will testify against him .

The sport has done remarkably well to survive and in a lot of ways prosper , despite so many drug cheats . I think even if Armstrong is found guilty (and I hope he's innocent) , the sport will just carry on regardless .

I suppose that may mean that the 'Tours' themselves are much bigger than the athletes that compete in them .

Edited by Macca

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Here we go,only a couple of hours away now.Blokes in funny costumes are checking tbemselves out in the mirror before their fleeting moment of .....fame?...Hopefully the man in the lime green mankini from the Giro Italia isnt around. I know nothing but Wiggins for the Yellow with Cadel brave in defeat. Sky gets a double with Crenshaw winning Green and Thomas De Gente (my smokey) to win a mountain stage somewhere.....All baring accidents and blood tests of course

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Here we go,only a couple of hours away now.Blokes in funny costumes are checking tbemselves out in the mirror before their fleeting moment of .....fame?...Hopefully the man in the lime green mankini from the Giro Italia isnt around. I know nothing but Wiggins for the Yellow with Cadel brave in defeat. Sky gets a double with Crenshaw winning Green and Thomas De Gente (my smokey) to win a mountain stage somewhere.....All baring accidents and blood tests of course

Interesting that Wiggins is a short odds favourite (narrowly from Cadel) and then it's daylight to 3rd favourite (Nibali) . 2 real chances only ?

It seems Cadel has never had great support from his teammates on the mountain stages in past tours . Is this likely to change this year and what about Wiggins' team ?

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I read somwhere that Evans had added two solid climbers to help him in the mountains as well as keeping Lances old team mate from Radio Shack. (the one who didnt do drugs). I guess there are two favourites baring the accidents which seem to happen early in the tour.

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I read somwhere that Evans had added two solid climbers to help him in the mountains as well as keeping Lances old team mate from Radio Shack. (the one who didnt do drugs). I guess there are two favourites baring the accidents which seem to happen early in the tour.

Yeah , ta for that . Had a read back through the thread and HT and cards said as much in quoting publicised articles .

So it's Australia vs England hey ? Being a cricket fan my allegiance and tip can only go in one direction !

Go Cadel !

Edited by Macca

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Hincapie is the American of course and the the two new climbers are from Belgium.Given that there isnt much to do in Belgium beyond drinking good beer and riding I guess they will be pretty useful. Cadel did seem very exposed last year when the Schleks were ganging up on him

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Hincapie is the American of course and the the two new climbers are from Belgium.Given that there isnt much to do in Belgium beyond drinking good beer and riding I guess they will be pretty useful. Cadel did seem very exposed last year when the Schleks were ganging up on him

Yeah , I'm certainly not an aficionado on the sport but I definately remember that duel in last years tour . The large argument before last years tour win was that Cadel had to do things on his own too much . I've seen previous winners receive so much support that they've really only had to pull out 2 or 3 really big efforts .

If Cadel can receive as much support as Contador and Armstrong quite often got , then his age (35) may not be such a barrier . Wiggins is 32 . Armstrong was 33 when he won his last tour .

Edited by Macca

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Here we go,only a couple of hours away now.Blokes in funny costumes are checking tbemselves out in the mirror before their fleeting moment of .....fame?...Hopefully the man in the lime green mankini from the Giro Italia isnt around. I

The sport is dangerous enough without being distracted by these lunatics ! All good though .

Given that there isnt much to do in Belgium beyond drinking good beer and riding

I've heard the tarts are nice as well ! Of course , I mean that in a purely culinary sense :blink:

Edited by Macca

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Bradley Wiggins has a 10 second advantage over Cadel after yesterday's prologue . Today's stage may not change things but there are some climbs involved .

PROFIL.jpg

THE VIEW OF JEAN-FRANCOIS PESCHEUX

Setting the tone

"This stage is no leg breaker, but it still is bumpy enough to dampen the hopes of pure sprinters. In other words, I do not think Cavendish will be among those fighting for the win. I hope I am wrong, but I think he will be dropped before reaching Seraing. The course is less demanding than in 1995, when Bruyneel and Indurain blew the race apart on the road to Liège, but it comes very close to the Ardennes and, at 198 km, the stage distance is nothing to sneeze at. In short, we wanted to preserve the peloton's energy while setting the tone for the rest of the race. We will see..."

Edited by Macca

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Thanks for that.I reckon Wiggins made a statement yesterday,Cadel will probably ignore him for a while but he wont be able to rely on the last time trial this time.

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Agree on relying on time trial.

Cancellara finished 2nd for Day 2, Sagan won the stage.

Cadel Evans finished 20th, Wiggins thereabouts as well. Same time.

Cancellara yellow leaders jersey, Wiggins 7sec behind in 2nd, Evans in 8th 17 secs behind.

Good work Macca on including stage charts.

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A pretty straightforward day although two crashes near the end spiced it up a bit..and didnt the leading teams put the hammer down to get clear of that. It was a reminder of the tension that must be in the Peleton most of the time,no matter how it looks.Nice to see a bit of a BMC 'train' going,hopefully this year they can do that in the mts because Cadel wont want to do it alone uphill again

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Great to see a few 'landers following the tour.

Should be a good one for the Aussies. Green Edge should be able to give Matty Goss a chance for green. Cadel's an even better chance for yellow. His BMC team looks stronger and this year's course suits him better. Not to mention no Contador and no Andy Schlek. Don't worry about Frank Schlek, the number and length of time trials put him out of contention. Will probably come down to the final time trial. Wiggins might be the better time trialist in a one off event but I think Cadel will be better after 3 weeks of hard riding.

To plenty of sleepless nights ahead...

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Great to see a few 'landers following the tour.

Should be a good one for the Aussies. Green Edge should be able to give Matty Goss a chance for green. Cadel's an even better chance for yellow. His BMC team looks stronger and this year's course suits him better. Not to mention no Contador and no Andy Schlek. Don't worry about Frank Schlek, the number and length of time trials put him out of contention. Will probably come down to the final time trial. Wiggins might be the better time trialist in a one off event but I think Cadel will be better after 3 weeks of hard riding.

To plenty of sleepless nights ahead...

Yeah , it's gonna be fascinating how it all unfolds . It may come down to how much help either Wiggins or Cadel receive from their teammates in the 'Alps' and the 'Pyrenees' .

Stage 3 has a few climbs but we'll probably have to wait until stage 7 (next Saturday) to see how both teams support their man . Can't help but feel that there's a 'Smoky' out there who might surprise the 2 favoured riders .

I'll post the profile of tonight's stage and 'Jean-Francois' preview a little later . Last nights finish was a beauty . Pity I fell asleep and missed it 'Live' !

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The 3rd day in Belgium - reminds me to watch that movie again , 'In Bruges' - A classic crime/comedy caper !

This is my kinda bike ride - perhaps with about 200 less klm's ! Stage 2 ...

PROFIL.jpg

THE VIEW OF JEAN-FRANCOIS PESCHEUX

Sticking to tradition

"This pancake flat stage is tailored to pure sprinters. If Cavendish has missed out on a win the day before, this is the perfect place to make amends. This will be the third day straight that the Tour de France stays in Belgium. The stage will start from Visé, which is hosting the Tour for the first time. The bunch will visit the citadel of Namur halfway through the stage (km 82). We are sticking to tradition.

Edited by Macca

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In Bruges...a classic, ..dont get me started

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Did anyone catch the doco on Cadels win on SBS prior to the prologue? Really was good viewing - especially the interviews with Andy Schleck - he said that he knew the race was Cadels prior to the time trial and that finishing second to Cadel was a great honour, he went up to Cadel privately in the airport on route to the final stage and gave him a big congrats. First tie I've really noticed that Andy might actually be a good bloke, always had him pegged for an arrogant SOB - disappointed he's not racing this year now, would have made things more interesting.

Footage after stage 1 shows Wiggins already under serious stress - he looks about as in control as Cadel 3 years ago - serious mental case! Certainly didn't look good for three weeks of intense racing

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Cavendish wins it by half a bike wheel ! His 21st overall stage win . What a sprinter . Anybody know how many stages Robbie McEwan has won ?

No change to the overall classification .

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Did anyone catch the doco on Cadels win on SBS prior to the prologue? Really was good viewing - especially the interviews with Andy Schleck - he said that he knew the race was Cadels prior to the time trial and that finishing second to Cadel was a great honour, he went up to Cadel privately in the airport on route to the final stage and gave him a big congrats. First tie I've really noticed that Andy might actually be a good bloke, always had him pegged for an arrogant SOB - disappointed he's not racing this year now, would have made things more interesting.

Footage after stage 1 shows Wiggins already under serious stress - he looks about as in control as Cadel 3 years ago - serious mental case! Certainly didn't look good for three weeks of intense racing

Did see the doco and loved it. Confirmed even further what an epic EPIC effort it was from Evans last year. Seeing the 2 Shleck's working together to try and break him, that stage where Andy got away and was up by i think 4 mins but for Evans to fight back to bring it down to 2 mins was AMAZING!

Yea that was interesting to see, the Sky team is solely looking for a Wiggins Tour win so to see that on day 1, but in saying that it is a 3 weeks race so it could go either way for Wigg. Cav what a freak!

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Cavendish wins it by half a bike wheel ! His 21st overall stage win . What a sprinter . Anybody know how many stages Robbie McEwan has won ?

No change to the overall classification .

12 I believe.

Cavendish is a freak - no doubt about it.

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Matty Goss close but no cigar. Tonight it gets interesting with a group of climbs and an uphill finish.Theres talk of wind and rain as well. Cadel might try and get a little closer to,or a little ahead of,Wiggins tonight without chasing the Yellow. Sky wont want that of course,it may be good viewing.

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impressed with Goss last night, positioned himself well to take out the mid-stage sprint and wasn't far off it at the finish despite seeming to get caught in a bit of traffic. Cavendish ain't no slouch, either

early days but BMC are looking very organised, looking forward to seeing how they perform tonight

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