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It's July again, and three weeks of pure physical torture have begun again for the fittest professional sportsmen in the world, and this year looks like it could be a classic.

 

British interest will concentrate on gobby Manx tearaway Mark Cavendish who has a real opportunity for the green points jersey, with Bradley Wiggins and David Millar hoping for good final placings in the GC. Charlie Wegelius also starts as a last minute replacement following a positive dope test for one of his team-mates.

Looks like we're getting coverage on ITV4 again, as well as the usual eurosport if you've got satellite.

 

The eyes of the rest of the world's press will undoubtedly be on (in?)famous american (anti?)hero Lance Armstrong. Following reasonable showings in several races so far this year it remains to be seen if he can pose a credible challenge for the ridiculously strong Astana team. Indeed he may well end up perfoming super-domestique duties for team-mate Contador, who seems to be most people's favourite for the maillot jaune in Paris.

 

Of course I've missed out 97% of the riders, who are your tips/national heroes?

 

Official TdF site (english)

 

So what do you think, does pro-cycling even have a future given the seemingly endless doping scandals? Or do you just not give a toss?

 

Whatever, mouth off about it all here.

 

(And if anyone can find that picture online of Bernard Hinault doing 60+kph on a descent wearing a pair of gold rimmed aviators can you let me know, cheers)

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when cavendish crossed the finish line this morning i literally thought to myself "christ, now smwatson is never going to stop" lol. but still, he's not even in the top 10, while we have two.

 

obv i am going to be following lance closely, wondering if he really is acting in support of his team, particularly levi. or if he has some intent to pull off another victory. so far he's at #10 (levi at #6) and my understanding is that he's done better than in the past in the time trials. i've watched the race on and off since i was a kid but other than greg le monde and armstrong, most of the other riders i haven't followed closely. i will say that race is much more exciting to follow now that i've taken up road biking. still, having to get up so early to watch coverage is not ideal. *yawns*

 

for any other armstrong fans, i really enjoy following his blog and checking out his pics and videos. => http://twitter.com/Lancearmstrong

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Easy win for Cavendish today, that little crash in the last km really handed it to him on a plate.

 

Not expecting much but bunch sprints before Friday, the team time trial on Tuesday makes an odd spectacle though and should be a walkover for Astana.

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Nah he has huge thighs to carry him through that.

 

pfft, lance would smoke him in the mountains. that's where he really shines.

 

 

 

Easy win for Cavendish today, that little crash in the last km really handed it to him on a plate.

 

Not expecting much but bunch sprints before Friday, the team time trial on Tuesday makes an odd spectacle though and should be a walkover for Astana.

 

i cringed in sympathetic pain. what does it exactly mean that astana won the team classification?

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pfft, lance would smoke him in the mountains. that's where he really shines.

 

 

 

 

 

i cringed in sympathetic pain. what does it exactly mean that astana won the team classification?

 

Chris Hoy is the fastest in the world, has Lance Armstrong ever even been in the Olympics? I know Chris Hoy has never had cancer, but apart from that Armstrong has little on him

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Chris Hoy is the fastest in the world, has Lance Armstrong ever even been in the Olympics? I know Chris Hoy has never had cancer, but apart from that Armstrong has little on him

 

kemp, i cannot believe you're raving about a scotsman. what's become of you

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Oh dear.

 

Anyway, 'team overall' is aggregate time of top three riders from each team.

 

The 'team time trial' involves each team of 9 riders setting off with a gap between each team. Race against the clock (like yesterday) which stops when the 6th (i think, might be 7th) rider crosses the line.

 

There's all kinds of mad stuff going on, but yellow, green, polka dot & white jerseys tend are the main prizes.

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Unexpected mini drama there.

 

I reckon Hincapie and a few more from Columbia will assist Astana come the mountains. Armstrong did his old buddy's crew a big favour today.

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Chris Hoy is the fastest in the world, has Lance Armstrong ever even been in the Olympics? I know Chris Hoy has never had cancer, but apart from that Armstrong has little on him

 

dude wtf are you talking about?

 

Hoy is a sprinter.

 

There's a huge difference between riding a fixed track-bike on the track

and being a tourist on a road bike.

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Unexpected mini drama there.

 

I reckon Hincapie and a few more from Columbia will assist Astana come the mountains. Armstrong did his old buddy's crew a big favour today.

 

what? not at all, tho i admit i tried.

 

i've been talking with my close friend whose ridden in loads of races and has spend months biking europe with a backpack and tent. he just informed me that this year, for the 1st time ever, they've added another climb right at the very end. as armstrong tends to really set himself apart in the climbs, i have a good feeling about him this year....

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Yup, normally there's a few flat days before Paris but the ventoux is 2nd last stage this year. It would be great if it was Armstrong v Contador all the way up.

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what a day armstrong had today! my stomach was in knots at the end waiting to see if astana would prevail up until the last seconds. now he's 2nd but only by 0 seconds (which makes no sense to me but we'll let the swiss rider have his few days in the sun).

 

that wipeout by the belgian rider yesterday was p amazing, how he rolled out of the way and let his teammate smoothly pass through his body and the bike. it'll be interesting to see how cavendish does tomorrow on the flats.

 

what's that you said yesterday, kemp? overrated... hope you're off eating your words.

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Good stage all round today, team time trial is an odd stage but one the mooted 'team GB' would do well in. Armstrong missing out by 22 hundreths (Cancellara beat him by 40.22 on stage 1 i think) kept it interesting til the very end.

 

Performance of the day was Garmin (inc Millar & Wiggins), given they rode pretty much half of the stage down to 5 men.

 

Only 2 more days before the real race starts.

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Armstrong is vastly overrated, that's based on people calling him the greatest sportsman of all time, when he isn't even the best cyclist. Credit where credits due though, I didn't think he would actually be challenging to win it.

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Armstrong is vastly overrated, that's based on people calling him the greatest sportsman of all time, when he isn't even the best cyclist. Credit where credits due though, I didn't think he would actually be challenging to win it.

 

i don't understand the last sentence. name a better cyclist and explain why.

 

armstrong is an incredible athlete. his physical build makes it possible for him to go above and beyond any average man who trains as hard. he has a massive lung capacity for one. but most of all, he is driven and single minded.

 

 

 

can anyone explain why the french so rarely win even the daily trials?

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I think a lot of it is to do with Virenque & Festina along with another major doping scandal seemingly every year and not forgetting

 

lance.jpg?w=320&h=455

of course.

The French just kind of turned off, or got bored, or were a bit embarrassed by the slight grubiness of the whole thing. And the Rugby and Football teams weren't doing too bad. Just wasn't seen as a good career choice I suppose.

 

We've been quite lucky with our track strength Kemp, but comparing Hoy with Armstrong is like comparing apples with cows or something. Y'know they're both made of stuff but that's about it.

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i don't understand the last sentence. name a better cyclist and explain why.

 

armstrong is an incredible athlete. his physical build makes it possible for him to go above and beyond any average man who trains as hard. he has a massive lung capacity for one. but most of all, he is driven and single minded.

 

 

 

can anyone explain why the french so rarely win even the daily trials?

 

Armstrong has had a fantastic career but he hasn't done much outside the Tour De France. The Giro and Vuelta are the tours of Italy and Spain, and these are pretty important, and then there are several one day races which are known as the classics which are prestigious, Armstrong hasn't won any of these. I think Eddie Merckx has won them all, including 5 Tour De France so in my opinion he's ahead of Lance Armstrong for starters...

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i think Lance won a gold medal at the olympics, that being said, nobody compares Usain Bolt to the last winner of Boston Marathon because it doesn't male any sense...kemp.

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Armstrong has had a fantastic career but he hasn't done much outside the Tour De France. The Giro and Vuelta are the tours of Italy and Spain, and these are pretty important, and then there are several one day races which are known as the classics which are prestigious, Armstrong hasn't won any of these. I think Eddie Merckx has won them all, including 5 Tour De France so in my opinion he's ahead of Lance Armstrong for starters...

 

 

i don't even know where to begin! 1st of all, as you must know, he has won more tdf victories than any other individual. obv you know he has beaten merckx many times! the tour is far more difficult and prestigious a race to compare to the giro. he actually placed well in the giro, esp when you consider that he was racing WITH A BROKEN COLLARBONE : p also, he was riding slowly in protest over safety concerns.

 

max, he did win an olympic medal back in 2000, but it was a bronze. however, it wasn't too long after his cancer recovery.

 

incidentally kemp, did you know that he used to be a triathlete before focusing on racing?

 

you can argue stats all you like but at the end of the day you cannot deny that he brings more focus and excitement to the sport of cycling than any other figure in recent history. he's a great success story considering his long painful recovery from cancer treatment and his survival despite his terrible prognosis. you cannot dispute that he inspires people and has done more to raise the profile and viewership of the sport of cycling than any other competitor. he is a household name worldwide, how many others can you say the same of?!

 

the man inspired me to get on a bike and i'm a klutz! now i am chomping at the bit to get on it every week. finally, are you aware that if he wins the tour this year he'll be the oldest rider in history to do so?

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lot of things happening but now the race for the yellow begins. should be interesting to see what the other teams do to try to break down astana. cant wait. this year has something special brewing.

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