2008 Tour de France Stage 17 - Wednesday, July 23: Embrun - L'Alpe-d'Huez, 210.5 km



TheDarkLord

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Crucial stage in this race. Stage profile.

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Klodifan

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will this be frank's encore performance sealing overall classment?

i will say, no.
 

Powerful Pete

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I am curious to see whether Kohl and Kreuziger are able to mix it up with the big boys again.

Ok, I vote for Menchov causing trouble on this stage.
 

thoughtforfood

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Klodifan said:
will this be frank's encore performance sealing overall classment?

i will say, no.
It should be someone's. That mountain just doesn't lend itself to a group of favorites crossing the line. Menchov is a good pick PP. I can see Sastre opening up a good gap there though.
 

thoughtforfood

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Powerful Pete said:
I am curious to see whether Kohl and Kreuziger are able to mix it up with the big boys again.

Ok, I vote for Menchov causing trouble on this stage.
If Kohl is there, and he isn't tested 16 times per day after, it will be a crime. He and Potatohead roomies? They have to be sharing something...
 

earth_dweller

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Powerful Pete said:
I am curious to see whether Kohl and Kreuziger are able to mix it up with the big boys again.

Ok, I vote for Menchov causing trouble on this stage.
still surprised by Kohl. I agree about Menchov, he was going for it today when he crashed so I think he's going to put it on the line on Wednesday, well at least I hope so.
 

Powerful Pete

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thoughtforfood said:
It should be someone's. That mountain just doesn't lend itself to a group of favorites crossing the line. Menchov is a good pick PP. I can see Sastre opening up a good gap there though.
You are right about Sastre too, but he never seems to have that extra little bit to blow things open. Even today he ended up following more often than not in the last climb. I see Sastre as an excellent rider, but not someone who can win it.
 

thoughtforfood

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Powerful Pete said:
You are right about Sastre too, but he never seems to have that extra little bit to blow things open. Even today he ended up following more often than not in the last climb. I see Sastre as an excellent rider, but not someone who can win it.
I haven't seen anyone who I can say for sure will blow the race apart. Watch me eat my words about a group crossing together. I just hope not. I want to see someone shine wednesday....and then come up "clean" on their test.
 

TheDarkLord

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thoughtforfood said:
I haven't seen anyone who I can say for sure will blow the race apart. Watch me eat my words about a group crossing together. I just hope not. I want to see someone shine wednesday....and then come up "clean" on their test.
Me too! I would love to see the GC being torn apart with some putting in a reasonable time over others - not a puny few seconds as we have seen to date...
 

stilesiii

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TheDarkLord said:
Me too! I would love to see the GC being torn apart with some putting in a reasonable time over others - not a puny few seconds as we have seen to date...
Galibier, Croix de Fer, D'huez!!!

Is this unprecedented? I don't recall a more exciting stage.

How can there not be major destruction.

Surviving will not be an option. So many so close, only courage or foolishness will be rewarded.

Menchov with the courage, Vande Velde with the foolishness.

Evans will survive, but not good enough.
 

sonicman

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I don't know why, but I feel Kreuziger will take the stage win and seal the white jersey. For the yellow jersey, no idea. But it'll be amazing, for sure. Epic.
 

Grater

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Kirchen will put in a good performance. He has nothing to lose, everything to gain
 

classic1

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stilesiii said:
Galibier, Croix de Fer, D'huez!!!

Is this unprecedented? I don't recall a more exciting stage.

How can there not be major destruction.

Surviving will not be an option. So many so close, only courage or foolishness will be rewarded.

Menchov with the courage, Vande Velde with the foolishness.

Evans will survive, but not good enough.
The Croix de Fer is the least famous of the three but is an absolutely steep ball biter at the top IIRC.
 

Crankyfeet

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Grater said:
Kirchen will put in a good performance. He has nothing to lose, everything to gain
I have nothing to lose and everything to gain as well Grates. Doesn't mean I can stay with the front group on these three mountains then attack on d'Huez and gap the field. Point being that while Kirchen may have nothing to lose....it's evident that he doesn't have the strength/weight ratio to stay with the best climbers on these GT climbs. No matter how much he wants to.
 

Drongo

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classic1 said:
The Croix de Fer is the least famous of the three but is an absolutely steep ball biter at the top IIRC.
I think that's right. An attack there could stick, if the pace was high enough beforehand. If they hold an attack to the base of the Alpe, especially with 1 or 2 helpers (ie CSC), it would blow the GC apart. Go hard at the end of C de F and then again at the start of the Alpe. Watch them crack and take minutes on the lot.

Sorry to say, Grater, but if Kirchen does well I'd be surprised. Delighted, but surprised.
 

Powerful Pete

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If all is as it should be Kirchen should be minutes behind at the end of the stage. With Cunego, in the second or third mini group if he is doing very well that particular day.
 

ad9898

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Klodifan said:
will this be frank's encore performance sealing overall classment?

i will say, no.

From what I've seen so far, it should be but the attacks must come BEFORE the Alpe otherwise its Menchov's, I can't see Evans winning now.
 

Anticyclone

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Powerful Pete said:
If all is as it should be Kirchen should be minutes behind at the end of the stage. With Cunego, in the second or third mini group if he is doing very well that particular day.
Depends on the previous day - if Cunego does poorly on Tuesday then he may be able to attack early on this day and try to stay away - pretty much what he did in 2006 when he came second.
 

Anticyclone

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I think there is likely to be a battle raging between the main contenders. CSC may try and put people ahead but then Lotto may try to as well. If they can put someone up there who can ride fast between the Croix de Fer and the Alpe then he may have a chance of limiting his losses. Given that Garmin-Chiptole and Rabobank may also be thinking that a man there would be useful then it could be a very tactical stage. The win could go to someone who is able to follow the right attacks and not have to put in too much work. Valverde seemed to be going well on sunday - if he is able to maintain that form then he could be the one to take the stage.
 

Crankyfeet

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Drongo said:
I think that's right. An attack there could stick, if the pace was high enough beforehand. If they hold an attack to the base of the Alpe, especially with 1 or 2 helpers (ie CSC), it would blow the GC apart. Go hard at the end of C de F and then again at the start of the Alpe. Watch them crack and take minutes on the lot.

Sorry to say, Grater, but if Kirchen does well I'd be surprised. Delighted, but surprised.
But how much time are they going to get on the last part of Croix de Fer? There's 40 km (mostly descent) between the peak of C de F and the base of the Alpe d'Huez. If they were able to get even a few minutes... that wouldn't be that hard to bridge in the next 40km, would it?
 

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