2008 Tour de France Stage 18 - Thursday, July 24: Bourg-d'Oisans - Saint-Étienne



TheDarkLord

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Stage profile

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Grater

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A breakaway will win this. The question is who?

I believe that Cunego will make the break and probably Kirchen will try for it. They are no threat now being 12 and 9 minutes behind so a 4 - 6 minute break for them won't hurt the main chances of other riders.

Ballan wants a win. Chavannel has been unlucky. Luis Leon Sanchez to try and make it? Jens Voigt a chance? Hincapie is hungry.

Who are the most hungry men for stage wins. They will contest it today and tomorrow.

Chavanel and Ballan are my main picks but it woudlnt' surprise me to see Cunego in the break and possibly Hincapie and/or Kirchen as Columbia want stage wins.

I think Kirchen might fancy himself today and/or tomorrow to try and get some points back on the green jersey as he will get more on the time trial. Tomorrow he might rest for the TT but I think there are more points on offer tomorrow so I don't think Kirchen will try it today, but try the break tomorrow to get the more points.

Top 3

Chavanel
Ballan
Hincapie
 

Grater

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Grater said:
A breakaway will win this. The question is who?

I believe that Cunego will make the break and probably Kirchen will try for it. They are no threat now being 12 and 9 minutes behind so a 4 - 6 minute break for them won't hurt the main chances of other riders.

Ballan wants a win. Chavannel has been unlucky. Luis Leon Sanchez to try and make it? Jens Voigt a chance? Hincapie is hungry.

Who are the most hungry men for stage wins. They will contest it today and tomorrow.

Chavanel and Ballan are my main picks but it woudlnt' surprise me to see Cunego in the break and possibly Hincapie and/or Kirchen as Columbia want stage wins.

I think Kirchen might fancy himself today and/or tomorrow to try and get some points back on the green jersey as he will get more on the time trial. Tomorrow he might rest for the TT but I think there are more points on offer tomorrow so I don't think Kirchen will try it today, but try the break tomorrow to get the more points.

Top 3

Chavanel
Ballan
Hincapie
We havn't seen Flecha in a break because he's helping Menchov. He might be in there.

Euskatel are still hunting a stage win so Martinez will probably be in there.

A group of 15 - 20 riders get away today and Martinez, Flecha, Ballan, Chavanel, Hincapie, Voeckler, Millar are all there.
 

tinks

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Theoretically a break away will succeed here but looking at the profile, Valverde must fancy his chances of a stage win. I don't know if the team would actively chase the break but if it's caught, I'd pick him for the win.

Far fetched speculation:
Kohl and Evans looked absolutely knackered after yesterday's stage. Maybe CSC continue the pressure today, not to get time but to give them less of a chance to recover and dull Evans' edge.
 

Grater

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tinks said:
Theoretically a break away will succeed here but looking at the profile, Valverde must fancy his chances of a stage win. I don't know if the team would actively chase the break but if it's caught, I'd pick him for the win.

Far fetched speculation:
Kohl and Evans looked absolutely knackered after yesterday's stage. Maybe CSC continue the pressure today, not to get time but to give them less of a chance to recover and dull Evans' edge.
Valverde is a possibility, as is Luis Leon Sanchez. But Valverde is only about 4 minutes behind so the break would only need to survive by 2 minutes as I don't think F Schleck wants to lose his podium place and Valverde will time trial better than him. So I can't see Valverde being in there.

The other main climbers who would fancy themselves are definately Cunego and possibly Kirchen.

The Break will get away by about 5 - 8 minutes.

Your far fetched speculation is actually good. They could do that.
 

vitamin s

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Feb 21, 2007
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csc wont let valverde get into a break although the stage suits valverde well. sanchez has a great shot imo. i hope voeckler takes this. hincapie wont win.
 

adamastor

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Jun 3, 2007
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tinks said:
Far fetched speculation:
Kohl and Evans looked absolutely knackered after yesterday's stage. Maybe CSC continue the pressure today, not to get time but to give them less of a chance to recover and dull Evans' edge.
And my far far fetched speculation: CSC sends out Andy from the start for stage win in a group. This should make Cadel and Co. nervous before TT on Saturday. CSC with such a strong team should bring Evans to breaking point. What's the way to make him work/suffer before Saturday??
 

Drongo

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Grater said:
We havn't seen Flecha in a break because he's helping Menchov. He might be in there.

Euskatel are still hunting a stage win so Martinez will probably be in there.

A group of 15 - 20 riders get away today and Martinez, Flecha, Ballan, Chavanel, Hincapie, Voeckler, Millar are all there.
This is about the third or fourth time you've tipped Flecha for a breakaway. You might be right, but the broken clock springs to mind.

The usual breakaway contenders will surely go for it, absent the CSC boys, natürlich. [edit: other than A. Schleck]

Moncoutie to have another dig, or did he give too much yesterday?

Liquigas should try to get Kreuziger or, more likely, Nibali into a break, and test CSC's reaction. I think CSC will work to protect the white jersey now that they have it. [Edit: likewise, putting Schleck in the break would force Liquigas to work; that has its attractions.]

QST have been quiet this year. They'll be under pressure to show the sponsor's name. Likewise Euskaltel (Zubeldia is behind Zabel on GC.)

CSC must be tired. I say they'll let a break go but they'll ramp up the pace on the last two hills and see what happens.
 

adamastor

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Jun 3, 2007
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The Luxembourg Dream:

Before stage18, Andy has a chat with Kim Kirchen, and between Luxembourgers both go off right at beginning of stage. Kreuziger, Valjavec, Cunego follow them to protect their positions.

Well, tactically speaking, doesn't make sense, but as they have set up a huge public viewing screen here in Luxembourg city, it would have the Luxembourg public jumping :D.

Just a dream.
 

vitamin s

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Feb 21, 2007
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i think there are too many guys trying to protect their podium spot for anything exciting to happen. vandevelde is in striking distance, menchov, f. schleck and kohl are all riding for second or third, so i am pretty sure that these guys and their teams will prevent any fireworks over the next few days. the only stage left that will decide the final gc will be the time trial. period.
 

classic1

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Jul 29, 2006
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I love these lumpy middle mountain stages with the narrow bumpy winding backroads when the GC riders and classic hunters are in at the kill.

Stages into St Etienne are shithot if there is no big breakaway.

It's farkin awesome when they try and smash the living **** out of one another.

I hope the contenders go the non-ghey mano a mano over the last two climbs and there are blokes going up the road everywhere and it is pissing rain so the final is scary.

That would be cool.


BEEFCAKE

BEEFCAKE

BEEFCAAAKE

I'm excited.
 

Grater

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Jan 30, 2006
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Drongo said:
This is about the third or fourth time you've tipped Flecha for a breakaway. You might be right, but the broken clock springs to mind.

The usual breakaway contenders will surely go for it, absent the CSC boys, natürlich. [edit: other than A. Schleck]

Moncoutie to have another dig, or did he give too much yesterday?

Liquigas should try to get Kreuziger or, more likely, Nibali into a break, and test CSC's reaction. I think CSC will work to protect the white jersey now that they have it. [Edit: likewise, putting Schleck in the break would force Liquigas to work; that has its attractions.]

QST have been quiet this year. They'll be under pressure to show the sponsor's name. Likewise Euskaltel (Zubeldia is behind Zabel on GC.)

CSC must be tired. I say they'll let a break go but they'll ramp up the pace on the last two hills and see what happens.
I keep tipping Flecha because he's always made a break in the TDF. But not this year, yet.
 

jhuskey

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Oct 6, 2003
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With several hopefuls and 2 main contenders plus tired legs it is a good day for the teams to protect these riders with an even tempo.
Might be a good day for someone like Casar to improve his position with a breakaway.
 

limerickman

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Jan 5, 2004
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jhuskey said:
The Shleck boys father's car is being searched. :eek:

John Schlecks car's being searched!!!!!!!???????????

God I'm getting old - I raced against John Schleck back in the 1980's
(his pro licence was terminated and he started racing as an amateur after a couple of years).
 

Tyke1968

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Jul 13, 2005
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From Cycling news:

15:26 CEST
Papa Schleck update from Reuters. Looks to our untrained eyes like much ado about nothing: Johnny Schleck, who drives guests around for one of the Tour sponsors, was asked to step out of the car at a roundabout and was searched by a police officer. He was then asked to drive the car towards the other side of the roundabout, where the vehicle was searched by customs officers for 30 minutes. "We will search the car," a customs officer told Reuters without giving any further details. The car later continued on the stage course behind a customs vehicle towards Grenoble.
 

TheDarkLord

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Dec 24, 2007
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I just started watching the stage. What happened to Cunego? CN says that he is about 12 minutes behind the peloton...
 

serpico7

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TheDarkLord said:
I just started watching the stage. What happened to Cunego? CN says that he is about 12 minutes behind the peloton...
Early crash. For all the hype surrounding him, he may not even make it to Paris.
 

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