Biggest surprises of the 2008 TDF



fscyclist

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Jul 30, 2006
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Biggest surprise was VdV. A 31 year old domestique turned podium rider (could've won if it wasn't for that crash). Good thing he rides for Slipstream so it's a proven fact that he's clean.
 

Anticyclone

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Feb 25, 2008
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RdBiker said:
Oh you see that too :) In the classics you rarely have to ride +1h up a +9% gradient mountain. I've never thought of Voigt as that good a climber, a good one for sure, but more of a breakaway kinda guy than a pulling-the peloton-up-a-mountain-at-a-hell-of-a-pace. And this is the first time (after Hincapie at least) when I see a man the size of Cancellara dropping a specialist climber such as Cunego. And I didn't see the entire stage to Hautacam but I read that Valverde and Cunego were dropped at the first climb there but Cancellara was still driving the front group before Hautacam. And don't even get me started on Arvesen, A.Schleck and Sastre's TT.
Cancellara was driving the front group on the approach to Hautacam because he had been in an early attack and was caught/waited for the lead group (which did include Voigt). When did Cancellara drop Cunego? I didnt think Sastre's TT was that out of the ordinary. He had been reasonably quiet and had to defend the yellow jersey.
 

limerickman

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Jan 5, 2004
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One of the biggest surprises for me is the number of fans at roadside throughout TDF 2008.

Given recent (and not so recent) history, I was suprised that the TDF 2008 had the number of roadside spectators it did have.

In terms of performances, Kohl's ITT performances was a big surprise.
He time trialled superbly.
 

Rolfrae

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Sep 15, 2006
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Anticyclone said:
Cancellara was driving the front group on the approach to Hautacam because he had been in an early attack and was caught/waited for the lead group (which did include Voigt). When did Cancellara drop Cunego? I didnt think Sastre's TT was that out of the ordinary. He had been reasonably quiet and had to defend the yellow jersey.
It was Voigt who was driving on the actual climb. He even joked in the post stage interviews about being like Eddy Merckx dropping the big names on the climbs. Of course he only lasted a few KMs then blew up and dropped off.

I still don't believe what I see and trust CSC about as far as I can spit (probably around two metres - I'll measure later). Cunego was at this Tour clean, seeing for the first time how he'd cope with three weeks without assistance and the truth hurt as much as that crash into the concrete barrier Valverde must have been clean too, otherwise he needs a refund.
 

Anticyclone

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Feb 25, 2008
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Rolfrae said:
It was Voigt who was driving on the actual climb. He even joked in the post stage interviews about being like Eddy Merckx dropping the big names on the climbs. Of course he only lasted a few KMs then blew up and dropped off.
Voigt drove up the Tourmalet but was able to stay with the group all the way to the top. To be fair, Voigt hadn't done much up until that point. Voigt and Cancellara were then able to put in a big effort on the way to Hautacam but didnt last long on the climb before falling back. The gap to Valverde was 40 seconds at the top of the Tourmalet, 1.35 with 20km to go and i think it got quite a bit bigger even before the climb

Rolfrae said:
I still don't believe what I see and trust CSC about as far as I can spit (probably around two metres - I'll measure later). Cunego was at this Tour clean, seeing for the first time how he'd cope with three weeks without assistance and the truth hurt as much as that crash into the concrete barrier Valverde must have been clean too, otherwise he needs a refund.
Yeah, i try to look for the genuine reason why they could have been so good but it does seem a bit suspicious. Have they got a bigger budget than other teams so they can get better riders? One of the surprises this year was vandevelde - and he used to ride for CSC. Not sure exactly what this means though - maybe everyone else has got slower this year for various reasons while CSC have stood still from last year?

Valverde had one bad day - the stage to Hautacam. Without the CSC tactics he wouldn't have lost as much time though. Maybe his bad day was due to his active first week and the crash that he had a few days beforehand? He did well up to Prato Nevoso but after that seemed to be working for CSC - bit strange when you think it was their tactics which wrecked his race!
 

Geoff Vadar

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Feb 13, 2008
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Nicest suprise of the tour of was easily the stage victory of Simon Gerrans. I cant wait to revisit that stage. I missed exactly how he made the selection but just the way he played it was great. How he had to dig deep several times and then had that last card to the throw down (ace high baby).

Gold from Gerrans!
 

frost

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Oct 25, 2007
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RdBiker said:
Oh you see that too :) In the classics you rarely have to ride +1h up a +9% gradient mountain. I've never thought of Voigt as that good a climber, a good one for sure, but more of a breakaway kinda guy than a pulling-the peloton-up-a-mountain-at-a-hell-of-a-pace.
Which of the climbs do you specially mean? I think Alpe D'Huez was the hardest of all and according to Wikipedia it is 7,8% average gradient. Croix de Fer where Cancellara had his most "surprising" pull until last couple of km is average of 5,5% (approach from the northeast from Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne. source wikipedia)

By the time that battle in the Alpe was on Cancellara and Voigt were about 20 minutes away.

RdBiker said:
And this is the first time (after Hincapie at least) when I see a man the size of Cancellara dropping a specialist climber such as Cunego.
Ever heard of that spanish guy... what was his name again? Oh yes, Miguel Indurain
smile.gif
(well admit, he was before Hincapie)

RdBiker said:
And I didn't see the entire stage to Hautacam but I read that Valverde and Cunego were dropped at the first climb there but Cancellara was still driving the front group before Hautacam.
Cancellara didn't drop Cunego nor Valverde. They were dropped while Voigt pulling after punishing pace to the root of the climb, which was a tactics mastered by UPSP/Discovery to kill the "underweight" climbers before the actual climb even begins.
Both Cunego and Valverde crashed before the stage to Hautacam. When your body is constantly at the limit in a grand tour I wouldn't underestimate what effect crash has. Neither of them was in their top shape. I think Valverde peaked couple of weaks too early.

RdBiker said:
And don't even get me started on Arvesen, A.Schleck and Sastre's TT.
I can see Sastre pulling his hair, all those years in the shadow losing time on TT's why oh why I didn't get the blood changed earlier...
wink.gif


Don't get me wrong. I do not have any illusions of clean CSC, clean cycling or any professional sports whatsoever but CSC consists of past years top performers and they're teamwork was absolutely seamless with one goal in mind (compare to Gerolsteiner sending Schumi to breakaways to kill himself not to help Kohl) so it is hardly surprising that they were dominating the race.
 

EvilJediJ

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Jun 15, 2006
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Let's get one thing straight ... CANCELLERA AND VOIGHT NEVER DROPPED CUNEGO AND VALVERDE.

Did Cunego and Valverde fall off the back on the Tourmalet? Yes. Why? Because they didn't want to go into the RED with a climb to go .

On the final climb of Hautacam Cunego and Valverde did it only about 40 seconds slower than the group of Evans. Meanwhile Voight and Cancellera were plastered and finished over 15 minutes back.

All the climb on the Hautacam showed was that Voight climbing at 100% of his capacity is better than Valverde (on only that day) and Cunego at 85% of theirs.