Stage 16 TDF - Wednesday, July 25: Orthez - Gourette - Col d’Aubisque, 218.5km

Discussion in 'Professional Cycling' started by limerickman, Jul 23, 2007.

  1. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    After the Tuesday rest day - the Pyrennees torture continues with a menu of steep climbs culminating in the mighty Aubisque.


    Km 79: Port de Larrau: 14.7 km climb @ 8.1 % grade / hors catégorie (Spain)
    Km 93: Alto Laza - 3.5km climb @ 6.8 % grade / 3rd Cat. (Spain)
    Km 131: Col de la Pierre-Saint-Martin: 14.2 km climb @ 5.2 % grade / 1st Cat.
    Km 180.5: Col de Marie-Blanque: 9.3 km climb @ 7.4 % grade / 1st Cat.
    Km 218.5: Col d'Aubisque: 16.7 km climb @ 7 % grade / hors catégorie

    After a tough stage 15, the rest day could be either an advantage or a disadvantage to riders.
    Can they maintain their momentum?
    Or will the racing of the last two weeks catch up with them?

    Ras looked really impressive on Stage 15 and I think that with a superb Rabo team, that he will go for the win on this stage as it's a climbers stage.
    Will DC and Contador be able to match Rabo and Ras?
     
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  2. lwedge

    lwedge New Member

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    On paper, it looks to play out much the same way as stage 14. I think the youngster Contador has the legs to hang with Razz but I don't think he can crack him. I look for the same, attacks by Liepheimer, Sastra, Conti and hope you can crack Razz but I don't think that's gonna happen.

    I wonder what Kloden is thinking, maybe he'll put something together. I really hope I can watch stage 16, I'm looking for real battle on this stage. We'll see.

    lw
     
  3. Grater

    Grater New Member

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    Contador will take this stage I reckon.

    It will be a Contador and Rasmussen showdown again. I think Contador may be able to break Rasmussen.
     
  4. saluki

    saluki New Member

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    It's a coin toss in my mind. But even if he breaks Ras, he probably won't be able to put more than 30 or 40 seconds into him.

    There's also a chance that some poorly placed people will be allowed to go up the road and take a victory, as long as they don't threaten the top 3 or 4. I would think that Soler would want to take a shot at getting that dotted jersey. And I don't think that Ras can be bothered to defend it. He's feeling like the yellow is his.

    What is interesting to me is that Bruneel has been putting people into breaks in order to get a stage win. It hasn't worked at all. Clearly his best shot is to keep his boys in the peloton, put them to work helping the Rabo domestiques, and keep the breaks reeled in. Then Contador can deliver his stage win for him.

    I guess I shouldn't forget Mayo. He has such huge performance swings. But I believe that a 100% Mayo performance can actually beat Contador up the mountain. Unfortunately you only get a 100% Mayo performance a couple of stages a year.
     
  5. saluki

    saluki New Member

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    He's thinking that if he can take 9 seconds out of Leipheimer and a minute and a half out of Evans in the ITT, that he is on the podium. Kloden is capable of a very mean ITT and he may make it happen. So he wants to be sure not to give up any time to either of those guys on 16.
     
  6. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Mayo's kaput.
    If you've watched the live pictures from the entire stage, you'd see that Mayo is not going well in the very high mountains up tp now.
     
  7. classic1

    classic1 Well-Known Member

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    Contador needs to attack earlier on the Aubisque than he did on the Peyresourde, plus hope Boogard isn't going that well because the tempo he set for the biochicken on stage 15 was ....amazing.
     
  8. classic1

    classic1 Well-Known Member

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    mayos going like a bag of spanners and is taking up valuable road space IMHO
     
  9. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Agreed : Mayo's form is inconsistent to say the least.
     
  10. classic1

    classic1 Well-Known Member

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    Saunier Duval employed him as a mobile speed hump or chicane.:D
     
  11. Eagle of Toledo

    Eagle of Toledo New Member

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    My thoughts precisely, if he wanted to really take time out of Rasmussen he should have gone much earlier. Even if he had've dislodged Ras from his wheel on the Peyresourde how much time would he have taken out of him? Hardly any if he tries 5 KM from the top.
     
  12. Powerful Pete

    Powerful Pete New Member

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    Contador needs to risk an all-out attack, early in the last uphill - a make it or I will explode attack.

    But that kind of thing is not popular anymore.
     
  13. Frihed89

    Frihed89 New Member

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    If he really wanted to take time out of Rasmussen..... his team should have set a faster tempo instead of conceeding the tempo setting to Rabobank.

    Why not? Bruyneel isn't smart enough to figure that out? He's got two leaders instead of one? These guys just aren't good enough to set that fast a pace?

    You figure it out.

    Lance is not the only missing ingredient these days.
     
  14. cheapie

    cheapie New Member

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    lol. pray tell...what in the world does that mean?
     
  15. ilpirata

    ilpirata New Member

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    Contador must attack. But Ras has shown no sign of cracking. We will see if any of the others will try from far away. Soler for sure will go, but he is not really a threat for the overall. The rest have not shown to be at the level of Contador and Ras on climbs. So I expect Sastre, Kloden, Levi, Evans, etc. will be marking each other and climbing at their own pace till well up the last climb.
     
  16. JRMDC

    JRMDC New Member

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    He has said that he would rather try winning and end up sixth than settle for second. So look for something from him.
     
  17. Bro Deal

    Bro Deal New Member

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    I hope Soler gets into a break and grabs the lead in the mountains.

    Disco needs to burn off Ras' doms. That means that after Popo has given his all, Leipheimer needs to ride very hard tempo and possibly sacrifice his own high standing. After that Contador needs to make a series of attacks and break Ras. He needs to go pretty early on the Aubisque. It might not be possible.

    Even thirty seconds would improve Contador's chances in the ITT.
     
  18. JRMDC

    JRMDC New Member

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    Maybe Leipheimer, given that Kloden is now just a bit less likely to surpass him with a better ITT and knock him off a podium spot, is more willing to put in some work for Contador. :D
     
  19. IH8LANCE

    IH8LANCE New Member

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    I agree. I was among the many who were certain that Rasmussen would lose at least 3 minutes to the other GC men in the time trial, but aside from Vino (cough cough) he held his own. He lost 37 seconds to Contador in the first time trial. I'm not sure he can duplicate that again, but it seems certain that with almost a 2:30 cushion right now, Contador desperately needs some time on this stage.

    Even the small winners bonuses might come into play, and with this being the last stage where mountain workhorses will be needed, I think there's a good possibility that Discovery might try to chase down every early breakaway (or at least keep it on a short leash) to ensure that if Contador can get out front again, there will be no one to take the time bonuses at the end of the stage.

    I think it's fair to say Rasmussen is proficient at matching an attack. The only way Contador (or perhaps Evans) has a chance is if they are out front already when the last climb starts. Looking at the profile, Disco (and CSC for that matter) needs to be setting a blistering pace at the very beginning of the Marie Blanque climb, and Contador needs to try to launch and get over that summit with a healthy gap. The descent to the beginning of the Col D'Aubisque climb is less than 15K, which would presumably not give Rasmussen a lot of time on the descent to catch him. I'd love to see how Rasmussen would fare without a rabbit on that last climb, if Contador or Evans is out front even before it starts.
     
  20. Bro Deal

    Bro Deal New Member

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    Exactly. It might not work but it looks like it's their only chance. Leipheimer is good enough to be left with Contador after Boogerd and Dekker are gone. Kill Rabo early in the stage and let Contador go for it early on the Aubisque.
    Hope for the best after Contador attacks.
     
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