Stage 9 TDF - Tuesday, July 17: Val-d’Isère - Briançon, 159.5km



limerickman

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Jan 5, 2004
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The torture continues are the TDF rest day with a 159km stage in the Alpes :
including the legendary climbs of the Telegraphe and the Galibier.

They start with the hors category climb of the L'Iseran!!!!!!

Km 15: Col de l'Iseran: 15.0 km climb @ 6 % grade / hors catégorie
Km 99: Col du Telegraphe: 12.0 km climb @ 6.7 % grade / 1st Cat.
Km 122: Col du Galibier: 17.5 km climb @ 6.9 % grade / hors catégorie

It will be interesting to see how the main GC riders perform after their rest day.

Will Vino have recovered?
Or will Kloden be given the job of leading Astana?
Can Contador continue his fine climbing?
And what of Valverde?
Can Mayo sustain his good form?
Or will Ras put them all to the sword again?

This stage is a mountain top finish - so a good climber/descender may have an opportunity.
Savoldelli springs to mind.
 

jhuskey

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Oct 6, 2003
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Thanks Lim,
I see pain coming in this stage. Steep climbs. The time gaps are way too close to make any kind of call when you consider the weaknesses of some.
Vino is what. 5.23 something down so I doubt that anyone with a greater time gap that his has a chance to be on the podium. The peloton will no doubt be strung out. Good chance for an early break to make it on this one ,I think.
I expect we will see a different Astana team Tuesday with Vino more healed and Kloden already looks capable of hanging in with just about anyone outside of Rassmussen.I would certainly give Kloden at least one support rider in the plan in case Vino gets dropped. He will need to hold the time gap on Rassmussen 3.46 mins or so is not a large deficit at this point.
Very wide open ,which is what makes in an exciting race.

1 Michael Rasmussen (Den) Rabobank 39.37.42
2 Linus Gerdemann (Ger) T-Mobile Team 0.43
3 Iban Mayo Diez (Spa) Saunier Duval - Prodir 2.39
4 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 2.51
5 Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz) Astana 2.52
6 Cadel Evans (Aus) Predictor - Lotto 2.53
7 Christophe Moreau (Fra) AG2r Prévoyance 3.06
8 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 3.10
9 Frank Schleck (Lux) Team CSC 3.14
10 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 3.19
11 Carlos Sastre Candil (Spa) Team CSC 3.35
12 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Astana 3.46
13 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 3.53
14 Oscar Pereiro Sio (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 3.54
15 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 4.00
16 Manuel Beltran Martinez (Spa) Liquigas 4.19
17 Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Quickstep - Innergetic 4.22
18 David Arroyo Duran (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 4.51
19 Kim Kirchen (Lux) T-Mobile Team 5.02
20 Tadej Valjavec (Slo) Lampre - Fondital 5.03
21 Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 5.14
22 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana 5.23
23 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Caisse d'Epargne 6.09
24 Kanstantin Siutsou (Blr) Barloworld 6.18
25 Chris Horner (USA) Predictor - Lotto 6.29
 

Cobblestones

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Jul 2, 2007
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limerickman said:
This stage is a mountain top finish - so a good climber/descender may have an opportunity.
Uhm, no. It's not a mountain top finish. It's a long descend from the Galibier which flattens out into Briancon.

I don't think the chicken can get away by himself. If he's alone, he might be caught (or lose most of the advantage) on the way down. Maybe a small group of opportunists could stay away. If the contenders stay together halfway up the Galibier, I think they'll also be together for the sprint to the line. Maybe they drop LL or some pretenders, but this could very well be the only excitement we get.
 

jhuskey

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Cobblestones said:
Uhm, no. It's not a mountain top finish. It's a long descend from the Galibier which flattens out into Briancon.

I don't think the chicken can get away by himself. If he's alone, he might be caught (or lose most of the advantage) on the way down. Maybe a small group of opportunists could stay away. If the contenders stay together halfway up the Galibier, I think they'll also be together for the sprint to the line. Maybe they drop LL or some pretenders, but this could very well be the only excitement we get.


It is a sprint finish and as I posted I agree that a good break of non-GC's might provide a stage winner.
I disagree about the non- excitement as this could be a damaging and demoralizing stage for some GC hopefuls.
 

guncha

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Jun 20, 2005
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It will be very boring stage. There's no point for a stage with H.C. 40km to go. If they doped less, maybe this stage had some sense...

I was very disappointed with a stage to Bricancon in 2005. I won't be able to watch tomorrow and I don't think I'll lose something...
 

Cobblestones

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jhuskey said:
I disagree about the non- excitement as this could be a damaging and demoralizing stage for some GC hopefuls.
Let's hope you're right, not me. I'm actually taking off from work tomorrow morning.
 

stilesiii

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Aug 31, 2005
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Rabobank really has an opportunity to separate the "hopefuls" from the true contenders tommorrow. Send off Ras, Menchov, and two support riders. This pressure will definitely crack the peleton wide open, and sort this thing out. If they can hold the pressure all the way through and finish together, they will truly have a double threat. I don't think Astana and Disco are ready for the pressure. I think this thing could be largely decided tommorrow, if Rabobank has the legs.
 

SaintAndrew

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Jul 4, 2006
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totally weird stage. if the finish were closer to the HC, i would say it's tailor made for valverde, and he's still my pick, if the climbers are smart enough to attack and work together to stay away from the likes of klodie, vino, vaginaboy evans, et al.
 

limerickman

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Jan 5, 2004
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Cobblestones said:
Uhm, no. It's not a mountain top finish. It's a long descend from the Galibier which flattens out into Briancon.
.

Apologies - typo on my behalf.
I left out the word "not" a mountain top finisher.

Thanks for the correction.
 

EvilJediJ

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Jun 15, 2006
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They did almost this exact stage in 2005. They let Vino and Botero get away, but other than that the peloton finished together. The only way to make this stage exciting is if riders go on the VERY FIRST CLIMB or at least on the telegraphe. Anyone making a break for it on the galibier will get caught by the time the reach briancon.

If I was Rasmussen I would attack again. EARLY.
 

thebluetrain

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EvilJediJ said:
If I was Rasmussen I would attack again. EARLY.
I hope he does. Rasmussen needs to put the pressure on the other contenders to see who has the minerals and who doesnt if he wants to win. Better to destroy them now before the time trial.
 

Trajectum

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Jul 16, 2007
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Dead Star said:
They surely won't let Rasmussen get away now that he's leading the race?
It depends on how he rides doesnt it? If he rides like he did last sunday and the main GC contenders + the Chicken reach the foot of the Telegraphe/Galibier together than who is going to prevent him from jumping? Maybe a few can jump with him but (especially) the Galibier is not excactly a pimple on the landscape and on some of the steeper sections the stronger climber could definately ride away from whoever manages to follow untill that point.

I am hoping to see the field absolutely break down on the galibier and although its unfortunate that there is 40 kM of decent after it i have my hopes up for a second day for the chicken in which he ll climb them to bits on the gallibier.

The ITT that comes after it is also quite hilly. If the chicken manages to extend his lead a bit tomorrow and limit the loss on wednesday than it seriously becomes interesting. I hope he doesnt cramp up too much yet, he isnt the greatest "pressure rider" as we might remember and i dont know how heavy this yellow jersey feels on his shoulders.


As for the days Victory. I am expecting a small group of ~15 runners to break rather early in the stage. The likes of Boogerd (if he is allowed to), Merckx, De La Fuente etc. Cancellara (if Rabo allow him to go). The "lesser gods" who are capable of a great stage day in the mountains but dont pose a threat for the overall victory. I dont expect fireworks from the GC at the first climb (though i do hope so of course)

In any case i am expecting and hoping for a great racing day
 

Trajectum

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thebluetrain said:
I hope he does. Rasmussen needs to put the pressure on the other contenders to see who has the minerals and who doesnt if he wants to win. Better to destroy them now before the time trial.
That would just be too awesome. I hope it with you it d make the day an awesomely exiting day but i dont expect it
 

Durangodave

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Trajectum said:
I am hoping to see the field absolutely break down on the galibier and although its unfortunate that there is 40 kM of decent after it i have my hopes up for a second day for the chicken in which he ll climb them to bits on the gallibier.
Chicken will get plucked on the last 30k run out to Briancon, if he tries to go alone.
.
But... if an early break gets off, maybe he could bridge up and ride out the descent with them??? A move like that could set the race on fire. Does that sound like a reasonable scenario?
 

Trajectum

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Jul 16, 2007
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Durangodave said:
Chicken will get plucked on the last 30k run out to Briancon, if he tries to go alone.
.
But... if an early break gets off, maybe he could bridge up and ride out the descent with them??? A move like that could set the race on fire. Does that sound like a reasonable scenario?
Chicken will get plucked.. nice play of words :) Could be, definately preferable to not be alone n he sure as hell isnt a good decender on his own (he picks the most horrible lines). But i am guessing he will attack in any case, wether there are bridges to gap, support to be found or wether it just means stepping on his pedals as fast as possible. i am expecting a nice stage and if tomorrows stage does get a lot of exitement some contenders will crumble.
 

jsull14

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SaintAndrew said:
totally weird stage. if the finish were closer to the HC, i would say it's tailor made for valverde, and he's still my pick, if the climbers are smart enough to attack and work together to stay away from the likes of klodie, vino, vaginaboy evans, et al.
If this stage ended up top it would be incredible for GC but given the 40k to the line I just see a break of pretenders getting away and having their day.
 

SaintAndrew

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thebluetrain said:
I hope he does. Rasmussen needs to put the pressure on the other contenders to see who has the minerals and who doesnt if he wants to win. Better to destroy them now before the time trial.
no, no. chicken sucks at downhilling (heaven knows why- he was a MTB champ). why should he put in another epic ride and face a more than likely scenario of being caught well before the finish line by all-arounders when he's up time, when he could sit on anyone's wheel who tries to attack and conserve energy for a day with an uphill finish?
 

Bro Deal

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Jun 26, 2006
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Normally not much would happen to the GC on a stage like this.

Riders looking for a stage victory will form a break on the first climb. This could include Voekler and Hincapie. With Raz focusing on the yellow jersey it will make defending the polka dot one more difficult. Chavanel should make sure he is in the break so he can get mountain points.

If Raz is serious about going for GC then he or his team should set a very hard pace on the Galibier. The goal should be to drop any GC contender who is not good in the Alps. Leipheimer is a candidate for getting dropped. This may also be the last chance to capitalize on Vino's injuries before he fully recovers, although I expect him to be back on his A game after the rest day.

Odds are that for the GC nothing much will happen, but Raz could make things interesting. I think Morea's form will fade by the end of the Tour; he might try pushing the pace, even if it's just to get his mug on camera and get props for being aggressive. He seems to really like attacking while in the French national colors.