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Pro Cycling - Tour de France 2019

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Wow @ that inclined plane! Don't know if anyone else is watching now but hopefully they'll show that on the highlights. An amazing abbey earlier too.

One thing that is interesting this year is which teams are going to do the work to pull back breaks. So much of it has been left to Highroad in recent years, with them having the riders to do it and such a dominant sprinter that no one wanted to help. Sky clearly aren't going to do that though. Liquigas have GC hopes with Nibali so similarly won't invest everything for Sagan. Do Lotto have enough faith in Greipel? I guess Radioshack/NT will be defending yellow hard for as long as Spartacus has it.

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Oh, I was just going to post. I presume people will know to avoid the thread from say half three onwards until they catch the highlights if they don't know the result. If everyone objects to that then fair enough.

Anyway, that was close! He's pretty good, that guy what won!

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I guess we spoiler it.

Cav shows he didn't just win beciase of the train. Do think his new slimlined look may mean he's got a bit less speed. Still quicker than anyone else though

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Yeah, but not dominantly so. I like Cav and I liked seeing Highroad do their thing but it makes things more interesting, Greipel was close enough today to suggest he may well pip him a couple of times this Tour. Interesting that he's contesting (sort of) the intermediates too. I guess that means he's thinking of sticking around to Paris, at least.

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Cav certainly seems to be playing down his green jersey ambitions, but his words don't match his actions so far. Looks like a decent stage for Sagan again toady though.

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If Sagan seriously wants to go for Green then I think he'll beat Cav to it. Bit like Hushovd a couple of years back where he was able to get away and win uphill and a was willing to get into some breaks.

Cav proved yesterday that not only is he quicker he's also smarter than the other sprinters. Bit like at the end of the World Champs where the British train finally got swamped he just instinctively knew who's wheel to take. I think he's quite enjoying the scrap.

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Yeah, ok.

PROFIL.jpg

Really interesting stage today. No less than five categorised climbs in the final 35 km. A 700m uphill drag at the end as well. Could be some gaps. Sagan again? Someone like Valverde? Will any GC contenders try to grab some seconds like Evans managed on similar terrain last year?

Morkov is out in the break again to get more polka dot points.

EDIT: spoiler warning in the topic title. Spoilers are fair game from 2pm ish onwards for people watching it live. If you're waiting for the highlights, read (and post!) later. Hope that's ok for everyone. I kind of agree that threads full of spoilers all the time are a bit shit. :)

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10 points is 10 points, and I think it'll be tight this year. I think he learnt after last year hill climb fiasco that he's going to have to take these intermediate sprints to make sure of the Green.

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Carl Sagan is an absolute beast. Multiple stage wins, in his first ever tour, at his young age... we could be seeing the birth of a new great. I think he can almost certainly hold the green jersey from Cavendish now, interesting because he pretty much slipped under my radar before now.

I've really enjoyed these first few days of the tour. Sloping, punchy finishes make for great TV and even yesterday's sprint wasn't boring. Shame there's a lot of flat days to come now- looks like I'll be tuning in at 1615 to catch the finishing 5k.

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I wasn't laughing at the fact he was contesting it but the way it happened.

Very impressive stuff by Sagan. He's living up to his billing, and looks like having an incredible career in front of him.

I very much agree. He's taking no shit from the established big names either, and I like his "deal with it" attitude. Keeping tabs on him from now on as well. :)

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Man, did Cav look pissed off there. I wonder whether he was thinking about whether going to Sky was such a great idea after all. Bad day for him in terms of the green jersey. You'd think he has to take points over Sagan on stages like this if he wants to win it overall.

Fair play to Lotto and Greipel, they executed perfectly on their opportunity. Ale-jet doesn't quite have the pace any more.

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Brailsford said that they had an opinion on what caused the crash afterwards but he probably shouldn't say anything until things had calmed down. Cav was probably steaming that some numpty had taken him out again, rather than any problem with Sky.

Green jersey is going to be damn hard from here. Suspect he may be considering supporting Wiggo for a while until it gets immensely hilly then dropping out to focus on the Olympics.

And Sagan was a monster on the Tour de Suisse.

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I don't really watch much cycling, so apologies if this is a stupid question, but how come Cavendish has gone to Sky? It seems quite strange to go from a team which was set up to support him all the way to one that isn't.

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I don't really watch much cycling, so apologies if this is a stupid question, but how come Cavendish has gone to Sky? It seems quite strange to go from a team which was set up to support him all the way to one that isn't.

HTC-Columbia was disbanding anyway, so he needed to find a new team.

As for why he chose Sky, it is an environment he would be comfortable in, because so much of Team Sky is involved in British cycling in the wider sense. That, and he'll be on mega-bucks.

Also, he appears to be moving away from concentrating on winning stages in the grand tours anyway, and making himself more suited to classics and other 1-day events (hence his road race world title); where instead of outright speed you need to be able to get over hilly sections, and more importantly, be able to look after yourself.

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I don't really watch much cycling, so apologies if this is a stupid question, but how come Cavendish has gone to Sky? It seems quite strange to go from a team which was set up to support him all the way to one that isn't.

I imagine there's a number of reasons.

Money.

It's the olympics year, and there's a fairly tight coupling between Sky and British Cycling.

HTC disbanded.

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