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Old 07-13-2008, 09:45 AM   #41 (permalink)
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Yay for Cavendish!
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Old 07-14-2008, 06:08 AM   #42 (permalink)
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massive mountain stage today, folks!
LIVe coverage is actually on right now.. surely they'll be replaying the stage all day. its on the channel called "Versus" which used to be OLN.


2 huge climbs over the next 2 hours.

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Old 07-14-2008, 06:45 AM   #43 (permalink)
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popo already off the back? cadel could be in for a lonely day..

CSC looks great
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Old 07-14-2008, 02:23 PM   #44 (permalink)
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I`m actually thanking yous for this thread rather than the post. TDF is the most hardcore event in the history of the world with the possible exception of the ironman although it`s a shame there`s such a depleted field for drug bans. I recommend "Rough Ride" by Thomas Klimmage if anyone is wondering why this has happened.
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Old 07-15-2008, 03:32 AM   #45 (permalink)
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Go Cadel!
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Old 07-16-2008, 05:48 AM   #46 (permalink)
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was a great stage on Monday.. Cadel stayed strong.
awesome to see him so emotional, finally wearing the jersey he's been close to for years.

Frank didn't quite come through for me, but was mighty close & the stage was a lot of fun to watch. Voigt is a goddamn machine.. maybe the best domestique in the game.

breakaways today no doubt.. big boys will just be trying to get their legs loosened up after the rest day.
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Old 07-16-2008, 08:59 AM   #47 (permalink)
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awww Alejandro
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Old 07-16-2008, 10:02 AM   #48 (permalink)
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^he's still going out with atleast a stage win,
and he absolutely killed it in the Dauphine a few weeks back over some of the same terrain.

July just hasn't been his month.. (he would have won it in '06 if not for the unlucky crashout!)

he'll be back yo.


and hey!
you shouldn't completely discount a huge turnover of things in the last week.. next tuesday & wednesday will be an even tougher 2day haul than sunday&monday earlier this week. cadel is in great form, but many of the others have huge teams.. there will be many efforts made to break him.

gonna be beaaauutiful either way.
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Old 07-16-2008, 12:33 PM   #49 (permalink)
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i know, early days yet
i read that comment about cadel's team being "weak"

it is more exciting w/o lance, isnt it?
too bad vino is not there to unleash his 10.000 attacks
but then he might not be doing that so much anymore what with all the new blood profiling
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Old 07-17-2008, 05:41 AM   #50 (permalink)
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Riccň tests positive for next-generation EPO

the entire Saunier Duval team leaves the tour.

/kicktothegut.


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Old 07-18-2008, 10:32 AM   #51 (permalink)
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not much surprise at this point.. Cav continues his dominance.. 4 stage wins after yesterday and today.

i'm still crushed after yesterday.. should have known better, but it was mighty impossible not to get excited watching the kid.
piepoli is fired from the team now as well, and the whole outfit is almost surely losing its sponsor.


seeing as how these positives are only from the first 4 stages thus far, who knows what will show up once the mountain stage samples come back. there is a lot of bad talk already concerning the coming weekend.



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Old 07-19-2008, 06:08 AM   #52 (permalink)
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I really don't understand why they're still risking it, or it still seems like everyone's doing it but only the unlucky get caught?
Dunno really, the Tour is probably a touch too tough for a human body...
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Old 07-19-2008, 09:35 AM   #53 (permalink)
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well here goes,

the EPO test is still only WADA-certified for detecting EPOGen, which is the Amgen version of rEPO concocted from animal cells.

last year there were results coming up with Dynepo (human-cell sourced) & this year is the CERA (lowdose extended release, thanks to the addition of a Polyethylene Glycol molecule) but in reality they are not yet able to declare these tests "Positive"

all the language coming from the AFLD yesterday included a change in the language to "Non-Negative" results for each of the riders thus far removed from the race. the spectographies apparently all showed the PEG molecule, so it was not just Ricco who had access to this 3rd generation gear.
& while the ASO had the authority to remove these guys from the Tour, it may be very difficult to actually follow through with a 2 year ban from the sport.. I guess it remains to be seen how WADA will approach it.


One of the things I have been reading is that this CERA is likely not being used alone, but as a mask against the ongoing profiling for blood transfusions. typically when an already-healthy person receives blood, their red-blood cell production would shutdown entirely until their body's biomarkers settled back into place. what the lowdose of EPO accomplishes is to mask the huge dropoff in reticulocyte (new immature red cell) count.
i do believe the real culprits for day to day performance boosting are the autologous blood transfusions. the fact that guys like Dueńas and Beltran are carrying around bloodbags in their personal luggage is not a good indicator that we are close yet to a peloton-wide cleanup.

I can't really say whether I believe this years' favorites are truly clean, but I am willing to say there is a reasonable chance. The performances have been restrained, and the pain looked very visible on the Tourmalet & Hautacam.. quite a far cry from the growly Armstrong/Ullrich days, as well as last years bouncy Conto/Rasmussen battles.

Apparently there were numerous riders with samples showing CERA during the 2008 Giro (link), but I have not read anything indicating why there was a lack of action as compared to here on the Tour, so I can only assume it involves decisions made by the the organizational higher-ups when confronted with the data.


Quote:
Dunno really, the Tour is probably a touch too tough for a human body...
it's probably reasonable to say that over the last 20 years, we've come to expect an entirely different race from the peloton as a whole. in years past, when riders were stuck with machines that probably weighed half again as much as they do now, and when nutritional & training sciences were far less an influence, the days between the mountain stages were truly rest days. in the same tangent, you didn't have teams built around chasing down breakaways for the sprinters & you didn't have the same dependence on domestiques in the mountains. you didn't have anywhere near the amount of money on the line as you do today.. most Euros had 2nd jobs in addition to their cycling careers.

MONEY is what changed the sport, as it has so many others.
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Old 07-19-2008, 10:08 AM   #54 (permalink)
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Yeah It makes perfect sense and you're probably right with that, except maybe in your belief about the favorites or the final winner being truly clean.
I don't think you can win the tour without cheating, you never could to start with.
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Old 07-19-2008, 10:40 AM   #55 (permalink)
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Never been sure what to think about Cadel, only that he and his souigner have avoided controversy throughout his lengthy (and fairly consistent) career. It seems unfair to point the finger due to his current success (amongst a rather thin pool of favorites,) when in fact he has always seemed a step behind the true big boys. definitely has never been one to show the sort of superhuman acceleration on the steep sections that, thanks to the hindsight provided by new (old) evidence & testimonials, makes us question particular legends of the past.

The main point of reference for my thoughts this year is on the weaker-than-expected performance of Valverde. I am convinced that he has a history of dependence on "preparation" but maybe, just maybe, has now been forced to stick with the Evian. It'd be interesting to know what his tests in the Dauphine & the classics showed re:CERA.

That said, I don't think we've had a winner without blood-doping since the early 80s. And then it was cortisone & insulin & pot belge...


i'm willing to say maybe this year.
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Old 07-19-2008, 10:54 AM   #56 (permalink)
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I must admit I don't really follow this Tour, nor have I followed the previous couple of Tours as much as I've followed the Tours when Jan Ulrich was part of it.
I was a big Ulrich fan at that time living in Germany anyway, and I followed every stage and celebrated every single one of his many successes.
Erik Zabel's green shirts too

I love to have a peek at it now and then at the moment but it's not what it used to be for me anymore.

I must say the event and the whole sport lost a big chunk of it's essence, similarly to what happened to Formula1 when Michael Schumacher retired.

Nevertheless, Cerebro told me about the upcoming stage that is going to be mega hard and very exciting but I forgot which one exactly, the one on Sunday (tomorrow) local time or Monday local (tuesday here)?
Got lost... byt however and anyway.. GO CADEL!!!1111!

Also:
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in years past, when riders were stuck with machines that probably weighed half again as much as they do now
Don't you mean at least twice as much as they do now?

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Old 07-20-2008, 06:59 AM   #57 (permalink)
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it is definitely hard to get over the previous era of riders, and it is only made more difficult by a sort of lack of closure.. Ullrich & Basso being pulled from the '06 tour on the eve of the start was utterly devastating.
the scapegoating of particulars like Ullrich, when the entire peloton was riding loaded for years & years, is frustrating as well.


but anyways..
todays stage included a massive alp pass (3rd highest road in all of europe) and finishes on a pretty decent cat.1 summit, so there may be some excitement towards the end of the day.


the temperatures are pretty cold for france in midjuly which will probably keep the pace reasonably moderate.. sucks because the big teams need a grueling series of days if they have any chance of cracking Evans. Pereiro just crashed out today, which will hurt Valverdes lingering chances, but he still has a much stronger group of teammates around him for the mountains than Cadel.

tomorrow is a rest day, and then they have another couple huge mountain stages..

tuesday has 2 big climbs to wear them down, might see some attacks on teh final peak as it'll only be a 10 minute blast from the summit down to the finish at 70kph.




Wednesday is Alpe d' Huez.. after 2 painfully steep climbs earlier in the stage, they'll hit the legendary slope for the 3rd HC climb of the day and it will be mayhem. shoulders will be rocking, faces grimacing.. and you'll see major attacks immediately.


the profile doesn't really do it justice, as the difficulty is mostly due to the consistent steepness that exceeds most of the other alps in the country.
guys like Frank Schleck & Menchov will see it as their last chance to put significant time into Cadel before the long TT next Saturday.

gonna be a sick couple of days...
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Old 07-20-2008, 09:01 AM   #58 (permalink)
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Cadel left completely alone again.. can't give him much loving for the wheel sucking in response to the other favorites riding away.

pain everywhere,
a great finish.

huge sprint from Gerrans.. nice mountain win for you Aussie fans.

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Old 07-21-2008, 12:14 AM   #59 (permalink)
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Awesome stage.
So happy for Gerrans.
He has never been explosive in the mountains, hopefully he can ride more positively without the yellow jersey.
If he had a single teammate with him he would be much more comfortable.
Andy Schleck pwned, Valverde and Sastre looked good. I reckon Menchov would have won that fight if he didnt crash.
Wed night - L'Alpe d'Huez was the stage I was referring to Stulic.
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Old 07-21-2008, 01:27 PM   #60 (permalink)
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Wed night - L'Alpe d'Huez was the stage I was referring to Stulic.
Wont miss that one for sure
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