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Brussels sprouts a new winner? Tour de France 2019

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    Superb that.

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      Well, fuck a duck, a lot to take away from that, Ciccone in yellow, Thomas gains his time loss and more back on Bernal (can't wait for Jeremy Whittle in the Grauniad tomorrow trying to spin that as disaster for INEOS), superb from Alaphilippe, Pinot looking very impressive.

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        What a great finish. I'm just glad I don't ever have to ride it. I'm a little surprised that there weren't more slipped chains and punctures on the 20% dirt.

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          At last, I can proudly ride my race-liveried Emonda into work tomorrow.

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            Fantastic stage, really pleased for Ciccone to take yellow after missing out on the stage win but Thomas made a big statement today.

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              This has been the best first week of the Tour in years

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                Originally posted by Felicity, I guess so View Post
                Last night’s ITV highlights had a Matt Rendell piece about Panini stickers and he interviewed Nibali about him still collecting them. Bless.

                Just been on eBay to buy a few token packs...
                I must say I really enjoy ITV's highlights programme. That Panini piece was great, and I was amused by today's quirky feature on Thibaut Pinot's animals. The features on previous yellow jersey wearers has been interesting, offering a pleasing sprinkling of archive footage from Tours past. Even Ned Boulding trying to be an expert but still sounding like the football reporter who accidentally stumbled into cycling that he is has its charm. They do a good job of showing notable incidents from the early part of the stage while concentrating on the climax. I miss Chris Boardman, but the show is still the highlight of my day for three weeks.

                Meanwhile, on LinkedIn today I was informed that someone from Dimension Data had viewed my profile. I don't really work in the same field as them, and they're certainly not local. This leads me to conclude that some clever algorithm has been snooping on my TdF spreadsheet.

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                  Thanks for the heads-up on Pinot’s menagerie- as I’d watched live I would’ve deleted the highlights without watching, normally.
                  I can remember a Lampre puncheur (but not his name...) in the Giro about 8 years ago stopped at the roadside to cuddle his donkeys.

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                    So could Alaphilippe be a genuine contender for the overall win? It hadn't occurred to me that he could be, but that was an impressive ride yesterday to stick with the GC chaps over some big hills and still be able to attack at the end. Or was that just a one-off driven by the responsibility of wearing yellow?

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                      I would still say no, but since so much about this Tour is screaming "2011 redux" at me, perhaps he will be this year's Thomas Voeckler and stay up at the top of the GC longer than you might expect.

                      Enric Mas - who I'd assumed was Deceuninck's most likely GC contender - lost a little time yesterday and dropped out of the top ten. So at the moment Alaphillppe is still their' best bet.
                      Last edited by Kevin S; 12-07-2019, 10:01.

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                        I don't think he will ultimately contend, he's struggled with climbs at altitude in the past and the final week has got a lot of high climbing in it. I'd love to be proved wrong though.

                        One for the purist coming up today, 230k plus a 9k neutral zone, all into a block headwind to boot. Rossetto and Offredo reluctantly formed a breakaway. Direct Energie didn't send anyone up the road which is bizarre considering they've done pretty much fuck all so far and they have neither a GC contender nor a sprinter. There was a silly crash at the back of the peloton which brought down Teunissen and Tejay. Both are back riding but Tejay looks heavily cut up and is bleeding from his face, he's taking treatment from the medical car.

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                          What is a neutral zone?

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                            It's where they roll through a town behind a line of vehicles at the start of the race. No-one is allowed to attack and they just chat and wave to the crowd. Then once they're out of town they drop/wave a flag for the départ réel and the attacks begin.

                            Like so:

                            Last edited by Kevin S; 12-07-2019, 11:32.

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                              Thanks. So it's always at the start? To my best knowledge, the first X kilometres of a race are more or less neutral zones in themselves.

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                                It often takes several kilometres for the breakaway to form, yes, though there are occasions when riders go from the off and stay gone.

                                The départ fictif essentially allows for the stage/race to have a ceremonial start (mayor dropping the flag, etc) in a camera-friendly place that is suitable for the municipalities' desire to boost tourism, the teams' need for space for buses and support vehicles and the sponsors' desires to have a centre of attention for a few hours before the start, while at the same time making sure that no one is actually going to try to race on roads that aren't at all suited to it.

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                                  Groenewegen continues his run of winning sprints at the end of really boring stages.

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                                    De Gendt and De Marchi. Bit of a dream pairing for a break there.

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                                      Gap coming down quite quickly now though.

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                                        Another great advert for Pinarello there.

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                                          Attaque d'Allaphilippe et Pinot!

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                                            De Gendt absolutely De Gendts the stage, Alaphilippe back in yellow, Pinot gains time plus second place bonifications.

                                            Thomas doesn't lose time despite his bike snapping and Sagan adds to his points tally. Everyone goes home happy.

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                                              And Kirby loses his mind over a French overall winner

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                                                Thomas DID lose time..?

                                                great finish to the stage, hats off to the route planners, far better than the usual string of sprints

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                                                  He lost time to Alaphilippe and Pinot, but not to the rest of the GC contenders.

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