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All roads lead to Harrogate: Pro cycling 2019

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    16 minutes into the ITV4 coverage of the WToB before we get to see any racing. No wonder, then, that they weren't able to show any coverage from the first half of the day, which was in my neck of the woods. This will be a disappointment to my daughters, who reluctantly stood outside in the pissing rain as the race went past their school and don't even get a TV appearance as reward.

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      The coverage of these Sweetspot races is always the same mediocre quality, lots of waffle in the build up (though I did learn Beccles is a charming market town on the River Waveney), then they end up showing unnecessary footage like the full roll out, and a director who irrelevantly cuts to the back of the peloton in the build up to sprints. There's not even a distance to go marker or time gaps on screen.

      Dauphine was a good race, Pinot has been in good form lately and split the front group which has considerably narrowed down the field of potential winners. Bardet, Porte, Kruijswijk and Buchmann lost 30 seconds, Dumoulin went in the break to test his legs and then sat up. Meanwhile Steve Cummings abandoned with a chest infection - hard to see him doing the Tour and he might end up retiring at his age now - and Bouhanni quit as well. Bet Cofidis were delighted by that given that there's sprints on Tuesday and Thursday.
      Last edited by longeared; 10-06-2019, 20:35. Reason: Got my days of the week muddled up

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        Well, now.

        https://twitter.com/TeamINEOS/status/1138772821503557632

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          Erm, whoopsie.

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            Meanwhile there's (ooh, a wicket) been a big crash in the Women's Tour, apparently in the run up to a sprint. Marianne Vos landed heavily and has been forced to abandon which is a right bugger. They really don't like broadcasting anything that reflects even vaguely negatively on the race, so bet none of that gets shown tonight and it'll just merit a brief mention in passing.

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              Monde is reporting that Froome is out of the Tour

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                Broken femur, apparently

                Van Aert has beaten Dumoulin in the Dauphiné time trial by 47 seconds (several riders still on the course)

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                  Who do ineos have as leader now? Is it back to Thomas?

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                    Him and Bernal. Thomas had a third place in the Tour de Romandie this season and Bernal won Paris-Nice. Thomas has much more experience of Grand Tours though.

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                      Thomas will be leader, Bernal will have protected rider status. Perversely this might give INEOS a greater chance of actually winning the thing as there's less chance of getting their priorities wrong. I've thought for a while it would be piss funny if they ended up losing the race by initially backing the wrong rider. Bernal will end up winning overall by the way.

                      Broken femur is a hefty injury, he'll do well to ride again this season. Then he'll be 35 by next summer, that's old for a Grand Tour rider.

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                        I'd like to know how the crash happened. Because I suspect this isn't a blameless accident - someone will have not been concentrating and they'll have tapped wheels, or something similar.

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                          There was a line that the crash occurred when he took a hand off the handlebars to clear his nose on a fast section of the course.

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                            Originally posted by ursus arctos View Post
                            Broken femur, apparently

                            Van Aert has beaten Dumoulin in the Dauphiné time trial by 47 seconds (several riders still on the course)
                            Ditto elbow and fractured ribs.

                            ouch!

                            https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/48612884

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                              If that story is correct rather than covering for someone else's stupidity, it raises a hole lot of questions about common sense. What the fuck are you doing at 40mph on a recon ride? Why the fuck are you using both hands to blow your nose rather than leaving one on the handlebars? Why are your hands off the handlebars at 40mph? Why aren't you waiting until a quieter section to blow your nose? Even then, how the hell do you ride into a wall?

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                                There was a climb in the middle of the time trial and he was descending in a rather narrow road bordered by a wall, which accounts for the speed and the wall, but not the rest.

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                                  At the start of their highlights programme tonight ITV showed some footage of Froome they happened to film earlier on during his recon ride. It showed him collecting a jacket from the team car and riding briefly with no hands while he put it on. He was on a flat part of the course but even so he was wobbling all over the place, to the extent that the film showed the team telling him "don't take risks, Chris"

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                                    In that article:
                                    "One of the things which sets Chris apart is his mental strength and resilience - and we will support him totally in his recovery, help him to recalibrate and assist him in pursuing his future goals and ambitions."

                                    Which I assume means:
                                    "He's never going to be the Team Leader in the TdF for this team again."

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                                      I'm probably going over the top, but something definitely sounds a bit weird with this. Super mountain biker with crazy handling skills Chris Froome fucking up in such a monstrously stupid way having just been told to not fuck up by his team car... just.... odd.

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                                        It is one way to avoid being tested

                                        *runs away*

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                                          The thought did cross my mind, although I discounted it because they're not that stupid. You'd try and make sure you fell in a less damaging way, put yourself out of action for a couple of days

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                                            He doesn't have great handling skills though, that's always been his biggest weakness. He crashed out of the Tour in 2014 when he came off three times in a day and a bit, broke his foot crashing out of the Vuelta in 2016 and crashed on his recon ride in Israel before last year's Giro. He even managed to fall off of his own accord in the neutral zone in the Tour once, which is genuinely impressive.

                                            If INEOS are trying a cover up then they've chosen a hefty way to go about it, to take your main man for the Tour out for presumably the rest of the season particularly given that we know they base their entire existence on trying to win this race. They could just have said he'd broken his collarbone or something and be back for the Vuelta. I may revise this general position if he unexpectedly announces his retirement as a consequence.

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                                              You and your facts

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                                                I guess I'd forgotten all those other times he fell over. I was genuinely thinking they were just covering up incompetence by a domestique and badly driven support car, rather than anything bigger. But that list of Froome's falls convinces me that he is, actually, a bit of a liability.

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                                                  Flashback to that time he crashed into an official on a time trial:

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                                                    Originally posted by San Bernardhinault View Post
                                                    I'm probably going over the top, but something definitely sounds a bit weird with this. Super mountain biker with crazy handling skills Chris Froome fucking up in such a monstrously stupid way having just been told to not fuck up by his team car... just.... odd.
                                                    I’m pleased Ms Felicity wasn’t the only one veering towards conspiracy theories ( with only one hand on the bars?) when I told her about the crash!

                                                    (Yes, she hates them even more than I do)

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