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Mr.Nice
Apr 28, 2006






Running from Saturday July 5th to Sunday July 27th 2014, the 101th Tour de France will be made up of 21 stages and will cover a total distance of 3,664 kilometres. 9 flat stages,5 hill stages, 6 mountain stages with 5 altitude finishes and 1 individual time trial stage.
After taking off from the United Kingdom for a 20th Grand Départ abroad, the Tour de France will go through northern france, the infamous cobbles of Paris-Roubaix, head east toward Alsace in the Vosges mountain in the begining of second week and catch the Alps for two stages a few days later. The third and last week will be in the Pyrénées for another two mountain stages and a 54km time trial.








Rosbeef is the slang term the french use for english men



Stage 1 Saturday, July 5th, Leeds / Harrogate, 190.5km




Major Tom Simpson.

Thierry Gouvenou posted:

A British rider's dream
The Tour de France will kick off with a road stage instead of a prologue, like in 2013, when its Corsican adventure started with Marcel Kittel pulling on the yellow jersey everyone expected to see on Mark Cavendish's back. The British sprinter is already plotting revenge. First of all, because the Grand Start will take place in Great Britain, on his home turf and in front of his home crowds. Second, because the stage finishes a stone's throw away from where his mother used to live. And finally, because pulling on the fabled jersey for the first time would fit in nicely with his numerous accomplishments. I think he is the odds-on favourite to take this stage with gorgeous landscapes and pancake-flat roads in the final 60 kilometres.
Thierry Gouvenou is the new race director of TDF, he designed the 2014 route.

The bookies slightly disagree with Gouvenou as Kittel is the main favourite (2.60) with Cavendish second (3.30), Sagan third (7.0) and Greipel fourth (8.0) for this stage.
It will be a nervous finish, no prologue to create gap between riders, every teams will want to be near the front of the peloton, it's one of those rare chances for a sprinter to be in yellow.

The towns 2014 : visit Yorkshire



Stage 2 : Sunday, July 6th, York / Sheffield, 201km





Thierry Gouvenou posted:

Avoid being caught napping
The course of this awesome stage looks like a carbon copy of Liège-Bastogne-Liège. This is not your run-of-the-mill start to the Tour, but it is set to be thrilling because the overall favourites will have to avoid being caught napping. I think they will all be in the mix, especially Froome, Contador, Nibali and Valverde. On this terrain, I would rather put my money on them than on Sagan, as the climbs may well be a bit too tough for his taste. All this is to stay that we should expect to see one hell of a fight during the Yorkshire chapter, at least if the best riders are willing to light the fireworks...

Considering this stage seem slightly easier than Liège-Bastogne-Liège and how the classic was almost a bunch sprint this year anyway, a sprint with a reduced peloton is more than likely, some big and fast men will be dropped though.



Stage 3 : Monday, July 7th, Cambridge / Londres, 155km





Thierry Gouvenou posted:

Rolling into the capital
A short 155 km stage to the British capital, which gave the Tour de France an unforgettable welcome in 2007. A prestigious stage which will take the peloton alongside the Olympic Park and London's most famous landmarks before finishing opposite Buckingham Palace. Of course, with everything pointing towards a mass sprint, the spotlight will back on Cavendish. Will he be at the top of his game? I think so. But one thing is for sure: the crowds will turn out in force, as large and fiery as seven years ago.

As a tradition in the tour, the first week is mostly dedicated to sprinters, this stage is no exception.

The towns 2014 : visit London









Stage 4 : Tuesday, July 8th, Le Touquet-Paris-Plage / Lille Métropole, 163.5km





Thierry Gouvenou posted:

A place for each car and each car in its place
The English adventure is over. The Tour reaches French soil with a stage which will take the peloton from Le Touquet-Paris-Plage to Lille. Truth be told, I think the sprinters will manage to lock down the race. This is one of the trends in modern cycling, even if we, as the organisers, would rather see more hectic racing. Nevertheless, riders at the top of the general classification will have to pull out all the stops to defend their position, which will determine the place for each team car behind the peloton in the next stage. The importance of this order will become apparent the moment a rider has a mechanical on the 15.4 km of cobblestones.

Some sharp climbs to help a breakaway and long range attack however it's early in the tour and the chance to succeed are low.

The towns 2014 : visit Le Touquet-Paris-Plage



Stage 5 Wednesday, July 9th , Ypres / Arenberg Porte du Hainaut, 155.5km




How the Ch'ti (the local) see themselves versus how rest of France see them.

Thierry Gouvenou posted:

A stage riddled with dangers
The time has come for the famous stage and its nine cobbled sectors, which promise, dare I say it, a "battlefield". It all starts in Ypres, Belgium, a city notorious for the gas attacks launched in it. It would have been unacceptable for the Tour not to commemorate the Centenary of the start of World War I in its own way... However, we will focus on the race, which promises to be a spectacular showdown. I do not expect Froome to thrive on the cobblestones but, who knows, he may want to prove us wrong... For him and many others, this is a stage riddled with dangers. The cobblestones will be a hinge moment in the race.

The pavés of the north have made many GC contenders anxious, being light weight isn't that great on cobblestones. It's likely to create some gap between the main favourite, maybe some decisive gap already if they have a mechanical at the wrong time. A new yellow jersey should appear, Cancellara or Vanmarcke the cobbles specialists should win and take the GC lead. This is the stage you don't want to miss in the first week.

Yprès - World War I



Stage 6 Thursday, July 10th, Arras / Reims, 194km




La cathédrale de reims, a very important place in France history

Thierry Gouvenou posted:

One for the brave
I have already talked of teams built around sprinters... Well then, I would not be surprised to see a breakaway stick on the day after the cobblestones stage, as we continue to commemorate the centenary on the roads of the Battle of the Somme and the Chemin des Dames. Yes, this is a stage for the brave, with lots of twists and turns towards the end, so the wind could also play a role... If attackers happen to come up short, a power sprinter may prevail on the long, leg-breaking false flat on the final straight. Last year's Kittel and Greipel would have had lots of fun here.

A breakaway win is a possibility now that there is some significant gap, on the other hand there are 5 or more teams dedicated almost exclusively to sprinters, some of them won't have a win at this point and not that many opportunities left.

The towns 2014: visit Arras



stage 7 : Friday, July 11th, Épernay / Nancy, 234.5km





Thierry Gouvenou posted:

Two big climbs
It is not just the 234.5 km distance which will make this stage hard to control. There will be two tough climbs in the run-up to the finish. The gradient on one of them, five kilometres from the line, hits 8%. With this course, will the sprinters' team take the reins of the race and risk seeing their leaders blow up on the last slopes? It remains to be seen. With two weeks of racing left, some teams may have started dosing their efforts by the time we reach this point. All in all, I expect to see quite a tactical stage culminating in a thrilling finale. The peloton should reach Nancy in pieces.

It's an interesting finish considering the distance, could be for the like of Nibali, Voeckler, Rodriguez or sprinters like Sagan and maybe Greipel if the pace in the hill isn't too high.

The towns 2014: visit Epernay



Stage 8 : Saturday, July 12th, Tomblaine / Gérardmer La Mauselaine, 161km




In the country of smelly cheeses, Munster is the king of the most smelly.

Thierry Gouvenou posted:

Adapting strategies
We are now in the Vosges and, if I may say so, this is where the chips come down. Three off-the-wall days of racing in this region, three short but different stages which reflect our desire to force riders to adapt their strategies. What can we expect from this stage? A frenzied start in which breakaway specialists will seek to capitalise on the flat 130 kilometres which open the stage before the mountain goats come out to play! The menu features three difficulties: the Croix des Moinats, the Col de Grosse Pierre "revisited" with sections at over 15% and the final climb to La Mauselaine, in Gérardmer (1.8 km at 10.3%). The favourites will have nowhere to hide. However, it is entirely possible for a long breakaway to hang on and take the stage win.

The first real mountain stage of the tour 2014, nothing too crazy, it's medium mountain with no altitude over 1000m, it's short but steep climbs. The favourites are expected to make a first move there. It's also Voeckler native region...

The towns 2014: visit Tomblaine



Stage 9 : Sunday, July 13th, Gérardmer / Mulhouse, 170km




France is world famous for the vineyards and the ghetto, in Alsace you get Vineyards in the ghetto or ghettos in the vineyards.

Thierry Gouvenou posted:

An interesting insight
What will the state of affairs be like in Gérardmer? It takes a smart person to answer this question. We will be past Yorkshire's rolling landscapes, the cobblestones, La Mauselaine and, why not, splits near Verdun... Quite a few riders, including some big names, may have lost ground by now. Will they join forces with the breakaway specialists, who will no doubt be out in force? We have drawn a typical Vosges stage for them, with long rather than steep climbs. With the next day's fierce battle looming on the horizon, this stage should give us an interesting insight into where each man stands.

It's not the kind of stage where you can win the tour but it's the kind where you can lost it.

The towns 2014: visit Gérardmer



Stage 10 : Monday, July 14th - Mulhouse / La Planche des Belles Filles 161.5km




Plank of the pretty girl is the literal translation of La planche des Belles Filles. You can read the legend on wiki.

Thierry Gouvenou posted:

Spectacular fireworks
Another famous stage, this time to La Planche des Belles Filles, where Chris Froome took his maiden stage win at the Tour in 2012. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, so we are going for a short but challenging stage again! Spectacular fireworks await, with a sequence of seven mountains over 130 kilometres, including the Col des Chevrères (with sections hitting up to 15%) and the final climb up La Planche des Belles Filles (with a 20% gradient on the last ramp), which will feature in the Tour for the second time. By the time we cross the finish line, I cannot say whether we will know the name of the winner in Paris, but we should have a list of those who are out of the running for good.

Now that the football/soccer world cup is ove, the tour is THE sporting event on the planet.
Quite a different profile than the last finish in Planche des belles filles in 2012, this one will be harder if not impossible to control, it Could be extremly important for GC. It's the French national day, a breakaway win, a Pierre Rolland long range attack like he often did in the giro, are very likely.

Tour de Francia 2012 Etapa 7 Tomblaine La Planche des Belles Filles
The towns 2014: visit La Planche des Belles Filles



Rest day : Tuesday, July 15th





Stage 11 : Wednesday, July 16th, Besançon / Oyonnax, 187.5km





Thierry Gouvenou posted:

A very tight race
The stage after the first rest day. Does this herald the start of a new race? Perhaps... It depends on how things go. I expect it to be a very tight race, with the big favourites within three minutes of each other. Not enough to think the race is done and dusted, but still a sizeable margin in the general classification. This is why we avoided widening the gaps with a time trial, for example, and we sought instead to create undulating stages to promote attacks. This stage could be one for the likes of Peter Sagan.

The likes of Peter Sagan but also Nibali, it's a great stage for downhiller, Vincenzo need take risk if he want to have a chance to win the GC.

The towns 2014: visit Besançon



Stage 12 : Thursday, July 17th, Bourg-en-Bresse / Saint-Étienne, 185.5km





Thierry Gouvenou posted:

The old capital of cycling
A second transition stage which will come down to a tug-of-war between breakaway specialists and the sprinters. It is worth noting that, although this Tour de France will have lots of short, bumpy stages, it has also got something for the green jersey contenders. They will have at least eight opportunities to duke it out, including this stage from Bourg-en-Bresse to the Beaujolais hills in Saint-Étienne. Who will triumph in the old capital of cycling? Looking back on last year's Tour, Kittel has the edge, but I and others think Cavendish can still go very fast. He raced too much in 2013, but he has been smart enough not to repeat the same mistake this season.

It will be hard for some of the fast guys like Kittel and Cavendish to find the right pace to catch the morning breakaway without spending too much energy on the final climb. An attack 30-40km from the finish should have a good chance to succeed (if the rider(s) aren't a thread at GC).



Stage 13 : Friday, July 18th, Saint-Étienne / Chamrousse, 197.5km





Thierry Gouvenou posted:

The final hour
The course profile may suggest otherwise, but this is a real mountain stage which the favourites would be wrong not to take seriously! We packed all the difficulties into the last fifty kilometres, including a climb up the little-known Col de Palaquit towards the final hour of racing. With 14.1 km of fluctuating gradients, this will be anything but a joy ride. More than enough to spark an important selection ahead of the final climb up Chamrousse, an 18.2 km mountain with an average gradient of 7.3%.

It's one of my favourite stage of this tour, an hard hill at the start to promote a large breakaway, a cat.1 with some double digits gradient for the long range attack or reducing the peloton to a minimum and a long 20km climb to finish. Unfortunatly the next day stage is even harder and many riders are likely to save some energy.

2001 Tour de France Stage 11 Mountain Time Trial Chamrousse
The towns 2014: visit Saint-Étienne



Stage 14 : Saturday, July 19th, Grenoble / Risoul, 177km





Thierry Gouvenou posted:

A coalition of attackers
Two legendary peaks, the Lautaret and the Izoard, will spice things up before the summit finish in Risoul, which has already featured in the Tour de l'Avenir and the Critérium du Dauphiné. The idea we had in mind when designing the stage was putting the 19-kilometre Izoard as a springboard for a last hour of racing which will keep us on the edge of our seats... A coalition of attackers, why not? If the 2014 Froome is as strong as the 2013 Froome, we have to give his rivals the chance to look for chinks in his armour. This stage, the second and last one in the Alps, will provide ample opportunity for them to do just that.

The hardest stage of this tour and the highest point of the race (2360m), needless to say it's another key stage.

Ciclismo Le Grandi Salite del Ciclismo #32 Izoard & Vars
Montée du Col de l'Izoard - étape du Tour 2006 Vélo Magazine
Tour de France 2006 étape 15 Gap -- L'Alpe d'Huez



Stage 15 : Sunday, July 20th, Tallard / Nîmes, 222km





Thierry Gouvenou posted:

What if a mischievous wind...
A long transition stage to round off the second week of the Tour. It appears unlikely that the sprinters will be thwarted in this majestic finish opposite the Nîmes arena. But you never know... Last year, betting on anything but a mass sprint in Saint-Amand-Montrond seemed lunacy. But then, the wind blew the race apart! Thus, a stage which looked like nothing special went down in history as one of the most thrilling in the last decade. It all goes to show that the outcome of a stage is not cast in stone, so watch out if the oft-present mischievous wind starts to blow...
.

With a rest day coming and two hard stages the previous days, some teams will want to take it easy, other will want to give it all. Even without a strong wind to create echelons, it won't be a parade.



Rest day 2, Monday, July 21st





Stage 16 : Tuesday, Carcassonne / Bagnères-de-Luchon, 237.5km




Cows and sheeps have priority on the climb.

Thierry Gouvenou posted:

Six hours on the saddle
The longest stage of the 2014 Tour comes right up the second rest day. With 237.5 km on the menu and the Port de Balès as a dessert, the riders will spend about six hours on the saddle.
The last few years have shown that riders who make it to the top with a margin of 30 to 40 seconds can rest assured of keeping it until the finish and taking the win in Bagnères-de-Luchon. The odds are on the attackers' side, thus. Sure, this does not look like the toughest stage in the Tour, but remember that this is where Andy Schleck lost the yellow jersey due to a mechanical in 2010.

On the paper it's the perfect stage for Nibali and a dangerous one for Contador and Froome.

Tour De France (2010) Stage 15 Highlights And Final Kilometres The chaingate.
The towns 2014 : visit Carcassonne



Stage 17 : Wednesday, July 23rd,Saint-Gaudens / Saint-Lary Pla d'Adet, 124.5km





Thierry Gouvenou posted:

A hectic stage
At 125 km, the shortest stage comes just after the longest. To be honest, it will be a hectic 125 kilometres, since it is all up and down from kilometre 50 all the way until the summit finish on Plat d'Adet. Even the leaders will find this a tricky stage. And the riders in the autobus... For them, it will be a stage of trials and tribulations, with a tight elimination time which will force sprinters to spend the entire stage à bloc. Several green jersey contenders could end up having to pack their suitcases after this stage! The final podium will start to take shape. Without a doubt, the highlight of the race.

Short mountain stage like this are always intense, it's guaranteed to create some actions. Extra motivation for the Spanish riders as the race will pass in their country.

Tour de France 1993 Stage 16 St Lary Soulan Pla d'Adet
2001 Tour de France Stage 13 Pla d'Adet
The towns 2014: visit Saint-Lary Pla d'Adet



Stage 18 : Thursday, July 24th Pau / Hautacam, 145.5km




Came is a slang for drug in french, haut mean high

Thierry Gouvenou posted:

A launch pad
At 145.5 km, this stage is also quite short. Compared with the previous one, riders will probably see it as an opportunity to catch their breath. True, the elimination time will be more generous. Yet they would do well not to underestimate the stage. First of all, they will have to climb the Col du Tourmalet, always a challenge. Next up, the final climb up Hautacam, which has earned a hallowed place in the history of the Tour. We hope the Tourmalet is used as a launch pad for attacks and does not go to waste. If so, pretenders to a podium spot or even the overall win could use it to claw back some time.

The queen stage of this tour, it's the last mountain stage and therefore the final chance for the natural climbers like Contador to take back some time or increase their lead before the final TT.

Tour de France 1994 Stage 11 Pantani Hautacam
Tour de France 1996 Stage 16 EPO Hautacam
Tour de France 2000 Stage 10 Hautacam
Tour De France 2008 Stage 10 Hautacam part1, part2
The towns 2014: visit Pau



Stage 19 : Friday, July 25th, Maubourguet Pays du Val d'Adour / Bergerac, 208.5km




It's a rock! A peak! A cape! – A cape? Forsooth! It's a peninsula! Cyrano de Bergerac.

Thierry Gouvenou posted:

Hitting the bullseye
Time to take a breather! This 208 km stage is completely devoid of any real difficulties and, on paper at least, should smile upon the sprinters. However, I am betting on a lone rider to take it, a brave one who has still got something in the tank and manages to sneak away from a mammoth breakaway. Think of Rui Costa last year. He hit the bullseye twice in the final week. With the time trial and the Champs-Élysées, two specialist affairs where surprises are few and far between, looming on the horizon, this stage is last chance saloon for breakaway specialists.

The last chance before Paris for the sprinters. The peloton will pass through the Monbazillac vineyards, a very good sweet white wine made with noble rot.

The towns 2014: visit Bergerac



Stage 20 : Saturday, July 26th, Bergerac / Périgueux, 54km




Some riders use sandpaper on their saddle to retain a better position during TT.

Thierry Gouvenou posted:

It all boils down to this
What happens in the organisers' dreams? The final winner is decided in this 54 km time trial. But I think the gaps will have opened naturally in the three weeks since the Grand Start in Leeds. I said it once and I will say it again: even without a second time trial, the 2013 Froome would have crushed the opposition on this route... But will the 2014 Froome be as strong as last year's? It all boils down to this. If so, he will certainly be in the mix to win the stage, whose solid course is more tailored to men in great form than to true specialists like Martin, Wiggins and Cancellara.

For stage win, it's not that hilly, Spartacus and Tony Martin have a good chance to win over the GC riders, depending and how much work they have done as a domestique, probably not much for Cancellara as he is the leader but Martin will have to work hard at OPQS.
For GC if they are all at 100%, Froome should gain around 30 sec to 1min over Contador, 45 sec to 1min15 on Talansky, Van Garderen,Valverde and 1min to 2 min to Nibali, Van Den Broeck,...

The towns 2014: visit Périgueux



Stage 21 : Sunday, July 27th, Évry / Paris Champs-Élysées, 137.5km




From the banlieue of Paris to the Champs-Élysées

Thierry Gouvenou posted:

Remembering the apotheosis
The pictures of the 2013 apotheosis, with the pack riding past the Louvre and around the Arc de Triomphe, are still fresh in everyone's minds. These two highlights will be back this year, as well as the traditional climb up the Champs-Élysées, which is much trickier than it seems! It will all lead up to the spectacular pictures of the final sprint, magnified by the France Télévisions footage. I will go out on a limb and say Cavendish will take another win in Paris to go with the four he has got already. But that is just my opinion...

The parade to Paris and the Sprint on les Champs-Élysées.


If you don't have the time to follow it all : The important stages by Inring (Stage 1,2,5,8,9,10,13,14,16,17,18,20.)
If you need to narrow it to 5 stages : Stage 5,14,17,18,20 to 3 stages : 14,17,18.

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Mr.Nice
Apr 28, 2006


The Contenders







Le maillot Jaune : The yellow jersey.





Christopher Froome

Team : SKY
U.K.
Nickname : Froomey
1.86 m (6'1) 67 kg (148 lb), age 29.
Winner tdf 2013, 2nd 2012

Froome was the best climber and the best TTer last year (and in 2012). He hasn't been that great this season, winning tour de Romandie in may but lost yellow and finished outside top 10 in the recent criterium du dauphiné.
Sky used to be the best team for GT, "British Postal" but this year they have been coping with injury and illness, it's a big question mark if they will be able to control the race.
Chris isn't well liked oustide of G-B as he had an unexplainable normal transformation, from a mediocre climber and TTer to the best in both categories.





Alberto Contador

Team : Tinkoff-Saxo
Spain
Nickname : El Pistolero
1.76 m (5'9), 62kg (137 lb), age 31
Winner of tdf 2007,2009 2010, finished 4th last year.

Contador had trouble getting back to his old level after his 1 year ban for doping in 2010 biting a cow, he struggled for a while but this year has been one of his best season, he won several races and finished 2nd in the dauphiné where he made Froome crack.
He used to be hated by goons for the chaingate in 2010 but now many cheers for him because he is entertaining to watch + anyone but Froome.





Vincenzo Nibali

Team : Astana
Italy
Nickname : The dolphin Shark of Messina
1.81 m (5 ft 11) 65 kg (143 lb), age 29
3rd in TDF 2012

Vincenzo is one of the best downhiller but he isn't that good at TT and he has trouble with changing pace when climbing. Still one of his best chance to win the tour, only one TT and it's a bit hilly.





Alejandro Valverde

Team Movistar
Spain
Nickname : El Bala (The Bullet)
1.77 m (5'10) 61 kg (134 lb), age 34
5th in tdf 2006, 8th in 2013

Can climb with the best and got the best sprint of the main GC favourites, he always seem to have an off day or two and his TT are irregular, he did win the Spanish championship a few days ago.





Andrew Talansky

Team : Garmin
U.S.
Nickname : Pit Bull
1.75 m (5 ft 9) 63 kg (139 lb), age 25
10th in the tour 2013

Recent winner of the dauphiné against Froome and Contador. This tour should be the confirmation that he has the potential to be a futur tour winner. He will have to cope with the extra pressure and show maturity. Garmin are known for stupid crash so this will be a real challenge.





Rui Costa

Team : Lampre Merida
Portugal
1.83 metres (6 ft 0) 69 kg (152 lb), age 27
Reigning world champion, this mean he is cursed, he won the last World Tour race, the Tour de Suisse.





Jurgen Van Den Broeck

Team : Lotto-Belisol
Belgium
Nickname : JVDB
1.83 m (6 ft 0) 68 kg (150 lb), age 31
Finished 4th in 2010 and 2012 but crashed badly last year.

He was in form in the dauphiné with a podium finish. Jurgen is a good diesel climber, he is relatively weak at TT.





Tejay Van Garderen

Team : BMC
U.S.
Nickname : The American with the Dutch-sounding name!
1.86 m (6 ft 1) 72 kg (159 lb), age 25
Won the young rider classification in the tour 2012.

Like his compatriot Talansky, this should be the confirmation year for Tejay. He is a good TTer and a good climber but he may lack the regularity for a podium finish.





Richie Porte

Australia
Nickname : Tasmanian Devil
1.72 m (5 ft 8) 62 kg (137 lb) age 29

The other sky rider in a super domestique role unless something happen to Froome.





Roman Kreuziger

Czechoslovakia
1.83 m (6 ft 0) 65 kg (143 lb) age 28

The other saxo rider, super domestique role for Contador...


Kreuziger denies blood passport abnormalities, pulled from Tour de France squad





Joaquim Rodriguez

Team : Katusha
Spain
Nickname : Purito
1.69 m (5 ft 7) 57 kg (126 lb) age 35
Rode one week in the giro before crashing, he says he will target stages win in this tour rather than GC.







Le Maillot vert : The green jersey.



Peter Sagan

Team : Cannondale
Slovakia
Nickname : The Terminator The PUA in lycra
1.84 m (6 ft 0) 73 kg (161 lb), age 24.

Sagan has won the last 2 green jersey, he isn't the fatest and doesn't have the strongest team and train (although 100% dedicated to him) but his climbing skills allow him to take points where other sprinters will be in the Grupetto. He is the n°1 favourite for the points classification.



Mark Cavendish

Team : Omega-Pharma Quickstep
Nickname : Manx Missile
1.75 m (5 ft 9) 70 kg (150 lb), age 29.

Mark is the smallest of the main sprinters, he develop less watt than his oppenents yet he is one of the fastest (and the fatest in off season), thanks to his aerodynamical position on the bike, he is quite bad at hill.
OPQS is one of the best sprint train in the peloton, only Giant may be better.
Cavendish is the current record holder for most stage win in tdf for an active rider (25).



Marcel Kittel

Team : Giant-Shimano
Germany
1.88 m (6 ft 2) 82 kg (181 lb), age 26.
Marcel is the new king of sprint and the fastest on flat but he can't pass a bridge. Best team lead out and train as they are more consistant than opqs.



André Greipel

Team : Lotto-Belisol
Germany
Nickname : The Gorilla
1.84 m (6 ft 0) 75 kg (165 lb), age 31

André can push some of the biggest watt in the peloton but he lack the speed of Kittel and Cavendish. He is surprinsgly good at coping with hill finish but not the same league as sagan.
Lotto isn't so good for sprint lead out and will aim for GC with Van den Broeck, Greipel will have less domestiques dedicated to him than the other sprinters.



Alexander Kristoff

Team : Katusha
Norway
1.81 m (5 ft 11) 78 kg (172 lb) age 26
Winner of milan san remo 2014, he may be the surprise sprinter of this tour.



Arnaud Démare

Team FDJ
France
1.81 m (5 ft 11) 78 kg (172 lb), age 22

Inring : Tour de France: Who will win the Green Jersey?


Other riders to watch for Top 15, stage win or just because they are great/funny :



Rolland : He was great to watch in the Giro with very long range attack. Hopefully he still have some energy left for this tour, should aim for stage win or Mountain jersey.



Mollema : The best dutch chance in this tour for GC, the sponsor of the team, belkin will stop at the end of the season, the team and Mollema need to do show themselve in this tour to attrack a sponsor or a transfert to a new team.



Cancellara : Will be leader for Trek, his goal is to take the yellow on the cobbled stage and keep it until the first mountain stage.



Voeckler : The tour will cross his native region, Alsace. He should be even more offensive than usual.



Frank Schleck : Will attack for 50m then stop cause his bro isn't there.



Andy Schleck : See Frank + he will whine about dangerous descent.



Chris Horner : The oldest rider in the peloton, last winner of the vuelta. He is recovering from a bad crash, he isn't expected to do much but then nobody expected him to do much in the vuelta.



Jens voigt : A fan favourite, he is always on the offensive, it will be his and last 17th tdf.



Johnny Hoogerland : A true warrior, crashed into barbwires at 40+km/h and still managed to finish the stage and make it to Paris.



Jack bauer : Keeping the peloton safe from terrorists 24/7


They Will be missed in this tour :



Jesus Nairo Quintana

,
Sir Bradley Wiggins, Philippe Gilbert, Vino, Dan Martin and many more.




Anquetil,Merck,Tom Simpson,Rudi Altig

The records



GC win : 5

Jacques Anquetil : Monsieur Jacques (1957,61,62,63,64)
Eddy Merckx : The cannibal (1969,70,71,72,74)
Bernard Hinault : The badger (1978,79,81,82,85)
Miguel Indurain : Big Mig (1991,92,93,94,95)



Stage win : 36 Merckx (Cavendish 25)



Points classification : 6 Erik Zabel



Mountain classification : 7 Richard Virenque



Le tour 2013 in 5 pic







Les supporters, the Fans


Running naked was the all hype in 2013


Chris Froome, punching people while looking at stems.





La Caravanne du tour


Good job opportunity for students, you can get pay to throw stuff at people or dance.



Tour de France : The video game
Tour de France : Pro Cycling Manager 2014





What's important in France ?



Cock(s)


The french are very proud of their cock, they are everywhere, even on the maillot jaune.



La gastronomie


La gastronomie française is one of the most varied and rich cuisine in the world, sometimes it can be a bit disgusting though. Croissant, oysters, snail, choucoutre, camenbert, Buche carapoire, horse meat.

Les vins (Wines)


One (old) bottle of Mouton Rothschild may worth more than a racing bike



La mode, les parfums, les cosmétiques, le glamour.




Some pics may be nsfw for an international audience, in France, it's in plain view on the street. Aubade leçon n°5,leçon n°59,leçon n°99

History, landscape


The Amaury familly from inquisition to grand tour organiser, same business actually, they are making men suffer.



Comédie

Comedy is a very serious bussiness in France, all the french blockbusters and famous movies are Comédies.
When it come to pro cycling, the guignol the l'info were the major provider, their peak popularity coincided with the dark days of the doping era. They focus more on spanish doping nowdays.

Virenque Not dopped at all The most graphic, not a single word is needed.
The Virenque show Like the Truman show but with Richard.
La caravane du Tour de France par Virenque
Virenque has to learn to ride clean with his new italian team
Guignols vs Contador
EPO Ti Quiero Love song about EPO.
Les inconnus , Stade 2 avec Gérard Fanion Remenber when a France TV car crashed into Johnny hoogerland ? Humorists kind of called it 20 years earlier.


Pédale also mean enjoyable human being in french, it's a real magazine not a photoshop.

Outside of Cycling, Kaamelott is quite funny.


Do it like the pro and get ready for this tour

Show off that body you got


U mirin brah ?



Sky concerned froome looking too rasmussen.

Get your best tan



Know your classic

“EPO all in my veins/Lately thing just don’t seem the same/Acting funny, but I don’t know why/Excuse me, while I pass this guy.”

Enjoy yourself, be happy



Get your E.P.O.



Be a gentleman



Get your own pussy wagon



Do whatever it take to make it through the long flat stage.



Call Philippe the motorman to get fresh bloodbag(s) delivered faster than a pizza




In summary :



Streams

http://www.cyclingfans.com/tour-de-france/live
http://www.steephill.tv/tour-de-france/
http://www.procyclinglive.com/livestream/

Mr.Nice fucked around with this message at Jul 8, 2014 around 14:00

ukle
Nov 28, 2005


Nice OP.

I live only 5 miles from where stages 1 & 2 will be so will get a chance to see it on both days. Stage 1 as you say is largely a scenic 'flat' stage, some small roads but that's about it. Stage 2 is where it gets very interesting.

The first 60km's of Stage 2 are largely dull - flat, easy large roads, only notable point of which they will be passing by Menwith Hill, the main NSA base outside the US. Its once they go through Addingham for the second time it gets interesting; they go through Addingham on Stage 1 as well, Addinghams a small Village and is very very lucky. Its about here where it starts to get fun. Really small roads that you wouldn't want to take a lorry down, and this is just a taster, and the roads from then on are all up and down hill all the way to the finish line.

There is one spot on stage 2 where I will imagine most riders will just say sod it and run with their bikes - Haworth main street, its a tiny cobbled street on a hill with only enough room for 1 car. If they don't run on that stretch there will be crashes as the road is far to small to cope with the riders given the cobbles. Its the main danger with stage 2, climbs and assents on very narrow walled roads, there will be crashes. Should be a great stage, I know the whole of Yorkshire is really getting behind it, and flags and yellow bikes have been out for weeks now in all the places the route goes through.

edit: Here is a picture of Team Sky on a test ride on Haworth street, it really shows you how small it is.

ukle fucked around with this message at Jun 28, 2014 around 14:54

Wooglin
Sep 5, 2002


Great op as usual! Thanks.

Pocket
Aug 27, 2006



Blown away by the thread again! Where do you find the time to ride your bike between detailed OPs?

serious gaylord
Sep 16, 2007

The Man From P.I.T.U.A.E.


ukle posted:

Nice OP.

I live only 5 miles from where stages 1 & 2 will be so will get a chance to see it on both days. Stage 1 as you say is largely a scenic 'flat' stage, some small roads but that's about it. Stage 2 is where it gets very interesting.

The first 60km's of Stage 2 are largely dull - flat, easy large roads, only notable point of which they will be passing by Menwith Hill, the main NSA base outside the US. Its once they go through Addingham for the second time it gets interesting; they go through Addingham on Stage 1 as well, Addinghams a small Village and is very very lucky. Its about here where it starts to get fun. Really small roads that you wouldn't want to take a lorry down, and this is just a taster, and the roads from then on are all up and down hill all the way to the finish line.

There is one spot on stage 2 where I will imagine most riders will just say sod it and run with their bikes - Haworth main street, its a tiny cobbled street on a hill with only enough room for 1 car. If they don't run on that stretch there will be crashes as the road is far to small to cope with the riders given the cobbles. Its the main danger with stage 2, climbs and assents on very narrow walled roads, there will be crashes. Should be a great stage, I know the whole of Yorkshire is really getting behind it, and flags and yellow bikes have been out for weeks now in all the places the route goes through.

edit: Here is a picture of Team Sky on a test ride on Haworth street, it really shows you how small it is.



I think that streets wide enough to cope with a strung out peloton tbh.

carborexic
Nov 9, 2008



Great OP, you've really outdone yourself (again) Mr.Nice. When Le Tour rolls around each year, somewhat against my better judgement, I can't help but get excited and - dare I say it - perhaps even cautiously optimistic.

fartmanteau
Mar 15, 2007



Mr Nice you are the harking herald to our July. Beautiful as usual.

Dejan Bimble
Mar 24, 2008

Verhy old and rocky thoughts


Plaster Town Cop

Are there any new cool drugs or is it the same boring stuff as before?

Xabi
Jan 21, 2006

Inventor of the Marmite pasty


Judging by the Dauphiné it looks like only Froome is on the magical Sky dope, so it might get interesting. Nieve looks good but Porte seems to be all over the place.

krushgroove
Oct 22, 2007

Disapproving look


Truly awesome OP!

So I'm all set to see my first ever Tour stages...I want to see some action up close but my GF isn't into bike racing and we don't want to be stuck in traffic trying to get out of town. So I'm thinking spend the day in Harrogate and try to see the finish on stage 1 (literally about 30 seconds of action?), then maybe the stage 2 climb in Haworth as ukle says (the side roads that lead out of town should be OK???) or try to see the steepest climb that day just outside of Holme. That should at least provide a little extra time to see the riders go past.

Are these terrible ideas? Harrogate has a 'fan area', whatever that is, I'm assuming the buses will be there, a screen of some sort, plus of course the finish somewhere in the town. The climb outside of Holme has a tight turn at the steepest tallest area of Stage 2, plus a road to drive away on afterwards.

krushgroove fucked around with this message at Jun 28, 2014 around 22:43

Carpet
Apr 1, 2005
Scientology - It's the gift that keeps on taking!

Yeah I'm hoping I can still get a B&B near Holmefirth so I can watch the race go up Holme Moss. Don't drive though, so will have to come up on the train with my bike - but knowing our trains there won't be any free spaces for bikes.

African AIDS cum
Feb 29, 2012


Welcome back, welcome back, welcome baaaack

Stunning OP. Top notch.

Dan Lloyd and some other guy rode stage 2 (and probably others but this is the only one I watched) and it looks beautiful. Might be a good stage. Hopefully it is sunny.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=De5hf1DugDw

African AIDS cum
Feb 29, 2012


Welcome back, welcome back, welcome baaaack

WEREWAIF posted:

Are there any new cool drugs or is it the same boring stuff as before?

They have a test for AICAR now and will be testing old samples soon so I can imagine some nervous riders around

The Deadly Hume
May 26, 2004

Let's get a little crazy. Let's have some fun.

Great OP! Everything's coming up Mulhouse.

I don't know who I'm going to be barracking for this time around so I'll probably be all Anyone But Froome. Nibali, maybe.

Also worth watching for: OGE's gimmick (aside from wedging buses and winning the first week's plaudits before buggering off.)

It appears I've got the day off after the queen stage so I'm happy about that.

Gibbo
Sep 13, 2008

"yes James. Remove that from my presence. It... Offends me" *sips overpriced wine*


How long until this lovely race is over and more entertaining events can happenÉ

ukle
Nov 28, 2005


Carpet posted:

Yeah I'm hoping I can still get a B&B near Holmefirth so I can watch the race go up Holme Moss. Don't drive though, so will have to come up on the train with my bike - but knowing our trains there won't be any free spaces for bikes.

All the B&B's round our way anywhere near the route have been booked out for months, there are tons of camping sites set up though and some of those adhoc sites will have spaces.

As for Bikes on trains they are supposedly laying on extra bike carrying capacity, along with tons of extra trains but I would imagine that is also already booked out / going to be a lot of competition for. I would pick another spot than Holme Moss as well, as there could well be 50,000+ people there so viewing will be a bit of a mess. There are tons of spots all around the route suitable and some are in places that are not far from a train station (e.g. Keighley has a 6/7 or so degree climb for about 1km on its way out of the town up to Howarth).

ukle fucked around with this message at Jun 29, 2014 around 07:52

serious gaylord
Sep 16, 2007

The Man From P.I.T.U.A.E.


vaginal culture posted:

Stunning OP. Top notch.

Dan Lloyd and some other guy rode stage 2 (and probably others but this is the only one I watched) and it looks beautiful. Might be a good stage. Hopefully it is sunny.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=De5hf1DugDw

I've ridden Holme Moss and its a nasty climb. Will catch anyone that hasn't done a proper recce out. The last climb up Jenkins road will give us a winner too.

Mr.Nice
Apr 28, 2006


Merci beaucoup everybody.

Kreuziger won't ride the tour, abnormalities detected in his biological passport in 2011 and 2012, they are only taking action now because : “The U.C.I. and CAFD checked these conclusions and in a notification of 30.05.2014, namely almost eight months after they had been sent and gave me a term only until 09.06.2014 to decide how to proceed.” (then extended to 30.06.2014)

Tinkoff-Saxo sidelines Roman Kreuziger pending doping inquiry
Kreuziger denies blood passport abnormalities, pulled from Tour de France squad

Sky announced their official TDF squad but no surprise (No wiggins) and Nibali won the Italian road national championship yesterday.

About doping in the peloton, as previously mentioned Aicar and GW1516 or GW501516 (invented by Evans while researching weight loss), are some of the most recent we know about. These drugs are suspected to allow an increase in performance while remaining at very low bodyfat. Some pro cyclists are around 3% bodyfat when fully hydrated which is insane (record is 2.7% clinicaly tested I think).
Nuclear Receptors in Physiology and Disease by Ronald Evans (increase running endurance by 80 percent in adult mice)

However it seem the most recent trend is to use a wide range of PED at low dose, sometimes getting them legally with TUE but that's true for many sports, lots of pro athletes got medication for asthma, corticosteroid injections is common in many sports and openly talked about while injections aren't allowed by the UCI and you need a TUE for oral/spray use.

Russian Bear
Dec 26, 2007



Appanretly Kreuziger was contacted by UCI about this, then he had two of his own experts explain the abnormalities and then the UCI came back and said, "not good enough"; so that is why this is all taking so long. Timing is a bit ominous.

Superb OP Mr Nice.

EvanTH
Apr 24, 2004
Probation
Can't post for 29 days!


Hello I don't know very much about cycling but that's a lovely and informative OP thank you.

paddyboat
Feb 20, 2013

Maxi, Maxi Rodriguez
Run down the wing for me

I just took a week off from work to read that OP, but it was worth it.

borapt
Jul 14, 2008


Wooop wooop, good start!


No Kreuziger for Contador now. Majka instead, who says he's still tired from the Giro.

Xabi
Jan 21, 2006

Inventor of the Marmite pasty


That's the Tour done then. I don't like it one bit.

African AIDS cum
Feb 29, 2012


Welcome back, welcome back, welcome baaaack

UCI is basically controlled by Sky/British Cycling now. Worse than the Lance days.

Swink
Apr 18, 2006
Left Side <--- Many Whelps

Jesus Christ that sandpaper picture what the gently caress.

Loving Africa Chaps
Dec 3, 2007


We had not left it yet, but when I would wake in the night, I would lie, listening, homesick for it already.



Good OP.

Alex Dowsett has been ruled out of TdF with chest infection so the tour might start in Yorkshire with no riders from England proper. Cav is from the isle of man which i guess counts.

also on the subject of GW1516 it rapidly causes cancer's all over the body, nastiest PED ever invented.
*insert picture of froomes mother in law*

Jamsque
May 31, 2009


David Millar is out of the Garmin squad, this tour is going to end up with hardly any British riders in it at all.

serious gaylord
Sep 16, 2007

The Man From P.I.T.U.A.E.


Jamsque posted:

David Millar is out of the Garmin squad, this tour is going to end up with hardly any British riders in it at all.

Cant believe they've dropped him. This was his farewell race and the team have been getting ready to give him a send off and he was playing the road captain role. They've dropped him on 'health concerns' after he pulled over at the British Nationals, where he was the only Garmin sharp rider.

Loving Africa Chaps
Dec 3, 2007


We had not left it yet, but when I would wake in the night, I would lie, listening, homesick for it already.



serious gaylord posted:

Cant believe they've dropped him. This was his farewell race and the team have been getting ready to give him a send off and he was playing the road captain role. They've dropped him on 'health concerns' after he pulled over at the British Nationals, where he was the only Garmin sharp rider.

he was panicking last night on twitter about it. I think what's sealed it is talanksys dauphine performance. They're having to be ruthless because for the first time in a while they have a real GC threat in the tour, gutted for him though.

serious gaylord
Sep 16, 2007

The Man From P.I.T.U.A.E.


Loving Africa Chaps posted:

he was panicking last night on twitter about it. I think what's sealed it is talanksys dauphine performance. They're having to be ruthless because for the first time in a while they have a real GC threat in the tour, gutted for him though.

I can understand about Talansky, but are you telling me Garmin dont have one domestique they could drop in favour of him. With respect, its a very low chance that Garmin will be controlling that peloton.

Xabi
Jan 21, 2006

Inventor of the Marmite pasty


I've checked the numbers and the chance is at exactly 0 percent.

Oz Fox
Jan 18, 2005



At this point, I'm just gonna be tuning in every morning in the hope that Sky has some sort of meltdown and real racing might happen

serious gaylord
Sep 16, 2007

The Man From P.I.T.U.A.E.


Oz Fox posted:

At this point, I'm just gonna be tuning in every morning in the hope that Sky has some sort of meltdown and real racing might happen

If Froome has any sort of racing brain (lol) he'll let someone else grab yellow and just stay close enough to win at the TT stage. No way can Sky dominate the peloton like the last 2 years.

Crystael
Mar 19, 2010


serious gaylord posted:

If Froome has any sort of racing brain (lol) he'll let someone else grab yellow and just stay close enough to win at the TT stage. No way can Sky dominate the peloton like the last 2 years.

Yup, Sky look like a bundle of poo poo compared to the last two years, especially. Losing Kreuziger is a huge blow to Bertie, though - who else has he got to support him in the high mountains now?

Russian Bear
Dec 26, 2007



I'd rather have Majka than Kreuziger in the TS train anyway. He had a bit of a spat on social media about how tired he is from the Giro and that at his age he shouldn't be doing two tours in a row (especially coming in 6th in Giro).

serious gaylord
Sep 16, 2007

The Man From P.I.T.U.A.E.


Crystael posted:

Yup, Sky look like a bundle of poo poo compared to the last two years, especially. Losing Kreuziger is a huge blow to Bertie, though - who else has he got to support him in the high mountains now?

Froome. Because hes thick enough to pull him up the mountains.

dema
Aug 13, 2006



Given the way the Dauphine played out, I wonder how that will impact Froome and Contador's game of chicken. Suspect Froome will be much less willing to take chances and more willing to drag Bertie around. Betting on his TT performance.

And sorry, but gently caress giving Millar a free pass. He's sick and he hasn't had a result in almost two years. Apparently should have retired last year.

lotharr
Dec 24, 2003

Sorry Mark, we have no idea what's wrong with your KERS mate...



As someone who only casually follows the grand tours and the big names, that pair of OP's are truly wonderful.

Mr Nice you should be proud of your supreme efforts.

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serious gaylord
Sep 16, 2007

The Man From P.I.T.U.A.E.


I dont think Contador is stupid enough to be anywhere near Froome with a decently long TT stage to finish the tour. The tour will be won by whoever gets more than 4 minutes on Froome in the mountains.

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