Author Topic: Tour de France 2012  (Read 80692 times)

Tour de France 2012
« on: June 11, 2012, 01:17:18 pm »
I have hazy memories of the summer 46 years ago when England won the World Cup.
Bobby Moore, Bobby Charlton, Geoff Hurst and Nobby Stiles became household names and idols to eight year old boys like myself.

In the world of cricket, Boycott and Edrich were the opening pair for England, and West Indian Gary Sobers was acknowledged to be the world's best all rounder.

Another often-heard name in those childhood summers was that of Tommy Simpson. In an era when Football and Rugby were played in the winter and  Cricket and Tennis was the only summer fare, in this alternative sport of cycling, Simpson's progress in the Tour was relayed back to us in Blighty by radio broadcast and maybe a mention in the sports part of the BBC's Six O'clock News. In 1966, Simpson finished second in two stages of the Tour before crashing out on a mountain descent.

The following year of course, Tommy died on the slopes of Ventoux.  This event acted as a catalyst for me to check up on the progress of British riders in ensuing renewals of the race, gradually becoming more absorbed and enthralled by the event, despite all its vicissitudes.

And now, after such a long span of time, we have an Englishman, Bradley Wiggins, who is favourite to win the Tour.

The parcours, with much TTing, favours him to a certain extent, and his form and the form and strength of his team is excellent. So let's hope that he can avoid mishap and arrive in Paris in July wearing the yellow jersey and thus inspire a new generation of youngsters to appreciate
the excitement and  benefits of cycling
#makewattsnotwar

Simonb

Re: Tour de France 2012
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2012, 01:29:49 pm »
Yep. Can't wait!

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Tour de France 2012
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2012, 02:30:48 pm »
I've been pondering Dave Brailsford's bold claim when Team Sky was launched that a Brit would win the Tour within five years, which we all thought sounded a bit far-fetched at the time... how things change.

I'm trying to stay level-headed about it. Cadel Evans is still a major threat, and those two are far from being the only contenders. Sky dominated in the Dauphiné, but it will be a lot harder to do the same in the Tour. The main difference so far between Sky and The Rest is that Sky have treated the races they've entered as proper races, rather than glorified training sessions.

The talk of Wiggins peaking too early is patent nonsense though. He's clearly still following an upward trajectory and the only times he's shown any sign of going into the red have been in the individual time trials.

Then again, we can't forget what happened last year...

But as long as he stays upright, I can see Wiggo not only winning the Tour but also becoming individual time trial World Champion in September. (Not to mention the possibility of Sky becoming team time trial World Champions.)

d.

Re: Tour de France 2012
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2012, 02:54:09 pm »
Bradley could stop off in his birthplace of Ghent if Team Sky take the Zeebrugge ferry. Its on the route from there to start in Liege. I'm supporting him because Cath is in the same club as me, I've ridden in the same event as Brad, and his home is about 5 miles from here. I don't do the patriotism bit though.

Re: Tour de France 2012
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2012, 12:24:01 am »
With Heather being a Swift,and her family originating from Cawthorne near Barnsley, we're following Ben Swift in the Tour de Suisse, where the lad got a third place in a sprint. http://www.teamsky.com/article/0,27290,25694_7807035,00.html
That shows the strength in depth of Sky.

Re: Tour de France 2012
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2012, 12:30:52 pm »
Bradley could stop off in his birthplace of Ghent if Team Sky take the Zeebrugge ferry.

Why do you keep banging on about that?!! You're starting to sound like Nick Griffin with your obsession with peoples origins  :P

This could end up as one hell of a season for Wiggo. SPOTY dead cert if he comes good! I wonder if bets can be placed on that yet!?
Those wonderful norks are never far from my thoughts, oh yeah!

Re: Tour de France 2012
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2012, 12:47:51 pm »
 ??? Isn't it a traditional thing on the tour, to stop off in one's birthplace or home town if the race goes through it? I remember Sean Yates doing it in 1994
"A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Type-Writer Girl, 1897

Re: Tour de France 2012
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2012, 12:51:39 pm »
??? Isn't it a traditional thing on the tour, to stop off in one's birthplace or home town if the race goes through it? I remember Sean Yates doing it in 1994

It's certainly traditional to allow any rider passing through his home town to do so on the front of the bunch. This year's tour does not pass through where Bradley Wiggins was born...
Those wonderful norks are never far from my thoughts, oh yeah!

Re: Tour de France 2012
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2012, 12:56:24 pm »
This could end up as one hell of a season for Wiggo. SPOTY dead cert if he comes good! I wonder if bets can be placed on that yet!?

Currently second to Jessica Ennis, at around 6-1 as opposed to JE's 3-1.

This weekend's 600km passed through my village.  I thought it the right thing to do to lead the pack through there but there was no cheering throng - not even a wife or child.  It was about 05:20, but still...

Re: Tour de France 2012
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2012, 01:06:23 pm »
Bradley could stop off in his birthplace of Ghent if Team Sky take the Zeebrugge ferry.

Why do you keep banging on about that?!! You're starting to sound like Nick Griffin with your obsession with peoples origins  :P

This could end up as one hell of a season for Wiggo. SPOTY dead cert if he comes good! I wonder if bets can be placed on that yet!?

There are two aspects to the Sky team. One continues the work that lottery funding has done in promoting our international excellence, especially in women's cycling. The other is as a typical Pro team with riders of many nationalities. Brad is interesting in that he straddles both worlds, as an Olympic Gold Medallist, and as someone who was born to be a pro. He can wrap himself in the flag  if he wants to, but he has also served his time of French and US pro teams. The same can be said of Cavendish. I like pro-cycling's muliti-national aspect. I tend to identify with big rouleurs rather than nationality. My sympathies lie with the lads in the 'autobus' no matter what country they come from. Climbers and sprinters are not of my people.

Andrew

Re: Tour de France 2012
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2012, 01:09:07 pm »
I reckon it's this year or maybe never for Wiggins. He's in top form, the course suits him (loads of TT kms and not as mountainous as some previous) and perhaps he currently has a psychological edge too. Not to underestimate Evans but he will have his work cut out given he's at a TT disadvantage.

Next year, Contador will be back and, who knows, praps Schleck Jnr will have even trained for it! Nice to think Wiggins might be defending his title though.

Re: Tour de France 2012
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2012, 08:38:40 am »
I see some teams are announcing their TdF long lists of 13 or 14 riders, but not Sky yet.  So how about some idle speculation?  I’d suggest

Wiggins - natch
Froome – not only as super dom but also as Plan B should anything befall BW
Cavendish
Eisel – Cav’s only minder
Stannard - first week chaser of breaks
EBH
Porte
Uran

And one from Rogers, Siutsou, Knees, Lofkvist. I think I’d go for Lofkvist.   Given that this may be Wiggins' best chance for overall, Cavendish and Eisel almost look like luxuries, and he'd be better served by those on my reserve list.  But I don't see it happening.

LEE

Re: Tour de France 2012
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2012, 09:41:55 am »
It's just fantastic that we have bona fide contenders across all cycling disciplines now.

I used to love the tour but having  Brits in there who could actually win it is like the difference between watching Horse Racing and having a bet on a Horse, it raises the interest level.

Unlike ESL I do feel a bit of nationalistic pride  about the British riders.  It's a clear example of what we can do when we put our mind to it.  Team GB Cycling is a world leader, a centre of excellence that needs to be studied and copied.

It shows what not-really-that-much-money can achieve as long as you have the right people, with some vision and a passion for excellence, in charge.

The long-term spin-off from Team GB Cycling will be (is already) more exposure, to the public, of cycling and an uptake of cycling as a mainstream activity. 

Dave Brailsford and his team should be paid to set up Team GB Science & Engineering establishments, so maybe in 20 years we'd be world leaders there as well.

So yes ,I can't wait to cheer on the Brits in the tour.  Froome and Wiggins will make a great duo, possibly riding like the Schlecks.

I think Cav will have some tough races this time around.  If he can bag 4 stage wins riding with this team then he is clearly the best sprinter there has ever been because everyone will be marking him.

JT

  • Howay the lads!
    • CTC Peterborough
Re: Tour de France 2012
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2012, 10:51:10 am »
So yes ,I can't wait to cheer on the Brits in the tour.  Froome and Wiggins will make a great duo, possibly riding like the Schlecks.

Jebus, I hope not.  ;D

Speaking of the Schlecks... Andy out of the Tour after fracturing a vertebra in his Dauphiné crash.  :o
a great mind thinks alike

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Tour de France 2012
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2012, 10:58:55 am »
Speaking of the Schlecks... Andy out of the Tour after fracturing a vertebra in his Dauphiné crash.  :o

Hmm. Although I've been happy to join in the merciless piss-taking of his performances so far this season, I am genuinely sorry about this. The race will be poorer without him.

As for nationalistic pride, I'm just happy to see that Britain is finally a genuine competitor on the world stage - it can only be good for the profile of the sport here and that has to be a good thing for those of us who enjoy both watching and participating in the support. It may come as a surprise to some people but amazingly, getting behind riders from my home nation/team isn't incompatible with continuing to admire and support riders from other nations/teams - this is cycling we're talking about, not football.

d.

Re: Tour de France 2012
« Reply #15 on: June 13, 2012, 11:30:52 am »

As for nationalistic pride, I'm just happy to see that Britain is finally a genuine competitor on the world stage - it can only be good for the profile of the sport here and that has to be a good thing for those of us who enjoy both watching and participating in the support. It may come as a surprise to some people but amazingly, getting behind riders from my home nation/team isn't incompatible with continuing to admire and support riders from other nations/teams - this is cycling we're talking about, not football.

d.


It certainly projects a more positive view of News International than we see on P&OBI.

http://www.teamsky.com/article/1,27290,25694_7809304,00.html

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Tour de France 2012
« Reply #16 on: June 13, 2012, 11:40:48 am »
I see some teams are announcing their TdF long lists of 13 or 14 riders, but not Sky yet.  So how about some idle speculation?  I’d suggest

Wiggins - natch
Froome – not only as super dom but also as Plan B should anything befall BW
Cavendish
Eisel – Cav’s only minder
Stannard - first week chaser of breaks
EBH
Porte
Uran

And one from Rogers, Siutsou, Knees, Lofkvist. I think I’d go for Lofkvist.   Given that this may be Wiggins' best chance for overall, Cavendish and Eisel almost look like luxuries, and he'd be better served by those on my reserve list.  But I don't see it happening.

I'd add Pate to your list. He rode well in the Dauphine.

Lovkvist is going very well in Switzerland, Barry and Nordhaug are looking strong too, so they must all be in strong contention. Zandio is a first-rate climbing domestique too.

Kennaugh, Hunt and Flecha must also be under consideration...

I reckon there are seven places in the Tour squad nailed on, with the final two to be chosen from a dozen contenders... Talk about strength in depth.

1. Wiggins
2. Cavendish
3. EBH
4. Eisel
5. Froome
6. Porte
7. Uran
8. ...
9. ...

d.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Tour de France 2012
« Reply #17 on: June 13, 2012, 11:43:22 am »
It certainly projects a more positive view of News International than we see on P&OBI.

News International ≠ BSkyB ≠ Sky ProCycling

d.

JT

  • Howay the lads!
    • CTC Peterborough
Re: Tour de France 2012
« Reply #18 on: June 13, 2012, 11:50:21 am »
I'd add Pate to your list. He rode well in the Dauphine.

Lovkvist is going very well in Switzerland, Barry and Nordhaug are looking strong too, so they must all be in strong contention. Zandio is a first-rate climbing domestique too.

Kennaugh, Hunt and Flecha must also be under consideration...

I reckon there are seven places in the Tour squad nailed on, with the final two to be chosen from a dozen contenders... Talk about strength in depth.

1. Wiggins
2. Cavendish
3. EBH
4. Eisel
5. Froome
6. Porte
7. Uran
8. ...
9. ...

d.

Kennaugh is in the endurance squad for the Olympics (track) so forget him.
Uran, Hunt and Flecha all rode the Giro so forget them.
Lovkvist isn't good enough.


a great mind thinks alike

Re: Tour de France 2012
« Reply #19 on: June 13, 2012, 11:54:04 am »
It certainly projects a more positive view of News International than we see on P&OBI.

News International ≠ BSkyB ≠ Sky ProCycling

d.

You're quite right, I misread News Corporation on the Sky Procycling website sponsor list at the bottom of the page. I always get News Corporation and News International confused. But that's what sposorship is about, fostering brand identity.
http://www.teamsky.com/article/1,27290,25694_7809304,00.html

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Tour de France 2012
« Reply #20 on: June 13, 2012, 12:01:38 pm »
Still not really the point, though.

d.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Tour de France 2012
« Reply #21 on: June 13, 2012, 12:06:39 pm »
Kennaugh is in the endurance squad for the Olympics (track) so forget him.

Of course. Forgot about that.

Quote
Uran, Hunt and Flecha all rode the Giro so forget them.
Lovkvist isn't good enough.

Hmmm. Well, I bow to your superior knowledge on these matters... Of course, Stannard also rode the Giro, so by the same reckoning, you'd have to cross him off the list too.

d.

Re: Tour de France 2012
« Reply #22 on: June 13, 2012, 12:21:07 pm »
I suppose Cav's contending for the points jersey at the Giro will have left him out of contention at for the Green Jersey.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Tour de France 2012
« Reply #23 on: June 13, 2012, 12:26:23 pm »
I suppose Cav's contending for the points jersey at the Giro will have left him out of contention at for the Green Jersey.

Different for sprinters, innit?

I take JT's point, and on the whole, it seems to be backed up by the shortlists named by some other teams... Uran would be a strange omission for Sky though.

d.

JT

  • Howay the lads!
    • CTC Peterborough
Re: Tour de France 2012
« Reply #24 on: June 13, 2012, 12:28:50 pm »
I suppose Cav's contending for the points jersey at the Giro will have left him out of contention at for the Green Jersey.

Not the same kind of riding at all, smart arse.

It's the guys that have been in Tenerife for months on end who'll be at the Tour.
a great mind thinks alike