Re: The Cycling discussion thread
Now caught up with the HL's. Wow!!! What a fun stage that was! The momentum shifts were great, each rider displayed their strengths and one or two weaknesses. We had the Spaniards working together, Valverde attacking and not bringing Froome across. Bertie sitting in the wheel and asking questions, what have you got then? That burst at the end and then thinking he had the stage won only for Purito and Piti to close him down. Piti taking another win and looking very good. I think he has the fire we talked about after the crash. Positive signs for Bertie when people were expecting a response he gave it, shame he couldn't close out the win. Purito is still there and fighting, but lost out in the sprint this time round. Froome cracks, ha.
He rode a bizarre race today. Sky did so much on the front again, this time it caught up with them and they had nothing/no-one else for the last climb, they didn't break anyone really, but still delivered Froome. Who then threw his natural style out the window, which made it more exciting but he seemed way too over-confident and showed his inexperience. He basically did ALL the work trying to gap the others before the sprint and it backfired. They played it perfectly, got it tactically spot on and let him self-destruct. Sucked his wheel all the way and he lead them out, then he got dropped right at the end. That trackstand was typical of his day, an error which helped the others with catching him and Bertie.
Some people are asking questions same as they were with Bertie the other day, again, i don't think it's a major concern here, but this will/has to be a wakeup call. He's not strong/fit enough to ride like that, and the others are stronger than he thinks too. So far Purito is the only guy we've not seen getting dropped and he has mistakes/form issues to come as well IMO. He looks in the strongest position from a form/time POV, but as the others have already had a bad ride each and not lost too much time, i would worry he may not do the same. Even on their bad days guys like Bertie/Froome can limit losses to minimize any damage, i'm not sure the others can do this so much. Purito has fallen apart before and rode himself out of the race, still he's looking very good so far.
TBF they are all ATM, even though there are some potential issues with each, they are all looking like pushing each other on, to either better performances or losing time and falling back. The TT is the next big deciding factor, Froome's time gains there are going to balance his losses for sure, with the others needing to gain some time in the mountains to make up what they lose to him. With it not being a flat stage that helps the others too. Pace control should be his big strength but after today he looked cocky, can't see that happening in the TT, but his judgement isn't looking as clear as it did before, don't know about his legs. I still see him and Bertie as faves overall, with the pendulam firmly swinging back in Berties favour, especially if he has a good TT. If he can limit the gap it's advantage Bertie for the climbs in the last week when he will be fresher/stronger.
It's not so straightforward though, plus we all know how easily your tour can go tits up in one moment. Today was a big test, Froome failed. He looked human. Things are certainly hotting up.
Last edited by Jobberwacky : 08-25-2012 at 08:50 PM.