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LukasCPH

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La Tropicale Amissa Bongo - 13th to 19th January 2014
« on: January 12, 2014, 11:10 »
Once again, it's time for Africa's highest-ranked stage race:


Before we start concentrating on this year's race, have a look at the last two years' race threads: 2013 and 2012


The stages
As every year, the professional peloton will do its first pedal strokes in Africa. It will be represented by four European teams who will have the opportunity to rub shoulders with African riders, including two professional teams from the continent as well as nine national teams.
The 2014 edition has the distinction of stopping in Port-Gentil, the economic capital of the country that has never hosted the Tropicale so far.
The event will begin at Bitam in Woleu -Ntem on January 13 and ended in Libreville on January 19, after seven stages.
It will make a stopover in Cameroon (Ebolowa) and pass through the towns of Oyem, Ndjolé, Lambaréné, Mouila, Bifoun, and Kango.


Stage 1: Bitam - Ebolowa, 149 km
For the third time in its history, the Tropical goes into neighboring Cameroon, where the craze in people of Ebolowa are always crazy about the race.
This first stage is around 150 kilometers long, which is already a good distance for the start of the season.
Without major climbing, the first day can be made ​​difficult by the road surface.

Stage 2: Awoua - Oyem, 120 km
This stage is a classic of the Tropicale around the capital of the Province of Woleu-Ntem.
Unlike most other stages, this is not a simple point-to-point race. After covering the ~45 km between the two towns, the riders will tackle two final circuits:

It's not entirely clear how many laps of each the stage consists of (This Is Africa, after all), but that climb on the "Grand Circuit" could be the place to make a difference.

Stage 3: Ndjolé - Lambaréné, 133 km
This is definitely the most difficult stage of the Tropicale, at least one that can cause big changes in the overall standings with difficulties during the first thirty kilometers which therefore can create breakaways.
And especially a bump just a kilometer before arriving at Lambaréné. A lively perspective for this stage.

Stage 4: Lambaréné - Mouila, 180-190 km
With 180 kilometers, the longest stage of the Tropicale. Might also be 190 km, the race website gives conflicting evidence.
At the last edition, it was marked by a downpour that had prevented the riders to express themselves fully.
On excellent and very rolling road, this step should not escape a sprinter.

Stage 5: Lambaréné - Kango, 143 km
Capital of the department of Komo-Mandah, Ntoum welcomes for the first time a stage of the Tropicale due to higher road network which allows to reach the outskirts of Libreville. Ntoum isn't between the start town and the finish, so just how the stage will pass through there, I'm not sure.
Located less than 40 kilometers from the capital, the arrival will be a very popular home after a difficult day on a very hilly course.

Stage 6: Port-Gentil, 126 km
Port-Gentil has never been visited by the Tropicale. This will be done for this 9th edition.
This penultimate stage will provide a stunning backdrop for runners who have at heart to win at the heart of the capital of the Province of Ogooué-Maritime on a course without much difficulty pan-flat sprinters' paradise.

Stage 7: Owendo - Libreville, 130 km
This final stage in the streets of the capital is considered the apotheosis of Tropicale as are the Champs-Elysées for the Tour de France. After a short run-in from Owendo, the stage will be ridden on a 5-km circuit.
The stage is generally very nervous and offers a lively spectacle that does not necessarily lead to a bunch sprint.


The jerseys
There are lots of jerseys. Figure out for yourself which ones are important:
If it's any help, I can tell you that the GC leader will be wearing this:



The startlist
Personally, I'm looking forward to more breakaway and climbing jersey madness from *et Estifanos Kebede Gebresilassie and *na Lotto Petrus' return to the Tropicale after a year out - also the first UCI stage race for a Namibian national team outside of South Africa, lead by *na Dan Craven and with former national champion Tjipe Mwangi/Murangi, Tour de l'Avenir veteran Costa Seibeb and two guys even I have never heard of.

The Moroccans come without Adil Jelloul or Soufiane Haddi, but with Tarik Chaoufi who's back in Africa after a year of getting paid by Euskaltel to contribute his points. Eritrea bring a squad that isn't yet as well-known as their biggest stars, but Tesfom Okubamariam is Africa's reigning Continental champion (don't say you weren't warned), while Meron Teshome was 9th in GC last year.

The professional teams are lead by #europcar Europcar who won the last four editions and have reigning champion Yohann Gène (the Guadeloupean is also the rider with most Tropicale stage wins). Natnael Berhane will probably get a carte blanche to follow attacks while the rest of the team protects Gène. #cofidis Cofidis' mix of Frenchies, Belgians and a single Basque I don't know much about, while #cajarural Caja Rural - Seguros RGA come with Luisle Sanchez and a bunch of no-holds-barred attackers like Omar Fraile or Antonio Piedra. #wanty Wanty - Groupe Gobert have 6 riders as well, as do Algeria's #sovac Velo Club Sovac.

But the most anticipated team in the race without a doubt has to be #mtn Team MTN Qhubeka presented by Samsung, starting a season that will get Africa to the Giro. For Linus Gerdemann, it will be the first time he's turned a pedal in anger since the 2012 Vuelta; John-Lee Augustyn is also said to be ambitious. Adrien Niyonshuti will hopefully continue on his road back from freak injury, while Ferekalsi Debesay and Songezo Jim will provide support for their teammates. And finally, there's up-and-coming Youcef Reguigui who'll lead the team in the sprints.


Tropicale records and statistics
Database of African cyclists
Road book
Race website (English, mostly auto-translated)


Coverage
Every morning, there will be a Gazette from the race, and every evening, you can find a video and pictures from that day's stage here.
There's also the official Twitter account, and I expect several of the teams to tweet from the race as well.


If you're still not pumped about this race ...
https://twitter.com/tropicale2014/status/420594011749900288
And if that didn't help, the official hymn:



Source: Race website
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  • « Last Edit: January 12, 2014, 11:45 by just some guy »
    2017 0711|CYCLING PR Manager; 2016 Stölting Content Editor
    Views presented are my own.
    RIP Keith

    LukasCPH

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    The riders are getting to Bitam in a military plane:


    And here's the final, official startlist (from Team Rwanda's FB):
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  • just some guy

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    Race starts in 3 or 4 hours.

    fus will be along spamming away soon I assume  :D
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  • Of course, if this turns out someday to be the industry standard integrated handlebar-computer-braking solution then I'll eat my kevlar-reinforced aerodynamic hat.

    Larri Nov 12, 2014

    just some guy

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    Flo

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    Linus :win Adrien :win
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  • RIP Keith

    Trudgin

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    At last a race I have a stake in

    No23 DEBRSAY
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  • I love Italian cycling, well cyclists & the odd Spaniard, oh & that 1 particular Slovakian  then there are those with names  that are great fun - zzzdnek steeeebar & Tieeeeeeeesj Benoooot

    just some guy

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    just some guy

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    Gap 1.38 after 58 km

    I think,
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  • just some guy

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    Flo

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    mc_mountain

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    Youth CQ Game originator.

    cj2002

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    Yeah yeah yeah, but what happened to Linus?!
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  • He shook his head sadly and told me that endemic drug use had compelled him to give up a promising career. "Even one small local race, prize was a salami, and I see doping!" - Tim Moore: Gironimo (Riding the Very Terrible 1914 Tour of Italy)

    KeithJamesMc

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    Yeah yeah yeah, but what happened to Linus?!
    4th
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  • search

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    1.Luis Leon Sanchez
    2.Egoitz Garcia
    3.Natnael Berhane
    4 Linus Gerdemann
    5.Gregory Habeaux.
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  • "If this is cycling, I am a banana"

    LukasCPH

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    Ka-ching!
    CQ points in abundance.
    Only downside is that almost everyone has Linus and Luisle ...


    This is exactly what I meant that this won't be your usual stage race.
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  • mc_mountain

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    I'll be gutted if it turns out Senechal wasnt in the break after all and it was Garcia just mis-identified.  Hopefully they were both in the break and Senechal is at least in a decent GC position even if all he'll do for the rest of the race is help Garcia.
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  • cj2002

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    If Nat Berhane made the break and finished 3rd, can one infer that Yohann Gene didn't? I mean, he'd have been mentioned if he was among the leaders, wouldn't you think?
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  • mc_mountain

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    If Nat Berhane made the break and finished 3rd, can one infer that Yohann Gene didn't? I mean, he'd have been mentioned if he was among the leaders, wouldn't you think?

    yeah they would have mentioned him for sure - there were 2 other Europcars in the break Bernaudeau and Jeandesboz so potentially they were the main instigators as opposed to covering the break for Gene.  If that was the case not sure that would have been the best tactic as just drew out Lulu and Linus.
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  • Flo

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    Whoop whoop Lulu
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  • Dim

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    We cant late this race pass without the yearly sing song
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  • KeithJamesMc

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    63. AUGUSTYN John Lee +18:30  :(
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  • LukasCPH

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    63. AUGUSTYN John Lee +18:30  :(
    That means he finished in the peloton, not that he was dropped.
    Nobody can ask him to join a break that his two teammates without recent racing experience (Linus and Niyonshuti) already made it into.
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  • Flo

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    Lulu at 1 sec :o
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  • L'arri

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    Lulu at 1 sec :o

    I know, Flol ! I was just thinking the same thing: he has this in the bag! ;)

    Luis Léon Sanchez doing Amissa Bongo Gabon. Who'd a thunk it? This is more random than aberrations in weather provoked by global warming.
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  • Cycling is a Europe thing only and I only watch from Omloop on cause I am cool and sh*t
    RIP Craig1985 / Craig Walsh
    RIP KeithJamesMc / Keith McMahon

    LukasCPH

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    We finally have some video highlights:
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  • Dim

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    Just remembered how good my French actually is. Watched all of that without realising it was in French.
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  • Tuart

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    We cant late this race pass without the yearly sing song

    I always thing of that jingle when I see this race name :D
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  • 2014 Velorooms Giro d'Italia Velogames Winner


    just some guy

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