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Mellow Velo

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TDF Stage 8: Mâcon > Saint-Étienne 13/07/2019  - 200 km

Stage 8 in the Tour de France is a race from Mâcon to Saint-Étienne. The route takes in an altitude gain of 3,750 metres and amounts to 200 kilometres.



This year’s route is also teeming with hills, yet ‘only’ seven are classified.



Macon has hosted 4 stages of the TDF. It holds a place of choice in the Tour de France history thanks to two decisive time-trials. This was particularly the case in 1991, when Miguel Indurain sealed the first of his five titles by dominating Gianni Bugno and Greg LeMond.




 During the 2011 Critérium du Dauphiné, the Macon stage gave young German John Degenkolb the chance to join the top flight of bunch sprinters by winning on the banks of the Saone, at the foot of the statue of Lamartine. In 2012, the city was the start of a stage to Bellegarde-sur-Valserine, where Thomas Voeckler won the penultimate of his four stage victories on the Tour.
 Among Macon-born riders, two rode the Tour de France -- Joël Millard, four times between 1972 and 1975, and Guy Buchaille, in 1953 and 1957. Joël Millard is now chairman of the departmental cycling committee of Saône-et-Loire.
 
  Riders who are eyeing up the polka dot jersey have to be alert at kilometre 51. This is the summit of the Col de Croix Montmain, which is a 6.1 kilometres climb at 7%. At kilometre 71 more KOM points are available at the Col de Croix de Thel (4.1 kilometres at 8.1%) before the Col de La Croix Paquet (2.1 kilometres at 9.7%) is crested at kilometre 84.5.



Following the passage over the Côte d’Affoux (8.5 kilometres at 4.5%) the second half of the race offers three more KOM climbs. Côte de la Croix de Part peaks at kilometre 133 after a 4.9 kilometres toil at 7.9%. The Côte d’Aveize is also polka dot material. The 5.2 kilometres climb at 6.4% is crested with 51.5 kilometres remaining. The route continues to go either up or down with the Côte de la Jaillère standing out. The 1.9 kilometres hill slopes at 7.9%, while it is crested with 12.5 kilometres out.



The descent leads to an uphill kick at 5% in the third kilometre before the line. The ensuing downhill runs to the flamme rouge, while the last kilometre is flat.



St Etienne has been visited 25 times in Tour history.
Spurned by the pre-war Tour because of its central position in France, Saint-Étienne was then largely redeemed and hosted the race 25 often memorable times since 1950. The names of the winners in town (Geminiani, Bobet, Hinault, Herrera or Zoetemelk) tell the story.



 One of the most significant moments was probably the end of the deadly duel between Bernard Hinault and Greg LeMond in the 1986 edition.



 The individual time trial traced around Saint-Étienne was the badger’s ultimate feat, his 28th and last stage victory. The win over his teammate and rival was however too tight (25 seconds) for him to threaten the American and claim a sixth overall victory two days later in Paris. But the passing of the baton was notoriously nasty and LeMond, who crashed during his time trial, even accused his teammates of sabotage in favour of Hinault. The Breton swore (and he still does) that he had agreed to let LeMond win and he respected his word.

The last Tour de France visit took place in 2014 with a sprint victorybyf Alexander Kristoff. Saint-Etienne was also the city of the late Roger Rivière, the broken hero of French cycling in the 1950s. Gilles Delion, winner of the 1990 Tour de Lombardie and a rider known for his integrity, also competed in four Tours de France between 1990 (white jersey) and 1995.

Favourites 8th stage 2019 Tour de France

Although the Tour de France's 8th stage doesn't include any huge climbs, a succession of short steep climbs and longer ascents at shallow gradients adds up to an altitude gain of 3,700 metres. GC riders are unlikely to expend valuable resource, while sprinters will be happy to cross the line in one piece. So this is a perfect day for the breakaway.

:*:*:*:*:* Thomas De Gendt, Alessandro De Marchi, Maximilian Schachmann,
:*:*:*:* Matej Mohoric, Greg Van Avermaet, Tim Wellens, Alexey Lutsenko
:*:*:* Julian Alaphillipe*, Serge Pauwels, Rui Costa, Luis Leon Sanchez
:*:* Lilian Calmejane, Natnael Berhane, Xandro Meurisse 
:* Tiesj Benoot, Rohan Dennis, Mads Würtz Schmidt


* 5 star favourite but for the fact he is second on GC.
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  • "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.


    t-72

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    • Great #lotto Thomas de Gendt win in the most de Gendtian fashion thinkable - 200 kilometers breakaway!
    • Tactically hard to understand chase by #ef EF education first and #astana Astana opened opportunities for the opportunists
    • Difficult but not that difficult left-to-right double curve through some tightly spaced houses sent #ef Woods down and almost all of #ineos except Bernal too. They lost one Pinarello in the action but all the riders seemed ok.
    • List of opportunists of course always include #quickstep Julian Alaphilippe, who could not resist, so he attacked near the top of the last climb for the day. This was hardly suprising given how the race was developing, and Alaphilippes chance to wear #yellow on Bastille day.
    • It was more surprising was #groupama THibaut Pinot followed  Alaphilippe on that attack, as it implied he would have to hang on for dear life on the descent. 6-5 years ago this would have frayed Thibaut's nerves to the point of just stopping him, but this Pinot has now matured well and with a little hint seasoning from the fallen leaves of Lombardia: this the rider that has taken a step up and to me the GC victory today is with him, not Alaphilippe,  even if the quikstep rider gets the jersey.


    After hearing MV go on with all his competence on where which bottle of champagne comes from, and wines of the Alsace as well, maybe you will consider to celebrate today's results with something different, let me suggest a Pinot from Bourgogne for you. These are the fields along the stage..





    P.S. Is #ef Woods all down and out of the GC now or did he finish on someone else's bike?
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  • Mellow Velo

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    P.S. Is #ef Woods all down and out of the GC now or did he finish on someone else's bike?


    Down and out, by 14'-22" on the day.

    On the subject of wine, on the day, it would have to be Beaujolais, as the race went through several of the Grand Cru villages. ;)



     Quite pleased by the fact that two of my 5 star favourites were last men standing in the break and that TdG got his just deserts with the win.
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  • t-72

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    So here's Thomas doing his karate moves


    Or is that more like the flik flak straight shokahara[1] move in freestyle athletics?

    Look at the GIF in the tweet below, is that showing Thomas landing on his feet and running into a safe zone (forward in race direction, into shadows)? I have seen it 20 times now and I cannot make up my mind about what is happening. The camera looks away for just a little instant but surely there is someone running away at the end, and who else can that be?

    https://twitter.com/pimentanuno/status/1150118612742680577

    If it really happened that way, Thomas finally gets repaid a little of his bad-luck and crash-earned karma.  :S
     1. no idea about english translation
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  • PeteFromLeeds

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    Absolutely thrilling race today, had me on the edge of my seat. Great win for De Gendt, was a shame to see Ciccone lose the yellow but Pinot gaining on time is good for him as well. The Thomas crash was a little worrying but it all turned out OK in the end.

    Also one minor observation - Dylan Teuns' GC run of 48-64-61-56-55-3-3-52 seems a little anomalous :P
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  • edwin in the swimming pool

    Carlo Algatrensig

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    So here's Thomas doing his karate moves


    Or is that more like the flik flak straight shokahara[1] move in freestyle athletics?

    Look at the GIF in the tweet below, is that showing Thomas landing on his feet and running into a safe zone (forward in race direction, into shadows)? I have seen it 20 times now and I cannot make up my mind about what is happening. The camera looks away for just a little instant but surely there is someone running away at the end, and who else can that be?

    https://twitter.com/pimentanuno/status/1150118612742680577

    If it really happened that way, Thomas finally gets repaid a little of his bad-luck and crash-earned karma.  :S
     1. no idea about english translation

    Look at this video. The Ineos rider running into the shadows is the rider who was directly behind the EF rider.



    It is Thomas who ends up on the deck and the rider in front of him who I think was Moscon who is able to run away.
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  • t-72

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    On the subject of wine, on the day, it would have to be Beaujolais, as the race went through several of the Grand Cru villages. ;)

    Unfortunately no pinot (not Thibaut, but no Noir or Grigrio either!) in my wine cellar[1] today. My apologies is that this must be my first and only post as a cyclo-gastronomic-vine culture snob "influencer" ever!

    So I had to look in the other direction. I couldn't find a bottle of Quickstep and no Decunicks either. This is clearly not going my way and eventually I will not influence the menus in select cycling focused restaurants around the world in weeks to come.

    However, I came up with this little excuse - it's a Klein Constantia Sauvignon Blanc.

    OK, that's a 2016 - but what has Klein Constantia got to do with this race?

    In fact, almost nothing, but they sponsored #quickstep Quicksteps development team in 2016 so it was actually called just that!
    However, Julian Alaphilippe had already graduated to the WT team by 2016, but #quickstep Enric Mas and #bora Maximilian Schachmann, participants in today's race wore the Black-light blue-white Klein Constantia jersey at the time.

    Constantia is a wine producing area on the slopes of the Table Mountain in South Africa. The "city bowl" of Cape Town is on the other side, the wineyards are facing inland, not towards the coast. Yet today it is almost correct to say that the wineyards are part of the Cape Town metropolitan area. I had the opportunity to visit Western Cape last year and after tasting a few different wines, our panel concluded that about the only thing we needed to check on the bottle was the year. The 2014 vintage seemed to be good no matter which wineyard we got it from and which grape it was. That brings me to the 2014 vintage of the team later known as Klein Constantia.

    Bummer! That's not the year. It's 2013 for the cycling team and 2014 for the bottle. This story is going nowhere.

    Anyway, let's look at that vintage - Etixx-Inhed, as it was called - 2013: Florian Senechal, Petr Vakoc, Patrick Konrad, Lukas Wizniowsky - and Julian Alaphilippe. I haven't seen a ranking anywhere for the best Conti team vintage ever, based on their later sennior results,  but this one must come close to the podium there.

    So maybe I should pimp up that bottle a little now that we are talking 14th of July, Julian Alaphilippe, maillot jaune #yellow and all that?
    Like this then

    This is sure going to start some new trends!

    All these stupid ideas originated while making a dinner for myself, but you can't argue with good results, I have been told.


    Take that, Thomas de Gendt and all your dinner-tweets...this is what you eat to win a stage like that?`Chapeu, I can do that too!
    https://twitter.com/CarolDeDobb/status/1149789765006430209

    https://twitter.com/DeGendtThomas/status/1149773543179243520

    https://twitter.com/DeGendtThomas/status/1149422833807822850

    https://twitter.com/DeGendtThomas/status/1149048592331661313

    https://twitter.com/DeGendtThomas/status/1148326788843614210

    https://twitter.com/DeGendtThomas/status/1147953675484246016

    https://twitter.com/DeGendtThomas/status/1147588526269247490


    As you can see I have a clear advantage on the nutrition side, but the chances of me winning tomorrows stage from the breakaway is very small!

    Thanks, that's all for now from your cycling-and-gourmet-food reporter.
     :D
     






     
     1. it is really just a cupboard with a few bottles in it
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  • Drummer Boy

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    Thanks, that's all for now from your cycling-and-gourmet-food reporter.
     :D
     

    Take it from a New Englander: Cod fish is nothing to brag about.   :-x

    I tend to think of it as the Spam of seafood.  :D
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  • t-72

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    Take it from a New Englander: Cod fish is nothing to brag about.   :-x

    I tend to think of it as the Spam of seafood.  :D

    On the contrary! Very much so! I don't think you even guessed how much so. I come from a small town in Norway where cod fishery is as HUGE as vine production is in the Bourgogne :D So I need to teach you fellow veloroomers, that there is nothing better than codfish done right!

    My grandfather and his brother started a fish exporting business in the depths of the 30's depression. The banks  wouldn't loan them money enough for the start-up but some neighbors scrambled together the money. Today it still a successfull business, now run by my cousins. It creates jobs for about 150 people and they export their products (not just salted dried cod but many other kinds of fish too) to almost 50 countries .  A good part of the explanation why, is codfish, salted and dried. Perfect start in terms of raw material for a thick book of delicious (mostly latin) dishes.

    In other words I brag about codfish, as often as given the chance, thank you !  :P Have some of this:

    Oven-baked Codfish bacalhau with potatoes, peppers and asparagus. This is the best piece of the fish, the upper part of the fillet. I think it is marketed in english-speaking countries as "loins" now.





    (I don't work in the fisheries business and not in the family business either).
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  • Mellow Velo

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     Pah, cod is God: no question.
    Yes t, the cut is called called loin hereabouts.
    The one and only recipe that matters.




     :lol :lol
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