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  • World Champion
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  • Awards: Member of the year 2016Post of the year 2016KeithJamesMC 2016Member of the year 20152012 CQ Ranking Tour GameAvatar of the Year 2013
I'd say #trek Mads P. deserves a star or two as well. He came 2nd last year, and turning it into a win has been his major goal for this 2nd (post classic) part of the season.

He has had a crap Tour so far, of course, but meanwhile should have recovered from his crash(es?) and sickness
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  • "If this is cycling, I am a banana"

    AG

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    will definitely be interesting to see how Wout Van Aerts legs are feeling - and how is train-surfing skills hold up.  He is probably the only one who has a chance against Cavendish - and even then its not a big chance.

    For history's sake, I would like to see Cav take the record on the Champs Elysee, wearing the Green Jersey.
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  • Mellow Velo

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    I'd say #trek Mads P. deserves a star or two as well. He came 2nd last year, and turning it into a win has been his major goal for this 2nd (post classic) part of the season.

    He has had a crap Tour so far, of course, but meanwhile should have recovered from his crash(es?) and sickness

     I will take your venerated advice and give him a couple of stars.
    BTW, I left yesterday's results, thinking you would be around with your usual post showing the split times and ranking....
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  • "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.

    Drummer Boy

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    Thanks for all these previews, MV. I've really enjoyed starting my day with each one.
    Much appreciated.  :cool
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    • World Champion
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    • Country: de
    • Posts: 14688
    • Liked: 14419
    • Awards: Member of the year 2016Post of the year 2016KeithJamesMC 2016Member of the year 20152012 CQ Ranking Tour GameAvatar of the Year 2013
    BTW, I left yesterday's results, thinking you would be around with your usual post showing the split times and ranking....

    ah, sorry, I forgot about that. And Velofacts does such a good job, that mine has become a bit meaningless ;)

    https://twitter.com/velofacts/status/1416433202181427204
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  • Drummer Boy

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    In light of all the Cavendish hoopla, I'm not sure enough credit has been given to Chris Froome.

    He made it all the way to Paris! And that's not something that seemed very likely during the first week of this Tour.



    Froome has been mostly anonymous during this race, but I don't think the accomplishment of having completed the Tour should be underestimated. I'd be willing to bet that by next year we will see a marked improvement in his performance, although even if he were to somehow recapture his form of past, I'm not convinced it would be enough to contend with all the new talent that has emerged since then.

    I do think he deserves some applause for sticking this one out, though, and doing his team and sponsors proud by making it all the way to the Champs-Élysées.



     :cool
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  • Armchair Cyclist

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    Thanks for all these previews, MV. I've really enjoyed starting my day with each one.
    Much appreciated.  :cool
    Hear, hear.
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  • Drummer Boy

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    Wooooowww van Aert does it again.

    I've certainly never seen a cyclist like him before. It's difficult to fathom the depth of his talent. Will he now go on to secure one or more Gold medals at the Olympics?

    Anyway, I really just wanted to share some observations on the final sprint, as I've now had a chance to re-watch it more carefully, utilizing the most of pause and rewind.

    I'm disappointed for Cavendish, but after really breaking down the sprint, I'm a bit disappointed for us, the fans, as well, because we didn't get see Cavendish at, or even near, his very best today.  #deceuninck was uncharacteristically out of synch in the final KMs, going from in control, to scattered about, to back in control, then ultimately losing their cohesiveness when they needed it most. Things were looking good coming out of the final turn before the straightaway to the finish, but when gaps starting forming within their own train, Cavendish either opted for, or had no other choice than to take, van Aert's wheel. With that in mind, it must be said that Mike Teunissen  #tdfjumbo did a spectacular job at leading Wout to victory today. He simply got on the front, and stayed there, with Wout right in his slipstream.

    However, Cavendish had another foe to contend with: Jasper Philipsen *be  #alpecin
    I haven't yet read any reviews of the sprint, and I didn't see any interviews regarding any of this, but what was Philipsen up to? He seemed hell bent on thwarting Cavendish's own efforts, in a way that seemed to do little for his own ambitions—if winning the stage himself was truly his goal. With Cavendish boxed in on the left side of the road, Philipsen threw his fair share of elbows in Cav's direction that seemed more defensive for van Aert, than offering any real advantage to Philipsen himself.

    Then, as Teunissen peeled off the front, Philipsen jumped to the right to go around him, which briefly left an opening for Cavendish to nab. But by the time Cav looked to slot into the opening, Philipsen had swung back to Cav's side, essentially leaving him no room to escape. From various camera angles, you can see that Cavendish actually had to stop pedaling at least three times in the final few hundred meters. He was never able to get near his top speed. Then when there was finally some daylight in front of him, Wout was too close to the finish line to be caught.

    So it never was an epic battle of, Who is faster than who? It was more a case of, Who got to the finish first?
    All of which, of course, is the nature of the sprinting beast. But having to see Cavendish actually take his foot off the gas, more than once, in the final moments, is something he's probably never had to do on the Champs before.

    Now that the Tour is done, and there are other stories to focus on, I'm not sure if we'll gain much more insight into exactly what transpired, but this the most ineffective sprint train we've seen from Quick-Step all Tour. If Cavendish had had only his own teammates between himself and the finish line—as he usually does, and as van Aert this time did— then I seriously doubt that anyone would've been able to catch him. He never got to open the throttle all the way up. Which is a bit deflating, given all that was on the line.

    But that's a tale that's been told countless times in cycling. It's not about being fast; it's about being first. And Wout van Aert deserves every bit of his remarkable victory. This is also why I was hoping the media wouldn't fixate too much on Merckx's record, because to feel anything less than ecstatic for Cavendish's accomplishments this Tour would be a shame as well. He appeared to be quite happy as he stood on the podium, with family by his side, to celebrate that most unlikely of #green awards. So hats off to him for that. No one on the planet saw that coming a month ago.

    Will Cavendish return to the Tour to claim yet another stage win, and surpass Eddy's record that he now shares?
    Personally, I'm extremely skeptical that we'll get to witness that. Even if he does, it'll never encompass  the drama that such a win today would have. But if we've learned anything from this Tour, it's that doubting Cavendish is not something that one should do casually. He may do it, but it'll never be the same as what could've been. I bet the Belgians are partying tonight, though. And more power to them. We saw a different kind of history being made today. One which promises many more golden moments in the future—a future filled with new, young rising stars.

    "Vive le tour!"



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  • Drummer Boy

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    Just thought I'd offer this again, but with the final tally.


    Teams with Stage Wins:

    #deceuninck Deceuninck-QuickStep - 5

    #tdfjumbo Team Jumbo–Visma - 4

    #uae UAE Team Emirates - 3

    #bahrain Bahrain Victorious - 3

    #alpecin Alpecin-Fenix - 2

    #tdfbora Bora-Hansgrohe - 2

    #ag2r AG2R Citroën Team - 1

    #trek Trek–Segafredo - 1

    -------------------
     
    Teams with No Stage Wins:

    #ineos Ineos Grenadiers
    #movistar Movistar Team
    #ef EF Education-Nippo
    #groupama Groupama-FDJ
    #cofidis Cofidis
    #astana Astana-Premier Tech
    #lotto Lotto Soudal
    #israel Israel Start–Up Nation
    #iwg Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
    #dsm Team DSM
    #bikeexchange Team BikeExchange
    #nexthash Qhubeka NextHash
    #arkea Team Arkea-Samsic
    #total Team TotalEnergies
    #bbhotels B&B Hotels p/b KTM
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