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dockers_strike

2021 Tour de France

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16 hours ago, TheHowieLama said:

So a dude who is ostensibly clean - and 36 - is winning this thing?

 

9 hours ago, Kepler-186 said:

Mark Cavendish isn’t in contention for the overall Tour de France victory. He’s a sprinter, and picks up sprint stage victories. The overall leader wears the yellow jersey, and that’s based purely on time. Cavendish has now got 31 individual stage wins, but he’s not like a Froome, who rides to win the Tour overall. Cavendish won’t be anywhere near the front when they ride through the Alps or Pyrenees.
 

 

OK, I know nothing about cycling except for Lance Armstrong - who was drugged his whole life - let me re phrase - a 36 year old who is clean can pedal faster than any other fella in the world??

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5 minutes ago, TheHowieLama said:

 

 

OK, I know nothing about cycling except for Lance Armstrong - who was drugged his whole life - let me re phrase - a 36 year old who is clean can pedal faster than any other fella in the world??

Depends on the stage route.If it’s flat overall it favours the sprinters in the end. They have a team to help them get to the front just at the right time to then unleash the power. He’s won the last two stages, now has 32 at the Tour de France and like Wiggins and Froome it’s all been done in the post Armstrong era. The team manager dictates what to go for on each stage, and it depends on the make up of the team. They have riders who are expert climbers, and ones who just power through the kilometres and look after the “stars”. 
Started getting interested in it a while back, but I bought the official guide this year and it’s cleared up some of the tactics and vocab used, as a lot of it are French terms. 
It’s a huge sport in France, Belgium, Holland and so on, as well

as Spain and Italy.
 

 

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@TheHowieLama

 

I’ve not heard of a big scandal like Armstrong or one of the big riders, but I only really tune into it for the Tour de France, although I had the Giro d’Italia on this year on Eurosport. 
 

@dockers_strike seems to be up on it as he’s started the 2 threads this year. Who was the last big name done for doping? 

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4 hours ago, Kepler-186 said:

@TheHowieLama

 

I’ve not heard of a big scandal like Armstrong or one of the big riders, but I only really tune into it for the Tour de France, although I had the Giro d’Italia on this year on Eurosport. 
 

@dockers_strike seems to be up on it as he’s started the 2 threads this year. Who was the last big name done for doping? 

Of the 3 classics, Le Tour, the Giro and the Vuelta, I think Armstrong was the last big name proven to be doping but that was only proven about 7 years after he retired.

 

There were doubts over Bradley Wiggins using therapeutic use exemption for steroids or something to lessen the effects of his asthma or hay fever but while questions remain, the claims havent been proven to my knowledge.

 

Some French organisation went big a few years ago analysis of Chris Froome's piss claiming it had abnormal levels of testosterone or something.

 

@howielama asking how can a 36 year old like Cav beat supposedly fitter and younger men is an understandable question but overlooks what the Tour is.

 

Even excluding the time trial stages, every stage of the Tour is different be that in lengthy, a relatively flat stage, hilly stage or mountains. Each team has 8 riders. Some are literally workhorses, sacrificed to 'con' other teams in a breakaway, fetch the food and drink for other team members, usually a sprinter and a team leader, supposedly the one to carry the overall chance of winning the Tour.

 

So some days, a stage may favour the sprinters, or riders who are ace going up steep hills and mountains etc. Although a stage may favour sprinters, they arent riding at sprint speed from start to finish. Effectively, the other riders in his team will pace him for most of the stage plus effectively shield him from most headwinds.

 

Cav is just fucking fast. He's been unlucky with injuries and illness the last 4 or 5 years. But his two recent sprint finishes are numbers 31 and 32 on the Tour overall.

 

To say Cav's 36 so how's he beating younger men is a bit like asking how Usain Bolt won so many 100m races against younger men or how does Federer win so many tennis titles against younger men.

 

The answer is, they're just so fucking good. Cav's won the first couple of sprint stages but it's no means certain he'll win most of them even if I hope he does!

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5 minutes ago, dockers_strike said:

 

To say Cav's 36 so how's he beating younger men is a bit like asking how Usain Bolt won so many 100m races against younger men or how does Federer win so many tennis titles against younger men.

 

The answer is, they're just so fucking good. Cav's won the first couple of sprint stages but it's no means certain he'll win most of them even if I hope he does!

I think you are right here - same with golf.

 

Why do you think there is such a stigma to fellas playing an unnamed sport (on the GF) being over even, say 30?

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22 minutes ago, TheHowieLama said:

I think you are right here - same with golf.

 

Why do you think there is such a stigma to fellas playing an unnamed sport (on the GF) being over even, say 30?

Dunno mate, ageism?!

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12 hours ago, TheHowieLama said:

I think you are right here - same with golf.

 

Why do you think there is such a stigma to fellas playing an unnamed sport (on the GF) being over even, say 30?

Not here mate , I am 61 and if a mobile number comes up that I dont recognise I assume it's Michael Edwards.

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Let's not forget that Cavendish is winning bunch sprints only, he is not winning any other type of stage, usually he just sits on the bus, conserves his energy and when mountains come, he will be focusing chiefly on not getting eliminated from the race. So at 36, he is the most experienced sprinter, he is extremely tactically astute, as the best sprinter he usually has the best lead out man and team to put him in the best position etc. Plus he was always the fastest or thereabouts over the last 300 yards, so if he stays upright and has worked hard to prepare, it is not such a miracle to win again at his age. He is effectively racing against 10 or 12 guys at the most who are in his speed category, and half of them either work for him or must work for his competitors in a bunch sprint.   

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Today is a rest day for the Tour riders so, here's an article hacked from behind the torygraph paywall on Cav.

 

It has been an extraordinary return to form for Cavendish, who has won two sprints already at this year’s Tour de France to claim the green jersey and move to within two stages of Eddy Merckx’s all-time record. But how did it happen? 

 

How did a 36-year-old without a team eight months ago, and without a win in almost three years, rediscover his mojo? Tom Cary explains how the love and support of his family, the faith of Patrick Lefevere, the firepower of Deceuninck-QuickStep’s famed ‘Wolfpack’, a new coach, and a new bike all helped to get the Manx Missile back on track.

Self-belief

While others may have lost faith in him, Cavendish never lost faith in himself. Even during the dark times, when he was at loggerheads with his teams, or nursing injuries, or battling mental health demons, he continued to insist - when asked - that he felt he could compete at the top level. His training numbers were good, he would say, he just needed a clear run of fitness and races to build himself back up. 

 

He continued to work incredibly hard to prove it, too, flogging himself on training camps near his house in Quarrata in Italy, or hitting the turbo in lockdown. It speaks volumes for Cavendish’s self-belief and love for the sport that he never walked away because he certainly didn’t continue for the money.  

Family

Arguably the most important factor, at least in terms of his mental health. Although Cavendish has extraordinary reserves of self-confidence, there were of course times when it wavered. He was diagnosed with clinical depression in August 2018, shortly after he was forced to abandon that year’s Tour after missing the time cut on stage 11 (little did he realise it at the time but he was in fact still struggling with the effects of Epstein-Barr virus). 

At these moments the support of his family was crucial. Cavendish may show a spiky, sometimes even bolshy, side of himself to the world at times, but he is a doting dad and incredibly proud of his four children: Finnbarr, Delilah, Frey and Casper. 

 

Lockdown, while frustrating, was an opportunity to connect with them on a deeper level and he clearly loved that, posting pictures of himself building model Power Rangers, or sitting at the sewing machine “putting a hem into a DIY den for the kids”, or with the whole family doing PE with Joe Wicks. 

 

After he won on Tuesday, a video his wife Peta sent him of his “cycling-obsessed” three-year-old Casper celebrating was like food for his soul. He was thrilled. Peta, he says, has been a rock during this time. “She has believed in me more than I have believed in myself at times,” Cavendish wrote in a Telegraph Sport column before the Tour started.

Patrick Lefevere

There is no chance this comeback would be happening were it not for Cavendish’s move to Deceuninck-QuickStep this year. Patrick Lefevere took a punt, offering the Briton a place on the team if he could bring a sponsor with him, which he duly did. “He gave me a chance when many in his position never would have and I will never, ever forget that,” Cavendish says.

The ‘Wolfpack’

With the return to QuickStep, Cavendish once again became part of the famed ‘Wolfpack’. The Belgian squad have a reputation as the best classics/one-day/sprint team in the world, and boast an incredible roster of riders including the current world champion Julian Alaphilippe, Belgian prodigy Remco Evenepoel, Tour of Flanders winner Kasper Asgreen, and a host of other hitters. The winning mentality in that team must be infectious. 

 

Cavendish has repeatedly said what an honour it is to be part of such a crack squad; to be led out by the likes of Alaphilippe, given his own aspirations in this race. Special mention must also be made of Michael Morkov, the Dane generally acknowledged to be the finest leadout man in the world.

 

Now that Cavendish has shown himself to be the fastest sprinter out here, they in turn are showing more and more confidence in him. It’s a virtuous circle. The confidence has seeped back allowing his legendary racecraft and instincts to come to the fore again. It has been like watching the old Cavendish this week.

New coach 

New team, new start. Cavendish has a new coach this year in the shape of ex-rider Vasilis Anastopoulos about whom he has been very complimentary. They actually raced each other on the track almost 20 years ago, at Revolution Series meetings. “When we first met, within five to 10 minutes there was a really strong connection between us,” Anastopoulos told Cycling Weekly

 

Cavendish, for his part, describes the Greek as “wicked, really chilled out”. Not too chilled out though. A photo of Cavendish collapsed in a heap in the Athens velodrome, which the Manxman posted on his Instagram feed earlier this year, provides a clue as to the kind of efforts Anastopoulos has him doing. Cavendish has spoken often in the past about how training on the boards helps to hone the speed in his legs. 

 

It was one of the reasons he gave for his four Tour stage wins for Dimension Data in 2016, having switched from Deceuninck-QuickStep the previous winter. In those days, QuickStep were rather less keen on their star sprinter spending time on the boards. They paid him to win road races, not help his Olympic aspirations. Clearly they know what’s best for him now. 

Specialised bikes

The final piece of the jigsaw. Cavendish has made no secret of the fact that he is happy to be back on a bike that “fits” him this year. He is riding a Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7, fitted with Turbo Cotton clincher tyres, and despite a couple of issues - his saddle rails snapping mid-stage on Tuesday and his chain falling off after his sprint on Thursday - he is clearly delighted with it. 

 

Asked this week to explain his triumphant return, Cavendish thought for a moment. “You can call it excuse-making or passing the blame but I knew the ingredients I needed,” he said. “I needed a team that functioned as a team and I needed a bike that fitted me. I had neither of those things.”

 

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/cycling/2021/07/05/rebuilding-mark-cavendish-manx-missile-got-back-best-take-tour/

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In the meantime, we are witnessing the emergence of possibly the most exciting talent in world cycling since the era of great champions.

 

I dread the day when the penny drops at Ineos that rather than fucking about with South Americans, Geraint Thomas, tactics, technical improvements and new ways of juicing, they can just sign Pogačar and dominate the Tour again, for the next ten years.

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Unfortunately had to miss today's stage and fuck me, what a time to do so. Cav won the stage in a sprint finish so now is on 33 stage wins, 1 behind Tour legend Eddy Merckx.

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6 minutes ago, dockers_strike said:

Unfortunately had to miss today's stage and fuck me, what a time to do so. Cav won the stage in a sprint finish so now is on 33 stage wins, 1 behind Tour legend Eddy Merckx.

I watched it. A masterclass by Cav. 

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Tough day on the Tour for Cav. Made the time limit with minutes to spare and was even closer on Sunday!

 

Van Aert’s time on the stage dubbed ‘Mont Ven-two’ was 5 hours 17minutes 43 seconds placing the time limit at 47:39. All eyes were then focused on Cavendish after his struggles in the Alps on Sunday, when he snuck into Tignes with around a minute to spare and promptly broke down in tears. But he made it home this time with around seven minutes to spare, meaning the Manxman will have the chance to sprint for what would be a record-equalling 34th Tour stage win in Nimes on Thursday, assuming his Deceuninck-QuickStep team can bring the race back together.

 

“We knew today we were not going to be as close to the time limit as we were on Sunday, but still we had to be focused the whole day,” Cavendish said. “Everybody was there with me, helping me up and down the mountains. I’m very tired - I guess everybody is. I’ve done many Tours de France, but this for sure is one of the hardest.”

 

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10 minutes ago, SasaS said:

He does tend to cry a lot, even by cyclists' weepy standards.

He is a bit of an emotional lad. Must something in the manx air (better be careful, my sister's married to a manx man!

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Made up for him. Seems like a really likeable person. Unbelievable story.

 

Seemed like a good day, but I had to catch a train at 4, so missed it, hopefully watch the post race stuff later. 

 

If anyone could post a video of the finish, I would be very grateful.

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It's amazing that Cavendish lasted so long, some 15 years. Everyone he raced in these bunch sprints 10 or so years ago seems to have retired a long time ago, except Greipel, who is, what, almost 40 now? And still occasionally finishing in the top 10 sprinters.

 

Which begs the question, where are all the new young sprinters? Sagan has also been boring the fuck of everybody with his uncontested green jersey intermidiate sprint points collection for years.

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On 09/07/2021 at 22:29, SasaS said:

It's amazing that Cavendish lasted so long, some 15 years. Everyone he raced in these bunch sprints 10 or so years ago seems to have retired a long time ago, except Greipel, who is, what, almost 40 now? And still occasionally finishing in the top 10 sprinters.

 

Which begs the question, where are all the new young sprinters? Sagan has also been boring the fuck of everybody with his uncontested green jersey intermidiate sprint points collection for years.

Im guessing many of the sprinters prefer the shorter track races to the grind of 150km a day?

 

Yeah, greipel is still in there, Sagan dropped out a stage or two back.

 

Rest day today, back in the saddle for the start of the final week tomorrow. Can Cav win one more stage to beat Merckx's and his record?

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Cobb-Smith, a security consultant and British army veteran, told CNN he believed Abu Akleh was killed in discrete shots — not a burst of automatic gunfire. To reach that conclusion, he looked at imagery obtained by CNN, which show markings the bullets left on the tree where Abu Akleh fell and Hanaysha was taking cover. "The number of strike marks on the tree where Shireen was standing proves this wasn't a random shot, she was targeted," Cobb-Smith told CNN, adding that, in sharp contrast, the majority of gunfire from Palestinians captured on camera that day were "random sprays."   Palestinian journalist Mujahid al-Saadi, who was with Abu Akleh when she was killed, points to bullet marks on the tree in Jenin where she died.   As evidence, he pointed to two videos that showed Palestinian gunmen firing haphazardly down alleyways in different parts of Jenin. The videos were circulated by the office of Israeli prime minister, Naftali Bennett, and Israel's foreign ministry, with a voiceover in Arabic saying: "They've hit one — they've hit a soldier. He's lying on the ground." Because no Israeli soldiers were reported killed on May 11, Bennett's office said the video suggested that "Palestinian terrorists were the ones who shot the journalist." CNN geolocated the videos shared by Bennett's office to the south of the camp, more than 300 meters, or 1,000 feet, away from Abu Akleh. The coordinates of the two locations, which were verified using Mapillary, a crowdsourced street imagery platform, and footage of the area filmed by Israeli human rights group B'Tselem, demonstrate that the shooting in the videos couldn't be the same volley of gunfire that hit Abu Akleh and her producer, Ali al-Samoudi. CNN was also unable to verify independently when the footage was filmed. According to the Israeli army's initial inquiry, at the time of Abu Akleh's death, an Israeli sniper was 200 meters away from her. CNN asked Robert Maher, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Montana State University, who specializes in forensic audio analysis, to assess the footage of Abu Akleh's shooting and estimate the distance between the gunman and the cameraman, taking into account the rifle being used by the Israeli forces. The video that Maher analyzed captures two volleys of gunfire; eyewitnesses say Abu Akleh was hit in the second barrage, a series of seven sharp "cracks." The first "crack" sound, the ballistic shockwave of the bullet, is followed approximately 309 milliseconds later by the relatively quiet "bang" of the muzzle blast, according to Maher. "That would correspond to a distance of something between 177 and 197 meters," or 580 and 646 feet, he said in an email to CNN, which corresponds almost exactly with the Israeli sniper's position. At 200 meters, Cobb-Smith said that there was "no chance" that random firing would result in three or four shots hitting in such a tight configuration. "From the strike marks on the tree, it appears that the shots, one of which hit Shireen, came from down the street from the direction of the IDF troops. The relatively tight grouping of the rounds indicate Shireen was intentionally targeted with aimed shots and not the victim of random or stray fire," the firearms expert told CNN.   A Palestinian artist paints a mural in Gaza City honoring Shireen Abu Akleh, and depicting Shatha Hanaysha crouching beside her after she was killed.   The tree is now referred to in Jenin as the "journalist tree" and has become a makeshift shrine to Abu Akleh, with photographs of the beloved reporter taped to the trunk and Palestinian kaffiyeh scarves draped from its branches. Awad, one of the Jenin residents who inadvertently captured Abu Akleh's killing on camera, said the first time he saw her in person was in 2002, when she was covering the Intifada, or uprising, in Jenin. "She is of course loved by so many, but she has a very special memory in our camp specifically because of the work she has done here. The people here are very sad for her loss," he said. Last month, Abu Akleh celebrated her birthday in Jenin, when she was there to cover an Israeli miltary raid, her longtime colleague, cameraman Majdi Banura, recalled. Banura and Abu Akleh started at Al Jazeera on the same day 25 years ago, and spent much of their careers out in the field together. Banura is still reeling from having seen Abu Akleh, whom he had filmed countless times before, die in front of his own eyes. But when the gunfire broke out, he knew he had to continue rolling, saying that it was important to have a "continuous record" of her killing. "To be honest, as I was filming, I had hoped that she will be alive, but I knew seeing her motionless she had been killed," Banura said.
    • So - it is about the money.   I knew when he said it wasn't about the money that it was about the money, otherwise he wouldn't have said it isn't about the money.
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