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Year of first Tri race?

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  1. OK. Back by popular demand (or at least by request of Ronny), I have set up a League on Velogames. Details are below. https://www.velogames.com/tour-de-france/2017/ League Details League Name: TransitionsLeague Code: 860038211 Same rules as normal. Pick your 9 riders within the budget of 100 points. Entries close Saturday afternoon/evening. Edit to add: TC, will you be starting a Giro Rosa Tipping Comp as well?
  2. Stage 18 : Gap – Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne 187 km This is the 2nd of the 4 high Alps stages in this year’s tour. It is the only one that does not feature a mountaintop finish, so the riders will have to play their cards differently. The riders commence with a Category 2 climb commencing 200m from the start tonight. They will have about 40minutes to recover before commencing the first of three category 3 climbs at 35, 60 and 70km. The category 2 climb of Col de la Morte, at 85km is deceptively difficult (3.1km at 8.4%), but it is after this that the riders will know they are in the alps. The Col du Glandon is 21.7km at an average of 5.1%. It’s not an even 5.1% gradient though, with sections of flat and downhill, and a couple of 2km sections of over 10% gradient. The descent from the Col will see the riders drop 1500m in just 20km, to a point at a similar altitude, and just 15km from the finish. To get there though, they first have to peak a short steep category 2 climb (Lacets de Montvernier). The riders are likely to get dizzy on this climb, with 17 switchbacks in a short section not long after the start. This will be one of the aerial shots of the tour, as the road climbs the steep side of the valley. The literal translation of “Lacet” is “shoelace”, and it provides a good description of what the road looks like from the air. From there, it is downhill to within a few km of the finish, where anybody left can attempt a sprint to the line. The intermediate sprint today is after five categorised climbs, so with the green jersey all but wrapped up, the points won’t be a reason for Sagan to go with any early break. He may however be sent up the road with them as insurance for Contador, who must have been extremely thankful he was there last night. Bernard Thevenet's View "This is a very difficult and complicated stage, and the riders have been going for practically three weeks. Everybody’s knackered, and lots of the contenders will have lost team-mates, which is an important consideration. "With two such important stages coming up, the favourites might try to save energy, but with a climb like the Glandon mid-stage, the strongest will still emerge at the front. The riders will be torn between saving energy and attacking. And even more important than the climb, the descent of the Glandon is very technical. Riders like Contador and Nibali could make more time here than on the climb. In 1997, Richard Virenque and Festina put one minute into Jan Ullrich going down here. If a good descender gains time here, they should be able to hold that lead to the finish. It’s a good day to be a good climber and a good descender." Along the way: Gap Gap is a town of around 41,000 people nestled in the Southern French Alps. Tourism plays a major role in the economy of the town, with sports tourism high on that list. It is a popular staging ground for many cycling tours, with so many climbs nearby, and has seen the Tour de France a total of 21 times. Many of these have been as a start of memorable stages up the likes of Mont Ventoux or l’Alpe-d’Huez. A view of Gap Le Domaine de Charance Nuzzling up to the mountains overlooking the town of Gap, the Domaine de Charance ranges from 100 to 1,903 metres above sea level, where it offers an exceptional view. Since 2004, the site has been home to the National Alpine Botanical Conservatory, which studies, protects and makes the public aware of alpine flora The Gap-Bayard plateau This is a Mecca of Nordic skiing in the winter and a beautiful 18-hole golf course in the summer, all set in breathtaking high-mountain scenery. At an altitude of 1,250 metres, the Gap-Bayard plateau features an oxygenation centre that is open all year to athletes searching for form and the great outdoors. http://www.gap-bayard.com/ Gap-Tallard air base The Tallard air base is a world famous spot for aerial sports. Around the air track created in 1920, all sports found an ideal environment to develop be it gliding, parachuting or ballooning. Several international events have been held in Tallard. Notre Dame-et-Saint-Arnoux Cathedral The Notre Dame-et-Saint-Arnoux Cathedral has dominated Gap with its polychrome facade and imposing bell tower since 1905. The chart-topping group Les Prêtres (The Priests), who come from the diocese of Gap and Embrun, recorded the video for their best-selling album Spiritus Dei there. Notre Dame-et-Saint-Arnoux Col du Glandon Tackled this year from its easier side, the Glandon has appeared on the Tour route 14 times since 1947. The last rider to lead over the top was Ryder Hesjedal in 2013. Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne: The finishing town of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne is a small town of 8,600. It has been a stage town 3 times in the past, the most recent of which was in 2010, when Sandy Casar pulled away from Leon Sanchez & Damiano Cunego to take the victory. Bicycle tourism also plays a major role in this town, with a number of the hotels and camping grounds sporting their own Bike workshops. With the number of passes and peaks available, and the abundance of rich mountain biking areas, it will no doubt be familiar with many on this forum. http://www.saintjeandemaurienne.com/fr/index.aspx The Museum of costumes, arts and popular traditions It has an outstanding collection of old costumes from the Maurienne valley, where the clothing worn in each village differed from its neighbours. The Mont Corbier museum It traces the history of the liqueur since its invention by Father Guille in 1888. The Cathedral It consists of a cathedral crypt where early examples of Romanesque art can be seen, a cathedral (11th to 15th centuries) containing an exceptional collection of Gothic stalls, and a 15th century cloister. Opinel Museum Created in an old workshop in which the celebrated knife used to be manufactured, the museum was entirely renovated in 2013. Next to the machines and the forge a film tells the story of the Opinel family and the fabrication secrets of the most famous French knife. http://www.opinel-musee.com/ Opinel roundabout The biggest Opinel knife in the world, sculpted by Jean-Claude Opinel himself, stands in the middle of a roundabout in St Jean de Maurienne. The Tour peloton will ride past it on July 19. Team Websites Current Jersey Leaders Christopher Froome (Team Sky) Peter Sagan (Tinkoff Saxo) Christopher Froome (Team Sky) (will be worn by Joachim Rodriguez Oliver) Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Movistar) Movistar Simon Geschke (Team Giant-Alpecin) [Most combatative rider] Map Profile Major Climb (Col du Glandon) Climbs Km 6.5 - Col Bayard (1 264 m) 6.3 km at 7% - category 2 Km 35.5 - Rampe du Motty 2.3 km at 8.3% - category 3 Km 60.5 - Côte de la Mure 2.7 km at 7.5% - category 3 Km 70.5 - Col de Malissol 2 km at 8.7% - category 3 Km 85.0 - Col de la Morte (1 368 m) 3.1 km at 8.4% - category 2 Km 147.0 - Col du Glandon (1 924 m) 21.7 km at 5.1% - category HC Km 176.5 - Lacets de Montvernier (782 m) 3.4 km at 8.2% - category 2 Intermediate Sprint Km 107.5 - Riouperoux General Classification:- 1 Christopher Froome (Team Sky) 69:06:49 2 Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Movistar) 0:03:10 3 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Movistar) 0:04:09 4 Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) 0:06:34 5 Alberto Contador Velasco (Tinkoff Saxo) 0:06:40 6 Robert Gesink (Lotto NL - Jumbo) 0:07:39 7 Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Pro Team) 0:08:04 8 Mathias Frank (IAM Cycling) 0:08:47 9 Bauke Mollema (Belkin) 0:11:47 10 Warren Barguil (Giant - Alpecin) 0:13:08 Points Classification:- 1 Peter Sagan (Cannondale) 420pnts 2 Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) 316 3 John Degenkolb (Giant – Alpecin) 281 4 Mark Cavendish (Etixx – Quickstep) 192 5 Bryan Coquard (Team Europcar) 122 Mountains Classification:- 1 Christopher Froome (Sky) 61pnts 2 Joachim Rodriguez Oliver (Team Katusha) 52 3 Jakob Fulsang (Astana Pro Team) 41 4 Serge Pauwels (MTN Qhubeka) 40 5 Richie Porte (Team Sky) 40 Young Rider Classification:- 1 Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Movistar) 69:09:59 2 Warren Barguil (Giant - Alpecin) 0:09:58 3 Romain Bardet (AG2R Mondiale) 0:12:54 Synopsis :- Tonight the race moves back to Gap, where they finished stage 16 and spent their rest day. They start straight into a 6.5km category 2 climb, so I can see the break launching on this col. There are a lot of KOM points up for grabs tonight, so expect to see Rodriguez, Fulsang and Pauwels in this break, trying to knock Froome off the top in the mountain category. The sprint, like last night will be a non-contest, as the jersey has already been all but decided. Sagan may be there again, but as with last night, he won’t be too concerned. It was interesting Degenkold take a KOM point last night, something I suppose he would never have expected coming into the tour. MTN Qhubeka is trailing by only 16 minutes in the team’s competition after winning the last 2 stages and taking 30 minutes out of Movistar. They will be looking at getting a few in the break to try to take advantage of Movistar’s need to look after their 2 GC riders. Movistar may well have a couple in the break, as will Tinkoff-Saxo & Sky, but these teams are likely to pull them back on the last 2 climbs to work with their leaders. The Col du Glandon is where the GC riders will once again split the rest of the field, and I can see them going over the top with a select field of no more than 7 or 8 riders. It’s not likely this will be the front of the race, as the break has a good chance to survive, so they’ll pick up some of their teammates on the other side for the final steep ascent of the Lacets de Montvernier. If the break is caught by the GC boys, my tip is for Nibali to make a break on the last descent. He’s 4 minutes down on a podium spot, and none of them are showing any chinks, so he may look for a stage win if the opportunity presents itself. Riders to watch:- I think this will be the last chance for a successful break in this year’s Tour. The GC teams will be watching each other, and holding back a bit for the 2 mountain top finishes to come. My thoughts are it will be a rider such as Rodriguez, or maybe Sammy Sanchez. With the loss of his team captain last night, it may be the motivation he needs for a big win. He will also be given free reign now, with no-one to work for. Viewer Rating = 7.5 out of 10 Race starts = 8:10pm (AEST) Approx finish time = 1:20am (AEST) SBS coverage starts at 10pm (AEST) GUW Time = 11:30pm (AEST) (Get Up to Watch). This should be the very early stages of the Col du Glandon Who's your tip? Purito, Nibali, Valverde, or pot luck from the break. My heart is saying Sanchez.
  3. I've tried to keep this in the form that Trev made his own, though the website only lets me post 5 pictures. Hope you enjoy it. Stage 17 : Digne-les-Bains - Pra Loup 161 km Tonight will be an interesting stage, the first of 4 in the Alps, and the first day after a rest day. Most of the riders will have had a good hit-out yesterday to try to keep their legs accustomed to the grind of the tour, but we may see some unexpected results. While the southern Alps ski resort of Pra Loup only welcomed two stages of the Tour de France, it was the theater of one of the turning points in cycling history: the end of Eddy Merckx's reign in 1975. After having won five editions of the Tour de France, “the Cannibal” suffered a major blow on the final climb of stage 15. Making it to Pra Loup with a 2-minute time deficit, Merckx would lose his last Yellow Jersey, headed to the shoulders of Bernard Thévenet. The Frenchman claimed his sixth Tour stage, a victory that would allow him to add his name, a few days later, on the victory list of the event. Race Director’s View : Eddy Merckx can witness this: the climbs up to the Col d'Allos followed by the one to Pra Loup are fearsome and can really trouble the established hierarchy. Like in 1975, the intense battle should start as soon as they climb up to the Col d'Allos. Forty years after, who will be the next Bernard Thévenet? Along the way: Digne-les-Bains The site of Digne-les-Bains predates Roman conquest, with human settlement dating back to neolithic times. The presence of 3 rivers and hot springs made it ideal for human habitation. With Roman occupation it was named Dinia in the 1st Century and became a commercial centre on the trade routes of the area. From 780, the town was known as Digne, and then in 1988 the current name of Digne-les-Bains was formalised. Digne-les-Bains Géoparc de Haute Provence Home to the largest geological nature reserve in Europe, Geoparc de Haute Provence (the first such site listed by UNESCO) is noted for its great variety of landscapes and biodiversity, especially rich in fossils like the Dalle aux Ammonites (Ammonites Stone). Musée-Promenade The gateway into the Géoparc de Haute Provence, Musée-Promenade is a unique site comprising a park in which paths and brooks interlace while waterfalls and works of art mingle. Overlooking Digne les Bains, the park welcomes visitors and engrosses them into the universe and leads them to understand the last 300 million years of the history of the Earth. The Cairn exhibition centre and the Butterfly garden complete the site. www.museepromenade.com Alexandra David-Néel House Born in Paris in 1868, Alexandra David-Neel settled in Digne after becoming one of the very few ladies in the last century to have made her name for herself in the world of exploration and adventure. She was the first western woman of the last century to step into the forbidden city of Lhasa, Tibet, in 1924. After 25 years of adventure, Alexandra David-Néel found in Digne-les-Bains the serenity she sought to write and landscapes which reminded her of Tibet. She dubbed the Digne pre-Alps "a Tibet for Liliputians". She left her house to the municipality to turn into a museum of Himalayan culture. Listed as a historical site, the house is also one of 110 Illustrious Houses in France and also belongs to the Houses of Writers and Literary Heritage. www.alexandra-david-neel.com Archaeological Crypt /Notre Dame du Bourg Thirty years of works beneath the Notre Dame du Bourg revealed one of the largest crypts in Europe. An exceptional archaeological site of 870 m2 to evoke a history of 20 centuries. The archaeological crypt of Notre-Dame du Bourg offers a unique insight into the urban and architectural evolution of Digne-les-Bains with the discovery of the foundations and remains of buildings constructed between the 1st and the 13th century. www.dignelesbains.fr Notre Dame du Bourg Golf of the Lavenders The 18-hole golf course is located in an exceptional setting of lavender at the foot of the summits of Haute-Provence. Golf is only one of many sporting activities to practice n Digne-les-Bains like trekking with 866 km of foot paths, cycling on the road network or on the 20 kms of cycling roads or the 390 km of mountain-bike trails. www.gardengolf-digne.fr Pra Loup Founded as a ski resort in the 1960’s, the main investors in this town were the descendants of over 2500 inhabitants of the valley below who had emigrated to Mexico from the 1820’s. The resort: With 180 km of pistes, it is one of the attractive destinations of the Southern Alps. A grandiose panorama in a site on which the sun reflects on the snow slopes. In the summer, the resort unfolds its mountain bike courses for riders of all levels. Col de la Bonnette The highest road in Europe, the Bonette (2,802 metres) is an ancient link between the Alps and the Mediterranean. It has been the highest point of the Tour de France. Mexican Barcelonnette The history of Barcelonnette is forever linked to Mexico, where more than 2,500 inhabitants od the Ubaye valley emigrated from 1820. Some made considerable fortune and built sumptuous villas for themselves in their homeland. Barcelonnette and Mexico are still maintaining close ties. Ubaye, a mythical river It is one of the rare rivers in Europe to remain entirely untouched by man. With a 700 metres vertical drop over 52 km, it also contains all types of rapids. More than 15 bases allow rafters or canoeists to practise their sport Team Websites Current Jersey Leaders Christopher Froome (Team Sky) Peter Sagan (Tinkoff Saxo) Christopher Froome (Team Sky) (will be worn by Joachim Rodriguez Oliver) Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Movistar) Peter Sagan (Tinkoff Saxo) [Most combatative rider] Map Profile Final Climbs Climbs Km 40.0 - Col des Lèques 6 km at 5.3% - category 3 Km 67.0 - Col de Toutes Aures 6.1 km at 3.1% - category 3 Km 96.0 - Col de la Colle-Saint-Michel (1 431 m) 11 km at 5.2% - category 2 Km 139.0 - Col d'Allos ( 2 250 m) 14 km at 5.5% - category 1 Km 161.0 - PRA LOUP (1 620 m) 6.2 km at 6.5% - category 2 Intermediate Sprints Km 111.0 - Beauvezer General Classification:- 1 Christopher Froome (Team Sky) 64:47:16 2 Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Movistar) 0:03:10 3 Tejay Van Garderen (BMC Racing) 0:03:32 4 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Movistar) 0:04:02 5 Alberto Contador Velasco (Tinkoff Saxo) 0:04:23 6 Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) 0:05:32 7 Robert Gesink (Lotto NL - Jumbo) 0:06:23 8 Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Pro Team) 0:07:11 9 Bauke Mollema (Belkin) 0:08:53 10 Warren Barguil (Giant - Alpecin) 0:11:03 Points Classification:- 1 Peter Sagan (Cannondale) 377pnts 2 Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) 316 3 John Degenkolb (Giant – Alpecin) 264 4 Mark Cavendish (Etixx – Quickstep) 192 5 Bryan Coquard (Team Europcar) 122 Mountains Classification:- 1 Christopher Froome (Sky) 61pnts 2 Joachim Rodriguez Oliver (Team Katusha) 52 3 Jakob Fulsang (Astana Pro Team) 41 4 Richie Porte (Team Sky) 40 5 Romain Bardet (AG2R Mondiale) 38 Young Rider Classification:- 1 Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Movistar) 64:50:26 2 Warren Barguil (Giant - Alpecin) 0:07:53 3 Romain Bardet (AG2R Mondiale) 0:10:00 Synopsis :- Stage 17 will seem familiar to a number of the riders this week. The route was used for stage 5 of the Criterium du Dauphine in June. On that day, it was Romain Bardet who was successful, riding away from the likes of Van Garderen , Froome, Valverde & Nibali on the Col d’Allos, extending it on the descent and then holding to win by 36sec at the finish. With a poor first week, he has come back into some form this past week and may be looking to repeat his victory. It is likely it will be the Col d’Allos, and then its descent that will be used by any serious climbers or GC contenders to make a winning break, with two category 3 and a category 2 climb before it, and then the category 2 climb to the finish. With only 1:13 separating 2nd from 5th, be prepared for an exciting climb of the col, then a hair-raising descent before the fireworks really start on the 6.2km (6.5%) climb to Pra-Loup. Valverde is only 30s behind Van Garderen, looking at that 3rd spot on the podium, and after Tejay showing a little frailty on the sharp climbs of stage 14, he may well try to make up that time tonight. Rodriguez is wearing the polka-dot jersey tonight for Chris Froome, but he will have eyes on making it his own. There are only a few mountain points up for grabs before the Col d’Allos tonight, so I don’t think he will go with the break early, but Katusha will work to bring them back before the Col, to allow Joachim to try for the points that could put him in the lead in that competition. Riders to watch :- I don’t think the break will be successful tonight, after having a few successes this year, as there will be a few riders after the points on the climbs at the end, and the GC boys (especially those in the minor places) wanting to shake each other up a bit. Viewer Rating = 8 of 10 (The final descent gets it up from 7) Race starts = 8:45pm (AEST) Approx finish time = 1:00am (AEST) SBS coverage starts at 10pm (AEST) GUW Time = 11:30pm (AEST) (Get Up to Watch). Who's your tip? Valverde, Froome, Contador. I can see Van Garderen falling back a little more tonight.
  4. Clarkey's TDF Stage 15 Preview Mende - Valence 183km Let's only hope tonight Chris Froome can remain urine free as we enter the Stage 15; the last stage for the sprinters until we land in Paris. Tonight's stage was featured in the 2009 edition of the TDF whereas tonight the riders will ride in the opposite direction, climbing the Col de lEscrinet (7.9km å 5.8%) before making their decent into the stage finish in Valence. Mark Cavendish stayed with the lead group in the 2009 edition, his little legs even climbing the hills without being dropped to a splendid win in a sprint finish - tonight he's not going to win because he's having a pretty average tour and he's getting old. Here's the image thingy; Tonight's stage will probably feature a large breakaway of riders, as it's really the last chance before we head into the Alps for riders and teams to shine before the heavy hitters come out to play, look for lesser known teams that have not shown much of themselves to show their colours and keep an eye on the MTN-Qhebeka team, who will be on a high from last nights stella performance and historic stage win by Steve Cummings - I don't know if they have any good sprinters on their team and I couldn't be bothered to have a look but they may be up there toeing the line for another stage win. Ummm, what else... Live on SBS from 10pm but by now no-one could give a flying **** about the cooking guy so don't tune into at least 10:30pm. If you want to watch the good stuff (roughly converted); 9.5km Cat 3 climb Côte de Badaroux @ 10pm (ish) 69.5km Cat 4 climb Col du Bez @ 11pm (ish) 73.5km Cat 4 climb Col de la Croix de Bauzon @ 11:20pm (ish) 108km Sprint Aubenas @ 12pm (ish) 126.5km Cat 2 climb Col de lEscrinet @ 12:40am (ish) 183km Finish Valence @ 2am (ish) Who I want to win; Tony Martin Joaquim Rodriguez And let's not pass the opportunity to congratulate Ex-Hasbeen on his "Hasbeen's Heroes" team in the Transitions Velogames tipping comp on finishing the first week of the TDF in last place, well done mate.
  5. OK, with the Tour only 2 weeks away, it's time to start thinking about who you want in your Fantasy Team. Velogames won't open for another week, until the Pro Teams have picked their squads, but you can check out the likely candidates on sites like Steephill. I'll start a mini-league once Velogames opens, and I'll post the details. Remember, not only are you fighting for the glory of the win for this Tour, but scores will be combined across the 3 Grand Tours for an overall GT winner for the season. Scores so far are If you see your team above without your name beside it, let me know, as there's still a few that need to be added. And if you didn't enter the Giro, that's ok, you can still enter the Tour de France, only you'll have to do real well to try to win the overall.
  6. Hi Everyone, I'm planning on heading over to the TDF next year. Ive been doing a lot of searches for tours, as I will probably be heading over alone. Has anyone used Mont and if so what was the experience. They have the tour that I am interested in. Pretty much two weeks in the alps and Pyranees finishing in Paris, covering all the big climbs. If anyone has any other companies that have been used and had a great experience that would be appreciated as well. Cheers
  7. I'm thinking about doing a TdF Tour. Any recomendation? Is anyone out there doing it this year? I think Pyrenees week would be pretty good! Anyone sharing experience from previous years?
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