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Old 6th July 2015, 16:23   #16
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Default Re: Tour de France 2015: All you need to know

Fantastic thread mp417.

I used to follow the Tour de France religiously - till the infamous scandal. Like ebonho said, the speeds these guys attain are unbelievable. Downhill speeds for me (in short bursts) range between 40 and 50 km/h. That's probably as fast as I would go on my MTB.

Hope I get to lay my hands on the TV remote.
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Old 6th July 2015, 22:37   #17
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And the Tour explodes to life today. Mega crash that damaged the hopes of many including yellow jersey; favourites battling it out till the end; a really brutal finishing climb.

Unfortunately it seemed that many riders were badly hurt in the crashes, don't know if all of them will be able to continue over the next few days. Froome is now in the lead but this is just the start.

Tomorrow will be another punishing day.
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Old 7th July 2015, 00:16   #18
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Stage 3 results

Race was going on as usual till 99 kms. And then it happened, massive crash. It was really massive. Around 30 riders went down. Bodies flying everywhere and massive pileup Even the yellow jersey had a nasty fall. The crash happened at the speed of more than 50 kmph. So you can imagine how nasty it was. These riders wear really thin jersey's to aid in aero-dynamics and these jersey's doesn't protect the skin at all in the event of crash.

Three riders abandoned the race immediately. Few were getting medical attention and lying on the ground. The crash was really scary. The accident spot was completely chaotic. Within another kilometer there was another crash which was not captured in camera as everyone was focused on the first crash.

For the first time in the history of the tour, the race was stopped. They call it neutralizing the race. Due to the extraordinary circumstances of the crash at a very high speed, the race was neutralized to allow the injured riders to be back in the peloton. The main referee was trying to stop all the riders at the front. I have never witnessed anything like that. The race was stopped for around 15 minutes at the base of the next climb of Côte de Bohissau. Many riders at the front were frustrated and were showing their dissatisfaction.

The race restarted behind the refree’s car (similar to safety car in Formula 1). The riders rode in controlled pace till the top of the climb and then onward the race was resumed.

The final climb of the stage was awesome. Just in the third stage, got to see the real contenders of this year (Froome, Contador, Quintana, Nibali). The last kilometer was really scary and punishing. Though the stage was won by Rodriguez, the real winner of today’s stage was Chris Froome. He showed the real class. Other contenders could not match his pace in the final 500 meters. Froome extended the gap to nearest contenders and also took the yellow jersey on the third stage. Well done

The finishing line

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Old 7th July 2015, 09:04   #19
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Default Re: Tour de France 2015: All you need to know

Keeping Doping scandals of the past aside, I must say that Tour de France is really an interesting watch if you religiously follow it in its various stages. Yesterday's mayhem with a multitude of riders falling was a reminder of risks involved in this sport which may not be apparent at first glance.

Await todays action which is expected to be have a much higher level of difficulty than what we witnessed yesterday.
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Old 7th July 2015, 11:21   #20
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Originally Posted by mp417 View Post
Stage 3 results

Race was going on as usual till 99 kms. And then it happened, massive crash. It was really massive. Around 30 riders went down. Bodies flying everywhere and massive pileup Even the yellow jersey had a nasty fall. The crash happened at the speed of more than 50 kmph. So you can imagine how nasty it was. These riders wear really thin jersey's to aid in aero-dynamics and these jersey's doesn't protect the skin at all in the event of crash.
Missed it.

I did not see the race yesterday as I was mentally very upset to learn that my closest friend in college and roomie was diagnosed with a very lethal form of brain cancer.

Praying for him and his family. Life is so unpredictable .... we should be always grateful for our health and that of our loved ones and live life to the fullest instead of quibbling and worrying about small things.
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Old 7th July 2015, 13:26   #21
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Originally Posted by Aditya View Post
Fantastic thread mp417.
All, Thanks for the kind word and encouragement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amit_GetzCRDI09 View Post
I must say that Tour de France is really an interesting watch if you religiously follow it in its various stages.
It is indeed amazing to watch one of the biggest cycling event. Today's stage is going to be a real challenge due to cobblestones. Will post the stage summary shortly.

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Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
Missed it.

I did not see the race yesterday as I was mentally very upset to learn that my closest friend in college and roomie was diagnosed with a very lethal form of brain cancer.

Praying for him and his family. Life is so unpredictable .... we should be always grateful for our health and that of our loved ones and live life to the fullest instead of quibbling and worrying about small things.
Really sorry to hear that. Let's pray for his health.
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Old 7th July 2015, 13:28   #22
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Default Re: Tour de France 2015: All you need to know

Stage 4 – 7th July 2015

Stage Profile

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Stage Map

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Summary of today's stage

Seven cobblestone sections are on the menu of stage 4 from Seraing to Cambrai. Similar to stage 5 last year when Vincenzo Nibali showed his exceptional agility on the pavés. There are again 13.3 kilometers of cobbles divided in seven sections but they're harder than at Paris-Roubaix, riders say, because most of them are false flat uphill. In 2014, the yellow jersey boosted Nibali's confidence. It might be Chris Froome's turn. The Kenyan-born rider who started cycling on dirt roads in Africa can count on Geraint Thomas, Ian Stannard and Luke Rowe to lead him the way. It'll be again a battle for positions between the top GC contenders among which Tejay van Garderen (3rd overall at 13 seconds) has become day after day a more serious threat than French duelists Romain Bardet and Thibaut Pinot who are 26th and 27th at 2.54 and 2.58 respectively. A fourth consecutive eventful day is expected on the roads of the Tour de France.


Start City/Location: Seraing, Belgium

End City/Location: Cambrai, France

Local start time: 12:05 pm 1:40 pm (3:35 pm IST)

Total Distance: 223.5 kms

Type of stage: Flat, Seven cobblestone sections

TV Schedule for India
7:05 pm Live on Ten Sports and Ten Sports HD.
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Old 7th July 2015, 19:16   #23
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Default Re: Tour de France 2015: All you need to know

Came across a very nice article about how bikes are prepared for Cobbled stage and the technology behind it.

http://roadcyclinguk.com/gear/photo-...t2ll6Axd2Sz.97

The cobbles of stage four will place a particular focus on each rider’s bikes, with 13.3 kms of bone-shaking cobblestones, divided in seven sections. Those cobbles may make up just six per cent of the stage, but the cobbles are so harsh, and could play such a significant role in the outcome of the race, that standard equipment is discarded, and replaced by specialist frames, fat tyres, and other modifications designed to tame the cobblestones.



Tour de France 2015: All you need to know-one.jpg
Pinarello Dogma K8-S
Pinarello launched their new cobbles bike, the Dogma K8-S. The Dogma K8-S uses a softail rear suspension, with an elastomer shock inserted between the seatstays and seattube to soften the blow of the cobbles. The elastomer itself can be swapped or adjusted for firmness, according to the rider's weight, riding style and personal preference



Tour de France 2015: All you need to know-two.jpg
Big ring
Stage four of the Tour takes place over largely flat or rolling roads, with the category four Cote de la Citadelle de Namur the only ascent of note, so many riders will swap their regular 53-39t chain ring combination for a 53-46 or 53-44t setup to pound the cobbles.



Tour de France 2015: All you need to know-three.jpg
Raise it up
Whereas most endurance bikes have moved to a 27.2 mm seat post, with the narrower diameter said to offer more flex (and therefore comfort), the Specialized Roubaix sticks with a 30.4 mm seat post. The Etixx-QuickStep sticker marks Cavendish's saddle height and suggests the 25-time Tour stage winner has been tinkering with his position by raising his saddle.



Tour de France 2015: All you need to know-four.jpg
Fat rubber
Tyres (and tyre pressure) play a vital role when tackling the cobbles and wide rubber will be the order of the day on stage four, offering additional comfort, grip and puncture protection. Cannondale-Garmin have opted for 30mm FMB Paris-Roubaix tubular tyres. The French company's handmade tyres are a popular choice for the cobbles.



Tour de France 2015: All you need to know-five.jpg
Cross-top
Most riders like to attack the cobbles with their hands resting on the top of the handlebar. As a result, some use cross-top levers, which provide quick access to the brakes, without having to move their hands to the STI levers.



Tour de France 2015: All you need to know-six.jpg
Bianchi Infinito CV
Team LottoNL-Jumbo will call the Bianchi Infinito CV into action for stage four. Bianchi's Countervail technology inserts a viscoelastic material between carbon layers in the frame and is said to cancel up to 80 per cent of the vibrations from the road
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Old 8th July 2015, 08:34   #24
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Default Re: Tour de France 2015: All you need to know

Shocker. Cancellara out with two broken vertebrae.

Last edited by ebonho : 8th July 2015 at 08:36.
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Old 8th July 2015, 11:41   #25
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Default Re: Tour de France 2015: All you need to know

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Shocker. Cancellara out with two broken vertebrae.
Yes. First the big news.

Fabian Cancellara has withdrawn from the Tour de France after fracturing two vertebrae in the horrific crash that interrupted Monday’s stage three from Antwerp to Mur de Huy. It is the second time this year the Swiss cyclist has suffered similar injuries. In the race leader’s yellow jersey, Cancellara was brought down heavily in a pile-up featuring at least 30 riders 55 kilometers outside Huy and appeared to signal to medical personnel that he was feeling dizzy and could not see properly. He opted to continue racing despite suffering obvious discomfort and grimacing while attempting to stretch his lower back.

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Stage 4 Results

There was chance of rain yesterday however the weather was comparatively safe. Cobbles and Rain would have played havoc. There was a light drizzle for few kilometers but nothing major. Due to the drizzle the roads were slippery and there were few minor accidents as riders were unable to control the bikes over turns. All the cobbled sections were covered by the riders without any rain. Thank God. Last year it was mayhem with heavy rain.

Here are the real heroes of yesterday’s stage

Tony Martin and Etixx-Quick Step Team:

He came so close to yellow jersey on the first three stages. On stage 4 yesterday he showed real class. He covered the cobble section without any issue. However around 20 kms away from finish line he got flat tyre. Some quick thinking by his team members, he swapped another team member’s cycle and continued riding without losing any time. In the final 2 kilometers, he attacked the already small peloton containing all the race favorites. However none of the riders tried to cover him up. Martin won the stage 4 and got the 6 seconds time bonus as well. With this stage win, Tony Martin is in the Yellow Jersey.

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Chris Froome:
He rode very well on the cobbles as expected. Even after having very less team members around, he stayed in touch with all the other favorites. He was not too worried about losing the yellow jersey as he knows that he is better climber than Martin. Also the pressure of carrying the yellow jersey for next few flat stages would be on Martin.


Vincenzo Nibali:
Astana team had a strategy in place and they were hoping a repeat of last year. Nibali tried to attack over the cobble sections however all other others responded well. Overall, good attempt by Nibali.


Alberto Contador and Peter Sagan:
Despite having broken wheel, Contador somehow survived with the help of team members. In the last few kilometers, Peter Sagan sacrificed his own sprint stage win to take care of Contador.


Nairo Quintana:
Good to see this little man survive the cobble section without any issue.


Tejay Van Garderen:
He is turning out to be another favorite of this year. He kept pace with Froome and others throughout the stage.


The losers

Thibot Pinot: He suffered multiple mechanical failures, punctures which delayed his progress. In the end, he is more than 4 minutes behind the leader.


Overall standing after stage 4

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Last edited by mp417 : 8th July 2015 at 11:52.
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Old 8th July 2015, 12:24   #26
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Yesterday's stage, with the dust and the grime, and literally offroad conditions done on multi-thousand dollar hi tech race bikes, showed why the Tour is watched by an audience numbering in the billions(?) across the earth. It was primal. And rain would have made it even more so.

I must admit I have been out of touch with the Tour for a few years now, after Lance retired, and my memories (and understanding) of cobbles was the surface they race on during the last stage in Paris as they run up to the final sprint on the Champs-Elysees. I was not prepared for what they actually raced on yesterday.

Brutal stuff. And to think the victor won on a borrowed cycle, of a guy 7 cms shorter than him, with a completely different saddle height, and a brake set-up that was the diametric opposite (cross) of his. So he had to keep reminding himself of the same consciously while braking.

Kinda puts into perspective all the mega bytes of mumbo jumbo all around and the mega dollars spent on experts for specialized bike fitting.

In the end, there is really no substitute to legs and lungs and heart.

Hats off.
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Old 8th July 2015, 12:47   #27
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Although I didnt (dont) follow the TdF avidly, cycling was a childhood passion that ive taken up again after a gap of a few years. So last year when I was in Lille for my Masters, when I heard the TdF would be passing by Lille, that too 5 minutes from where I lived, I was excited to see the posse whizz past. So I woke up, ran to my baker for some croissant, and then ran back to the venue to grab a good spot to watch them from. Fortunately I was early and got a great view.

Tour de France 2015: All you need to know-20140708_161720.jpg

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The atmosphere was electric to say the least. everyone was buzzing with excitement. Then the support vehicles started flying by and we knew they were close.

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They were mostly Skoda Superb Combi's, BMW 5 and Merc E estates, a few Jag estates (Including 1 XFR estate which conveniently purred by when I was on the phone, so no pics), lots of sports cruisers, and a freakking Unimog among others. There were also many vans carrying TdF merchandise for sale at eye watering prices. I suppose their drive for lightweight materials and objects extends to our wallets too.

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Soon the frequency of the support vehicle started increasing, which was really drumming up the excitement!! And there they were!! I could see a few yellow jerserys leading a swarm of cyclists coming towards me. Ill let the video do the explanation

https://goo.gl/photos/dWTemLQQ28EVy1n8A

aaaaand it was gone. In what seemed like 10 seconds or less, they were all gone. Sure there were some riders a bit further back, but they were few and far between. I think it was one of the earlier stages hence the density of the pack. However it was mighty impressive to watch, no less than the first corner battles of a formula 1 race. And to see the rage in the faces of so many human beings at the pinnacle of their mental and physical fitness was something ill always remember. Spectacular stuff.

P.S: maybe some of the more avid TdF fans here could try and identify the yellow jerseys.


Cheers!!

Last edited by bivin : 8th July 2015 at 12:53.
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Old 8th July 2015, 13:01   #28
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Although I didnt (dont) follow the TdF avidly, cycling was a childhood passion that ive taken up again after a gap of a few years.

P.S: maybe some of the more avid TdF fans here could try and identify the yellow jerseys.
Cheers!!
Good stuff. I have never experienced the Tour de France in person however even watching it live on TV makes your adrenaline pumping

The yellow jerseys in the front (from your video) are actually lime green jerseys of Saxo Tinkoff team

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Old 8th July 2015, 13:10   #29
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And to see the rage in the faces of so many human beings at the pinnacle of their mental and physical fitness was something ill always remember. Spectacular stuff.
Thanks for sharing Bivin.

I had the same experience when I saw my first horse race live, as well as my first pro cycle race back in my home town.

There is a LOT of chatter, jostling, and pretty animated stuff happening inside the pack. Not all of it good natured. Looking at the speeds these guys do, how close they are packed, and the fact that their feet are literally anchored to their pedals, its pretty intense and scary stuff. Not for the faint hearted.

Last edited by ebonho : 8th July 2015 at 13:18.
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Old 8th July 2015, 13:59   #30
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I must admit I have been out of touch with the Tour for a few years now, after Lance retired, and my memories (and understanding) of cobbles was the surface they race on during the last stage in Paris as they run up to the final sprint on the Champs-Elysees. I was not prepared for what they actually raced on yesterday.
There is a slight difference between the surface of Champs Elysees (which is technically called "sett") and cobblestones. Setts are uniformly shaped blocks which which are used for paving roads. So they fit nicely into each other and generally do not have flaws in surface. You will see this routinely used around the world for specific stretches and areas because they are more decorative, but the surface is still very good for riding or driving. This is the Champs Elysees surface.

Traditional cobblestones are stones found in their natural shape which are lined up over a mud path. The stones are not necessarily uniform and the surface is anything but smooth. This is what we had yesterday and the relative lack of uniformity makes it a totally different ball game. The remaining cobblestone roads are only preserved for historical purposes - in fact, I think there is a society which is involved in convincing municipalities to preserve a few of these stretches and maintaining them, though they do not have a practical utility in today's day and age. Events like Paris-Roubaix and TdF passing through these cobblestone stretches is a boost for the villages and municipalities that are preserving these.

Sometimes, people refer interchangeably to setts as cobbles, but in actual fact the surfaces are totally different.
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