2019 Le Tour de France

eth-dog

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Starts Saturday week surprisingly enough, a 195 km stage from Bruxelles to Brussels. The bookies seem to think it's a race in 3 between Thomas (who I expect to get up), Bernal and Fuglsang. From an Australian perspective, Mitchelton-Scott's Adam Yates is 4th favourite whilst Richie Porte is the same odds as Nairo Quintana and Thibault Pinot, who seems to be this year's French hope.

The race for the green is usually pretty boring, Peter Sagan will win it again unless he crashes/gets DQ'd again. Michael Matthews would probably be his biggest threat if they go into breaks in the middle mountains and try to beat each other for points, and then rely on better sprint finishes.

Polka dots you never really know until the middle of the next week to see if any GC contender has lost heaps of time at that point and decides to just chase points or if there's a reasonable climber who gets out to an early lead and goes into breaks after. The first points will be available on the 3rd stage.
 

Over The Post

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Time for me to sort my TV out again. I bought a satellite dish to pick up ABC/SBS for last year's Tour but it came down in a gale just after the Vuelta. Got a kodi box now so can access SBS on the computer.
 

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Saintly Viewed

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First year we’ll miss the late Paul Sherwen with Phil Liggett.
Whilst we haven’t had the duo on SBS’ coverage since 2017 nonetheless they’d bob up here and there.

Great shame about Paul, way to young at 62 to pass away.
 

drd23

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Part of a column by "The Secret Pro"
STAGES TO WATCH
Let’s talk about which stages you should actually watch. I mean there are 21 of them and ain’t nobody got time for that. If I could take a few off I would.

Watch the first sprint, stage 1 in Brussels. It should be pretty exciting as everyone will be fresh.

The TTT on stage 2 will be important for the GC. Make sure you check the results at least.

The final kilometres of stage 3 will be worth your time, but skip the rest. The speed will be high in the finale and the stage win will come from a late attack by a rider in the field. Those little kicks at the end will hurt even on your couch.

Stage 6, to Planche des Belles Filles, is a must, of course, as it’s the first uphill finish and you will see some people get in their buses already crying.

Also feel free to watch stage 14, not that it will be super exciting, but at 117km it’s just long enough for the modern attention span.

Stage 18 is going to be a brute, so make sure you have a nice beer while watching the poor riders suffer and chase the time cut. As usual, the final two days are a must-see if you want a good dose of drama in your system.

Looking through the route again, one day I missed that might be actually really hard, but doesn’t look so on paper, is stage 8. There are no Cat 1 or HC climbs on that day, but it’s never flat. That just means everyone will be fighting not to get dropped. Plus the time cut won’t be as generous as mountain stages, so even if you are dropped you will be going full tilt until the line. That one’s going to hurt.
 

Orange Agent

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I'd have Bernal ahead of Thomas, has the form and was born for high altitude, has the TT edge over a few others. MS picking both Yates brothers interesting, not as many easy days in the TDF as opposed to other GT's, sprint stages can still be hectic. Simon must have recovered well and they might be going all in with Chaves for the Veulta which means no reigning champ. I think the lack of expectation is a good thing for Porte but his form and fitness looked too far off in the Dauphine.

Wout VanAert for green and now Bling being Sunweb's number 1 means green jersey maybe a better race than yellow.
 

eth-dog

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I'd have Bernal ahead of Thomas, has the form and was born for high altitude, has the TT edge over a few others. MS picking both Yates brothers interesting, not as many easy days in the TDF as opposed to other GT's, sprint stages can still be hectic. Simon must have recovered well and they might be going all in with Chaves for the Veulta which means no reigning champ. I think the lack of expectation is a good thing for Porte but his form and fitness looked too far off in the Dauphine.

Wout VanAert for green and now Bling being Sunweb's number 1 means green jersey maybe a better race than yellow.
I reckon Simon is there to support Adam and nothing more. It'll be Adam supporting Esteban in la Vuelta. Bling being Sunweb's #1 makes green very interesting, I feel as if he's the only one who can challenge Sagan.
 

drd23

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His comments about not knowing what to do after Dumoulin's withdrawal were interesting though
 

yaco55

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Wout Van Aert will not have the opportunity to go for the Green Jersey when Groenewegen is their sprinter and Kruisjwilk is going for the GC - Mitchelton Scott will go into the Vuelta without chasing GC - Chaves is not in good enough form while Nieve doesn't want the responsibility.
 

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eth-dog

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Caleb Ewan's tyres are being pumped up on the ABC website as being in with a chance tonight, is that realistic or just hopeful?
Realistic you'd think. There aren't that many sprinters who you'd say are definitely quicker, Groenewegen is really the only one. Matthews and Sagan wouldn't be as quick IMO.
 

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Finally got the bloody app working. Watched live on SBS On Demand and then they went to a replay of the start, presumably when the TV coverage started.

Anyone else have video issues on the tour tracker? Mine just played an ad and then went back to the "press play to watch live" prompt. Took many attempts before it started the feed.
 

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