La Vuelta (Tour of Spain) and The Tour of Britain

(274 Posts)
Pan Thu 22-Aug-13 19:13:27

Taking a leaf out of my new biking hero Sylvan Chavanel, it seemed a good idea to lead from the front.grin
Vuelta starts this Saturday, and many of the usual suspects will be in there. The course looks quite climby, so Team Sky have opted for their Columbian rider Sergio Henoa Montoya as leader, tho' an old warrior will be the sprint king.
Useful links are:
A course guide
The Start List by Team
As far as I can tell, Eurosport are carrying live action and ITV4 are showing highlights, tho I think that may well be from the action the day before.
The Tour of Britain starts the day the Vuelta ends, 15th September.

Sooo, if you like most things in lycra and whizzing along a road, this is the place for you. As NicholasTeacozy reckons, it's like chess on hundreds of wheels. If you're intrigued but don't know your peloton from your domestique, drop in and someone will no doubt help out.

Ohh - hooray! The Vuelta has crept up on me. Bring on my lovely boys in Lycra, and bring on the sweat and effort and mountains and sprints!

Gigondas Fri 23-Aug-13 07:32:04

Thanks pan.

And Nicholas will dig out my Tyler book to read as been sat in unread pile.

NicholasTeakozy Fri 23-Aug-13 07:47:15

To get quoted by somebody more knowledgeable than me is an honour indeed. Even if he did spell my name wrong. grin I'm looking forward to the Vuelta, I have no idea who will win, or who the frontrunners are likely to be, unlike The Tour where I was convinced beforehand that Froome would win based purely on his riding in the mountains last year when he could clearly have left Wiggo behind but didn't, staying loyal to his team leader.

Having said that, I like the look of that little Colombian kiddy, the climber. He could do alright.

NicholasTeakozy Fri 23-Aug-13 07:48:59

Ooh, yes Gigs, do, it's a proper eye-opener. Well written too.

Gigondas Sat 24-Aug-13 07:11:18

All set for today? Had team presentation on last night but I was only half warching.

I couldn't spot any obvious winners either but adds to excitement.

lljkk Sat 24-Aug-13 07:46:36


Pan Sat 24-Aug-13 09:09:09

I noticed Nibali in there and he was one of the characters who gave Wiggo a good run in France. And Valverde as well.

Has anyone read David Miller's book? I've seen it around but don't want to waste time and money. If it's anything like Wiggo'

Pan Sat 24-Aug-13 09:12:29

oh apols NT - those pesky curly kers!smile

NicholasTeakozy Sat 24-Aug-13 09:24:31

Just had a butchers at the start list and I can't decide. The Colombian (whose name eludes me) isn't there, Sky have a list of riders I don't know (are they saving their 'stars' for the Tour Of Britain?) and Tony Martin isn't going to lead his team to victory. If I had to choose, I'd probably go for Simon Gerrans, but I'm not that confident on his climbing abilities.

Pan Sat 24-Aug-13 13:01:15

okay we start with a team TT. A bit yawnsworthy as a spectacle possibly?
To make it more entertaining:
- they have to ride in stilettos
- one wheel must be considerably bigger than the other
- they have to pass a little fluffy kitten amongst them, holding for no longer than 2 minutes
- utilities companies must be digging up the road at at least 4 sections

I'll submit this to the UCI.

Am I being more-than-normally dim, or are there no channels showing it live? Up with that I shall not put!

Pan Sat 24-Aug-13 15:29:45

Erm...whilst not wishing to impune your natural intelligence at all. SDTG..grin, the OP indicates it's on Eurosport live. That's def free on the Sky platform, and I'm sure it pops up elsewhere. The ITV 4 highlights are from the same day's action.

Pan Sat 24-Aug-13 15:38:10

and the Tour of Britain will be live on both ITV 4 and Eurosport.

Maybe it had already finished for the day when I looked for it, Pan - I did check Eurosport, and it wasn't there. I've found it for tomorrow, and there are highlights on ITV4 too, so I can find out what happened in the Team Time Trial.

Btw - are any MN cycling fans planning to come up to the Commonwealth games, and if so, should we try to plan a meet up?

Pan Sat 24-Aug-13 15:59:41

But it's not started yet. Coverage starts at 5.30pm.

Pan Sat 24-Aug-13 16:01:36

sorry 5.45pm today. It's only a 27km distance.

I did tell you I was dim, Pan! Off to find it now - thanks.

Pan Sat 24-Aug-13 16:47:50


Pan Sat 24-Aug-13 17:47:01

And we're off!!

badguider Sat 24-Aug-13 17:52:12

yay! maternity leave starts today at 38+2 weeks pregnant so let's see how many stages before labour begins...

watching eurosport just now but notice the itv4 highlights are very late tonight, is that going to be usual? or will we get a 7pm show?

Miller's book is v. good. He wrote it himself and you can tell. If you like him and his tweets etc you'll love it. So self-aware. Crappy childhood though sad

LostInWales Sat 24-Aug-13 17:56:42

Shove over on the sofa then Pan. Marvellous, here we go.

LostInWales Sat 24-Aug-13 18:00:44

You recon Orica Green Edge will be in from for the TTT then? This starting bit is making my eyes go funny, doesn't look like a good surface for purchase.

Oh, Orica Green Edge a man down already, I'll keep my trap shut for a bit then.

ariadneoliver Sat 24-Aug-13 18:26:50

Excellent, back again. I'm almost glad it is raining as I now have no guilt feelings about not being out and about for the Bank Holiday weekend!

I'm loving the glass start ramp, and the wee ferry boat taking them all to the start.

Pan Sat 24-Aug-13 18:29:32

It's pretty camp isn't it?

BearPear Sat 24-Aug-13 18:32:48

I thought I saw Cav in my local Sainsburys this morning. I may have stared at him a bit too closely, just to check!

LostInWales Sat 24-Aug-13 19:31:09

Cav, oh my wink and may I also say Cancellara, oh yes. <there may or may not have been some early wine in the Lost household>

Pan Sat 24-Aug-13 20:03:28

Well that was fast and tricky and lots of casualties!

Pan Sun 25-Aug-13 16:09:22

oh and we're off again! In and out in the sunshine today. Yay!

LostInWales Sun 25-Aug-13 16:14:57

Chicken in the oven and a nice glass of cold fizzy water today so more concentrating on the riding than the thighs grin

Pan Sun 25-Aug-13 16:19:56

I'm hoping that 'Henoa' will be pronounced " There he goes!"

Pan Sun 25-Aug-13 16:35:16

escapados - love it.

LostInWales Sun 25-Aug-13 16:40:24


LostInWales Sun 25-Aug-13 16:54:39

Well if we can't pronounce Henao after today we have failed! Do you think they will start pushing one of their other good climbers as their GC contender instead if he carries on like this? Need to get off the computer and concentrate, hows Uran been going?

Pan Sun 25-Aug-13 17:22:45

it's tricky isn't it? I think Uran came in ahead of Henoa, but as we know there's lots of shuffling about in the early stages. With them being so young and relatively inexperienced isn't it likely that the Sky Team are throwing quite a lot at the wall and seeing what sticks? Esp with lots of riding in the Pyrennes and a bit of a giant waiting for them in Andalucia.
Bit of a concern for EB-H though. Neither days have been kind to him.

Pan Sun 25-Aug-13 17:23:27

AND..we have a few of our own escapados missing...

LostInWales Sun 25-Aug-13 17:32:08

I know, do you think people have actually going outside instead of watching cycling shock.

I can't believe EB-H is back in the saddle doing a grand tour, I think I have seen two broken scapulas in my career and they both came with a good bit of bruising to the lungs because it takes a big blow to break that bone. Reading Charlie Wegelius' book there is so much pressure to be well and fit and not miss a race that they just go all out when it really doesn't seem sensible to a 'normal' person!

I was surprised that they put Henao ahead of Uran in the team but I suppose you are right, they've had a big success this year and have some great riders for the future they can use this race to test out some of the younger ones.

Pan Mon 26-Aug-13 17:31:48

Busy day. Highlights for me.

badguider Mon 26-Aug-13 18:27:22

I always thought Uran was better than Henao anyway?

Having said that, Henao must be ill or injured surely.

Will be watching the highlights today so my comment is about yesterday btw.

NicholasTeakozy Mon 26-Aug-13 21:15:27

Great finish to a strange stage. Strange as in the route, I don't think narrow laned bridges are the future for mass cycle racing. They can't be safe. Cancellara did a good thing slowing the peloton down.

badguider Mon 26-Aug-13 21:24:35

I really like Cancellara grin

DH said tonight that he 'likes the way he pushes his mastery of the English language to breaking point' smile

DramaAlpaca Mon 26-Aug-13 22:03:23

There you are - I found you! I knew there must be a Vuelta thread somewhere grin.

How are my fellow cycling mad people? Hope you're enjoying the coverage so far. Back at work so can't watch live, but will catch up in the evenings.

DH very excited about Nico Roche's win yesterday. Best win of his career - his dad may have won the Tour de France, but he never won a stage at the Vuelta.

Suspect that Uran isn't leading Sky team because he's leaving to join Omega Pharma next season. Good to see E B-H back so soon after his collarbone disaster in the Tour. I've a bit of a soft spot for him grin.

Did anyone see any of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge? Froomie very disappointing, and pulled out at the beginning of the stage yesterday.

Pan Mon 26-Aug-13 23:17:31

Ah so the MN peloton picks up another escapado! Greetings DA.

Well that was like a bull fight, with the riders as the bulls. Wind, crash, narrowness, motorbikes, loose saddles, undulating course, riders looking round for their mates, attacks and counter attacks.

Yes, Uran was in at 10. Henao might lose his position?

Vattenfall is in Hamburg, which is a busy beautiful city, with lakes in the centre.

That narrowed bridge was madness - I wonder who thought of that? As NicholasTeakozy said - well done Fabian for slowing it all down at that point. Iirc, the commentators said that end of the line of cones wasn't guarded at all - no chap with a whistle and a flag to tell the riders it was there - so they are lucky there wasn't an accident there too.

And is it me, or do the people who are setting out the courses this year really, really not like cyclists? Uphill finishes almost every day in the Vuelta, twice up the nastiest mountain finish in the Tour, plus many other examples. I have a mental picture of them all in a bunker, cackling manically, whilst they take another grand tour peloton up a vertical climb.

LostInWales Tue 27-Aug-13 19:15:28

Well this does NOT look like fun today!

YY Cancellara is absolutely fabulous, his mangling of the English language on twitter is brilliant and I could watch him speed downhill all day, proper cycling royalty IMHO.

Pan Tue 27-Aug-13 19:37:22

They may be paying my wages, but the work demands my employers are putting on me are compromising my Vuelta-watching habits. And this tour looks like the most intriguing one.
Highlights for me. Again.
Yes, SDT that's how I see the course directors.
So I was having a beer with Bradders the other night, as we do up in the North-West, and he was saying he's going to wait to see how Le Tour for next year is planned, and IF it's one for the dieselers he'll make a bid for Sky's alpha male spot. History is on his side...

LostInWales Tue 27-Aug-13 19:56:59

Wha..... <sorry, recovers composure> Yeah, cool, sounds like a sensible plan wink

Commissars making an odd hash of the 'spot the gap' competition, not very consistent so far.

badguider Tue 27-Aug-13 20:21:13

today's gap was DEFINITELY smaller than yesterdays confused

LostInWales Tue 27-Aug-13 20:45:06

That's exactly what I thought, smacks of a little manipulation to make things more interesting to me, a bit unnecessary as it's been a fascinating race so far.

NicholasTeakozy Wed 28-Aug-13 09:07:36

If yesterdays gap was a second then that one on Monday was about three. They should've let the old bloke have his extra day in the red. The oldest man to win a grand tour stage! That's fantastic.

ariadneoliver Wed 28-Aug-13 10:13:44

Have fallen behind due to visitors coming over yesterday so I'm watching highlights now. Off topic a bit but can I recommend Galicia for a holiday, just seeing Finisterre on tv has made me come over all nostalgic. grin

That final climb yesterday was murderous!!

Pan - you have my deepest sympathy re. the unreasonable attitude of your employers - have they no heart??

Pan Wed 28-Aug-13 10:37:52

I was surprised to realise Finisterre was one of the shipping forecast areas (now Fitzroy).
Yes Galicia looks gorgeous.

Pan Wed 28-Aug-13 10:39:18

No SDT, heartless and very bikist.
and yes loved seeing them standstilling on that nasty ramp. It was absurd.

HowGoodIsThat Wed 28-Aug-13 22:00:13

Aha! Found you! Not that I have watched any Vuelta at all yet. Curse you Gods of Work.

DH is watching it with the DD's and they keep slipping into the spare room to tell me what I am missing. Irritating little chuffers.

Right - off to see if DH has kept the highlights on the recorder-box-doodah.

Awks Wed 28-Aug-13 22:03:09

Oooh, it's raining in Galicia. There's a surprise. And Phil Ligget must be about 100 by now.

Awks Wed 28-Aug-13 22:04:27

I love watching cycling, can't wait for 2014 when the TDF comes to Yorkshire - am taking the weekend off work and following it like a saddo

DramaAlpaca Wed 28-Aug-13 23:01:06

I sat down to watch the highlights this evening, fell asleep on the sofa & missed it all sad. I'm more tired than usual because work is getting busy & I'm having to get up earlier now the kids are back at school.

I'll settle in for a cosy Vuelta watching session or two at the weekend.

That ramp yesterday was something else. Cyclists at a standstill!

Pan Wed 28-Aug-13 23:06:31

Another work victim here. Saw nothing of today. I'll end up in the broom wagon at this rate.

badguider Fri 30-Aug-13 11:27:56


just watched yesterday's itv4 highlights and just wow! tony martin is a star!!!!

that last km was worth the whole long rather dull stage.... smile

Tony Martin was robbed - I know that it is a race, and it is their job, but what mean bastards they were.

LostInWales Fri 30-Aug-13 12:49:20

That final K was so hard to watch. Lovely, lovely man I was heartbroken for him. I think a lot more people will know his name now though, and his sponsors will be pleased with the exposure grin

Pan Fri 30-Aug-13 19:37:03

RL getting in the way - slipping in behind a car to catch up with the peloton, about 2 days behind.blush so not reading thread!

LostInWales Fri 30-Aug-13 20:33:14

It's been brilliant Pan wink I haven't posted too much because there's no one to talk to I don't want to do spoilers for people. Come and talk to me about work and Bradders I am very, very bored grin.

LostInWales Fri 30-Aug-13 20:37:53

Here is a photo of Dan Martin DS1 took which I was excitedly showing DH yesterday as we watched the stage, proud of being up there with all my cycling know how. He was very gentle pointing out that the guy cycling along like mad on telly was actually called Tony blush. Another 20 years and I will be up to speed I'm sure.

Pan Fri 30-Aug-13 22:34:26

Dontcha just luuuurve the Vuelta!grin What two days to miss.

Must admit I only kept a sort of weather-eye in the past but 'Tu eres muy benites'! It;s the lack of team discipline and the resultant peloton being all over the place unlike Le Tour.

TM is the escapado of all time. To paraphrase Basil Fawlty, it's the hope that finally kills. I thought he had it, and so did he. But isn't OPQ looking v strong for next year?

Bit sorry for Gilbert too, and all of them riding in 100 degrees today. And I'd noticed Rigoberto lies in 7th and Henao doesn't even get listed by Ch4.....
Off south now...and
Tour of Britain beckons. Yay!

ariadneoliver Sat 31-Aug-13 17:48:49

Tony Martin's a star! After that and Stybar, I'm rooting for OPQS. Good point about the lack of discipline now that Garmin is down to 4 riders it's edging towards a free for all!

DramaAlpaca Sat 31-Aug-13 17:59:01

Tony Martin was robbed the other day, wasn't he? I was so hoping he'd hang on.

Exciting sprint finish yesterday - I think Stybar won by about half a tyre!

Pan Sat 31-Aug-13 18:08:33 could say it was remarkable/outstanding judgement of the peloton to nick it in 20metres over a 190 km course. Still sad for him though.

DramaAlpaca Sat 31-Aug-13 18:25:38

That's bike racing isn't it? You put in all that work, all day, then a determined peloton catches you up & someone else grabs the glory!

SeaShellsMyDogTrulySmells Sat 31-Aug-13 18:33:27

Hello! Work and RL have seriously impacted on my Vuelta watching this year (and MN..hardly here these days!) so hello! Good to see some familiar names again smile
The parcours have been stunningly hard this year-anyone else wonder how on earth they expect the sport to be clean when they are demanding such superhuman efforts to win?! V hard - good - but this is tough!!
Anyway because of RL I missed both Roche's win and Dan Martin sad

Pan Sat 31-Aug-13 18:42:22

Hi SeaShells - another escapado caught by the MN peloton!
Yes, I wonder if the course designer is making a statement, that this tour is now evolving massively and the bar of competition is being raised to reflect that.

Pan Sat 31-Aug-13 18:43:55

oh and I've already used the OGE words of 'we just ran out of biscuits' in RL. grin

SeaShellsMyDogTrulySmells Sat 31-Aug-13 19:07:48

Hi Pan! I was hiding out in the grupetto smile

Seems a half hearted effort by Sky...I think they got caught on the hop by Wiggo not being in the team, and whilst uran/heneo are good, they are better as nos 2+3 not 1. World champs will be interesting and track will be v interesting over the next few years with Cav/Wiggo trying to get back in

elQuintoConyo Sat 31-Aug-13 19:16:01

One leg (can I call it a leg?) finishes in my town on 5th - I shall be waving to y'all grin

Pan Sat 31-Aug-13 19:24:45

ooh Tarragona el - and a sprintish finish!
Leg, section, stage, a ridey part - all fine.grin

elQuintoConyo Sat 31-Aug-13 21:54:52

Great Pan , I shall be there, at the last 'ridey part' with a big HELLO MUMSNET banner grin

DramaAlpaca Sat 31-Aug-13 22:24:33

We'll be looking out for you elQuinto!

Fantastic to see Nico Roche taking the overall lead today - DH is very happy. Poor Dan Martin was forced to pull out following his crash yesterday. He's had a terrible Vuelta but a terrific year.

I think the success of those two has been great for cycling in Ireland - they are the new generation after Sean Kelly & Stephen Roche in the eighties. Everywhere you go around here there are lycra-clad people out on their bikes, and even the smaller rural villages like ours now have cycling lanes. DS1 has taken up mountain biking in a big way recently and is loving it. He just takes himself off & comes back totally exhilarated a couple of hours later.

ariadneoliver Sun 01-Sep-13 09:23:44

ElQuinto I'll look out for you.

Seashells the tough stages are great for us spectators, maybe the hope is that with a cleaner peloton no one will be able to run away with the race at an early stage as everyone will need more recovery time and hopefully we get a wider variety of stage winners and a more competitive tour.

Yay! I will be watching the live coverage with even greater interest now, elQuinto!!

ariadneoliver Sun 01-Sep-13 16:46:41

What a finish! Edge of your seat stuff today.

SeaShellsMyDogTrulySmells Sun 01-Sep-13 18:41:05

Today was amazing!( no spoilers yet but worth watching the last 3k!)

Ariadne-I agree (it was v noticeable in the tdf that Sky blew out the day after every big effort)

Pan Sun 01-Sep-13 22:55:10

take ariadne's point about a drug free tour leading to more open and competitive outcomes.

Tyler Hamilton nailed the belief that because doping was happening it meant a level playing field, when it did nothing of the sort. Different riders had access to different drugs, took them inconsistently and the effects on individual riders were different.

DramaAlpaca Sun 01-Sep-13 23:19:04

That was an exciting finish!

I was hoping Eddie BH's break would work out & that Nico Roche would hang on to the lead sad.

Pan Sun 01-Sep-13 23:24:42

Yes, I was thinking 'surely not another line-clincher for the peloton!' But it looks like the biscuit supply let him down.

DramaAlpaca Mon 02-Sep-13 23:21:09

Anybody watch today?

Well done Christopher Horner at the ripe old age of 42 grabbing the stage & the overall lead, and holding three of the jerseys. Not bad for an oldie!

EndoplasmicReticulum Mon 02-Sep-13 23:33:17

Hello! I think this has been more interesting than the TdF, at least they've swapped the lead around a bit. Looking forward to watching tour of Britain too.

NicholasTeakozy Tue 03-Sep-13 08:23:10

So yesterday was the first mountain stage. That final climb was just brutal, averaging 7.7% even with a downhill section. They deserve their rest today.

prettybird Tue 03-Sep-13 08:32:42

Missed this thread. The Vuelta has been really exciting so far - well worth renewing the Eurosport subscription for.

The only thing that has been irritating is how quickly Eurosport swaps over to the tennis after the finish. hmm

DramaAlpaca Tue 03-Sep-13 10:26:29

Yes - they don't even show the overall standings before they swap to the tennis.

I love tennis but I want to see the Vuelta results first!!

EndoplasmicReticulum Tue 03-Sep-13 21:42:11

Just went to watch today's and there isn't one. How dare they have a day off!

Pan Tue 03-Sep-13 22:12:18

I know!

NicholasTeakozy Wed 04-Sep-13 10:38:19

I see Alonso has bought Euskaltel Euskadi ensuring the team have a place next year. Not a massive fan of Formula 1 (MotoGP>F1) but this is great news, it takes some uncertainty away from the team.

DramaAlpaca Wed 04-Sep-13 10:47:48

I forgot the day off too. DH & I settled down to watch the recording of the day's events yesterday evening & it wasn't there. Very disappointed. We had to settle for tennis.

Great news about Alonso buying Euskaltel Euskadi, it would've been a real pity to see one of the longest standing teams disappear. The peloton wouldn't be the same without that bright orange kit. I believe they are planning to stay with their original ethos of employing mainly local riders, and they are keeping on the ones they have. I hope it goes well for them.

HowGoodIsThat Thu 05-Sep-13 09:18:58

Not only the bright orange kit but those vile helmets as well - pro-cycling just wouldn't have been the same.

I was a bit hmm about Valverde's not-so-subtle comments re Horner's performance - especially coming fro him. Maybe though, it takes one to know one and DH pointed out that Horner was pretty close to Armstrong for a while. The sport will be much easier to support once the last wave of the old guard pass through - although there are still a lot of them in management. I am becoming more open to Vaughter's view that open confession and rehabilitation is a quicker route to a more believable sport and trusted performances.

ON a similar note, is anyone keeping an eye on the fiasco that is the UCI presidential elections? McQuaid's behaviour is jaw-dropping - and if the national federations don't boot him out, then the sport's credibility on the world stage is done for, frankly.

I am going to admit something really sad here. Instead of counting sheep, when I can't sleep, I count TdF riders. My aim is to commit all the riders to memory - I managed it with the 2012 TdF, and am up to 73 of this year's. That is pretty tragic, isn't it. blush

It is great news about Euskatel - it must have been such a worry for those riders, especially the domestiques, who wouldn't have been guaranteed a spot on another team.

prettybird Thu 05-Sep-13 10:47:19

Ds could test you SDTG - he is such a bore geek about all facts cycling, especially to do with the TdF. hmm

We never have to tell him to shut up about bloody cycling, oh no, not us wink

DramaAlpaca Thu 05-Sep-13 14:38:40

HowGood I couldn't agree more.

SDTG I'm seriously impressed grin.

elQuintoConyo Thu 05-Sep-13 16:08:22

Right, just about to bundle elQuintoPequeñointo the car and head to town.
Riders should go along the beach, up a short but steep and bendy road past the shells of two forts and turn right onto a main road. We are aiming to stand at that corner.
I'm wearing a green flowery top, 5ft4, bobbed hair, possibly orange pushchair with 21mo DS, posdibly along as we'll be near a park and DS may be distractef by the 'whee' (swings!).
Didn't have time to make a Hi MN banner, or hunt down pombears, don't have an MNscarf sad I'm sure you'll be busy watching the cycliists!
Oh, the beachy-bit is at the end of today's stage. I hoope they show our lovely amphitheatre from the helicopter smile

NicholasTeakozy Thu 05-Sep-13 19:57:30

I did look out for you Quint, but they switched cameras just as they reached the corner. This race is more difficult to call than the Tour, purely because the teams aren't so well organised. I dare say things will get sorted in the mountains.

LostInWales Thu 05-Sep-13 20:39:21

That was a strong finish! It's a great race so far, couldn't call at thing for the GC at the end.

Was it brilliant Quint? The atmosphere at the big races we have been to has always been absolutely amazing. Did they have a caravan chucking out free stuff?

elQuintoConyo Thu 05-Sep-13 20:58:38

Atmosphere great! No caravan chucking out free stuff sad but on our way back to the car we past a hotel where a couple of teams are staying; their team buses and tour buses were outside. Bikes were being repaired, re-tyred etc and the Italian team were washing the tour cars swoons haha! Not a wet t-shirt in sight though!
DH found a highlight clip where you can see a flash if green (me!) If you squint and keep hitting pause/play/pause/play! I'll try and link it later.

We're hosting the Mediterranean Games in 2017, DS will be 6, we hope to go and see more sports - the excitement is contagious!

¡Viva La Vuelta!

elQuintoConyo Thu 05-Sep-13 20:59:22

passed not past!

LostInWales Thu 05-Sep-13 21:34:24

<secretly jealous of your proper upside down exclamation mark keyboard, that was my favourite bit of Spanish classes, you really made sure people knew you were questioning or excited!>

Pan Thu 05-Sep-13 21:49:02

<keen brain detects the invalidity of being secretly jealous when describing the object to the entire www grin>

Oh poor Eddie! And now I want a yacht moored in the Tarragona harbour, just like el obviously has.

DramaDragon Thu 05-Sep-13 22:47:51

Oh poor Eddie indeed - so near & yet so far. I really thought it was his day today. He must be gutted.

I am ridiculously excited after discovering today that one of the Tour of Britain stages finishes in my home town! Only I'm not there anymore sad.

Sorry name change alert - the former DramaAlpaca has taken on a more fearsome form thanks to HoneyDragon's dragon thread. I might keep it - I'm not really a meek alpaca/llama type, but then I'm not especially dramatic either smile.

I was gutted for Eddie and pleased for Gilberte in equal proportions. I do love a good sprint finish, though it is odd to see a sprint without Mark Cavendish's trademark emergence from the pack, hunched over his bars (his form is unique, n'est pas?), to hurtle over the line.

prettybird Fri 06-Sep-13 09:33:16

Ds had to miss the last 3km as a) his dad was going off to a business meeting and needed the iPad and b) he had to get ready for his last crit of the season which also meant he missed seeing the ITV4 Highlights .

He was gutted to find out that it was another an exciting finish. wink

EndoplasmicReticulum Fri 06-Sep-13 19:27:18

DramaDragon - I am already ridiculously excited for next year, July time - I live in Yorkshire and the TdF comes very close. Twice!

Pan Sat 07-Sep-13 21:57:11

oh my giddy aunt.

I became not caring who won, just so long as they all made it safely down the slopes without hitting the barriers, incl Ratto's leg out technique. Surely the organisers are guilty of pushing the design too far, with so many out with hypothermia, even amongst these 'hard' men.

EndoplasmicReticulum Sat 07-Sep-13 23:11:01

That was horrible! I don't think the organisers were planning the hideous weather though, they were hoping for lots of attacks up big mountains.

HowGoodIsThat Sun 08-Sep-13 16:46:26

It was desperately nerve-wracking, wasn't it? My arse hurt from being so tightly clenched with anxiety at the cornering. I don't think I have ever seen professional bike-riders take corners so carefully. Poor Nico Roche could barely talk at the end. Luke ROwe must be wondering why he deserved this as his Grand TOur baptism.

Pan Sun 08-Sep-13 17:51:22

Doesn't Horner have the most elegant climb riding style? No rocking side to side, efficient, no change in cadence, perfectly balanced - could watch it all day'ish.

Pan Mon 09-Sep-13 18:05:17


Pan Mon 09-Sep-13 18:20:06

And on the way home I tried Horner's technique - and it works! Shoulders down and elbows out. We two must have the same build then.hmm

EndoplasmicReticulum Mon 09-Sep-13 20:59:57

(I can't ride a bike).

Pan Mon 09-Sep-13 22:23:06

oh Endo I'm not sure my 'riding' would be anything like Horner's. At 15st with a large rucksack on my back, riding a hybrid up a slope hardly
Still. The dancing on the pedals in that sytle in those circs felt cool!
Do you not want to ride a bike at all?

Pan Mon 09-Sep-13 22:25:25

or style even!

And today's leg/section/ridey part is really good, if anyone's not seen it yet.

EndoplasmicReticulum Mon 09-Sep-13 22:30:29

Pan - my parents tried to make me as a child, it was miserable. I tried again as an adult, just can't do it. I have crap co-ordination.

I just like watching bike races though, my brother and dad were mad keen so I've been watching Tour de France since the 80s.

Yes, today's was very exciting. I'm looking forward to the last few days, another rest day tomorrow though.

DramaAlpaca Tue 10-Sep-13 13:38:10

That's a great mental picture of you Pan, riding gracefully along a la Horner...

I love riding a bike - but I have serious trouble with hills. Unfortunately I live at the bottom of a steep slope, so I have to get off & push before I can go anywhere at all!

Pan Tue 10-Sep-13 16:51:16

'gracefully' is way too big a word for it

Watching today's highlights later, but the box has been shook up quite well after yesterday, hasn't it? And iirc today is pretty punishing where seconds and poss minutes will be won and lost.

HowGoodIsThat Tue 10-Sep-13 17:21:27

I came over a bit prophetic back up thread with my comment re Luke...

I have been experimenting with a more bouncy climbing style on my road bike and I love it. I used to like to grind a big gear Ulrich-style but now I am Contador-esque in my bounciness. I do not, however, chemically enhance my performance, unless you count cycling home after wine book group.

I watched last night after having struggled up a mild incline cyclin home from the station and felt very pathetic.

prettybird Tue 10-Sep-13 20:42:02

I know at the couple of hill climb races that ds did last year the fastest up were the ones who chose easier gears and spun faster, dancing up the hill rather than grinding out a big gear and risking losing momentum.

This was the same for the adults as well as the kids.

DramaAlpaca Tue 10-Sep-13 22:06:16

HowGoodIsThat do you eat steak with your wine? wink

Pan Wed 11-Sep-13 18:24:46

You did get all prophetic Cassandra How didn't you! I looked on twitter and saw he really did run out of biscuits and was just knackered.

yes I used to sit further back in my saddle and try to push uphills, but not now.

HowGoodIsThat Wed 11-Sep-13 21:01:02

I am not sure that Waitrose provides the same kind of steak that Sr Contador is supplied with...

DramaAlpaca Wed 11-Sep-13 21:53:45

HowGood grin

Oh dear, Eddie beaten into second again...

Pan Wed 11-Sep-13 22:43:49

it's odd isn't it how he was really well placed, and they end up looking at each other whilst Balker Mollimer (sp.grin) just gets on with it.

DramaAlpaca Wed 11-Sep-13 23:26:20

I know! They were so busy looking at each other they didn't see Mollema get away, and by the time they'd cottoned on it was all too late.

NicholasTeakozy Thu 12-Sep-13 06:50:37

Today could see where the red jersey eventually ends up. The final climb is up a 1 in 5 hill which will suit Horner and Purito. Unless Nibali has had extra sauce with his steak I expect him to tail off and he may drop as low as 3rd in the standings.

If Horner is riding pan y agua then he's doing a remarkable job.

EndoplasmicReticulum Thu 12-Sep-13 07:03:23

Yesterday I was shouting at the tv "look, he's gone, aren't you going to chase him?"

NicholasTeakozy Thu 12-Sep-13 07:56:01
HowGoodIsThat Thu 12-Sep-13 08:05:48

"If Horner is riding pan y agua then he's doing a remarkable job."

Hmm.. this was the subject of much debate last night chez How. DH is convinced that Horner is - ahem - assisted. Horner is only one year younger than DH who is therefore convinced something is up. DH will allow a rider of that age to be a super-domestique (love you Jens) but is very hmm about a GC contender. ANd when you think about the pressure he must be under with no contract next year and having been injured most of the season, you can see that there would be every reason for him to be desperate enough...

I thought it quite a flat stage yesterday - they are all so tired and if it isn't an absolute b**tard of a stage, it seems a bit odd now in this Vuelta of Pain. Poor Eddie Bo is always the bridesmaid and never the bride, isn't he.

Nicholas Teakozy I felt that way about the Secret Race and I also read David Millar's autobiography at the same time. It made me think long and hard about how such talented yet very young men were effectively thrown to the wolves in those days - and perhaps still are. WHo knows? I think Brad was fortunate to have started in the SPorts under the care of the Track team before heading into road racing.

LostInWales Thu 12-Sep-13 09:00:51

I would also be surprised if he is pan y agua too. He is out of Armstrong's stable and we all know that the understanding of rights and wrongs there are a teeny bit skewed. Plus as you say he is getting older and he is desperate for a contract, you can almost hear the excuses he is using to himself to justify everything. Or he is a talented cyclist who has had a bad year and is pulling it out of the bag in desperation. I await the testing wink.

Missed a bit this week, new puppy and somehow ended up coaching an under 8's football team (If DS3 doesn't treat me well when he is an adult I will be bringing this up with him). Going to try and watch it live today, I hear that Jens himself will be doing commentary <squeezes herself with excitement> grin.

Pan Thu 12-Sep-13 19:16:05

I am shock at all of these ageist comments about my climb riding style guru!
Yes, it did occur to me but I am an eternal naive optimist....

pan y agua - very proud.grin

SeaShellsMyDogTrulySmells Thu 12-Sep-13 20:28:37

Hmmmm...pan y agua? I am an eternal optimist and lover of the sport but it is looking a tad suspect, non?
So desperate for Eddie BH to win - he has been in contention but nothin in for too long.
Re cycling - I'm getting back on my bike, slowly, now the kids are not so full on - we have joined dh's club so I will soon have to start justifying my membership. A tad tempted by the velodrome ATM as dh has been hit twice hard by cars and I'm pretty nervy on the road as a result if I'm honest.

Pan Thu 12-Sep-13 20:56:00

Would anyone know what the red jersey protocol is on the final stage in Madrid? Is it 'okay' to attack the holder, IF the time difference is really small?

LostInWales Thu 12-Sep-13 21:38:45

I wonder if it is the same for all tours. When I was first starting out watching cycling I was asking a more knowledgeable friend about the last day of the TdF and she turned to me in all seriousness and said 'nobody attacks yellow in Paris' for some reason this pleased me very much then and now grin. It would make a great film title.

prettybird Thu 12-Sep-13 21:45:34

Do they award time bonuses on the last day? If they do, then surely if it is still close, they can't expect the contender(s) not to attack. hmm

EndoplasmicReticulum Thu 12-Sep-13 22:29:44

Jens commentary! grin

He's put off retirement for one more year.

Pan Thu 12-Sep-13 22:35:17

oh @Jensie (try it!) Gary Imlach's script writers and Jensie (who def. doesn't have any need of a script writer) on the same show!.

Pan Fri 13-Sep-13 06:26:34

Nobody Attacks Yellow In Paris - an installment of the Pink Panther franchise.
The Red Jersey Protocol - a Robert Ludlum-scripted spy thriller.

NicholasTeakozy Fri 13-Sep-13 07:42:01

There is, of course, every chance Horner is riding clean. La Vuelta is after all his only Grand Tour of the year so his legs are at least 6000 km fresher than the other contenders. I'd really love him to overhaul Nibali and get the win, he's got two uphill finishes before the roll into Madrid on Sunday.

What I have noticed is the top two hardly ever chase down breakaways or cover them. They seem to prefer to keep up a high average speed which deters other contenders from nipping ahead, then they somehow ramp up the speed in the final 10k. If Valverde, Rodriguez or Roche have designs on Red then they have to change their tactics, and they only have two days left. With uphill finishes over the next two stages my money's on Horner. And fair play (ha!) to him, he's an engaging chap as well as being a great climber.

LostInWales Fri 13-Sep-13 08:12:01

You know I reckon the Pink Panther would be quite handy in the mountains wink <dum du dum du dum de dum de dum de dum de daaaaaaa>

<can't find anything sensible to say, bye>

HowGoodIsThat Fri 13-Sep-13 08:28:52

Really? I find him disingenuous. All that "I have no idea about the route tomorrow. I just know it'll be tough" and then post-race "Well, the last 75m wasn't as bad as I'd anticipated. I should have given it a bit more on the bit where the climb flattened out slightly." Mmm.. that is really not knowing the route, isn't it...

Pan Fri 13-Sep-13 19:06:08

Anyone else noticed Gary Imlach's jazz hands when asking a question? The white tv studio background is well placed to emphasise them.

HalfMumHalfBiscuit Fri 13-Sep-13 19:19:59

<sneaks in>

Just wondering is anyone going to be watching the Tour of Britain in person rather than on tv?

There was a mini meet up to watch the Olympic time trial. . .if anyone remembers the ode? I was thinking of going to the time trial next tues.

Pan DH and I often remark on Imlach's Jazz hands. Love his dry sense of humour.

LostInWales Fri 13-Sep-13 19:41:59

Tempted to try and get to Caerphilly Mountain on Thursday but I'd have to take all three children out of school. Mind you their uncle is in hospital not far from there, I could take the children out of school to visit him and accidentally park near Caerphilly Mountain on the way home...

HalfMumHalfBiscuit Fri 13-Sep-13 20:22:08

Good plan Lost. The tour will be going nearish to DS's school on Wed and they are going to stand by the roadside. I've got to decide whether to stand with them or go to the finish in Llanberis or at Pen Y Pass the final climb up Snowdon. How do you work out the best place to be??

HalfMumHalfBiscuit Fri 13-Sep-13 20:24:23

I would take DS with me of course.

LostInWales Fri 13-Sep-13 21:09:11

HalfMum I have found the pick a good corner on the steepest part of the course a good tactic, although finding somewhere high with a good view of the road they are coming up on also works well. We did Caerphilly mountain last year and had a good bit of watching them up the hill although on a bit of hill I found trouble standing upright on they still fair flew past! Plus there was a good size crowd so there was banter with the different groups. We watched in the Brecon Beacons once and had a great view of miles of road they were coming along, it was desperately exciting watching the groups of riders appearing way away. For this google earth is truly your friend.

prettybird Fri 13-Sep-13 21:16:35

Unfortunately ds' club is running a 10 mile TT on Sunday (have you seen the weather forecast?! shock) and then he has a rugby game (and he missed training last week as he had an Omnium) in the afternoon, so we can't get down to Peebles.

He is most pissed off. hmm

HalfMumHalfBiscuit Fri 13-Sep-13 21:25:20

Actually I seem to remember you doing Caerphilly from the thread last year. My boss didn't let me have the day off so I missed the start at Machynlleth, but it rained like mad.

The weather does not look great for this years event.

I will take your advice then re hills etc. DS's school are in the middleofnowheresville so there won't be any crowds. Pen-y-pass will be busy and more fun. hmm

LostInWales Fri 13-Sep-13 21:51:58

When watched in the beacons a few years ago it was literally horizontal rain for hours and hours and it was still a great day. When the riders went past they just looked amazing sleek and so healthy looking. Wiggins was there and I swear he actually glowed even though he must have been soaked through for a couple of hours by then. My friend came with us and we all drove home with dog fleeces wrapped round our legs, we were so wet we really didn't care and took our trousers off!

HalfMumHalfBiscuit Fri 13-Sep-13 22:47:32

Sounds brilliant Lost.

Shame Prettybird, a lovely damp and windy start in scotland would have been nice (character building).

Anyone been to the time trial?

Pan Sat 14-Sep-13 14:08:26

Tour of Britain

To resume domestique duties and do a nice, seamless switch over from Madrid to Peebles...grin
Here is the Start List for our very own Tour, (though there may be some late amendments), with Cav being led out by his old adversary Petachi.
Here is the Route <this one scores over others as it boasts a nice pic of Cav which I know some posters would appreciate....>

Quintana is in there, though you do wonder if it's hilly enough to show his premium, and Lord Wiggo of Wiggoland is probably looking at the course full of anticipation.

Of course we are still minding the 3 second Iberian gap, but that's going to be dealt with in the next few hours!

LostInWales Sat 14-Sep-13 14:10:19

You spoil me Pan grin

Pan Sat 14-Sep-13 14:15:05

It's the life of a domestique.grin

lljkk Sat 14-Sep-13 14:38:46

Pleased for Sky's win yesterday, they've had a pretty lackluster Vuelta.

That's funny, I'm more worried about Astana being a team of cheats so Nibali implicated heavily. To be doing so well after his very long year, too. Whereas Horner's performance with fresh legs and very very tactical thinking is totally believeable to me. Horner was allowed to get ahead early in the Vuelta because he wasn't seen as a threat (in same way that Wiggins was suddenly & unexpectedly podium potential in one of his early TdFs). Hmmmm.... But I find Nibali very likeable, so hope I'm wrong.

Why aren't we talking about Nico Roche? Talk about plucky tryer! Too bad Flecha hasn't done much of late.

Pan Sat 14-Sep-13 14:52:48

Yes, from the snippets I like Nibali's interview style - and also yes to finding Horner's style almost as 'smooth' as his riding style.

fwiw, both Eurosport and ITV 4 are carrying live action of ToB, with highlights later.
Tomorrow Eurosport and Eurosport2 are sharing the two stages incl. the required overlap.

LostInWales Sat 14-Sep-13 19:24:55

Wonderful, full tummy, glass of red and Jens on ITV4 smile

I have really enjoyed listening to the different pronunciations of Nibali thought the tour, same with Astana (ass-ta-naaaa at one point) with some interesting variations on Boassen Hagen at times too. Shame Geraint wasn't in too, full house then.

LostInWales Sat 14-Sep-13 19:56:37

Oh My God, may I say now and for all time I think Horner is an awful toss pot. What an embarassmet that man is, too much time around LA for sure. Urk.

HalfMumHalfBiscuit Sat 14-Sep-13 20:17:11

Looking forward to watching with Jens commenting later (recorded).

Also not keen on Horner, Lost. Just something not quite right about him.

HalfMumHalfBiscuit Sat 14-Sep-13 20:20:15

I am a bit too excited about TOB. Just ridden part of the route. Just to check it is ok for them. It was lovely and dry, which it won't be on Wed.

LostInWales Sat 14-Sep-13 20:43:40

That was very kind of you grin

Pan Sat 14-Sep-13 22:39:39

It's tricky to not intertwine Horner's obv. knobishness with his excellent performance with his association with LA with his superb riding style with his beating a thoroughly nice Nibali with his success at his age with his knobish address to the universe with, erm..anything else really.grin

<yes, some nice Rioja may be apparent in a drugs test.blush>

DramaAlpaca Sat 14-Sep-13 22:55:57

Missed a lot on this thread over the last few days - you lot have been chatty!

I'm another one who's not a Horner fan. I'll admit I was impressed at first because I thought he was doing well for an "old" guy - but have changed my mind. Agree with everything that Pan said ^^ really.

It's been a great tour for Nico Roche - we've been rooting for him in our (half-Irish) house. I enjoyed Kiriyenka's victory for Sky the other day as well, glad they got something out of the Tour.

LostInWales I've been amused by the various pronunciations too - Sean Kelly on Eurosport calls Nibali "Nibbly" which I think is very funny grin.

So now we're onto the Tour of Britain - can't wait!!

Pan Sat 14-Sep-13 23:24:48

The battle today was titanic in the swirling mists, wasn't it? It was almost gladiatorial.

I did though spare a thought for hoping the podium girls' hair wouldn't frizz up in all of that moisture.

EndoplasmicReticulum Sat 14-Sep-13 23:32:05

I was just coming on to say what LostInWales said but she beat me to it. I get that he won, but as Jens said "it's just a bike race" - that speech at the end was just awful.

LostInWales Sat 14-Sep-13 23:42:34

Endoplastic that speech at the end had me shouting at the TV and then remembering the euphoric 90's and waiting, and hoping, for the test results wink.

His riding up the last few kilometres was beautiful, he looked so loose and free like he could go on for ever and Nibali looked so tight and tired. It was amazing to watch with all the mist. Poor French rider winning the stage and being so overshadowed but Jens was brilliant, 'It's just a race' indeed.

Pan you obviously know me, hair frizz in those conditions can be tragic.

LostInWales Sat 14-Sep-13 23:43:55

I also felt his 'collapse' at the end seemed so contrived. He totally had an eye for the watching cameras.

Pan Sat 14-Sep-13 23:47:30

yes the collapse was pretty unconvincing I thought. He was clear voiced in asking for assistance in getting up.
As anachronistic as 'the girls' are, hair frizz isn't funny I have been told.

HalfMumHalfBiscuit Sun 15-Sep-13 08:32:22

The speach. We all love a non assuming hero. Agree with Pan, Nibali is just such a nice guy.

Also hoping for similar crowds and police with batons beating them back on the way up Snowdon next week.

prettybird Sun 15-Sep-13 08:44:16

Bummer. Up early on Sunday morning ok, 7.15 but that's early aiming to leave the house at 8.05 (ds' Time Trial at 9.33) and at 8.00 it's cancelled due to horrendous weather and standing water. sad

prettybird Sun 15-Sep-13 08:47:39

Weather apparently still ok in Peebles - but wind and rain progressing quickly in that direction. Ds making noises about "Can we go to Drumlanrig then?" but is being told that his rugby game is still on grin and it's not weather I want to spectate a cycle race in

I have been pretty pro-Horner, based on how well he was doing, and his age - but all that changed last night, when he did that interview, and told us at home how we had seen a sporting achievement we would never see again in our lifetimes - and he repeated it! I wanted to reach through the tv and slap a bit of modesty back into him!

Prettybird - will you be able to spectate the rugby match from the car or the club house? Preferably with some sort of hot beverage?

Dh and ds2 usually go to watch the first and last stages of the Tour of Britain, but this year, a combination of dh's work, and the fact that ds2 has just gone off to university, and lectures start tomorrow has meant that going to today's stage was never going to be a real possibility. And if dh went down to see the final stage, that would mean that, because he'd be away from home most of the previous week and then has meetings in London on the following monday and more later on in the week, he'd basically be away from home for the best part of two weeks, and he thinks that's not fair on me or the dogs - especially the dogs.

LostInWales Sun 15-Sep-13 11:30:33

Well you always have to think of the dogs SDTG grin. We probably won't make it to Caerphilly although a little bit of me is still thinking 'maybe, if it looks doable on Wednesday I could make a plan' but I don't want DS1 to miss lessons and it's something I've always done with Bil and I think it would be too sad with him in hospital.

I don't even think I can bear to watch todays Vuelta, the urge to slap that smug man is still too strong!

prettybird Sun 15-Sep-13 11:31:47

SDTG - one of the best good things about ds' rugby club is the big picture windows overlooking the pitches and the comfortable seats right beside them wink

I am very glad to hear it, prettybird - I shall stop worrying about you Catching Your Death of Cold. Do they do a good latte and slice of cake?

prettybird Sun 15-Sep-13 11:44:06

There will be cake stand (which I may even end up manning) and the bar does good coffee - but no cake or cappuccino for me as I'm back on low carb Boot Camp. sad

You must have super-human self-control! Manning the cake stall, whilst going low-carb? I couldn't do it!

HalfMumHalfBiscuit Sun 15-Sep-13 12:32:58

Oh no!

HalfMumHalfBiscuit Sun 15-Sep-13 12:42:43

Sorry, my earlier post was to pretty birds tt cancellation post.

EndoplasmicReticulum Sun 15-Sep-13 12:59:46

Yup, a good winner should be modest about his achievements and above all give his team the credit they deserve for helping him to get there. To listen to Chris Horner you'd imagine he did it all on his own.

Pan Sun 15-Sep-13 15:48:32

The other thing about CH was that he kept his shape and focus all the way up. His front wheel wasn't wobbling at all. (unlike the young French winner who was all over the road) So the sudden collapse was fairly inauthentic.

The weirdy glass platform at the TTT start does seem a very loooong time ago, doesn't it? and quite a few memorable rides, esp TM and his epic escapado effort and the almost stand-stills on the climbs. It's been fab to watch and gas about in the Espanol MN peloton.

NicholasTeakozy Sun 15-Sep-13 20:16:49

The right man won this tour. Although I have to say his speech yesterday was crass and graceless, he has been the outstanding rider and deserves the plaudits. I don't care if he's been 'helped', I think his legs are just 6000km fresher than the others.

I've probably enjoyed the Vuelta more than the Tour for some perverse reason, possibly because a 41 year old won. Not long now till the Giro...

Pan Sun 15-Sep-13 20:30:32

oh I agree NT re the performance and yes I think day-for-day I've enjoyed this tour more than any other, incl count back Tours to 2003.

Having said that my fav tour is the one I take to work each day.grin I'd like to see CH take on loads quite a few bags of sugar to even up the weight differential, age a few years, put his change of clothes, lunch, work-related papers and tool kit in a big rucksack, have no team car or domestiques to support him, battle rush hour traffic and hills and still ride so elegantly. Then he gets to wear a proper

SeaShellsMyDogTrulySmells Sun 15-Sep-13 20:47:58

On Vuelta catchup after a weekend away and YY fab race and lots of discussion re CH's win. The race is second to us loving Jens though ;)

Pan Sun 15-Sep-13 21:41:49

"If your legs are hurting, it's up hill. If they are not hurting, it's downhill. Life is already complicated enough."
" yes many riders will be having a relaxed evening".


Yes - I loved that bit too!

I am just waiting for dh and ds3 to finish searching for ds3's wallet, and then I can watch the first stage of the Tour of Britain.

LostInWales Mon 16-Sep-13 10:15:25

I love Jensie, I might have to change my allegiance over from Cav, as Jens is a lot little closer in age to me. Plus I like a man who can talk to me and I sense Cav probably wouldn't do so well at conversation. He is still very pretty to look at though. I loved it when Jens was so scathing toward the French man who won the penultimate stage, no need to cry indeed grin.

Did you see the rider who was on his 7th consecutive tour? Chapeau to that man, 9,000k a year racing for two years, his legs must be rock and his arse like corned beef.

I'm sure you could take CH in an equal fight Pan, don't worry about bags of sugar, the 'fit to cycle a tour' look is very unattractive in a man, skinny arms, urgh. Wiggins' ankles give me the creeps, thank goodness he is putting some weight on to go back to the track.

Didn't quite go to plan for Cav last night then. The TV coverage of the finish was appalling, most of it had half a blurred person on the screen so you couldn't see the riders.

SeaShellsMyDogTrulySmells Mon 16-Sep-13 14:05:57

And so it begins:

Innocent mistake or more sinister? The one thing I hate about cycling is how quick you are lead towards scepticism.

And yy I love that Jens quote! Funny man.

Pan Mon 16-Sep-13 18:49:32

Is the sport beyond 'innocent mistakes'? Even in my die hard optimism I can't see how the testers failed so miserably in these circs., esp with the questions being asked about how a tour could be won by someone years older than the next oldest tour winner.
What the articles I've read today don't tell us is whether he was eventually tested at all.

Pan Mon 16-Sep-13 18:51:48

and I reckon prettybird's ds could take CH on an equalised run. (how that could be managed I've no idea, but I'd still like to believe it.grin)

NicholasTeakozy Mon 16-Sep-13 18:52:43

Clicky link. Authorities have a long history of blaming others for their fuck ups. By simply reading what they had would've saved a lot of bother.

Pan Mon 16-Sep-13 18:57:12

Can't remember from Hamilton's book if hotel switching was a technique? Besides, the teams plan to meticulous detail over the weeks (because of course they have to) so a hotel change on the last day is at the v least odd, in my only partially-informed opinion.

LostInWales Mon 16-Sep-13 20:30:07

My cynical little brain has been working it over all day and I bet they left it to the last moment to change the information so even though they have proof it was sent it wouldn't register in time for the people in America to react and tell their Spanish colleagues. There was a telling 'we asked USDEA to comment but of course due to the time difference they haven't had time to get back to us' in one of the articles. Why was his wife so far away? I do wonder if the 'leak' of this information was calculated.

HalfMumHalfBiscuit Mon 16-Sep-13 21:05:24

Lost - I'll take your Wiggos ankles and raise you Chris Froomes upper arms. I always annoy DH by always commenting on his skin and bone biceps.

Just finished watching the last of the Vuelta. Love Jens. If you follow him on twitter you will know that in between times in the studio he went geocaching round London. His hobby.

Hope Gary and his jazz hands have a nice rest he looks knackered.

Onto TOB now!

EndoplasmicReticulum Mon 16-Sep-13 21:23:46

I share a hobby with Jens.

Maybe he'll stop off at my cache next year, don't suppose he'll have time though!

Pan Mon 16-Sep-13 21:33:08

it was quite a two-worlds collide seeing Quintana going up the Honister Pass in the rain. I hope the weather improves - ITV were saying the av speed yesterday was 23 mph and we've had water-related crashes already.

DramaAlpaca Mon 16-Sep-13 21:48:41

Why am I not surprised about all this hotel transfer stuff? Hmm...

Well, on a happier note, I was well excited about Stage 2 of the ToB today, finishing as it did in my home town, the beautiful Kendal. I grew up there and although I haven't lived there permanently since I left for uni, my family are all still there <<outs self over-eagerly, but I don't mind, I don't think anyone on here knows me anyway>> Terrible shame about the rain, though, it would've been nice seeing the Lake District bathed in sunshine.

The Tour went right past the house I grew up in (a white cottage on the outskirts of Kendal, which you can see at the 4km point) and the finish went up the very steep Beast Banks, which I used to fly down on my roller skates shock. I had those old fashioned roller skates, with no stopper on the front - I was a right little daredevil in those days smile. There's a railing fixed to the wall at the side of the road which I would cling to for dear life when I started to go too fast... my mother would've had a fit if she'd known, but she didn't - I'd set off from my grandmother's little terraced cottage, which was right opposite the finish line of the race. So today's stage, apart from some great cycling in horrendous weather, was a trip down memory lane for me.

Unpleasant historical fact coming up for anyone who might be wondering about the strange name of the race finish - Beast Banks is locally believed to have got its name because bear baiting used to take place there in medieval times, on the green area beside the finish line of the race sad.

Pan Mon 16-Sep-13 22:00:32

cross-thread fertilising. Aldis are having their annual bike gear sale here. Commences 26th Sept

Nice stories DA. Did we have bears in medieval times? What happened to the bears in the UK? Where they not smarter than your av bear and get culled?

HalfMumHalfBiscuit Mon 16-Sep-13 22:30:45


Pan Mon 16-Sep-13 22:31:25

I'm serious!!!smile

HalfMumHalfBiscuit Mon 16-Sep-13 22:34:39

Aargh honestly didn't mean to do that then. Was a grin for the last page.
<dons coat>
<throws iPad in bin>

HalfMumHalfBiscuit Mon 16-Sep-13 22:36:19

Sorry, yes there were bears in medieval times, and wolves I think.

Pan Mon 16-Sep-13 22:39:59

ah just read that our native poohs became extinct about 1000 yrs ago, and bear baiting was done with imported European ones. Nice.

HalfMumHalfBiscuit Mon 16-Sep-13 22:43:10

Was glad to see Crowds on Honister Pass not that dissimilar to those on that last mt stage of the Vuelta, but with more rainwear.

Drama -the roller-skates sound mental.

DramaAlpaca Mon 16-Sep-13 22:53:19

HalfMum I am pleased to say I have calmed down a bit since then and am now a sensible middle-aged mum who wouldn't dream of telling her sons half the things I used to get up to grin.

Yes Pan the Beast Banks bears were imported for the pleasure of the natives. I am happy to report we Kendalians are somewhat more civilised these days.

Honister Pass crowds were amazing. DH said it was like the Tour de France with cagoules!

HalfMumHalfBiscuit Tue 17-Sep-13 08:33:00

I think i have TOB fever.
I am contemplating coming home at lunch to watch Wiggo do the time trial.
He is on at 1.30pm
Hope the weather improves!

After some lengthy contemplation. I think I will take DS to the finish tomorrow in llanberis. Kendall looked brilliant with the atmosphere and big screens and podium. I would do Pen y Pass but there isn't anywhere to park (on the pass, there is park and ride) and I think DS would get too knackered.

I was going to go to the TT today but have chickened out due to rain and no one going with me (no days off). Hence the planned skive late lunch.

HalfMumHalfBiscuit Tue 17-Sep-13 08:35:53
lljkk Tue 17-Sep-13 09:02:38

The crowds were fanstastic smile.

DramaAlpaca Tue 17-Sep-13 10:36:00

HalfMum thanks for the TT info - I think I'll take a late lunch to watch Wiggo too.

HalfMumHalfBiscuit Tue 17-Sep-13 13:38:53

I can't eat, too tense watching the Wiggo /Dowset rides.

Cav just did an excellent time!

HalfMumHalfBiscuit Tue 17-Sep-13 13:42:33

drama - are you watching?

This is tense!

stannard doing well too!

HalfMumHalfBiscuit Tue 17-Sep-13 13:55:38

Wow! Amazing. Not saying the result in case you don't want to know yet!

It was fantastic to watch.

Best go back to work wink

LostInWales Tue 17-Sep-13 14:24:52

That was fantastic! No spoilers but doesn't Wiggo look weird without sideburns. Almost handsome! Missed Cav sadly. can't admit this is because the children had messed with all the TV handsets and I couldn't work out how to turn the TV on blush

NicholasTeakozy Tue 17-Sep-13 17:12:47

I don't usually watch TTs (other than Isle of Man) but this was a good one, definitely well worth a watch. Apart from all the cutting to sodding adverts at inappropriate moments.

Here you are - didn't think to look in "sports" doh! Going to miss my usual TOB trip to the hills this Thursday as have to take one DT to Uni with the other going on Saturday - feeling quite traumatized and really would like a Cav win to cheer me up. When are there some sprint finishes for him to do his stuff. I though Saturday's was a horrible finish up that nasty hill!

DramaAlpaca Tue 17-Sep-13 21:40:08

HalfMum yes I was watching, just didn't have time to access laptop in my miserable half hour lunch break! (Don't have a posh phone to MN on - just as well or I'd never be off grin)

Great result. Won't mention names in case others haven't caught up yet.

frosty I feel for you with your DTs off to uni. It's hard enough one going, but two at the same time... sad. My SIL's two are both going this weekend as well, and they're both off abroad to foreign universities because they didn't get the grades to do what they wanted here in Ireland. She's dreading it. My DS1 has decided to go fairly locally, so we'll still see plenty of him, or at least his washing grin. I hope he likes his course this time around - he ended up having an unscheduled gap year because he hated the course he started last year & left within a few weeks. It's an exciting time for them, but a difficult time for parents. So yes, a Cav win or two would be nice to cheer us all up smile.

HalfMumHalfBiscuit Wed 18-Sep-13 08:39:49

Morning ladies. It's stoke to Llanberis today and I have a stinking cold! Gutted. But as I am a tad on the bonkers sides I will still be taking DS to the finish. I promise not to get germs on Wiggo, we don't want him ducking out again.

Can't imagine the DCs going to uni. Traumatic indeed frosty.

prettybird Wed 18-Sep-13 15:52:43

Wow. Just wow! shockgrin

The Tour went right past the bottom of my lane this morning so I took my DD for a walk so we could have a look smile I was pleasantly surprised by how many people had turned out to watch - there must have been about 40 people at the quiet crossroads just outside my village and the centre was packed, even the local primary school had come out to watch smile

I reckon Cav must have read my post yesterday! Will miss the replay tonight as going out for the "last supper" - hopefully I'll be able to find it somewhere.

That route is all round where I used to live so annoyed I won't see it - typical.

Pan Wed 18-Sep-13 18:57:35

Made school boy error of opening BBC web page last night so knew Lord Wiggo won before I'd seen it. Bastards.

Will settle back this evening in the bliss of the ignorant.

HalfMumHalfBiscuit Wed 18-Sep-13 19:03:51

Wowzers. Had a great day out in llanberis.

And! I have been up close and personal with brad!

DS and I were knocking about the back of the sky bus (checking out their washing machines as you do ) after the presentation when some drunk people pushed us out of the railings so we were on the other side.

I got a lovely pic of DS with Matt Hayman and then brad turned up so he signed ds's arm and he signed something for me. He was in a great mood and was then completely mobbed. I have this on film and you can hear him say 'who's pushing my arse'.

We fought our way through the throng and I said to DS 'brilliant you have brads signature!'. He said 'mum, what's a signature?' i tell him and he says 'Brad can't write very well, can he'.

Can't wait to watch the highlights!

SeaShellsMyDogTrulySmells Wed 18-Sep-13 20:00:51

Great stage!!

Pan Wed 18-Sep-13 20:44:31

It delivered, didn't it! I didn't realise Penn-y-Pass was so slight - I've walked up it and drove up it, but riding up it under pressure is prob. a bit different.grin

And chapeau to Halfmum and ds! Excellent to have agents in the

DramaAlpaca Wed 18-Sep-13 21:24:29

HalfMum that's fantastic, lucky you!

frosty hope the Cav win has cheered you up.

That was a great stage, really exciting towards the end and fabulous scenery without any rain smile

prettybird Wed 18-Sep-13 21:50:10

See - I didn't give anything away! wink

Ds and I were shouting at the TV, "Come on, Come ON, *COME ON!!!!!!!" gringrin

UniS Wed 18-Sep-13 21:56:55

ToB - This year the Uni Family are supporting one of the smaller, less well known teams. Madison Genesis. Boy is watching the highlights of the previous day at breakfast and always wants to know where his two heros came , that's Cav and Dean Downing.
I like the video from Mad Gen about their first two days on the ToB
Roget Hammond doesn't pull his punches when he's talking to his very young team about their future careers. (Some strong language) Its interesting to see how hard this race is for riders who are not pro tour team riders.

We get to see a stage on Friday down here in Devon, Mad Gens Dartmoor boy isn't riding this race , but we will cheer on the rest of them as they climb to the summit Finish at Haytor. DH and I ride the last section of route ourselves to get there.

Pan Wed 18-Sep-13 22:06:31

prettybird - it was remarkably restrained of you.grin

prettybird Wed 18-Sep-13 22:25:00

grin - my final bold didn't come out - but you get the gist! grin

I was very impressed at the control of Von Hoff - Viviani's riding across the line was positively dangerous and a large part of the peloton could have brought down after the finish! hmm

Ds wants his track bike when I buy it to be a Madison, as that's what his LBS has suggested at a reasonable price initially he wanted a Dolan just 'cos he knew the name . As soon as I've sold his Islabike I'll put the order in smile

EndoplasmicReticulum Wed 18-Sep-13 22:26:24

Pan I did the same yesterday with BBC News. I will avoid it from now on. I enjoyed the fact that they completely ignored the Vuelta so there were no spoilers!

Pan Wed 18-Sep-13 22:30:38

I know my micro-biological friend <yes I was too intrigued to not look it upgrin> I'm too absorbed at work to think about it, so BBC is my enemy until late evening.

HowGoodIsThat Thu 19-Sep-13 14:09:18

Von Hoff's bike handling skills were very impressive. The mayhem of a finishing line-sprint pile-up is too horrific to contemplate.

Tis lovely to have Brad back - I am very tearful about it. I have missed him this year.

By the way, quite How Vile is the kit of Node4

Pan Thu 19-Sep-13 18:11:33

They look like they're wearing big black nappies. But none of the teams have really pleasing kits imho.

HalfMumHalfBiscuit Thu 19-Sep-13 21:48:11

Node4 - what were they thinking!?

weregonnaneedasmallerPan Thu 19-Sep-13 21:58:13

Are we up to speed? Nice to see a bit of dry road today!

EndoplasmicReticulum Thu 19-Sep-13 22:35:01

Half ten for the highlights? I'm about to go to bed, will have to watch two back-to-back tomorrow.

UniS Fri 20-Sep-13 19:50:37

WOW that was a good finish. Nice to See Liam Holohan rewarded for his big break by winning the combativity prize- cheese I believe, lets hope he likes cheese.

LOTS of people up on Haytor for the summit top finish and lots of the them rode there, bikes everywhere. It was pretty cool to see some of the racers riding down off road to get back to the team buses, who says you need a mountain bike when you leave the tarmac.

NicholasTeakozy Fri 20-Sep-13 20:28:37

If you look at the replay of the chap who nearly fell off concentrate on his chain. It came off as he was piling on pressure, and from experience I can say it's a miracle he stayed on. It's happened to me a few times and only once have I stayed on.

weregonnaneedasmallerPan Fri 20-Sep-13 22:35:06

yes NT missing the chain jump is a real nuisance. ime it happens on cheapo bikes, which I'm sure tho' our lycra dudes are NOT riding.grin

So is this TdeB going to be a procession now?

ariadneoliver Sat 21-Sep-13 09:03:48

Rather disappointingly I have had to work late a lot and have got behind, am spending the weekend catching up on the sky plus box. Tomorrow it's London and I shall be on the route.

weregonnaneedasmallerPan Sat 21-Sep-13 10:21:05

This damn work thing. We should be negotiating 'bike race watching' leave.

weregonnaneedasmallerPan Sat 21-Sep-13 15:54:25

Am actually watching a stage finish live! Last 8km and it's building.

ariadneoliver Sat 21-Sep-13 16:04:36

YY to the special leave. I managed to catch up and have watched the stage live. All I can say is, what a finish!

weregonnaneedasmallerPan Sat 21-Sep-13 16:06:39

Worth a viewing,innit?

NicholasTeakozy Sat 21-Sep-13 16:40:12

I watched it live today and will still watch the highlight show later. That finish was superb, and they went into Guildford by exactly the route I'd have chosen.

weregonnaneedasmallerPan Sun 22-Sep-13 13:20:06

is the MN peloton running out of biscuits?grin

Am being dragged off for some non-cycling activities this afternoon, so it's the 9pm highlights for me. No-one appears to be showing the womens race or any of the other events which is a shame.

EndoplasmicReticulum Sun 22-Sep-13 15:14:38

don't know about biscuits but I've just eaten a couple of fig rolls.

Yesterday's was a great finish, Cav owning up to "moving him over to the bumpy bits at the edge".

I'll be watching the highlights later, right now I'm supposed to be marking books.

ariadneoliver Sun 22-Sep-13 16:01:14

No lack of biscuits here on the route, they've been past twice now. I hope the rain holds off!

NicholasTeakozy Sun 22-Sep-13 16:52:07

Hugh Porter has just described cycle racing as 'chess on wheels'. Just as I did before the TdF. We need an emoticon to define smug. grin

ariadneoliver Sun 22-Sep-13 17:26:02

Back home in time to catch the finish on TV. Another great one. Nicholas you can have an emoticon but only if you have proof you are not actually Hugh Porter. grin

NicholasTeakozy Sun 22-Sep-13 18:57:45

I have no proof unfortunately, but Hugh had probably retired from cycling by the time I learned to ride a bike. He seems to have been a commentator for absolutely ever. He's still rubbish...

EndoplasmicReticulum Sun 22-Sep-13 19:05:22

Is he the one who never pronounces anything the same way twice?

weregonnaneedasmallerPan Sun 22-Sep-13 20:05:38

If we need an emocion to notate smug then [NT] should work.]grin

Not seen highlights yet..

LostInWales Sun 22-Sep-13 20:31:44

Humph, I think you'll find I was calling it 'chess on wheels' during the 2011 TdF wink. I probably nicked that off someone I heard on telly. Either that or it is just the definitive way to describe something as riveting as grand tour cycling.

Great day today, was funny seeing Wiggo's mum ring the last round bell. Did you have a brilliant time ariadne?

weregonnaneedasmallerPan Sun 22-Sep-13 20:35:30

tbf, isn't it more like poker on wheels? When to play, when to hold, what cards do your competitors hold, when you hold the ace? < attempts to hold the team to the finish line.grin>

Fab result, made me happy after a stressful week dropping DT's off at uni. I just love how he makes it look so damn easy and is so chuffed afterwards. Well done to Wiggo too - he still only won one stage to Cav's three though!

LostInWales Sun 22-Sep-13 21:11:30

Oooh yes, poker on wheels, much more duplicitous than chess. I'm nicking what you say now Pan grin.

<small squeeze to frosty for twins to uni> Good old Cav with his three stage wins and isn't Delilah all big now. I love that sportsmen nowadays bring their children with them.

ariadneoliver Sun 22-Sep-13 21:12:56

Lost it was great fun. I was in a less crowded spot in the City (officially my fave spot which I have used for the Olympics, Paralympics and London Marathons) so I was leaning on the crash barrier with an unrestricted view. I was near the turning point so I have some great footage on my phone of them all going one way on the way uphill and a minute later all coming back again. They are incredibly fast downhill.

LostInWales Sun 22-Sep-13 21:19:12

I was watching thinking that corner would be a great spot to watch grin I wish I'd made it to see some racing this year. Have to put it in my new years resolution for next year.

EndoplasmicReticulum Sun 22-Sep-13 22:07:45

Yay! Petacchi is a bit good at lead-outs. Cav could have done with him in the Tour de France I think.

weregonnaneedasmallerPan Sun 22-Sep-13 22:08:59

Wow! Wasn't that just a fairy tale ending?! And BIG biscuits to Petacchi for the lead out on the victories. He must have been itching to just keep on going.
And Simon Yates too, an iconic photo shot at the top of Haytnor.

weregonnaneedasmallerPan Sun 22-Sep-13 22:10:59

yes, next year it's Renshawe to knock everyone else out of the way, Petacchi to cue up, and Cav to take it. Perfect!

weregonnaneedasmallerPan Sun 22-Sep-13 22:19:41

Right. Next thread up is the World Champs!
Any domestique in the peloton to ride us out on the neutralised zone?

EndoplasmicReticulum Sun 22-Sep-13 22:33:44

World Champs has started today, was just googling it and OPQS have won team time trial.

Can't find out if it's on telly though. Will ITV 4 show any races? I don't get Eurosport.

weregonnaneedasmallerPan Sun 22-Sep-13 22:35:11

Some of it is on the BBC Endo.

DramaAlpaca Sun 22-Sep-13 22:36:24

What a fab ToB that was, I enjoyed every minute of it, and a fairytale ending indeed! Petacchi is certainly a wily old campaigner.

Impressed with young Sam Bennett, the Irish guy. Not bad finishing in between Cav & Viviani - though I'm sure he's gutted not to win... I think he has high hopes of a move to a senior team soon.

World Champs next - can't wait!

Pan what are we all going to chat about in the neutralised zone between now and the World Champs? grin

weregonnaneedasmallerPan Sun 22-Sep-13 22:43:07

I'll do a new Worlds thread now. We can't be caught out on the

weregonnaneedasmallerPan Sun 22-Sep-13 22:50:21
prettybird Mon 23-Sep-13 08:25:19

What a lead out train Cav is going to have next year with Petacchi and Renshawe. smilesmile

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