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The Tour so far has been one big crash. So far, 18 riders have withdrawn including many potential winners.
Here are the riders, which stage the pulled out on, and why.
Wout Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team – illness
Pavel Brutt (Rus) Katusha Team
Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Pro Team Astana – crash, broken head of the femur David Zabriskie (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo – crash, broken wrist Frederik Willems (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto – crash, broken collarbone
Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto – crash, collapsed lung, three broken ribs and broken shoulder blade
Amets Txurruka (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi – crash, broken collarbone
Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team – crash on stage 5, arm and hip injuries Read more..
With the Tour de France well into the first week, I will resume my posting soon. I have been away on vacation.
Nowadays, we are quicker to skip out on sleep and chug an energy drink than get a proper sleep. This may be because we are not taught the importance of the sleep. Being the endurance athletes we are, we cannot substitute sleep with anything else. The truth is, without getting quality rest; we will not recovery nearly as well as we would if we get the sleep we need.
After finishing a workout, your focus should switch to the recovery aspect of training. There are two important aspects to recovery: Eating and sleeping. You can give your body all the nutrients it needs but, if you don’t give your body the time to use them in rebuilding, your recovery can be very limited.
There are no real secrets to getting a good night’s rest but, it’s not always easy. Here are some tips to help you get the best sleep possible.
- Naps during the day are never a bad idea; in fact, they are encouraged, especially in the later afternoon.
- Recent studies have shown that a majority of your recovery from everyday activities and workouts occurs within the first two hours of being asleep. This rolls over to why short naps can leave you feeling refreshed and recharged, even if they are only 20-30 minutes long.
- Falling asleep between the hours of ~6PM to 8PM is very difficult. This is because this our natural biorhythm keeps us awake during this time as this was when prehistoric humans would go out to hunt for their food. So, try to go to sleep after these times to endure you will be able to fall asleep.
-Our bodies are flooded with the hormones that jumpstart recovery between ~10PM and 2PM. So, being asleep during these times will help you to get the best recovery.
-As far as waking up goes, out bodies are programmed to wake up from light exposure, not sounds. Therefore, alarm clocks won’t always do a good job and can leave you feeling drowsy and unprepared for the day. It’s not a bad thing to use an alarm clock but, if you can turn it off quickly and then turn on lights or even get sunlight exposure, you will wake up quite a bit easier.
Getting the best sleep is never easy, especially with the time restraints that many of us have. However, if you work to get the most out of your sleep, your recovery will be increased with will allow your performance to increase.
Wow. Talk about an amazing performance. Levi Leipheimer was able to close a 2 minute gap on Damino Cunego to take the overall in the Tour de Suisse today. Somebody’s ready for the Tour de France!
Meanwhile, Fabian Cancellara took the stage win just ahead of Andreas Kolden wrapping up the Tour de Suisse.
1 Fabian Cancellara Leopard Trek 0:41:01
2 Andreas Klöden Team RadioShack 0:00:09
3 Levi Leipheimer Team RadioShack 0:00:13
4 Nelson Oliveira Team RadioShack 0:00:25
5 Tom Danielson Team Garmin-Cervelo 0:00:38
6 Gustav Larsson Saxo Bank Sungard 0:00:41
7 Jakob Fuglsang Leopard Trek 0:00:44
8 Thomas De Gendt Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:00:48
9 Chris Froome Sky Procycling 0:01:02
10 Christian Vande Velde Team Garmin-Cervelo 0:01:04
Final overall standings
1 Levi Leipheimer Team RadioShack 31:45:02
2 Damiano Cunego Lampre – ISD 0:00:04
3 Steven Kruijswijk Rabobank Cycling Team 0:01:02
4 Jakob Fuglsang Leopard Trek 0:01:10
5 Bauke Mollema Rabobank Cycling Team 0:02:05
6 Mathias Frank BMC Racing Team 0:02:24
7 Frank Schleck Leopard Trek 0:02:35
8 Laurens Ten Dam Rabobank Cycling Team 0:03:11
9 Tom Danielson Team Garmin-Cervelo 0:03:17
10 Maxime Monfort Leopard Trek 0:04:12
The popularity of cycling in the US is starting to grow quite a bit. A lot of this could be attributed to the Tour of California and the upcoming USA Pro Cycling Challenge. There have been a lot of Americans in the Tour in the past but, now there is a lot more focus on them from our own country. Based on a preliminary start-list, we could have as many as nine Americans and 4 American based teams starting in Passage du Gois, France on July 2nd. I’d like to take a small look at them and see what impacts they could have on this years Tour.
Brent Bookwalter- BMC Racing Team
Brent Bookwalter made is Grand Tour debut last year in the Giro, finishing 2nd and losing by just 2 seconds to Bradley Wiggins in the opening time trial. After this great performance, he has always been one to watch in time trails. Make sure to listen for his name on stage 20 as well as stage 2, the team time trial (TTT)
9th in the Vuelta last year, 3rd in the Tour of California this year, and currently 11th in the Tour de Suisse could land Tom a spot on Garmin-Cervelo’s Tdf team. If he does, look for him to shake it up in the mountains and work with Vande Velde to get a spot in the top 10.
Tyler Farrar- Garmin-Cervelo
Tyler Farrar started off the season pretty well with 4 wins so far and 3rd at both Gent-Wevelgem and Dwar door Vlaanderen. He ran into some serious misfortune during the Giro with the passing of his good friend, Wouter Weylandt. He then pulled out of the Giro and took some time off riding.
Recently, he won stage 2 at Ster ZLM Toer against some pretty strong sprinters. With this, he is showing some pretty good form going into the Tour. Tyler has never won a stage at the Tour so, he will be hoping to change that this year. It won’t be easy because he will have to go up against the likes of Mark Cavendish, Andre Greipel, and Alessandro Petacchi.
George Hincapie- BMC Racing Team
“Big” George Hincapie will be going for a record 16 Tour de France completions. He’s raced upwards of 40000 miles through France in the passed 16 July’s. So far, he has 4 stages wins and he is always a threat to get another. It’s also not too far out to see him getting into the yellow jersey for a couple days. Good luck to George and it will be good to see him set a new Tour record. (knock on wood)
Chris Horner- Team Radioshack
In the passed two year, Chris Horner has looked stronger than ever. He won the Tour of the Basque Country last year, finished second this year, and won the Tour of California this year. He could definitely do well in the overall but, he may be working to get Leipheimer or Kloden onto the podium. Regardless, he will be riding strong and he has potential to take a stage win.
Levi Leipheimer- Team Radioshack
Levi has been riding pretty strong in the past few years. He has been looking extremely well in the Tour de Suisse, looking to get onto the podium with tomorrows time trial. With the next few weeks to prepare, I see him going into the Tour strong and competing for the podium. I’m not sure he can take the overall but, never say never.
Jason McCartney- Team Radioshack
Jason McCartney is a very strong domestique, even in the mountains. He has shown his prowess by taking the mountains classification on the Tour of California in 2009 and the Tour of Georgia 2008. He’s a strong rider and I could see him getting into a breakaway and maybe taking a stage win. If not, he will be and important man, used by Levi and Chris in their search for the podium.
Christian Vande Velde- Garmin-Cervelo
Christian has really has some bad luck in the Grand Tours he has entered in. in the 2009 and 2010 Giros as well as the 2010 Tour, he crashed out on the 3rd stage of each. Recently finishing 4th in the Tour of California, he could do well in the Tour. He has, in fact, 4th in the Tour before. Hopefully he can recreate that good performance this year and escape his bad luck.
Tejay van Garderen- HTC Highroad
When you talk about Tejay, all you can say is WOW! Last year was his first year on the Pro Tour and it was a very successful season. 3rd in the Dauphine, staying in the top 10 of the Vuelta a Espana for a majority of it, 4th in the Tour de l’Ain, etc. This year is was 2nd in the Volta o Algarve and 5th at the Tour of California. He is also currently sitting 10th in the Tour de Suisse. It would probably be a long shot to say he will win the Tour this year but, it is not to say he can in the future. I see him doing really well this year; likely a top 10 spot. Good luck to Tejay and his HTC squad.
Dave Zabriskie- Garmin-Cervelo
Finally, we have Dave Zabriskie, one of the funniest guys in the peloton. Already having 3 time trial wins this year, including the US Pro title, it wouldn’t be very surprising to see him doing really well on stage 20. Also, look for Garmin-Cervelo to do really well in the team time trial. Dave will definitely be a big help for Tom and Christian when the mountain come as well.
So there they are, the Americans that will start the Tour this year, every one of them capable of doing something whether it be a stage win or a fight for the overall. Make sure to watch the Tour starting July 2nd and watch for my update.
With the Dauphine over and the Tour de Suisse coming to and end, we’re really getting a view of the kind of form all the top riders are in. Here is a look at eight of the riders I see doing really well at the Tour this year.
Contador was on amazing form in the Giro, winning by an enormous margin of Michele Scarponi. The question is, was the month of June enough time to rest and rebuild his form for the Tour. The last man to pull the Giro-Tour double was Marco Pantani and its not clear whether he was “clean” or not. Now, Contador has the same issues right now but, not from this year. So, if he can carry over some form from the Giro and get some rest, he’s definitely a pick for the top spot on the Podium.
Everyone knows Andy is tired of being second and he’s out for revenge from last year. Based on the form he is showing in the Tour De Suisse, I’m not convinced he is where he was last year. He could be holding back but, he was dropped today and couldn’t catch up for the stage win. There could be a lot of factors to this performance but, regardless, he’s not showing the form he had last year. If he can pull it together, he could win but, the long time trial guarantees time loss for him so, he needs to go into it with the yellow jersey. If there was a Tour for him to win, this would be the one.
Cadel has been showing really good form all year. He recently finished second in the Dauphine. If he can build just a bit on the form he was showing this month, he shouldn’t have any problems getting to the podium barring some bad luck. In the past, he hasn’t had luck on his side but, we will have to wait and see.
Sammy Sanchez showed good form earlier in the year but, wasn’t looking too hot in the Dauphine. Hopefully he can get back to the form he had last year in the Tour because, he is a very strong rider. He’s also a strong pick for the podium if he can get all his preparation done.
Basso is another rider who is either not on good for or is hiding it. As he showed in last years Giro, he is a very strong contender. I think that, if he is on the same form that he had then, he is a definite pick for the podium, if not the overall. He’s a great climber and he can hold his own in a time trial, not usually losing too much time.
Jurgen Van Den Broeck
Van Den Broeck looked very impressive in the Dauphine. One stage win and fourth overall really has him as a threat for the podium. No one expected him to do what he did last year and, in my opinion, he looks better this year so, I think he will be one to watch.
Wiggo has never looked this good. He never looked like he was in too much difficulty in the mountains during his phenomenal performance at the Dauphine, in which he took the overall. He also seems to have a strong team around him so I see him making the top 5 for sure.
Vino has always been pretty strong but, more recently, i see him as some one who can do well in the overall but, not win it. He’s will definitely going to go for a stage win and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in the top 10 but, I don’t see him making it onto the podium. I hope he can prove me wrong.
Of course, one of the biggest factors in winning the Tour is luck so we’ll have to watch it day by day. Also, it may not be a positive thing to be on the best form because the mountains of the Tour are still a month away. Regardless of who’s on form, its going to be an exciting one!
The Giro d’Italia is one of my favorite races to watch because it is the hardest of the Grand Tours. There are so many mountains that they have to over come and it is always exciting.
As of yesterday, Alberto Contador took the pink jersey and I feel that the Giro is pretty much over. Alberto is looking stronger than he ever has in the past and no one could hang on up to the top of Mt. Etna.
Its tough to make the call that he will win it for sure though because there are a lot of mountain to come.
Also, we have a few more days for the sprinters and I’m hoping Cavendish can get something going, hopefully getting atleast one stage.
We’ll have to wait and see how it plays out.