Wednesday, June 29, 2011

2011 Tour De France


2011 Tour Stages to watch


Full TV schedule is here
http://www.bicycling.com/tour-de-france/tour-features/tv-schedule

Here is a list of a bunch of other ways to see it on the computer and TV. You may need to try a few to get it right for your computer and language wants and needs.
http://www.steephill.tv/tour-de-france/#live

I have looked at each days race profile in the 2011 Tour and made some comments and predictions. If I could only watch an hour of the tour it would be the last climb up Alpe-d’Huez on July 22. Unless the race is totally won by then this will be the place to watch. I also really think the July 14th  12th stage will be the first chance to see who will be a contender or not. I have not been following pro racing much this year so I won’t comment much on who I think will win even though I bet it will be Contador. Contador and his dumb finger bang move on the podium bugs the crap out of me.  I hate Contador as a tour champ.  I like Andy Schleck and his brother Frank.  Kind of the Williams sisters of road racing.

July 3 Stage 2 short team time trial. Watch for teams that work together well, usually some great new bikes and gear, aero clothes and a crash. I think teams get to keep the 5th riders time so it is fun to see teams try not to drop their own riders off the back of the pace line from going to fast. This race tells who and what team is strong. It is so short this year many teams may just play it safe and ride a bit safer to prevent loosing someone to a crash.

Most all stages up to stage 12 are flat and will have breakaways that will likely get caught shortly before the finish. Sad for the guy out alone all day trying to win. Cool to see the teams with good sprinters catch the breakaways at the very end.

July 14 Stage 12 Live on Versus (Central time) 5:30 a.m. Versus: 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 7 p.m., 11 p.m.
Three big mountains with a mountain finish. Will get to see who is a real contender or not. Fun to see the top riders bunched together on the climb as the weaker riders get squirted out the back of the pack. No contender will likely try to get big time on the other contenders but we will see who is weak.

July 16 Stage 14 Long hard day lots of climbing. Contenders likely will not put in big time on others unless some one has a bad day meaning a they are a little ill, had poor food intake, let themselves get dehydrated etc can equal massive losses on a day like today. Not having bad days (that others could detect or capitalize on) was a big part of Armstrongs amazing feat of winning 7 in a row.   On this stage we may see a relative no name on go on an all day break away, suddenly become a tour contender and transform into a true pro in both attitude and confidence. Since this is the last day in Pyrenees I bet a lesser known Spanish rider perhaps from the Basque region will break away in an all day attempt.

July 21 Stage 18 Three big climbs with a long mountain top finish. May see a breakaway from a contender but more likely the top few riders will stay together and put more time on the rest of the field. Should be some great sparing. Especially on the last climb.

July 22 Stage 19 Live on Versus (Central time) 7:00 a.m. Versus: 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 7 p.m., 11 p.m.
This is a must watch stage. The final famous climb up 21 switchbacks along with the crowds up to the mountain top finish at Alpe-d’Huez is always very dramatic. This and the next days individual time trial are the last real chances to gain time. Look for the better climber contender to attack the whole way up to make up for any losses to come in the next day’s time trial.

July 23 stage 20 Individual time trial. Fun to watch because it is the last time to realistically gain time in the race and the most likely winner of the whole tour will be known today. Riders with the best overall time start last. I am pretty sure Lemond came back from a supposedly insurmountable 50? seconds down before a last time trial in the tour to win the time trial by 58 seconds and the whole tour by 8 seconds.

July 24 Stage 21 The final day most often ends with a sprint on the Champs-Élysées. A huge win for any sprinter.

4 comments:

queasyfish said...

I feel bad that no one has commented with the obvious amount of work you put into this. I'm grabbing stage 2 now, and will try to find a way to watch 19 on the day.

Jared said...

Thanks for the thought Q. I have a coworker who showed some interest and decided to do a quick viewers guide for her that turned into my post. I have been wanting to do this for a few years so her interest was a good excuse to act on it this year. I think Stage 12 on the 14th will be a great watch to see who the real contenders are this year. Saddly a bunch of contenders have crashed out in the early stages. Contador has crashed I think 4 times which seems to be a result of sitting too far back in the pack. Can't tell if he is just sitting in because he, week and is trying to save energy or he is dumb. Armstrong did not lead the peleton while sitting at the back of the pack and as a result stayed out of most trouble.

queasyfish said...

I watched stage 9 last night with all of the crashing - geez. Tour-Day-France!

hologeek said...

I liked where the car crashed into the 3 riders and threw one into barbed wire...