2012 Le Tour – Stage 18

Blagnac / Brive-la-Gaillarde (138.25 miles)

Le.  Tour.  De.  France.

Yesterday BruceMcF analyzed the 2012, 99th Edition of Le Tour this way-

Hopes that Cadel was having a bad recovery from the rest day faded when I heard him refer to seeing how his “health” recovers. Word was he had a “parasite” he was diagnosed with two hours before the race on Wednesday’s stage. Oh, joy! No wonder he lost big time ~ the wonder is he didn’t drop out of the top ten altogether.

The problem with the Yellow Jersey competition is that the race was designed for a four way show-down between Evans, Wiggins, Andy Schleck, and Alberto Contador, and then Contador was found guilty of doping, Schleck was knocked out by injury, and it seems like Global Warming conspired to do Evans in ~ he’s not got a reputation for coping well with the very hot conditions, and this was one hot run through the Alps they had in week two. If he was fighting at his limit just to hang on, catching some bug on the rest day is no surprise.

What made today’s stage was the King of the Mountains competition ~ Voeckler vs Kessiakoff was a fine fight.

As far as the Mountain stages, its not how long they are, its how long the top contenders put each other under pressure. If you add one more HC to the front of yesterday’s stage ~ the Queen State ~ it wouldn’t add any more racing. Indeed, by wearing down teams other than Sky, it could easily have led to less. Without Schleck and Contador in the peleton, then the two remaining serious climbing contenders, Evans and Nibali, are more pace-climbing riders than attacking climbers.

Some commentators on PodiumCafe question the design of the course for some of the stages. But I can see places on each of the stage where earlier attacks could have been made ~ had someone had the GC contender and the supporting team to launch the attack and then back it up.

In the end, the riders make the race, and the two best GC riders in the race this year were riding on the same team. Move Froome to BMC or Liquigas, and run it again, and the same course would see fireworks, and we would have Froome going into the final time trial leading by a minute or more, but Wiggins making up time in the time trial, just as Evans did rising as second last in the time trial last year, except with an excellent time trialer riding last defending his yellow jersey, instead of Andy Schleck.

Riders that did not appear in Stage 17 were Vladimir Gusev and Grega Bole.  Frank Schleck withdrew after testing positive for the diuretic Xipamide.

Today’s stage is labeled ‘Plains’ and has a category 3 and three category 4 climbs.  Points will be awarded in Hill Climbing but probably not enough to make any difference.  The Award point is in the middle of a category 4 climb 2.5 km from the top, so that could be interesting.

Tomorrow is the 3rd Individual Time Trial, the final day anything much will change (by custom) except amongst the Sprinters.  Sunday we finish Le Tour on the Champs-Élysées.

General Classification

Place Rider Team Time/Delta
1 WIGGINS Bradley SKY PROCYCLING 78h 28:02
2 FROOME Christopher SKY PROCYCLING +02:05
10 PINOT Thibaut FDJ-BIGMAT +11:46

Coverage is customarily on Vs. (NBC Sports) starting at 7:30 am with repeats at noon, 2:30 pm, 8 pm, and midnight.  There will be some streaming evidently, but not all of it is free.

Sites of Interest-

The Stars Hollow Gazette Tags-


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    • on 07/20/2012 at 12:59
    • on 07/20/2012 at 14:04
    • on 07/20/2012 at 14:24
    • on 07/20/2012 at 15:27

    Stage 18 Towns: Blagnac – Brive-la- Gaillarde


    Blagnac is a commune in the Haute-Garonne department in southwestern France. It is the third-largest suburb of the city of Toulouse.

    A bit of CT meets Le Tour, you just can’t make this stuff up:

    The Place de la Révolution was built in 1989 to commemorate the bicentennial anniversary of the French Revolution. Modern Historians agree that Freemasonry played a critical role in the unfolding of the revolution.

    “If one desires to point to a major world event proven to have been inspired by secret society machinations, one need look no further than the French Revolution, which devastated that nation between 1787 and 1799. Revolutionary leaders, in seeking to overthrow the decadent monarchy of King Louis XVI, launched the first national revolution of modern times.

    Although popularly believed to have begun due to a public uprising over lack of food and government representation, the record is quite clear that the revolution was instigated by cells of French Masonry and the German Illuminati.

    The New Encyclopedia Britannica tells us that in France there arose a political system and a philosophical outlook that no longer took Christianity for granted, that in fact explicitly opposed it… The brotherhood taught by such groups as the Freemasons, members of secret fraternal societies, and the Illuminati, a rationalist secret society, provided a rival to the Catholic sense of community.”

    Secret society researcher and author Nesta H. Webster was even more pointed, writing in 1924, “[The Masonic book A Ritual and Illustrations of Freemasonry] contains the following passage, ‘The Masons… originated the Revolution with the infamous Duke of Orleans at their head.'”

    Author Bramley wrote, “During the first French Revolution, a key rebel leader was the Duke of Orleans, who was grand master of French Masonry before his resignation at the height of the Revolution. Marquis de Lafayette, the man who had been initiated into the Masonic fraternity by George Washington, also played an important role in the French revolutionary cause. The Jacobin Club, which was the radical nucleus of the French revolutionary movement, was founded by prominent Freemasons.”

    -Jim Marrs, Rule By Secrecy

    The land of plenty, Caravelle, Concorde and now the A380! European centre for aerospace, gateway to the Midi-Pyrenees with its international airport, Blagnac is the birthplace of the A380 and the world headquarters of Airbus and ATR (Regional Transport Planes). With a great vitality, it is booming with the creation of 1,600 jobs per year, about 35,000 jobs in 800 hectares of business parks. On the site of AeroConstellation is the Jean-Luc Lagardere factory, the largest aircraft factory in Europe which houses the A380 assembly lines. At the end of 2013, the Aéroscopia museum will open its doors nearby housing legendary planes: Caravelle, Concorde, Super Guppy, the A300 and the great Airbus family. Moreover, with 84 acres of town centre parkland and 112 hectares of market gardens, Blagnac, on the banks of the Garonne, offers a quality of life largely inspired by its roots in the land of plenty. The energy of the city is further reinforced with the opening Tram line T1 and the development of Andromeda, the first eco-neighborhood in the Midi-Pyrenees.

    Brive-la- Gaillarde

    Brive-la- Gaillarde

    Even though the inhabitants settled around the 1st century, the city only started to grow much later. Starting around the 5th century, the original city starts to develop around a church dedicated to Saint-Martin-l’Espagnol. During the 12th century walls are built around the city and during the Hundred Years’ War a second wall is built. These fortifications no longer exist and are now replaced by boulevards.

    The commune was named “Brive” until 1919, when it was renamed “Brive-la-Gaillarde”. The word “Gaillarde” (still used in current French) probably stands for bravery or strength in the city’s name, but it can also refer to the city’s walls. Brive now extends outside of its original boundaries into Malemort and Ussac.

    During World War II, Brive-la-Gaillarde was a regional capital of the Resistance, acting as a seat of several clandestine information networks and several of the principal resistance movements, including the Armée secrète (or “Secret Army”) and the Mouvements Unis de la Résistance (or “United Movements of the Resistance”).

    Brive-la-Gaillarde was the first city of Occupied France to liberate itself by its own means, on 15 August 1944. For this, the city received the “Croix de guerre 1939-1945” military decoration.

    The medieval centre is mainly a commercial district with retail shops and various cafés. It is also the location of the city hall, the main police station, and the Labenche museum. One notable landmark outside the inner city is the Pont Cardinal, a bridge which used to be a crossing point for travelers from Paris to Toulouse.

    Sub-prefecture of Corrèze, Brive is the most populated municipality of the department and the second, after Limoges, for all of the Limousin region. Its architectural heritage includes notably seventeen classed monuments as well as the famous market, sung about by Georges Brassens. Its “Fat Fairs”, the rugby team Club Athletic Brive Corrèze Limousin (CABCL), European champions in 1997, and the Book Fair, which takes place each year in November, also contribute to its fame. With a dynamic economic pool and a university of 1,850 students,the city is located at the crossroads of a major motorway junction between the A20 and A89 while its new Brive-Vallée Dordogne airport, is situated at the crossroads of three regions, Limousin, Aquitaine and Midi-Pyrenees. On the sports front, about 150 clubs practise 70 different sports in the 160 municipal or private sports facilities. It is with pleasure and pride that with the town council, the General Council of Corrèze and the Regional Council of Limousin, Brive welcomes the Tour de France for the tenth time.

    • on 07/20/2012 at 21:07

    Was that a long solo sprint for the line or what?

    The last time the Yellow Jersey could be seen in the leadout train for his team’s sprinter would be well before the Tour de France was shown on US television.

    We saw today what happens when a breakaway starts racing tactically too early before the finishing line, when the Peleton is taking a serious interest in the chase: they get caught. It might be a few hundred meters from the finish, but the last of the break were just road furniture for the sprinters ~ not just Mark Cavendish, but also Matty Goss, as well as Peter Sagan. Sagan clinched his Green Jersey today so long as he finishes the race in Paris (though he will of course go for the win on the Champs Elysee), since his lead in the Green Jersey competition is now more than the Green Jersey points available over the last two days.

    Time trial tomorrow, so we would normally expect Cancellara to set the early pace and then see it challenged or passed by one of the last ten riders … but Cancellara withdrew to be with his newborn before the Olympics. With the top two time-trialers in Stage 9 top two in the race, that makes lots of “highly unlikely to change” stories in the last team time trial, making it likely to be both the ante climax stage and the anti-climax stage. Tejay in 5th gained 2’03’ on Van Den Broek in Stage 9, he needs 2’38” to reach 4th. Cadel in 6th gained 1’26”, needs 4’04” to reach 4th. So the contest between Tejay and Van Den Broeck over 4th place is likely to be the most interesting thing to watch.

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