Saturday, July 7, 2012

TdF Stage 8 Preview

All bets are off for this stage, with six rated climbs - 4 second category, 1 third, 1 fourth, and a final first category climb before a generally descending finish into Porrentury. It's precisely the kind of stage on which an early breakaway could succeed. Perhaps Jurgen van den Broeck will look to recover time lost on today's stage, but would Sky and BMC let him escape? I still expect Hoogerland to go on the attack on one of these stages, and Stage 8 might set up well for him. (UPDATE: Hoogerland has announced that he has a bad knee and is just trying to survive in the race. He could just be playing possum, but that's not his style.) Goodness knows that his team, Vanconsoleil, haven't accomplished anything so far in the Tour, and their presumptive GC contender, Lieuwe Westra, is languishing in 121st place. It's also a stage that sets up nicely (in theory) for David Moncoutie, a rider who usually sits at the back of the peloton (because he hates riding in groups), and usually picks one or two stages in the Tour to go on the attack.

UPDATE: Jens Voigt already has announced his intention of attacking tomorrow (here): "let me let you in on something … Jensy is motivated and going to ask for permission to attack. I want to attack at kilometer zero!"

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