Category: tour de france

The Fella’s tour

What has Lee been smoking?

Whatever it is, it’s good. Franco storms ahead in the stage with a 41 point haul, leaving Keir in the dust. Mitchell must rue the fact that he shared that fella with Franco : his lead rider (S. Gonchar) blew a whitey and leaves the tour. Just 13 riders left in the Mitchell team.

The website doesn’t appear to be updating this weekend, but with my Excel I’ve done some manual calculation. It all looks OK to me, but these results are only provisional.

165(+39) Simon White (France)
154(+25) Joost Dantuma (UK)
137(+21) Paul Evans (France)
102(+41) Francis Lee (France)
52 (+0) Keir Mitchell (UK)

In the actual race Vinokourov just sneaked tenth, and other favourites Kloden and Ullrich finished well. These three are key members of all teams except Keir’s. It could have been even more high scoring : Kloden – Joost Dantuma’s lead rider – caught up with the breakaway rider Pieter Weening, leaving behind a disorganised peloton who should have easily caught up. The latter incredibly managed to hold on and then edge out the final sprint by a tyre. Weening’s heroics denied Joost 3 bonus points and to add insult to injury (you probably guessed it), Weening is a fellow dutch c#@t. Franco also missed out on bonus points in two places, which might have been enough to bring him within site of the lead pack on straight stretches.

It’s the first tough mountain stage tomorrow and given that the Cat 2 climb today already seems to have started sorting the men from the boys, it’s going to be an interesting day with the first Cat 1 climb of the tour preceeded by a Cat 2 climb.


Evans wins stage, Dantuma pulls ahead in overall

Standings (+stage points – points from overall lead)

129(+33,-126) Joost Dantuma (UK)
126(+25,-129) Simon White (France)
116(+37,-139) Paul Evans (France)
61 (+7,-194) Francis Lee (France)
52 (+26,-203) Keir Mitchell (UK)

Nothing particularly exciting in the stage today, just a rainy day with a sprint finish. Fabian Wegmann tried to go it alone and win in his native Germany, but got eaten by the peloton quite a way before the finish.

The Fellas Tour has been much more exciting. Another impressive win by Paul Evans in the stage helped having two sprinters in positions 1 and 2. An especially astute tactic given that they are the two on-form sprinters with 2 stage wins each so far. Joost Dantuma gets a special mention for most top ten finishers in his team : McEwen, Cooke, Hushovd and Boonen, which helped him to cruise to first in the overall rankings.

Franco has found a schmokin’ partner at the back. Keir must have heard that Franco was rolling – Lee certainly didn’t pedal that fast today. Mitchell on the other hand banked an impressive 26 points, with Flecha and Eisel in the top 10 and in his top 4. He’s now within 9 points of Franco and waiting for him to pass back the little fella…

See the attached Excel for a reproduction of part of Joost’s Excel from 2 years ago as I remember it. I’m not going as far as automatic points calculations, but it could allow Shannon into the race with us if his team is forthcoming. Usual rules : you start at the back and work your way up if you can. Likely that the Shannon is already driving the Audi or Beamer at the back of the course, shouting encouragement to Keir and waiting his turn…


Low Scoring Stage

Standings after stage 6

101(+23,-91) Simon White (France)
96 (+20,-96) Joost Dantuma (UK)
79 (+0,-113) Paul Evans (France)
54 (+19,-138) Francis Lee (France)
26 (+0,-166) Keir Mitchell (UK)

I’ve managed to pull back into the lead, my tactic of putting Vinokourov at the top of my order paid off today. All those who scored had two riders in the top ten, but I had the best of the luck in the order.

The result was mainly affected by the skidding and crashing of a number of leading riders in the peloton, including most of the sprinters. O’Grady, McEwen, Boonen and Nazon all fell after Christophe Mengin, keeping valiantly ahead of the peloton after being in a breakaway for most of the race, fell at the last corner on very slippery roads. Vinokourov managed to survive somehow – he was just ahead of the peloton and chasing Mengin – and went on to get second. Hushovd, who had a puncture less than 20km from the finish and was behind the peloton catching up, must have worked hard (and had a bit of luck) to get fifth place.

Expect the sprinters to do well tomorrow.


Results Just In

And here are the standings

Overall + this stage, – points from leader

79(+50,-85) Paul Evans (France)
78(+45,-86) Simon White (France)
76(+47,-88) Joost Dantuma (UK)
35(+21,-129) Francis Lee (France)
26(+12,-138) Keir Mitchell (UK)

Paul jumps ahead with a very strong result for his team : including his top two riders in the top ten and two bonus points for Cooke to keep his nose ahead of Dantuma and White. But will sprinter strength at the top of the order be good when we start getting into the mountains this Sunday, or will Joost and Simon’s otherwise (im)balanced order come into play at a later stage?

Franco will need to be looking at his cards and hoping to be able to play his jokers by then. At the moment he’s struggling to keep at the back of the peloton, and Keir’s already off the back of the pack and riding for honour. Still, freak breakaway wins could cause some of Mitchell’s riders to get points – he does have Flecha at number two who was hungry and out alone for many km this afternoon.


Tour shock : outsider pulls ahead


Here are the results… Incredibly, it appears I have pulled one out of the bag. McEwen’s loss of place due to “illegal sprinting” made this a low points round. Most of us have him in the team, and I think (quick calculation) that Paul would have won the stage if the original result had stood – with McEwen in the second spot in his team, and of course his 3 bonus points for Boonen in his top spot.

Even with a fairly random team, Keir is still holding his own with a random 2 bonus points as well, his 4th placed rider came in 4th (Eisel), something which would not have happened if McEwen had kept his place.

33 Simon White (France)
29 Paul Evans (France)
29 Joost Dantuma (UK)
14 Francis Lee (France)
14 Keir Mitchell (UK)

Team time trial doesn’t count tomorrow.