Thursday, July 02, 2015

It's Yer Tour de France in Preview Part Final: The Climbers, The Roleurs, and General Roundup! #letour

Okay, the teams've been presented, the nutrition's been tweaked, and we've got one (two, depending where you live) day to go! So now that you got the course, the GC, and the sprinters, who's left? These guys!

The Climbers: if you *can't* climb, you're not up for GC, so that covers *them*. If you *can* climb, but aren't up for GC, you're generally yer GC-huntin' team captain's beeyotch. But if he chokes or you're free of an overall contender in yer squad, *and* you're capable of a flying legendary mountaintop stage win, you probably used to work for Euskaltel. BMC's former King of the Mountains and don't you forget it Samu', of course. Movistar's Gorka Izaguirre and Winner Anacona. Romain Sicard. Uran Uran. Richie Porte, if he gets his confidence back after his soul-suckin' Giro. Rafal Majka and Roman Kreuziger, the latter bouncing back from a bio passport accusation and with more'n enough motivation for vengeance. Last year's podium surprise Thibaut Pinot. Out: shock Giro podium Mikel Landa, on Grand Tour hiatus til the Vuelta (because apparently, Nibali doesn't take that !@#$.) Oh, come on, Fab 4, reward one of your boys with a stage win!

The Stage Fighters: they're not the climbiest, they're not the sprintiest, but put 'em in the right place at the right time, and you've got *gold*, baby! Fabian Cancellara, who just announced this may be his farewell Tour (yes, Fabs fans, I know--here, have a tissue!) and Tony Martin for the time trial. We love camera-grabbin' Tommy "the Tongue" Voeckler and the indestructible Sylvain Chavanel. Luca Paolini. Like every damn Belgian in the peloton for the cobblestones. Gerrans, Costa, Kwiatkowski, Pippo (yeah, go to hell, at least the Tour will be infinitely more glam with him there)! Oh, the likelihood that some dimwit fan is gonna take out one of these guys with their !@#$in' camera or enormous drooling dog *right* when they're on the cusp of victory is just *killin'* me here...

The Gloves Are Off!: finally, I note that the GC contenders are now breaking their pre-race silence, with quiet Nairo Quintana in a monster huff against usually-more-discreet Vincenzo Nibali for seemingly criticizing Nairo for training in the comfort and obscurity of home in Colombia while Nibs Froome and Alberto were drudging away in spot-lit misery in Tenerife, Froome finally not just bitching about his accommodations on Twitter, and Alberto Contador scaring the crap out of everyone by saying he "felt better at the 2014 Tour," which presumably means he's actually gonna shell Froomey like a peanut and leave him gacking from the bottom of the race's first climb right up to the final podium in Paris. On a related note, whose numbnut idea was it to jinx Alberto's Giro-Tour double with a maillot jaune canary? Well, enough with the smack-talk and psych-outs--it's time to go, so let's all have it out on the road!

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