TDF 2018, Stage 1: Noirmoutier-en-l'Île > Fontenay-le-Comte 07/07/2018 - 201 km *Spoilers*

blazing_saddlesblazing_saddles Posts: 13,549
edited July 2018 in Pro race
Tour de France 2018 Route stage 1: Noirmoutier-en-l’Île – Fontenay-le-Comte 201Kms

Noirmoutier hosted the Tour de France before. This island off the Atlantic coast of France is connected to the mainland by bridge, yet on several occasions La Grande Boucle preferred to use the Passage du Gois, which is a paved-over sandbank. Twice a day the 4.5 kilometres passage is flooded by the high tide. In 1999, the slippery surface caused a fall in the peloton, resulting in a six-minute split. It was the 2nd stage, but the crash ended the hopes of pre-race favourites Zülle and Gotti and many others.
In 2005, Noirmoutier also hosted the opening stage, this time as the finish to an Individual time trial, which was won then by CSC's Dave Zabriske. Both he and second placed Lance Armstrong have since had their results voided, which handed the stage win to none other than...................Alexander Vinokourov!

In 2018, the organisation shies away from the Passage du Gois. There is also a bridge and after leaving the village Noirmoutier-en-l’Île, the riders cross the bridge before stage 1 continues to Fontenay-le-Comte. Much of the route follows the twisting Vendée coastline, so cross winds and echelons could be lurking during the entire day.

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The finish is in Fontenay-le-Comte, a village that never hosted the Tour de France before. The stage winner will be applauded three times as he takes both the yellow and green jersey, too.

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Video of the last 5kms:-
https://youtu.be/JKcvRcldIUo

But before that, the sprint. Fast men should be aware of two things – a tight right-hand turn with 1.4 kilometres left and the last 800 metres are an uphill false flat.

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The 1st stage of the 2018 Tour de France starts at 11:10CET.

Team hotels for this stage. (All can be found in the race roadbook)

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Noirmoutier

Noirmoutier is an French island in the Bay of Biscay. It’s connected to the mainland by the Passage du Gois causeway, accessible only at low tide. The 12th-century Château de Noirmoutier castle houses a museum with artifacts dating to prehistoric times. St. Philbert Church has a mix of Romanesque and Gothic styles. Sealand Aquarium features hundreds of species. Sandy beaches include Dames Beach and Sableaux Beach.

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Noirmoutier bridge under construction.

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Fontenay-le-Comte

The Renaissance town of Fontenay-le-Comte is often referred to as the prettiest town in the Vendée and is surely one of the prettiest in France being listed in the "Plus Beau detours de France".
Sitting astride the River Vendée this former port was a fording town on the old Roman coastal road from Les Sables D’Olonne to Niort.
There are three distinct rings in the development of Fontenay-le-Comte, starting with the walled medieval castle, of which only the ruins of some of the ramparts, entrance, gate and a tower remain. Surrounding these ruins is the Renaissance heart of the town dating from the 15th and 16th centuries, which is now a conservation area where development is restricted. Surrounding this is the modern outer commercial sector.

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Finally, some cuisine and accompanying libation

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"Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
«13456

Posts

  • ProssPross Posts: 20,991
    The distance of some of those hotels from the start is surprising. Something I've never appreciated before!
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 43,609 Lives Here
    edited July 2018
    Was about to do this so thanks Blazing.

    Good effort as ever.

    Winner gets yellow. It's all about which sprinters are lining up.


    Dylan Groenewegen
    9/4 5/2
    Fernando Gaviria
    9/4 3
    Marcel Kittel
    7/2
    Arnaud Demare
    8
    Peter Sagan
    8 10
    Mark Cavendish
    14
    Andre Greipel
    20
    Alexander Kristoff
    33

    Are some of the odds.

    I'm salivating at the prospect of Groenewegen being a favourite.

    Day after is another flat stage, and then TT, then another flat stage, then a generously titled 'hilly' stage with a semi uphill finish, then it's the Mur de Bretagne, then ANOTHER TWO flat stages, and then finally a proper stage with the cray cray cobbled stage.

    So not a lot of meat on the bone there, compared to previous Prudy week ones.
  • tailwindhometailwindhome Posts: 13,659
    Has Kittel any form this year?
    I don't think I've heard him mentioned all season
    "ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED? IS THIS NOT WHY YOU ARE HERE?"
  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 7,223
    Thank you for setting these up..... And this means it's really real
    and then the next thing you know
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 43,609 Lives Here
    Forecast currently saying low wind...
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 22,520
    Has Kittel any form this year?
    I don't think I've heard him mentioned all season
    He won a couple of stages at Tirreno-Adriatico, but he's really been struggling since (he's only had top top 5s since - a 4th and 5th)
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • above_the_cowsabove_the_cows Posts: 10,890
    Excuse me? Is this the first TDF spoiler thread of 2018?

    Cheval-marais-001.jpg

    Mais oui! Ça super!

    Sadly no chance of this on Saturday as they're going over the bridge.

    sea-cow-thorvin-animals.jpg?1437578375

    But we may get a chance to see some of these beauties living on the polderised landscape of the Île de Noirmoutier.

    DwqVbOz7jr59gPa1aUB8o4KoPt4@800x600.jpg

    Meanwhile some historical transportation courtesy of our large eared horse cousins...

    normal.jpg
    Correlation is not causation.
  • Dorset_BoyDorset_Boy Posts: 2,315
    No potatoes or sun dried sea salt Blazin? That's the main crop around there.
    Also the Passage du Gois can't be used because it will be underwater at the time, so unless they were to start on bikes, hop into pedalos and then back onto bikes, the bridge is the only way off the island!
    Get the Echelon Klaxon handy if there is a westerly wind in the first part - it's all reclaimed marshland and is pan flan and can be quite exposed.
  • blazing_saddlesblazing_saddles Posts: 13,549
    Dorset Boy wrote:
    No potatoes or sun dried sea salt Blazin? That's the main crop around there.
    Also the Passage du Gois can't be used because it will be underwater at the time, so unless they were to start on bikes, hop into pedalos and then back onto bikes, the bridge is the only way off the island!
    Get the Echelon Klaxon handy if there is a westerly wind in the first part - it's all reclaimed marshland and is pan flan and can be quite exposed.

    Noirmoutier caviar.

    article-2021077-0D415E2E00000578-799_1024x615_large.jpg
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • amrushtonamrushton Posts: 558
    Quick Step get a nice hotel

    http://www.chateau-de-la-verie.com/uk/index.php

    Sky a bit less so imo

    http://hotel-omnubo.com/en/home
  • above_the_cowsabove_the_cows Posts: 10,890
    It's on standby...

    c091b044-ae7f-4014-b250-b32534486b5a_zps1bncfvoa.jpg
    Correlation is not causation.
  • larkimlarkim Posts: 2,212
    Dorset Boy wrote:
    No potatoes or sun dried sea salt Blazin? That's the main crop around there.
    Also the Passage du Gois can't be used because it will be underwater at the time, so unless they were to start on bikes, hop into pedalos and then back onto bikes, the bridge is the only way off the island!
    Get the Echelon Klaxon handy if there is a westerly wind in the first part - it's all reclaimed marshland and is pan flan and can be quite exposed.

    Noirmoutier caviar.

    article-2021077-0D415E2E00000578-799_1024x615_large.jpg
    Best mashed potato I ever tasted was in St Gilles made with local spuds, local butter and salt from Noirmoutier. Could eat a plateful right now.
    2015 Canyon Nerve AL 6.0 (son #1's)
    2011 Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc (son #3s)
    2013 Decathlon Triban 3 (red) (mine)
    2019 Hoy Bonaly 26" Disc (son #2s)
    2018 Voodoo Bizango (mine)
    2018 Voodoo Maji (wife's)
  • knedlickyknedlicky Posts: 3,097
    Dorset Boy wrote:
    No potatoes or sun dried sea salt Blazin?
    Also the Passage du Gois can't be used because it will be underwater at the time
    They grow their potatoes next to sea grass, which is supposed to give the potatoes an extra, and different, taste. Different enough to warrant them having a potato festival each year in May.

    And I was wondering where their well-known salt wasn't mentioned – like maybe used as a salt crust around a baked sea bass.

    IMG_8566.JPG

    As for the Passage du Gois, the original intention was for the riders to cross it, the Tour start being 30 June. It was only after ASO decided to shift the start date back a week because of the World Cup (which they did in June 2017) that it became realised it wouldn't be possible because of the different tide times a week later. And rather than change the start location, ASO instead slightly altered the beginning of the stage.
  • Lanterne_RogueLanterne_Rogue Posts: 2,024
    Sod Christmas - it's the most wonderful time of the year...
    @canocola

    aka the poster formerly known as underlayunderlay
  • bm5bm5 Posts: 130
    amrushton wrote:
    Some very French interior decor pictures in the Sky hotel. ASO revenge?
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 19,269
    It's gonna be a month of heart wishing Cav but PTP head saying Kittel innit...

    In other news, I'm back in NL again next weekend!
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 43,609 Lives Here
    bm5 wrote:
    amrushton wrote:
    Some very French interior decor pictures in the Sky hotel. ASO revenge?

    They rota the teams through different star levels of hotel (as there are never enough hotels of the same quality for the entire peloton).
  • sherersherer Posts: 2,329
    Going to miss the first few stages as I'm riding the etape on Sunday.

    What do people think Cav's chances are of breaking Eddie's record ?
  • takethehighroadtakethehighroad Posts: 5,388
    I'm willing to be proven wrong, but I highly doubt there will be echelons tomorrow.

    We hoped for the same in 2013 and 2016 and all we got was crashes
    My Men 2019 - Mark Cavendish, Ben Swift, Fernando Gaviria, Alejandro Valverde, Edvald Boassen Hagen, Zdenek Stybar, Vincenzo Nibali, Geraint Thomas.
  • Lanterne_RogueLanterne_Rogue Posts: 2,024
    sherer wrote:
    Going to miss the first few stages as I'm riding the etape on Sunday.

    What do people think Cav's chances are of breaking Eddie's record ?

    None.
    @canocola

    aka the poster formerly known as underlayunderlay
  • salsiccia1salsiccia1 Posts: 3,236
    sherer wrote:
    Going to miss the first few stages as I'm riding the etape on Sunday.

    What do people think Cav's chances are of breaking Eddie's record ?

    None.

    Alas, I think you're correct.
    It's only a bit of sport, Mun. Relax and enjoy the racing.
  • Lanterne_RogueLanterne_Rogue Posts: 2,024
    salsiccia1 wrote:
    sherer wrote:
    Going to miss the first few stages as I'm riding the etape on Sunday.

    What do people think Cav's chances are of breaking Eddie's record ?

    None.

    Alas, I think you're correct.

    If he'd picked up a couple of stages last year I think it would still be possible, but four just seems too many now. FWIW I doubt Kittel will pick up more than a handful of stages between now and the end of his career either. Feels like a generational shift is taking place now after one of (perhaps THE) best periods for pure sprinters in cycling's history.
    @canocola

    aka the poster formerly known as underlayunderlay
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 43,609 Lives Here
    As someone who has written off Cav at regular intervals thoughout his career, I can assure you that you usually end up looking like a mug when you say he definitely won't win.
  • TheBlueBeanTheBlueBean Posts: 8,261
    I know all he has done this year is crash, but I would think Cavendish has a decent chance to win some stages.
  • takethehighroadtakethehighroad Posts: 5,388
    I so badly want My Man Cav to win just one stage, but I just can't see him doing it.

    Alas, I felt the same way in 2016, and he won 4 stages that year.

    I learnt a long time ago not to second guess or doubt Cav, and just enjoy him for as long as he's got left
    My Men 2019 - Mark Cavendish, Ben Swift, Fernando Gaviria, Alejandro Valverde, Edvald Boassen Hagen, Zdenek Stybar, Vincenzo Nibali, Geraint Thomas.
  • m.r.m.m.r.m. Posts: 1,548
    He could probably win 1-2 this year and another 1-2 in the next 2 years. I think he will eventually make it.
    PTP Champion 2019
  • Dorset_BoyDorset_Boy Posts: 2,315
    I can't see Cav winning. A crosswind stage would have been a good chance for him as he's a better reader of those conditions than most other sprinters, but the winds won't be strong enough it seems.
    Hope I'm wrong about his chances over the next 3 weeks though.
  • TheBlueBeanTheBlueBean Posts: 8,261
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/44576490
    Mark's musings: It's going to be a bunch sprint with the winner taking the coveted yellow jersey. It's what the Tour de France organisers want. It's not often sprinters get the opportunity to go for the yellow jersey but it's one we all relish. Normally on the Atlantic Coast - this stage spends more than 100km by the sea - crosswinds can be a factor but the temperature looks great and the forecast looks fine so we might not get them.

    That doesn't mean it's going to be an easy stage because everyone will be vying for position at the front. It will be a good test to see which teams are strong and we'll be going for the win.

    My Dimension Data team will be looking to control the riders who get in the break, although we have to look out for the time bonus sprint only 15km from the finish. That can upset teams trying to set up their lead-out trains. There is a right-hander with just over one kilometre to go but then a nice straight run to the finish.

    Cav's one to watch: Mark Cavendish (GB/Dimension Data) It will be an honour to go for the yellow jersey again, having won it on stage one in 2016.
  • takethehighroadtakethehighroad Posts: 5,388
    TheBigBean wrote:
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/44576490
    Cav's one to watch: Mark Cavendish (GB/Dimension Data) It will be an honour to go for the yellow jersey again, having won it on stage one in 2016.

    Can Rich put Cav's picks into PTP so we can see how he does?
    My Men 2019 - Mark Cavendish, Ben Swift, Fernando Gaviria, Alejandro Valverde, Edvald Boassen Hagen, Zdenek Stybar, Vincenzo Nibali, Geraint Thomas.
  • salsiccia1salsiccia1 Posts: 3,236
    I so badly want My Man Cav to win just one stage, but I just can't see him doing it.

    Alas, I felt the same way in 2016, and he won 4 stages that year.

    I learnt a long time ago not to second guess or doubt Cav, and just enjoy him for as long as he's got left

    I'd be delighted to be proved wrong and see him do it. I really would.
    It's only a bit of sport, Mun. Relax and enjoy the racing.
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