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2021 Tour de France Fantasy

MartinMartin Member, Rooster Endurance Member

Just a reminder for now. Leagues aren't up for a few more days, so if you had Ackermann as your sprinter, you have a few days to find another angry German.

It's being referred to as a 'balanced' Tour this year, which means a couple of flat TTs, and a bit less climbing. Why hello, Geraint... Hope you got all those wobbles out of you at the Tour de Suisse.

Roglic has been hiding for the past couple months (which always bothers me a bit, but at least means he didn't wipe out in a meaningless race). Here's hoping he's making sure his TT helmet fits before the morning of the race this year.

AaronWebsteyJennifer Post
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    wchevronwchevron Member, POTM

    I'll be shooting for bottom of the leaderboard, same a previous years.

    M_WareMartinAaronWebstey
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    AaronWebsteyAaronWebstey Administrator, Rooster Endurance Member, Rooster Endurance Officers

    @Martin do we still have a league from last year? Let's do it!!

    #KOAT
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    MartinMartin Member, Rooster Endurance Member

    Join me in the league now no.1739 : Tour de Roost
    Password : WTTHY
    By clicking on this link : https://flobikes.fantasybytissot.com/#welcome/register/?parrain=eu94knc&ligue=1739&mdp=WTTHY

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    Jennifer PostJennifer Post Member, Rooster Endurance Member, Level 2 Supporter

    Thanks for setting up the league. I just made my guesses.

    MartinAaronWebstey
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    MartinMartin Member, Rooster Endurance Member
    edited June 22

    Just a heads-up: the lists are not final yet. Still Bennett instead of Cavendish for QuickStep, and Kevin Reza retired today, for example, and someone is bound to test positive for Covid in the next few days. This is as certain as Patrick Lefevere, the QuickStep DS causing a diplomatic incident with Slovenia, and rear-ending some guy in a McDonalds' drive-through by Thursday.

    Also, for those of you who believe he has been doing a rope-a-dope this year, Froomey is only 9 points. (My opinion: there is a reason that a multiple Tour winner is only 9 points right now. Froome was a brilliant rider, but that crash and the spoils of riding at the top for a few years took it out of him.)

    Lazy pick: Prior to day 1 set MVDP, Wout van Aert, or Alaphilippe as your choice. Come back and change him for stage 8.

    Days 1 & 2 are basically early season classics profiles. You might see a sprinter make it up the hill, but it's more likely to be Wout van Aert, Mathieu van der Poel, Alaphillipe, Valverde, Woods, Yates, and some guy from Astana in the finale.

    Get some work done on stages 3&4 - set your sprinter and come back for the ITT on stage 5, where you can roll one of those weird D&D four-sided dies between Roglic, "Someone else from Jumbo", Thomas or "Someone else from Ineos'.

    Stage 6 is another sprint stage.

    Stage 7 has a big enough hill that Sagan will burn all of the Bora matches setting things up then lose to van Aert in a sprint.

    Stage 8 is the first real mountain stage, but with a downhill finish. Here are a couple of videos of the descent, assuming I'm reading the map correctly. Now imagine doing this faster - a lot faster - surrounded by riders in the peak of their fitness, and a peloton riding a mix of disc and rim brakes, reminding themselves constantly to NOT use an aero tuck, rest their forearms on the bars, or toss a bottle to a fan. Bonus points if you can imagine it in the rain. Oh, best downhillers in the the race are probably Carapaz, Uran, Alaphilippe, and Nibali. Unlikely that Nibbles makes it to the top with these guys unless it is from a break, but you never know.

    That's enough preview for tonight.

    M_WareJennifer PostAaronWebstey
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    MartinMartin Member, Rooster Endurance Member

    11 Teams registered so far. Pick your winner for tomorrow's stage. I'm a complete homer so I'm betting with my heart for Woods for Canada's first maillot jaune in 31 years, although my brain says MVDP. I figure if the Montreal Canadiens can make it to the Stanley Cup final, anything can happen this year.

    AaronWebsteyCraig_D
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    Jennifer PostJennifer Post Member, Rooster Endurance Member, Level 2 Supporter

    I just finalized my picks and borrowed your brain to pick MVDP for tomorrow's stage.

    AaronWebstey
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    AaronWebsteyAaronWebstey Administrator, Rooster Endurance Member, Rooster Endurance Officers

    My picks are in! Let's gooooo

    #KOAT
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    KHilgendorfKHilgendorf Member, Rooster Endurance Member, POTM

    @Jennifer Post look at @Martin performance over the past couple years before you dive into his recommendations.

    MartinJennifer PostAaronWebstey
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    MartinMartin Member, Rooster Endurance Member

    Oof. Gonna be a tough day in the fantasy world.

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    MartinMartin Member, Rooster Endurance Member
    edited June 26

    Stage 1

    I'm not even going to check, but guessing @KHilgendorf is in the lead and that I am in dead last.

    Sigh. Cyclists once again trying to disprove that two things cannot occupy the same space at the same time. I am not a physicist, but I know that 180 cyclists cannot occupy the wheel of the lead rider at the same time, and when they try, there is a reaction. This usually happens mid-peloton, but today it happened right up near the front (twice!), the second time with catastrophic results for guys who have another 2400-odd km to race.

    Also: Fans causing crashes. FFS. Pelotons are a mass. When they come towards you, get the hell out of the way. No one cares about your cardboard box sign. And now you are a national village idiot. Congratulations.

    Today screwed up a lot of fantasy pools. Remember that our pool does have a limited substitution feature that you can use.

    AaronWebstey
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    Jennifer PostJennifer Post Member, Rooster Endurance Member, Level 2 Supporter

    @KHilgendorf said:
    @Jennifer Post look at @Martin performance over the past couple years before you dive into his recommendations.

    Lesson learned on stage 1. ;) I did ok today. (Zoom-Zoom). However, I changed my team captain from Alaphilippe to MVDP after reading Martin’s post….

    MartinAaronWebstey
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    MartinMartin Member, Rooster Endurance Member

    Stage 2

    That played about as expected. The maillot jaune has a ridiculous amount of work to do, and a French, reigning world champ maillot jaune that utterly fried his competition yesterday probably has that amplified. Not a huge surprise that JA was not able to defend today. Props to him for heading straight to MVDP to congratulate him after the stage. He's almost becoming likeable in my book.

    The fight for the maillot à pois was on today, and I would be surprised if there has ever been as much of a fight for a single point as the last Cat 4 before they threw in the towel. Perez has made his intentions clear, now needs to sit back and wait for a hilly day to lock it up for the first rest day. (I don't think that other guy has a chance.)

    MVDP is the third consecutive generation of his family to win a stage, and the second to wear the yellow jersey. The guy is pure class, and can win at just about any event where you put two wheels under him. I do not expect him to make it all the way to Paris - Tokyo beckons - but he did what he came to do, and that Pro Tour he rides for - currently ranked 8th in the world, including World Tour teams - is getting their money's worth. Figure Merlier is good for a stage win at some point down the road and you have some very happy sponsors.

    Now sit back and relax as the sprinters take center stage. (And if your name is not @KHilgendorf, remember to switch out for a sprinter in your fantasy team.) Tomorrow should be uneventful. Weather calls for a cool day with some rain during the stage but a couple of hours of drying time before they hit Pontivy.

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    Jennifer PostJennifer Post Member, Rooster Endurance Member, Level 2 Supporter

    @Martin said:
    Stage 2

    Figure Merlier is good for a stage win at some point down the road and you have some very happy sponsors.

    >

    Nice! Who knew that "some point down the road" meant stage 3. :)

    MartinM_Ware
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    MartinMartin Member, Rooster Endurance Member

    Stage 3

    I remember in one of the early USPS tours, Frankie Andreu posted in a rider diary that they really missed US peanut butter while in France, and for the next several days the team received boxes of Jif and Kraft from fans at every stop. (He then joked about how they really missed Rolex watches, but I digress.)

    If you have any spare gauze or Polysporin lying around the house, please send it to your favourite Tour rider, because odds are that they need it. Today was another crash-filled mess, with two GC hopes going down hard, Haig crashing out entirely, and all but one (Carapaz, of all people) of the GC favourites losing time today. I expect that tonight a few Directeurs will be looking at Plan B and Plan C, and a few leaders will be looking at the Vuelta route maps trying to decide if they should pack it in.

    Alpecin-Fenix will be sabering champagne like it's going out of style, because they will probably hold yellow until Stage 8, they have their second stage win already, and probably the healthiest sprinter in the race.

    The Jumbo bus is going to be awkward. I can't imagine Roglic is the most obvious guy to hang around with anyway, and given his crash today, the team is probably in a bit of a scramble to figure out what to do. He might make up some time on the TT, which will hopefully take the pressure off, but he needs to make up A LOT of time. Wout is their best-placed rider right now, and will still be after the TT, but he's not going to make up 20-plus seconds on JA on Wednesday. Kuss is so far back that he might be a polka dot option. Gesink crashed out. What a train wreck.

    I am very curious to see how the GC looks after the time trial on Wednesday. I think we'll be down to three or four legit favourites (and not the ones you expect) and maybe Alaphillippe. Alaphillipe has a solid shot at the Green jersey in my opinion - he goes uphill and downhill better than Merlier - but will need to throw time to be allowed to chase it. He also has a fair shot at the Yellow on Wednesday, as I believe on form he is a better TT guy than MVDP. Given that he has managed to stay upright so far, JA is also a podium contender for Paris. Nice problem to have.

    Jennifer Post
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    MartinMartin Member, Rooster Endurance Member

    To substitute a rider, hover on the jersey and a red X will appear. You click that to 'sell' them, which costs you 50 points. I think the price goes up later in the race, but can't recall. Anyway, handy feature if you had Caleb Ewan need it.

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    KHilgendorfKHilgendorf Member, Rooster Endurance Member, POTM

    Um... Have you seen MVDP race cyclocross @Martin ? Dude is a 1-hour-power machine. The 100m of uphills isn't nearly enough to cause him harm against JA. Where I'm interested is how Roglic can recover from today's fall, how Thomas is affected by his dislocation (especially in a TT position)If Roglic is healthy (enough) wednesday, he should be able to take back 30 sec on Pogacar, and 15-30 on JA. I suspect, though, he may be a bit too sore and we're looking at plan E from Jumbo tossing WvA into the GC mix to salvage a potential stage and yellow from the TT.

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    MartinMartin Member, Rooster Endurance Member

    Stage 4

    That was pretty awesome. Watch the last 10k if you get a chance.

    Classic sprint stage, great win, and an otherwise uneventful day so the top guys were able to recover a bit.

    Remember to change your picks for the TT tomorrow. Flat course, decent chance of rain, though.

    Jennifer Post
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    MartinMartin Member, Rooster Endurance Member
    edited July 1

    Stage 5

    Life's too short to watch flat mid-distance TTS if Ganna is not riding.

    I see @KHilgendorf's prediction mostly held up. That's MVDP's best road TT ever - check his stats on procyclingstats - but I figure he's usually too bored to try. The yellow jersey perks must have motivated him. For the triathlon link to this story, it looks like he picked up some wheels that Cam Wurf was selling in the Slowtwitch classified section. Cam might be wanting those back, now.

    So what happens now that the best climber in the race is now the best flat TT guy as well? Well, hopefully it means the breaks get a shed load of time, and hopefully they get big and unwieldy, and stronger teams than UAE slide Voekleresque guys in that are too dumb to realize they won't keep yellow, but might, and will bury themselves trying. But it probably won't. We'll see opportunistic attacks, and maybe a big attack if Pogacar suffers.

    Ineos is still an enigma this year. Their best hope is probably Porte (and always has been). But he's down after that mess in stage 1. Carapaz showed how much time he needs to gain to hold off challengers in the next TT. (Ouch.)I'm a big G fan but the Tour is not an ideal place to recover from traumatic orthopaedic injuries. So maybe we'll see another Superfriends finish like last year, or maybe they'll throw caution to the wind and blow the race apart one day in an effort to sneak two onto the podium.

    Hey, if you are a DS or sponsor of a team not named Alpecin Fenix or DQS, you might be wondering if maybe the big bad Wolf pack and scrappy little ProCon team with a Yankees-AAA--with-Aaron-Judge-on-a-rehab-assignment level roster will share the wealth. I mean, it's entirely possible that these teams win another four stages between them. And they will have held yellow and green for nearly half the race. Heck, Pogacar was lucky to get an interview after the race today. So look forward to lots of TV-TIME breakaways featuring no one you have ever heard of, because there are really not a lot of stages left up for grabs, and lots of earned media value left to, uh, earn

    Jennifer PostAaronWebstey
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    MartinMartin Member, Rooster Endurance Member
    edited July 1

    Stage 9

    "So look forward to lots of TV-TIME breakaways featuring no one you have ever heard of"

    Or the reigning Olympic gold medallist and Classics gentleman, GVA.

    FFS. That's just sad.

    So today went pretty much to script. The intermediate sprint was a gong show, but if everyone involved is unhappy, I guess it was fair? Not sure Alpecin is really using their best endgame here. Spreading the wins around is cool and all, but not really necessary at the Tour., and if Merlier is not injured he's being wasted here. (They are also screwing up my pool by running their sprint plan B right now.) Anyway, any sprint stage that does not involve Bouhanni punching someone in the head is probably a win for the Tour.

    Tomorrow is a bumpy one, and it is the longest stage in 21 years. It's practically a Milan-San Remo in length and bar the 8 km run-in to the finish, in profile. A tough guy stage. It's the kind of stage where you would expect a reigning Olympic gold medallist and Classics gentleman to thrive if he hadn't been in a break all day the day before. (Maybe someone switched out his road maps?) If it was a one-day race, JA, GVA, MVDP, WVP and maybe Kwiatkowski. But it's a few days into a GT, and one of those guys is in yellow, so unlikely.

    Anyway, Sagan being battered means it is less likely he will fry the Bora team aiming for a win, and it's a lock that Perez and Schelling will be fighting each other in the break over the polka dots, so I would hope for a break to - gasp - stay away? And maybe with someone of class like Nibali in it?

    M_WareJennifer PostAaronWebstey
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    MartinMartin Member, Rooster Endurance Member
    edited July 1

    Found: Photo of Stefan Kung as he lost the hotseat to Pogacar by 19 seconds yesterday:

    M_WareJennifer PostAaronWebstey
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    MartinMartin Member, Rooster Endurance Member

    Stage 7

    Slovenia, with a population roughly equivalent to Nebraska, has won 37% (unaudited number) of World Tour races since 2019.

    Roglic was the worst of the Slovenian cyclists today. A 13 year-old French kid on a BMX rode past him doing a wheelie at one point. He was so off the pace that Jumbo didn't leave anyone to ride with him to the finish. Roglic lost another three minutes and you figure he must be going home? See you in Spain. Jumbo is not having a good Tour, although it it very likely that they will take yellow with Wout tomorrow (then lose it on Sunday).

    I suggested that a classy break might go away today and it did: MVDP (in yellow), WvA, Nibbles, Stuyven, Cort, Mohoric, van Baarle - a bunch of tough guys. And it stayed away with Mohoric winning the stage, to the joy of Slovenians everywhere. He is also keeping the polka dots warm, unless he has the legs to defend them tomorrow.

    The GC battle is downright strange this year. I don't know what anyone is surprised to see MVDP in yellow at this point, but the gaps are not negligible. UAE proved to be incapable of controlling the race when it went sideways today, and the time gaps did not start to come down until the other teams contributed. Pogacar was on his own last year and did well, and sadly, with no other GC teams really in with a shout at this point, he might be able to pull that off again, but it's not a great look.

    Ineos did try something today. It was ultimately futile (probably went too early), but Carapaz did how a bit of spark. He needs this kind of attack to stick more than once over the next two weeks to have any chance of clawing his way back into contention, though, because he TTs about as well as the aforementioned BMX kid.

    It's all change tomorrow, with three Cat 1s. It's a downhill finish though, so the gaps should be small. I think van Aert has the legs to take yellow tomorrow. He has more experience in the mountains than MVDP, he has Kuss and Teunissen (assuming JV doesn't assign them to Roglic or something), and JV needs to salvage their tire fire of a race, so he will be motivated. That said, it's a downhill finish. Nibali (probably tired, though), Uran (could win or finish dead last), Alaphilippe, Froome (never mind) and the other Colombians are rock-solid descenders are going to pile on the pressure.

    Jennifer PostAaronWebstey
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    KHilgendorfKHilgendorf Member, Rooster Endurance Member, POTM

    Not to show my hand, but I have Ala in for the win tomorrow. He'll be able to climb with the rest of them, I suspect a big enough effort will kick WvA out the back after his attempt today and MvdP will be right with him. What will be interesting is Nibbles. He leapt up the rankings today and is within a shot at yellow on the downhill tomorrow if he can keep pace to that point. He and Ala could certainly put the pressure on Pog and force a mistake or see some hesitation result in a minute.

    MartinJennifer PostAaronWebstey
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    MartinMartin Member, Rooster Endurance Member

    Stage 8

    Hmm. Well, I guess the next two weeks will be more productive for me than usual. That was a Floyd/Sastre level display. Anyone with GC hopes now has 'maybe he will crash?' hopes.

    Tomorrow should go to a breakaway. Dan Martin is probably the next ISN rider to launch, although expect Woods to take a dig in an effort to grab polka dots. Poels can probably defend, but that race for polka dots might be the most exciting part of the race for the next couple of weeks.

    Anyway, I lost about as much enthusiasm as Roglic lost time today. Hopefully tomorrow can turn things around slightly.

    Jennifer PostAaronWebstey
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    Jennifer PostJennifer Post Member, Rooster Endurance Member, Level 2 Supporter

    I lost my enthusiasm too. Do you think that was just drugs or drugs + motor?

    FWIW, at least I won't be as likely to watch the tour instead of heading to the pool before work.

    M_WareAaronWebstey
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    MartinMartin Member, Rooster Endurance Member

    @Jennifer Post said:
    I lost my enthusiasm too. Do you think that was just drugs or drugs + motor?

    FWIW, at least I won't be as likely to watch the tour instead of heading to the pool before work.

    I think it was clean*. There is simply no one in France at his level with the crashes taking out so many GC guys and lieutenants. Maybe we'll see a crosswinds day with huge gaps. I think Ineos is better than UAE, and they will have allies in DQS and probably Bora (though Movistar will ride against Ineos). It's still possible to see the yellow jersey 'flicked' on a stage like that, but it will take some doing.

    *By clean, I exclude ketones and the borderline PEDs that everyone is using.

    Jennifer PostAaronWebstey
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    Jennifer PostJennifer Post Member, Rooster Endurance Member, Level 2 Supporter

    Sharing in case you haven't seen this video.

    wchevronM_WareAaronWebstey
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    MartinMartin Member, Rooster Endurance Member

    Stage 9

    With most of the racers eyeing finish line hot tubs and a rest day, an Alpine stage run in miserable conditions saw the Tour hit the first real mountaintop finish. After a bit of a donnybrook for the maillot a pois featuring the Colombian National Team against Michael Woods, Australian prodigy Ben O'Connor gradually took over and brought some much needed glory to French team AG2R-Citroen, moving himself into second place on GC at the same time.

    I'm afraid this will prove to be a tactical disaster for whoever ends up fourth in Paris. This kid is not a nobody, and they should never have given him this much time. He probably secured a podium spot today. And lest you think his team can't support support him, they have reigning Olympic gold medallist and Classics gentleman Greg van Avermaet to shepherd him through France (and another Classics contender in Benoit Cosnefroy), which is roughly the same as Lance having Hincapie. (Say what you want - Hincapie and Ekimov were as big a part of his vacated victories as the Spanish mountain goats that surrounded him.) This assumes GVA, the lanterne rouge today, is not excluded due to a time cut.

    In other news, Tadej became bored and rode away from everyone in the last 4 km again. The unpredictable Uran is currently sitting in the third podium spot, Mas bounced back from his usual mid-race crash to creep up to 6th on GC. David Gaud-who? An exasperated Guillaume Martin put himself back into the running for best French rider at the Tour (which should really have a jersey, since they probably won't ever win yellow again).

    Oh, MVDP and Roglic went home, for different reasons. Check your teams over the rest day. A few other riders went home today, including 2020 stage winner Nans Peter, Alpecin's backup plan Tim Merlier, FDJ sprinter Arnaud Demare (who has been invisible this Tour), B&B sprinter Bryan Coquard (who has been mostly invisible this Tour), and a few supporting guys:

    DNS Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma
    HD Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
    DNS Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix
    DNF Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
    DNF Nans Peters (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
    DNF Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal
    HD Stefan De Bod (RSA) Astana-Premier Tech
    HD Loïc Vliegen (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
    HD Bryan Coquard (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM

    M_WareAaronWebstey
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    MartinMartin Member, Rooster Endurance Member

    Stage 10

    Maple-syrup-powered Hugo Houle was the last man standing from the break. Fun fact, Astana is co-sponsored by Premier Tech, which is a huge global agricultural conglomerate based in Rivière-du-Loup, Quebec, which is about as far from anything as you can get. Also, Hugo Houle is a Luke-Rowe-type monster.

    Kind of a weird stage. Ineos managed to bring most of their team in a crash. Nothing major, but you have to imagine Thomas was pissed. Some nervous riding due to the threat of crosswinds, and there were a few echelons, but no one important was isolated. Which meant that the sprint teams could put it together for a fairly textbook sprint. Which means Cavs wins his 33rd TdF stage. Which is nuts.

    Hey, look at tomorrow's profile: It has Ventoux, twice! And finishes on a downhill , with an 80% chance of rain and thunderstorms tomorrow. There's a pretty good chance they cut this short if it really rains hard. Anyway, Pogacar and the descenders are the likely candidates for a win. It's just too hard a day for the breakaway to stay away, unless they give them 20+ minutes in the first 100k.

    From Cyclingnews.com:

    AaronWebstey
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    MartinMartin Member, Rooster Endurance Member

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