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Subject: All-Time Great Tour de France Replay rss

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John Weber
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ATG TOUR DE FRANCE REPLAY

Concurrent with the real-life 2009 Tour de France, I have decided to run an all-time great Tour de France replay featuring many of the all-time greats from the pantheon of great riders in Tour de France history. Will be using Leader 1, Leader 2, some of the Giro D'Italia rules set (for Time Trials mostly), will be running the actual stages from this year's TdF as they happen or at least within a day or two.
The five team leaders for this replay will be the five greatest ompetitors in Tour de France history, the five five-time winners.
Each of the five will then select two teammates to form the field for this exclusive bike race. Each of the five team leaders will have three special abilities, each teammate will have two special abilities.

Introducing the five team leaders:

Jacques Anquetil ("Master Jacques"), 1957, 1961-64 Tour de France winner, the first five-time champion and first to win four consecutive
Tours in the early 60s. His three special abilities: Time Trial, Downhill, and Recovery.

Eddy Merckx ("The Cannibal"), 1969-72, 1974 Tour de France champion, generally recognized as the greatest cyclist of all time. Merckx,
whose effort for a record sixth TdF crown in 1975 was thwarted, in part, by a punch to the stomach from an unruly fan, will have the Time Trial, Aggressive, and Explosive special abilities.

Bernard Hinault ("The Badger"), 1978-79, 1981-82, 1985 TdF winner, will head a third team. His three special abilities will be Time Trial,
Recovery and and Aggressive.

Miguel Indurain ("Big Mig"), the Spaniard who won five successive Tours (the first to do so) in 1991-95, will head up a fourth time of exclusively Spanish riders. His three abilities will be Time Trial, Explosive and Downhill.

Finally, last but not least, Lance ("Tex") Armstrong, who shattered all previous records in winning seven straight Tours from 1999-2005, is the
final team leader. His abilities will be Time Trial, Recovery and Explosive.

Anquetil's teammates will be Erik Zabel, six times TdF points winner, whose special ability will be a double Sprint bonus (two spaces in each
sprint area), and Charly Gaul, 1958 TdF Champion and two-time KOM winner, aka the "Angel of the Mountains." Gaul, Anquetil's climbing
specialist, will have the Time Trial and Explosive abilities.

Merckx has chosen two Belgian cyclists as his teammates. The rouleur will be Freddy Maertens, whose two special abilities will be Sprinting
and Time Trialing. (Maertens was a three-time TdF points winner.) The climber will be 1976 TdF champ and six-time KOM winner Lucien Van
Impe, whose special abilities are Explosive and Recovery.

Hinault has called on two French compatriots to assist his efforts. Laurent ("JaJa") Jalabert is the rouleur, although Jalabert actually won two KOM points titles to go with two green (points) jersey wins; his special abilities are Downhill and Explosive. The climber is the all-time KOM winner, seven-time KOM Champ Richard Virenque, who is rated for Downhill and Aggressive abilities.

Indurain's chief lieutenants will be Oscar Freire, a multiple World Champ who also won the TdF points competition on one occasion and Federico Bahamontes, another six-time KOM champ who also won the 1959 Tour. Freire, a rouleur, possesses the Sprint and Explosive ability while Bahamontes, the climber, is rated for both Aggressiveness and Explosive abilities.

Lance Armstrong, seeing a Team Time Trial on the agenda, has opted for some extra help in that aspect. His rouleur will be George Hincapie, one of his key teammates in all seven of his Tour wins, who is rated for Time Trial and Explosive abilities. His climbing lieutenant is Levi Leipheimer, whose special abilities will be Time Trial and Recovery.

As mentioned earlier, I plan on using a combination of the modified Leader 1/Leader 2 rules with a touch of the Giro time trial rules thrown in. I expect to incorporate the Leader 2 rules for Peleton Pursuit Points. I will limit the base energy to 80% of the total for road stages and go up to 120% (instead of 150% in the Giro rules) for Time Trials. The rest of the Giro time trial rules will be in effect. One change I am trying is to limit saved energy to a max of 10 (instead of 15), not counting the extra bonus for Recovery. I will not use the special card set that comes with the Giro game (feel the special abilities adds enough to the game), and I will track intermediate sprints as well as KOM points (time bonus of -1 for each non-time trial stage win but no time bonuses for winning intermediate sprints). There will be one water-stop on each stage where the cyclists can gain additional energy.

For now, it's on to the initial time trial in Monaco.



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Andreas Krüger
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Sorry for awarding you only 1 GG in geekmod, but I thought as this is only the setup of the game, you will probably post more session reports which will yield more GG... This one seems a little incomplete as it is.

I can see that you put quite some effort into this thing!

:-)
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T. Nomad
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Love the prologue, can't wait to see the results. Ordinarily I'd bet on Merckx, but I have a soft spot for Laurent Jalabert, so go team Hineault!
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Ian Moffett
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Eddy Merckx the winner for me!
What happens though if there is another drug scandal at the end? Is the board game confiscated!!
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Dick Ruck
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Crabro was my first own-design stunt kite, named after a genus of black and yellow stinging insect in the UK
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Are you going to post your routes?
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Tim Riley
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The late great Maurice Dodd & Dennis Collins creators of The Perishers
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Ole Boot - A sheepdog or a cursed English milor' depending on your viewpoint
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Maitre Jacques for me. My Rouen friends would never forgive me otherwise.Just so long as you are not proposing drug-testing... :-)
Great idea. Looking forward to following both Tours.
 
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John Weber
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Re: All-Time Great Tour de France Replay - Stage 1
To respond to Crabro, I don't have the capability of scanning in the tiles but will try to describe the routes, which will simulate the stages from the 2009 Tour.

Stage 1 is a 15.5 Km in Monaco. It is an undulating, tricky course, uphill for most of the first 7-8 Km and then finishes with a long downhill run before a flat finish. In game turns, I have used eight tiles, a ground rise start, one flat section, two ground rises, one red mountain section followed by two curvy downhill sections and a flat finish.

First out of the gate is Erik Zabel for the Anquetil team. His time of 15 turns (plus two extra spaces) is nothing special, likely to be beaten by the time trial specialists. (Zabel did save the maximum amount of energy, perhaps looking ahead to some sprint bonus points in the upcoming Stage 2.) Next on the course, Richard Virenque, uses his downhill ability to post a 13 turn time. George Hincapie, the first cyclist with a time trial special ability, just misses a 12 turn time but is able to save some energy for Stage 2. Charly Gaul bests Hincapie with a 12 turn run, then Oscar Freire of the Spanish (Indurain) team provides the first bit of excitement when he slips and falls on the downhill section, taking 16 turns (which is the slowest time) and is almost caught by Armstrong lieutenant Levi Leipheimer.

Leipheimer turns in a fine 11-turn run, which holds up until the big five (the five team leaders) take the course. First of the team leaders is "Master Jacques" Anquetil, who carries good speed from the downhill to the finish and posts the first 10-turn time. The "Badger" Bernard Hinault is next, and he finds some extra energy (the Recovery ability), makes a strong start, then holds on through the downhill run and equals Anquetil's time (with one more remaining energy, he takes the top spot on a tiebreak). "Big Mig" Indurain is one turn slower, but he slots in ahead of Leipheimer in third place. Lance Armstrong finishes with an 11-turn run, but slightly slower than Leipheimer after drawing only two extra energy for his Recovery ability.

Finally, only one rider is left to take to the course. It's the "Cannibal," Eddy Merckx. The Belgian great runs a risk on the downhill and it pays off, as he equals the best time of 10 turns but finishes one space further forward. This puts Merckx in yellow for the first road stage of this very special Tour.

Stage 1 Result

1. Merckx
2. Hinault same time
3. Anquetil same time
4. Indurain +1
5. Leipheimer +1

Green Jersey Points

1. Merckx 15
2. Hinault 10
3. Anquetil 6
4. Indurain 4
5. Leipheimer 2

A great start to the ATG Tour, as Merckx, Hinault and Anquetil all put in really strong performances. Merckx will be in yellow while Hinault will wear the green points jersey for Stage 2.
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John Weber
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Re: All-Time Great Tour de France Replay - Stage 2
Stage 2 Monaco - Brignoles 187 Km

Course: More hilly terrain, includes the first categorized climb of the Tour. In game terms, 14 tiles are laid out, starting with a ground rise and a Cat. 3 mountain pass. Then there is a downhill followed by a flat stretch to the first of three intermediate sprints. Another ground rise is followed by two more flat sections, leading into the second sprint. Another ground rise followed by a downhill, then two flat sections incorporating the feed zone and the final intermediate sprint. Final three sections are a ground rise, a straight downhill leading to a relatively flat finish.

Three climbers, led by Lucien Van Impe, break away on the initial climb, the Category 3 La Turbie. Virenque follows but struggles to keep the wheel of the explosive Belgian climbing specialist. First KOM points go to Van Impe, followed by Virenque and Bahamontes. The climbers are eventually assimilated back into the Peleton as the sprinters head to the fore for the first intermediate sprint at Nice. Freddy Maertens, teammate of yellow jersey wearer Merckx, takes the sprint ahead of Laurent Jalabert and Erik Zabel. "JaJa" Jalabert then breaks away on the downhill while Maertens takes a risk to stay close. Second sprint at Fayence goes to Jalabert, followed by Zabel and then Maertens.

At this point the team leaders are eager to strut their stuff, and Hinault launches himself out of the Peleton, marked closely by Jacques Anquetil. Both are set for the stage win, with their rouleur teammates well positioned in the leading group. Indurain, who is initially a bit slow to react, follows the lead duo. This forces the yellow jersey (Eddy Merckx) to react. Lance Armstrong stays back in the Peleton with his trusted lieutenants, Leipheimer and Hincapie, although the pressure is on to react before the leading contenders get too far in front.

Third and final sprint at Lorgues goes to Maertens, who is making an early claim for the Green points jersey. Zabel and Jalabert follow, but both are more interested in helping their respective team leaders, Jacques Anquetil and Bernard Hinault, to the finish. Hincapie, whose job is to pace Armstrong up to the lead group, flats. Bahamontes (still in the Peleton with the remaining climbers) also flats.

There is much jostling for position in the downhill run in to the finish, and "Master Jacques" Anquetil emerges from the chaos and is able to sprint to the finish with a comfortable gap on the field. Merckx risks a fall, but fails to keep pace. Anquetil's teammate Erik Zabel unleashes a powerful sprint to make it a 1-2 finish. All of the key team leaders, save for Armstrong, finish one minute down. Armstrong is shepherded to the finish by his teammates Hincapie and Leipheimer, dropping two minutes. Several of the climbing specialists struggle on the final finish, dropping even more time.

Stage 2 Result

1. Anquetil -1
2. Zabel +1
3. Maertens +1
4. Merckx +1
5. Indurain +1

Overall GC after 2 Stages

1. Anquetil 0
2. Merckx 2
3. Hinault 2
4. Maertens 3
5. Indurain 3

Armstrong is 7th, four minutes down. Anquetil also heads the green jersey points classification:

1. Anquetil 41
2. Zabel 36
3. Maertens 36
4. Merckx 34
5. Hinault 25

Finally, Merckx teammate Lucien Van Impe takes over the KOM points lead:

1. Van Impe 4
2. Virenque 2
3. Bahamontes 1
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John Weber
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Re: All-Time Great Tour de France Replay - Stage 3
Stage 3 Marseille to La Grande Moitte 196 Km

Course: Starts out with some hilly terrain, finishes with a long flat stretch. In game terms, I have used 15 tiles, total of 68 energy (rounded down to 54 after 80% reduction factor applied). Uses ground rise start, followed by downhill, ground rise, another downhill, then a falt section to first intermediate sprint. Then it's another ground rise, a downhill, two flat sections (second sprint). Another ground rise leads to feed zone, followed by the downhill and a flat stretch to third intermediate sprint. Then three more flat sections complete the stage. With seven flat sections and four downhills, that means 18 peleton pursuit points are available.

With a crucial team time trial stage coming up, all five teams are reluctant to expend much in the way of extra energy this stage. Thus, the Peleton remains intact until right before the first intermediate sprint, when the lure of green jersey points becomes too great. Erik Zabel judges the sprint correctly and takes the maximum six points at LaFare-Les-Oliviers, followed by Laurent Jalabert and Freddy Maertens. After the sprint, Anquetil's team keeps a tight rein on the Peleton, while "JaJa" and Maertens escape on the downhill section near the midway point of the stage.

Second sprint at Mouries goes to Maertens ahead of Jalabert, with the ever-present Zabel taking third without much effort. Zabel and Merckx puncture, but it winds up having little effect as Zabel doesn't lose ground and Merckx quickly regains the Peleton. Hinault's team pushes the pace, the "Badger" becomes the first of the team leaders to make a move, followed by Indurain. Zabel takes Jalabert's wheel on the downhill run into the third intermediate sprint. Anquetil and Merckx finally react to the moves made by the other team leaders.

Final sprint of the day at Arles goes to Jalabert, followed by Zabel and Maertens. This trio appears to the leading green jersey contenders at this point. A strong reaction by the Peleton keeps Indurain and Hinault in check, and the field is fairly well bunched headed into the final run in to the finish. Jalabert is unable to help out Hinault, and Anquetil is isolated from his teammate Zabel, who is focused on the stage win and the green points leader jersey.

Zabel sprints to the stage win, and Hinault, Anquetil and Merckx manage to reach the finish in the same number of turns. Everyone else finishes a turn later, and everyone has preserved at least 10 energy for the following key team time trial stage.

Stage 3 Result

1. Zabel -1
2. Hinault 0
3. Anquetil 0
4. Merckx 0
5. Maertens +1

Anquetil keeps the yellow jersey, and stage winner Zabel moves up to 8th place overall. Armstrong is in 7th, five minutes down.

Overall GC after Stage 3

1. Anquetil 0
2. Merckx 2
3. Hinault 2
4. Maertens 4
5. Indurain 4

Zabel is able to open up a healthy lead in the Green Jersey points competition, while the KOM points standings remain unchanged.

Green Jersey Points

1. Zabel 83
2. Anquetil 63
3. Maertens 63
4. Merckx 53
5. Jalabert 52
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Re: All-Time Great Tour de France Replay - Stage 4
Stage 4 Team Time Trial Montpellier-Montpellier 38 Km

Course: Stage 4 is the team time trial, to simulate the course I have used nine tiles, arrayed in a counter-clockwise direction, starts with a flat section, a ground rise, a flat section, a second ground rise, a downhill, a flat section, a second downhill, then two flat tiles to the finish. Total value of the tiles is 38, meaning starting energy of 26 (120%) plus five from the prior turn (following the limit in the Giro time trial rules). I will have a time check after the first downhill to see how the teams are doing.

The time of the second cyclist governs for the team, with any dropped (third) cyclists using their actual time. Teams start in reverse order of their team leaders' respective positions (as I am not tracking team standings in this replay). This means that Lance Armstrong's team of three time trial specialists will be first out of the starting gate.

Armstrong's team sets a blistering pace, reaching the time checkpoint in just six turns. Leipheimer, who is dropped on the final turn, falls and loses an additional turn trying to keep up. Armstrong and his trusted lieutenant, George Hincapie, cross the line in 12 turns, each keeping the maximum amount of energy for the upcoming stage. Leipheimer struggles home three turns later.

Next up is the all-Spanish team of "Big Mig" Indurain. They start cautiously and cover the first half of the course in 7 turns, one turn slower than the Armstrong group. Indurain and his strong sprinter/rouleur, Oscar Freire, barely reach the finish in 13 turns. Bahamontes, not a strong time trialist, finishes a turn later.

Bernard Hinault's all-French team is next. Hinault takes advantage of some extra energy, and climber Richard Virenque is dropped off the back near the end. Hinault and "JaJa" Jalabert just miss out on matching the time of the Armstrong group, coming in at 13 turns plus one extra space. Virenque finishes another two turns in arrears.

Interesting to see what happens with Eddy Merckx's team of Belgian cyclists. Maertens, who has a time trial ability, keeps pace with Merckx while climber Lucien VanImpe is dropped off the back early. They Merckx-Maertens duo reaches the checkpoint in the same time as the Armstrong team (6 turns). Helped by Maertens' strong sprint finish, they are able to match the time of the Armstrong group. Van Impe, however, successfully runs a risk and still finishes five turns behind.

Finally, it is the team of the yellow jersey, Jacques Anquetil. Sprinter Erik Zabel, already a stage winner, falls behind on the second ground rise and Anquetil and Charly Gaul, who also has a time trial rating, decide not to wait. They reach the checkpoint in six turns, with Zabel one turn back. Gaul runs out of energy on the home stretch, but takes Anquetil's wheel to get home in 12 turns with little to spare. Zabel loses an additional turn, completing the course in 14 turns.

Stage 4 Result

1. Armstrong team 12 turns (+2 spaces)
2. Merckx team 12 turns (+2 spaces, used more energy)
3. Anquetil team 12 turns even
4. Hinault team +1
5. Indurain team +1

Not much change in the overall GC. Hinault drops a minute to the two leaders (Anquetil and Merckx), while Armstrong has the same time as Indurain (who is still ranked 5th).

Overall GC after Stage 4

1. Anquetil 0
2. Merckx 2
3. Hinault 3
4. Maertens 4
5. Indurain 5

It will be interesting to see which teams and cyclists will be in position to contest the next stage, as many used up most of all of their energy points and have none to carry over to the next stage.
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Re: All-Time Great Tour de France Replay - Stage 5
Stage 5 Le Cap D'Adge to Perpignan 196.5 Km

Today's stage features some hilly terrain, a mid-race climb (two Category 4 climbs in succession which I have telescoped into one Category 3), and finally some flat roads to the finish. For this stage I have used 15 tiles, total energy cost of 68, arranged with a flat start followed by a curvy flat section, then a ground rise, a short flat leading to the first intermediate sprint, then a ground rise, another flat to the feed zone, followed by a downhill, then a flat to the north and the second sprint, followed by a sharp mountain pass (Category 3) to the one KOM climb, then a downhill leading to two flat sections and the final sprint, then a flat, a curvy ground rise to the flat finishing section at Perpignan.

A series of early punctures drop three riders off the back: Maertens, Van Impe and Virenque. Maertens quickly rejoins, but the two climbers have difficulty as the Peleton maintains a high pace, largely as the result of some pushing of the pace by the Armstrong team (which finished the team time trial in somewhat better shape than the other teams). The first sprint at Capestang goes to Zabel, followed by Maertens and Jalabert. "JaJa" keeps right on going, taking advantage of a drop in the pace of the Peleton to enable Van Impe and Virenque to finally rejoin. Jalabert falls and then also assimilated by the Peleton, which arrives at the feed zone at Thezan-Des-Corbiers intact.

Maertens sprints to take the points on offer at the second intermediate sprint at Saint-Jean-De-Barrou; Zabel and Freire take the remaining points. The climbers then move to the front, but Jalabert surges forward, using his explosive ability while spending lots of energy while the sprinters fall back. Jalabert hangs on to take maximum points at the top of the climb, the Category 3 Col de Feuille, with Bahamomtes and Van Impe following. (The point for third is sufficient to put Van Impe in the polka-dot jersey.)

Up to this point the team leaders have stayed back in the Peleton, choosing not to mix it up and saving energy for the second half of the stage. Levi Leipheimer makes an aggressive move on the downhill coming off the climb. Then Eddy Merckx attacks heading off the downhill onto the flat, but yellow jersey Anquetil takes Merckx's wheel and, for the time being, the attack is countered. Final sprint points go to a rapidly tiring Jalabert, followed by Leipheimer and then Zabel. Hinault moves up to join the other two top GC contenders, and Merckx attacks again right after the final sprint. Hinault follows. Charly Gaul helps Anquetil who is blocked from the other two by Armstrong's teammate, George Hincapie. Armstrong and Indurain pursue, perhaps a bit late to figure in for the stage win.

Hincapie makes an aggressive move, passing Leipheimer; Hinault counterattacks, using Zabel's slipstream. Merckx pushes the pace toward the finish in Perpignan, but he is unable to shake the pesky "Badger," Bernard Hinault, who pulls alongside and then blasts past Eddy to take the stage win. Armstrong, full of energy, finishes strongly to take third. Several of the climbers and Jalabert, the early pace-setter, finish with the Peleton some three turns behind the stage winner.

Stage 5 Results

1. Hinault -1
2. Merckx 0
3. Armstrong 0
4. Hincapie 0
5. Indurain 0

An exciting stage, tough luck for the aggressive Merckx, who not only lost the stage to Hinault but saw the yellow jersey (Anquetil) avoid losing time, coming home sixth.

Overall GC after Stage 5

1. Anquetil 0
2. Hinault 2
3. Merckx 2
4. Armstrong 5
5. Indurain 5

Hinault is ranked ahead of Merckx based on most seconds as each has won a stage. Armstrong and Indurain moved to fourth and fifth, respectively, ahead of Freddy Maertens, who burned up all of his energy and lost three minutes, finishing in the Peleton. Zable continues to lead the Green Jersey points competition.

Green Jersey Points

1. Zabel 108
2. Hinault 86
3. Merckx 79
4. Anquetil 78
5. Maertens 73

Finally, Lucien Van Impe retains the polka-dot jersey:

KOM Points

1. Van Impe 5
2. Jalabert 4
3. Bahamontes 3

Next stage takes the Tour into Spain. Perhaps something special to be seen from the Indurain team?
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Re: All-Time Great Tour de France Replay - Stage 6
Stage 6 Girona to Barcelona 181.5 Km

Course: Found today's stage to be a difficult one to simulate, as there was no uphill (ground rise) finishing tile. So, I used a ground rise followed by the velodrome which made the finish a bit more challening. Course was laid out with 14 tiles, a total of 67 energy, rounded down to 54 due to the 80% factor. Started with a flat tile, then a downhill, a ground rise, a flat, a ground rise, then another downhill leading to the first intermediate sprint at Lloret de Mar. Then two flat sections (one curved, one straight) to the second sprint check at Sant Pol de Mar. The feed zone was placed on the following ground rise tile, leading to the one categorized climb of the day (in real life, it was two climbs very close together). Then, a downill and a flat to the final sprint at Cardedeu followed by the ground rise run in to the finish.

No escapes until shortly before the initial sprint, which was won by Jalabert followed by green jersey wearer Erik Zabel with Freddy Maertens taking third. Hincapie and Freire escape on the downill, and Virenque follows. The peleton is initially slow to react. Zabel takes the second sprint points ahead of Maertens and the ever-present Jalabert. Hinault is the first of the GC leaders to launch an attack, and Merckx takes his wheel. Pursuit from the peleton is ineffective. Anquetil finally reacts, but he is quickly reeled in as Indurain's team pushes the peleton forward.

The rouleurs begin to drop away as the field approaches the Cat. 3 climb. A bit of a traffic jam develops, and Virenque winds his way through to take maximum points, assuring himself of wearing the KOM points jersey at the end of the day (Hincapie and Indurain occupy the other top positions.) Perhaps because the Tour has headed into his home country, "Big Mig" seems a bit more aggressive today.

With Anquetil stuck back in the peleton, the leaders push the pace on the downhill; all the other GC contenders (Amstrong and Hinault as well as Merckx and Indurain) are represented, and their teammates take up space on the narrow road to block Anquetil and his teammates. The final sprint at Cardedeu sees Indurain in front, followed by Hincapie and Hinault. Armstrong runs a risk to stay in contact with the lead group of Hincapie, Hinault and Indurain, while Merckx has to work hard to keep pace. Anquetil finally responds, and he seems to have been a bit more efficient that some of the others in his energy consumption. Leipheimer makes a strong move (burning 16 energy at once!) to tack onto the rear of the lead group.

Anquetil and Merckx make some desperate moves to avoid time losses; Merckx in particular begins to tire early as has to be paced by VanImpe. Hinault runs a risk in the final run in to the finish. The dual-lane finishing section sees another traffic jam, and finally the sprinters like Zabel and Freire are able to break through. Zabel takes Hincapie's wheel to set up for the final sprint, but Freire has enough remaining energy to blast past both of them and take the stage win. Hinault is the victim of a late puncture, and Anquetil manages to position himself well to avoid any time loss and keep the yellow jersey. Merckx, who actually is dropped off the back of a fast-closing peleton at the end, is the big loser, along with Virenque, who suffers a late puncture and loses eight minutes on the stage.

Stage 6 Results

1. Freire -1
2. Zabel 0
3. Hincapie 0
4. Anquetil 0
5. Armstrong +1

Only nine cyclists finish ahead of the Peleton, which is only one turn behind at the finish. Not much change in the overall GC, despite a very topsy-turvy stage.

Overall GC after Stage 6

1. Anquetil 0
2. Hinault 3
3. Merckx 4
4. Armstrong 6
5. Indurain 6

Most of the leaders burned up quite a bit of energy in this stage, although in retrospect they would have been far better off just staying in the Peleton and storing some extra energy for Stage 7, the first high mountain stage.

Erik Zabel's second-place finish meant he maintains an even firmer grip in the Green Jersey points competition.

Green Jersey Points

1. Zabel 144
2. Hinault 99
3. Anquetil 97
4. Maertens 88
5. Merckx 79

And Richard Virenque is the new leader in the KOM points competition, which is likely to heat up in the next stage to Andorra.

KOM Points

1. Virenque 6
2. Van Impe 5
3. Jalabert 4
4. Bahamontes 3
5. Hincapie 2

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Re: All-Time Great Tour de France Replay - Stage 7 Part 1 of 2
Stage 7 Barcelona to Andorra - Arcalis 224 Km

First mountain stage of the Tour, a very exciting race, so much so I may have to break this into two posts ...

The course was so elongated it wouldn't fit on the kitchen table. Total of 18 tiles, 91 energy @ 80% -- 73 total. Massive stage featuring two major climbs (in game terms, a Category 2 and Category 1 mountaintop finish, with KOM points doubled). Starts with a ground rise heading out of Barcelona, followed by a downhill, another ground rise, two flat sections, a Category 3 mountain section (the Port de Solsana), followed by a downhill then a flat section leading to the first intermediate sprint at Solsona which also serves as a feed zone. Then it's more uphill, a ground rise followed by a Category 2 Col de Serra-Seca (which is rated a Category 1 in real-life but downgraded in this replay as we have no Hors-Categorie). After the climb, it's a long downhill into a flat roundabout then a second flat section leading to the second intermediate sprint at Andorra-La-Vielle. Another ground rise, another flat into Andorra for the final sprint at La Cortinada. Then, a ground rise leads into the final two mountain sections, both Category 1, to the mountaintop finish at Andorra-Arcalis.

NOTE: For the final finishing tile, I used the "9" energy curvy tile that resembles Alpe d'Huez, something I may have regretted as you will find out when we get to that part of the stage report ...

Anyway, no activity of note until the "Badger," Bernard Hinault, flats on the approach to the first climb. Indurain's team pushes the pace, and Hinault burns alot of energy to catch up, something that may cost him later in today's stage. On the front end, his teammate, the opportunistic "JaJa" Jalabert, escapes, seeking some KOM points for himself (and perhaps denying them to others to help the efforts of his teammate, KOM points leader and polka-dot jersey wearer Richard Virenque). Initially, no one follows, then Lucien Van Impe (second to Virenque in the KOM points) takes up the chase. Virenque, who is always on the prowl when KOM points are on the menu, joins the duo.

Jalabert sets the pace over the Cat. 3 Port de Solsona, worth 4 KOM points, followed by Van Impe and then Virenque. Jalabert escapes on the downhill while Zabel and Maertens push out of the Peleton, looking for some green jersey points at the first intermediate sprint. The sprint at Solsana, followed closely by the feed zone, goes to Jalabert ahead of Zabel (protecting his green jersey points lead) and then Maertens.

Spaniard Miguel Indurain becomes the first of the overall GC guys to make a move, pushing forward in the uphill section just after the feed zone. His climbing teammate, Bahamontes, joins him. Anquetil's team pushes the pace of the Peleton as it heads toward the Cat. 2 climb. Gaul, Anquetil's climbing teammate, breaks loose headed into the climb. Indurain is reeled back into the Peleton but tries to break away again.

The KOM points at the second climb of the day, the Cat. 2 Col De Serra-Seca, go to Jalabert (6 KOM points to take his total to 14), followed by Van Impe, Virenque, Bahamontes and Gaul. "Cannonball" Eddy Merckx makes his move cresting the top of the climb; Leipheimer (the only climbing specialist left in the Peleton) follows. Leipheimer slips and falls on the descent, however, and is not going to be a factor for the rest of the stage.

Jalabert continues to lead through the second intermediate sprint at Andorra-La-Vielle, with Maertens and the fast-closing Merckx taking the remaining points. At this point, "JaJa" appears exhausted and the two Belgian teammates take control at the front. At this point, Hinault and yellow jersey wearer Anquetil are the only top GC contenders who have yet to make a move. Armstrong and Gaul, both just ahead of the Peleton, have punctured in the road to the final sprint. Merckx, riding hard, is using his teammate Maertens to pace himself toward the final climb to Arcalis. "Big Mig" Indurain wisely decides to set up shop on Merckx's wheel.

Finally, when Hinault is ready to make his move before the final sprint checkpoint, Anquetil is there to take his wheel. Final sprint at La Cortinada sees Maertens first, followed by Merckx and then Indurain. Armstrong is paced toward the leaders by his faithful lieutenant, George Hincapie. Indurain momentarily falls behind, but is able to regain the slipstream of the two Belgian teammates as both begin to tire. Finally, Maertens falls away leaving Merckx to struggle alone against the other GC contenders. Further back, Erik Zabel is there to pace Anquetil while Hinault tries to camp out on the yellow jersey's wheel. More help from Hincapie and Lance is able to bridge the gap to Merckx and Maertens just before the start of the final climb to Arcalis. Bahamontes, the Spanish "Eagle of Toledo," is there to offer assistance to his team leader, "Big Mig" Miguel Indurain. However, since Virenque and Van Impe used up alot of energy in the earlier climbs, they are not in a position to offer similar help to their respective team leaders (Hinault and Merckx). Van Impe, along with Jalabert, fades and his caught by the Peleton, which still includes a relatively fresh Oscar Freire.

TO BE CONTINUED (See Part 2 coming up) ...
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Re: All-Time Great Tour de France Replay - Stage 7 Part 2 of 2
Eddy Merckx powers his way to a solid lead on the lower slopes of the Arcalis, but Armstrong easily moves past a slowing Maertens for second place. Anquetil (risking crack) also slips past a fading Maertens to put himself in contention. "The Badger," Bernard Hinault, stays on Anquetil's wheel, while "Big Mig" Indurain rides conservatively, waiting for an opening. Further up the climb, Merckx begins to labor, and Armstrong is able to sit on his wheel, saving energy. Charly Gaul comes out of nowhere to blast his way through the pack of GC contenders, moving around Anquetil, Hinault and Indurain. Merckx slows noticeably, allowing Armstrong to gain the lead. Significantly, Merckx and Armstrong decide not to cooperate, something that may hurt them both, as there's still quite a ways to the top of this mammoth climb!

Heading into the final portion of the climb, it's a crowded road up to the finish with the lead six (and remaining energy points) looks like this: Inside lane - Gaul (7) alongside on outside - Armstrong (2); behind them, on inside - Indurain (4); on outside, Merckx (2); one more space back, i'ts Hinault (7) on inside with Anquetil (20) on the outside. Obviously, some of the climbers and/or their team managers have seriously misjudged things as they are close to running out of energy with 2-3 turns left. Those 2-3 turns will turn into 4-5 as it's likely some may run out of energy and just move the minimum (one space per turn) with no slipstream bonus.

An explosive burst by Gaul enables him to escape from Indurain and he continues on to take the stage win, a solid one for the "Angel of the Mountains." Anquetil slips into second and, when he has a choice, he gives Indurain the slipstream opportunity, rather than his rival for the yellow jersey honors, fellow Frenchman Bernard "Badger" Hinault. The "Badger," Indurain and Indurain's teammate Bahamontes fill out the top five, and they are the only cyclists to finish ahead of the Peleton as Merckx and Armstrong slow and finish five minutes behind Gaul, four behind the yellow jersey (Anquetil), who increases his lead on all the other major contenders.

Stage 7 Result

1. Gaul -1
2. Anquetil +1
3. Hinault +2
4. Bahamontes +2
5. Indurain +2
Peleton +5 (including Armstong, Merckx, Virenque)

Losing loads of time are Leipheimer and Van Impe (+10), Freire (+12) who made a late move using his explosive ability but finally fell victim to the very difficult final climb, Hincapie (+13) after sacrificing his chances for his teammate Armstrong, Maertens (+14) (ditto), and finally Zabel and Jalabert (both +19). Not unexpectedly, the first mountain stage means some changes to the overall GC:

Overall GC after Stage 7

1. Anquetil 0
2. Hinault 4
3. Indurain 7
4. Merckx 8
5. Gaul 9

Despite a strong effort, Lance Armstrong drops to sixth overall (10 minutes down) behind the stage winner, Charly Gaul. Erik Zabel maintains a comfortable lead in the green jersey points competition:

Green Jersey Points

1. Zabel 148
2. Anquetil 112
3. Hinault 111
4. Maertens 100
5. Merckx 85

Gaul, who took double the maximum points for winning atop the Cat. 1 mountaintop Arcalis finish, now heads the KOM points competition:

KOM Points

1. Gaul 21
2. Anquetil 16
3. Jalabert 14
4. Bahamontes 13
5. Hinault 12

Eager to see what happens on the next stage, which has the key climbs in the Pyrenees a bit earlier in the day, followed by a downhill run to the finish. At the same time, probably like the riders in the real-life Tour, I am looking forward to a rest day, which I plan to take a day early (on Sunday, perhaps running Sunday's stage on Monday, which is the first rest day for the real-life Tour).

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Re: All-Time Great Tour de France Replay - Stage 8
Stage 8 Andorre-La-Vielle to Saint-Girons 176.5 Km

The course consists of 14 tiles, total 71 energy, or 57 (at 80%). Starts with a ground rise, then another ground rise leading to the Cat. 1 Port d'Envalira. Then two dowhill sections to the first intermediate sprint at Luzenac. then two curvy flat sections lead to the second sprint at Tarascon-sur-Ariege, which doubles at the feed station for today's stage. Then it's a short Cat. 3 climb, the Col de Port, a descent to the valley at Mascat, a ground rise, then the final climb of the day at the Col d"Agnes (Cat. 2 reduced from Cat. 1 in real-life for game purposes). Then a straight downhill leads to a flat section and the final sprint at Vic d'Oust, leading to a tight curve to the flat finish at Saint-Girons.

Action picks up on the ascent of the first climb, the Cat. 1 Port d'Envalira. KOM contenders Gaul, Virenque, Bahamontes and Van Impe break away. Merckx and Leipheimer follow a turn later. Bahamontes, "the Eagle of Toledo," sprouts wings to take maximum points on the climb, ahead of Virenque, Van Impe, current KOM leader Gaul, followed by Merckx, Leipheimer and finally Erik Zabel who is looking ahead to the next sprint. However, with Merckx in the break, yellow jersey wearer Anquetil's team drives the Peleton at a frenetic pace, catching Zabel and most of the early attackers. Thus, three climbers (Virenque, Van Impe and Bahamontes) lead the field through the first sprint at Luzenac.

"Big Mig" Miguel Indurain makes his move on the downhill run into Luzenac, while Hinault's team takes control of a fast-closing Peleton. Leipheimer is reeled back into the pack. Hinault makes a move that is quickly countered, and once again the Peleton is intact except for a few sprinters who escape on the road to the second intermediate sprint and feed zone at Tarascon-sur-Ariege. Maertens wins the sprint, with Zabel and Freire taking the remaining green jersey points.

Next up is the Category 3 climb, the Col de Port, and Bahamontes once again takes the points ahead of Virenque and Gaul. Indurain pushes the pace on the downhill; Leipheimer follows him. Merckx flats but quickly rejoins the Peleton. Virenque pulls ahead and is unchallenged on the final climb of the day, the Col d'Agnes, which is a Cat. 2 worth double points. Indurain rides comfortably in his teammate Bahamontes' slipstream. The doubled points go to Virenque ahead of Bahamontes, Indurain, Gaul and Leipheimer, which means the Spanish climber, Bahamontes, will be the new KOM points leader, just ahead of Virenque, after today's stage.

Indurain breaks away, sweeping past Bahamontes and Virenque on the descent to become the sole leader of the stage. Armstrong, paced by Leipheimer, makes a bold move toward the front coming off the final climb. Merckx takes teammate Van Impe's wheel to lead a chase group. Hinault sends Jalabert ahead before making his final move, while yellow jersey holder Anquetil remains in the Peleton, waiting and watching.

The final sprint of the day goes to Indurain, followed by Leipheimer and a fading Richard Virenque. Anquetil finally reacts, moving forward as the Peleton clears the final climb. Heading into the final run into the finish, Armstrong springs into action and reaches Indurain's wheel with a strong, final effort. He manages to finish just behind Indurain, who takes a well-deserved stage win. Other GC contenders launch a desperate chase to avoid substantial time losses. Merckx follows Van Impe to the line a minute down. Hinault follows "JaJa" then has enough in reserve to finish in the same time. His teammates Jalabert and Virenque try to form a road block for Anquetil, but the yellow jersey has plenty of energy left and blasts by to finish in the same time as Hinault. This time, everyone finishes ahead of the Peleton except Gaul, who finishes six minutes in arrears.

Stage 8 Results

1. Indurain -1
2. Armstrong 0
3. Van Impe +1
4. Merckx +1
5. Hinault +1

A rough day in the saddle for most of the GC contenders, and only Anquetil has a full reserve of energy heading into the next stage. Stage-winner Indurain closes to within a minute of Hinault in the overall standings.

Overall GC after Stage 8

1. Anquetil 0
2. Hinault 4
3. Indurain 5
4. Merckx 8
5. Armstrong 9

Not much change in the green jersey points competition, Zabel is still well ahead.

Green Jersey Points

1. Zabel 152
2. Hinault 116
3. Anquetil 115
4. Maertens 106
5. Indurain 99

Finally, things have really heated up with three main contenders now for the KOM points jersey.

KOM Points

1. Bahamontes 35
2. Virenque 32
3. Gaul 30
4. Van Impe 17
5. Anquetil 16

Falling almost a full day behind, but hope to use Monday's rest day in the real Tour to catch up with Stage 9, the third and final day of competition in the Pyrenees, including the legendary climb of the Tourmalet.
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Re: All-Time Great Tour de France Replay - Stage 9
Stage 9 Saint-Gardens to Tarbes 160.5 Km

Shorter stage length in Km, but still using 14 tiles, total 72 energy, or 57 (at 80%). Includes the legendary Tourmalet climb which in game terms is a Cat. 1 worth double points as the last climb of the day but then it's downhill or flat for most of the rest of the stage to Tarbes. So, interesting to see what happens as the rouleurs need to drag themselves over two difficult climbs, while the climbers need to last to the finish. Starts with a straight ground rise, followed by a very curvy glat section, then a straight flat to the first intermediate sprint at Sarrancolin. Then it's a ground rise and then a Cat. 2 climb up the Col d'Aspin (Cat.1 in real-life, reduced to Cat. 2 for replay purposes). This is followed by a windy downhill to the feed zone at Sainte-Marie-de-Campan, a ground rise, then two Cat. 1 mountain pass sections simulating the centerpiece of the day, the Col du Tourmalet. Then it's two (!) downhill sections to an intermediate sprint at Lau-Balagnas, followed by a couple more flat sections (the second of which includes the final intermediate sprint at Lourdes, cite of the famous cathedral), then a final bend to a flat sprint finish.

Hincapie flats but quickly rejoins the Peleton. Maertens breaks away and takes the first sprint, ahead of green jersey holder Zabel with Freire third. The sprinters drop back to the Peleton, which remains intact on the approach to the first climb, the Cat. 2 Col d'Aspin. Virenque and Van Impe pace the climbers; Gaul and Leipheimer are slowed by punctures. The KOM points over the Aspin go to Virenque, Van Impe, Bahamontes, Jalabert and Gaul (in that order).

Indurain becomes the first of the overall GC men to break from the Peleton, making a move on the descent from the Aspin. Virenque pushes forward, building a sizable lead on the approach to the Tourmalet. Leipheimer joins the chase group. Jalabert is hanging in there with the group of climbers; the chase group includes "Big Mig," "JaJa," and four climbers. Indurain struggles a bit at the rear of the chase group but is aided by the presence of his teammate, Bahamontes. No attacks on the lower slopes of the Tourmalet, but near the top the explosive Eddy Merckx makes his move, joining the chase group.

Virenque takes the lead in the KOM competition by virtue of the maximum 20 KOM points gained at the top of the Tourmalet. Van Impe follows, pacing the chase group with Gaul, Leipheimer, Bahamontes, Merckx and Armstrong following in that order. Jalabert has dropped off the back but rejoins on the downhill.

Merckx continues his attack on the downhill, risking a fall as does Armstrong. Hinault tries to escape but is reeled back in as a hard tempo is set by an Anquetil-led Peleton. Gaul marks Merckx, waiting for his team leader (the yellow jersey, Anquetil) who takes the wheel of Hinault who finally breaks away on the downhill.

Second sprint at Lau-Balagnes, Virenque is first followed by Leipheimer and Van Impe. Leipheimer catches Virenque coming off the downhill just past the sprint marker, while Van Impe is working to help his team leader Merckx. The field has split into a lead group of four (Virenque, Leipheimer, Van Impe and Merckx) and a chase group of six (which includes all the other GC contenders). Armstrong takes off, making an effort to bridge the gap between the two groups.

The final sprint at Lourdes goes to Virenque, ahead of a fast-closing Merckx with Leipheimer third. Eddy Merckx pulls ahead as Virenque begins to fade, tired from his effort on the mountains. Anquetil has conserved his energy once again and is there to catch the stragglers from the lead group. Merckx goes on to score a well-deserved stage win, after having timed his breakaway better than in prior stages. His teammate Van Impe makes it 1-2, while Anquetil finishes third and avoids time loss. Zabel leads the sprinters home in fourth, while Hinault (who was slow to react to some of the key moves) finishes a minute down, losing time to both Merckx and Anquetil.

Stage 9 Results

1. Merckx -1
2. Van Impe 0
3. Anquetil 0
4. Zabel 0
5. Hincapie +1

Not much change in the overall GC:

Overall GC after Stage 9:

1. Anquetil 0
2. Hinault 5
3. Indurain 6
4. Merckx 7
5. Armstrong 10

Erik Zabel maintains a solid lead in the Green Jersey points.

Green Jersey Points

1. Zabel 165
2. Anquetil 127
3. Merckx 118
4. Hinault 116
5. Maertens 112

Richard Virenque leads the KOM points headed into the first rest day as the Tour moves away from the Pyrenees.

KOM Points

1. Virenque 58
2. Bahamontes 44
3. Gaul 43
4. Van Impe 37
5. Anquetil 16
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Re: All-Time Great Tour de France Replay - Stage 10
Stage 10 Limoges to Issoudun 194.5 Km

This stage uses 15 tiles, total energy of 69, or 55 (using the 80% formula). Starts with a flat stage, followed by a ground rise, then two more flat sections to the first intermediate sprint at Lauriere. Then there's another ground rise, a windy flat section followed by a downhill to the feed zone at Glenic. Then a flat portion, a ground rise and a flat section leading to the second sprint checkpoint at Aigurande. More winding roads (a flat section, a downhill, another flat section) then it's the third and final sprint at Saint-Aout. Then the road straightens out with a downhill portion to a flat finishing stretch at Issoudun.

Three sprinters form the early break, but the Peleton (lead by the yellow jersey team of Anquetil) keeps a tight rein on the situation. The initial sprint is won by Maertens, followed by Jalabert and Zabel. The sprinters drift back to the Peleton, then Hincapie surges forward in a solo break that no one seems interested in helping. A puncture puts an end to Hincapie's ill-conceived solo effort. Bernard Hinault also flats, and this causes Anquetil's teammates to stamp on the pedals even more, forcing the "Badger" to expend some extra energy to rejoin the Peleton. "JaJa" Jalabert and Oscar Freire break away heading off the downhill section before the feed zone. Hinault makes an aggressive move, followed by Indurain. However, the Peleton continues to chase, keeping the breakaway riders from gaining much ground.

Second sprint at Aigurande is won by Freire ahead of Maertens and Jalabert. Hinault and Indurain are reeled back to the Peleton. Merckx's team is pushing the Peleton now, and before long Eddy is off on a breakaway, looking for his second stage win in succession. Hincapie also joins the lead group, which has grown to four riders (Merckx and his teammate Maertens, Freire and Hincapie). Jalabert has dropped back, hoping to be able to help Hinault later in the stage. Maertens runs a risk to put himself in position to help Merckx go for the stage win. Armstrong runs a risk to bridge the gap to the lead group, and Erik Zabel also takes a chance to put a teammate of Anquetil in the break.

Maertens paces Merckx while Zabel, who trails the lead group, is caught by Indurain, who flats just before the final sprint at a most inopportune moment. It is here that Hinault makes an attack, and Jaques Anquetil is immediately on his wheel. Maertens takes the final sprint with Merckx second and Freire third. The pace accelerates in the final downhill section heading to the finish, and Maertens appears to have set up Merckx for the stage win when all of a sudden Oscar Freire blasts past both of them to take the stage. Indurain (slowed by the puncture) loses contact as the leaders push forward and barely manages to cross the line with the lead group, finishing in 9th place.

Stage 10 Result

1. Freire -1
2. Merckx 0
3. Maertens 0
4. Hincapie 0
5. Zabel 0

As all of the GC contenders finished in the same time, there is no change in the overall GC standings. (See prior post for time gaps.) Similarly, with no KOM points on offer, no changes there. Maertens and Merckx, who finished strongly and scored in the intermediate sprints, moved up in the green jersey points competition.

Green Jersey Points

1. Zabel 184
2. Maertens 150
3. Merckx 148
4. Anquetil 138
5. Hinault 129
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Re: All-Time Great Tour de France Replay - Stage 11
Stage 11 Vatan to Saint-Fargeau 192 Km

Another relatively flat stage with no major climbs. Course consists of 15 tiles, total energy of 72 (58 for the cyclists under the 80% formula). A flat start followed by a straight, flat section to the first intermediate sprint at Quincy. Then some rolling terrain consisting of a ground rise, a curvy flat section and a downhill leading to another flat portion and the second sprint at Saint-Ceols. A ground rise and a downhill takes the field to the feed zone at Saint-Bouize. After that, it's a ground rise and another flat section to the final sprint at Suilly-LaTour. Then the final stretch to the finish consists of a two ground rises, a downhill, a flat section and a bend to a final flat section to the finish in Saint-Fargeau.

The presence of an early sprint means an early break by some of the green jersey contenders. Maertens (Merckx's teammate) is away first, and Anquetil's team is there to set up Zabel. The sprint points go to Maertens, Zabel and Jalabert (in that order). The Peleton is once again intact as Zabel is the last of the sprinters to be reeled in. As in the prior stage, Hincapie initiates a break, moving to the front on the downhill section following the sprint. Laurent Jalabert decides to follow. His team leader, Hinault, also decides to attack, thinking this might be a good stage to gain some ground on Anquetil in the fight for the yellow jersey. Armstrong follows, taking Hinault's wheel. Indurain joins in, and Freire breaks from the Peleton to be in a position to help his team leader. Thus, two teams are intact in the Peleton while each of the other three team leaders (Hinault, Armstrong and Indurain) is in a six-man breakaway with one teammate apiece.

The second sprint points go to Jalabert ahead of Hincapie and Freire, who is pacing Indurain now. The lead group splinters on the downhill leading to the feed zone. Indurain follows his teammate Freire, who is chasing "Ja Ja." Armstrong risks a fall to stay with Hinault and Hincapie in the three-man chase group. The trio is soon joined by none other than Eddy Merckx, who makes his initial attack on the downhill section. Anquetil, tired of waiting, makes his move just as the lead riders approach the feed zone. Hinault (paced by Jalabert) moves to challenge the two Spanish riders. A stage that started without much action is seeing lots of moves and counter-moves. Merckx tries to drop Armstrong, and Virenque becomes the first climber to escape the Peleton.

Final sprint sees the points go to Freire, Hinault and Jalabert. Hinault tries to go solo right after the sprint, but it's still a long way to go to the finish and the "Badger" can't quite get there without help. Jalabert, running short of energy, tacks onto his wheel but can only offer limited assistance. Armstrong hooks up with Hincapie and tries to gain ground on Anquetil. The yellow jersey is pushing hard on the pedals, and Anquetil seems to be under more pressure than in Stage 9, mainly as a result of the aggressive moves of the "Badger", Bernard Hinault. Jalabert has sacrified himself for Hinault at this point. Indurain holds back while Virenque seeks to nail back Anquetil. Merckx, with Anquetil on his wheel, renews his attack on the final downhill stretch toward the finish. The leaders and their helpers begin to slow, as there has been much cat-and-mouse as opposed to cooperation among the teams in the lead group. Armstrong appears to be well-positioned heading into the final sprint.

However, the real winner is Oscar Freire, who has avoided the in-fighting and sweeps past Armstrong, Hinault and Jalabert to take the stage win with a strong sprint. (The other sprinters are either far back or caught in the Peleton.) Hinault manages to cross the line a turn later, and he and Armstrong each gain time on the yellow jersey, who comes home in seventh, two minutes down. Big loser among the GC contenders is Miguel Indurain, who gets caught up in a traffic jam, runs out of energy, and finishes in the Peleton, five minutes behind his stage-winning teammate.

Stage 11 Results

1. Freire -1
2. Jalabert +1
3. Armstrong +1
4. Hinault +1
5. Hincapie +1

As a result, there are a few changes in the time gaps in the overall GC. Indurain drops to fourth behind Merckx, who is now in third place.

Overall GC after Stage 11

1. Anquetil 0
2. Hinault 4
3. Merckx 7
4. Indurain 10
5. Armstrong 10

Erik Zabel continues to lead the Green Jersey points competition, but things have really tightened among those behind him.

Green Jersey Points

1. Zabel 203
2. Merckx 157
3. Maertens 156
4. Freire 154
5. Hinault 152
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Re: All-Time Great Tour de France Replay- Stage 12
Stage 12 Tonnerre to Vittel 211.5 Km

Third flat stage in succession, but this one is longer, hilly and more undulating than the prior two. Course consists of a total of 17 tiles, 84 energy total which translates to 67 using the 80% conversion formula. Starts with a flat section, followed by a ground rise winding around to a flat stage to the first sprint at Channes. Then a downhill, a ground rise and another downhill followed by two curvy flat sections to the second sprint at Longchamp-Sur-Aujjon. A ground rise and a flat portion lead the riders to the feed zone at Juzennecourt. Next is a ground rise and a flat section, leading to the third and final sprint at Saint-Thebeault. This is followed by a Category 3 climb (using a red tile) of the Cote de Bourmont (with a 20% grade in portions, according to today's telecast). Then it's a downhill and two curvy flat portions to the finish in Vittel.

Another early sprint attracts some green jersey contenders, and Freddy Maertens gets there first ahead of Zabel and Jalabert. It is a fairly uneventful ride to the second sprint as well until Lance Armstrong strikes out on his own, attacking on the downhill headed into the sprint area. Only Indurain follows Armstrong's move. Virenque and Hincapie escape on the downhill, while Anquetil's team works at the front of the Peleton to keep the gap small. Hinault then launches an attack, using Virenque. The second sprint is won by Jalabert ahead of Maertens and Zabel.

Anquetil makes his moved just before the feed zone, leaving Merckx as the last GC contender left in the Peleton. The "Cannibal" holds back until just before the feed zone, then he launches a ferocious counter-attack. The leading sprinters line up for the third sprint, but Hinault launches another attack in an effort to put some distance between the other GC contenders and himself. Armstrong and Indurain manage to stay with the "Badger," while Hincapie tries to block the effort of Merckx and Anquetil to join the chase group. Final sprint of the day is won by Maertens ahead of Zabel with Jalabert in third.

Anquetil is somewhat isolated, as one teammate (Zabel) is up the road and the other (Gaul) is stuck in the Peleton, and the others are trying to take advantage of the situation. Heading into the one climb of the day, Armstrong sets the pace and Merckx follows, as the sprinting specialists give way. Van Impe comes out of nowhere to move into position for the climb, and Anquetil is still looking for some help (finally he hooks up with Erik Zabel after having lost ground to his major rivals). Armstrong leads Merckx over the top of the climb, with Van Impe surging forward to take the third place point.

Merckx blasts past Armstrong on the descent, and Indurain also slips past the Texan on the downhill. Merckx pulls away from Indurain, and "Big Mig" turns to Bahamontes for help while Armstrong looks to Leipheimer for assistance. Zabel closes quickly once the road flattens out, and Virenque does his best to block Anquetil, forcing the yellow jersey to consume even more energy. Merckx leads into the final finishing straight, but Eddy is laboring near the end which allows Zabel to sprint past for another stage win for the green jersey holder. Another sprinter, Oscar Freire, emerges from the pack and nips Merckx for second. Indurain and Armstrong struggle home in the same time as Merckx, but the big news is the fact that both Hinault and Anquetil are caught up by the Peleton, and a weary "Badger" is in fact dropped just before the end of the stage.

Stage 12 Result

1. Zabel -1
2. Freire +1
3. Merckx +2
4. Jalabert +2
5. Indurain +2

Merckx is now equal on time with Hinault, each five minutes behind Anquetil. Indurain and Armstrong also gain time, tightening up the overall GC.

Overall GC after Stage 12

1. Anquetil 0
2. Merckx 5
3. Hinault 5
4. Indurain 7
5. Armstrong 7

Zabel lengthened his lead in the green jersey points competition.

Green Jersey Points

1. Zabel 248
2. Freire 180
3. Merckx 179
4. Maertens 177
5. Jalabert 156

And the KOM points competition resumed. No changes, but it should heat up the next few stages.

KOM Points

1. Virenque 58
2. Bahamontes 44
3. Gaul 43
4. Van Impe 38
5. Jalabert 16
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Re: All-Time Great Tour de France Replay - Stage 13
Stage 13 Vittel to Colmar 200 Km

This stage takes the Tour to the Alsace-Lorraine region near the German border. With some hills and lesser climbs, it may prove to be a challenging stage to our ATG Tour riders. In game terms, there are 16 tiles laid out, total energy of 74 or 59 using the 80% rule. The course gets into some hilly terrain right away, starting with a flat section, a downhill, a ground rise, then a straight flat portion to the first intermediate sprint at Xertigny. Then it's a straight downhill to a undulating ground rise, followed by a curvy flat section to the second sprint point at Gerardmer (which was the end-point to a similar stage in the 2005 Tour). Right after the second sprint is the feed zone at Xonrupt-Longemer, followed immediately by the first climb of the day, the Category 3 Col de la Schlucht (a Cat. 2 in real-life, downgraded for purpose of this replay). After the climb, it's a downhill to the town of Munster and the final intermediate sprint at Luttenbach. Then a ground rise leading to the Cat. 2 climb of the Col du Platzerwasel, the toughest climb of the day (Cat. 1 in real-life). From there it's a downhill, a ground rise, and the "final climb of the day," a Cat. 3 Col du Firstplan (double points awarded here). Then a downhill to a flat finish in Colmar.

Two sprinters (Zabel and Maertens) form the initial break, headed to the first intermediate sprint. Maertens pips Zabel for the points while Oscar Freire pushes forward to take third. Hinault's team keeps a tight leash on the Peleton and soon their strategy becomes clear, as Jalabert moves to the front. Indurain follows but Freire rejoins the Peleton. Hinault attacks, following "JaJa" and "Big Mig." Armstrong's team sends Hincapie, who looks like he will be the sacrificial lamb, hoping to block or hinder other teams' moves. Hinault and Indurain cooperate, and Freire is sent back up the road to offer his assistance to the Spanish team leader. Virenque joins the fray while Zabel and Maertens are happy to be corraled by the Peleton as the road turns upward.

The French team of Hinault has all three riders up front or chasing the lead group. Second sprint points go to Jalabert ahead of Hinault and Freire. Indurain is chased back by the Anquetil-led Peleton, and Virenque is also reeled back in. Merckx and his Belgian teammates appear to be well-positioned for the rest of the stage. The Category 3 climb up the Col de la Schlucht is won by Jalabert with Lucien Van Impe pushing hard to take second ahead of Hinault. Virenque joins his two teammates, offering more help for Hinault as "JaJa" starts to tire. Bahamontes makes his move on the descent, as does Eddy Merckx who finally unleashes a blistering attack.

Up front, the three teammates sweep the points at the third intermediate sprint (Jalabert first ahead of Hinault and Virenque). Leipheimer uses the downhill stretch to break from the Peleton. Van Impe joins the lead group and prepares to set up Merckx, who takes his wheel. Armstrong follows Leipheimer's move, and the chasing of the Anquetil-led Peleton is ineffective. Perhaps "Master Jacques" has waited too long to make his move. Merckx and Bahamontes apply pressure heading into the Category 2 climb up the Platzerwasel. Armstrong cracks on the climb, and he will suffer for the rest of the stage as a result. Anquetil and Indurain are stuck in the Peleton whose chasing has not been effective at this point.

Virenque leads the field over the top of the climb, preserving his lead in the KOM competition. Van Impe, Merckx, Hinault and Bahamontes follow, in that order. Jalabert appears to be finished, having sacrified himself today for his team leader. Leipheimer and Anquetil suffer punctures. Indurain tries to pull away from Anquetil and the Peleton near the top of the climb. Hinault and Zabel flat. Merckx, full of fight, appears to be set up by his teammate, Van Impe, for the stage win and time bonus. Hinault is blocked by his rivals (Armstrong and Indurain). Hincapie escapes, just in front of Anquetil who finally makes a belated move toward the front. Will it be in time?

Hinault quickly recovers after a quick bike change and is able to find Merckx's wheel. However, with the GC race this close, the "Cannibal" is not in the mood to offer any free gifts to his rivals and he follows Virenque and Van Impe over the final climb of the day, worth double KOM points. Virenque starts to struggle, but Van Impe is there to deliver his team leader to the finish line. Armstrong struggles, and he drags Anquetil to the top of the climb. Merckx takes the stage win, gaining time on Anquetil who manages to finish sixth, a minute down. Hinault is one energy short of making it to the line in the same time, so a strong team effort goes to waste; Indurain, a turn later, has similar problems, as both he and Lance Armstrong lose ground to the three leaders.

Stage 13 Results

1. Merckx -1
2. Van Impe 0
3. Virenque 0
4. Hinault +1
5. Bahamontes +1

Overall GC after Stage 13

1. Anquetil 0
2. Merckx 3
3. Hinault 5
4. Indurain 8
5. Armstrong 8

Next closest on GC is Freire, who is 19 minutes down. Green jersey appears to be close to a "lock" for Erik Zabel:

Green Jersey Points

1. Zabel 254
2. Merckx 204
3. Freire 184
4. Maertens 183
5. Hinault 174

And Richard Virenque is firmly ensconced in the polka-dot jersey and piling up more points on today's stage.

KOM Points

1. Virenque 70
2. Van Impe 48
3. Bahamontes 45
4. Gaul 43
5. Jalabert 20
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Crabro wrote:
Are you going to post your routes?


Do you have the track set ups that you can post?
 
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To respond to the above poster, the first paragraph of each stage report provides a description of how the game tiles were laid out for the stage. Sorry, don't have the capability ti do fancy stuff like scanning or digital photos, and the tiles aren't numbered, so that's the best I can do. On to the next stage ...

Stage 14 Colmar to Besancon 199 Km

A relatively flat stage (with one small Cat. 3 climb) heading into the final week which includes three days of climbing in the Alps. In game terms, there are 15 tiles, total energy of 69 which means starting energy of 55, using the 80% rule. It's a flat start, then a ground rise, a flat section then a straight flat with the first intermediate sprint at Pulversheim. Another ground rise and then a flat take the riders to the second sprint at Dannemarie. Up a hilly section to the feed zone at Delle. Then a Cat. 3 mountain pass takes the riders across the Cote de Blamont. More hills, as a downhill, a ground rise and then a downhill. Then a flat section to the final sprint of the day at Baume-Les-Dames. Final, a curvy flat section, a straight downhill to the final flat finishing section in Besancon.

Not much action until just before the first sprint point, when Zabel, Maertens and Jalabert spring forward in search of green jersey points. The placings go in reverse order of the initial moves, with "JaJa" coming first ahead of Maertens and Zabel. Anquetil's team controls the Peleton, and the sprinters drop back. With a big mountain stage coming up in Stage 15, it will be interesting to see if the leading contenders will take it easy and conserve energy today. Jalabert emerges once again just before the second sprint, and Freire and Zabel claim the remaining places for the green jersey points.

Leipheimer attacks just after the feed zone, on the approach to the climb, and KOM points leader Virenque tracks his move. Lance Armstrong also follows Leipheimer's move; perhaps Lance is hoping to steal back some time on the other GC contenders on this stage. There is no immediate reaction from the Peleton, and the trio goes over the climb with Virenque pushing to get there first with Leipheimer second and Lance third.

Charly Gaul is sent out ahead by Anquetil's team, and the persistent "JaJa" escapes again, perhaps trying to work with Virenque to set up something for their team leader, Hinault. Up front, Virenque continues to lead while Leipheimer paces Lance. Indurain moves on the downhill, and Hincapie chases as well. Indurain and Hincapie are slowed by flats; Zabel and Merckx puncture but quickly rejoin the Peleton. Van Impe escapes. Leipheimer crashes on the downhill. "JaJa" is reeled back into the Peleton, which is now being paced by Merckx's team. Hincapie moves up to help Armstrong, while Indurain waits patiently in the middle of the chase group. Finally, Eddy Merckx makes his move on the downhill run toward the final sprint of the day. "Badger" Hinault follows Merckx's move, as does Oscar Freire. The sprint points go to Armstrong ahead of Virenque (who is fading on the flat portion) followed by Leipheimer.

Anquetil makes his move (the last of the GC contenders to do so) just past the final sprint point. Maertens grabs his wheel. Hincapie surges forward to join Armstrong, while Leipheimer drops off the pace and assumes a blocking role. Indurain suddenly makes a big acceleration that surprises Hinault, but the "Badger" follows anyway. Merckx is momentarily caught up in a traffic jam. Hincapie paces Armstrong to the stage win, his first of this all-time-great Tour. Anquetil takes Merckx's wheel on the final downhill run to the finish and is able to avoid any time loss to the other GC contenders. Hinault winds up just short and loses some time.

Stage 14 Result

1. Armstrong -1
2. Indurain 0
3. Merckx 0
4. Anquetil 0
5. Hincapie +1

Overall GC after Stage 14

1. Anquetil 0
2. Merckx 3
3. Hinault 6
4. Armstrong 7
5. Indurain 8

Zabel and Virenque continue to lead in the green jersey and KOM points competitions, respectively.

Green Jersey Points

1. Zabel 263
2. Merckx 226
3. Maertens 202
4. Freire 201
5. Hinault 185

KOM Points

1. Virenque 74
2. Van Impe 48
3. Bahamontes 45
4. Gaul 43
5. Jalabert 20

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Quote:
To respond to the above poster, the first paragraph of each stage report provides a description of how the game tiles were laid out for the stage. Sorry, don't have the capability ti do fancy stuff like scanning or digital photos, and the tiles aren't numbered, so that's the best I can do. On to the next stage ...


If you don't mind I'm going to try and work out your tracks and put them together in a download with pictures.

While trying to recreate the first two stages, neither had an energy level. I came up with 31 for stage 1 and 69 for stage 2. Is this correct?

For stage 5, I couldn't get it to work out correctly. If I read the narrative right tiles 8 and 9 are green followed by red (category 3). The rules state that any mountain (red) has to be preceded by a ground rise (orange). Was this intentional to follow the Tour stage or a misread by me? To make it legal would it be better to replace the green with orange? Or add in an orange and reduce the 3 consecutive greens to only 2?

Also, the narratives are great but if you could give the energy level of each piece that would make things much easier when trying to recreate them. Its a bit of a puzzle to get the colors in order then try to get to the correct total energy level. Maybe just put the energy levels after describing the piece. For my list I'm going with just the bare bones, e.g.,

Stage 1
8 tiles, 31 energy
orange 3 (start)
green 4
orange 3
orange 4
red 3
black 5
black 5
green 4 (finish)


Keep it coming these are great. Have first 4 completed and photographed. Working on layouts for 5, 6, and 7 now.
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Pale Horse,

Sorry, I can't recreate which tiles were laid out after I picked them up and went on to the next stage. I can tell you from my notes that, for Stage 1, the energy count was 32 (increased by 20% because it was a TT) and for Stage 2, the count was 65. Stage 5, my notes say no Categorized climbs which would mean I used no red tiles, only ground rise (orange) tiles. Generally, I have tried to have all red tiles preceded by an orange but there may have been an exception here and there if it didn't seem to fit the course.

EDIT: Correction, re-reading the write-up, apparently I did have red tile and a Cat. 3 climb in there. Looking at the stage profile, it was right after a sprint point, so perhaps I did skip over the orange tile in that case.

There's no magic to creating these courses, all you need is a stage map of the TdF and some imagination.
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Re: All-Time Great Tour de France Replay - Stage 15
Took advantage of the final rest day to get caught up with the real-life Tour once again. (Be interested to see if I can stay on track for a Sunday finish on the C-Elysses...)

Stage 15 Pontarlier to Verbier 207 Km

Today's course takes the riders into Switzerland with a couple of climbs and not much in the way of flat terrain. In game terms, 16 tiles total energy of 76 energy, or 60 using the 80% rule. Starts with a ground rise into the first of three climbs, a Category 3, the Cote de Rafours. then it is a downhill and a ground rise section that hugs a lake, followed by a couple of flat portions that include the first of two intermediate sprints at Thierrens. Then a ground rise and another flat section take the Tour to the feed zone at Epagny. Then, past a traffic circle (flat section), up a ground rise to the Category 2 climb of the Col de Mosses. This is followed by a downhill and a flat section to the second sprint at Martigny. Then, it's all uphill, a ground rise, then a Category 2 climb (red tile) to the uphill finish at Verbier, worth double KOM points for the Cat. 2 mountaintop finish. Should be a good day for the climbers.

Per recent suggestion, here's the order and number for the tiles (from start to finish):
orange 3, red 3, black 5, orange 5, green 5, green 4, orange 7, green 5, green 3, orange 5, red 6, black 7, green 4, oragne 4, red 6, red 4.

The explosive Lucien Van Impe is first out of the group, chasing KOM points on the first climb. Not to be outdone, Richard Virenque blast by him, taking the maximum points with Van Impe second and Charly Gaul third. Van Impe stays with Virenque on the descent; Bahamontes escapes. Freire also sprints clear of the Peleton, making everyone wonder if something is being set up for "Big Mig" Indurain. Zabel and Maertens move out, searching for green jersey points. The first intermediate sprint goes to Freire ahead of Zabel and Maertens. "JaJa" Jalabert and Hincapie, the remaining rouleurs, move out of the Peleton.

It's been a leisurely pace from the Peleton for the first part of the stage, and none of the GC contenders seem willing to commit themselves early. Maertens punctures, as does Leipheimer. Leipheimer quickly rejoins the Peleton. Then Charly Gaul, who was just assimilated back into the pack, punctures at a bad time. The Merckx-led Peleton speeds up, and Charly is left behind, suffering on the long flat section before the feed zone. Merckx makes an attack on the approach to the first Category 2 climb, but Hinault's team steps up the pace of the Peleton. Zabel takes Merckx's wheel, but the remaining rouleurs slow the pace, forcing Merckx to use up more energy. Then the Hinault-led Peleton steps up the pace even more, and Merckx is reeled back in right before the climb. Then, another puncture. Jalabert, who is left to fend for himself by his teammates. (He and Gaul are likely to lose big chunks of time on this stage.) Then "Badger" Hinault attacks on the climb, and Armstrong takes his wheel. Armstrong explodes past Hinault on the upper slopes of the climb, and Leipheimer follows his team leader's lead, also grabbing Hinault's wheel. Bahamontes reacts, as does Merckx. Anquetil and Indurain decide to sit and await further developments.

Armstrong leads the group over the climb, followed by Hinault, Bahamontes, Leipheimer and finally Merckx, who appears to be struggling a bit. Indurain decides to make a move heading over the climb, but Anquetil and Van Impe elect to remain in the Peleton awhile longer. Hinault repasses Lance on the descent and takes the second sprint points ahead of Leipheimer with Lance dropping back to third. Anquetil's team continues to push the Peleton (nearing the very low limit of pursuit points for this stage), but the pursuit is not very effective. "Master Jacques" decides to make his move on the downhill, successfully running a risk to gain ground on the leaders.

Armstrong attacks on the ground rise leading to the final climb, and Indurain (with the help of Bahamontes) is able to follow. Anquetil is content to catch up to Merckx's wheel, allowing the other three GC contenders to battle it out up front. Merckx, Hinault and Anquetil are now relatively isolated, unlike Lance and "Big Mig," who have their climbing teammates to call on for assistance. A hard pace is set by Leipheimer, and a lead group of six (Lance, Levi, Hinault, Indurain, Merckx and Anquetil) pulls ahead on the climb. Anquetil (with plenty of energy left) is content to mark the others, sitting at the rear of the group. Leipheimer pulls ahead on the final straight run to the finish, setting up Lance for the stage win. Good teamwork wins the day. Indurain is one energy short of finishing on the same turn, so Lance gains two minutes on all the other GC contenders. Merckx explodes past Anquetil on the final stretch, but fortunately "Master Jacques" has enough energy left to run a second risk -- which he succeeds to finish just one turn behind Lance, in seventh place, to maintain his three-minute lead over Merckx in the overall. Charly Gaul is able to regain the Peleton on the final climb, but two rouleurs (Freire and Hincapie) are not quite so fortunate -- dropped on the final climb.

Stage 15 Results

1. Armstrong -1
2. Leipheimer +1
3. Indurain +1
4. Hinault +1
5. Merckx +1

Two successive stage wins, and all of a sudden Lance Armstrong is within striking distance of the top of the GC list.

Overall GC after Stage 15

1. Anquetil 0
2. Merckx 3
3. Armstrong 5
4. Hinault 6
5. Indurain 8

Not much changing in the other two competitions for the Green and Polka Dot jerseys.

Green Points Standings

1. Zabel 267
2. Merckx 233
3. Freire 207
4. Maertens 204
5. Hinault 200

KOM Standings

1. Virenque 76
2. Van Impe 50
3. Bahamontes 48
4. Gaul 44
5. Armstrong 27

Two more big mountain stages in the Alps, with some major climbs, and plenty of chances for time to be won or lost as the Tour heads into its final week.



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