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Tour de France update...

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
from the NY Times

July 7, 2004

Armstrong Pulls Ahead of Tour de France Pack


RRAS, France, July 7 — Their body language said it all when the United States Postal Service riders crossed the finish line today after a long team time-trial: broad smiles, backslaps, handshakes, embraces and arms thrown into the air in joy.

The jubilation over their victory was affirmed a few minutes later, when Lance Armstrong found himself in the familiar position of standing on the winner's podium and pulling the yellow jersey of the Tour de France's overall leader over his head.

Fifth by 16 seconds before this fourth of 20 daily stages, Armstrong said after the 64.5-kilometer, or 40-mile, race against the clock that he well understood that he could take over the leadership with a strong performance.

"I knew I'd be in yellow and I thought about it last night, this morning and during the race," he said at a news conference. "But the only day that really counts is in Paris," where the Tour ends on July 25.

The Texan, who has won the last five Tours de France and is seeking a record sixth victory, leads his teammate George Hincapie, in second place over all, by 10 seconds, with Floyd Landis, another teammate, in third place among the 183 riders, 16 seconds behind. It is the first time in the 101-year history of the race that Americans have ranked one, two and three.

That will not last long, Armstrong warned.

"Our objective is not to defend the jersey," he said. "It's not in the best interest of the team," he explained. "You have to preserve the strength of the team for the second half."

That means that Postal Service will not chase down any breakaways as the race wends through the flatlands of northern France, Normandy and Brittany until Sunday.

Armstrong's team finished in 53 minutes 71 seconds, a speed of 53.7 kilometers an hour (33.5 m.p.h.) over twisty roads made treacherous by a constant rain that sometimes approached monsoon ferocity.

"I was nervous all day long," Armstrong said. "On the curves, I was the last guy in the line. I didn't want to take any risks." He noted that other teams had numerous crashes.

Among them was Phonak from Switzerland, led by Tyler Hamilton, another American. His team, which finished second, one minute 17 seconds back, had two crashes, one flat tire and one change of bicycles.

In a team time-trial, the first five finishers get the time of the fifth man across the line, and Phonak's front group consisted of that minimum of five, from among its nine starters.

Postal Service, which rode the entire route in a disciplined and dynamic line, put nine men together over the line.

Finishing in third place today was Illes Balears from Spain, 1'15" behind Postal, with T-Mobile from Germany fourth, 1'19" behind.

Despite those deficits, a rule instituted for this Tour allowed Armstrong to gain just 20 seconds on Phonak, 30 seconds on Illes Balears and 40 seconds on T-Mobile and its leader, Jan Ullrich, who finished second in the Tour last year and four years previously.

"You get 20 seconds, and 20 seconds is what you get," Armstrong said, obviously trying not to sound critical.

He has often questioned the new rule, which seems to be designed to keep the race tight and could be regarded as inspired by his domination of recent Tours, since Postal Service also won the team time-trial last year and gained minutes on some rivals.

"But 20 seconds or not, you still have the consolation of knowing you have the best team in the race," he said as he sat smiling in the yellow jersey.

"Last year," he continued while discussing the team time-trial, "our victory was a highlight, if not the highlight, of the Tour. This year it was even better."

Even though his time advantage was limited by the new rule, he did not discount the little he gained.

"Twenty seconds and 40 seconds are a significant amount of time," he said, referring to the losses by Hamilton and Ullrich.

Hamilton now ranks 8th, 36 seconds down, and Ullrich 16th, 55 seconds down. Another major rival, Roberto Heras, a Spaniard with Liberty Seguros, which finished seventh, 2'25" behind Postal Service, lost 1'10" on the sliding scale and ranks 34th, 1'45" behind.

Iban Mayo, a Spaniard who leads Euskaltel and who lost nearly four minutes on Tuesday after a crash, lost 1'20" more today as his team finished a surprisingly strong eighth, 2'35" behind in real time. Over all, he ranks 92nd, nearly five-and-a-half minutes down.

The stage ran from Cambrai to Arras in northern France, and the 21 teams left five minutes apart before big crowds at the start, though many spectators took cover as the rain pelted down.

A third of the way through the 64.5 kilometers, Postal Service ranked fifth, with Illes Balears from Spain first by 37 seconds over Armstrong's team.

"We started slow, got behind, maybe some of the guys were nervous," Armstrong said. "It's the sign of a great team to make that up." Postal Service did that in the next 20 kilometers, reaching the 42-kilometer checkpoint in first place, 28 seconds ahead of the Spaniards.

That lead continued to increase until the finish, which was approached by a short stretch of cobblestones. As the team neared the line, Hincapie appeared to gesture to Armstrong to come to the front and finish first.

He declined that honor. Victory belonged to the team, he explained, not to any one rider, not even its leader and the winner of five consecutive Tours de France.
post #2 of 31

Teams still at full strength?

As some of you have already seen, Phonak finished with only 5 riders to take the time, meaning the others risk not making the minimum time.

Of three teams of interest, the dropped riders appear to be:

-Benjamin Noval Gonzales (still listed as #180 overall)
- Sergei Ivanov (still listed as #100 overall)
- Giuseppe Guerini (still listed as #155 overall)
- Martin Elmiger (#163 overall)
- Nicolas Jalabert (#147 overall)
- Oscar Pereiro Sio (#79 overall)
- Santiago Perez (#157 overall)

So, apparently, still at full strength.
post #3 of 31
Thread Starter 
July 9, 2004

Amstrong Ends Behind Tour De France Leader


Filed at 12:57 p.m. ET

ANGERS, France (AP) -- Lance Armstrong recovered from an early fall and avoided a late crash, finishing in a pack behind stage winner and former teammate Tom Boonen of Belgium in the Tour de France on Friday.

Armstrong, trying for a record sixth straight Tour title, was thrown from his bike but not hurt in a crash involving a number of cyclists about 20 minutes into the sixth stage, a 122-mile run from Bonneval to Angers.

Armstrong and rival Jan Ullrich of T-Mobile managed to stay clear of a major wreck near the finish that involved all but about 30 riders.

According to the rules, competitors held up in a crash in the final kilometer of a stage are given the same time as the winner.

Boonen and a pack of riders, including Armstrong and Ullrich, finished the stage in 4 hours, 33 minutes, 41 seconds. Ullrich was 26th, and Armstrong 34th.

Thomas Voeckler of France retained the overall leader's yellow jersey and was 9 minutes, 35 seconds ahead of the sixth-place Armstrong. Ullrich is another 55 seconds back.

Armstrong quickly got back in the race after the early fall and, with help from his U.S. Postal Service teammates, caught up with the pack

``It was a typical early race crash,'' he said. ``There's nothing you can do. You hit the brakes, but bikes don't stop that fast, so I just went over.''

Armstrong said he was not seriously hurt.

``It wasn't bad, a little bit on the arm, a little bit on the hip,'' he said.

The five-time champion also criticized organizers for the narrow layout of the final stretch into the finish.

``Coming in, they've got the barriers really tight, and you've got 200 guys racing through there at 40 miles an hour. ... You're going to have crashes,'' Armstrong said.

Boonen won a sprint finish, speeding past Cofidis' Stuart O'Grady of Australia and T-Mobile rider Erik Zabel of Germany, hoisting his arms into air as he crossed the line.

``It was really a great win,'' said Boonen, who is riding in his first Tour. ``I love this kind of sprint -- hard -- for really strong sprinters.''

The spill was the first of this Tour for Armstrong and came a day after the 32-year-old Texan said he was worried about crashing. Adverse conditions marred much of the first week, although weather for Friday's stage was balmy by comparison and mostly rain-free.

``In this race, I'm always scared, always nervous,'' he said. ``The last two or three days for me, personally, have been really, really nerve-racking.

``It's a stressful race.''

Viatceslav Ekimov of Russia, Armstrong's trusted teammate who usually steers him through crashes and other hazards, arrived last and battered at Postal's bus, a thin stream of blood running down his right leg.

American Tyler Hamilton, a former teammate of Armstrong who now rides for Phonak, blew a tire. He caught up with the main group near the 36-mile mark and finished 102st in the stage. He is 13th overall.

The fast-paced sixth stage took place without two of cycling's fastest sprinters -- Italians Mario Cipollini and Alessandro Petacchi, who pulled out of the race before the start due to injury.
post #4 of 31
Yawn. This has been a boring Tour de Franco-American. Lots of attention from the press and Lance's sponsors but nottin' much happening besides the team time trial day. Everyday a few riders dart out in front but all the serious contenders play it safe in the pack.

Today they finally hit the real mountains and Lance made a move so its interesting again. Unfortunately, it looks like Lance might have things wraped up after a couple more days in the mountain eliminating any suspense for the remainder of the tour.
post #5 of 31
Thread Starter 

from NY Times

July 16, 2004

With Help From His Friends, Armstrong Takes Control


A MONGIE, France, July 16 — With a lot of help from his friends, Lance Armstrong took control of the Tour de France today as he gained more than two minutes on his major rivals and moved within striking distance of the overall leader's yellow jersey.

Armstrong, the American leader of the United States Postal Service team who is seeking his sixth consecutive victory in the Tour, did everything but win today's stage, the 12th of 20 overall. He finished second in a mountaintop sprint against Ivan Basso, an Italian with CSC and the American's buddy when they're not on the bicycle. Armstrong is now in second place overall, 5 minutes 24 seconds behind.

Among those who trailed in far behind them in the first of two stages in the Pyrenees were Jan Ullrich, the German leader of T-Mobile, the winner of the Tour in 1997 and five times runner-up before and since, including last year.

Looking stricken as he pedaled up the final section of the last of two major climbs, Ullrich lost 2 minutes 30 seconds, a huge chunk of time.

Tyler Hamilton, the American leader of Phonak and another major contender, did even worse, losing 3:27. Roberto Heras, the Spanish leader of Liberty Seguros and another main rival, lost 2:57.

Armstrong acknowledged he was "pretty surprised" at how much time Ullrich and Hamilton lost today.

The man in the yellow jersey, Thomas Voeckler, a Frenchman with Brioches la Boulangère, kept it; Voeckler started the 197.5-kilometer, or 123-mile, stage from Castelsarrasin to the ski station of La Mongie with a lead of 9 minutes 35 seconds over Armstrong, who started the day in sixth place.

That lead shrunk to 5:24 as Basso and Armstrong, both gaining small time bonuses, crossed the line after 5 hours 3 minutes 58 seconds, with Voeckler 3:59 behind them. The 25-year-old Frenchman rode courageously but, outclassed and suffering from digestive problems, he had to summon all his reserves to stop staggering in the final kilometers and just make it across the line.

Third, fourth and fifth at the finish among the 166 riders were Andreas Klöden, a German with T-Mobile, Francisco Mancebo, a Spaniard with Illes Baleares, and Carlos Sastre, a Spaniard with CSC.

With Ullrich stumbling, his teammate Klöden, the German national champion, becomes a man to reckon with. He moved up to fifth place overall, 6:33 behind Voeckler.

Armstrong is now in second, with Ullrich, 16th overall, more than three and a half minutes behind him, Hamilton another 30 seconds back and Heras another minute back.

Third place overall is held by Sandy Casar, a Frenchman with fdjeux.com, and fourth place by Richard Virenque, a Frenchman with Quick Step. Neither is expected to remain aloft long. Basso ranks sixth.

But, with an even tougher mountain stage scheduled Saturday and two time trials next week, plus days in the Alps, this race is far from over. Armstrong is clearly in command, however, riding at the top of his form and brilliantly assisted by his teammates in a manner no other team can come close to matching.

Four of the nine Postal Service riders paced him up the first climb today, the towering Aspin peak, in a pelting rain that stopped later in the afternoon. Luckily for everybody, the descent from the top was neither tricky nor long, although slick after the downpour.

Those riders, all veterans of the team, were George Hincapie, Floyd Landis, Manuel Beltran and José Rubiera.

Hincapie, a brute on the early part of climbs in the past few Tours, continued his work on the long slope up to La Mongie, finally yielding to José Azevedo, a new recruit.

Azevedo, 30, a Portuguese, was fifth in the 2001 Giro d'Italia, sixth in the 2002 Tour, and 26th in the last Tour with the ONCE team. A good climber and strong time trialer, he was hired last winter to replace the departed Heras as the final pacesetter, the job he did so well today.

With Sastre alone in the lead with four kilometers left, Armstrong set out after him, accompanied only by Basso. They passed Sastre and rode the rest of the way together, sprinting the last half kilometer.

Although he had not won a race in nearly three years, Basso was named by Armstrong this winter as a rider he expected would do well in the 91st Tour. Normally not the most accurate prognosticator, Armstrong was right on the money this time.

"He did a hell of a good job," the Texan said afterward. "He was strong."

Not sounding remotely sorry to have finished second, he added, "He's a good guy and he's been a friend of mine for a long time."

Armstrong, who survived testicular cancer in 1996 and heads a foundation to fight the disease, added that Basso's mother has cancer and that he and the Italian have been working together to help her. A stage victory by her son in the Tour de France ought to brighten her day.
post #6 of 31
Looks like Lance might have let Bosso cross first today.

I've criticized Tiger in a past thread for poor behavior, and a lack of class. I've criticized the Williams sisters for lack of focus, dedication and work ethic. Lance takes all those qualities I respect, and strive to embed in my athletes, to new levels.

I'm enthralled with respect for this guy.
post #7 of 31
Aussie has sprinters green
post #8 of 31
Originally Posted by Rick
Lance takes all those qualities I respect, and strive to embed in my athletes, to new levels.

I'm enthralled with respect for this guy.
I think pro cycling in general takes sportmanship to a new level. Generally they don't take advantage of poor luck, they help each other along the way, etc.
post #9 of 31
Thread Starter 

today's stage: L'Alpe d'Huez

ny times

July 21, 2004

Man Versus Mountain Is Stage for Ages


tamford, Conn.

FOOTBALL has its two-minute drill. Baseball has its ninth-inning rally.

The Tour de France has its own proving grounds - L'Alpe d'Huez, tantalizingly scheduled on the final Wednesday, that is to say, today.

This legendary mountain in eastern France has been looming in the psyche and muscle memory of the 157 riders who have gutted it out this far. The very entertaining broadcasters on the Outdoor Life Network have labeled today's segment as ''the stage for the ages.''

This year the promoters of the race have tricked up the fabled ascent, just to make Monsieur Lance Armstrong work for his sixth straight Tour victory.

For the first time, L'Alpe d'Huez has been turned into a time trial, which means every rider must go by himself, with no support from skillful teammates blocking the wind or chasing down frisky front-runners.

Look at it this way: Officials have taken Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman and Ron Harper away from Michael Jordan. It's one-on-one, baby - Lance versus the mountain.

If you are among the lucky 59 million households in the United States that get OLN or can catch it live on the huge screen at 44th and Broadway from 9 to 11:30 a.m. today only - you will be able to identify Lance Armstrong.

He will be wearing yellow. He will go last.

With its vicious 9.6 miles, Huez is the eccentric equivalent of the Green Monster at Fenway Park. Its 21 switchbacks are a more tangible obstacle than the Cameron Crazies of Duke University basketball. Its steepness makes it even more formidable than football's icy Lambeau Field in December.

Huez, named for the Ucenis, a Gallic tribe in the Romanche valley two millennia ago, is where the Tour is often won, even if there are four other stages left, as this year.

''It's like carrying Quasimodo on your back while he rings the bells of Notre Dame,'' Bob Roll, one of the OLN commentators, said. ''You feel your legs explode, and your teeth fall out, and your eyes bleed.''

Roll knows Huez. He raced the Tour de France four times. Al Trautwig knows about suffering - after all, he broadcasts from Madison Square Garden in the winter - but he has never ridden a bicycle up Huez.

Paul Sherwen knows Huez. He raced the Tour seven times.

''The difficult thing about the Alpe d'Huez is, in fact, the first 500 meters is almost straight up the side of this unbelievable cliff face,'' Sherwen said.

Phil Liggett, broadcasting his 32nd Tour, was a fine amateur cyclist but never raced in the Tour. A decade or so ago, on a rest day for the Tour, he took a crack at the big hill.

''When I was halfway up, there was a spectator looking down into the valley below, leaning on his bicycle on a crash barrier, looking at a stream,'' Liggett recalled the other day. ''And I thought, I know exactly how you feel.

''Two corners later, he came riding by. And I'm not kidding. I was about 50 years of age, and he was every day of 70. And he says, 'Do you know, this is the toughest road in Europe?' " Liggett, who was working to too hard to respond, continued.

''And he said, 'I must go,' and he rode away from me.''

Normally, Armstrong rides away from people on Huez. Today he will ride against his inner clock. The race will be called from a mobile studio at the finish line at the top, with the four OLN announcers watching the world television feed. They will have climbed Huez last evening in a car. ''There's only one way up,'' Roll said.

I do not receive OLN out in Dolan Country, but friends have been raving about the three hours of live coverage in the morning and a prime-time show in the evening. Yesterday I wangled an invitation to the OLN home office in Stamford, Conn. So I would feel I was in France, they even had a flaky, buttery croissant for me.

Cycling on the tube is a hypnotic, kaleidoscopic spectacle, thanks to daredevil camera operators on the back of a motorcycle, a few centimeters from the riders. The cyclists are only barely the stars of the broadcast: La Belle France matches them, with her green valleys, meandering streams, stark hills, quaint villages and savvy fans who somehow avoid tangling with the riders.

The OLN commentators are knowledgeable and funny, without unleashing the patronizing overkill that drives me nuts on network baseball.

Yesterday, Trautwig suggested that Armstrong was ready to create ''a race in tatters.'' When one slumping star made an early move, Liggett hailed a sighting of ''the Jan Ullrich of old.'' Sherwen talked about the shifting ''coalitions and alliances'' that various teams formed during the stage. Frankie Andreu, a former teammate of Armstrong's, did a nice spot on all the electronic gizmos in the car of one team director.

As five leaders went uphill for the last mile, Sherwen observed the gears on Armstrong's bicycle and predicted he would make a final challenge. Sure enough, the beast from Texas crossed the finish line first, pumping both fists.

Interviewed at the finish line, Armstrong seemed awed at gaining the leader's yellow jersey for the 61st time in his career, but he was also reserved about his chances on the next stage. With L'Alpe d'Huez towering straight ahead, nobody gets giddy.
post #10 of 31

Lance Kicks Some Serious Ass

post #11 of 31
How enjoyable to see the American flag waiving, and hear our national anthem echoing loudly through the city of Paris today, celebrating yet another American win in the Tour de France.

I can just see the few French who actually work, catching themselves whistling the Stars and Stripes while sitting at their desks tomorrow and thinking, damn, I just can't seem to get that bloody song out of my head today.

Oh well, they might as well get used to it, Kerry's going to very soon have the whole world loving us again anyway. Come on, you remember, the way they did during the 90's. :
post #12 of 31
Rick, on my recent trip to France, one of the questions which I was asked by French friends was "Why do the Americans think we hate them?"
I was unable to answer that one, it seems that some people have a complex!
post #13 of 31
Thread Starter 

NY Times

July 26, 2004


The French Celebrate Achievement



AUX barricades. To the barricades.

It is in the DNA of the French that when something momentous happens, they stream to the heart of the great city.

They flocked to the Champs-Élysées in August 1944 when the Allies arrived, and they crowded the Place de la Concorde to greet Charles de Gaulle on Aug. 26, 1944, and they returned en masse in July 1998 after another great Frenchman, Zinédine Zidane, headed in two goals to help win the World Cup.

Nothing that happened yesterday could possibly equal those celebrations of national pride, yet the French did celebrate cycling and the Tour de France, as well as a man wearing yellow, in the middle of the pack, named Lance Armstrong.

For French people of a certain age, Armstrong is no Jacques Anquetil or Bernard Hinault, yet he is a six-time champion of a sport they love and respect, so they cheered as the cyclists swooped past them, eight times, up and down, past buildings and monuments and parks that make you feel weak over their beauty and their history.

Gracious hosts, the people applauded all the cyclists, including Armstrong, ignoring his touchy relationship with French courts and part of the French news media. If there were any whistles, catcalls, banners, gestures, I missed them.

But maybe I am the wrong person to be looking for alleged French hostility. My wake-up yesterday was a call from a dear friend, the widow of a former French cyclist, a man who, badly wounded, was pulled off a battlefield by an American soldier during World War II, a man who wept on his first visit to the United States and whispered, "J'adore l'Amerique."

"Georges," my friend said after we had arranged a luncheon in a few days, "give my regards to Lance Armstrong."

"You like Armstrong?" I asked.

"All France likes him," she said.

At the very least, France respected him yesterday as he eclipsed the record of four great European riders with his sixth victory, after a Tour in which none of the contenders could even challenge Armstrong.

The European who sassed him the most yesterday was Filippo Simeoni, with whom Armstrong has an acrimonious and litigious relationship. Apparently half-mad after three weeks in the elements, Simeoni tried an early escape on a day for ceremony and fellowship and good form, and once again the blue-clad vigilantes of the United States Postal Service team chased him down.

As the riders gamboled on their way to Paris, people flooded out of the Métro and took their places behind the steel stanchions. I was at the corner of Rue St. Florentin and Rue de Rivoli, where bilingual plaques commemorate the Marshall Plan of 1947, designed to help Europe escape from "hunger, poverty, despair, chaos."

Waiting in the shadows were two young friends. Elisabeth Rey of Paris said she respected anybody who could win the Tour six times, and Nathalie Sylla of Clichy said that six was quite enough, that it was time for somebody else to win.

Out in the sunlight were Gilles Tichoux and Christine Lioret of Houilles, and her mother, Jane Jammet of Paris.

"Armstrong is the best," Lioret said.

"No, no," her mother said, shrugging her head and shoulders in marvelous Gallic fashion.

"Who is the best?" I asked the mother.

"Raymond Poulidor," Jammet replied, referring to the French rider known as the patron saint of bad luck - three seconds and five thirds, yet never the leader of the Tour for a day in his career.

"It is generational," her daughter said. "The younger ones like Lance Armstrong."

The riders were taking their time getting to Paris. Americans were everywhere, with expensive sneakers, sunglasses and Tour souvenirs. In a classic Old Europe conversation, I spoke in English to a German father who had just been to Italy and had bought his son a pretty blue French national soccer jersey, complete with the name Thierry Henry, the fleet forward who plays for Arsenal in London.

I chatted with a French couple with slightly different views of Armstrong.

"I'm very happy to see him win," said Aymeric Thon-Adjalin of Meudon. "I know his story, the difficulty in his life. This is a great example for young people."

He was referring to Armstrong's epic recovery from cancer and his foundation that fights the disease. I asked about the rumors that have persisted ever since the French justice system investigated Armstrong on suspicion of blood-doping but found nothing.

"I don't think it is true," he said. "There is no proof."

His wife, Marie-Bérengère Thon-Adjalin, said she was a bit more skeptical, noting that drugs exist in cycling.

Everybody was impressed with the way Armstrong had once again raced away from his competitors. They spoke of his verbal, intelligent, forceful style as being part of the television age.

The cultures overlap. One cafe just off Rue de Rivoli offered Le Speedy Business Lunch. Speedy is an international concept now.

Finally, the cyclists arrived. Armstrong was in the middle of the second group, but his colleagues left space around him, so the crowd could spot his yellow jersey. He did not wave or acknowledge the fans, his demeanor suggesting that he was just another grunt cyclist putting in a day's work in the peloton, his way to respect his sport.

People from many nations waved American flags, clapped and raised a glass on high. Lance Armstrong is no de Gaulle, no Zidane, no Raymond Poulidor, but he is a six-time champion of the Tour de France.

In the heart of the great city, people will throng to the barricades and cheer that.
post #14 of 31
I would like to take this time to give a hearty congratulations to Lance Armstrong for winning his 6'th straight Tour De France. He has been through so much and is such an incredible athlete. Congrats Lance
post #15 of 31

Is Lance in Trouble?


Police question rider in Armstrong dispute

Posted: Wednesday July 28, 2004 3:10PM; Updated: Wednesday July 28, 2004 3:17PM

ROME (AP) -- An Italian cyclist who says he was "threatened" by six-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong during the race was questioned by police about the episode, which might be linked to a feud between the riders.

Filippo Simeoni was questioned Tuesday in Rome about the July 23 stage, during which he was chased down by Armstrong, a move apparently related to a dispute about Simeoni's testimony about drug use in cycling, Col. Stefano Ortolani of the paramilitary Carabiniere NAS anti-doping squad said Wednesday.

Last Friday, when Simeoni moved ahead to try for victory on a stage that would not have impacted the overall standings, Armstrong chased him down and herded him back to the main pack.

The sports daily Gazzetta dello Sport quoted Simeoni after he left police questioning as saying "He prevented me from continuing the breakaway and afterward he threatened me."

Armstrong's agent, Bill Stapleton, had no comment Wednesday, a spokeswoman said.

Simeoni, of the Domina Vacanze squad, has testified against controversial sports doctor Michele Ferrari, with whom Armstrong has ties. Ferrari faces allegations of providing performance enhancers to riders.

Simeoni told an Italian court in 2002 that Ferrari advised him to take performance-enhancing drugs. Later, Armstrong reportedly called Simeoni a liar, and the Italian now says he is suing the Texan for libel.

Ortolani declined to give details about Tuesday's questioning.

Simeoni was quoted by Gazzetta as saying that while he rode with Armstrong, the Texan said, "You made a mistake to speak against Ferrari, and you made a mistake to take legal action against me. I have money and time and lots of lawyers. I can destroy you."

The Gazzetta report, which Ortolani described as accurate, said Italian investigators could open proceedings against Armstrong for sporting fraud, violence, and intimidation of a witness.
Seems like a silly matter to me but ya never know.
post #16 of 31
Thread Starter 
a punk being told he's a punk.
post #17 of 31
That says the guy is Italian, but with the way he is whining, he must be French.
post #18 of 31
Originally Posted by irul&ublo
That says the guy is Italian, but with the way he is whining, he must be French.
You know, it's comments like that which fuel the American hatred of the French, and leave the French confused when they are told by Americans that they hate Americans, because, as the articles above show, and I have said myself, it is simply not true.
post #19 of 31
Considering the way that Frank Williams and Patrick Head were treated after the death of Ayrton Senna, I could see this going somewhere. Lance had better watch out.
post #20 of 31
Yeah, that one isn't over yet.
post #21 of 31
post #22 of 31
Originally Posted by Wear The Fox Hat
You know, it's comments like that which fuel the American hatred of the French, and leave the French confused when they are told by Americans that they hate Americans, because, as the articles above show, and I have said myself, it is simply not true.
We have to pick on the French instead of the Italians because we like Italian food better and would have a hard time giving it up. I would hate to go to Fenway Park and order a Freedom Sausage with peppers and onions.
post #23 of 31
Fox, I know you mean well, but your quite a few shovels away from the tap root.

The fuel that feeds the fire over here comes in the form of drift wood. We've had our noses rubbed in the reality that we for a long time tried to ignore. You'd have to have a closer tie to the souls of family members left on the battlefields of Europe to truly understand the emotional feelings of betrayal that have erupted here.

So far we've been polite, but it will always be in the back of our minds, we won't forget.
post #24 of 31
Originally Posted by Wear The Fox Hat
You know, it's comments like that which fuel the American hatred of the French, and leave the French confused when they are told by Americans that they hate Americans, because, as the articles above show, and I have said myself, it is simply not true.

Please don't blame irul, it's just he knows more than anyone what it's like to be singled out and hated by people he's never even met. Lawyer's understand things like that.
post #25 of 31
Originally Posted by DangerousBrian

Please don't blame irul, it's just he knows more than anyone what it's like to be singled out and hated by people he's never even met. Lawyer's understand things like that.
True....but energy traders aren't too popular right now either (at least here in California).
post #26 of 31
This stuff reminds me of a joke I got the other day entitled "passport please".
The elderly American gentleman arrived in Paris by plane.
At French customs he fumbled for his passport.
"You 'ave been to France before monsieur?"
the customs officer asked sarcastically.
The old gent admitted that he had been to France previously.
"Zen, you should know enough to 'ave your passport ready for inspection."
The American said "the last time I was here I didn't have to show it."
"Impossible. You Americans alwayz 'ave to show your passports on arrival in France!"

The American senior gave the Frenchman a long hard look. Then he quietly explained.

"Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day in '44, I couldn't find any Frenchmen to show it to."
post #27 of 31
Originally Posted by irul&ublo
That says the guy is Italian, but with the way he is whining, he must be French.
We are notorious whiners.
post #28 of 31
Originally Posted by SLATZ
"Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day in '44, I couldn't find any Frenchmen to show it to."
It's amazing how 60 odd years will shorten the memory and make such sacrifice insignificant.
post #29 of 31
Coach, did you see the ceremonies held in Northern France? I think to say that the French consider it insignificant is an insult to the French, who certainly showed that they do remember the sacrifices made by Americans, ANZACS, Brits, Poles, etc.

Can someone tell me why some Americans hate the French, and why some Americans are obsessed with claiming that the French hate Americans? Because, as I've said before, in my experience of being in France (and I've just returned from there a few days ago), I didn't meet anyone who hated Americans. I did meet a lot of people who disliked and disagreed with GWB, but I think that's a global sentiment, and not a French specific one.
post #30 of 31
Originally Posted by Wear The Fox Hat
Coach, did you see the ceremonies held in Northern France? I think to say that the French consider it insignificant is an insult to the French, who certainly showed that they do remember the sacrifices made by Americans, ANZACS, Brits, Poles, etc.

Can someone tell me why some Americans hate the French, and why some Americans are obsessed with claiming that the French hate Americans? Because, as I've said before, in my experience of being in France (and I've just returned from there a few days ago), I didn't meet anyone who hated Americans. I did meet a lot of people who disliked and disagreed with GWB, but I think that's a global sentiment, and not a French specific one.
I believe it's another example of how the media controls people's beliefs, non more so than in America. It's frightening how we are all fed different opinions and then take them on as beliefs without actually looking into it ourselves. World war two is a prime example. Back in England people even joked about the Americans coming into world war 2 at a very late stage. I was surprized at how many Americans believe they alone won world war 2.

Based on military lives lost Russia, China, Poland, Yugoslavia and Romania lost far more lives than America did.

Very few Americans realized that America (Bush family) funded both sides ...
"George W's grandfather Prescott Bush was among the chief American fundraisers for the Nazi Party in the 1930s and '40s. In return he was handsomely rewarded with plenty of financial opportunities from the Nazis helping to create the fortune and legacy that his son George inherited."

As with the current war it all traces back to power and money.
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