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2006 Tour de France - Page 2

post #31 of 304
Kevin,

I record the live morning coverage of every stage on my TiVo (I also have it record the afternoon showing in case the live one runs long, so I don't miss the end - but the live showing would have to run very long because I have it record an extra half hour at the end - but it's happened a couple of times). I watch every second of every stage, sometimes twice, at least until the mountain stages are done. Then, as it boils down to the end, I tend to fast forward through some of the long boring flat stages, especially if my wife is giving me the hairy eyeball because she wants to watch Oprah or something. But amazingly, my wife has gotten into watching some of it, although she hates the flat stages except for the sprints at the finish and any crashes.

That said, this is the first year of trying to watch Le Tour while having triplets scurrying around. We don't have much time for tv, so I may end up doing a lot more fast forwarding than I used to.
post #32 of 304

Discovery Team Leader(s)

who emerges as the "to-be-supported" rider with lance out of the way?

http://www.eurosport.com/cycling/tou...to915217.shtml
post #33 of 304
Here's who's staying in this hotel:

GEROLSTEINER
ZBERG Beat:SUI
SCHUMACHER Stefan:GER
HASELBACHER Rene:AUT
WROLICH Peter:AUT
WEGMANN Fabian:GER
TOTSCHNIG Georg:AUT
SCHOLZ Ronny:GER
LANG Sebastian:GER
KOPP David:GER
FOTHEN Marcus:GER
FÖRSTER Robert:GER
LEIPHEIMER Levi:USA

LIQUIGAS
SPEZIALETTI Alessandro:ITA
FAILLI Francesco:ITA
ANDRIOTTO Dario:ITA
QUINZIATO Manuel:ITA
PAOLINI Luca:ITA
MUGERLI Matej:SLO
GARZELLI Stefano:ITA
DI LUCA Danilo:ITA
CARLSTRÖM Kjell:FIN
CALCAGNI Patrick:SUI
BACKSTEDT Magnus:SWE
ALBASINI Michael:SUI
post #34 of 304
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wear The Fox Hat
Here's who's staying in this hotel:

GARZELLI Stefano:ITA
[]

"Hired by Mapei in 2001, Garzelli looked to be on his way to another win in the 2002 Giro, but a surprise positive test for a little-used steroid masking agent, Probenecid, put him out of the race and out of the sport with a disappointing nine month suspension. His suspension ended in March this year", .
post #35 of 304
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryan
who emerges as the "to-be-supported" rider with lance out of the way?

http://www.eurosport.com/cycling/tou...to915217.shtml
Johan isn't being secretive. He's going to run the team situationally and tactically. As things play out, a leader will emerge. It will most likely be George, in my opnion but that all depends on how the cards fall after the first TT, the first mountain stages, etc. The team will support whoever has the best chance at the podium...
post #36 of 304
I still think, like most everybody else, that it's going to be either Jan Ullrich or Ivan Basso for the GC. I don't think anyone will control the race the way U.S. Postal, now Discovery, has in the past few years. I would pick Ullrich, but I think Basso has the potential to ride away from him on one or more of the mountain stages and gain several minutes.

My personal favorite is George Hincapie. I would not be surprised to see him do well and possibly end on the podium. I don't think Discovery has a clear GC man and that must be a new and weird feeling for them. So what happens, do they just ride for themselves until one emerges as a leader?
post #37 of 304
Sorry jstraw, you answered my question before I asked it.
post #38 of 304
Thread Starter 
I will predict that if they all *finish* the race...Landis, Hincapie and Leipheimer will *all* be in the top 10 of the GC and at least one of them will be on the podium.
post #39 of 304
Thread Starter 
I will also predict that if Leipheimer wins the tour, he will be the third rider to do so without having won a stage.
post #40 of 304

Basso

Here goes my shot.

Basso - The CSC Team just looks too strong. But Val Verde will stay with Basso in the mountains, as will Levi. DZ will win at least one ITT. Floyd doesn't have it in the mountians. He and Jan will watch Basso and Simoni ride away and then the "Boss-O" will say "Caio" and leave Simoni a wirthing blob of mush while he tries to jam on his 25 to keep up. Afterwords, Simoni will again chime out that Basso tried to pay him off. While George is who everyone will root for, he won't come through. The Disco boys need a defined leader to win, and they don't have it now. (Hint look at CSC - everyone is picked to support Basso.) Mayo? Pass the mayo. Vino will be let in by some technicality, but Wurth doesn't have the team to back him up. Chris Horner will somehow win a stage! Lance will be all over the tube.

HB:
post #41 of 304
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HarkinBanks
Here goes my shot.

Basso - The CSC Team just looks too strong. But Val Verde will stay with Basso in the mountains, as will Levi. DZ will win at least one ITT. Floyd doesn't have it in the mountians. He and Jan will watch Basso and Simoni ride away and then the "Boss-O" will say "Caio" and leave Simoni a wirthing blob of mush while he tries to jam on his 25 to keep up. Afterwords, Simoni will again chime out that Basso tried to pay him off. While George is who everyone will root for, he won't come through. The Disco boys need a defined leader to win, and they don't have it now. (Hint look at CSC - everyone is picked to support Basso.) Mayo? Pass the mayo. Vino will be let in by some technicality, but Wurth doesn't have the team to back him up. Chris Horner will somehow win a stage! Lance will be all over the tube.

HB:
I thin Floyd will be great in the mountains...I think Brunyeel will manage his team really superbly. I agree about Horner...isn't his enthusiasm just great?

Wurth-Astana won't be competing, I believe.
post #42 of 304
Quote:
Originally Posted by jstraw
Johan isn't being secretive. He's going to run the team situationally and tactically. As things play out, a leader will emerge. It will most likely be George, in my opnion but that all depends on how the cards fall after the first TT, the first mountain stages, etc. The team will support whoever has the best chance at the podium...

This is the party line but I don't believe it. If they are going for the overall, which I believe they are, it only makes sense if your team leader is "protected" in every sense of the word so that they will be as fresh and safe from crashes as possible. It is the only way for a rider to be able to come out on top at the end of a 3 week race. If they don't pick a leader after the prologue the I don't see how they can have a much of a chance at the podium. I think the days of a guy like the young Ullrich jumping to a win after being a domestique are over. The race is just too fast now.
post #43 of 304
Thread Starter 
If the race has become faster it's because Johan has decided that it should.

Over the course of the seven years where L.A. won, the average speed increased by aproximately 1.4 kph but not in a linear fashion. The 2000 tour was the slowest since 1994, for example. And 1992 was almost as fast as 2002. 1981 was nearly as fast as 1995. 1971 was as fast as early '90s paces...

In fact, while the pace last year was the fastest ever, it has increased a mere 11% since 1960. I would submit that adjusted for inflation in everything from equipment, training, nutrition, on-road communications, etc...that the race has actually slowed down by virtue of micro-managed tactics and strategy.

What I think has really changed that mitigates against a maverick is that the atheletes are all so extremely well conditioned now, and communication on the course is so sophisticated that the likelihood of someone being able to break the race wide open is just about nil. GC victories, for the most part amount to managing the GC lead at a balance point that reperesents no more time than you need to be safe and enough time to lay down the law. Someone would have to buck that and have the strength and the team to take huge chuncks of time out of the favorites early and then hang on to enough of it to win. Putting the favorites on the defensive and maintaining that edge is a really tall order nowadays. It could be done I suppose and one way to do attempt it would be for the likes of Discovory to be playing possum and obscure the fact that everyone is riding for George for as long as is possible and for him to be talking with a lot of theatrical uncertainty about his chances...
post #44 of 304
Quote:
Originally Posted by jstraw
In fact, while the pace last year was the fastest ever, it has increased a mere 11% since 1960. I would submit that adjusted for inflation in everything from equipment, training, nutrition, on-road communications, etc...that the race has actually slowed down by virtue of micro-managed tactics and strategy.

What I think has really changed that mitigates against a maverick is that the atheletes are all so extremely well conditioned now, and communication on the course is so sophisticated ...
Greg Lemond atributed the entire increase in pace to drugs. I actually don't buy that.

I think the main reason is that winning a single stage is now as important as winning a one day classic. There are no more "promenades", where the field takes it easy all morning.

The other reason is simply paving. As the tour has grown in prominence, every town that hosts a stage puts down brand new paving a month before the race. You have to ride it it appreciate the difference....2-3kph easy. In 1999 half the tour was on new paving. Now it is even more.
post #45 of 304
Brunyeel is a master tactician and it should be very interesting to see what he tries to pulll off. No more dominate the pace and have Lance win two stages by a little to win the Tour. I can't wait to see what the Disco boys try now that they can ride from the midddle of the peleton. If they want to place on the podium they will have to launch some kind of very big stage win. I have a feeling that the "wait for the fallen contenders" unwritten rule may get bent up quite a bit this year. It could be much more of a dog fight without the old "boss" controlling things. It will be interesting to see if Basso will try to fill that roll.
post #46 of 304
Slight update, due to them checking in late last night...

CSC
CUESTA Inigo: ESP
CANCELLARA Fabian: SUI
ARVESEN Kurt-Asle: NOR
ZABRISKIE David: USA
VOIGT Jens: GER
VANDEVELDE Christian: USA
SCHLECK Frank: LUX
SASTRE Carlos: ESP
O’GRADY Stuart: AUS
LOMBARDI Giovanni: ITA
JULICH Bobby: USA
BASSO Ivan: ITA
post #47 of 304
Thread Starter 
Greg Lemond makes me very sad with his sour grapes. I mean it's understandable...he was a GREAT champion and got screwed out of one Tour when his team lied to him and his bad luck off the bike very likely cost him two more wins...that's a lot of "if only..." for anyone to bear. And with the ascension of Armstrong it was made to seem as though America had never produced a truly great Tour champion before, which was wrong and regrettable.

But Lemond's behavior in reaction to this painful turn of events has been really disgraceful. His inability to keep his mouth shut when he's had nothing of substance to contribute to the examination of doping is shameful and has done nothing but chip away at his own stature,at least in the eyes of one that revered his accomplishments but now sees the shabbiness of his character. Yes, he has reasons to be bitter but does himself no favors by rolling in the gutter.
post #48 of 304
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wear The Fox Hat
Slight update, due to them checking in late last night...

CSC
CUESTA Inigo: ESP
CANCELLARA Fabian: SUI
ARVESEN Kurt-Asle: NOR
ZABRISKIE David: USA
VOIGT Jens: GER
VANDEVELDE Christian: USA
SCHLECK Frank: LUX
SASTRE Carlos: ESP
O’GRADY Stuart: AUS
LOMBARDI Giovanni: ITA
JULICH Bobby: USA
BASSO Ivan: ITA
get out that autograph book Fox!

CSC has a really strong team. With that group pulling Basso along, I really think he's got a huge advantage.

I think Disco has a strong team, but unless they are pulling a fast one on the cycling world (which they may be) and already know who is going to be the team leader, I don't think they have a really good shot at it.

The one advantage Disco has is surprise, due to not naming a leader. They could start sending out long attacks to wear down Basso, Ullrich and VanD, then have someone fresh to try to take a huge stage win, like Geroge did last year. If that person has enough for some good TTs, they could possibly hold onto the yellow, but it'll be a battle, which will make the whole race really interesting.
post #49 of 304
Quote:
Originally Posted by jstraw
Greg Lemond makes me very sad with his sour grapes. I mean it's understandable...he was a GREAT champion and got screwed out of one Tour when his team lied to him and his bad luck off the bike very likely cost him two more wins...that's a lot of "if only..." for anyone to bear. And with the ascension of Armstrong it was made to seem as though America had never produced a truly great Tour champion before, which was wrong and regrettable.

But Lemond's behavior in reaction to this painful turn of events has been really disgraceful. His inability to keep his mouth shut when he's had nothing of substance to contribute to the examination of doping is shameful and has done nothing but chip away at his own stature,at least in the eyes of one that revered his accomplishments but now sees the shabbiness of his character. Yes, he has reasons to be bitter but does himself no favors by rolling in the gutter.
I agree completely. I think he's decent guy, but because of the way he was treated, he just has a general distaste for the whole sport now. So he takes little jabs here and there. He's doing really well with his bike company, so I would think he'd just lay off, but maybe he just doesn't know when to shut up and be quiet. I can't imagine that his little rants could be good for his business, since he's selling fairly high-end bikes to people who would be annoyed by those kinds of comments.
post #50 of 304
Quote:
Originally Posted by jstraw
Greg Lemond makes me very sad with his sour grapes. . Yes, he has reasons to be bitter but does himself no favors by rolling in the gutter.
I gotta side with Greg. Besides the fact that he is a skier.

Lance is not a good guy...his friends don't stay friends for long. Just read this letter in Velonews which says it best.

LeMond's a straight shooter
Editor:
Another round fired by both sides in the continuing feud between Greg LeMond and Lance Armstrong. This is sad. Both are Tour legends who should both have their rightful place in cycling's pantheon of gods.

My first thought each time is, what does Greg have to gain from what he is saying about Lance? The answer I come back to each time is, "Nothing."

Greg always was, and still is, a straight shooter who ducks no questions and gives reporters the real scoop, not some polished, PC babble. Greg always wore his emotions on his sleeve, and that is why we all came to love him 20 years ago. He was our first American cycling hero, the boy next door who conquered Europe in "their" sport - and heck, he did it twice with a pound of lead in his body! He's always been real and authentic in all ways. If Greg says it, I tend to believe it.

Lance always was, and still is, all about Lance when it comes to cycling. We've seen time and time again that anyone who disagrees with Lance is dismissed by The Great One as silly, or insolent, or jealous - or now, "not in check with reality." Cross him and he throws you to the wolves. Never mind even considering that where there's smoke, there just may be fire. If Lance says it, I tend to cringe and not know what to believe.

That's not a good sign.

So Lance, lay off Greg. He led the way for you. Show some respect for a true legend.

Mark Ratcliff
Mountville Pennsylvania
post #51 of 304
Quote:
Originally Posted by jstraw
communication on the course is so sophisticated that the likelihood of someone being able to break the race wide open is just about nil. GC victories, for the most part amount to managing the GC lead at a balance point that reperesents no more time than you need to be safe and enough time to lay down the law.
What do you all think about the riders carrying radios and basically being told by their directors exactly what is occurring around them? Obviously directors and their racers have been communicating for years -- there was the famous incident where LeMond was told to wait up for Hinault. Do you think the use of radios has changed race tactics? Do you think that racers can afford to be less vigilant now that they're in constant communication with their directors?
post #52 of 304
Greg LeMonde doesn't have anything to do with LeMonde bikes anymore, it is owned and operated as part of TREK. His comments are probably infuriating to TREK who are selling bikes because of Lance AND Greg.

They should stop testing, that will level the playing field more than the half assed witch hunts they carry on now. All of the allegations about doping exist because cycling is a dirty sport. Cheating is so prevallent that it really shouldn't be considered cheating, just 'training'.

Pro Cycling isn't alone, look at any sport that has big money involved in it and you will see performance enhancers if you just open your eyes. 10 years ago a 300lbs offensive tackle was a giant in the NFL, now a 320lbs guy is 'undersized', human evolution didn't change in 10 years, chemistry did.
post #53 of 304
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom
10 years ago a 300lbs offensive tackle was a giant in the NFL, now a 320lbs guy is 'undersized', human evolution didn't change in 10 years, chemistry did.
I think Ronald McDonald might have had a hand in it too...
post #54 of 304
Looks like both Basso and Ullrich will be on the Spanish doper list. They get the names and a 500 page report Friday. This may be like the Festina year, when we don't know if they'll finish the tour.

http://www.eurosport.com/cycling/tou...to916732.shtml

I don't think they should stop testing. A poll of Olympic athletes showed an alarming number of them would take a drug if if guaranteed them a gold medal but killed them in a year. We've had dozens of dead cyclists already. I'd like to watch athletes, not modern day gladiators.
post #55 of 304
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinF
What do you all think about the riders carrying radios and basically being told by their directors exactly what is occurring around them? Obviously directors and their racers have been communicating for years -- there was the famous incident where LeMond was told to wait up for Hinault. Do you think the use of radios has changed race tactics? Do you think that racers can afford to be less vigilant now that they're in constant communication with their directors?
Radios suck. The team DS can sit in their car, with their laptop and gps and calculate exactly what speed the peleton needs to ride to catch a break away. They can then say, "OK boys, if you ride at 55 K/h you should get them 5 Km from the end." That takes away from the excitement of the race. It's not IS the peleton gonna catch the break, it's WHEN is the peleton gonna catch the group.

L
post #56 of 304
Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog
I gotta side with Greg. Besides the fact that he is a skier.

Lance is not a good guy...his friends don't stay friends for long. Just read this letter in Velonews which says it best.

LeMond's a straight shooter
Editor:
Another round fired by both sides in the continuing feud between Greg LeMond and Lance Armstrong. This is sad. Both are Tour legends who should both have their rightful place in cycling's pantheon of gods.

My first thought each time is, what does Greg have to gain from what he is saying about Lance? The answer I come back to each time is, "Nothing."

Greg always was, and still is, a straight shooter who ducks no questions and gives reporters the real scoop, not some polished, PC babble. Greg always wore his emotions on his sleeve, and that is why we all came to love him 20 years ago. He was our first American cycling hero, the boy next door who conquered Europe in "their" sport - and heck, he did it twice with a pound of lead in his body! He's always been real and authentic in all ways. If Greg says it, I tend to believe it.

Lance always was, and still is, all about Lance when it comes to cycling. We've seen time and time again that anyone who disagrees with Lance is dismissed by The Great One as silly, or insolent, or jealous - or now, "not in check with reality." Cross him and he throws you to the wolves. Never mind even considering that where there's smoke, there just may be fire. If Lance says it, I tend to cringe and not know what to believe.

That's not a good sign.

So Lance, lay off Greg. He led the way for you. Show some respect for a true legend.

Mark Ratcliff
Mountville Pennsylvania
They're just different personalities. Lance is hyper-competetive, as are most of the guys at that level. he wouldn't have won all those yellow jerseys if he wasn't. Hell, he may have never returned to cycling after cancer if he wasn't. I have no real animosity towards Greg. As I said, I think he's a good guy, and if I were to meet him on the street, he'd probably come across as a very nicer person.

I think what has added to Lance's poor image (in some people's minds) is that he got sick of all the personal attacks by the media, fans of other cyclists, and the UCI. It just wore on him. Back in his triathalon days, he admits he was pretty much an arse. Cancer cured him of that, but the spotlight and personal attacks wore on him to the point that some of that old attitude returned. Then, with zero insight or provocation, people like Lemond, who was a huge idol of Lance's started attacking him. That had to sting pretty bad. Lance has been tested more than anyother athelete in the world, by probably a factor of 10, and still comes out clean. So if he uses anything that's performance enhancing, it's legal stuff, and probably being used by a majority of his competitors. I can't imagine that anyone who has been through chemo would be willing to put anything else toxic in their system. He's a human anamoly, and everyone knows it. Just looks at the guy's VO2 max levels. He's off the charts. That doesn't make him a cheater, it makes him lucky.

I just really wish they would kiss and make up (not that there's anything wrong with that ), because I like both of them. But I think that because of what Greg has said about Lance, Lance may never be willing to forgive and forget. And I think that Greg is just convinced (even if there's no evidence) that Lance, and every other pro rider is a cheat, so he probably wouldn't be willing to let it go either. It's really too bad, because, as you said, they are both legends.

In watching that recent interview with Greg, they were talking about that TT where he beat Hinault for the overall GC win. They said he averaged something like 34mph. That's just friggin sick! Can you imagine how fast he could have gone with today's technology?! On level ground, I could probably hold 34mph for about 2 pedal strokes.

On the other subject, I think communication is fine, but only to a point. I don't like the computer assisted stuff either. Maybe if they allowed the comms, but didn't allow computers in the cars, I would be more interesting. Or go back to the old days, and no team cars at all. Only neutral service vehicles with doctors, bikes, parts, and bottles/food, etc.
post #57 of 304
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog
My first thought each time is, what does Greg have to gain from what he is saying about Lance? The answer I come back to each time is, "Nothing."
Oh, I think it comes down to "My three (shoulda been six) count for more than those seven because they're all on dope and we didn't dope back in the '80s (: )... and I want everyone to know that I'm not just as good as that rock star...I was really better."

Of course, he doesn't gain that at all...but that's separate from what motivates him.

What do you think motivates his sniping? He wants to clean up Dodge City?

It's sour grapes and poor impulse control, as far as I can tell. And honestly, holding that view of Greg has been painful. I adored him when he was racing...truly.
post #58 of 304
With all the sh*t Lance has had to go through in the last X number of years, can you really blame him for looking out for himself first? I'm sure a lot of us would be significantly worse if we were put in that situation. Not a day goes by when he's not attacked by some media outlet or jealous loser.
post #59 of 304
Thread Starter 
Now if you were to ask me what Frankie Andrieu has to gain by what he's now on record as 'confirming' about Lance, other than his wife not making him sleep on the sofa, I have no bloody idea. He has a lot to lose, professionally and not a thing to gain.
post #60 of 304

You gotcher climbers and yer sprinters and yer primadonnas

And then there's the big fella.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wear The Fox Hat
BACKSTEDT Magnus:SWE
That is one name I would really not like to see on the Spanish list.
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