Le Tour

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Lew Crippen, Jun 17, 2004.

  1. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    It is time to get ready for the Tour.

    This year should be particularly interesting, with seven stages in the mountains coming in the last 11 days. And considering that the penultimate day is a time trial and that the last day is usually a day where the winner is already known—often with champagne being quaffed during the stage, we have a finish of eight critical stages that should determine the winner in nine days.

    Plus the first individual time trial is an uphill climb of the Alpe d’Huez.

    Will Lance Armstrong win a record sixth tour? Will Ullrich finally break through (some think that mountain time trial will favor him)? Can Beloki fulfill his promise? How will Mayo perform?

    And how will the personal problems of Armstrong, as well as the latest drug charges, affect his performance? How will the Posties perform on their last year of existence?

    Stay tuned. It should be fun.
     
  2. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Well, Joseba Beloki is out of the tour, he and Boulongerie (sounds sexy!) have split and Beloki said he is not riding this tour because he has no condition to. Must have to agree after seeing how horrible a spring he has had. He may try to sign up with Manolo Saiz and Liberty Seguros to ride the Vuelta but he is definitely out of the Tour this year.

    Another possible long shot for the tour is also out. A. Vinokurov is out due to a bad crash in the Tour de Switzerland. He is out three weeks. This will really hamper Ullrich and T-mobile. Think of Simoni/Cunego in this year's Giro. Vinokurov has proven himself to be a very smart and talented rider and a great possible backup (or even leader) for Jan Ullrich if Jan has a bad tour.

    Petacchi should also have another monster tour this year, he will continue to dominate the sprints with or without Cippolini and Robbie McEwen will once again be relegated to the back of the peloton for some kind of Argey Bargy at least one stage.

    I predict Tyler will podium if he remains upright and Lance will win his 6th tour...

    Iban Mayo will have a good LAdH but they will suffer on the team time trial and I think Lance will do fine enough on the ITT to make him a non-factor on the climbs...

    This brings me back memories to when Mario and I went to see the tour last year, getting butterflies in my stomach for 3 weeks before the tour started...

    Go Tyler!

    Jay
     
  3. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Hey thanks for the update on Beloki, Jay. I knew that he was not riding particularly, but had no idea that he was out. You follow this more closely than do I, but I thought that Beloki rode for ONCE. Oh well, wait ‘til next year.

    I’m hopeful for Tyler as well.

    I’m a big fan of Stuart O’Grady and I really wish that he could stay in contention for the Green all the way. Do you know how he is riding this year? And will Credit Agriclole be strong enough to help him? Put another way, is it a help or hinderance for O’Grady to ride with Christophe Moreau and especially Jens Voight?
     
  4. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Wow, Lew, you are really out of the ciruit! [​IMG]

    ONCE is no more, they disbanded last year. Manolo Saiz formed Liberty Seguros with some of the old ONCE boys.

    You must of been happy with Stuary edging out McEwen out of the green jersey on the very last stage of the tour last year then!

    Jens Voight is now riding for CSC and he had a good Tour De Georgia when they were riding around Macon. CSC should have a good team, they had an awesome spring.

    As far as Stuey is going, not sure how he is riding this year but he has the Aussie National Jersey after winning their race. Should be easy to spot on OLN...

    Jay
     
  5. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Is this code for Baden Cooke? But yes I was happy not to see Robbie win another--as you rightly surmise, most backing Stuey, don't barrack for Robbie.
     
  6. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Oops, yeah that was Baden Cooke or "cookie" as Phil calls him...

    I saw O'Grady riding in some of the spring races this year, he had some stages where he was fairly close but nothing spectacular that I noticed.

    I follow a lot of the cycling on

    www.cyclingnews.com
    www.eurosport.com
    www.velonews.com

    Jay
     
  7. AjayM

    AjayM Screenwriter

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    I see one of two things happening this year;

    1) Lance is going to come in just beat down the competition like the old days (well 99-02). He nearly got beat last year due to a number of reasons, some out of his control and some within his control. So I predict we'll see some of the best Lance this year.

    2) Lance, for whatever reason, falls far back into the pack and finishes way down on the GC.

    I see a real threat coming from Mayo, he's been riding very well this year, and with the new Team TT rules that weakness is minimized from his team. Of course he also just came off a hard ride in the Dauphine which isn't going to help him a couple of weeks from now.

    Tyler looks pretty good as well, the early speculation about his team move haven't really come true. Does he have what it takes to be a factor in the tour? Last year in the tour he had his broken collar bone, so it's hard to judge how he's going to handle the big mountains this year when he's all healed up. But can he take the punishment day in and day out, especially after coming off a podium in the Dauphine?

    Ullrich? What's he been up to? I haven't read much, and what I have read wasn't all good in regards to his form/condition this year. But I also hear he's being more "Lance" like in his training, so perhaps we haven't really seen what he's capable of so far this year.

    Andrew
     

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