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Any last minute predictions...(10 posts)

Any last minute predictions...DT
May 1, 2001 6:36 AM
...on the 4 wild card slots for the TDF?
Unfortunately not Mercury(nm)Dave Hickey
May 1, 2001 7:24 AM
re: Any last minute predictions...Wayne Scott
May 1, 2001 8:54 AM
It should be (based on performance and likelihood to contribute to making a good, exciting race):
Lotto, Mercury, Euskaltel, and Saeco (gotta have Cipo in the first week's sprints). It will be: Lotto, Française des Jeux, CSC and Mercury. Euskaltel will get screwed like Lampre did last year and it will be just as wrong. I figure Mercury has to get in, the American market is so huge, that increasing the exposure here has to be priority (or at least should be). Plus they have GC contenders and sprinters.
re: Any last minute predictions...Larry Meade
May 1, 2001 9:35 AM
I agree except that Mercury will lose and Euskatel will be in. My feeling is that there has been major bad (french) press around the one American team that has been winning the Tour. As such, they may go with Euskatel. The French don't really care about American exposure in my opinion. Time will tell....
Maybe..Wayne Scott
May 1, 2001 9:49 AM
Yeah, I could certainly see Mercury getting overlooked. If it's Euskaltel that gets the spot, no problem. I think they will be the Kelme of last year, lots of attacking in the mountains. The crime will occur if either Big Mat or la Francaise de Jeux gets in. CSC supposedly has a spot but I can't imagine they will do anything, Jalabert would have to pull out the performance of a lifetime to get top 10, esp. since one of the TT is uphill. But he is "the" name in French cycling and won't be around for too many more years.
CSC?Lanterne Rouge
May 1, 2001 10:45 AM
I know JaJa is a folk hero in France, but even he admits (in the most recent issue of ProCycling) that he has no chance of winning the TdF. He's way past his prime, and there's no one else on that squad to do anything or help him do something.

Mercury should be in, but probably won't. Isn't it strange that Mercatone Uno has kind of fallen off the face of the earth since last year?
CSC?Larry Meade
May 1, 2001 11:00 AM
LeBlanc has openly stated that he wants Jalabert so this would appear to make CSC a lock. Too bad that a deserving team will miss out because of this nationalistic bias. But it is their tour after all....
What about Mercatone Uno?9WorCP
May 1, 2001 11:11 AM
I know the drug tests haven't been kind to these guys, but you gotta admit Pantani was about the most exciting racer last year. Controversy or no - Lance v. Pantani makes for a great race. Do they have any chance?
A long shot...Wayne Scott
May 1, 2001 12:23 PM
not only to get spot, but if they get a spot for Pantani to show up and make it to the end. Things they got going against them:
1) Dead last in UCI division 1 standings.
2) Pantani appears to be a head case, and any number of unpredicable things (drugs, depression, car wrecks, poor showing at the Giro, etc.) could happen between now and the tour.
3) Without Pantani what will the team have to contribute to the race?
4) Fontanelli's failed hematocrit at Flanders.
5) Pantani quit last year when the going got tough.
All that said, stranger things have happened and it's hard to say what goes on behind closed doors.
Isn't OLN having some kind of TDF presentation show tomorrow night, not the preview they've been showing but a new one?
Yoko Ono (NM)MeDotOrg
May 1, 2001 11:55 AM