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Days to go...Name your pick for the Tour de France!(30 posts)

Days to go...Name your pick for the Tour de France!peloton
Jun 26, 2001 10:17 AM
It had to be done sooner or later. With the TDF coming up in less than two weeks, let's make our predictions of who the winners will be.

I'm really going to go out on a limb here and pick Lance Armstrong to be the winner of this years's Tour. I suspect that Ullrich's form will come together, and he will ride strongly and be on the podium. Casagrade or Beloki would be my last picks to round out the podium. I'll also pick Botero for the King of the Mountains competition, and Zabel for the points competition. I'll pick Usketel to be the winner of the team competition, and ride an aggressive Tour like Kelme did last year.

With Lance's form looking like it is coming together perfectly like it has the past two years he has to be the man to beat. His wins in the prologue and the uphill ITT of the Tour of Switzlerland show he is ready, as well as strong rides in the Amstel and Classic de Alpes. I really think that the uphill ITT in this year's Tour will play into his favor for the GC. I bet that we'll see a huge attack on the first uphill stage, Le'Alpe de Huez, and the yellow will never look back.

What do you guys think?
Not "who", but "by how much?"Dog
Jun 26, 2001 10:28 AM
I think Lance is it, barring something strange. The only question is "by how much?" Knowing his strategy, though, he only wants to get enough lead to be safe, and not exert himself any more than necessary. So, I predict 4 minutes.

Can't say on mountains or green.

Doug
One step further...Cima Coppi
Jun 26, 2001 10:37 AM
Let's assume Lance wins this Tour. He'll need 2 more to tie the record for most TdF victories, and he has a chance to tie Indurain's 5 victories consecutively. Who's willing to go out on a limb for Lance to break the tie and win 6 TdF's. Given his age and his current physical health, I'd say there is a strong possibility it can be done. 6 in a row may even become an unbeatable record.
One step further...AD14
Jun 26, 2001 11:09 AM
Six? With everything that can go wrong logic says its a stretch even if he could stay motivated that long.
Not "who", but "by how much?"AD14
Jun 26, 2001 11:04 AM
I think he might win by more than seven. Last year if he did not bonk in one stage he would have won by double digits. Also, he claims to be in better form this year, as do others like Carmichael.
Abbreviated picksRhodyRider
Jun 26, 2001 10:40 AM
I can't offer the depth of peloton's analysis across each category, but I will also "go out on a limb" with another LA victory. Ullrich on podium, too. Dark horse podium guy: W. Belli of Fassa Bortolo (maybe not a true dark horse - he had a great Giro going until he got tossed for "the punch" and is currently 3rd on GC at Tour de Suisse. Is he maybe better than his injured leader Frankie Big House??) R. Heras for KoM.
re: Days to go...Name your pick for the Tour de France!Lazy
Jun 26, 2001 10:49 AM
I think the only thing that'll keep Lance from winning is injury. I don't think it'll even be close. If Simoni rides, the rest of the podium spots will be interesting. If not, I think it'll be Ullrich in an easy 2nd.

I don't think Heras will win the KOM, although he certainly could, due to keeping Lance fresh.

KOM: Simoni (if he rides).
Points: Zabel again
Team: I think Banesto will reclaim the title
Young rider: No idea
re: Days to go...Name your pick for the Tour de France!jschrotz
Jun 26, 2001 11:08 AM
Ok, someone has to change the odds here somewhat, so I'm going to predict Ullrich to upset Armstrong this year. Telekom will also repeat '96 and '97's performances by winning the yellow and the green, with Zabel taking green yet again. The polka-dot jersey will go to Simoni if he rides. If not, look for Botero or Beloki to float up the majority of the climbs in the lead.

Recap

Yellow: Ullrich
Green: Zabel
KOM: Simoni
Team: Fasso Bortolo
My gut choice: Ullrich.Gadfly
Jun 26, 2001 11:00 AM
Lame gut jokes aside, Lance will probably do it again.
Not so fast people.J.S.
Jun 26, 2001 11:07 AM
If Ullrich comes to the tour with the same form as he had at the GP Suisse(where he rode Lance and all the rest of the worlds best riders off his wheel) or the Olympics, this Lance victory is not a forgone conclusion. Ullrich has all the natural ability as Mr. Armstrong(although he lacks discipline)if not more, so don't start waving your Lance flags just yet. Also, Lance rocks and I would like to see him win, but it won't be as easy as many think.
Ullrich?Jim Burton
Jun 26, 2001 11:17 AM
Ullrich has said himself that he is a longshot...bluff? Card Stacking?
My man Jan is going to kick some butt!.........Not!Largo
Jun 26, 2001 12:07 PM
The guy is not looking good.
He has shown no sparks of brilliance at all, as opposed to Lance who seems to be just barely keeping a very good form in check.
I want Jan to win, but LA is like a bright fire glimpsed through a dirty window right now, just wait till he opens up at the tour.
I think Herras could be on the podium, and Jan will be second or third.
Simoni is showing fine form, but he might be shot for the TDF after his fine performance at the Giro, and at the TDS.
A no brainer is Zabel in green.
Botero, Herras, or Simoni for the mountains, maybe Beloki.
Will Musseuw be there? I haven't heard if Domo have made up there minds. That would be cool to see Johan there, although he would not be a threat to the GC.
Herras on the podium??Cima Coppi
Jun 26, 2001 2:00 PM
Can he TT well enough to make it on the podium? Won't he exhaust himself working for Lance on the mountain stages? I don't know, I could see him in the running for the KoM competition, but not on the podium.
Heras isn't that hot...vram
Jun 26, 2001 10:11 PM
based on his current form at the Tour of Catalana. He is like 7 mins down on GC. Beloki is showing great form and so are the spanish boys of ONCE, Euskatel and Kelme.

I bet Heras will ride a mediocre Tour as a super-domestique to Lance. He can't afford to give his all considering that he has to peak during the Vuelta. USPS objective for the Tour de france is very simple--get Lance in the yellow to Paris. Heras may not have the opportunity to go for individual glory cause he has to ride in support of Lance.
Heras in Tour = Ullrich in Giromr_spin
Jun 27, 2001 5:18 PM
USPS wants to win the Vuelta as well as the tour, so Heras is on a slightly different plan. He will be a domestique, much like Ullrich was in the Giro.
Not so fast people.mr_spin
Jun 26, 2001 11:31 AM
By GP Suisse, I assume you mean the Championship of Zurich, which was a great race. Except Ullrich didn't win. He got second!

Hey, I am a fan of both, but last year is history! It's recent results that matter more, and while Ullrich isn't actually racing right now, Lance sure seems to have the goods!
Actually actually it's the same race. They keep changingJ.S.
Jun 26, 2001 11:49 AM
it's title back and forth and now the names are synonomous, See this link. Also while he did get outfoxed by Dufaux(Lance was a ways back chasing with Friere?) he was clearly the strongest and went on to prove it at the Olympics RR. I wonder about Lances form peaking to soon, we'll see.

http://WWW.CYCLINGNEWS.COM/results/archives/aug96/zurich.html
Who else? Pantani! Oh ... never mind. (nm)Elefantino
Jun 26, 2001 11:08 AM
OK...if everyone is betting on Lance...PaulCL
Jun 26, 2001 11:53 AM
..you can't win any money. But since this isn't Vegas, I hope and believe Lance has all of the cards again this year. I look for Casagrande to contend even moreso than Ulrich. My podium picks are Armstrong, Casagrande, then Ulrich. Too bad Simoni isn't riding the TDF, becuase with his recent TT expertise, he could put a real scare into the Posties.
Similar to my guess...Ron B.
Jun 26, 2001 11:24 PM
I would say baring any accidents Lance will win hands down.

If Simoni decides to ride the TDF I think he could pull a second place finish based upon his performance in the Giro and the Swiss Tour.

If Simoni rides I'm putting Cassagrande in third place, if not then I'm thinking second.

Ulrich I don't think will get a podium this year. I think his shape will be good but I don't think he can handle the climbing in the tour this year especially the uphill TT. I think he will be a top 5-10 rider though.
No offence to Lance...Velocipedio
Jun 27, 2001 9:07 AM
But I would like to see someone else come from behind to win this one. I guess I just root for the underdog and everyone who ISN'T Lance seem to be an underdog.

Simoni, yeah, I'd like that... He could probably do it if the everything goes his way... Casagrande? Is he even healthy?

My problem is that all of my personal faves are classics specialists. I'd give a lot to see someone emerge who can do classics AND stage races equally well... a second-coming of Merckx, perhaps...
Agree somewhat...Ron B
Jun 27, 2001 10:12 AM
I would generally agree with you in the fact that I would like an underdog to win the race. I almost always root for underdogs in sporting events. However when it comes to american cycling until Greg and now Lance we have been the underdog and Lance started out that way.

So in a sense I'm rooting for the underdog who became a favorite.

As for Casagrande's health that is probably an unknown factor. He went out of the giro quickly. He was a favorite there but it may have helped or hurt him for the tour. Only time will tell.

I personally would like to see George Hincapi win a stage this year. He has been a great rider for USPS and deserves the chance to get a stage victory.
ContestPaulCL
Jun 26, 2001 12:00 PM
Some time next week, Performancebike.com will sponsor a TDF contest. Pick your winning team. Its' not up yet, but check back in a week or so. On the Giro, I came in an unimpressive #247 out of about 850 entries - that's what I got for picking Casagrande to win!
My pick for dark horsetommyb
Jun 26, 2001 1:11 PM
Someone has to go against the grain. It's easy to pick the favorites, but my prediction for the surprise of the year is Raimondas Rumsas. Officially, he'll be riding for Casagrande, but only because of the mid-season change of priorities for Casagrande. Rumsas should be the Fassa leader for the Tour. Even riding in support for someone else, I predict he'll be the one surprising rider for whose name Phil Ligget will be scrambling to get a proper pronunciation.

Besides, I gotta cheer for someone from my homeland to offset the patriotic fervor surrounding a certain USPS rider.
Too bad we couldn't create some kind of pool. (nm)Brian C.
Jun 26, 2001 1:19 PM
you know, this is the classic set up to a big let down...dustin73
Jun 26, 2001 2:30 PM
know what i mean? "billy bad ass" gets beat by mr. "who the hell is that?"...i want lance to win, especially so i can go to the parade in austin, but let's not jinx the guy...
Lance takes all podium spotsmr_spin
Jun 26, 2001 4:31 PM
He's that good!
Here's a prediction- on what day will Lance take the yellow?peloton
Jun 26, 2001 7:01 PM
I think that there is a strong possibility that Lance will win the prologue only to let the yellow go to the sprinters in the first week so as to not have to defend it. Wasted energy for the team to defend in the first week when nothing in the GC really happens. I'll go as far to predict Lance takes the yellow for good on Le'Alpe de Huez. He always seems to go into a rage the first time the road turns upward, and this is the first mountain stage.
Don't know, but I can't wait to see LA, Tyler, and Heras do...shmoo
Jun 26, 2001 7:49 PM
..."THE" hill. My nose will be smudging the screen on that day.
Anything could happen...gromit
Jun 27, 2001 6:41 AM
A pile up, a close encounter with a photographer, a high speed blowout, a tummy bug. It ain't over 'till the fat lady sings..in fact it hasn't even started yet. Never bet on anything that can talk...that's my philosophy.