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I can't believe Telekom would drop Fagnini.........(23 posts)

I can't believe Telekom would drop Fagnini.........Largo
Jun 27, 2001 9:55 PM
In favour of another support rider for Jan.
I sure would not put all my faith in Jan, and leave Zabel, who is so damn consistent, out on his own.
Thats just D-U-M dumb!
I agreepeloton
Jun 27, 2001 10:33 PM
I think Ullrich is a great rider, but Telekom is screwing Zabel. Zabel has been the model of consistancy for Telekom with five (or is it six now) straight green jerseys. Not to mention all the races that he wins outside of the Tour for the team. Zabel has expressed his displeasure with the entire situation. Ullrich on the other hand, has lost the Tour when there was nothing that teammates could do- ie- cracking in the mountains when Lance or Marco put the hammer down. No teammate could pull him back up to Lance or Elephantino when the pace gets furious in the mountains. Remember Riis trying to pull him back up to Pantani in 98? Didn't really help, did it? Ullrich will have to ride with Lance, and even drop Armstrong if he wants to win. No teammate will be able to help in this situation where he has faltered in the past. Was there any perception out there that Telekom lost the Tour for Ullrich last year? I don't think so, Ullrich simply could not drop Lance. I don't see how putting an almost sure points jersey on the line will significantly help Ullrich. If Ullrich is to win the Tour again, he will have to do it himself. On the other hand, Zabel needs a leadout man to win sprints and the green jersey.

Telekom shouldn't screw the one rider that they can COUNT ON for a jersey in Paris.
I agreeJon Billheimer
Jun 27, 2001 10:54 PM
Absolutely agreed. Unless Ullrich is putting out more wattage at threshold than Lance, which he isn't, there isn't any percentage in adding a support rider at the expense of Zabel's jersey. Even with additional support, I don't think Telekom can match US Postal or Fasso Bartolo. So then, what's the point?
Telekom is planning for the Vuelta and...peloton
Jun 27, 2001 11:11 PM
other late season races. I guess they plan to come away from the TDF completely empty handed. This in turn will motivate Ullrich and the rest of the team to kick ass through the races that really matter in October and after. In a couple of years Telekom will only race the road season to get ready for cyclocross. Damn it! Put down the ficken' bratwust!

This is going to make the first week of the Tour very boring. What teams will actually chase down Dekker and Durand? It seems like either the top sprinters weren't invited (Cipo), are sick or injured (Steels and Wurst), or the team just doesn't care they are there (Zabel).

voice of Phil Ligget- And Durand attacks at kilometer one, and no one cares because they don't start racing until the mountains. Zabel is at the front alone hopelessly setting tempo to try to reel him in. Boring.
You narrow-minded armchair Director Sportif's!!!Cima Coppi
Jun 28, 2001 7:51 AM
Think about this move in comparison to USPS. Does Postal have support for Hincapie to win the flat stages? NO!! Postal has build a team around getting Lance another Maillot Jaune for the TdF. This is exactly what Telekom is trying to do. They have realized Ulrich needs more climbing support to match what Postal has. Why do you think they brought on Livingston? Jan can hold his own in the TT's, but if he's not on form, he needs to have help on the climbs.

The question is whether or not this roster change for Telekom will affect the team's performance in the TTT. I still believe that stage will be the determining factor in who wins the Tour.
apples to orangespeloton
Jun 28, 2001 8:49 AM
Hincapie is a great classics rider, and I feel he deserves more support in those races next year. Zabel is a proven Tour performer with numerous points jerseys to prove it. Hincapie is not a proven Tour performer the likes of Zabel. It would be odd for USPS to delegate a man to lead-out Hincapie, who hasn't been a big winner at the TDF in the past while Lance has been. With the number of points jerseys that Zabel has taken home, he deserves a lead-out man. Telekom is screwing the one rider that has come through for them over the years in the TDF. Does anyone really think that one more support rider over the past three years would have made Ullrich able to win the Tour? It seems to me that Ullrich has lost the Tour after his team set him up well and he was unable to match the efforts of Lance or Marco.

Zabel deserves better treatment. He is a proven performer with unmatched reliability for his team. If he loses the green jersey this year, the blame will lie on Telekom's shoulders.
apples to oranges, but...Cima Coppi
Jun 28, 2001 9:54 AM
It seems obvious Telekom's thinking yellow, not green. No doubt that Zabel is a key to the success of Telekom's continued sponsorship, but overall victory in the TdF nowadays puts the sponsor in a greater spotlight than winning the other in-race competitions.

My other argument to make then is why should USPS have Hincapie on the team. George can't climb, he's not expected to win in the bunch sprints, even though he's a sprinter. The only advantage I see for him is the input he'll have on the TTT. What else am I missing?
George is a hardmanmr_spin
Jun 28, 2001 10:36 AM
You have to have guys like George on your team. True, he can't keep up with the real climbers, but he is a very good climber for someone who is usually thought of as a sprinter. No one has to drag or push him up climbs like Ivan Quaranta. He has great speed and incredible power when the road flattens, which is useful in containing breaks. If he wanted to, I'm sure he could be an awesome TT rider. The guy is a true hardman, and he'd be on the short list for ANY team riding the Tour. USPS is lucky to have him.

Zabel is also a hardman, as he proved winning the World Cup last year. These guys aren't just sprinters.
When has GH ever.....Niwot
Jun 30, 2001 10:28 PM
... helped Lance in the TdF? Can you point to any stage over the last 2 years where Hincapie has had a positive impact on Lance's effort to win the GC? I agree with the poster above that GH might be a help in the team time trial, but that's about it, and as noted above he is no threat to win a TdF stage. But he is Lance's buddy, and being Lance's buddy is a lot better than not being Lance's buddy (just ask Vaughters).
When has GH ever.....peloton
Jul 1, 2001 8:44 AM
George is frequently at the front cutting through the wind for Lance on flat stages. Past couple of years, George and Frankie always seemed to be at the front setting tempo to give the climbers a break when the road wasn't verticle. George is also a good guy for chasing down breakaways. US Postal has no responsibility to chase when George is sitting on a break. The break also loses steam because they don't want to tow a sprinter like George in for a win. That brings the tempo down in the peloton because there is no reason to chase, so the team has to exert less effort. George is a great guy for helping Lance to conserve energy. He also is usually seen giving it his all at the bottom of some of the large climbs in the Tour, setting tempo at the front of the pack before the climbers take over.

George pulls his weight at the Tour, and has been a factor in helping Lance win the past couple of years. Vaughters problems more likely stemmed from his inability to finish the Tour.
Did i mention USPS? No. I was talking about Telekom.Largo
Jun 28, 2001 2:34 PM
Who cares about USPS and Hincapie? They will do what they will do.
With a little more support, George will be a man for the classics.
Telekom does not have another rider that could make a diference for Jan, but Fagnini and Zabel are a dyanamic duo.
The world does not revolve around USPS and LA.
Thank you for your firm replyCima Coppi
Jun 29, 2001 8:13 AM
No, the world does not revolve around USPS and LA, but this site seems to. I am taking the stand that there will be two teams really in the running for the overall victory this year. Telekom and USPS. Personally, I want Jan to win it again, and I support Telekom's roster decisions to ensure this will happen. Quite frankly, the Tour over the last two years was really quite boring, as it was when Indurain dominated for 5 straight years. I want to see a close competition all the way to the last TT. Something like the 1989 Tour may never be seen again, but you have to admit to being on the edge of your seat for 3 straight weeks when it did happen. I tired of the overall winner getting into the Maillot Jaune in the first week, the carrying it for the remainder of the race, padding his lead along the way.
Once, Kelme, Euskatel will have a profound impactJ.S.
Jun 29, 2001 9:26 AM
on the outcome of this years TDF. The winner may not come from one of these teams but they will have a say in who wins, trust me.
Once, Kelme, Euskatel?Cima Coppi
Jun 29, 2001 9:36 AM
Once, Kelme and Euskatel will loose many minutes in the TTT, then their individual riders will loose even more in the ITT's. That leaves them to break away in the mountains to simply get stage wins, but they won't play a big roll in the overall standings. Who was the last Kelme rider to stand on the podium in Paris? I can't remember one.
True, but...mr_spin
Jun 29, 2001 9:47 AM
You are probably right, but don't count ONCE among the Spanish teams who can't TT. They've got Olano, of course, but I don't think he is riding the Tour. There's also Hruska and Azevedo (spelling?). Plus, they won the TTT last year, although Jalabert was in on that.

And Kelme took the team prize last year, which means they weren't as bad as thought outside the mountains.

Still, I expect fire and fury from these teams in the mountains, but not much in the end. You can add iBanesto to the list, too.
Olano not riding the TourCima Coppi
Jun 29, 2001 11:07 AM
I just looked on Cycling News website, and Olano is not on the roster for ONCE. If this is true, there is no way they can repeat their victory in the TTT.

Also, for the overall team classification, teams tend not to loose large amounts of time on the flat stages, so Kelme really did not have to defend themselves on the flats. To have three or four climbers represented each day in the mountains will surely get a team the overall team classification victory.
Kelme- podium, Fernando Escartin, 1999 (nm)peloton
Jun 29, 2001 11:53 AM
Ullrich is a great leadout man!mr_spin
Jun 28, 2001 8:57 AM
That's what he did best in the Giro. It'll give him something to do where he doesn't have to watch Lance disappear into the distance.

With the absence of Cipollini, maybe Telekom figures Zabel won't need Fagnini as much. Besides, compared to last year, Zabel isn't having a "great" year. Of course, last year was an incredible year.
It doesn't matter, even with Fagnini steels would easilyJ.S.
Jun 28, 2001 9:28 AM
beat Zabel. Zabel is a great rider but simply doesn't have the speed to beat the true fastmen, ie Steels. Look at last year with Fagnini, Zabel was lucky to win one stage.
But who took the green jersey? Not Steels.Largo
Jun 28, 2001 2:36 PM
Zabel won't get green this yearmr_spin
Jun 29, 2001 9:50 AM
Zabel is getting the shaft this year, so give the green to Steels or O'Grady. I'd give the edge to O'Grady. Zabel will be lucky to win a stage this year.
re: I can't believe Telekom would drop Fagnini.........tommyb
Jun 28, 2001 4:22 PM
Without the 'Red Train' of Saeco driving the last 10k, there is less need for a true leadout specialist for any other team. The Saeco team was not able to dominate the leadouts in the Giro, but Mario still found a way to win (a lot). With Saeco not present at all in the Tour, I'm guessing that the closing kilometers of the flat stages will be even less organized. Five or six teams will be scrambling to cover the front, and it will be up to the sprinters to grab the right wheel, which may or may not be their designated lead out specialist. Besides, in terms of lead out men, it's possible that Hondo has won that job for Telekom. (I haven't seen the final roster, so this is all just arm chair conjecture.)
Hondo not on the TdF roster, yet...Cima Coppi
Jun 29, 2001 11:09 AM
On Cycling News page, they are not listing Hondo on the Telekom roster. I don't know when the final decisions are in, but Olano is not on ONCE's roster either.