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Tour Wild Cards(8 posts)

Tour Wild Cardsgregario
May 2, 2002 5:20 AM
Crédit Agricole, Bonjour, Ag2r, and Française des Jeux. The fifth spot went to Saeco-Longoni Sport.

So, Simoni is in and probably to no one's surprise, Pantani is not invited, neither is Mario - but he said he wouldn't go anyway.

I bet Pantani's sponsor is ready to jump ship. He's going to have to have a good Giro.
re: Tour Wild CardsLargo
May 2, 2002 5:45 AM
Pantani! Hah! He's a serious has been, but not to invite Cipo, especially after his excellent season so far, is nuts.
For some reason he has gotten onto the TDFs bad side.
I think he would have gone for sure given the chance, but he probably knew that wasn't going to happen, hence the statement that he wasn't going to go.
Too bad, he always livens things up, and gives Zabel et all a run for their money,
Oh well.
as one would guess wild cards are for French onlycyclopathic
May 2, 2002 6:15 AM
glad for Simoni, he will spice things up
re: Tour Wild Cardst-bill
May 2, 2002 7:15 AM
I guess Specialized's (is that a word?) e-mail campaign didn't work. Go figure! I can't imagine the French not falling for that. They probably put a filter on the official e-mail box to trash any message containing the words Mario, Cippolini, Aqua and Sapone. This is what happens when two massive egos collide - they ruin things for the rest of the class.
Greatest bike race on earth?Largo
May 2, 2002 9:35 AM
The French like to consider the TDF THE bike race, but with all the exclusions of good teams, to be replaced by a quota of marginal French teams, this claim rings hollow.
How can you have a truly great race without the likes Of Cippo? or Pantani for that matter (you never know, he may come around)
It marginalizes the Tour in my opinion, although the winner usually is the worlds best, at multiday tours anyway.
uh huhmr_spin
May 2, 2002 10:46 AM
Yeah, as we see every year, the powerhouse teams really make the show. none of these marginal teams should ever get a shot. Take fassa bartolo, for instance. A top 5 team. They had a HUGE impact on the tour! Everybody has great memories of what they did. Banesto was totally dominant throughout. And Domo was so dominant, I can't even remember who won. Let's keep the marginal teams out.
I don't know,TJeanloz
May 3, 2002 5:09 AM
Exclusion of Cippo doesn't really change the race at all; I don't recall him ever impacting the group- except to keep it all together for a bunch sprint. It seems to me that we'd rather see some guys get up the road than have Aqua e Sapone keep the whole race together so that Cippolini can sprint for the win. His exclusion doesn't change the race a bit. There are plenty of dynamic sprinters who can take his place, and contend for the green jersey, which he cannot.

Pantani is too big a question mark to include. But the Tour has said that it will invite him if he wins the Giro. That seems fair to me.

The small teams, on the other hand, have done some remarkable things. Kirsipuu won a handful of stages two years ago. And a few of those guys have worn yellow- they aren't the disaster that we like to think they are.
I don't know,atpjunkie
May 3, 2002 7:46 AM
exactly, look at Bonjour and Credit Agricole, both held the yellow last year (CA held both yellow and green), both had good individual and team results. Someone earlier was slagging both Fassa Bartolo and Domo. Did they watch the spring classics? Teams are picked by their results and personally American Freddie Rodriguez (Domo) will be far more interesting than the Lion King. Yes I know Mario won @ San Remo and had a good spring but first:
When was the last time he finished the tour?
Second: how well did Sapone do in the classics?
He has no chance of challenging Zabel as he usually drops before the climbing gets ugly. He may take out a few stages early but that's about it.
RE: a "clean" Pantani a threat? since his 3 drug busts he has been a non issue. Maybe he's a has been, maybe since all his scandal he's a never was.