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I am outraged. This year's Tour is going to suck.(15 posts)

I am outraged. This year's Tour is going to suck.BAi9302010
May 9, 2002 10:56 AM
I was mad enough when I heard that Pantani and Zulle's teams (among others, including Cipo) were not going to be invited to the Tour, but now Ullrich is pulling out. I think that stupid f*@#ing LeBlanc needs to get the chip off his shoulder, otherwise he is just going to be giving the Tour to Lance(nothing againt Lance, but I'd like to see him challenged).
I think that LeBlanc needs to make an exception and invite Coast and Mercatone Uno and other teams if necessary, because last year, Lance's only real challenge was Ullrich and without him, there won't be any real challenge at all (except for maybe Simoni).
Finally, even if LeBlanc isn't going to invite Pantani, he definately needs to invite Alex Zulle, because unlike Pantani, Zulle proved that he is in good form this year by winning the Tour of Valencia.

By the way, if anyone knows French, please let me know, because I wan't to start a chainletter like Specialized did, as stupid as it may sound, except that I wan't to express my anger to the Tour organizers, because this is outrageous.
This year's Tour is going to suck,TJeanloz
May 9, 2002 11:05 AM
But we can't blame it all on LeBlanc. I agree with him on the Pantani/Mercatone Uno issue- if Mercatone was invited, there's no assurance that Pantani would ride the Tour, let alone be in form for it. And the rest of the team isn't worthy of a Tour spot. Remember, teams get invited, not riders. So, IF Pantani does very well at the Giro, he will get an invite. That seems fair to me.

LeBlanc had no control over Ullrich not being there, and would certainly prefer that he was there. Zuelle may be in good form- but his current UCI rank of 138 isn't exactly impressive for a potential team leader, and he isn't riding the Giro, so we might question his ability to really challenge at the Tour.

The Tour will suck because Lance is just that much better than everybody else that remains available for the Tour.
re: I am outraged. This year's Tour is going to suck.LC
May 9, 2002 11:19 AM
Look at it this way; when Lance crashes out of the Tour (and he is well overdue) then it should be fun to see who will step up as the new champion.
Lets get some things straightBAi9302010
May 9, 2002 11:51 AM
1.Pantani is the only rider who has dropped Lance on a climb in the last three Tours.
2.Pantani said he would ride the Tour if he were invited.
3.Levi Leiphmer is 28(he is not the bright young star that everyone thinks he is) and is never going to win the Tour.
4.LeBlanc has the power over whether or not we have a good Tour.
5.Alex Zulle is one of the only riders capable of beating Lance in a time trial, especially if he is higher on the GQ and starts after him (because then he could check Lances time at the checkpoints).

Also, what happened to Abraham Olano?
The tour will never suck..Djudd
May 9, 2002 12:00 PM
there are too many great, highly competitive athletes for the tour to suck. Someone will take the opportunity to step-up to Lance and USPS. Remember, a few years ago, if someone told you Lance Armstrong was going to win consecutive tours you would laugh. The tour is ultimately about the human spirit Lance proved that. Keep watching
Sooooooo wrong.JS
May 9, 2002 12:07 PM
It's a little pass called the Joux Plane, Tex just about lost the 2000 tour there. Heras, Virenque, Ullrich and about 6 other guys "dropped" Tex on that stage. If anything it proves that nothing is certain, especially in cycling. I do agree that Zulle still has what it takes to challenge Armstrong though.
Sooooooo wrong.Sintesi at home
May 9, 2002 3:39 PM
Well I don't think that mistake on Joux plane will happen again. Lance will have to wreck to lose. Zulle lost 5-6 minutes in that crash across that partially submerged path to that one island(forget the name) and he kept that margin consistent through the race. But anyone who watched that Tour in 99 could plainly see Lance was the strongest by far Zulle was dropped every time in the mountains and LA won all the time trials.

Lance isn't going to lose unless something drastic happens (it is a bike race - accidents do occur). No one else is even close. He's the best in the world and there are no real challengers.
A quick rebuttal,TJeanloz
May 9, 2002 12:09 PM
1. Pantani is not the only rider to drop Lance on a climb; on the Joux-Plane in 2000, Armstrong suffered his worst defeat in a Tour climb (since 1999); at the hands of Richard Virenque. Also beating him that day were: Ullrich, Heras, Escartin, Beloki, Herve, and Trenti. This rather desicive loss (by 2+ minutes) did not keep Lance from winning the Tour, though it exposed him as human. Pantani cracked even harder that day, finishing more than 13 minutes back. That was the last Pantani has seen of the Tour de France.

2. We have no assurances that Pantani will be on-form enough to be a contender; if he does well at the Giro, he's in, otherwise, why would we want a lousy rider at the Tour?

3. Levi can't win the Tour. I don't know why people think he can on the basis of a 3rd place finish at the Vuelta.

4. LeBlanc doesn't have all the power you think he does. He merely picks the teams, he can't control whether or not a rider can beat everybody. He had no control over Indurain winning 5 boring tours in a row.

6. Zuelle may be capable of beating Lance in a TT, but he has a really bad history of crashing his way out of contention in major races (due to his practical blindness). It's too bad, but it is the truth.

7. Olano races for ONCE and should be at the Tour.
anything can happen...TPC
May 9, 2002 12:00 PM
Just like every other sporting event, anything can happen, and that is why you play the game. Sure Lance might be the favorite, but who knows what may happen over the weeks and thousands of miles of racing. There might be a break away of over 30 minutes, there might be a nasty crash near the front of the peloton that catches 'the favorites', some riders may step up given the chance to shine,...you never ever know.

As far as I'm concerned, I do hope that Lance wins again. And just like I was glad to see Michael Jordan and the Bulls win championships year after year, and just like many people enjoyed the football dynasties of before (niners, cowboys, steelers, etc.), and just like people still watch the master's after tiger woods has an enormous lead. I'm sure lots of people will be thrilled to see Lance build his own dynasty and make it four in a row. I will watch it to see his awesome athleticism and determination, his skill and power. I will watch it even more intently if he starts blowing away the rest of the field...just so that i can witness the most dominant tour de france rider of his time, and someday tell my grandchildren about it.

Go Lance!
what about Jalabert?gtx
May 9, 2002 12:08 PM
is he riding the tour this year?
Oh yah! JA JA!!Sintesi at home
May 9, 2002 3:43 PM
But even Jalabert says he will no longer contend for GC. He'll be trying to repeat his incredible feats from last year.
JA JA - I don't understand...PdxMark
May 9, 2002 4:03 PM
Please explain

If JaJa can win the polka dot jersey, couldn't he take it easier on the intermediate climbs to race LA on the final climb? His long mountain breaks last year were amazing. I don't know how his TT skills are, but he can climb... why not climb against LA rather than for points along the way
JA JA - I don't understand...atpjunkie
May 9, 2002 5:04 PM
Joux Plane was a bonk of malnutrition for Lance and will never happen again, he's too much of a calorie freak. JaJa got his intermdiate points as the peloton didn't take him seriously and let him go. When Lance reeled him in, chewed him up and spit him out without really attacking in the Pyranese (sp sorry) last year it should have shown everybody Ja Ja''s lack of CG contention.
Ullrichs hurt, could happen to Lance or anyone up to race day so you never know. Regardless it's still a good watch. Coast did get screwed in my opinion but Pantani and Cippo really haven't earned an invite. What has elefantino done since his 3rd drug bust? Begs the question, no drugs...no Pantani
I'm not saying Lance is going to lose...Djudd
May 9, 2002 5:59 PM
I'm saying he is not invulnerable. We never see the loss coming...look at Indurain the year he lost to Riis. The cycling community had crowned him the first 6 time winner before the race started. The Joux Plane might have been a nutrition bonk but it points out anything can happen. Who would have thought Bjarne Riis would be a TdF winner and Ullrich is supposed to be on fourth TdF win by now.
Polka Dot Jersey does not equal best climberWannabe
May 10, 2002 7:36 AM
Yes, yes, I know that the polka dot jersey is the "mountain jersey" but in reality, the winner of the "maillot pois" is not the best climber, but rather the most opportunistic one. The true climbers contend for the overall or stage victories. Remember what happened to Botero when he tried for overall? The polka dot jersey is, in my opinion, the "most agressive mountain rider" jersey. The rider that goes out on the most attacks in the mountains will gain the most mountain points. The best climbers will try to win the mountain stages.

Similarly, the green jersey, or maillot vert, I believe was orginally the jersey for "the most consistent rider." The rider who had the highest average stage place finish over the duration of the tour. By similar logic, wouldn't this mean the best rider? Finishing on average, in the highest position each day? Because GC is determined by overall time, the answer is obviously no. Over the years, the green jersey became the domain of the sprinters and the TdF rules changed to place a greater emphasis on the flat stages for purposes of determining the green jersey.

So, the green jersey is no longer the "most consistent rider" but is the "sprinter's jersey" while the polka dots remains the mountain climber's jersey I guess for lack of a better term.

Did elephant ears ever win the polka dot jersey when he was ontop of his form (no matter how he attained that form - sorry, couldn't resist)? Yet he was the undisputed top climber in the peloton.

Andy