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SFGP - USPS told to back down?(12 posts)

SFGP - USPS told to back down?PODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Sep 16, 2002 8:14 AM
I never saw the SFGP or any portion of the race but I find it interesting how both USPS guys were off the podium in 4th and 5th. Is it possible team orders/personal decision allowed the other 3 in the break away to duke it out instead of Lance or his teammate being uptop the podium once again?

Sep 16, 2002 8:21 AM
If you saw the race, it was pretty clear that only Ekimov was able to contest the sprint, and he was up against much faster guys. Armstrong looked tired, and he'll never win a sprint against real sprinters anyway. Hincapie was totally blown with a few laps to go (I'm surprised he finished!). USPS lost, fair and square. They sure made it hurt, though. No one has anything to be ashamed of.

It was a much better race than last year. Much more animated and exciting at the end.
my armchair analysislonefrontranger
Sep 16, 2002 8:23 AM
What it looked like to me was two Goliaths (USPS and Saturn) beating the holy dickens out of each other all day long, to the point where David (i.e. Dionne, a relative unknown on 7-UP) was able to hurl the stone and topple the battered titans.

Not to take away from Dionne at all; he had the legs and was able to (barely at times) hang in on the attacks up the climbs. He also trounced Henk Vogels in the sprint, and Henk is indeed a force to be reckoned with.
my armchair analysisteoteoteo
Sep 16, 2002 9:23 AM
Pretty common for smaller teams slash single riders to take advantage of just such tactics. Kudos to Dionne who has been an up-n-comer for the last two years. Lance has heard the name before and will remember it now. Dionne finished 3rd in the BMC Austin in 2001 which was held in conjunction with ride for the roses.

Also of note was when ekimov attacked it was Dionne who was the one that covered the move. Armstrong noted for the record that neither he no Eki had any business/chance in that that kind of finish.
Sep 16, 2002 9:42 AM
I was just curious why USPS a team which has riders who should be able to obliterate the field weren't able to. So one thought I had was an agreement was made between USPS and the other teams to let them win, get the exposure from the podium and so forth.

I've heard rumours that this is a common tactic in the Tour at times where teams pay other teams to help.

ThanksLactate Junkie
Sep 16, 2002 2:07 PM
Why would you think that USPS could "obliterate" that field? It consisted of some of the best riders in the US and the world. While Lance and Co are great and really tough to beat in the Tour, don't kid yourself into thinking it is men playing with boys when they come here to race in the states. The racing here is as hard and fast as anywhere in the world. USPS raced hard and did everything they could to win, they just came up short against better, stronger riders on this particular day.
ditto that (nm)jtferraro
Sep 16, 2002 7:44 PM
The race made lots of riders competitiveMaartin
Sep 17, 2002 8:16 AM
Not too long, not a sprinters or climbers race .........It was basically open to many outcomes. I truly believe that George Hincapie US Postal and others had a hard time gauging the end of the course and just got fried to early. I was told it was different than last year.
Sep 16, 2002 8:27 AM
was Armstrong saving himself for the mountains?
Just kidding, Armstrong tried an attack within the last km but was marked immediately. Somebody else went and he actually got gapped off the back, but came back on as they rounded the last corner. No real lead-out but they were single file and you could see them just waiting to go. Vogels opened it up and immediately gapped everyone except Dionne who got in his draft and then came by him pretty easily at the line.
Great Race and Finish...Poor HincapieMaartin
Sep 16, 2002 10:23 AM
Very Exciting until the end which was confusing to everyone including the racers from what I could tell. George Hincapie made a galant try but got fried the last few laps. You could feel his pain the last hill. It is a shame as had the race been shorter it would of been his. He looked strong considering he was recently injured. Last night I saw the same at the Vuelta Espana. A racer leads to the end and gets caught on the line and loses. It has got to hurt but it is the nature of the sport.
I wonder about that too.Spoke Wrench
Sep 16, 2002 10:56 AM
It was obvious to me that Bob Roll was utterly taken by surprise at the finish. I wonder if some of the racers might have been taken by surprise also. Does anybody who was there have a take on that?
No, it was clear...Wayne
Sep 16, 2002 11:42 AM
they knew they were coming to the finish. Seems like only Roll and Patrick were in the dark.