|The Societe TdF is changing its' emphasis...||Djudd|
May 27, 2003 2:14 PM
|J.M. LeBlanc and the boys seem to be more concerned with promoting French cycling than with challenging the current champ. The Tour used to try to find weakness in the previous year's winner by using the route to probe any perceived faults (especially if he was NOT French). When Indurain won his first the rumor was he was soft on climbing. The following year, climbing to the skies. They were open about the idea of challenging the champ.
Now it seems the Societe wants to get French cycling back on track and are using the Tour to do it. There can be an argument made for Cipo to ride the Tour (though I wouldn't make it...he has spent too much time thumbing his nose at the Tour then dropping out as soon as the mountains come). He was left out. As well as a few deserving teams.
There is no talk of changing the route to challenge LA or USPS like in the old days.
|And how exactly would they do that?||CHRoadie|
May 27, 2003 2:45 PM
|How do you challenge LA in Le Tour? Eliminate climbing? Then all he has to do is hang in there on the flat stages, finish with the peloton, then win the time trials. He can do that. Maybe you put all the climbing early in the race and hope somebody has a big breakaway later in the Tour? The guy is a monster in the two kinds of stages where you can actually put time into the competition: mountains & time trials. Indurain was different, because he wasn't that great of a climber, and somebody might have been able to exploit that weakness with a strong team. But he was good enough for 5 years. LA simply doesn't have any weaknesses to go after.|| |