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Team Bianchi signed a new rider toady!(26 posts)

Team Bianchi signed a new rider toady!phatlizard
May 28, 2003 5:48 AM
According to German Sport TV Station DSF Marco Pantiani wants to sign a contract with Binachi and join the team!
Bianchi got a Wild-card for the TdF so he could race it! The final decision will be made right after the Giro next week!

Pantani: "I never had any problems with Ullrich, I have very good connections to Bianchi and Mercatone Uno will let me leave ... !" (I translated that from German!)

I think this tour will be very very interesting ...

Christian
I don't think Bianchi got a...Dwayne Barry
May 28, 2003 5:56 AM
wild-card, they became the new "Team Coast" which as a top club gets an automatic invite to the tour. And while the report is going around all the news services that Pantani said he would ride for Bianchi, has Bianchi said they're at all interested?
When you say the final decision will be made after the Giro are you saying that Bianchi is interested and will decide?
How about another rider?PaulCL
May 28, 2003 5:57 AM
Sign Cipo for the first ten days of the TDF. Cipo wins the sprints, Marco tries to win the mountains but effectively drags Ullrich with him. That would be an interesting team.
as far as I can tell, they haven't signed anything yet...philippec
May 28, 2003 6:01 AM
and Pantani's blurb (also reported on cyclingnews) seems more like him floating the idea out to Bianchi to get their reaction. Sure he'd like to ride the Tour, but Ulrich would probably not be well served by Pantani as a team-mate... his form is still coming (10th in the Giro is not "on-form" for the Tour... or sufficient to challenge Armstrong as Marco has said he would like to do). Also, Pantani would likely be more interested in getting a nice stage victory than helping Ulrich by riding tempo in front of the german on the cols. In fact, I can't think of anyone worse to ride tempo up a mountain than Pantani -- have you seen his start-and-go climbing style? Ulrich would be yelling at him to keep the pace steady! That said, I could see Bianchi stirring up past animosity between Pantani and Armstrong to distract the American.. they could send marco up the road in the mountains to see if Armstrong bites (personally, I don't think so... but, who knows?).

Anyway, this all seems to be coming from pantani so we'll have to wait and see how Bianchi reacts to his statements.

A+

Philippe
You're right.KG 361
May 28, 2003 6:08 AM
I saw the article too. Just wishful thinking on Pantani's part, IMHO. Hey, Philippe, I coming to France in July! Just got the tickets. Unfortunately it is the DAY AFTER THE TOUR ENDS! but at least I'll be there. My in-laws live in Lyon so we'll be staying there. They have a bike I can use and I plan to do so!
ooohh bad timing....philippec
May 28, 2003 6:13 AM
there are some great (and extremely hard) rides around Lyon. The hills might not be as high as further south and east but the rides in the Monts de Forez boast multiple +20% gradients. Will you be riding in/around paris as well?

A+

Philippe
oops, that would be Monts du Pilat, not Forez... (nm)philippec
May 28, 2003 7:11 AM
Not sure.KG 361
May 28, 2003 9:50 AM
They will be our unofficial "tour guides" =). Hope to spend some time in Paris and I'd like to ride there, too. They also have a vacation house in southern France where we will be spending some time-I get the impression that is where they do most of their riding.
Not sure.philippec
May 28, 2003 1:18 PM
well, if you are in Paris and want a guide for some nice riding near town, give me a shout ... I can probably score a bike to use as well...
A+

Philippe
Will do! Thanks. nmKG 361
May 28, 2003 7:47 PM
why?mohair_chair
May 28, 2003 6:13 AM
Pantani was such a great worker for Garzelli at the Giro back in 2001 or whenever that was. Anyone remember that stage where he was sort of working for Garzelli but Garzelli couldn't keep up. Pantani did more damage than good, and finally bailed and went off for the win, which he didn't even get.

I doubt that Pantani has the mentality to work for Ullrich or anyone else, and Ullrich needs strong, experienced domestiques who can guide him. I can't see any reason other than pure PR that Bianchi would take Pantani on. It will do nothing to help Ullrich, and in fact, could hurt him. Signing Pantani is a sure sign that Bianchi is not interested in GC at the Tour.
Pantani's dreaming in technicolour...Jon Billheimer
May 28, 2003 6:46 AM
He must be back on drugs again...this time hallucinogenic ones. He's neither a team leader nor a reliable domestique, just a wounded little ego looking for recognition.
Is LSD a substance banned by UCI? nmMel Erickson
May 28, 2003 8:39 AM
Ask Ullrich, he'll know! nmmerckx56
May 28, 2003 11:49 AM
Rule #1: never believe anything Pantani says...BergMann
May 28, 2003 6:54 AM
Once again, Pantani is talking out his a**. Sure he's done well to actually _ride_ the comeback Giro he's been talking about these last few years, but as a rule of thumb, don't believe anything you hear from him or his camp - it's 99.9% hype (remember the grand plans for a Pantani/Cipo "tag-team" earlier this year?)

Also, in regards to Bianchi:
1) Dahms & German courts can still shut the team down prior to the tour, if they want to. German legal experts seem to think that Dahms is entitled to compensation under German law, and Pevenage & Co. haven't given him a cent.
2) Bianchi likely doesn't have the cash for Pantani - unless he decides to ride for free. Word is that they really gouged most of the Coast riders, taking advantage of a bad job market by significantly deflating their previous contracts upon resigning.

I'll believe it when I see it - and even then, I think it will be a cold day in hell before Pantani beats Armstrong again.

Now Simoni - there's a rider worth talking about in July.
Pantani may be for realPaulCL
May 28, 2003 7:35 AM
AS for his riding the TDF with Bianchi...who knows..only time will tell. My guess is that riding with Bianchi started as a fleeting thought in his mind and he's throwing it out to the world to see if anyone bites.

But....have you noticed?? Pantani is in 10th place at the Giro after today's stage. Like him or hate him, the guy's making a comeback. It would make an interesting tour. Give him an extra couple months and a ton of motivation, then Lance might have some competition on Alp D'Huez.

By the way...I don't think writing that Pantani is in 10th is any sort of spoiler.

paul
Was he ever for real?RJF
May 28, 2003 8:59 AM
Without drugs, Pantani is maybe capable of winning a tour stage (if Lance lets him). He is absolutely no threat for the GC because he lacks the recovery necessary. He will blaze up a climb one day, then be off the back the next, losing 10 minutes. I think he is delusional and even if he makes the tour, won't crack the top 15.
Was he ever for real?jschrotz
May 28, 2003 9:28 AM
Remember that Ullrich rode the Giro in '01 and languished much further down than Pantani's current 10th place and then went on to be the only serious challenger Armstrong faced in the Tour that year. While Pantani is certainly a different rider than Ullrich, his form will continue to improve as Ullrich's did, as should his ability to recover day to day. He won't tranform into a top flight time trialist before the Tour, but he could make Armstrong sweat in the mountains if his form continues to improve. After watching him battle Garzelli all the way up the Zoncolan, I wouldn't be so quick to write the man off. He's in his first grand tour after 2 years and has acquitted himself much better than anyone would have believed possible before the race started. And hey, at least he's got the balls to do more than one big tour a year.
Was he ever for real?PaulCL
May 28, 2003 9:47 AM
I don't think he's any threat to Armstong in the GC. But, if Pantani does work with Ullrich, then it could get interesting. Pantani could take on Lance in the mountains, while Ullrich could push Lance in the TT's. It would be one heck of a one-two punch.

And no, I don't believe Pantani will ever come back to his EPO days form. He can't becuase he would be busted so fast...

Let's not forget that Pantani very publically hates LA's guts. Think of his training motivation if he got into the tour???
BAi9302010
May 28, 2003 12:09 PM
Jaja won the mountains jersey last year at 33. Lucien Van Impe won it in 83 at 37 and almost won the Tour that year. Joop Zoetemelk won the Tour in 80 at 33 and was a consistent threat till about 1988. Some riders age better than others and Pantani hasn't ridden much over the last two years so he probably still has some gas left in the tank.
Was he ever for real?cyclopathic
May 28, 2003 1:56 PM
the biggest threat for LA is 1-2 punch which may come from several teams with 2 strong riders Telecom, Fassa, Saeco etc. While noone is clearly stronger then LA, LA is not god and he had proven he can loose races to good team tactics like he did LBL. Danger is if Pantani (Salvodelli,Frigo, etc) goes on raid USPS will have to pull him, so coming to final climb LA wouldn't have enough team to set up tempo. That and later mnt stages can be disastrous. We are in for interesting tour :)
No he wasn't!BergMann
May 28, 2003 12:34 PM
I'm afraid your Ullrich/Pantani analogy doesn't work:
Ulrich was riding the '01 Giro to get into shape, not to seriously contest it.

As far as the "at least he's got balls" bit, Ullrich was competitive in July _because he dropped out_ of the Giro early. Any doubts on how that works, cf. Robbie McEwen.

Want to see what happens to riders who "have balls" and ride 2 tours? Take a look at Beloki & Heras. They killed themselves in the Tour trying to keep up with Lance and then just didn't have that extra resiliance necessary to recover after big efforts later at the Vuelta. Just watch, the exact same thing will happen to Simoni & Garzelli come July. Simoni might light up a mountain stage or two, but he'll tank on GC.
The days of riding 2 tours with chances of winning both are gone. The human body doesn't recover fast enough without drugs to make that kind of effort more than once a year.

I find Pantani's comeback interesting because now we see what he really was capable of without drugs (or at least without the ones he used to be taking).

What is Marco P. now? A "lieutenant" level climber with an attitude who can't ride a steady pace.
Wouldn't want him on my team.
No he wasn't!BAi9302010
May 28, 2003 2:59 PM
1.Jan Ullrich was in top form during the 2001 TDF. He went into it in probably the best shape of his life because he knew he couldn't beat Lance with his '97 form (he tried that in 2000).

2.Pantani is only half way through his comeback and is using the Giro to ride himself into shape. If he does ride the Tour and flops, then we will know how he performs without drugs, until then he still looks to be on his way back to the top.
Yes he was.purplepaul
May 28, 2003 3:19 PM
IIRC, Ullrich was overweight when he started the Giro and only expected to get into shape during it. Doesn't anyone else remember Paul and Phil making comments about how heavy he was?
No he wasn't!BAi9302010
May 28, 2003 5:44 PM
i dunno about the Giro but he was definately in shape for the 2001 Tour

http://www.cyclingnews.com/photos/2001/jul01/tdf1/FSjan_pro.shtml
Nah, Pantani is an old rider toady. nmLon Norder
May 28, 2003 9:47 AM