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Is Lance In Trouble (spoilers?)(27 posts)

Is Lance In Trouble (spoilers?)EagleRider
Jun 16, 2003 7:04 AM
In the past Lance has manhandled the competition in the mountains. This past week, it looked like the competition is starting to be just that. Any thoughts?
doub it...eschelon
Jun 16, 2003 7:16 AM
all of the races leading up to Tour, I've never heard of Lance handing the competition their a55es...it's usually a close race...then when the Tour comes around, the margins get disgusting.
factorsDougSloan
Jun 16, 2003 7:22 AM
Why he's faster in the Tour: peaking, longer race, more important...

Foremost Lance is an endurance racer. He consistently puts time on people over stage races, but a single person might beat him on any given day; he puts time on others increments of a minute or so, totaling 5-7 minutes over a 3 week Tour. Plus, he epitomizes the concepts of periodic training and peaking.

Doug
I hope so...mohair_chair
Jun 16, 2003 7:22 AM
...but I doubt it.

I hope so only because I'm going to France for the Tour and hope to see some competition, rather than the near parade of last year.

Realistically, Lance is not in trouble. Technically, he hasn't hit his peak yet, which is carefully timed to hit during the Tour. Plus the Dauphine is an eight-day race, with only a few mountains, so you can't extrapolate his performance there. The Tour is a totally different beast. Lance never truly suffered, except when he crashed.

Mayo is the real deal, but he has always shown great promise and not lived up to it. He looked very good in the Dauphine, but I'd still rank him with guys like Tyler Hamilton. Climbs well, time trials very well, but he's still not top tier with guys like Lance and Ullrich.
i hope he shinesThe Human G-Nome
Jun 16, 2003 7:29 AM
Climbs well, time trials very well, but he's still not top tier with guys like Lance and Ullrich.
>>>

: i know that summation is correct, but i'm hoping Mayo surprises a little and puts himself in a good overall position in the GC and doesn't end up just going for stage victories.
i hope he shinesThe Human G-Nome
Jun 16, 2003 11:22 AM
Climbs well, time trials very well, but he's still not top tier with guys like Lance and Ullrich.
>>>

: i know that summation is correct, but i'm hoping Mayo surprises a little and puts himself in a good overall position in the GC and doesn't end up just going for stage victories.
not concerned...biknben
Jun 16, 2003 7:28 AM
He stated he wanted to defend his previous win but added that it was just prep for the Tour. He won the TT and kept everyone in check in the mountains. Weather he could have manhandles Mayo or no, we'll never know. On each day, LA kept pace with him until it was too late for Mayo to do any damage. Then he let Mayo get a few seconds at the end of each day while he sat up and cruised in.

Seems very calculated to me. The same he has been for the last few years.
he's only human...philippec
Jun 16, 2003 7:28 AM
which, of course is a dangerous realisation for his rivals to make!

Give the guy credit, he crashed hard the day before (@ 70kms/hr) hopped back on the bike and finished, -- sore, yes, but w/out losing any time.

Iban Mayo launched some formidable attacks (the last one in the Galibier was something to watch!) and rather than panicking, Armstrong rode his own pace and did not waste energy trying to keep up w/ Mayo's accelerations --- esp. b/c he knew the race would be decided 50km after the top. He made up his deficit and showed fine form the next day in answering every one of mayo's attacks.

So is he in trouble -- probably not. BUT, the sight of Armstrong getting dropped by an on-form Mayo in the Galibier may have eroded his image as an "untouchable" rider in the mountains. Some riders have commented that Armstrong, strong as he may still be, seems more "beatable" b/c of those few hundred metres on the Galibier.

However, I recall a certain L. Armstrong suffereng and being dropped on the Ventoux stage of the Dauphiné in years past (unlike his then team-mate Hamilton). Guess who won the TDF that year?

So... we'll see on the 27th of July.

A+
Philippe
do you think thatafrican
Jun 16, 2003 7:36 AM
maybe teams or idividuals from the same country try to work against Lance??
maybeDougSloan
Jun 16, 2003 7:39 AM
They might do whatever it takes, but the two places it won't matter at the time trials and the big climb finishes. He's almost immune to politics there.

Doug
not sure about climb finishescyclopathic
Jun 17, 2003 8:14 AM
there's still room for flicking. Yes legs are legs, but LA used his team to the max to set up tempo. Now, if his team has to chase breakaway, they won't be able to help him much on final climb.

If you watched Giro, Simoni did excelent job on stage he took pink and we'd see similar plays in tour coming from diff teams.
Remember the Tour De SwissCARBON110
Jun 16, 2003 7:45 AM
When Lance popped off the leading group on the hardest mtn stage. He did it since there was no way the leading group could overcome his time difference ahead of them. He calculates ho fast the riders are going and the distance to the top of the stage. Its about winning a race with the least amount of effort...not killing yourself and the competition every stage like we see in the Tour. Thats when Simoni started blabbing his big mouth about being able to drop Lance. He didnt drop him at all. Lance was eating and talking to Johan and maintainng a gap. He didnt need to stay with them. He conserved his energy for the next days TT which he won by alot. I think TTs are far more telling then Mtn stages for his performance. Remember, the guy beats anyone by over 6-7 minutes for second place.. Thats about the difference between 2nd and 12th place in the Tour.
in fact....philippec
Jun 16, 2003 7:49 AM
after the Banesto/Euskatel festival of the last few days, I'm sure the Spanish/Basque teams have been started to think "alliance". In fact, by getting Euskatel talking to Banesto, Once and Kelme, Armstrong has perhaps unwittingly brought about a significant warming in Basque-Spanish relations -- and contributed in his own way to making the world (or at least the basque country) a safer place for all. ;-)

A+

Philippe

OK, I was joking about the last bit but I'm serious about the Spanish teams thinking that they have a lot to gain by ganging up on Armstrong.
Wasn't this the story last year, though?Trent in WA
Jun 16, 2003 8:30 AM
I seem to recall that there was a lot discussion about the Spanish teams colluding to beat Lance, especially after ONCE's strong early showing made that a seeming possibility. We all know how far that went. I doubt that Aitor Gonzalez is going to shell himself to pace Beloki up a mountain, and vice versa. Unless he has an off day or Mayo transforms into Merckx, I think it's Lance's race all the way.

Trent
As someone who is emphatically not....Dwayne Barry
Jun 16, 2003 8:05 AM
a Lance-aphile and therefore looking at his results through rose-colored glasses, the guy is on track to dominate the tour again this year. The only forseeable hope to stopping his dominance of the race is that there appears to be some climbers on form and doing the race this year that may cause him some problems in the mountains (not including Simoni who has to be considered a complete unknown going into the race.

On the other hand, Hamilton's chances of playing with the big boys appear to be in real jeopardy at this point.
This years Tour should ....Live Steam
Jun 16, 2003 8:15 AM
prove to be the most difficult for LA thus far and the most exciting to watch. With quite a few climbers on form and equally as many teams looking stronger overall, I anticipate lots of attacks that the Posties will have to contend with. I am pulling for LA to equal the record, but want to see hom work his but off.
HerasWrigleyRoadie
Jun 16, 2003 8:20 AM
How come no one has mentioned that Lance was without body-guard Roberto Heras? Think back to last year's tour - Heras was lethal in the mountains. Mayo's supporting cast is strong in the mountains, but has nothing on Blue Train over a month-long sufferfest.
Armstrong is sooooo depressed that he is thinking...............MR_GRUMPY
Jun 16, 2003 8:21 AM
of quitting cycling, and going to work for his uncle Joe at his 32 lane Bowling alley, as the guy who sprays the rental shoes.
But he'll need to know euro / US sizing chartspitt83
Jun 16, 2003 9:25 AM
Good one, Dwarf man! LOL
re: Is Lance In Trouble (spoilers?)LeadvilleBlues
Jun 16, 2003 8:23 AM
Like everyone else has pointed out here, Le Tour is a different beast. Also, could it be Lance likes Spaniards, and visa versa. Why beat them up now, if he can have friends later next month. ???????
HerasWrigleyRoadie
Jun 16, 2003 8:24 AM
How come no one has mentioned that Lance was without body-guard Roberto Heras? Think back to last year's tour - Heras was lethal in the mountains. Mayo's supporting cast is strong in the mountains, but has nothing on Blue Train over a month-long sufferfest.
re: Is Lance In Trouble (spoilers?)bigdeal
Jun 16, 2003 9:02 AM
maybe it's all part of his strategy? Don't look that great in the Dauphine, make the competition think they've got you or you're done before you start...then...BOOM!!! Pull a Barry Bonds and knock it out of the park!
Good stategy, except...53T
Jun 16, 2003 9:29 AM
... he won the Dauphine, by 1:12. Free advice: if you want to look less than strong, don't win the race.

The most interesting post-race comment from Lance was that he was hurting from the crash (no shi^) but didn't think it was an issue for the tour. (Personnaly, I'd be worried if he didn't crash hard in May or June, that's how he won the last two Tours.) He also said he now has time to spend with his family. What do we know about the state of affairs at the Armsrong homestead?
re: Is Lance In Trouble (spoilers?)Chris T
Jun 16, 2003 9:54 AM
It's starting already! I recall on this board last year, there was a stage by stage breakdown of Lance's performance and all sorts of theories abounded about why he was going to win or lose. Love him or hate him, it still makes for great entertainment and lively discussion! Personally, I am neither fan nor foe, I just respect LA for what he is; one damn good cyclist!

Cheers!

Chris
Playing possumebb2
Jun 16, 2003 9:55 AM
I seem to recall Lance pretending to be suffering two years ago. The whole peleton and Phil thought he had cracked. Well, guess what he won the stage.
Maybe Lance is trying the same move again, this time by not performing at his best.
I agree...QUiTSPiNiNArOuND
Jun 16, 2003 1:10 PM
I think the crash did take a little out of him. I think he is not performing at his full potentioal at dauphine is because there was no mountain finish, if he did attack, he would probably get caught near the bottom anyway. So this way he could play down his chances, give the other competitors hope, and destroy it in the tour, a major phsycological blow. Just my opinion
Playing possum... come on.funknuggets
Jun 16, 2003 2:30 PM
The guy plays one head game to get Telekom to attack and all of a sudden everyone thinks he is some cycling genius and thinks out how well he feels on the bike. Granted there are some head games played, sure, but it seems every time the guy gets dusted... like Amstel, or a mtn stage... it is like all the "Lance-o-phyles" think he "could have won" but is always playing some kind of game. I guess it allows the big fans to quelsh their fears, or somehow pull some kind of moral victory out of a loss.

I guess the mad publicity of the famed attack works well in Lance's favor, he has the rest of the peleton... and the rest of the cycling community wondering. I guess that works wonders. But the fact is this... Lance is an amazing cyclist, but the suspected "head games" that he plays are likely more of a media creation and hype then it needs be.

There is a guy that rides with us on saturdays that is a good rider. Actually, one of the more gifted riders I have met as he does not really train, but comes out on weekends and hangs with the 'big boys' for the most part. He is pretty strong on the hills, so sometimes we mess with him and go blazingly hard on the flats to try and pull his legs out of him... so he will actually be hurting and has a hard time holding on to the paceline.. he even looks the part. He will say "guys,my legs are gone" and then what do you know... he still attacks on the hills. Point of my story is that it could have been a game all along. Lance "might" actually have been hurting and just found his legs on the fabled ride, so the story and the media spin might have made a bigger story than what it was worth. Im not a doubter, Im just saying that every time he gets on a bike does not mean he is playing headgames.

You want to get some doubters... have him lose a TT by three or four minutes.

just my three cents.

the funk