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Is it the captain or is it the team?(7 posts)

Is it the captain or is it the team?MXL02
Jul 11, 2003 9:59 AM
An interesting thread has been developing on the TdF Board, and since it is not a spoiler, I thought it might generate some good discussion here. It seems obvious that USPS is one of the strongest if not the strongest team in the race...do you think this is THE determining factor in his winning the GC? Despite LA's obvious commitment, training, and talent, it just seems to me that the one thing in his favor which slams the door on Ulrich, Beloki, and other possible contenders is his rock solid team of horses. Although this was fairly obvious in the TTT, I believe it is also his key to winning in the critical mountain stages as well...it almost seems that he uses his team to win at will whenever he wants. He just runs the competition out of gas with his boys, then explodes up the mountain.
It takes just as much...Dwayne Barry
Jul 11, 2003 10:29 AM
power output for Lance to follow his team to that last mountain as it does for any other GC rider to do so. Then all that matters is who can get up the col the fastest. A strong team can't give you the legs if you don't have them. Not to mention the TT's will also be where time gaps are created and the team is pretty much non-factor on those days.
Pettacci..NOT A SPOILERVaughnA
Jul 11, 2003 10:50 AM
How about Pettacci? Cippolini needs his boys to lead him out, Pettacci just takes the wheel of whoever is out there and wins! He seemed to come from 7th to first in 50 meters last night.

Vaughn
Lance has done it both ways.Mel Erickson
Jul 11, 2003 11:46 AM
He's won with and without a strong supporting cast. Earlier versions of the Posties were far from the dominant team in the peleton. The latest incarnation looks to be a beast, at least for the TdF. Still, Lance wins. I've got to give the nod to his superior talent, training and will. He won when Heras was injured. He won with little support in the mountains. He won, or placed very high, in the ITT. Could he win if a group of teams conspired to work him over without a strong supporting cast? Impossible to tell because it hasn't happened and isn't likely to happen. This year, even if they were to conspire and work together to defeat him, I doubt it would work because of the strength of the team. However, I still think he would/will win now that the TTT is out of the way. Poor Simoni, what would we be saying if Lance was in his position?
Yes, it's very rare...Dwayne Barry
Jul 11, 2003 12:08 PM
that the strongest rider in a GT doesn't win it (unlike a one-day race). Even if you have a bad day or get out-foxed one day you still have 5 or 6 other days to make up for it. The last time I can think of the strongest rider not winning the overall, was probably the year Pantani beat Ullrich. Unless you count all the Giro's when the strongest riders got kicked out because of drugs!
I agree, butMXL02
Jul 11, 2003 12:39 PM
it just seems the difference this year is he can win almost at will, like he's got a stacked deck. It's impressive to see them work together...I believe it is one of the benefits of having won the TdF four times, and becoming the odds on favorite...it is easier to get a stonger team, with each member believing that their participation will give their individual careers a huge boost.
I'm interested in seeingMel Erickson
Jul 11, 2003 1:41 PM
Beltran in the mountains. I think he was a good addition and hope he can take some of the pressure off Heras and Rubiera to do all the work in the latter stages of the climbs. I just don't see anyone cracking them in the mountains with this team.