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Newbie Tour Questions (no spoilers)(4 posts)

Newbie Tour Questions (no spoilers)Fez
Jul 24, 2003 7:19 AM
1. Other than the surprise move by Tyler on Wednesday, why are Jan Ullrich and Vinikourov and all other top GC contenders waiting until Saturday's time trial to duke it out? After Monday's stage, wouldn't they want to use every remaining stage to move up? All I see are the top GC riders in the main peloton trying to stay out of trouble until Saturday's time trial.

2. Is Sunday's stage always ceremonial? If it was really close after the time trial, would we ever see riders duke it out on Sunday?
re: Newbie Tour Questions (no spoilers)mohair_chair
Jul 24, 2003 7:33 AM
The terrain from now on (flat) doesn't offer a lot of opportunities for attacks that stick. Plus, Armstrong, Ullrich, and Vinokurov are all classics and/or big one-day race winners. No one has a real advantage over the other on this kind of terrain. Generally, they all feel that it would be a waste of energy to try. Why not save that energy and burn in it the time trial instead?
re: Newbie Tour Questions (no spoilers)godot
Jul 24, 2003 7:44 AM
Here's my opinions regarding your questions. Not expert, just my thoughts.

1. Getting away on a flat stage is pretty much impossible for the top GC contenders. If Lance, Jan or Vino did slip off the front, the teams of the other 2 riders would organize very quickly, pick up the pace and catch them before they had a chance to build a significant gap. They are all watching each other very closely. From what I saw this morning Bianci was riding just behing Postal in the peloton.

Sunday's stage is normally ceremonial. A lot of that has to do with the reasons listed above, it's a flat stage. Another reason Sunday is more of a parade for the GC guys is that the team competition and the green jersey may still be being contested. The teams involved in those battles are not going to let anyone get away that would prevent them from winning those prizes.
I guess it is true what they say...Fez
Jul 24, 2003 8:01 AM
The Tour is won in the mountains.

What's interesting is that Lance ordinarily puts great distance on his closest rivals in the mountains, but he doesn't win every mtn stage.

Must be quite a thrill for a Tour GC noncontender who wants a stage win, if nothing else, in that he can actually beat Lance in the mtns on that one day.