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News Flash: Beloki loses 2:00 in 2004 TdF TTT! (spoiler)(3 posts)

News Flash: Beloki loses 2:00 in 2004 TdF TTT! (spoiler)BergMann
Nov 14, 2003 10:02 PM
Yes folks, the race hasn't even started, and Beloki has already taken himself out of contention for the overall:

Can you believe this guy would trade the ONCE train for a bunch of French pastry puffs?

Good thing LeBlanc & co. have already decided to set a ceiling for how much time a team can lose in next year's Team Time Trial: now we know in advance Beloki will lose exactly 2:00 before the race even sees the hills.

Looks like Tyler is not the only guy racing primarily for his pension fund next year...
Lots of factors behind the scenes.orange_julius
Nov 15, 2003 9:42 AM
First of all, similar to many top riders, Beloki has
his entourage of support riders that he wants to keep,
not the least important of whom is his brother.

Plus, he want to ride TdF, so he wants a team who will
get an invite to the TdF. Hence the deal with Stayer
didn't work out because they can't buy enough UCI points,
er.... riders with enough UCI points :-).

I would say that his move is not bad: BlB has lots of new
riders who won't compete with him for the GC spot. This
can be an issue if he were to stay with Saiz's team,
because of Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano and Nozal. If
he had gone to Saeco instead, he'd be competing with
Simoni and a few other riders.

Don't forget that BlB is almost certain to get an invite
to the TdF.
Click here for the sound of Beloki shooting himself in the foot!BergMann
Nov 15, 2003 3:27 PM
I don't know where you get your info, but Stayer didn't work out because the sponsor is nearly bankrupt! Another one of those inexplicable Coast-like cases of fly-by-the-seat of your pants hacks who seem to want 5 minutes of sporting limelight, no matter whether they can afford it or not.

Beloki should have eaten crow and gone back to Saiz -- Galdeano will _never_ be a real tour contender while Armstrong and Ulrich are around -- he just isn't fast enough when the climbing gets tough. He sure makes for a great TT motor and lieutenant though. Same goes for Nozal -- particularly since a smart coach like Saiz would have set up his training so that his seasonal "peak" would come in September at the Vuelta!

As for Beloki's "entourage," all of them had jobs with Once before, and could easily have gone back. BlB only has one spot for Beloki's brother and maybe one more rider, and then their roster is full.
Bottom line: Beloki wasn't thinking about anyone whose name doesn't end in Beloki!

As for the tour selection -- that's also a moot point: any team with Beloki could have counted on a tour invite. Alessio would have been a way better choice -- they've at least got some seasoned climbers who'd be there at the end of the day to pace Beloki up that final climb.
Even Saeco would have been better: all Joseba would have to do is let Simoni wear himself out riding the Giro and talking trash in the run-up to the Tour and then quitely ride into leadership of the team as Gilberto faltered. DiLuca would have been a great support rider because (sorry), he just doesn't have the stuff for a podium at the Tour.

Now Beloki will hit the final week of the TDF a good 2 minutes behind Lance and Jan, with no support in the mountains.

Let's face it: he decided to shoot himself in the figurative foot for a cool million a year.

All I can say as a cycling fan is "ouch"!