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will it be the end of USPS team?(24 posts)

will it be the end of USPS team?cyclopathic
Dec 4, 2003 12:36 PM
if LA looses tour, would Postal even make cut for '05?
Depends on if Lance vowed revenge in '05, otherwise DOABIG RING
Dec 4, 2003 12:50 PM
will they be even invited?cyclopathic
Dec 4, 2003 6:43 PM
say if LA does Beloki and crashes out of tour, with no Heras to contend Vuelta USPS won't have enough UCI points to get invited next year. Heck they will drop down to Div 2, like Mercatone Uno.
Absolutely,TJeanloz
Dec 4, 2003 12:53 PM
There has been an American team in the Tour for more than 15 years - first 7/11, then Motorola, the USPS. They will take a U.S. team, if only to get U.S. exposure, by the same logic that they take crappy French teams. And as long as USPS is the top U.S. team, they will get an invite.
How much worse are LA's odds now?PdxMark
Dec 4, 2003 1:13 PM
At the end of the '03 Tour, LA had a great team with pick-of-the-litter support in the mountains, including Roberto H. Telekom (soon to be T-Mobile) had rising star Vino, injured prospect Cadel Evans, and [you fill-in the adjective] Salvodelli and Botero. Ullrich was with an OK Bianchi team.

Now, LA is losing Roberto and Ullrich has the new uber-team.

So, how much have LA's odds of winning the '04 Tour changed from a few months ago? If LA was at 75% at the end of the '03 Tour, where is LA now? 50%? Lower?
50%? Lower? speaks to LA's dominanceContinental
Dec 4, 2003 1:27 PM
To suggest that any rider has a 50% chance of winning a Tour de France says that that rider and team is dominant. Any crash, illness, strategic blunder or just having a bad day can put a rider out of contention. I'd put big money against Lance in a Lance versus the field bet at 1:1 odds. But I would have made the same bet for the last 5 years and would be broke.
I have a suspicionDougSloan
Dec 4, 2003 2:31 PM
I suspect that Lance is going to arrive at next year's Tour in better shape than ever. I doubt that losing someone to help pull him 1/4 the way up a final climb will make much difference. He'd probably out-ride his "leadout" man anyway. I think we can't underestimate the motivation that nearly losing this year has had and will have on him. He may very well become Indurain in the time trials and, well, Armstrong in the mountains...

Doug
re:The Human G-Nome
Dec 4, 2003 3:07 PM
personally, i think Tricki will take up the slack just fine. even so, you know USPS is going to pull something out of their hat before the season starts. Heras's contract will get bought out and they will have money to spend. there are plenty of riders that would gladly jump ship for the opportunity to be a part of USPS.
re: Yes, Trickicollinsc
Dec 4, 2003 4:13 PM
I dont know why this is becoming such a huge deal. I love Roberto, he is the man, and I am glad to see him try to forge out on his own.

The 2003 Tour was not the 2002 Tour. Beltran and Rubiera contributed much more for Armstrong this year than Roberto in Le Tour. Granted Roberto was ill, and Roberto later won the Vuelta, but we are talking about the Tour here, and the fact is that USPS is not wholly dependent on Roberto or any other single rider.

(Roberto gets the first name treatment because he is that cool.)
Hmmmwaynebo
Dec 5, 2003 9:18 AM
Doug,
Are you better this year than last? Are you going to be better in '04 than in '03? Is there a magical pill that Lance takes that helps him defy aging? I see him declining, not getting better. Indurain-like in the TT and an excellent climber also? At 33? It isn't going to happen. In '03, Armstrong had to chose which to be more dominant in and he chose the hills. During the previous streak of 5 staight, Indurain chose the TT. Both were very capable in the other "speciality". Ullrich has chosen the TT and just hopes he can hang in the mountains. I don't see how LA can be in better shape in '04 compared to '03. If he trains harder, he risks injury and burnout. He just can't continue to improve relative to what the aging process is taking away. Has there ever been a 33 year old win the Tour? As much as every one wants to see it happen, a younger buck is going to dethrone him in '04.
training, focus, etcDougSloan
Dec 5, 2003 9:25 AM
I got the impression, from what Lance said following the Tour, that he did not take it as seriously this year and was fairly distracted (personal issues). Could be BS; I don't know. However, I also heard him say things to the effect that his resolve, committment, and efforts in training will be far superior this year compared to last.

Sure, age takes a toll, but if he won at age 32 with less than optimal training and focus, then I'd expect that, given this is Lance Armstrong we are talking about, even at age 33 if he gets his head in the game and doesn't take anything for granted he may well be better than ever.

Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.

Doug
training, focus, etcwaynebo
Dec 5, 2003 10:19 AM
Doug,
You are correct about his ability to focus. However, I can not overemphasize the detrimental effects of aging. All the previous "5" winners could focus too. But again, it is the age thing. No one has won as a 33 year old. Despite his numerous excuses as to why he didn't "win bigger" in '03, I just don't see how he can train harder or improve anymore. I see Ullrich dethroning him in '04 in a very close race. Everybody wants to be the one to knock him off but realistically, only JU at the top of his game can beat him. T-Mobile has a strong team and I think JU is sick of finishing second. The '04 is a two horse race. LA will be on the podium in '04, just not on the top rung.
the oldest winner was 37 nmDougSloan
Dec 5, 2003 10:54 AM
don't forget the detrimental effects of a rubbing brake and dehyfunknuggets
Dec 5, 2003 2:55 PM
Lance got caught this year, plain and simple. Not catching the brake rubbing was a silly error that wont be made again. That likely taxed him a LOT harder than most. But perhaps that was marketing spin, who knows. But, the fact remained that he was cocky and in the position that the tour was HIS to lose. So what do you do in that case... you ride to just beat the nearest competitor. So, if you have a bad day... it is likely lights out. So, when he got cracked on the ITT, then wrecked due to the bag... all of a sudden, it became his to win... you then saw the Lance that we know. He became aggressive and passionate and engaged that drive that he is reknown for.

Will this passion continue into next year... good question. Mental focus when you are always "on top" is a difficult challenge, ask Mike Tyson ala Buster Douglas, or KC Chiefs this year vs Cincinati, or any variety of sports analogies. I think at 33, his mental and physical capacity will be fine. Will he have the supporting team... sure, will he have the drive... we will see. I wish Tyler or Ullrich...or HERAS would call Lance out, call him a "Wuss" publically or something stupid like that...

They won't though... they know they don't want any part of a desperate or pissed off Lance.
In 2003, Herasgeeker
Dec 4, 2003 2:45 PM
wasn't very effective in the mountain stages, due to illness. So his departure doesn't necessarily hurt that much. Beltran took up a lot of the slack in '03.
re: will it be the end of USPS team?dave woof
Dec 4, 2003 1:24 PM
is it loses or looses???

D
re: will it be the end of USPS team?witcomb
Dec 4, 2003 1:50 PM
Well, lets introduce some real confusion

You can lose a wheel but you can also have a loose wheel. If you lose a wheel while riding, then odds are it was loose to begin with.

That should clear things up real good.
Didn't people say the same thing when Tyler and Kevin left?Dave Hickey
Dec 4, 2003 2:05 PM
Livingston was teamed Jan and they were going to kick Lances butt. After Tyler left people said the same thing.
Livingston out of retirement?????.............nmchopper
Dec 4, 2003 3:35 PM
No, when Kevin left USPS to go to telecom...........nmDave Hickey
Dec 4, 2003 4:19 PM
I think the question is...hudsonite
Dec 4, 2003 4:44 PM
Will Lance race in O5? If not, I am not sure that the USPS will want to sponsor the team. A winning team is one thing, but a team without LA may not be so attracitve for the USPS as a sponsor.

Not everyone in the postal service is happy about spending so much money on the team. But the 'nay' sayers have been pushed to the back of the crowd as long as they have the worlds best team. As long as the team is a winner, then the USPS will probably continue to sponsor the team.

So who knows. Maybe if Lance does not ride in '05, Tyler will come back and carry the American Flag to victory.

But the USPS will be invited to '05 win or lose next year. Just hope that the USPS is still ready to anty up the money for the tour.
Here's my predictionamflyer
Dec 4, 2003 10:18 PM
Jan U. will crash out in the first 1/4 of the race.

In the mountains, the race quickly becomes a duel between LA and Hamilton. LA appears to be fading towards the end, Hamilton looks strong. Decisive stage comes...and LA miraculously overcomes Hamilton's charge, winning an unprecedented 6th by the merest of margins...mutual admiration expressed, pictures, tears, hugs galore.

Fast forward to August '04...big news...LA retires, Hamilton switches teams again...USPS has a new tour contender.

Hey...it could happen.

Steve
re: will it be the end of USPS team?pina
Dec 4, 2003 6:51 PM
Probably not if he retired. They wouldn't be treated like the weaker French teams are. Europeans don't care if there is an american team in the tour. Lance will have just as hard a time winning in 04 as he did in 03. The days of him riding up the mountain by himself are over. If you look at all the great ones, in their early 30's is were their power starts to go down, at least in the sense of constant recovery in a stage race. No matter what kind of shape he is in, his power output has already peaked. Carmichael even said this. For several years he was the number one time trialer all by himself. In the last tour that was no longer the case. I would take Ulrich on a warm day if forced to pick.
Early thirties...zero85ZEN
Dec 4, 2003 9:23 PM
...is still pretty young for an endurance athlete. I wouldn't bet against Lance in '04. He may not win, but if I had to bet I'd take Lance. He can still consistantly out climb the other top TT'ers.

If Lance wins in '04 he may retire from being a Tour de France rider, but not from pro cycling.