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so, why everyone thinks Ullrich can't win Alpe d'Huez ITT?(19 posts)

so, why everyone thinks Ullrich can't win Alpe d'Huez ITT?cyclopathic
Dec 12, 2003 10:28 AM
he did beat LA by 1.5min in hilly ITT last July
if both in top form, LA has higher power/weight nmDougSloan
Dec 12, 2003 10:37 AM
that's only if Jan is not dedicated to go on diet nmcyclopathic
Dec 12, 2003 10:38 AM
I think he canmohair_chair
Dec 12, 2003 10:44 AM
I've ridden Alpe d'Huez a couple of times and trust me, you can't compare it to a "hilly ITT!"

I think Ullrich can win, but Lance should have the edge simply because he is a better climber, especially on steep stuff. If you look back at the Chamrousse MTT in the 2001 Tour, Ullrich came in second to Lance, down exactly a minute. I've ridden Chamrousse, too, and while it's a decent climb, it's nowhere near as steep as Alpe d'Huez either. That stage was probably twice as long, though.

So I expect Lance to win, but I think Ullrich will be close. Consider some other guys, too. Now that Heras can do his own ride, watch out for him. He shredded the field at the Vuelta in an uphill TT. If Beloki comes back in the kind of shape he was in this year, he could do some damage. Hamilton, too (especially if he breaks something!). The field is going to be very strong this year, and I don't think there are any givens for Alpe d'Huez.
The climb?Dwayne Barry
Dec 12, 2003 10:57 AM
isn't Alp D'Huez not all that bad of a climb. Steep at the bottom not so bad after a few km's, the switch backs kind of level off so you can get up some momentum and "slingshot" out of them?
The climb?mohair_chair
Dec 12, 2003 11:10 AM
Most cyclists would find Alpe d'Huez to be hard, but it isn't as hard as everyone seems to think it is. Good recreational climbers shouldn't have any problems getting up it. I did it in about an hour with a 39x25 and didn't feel I needed anything lower. But I love to climb, so YMMV.

The first two or three K are in the 11% range, and the only flat spots are on the turns. You can slingshot them to some extent, but it's not like it helps all that much. Swinging into 11% kind of kills your momentum!

Most of the rest of the climb is not too bad, probably 7-9%, with some steeper sections but also some stretches of flat or false flat. At the time they usually race it, around 3-4 pm, the winds kick up at the top of the mountain, so at switchback 4 or so you have to fight a headwind on some of the legs. This will be a problem for the top guys on GC, and the winds may be strong enough so some guy in 100th place on GC takes the stage because they rode at 11 am when there was no wind. Sort of like Ekimov winning the gold medal at the 2000 Olympics.

Finally, the last section before the village (switchback #1, named for Guerini) is 12%. Once in the village the rest isn't too bad.
Can't win, or can't beat Armstrong?OldEdScott
Dec 12, 2003 10:45 AM
There's a difference.
Dec 12, 2003 10:49 AM
I'd expect pure climbers have better shot at stage win then Jan and LA
They didn't beat Lance in 2001 nmkevinacohn
Dec 12, 2003 10:51 AM
2004-2001 = WOW! THREE YEARS!!!!!!!!!!AFrizzledFry
Dec 12, 2003 11:06 AM
i think we all know that lance isn't going to be able to acheive the form he did in 2001. like he said, he's getting older now. not saying he still isn't good, but Ullrich has youth on his side.

regardless, its all just opinions until next July- we'll see then.
Dec 12, 2003 10:56 AM
And I believe Ullrich CAN beat Armstrong on AdH. I think the pro-Armstrong crowd (of which I'm one) is willfully ignoring the evidence that he's in decline. All the training in the world can't overcome the inroads of age and psychology -- especially against a rival who is, by rights, entering his peak, and should be hungrier and less burnt-out than you.

I think it's up to Ullrich. He has the goods to finally get Armstrong if he has the discipline to deliver them.

Right now I wouldn't bet either way.
Jan might be good alone, no big changes of paceSpunout
Dec 12, 2003 10:46 AM
by the lightweights. I don't think he can win with specialty climbers in the same event (Heras).

But, Jan and Lance could be very close. As previously stated, Jan can beat Lance in an uphill TT.

I don't think the Alpe d'Huez TT is a gift for Lance either. There are others that can beat him up the hill.
I don't think...Jon Billheimer
Dec 12, 2003 10:57 AM
...either Jan or Lance will win the Alpe TT; one of the "pure" climbers will. Furthermore, due to age, stress, declining power, etc. I think Lance will be beaten by Jan for the overall. The ONLY reason Lance won this year was because of the TTT, and the TdF "tall foreheads" in their collective wisdom have made sure that that won't happen again.
Now see, that is goofy...funknuggets
Dec 12, 2003 12:49 PM
Thats like saying the only reason Ullrich almost won was due to a poor Armstrong ITT, or the whole musette bag debacle. As far as who will win AdH, that is an interesting question. Everyone is saying the pure climbers will win, but the funny thing is will they even still be around? The tour is a long beast, and who knows after two weeks, the legs might not be what they were and might give way to the stars like Ullrich, Armstrong, Heras, Hamilton, Simoni.
Finally A Mention Of Simoni!cipolini2b
Dec 13, 2003 7:22 AM
If Simoni wanted to focus solely on le Tour (which I don't think he'll even ride this year), he can cause some serious damage in events like the ITT up AdH. This guy is allll about power-weight ratio. People forget that his margin of victory in the giro was immense. Almost seven minutes! I'd love to see him challenege Jan and Lance...
Iban MayoSpiderman
Dec 12, 2003 11:08 AM
Even though that doesn't answer the question, I am putting money down that Iban Mayo will win this stage.
ITT + uphill = Heras winseyboro
Dec 12, 2003 3:16 PM
...that's what the Vuelta told us, anyway. Mayo is not a bad bet either.
I'll take Lance.lanterne rouge
Dec 12, 2003 11:26 PM
Purely out of discipline and motivation (which is a HUGE factor for Armstrong) of being the first Alpe d'Huez ITT winner. He digs deep and wins the stage on his way to overall victory. You heard it here first. :)
This site needs a TDF betting forum ( nm )superdog
Dec 13, 2003 11:17 PM