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The Tour could be BORING this year...(4 posts)

The Tour could be BORING this year...RockyMountainRacer
May 7, 2002 8:20 PM
Sadly, it looks like Ulrich has decided not to race the Tour this year because of the knee problems he's been having all season. Too bad, I liked watching him and Lance duke it out, he's a tough competitor. So who will lead Telekom now? Bolts? Hondo? Maybe Livingston will get a chance...

I guess Lance's only real competiton will be Simoni, maybe Garzelli and Beloki in the mix too. All the Italians who are strong now want to win the Giro of course. I doubt they can win both. Who's going to give "big Tex" a run for his money this year? I say the organizers should let Team Coast in and see what Zulle can do, since they've now lost a rider of tremendous stature with Ulrich out.
Relative to the Giro (and even the Vuelta)...Wayne
May 8, 2002 4:38 AM
I think the tour has been boring for the last couple of years. If they hadn't let that big break get 30 minutes last year think how much less interesting the tour would have been. At least they put the TTT in to add something to the first week. The tour is too formulaic, in the Giro and Vuelta the mountain, intermediate and flat stages are more intermingled which leads to more frequent challenges for the leaders. Basically the tour GC battle doesn't start until 10 or more days into the race! Not to mention there's way more parity in the Giro and Vuelta which lends itself to a more interesting race.
As for Telekom the GC leader has to be Vinokourov or maybe Kloden (although he has never lived up to his Paris-Nice win of two years ago), Julich and Livingston will be the mountain domestiques who might get a shot if they stay toward the head of the race and Vinokourov/Kloden collapse. Zabel will be for the sprints with alot more support than the past couple of years, I doubt they will even bring Hondo unless it is as a leadout man for Zabel.
Agree 100% that they should let Coast in, Zulle would have won Romandie if he didn't lose time to a crash during the 1st stage and Casero might be able to get himself into shape by tour time.
Ditto, the Tour HAS been very boring the last few years.JohnG
May 8, 2002 6:11 AM
I also think the "French" race is way over hyped and has been seriously "diminished" by the partisan team selection.

The Giro and Vuelta have been GREAT though!!!! Lot's of close competition in both of these races.

JohnG
Forget Telekomlongfellow68
May 8, 2002 7:50 AM
Telekom probably will set it up for Zabel this year for stage wins. Yawn fest.

I say Zuelle won't go even if invited. The team has improved since Marcel Wust took it over and probably is using Zuelle for small stage races (Romandie, Tour de Swiss). They get more UCI points this way instead of killing himself for a 10th place GC at the big Tours.
Example: USPS, win TdF, still low on UCI team scale.

Moreau (Credit Agricole)
Sevilla/Botero (Kelme - if the team doesn't go bankkrupt)
Osa/Mercado (Banesto)
Beloki/Galdeano (ONCE)

I think its either ONCE or CA that give a run at him.
Both have decent teams for the team TT.
I think the Italians will be to fried to be competitive after the Giro.