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3rd place is up for grabs, because.....(15 posts)

3rd place is up for grabs, because.....Largo
Jul 12, 2001 7:22 PM
I don't care whats happened up until now, because its LA and JU fighting for 1st. One or the other will win, and the rest of the "contenders" can fight over it like dogs over a bone.
Beloki? Hah! A fine rider, but nowhere near the big 2.
And as for guys like Jullich, Moreau et al, well......
There will be quite a time gap between 2nd and 3rd.
There, i said it and i feel better.
Lance will win the 2001 Tour de France.Spyder Ryder
Jul 12, 2001 10:39 PM
Did anybody notice something today??

OK USPS has a lot of good riders and good tactics as well right? At least as strong a riders as the rest of the field right? And every team put out approximately the same amount of effort right? But did anyone see Ullrich pulling away from team Telekom? Beloki take long rides on the front of the ONCE pack?

To me it looked like Lance was toying with the Postal guys and the Postal team has some good riders too, Ekimov is the Olympic champion in the TT, Heras is the winner of the 2000 Vuelta, Hamilton is a good TTer as well, and Vande Velde is really strong as well. But still Lance took longer on the front, and in the final few Ks up the hills he almost blew off the rest of the Postal team. Or as Paul Sherwen said, "He is pulling them up by the scruff of the neck." You could just sense his power just being held back by his teammates.

Yes other teams rode a better and yes USPS crashed but Credit Agricole flatted and still kicked ass, but Lance alone probably saved 20-25 seconds by himself and I cannot wait until stage 10-11 l'Alpe d'Huez/uphill TT I expect Lance to power up on both climbs.

Also Ullrich may not be in the form we think he is, hopefully the 1-2 punch of Julich/Vaughters can come out through the mountains and Julich can hang on and ride a good TT on stage 18 and clinch a 3rd or even 2nd, US goes 1-2
Lance will win the 2001 Tour de France.jschrotz
Jul 13, 2001 7:05 AM
How do you figure that "Ullrich may not be in the form we think he is,"? Earlier you stated that he was pulling away from the rest of his team. Says to me that he's flying and the rest of his team can hardly stay on his wheel. I think he knew that the team wasn't going as well as USPS was and was trying to lift their pace singlehandedly. At the finish of the TTT, Ullrich didn't look nearly as stressed as Armstrong did, at least IMO.
Lance will win the 2001 Tour de France.no fish or hunting shows
Jul 13, 2001 11:32 AM
I think Spyder Ryder was implying that the other two (Ullich and Beloki) did NOT take long pulls at the front like Armstrong. I think his point is that Armstrong is on a strong team and he still was much stonger than them.

I think however that Ullich is in good form and may will challenge Lance. I kinda hope so anyway. I still would love to see Lance win but love a good race.
Yes thanx for watching the TTT yesterday.Spyder Ryder
Jul 13, 2001 1:42 PM
Ullrich wasnt pulling away at all and they blew up the last 15kms. Kelme and Rabobank came in ahead of them, now dont get me wrong, those are class teams but they dont have dominating TTists like ullrrich or Lance and they still beat Telekom.

If Ullrich is as strong as people think, then he should of been at the front, pulling and cutting wind for the weaker Telekoms and I didn't see that.

Lastly at the finish line when most teams in the top 10 came in the looked like they were spent, but Lance powered through the last 2kms with USPS on his back, and still was pedaling after he crossed while the rest of the teams just crossed and coasted, did anyone notice that??

Lance is just playing the first few weeks cool, expect him to just explode in the 1-2 punch of l'Alpe d'Huez/uphill TT.
re: 3rd place is up for grabs, because.....wscott
Jul 13, 2001 3:55 AM
That's certainly the safest prediction, but remember all the great champions had to start from somewhere. I would say the one that could disrupt the Armstrong/Ullrich 1/2 would be Beloki. Moreau, Igor Gonzalez, Julich, most of the others have been around long enough that you know they're great riders but they're not going to be another Indurain. Beloki on the other hand is still young and just coming into his prime. Add to that his super strong team, with a number of cards to play, and you might have the one guy who could upset the apple cart!
re: 3rd place is up for grabs, because.....chrisbaby
Jul 13, 2001 6:28 AM
Gonzalez de Galdeano is a good rider that nobody is really aware of. His high placing in the GC right now should be setting off some alarm bells and if it isn't, there might be an upset. Moreau is looking really good too.
re: 3rd place is up for grabs, because.....no fish or hunting shows
Jul 13, 2001 11:36 AM
yes but i have to agree with wscott. This tour hasnt really even begun. The first days in the mountains will tell us who is strong. Lance and Ullrich have won this race and know how important it is to be consisent in the mountains. I could see Beloki having some good rides in the mountains but will he be consistent in the day-day mountain stages and in the uphill TT?
Largo, consider this scenario...Cima Coppi
Jul 13, 2001 6:38 AM
Beloki is currently 44 seconds in front of Armstrong, and LA is 30 seconds in front of our man Ullrich. Now, the next big test will be the stage to l'Alpe d'Huez. Now we know Heras may have knee problems and Livingston is not riding all that well, so here's a chance for Beloki to attack and gain more time on the two before the mountain TT. He takes the maillot jaune at l'Alpe, and starts last in the TT.

On that TT he'll loose time but not enough to loose his lead on the JA and JU. He continues to gain time in the mountains, because he can sit back and let the others attack him and tire themselves out of contention. He goes into the last TT with, say, 3-4 minutes on JA or JU, and looses time to both, but not enough to loose the jersey. Alas, we have our winner.

Of course this is assuming none of the 3 crash out of the race. LA has never riden great on l'Alpe, and Ullrich has won there, so JU could attack with Beloki on the mighty switchbacks.

At any rate, we're in for one hell of a race once they start the real stages!!
Hmmm, are you assuming that...........Largo
Jul 13, 2001 11:21 AM
LA will be letting his men set his pace, and that he won't attack?
Interesting scenario, and it would be cool to see Beloki win.
I just don't think he will have the horsepower to match an attacking LA or JU.
Either way, i hope it is going to be closer than i suspect it will be.
Think of it this way...Cima Coppi
Jul 13, 2001 7:35 PM
Once has a powerful climbing team. They may send riders out on the attack early in the day on the mountain stages and force USPS and Telekom to chase them down. Now, with Heras hurt and Hamilton not riding well with that injured arm, who does that leave to chase down the break for the Posties, just LA. That's assuming Telekom or Kelme don't take up the chase themselves. Now, Kelme is a team that always sends riders out on early break, so its unlikely they'd chase down their own men. So really that leaves USPS and Telekom in a situation where LA or JU must either break away themselves early, or try to hop on that early break. Niether rider is in a position to try this, so I see the momentum swing heading toward ONCE and Beloki.

We can also throw in the potencial that Julich will not crack in the mountains or have a back mountain TT. He has Vaughters to help him out by getting into an early break on the climbs, further putting the pressure on LA and JU. Of course Vaughters is way down on the over all classification, but he won't break alone, and Julich won't chase him down.

I really see a potencial battle royale coming up for LA if he is to win the TdF. JA can only win it if his team (supposedly selected to help him win) can keep all of the fav's together on the climbs, allowing him to break on a final climb.
Sorry, first word is ONCE (the team), not Once!! (NM)Cima Coppi
Jul 13, 2001 7:36 PM
Does your employer know what you are doing?Largo
Jul 13, 2001 8:37 PM
While you are supposed to be working, youre thinking TACTICS! Excellent!
Good scenario.
First point, we have not seen the "new" LA on d'Huez. In '99 he was only 25 sec back on Guerini, and where is he now?
The '01 model of LA is stronger than that. He finished with Zulle for god sakes, he would eat Zulle for breakfast now.
Anyhow, Hautacam had 2 HC climbs, and LA chewed it up pretty well, and d'Huez has 3.
I think that Once has a better TT team this year than climbing, so i don't think they will dominate on stage 10.
Kelme will probably take stage 10.
all i can say is remember Hautacam when LA made up that huge deficit on Oxoa, look for something similar on the final HC climb to the finish.
I don't think Tyler or Herras are as badly injured as you do, but we shall see, eh?
Stage 10 will be incredible.
As you alluded to, i think LA will jump and hang with whoever attacks on the d'Huez, he can't afford not to.
Don't get me wrong, i am not a LA fan, but i like a good race.
Bravo on your tactics Cimo Coppi but..........Spyder Ryder
Jul 13, 2001 11:14 PM
Your forgetting Pena and Rubiera. Pena is actually ahead of Ullrich only a place back of Lance, and, yes, Rubiera has had a bad start to the tour this year but he led Heras to the Vuelta last year and got 11th as a domestique for Heras. So we have to double the power of the climbing domestiques for USPS.

You have to disregard the fact that Lance didn't have a good l'Aple d'Huez in 99, he's probably ridden it 5-6 times this year in the training runs earlier.

I actually dont think that anybody would attack on the Col de la Madeleine, its only halfway and is almost 25km at 6.3% an attack on that would not leave you with any reserve for the 2nd HC climb, Col du Glandon or the final l'Aple d'Huez climb. I would expect the USPS, Telekom, Kelme, and ONCE to go out fast on the Col de la Madeleine and try to drop the weaklings and then use the Col du Glandon as the launching point for the attack.

Remember when Pantani, one of the best climbers in the world, went out hard on the Briançon-Courchevel stage, I think, and its HC climbs, Col du Galibier, Col de la Madeleine and then the 1st cat Couchevel climb, and got blew out? Beloki is not as good a climber as Pantani so if he attacks on Madeleine, he's gonna crack like an egg on du Glandon and l'Aple d'Huez. So if I was Bruyneel I would let anybody who was crazy enough to go on Madeleine, then go cause we gonna pass you later.

The big climbing teams USPS, Kelme, and ONCE will push hard, and then attack on du Glandon and hope that they can hold on to the top of l'Aple d'Huez. Thats my 2 cents for l'Aple d'Huez.

Any comments? Thoughts?
Botero is a darkhorseSimpleGreen
Jul 13, 2001 7:34 AM
Did you see him attack the hills last year? Scary stuff...Plus he placed well in both the Prologue and TTT. Perhaps we have a contender here?

SG