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Maybe next year it will be more international(4 posts)

Maybe next year it will be more internationalspookyload
Jul 13, 2001 4:43 AM
Has anyone noticed the extremly french feeling of the race this year? Not just the food and countryside, but the lack of teams that aren't french based. We seem to be light a few Italian teams this year, and where the hell is Alex Zulle? He would be the challenger to Lance right now, but he is no where to be found. I guess the french not winning a single stage last year made them re-think the teams that were invited this year. I guess if you give all the wild card teams to French minor league teams, your odds of a Frenchman winning a stage are better than by inviting a team like Mercury and having more damn Americans win stages. I will get off my soap-box now and just enjoy the rest of the race.
J.M. LeBlanc an excitement mastermind?!Cima Coppi
Jul 13, 2001 5:11 AM
Let's face the facts people, we all were wary of LeBlanc's wild card choices for the tour this year. However, this has proven to be one of the most exciting tours I can remember (I know, its only the first week, and a lot will change once they hit the mountains). Up to this point the French teams have done very well in the Tour. The wildcards placed right in the middle of the TTT, and ahead of some of the top teams. Consider this, if Simoni was in the tour, Lampre may not have placed last in the TTT, but they would not have been much better leaving him hearly 5 minutes off the pace. His tour would be over!! The lack of Saeco has left us with a couple of very disorganized bunch sprints where no one could have predicted the winner. I find this more fun than Cippo winning every flat stage, don't you?

This TdF has not disappointed me, and I'm looking forward to the next 2 weeks of great cycle racing.

CC
re: Maybe next year it will be more internationalDjudd
Jul 13, 2001 2:01 PM
check my posting on Alex Zulle yesterday. I asked the same thing. Another rider answered his team was not picked. Franco chauvinism is self-evident in that move. I'll still watch and enjoy though.
Hope next year is as good as this yearmr_spin
Jul 16, 2001 8:57 AM
If more French is what it takes to make an exciting tour like this one, I say beaucoup de Francais! But really, let's look at some results:

Stage winners: 3 French (Moreau, Jalabert 2), 2 German (Zabel 2), 1 Belgian (Wauters), 1 Dutch (Dekker), 1 Estonian (Kirsipu, however that's spelled), 1 Russian (Ivanovov).

Yellow jersey: 1 French (Moreau), 1 Belgian (Wauters), 1 Australian (O'Grady), 1 German (Voigt).

Yes, the French have done well. But it's hardly French domination. And the main guys doing well (Moreau and Jalabert) are top riders--they are expected to do well. They certainly didn't need any handouts from the Tour to get where they are.