|ARMSTRONG Lance USA USP à 35' 19"||Ken|
Jul 15, 2001 7:53 AM
|35'19" behind after stage 9. Game over for Lance?|
|re: ARMSTRONG Lance USA USP à 35' 19"||Ken|
Jul 15, 2001 7:54 AM
I meant after stage 8.
|re: ARMSTRONG Lance USA USP à 35' 19"||Lou M|
Jul 15, 2001 8:03 AM
|Lance and the peloton finished 30+ minutes out today...It seems like an awful lot. I belive Ulrich was in that group as well. All of these boys on top will get dropped starting on Tuesday and the individual (uphill) time trial on Wednesday. Lance and other top riders are conserving energy for the mountains. A lot of these guys on top right now might even abandon the race in the mountains. I am sure USPS know what they are doing, these are insignificant breakways. 30 minutes does seem like a huge margin. Can't wait to see L.A. start climbing and putting the hammers down.|
|re: ARMSTRONG Lance USA USP à 35' 19"||Jim Smith|
Jul 15, 2001 8:04 AM
|Doubtful. Especially considering his biggest rivals are all close by his time. Don't forget that he can gain loads of time in the mountains.|
|re: ARMSTRONG Lance USA USP à 35' 19"||Mothhunter|
Jul 15, 2001 8:13 AM
|I agree with the posts above, Lance is still way in it. Almost all the race favorites are 30+ mins behind O'Grady, but the mountains will change everything. I just hope we haven't over played the importance of the mountains in getting Lance a victory, as we all know, he's not the only climber in the bunch. Any way you chop it, it's shaping up to be a hell of a finish.|
Jul 15, 2001 8:14 AM
An attacking group of 14 riders created a piece of curious history today when their winning time was enough to eliminate the rest of the field from the Tour de France. In appalling conditions, the two main winners of the cold, wet and cruel 222.5km stage from Colmar to Pontarlier were Stuart O'Grady and Erik Dekker.
The Australian was reunited with the yellow jersey after finishing fifth behind Dekker on a day when the entire stage was contested in pouring rain. And while he acknowledges that his days in yellow will end when the mountain arrive in two days' time, he confirmed his ambitions for the sprint prize claiming enough points to inherit the green jersey. No, he can't wear two prize jerseys in the ninth stage, so Erik Zabel will spend another day in the jersey he lost today. Zabel's surge to finish second in the peloton in 16th place earned him 10 points... but finishing 35 minutes and 54 seconds behind the winner, offers little glory.
Indeed, there were 161 riders today who finished almost 36 minutes behind the winner of the stage. And, in so doing, shouldn't officially be allowed to start the ninth stage thanks to their deficit being over 10 percent of Dekker's winning time. But a Tour de France with 14 riders offers little appeal, and the organizers will have to make an exception to the rule tonight.
But the facts above illustrate the main stories of today's stage:
There were 14 riders who were prepared to race and race hard despite the conditions.
Erik Dekker thrives on day-long escapes.
The 2001 Tour is proving to be one of the most unpredictable in years.
Stuart O'Grady is far from finished in this year's race despite taking a 24-hour sojourn from the joy of wearing the golden glow of race leader.
And, finally, this summer-time fete is yet to see a decent dose of sun!
The stage was won by a savvy Dekker who benefited enormously from the help of his team-mate, and the winner of the second stage, Marc Wauters, in the final 10 kilometers. It was the Belgian who wore the yellow jersey early in the Tour who split up the 14 rider break which formed at the fifth kilometer. Wauters attacked with about 50 kilometers to race. He was joined in waves by Knaven, Aitor Gonzalez and, of course, Dekker. These four never played cat-and-mouse games in the final 10 kilometers; rather they hammered each other into oblivion until, finally, the Rabo-punch came from Dekker in the final 50 meters.
Take a squizz and the general classification on the result sheet to try and grasp the rest of the story. Armstrong, Ullrich, Beloki et al haven't featured yet. And tomorrow they'll more than likely shelter in the bunch again. and be grateful for the fact that the rules were bent for their benefit today. Otherwise, the predictability of this Tour would be a little easier: one of 14 is, after all a lot easier than picking one winner from the 175 who are on track to take the start tomorrow.
|re: ARMSTRONG Lance USA USP à 35' 19"||JAE|
Jul 15, 2001 8:18 AM
|Two things. First, is the fact that the Posties and Telekom both are very aware who the pretenders are. O'Grady is a great cyclist, but the last time he finished the tour it was some 2 1/2 hours behind Armstrong. That leads to my second point - I think Postal ought to be a bit more willing to close huge breakaways in the future. Who knows what the Yellow Jersey will do to O'Grady's morale. Riding with the jersey tends to empower riders. I'm sure there is some inner dimensions between Postal and Telekom that we the viewers don't see, but if they don't watch out this Tour will get out of hand. It already feels "willy-nilly" to me. Definately not being controlled. It is the defenders Tour to defend after all.|
|Not USPS' job,||TJeanloz|
Jul 15, 2001 10:14 AM
|According to the unwritten rules of the TdF, it is the team holding the yellow jersey's job to defend it. Every year is a new one. However, it's obvious why Credit Agricole didn't chase down the break to defend Voight's jersey.|
|Not USPS' job,||Bobby B|
Jul 15, 2001 11:56 AM
|Let's see, according to you, only the Yellow Jersey team defends/chases. You just blew your argument by saying CA wouldn't chase 'cause O'Grady was in the break. When that happens and the Yellow Jersey team won't chase, guess what...you chase if your falling too far behind. Otherwise CA could have soft pedalled at the front all day long and let O'Grady sew up the TdF. There is no TdF "unwritten" rule that says you have to be stupid and let the Jersey team dictate everything. Obviously USPS and Telekom thought this break wasn't serious otherwise they would have chased. I say any team with a true contender has a responsibility to chase when they feel things are heading south. Postal and/or Telekom should have kept it at less than 10 or 15 minutes IMO. BTW, its also TdF "unwritten " rules to not hammer from the feed zone or when your opponent has a mechanical, but it happens all the time.|
|Not USPS' job,||Bobbi|
Jul 15, 2001 12:22 PM
|It may not be USPS job, but I think it was stupid to be caught in a situation where technically the USPS team is disqualified because they didn't make the time limit. If a significant portion of the 14 riders breakaway were French racers, do you think the TDF officials will up hold the time limit rule?
I seem to recall some Mercury leader got DQ because he fail to meet the time limit at the Tour of Lankawi.
|that rule is void if over 20% of the peloton finishes outside ..||Largo|
Jul 15, 2001 2:08 PM
|that rule is void if over 20% of the peloton finishes outside ..||Cranberry|
Jul 15, 2001 9:14 PM
|Isn't the rule that it "can" be waived if over 20% finish outside (as opposed to an automatic thing). I think that is a huge nuance.|
|Not USPS' job,||JAE|
Jul 15, 2001 12:30 PM
|I agree with Bobby B and Bobbi. I don't think the USPS team is riding smartly. I think they made mistakes in the TTT and today. Like Bobbi said, technically there should only be 14 riders left in the Tour - and that is a "written" rule.|
|Postal Service...not Posties please (NM)||BigMig|
Jul 15, 2001 7:50 PM
|Why you shouldn't be worried...||TJeanloz|
Jul 15, 2001 10:39 AM
|Lance sits in 24th place @ 35'19" behind.
We can safely assume that he will be able to make up at least 10' on everybody- that was his margin of victory on everybody last year (not counting Ullrich).
So who has more than a 10 minute gap on him and what is their history?
1. KIVILEV Andrei, @ 22'07"- Best Grand Tour finish? 53rd in the Giro. Most worrying stat? 5th in the Mount Ventoux stage of the Dauphiné-Libéré. Riding his 1st TdF. I'm not concerned.
2. DE GROOT Bram, @ 21'16"- Best GT? 69th in the Vuelta in '99. No palmares from last year. UCI rank 779. Riding his first TdF.
3. SIMON François, @ 04'32"- Mostly a stage winner, best GT was 30th in the Tour in 1999. Last year he was 58th, 2h10'08" behind. Spotting him some time isn't a disaster.
4. Stuart O'Grady, @ 00'00"- Best GT? 54th in the TdF. He's a sprinter's sprinter, and will lose the jersey no later than Tuesday.
If you're have to worry about Lance- here are the guys to worry about.
1. Laurent Jalabert. Former Vuelta winner. Sits about 3.5' ahead of Armstrong. Has won the World Championship TT; but has never proven himself in the high mountains. If he's learned how to climb mountains, Lance has a problem. But he's been a pro for more than 10 years, why would he suddenly be able to climb well?
2. Bobby Julich. Has finally found his form again. About 1.5' ahead of Armstrong. Was 3rd in the TdF in 1998. Good at everything, not great at anything. There is only room for greatness at the top.
3. Joseba Beloki. ~45" ahead. 3rd in the 2000 TdF- but more than 10 minutes behind Armstrong, so the 45" gap looks pretty inconsequetial. Climbs well, should entertain us in the coming weeks.
4. Jan Ullrich. 35" behind. He finished right behind (~6') Armstrong last year and appears to be in better form this year. He is still the #1 threat to Armstrong, and will probably remain the #1 threat until the Champs Elysees.
All in all, there isn't a problem here. The mountains will sort things out. No reason for Postal to chase a break that won't matter in the long run.
|Why you shouldn't be worried...||AD14|
Jul 15, 2001 5:13 PM
|Great post. I am a little concerned about Julich but in the HC climbs ahead it should be bye bye time.|
|You forgot Christophe Moreau||BigMig|
Jul 15, 2001 8:10 PM
4th in 2000 TdF. 1st 2001 Dauphiné Liberé. 13th in Olympic TT. 1st 2001 TdF prologue. He rides on a very good French team with a lot to prove. Could be problems if he finds legs in the mountains.
(ps) Don't under estimate Julich. He has been under a black cloud since his 3rd place in '98 and this may very well be the year the sun shines on him and Credit Agricole.
|Why you shouldn't be worried...||Dougal|
Jul 16, 2001 2:55 AM
|"1. KIVILEV Andrei, @ 22'07"- [snip] Riding his 1st TdF. I'm not concerned."
It's not his first TdF. He was there last year. Did nothing interesting except for finishing about 6' down on the winner in the Ventoux stage.
You right though, at the end of the day that satge did nothing to affect the overall outcome.
Jul 16, 2001 8:34 AM
|I noticed that right after I posted it. I meant to say that he had never finished a tour. Sam Abt of the NYTimes seems to think that Kivilev is the biggest threat- I remain unconvinced. |
I did overlook Christophe Moreau, who is a genuine contender.
|re: ARMSTRONG Lance USA USP à 35' 19"||Andrew|
Jul 15, 2001 11:28 AM
|I don't think Lance is in any trouble. He will easily make it up in the mountains. He is just enjoying the scenery right now. I just hope he doesn't have a bad day or two in the mountains.
|i hope O'Grady kicks everyones a@@!!!||Greg O'Grady|
Jul 15, 2001 3:41 PM
|i hope he stomps them into the dirt!!!
whats up with these boneheads? 35 min!
|i hope O'Grady kicks everyones a@@!!!||Pogliaghi|
Jul 15, 2001 4:57 PM
|Last time O'Grady made it to the mountains during the Tour was 99 |
- at Sestrieres 135th place, 40'29" behind the winner.
- at L'Alpe d'Huez 109th place, 34'20" behind.
- at Piau-Engaly 104th, 36'48" behind.
He lost almost two hours to Lance in three stages.
|Taking Chances||Jon Billheimer|
Jul 15, 2001 6:29 PM
|The general sentiment in the above posts is probably well taken. But the emphasis is on PROBABLY. The directeurs sportif took a tactical risk in letting the break go. However, it is not written in stone that Lance Armstrong, Jan Ullrich, et al will automatically kick everyone's butt come mountain time. O'Grady, Simoni, Julich are not exactly chopped liver. |
On the plus side, Chris Carmichael makes a good point in his daily update with respect to the energy and recovery cost incurred by those in the breakaway. Time will tell.
|I like your point.||Francis|
Jul 16, 2001 11:24 AM
|Why is USPS taking such big risks? These breakaways should be controlled and not lead to doubt, debate, etc. I'm not impressed with the decision making at all.
I'm sure Lance is not sleeping soundly this week. Makes for an exciting tour and victory will be sweet for the conqueror!!