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I can't believe everyone is writing off JU!(19 posts)

I can't believe everyone is writing off JU!Largo
Jul 23, 2001 7:47 PM
He is only down 5 minutes, and there is lots of racing left. Don't forget, he has a very strong team around him, and the stages coming up will favour team tactics instead of the solo mountain attacks LA has become famous for.
LA hasn't written Ullrich off yet, but maybe he is just being polite?
I think even JU has realized he is going for second placeCrash
Jul 23, 2001 8:12 PM
I think his quote was something like "We did everything we (Telekom)could to beat Lance this year and we couldn't. There's no way I can beat him this year." Not an exact quote, but pretty close. I think that's also why JU extended a hand when they crossed the last stage. He probably thinks Lance could have beat him for third place, but didn't so JU could get the time bonus. You gotta love both of these guys this year, Lance may be the class of the tour but you have to admire JU's heart and determination. Both class guys ...
I can't believe you haven'tmike mcmahon
Jul 23, 2001 8:50 PM
Don't get me wrong: I was rooting for Ullrich this year. However, on what stage or stages do you think Ullrich will be able to make up five minutes? Neither Ullrich nor any other Telekom rider has shown himself able to ride away from Armstrong under any conditions. At this point, even the weakest team should be able to protect a five minute lead with a rider as strong as Armstrong.
re: I can't believe everyone is writing off JU!fairlane500
Jul 24, 2001 5:05 AM
can you say threepeat, idiotboy? what are you, french or something? Lance IS the man!!!!
Idiotboy? Don't be an a$$hole fairlane500!Largo
Jul 24, 2001 6:03 AM
And what if i was French? You have a problem with people who aren't from your country?
If you can't contribute in a reasonable manner, screw off!
Maybe you are so new to the sport that you have never heard of "crashes" or "mechanicals", but it ain't over yet.
Idiotboy? Don't be an a$$hole fairlane500!Derek Franks
Jul 24, 2001 5:37 PM
Maybe you haven't been around long enough to realize that Ulrich is a class act and I can't imagine that he would attack if Lance had a mechanical or crashed after Lance did him the same favor.
Lance could afford to wait for Jan.Largo
Jul 25, 2001 5:53 AM
Its easy to be magnanimous when you are winning. I can't imagine that LA would have waited if he had been down 3 minutes on Jan on that stage.
IMO, i think LA was being smart by waiting, thereby having JU "owe" him one in case he had a mechanical or crash later on. Its got nothing to do with being classy, its racing.
I could just see what would happen if LA was involved in some sort of crash in a later stage, and Jan informed his DS that he was going to wait for him. What would the DS say?
Mechanicals and crashes are just as much parts of racing as bonking, having an off day, etc.
Do you wait for competitors when they flat or crash in a race? I don't. Nor would i expect them to wait for me. LA and JU are both great cyclists, and have great respect for one another, but they are still fierce competitors.
Idiotboy? Don't be an a$$hole fairlane500!fairlane500
Jul 26, 2001 5:25 AM
i've been around for 43 years and have done my share of centuries,races, and sunday rides....and if LA does have a problem, i honestly believe JU would attack in a heartbeat, that's why they call it racing, have you ever enjoyed being second? yeah, i pretty much have given up serious roadbiking for the woods. after the death of my roadbiking partner of 20 years {my wife},i just don't enjoy it as much. i now take to the woods with my wheels with a bunch of carefree, fun-loving, non-ego packing guys who enjoy flying off cliffs and sometimes going over the handlebars. however i still love the Tour and following it. oh yeah, my partner died three years ago from ovarian cancer, cycling 20 to 30 miles after her chemo treatments. i aap apolll apologize for being so fervent regarding my feelings for LA and his soon to be realized 3-peat......but, he is the man. LA waiting on JU was just a psych.
were you under a rock the past week?Lou M
Jul 24, 2001 5:13 AM
if so, let me fill you in. Where was Ulrich's so called "strong team" in the last two stages? If a recall correctly, they were not around towards the end when he really needed them. I only say Heras and Ruviera with LA and Ulrich in fron of the pack leading Armstrong. The only "realistic" opportunity to make up significant minutes in the tour is in the mountains. Jan tried his darnest and he has already conceded the Tour and the LA is the strongest man this year.

Sure, Jan is the 2nd strongest rider in the TDF this year. However, a significant breakaway is not likely as USPS will stay very close to him and will chase anything in defending the yellow jersey.
a lot of riders deserve credit this year.......smokey422
Jul 24, 2001 5:42 AM
i think lance will win again, and i think after this one he will be put on a pedestal with merckx, indurain, and lemond. but give jan ullrich credit, too. he has pushed lance all the way, put out 110%, come back from a hard crash, and shown a lot of sportsmanship and class. also give credit to all the stage winners for their magnificent performances. who are the real winners this year? we all are, for seeing one of the greatest tours in history.
Telekom's new focus...Cima Coppi
Jul 24, 2001 6:06 AM
I agree that it is a bummer that JU will not win the TdF. I believe now that Telekom has the mind set to get the green jersey back on Zabel, and the team will do what ever it takes to get that job done. Short of each stage becoming a TTT for Telekom and the Posties, I think the german's know the maillot jaune is out of reach.

Plus, there is now way of JU to gain his deficit on the final ITT unless LA crashes catastrophically.
I would like to know...Lou M
Jul 24, 2001 6:31 AM
your argument for Telekom having the strongest team or stronger than USPS. What happened to Telekom in the last two stages? Where were the climbing domestiques pulling Ulrich. Granted, none of these guys can hang with LA or JU. However, Heras and Ruviera have been there when it counted. That's what they get paid to do.

I am not impressed with Telekom...
not impressed?ak
Jul 24, 2001 7:07 AM
well you should be, here's the way I see it:
in the last four stages, there has been significant breakaways by riders other than LA & JU that have been caught by the peleton. Many teams have lead the peleton's chace, but only two teams have been successful in cutting the breakaway down. When ever Telekom and Once come to the front of the peleton to chase down riders, the peleton streches out, riders fall of the back en-masse and the lead it cut drastically. Over these last few stages, USPS has been put in the position of defending the yellow jersey (even though they didn't officially have it for the first few). One of their jobs as defenders of a potential Yellow is to keep the attacks from getting too far away. In this, they have failed. Telekom has been there the whole time, waiting for USPS to do their Job. When USPS lets the lead get too far, Telekom has no choice but to do it for them. Their goal was to get JU as close to the front of each finish as they could, and the did. What impresses me about a team is not the tactical support given by one or two riders, but the ability to overpower an entire group; to take a peleton of 100+ professional riders and push the pace so hard that only the top 20 riders can hang on. Telekom has been there when it counted, and had they not been, I don't know if Lance would have the lead he does. Just my thoughts.
Different opinion:Lazy
Jul 24, 2001 7:58 AM
Why would USPS chace down a breakaway full of riders who are 30 minutes plus down on GC? USPS has the yellow jersey, they have to defend it. They don't have to keep a bunch of GC nobodies within sight. Besides, if they can get DT and ONCE to do the work for them why not?

You're right that Telekom has been pushing the pace through most of the mountains, but IMO the fact of the matter is that USPS has ridden a tactically superior race. Here's why:

1. They have the yellow jersey, DT doesn't.
2. On a HC climb this last weekend, there was a group of four riders in front. They were: JU, LA, Rubiera, Heras. All the pace making by JU's domestiques did was pull the USPS boys along.
3. All that pace making and hard work by Telekom has gotten them exactly zero results in the mountains. Everything JU has, he's done pretty much alone.
4. Smarter to let someone elses domestiques do all the work and save your own.
5. I have not heard the names Ekimov, Kjaargard, or Hincapie since stage nine. They're going to be nice and fresh to roll Lance into Paris since they've done no work for the past week.

I think Telekom has ridden a very strong race, but not a very smart one.

The opinions expressed in this post are my own and do not reflect the opinions of anyone who professes to be an actual director sportif. :-)
gotta agreerodemiles
Jul 24, 2001 6:35 PM
Some people don't seem to understand that USPS's mission is not to team time trial the entire peloton into Paris, it's to arrive there with the yellow jersey in tow. At this stage, Telekom and ONCE have to be very vigilant about getting their guys on the podium; Lance's position is all but certain. If USPS were to blow themselves up chasing a meaningless break, that would put the yellow jersey in jeopardy. Bruyneel has to be given credit for keeping his team focused on that. Also, USPS was dealt a severe blow when Christian VV had to drop out; Tyler has barely survived a crash and illness and must be given credit for hanging in there. Pena is the only guy I haven't heard anything about, like he's been MIA.

Whether or not Telekom is stronger than USPS is of no importance: it's how you use the resourses you have. I suspect all the other team directors would agree that Bruyneel has directed a masterful tour.
agree with you 99.9%Lou M
Jul 24, 2001 10:11 AM
however, the thoughts that remain with me are the last two stages when JU needed some of his "buddies" to be up front with him. Again, Heras and Ruviera were there until JU picked up the pace and only LA could hang with him. There were no pink jerses there. Yes, Telekom has helped moved the peloton but then again all teams have taken their "turns" depending on the circumstances.
not impressed?surfamtn
Jul 24, 2001 10:19 AM
I would like to know...VW
Jul 24, 2001 8:21 AM
I would have to agree with ak eventhough I'd always rooted for USPS. Who were doing the majority of the pacing in the stage when Lance was down 35 minutes at the end of the day? Wasn't that the stage when Telekom decided they were doing more than their share and decide to let others carry the weight? Maybe USPS was sandbagging, but Telekom wanted so much for Ulrich to win the GC that they eventually took over the pace making. That of course benefited Lance. Even Lance agreed that he shouldn't have been that far back!
Never give up!Largo
Jul 24, 2001 7:08 AM
I keep thinking of the cartoon where the frog is down the birds throat and has his hands (webs?) out of the mouth and around the birds throat.
It looks bleak for D-T, but stranger things have happened.
I wonder if this slap will motivate jan to train all year long.
It seems to me that LA is the first cyclist to totally embrace the new ways of training whole heartedly.
While others, like JU, are doing the same old thing of just putting in miles, then racing their way to fitness, LA is training scientifically 10 months of the year.
Maybe i'm wrong on this assumption, but if Jan was to "get with the program" so to speak, things might be different next year.