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The myth of the Spanish climbers(6 posts)

The myth of the Spanish climbersmr_spin
Jul 15, 2002 10:42 AM
I keep reading posts about how the Spanish climbers will combine to gang up on Lance, and I think...

- Has this EVER happened before? I don't think so. Spanish teams are competitive with each other, and are more likely to sabotage each other's moves rather than assist. Part of the reason for this is because Spanish teams are very serious about the Tour team competition. This is even more important now, since the winner of the team competition now gets guaranteed entry into ALL the grand tours next year.

- Doesn't USPS have a couple of Spanish climbers, too? Heras and Ruberia can easily rival any other climber in the race.

- Kelme has podium hopes, so why would they assist ONCE? Why would ONCE assist Kelme? Euskatel could care less about either and only wants stage wins, just like iBanesto.
I agree,TJeanloz
Jul 15, 2002 11:03 AM
This hubbub about some Spanish conspiracy is ridiculous. While, in theory, it could happen, why should it? This isn't a game of moral victories, if I lose, and in doing so cause Lance to lose, I still lost, right? The great Spanish hopes aren't even all Spanish- Botero is Colombian. The Spanish conspiracy explains how you can beat Lance, but it doesn't tell any of the Spanish riders how they can win. If you're Beloki or GdG, you have to cover attacks from Botero and vice-versa. You don't say: he's my Spanish brother, he can go up the road and beat me.
It all comes down to.....Len J
Jul 15, 2002 11:06 AM
Is LA as strong or stronger than last year & Is Igor/Beloki stronger than last year or not?

I think the teams cancel each other out.
We'll know the answer soon.

I agree as wellyeah right
Jul 15, 2002 12:15 PM
It's been shown time and again that winning one stage or helping some one win stage can be done, but I can't ever say I've heard of or seen teams work together to win a stage race. It usually comes down to the best rider.

This isn't a case of Flanders in the alps with two ONCE guys in the break against Lance, because you're not fighting for one day.

Causing Lance to loose two min to one guy doesn't matter if that guy can't consistantly beat Lance, and the multiple team theorists seem to ignore the fact that the same guy must beat Lance to the line probably more than once, instead of all taking turns attacking every day. If the teams would work together to protect one of the climbers it might work, but then Lance could just sit on the wheel of the guy who has to be the guy to beat him day after day, because unless you can crack him hard enough to cause him to loose significant time (i.e. several minutes) on one stage, one of the 15 spanish climbers getting away doesn't really matter, especailly with a time trial left.

Lance knows he doesn't have to worry about Hamilton, Beloki, Frigo, Botero, Leiphimer, or Sevilla, so that pretty much narrows down his attention to the people that matter, probably Igor GdG being the only serious threat, there are not 5 or 6 guys on the ONCE team that can win, although they are talented.

Also remember, this isn't even the Vuelta, so don't bring on the spanish vs. the world angle, it's not even their race.

my .02
Tell that to Robert MillarJS
Jul 15, 2002 8:00 PM
He was leading the Vuelta (mid 80's sometime) and as I've heard it told it was obvious that the Spanish teams came to an agreement to work together to beat him. A little searching will probably reveal more info.
Jul 16, 2002 4:20 AM
But that was the Vuelta, this is the Tour. I could see French teams conspiring if they weren't such bad climbers. But for the Spanish, the Tour isn't about national pride and bragging rights (as the Vuelta is).