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Can Heras make the podium?(11 posts)

Can Heras make the podium?Mel Erickson
Jul 18, 2002 8:55 AM
A few more performances like today and it could be possible. What do you guys think?
Not a chance.Sintesi
Jul 18, 2002 9:02 AM
If he was riding for himself on another team, no doubt. But Heras is a lieutenant and is expected to kill himself for Lance - he won't get the opportunity. Wait for Ventoux on Sunday, Heras will put in a great ride at the front and then drop off to lose big time before the finish. It's his job.
No question, it's his jobMel Erickson
Jul 18, 2002 9:20 AM
but his form sounds superb. I have no doubt he will kill himself to lead Lance up Ventoux but Lance will kill himself too. Could Heras' form be good enough that he won't crack, even leading Lance? Besides Lance and Beloki who has better form? I guess time will tell but a blue and yellow jersey on the final podium would be nice!
No question, it's his jobSintesi
Jul 18, 2002 10:54 AM
Today was a Cat 1 climb but the hors Categorie climbs are another animal. And what are there? 4 Mountain top finishes? I think it's highly improbable he can ride pace up those climbs consistently without completely dying on a couple and losing significant time. Don't forget, another time trial is coming as well. Top ten is certainly a possibility. If he makes the podium I will proclaim you TOUR GOD for calling it. ; )

He was awesome today tho wasn't he? He should be riding the tour for himself -- against Lance. That would make a great tour. USPS has an incredible team, clearly the strongest, and I'm truly glad Heras is getting this vindication after his disappointing 2001 season.

Can't wait for the Vuelta either.
I have no aspirationsMel Erickson
Jul 18, 2002 11:23 AM
to become a god. It's just some wishful thinking and wondering what others think. I also think it's much more fun to make prognostications about this than to surmise that Lance is beatable because he came in second on a time trial (as some were debating on a previous thread). Someday Lance will be beatable but not this day or this tour (insert standard exceptions: barring sickness or injury).
I have no aspirationst-bill
Jul 18, 2002 11:33 AM
I agree... and so much for the conspiracy theories (at least for today) that had Kelme and ONCE teaming up to hold LA back. He didn't even need the whole team today. Granted Rubiera and Hincapie did there share of pulling today, but when it counted on the last climb, Heras turned out to be more than anyone else could handle. Beloki was thinking, "Hey, where did everyone go?"
I have no aspirationsatpjunkie
Jul 18, 2002 12:44 PM
Heras was missing last year and had a semi poor Vuelta as a result of the tendonitis he got from the crash in the team TT in the 2001 TdF. He is healthy and on form and could put enough minutes on everyone besides Lance to do really well in the overall. He could amass enough time that a slower TT would be negligible. Yes, he will kill himself for Lance, but he killed himself today and still finished 3rd. He's a rhythm climber though and lacks a little in the attacking style that puts the big hurt (physically and mentally) on the field. Expect to see him possibly win a stage in the Pyrrenese possibly with LA right behind. It would have happened today but Beloki hung on. The whole USPS team kicked butt, Ekimov. Landis and all did a great job holding pace on the flats and then the Spaniards (plus George WOW in the hills) took over. Heras is paid well and is receiving tutelage from the best. He'll get his in the future and before that, one never knows, plus expect a 2002 Vuelta from him.
I have no aspirationsPeter E
Jul 18, 2002 1:30 PM
If Heras would be competing AGAINST Lance as a captain in another team he would have beaten lance today, i'm pretty sure of it!
Lance never even tried to go away and raise the speed by himself, just did a sprint to the finish.
I have no aspirationsatpjunkie
Jul 18, 2002 2:18 PM
it is my firm belief Lance was hoping to break Beloki, put time on everyone except Roberto and give Heras the stage. Watch the replay, Heras and Beloki are sucking air, Lance is on his radio talking with Johann and looks relaxed. Heras had a great early climb and maybe he could have got away but I doubt it for 15K. When Beloki hung on (forcing a move) it took Lance barely any effort to put 7 seconds on him and 13 on Heras in about 50 meters. They interviewed him right after and he didn't look fatigued at all. Why would he attack when he can put minutes on most everyone and not even strain himself. He'll be more fresh tomorrow to deal out another whuppin' on a tired, demoralized competition. Heras is the future, but he's still an understudy right now. He'll get there.
yes, but...mr_spin
Jul 18, 2002 9:20 AM
It's way too early to say. If what we saw today was indictative of how the rest of the race will go, Heras could easily make the podium, but I doubt it. He will probably finish high (top 10), but his time trialing is not great, and he will give away up to two minutes in the final ITT.

A few more performances like that and USPS will win the team competition for sure!
Team compt-bill
Jul 18, 2002 10:08 AM
It would be very cool to see the USPS take the team competition. It would be a very nice reward for theu guys who sacrifice so much to get LA the yellow jersey. They need more than Heras though. Even though we had two guys inthe top three today, ONCE still took the team stage win because the next Postie was Rubiera at 5+ minutes down. They need to get another guy or two in the top ten in order to contest the team title.