Jul 18, 2002 11:09 AM
|Is LA playing poker or what? I've been reading over some of his post-race comments on today's stage, and I keep reading things like "I had an average day", "I didn't have the legs to attack" and "A couple of times I had to ask Roberto to slow down".
Is the general concensus that LA is:
1). Not completely on form
2). Trying to be gracious; he's in great shape and he's holding something back
3). Truly finding the competition stronger than in past years
4). Playing insane mind-games with everyone
What do you think?
|Ummm I'l take 2, 3, & 4||t-bill|
Jul 18, 2002 11:28 AM
|I think it's a combo of #'s 2,3,&4. You know he's playing some games. And you know he's is in great shape - his conscience will not allow him to be otherwise. And it would be foolish to think that the competition is not in better shape this year. If any rider hopes to compete against him, that rider must work on climbing and TT ability. It seems to me that the ONCE and Kelme guys have been doing just that.|
|I'll take those as well.||Slowclimber|
Jul 18, 2002 12:02 PM
First I don't think Lance would allow himself to come to the tour out of shape. He has his training down to a science and he follows it like a religion.
Second, Lance hasn't had any reason to really push hard so far. His heart rate in the ITT averaged 8-10 beats lower than it normally would be for a TT of that length, which to me says he wasn't going as hard as possible. He wasn't pushed on the climb today. He had no reason to attack as Beloki was already over a minute behind him and he had gained the yellow jersey today.
Third, Lance is a master of mind games in the peleton. He knows when to be humble and when to be cocky. He has also become a much more humble person after his cancer went into remission. He gives credit where it's due and try's not to talk bad about others (unless it's Pantani :-)
I would guess the rest of the peleton has done everything that they could do to enter the tour this year in as good as shape as possible. Many of the top contenders have changed their training plans from time trialing to climbing so they would have a better chance of winning the tour this year. So yea, I would say they are in shape and Lance is just better at this time.
Basically barring any crash's, sickness or bonk's Lance should win the tour again this year. When both Lance and Heras ride the peleton off of their wheel you know the rest of the field is in trouble.