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How valuable is Heras now? (spoiler)(20 posts)

How valuable is Heras now? (spoiler)TJeanloz
Jul 19, 2002 7:06 AM
O.K.; when Postal signs Heras, in fall 2000, after he won the Vuelta, it looked like a genius move. Then, he has a crap 2001 Tour and isn't able to hang in the Mtns with Armstrong- which is exactly what he was hired to do. People, including me, question his value.

Fast forward to 2002, after two stages of mountains, he is the domestique MVP far and away. Unbeleivable. It only would have been better if he had managed to reach Armstrong when he attacked Beloki, to win the stage. But that may be too much to ask.

And even better, the kid could be riding for ONCE or another Spanish outfit- then Armstrong would have something to think about.
re: How valuable is Heras now? (spoiler)Len J
Jul 19, 2002 7:09 AM
You hit it. He is the Domestique MVP. It's a shame that he cracked after he attacked Beloki. It would have been nice to see him win the stage. Lance puts another 1+ minutes on Beloki. I wonder if Heras moved up enough to get a podium spot.

wasn't he carring an injury last yearpukka
Jul 19, 2002 7:11 AM
i think it was tendinitous(sp)so its not fair to say "he didn't deliver"
wasn't he carring an injury last yearLen J
Jul 19, 2002 7:15 AM
Disagree. He "Didn't deliver". Yes the reason he didn't was because of an injury but I don't think you can argue that he did deliver.

i wasn't saying he didpukka
Jul 19, 2002 7:46 AM
deliver,i was just responding to the fact that someone questioned his value after a bad tour,whats your point?you can look at it from another angle that he battled bravely for his team while in a lot of pain.
Fair enough.Len J
Jul 19, 2002 7:48 AM
While I agree that he battled bravely last year, I suspect that if he had the same problems this year that Postal might have not felt he was worth the big money they pay him.

I like Heras, but unfortunatly it is a business.

i think he did deliverrufus
Jul 19, 2002 8:14 AM
he did have a knee problem last year which limited him. but i watched the tour from last year again, and there were several mountain stages where he got dropped early, but clawed his way back up to the front to be with armstrong on the last climbs when he was needed.

i say that means he delivered, as he put in that type of effort even though he probably was in quite a lot of pain. often, he was the last postal rider with lance, pacing him along until armstrong would drop the hammer on ulrich.
re: How valuable is Heras now? (spoiler)Len J
Jul 19, 2002 7:14 AM
Heras was about 5 minutes out of third place overall after stage 11. He probably put a couple of minuts on everyone ahead of him today & with Mt Vonteaux up on Sunday if he can keep his form, 3rd place isn't out of reach for Heras.

Clearly behind Lance, he and Beloki are the class of the field. The only question is can he put enough time into everyone else in the remaining Mountain stages to overcome what he will probably lose in the final TT.

Did he crack??t-bill
Jul 19, 2002 8:04 AM
The coverage made it seem like he pulled up under direction from Johann. Did anyone see it? Did he crack or just take it easy?
The guy and I saw different races...TJeanloz
Jul 19, 2002 8:34 AM
I read the updates after I watched the end of the stage on OLN, and I didn't see Heras "pull up" as cyclingnews reported.

He attacked Beloki, but wasn't able to really put time on him, if he continued, he risked pulling Beloki back up to Armstrong- or at least inspiring him to chase harder.

Slowing down and sitting on his wheel was the right move, because the best scenario of him dropping Beloki and catching Armstrong, was not going to happen.
Thanks! nmt-bill
Jul 19, 2002 8:36 AM
I listened to OLN and had up....Old_school_nik
Jul 19, 2002 11:23 AM
It was the first time in a while where their analysis really differed a lot - they claim (CN) that he "must have been told to pull up" but Phil and Paul (OLN) clearly thought that he just couln't bridge quickly enough to LA - and that LA waited a bit too - maybe interviews tonight will confirm whicch side got it right
2 team members on podium at once?DougSloan
Jul 19, 2002 10:42 AM
How often have two members of the same team been on the podium for GC? Did Hinault and Lemond?

Riis and Ullrich, 1996 nmmr_spin
Jul 19, 2002 11:01 AM
re: How valuable is Heras now? (spoiler)JSchneb
Jul 19, 2002 7:10 AM
I didn't watch stage 11 until last night, and Heras' performance was even more impressive than I imagined!

IMHO, Heras is proving that he is worth is weight in gold! I'd really love to see him take a stage, though.
re: How valuable is Heras now? (spoiler)stevesbike
Jul 19, 2002 7:15 AM
Hinault used to pick the biggest threats to himself to come on his team where they could work for him and also be under his control--this is part of racing beyond the physical aspects. Armstrong is proving he can do this too--he realized Heras is a dangerous talent and wants him where he can keep him under control. ALso, it must say a lot about the postal approach to preparation for the tour--heras has said how much stronger he is now that he trains according to lance. Without the EPO effect in the peloton, these kind of differences in training are starting to magnify.
Good points - lead to interesting questionsMe Dot Org
Jul 19, 2002 8:35 AM
How does the USPS strategy of concentrating ONLY on the TDF bode for the rest of the cycling world? Will "lesser" teams gear up for the spring classics? Will the Spanish teams train for the Vuelta, and the Italian teams for the Giro?

It is speculation, but perhaps the absence of EPO will force teams to pick and choose when they want to be strong. Perhaps we are at the beginning of a slightly different cycling era.
Good points - lead to interesting questionst-bill
Jul 19, 2002 8:39 AM
This certainly could happen, but I think the TdF has too much mystique to be abandoned by the Spanish or Italians.
Jul 19, 2002 9:06 AM
It's a fallacy that USPS concentrates ONLY on the TDF. Frankly, I wonder if people who repeat this ad nauseum concentrate only on the TDF.

USPS makes a good run at the spring classics. They don't have any wins (beyond Ghent-Wevelgem), but they have some very good results, especially this year. Overall, USPS has done a lot better than many other teams. Most Spanish teams don't even show up for spring classics unless they have to.

USPS also did quite well in the Vuelta last year, and with the return of Heras to great form, looks to do very well again this year.

Finally, have you noticed how many stage races USPS has won this year? Three HC and cat 1 races in the past two months. Pena also won one way back in April or so.
Does anyone know when his contract expires w/ Postal?Sintesi
Jul 19, 2002 9:45 AM
Can you imagine Heras against Armstrong? This would be awesome in the mountains.