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With Simoni doing this well in the Giro, a serious...(24 posts)

With Simoni doing this well in the Giro, a serious...Ride-Fly
May 27, 2003 8:44 PM
challenge to Lance and his quest for the big 5 in a row?? I would love to see a competitive TdF this year. I still want Lance to win it but a little suspense would be nice!! Lance 1, Tyler 2, and Simoni 3 is the way I'd like to see it turn out. And of course a close race!!! Anyone else think Simoni has a chance, no matter how slight to dethrone Lance?? How about Tyler?? I'm a big fan of Gibi so I hope he podiums. Thanks and Ride ON!!!
Sure he's got a chance....Dwayne Barry
May 28, 2003 1:40 AM
but like Armstrong's other rivals it's not very probable.
For one it would be very difficult to have the form at the Tour he has now at the Giro. And more significantly he stands to lose minutes to Armstrong in the TT's and while I think he could take some time out of him on some of the mountain stages it probably wouldn't be minutes and minutes.
I'd like to believe Tyler or Botero or Beloki or Ullrich, any of a handful of other guys will beat Armstrong but the guy so far as just been too good in July. One thing is for sure, this year's tour is shaping up to have a number of real potential contenders on board, if nothing else the fight for the minor podium positions should be good.
May 28, 2003 8:44 AM
All these climbers claim they can challenge Lance, but they seem to forget that Lance isn't just a great climber, he's also a great time trialist. If you expect to challenge him, you gotta be both and more. Who qualifies today? If Ullrich gets in shape, he's about the only one.

Simoni is a great climber, and when on form, he is the equal or better of Lance, but his time trialing will ruin his chances. On paper, Botero looks good, but he can never seem to be on form to climb well and time trial well in the same event. Tyler Hamilton is having a great season, can do both, and should easily be top 10 at the Tour, and likely top 5, but he is still a second-tier climber compared to Lance. Add Leipheimer to that group. Who's left? Rumsas isn't going to show up. Botero can't beat Lance. GdG isn't doing the Tour this year. I can't think of anyone else who is a serious challenger on GC.
May 28, 2003 11:50 AM
Alex Zulle could've challenged Lance if Phonak had been invited. He's a better tt'ist when on form and can climb well. If he hadn't crashed early in the '99 tdf and lost over 6 minutes he probably would have beat Lance.
May 28, 2003 1:33 PM
Beg to differ. Alex has not shown the form of '99 since, well, '99. And Lance is way stronger now than he was in '99.

Also, if Zulle had not crashed on that causeway, he'd have lost by 1'30" as opposed to the nearly 7'30" he did lose by. Much closer, but still second.

May 28, 2003 2:47 PM
I'm not a huge LA homer but if memory serves me right he's handed the best climbers in the world their backsides plus wooping them in the TT's. It seems everybody is forgetting all the Mounrtain wins and Mountaintop finishes of LA, you all seem to make him out to be just an above average climber but he is a superior climber and is competitive as all hell. In his 4 TdF's I think he lost time in the mountains to his rivals once (the great bonk of 2000) Tyler has the only distant shot IMHO. Like Beloki said last year, "unless we all relearn how to train and prepare we are all fighting for 2nd"
I agree, 100%noveread
May 29, 2003 7:36 AM
I never understand why Lance keeps getting dissed in the mountains. In his tour victories, he has been absolutely unbeatable there. Especially in '02. And yes, I think Heras was 2nd best in the mountains.

This year's tour is shaping up to be intriguing, but the battle is to see how close they can get to Lance, not if they can beat him. IMO.

I agree, 100%Spoiler
May 30, 2003 12:11 AM
Here's some quotes from Beloki after stage 14 on Ventoux in last year's Tour
"To be the best after the greatest, that's something too."
"I fought on the moon and lost to an astronaut!"
Armstrong had attacked Beloki on the climb and he almost caught Virenque after spotting him more than 7 minutes. Beloki was the second best climber in the tour yet he lost 1'46" to Armstrong in final 7 km of the climb.

This happens every year. People forget what Lance did in the last tour. They say, "Well if I was XXX rider or XXX team I'd attack now, or isolate him on this climb, or combine attacks with XXX climbers."
All you have to do is go to, go through the race result archives, and you'll see how teams have tried these scenerios and failed. To their credit, they've tried, not just laid down, but there comes a point when strategy just can't overcome a superior rider.

People haven't seen Lance climb in top form for almost a year, and they've been watching Simoni climb in recent days, so they let the freshness of the memory cloud the reality.
May 31, 2003 6:49 PM
I agree Tyler Hamilton could be up there - but how do his decending skills compare to Lance's? Seems to me that on the stages with multiple downhills he tends to lose time right after the categorized climbs.
Tyler's descendingatpjunkie
Jun 1, 2003 10:24 AM
he's been known to crash. 3 x in the giro once in a TT, once where he broke his shoulder (not his fault, cassette broke loose from freehub) and on other. Only one was on a descent or at the bottom really. In the Tour Basque this year he lost time, was cautious on the descent while Mayo and others went balls out. IMHO a smart move, was too risky at that point in the season. So he didn't win TdB but he placed high, didn't crash and miss the rest of the season, won L-B-L and Romandie. I think with it on the line he'll do fine. He's no 'Il Falcone' Savoldelli but he'll be fine as long as he stays upright.
Don't write off Aitor...QUiTSPiNiNArOuND
May 28, 2003 3:56 PM
Aitor Gonzalez may be able to stick it in the mountains, and he may even be a better TT'ist then Lance, maybe...(Did you see his finish in Madrid at La Vuelta, crazy fast.) Still hope Lance does show great form and just ride away from everybody, everybody says he makes the tour boring, but IMO i think it's awsome to see anybody able to do that!
re: With Simoni doing this well in the Giro, a serious...cipolini2b
May 28, 2003 10:48 PM
Hold on. Did you guys not watch stage 15? Everyone wrote off Simoni, much like you guys are, but he came through and finished 7th, putting time on Garzelli and effectively ending this years giro. He is not a better time trialist than Lance, he never will be, but he is certainly a better climber than Lance when in form. I cannot picture Simoni getting beat on a summit like Zonoclan. If he carries this form into the tour, he can do some serious damage. Lance is vulnerable: don't forget the folly at L-B-L...Also, you gotta love how Simoni called out Lance to the Giro, even if it was in a joking manner (because it just isn't feasible, LA just doesn't care for anything else). Its been a great giro, and Simoni should make it an interesting tour. Countin the days....

Forza Gibi!
I'm certainly not a big fan...Dwayne Barry
May 29, 2003 3:06 AM
of LA, in fact, I'd like nothing better than to see him lose the TdF, but I don't know how you can say Simoni is "certainly a better climber" than Armstrong. I can't recall the two of them (on form) ever going head to head, and if anything Armstrong has been more dominant on the tour cols than in the TT's. Also the tour climbs tend not to be as steep as the Giro climbs which put the flyweight Simoni at a relative disadvantage to the larger Armstrong (or at least doesn't give him the advantage a real nasty steep climb would). It's hard to see anyone beating a 100% on-form Armstrong, but guys get old and their top form goes down or maybe he won't be absolutely 100 % this year. It's not like he's so much better than the rest that he could afford that and still dominate the tour (although he might still win).
tour climbs aren't that steepcyclopathic
May 29, 2003 3:53 AM
so LA wouldn't be as much in difficulty. But I'd bet USPS will make a mistake. If they spend time watching Gibo De Luca will have a chance. If not Saeco, then Telecom, Fassa, Tuscali, etc several teams can deliver 1-2 punch. Yes this should be an interesting tour.
tour climbs aren't that steepatpjunkie
May 29, 2003 6:45 PM
don't forget USPS added another Spanish climber from Coast. All they do is prepare for the TdF (like LA) they won't be touched IMHO. RE LA's folly in L-B-L, what does a one day classic have in common with the TdF? USPS didn't have a full elite team at Liege and Lance's only folly was the two guys who broke with him sat on.
That will probably be their only opportunity to podium but they sat on and got nothing. If they'd have worked they would have been guaranteed a spot on the podium. Look at the Amstel, Dekker was ordered to sit on and wait for Boogered but he worked with LA and wound up with the victory. Those guys in L-B-L had a shot at the podium and possibly a victory and got nothing. Remeber the names Shefer and Sanchez, see if they ever show up on a podium. LA's big mistake was not waiting for Axel who would have worked with him. Shefer was sitting on for Mayo and Extebarria who finished 2nd and 19th so you could call it 'smart' while Sanchez' shonch Di Luca finished 8th and Sanchez was out of the top 20.
Shefer sitting on for Mayo and Extebarria? Sanchez for Di Luca?cyclopathic
May 30, 2003 5:13 AM
But Why??
Shefer is on Saeco and probably sat for Di Luca /though it looked like he barely had enough juice to hold wheel/ but Sanchez did work with LA, have you seen coverage? btw LA helped Sanchez on Ventoux, and he wouldn't sit in.
sorry 'flipped' my domestiquesatpjunkie
May 30, 2003 11:58 AM
yea I watched it. Saeco rider sat on completely. Sanchez took very little up front. def. not an organized break. LA working, Shefer sandbagging and Sanchez giving about 25% effort in a break. I understand they were under team orders but so was Dekker in the Amstel. I still remember Dekker and his Team manager arguing in Dutch with Lance right there. Wish they'd have translated. Forgot about Ventoux.
and Shefercyclopathic
Jun 2, 2003 3:41 AM
was for himself, not fo Di Luca. Shefer finished 3rd in Wallone, and /as many other cyclists/ he needs results to have his contract renewed. The reason he wasn't working he put all he could on climb and was just hoping to hang on for 3rd.

If you ask me LA is just whining, reminisce of late Greg
could beatpjunkie
Jun 2, 2003 10:12 AM
yea sour grapes. IMHO he should have waited for Axel. Instead he dragged a couple anchors and burned out. Now don't pick on Greg. I was thinking about him this weekend and his bitterness. He gives what would have been his first TdF to the Badger under Team Directives (1985). He wins his first battling his teammate who swore to 'suffer for him, as he did for me' (1986). get's shot and almost killed (accident? jealousn brother?), misses 2 tours he probably could have won (1987-1988) comes back and wins 2 more (affirming he probably would have won the years between). Count it, that's 6 tours. His comeback was on par with LA but because cycling wasn't huge in US he didn't get the public attention nor advertising $$$. Granted, that's the way it is and he should build a bridge and get over it but his shot at being an all time 5x Champ got screwed. I'd be alittle pissed too.
It's not as though Greg never got anything...noveread
Jun 3, 2003 2:02 PM
You have to remember that it was Greg that pretty much revolutionalized how star riders could be compensated. What did he get after the '89 tour? $5mil/3yrs? That was toatlly unheard of then. While it is still rare for that type of compensation for cyclists today, it was completely new then.

So no, Greg did not get the advertising dollars, but he did get the sponsorship dollars. He re-wrote the book for that...

agree, that's why he needs to build a bridge NMatpjunkie
Jun 3, 2003 3:33 PM
The Tour is differentCoot72
May 29, 2003 9:49 PM
Although I would like to see a more exciting Tour, I can't see how Simoni could challenge Lance. The Tour is different from the Vuelta and Giro. The flat and medium hilly stages are much more difficult, because the riders make it a much tougher race. Little climbers are usually gassed when they get to the mountains.

Plus there's the team time trial. Saeco could lose 2-4 minutes. Add the 2-4 minutes from the ITTs, and it's over for Simoni.

Even if Simoni were a better climber, I don't think he could do it. But the data says Lance is #1 in both climbing and TTs anyways. Lance attacks harder than anyone I've ever seen in the mountains.

Your all missing BelokiCharlesTT
May 30, 2003 11:37 PM
Not long ago this season, Beloki beat Botero in a ITT. I think if Ullrich is on form, we will see a repeat of 2001. Not in any specific order. Lance, Beloki, Ullrich. Botero is one of my favorite riders, but he just cant keep it up for 3 weeks, if he could, he would win. Tyler has a chance, i dont think he will climb as good as Beloki, Ullrich, or anyone big. Levi is a top ten kind of guy. Aitor, cant climb. Simoni will be worn out.

I still think though (you'll think i'm stupid)
Marco Pantani, if he loses weight, will be like Heras/Armstrong-Pantani/Ullrich. Pantani and Ullrich are the last two to win the TDF before LA, I think they could make something special.

One last thing, you all are comparing riders from year to year, also thinking they will stay the same from the giro to the tour or the classics to the tour. All of the riders are completely diiferent this year. Whoever is giving 1,000,000 for a prediction of the top ten is very safe.
missing Belokiatpjunkie
Jun 1, 2003 10:36 AM
Beloki is strong, never argued against and I think he'll podium again. Ullrich is the wild card, not a lot of results and races to judge his form, plus Coast is in disarray and is losing riders. I think Tyler will be in the hunt, a 2nd last year in the Giro riding 2 weeks on a busted shoulder (needed 11 molars recapped as he ground his teeth to fight pain) shows he has the mettle plus this years early results. CSC is a strong team, he'll get plenty of help and he's brought the LA Tour Specific training method with him.
Levi if he recovers will be top ten, maybe all the early season problems will allow him to peak at the tour.
So are you saying Pantani would pull for Jan? I don't think his ego would stand for it. He had a chance to join Domina which would have made them a Tour shoe in but he didn't want his face used w/ Cippo in advertising. I just don't think MArco who was quoted as "I'm the only challenge to LA" would work for anyone. His form his good, but I think the days of him dominating climbs is in the past. I really think Sastre-Hamilton and Heras-Armstrong is where the drama will be. Remember USPS added one more Spanish climber to the roster (from Coast) so LA will have a blue train to the launching pad. I think this tour is going to be fun.