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The semi-surprise of this year's Tour(10 posts)

The semi-surprise of this year's TourOldEdScott
Jul 1, 2003 8:10 AM
Lance, known for his very, very specific preparation, seems to have been paying real attention to his descending skills this Spring.

With not too many mountaintop finishes this year, and I think the majority of mountain stages finishing after descents, look for some wild and wooly trips down the mountain for Lance. I suspect he's keying on some of those stages, where you might not really expect Lance to shine.

If that doesn't work, he may have to win the race in the last time trial.
re: The semi-surprise of this year's TourCharlesTT
Jul 1, 2003 8:57 PM
No, most of the major mountain days finish uphill. Any mountain stage ending on a descent would be used only to get a stage win by a lesser team like Jean DelaTour. Last year, the third to last stage was very hilly but ended on a long descent. Botero at that point was out of contention so he attacked and brought himself into 4th place becuase he was such a good descender. However this is completely different than smaller stage races were all but one of the major mountain stages ends on a descent
I'm looking at the course maps andOldEdScott
Jul 2, 2003 4:51 AM
what I see is only two killer mountaintop finishes out of seven mountain stages. It seems to me that's not many. Am I missing something?
I think so....Dwayne Barry
Jul 2, 2003 5:54 AM
I thought I remember reading there were 5 mountain top finishes, one more than last year.
Nope, got the dopeOldEdScott
Jul 2, 2003 6:18 AM
in front of me now.

In the Alps, 3 mountain stages, only 1 of them (Alpe d'Huez) a mountaintop finish.

In the Pyranees, 4 mountain stages, only one beyond-catogory moutaintop finish, the penultimate stage to Luz-Arden. (There IS one other mountaintop finish in the Pyranees, a relatively less demanding category 1 finish to Stage 13). The other two Pyraneean stages finish after descents.

So really only two chances out of seven for a climber to 'blow the race to smithereens' on a brutal finishing climb.
Good, less mountain top finishes...Dwayne Barry
Jul 2, 2003 8:13 AM
means increased chance of tactics coming into play and Armstrong getting challenged!
uphill finishiescyclopathic
Jul 2, 2003 9:11 AM
besides Alpe d'Huez
Stage 13 AX 3 DOMAINES 1e Cat

agree on your take stages with 30km to finish climbs like Lyon/Morzine-Avoriaz, Sallanches/L'Alpe d'Huez, Toulouse/Domaines, Saint-Girons/Loudenvielle-Le Louron, Bagnères-de-Bigorre/Luz-Ardiden should be very entertaining. Course should work well for good descenders like Botero or Simoni.
Those descents with some flats....Dwayne Barry
Jul 2, 2003 9:40 AM
to the finish are the best chance of isolating Armstrong and getting time due to tactics. But Armstrong is as good a descender as anyone, maybe with the exception of Salvodelli (won't be there) and Simoni, and it will be hard to shake Beltran/Heras on the climb to actually isolate him.
Jul 2, 2003 7:47 PM
Saeco and Simoni did good job on Garzelli in stage 10 when they took maglia rosa. I just can picture USPS blowing up chasing wrong tail.
re: The semi-surprise of this year's Tourgray8110
Jul 4, 2003 12:56 PM
There are 4 downhill finishes and 3 uphill finishes.. Except for the Alpe D'Huez stage, the runin to the finish is harder in the most of the downhill stages than it is in the uphill.