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OK everybody let's hear your top five/ten/darkhorse...(2 posts)

OK everybody let's hear your top five/ten/darkhorse...Frith
Jul 3, 2003 6:28 AM

sneaking into the top 10 in no particular order:
Hamilton, Mayo, Heras, Botero and Leipheimer

dark horse:
Axle Mercx.
re: OK everybody let's hear your top five/ten/darkhorse...spox
Jul 3, 2003 11:06 PM
1. Garzelli
2. Armstrong
3. Simoni
4. Hamilton
5. Heras

Garzelli is real dark horse, because he has not raced too much after Giro, but knows how to train. He has good lieutenants for mountains and also good flatland riders. He is in perfect situation as he can tt fast enough to stay close enough to GC leader, without such pressure that CSC, Saeco, ONCE and Bianchi-Telekom combination (Zabel mentioned, that there probably is co-operation between these two teams) carry before TdF. And when Armstrong/USPS battles w/ these teams and blows in stage 13 or 14 after TT, Garzelli is the one who steps out of shadows and strikes real hard. He has shown couple of times that he has real manic attitude in these late battle situations. Simoni has too, but he has too much pressure and attention already, he is too marked.

If Armstrong or USPS team blows (what may happen this time, because overall profile is so demanding), Bruyneel may loose his temper pretty bad, because he is not strategically flexible (luckily has not gotten into situation where quick change of strategy is needed)

Overall profile of tour is so demanding this time, that mistake for USPS is close and it is really interesting to see how it goes then. Of course LA and USPS play poker game and say 'we're ready' - of course they must be - but it may be a really different Tour this time.