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Indurain's Pick For This Year's Tour(36 posts)

Indurain's Pick For This Year's Tourcyclopathic
Jul 7, 2003 5:34 AM
The five-time winner of the Tour de France believes that the favourite for the overall title of this year's race is the 1997 champion, Jan Ullrich. The German became a father one week ago. He finished the prologue in fourth place. Ullrich is currently six seconds behind the overall leader, Brad McGee
I agree with him..Dave Hickey
Jul 7, 2003 5:53 AM
I get the feeling this is not going to be Lance's year. It's not that Lance is not the best rider, it's just that lady luck might not be on his side. It's too early to tell, but Jan looks very strong this year.
I don't know if...Dwayne Barry
Jul 7, 2003 5:57 AM
Simoni will win the GC but I bet he puts Armstrong into difficulty in the mountains for a change!
BandwagonVelojon
Jul 7, 2003 6:39 AM
It's unbelievable to me how many people have given LA up for dead because he was a couple seconds in arrears on the flippin prologue(kinda reminds me of 2 years ago when that break got 30 minutes on the peleton). Come back to this string in 3 weeks and see who did what to whom. Simoni won't make the podium. Ullrich will threaten, but come up short, and all the other pretenders will end the tour with sore legs and promises of next year. LA is much too well rounded for anybody to threaten him (save crashes/illness/mechies).
agreeDougSloan
Jul 7, 2003 6:46 AM
1. Lance; 2. Ullrich (he is destined for another 2nd); 3. Simoni.

Doug
I don't think they're giving him up for deadDave Hickey
Jul 7, 2003 6:47 AM
My post said he's the best rider out there. Even you said

"(save crashes/illness/mechies)"

I hope Lance wins but my gut is telling me it's not his year.
I have a bad feeling, too.KG 361
Jul 7, 2003 5:10 PM
Don't know what it is, really. More like a black cloud type of thing. I agree he is the strongest, but there are more serious contenders this year than before, even with Tyler hurt. He could get isolated in the mountains-I think that's what Simoni will try to do, as well as others. If Tyler were "whole", he might have been an ally to LA; even Levi, but he's gone too. I hope he wins but I just don't feel great about it.
Hardly...Dwayne Barry
Jul 7, 2003 6:50 AM
I've been saying for the last couple of years that I thought Simoni was a better climber than Armstrong. This is the first time they will go head to head in top shape, so I'll find out if I'm right!
BTW, I think Armstrong is on top form so the very premise of your post is misguided. And I agree (although I'd like to see otherwise) that Simoni lacks the TT ability to beat Armstrong in the GC.
re: Simonicyclopathic
Jul 7, 2003 7:49 AM
lost 2sec to LA in prologue. Not bad for a guy who is 35lbs lighter. For comparrison best USPS climber Heras /who btw heavier then Simoni/ finished 22sec later.

If anything is indication this will be '98 (or more likely '00) replay; duel of climber and TTer just like last year Vuelta Herras/Aitor turned out to be. Will the time Simoni make in mnt enough to cover losses in TT? who knows.
why does everyone think SimoniMaRider
Jul 7, 2003 8:47 AM
is a better climber than Lance?
Where does the comparison come from?

It's hard to project, but from Lance's total annihilation of other "great" climbers, I would predict that Simoni will NOT gain any time on LA in the mountains, will NOT get to wear yellow, and even will NOT finish on podium.

There's too much hype surrounding Simoni, and more recently Ullrich.
Well because when on form...Dwayne Barry
Jul 7, 2003 8:58 AM
in the last few years no one has outclimbed him. Pretty much the same can be said for Armstrong. Given that Simoni weighs a good bit less than Armstrong I don't think it's unreasonable to think he can hurt him in the mountains.

C'mon what's the big deal surrounding Ullrich and Simoni, they are the logical persons to get the hype! How much fun would any of this be if everyone just talked about how dominant Armstrong has been and how no-one could every possibly challenge him?
Well Heras beat him last year in Vueltacyclopathic
Jul 7, 2003 2:05 PM
but he looks much thiner and his TT was much better in Giro this year. I think we have the best Simoni yet. would it be enough?
Yeah but I don't think Simoni was ridingDwayne Barry
Jul 7, 2003 5:03 PM
the Vuelta for the GC but just hunting for stages. He won the inaugural climb of the Angliru a couple of year's ago too. Looking at the results of the final TT at last year's Vuelta, Heras beat him by a minute so I think it's a pretty safe bet that Simoni was no where near his top form whereas the prologue at the tour seems to indicate that he very well may be at this time.
he lost 2 min on that occation toocyclopathic
Jul 8, 2003 11:18 AM
but he won the stage as he rode off break. Herras climbed fast, but not fast enough to catch the man 4min ahead.

CP

PS. agree, Simoni is diff man this year. If you compare his last year pics with this year he lost a lot of weight, and yet judging by TT time he is stronger.
Did he pick his a$$ or nose?spyderman
Jul 7, 2003 7:37 PM
Someone is looking for attention... Wait 'til the mountain stages...
people were saying there was "no drama"DougSloan
Jul 7, 2003 6:44 AM
Just a few days ago people were saying there was "no drama" this year because Lance was certain to win again. What happened? Did Lance getting 7th in the Prologue or one little crash change everything?

It's this way every year. People say it won't even be interesting, then the race starts and speculation goes wild.

Lance will win, nonetheless.

Doug
No Cards Have Been Played YetVelojon
Jul 7, 2003 6:59 AM
My point is that whether you like the guy or not, or whether you think he'll win this year, you'd be hard pressed to find somebody that is more well rounded for this particular race. Over the past 24 hours, all-of-a-sudden the pundits are coming out of the woodwork doubting he will win because of a 7th place in a 6.5km sprint through Paris. While he might not win in the end (he will of course), the prologue is not the stage I'd recommend looking at to find the ultimate winner. In fact, if I were on the side that believes LA won't win this year, I'd have hoped he would have done better in the prologue so he might become complacent. As it stands now, knowing his A-type personality, I have to think he's got his tail up and is just waiting to strike. I know he likes Jan and doesn't particularly like what Simoni has said about him in the press lately, so I'm hoping he's saving "The Look" for Gilberto this year on the Tour's first climb.
good post, I agree! nmMaRider
Jul 7, 2003 8:51 AM
WORD (nm)mtnpat
Jul 7, 2003 8:58 AM
.
yes.. until stage 7.. the media will do their job and so will weOld_school_nik
Jul 7, 2003 9:21 AM
and that means talking trash..

I for one would love to see Simoni eat some crow -I mean a big pile of it.. but I agree with an earlier poster who said that that is what these boards (and the medai) are for - if it was a forgone conlclusion that LA would win - that would be no fun for us... so we speculate on what little info we have which is 2 atages and a prologue - at least we know one thing Tyler is tough dude and that what he has done tot his point is motivation (and an insprication) for us all - I wish there was a way for him to recover during the race...
--anyway, bring on the trash talk....

-Nik
Agreed.....firstrax
Jul 7, 2003 7:06 AM
This kind of talk this early can only mean an exciting tour is ahead.

God bless OLN!
re: Indurain's Pick For This Year's Tourrssljhnsn
Jul 7, 2003 7:33 AM
Ulrich is really the only other rider in the peloton who is capable of winning de Tour. Though he may not do it this year, by his own admission, he knows HOW win it and will do it again in his career. To win the Tour a rider needs to train and race to WIN THE TOUR and not just "put Armstrong in difficulty." Ulrich knows how to do this. Everyone else in the peloton hopes only to put Armstrong in difficulty on a few climbs hoping he will crack and they can gain a few minutes. This does nothing more than leave Armstrong in the position to dictate how HE wants the race to go. Armstrong fears Ulrich because they think alike. The winner wins the race because he beats the course, not by outclimbing Simoni on Alp d'Huez or by winning the prologue...
Heras beat Botero in a tt last month...BAi9302010
Jul 8, 2003 8:39 AM
at the Volta a Catalunya. Botero isn't looking that strong and Heras isn't that bad of a tt'ist as a lot of you are making him out to be. he just isn't a top time trialist.
re: Indurain's Pick For This Year's Touresbike
Jul 7, 2003 7:45 AM
It probably is difficult for Indurain to be completely
objective in this situation. Right now he is the only
man ever to win five straight. If Lance wins, he would
tie that record and have an opportunity to break it next year.
Come on people, aren't you forgetting thathrv
Jul 7, 2003 9:27 AM
it's not Lance vs. Ullrich vs Simoni, it's USPS vs. Bianchi vs. Saeco. Who else has a Heras and a Chechu to haul ass on the climbs (also Beltran?) ? Most likely they'll win or place high in the TTT as well.

Of course, we all are waiting for one of these rivals to get on his wheel in the final k's of the mountains. Simoni might be able to throw a stick of dynamite into the peloton but Lance is going A-bomb, baby!

hrv
Good answer. Team is a word that ...Live Steam
Jul 7, 2003 7:36 PM
was absent from most of the other posts. USPS is very strong and built to win both in the mountains and in the TT. I like Simoni and his performance in the Giro was inspiring, but I doubt he has enough in his legs to win two GT events in one year. CSC with Tyler had a good chance to do some damage, but his injury will catch up with him I fear. Too bad because I was and still am pulling for him. I do not believe Jan has enough support on the Bianchi team.

Obviously they have to race the race to get a winner. This speculating is fun and adds to the enjoyment of watching the event. I think Lance was smart not to take the yellow in the first week. It's bad enough trying to stay away from trouble with this huge field and many inexperienced racers. With the yellow on his back, it would be doubly so. By week two the numbers should start to dwindle by maybe 25 or so. From the look of things thus far it could be more.
I tend to think the whole team issue is a bit...Dwayne Barry
Jul 8, 2003 3:54 AM
overblown. It's really only critical in certain situations. One if you're a sprinter in need of teammates to keep it together for a bunch sprint and then to do a lead-out. Two, if the responsibility of the race is on you. Three, if a stage is ridden like a classics race. Four, a team time trial.

As the tour has onfolded for the last couple of years Simoni, Ullrich don't need much of a team except for the TTT. The responsibility of the race will be on USPS in the mountains, and they have consistently kept the race together until the final climb and launching Lance into space. All the GC guys need to do is follow them and see if they can outride him or attack a further out and see if they can outride USPS (and any other teams threatened by the attack).

USPS/Armstrong has always played it safe, unless Armstrong were to attack prior to the last mountain top or send Heras/Beltran up the road (exceedingly unlikely) why would any other GC guys be in critical need of their team mates?
You answered your own question.Live Steam
Jul 8, 2003 5:04 AM
LA has had the strongest team the past three of his four Tour victories and as a result, won. Three of the four scenarios you mention come into play for most of these stages. I am not really sure why you would discount the advantage a strong teams gives to a strong contender. Ulrich suffered immensely during the 2001 Tour because he did not have anyone to help him in the mountains. Simoni may be able to ride Postal's wheel and could possibly do some damage, but with so many strong climbers on the Postal squad, I don't see him staying on their wheel for the duration. Obviously the Big Blue Train is also built to TT very well too.
What do you mean?Dwayne Barry
Jul 8, 2003 5:37 AM
It doesn't matter who's wheel Simoni is riding in the mountains. Whether it's a teammate's, Armstrong's, Hera's. He still gets any advantage the draft is providing and if can handle the pace he's O.K. All that matter's is if he's climbing better than Armstrong, then Heras/Beltran's pace would be hurting Armstrong more than Simoni. How would having a teammate there help?

All I'm saying is if the same tactics play out as have occurred during Armstrong's reign, all Ullrich/Simoni/Beloki need to do is follow postal to the final climb and try to outclimb Armstrong.

If someone gets brave and attacks from far out, it's Postal that will be under stress to keep them in check and not necessarily anyone else's team.
What do you mean?Live Steam
Jul 8, 2003 6:05 AM
You are assuming that Simomi is leading at that point. If he is in need of making time, like Ulrich was in 2001, then he will need a team to pace hime to the top. Postal will not do his work for him. I don't know why everyone biulds a team for the Tour if it isn't that important. Just ride the next fastest guy's wheel and you should win?
No I'm assuming that he is not...Dwayne Barry
Jul 8, 2003 6:24 AM
leading. If he or Ullrich or Beloki whoever takes time from Armstrong early on and end up in yellow, then yes I agree a strong team becomes critical. But then again, I said that in the the first post, that if the race responsibility is on you than a strong team is critical. Until someone shows they're stronger than Armstrong (and maybe not even then) USPS will bear the brunt of the race responsibility on any stages that matter for the GC.

There are many reasons to build a strong team for the tour (stage wins, sprinter support, etc.), but there are only certain situations when it is critical for a GC contender to have a strong team (one of which is tommorrow right, TTT?).
I am guessing we'll see early attackscyclopathic
Jul 8, 2003 12:18 PM
with downhill finishes and double jumps like Alpe d'Huez stage. If so LA gets dropped on uphill team may help him to catch offender.

Simoni tends to kill opponents by those little accelerations; something LA will not like and will not handle well even if he isn't max'ed out. Postal driving train at near max would prevent most attacks. Also if Simoni takes off, Heras will pull LA, at least 'till he blows. Even on %7 grade drafting saves ~8-10% at speeds they ride 8-)

I'd guess Saeco will send people up the road early and also try to wind up pace at the bottom to drop Ekki/George/Pena/Chechu early and then let Simoni fight LA/Heras/Bertran. My guess Bruynel wouldn't dare to send people on break. Can't wait to see how it plays out.
Even if Simoni is on great form...Dwayne Barry
Jul 8, 2003 4:04 PM
I think he'll have to attack early. I expect Saeco to lose alot of time tomorrow expecially with Di Luca ill.
re: Indurain's Pick For This Year's TourJames OCLV
Jul 7, 2003 9:51 AM
Yeah, this exact same thing happened last year when LA lost to Botero in the first ITT. Besides, the prologue isn't long enough to try and use it as a guage. Simoni won't win the GC for one reason - power. This isn't a case of the "climber" vs. the "Time Trialer". It's a case of the "climber" vs. the "climber/time trialer". True, Simoni has weight on his side (~125 lbs.), and his power to weight is excellent, but so's Lance's (don't let him fool you - he's ~145 lbs.) So, if their power/weight is ~the same (based on climbing performance), Lance will slaughter him in the TT's (he's got more power). As for Ullrich, don't EVER count him out! I don't care what he says about his chances; he's in it to win! Ullrich is pure power! He can TT as good as Lance, but his weight holds him back in the cimbs (watch out, though - he looks LEAN this year). I'll tell ya, though - we've gotta love the drama! This has the makings of a great race! It's way too early to make predictions, though. The first Mtn. stage will tell the tale - we'll get an idea if all these trash-talkers will be able to put their money where their mouth is (remember Igor Gonzales whateverhisnameis from last year saying, "Things are changing at the Tour; Armstrong is not as strong as he has been in the previous years..." after the first ITT).
what does he know? what's this indurain clown ever done?EpicX
Jul 7, 2003 2:01 PM
just kidding of course. yeah, last year we heard the same crap-o-la. LA is not as good this time...we're seeing a new group of challengers...blah blah blah... everyone seems to forget that alot of these guys are ALMOST at their peak when the tour starts. Maybe LA is only at 98% right now. He'll race into 100% this week and show his heels to all the nay-sayers.
Having said that, I hope Ulrich does well. he's been through a lot of crap and seems to be ready to kick some ass.
re: Indurain's Pick For This Year's Tourspox
Jul 9, 2003 1:09 AM
Armstrong was below normal in Dauphine (also in TT) and so was Prologue now. It may be nothing or may be for tactical reasons, but it may be something.

If other teams see this too and watch out for a wawer in Armstrongs performance, it may be a killer for USPS.

Would be interesting if Telekom (Botero) and Bianchi (Ullrich) could do some work together as Zabel said. Same goes with Garzelli and Simoni and their teams.