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Virenque just crushed Armstrong's rivals!!(14 posts)

Virenque just crushed Armstrong's rivals!!BAi9302010
Jul 12, 2003 7:22 AM
Simoni, Botero, Gonzalez, etc....out the back. Virenque's looking extremely strong.
re: Virenque just crushed Armstrong's rivals!!MD80
Jul 12, 2003 8:09 AM
I dont think Armstrong and company are too worried about this guy. They didnt put too much effort catching him.Not to mention the peloton was stopped for a train to go by. I would like to see what he can do tomorrow on hors cat climb after spending lot of energy winning todays stage.
re: Virenque just crushed Armstrong's rivals!!BAi9302010
Jul 12, 2003 8:15 AM
who knows...but he was definately strong today and continued to put time into the peleton all the way to the finish. Don't forget, he's had a 2nd and 3rd place finish in previous tours. Also, I haven't seen the full results but it appears as if Simoni, Gonzalez and some of the other riders who were being hyped up as possible gc threats finished over 7 minutes down!!
Virenque will certainly lose it tomorrowSpoiler
Jul 12, 2003 8:53 AM
If Armstrong wants to win for the second time on Alpe d'Huez, he'll put ten minutes into Virenque.

Virenque specializes in the long breakaway. But he can only do it once. He has neither the strength nor the team to defend the jersey.

There is a chance that he will be able to recapture the glory days of defending the King of the Mountains all the way to Paris, but only if nobody of any talent challenges him.

The finishing group of Armstong had FOURTY riders in it. In fact, it was the largest group in the field. It wasn't any near close to being a "select group" of riders.

The first week has been fairly easy compared to other Tours, so I'd say something highly unusual was wrong with Botero and Simoni. There's no reason for them to get very tired, much less dropped from a large group
Yeah he's got no talent...Dwayne Barry
Jul 12, 2003 9:22 AM
he has won the KOM since his Festina days, and has shown his class multiple times since then.
Did I say that?Spoiler
Jul 12, 2003 10:15 AM
He's got the same talent for isolated long breaks that Durand has. He also has shown a shameless talent for doing anything he can to save his own skin. But that isn't quite the same as having the talent to hold onto any lead in any stage race.

I suspect he's given such a long leash from the peleton because they can't stand riding near him.
Not the same53T
Jul 12, 2003 1:38 PM
RV is a big step above Jacky when it comes to taking home money from the Tour. Richard can climb with the best of them, maybe not every day like he used to. He does have a closet full of ugly climbers jerseys. RV can wake up in the morning on Bastille day and say "my fans want a win today" than go out and beat the best. Jacky is a great rider to watch, but he's no RV.
Agree...BAi9302010
Jul 12, 2003 2:42 PM
and with the support of everyone in France behind him tomorrow, as well as holding the leaders jersey with a fairly large margin, he could be able to pull a surprise tomorrow.
The only time I can recall...Dwayne Barry
Jul 12, 2003 5:16 PM
Virenque doing a "Durand" was at Paris-Tours and it worked. Today he wanted mountain points but Bettini was ahead, so he couldn't attack. But he covered a Kelme rider who went after the break (but I think crashed once they were in on man's land), eventally bridged up to the Bettini's group and the rest is history.
Simoni losing time on purpose?Coot72
Jul 12, 2003 8:43 AM
Simoni may be losing time on purpose. His GC chances were essentially over after the TTT. It's strategically good to lose time so he can get into breaks and go for stage wins.

Botero was a big disappointment, but he'll have a good day soon.

COot
I'd like to think that...Dwayne Barry
Jul 12, 2003 9:04 AM
but in the one or two brief shots of him, he didn't look like a man taking it easy. He looked liked somebody who was suffering and getting dropped. He may be sick or something, cause there's no reason for a climber of his caliber who rode such a good prologue to get dropped by that group of riders.

Still don't know who will win but I think you can cross Botero, Simoni and Gonzalez off the list of possible podium finishers. Also maybe put Garzelli back into the picture, after an abysmal prologue, he seemed to be there today.
Simoni losing time on purpose?divve
Jul 12, 2003 9:06 AM
Could have fooled me. I saw him today on TV and he looked very tired and was foaming from the mouth.
you may be rightMaRider
Jul 12, 2003 9:38 AM
you may be right, even though Simoni looked like he was indeed struggling - foaming at the mouth and all.
Who knows.

I really think if he wanted to face off Lance he should have kept his GC quest going. An attack from a GC threat means Lance has to take it seriously, whereas if it comes from someone 10 minutes down in GC, there's no reason for Lance to respond. Either way, Simoni is not up to the challenge this year, he should have kept his mouth shut.
Riiiiippp!!!!Sintesi
Jul 12, 2003 10:54 AM
That's the sound of Walter Grodefroot tearing Botero a new a$$hole. Stick your head out the window you can probably still hear it. They give Botero a fat new contract, allow him to do his own Tour preparation w/out their oversight (he insisted) and this is what he gives them - a flaming 8 minute deficit and they haven't even seen the real mountains yet. Godefroot doesn't tolerate bad performances very well and I expect Botero now knows this. At least Walter can look and Vino and still smile. He's got at least 24 hours before he gets knocked out of podium contention.

And how about that Aitor Gonzalez? Ferretti is another who must be absolutely DELIGHTED with his new aquisition.

God I am so sick of big talk about how this field is really going to challenge Armstrong. As much as I would like to see a serious battle for the yellow with plenty of tension filled moments I think this is going to be another runout of the USPS template.

Armstrong first, Jan second and Beloki third. Both trailing by at least 5 minutes. Toughest Tour field faced by Armstrong thus far? My A$$.