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a beautiful day of climbing rheeeschard!(15 posts)

a beautiful day of climbing rheeeschard!fcebedo
Jul 12, 2003 9:46 AM
Again, what a stage! Many riders were put in 'serious difficulty'.

Last year, I thought one of the best stages was when Virenque made a comeback from all the scandal and took a stage win on one of the hardest climbs. Today, he takes off in the heat, beats the field by 4 minutes and takes the yellow jersey by two minutes, polka dot jersey in hand too.

Some thoughts again:
- serious difficulty - it looked really hot. Lance had his game face on and had his team chasing all the way. Yellow jersey Pena was used early on in the chase and it was over for him. Simoni had this white stuff on his lips. he was not happy.

- many attacks. what an exciting stage! Virenque-Aldag-Bettini. Vinokourov, Rogers, Chavanel. Everybody's making a name for himself. None of these names were on the Team Berry Floor blacklist so Lance sticks to the game plan.

- Hats off to Aldag. He was the picture of pain when he was dropped by Bettini and Virenque but he catches up and even drops Virenque for a minute. He gets caught by Virenque but still finishes 2 minutes ahead of the field.

- And finally Virenque. A beautiful climb. He's been there before and he knows what to do. The finest finish line salute in the biz and the tears in the arms of his coaches underscores the magnitude of this effort. Get some rest tonight rheeschard for you will need it tomorrow.

The best stage in a great tour so far! What do you guys think?

re: a beautiful day of climbing rheeeschard!Spoiler
Jul 12, 2003 10:40 AM
I don't see how difficult an Alpine stage can be when 40 rider finish with Lance or Roberto. USPS was at the front to control the chase. They sat up frequently, but no one else took it up.

Picacchi pulls a Mario. This is the same show of "respect" that kept the Lion King out. That's alright, with his team in, we wouldn't have as many crashes to keep the audience interest.

I agree, today was the most exciting day of the Tour so far. But then again, it's been kind of dull so far. The Tour needs these small, secondary stories to keep it interesting before the GC battle begins. After tomorrow, one-Tricky-pony can slip back in to obscurity for another year.

How long before we see the poseurs on the roads riding on the dead flat, with the helmet straps bucked in BACK of the head?!
Pettachi didn't pull a Marioweiwentg
Jul 12, 2003 12:30 PM
he crashed in the Giro, struggled on, got dropped bad in the mountains and missed the time cut. he didn't manage to rest or train enough for the Tour. he was not feeling up to par during the first week (according to him, anyway). he hasn't truly pulled a Mario. I'm sure he'll contend for the green jersey another year.
Pettachi didn't pull a MarioSintesi
Jul 12, 2003 2:22 PM
Come on it was a total Mario. He didn't even wait to hit a mountain. The hill went up a few hundred feet and he jumped off his bike. Ferretti was totally pissed off at him for not even trying. Leblanc is simply not going to like this.
Petacchi (oops) didn't pull a Marioweiwentg
Jul 12, 2003 3:48 PM
no, for him to pull a Mario, he would have to do something on par with the "I had a dental appointment" excuse Mario used once (correct me if I'm wrong). when Mario pulls out, he's smiling. Petacchi didn't look like he was smiling. the sense I got from his interviews was that he didn't want to ride the Tour because he wasn't in condition. let's see how he does next year before we call him a Mario.
Petacchi (oops) didn't pull a MarioSintesi
Jul 12, 2003 4:28 PM
Ferretti was screaming at him and raving to the press about what a coward he was. At least he could have tried harder.

BTW, there are worse things to be called than a Mario. But Petacchi is the best sprinter in the world this year no question and should be in the Tour obviously. As should MARIO!
Pettachi didn't pull a Mariodownunderracer
Jul 13, 2003 3:42 AM
"he didn't manage to rest or train enough for the Tour."

If he wasn't resting and he wasn't training, what was he doing? Practising being pushed up hills by his team mates?

pulling an ulrich! (nm)rufus
Jul 13, 2003 4:53 AM
Now they're saying Fassa Bortolo has a virustl1
Jul 13, 2003 9:44 AM
Fassa Bortolo Team Hit by Virus

L'ALPE D'HUEZ, France (Reuters) - Riders of Italian team Fassa Bortolo taking part in the Tour de France were affected by a virus that led five of them to pull out of the race, the team said in a statement Sunday.

Italians Alessandro Petacchi and Marco Velo gave up in Saturday's seventh stage to Morzine while Spaniard Aitor Gonzalez, the Vuelta winner, Ukraine's Volodymir Gustov and Swiss Sven Montgomery did not start Sunday's eighth stage to l'Alpe d'Huez.

Italian Nicola Loda later gave up during the 219-km stage.

re: a beautiful day of climbing rheeeschard!flying
Jul 12, 2003 6:05 PM
I don't see how difficult an Alpine stage can be when 40 rider finish with Lance or Roberto. USPS was at the front to control the chase. They sat up frequently, but no one else took it up.

Agreed & that is the problem. When you have a boss/patron of the peloton like LA or Hinault people start to race to defend their position *behind* him rather than risking it all in a make or break move.

But that aside this pic is interesting to me. I have not seen LA look this uncomfortable ever before in a tour. Perhaps it is just wishful thinking but I hope things get moving a bit.
I think Virenque has totally redeemed himself.Sintesi
Jul 12, 2003 11:01 AM
I think he's shown that he didn't need the drugs to be a champion. It's a damn shame his stupidity will tarnish his otherwise respectable accomplishments. I"m starting to like the guy for being a survivor and refusing to crawl away in shame. He's a fighter.

He's smart too. He knows his strengths favor an escape rather than a toe-to-toe battle with the main players and he played his hand beautifully just like last year. That Richard wins constistently year in and year out is no fluke.
re: a beautiful day of climbing rheeeschard????????ngl
Jul 12, 2003 3:33 PM
Here is my opinion. Virenque knows he can't beat Lance. He also knows Lance would not chase him today because of the downhill finish. And, if memory serves me, the only reason Lance did not catch him last year was because he waited for Ulrich. Lance has absolutly no interest ( worry) about Virenque. Tommorrow will be an interesting stage.
And yes, Virenque executed a beautiful climb (as he does every year).
Right...Dwayne Barry
Jul 12, 2003 4:49 PM
Virenque hasn't had any GC interest since the Festina days. He went today in search of points for the KOM competition and ended up with a stage and yellow.
Jul 12, 2003 8:02 PM
I think it was on cyclingnews or velonews they mentioned that Quickstep was planning on defending the lead. If you were France's most popular rider and you had just taken the lead in the Tour de France by over two and a half minutes, wouldn't you defend it at all costs? Back in the Festina days he was never able to take the leaders jersey and he just did today by a fairly nice margin for a world-class climber, one would guess his GC interests are probably renewed.
BTW-he finished 15th or so last year in the GC without even thinking about it. This year he has the lead and just put 10 minutes into a LOT of potential gc challengers who probably have no chance of making up that kind of time (Botero, Gonzalez, Simoni, etc.), so a chance of a podium finish could be in sight.
Yeah, and they are...Dwayne Barry
Jul 13, 2003 4:44 AM
defending it. Postals getting an easy ride. Unless Armstrong is not on top form (and I think in all probability he is), the lambs are being led to the slaugher yet again.