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some points to discuss...(14 posts)

some points to discuss...fcebedo
Jul 13, 2003 8:43 PM
so many reports, rumors, observations:

- Lance said at the Galibier, he knew he was having and off day. His legs 'didn't feel strong'.

- In the post-race interview, Lance said he noticed his brakes dragging at the Galibier. He suspected they've been dragging for the last 200k.

- What's this crash of Heras before the final climb? Who was the other rider? Any effects?

- What's with Heras? He didn't look like his old self. He put up a good fight for sure coming back to the group. Lance need some BACK-UP!

- The new guy... Beltran. Nice 100-yard dash there buddy at the start of the Alps de Huez. You put everyone in difficulty, including your team. You hammered Rubiera so he was rendered useless for the final climb. Made the race more exciting for sure.

- Ulrich. Coach says you've been suffering from a stomach virus. Put up a good fight today though.

- Virenque. Nice fight but clearly your funds were overdrawn from yesterday's effort. Nice to have a teammate escort you up. Class move Rogers!

- Paul Sherwin. Yesterday, you emphatically said no way Virenque could defend the yellow after the big effort on stage 7. Today, you completely turn around and say he'll have no problem defending the yellow. Why? Cause it's the eve of Bastille day and he's French. What da???

- Iban Mayo. Beautiful ride. Nice colors. Euskatel came to play!!!

- Tyler. Words are not enough. You will reach fame and fortune this year and you deserve it. Bjarne Riis was in tears when he thought you were out of the tour. Why? Because you and him wanted the yellow jersey in Paris. Not a word to the press but that's what you two were after.

- Simoni. You should have learned from Beloki last year. Shut up about how you are going to challenge Lance in the upcoming tour. That puts a big 'X' on your back and Lance and all others will make you look like a fool when your house crumbles.

- Beloki. Good show! You kept quiet before the tour and now you let your attacks do the talking. Awesome!

What a day. What a tour. Comments and other observations?

francis
re: some points to discuss...Ron B
Jul 13, 2003 9:24 PM
My thoughts on this are these:

Lance is a master tactician (spelling?) and likes to play mind games with his competitors (look weak when he's strong, looks strong when he's weak).

I just have to wonder if Beltran's sprint and set up at the bottom of the climb today was part of an overall strategy. Make it look like Lance is going to blow the field away, then all of the sudden he doesn't. It makes him look weaker and beatable (look weak when you are strong) and this puts the thought that they can beat him in their head. Now they attack, thinking they can drop him and waste a lot of energy. He sits back and looks to see what they have.

I've seen the stage once, listened live this morning and am watching it again right now and at no time does Lance ever seem to be laboring. He looks like he is concentrating pretty hard but not tired. He basically let everybody else set the tempo today and matched their efforts if he though they would be a threat later. Lance didn't expend any more energy than he had to, while the others did everything they could to shake him.

To me it's a mind game, and the upcoming time trial will show if he is on form or not.

How many times have we seen this? During his last three title defenses the nay sayers come out and say he's beatable, look he suffered today, so and so will show him on the next stage, only to have Lance shut them up.

- What's this crash of Heras before the final climb? Who was the other rider? Any effects?

It looked like Heras hit Lances rear wheel. That was rather uncharacteristic of any of the postal riders. That may have played a little role in Heras having a bit of difficulty today. He had to play catch up just before the final climb of the day.

- Ulrich. Coach says you've been suffering from a stomach virus. Put up a good fight today though.

He looks good and I think he is sticking to his words before the tour. I think he want's to win a stage or two and will focus either on next year or the Vuelta this year. I can see him flying in the time trial.

- Paul Sherwin. Yesterday, you emphatically said no way Virenque could defend the yellow after the big effort on stage 7. Today, you completely turn around and say he'll have no problem defending the yellow. Why? Cause it's the eve of Bastille day and he's French. What da???

I'm guessing it's hard to fill 6 hours a day of commentary (even 2 hours a day would be hard). Give him an hour and he probably forgot what he said in the previous hour. Besides most commentators basically do the same thing regardless of sport, say what sounds good at the time.

- Tyler. Words are not enough.

This is very true. Of course this could be a page from the Lance Armstrong book of strategy. Make them think you are weak when you are strong. Has anybody even seen the X-Rays from his collar bone? Are they really cracked? If so, how bad are they really?

If it is a pretty bad crack he is definitely the toughest man I've ever seen.

- Simoni. You should have learned from Beloki last year. Shut up about how you are going to challenge Lance in the upcoming tour. That puts a big 'X' on your back and Lance and all others will make you look like a fool when your house crumbles.

Yea, he looks like an idiot at this time. Back to back tours are just too hard on the body to prepare for any longer.

Well, that's my .02 worth.
re: some points to discuss...spankdoggie
Jul 13, 2003 10:10 PM
My dear friend Francis. I am of the honest opinion that Lance Armstrong is currently playing head games in the mountains. I think he allowed all of the chases on purpose. He could have disappeared... I guess disappearing on the hills has become boring to him. He now wants to play with his prey like a cat with a mouse before killing it...

Look at how he blasted away at the finish line. My theory is that Lance is holding back, and toying with the rest of the field...Lance was quoted as saying afterwards, that it was a long and hot day. He never mentioned his opponents, just a comment about back breaks rubbing. Playing games again, like when he pretended to be tired with the camera on him?

Time will tell.

spankdoggie
re: some points to discuss...fcebedo
Jul 13, 2003 11:13 PM
Spanks!!!!!!!! How's it going?

Why do y'all have a hard time believing Lance is having a hard time and having to work for a living this time around? What does it take to convince? Here's some evidence.

- he repeatedly said no faking, no faking, no faking, i was screwed today. He doesn't like to outright lie btw.

- when frankie andreau interviewed him behind the podium, he looked like a corpse.

- his lieutenant Heras, upon crossing the finish line looked like a zombie.

- Lance blasted his teammates today.
"I seriously thought Roberto was going to be able to handle the Beloki attack".
"Beltran went out way too fast and blew Chechu up. He's new to the team."

Today was a tough day but the champion showed up to take care of business. Took the yellow jersey too. When the good day comes, it'll be over but it will be fun til then.

francis
re: some points to discuss...spankdoggie
Jul 14, 2003 12:04 AM
Ok, Francis, I will give you this argument. I only saw the beginning of the interview, because "Sanford and Son" was starting on another cable channel.

I watched the race like an eagle, but I watched Sanford and Son instead of most of the interviews. That is the greatest show on television: "You so ugly, I will stick your head in some cookie dough, and make gorilla cookies."

I am starting to cry. Ignore my post, and please get back to topic. I am on vacation, and I will not be able to respond to this post again.

spankdoggie
ya gotta watch the riding.dr hoo
Jul 14, 2003 4:32 AM
When lance played possum, i knew he was faking. How? When the camera was doing close ups, the was making faces that looked like death. BUT, his upper body was rock solid, and his spin was smooth. When the close up camera left and there was a long shot of the field, for some reason Lance did not look as bad.

Yesterday, Lance looked good. Not great. Maybe he did have a dragging brake (which might explain why Heras touched his wheel). Still, he look solid and in control. Smooth all the way up, and put a statement at the end that he still had more than Beloki.

The team did very well on the climb to the Galabrier (sp?) really controlling the pace and keeping anyone from trying an early move. They bobbled on the Alp, true. But Lance never lost form.

What would it take for me to admit he does not have form? If someone important jumps and he cannot cover. If he has a day where his position in the GC DECREASES, then I will say his form is off. Yesterday, he put time on some people (esp. Ullrich), and took the Yellow. Hardly a bad day.
Playing the field, its a chess match.Canidraftyou
Jul 13, 2003 10:40 PM
Like Phil and Paul have said prior, the only chance others have, is to attack, attack and attack. Its the world against LA. In my mind, thats makes a great statement. If the world needs to work together then more power to them, the victory will taste that much better!

LA and the rest of the team has not tried to win a stage. LA is only answering, if others want to pull and attack, then send the rest of the team back, save them! LA dont need to attack at this point. When he stood up for the few minutes that he did, that was nothing but playing the field.

Beloki, Simoni, Ulrich r great cyclist...Tyler could be the next superstar. I would like to see LA retire after next year and bring Tyler back on the squad.

*Ref. to Paul Sherwins comment yesturday, thats Paul and Phil's job to add additional drama and make the tour better than what it is already. Have you ever seen ESPN/CBS/NBC or ABC cover the Tour.........THEY SUCK!!! I think Paul and Phil do a great job. I only wish Bob Roll could play a bigger part, he is the John Madden of Cycling (a good thing).

Peace out
in reference to la retiring and tyler coming back to postal....wheelsucker
Jul 14, 2003 3:43 AM
I have a post below about iban mayo that went something like.....why do all you postal fans think that the great/good riders want to ride for postal???does beloki want to ride for postal?how about simoni? Sevilla? Why in the heck would tyler come back to postal? I remember when Jan was leaving telekom, a lot of people said he should go to postal to take over after lance retires. wake up people....postal fans! Lance will be beaten, maybe not this year but I don't see him winning 6. And david millar is the only rider that I've heard of wanting to come to postal, but he's not a team leader or a climber. Sure he can time trial like nobody else but that's about it, oh...he can also throw a pretty good tempertantrum.
Wheelsucker, suck my wheel, if you can! I know you want 2.Canidraftyou
Jul 14, 2003 12:28 PM
I dont think I was pointing out your comments. Nothing wrong with being a "homer." I never said, Jan, Beloki or Simoni would like to ride for the Postal, nor did I say they should. The point I was making, but some how you missed it; "It would be nice to keep the Postal team focused on an American cyclist getting far as they can."

Im not just a Postal Fan, Im a "Cycling Fan." LA and the Postal team has done so much for cycling in America. Not being a Postal fan means you dont care where our sport is going, or if it even grows. If this is a fact, then dont be apart of this message board.

come get you some wheel if you want some...lol

peace out
re: some points to discuss...James OCLV
Jul 14, 2003 5:44 AM
I really think that Lance is trying to be sensable. I think that yesterday his main objective was to drop Ullrich (whom he said he feels is his only true competition), keep Beloki under control, and see exactly how everyone else was going.

I also think that he's playing to the compesition of the tour. In the past four years, the first ITT has come before the mountains (usually around the 8th stage or somewhere abouts), and the mountains haven't usually arrived until stages 9-11. This year is the reverse. I think that Lance did exactly what he needed to do yesterday - keep his competitors in check. He'd want to save some strength for the TT. I think that if he felt that he could have walked away w/the win yesterday, he would have.

Beltran attacked way too hard, and even put some of his teammates into difficulty. Lance was isolated. I think that he found himself in a dangerous situation, and thought "I can put down the hammer and maybe walk away with the win, but if I play all my cards and it doesn't work it's all over". He got attacked pretty often and hard, and was able to covery pretty much everything. I think that he let Mayo go, because to chase him down when he wasn't a huge threat would have made an enemy of him later.

If Lance really had a bad day, I couldn't tell by watching him. He looked exactly the same as he did in previous mountain stages - cool, calm & concentrated and collected. The only difference was that he didn't attack (or even try, for that matter). He just covered what he felt he needed to.

I'm willing to bet that Lance still has a few cards to play. I think that he'll have a good showing in the TT, and he'll ride well in the Pyrenese (spelling?). Either way, it's definately moore exciting that last year!
I think it's fairly obviousOldEdScott
Jul 14, 2003 6:11 AM
that Lance 2003 is not the Lance of old. But he's ALMOST the Lance of old, and for this year, at least, that should be good enough.
it's an endurance contestDougSloan
Jul 14, 2003 6:27 AM
Lance has shown over the years that frequently someone else can beat him on any one day, but over the course of 3 weeks, he will more often be at the top of the standings and keep the GC. He has the ability to ride hard day after day, and others seem to have a good day or two and blow (Virenque, Pantani, etc.).

It's telling that despite repeated "all against Lance" attacks from GC contenders' teams, Lance stays near the front and responds to most in a strong but calculated way. I think the attackers are doing kamikaze missions, hoping that any one of them might hit, or that cumulatively they can weaken Lance and his team enough so that *someone* else can win, regardless of who that might be. It's almost as if the other teams are willing to gamble that their guy might not win, just so Lance won't.

The other teams are doing exactly what they should, but my belief is that Lance has the superior endurance for the 3 weeks and will hold up better than the others.

NO DRAMA????

Doug
Respectfully disagreee... about comments on this great raceOld_school_nik
Jul 14, 2003 6:37 AM
with comments about LA playing possum or making tactical decision to let Mayo go. As others have said, LA said himself he wasn't going well on stage..

But anyone who watched the OLN coverage would never say LA could have caught/stayed with Mayo yesterday - MAYO was sailing up the maintain -lets face it, if Mayo's team doesn't lost TTT by 3 minutes - Mayo is in Yellow Jersey - if he takes more time in Pyrennees he gets enough buffer for ITT - he wins TDF - I don't think this is about stage wins folks Mayo is for real.... and this year...

It will make for a great race too!

Tyler: word ca't say it is exactly right I wonder what Bjarne Riis is thinking right now!

Go Tyler,

-Nik
Respectfully disagreee... about comments on this great raceJames OCLV
Jul 14, 2003 6:44 AM
Well, you could argue that Lance gave Mayo some room to sail because of the TTT (I actually think that Lance said this in the post-race interview)... Had he been closer on GC, I think that you would have at lease seen Lance try to stay with him.

Everyone sang the same story after last year's ITT when Lance didn't "destroy his oposition". Remember the final outcome of the Tour?