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Bruyneel On Armstrong's form:(22 posts)

Bruyneel On Armstrong's form:James OCLV
Jul 17, 2003 5:44 AM
"Until now we haven't seen any big demonstration, but until now there hasn't been any need for it. In the past we were always a little bit behind. Three years ago we were 35 minutes behind and [we're far] from that situation [when] in every uphill finish we had to go hard from the bottom. It has not been necessary so far. You always have to see how the Tour is and the order of the stages. There are two long time trials and four hard stages in the Pyrenees. It's a calculation."

If you think about it, this makes a lot of sense...
hope soDougSloan
Jul 17, 2003 6:32 AM
Armstrong is not the "cannibal." I think he does the minimum necessary to secure a win, each time saving a bit that might be needed later. He only unloads when he sees the opportunity to put some time in on his GC contenders.

The time trial, however, is where he absolutely must go all out. I don't think there is any valid reason to hold back there. That will be the most telling.

I agreeJames OCLV
Jul 17, 2003 6:43 AM
He can't afford to pull any punches here. I think that he did want to win L'Alpe, but felt that the competition was too strong and the risk to the overall plan too great to attack. Besides, it makes sense that if he wasn't that far down in GC (as in previous years) why kill himself? Look, he wound up in yellow without having to do anything but follow.

I really think that if the results of the TTT had been different, you would have seen a different Stage 8...
agreed. racing isnt all legs and lungs. tactically smart. NMstik__boy
Jul 17, 2003 7:00 AM
I agree tooDave Hickey
Jul 17, 2003 7:04 AM
I expect him to go all out tomorrow. At the tenth stage last year, wasn't Lance in second? Two years ago, he was over 20 minutes behind the leader. Everyone saying he is off form is forgeting the Tour course is reversed this year. The Alps are ususally in the latter stages instead of the beginning.
sounds about right.....unfortunatelywheelsucker
Jul 17, 2003 8:17 AM
I would like to see tyler or Jan win, somebody besides LA. He's a great cyclist but not my fav, whether its due to Johan or LA he is very cunning and tactically smart. Even though he may be holding back its still more exciting when its close like this, when other riders think they can win. Even if he only marks them, its great to see all the action, even if deep down you know he could blow them away.
I agreeThe Human G-Nome
Jul 17, 2003 8:42 AM
Armstrong has an advantage in the TT for more then one reason... he's the superior TTer to any of his rivals (with the exception of Ullrich). that's the obvious reason.

but further, in a TT, the rest of the race cannot focus on ganging up and attacking him. they cannot sit back in the jet stream and then take turns attacking repeatedly in hopes of wearing him out. they cannot depend on USPS to set the tempo and cover each breakaway. and LA does not have to constantly watch for what each one of his riders will do. it's mano y mano and every GC contender will have to go all out if they hope not to lose tons of time to Lance... i don't think it's the other way around. the pressure should be more on riders like Vino and Mayo then on LA. if they can't put in the TTs of their life they will be put into great difficulty. LA merely has to put in the same efforts he's been puting in for the last 4 years.
Vino has taken time from Lanceallezdude
Jul 17, 2003 8:32 AM
Vino took 20 sec. at Alp d'Huez and 36 sec. in stage 9 win, plus he got time bonuses at each to land him 21 sec. back. If not for the team TT, Lance would not be yellow now. Looks far from over at this point.
it won't be the sameThe Human G-Nome
Jul 17, 2003 8:46 AM
Vino will not continue to put those gaps into Armstrong in the Pyranees. he is now a marked man and in a sense has taken the roll of Beloki in the Tour. he should fear the TT, because if he doesn't have the absolute ride of his life he will lose major time to Armstrong and have to work even that much harder in the mountains. the pressure is on Vino to hold off the likes of Mayo, Mancebo and Hamilton.
re: pressurecyclopathic
Jul 17, 2003 8:59 AM
I don't think he has any pressure. It is not his race to loose /as it was with Beloki/ and he is not expected to win. He has patience, if you watched Paris-Nice he will sit in/no panic and attack in right time when all forget about him.
Vino has taken time from Lancewheelsucker
Jul 17, 2003 8:47 AM
I hope your right, I would love to see vino take it. He's had one heck of a year(all his success, yet the loss of a good friend). only LA and Johan know how strong lance is. I do know in the coming days(especially tomorrow) we'll see how strong he is, there will be no hiding his form. and you can see others(vino,mayo,hamilton)thinking they can beat lance. Hope and belief that you can beat someone is more powerful than one might think.
yeah butcyclopathic
Jul 17, 2003 8:52 AM
Vino will loose about 1:30 in each ITT, and I doubt LA would let him go in mnt. Mayo, Jan and Tylor have better chance IMHO. Great and tactically smart piece of riding by him, no doubt.
Well, I'm pretty sure thatJames OCLV
Jul 17, 2003 9:17 AM
if not for the team TT, Lance would not have been resigned to just "follow". He would still be in yellow, though.

Let's just assume, for a second, that he was in the same condition as past years (I'm still not convinced that he's not). Mayo's ascent of L'Alpe was ~1 mph slower than Lance's in 2001.
re: 1mph slowercyclopathic
Jul 17, 2003 10:16 AM
did they go over Telegraphe and Galibier that year?
in '01 stage was 10km shorter, less climbing and it took them 1/2hr more.
I was talking about actual time to climb L'Alpe d'Huez itself nmJames OCLV
Jul 17, 2003 10:24 AM
I was talking about racing hard for 5hr prior to climb nmcyclopathic
Jul 17, 2003 12:10 PM
Armstrong's formCoot72
Jul 17, 2003 9:07 AM
I'm not a Lance defender, but Armstrong is not as vunerable as people are saying. I've talked about this is previous threads. There are still 2 time trials left and 4 days in the pyrenees. The second time trial may not mean anything for the GC, but it is pancake flat on wide roads. This is insurance for Lance.

This tour is more about horsepower than climbing ability compared to previous tours, since there are only 3 mountain top finishes. Lance even stated that he has been concentrating on time trialing, and his 1 min + victory in the Dauphine (in a shorter time trial) is indicative of his strategy. Not that Lance doesn't want to win mountain top finishes, but Lance is being attacked on all sides. Unless he's super, he can't go out and just attack on climbs willy nilly. He'd get realed in and lose big chunks of time on counter attacks. The tour is as much about conservation of energy as it is about attacking. Although some might think Lance is weaker (and he may very well be), there is still a lot of racing left and the "meat" of the tour is coming up. If Lance's health issues are behind him, we will see Lance opening up big gaps. In interviews, he says he feels good again.

Here's a quote from Armstrong:

"I've seen the course, know it pretty well and I'll see it again on the morning of the race," Armstrong said.

"I've been focusing a lot on the time trials this year with my training. I had a good time trial in the Dauphine Libere race in June."

"I think it's going to be the most important time trial I've ever done in the Tour."

From reuters

we'll see...EpicX
Jul 17, 2003 10:25 AM
maybe he's just biding his time. wonder if he's deliberately keeping it close just to keep the race exciting. maybe leBlanc had a chat about more than just wearing the yellow for the prologue. I think he's had to listen to a lot of crap the last 4 years about how boring it is when lance crushes the snot out of everyone on the first mountain stage.

hell, who knows. questions will be answered tomorrow. either lance will have a good ride or he won't. Anyone that THINKS they are a contender will have to be at the top of their game tomorrow.
At this point last year, wasn't Lance down 30 seconds?PaulCL
Jul 17, 2003 11:10 AM
To Galdano (sp???) remember him?? I'm not too worried. Lance seems very happy and mellow in the peleton.
Exactly my point...James OCLV
Jul 17, 2003 5:47 PM
Lance was down last year after the 1st ITT ( first crucial stage)... He went on to win the Tour by 7+ minutes.

This year, he's already in Yellow after the first crucial stage...
Wait a second . . .jumphress
Jul 17, 2003 9:47 PM
I don't think it would be accurate to say that the ITTs have been crucial to Lance's wins as they were to Indurain's. If you look closely at the results, you would see that his big time gains are posted in the first group of mountain stages. Gonzalez de Galdeano was leading him by 26 seconds after that first ITT (stage 9, won by Botero with an 11 second margin over Lance, who was 8 seconds better than G de G).

Two Pyrenees stages later, Lance was leading G de G by 3:19. By the time they were finished with Ventoux (Stage 14), Lance had but another five minutes into G d G, and led Beloki by 4:21 overall.
True, but...James OCLV
Jul 18, 2003 5:37 AM
In the past, the first Mountain stage has occured after the first ITT, not before it like this year. So, it's comparing apples to oranges. You have to look at what crucial point (crucial point meaning TT or Mtn. stage) comes first.

Last year, Lance wasn't in yellow after the first crucial point. This year he is.

Last year, he didn't take big time in the first ITT, and did in the first set of mtns.

This year, he didn't take big time in the first Mtn. stage, and hopefully for him he will in the first ITT.

Don't fool yourself; ITT's are very critical to Lance's wins (or any GC contender, for that matter).

The point that I was trying to make is that Lance is as good of a TT'er as Indurain. If Indurain could win by winning the TT's and hanging on in the Mtns., Lance could employ the same strategy and still win the overall.