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This changes everything.........(26 posts)

This changes everything.........lanterne rouge
Jul 18, 2003 7:54 AM
Absolutely amazing! Ullrich put in an Indurain like time trial. I figured he would be the one to beat Armstrong (if anybody could), but I would have never believed 1'36!! Armstrong also rode a great TT, he battled to keep the yellow, but that brings me to the topic heading. Lance now attacks in the Pyrenees, he must. He will need at least a couple of minutes again, if not more by the final ITT. He will be able to actually use the attacks by Vinokourov and Mayo against Ullrich! I believe Jan will be able to follow a few attacks but will ultimately concede some time in the Pyrenees, how much is anybody's guess. Here is where the teams matter, my money will still be on Lance, Chechu, Heras and Triki. (Maybe rooting with my heart, but I still want Lance to take five. I keep kicking myself for asking for an epic battle.) I don't think you could ask for a better Tour!
another subplotfeathers mcgraw
Jul 18, 2003 8:02 AM
It looked like Ullrich wouldn't help chase Vino on stage 9. I wonder if these former teammates will work together to crack Lance in the Pyrenees.
excellent point!!wheelsucker
Jul 18, 2003 8:08 AM
I'm sure vino would like to keep second and Ullrich take 1st, dropping LA to 3rd or lower. So much can happen its crazy, with Jan dominating the ITT and all the pure climbers around LA, he's going to have to watch everyone. I don't know if LA can hold off everyone, if he does that will truly be amazing.
No one has mentioned the 2000 Olympic RRjumphress
Jul 18, 2003 8:18 AM
Remember when Ullrich, Vino and Kloden attacked and grabbed the medals, in that order?
See post below ...Humma Hah
Jul 18, 2003 8:19 AM
... but yeah, thanks!
You had mentioned the TT . . .jumphress
Jul 18, 2003 8:47 AM
. . . the point I wanted to make is that riders from different national teams (but the same commercial team) cooperated to grab the medals.
Fear and doubt has entered Lance's psyche.fcebedo
Jul 18, 2003 8:10 AM
In the most important time-trial of his career, Lance's worst fear has been confirmed. Ulrich is ready!

He will fear the final team-trial since he cannot at this point bank on winning that TT and winning the race there.

He needs the Pyrenees now. He has to rise to the challenge and drop Ulrich. 2 minutes insurance lead so he can rest easy before the time trial.

Heras and the gang, thanks for saving yourselves today. Now it's Lance and his boys against Ulrich, coming soon in the mountains.

Bravo for such a great race. This is not TT beating I predicted but the the good money is still on Lance.

Lances mother was on our local news this morning..Dave Hickey
Jul 18, 2003 8:25 AM
Since Lance is a hometown boy, we're getting a lot of tour coverage on our local news. Lances mom isn't leaving for Paris until this weekend so she only sees Lance on TV. A reporter asked her what she thought of his perforance so far and she replied that he looks a lot more stressed than in the past. She also said that Lance sent her an email saying that he doesn't understand what the problem because pre-tour tests show him having more power than last year.

I thought she was bluffing a little. After today's stage, I'm not so sure.
The problem w/LanceJames OCLV
Jul 18, 2003 8:43 AM
I think that the problem with Lance is Ullrich. Lance himself has always regarded Ullrich as the most talented cyclist currently riding. Think back to '96 and '97 for a minute. I can't remember who said it, but it was thought that Ullrich would monopolize the Tour for the next 7 years!

It looks like he's finally got his act together, and is living up to his potential.

Anyway, if you look back at today's results (and take Ullrich out of the pic for a minute) Lance still took 30' out of Vino (whom I believe rode truy inspired) and a minute out of the next guy down. Not too bad...

I think the factor is that an in-shape Ullrich (who, by the way, has won TT's by a geater margin than Lance ever has) is just a force of nature in the TT's.
Jan's pretty good in the mountains, too NMjumphress
Jul 18, 2003 8:45 AM
True, but Lance is better...James OCLV
Jul 18, 2003 8:48 AM
In '98 Ullrich lost 9+ minutes on a mtn. stage while wearing Yellow... If Ullrich can manage to stay w/Lance in the Mtns, I think he can pull off the win...
He's gonna have to be (NM)jumphress
Jul 18, 2003 8:55 AM
Oooh yeah, he better (NM)James OCLV
Jul 18, 2003 9:11 AM
What do the pre-tour tests say about his competition?Humma Hah
Jul 18, 2003 8:48 AM
Racing, it is said, improves the breed. After 4 years of whupping the whole TdF field and whupping 'em good, this year members of that field have stepped up to make it a RACE.

Is this a BAD thing? 5 in a row would be a great accomplishment. Very rare to pull it off. 5 total TdF wins is more common (still pretty extrordinary), skipping a win one year. But a sense of assurance that the race is all over by the 12th stage is NOT my idea of a great competition ... and this year is a GREAT competition.
Wait a minute ... Armstrong IMPROVED his lead ...Humma Hah
Jul 18, 2003 8:17 AM
Yeah, so Ullrich beat him a bit in the TT, but Ullrich was a couple of minutes back anyway.

Yesterday, Vino was 21 sec back from the yellow jersey. Now he's 51 sec back. Second place is now 34 sec back. That's an IMPROVEMENT in standing for Armstrong, except now his closest competition is an old nemesis. Does it matter if you have an old nemesis or a new nemesis?

Ullrich is no slouch ... beat Armstrong in the Olympic TT. How much have they raced together recently? Didn't he skip last years TdF? So now we see how they stand.
Uh, I think Lance was intending to . . .jumphress
Jul 18, 2003 8:22 AM
. . . win today. My read on this is that Postal's strategy went into the crapper on the Alpe d'Huez stage. Lance has never been in such a tight race going into the second set of mountain stages.

I think Lance was worried about Ullrich based on the TTT results. Apparently Ullrich was doing outrageous pulls on the front.
Good points, butMXL02
Jul 18, 2003 8:23 AM
I think everyone is gaping at how Ullrich pulled close and, in effect, threw down the gauntlet. The maillot jaune is Lance's until someone takes it from him, and it is obvious that there are more people believing him to be vulnerable than in year's past.
Wait a minute ... Armstrong IMPROVED his lead ...jschrotz
Jul 18, 2003 8:25 AM
Yeah Ullrich beat him in the TT, and beat him big. And this was a stage he was calling the most important TT of his life. Don't think for a second he was holding anything back and letting Ullrich take the win b/c he was over 2 min. back at the start of the day. Lance always wants to win the TT. He even said that he'd focused on his time trialing in his build up to this Tour. Armstrong's gotta be a little unnerved by the size of his loss today, especially after being so dominant in the Tour TTs up until this point. Sure he lost the first TT last year, but that was by a mere 9 seconds. Quite a difference between that and 1:36. Any way you slice it, he's got a good fight on his hands.
Wait a minute ... Armstrong IMPROVED his lead ...key
Jul 18, 2003 8:50 AM
This is a big win and morale boost for Ullrich, but its not time to worry. Lance lost the TT last year to Botero before the mountains, and the effort to take 30" off Vino isn't worth it. He can take more time in the mountains and with similar effort as the TT, so best to save for then. But I don't think he went into today thinking that this would be the outcome.

I think the next three days we will all see if Lance and Co. have a great plan or he really is losing his edge. He's been invincible the last four years and always attacked so I would be really surprised if we don't see something big. Sure is the best tour in years, and great to see such great competition.

But last year's loss was only 9", not 1:36James OCLV
Jul 18, 2003 9:04 AM
I think that Lance suspected that he might not win (I think that his main objective on L'Alpe was to put time into Ullrich - good thing, too), but I didn't think he expected to loose that much time!
Lance must put the hurt on in the mountains, or Ullrich wins nmDougSloan
Jul 18, 2003 9:04 AM
I think you might be rightColnagoFE
Jul 18, 2003 9:56 AM
It's a 2 man race now unless something major happens. Ullrich looks like he has prepared well. Unless Lance can put big time on Ullrich in the mountains it could be over for Lance this year.
this is what Lance needs to doDougSloan
Jul 18, 2003 9:08 AM
Go to Ullrich and cut a deal. "Jan, let me win this one, and I won't try for 6 next year." Would Jan take it?

No, becauseRidearound
Jul 18, 2003 9:11 AM
Jan can get close without doing that, then get the judges to re-visit Lance's cynical cyclo-cross shortcut to do the rest...
My read.......Len J
Jul 18, 2003 9:23 AM
is that Jan, based on his performance to date, knows he is going to lose time in the mountains. As a result, he had to put everything into today, it's the only place he can take time. Look for him to not be a factor, only attempting to limit his losses in the MTNs, until the final TT.

Vino, IMO was the big winner today only losing 37 sec to Lance. He still is well within striking distance.

Lance is in a tight spot. He had to ride today to put time in Vino but knows he has to maintain some reserve because he knows he will be attacked in the mountains. IMO it will all come down to how well his team rides tempo & sheds riders in the mountains, how long they can do this, and wether or not Lance can put the death hurt on and make a statement or not. The longer he lets these guys hang around, the more him chasing the multiple attacks is going to wear him down.

Great tour......although sometimes I think I want boring back.

replacement photo for above...DougSloan
Jul 18, 2003 9:39 AM