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Does Hamilton have a shot at podium?(4 posts)

Does Hamilton have a shot at podium?MaRider
Jul 18, 2003 3:22 PM
He is now 2+ back from both Vino and Ullrich.
Even though I considered him a very good time-trialist, he should probably be expected to lose a similar amount of time in the final ITT as he lost today.
Which means that in order to make podium he needs to take
close to 3+ minutes from Vino, or 5+ minutes from Ullrich or Armstrong. I don't see that happening, unless there's a crash, illness or a serious blowup in the mountains.

Probably the most realistic case is Hamilton taking time from Vino, who might very well crack. I still think Vino's riding style is much more suited to one-day classics - his signature is a decisive acceleration made in the end of the stage, with only a few km to go. But I still have my doubts about his ability to climb with the best of them, especially over steep and long climbs of the Pyrenees.

I also still think Lance has the tour under control. Ullrich really dominated today's stage and was strong during TTT, but he did not impress me at all in the mountains. L'alpe D'Huez aside, during "cyclocross" stage when Beloki attacked and Lance followed immediately, Ullrich looked like he was in trouble. Meyo went after them, and Ullrich joined them only later, when they settled into a more reasonable pace realizing the move did not work.
I really think Ullrich is not very strong in the mountains, and he will lose touch with Lance's group several times during the Pyrenees stages. I think Vino will lose some time as well.
don't count out Ullrich because he looked tired on the Alpe staglonefrontranger
Jul 18, 2003 6:40 PM
Don't forget he was up all night puking on Wednesday with 103 fever (the same GI bug that's been raging through the peloton), and was almost not permitted to start on Thursday as his fever was still above 100.

I foresee him getting stronger, not weaker.
Jul 18, 2003 9:32 PM
People often say that ullrich can't put the hammer down when the climbs get steep. I see that as a non-issue. His style is to tick over a ridiculous pace up hill for hours at a time. He doesn't have the accelleration but when somebody makes a break he has the ability to catch them slowly but surely.
What I would like to see is him take advantage of this strength by running an unmatchable pace in the more gradual slopes...he can do this like no one else. If he does this armstrong and co will catch him on the walls but he won't lose any time and can bank on putting some more time into them in the next ITT.
I wouldn't play poker with any of these guys!jesse1
Jul 19, 2003 2:58 AM
After seeing Lance pretend like he was suffering on a hill last year, then take off like a rocket, I'd expect a little acting goes on from time to time. I wonder if it goes as far as having the team doctor claim some kind of illness to support it.