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Armstrong was not stronger than Ullrich(31 posts)

Armstrong was not stronger than UllrichFastPete
Jul 28, 2003 1:05 PM
Imagine there was no team time trial, Ullrich hadn't crashed in the final TT and hadn't ridden the Alps with a fever? Would Lance still have won? Do you guys really believe LA was stronger than Jan Ullrich this year? In the end, I believe it came down to pure luck.
Jul 28, 2003 1:09 PM
It's impossible to know. Lance was apparently sick during the first TT, which effectively negates the Ullrich sickness in the alps.

Imagine if the race was just a one-day, flat time trial, would Lance still have won? The race is what it is, and strength is only one component of what it takes to win a Grand Tour.

On the other hand, as a great bike rider once told me: "did you ever notice that the guys who work the hardest also happen to be consistently the luckiest?"
was toomohair_chair
Jul 28, 2003 1:42 PM
Lance won, so by definition he was stronger than Ullrich. I don't see how logically, you can see it any other way.

Imagine all you want, but the fact is that race included a team time trial, Ullrich did crash, and Ullrich did have a fever. Lance had his ailments, too. He also crashed, and only his off-road skills prevented him from losing it in the field when Beloki went down.

There were only four stages where Ullrich took any time on Armstrong, and only the ITT was significant. The others were for three, seven, and two seconds, I believe. Hardly dominant. Lance on the other hand, put serious time into Ullrich on L'Alpe d'Huez, the TTT, and Luz-Ardidan, and was at least equal on the final TT before Jan went down.

Lance rode from a position of strength, no matter how fragile that position was, and Ullrich could not overcome it. By all reason and logic, Armstrong was the stronger rider. Calling it luck is to ignore reality.

Imagine that Beloki hadn't crashed. Could he have beaten Ullrich or Armstrong?
and imagine if lance hadnt crashed as wellColnagoFE
Jul 28, 2003 1:52 PM
you can always say "what if" but the fact of the matter is that lance gets win #5...whether by hook, crook, or honest effort.
Maybe, maybe not... but LA rode smarter than Ullrich (nm)Halloween
Jul 28, 2003 2:00 PM
using his team to the fullest to disguise his bad days. LA said he had only one good day at the tour, and he still won.
re: Armstrong was not stronger than UllrichCrankYanker
Jul 28, 2003 2:48 PM
Well, maybe they'll come up with a new jersey to award Jan. They can call it the "Strongest rider barring injury, accident, illness, bad luck, or team time trial performance-jersey."

Once you start trying to eliminate real-world factors in determining who's strongest, you wind up with no race at all.

Winning the tour isn't about being strongest. It's about being pretty damn strong, pretty damn smart, and somewhat lucky. With Lance around, you ain't gonna win the Tour without the full package.
Yeah, just stick them on a computrainer and record the wattsnoveread
Jul 28, 2003 5:51 PM
That way we know who is stronger and can just give them the jersey and be done with it.

And Jan stronger? Why do you say that? Because he stomped in the first TT and took a few seconds on one mountain stage?

Jan stronger? No, I don't think so.

The Empty Wrapper
re: Armstrong was not stronger than UllrichCrankE
Jul 29, 2003 4:49 AM
Imagine if Lance was properly hydrated for the first ITT, if he didn't have Beloki to avoid, the mussette bag was 6 inches farther away, if he'd have stayed clipped in after he fell, if he didn't have ongoing marital problems, if the U.S. Postal team wasn't so friggin' deep, if Team Bianchi was a little better overall....blah, blah, blah...

You could make Saddam Hussein president of the United States if you play enough 'what ifs'.

If after THREE WEEKS of racing to shake it all out, you still want to argue that second place was the stronger rider, you have issues. Exactly how much more time did Ullrich need to bring his 'superior strength' to bear?

I don't get this crap that since Jan beat Lance in the first ITT that he's stronger. That was a fluke for this year - and you never saw Ullrich 1:34 better than Lance ever again on the tour. And there was no TTT to hide in. They'd done that.

Yes - he beat Lance. Lance was either sick, ill prepared or both. Only Chris Carmichael and Lance know the whole truth. If you want to play 'what ifs' you've got to go both directions. Had Lance been totally healthy, he'd have one by over two-minutes or can go on forever.

Lance won, Ullrich lost. Round six starts in July of 2004. My money is on the Texan.
re: Armstrong was not stronger than UllrichFastPete
Jul 29, 2003 8:15 AM
I do not mean to say he didn't deserve his win. What I am sick of are all those people who think

Armstrong = unbeatable = invincible = god on wheels

It's good to be a loyal fan but this is going way too far...
re: Armstrong was not stronger than UllrichCrankE
Jul 29, 2003 12:31 PM
This year's Tour proved to all that he's actually human - and can in fact, lose and be vulnerable. But for the last 5 years, it's hard to argue that he's been essentially invincible. A God? No - he's a bike racer and no more, but certainly the finest Tour rider currently contesting the thing.

As for the best ever? Unless LA ends up wining more stages and spends more time in yellow than Eddie Merckz, no matter how many tours he wins, there will be conversation.
Here's some food for thought...James OCLV
Jul 29, 2003 8:14 AM
While Armstrong's season is likely over (as of right now it looks like he'll be skipping the World Championships), Ullrich plans to race both the Vuelta & the World Championships, and is hoping to place well in both. Now, while it's hard to argue who's stronger based on the TDF alone, one could argue that at this point in time their fitness is pretty close to the same level. Using that for a basis, couldn't one argue that the fact that Ullrich will continue to race through the month of October (and most likely get good results) while Armstrong has ended his competitive season make Ullrich the stronger cyclist?
Vino as well...James OCLV
Jul 29, 2003 8:16 AM
The third place finisher in the Tour de France made a post-Tour criterium appearance Monday in Boxmeer, Netherlands and will jump back into serious competition at the Grand Prix Breitling, a two-man time trial in Karlsruhe, Germany, which he will contest with Bobby Julich. Sunday Vinokourov will return to World Cup competition at the Clasica San Sebastian (August 9) and GP Zurich (August 17).
Vino as well...FastPete
Jul 29, 2003 8:22 AM
Vino, Hamilton, van Petegrem, Chipollini, Bettini, Simoni, ...

Nobody in America even knows them (exept for Hamilton but how many people know about his accomplishments other than riding a great tour with a broken collarbone?)because nobody knows that there are races apart from the TDF.
Here's some food for thought...FastPete
Jul 29, 2003 8:17 AM
A very good point. What else has Armstrong accomplished in the years he won the Tour? Ullrich?

It's pretty sad that Armstrong doesn't care about the world championships even if they are held in North America, isn't it.
It's also sad that...James OCLV
Jul 29, 2003 8:36 AM
Lance doesn't participate in the USPRO Championships as well. AS an American, he should at least participate in his own national championship.

Lance admits that this Tour took a lot out of him - it took a lot out of everybody else, too. The difference is that they will continue to race out the season.

Don't get me wrong; I'm a huge Lance fan. I just wish, as a fan, that he'd do a little more than the TDF. My point above is that Ullrich will continue to race and continue to get good results. If he can do it, why can't Lance?
It could be that people are never satisfied.lanterne rouge
Jul 29, 2003 8:47 AM
Lance had some great races prior to the Tour. LBL, he was one of the animators of that race. He won a hard fought Dauphine. Once again, he raced a great Amstel. Pretty tough races all. I know that Vino has had a GREAT season, Paris-Nice, Tour de Suisse, 3rd at the Tour. I think we should give Armstrong a break. Ullrich raced Tour de Suisse and some minor races in and around Germany but no classics. Mayo isn't going to the Vuelta so maybe Lance isn't the only one who is tired.
Also, speaking as an American.lanterne rouge
Jul 29, 2003 8:52 AM
I believe some would be suprised at how many people do know Simoni, Cipollini, Bettini, Van Petegem and many others. Some Americans aren't as uninformed about cycling as some others would like to think.
Are you speaking as an American, or an American Cyclist?James OCLV
Jul 29, 2003 8:59 AM
I'd be willing to bet that if I conducted an office poll right now, 90% of the people polled would know who Lance is. I'd also be willing to bet that less than 5% would know who Simoni, Cipollini, Bettini, Van Petegem are...
Are you speaking as an American, or an American Cyclist?lanterne rouge
Jul 29, 2003 9:11 AM
Both. I would bet if you did the same poll in a European office you might not get the numbers you expect there either.
Right, but...James OCLV
Jul 29, 2003 8:57 AM
I think that the original question was "who is stronger"... I mean, what makes a cyclist "one of the greats"? Yes, Lance had some great races before the Tour. Vino had some better ones; He still placed 3rd overall in the TDF, and he'll continue to race out the rest of the season. What's more impressive?

I think that I even mentioned that "everyone is tired", but the strongest will continue to race out the season. I'm willing to bet that Ullrich is as tired as Lance. Where will he find the strenght to race the Vuelta or the World Championships?

I'm not dogging Lance; I think that he's a great cyclist. The fact is that he cherry-picks races that he thinks will help him get into shape for the Tour, and overlooks all of the rest.

Why won't he race the Giro? The Vuelta? The World Championships? His own National Championships?
Right, but...lanterne rouge
Jul 29, 2003 9:10 AM
When you compare Lance to Vino, you forget one very important point. Lance is Lance. Now wait before you jump on this and let me explain. When Lance makes a move in the race, any race, there is a major reaction. I think it will be the same with Vino from now on and the wins will become harder and harder to get. (I know, Vino was a good bike racer all along, but it will be different after this season)Vino has gotten away with being good, but not overly good, so his moves are given a little more leeway. As I said, I believe this will change. Ullrich is a little better match. Ullrich cherry picks his races also. Tour de Suisse was a warm up for the TDF for Ullrich, he even said so. (Testing his form, refining his form or such). He lost the Tour to a weaker Armstrong, but lost nonetheless. I truly believe that he is racing the Vuelta as a substitute for not coming home with the big prize in the Tour. He WILL concentrate on the TDF next year. I will give you the US PRO argument. It would be nice to see Lance race that and I too was disappointed with his decision not to race the Worlds. I read somewhere recently, straight from Lance, (it may have been an interview, can't remember really) that IF he loses the Tour he may race the Giro, Vuelta and some classics to win. I think this is a direct result of complaints by cycling fans. By the way, Lance's first comeback result from cancer was a 4th place at the 98 Vuelta.
I read the same thing...James OCLV
Jul 29, 2003 10:00 AM
Personally, I do think that Lance is one of the greats. Even if he does focus soley on the TDF, the guy has won it 5 times - 7 years after being diagnosed with cancer!

I think that he got 4th in the '98 Worlds, as well...

Personally, that's the Lance I'd rather see. His problem is that he won't compete unless he knows he can win. I thought that we'd see him race the Worlds for sure this year (it's in North America, and it's the 10 year anniversary of his Worlds win).

What's amazing about Ullrich is that even though he only came in 2nd in the Tour, I'd be willing to bet that he'll win the Vuelta and possibly thw Worlds (the course isn't a sprinters course this year).
I agree.lanterne rouge
Jul 29, 2003 10:12 AM
I like Lance and Jan. I would love to see Jan win the Worlds, or Tyler for that matter (I say watch out for Bettini though). I think the Vuelta will be hard fought among the Spanish riders, might see a suprise from Jan though. I had planned to go to the Worlds this year when I thought Lance would ride and I still may. I wish they would bring it to Colorado again so it wouldn't be so far away. By the way, I wasn't trying to diminish what Jan did in the Tour. Lance tried to warn everybody that no matter what Jan may say he still was a worthy opponent. I can't wait until Beloki joins the mix next year. It is going to be great.

Correct on the 98 worlds, I had forgotten that.
He cared enough to win one nmmohair_chair
Jul 29, 2003 11:07 AM
What do you mean? nmJames OCLV
Jul 29, 2003 11:31 AM
I mean...mohair_chair
Jul 29, 2003 11:54 AM
When someone says It's pretty sad that Armstrong doesn't care about the world championships, I have to point out that Lance has won the World Championship, and therefore he must care about them. He proudly wears the stripes on his sleeves, so he must care. Nevertheless, he has his. Let someone else try to get one.
You missunderstand...James OCLV
Jul 29, 2003 8:07 PM
I meant that it was sad for the cycling fans who would love to see Lance compete in other important races, such as the World Championships, not that it makes him a sorry cyclist...

Everyone who races in the World Championships has an opportunity to win one, and I'm not suggesting that Lance would even win. I just think that he should throw his hat in the ring, and it would be pretty interesting to see the "new Lance" compete in more races than the TDF (and the races that he cherry-picks to prepare for the TDF).

All of the "Greats" have won multiple World Championship titles, so I don't think that Lance does it out of "fair play" for the rest of the field.

I was simply trying to point out that while everyone is tired after the TDF, other cyclists seem to find the strength to continue to compete in other events. Ullrich, for one, was very close to Lance's time this TDF. You could argue that his level of fitness was pretty close to Lances - Ullrich will continue to compete and do well in races through the rest of the season. Lance will not... Take what you want from that...

Actually, Lance himself has said repeatedly that he only cares about the TDF. That statement by design has to mean that he doesn't care about anything else.
Jul 30, 2003 10:49 AM
>>Actually, Lance himself has said repeatedly that he only cares about the TDF. That statement by design has to mean that he doesn't care about anything else.

So? He trains for the TDF. That's what he does. That's what he gets paid to do. Not to be the best ever. If he was contesting that, he would be riding the other races.

>>I meant that it was sad for the cycling fans who would love to see Lance compete in other important races, such as the World Championships,

Why would he care what they think? The fans aren't paying him to race. If you want to make that argument, it's the TDF fans. He wouldn't have fans if he raced everything and lost everything including the TDF.

Why should he be obligated to do anything else. He even said that he knows "which side of the bread is buttered on." He has much more to lose if he loses the TDF now than any other rider. Why screw around w/ his chances?

Let Jan only race and train for the TDF and maybe he'll win it again too. Then again, Jan didn't win the TDF for the past 5 years, he can't just quit until next year. He's got to get titles from somewhere.

Why should he have to race the USPRO? Because he's an American who won the TDF? A lot of other people are American too. As far as the "Greats" winning multiple titles, I'd bet they weren't getting paid for winning all of those races combined for what he's getting paid for just the TDF and endorsements stemming from his TDF popularity.

While I'm at it, I'd like to see how well Jan would do if he had as many people attacking him that attacked Armstrong. Armstrong weaker? Sure, after everyone attacks him every 2 seconds...Everyone seems to overlook that.
So? - It's your opinion that Lance just rides for the money?James OCLV
Jul 30, 2003 1:06 PM
If so, then that's even sadder...
So? - It's your opinion that Lance just rides for the money?ochsen
Jul 31, 2003 7:11 AM
What, to you or him?

If he hated cycling, he wouldn't be this far into it to begin w/, so there's more motivation. What is it? Only he knows.

It's his life, his money and his job. Why should he be carted out like a monkey for low pay to entertain everyone just because it's someone else's ideal to have to race everything and prove something? He doesn't have to prove anything. He cares about the TDF, that's about it. That's no secret. Who's saying he's the greatest? He isn't.

If people don't like him winning the TDF, then someone needs to train the same exact way he does and they'll have their chance too. They won't be riding every major tour either...

How much he loves cycling has nothing to do w/ anything. Sure, what may be a sell-out to you has no impact on what his goals are. He trains his ass off, it's not like he's slacking and collecting a paycheck.

I bet if you had Lance's perspective you'd have a different opinion.
So? - It's your opinion that Lance just rides for the money?James OCLV
Jul 31, 2003 7:49 AM
I think that the original topic of this discussion was whether or not Ullrich is a stronger cyclist than Lance. I tried to argue my case that Ullrich is stronger, and that Lance is not the "patron of the sport" that everyone makes him out to be. Whether it was a convincing argument or not, I cannot be the judge; all I can do is state my case.

This wasn't a discussion about Lance's goals, perspective or whatever else. I was simply giving evidence that Ullrich is a stronger cyclist.

You ask why should Lance be carted out like a monkey for low pay to entertain veryone just because it's someone else's ideal to have to reace everything and prove something. Well, my answer to that is because it's his job! It's what he gets paid to do. He gets paid to race his bike. You may argue that he gets paid to only win the TDF - and that may be true. I don't know what the terms of his contract with USP are. If it's not true (getting paid only to win the Tour), then he should retire. That's exactly what drove Indurain out of the sport...

It would be like requiring the winner of the Super Bowl to only have to play one game per year - the Super Bowl (defend their title). They could sit out the rest of the season. Maybe they could play a game here or there to "tune up" if they feel like it, but that's it. How would that go over with the fans?