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Let's talk Vuelta!!!(16 posts)

Let's talk Vuelta!!!noveread
Aug 8, 2003 6:18 AM
Yeah, yeah, I know some of you want to talk Tour '04 already, but this season's GTs aren't even over yet!

My hunch at this point, is that Jan is not going to ride the Vuelta. It also appears that Mayo and Zubeldia are not riding. Botero is out. That leaves Heras, Leipheimer, Aitor Gonzalez and who else? Are either Cadel Evans or Paolo Salvodelli riding?

I'm pulling for the American, of course. Just read an update over on Bike.com on Levi. Didn't realize that there was a film being made about Levi's '03 season!

So I'd like to hear who people think will be contenders at this year's Vuelta. Thoughts?

Noveread
The Empty Wrapper
Ullrich wins, if...Dwayne Barry
Aug 8, 2003 7:02 AM
he rides for the GC. The only guy who maybe could throw a monkey wrench in the works would be Pecchoroman but 3 weeks seems too long for somebody so young, even if the next Indurain.

Lots of the usual suspects but hard to say how any of their form is at the moment since almost none have raced recently(Frigo, Evans, A.G., Igor GdG, Zulle, Casagrande, Garzelli, Salvodelli).

Also watch out for the MSS guys. I have a funny suspicion about them. Watch out for Bernabeau as a possible revelation. Funny how the dopers Claus Moller and Txema del Olmo end up on that team and how the team as a whole rode in the spring, Perez fails for EPO at Romandie, oh well, just idle speculation...
re: Let's talk Vuelta!!!radical rock
Aug 8, 2003 3:05 PM
Who will step up to fund the former ONCE team?
Leviatpjunkie
Aug 8, 2003 6:35 PM
hope he does well but assume form will be off from broken hip. guys had a bad run of luck after Vuelta and leaving USPS. Except for Tyler (and you could even add him) there's a curse on guys who leave the team. Maybe LA has Faustian bargain. Vaughters, Livingston, etc all had poor unfulfilled potential-wise careers.
If USPS puts up good team (I'll assume all 3 Spaniards plus the guys who didn't make tour team) Heras could be the man to beat.
Chechu and Beltran riding support, I'm assuming George will be prepping for worlds and racing NY and SF GP's.
re: Let's talk Vuelta!!!gray8110
Aug 9, 2003 11:09 AM
I think Pecharroman wins :) - seriously
I'll go with....QUiTSPiNiNArOuND
Aug 9, 2003 12:26 PM
Heras, I think there is an uphill TT at the end, which would favor his abilities. I think he will come in to the vuelta in a little better form than last year, because he couldn't or didn't push himself at the tour. Also, i think that US Postal will still have the strongest team in the Vuelta. I also think Levi will do well here too. Jan and Angel Casero will have a little in fight, because Angel will want it more than Jan, but i think Jan will win a TT. I think Perrochaman will pose a threat early on, but will fade towards the end.
Podium:
1. Heras
2. Levi
3. Ullrich
Don't Count Oscar Sevilla OutIndurain 03
Aug 9, 2003 6:42 PM
While his time trial abilities haven't quite good enough in the past, he is still one of the best climbers in the race. He has finished consistently high in the GC in years past. He is one to watch.
WHO IN THE HELL IS AITOR GONZALEz????!!!!??!!CharlesTT
Aug 9, 2003 9:48 PM
Oh yeah hes that guy who spoiled Roberto's year in 2002......oh and i almost forgot, he won the Tour of Spain too. AG is going to be like, 'yeah i could could do well in the vuelta this year but that would require getting off my ass and and improving my climbing or at least getting back to where i was last year, but i think i will just push my bike up D'Anglaru this year instead.' (please note i am aware that the Anglaru is not in the vuelta this year, i'm just......you know.)

The podium will be Levi 1st((or 2nd)(or 1st)) and Heras will be 2nd ((or 1st)( or 2nd)) 3rd is any number of riders. I kinda wish beloki could recover, but if he did that he would win. OS, Jan (if he races). Pecharoman is a better ITT than hera's but heras lost to him when the only mountains were the kind where real climbers dont do as well because they are not as long and they cant get enough time to not lose it all in the ITT. I'm talking in like the early season 5-10 stage, stage races. Pecharroman if hes on form wont be able to keep heras in sight on the high mountains. But, the thing with L.L. is that betini came off injury in good form, and so has everyone else i know who has broken something in the middle of the season, so he will make some suprises.
Yeah, and Levi...Dwayne Barry
Aug 10, 2003 2:26 PM
Leipheimer for that matter? I mean I know he's an American and all, but the only decent results I recall him getting were 4th at the Vuelta 3 years ago, scraping into the top 10 at last year's tour, and again at one of the pre-tour stage races this year. Am I missing some big results here?

I appreciate the rationale that he would be fresh and hungry coming of his injury and all, but when has he ever shown the form that would make you think he can win a grand tour?

Not to mention, how much support will he get from Rabobank, he's their lame duck GT GC man unless they can't sign the guys they're after.
re: WHO IN THE HELL IS AITOR GONZALEz????!!!!??!!cyclopathic
Aug 29, 2003 7:07 AM
AG wasn't showing well this year but you'd probably realize that his main duty was to pull Fassa Bartolo train for Petachi. I don't think he'd be allowed to ride for himself, unless he screws them like he did Kelme in '02.
re: WHO IN THE HELL IS AITOR GONZALEz????!!!!??!!atpjunkie
Sep 3, 2003 6:11 PM
actually Aitor was/is supposed to share GC duty w/ Basso but he spent too much of his off season at the disco than on his bike. Pulling for Petacchi didn't seem to hurt Ivan much, actually Ivan rode to a high GC in the TdF without most of his team. Aitor and Santiago are the signing bombs of 2003. At least Levi has excuses like broken hips and such. He's also never been quoted as 'the next GC contender' as Gonzalez and Botero (both better at self promotion than training) did in their respective off seasons. Considering the salary Fassa is paying AG, to use him as a rouler
is a really bad investment, could have got 2 sprint lead or flat grinders for his price.
this Vuelta has a looooong TT so most climbers will be nullified.
who's racing that is a strong overall?
what about Beltran? nmJS Haiku Shop
Aug 11, 2003 10:23 AM
He's the Noe of...Dwayne Barry
Aug 12, 2003 4:44 AM
Spanish cycling, always creaping into the GT top-10 kinda anonymously, never making any waves, can climb but not TT well enough to ever win. Will be interesting to see how Postal plays it, whether they put all their cards in the Heras basket or not.
what about Beltran? nmmoving up
Aug 12, 2003 10:49 AM
He will be pulling Heras up the mountains and maybe sneak up higher than others anticipate. He seems very motivated to show his stuff and he appeared more consistent than Heras in the TdF although he was mostly relegated to water bottle duty. There is no way Levi is winning the Vuelta. The Spaniards are more driven to win this than the Italians are to win the Giro. With Chechu and Beltran on the team, and the Posties strong coming out of the TdF in good condition to push it again, Heras is definitely the man to beat.
While there are plenty of mountain top...Dwayne Barry
Aug 12, 2003 11:35 AM
finishes (6 I think), there are 2 TT where Ullrich will put a minimum of 3 minutes and upwards of 5+ into Heras. The final TT is uphill but only 12km and unless really steep Heras will probably lose time there also to Ullrich. I can't see Heras beating Ullrich unless Ullrich is unmotivated for the GC. This is all assuming Heras comes into form because if he has his TdF form he won't even be on the podium.
While there are plenty of mountain top...atpjunkie
Aug 13, 2003 9:44 PM
agree. Heras will need lots of Mt Top finishes to pad lead (if he can get one). If Heras is on form (he was ill for the TdF) USPS will be strong. I'm going to figure new guy on the block (Beltran) will be doing Dom. duty. If Bianchi puts a good team together Jan will take it. He's already won one of these so he knows the gig, spaniards or not.