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Which one of you said my man Beltran couldn't time trial!!!!(37 posts)

Which one of you said my man Beltran couldn't time trial!!!!BAi9302010
Sep 11, 2003 6:55 AM
He just passed through the halfway check point in the third fastest time!!!! Way faster than Heras, and faster than most of the tt'ists too!!!

I was at least one of those...Dwayne Barry
Sep 11, 2003 6:58 AM
people, where is he pulling this TT from? Looks like Postal could have a "Kelme" situation on their hands.

Meanwhile, it looks like I. GdG went out to hard and is fading!
it's not going to be a Kelme situation because...BAi9302010
Sep 11, 2003 7:05 AM
Heras isn't going to be able to stay with Beltran in the mountains and after this tt Beltran is going to have a big lead on him anyways, unlike Kelme last year when AG and Sevilla were only seperated by a second going into the mountains.

Beltran is clearly the stronger rider this year.
OMG and he's still pulling back time on Millar!!BAi9302010
Sep 11, 2003 7:10 AM
at the 3rd check he was only 16 seconds behind Millar's time and he's still taking back time!! Talk about a motivated rider!!
Nozal is riding exceptionally as well...Dwayne Barry
Sep 11, 2003 7:13 AM
but he's a TTist, so it was at least a reasonable possibility.
Nozal is riding exceptionally as well...BAi9302010
Sep 11, 2003 7:16 AM
chances are the winds probably died down some later in the day.
Yeah, perhaps...Dwayne Barry
Sep 11, 2003 7:24 AM
but I was mainly comparing his ride to I. GdG which would be in about the same conditions. Looks like Nozal will win the stage up by over a minute at the 3rd check.
I said Heras would win...QUiTSPiNiNArOuND
Sep 11, 2003 8:20 AM
Looks like Beltran is pulling outa good ride. We will still have to see what happens in the mountains. Also, to me, it looks like Heras' handlebars are way too far out there, when he stands up to go, he is far stretched out. They look to be one of Lance's old prototype handlebars. I think Heras and Beltran will share leadership until whatever happens tommorow, Rubiera will set a hard pace on the last climb and than heras and beltran will go together and whoever wins from there. Johan will not let the team blow up like Kelme, there is a very strict order in there, and USPS plans seem to be going according to plan.
you're joking, right?mohair_chair
Sep 11, 2003 9:25 AM
Everyone knows Heras is not a good time trialer, so I hardly think team strategy will suddenly shift because of this "shocking" event. Be realistic. They certainly didn't jump behind Pena when he got the jersey in the Tour. Heras is still the guy.

There is a huge advantage to having Beltran up there on GC, as was demonstrated in the Tour during the Pyrenees. If only Rubiera hadn't lost all that time on stage 1, it would be a repeat of the Tour strategy. Send Beltran up the road and make ONCE bring him back.

Here's a thought. What if Heras is doing the old rope-a-dope? Tomorrow is a hard stage, so if you are Heras, why not accept that you will lose time today and not kill yourself trying to prevent it. Let Gonzalez and GdG kill themselves trying to put you in a hole because they fear you on the mountains. Let them suffer tomorrow when you put the hammer down in the hills and start pulling the time back. I'm not saying that's what Heras did, but it seems like a reasonable strategy for a guy who excels on climbs but only survives TTs.
Hardly...Dwayne Barry
Sep 11, 2003 10:58 AM
Pena is no kind of comparison, because Lance is as close to a sure thing as there is for the GC, and Pena can't climb well enough to win anyway.

The difference is Beltran may very well climb as well as Heras, and stands to gain multiple minutes on him again in the next TT and possibly equal him in the final. If I were going to send anyone up the road it would be Heras, as he may be given some freedom because ONCE knows their guys can take time out of him in the TT. No way will Beltran be let go "up the road", he's now a main threat for the overall because he demonstrated he can TT good enough to threaten Nozal and I. GdG.
I don't think somohair_chair
Sep 11, 2003 12:12 PM
I think you're wrong about that. The other teams know that USPS is a one-leader team, and the entire team, including Beltran, is committed to that leader. In the Tour it's Lance, in the Vuelta it's Heras. Unless Heras cracks, he is the guy, and everyone knows it. They could all be stronger than Heras, and it won't matter. He is the guy.

USPS couldn't be happier to have Beltran in a good GC position. I'm sure USPS will try to send Beltran up the road on the mountain stages. Otherwise, they waste his GC position. But there is no way any GC contender would let Heras get up the road. That would be ignoring a lot of recent history. He may have poor TT skills, but giving away time in the mountains and betting it all on beating him in the TT is pretty arrogant and short sighted. All it takes is one off day in the mountains to ruin that plan and wipe out your chances. This Vuelta looks very much like the 2000 Vuelta that Heras won, with so many mountain top finishes, and I don't think that is lost on the other teams.

No one is going to be fooled if USPS pretends they have switched to Beltran.
You guys don't know Beltran...BAi9302010
Sep 11, 2003 4:43 PM
Roberto Heras isn't Lance Armstrong. He hasn't won the previous 4 Vueltas, so he isn't in the position Lance is in in the tdf and isn't the sole leader of the team. In the tdf USPS knows how Lance is going to perform, the same can't be said about Heras. Right now USPS will probably go with whomever is riding the best.

As for Beltran, he's one of the most consistent GC riders out there and is usually in the top 10 or 15 of any grand tour he enters. This is the first season he's been on USPS so none of us know how their gonna treat his situation. In the Tour this year he was obviously climbing several levels above Heras and just about everyone else. Tomorrow we'll see what happens and I won't be surprised if Beltran puts in a good attack when it counts, whether or not Heras can follow. USPS is not about to give up his position in the gc.
I agree...Dwayne Barry
Sep 11, 2003 4:55 PM
Beltran and Heras both have to be protected riders for now. I suspect neither will do anything tomorrow until the final climb and then it will be everyman for himself (more or less). Same for I. GdG and Nozal, just wait til the final climb and see how everyone goes (assuming they all make it to the final climb in the main group). Although if I were Sainz I'd send either Serrano, Hruska or Azevedo up the road early and try to force Postal or someone else to set the tempo.
yes and noQUiTSPiNiNArOuND
Sep 11, 2003 5:16 PM
Yes they will protect both the riders. Beltran is consistent, yes. but Heras has been 1st in 2000, 4th in 2001, and 2nd in 2002. He is always consistent at the vuelta, he also said he wouldn't come to the vuelta if he didn't believe he had a shot. also his diary at states that beltran is still domestique after this TT.
Beltran isn't a domestiqueBAi9302010
Sep 11, 2003 6:43 PM
"It's always better to have a strong team-mate on your side, especially in the mountains"

He doesn't say anything about Beltran being a domestique, but rather an allie.
ok, maybe not...QUiTSPiNiNArOuND
Sep 11, 2003 7:02 PM
but what good is a team mate that is strong and doesn't help out? Beltran is better than a domestique, i agree. It;s still going to be interesting to see how the climb pans out as usps will not attack each other, and one does have to lead a good tempo, than one has to leap from the group. I think it's going to be like a breakaway if there are several stong riders in a group, usps will punch 1 and 2 like EE the other day. Or maybe it will just be Heras and Beltran like Armstrong and Heras at 02 Tour. Than again i could be way off ;)
My inside source says the team rides for HERAS onlySpoiler
Sep 11, 2003 6:59 PM
Who is my source? Frankie Andreau

"The team is totally focused in its support of Roberto Heras to win the Vuelta. The team will only focus on this objective unless something happens to take Roberto out of the overall. If this happens then the team will change its focus towards winning stages."

Unless you have sources closer to the team, all this hot air is premature and uninformed. Beltran simply cannot climb with Heras. There's a chance Beltran can pull a Rubiera like this year. They send him up the road, forcing other teams to chase, which they will. They catch Beltran, and Heras gets a free ride to the final selection.
the team rides for HERASatpjunkie
Sep 11, 2003 9:46 PM
the whole argument about Beltran and Heras at the Tour is moot. Roberto was sick and off form. Beltran is a great rider and USPS will protect the two of them, Chechu as well. These guys never pull on the flats, they save themselves for the climb (usually the final).
USPS doesn't have to do much early as ONCE has to protect the lead. This will save the USPS doms for most of the stage(s) and then George will take first big pull, then Chechu then depending on who's on form one will set up the other, most likely Beltran for Heras as that is how the Team is set. If Heras is off form all could change and it's possible they will both go. USPS is in agreat position as they don't have to protect like they did in the TdF. This will save the team some. They will attack when its most opportune. My guess is both Beltran and Heras are great tempo changers so wait til the pack is shed and then they will throw tempo changes to crack all but the best.
When was that statement made?Dwayne Barry
Sep 12, 2003 2:37 AM
Sounds like before the Vuelta and certainly before yesterday! I don't think anyone expected Beltran to be 2 minutes up on Heras going into the mountains.
Exactly Mr. Barry...BAi9302010
Sep 12, 2003 4:35 AM
The Andreu statement was obviously made before the Vuelta even began. In the link to Heras' diary, he said himself that the two would be working together, not one for the other. If you're comparing Manuel Beltran with Chechu Rubiera than you obviously don't know what you're talking about. He is more than just a domestique, he's a gc rider himself and he's not going to work as a domestique unless there's an obvious leader in the team who is stronger than him (i.e. Tony Rominger in his early days at Mapei, Alex Zulle in the mid to late ninties on Banesto, and Lance Armstrong now on USPS).
It doesn't matter.Spoiler
Sep 12, 2003 6:35 AM
Do you realize how early it is? You think USPS will abandon their strategy before the mountains even begin despite having Roberto in ideal position? The bottom line is that USPS has said Roberto is the leader. Any other talk is just fans shooting their mouths off because they don't understand the TEAM aspect of cycling.
There is an obvious leader on the team, Heras. Period. The reason for this will become apparent as more and more mountains are climbed. The team knows Beltran's and Heras abilities. They know who's stronger.
It's alright to admire Beltran for abilities, but you're losing your head over nothing more than a nice early showing.
Paleeze remove foot from mouth...Dwayne Barry
Sep 12, 2003 8:15 AM
Did you see today's stage?
Heras and Beltran are clearly co-leaders now. And Heras played the faithful team-mate when Beltran went away on the final climb. He even looked strong enough to attack but didn't.
As for an example of how a team behaves with a sole leader, see Nozal sacrificing himself for GdG today.
Paleeze remove foot from mouth...Spoiler
Sep 12, 2003 9:00 AM
There's no foot in my mouth, sport.
Come on....Dwayne Barry
Sep 12, 2003 9:31 AM
there's nothing wrong with being wrong especially when prognosticating somewhat.

Or maybe you still think you were right and Heras is the sole USPS leader? Although it's hard to see how you could still believe this after seeing Beltran working with Perez on the final climb and putting more time between him and GdG and Heras, and the other GC guys.
Like I keep sayingSpoiler
Sep 12, 2003 9:39 AM
It's a long, long race. It will take a lot more to convince me USPS's original plans are thrown out the window. It would be foolish to set your team up for another '02 Kelme situation.
I'll say it again, Beltran is going to win the Vuelta...BAi9302010
Sep 12, 2003 1:04 PM
"It would be foolish to set your team up for another '02 Kelme situation."

Why do you keep refering to the 02 Kelme situation? This is completely different. With Kelme last year Sevilla and Gonzalez were sperated by ONE SECOND going into the FIFTEENTH STAGE!!! This is clearly not the case here. Beltran already has almost 2.5 minutes on Heras and his lead is increasing every day, and they've only been racing for a week. If Heras could have gone with Beltran today he would have. Beltran isn't a domestique and is not about to give up a good shot at winning a grand tour. Going into this race it was believed by USPS that Heras was the strongest rider and he was made the team captain. Beltran agreed to work for him under these conditions but the situation is changing.
Sep 12, 2003 1:08 PM
The reason why USPS hired Beltran was to work for Lance Armstrong as another climber along with Heras in the tdf, not as a domestique for Heras in the Vuelta.
How old is Beltran?Spoiler
Sep 12, 2003 2:57 PM
Sep 12, 2003 5:33 PM
he's 32
Sep 12, 2003 7:10 PM
if Beltran manages to pull off a win, the average age of the winners of all 3 grand tour winners this year will be close to 32 which used to be the age when most pro riders would consider retiring.
I'll say it again, Beltran is going to win the Vuelta...Spoiler
Sep 12, 2003 3:27 PM
"I'll say it again, Beltran is going to win the Vuelta."

First off, your arguments would be taken a lot more seriously if you didn't make statements like this. Do you mean to say you THINK Beltran will win? You can't say for certain he will win since you can't control crashes, illness, other riders, etc. Even Lance says the race is never won till you cross the last finish line. Now I'll answer some questions.

"Why do you keep refering to the 02 Kelme situation?"

I've only referred to it one single time, so I can't "keep" referring to it.

"If Heras could have gone with Beltran today he would have."

If you watched the race, you'd know there was a point where Beltran couldn't follow Heras. On the Col d'Aubisque Luis Pérez attacked, Beltran tried to follow, and couldn't. Heras could. He bridged and they formed a group, leaving Beltran back in the main peleton.

"Beltran isn't a domestique and is not about to give up a good shot at winning a grand tour."

He is Lance's domestique, same as Heras.

"Beltrán respects his team number 1. "(Roberto) Heras is our leader, I've come just to fight and to see how far I can go."
I'll say it again, Beltran is going to win the Vuelta...BAi9302010
Sep 12, 2003 5:58 PM
"First off, your arguments would be taken a lot more seriously if you didn't make statements like this. Do you mean to say you THINK Beltran will win? You can't say for certain he will win since you can't control crashes, illness, other riders, etc. Even Lance says the race is never won till you cross the last finish line. Now I'll answer some questions."

The reason I made the statement is because every time Beltran makes a move and puts time into everyone, people on this board almost always seem to think it's a fluke and he'll die the next day when Heras puts the hammer down (I guess there are just a lot of RH fans on the board), despite the fact that I've been calling this since the first stage. Obviously there's the chance that Beltran could get sick, crash, or just hit the wall at the wrong time.

"I've only referred to it one single time, so I can't "keep" referring to it."

I didn't bother to look at the previous posts (my fault) to see who the other person was who brought up the Kelme situation, but it has been refered to previously

"He is Lance's domestique, same as Heras."

This is exactly the point I was trying to make, he was hired to work for Lance not Heras.

"Beltrán respects his team number 1. "(Roberto) Heras is our leader, I've come just to fight and to see how far I can go."

and if he can go all the way and keep putting time into Heras and all the other gc leaders he surely won't abandon his lead so that he can help Heras. Heras was the leader coming into this race but unless he can make some serious moves Bruyneel will probably give that position to Beltran.
I'll say it again, Beltran is going to win the Vuelta...Spoiler
Sep 12, 2003 6:26 PM
OK, that's fair. The way I understand it, it's possible Beltran has something of a freeride. He can try his moves, as long as they don't directly help the rivals of Heras. The rest of the team is riding for Heras. He did sprint like a madman to get the yellow jersey. I suspect he was being whipped up by Johan on the radio.
This is much better than the Giro.
I'll say it again, Beltran is going to win the Vuelta...BAi9302010
Sep 12, 2003 7:11 PM
the Giro was a pretty good race but this is definately a lot more open there really isn't any clear favorite yet
Uh, Oh...Dwayne Barry
Sep 13, 2003 1:19 PM
the first chink in Beltran's armour today?
A. Gonzalez seems to be coming good, I GdG and Nozal continue to hang.
Perez and Rasmussen seem to be the best climbers so far.

Still very wide open, may actually come down to the final TT again this year.

Also Postal doesn't look very good overall, Heras and Beltran seem to be the only two there even with a couple of climbs left in the stages. If Nozal or GdG got up the road they could be in a bad situation. Luckily neither seems to be doing much more than holding on for dear life on the climbs (often to great effect!).
I predict....BAi9302010
Sep 15, 2003 4:19 AM
Whether I'll be correct or not...

Beltran will be performing back at his previous level when they hit the next mountain stages. The tt stage and the following day probably took a lot out of him but he did a great job of limiting the damage the last few days and didn't lose any significant amount of time. He still has a minute and a half on Heras and 2 minutes on AG and the next few days are good for recovering. He should be able to take more time out of Heras in the coming tt and Gonzalez only took a second out of him in the first one. IGDG isn't riding great either and Nozal will probably lose the jersey when they hit the mountains again.

We'll jsut have to wait and see.
Beltran was quoted himselfatpjunkie
Sep 18, 2003 7:09 PM
during the vuelta that he's riding support unless.....