Organisers Spice up Tour

Will Lance win sixth

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02/11/2003 at 08:39
I can't really see how the course is designed to stop LA winning - after this year I'd have thought more emphasis on flat time trials would have favoured Ulrich - if anything it suits Armstrong.

Then again Ulrich should potentially be better prepared for 2004 than he was this year - remember he was not that long back in the sport and the Bianchi team was cobbled together at short notice.

I can't see Hamilton winning it. I would like to see some of the other contenders concentrate on the Tour this year - Simoni and riders like that.
Bionic Ironwolf    pirate
02/11/2003 at 21:04
That mountain time trial really will play into Lance's hands. I can't see anyone beating him. He's the strongest toughest rider, especially mentally. I'd like to see Jan giving him a tough time but really, I know who my money's on.
cougie    pirate
02/11/2003 at 23:10
I don't think Lance will win the Mountain TT.

He is a very good climber, but I don't think he'll be the best on that stage. I'd look to one of the specialised climbers to beat him - maybe even one of his own team.

Jan did amazingly well this year to come back after a few wildernes years, with no team support, and no long term plans like Lance had. I think he'll be getting better next year.
cougie    pirate
03/11/2003 at 00:09
From cyclingnews.com :

Jan Ullrich has recommenced cycling training after a short break at the end of the season.

Ullrich has never started his pre-season training this early, and he will continue in December in a warmer climate.


Can't wait for the Battle Royale in July !

AndrewSmith    pirate
03/11/2003 at 00:36
the difference in performance at that level is only an edge. people keep making a big thing about ullrich but the bottom line is he was at his best a few years ago and will never reach that level again. he couldn't beat armstrong then and won't next year. the race was closer this year because of various factors none of which were that the other riders were catching up with lance. he was ill, had personal problems, had crashes and had a lot of loose cannons in the peleton trying their luck. none of which had long term prospects of a podium. I would like to see hamilton win as he seems a nice guy and god knows he's suffered enough (am i alone in wondering why he seems to crash a lot). true the mountain tt will probably be won by a specialist climber but those who are capable of beating armstrong in that won't in the long run. the last pure climber to win was pantani and he was a druggie. apart from him a climber hasn't won the tour for decades.
cougie    pirate
03/11/2003 at 01:03
I still think Jan was a bit immature in those days. He's got a lot of class as he showed this year, and he wasn't so far off Lance.

Dunno about Hamilton - remember Bobby Julich getting on the podium a few years ago, and he never came anywhere near that again. Tyler has signed for Phonak - so not sure if that will be a good a set up as CSC was for him, and he'll be 32 next tour, so can't see him progressing much further than he already has.

David Millar for the prologue anyway !
03/11/2003 at 12:01
The last mountain tt in the tour was won by ... Lance Armstrong.
Its very early days yet but you can be sure that Lance will be the best prepared rider. Sure, Ullrich will be stronger and in a strong team (with Ullrich back at Telecom, presumably as leader, Vinokourov wont be able to win), however I feel that in his heart he knows he can't beat Armstrong. So who does that leave? Beloki, Hamilton, perhaps even Miller, Mayo... I don't think so, great riders although they are. Sorry, I can't see beyond Armstrong.
03/11/2003 at 13:20
I can't see how people can say Ulrich can't beat Armstrong - he wasn't far off this year - if you take away the advantage Armstrong gained by having a stronger team I don't think you can say Armstrong rode a better tour than Jan. I wouldn't say that Vinokourov wont be able to challenge either - remember Hinault and GLM - OK so team orders did dictate BH got the win but it shows two riders from the same team can get into a position to challenge - and if that were to happen with JU and Vino then Armstrong wouldn't know which one to mark.
cougie    pirate
03/11/2003 at 14:03
I think Vino' and Ullie on the same team might be a good thing. Lance can't let either of them have their chance.

(course they might in-fight and mess it up, but that's all part of the fun too !)
03/11/2003 at 15:01
I wouldn't say Jan can't beat Lance Armstrong, but certainly the mountain time trial suits Armstrong.
I'd back him to beat the specialist climbers in the TT, including Heras in his own team who won the short final TT in the Vuelta this year.
AndrewSmith    pirate
03/11/2003 at 18:11
apart from the tttrial armstrongs team were not very supportive, one of his problems. it didn't meld like other years and key riders couldn't help when they were needed. armstrong found himself covering situations that should have been 'dealt' with by others.As for ullrich being immature that can be an excuse where tactics are concerned but not physically, he is older as well and not now at his peak even with the best of training.
cougie    pirate
04/11/2003 at 00:39
We'll see in July.

(can we keep this thread running til then ?)

;-)

04/11/2003 at 09:25
I just noticed the CAdel Evans is on the same team as big Jan and Vino - why don't they just sign up Beloki and Simoni that way they can have all the potential challengers on one team.
AndrewSmith    pirate
04/11/2003 at 20:50
but why would a team want 5 second place cyclists?

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