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Old 04-28-05, 06:53 AM   #1
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If you have access to the Outdoor Life Network, don't miss the Dodge Tour de Georgia highlight show this Sunday at 5-7 p.m. ET.

Whatta race! The hilly terrain, the stormy weather and the star-studded field produced one of the most dramatic weeks in North America's road cycling history.

Above all were two significant results.

First, Lance Armstrong has some serious ground to make up before the start of the Tour de France on July 2. He finished fifth in Georgia after a shockingly poor performance in stage 3's 18-mile time trial. He lost a huge 1:46 to stage winner Floyd Landis and was beaten by seven other riders as well.

Second, former mountain bike racer Tom Danielson, 27, emerged as the potential "next Lance." The two are teammates on Discovery Channel, this being Danielson's first season with the squad. In Georgia he displayed the climbing and time trialing ability it takes to win stage races.

Danielson's overall victory was sealed in the penultimate stage, which ended atop Brasstown Bald Mountain, Georgia's highest elevation with grades of 20%. The road is so steep that even Armstrong was using a 39x27-tooth low gear.

With Lance keeping an eye on then-race-leader Landis, Danielson attacked on the mountain, began making time, and then dropped breakaway companion Levi Leipheimer to solo into the overall lead -- by four seconds.

"There will never be another Lance Armstrong," was Danielson's quick response to the inevitable expectations raised by his victory. "I just want to do the best I can in the future."

Next he will learn what a three-week stage race is like. He'll ride the May 6-30 Giro d'Italia and play a captain's role to Discovery Channel leader Paolo Savoldelli, the 2002 Giro winner. But if Savoldelli should falter . . .

Armstrong, meanwhile, is back in Texas, spending time with his three kids and figuring out what he needs to do in the next 10 weeks to have the best chance of winning his seventh consecutive Tour de France.

"I have to re-evaluate where I am and evaluate what needs work," he told before leaving Georgia. "Clearly the time-trial was bad. You can't do time-trials like that and win the Tour de France, that's for sure. So I have to look at where I am. Is it lack of time-trialing, is it a problem with lack of time on the time-trial bike, is it climbing, is it my condition? Did I not do enough in the winter? Um, I don't think so."

Lance summed up, noting a positive: He felt better as the week's 650 miles of racing wore on.

"I think I'm on track. I don't know that it's perfect, but I'm not far off. So, the next few weeks after this will dictate a lot about what will happen this summer. I know that you have to look at every aspect of cycling: the training, the diet, the rest, the recovery, the lack of distraction. All that stuff has to be perfect in order to win another Tour."

Will he be ready for the TDF? I wonder.

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Old 04-28-05, 07:53 AM   #2
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Yeah LA is back in Tx allright he and Eki showed up to our Tues night training ride!!!!!
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Old 04-28-05, 11:52 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by 2Rodies
Yeah LA is back in Tx allright he and Eki showed up to our Tues night training ride!!!!!
Uh, that doesn't suck. Must have been a great ride.
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Old 04-28-05, 12:40 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by 2Rodies
Yeah LA is back in Tx allright he and Eki showed up to our Tues night training ride!!!!!
So can you give us an idea of what that is like? How does the ride change? Does he just show up out of nowhere, do the ride, and go off to the sunset? Beers? Riding tips? Does everyone stay out of his way and leave him alone?

So many questions...
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Old 04-28-05, 12:45 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by 2Rodies
Yeah LA is back in Tx allright he and Eki showed up to our Tues night training ride!!!!!
Did he take a pull?
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Old 04-29-05, 10:26 AM   #6
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I saw Lance and Eki going the opposite direction as me doing their warm-up for the Austin Tues. niter. Didn't realize that was them until I got passed them. Somebody must've informed the press as this dumbass local news van driver passed us on a narrow twisty 2 lane road (Old Lockhart Rd.) cutting off the B group and nearly having a head-on with another car. He then pulls over about a mile down the road thinking that Lance was with us (he was with the A group, I was in the B). Let's get that Lance story even if it means endangering 25 other lives in the process. Great!

As far as the ride (race), I think they joined the A group after they started and pulled out before the final sprint. No need to mix it up in the sprint and risk a crash. As far as beers afterwards, etc. that doesn't happen, at least not unless you know Lance a lot better than I do. As he did a couple of years ago at a local race, he had a car waiting and took off immediately after the ride.
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Old 04-29-05, 11:40 AM   #7
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Please tell me that some B-group rider showed up in the full Discovery kit unaware that the real dudes were there.
I'd love to see that happen sometime.
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Old 04-29-05, 11:50 AM   #8
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