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  1. #1
    A Heart Needs a Home Rich Clark's Avatar
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    17 H 21 - The Top 5 In Stage 12
    Jan Ullrich has won his seventh stage in the Tour de France. The top five in stage 12 is:
    1. ULLRICH (GER, TBI) 58'32"920
    2. ARMSTRONG (USA, USP) at 01' 35"
    3. VINOKOUROV (KAZ, TEL) at 02' 05"
    4. ZUBELDIA (ESP, EUS) at 02' 39"
    5. HAMILTON (USA, CSC) at 02' 42"
    Training: 2002 Fuji Roubaix Pro (105 triple)
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  2. #2
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    Ullrich wins stage by over a minute. LA still in yellow...finishing second to Ullrich.
    Tyler H picks up a spot in the GC moving from 5th to 4th.
    Last edited by dragracer; 07-18-03 at 09:29 AM.

  3. #3
    I came I saw I conquered! Tilly1's Avatar
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    Ohhhh!
    I so wanted Lance to lay the smack down! But I guess at least he is still in the jersey.


    Amazing performance by Ullrich!!
    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence;
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.
    -Robert Frost

  4. #4
    Lance Hater Laggard's Avatar
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    Lance loses 1' 35"

    Some people appear to be correct. Lance is not himself.

    What this means for the rest of the tour: Postal can not count on Lance to not lose time to JU in the final time trial. For that reason they HAVE to put some time on JU in the mountains. If they don't, Lance will lose the tour.
    i may have overreacted

  5. #5
    don d.
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    Ullrick is looking very strong, and is now very well placed. He already had a fire coming into the race; now he's got an inferno. We get mountains tomorrow; don't expect Ullrich to wait for the next TT to close the remaining gap. I think the riders will be bleeding from their eyeballs before this race is over. Free for all in the Pyrennees!!

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    I think you're right don......gonna be a fist fight all the way to the end.

  7. #7
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    yes indeed he is looking strong and I suspect we'll see another Lance /Jan battle in the mountains tomorrow and sunday. I'm not gong anywhere. Eurosport GB is showing 3hours on sat and 3 on sunday and highlights in teh evenng. It's couch potatoe weekend for me.
    what to watch, Cycling British GP ,Golf, oh so many choices so little time
    An ounce off the wheels is worth 3 off the frame

  8. #8
    Lance Hater Laggard's Avatar
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    One thing to remember is that as bad a day as Lance had on L'Alp Duez, Ullrich was even worse. I still don't know that Jan can climb with Lance.

  9. #9
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    I'm thinking that about 12 riders will actually finish the
    race, everyone else will be eliminated by not being able
    to make the time limit. The pace that the big guns are gonna
    set will be brutal.
    I have these nightmare visions of Fignon losing by 8 seconds.

    as for stage 12, I'm exhausted, and all I did was listen to it
    on OLN.

    Marty
    Sono pił lento di quel che sembra.
    Odio la gente, tutti.

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  10. #10
    I came I saw I conquered! Tilly1's Avatar
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    Originally posted by lotek
    as for stage 12, I'm exhausted, and all I did was listen to it
    on OLN.

    Marty

    I feel the exact same way!
    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence;
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.
    -Robert Frost

  11. #11
    Crank Crushing Redneck SamDaBikinMan's Avatar
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    The interesting part is that Lance focused on targeting the Tour so what is the problem? Bad timing for his peak?

    I don't know but it looks like somebody make a perilous mistake about their preparedness to dominate another tour. I hope he pulls it off but with Vino and Jan on his heels it may be a hat trick.

    Don't forget that Jan may also be coming into better and better form while Lance seems to be marking time. Jan could very well blossum in the Pyrenees and blast everybody.

    Atleast we have a very exhilarating race this year and not just a tally of how many minutes Armstrong has over his closest rivals. I like watching a good fight. I just hope Lance will have it in him to make the fight good.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  12. #12
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    I believe that this is just as much a result of the other riders getting faster as Lance being off a little. This is an incredibly fast tour and very fast TT's...Ullrich is just growing up...we forget how young he is
    The doer and the thinker, no allowance for the other
    As the failing light illuminates the mercenaries creed

  13. #13
    Lance Hater Laggard's Avatar
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    I remember hearing that Lance had a slight stomach problem right before the tour started. That may be the problem.

    It's a hell of a race though.
    i may have overreacted

  14. #14
    FOG
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    Ullrich beat the pants off everyone but Lance today, and still gave Lance a solid beating. The good news for Lance is that several of the climbers are way back in the standings now, like Mayo, so Lance only has to worry about attacks from Vinokourov and Ullrich. That simplifies his problems. Imagine if it were still bunched tightly and Mayo attacked hard tomorrow. If Lance were to follow, then he could wear himself out and get caught on the descent, but he couldn't afford to let Mayo get away. Now Lance has to try to keep a brisk pace, which might drop Ullrich, and not let Vino break away. There are fewer traps to catch him, so even though Ullrich is closer, the tactics have become simpler. Basically Lance needs to make sure he has at least a three minute advantage over Ullrich going into the last time trial, and not to let anyone else in the top few break away. It isn't a gimme, but it is very doable.

  15. #15
    don d.
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    Originally posted by Laggard
    One thing to remember is that as bad a day as Lance had on L'Alp Duez, Ullrich was even worse. I still don't know that Jan can climb with Lance.
    I think this really is a key. Jan has never had the "dance" in the mountains that LA has, but Jan can climb. AND, Jan has always followed the "old ways" of riding oneself into shape in the tour, while Lance comes at his peak. If we can extrapolate anything from this, it is that Jan may be neck and neck with LA now, possibly even on his way up while Lance may be redlined.

    The next few days will tell us alot about LA's drive, motivation, and fitness. Vino will be attacking constantly. Hamilton will be there to exploit any mistakes. The Spaniards will be riding on pogo sticks in the mountains. All Ullrich has to do is sit back and force LA do defend his jersey, and then strike at the first sign of weakness.

  16. #16
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    Originally posted by Tilly1

    I feel the exact same way!
    LOL....ME TOO Lotek!!!


    The New Overall Places...
    The top five riders in the overall classification after the 12th stage are:
    1. Lance Armstrong (USP)
    2. Jan Ullrich (TBI) at 34"
    3. Alexandre Vinokourov (TEL) at 51"
    4. Tyler Hamilton (CSC) at 2'59"
    5. Haimar Zubeldia (EUS) at 4'29"

  17. #17
    Bring the tech Ajay213's Avatar
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    Ok, I have two theories. One is more realistic, the second being a bit to hopeful.

    1 - Lance is in trouble. This is one stage where Lance would have wanted to put time into his rivals, but not only did Ullrich blow him away, LA didn't put much time into Vino either. LA is going to put time into Ullrich in the mountains, JU just didn't look that strong on the previous climbs. The problem is that the final ITT is another 49km, so LA is going to have to put another 2+ minutes into JU with enough energy left over to place high in the ITT. So in a realistic sense with 4 more grueling mountain stages LA is going to have to put even more time into JU because he knows JU is on fire and is setting the TT course on fire. And then on top of that he has to worry about Vino as well who has been climbing VERY well and just showed us that he can still place well in the TT. And with the pace that USPS has been setting, they aren't going to have a lot of power left to help LA in the mountains.

    2 - Since I am never suprised by tactics coming out of USPS I could also see LA "taking it easy" in the TT to help out for tomorrow and the coming mountain stages. He blazed out of the gate and was dead even with JU at the first time check, then he slowed down a bit. LA knows that he can take time out of JU in the mountains, and we just never know. Tomorrow and Sunday we could see LA drop the hammer and leave everybody behind as they have all been giving 110% attacking him constantly, while LA has been riding their wheels and that has to be taking it's effect on everybody. If this is the case, watch for the rest of the GC contenders to wilt away very fast, as they know they are giving everything and then some, and watch LA ride away from them. This would let LA basically cruise into Paris.

    Honestly though I'm leaning more towards the first theory, I think LA still has the best chance of winning, but he's going to have to fight tooth and nail all the way to Paris to do it. The 2nd theory does fit in with the USPS basic strategy, but it's a little to hopeful.

    Andrew

  18. #18
    Lance Hater Laggard's Avatar
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    Good analysis, Ajay.

    So, do we agree that Lance has to put time on JU in the mountains?
    i may have overreacted

  19. #19
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    Good insight Andrew, I lean to theory number 2!
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  20. #20
    don d.
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    Originally posted by Ajay213
    ...Since I am never suprised by tactics coming out of USPS I could also see LA "taking it easy" in the TT to help out for tomorrow and the coming mountain stages. He blazed out of the gate and was dead even with JU at the first time check, then he slowed down a bit. LA knows that he can take time out of JU in the mountains..., Andrew
    This is an interesting thought and has some validity, but it is extremely risky. Lance has huge respect for Jan, and I would be surprised if he would underestimate him, which is what this strategy does. Still, I would not put this past Johan and Lance to come up with a strategy like this. It makes some sense.

  21. #21
    FOG
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    Originally posted by Ajay213
    Ok, I have two theories. One is more realistic, the second being a bit to hopeful.

    1 - Lance is in trouble. This is one stage where Lance would have wanted to put time into his rivals, but not only did Ullrich blow him away, LA didn't put much time into Vino either. LA is going to put time into Ullrich in the mountains, JU just didn't look that strong on the previous climbs. The problem is that the final ITT is another 49km, so LA is going to have to put another 2+ minutes into JU with enough energy left over to place high in the ITT. So in a realistic sense with 4 more grueling mountain stages LA is going to have to put even more time into JU because he knows JU is on fire and is setting the TT course on fire. And then on top of that he has to worry about Vino as well who has been climbing VERY well and just showed us that he can still place well in the TT. And with the pace that USPS has been setting, they aren't going to have a lot of power left to help LA in the mountains.

    2 - Since I am never suprised by tactics coming out of USPS I could also see LA "taking it easy" in the TT to help out for tomorrow and the coming mountain stages. He blazed out of the gate and was dead even with JU at the first time check, then he slowed down a bit. LA knows that he can take time out of JU in the mountains, and we just never know. Tomorrow and Sunday we could see LA drop the hammer and leave everybody behind as they have all been giving 110% attacking him constantly, while LA has been riding their wheels and that has to be taking it's effect on everybody. If this is the case, watch for the rest of the GC contenders to wilt away very fast, as they know they are giving everything and then some, and watch LA ride away from them. This would let LA basically cruise into Paris.

    Honestly though I'm leaning more towards the first theory, I think LA still has the best chance of winning, but he's going to have to fight tooth and nail all the way to Paris to do it. The 2nd theory does fit in with the USPS basic strategy, but it's a little to hopeful.

    Andrew
    I don't think your theory 2 makes much sense, although it isn't out of the queestion. If Lance could have matched Ullrich stroke for stroke, then Lance would be clear of all rivals by more than 2 minutes, and would have his choice of a smorgasbord of tactics. I don't think he had the gas to stay with Ullrich.

    That said, we don't know how much of his reserve Ullrich dipped into. He might be a very tired man right now. There is a lot of bluff and counterbluff going on.

    Tomorrow's stage is really strange, a huge climb and a huge descent, on which a breakaway climber might get caught, and then another hard climb. The obvious tactic is to let anyone but the next three get away, and hope that if their result is too good on the climb that they can be caught on the descent. If any of the next three attack, then Lance has to answer, but the good news might be that if Lance and a rival breakawy, then the remaining rivals might get dropped. If Lance, Heras, and one rival all crest the first big climb together, then all the remaining rivals will be in the hole.

  22. #22
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    Ajay-

    Total agreement. I was just saying the same thing to someone else!

    We'll know by Saturday which theory is correct, eh?

    Koffee

  23. #23
    Bring the tech Ajay213's Avatar
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    So, do we agree that Lance has to put time on JU in the mountains?
    Has to, has to, has to, has to! 30-some seconds is just not a comfortable margin by any means, and certainly not when the guy that is that close to you is one of the greatest time trialers around.

    I haven't seen the video of it, so I can't comment on how good these guys looked, so it's hard to say who was doing what. If Armstrong looked like he was giving everything, by seeing his form fall off towards the end, pain in his face, standing up to sprint (not always a good tell), then he's in trouble. I mention that because when they were climing up Alpe D'huez LA looked a lot better than Beloki, more relaxed, more refreshed, his interview a few minutes after the stage ended and he didn't look like somebody who just climbed that mountain.

    And then there is something that I didn't mention above, and that is the psych side of it all. If LA doesn't crush these guys in the mountains that is going to give JU and Vino a HUGE mental boost, the kind of boost that will allow both of them to go harder and faster than even they thought they could go. Never underestimate that power and how it effects athlete's.

    Andrew

  24. #24
    don d.
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    Originally posted by Laggard
    Good analysis, Ajay.

    So, do we agree that Lance has to put time on JU in the mountains?
    I don't think that either Lance or Jan can count on the final TT to win the race. Both of them are capable of exploding a huge effort. I think that is why we are going to see some high octane racing in the Pyrennees. Vino may start to ride just for a podium spot to, instead of for the win, which may cause him to be more cautious and less aggressive.

    Interestingly, Zabel came out in the press b4 the TDF, and said that since Jan used to ride for Telekom, it was not beyond possible for Telekom to support Jan in some way in the TDF. I don't think that would happen as well placed as Vino is though. I hope he doesn't ride to settle for a step on the podium, although That will "make" him financially.

  25. #25
    A Heart Needs a Home Rich Clark's Avatar
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    My opinion is simply that Lance is a little weaker this year than he was in the past. That can happen. Whether it's some virus he had last week, whether it's that he's distracted, or whether it's age (people who recover from serious illnesses can sometimes be physiologically older than thair calendar age), he appears to have lost a fraction of a step. That's inspiring other riders to come after him.

    If he wins, it will be that much sweeter, and that much more monumental an accomplishment.

    If he doesn't win, he will be graceful and generous in defeat, and will move on to accomplish more great things in his life. He's amply demonstrated that he is maturing into an individual who will transcend the sport.

    Either way, I believe we're seeing Armstrong's last TdF. And it will be unforgettable.

    RichC
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