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Old 07-28-03, 09:04 AM   #1
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Will Lance try to win a 6th TDF?

I heard on the sports report on the news last night, (yes they have been actually reporting on the TDF, about every other night), that Lance will attempt a 6th TDF win.

Did he state this in one of the after stage interviews? Can anyone confrim this or was the sports anchor just making a semi-rumored conjectured statement?

After last Lance one his 4th last year I was talking to a group of people at a bike shop in Des Moines who went and saw part of the tour. They told me that after Lance wins 6 TDF's he will retire form racing. Is this true as well? Or just a rumor?

Lance has stated time and again that he does not like to predict to far into the future. For one it is arrogant to do so, and 2 a person tends to set themselves for disappointment if they fail at their predictions. This said what are your thoughts?
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Old 07-28-03, 09:16 AM   #2
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I would guess this would be his last season, or he will go for 6 (which he willl probably do) and retire after the 04 tour.

I think that earlier in the race, he said that if he didn't win, he would be back next year (04) to go for his 5th.
He has said to the press though, now that the race is over, that he will be back next year.
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Old 07-28-03, 09:37 AM   #3
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I also read, Armstromg want´s to achieve a 6th time.
But to be honest, I don´t believe he will be able to.
This year´s win was his hardest (who said, always the last time is the hardest ? Was it Indurain ?).
I´m not sure if Ullrich will/could be the next great TDF-Champion (if he´s not a champion today...).
Who know´s ?
Perhaps a new Ullrich or Armstrong will suddenly come out of nowhere.
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Old 07-28-03, 10:09 AM   #4
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I had read earlier this year that he planned on retiring after attempting his 6th, assuming he took his fifth, which he has. He's also said, in the last several days, he will attempt a 6th, and frankly, how could he not, barring a non-competitive level of conditioning due to his advanced age (relatively speaking). And none of us, not even he, will know about that until next spring.

Winning his 6th will not be easy, particularly if Jan maintains his current level of focus. I believe he (Jan, that is) will, and he will also have a team. There hasn't been much talk about the set-backs, etc., Jan has endured, and how much he has overcome this year in light of his performance. There have been many, right up to the Team Coast snafu.

All of which begs the question for us in the US... who's next? Road cycling in the US suffers without a figurehead world-class cyclist. Perhaps Tom Danielson?
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Old 07-28-03, 10:37 AM   #5
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From Lance's web site:

"Lance after Stage 19: 'I'll be back next year, and I'm not coming back to be second, but hopefully to come back to the level I was in the first four Tours.'"

He'll be back. He has said he wants to take some time off and think about next year after a few months. That's a different approach than he normally takes. There seems to be so much talent out there now (i.e. Ullrich, Belocki, Hamilton, Vino,...) I'm very skeptical that LA can pull off a sixth win. But it should at least make for a great tour!
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Old 07-28-03, 10:53 AM   #6
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He reiterated yesterday, about how there were many problems that people knew about and many that people didn't. He also said that he would be in MUCH better shape for next year.
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Old 07-28-03, 10:56 AM   #7
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I wonder if he'll be at that level again. I saw a story on the news last night, after they talked about the tour they did a story about athletes and age. His predecessor retired at 32, and next year lance willl be 32. Grand tour riders don't often have long careers, and let's face it- it's not just DOING 5 tours in a row, it's WINNING five tours. Even his coach said lance is not the same as he was in 1999. There is no way you can avoid the toll it takes. Look how long it took him to get going, he only won ONE stage when he had four last year, and the competition is tougher and tougher. Some athletes can go on longer, like Roger Clemens (he was one of the examples) but cycling is different. It's extremely intense and grand tours are grueling, three week long events- no breaks, no sitting in the dugout, no halftime, no dancing girls! He may try to win, but I doubt he will. It'll be even harder next year.
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Old 07-28-03, 11:49 AM   #8
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Lance worried me with the whole "you don't know all of
what happened" conversation. I had this really sinking feeling
that it was a return of his cancer, and I'm very relieved to see
that it wasn't.
Lance stated yesterday in one of the interviews that he'd be
back next year and not be under the gun as much as this tour.
I do think he could manage, but its going to be a tall order.
He will have Ullrich, Mayo, Vinokourov, Zubeldia and Beloki
(if he fully recovers) all hunting him.
Like him or not, you've got to admit that watching him
motor away from the group on a climb is a thing of
beauty.
Yeah, he'll be back.

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Old 07-28-03, 11:58 AM   #9
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I think that his performance this year was kind of out of character, because of the reasons he described. I think his days are numbered but I also think that he will be in better form during next year's tour than he was for this one.

Who knows how well his body will react when he gets into the heavy training in early 04 though. Who knows how much his body will drop off from the age. (how gradual is the performance decline from aging? Is it pretty sudden? (it seemed that way with Indurain))

I remember reading something before the tour started... he said something about how he knows he is not getting any younger... and he knows his ability is (slowly) decreasing... and that it takes him longer to get out of bed, ETC...

About him winning only one stage... I don't see that as meaning much. He only won one stage in the 2000 tour I think.
But yeah, 5 grand tours is enough for anyone, whether they win them all, or just finish them all in 100th place.
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Old 07-28-03, 01:53 PM   #10
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How old was Indurain when he won his 5th TDF though?

Granted in the world of pro-cycling the older the rider gets the tougher it becomes. Especially in the Grand Tours.

I mean we are not talking about a easy pro-sport such as American Football or Basketball, where you do not need neasrly the same physical endurance and ability to compete. Look at the age of the athletes in these sports. It seems the older they get the better they are. But then again either of these sports are a lot easier to compete in then pro-cycling. You do not need nearly the amount of ability, courage, endurance or skill to compete as you do for pro-cycling.
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Old 07-28-03, 02:13 PM   #11
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If I remeber correctly Indurain was 31, same age as LA, with his last win.

LA will be back. He said so and he hopes for another win.
Let's remeber also that the oldest man to win the Tour was 36. His name escapes me at the moment. So don't be too hard on the fact that he is 31 and getting older. Nothing can replace determination, courage, and heart. As long as they prepare properly. Which we all know Lance does VERY well.
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Old 07-28-03, 02:25 PM   #12
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Lance said that he will have to revamp his training program for the road to #6. I wonder what he means by that!
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Old 07-29-03, 03:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tilly1
If I remember correctly Indurain was 31, same age as LA, with his last win.

LA will be back. He said so and he hopes for another win.
Let's remeber also that the oldest man to win the Tour was 36. His name escapes me at the moment. So don't be too hard on the fact that he is 31 and getting older. Nothing can replace determination, courage, and heart. As long as they prepare properly. Which we all know Lance does VERY well.
Also, Indurain won 5, but raced in 12 tours. I'm curious about all the skepticism of LA's ability for next year. Give the guy a break, he had a few less-than-stellar days after a couple tumbles, but he jumped when he needed to, crashed, and jumped again. And more importantly, the guy won the race! I'm sure he'll be just as capable next year. Are some of us becoming "armchair" cyclists/analysts?
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Old 07-29-03, 03:51 PM   #14
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ChezJfrey, are you trying to say that I am a "armchair" cyclist/analysts who is doubting Armstrongs ability?

Or are you simply agreeing with me?
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Old 07-29-03, 06:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by roadbuzz
All of which begs the question for us in the US... who's next? Road cycling in the US suffers without a figurehead world-class cyclist. Perhaps Tom Danielson?
perhaps, but it kinda reminds me of when commentators talk about up and coming cyclists from Belgium, they always say, "he's good but he will never fill the shoes of Merckx..." (or something to that effect) will USA cycling become such a story if lance wins 6?
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Old 07-29-03, 06:27 PM   #16
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Lance pledged to return during stage 20, and after the stage in the interviews, I heard him say he wasn't as in shape as he was in the other Tours, but he would return in BETTER shape next year to race. He also said he would come back to win, not take second- so everyone better watch out!

I saw that same television report about aging athletes- first they showed Lance winning and getting the trophy and looking all choked up, then they showed him from the other 5 stages, then they ended by talking about how athletes break their bodies down with every contest they enter- which I think is true if you're not training with intensity, but if you are, I don't think there's any telling how long you can go. Definitely, I do think as you age you get slower, and this is in part due to the conversion of fast twitch muscle fibers to slow twitch muscle fibers by the body, but at the same time, there still is a higher level of fast twitch muscle fibers being used by the body as compared to someone who is less trained. So I think Lance, given a good training regime, could probably race for at least a few more years at the elite level before he starts feeling these effects. Even then, he'd still be a great cyclist.

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Old 07-30-03, 12:31 AM   #17
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From one of his interviews after the latest victory he gave the impression that he would only come back if he wins he is not interested in anything else - should he lose next year he would consider the other GT's as well as the classics.
This is very interesting to me because I think alot of people assumed life after the TdF for LA would not include full time professional cycling in Europe. He is only 31 afterall and he is a champion - he gave the impression that there is some unfinished business on his palmares after the TdF.
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Old 07-30-03, 08:24 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by VegasCyclist
they always say, "he's good but he will never fill the shoes of Merckx..." (or something to that effect) will USA cycling become such a story if lance wins 6?
No I don't think so due to the fact that the Cannibal won
everything he entered. And he raced early spring to late fall,
and did some indoor track over the winter.
I think Lance will be known as the greatest tour rider (if he
wins 6), not greatest rider.

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Old 07-30-03, 08:34 AM   #19
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It´s the same senseless discussion as to talk about e.g. who is the greatest boxer (I know, Ali claims himself to be...), the greatest basketball player (Is it Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem-Abdul Jabar or is it Michael Jordan ?)...or whatever.
All of them are great sportsmen and belong to the best ever, but to say he or she was the greatest is in my eyes senseless.
Everyone of them had a unique time and unique opponents.
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Old 07-30-03, 10:02 AM   #20
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I think if Ullrich has a bit better luck next year, he'll stop LA from winning 6.
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Old 07-30-03, 12:23 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tilly1
ChezJfrey, are you trying to say that I am a "armchair" cyclist/analysts who is doubting Armstrongs ability?

Or are you simply agreeing with me?
Sorry, I didn't make this very clear - the second part of my response was not directed toward you, but some of the LA doubters (you know who you are).
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Old 07-30-03, 12:38 PM   #22
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I think if Ullrich has a bit better luck next year, he'll stop LA from winning 6.
Or Hamilton or Beloki

LA basically won this on the back of his team this year, and Ullrich really didn't have a team at all to lean on (do you even remember seeing another Bianchi rider?). CSC and ONCE are really the only teams that compare, and both their leaders were non-factors due to injuries.

An agressive Beloki with Gonzalez de Galdeano to help, or a healthy Hamilton with a doubled payroll CSC team could both be more than LA can handle, let alone Ullrich with a stable and strong team. Will be a hell of a fun race to watch though.
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