Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: living in the moment
Bikes: 2005 Litespeed Teramo, 2000 Marinoni Leggero, 2001 Kona Major Jake (with Campy Centaur), 1997 Specialized S-Works M2, 1992 Specialized Rockhopper
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I haven't seen him, so I can't say. However, considering that 2002 will probably be his last year racing and, like Ballerini, he's identified with Roubaix more than any other race [he's won it twice], he probably wants to go out with a bang. And matching Merckx and Moser for three wins would be a bang. Psychologically, he HAS to be thinking about that.
As for the strength of Domo, I agree the looked pretty limp during the Grand Tours, but their palmares weren't bad for 2001 -- Roubaix, Tirreno-Adriatico, GP de Wallonie, Tour du Luxembourg, the Tour of Catalonia, one stage in the Vuelta, Paris-Tours.
And Domo has a huge amount of talent; in addition to Musseuw, there's Knaven, Merckx, Virenque, Blilevens, Vainsteins and the just signed Van Bon, Koerts and Vandenbrouke. Even though a lot of these guys are stars, and could probably anchor their own teams, they showed at Roubaix, Wallonie and Luxembourg that they are fully capable of riding for the team unlike Mapei. Frankly, I think they look rather good.
As for Musseuw's condition, I'm not sure whether his fitness at the beginning of January has a lot to do with his fitness at a race in the middle of April, sixteen weeks away.
I think he's got as much chance as anyone... though I think Tchmil and Hincapie have their own axes to grind this year.