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Old 07-14-05, 09:30 AM   #1
va_cyclist
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When will Basso or Ullrich make their moves?

Day after day these guys cruise along in the Peloton or the yellow jersey group. Ullrich might be waiting for the next time trial to gain time on Armstrong, though based on the last TT, that seems unlikely. Basso is a good climber, so if he's going to do it, he'll have to do it in the mountains. What are these guys waiting for? Next year?
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Old 07-14-05, 09:34 AM   #2
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I wonder the same thing. I'm a BIG fan of Ulrich and was hoping that this year he would show his skills. He must be good, as Armstrong, Carmichael and others seem to think he is one of their main threats. If he is not, is Armstrong wrong to worry about him?
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Old 07-14-05, 09:40 AM   #3
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probably...
After Saturday we will know who is going to win the TdF, We will only know 2nd and 3rd after Sunday, and maybe the ITT.

Lance is the Favorite for the ITT, but I have to think that he is the favorite to win either 14, 15 or both.. Will he win a mountain stage this year?

He got pipped by Valverde, and Got passed by 3 or 4 guys trying to win the bunch sprint Yesterday, so he will need to shed everyone as he gets near the summit.


Even though he can put huge time on Rasmussen, I don't think he will let him go, and none of the other GC hopefulls look capable of cracking Lance, let alone keeping up with him. A few opportunists will try and get away early, and hope they can hold. Sometimes you get a guy who can and does. I think Horner will try and get in the early break again.
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Old 07-14-05, 09:53 AM   #4
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Der Kiazer doesn't seem to have it this year. Basso is either in sleath mode, or spent too much in the Giro. I hope its the former
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Old 07-14-05, 09:55 AM   #5
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I think Ullrich is totally shaken, with the crashes before and during this Tour. I think if T-Mobile was smart, they'd rally around Vino. Would Ullrich's ego would let him do that?

Basso may be just biding his time. The rest of CSC has been having a phenomenal Tour so far (sucks that Zabriskie abandoned, but other than that), it'd be nice to see some drama in the GC. Don't forget that Basso is a decent ITT rider. He's no Jan or Lance, but for a climber, he's purty good.

Rasmussen has got to be the feel-good story so far, and he has enough KOM points to just hang out and work on a podium spot, which is tremendous.
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Old 07-14-05, 09:55 AM   #6
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It's on this Stage (A3 Domain) , I think, where Lance will strike his mighty blow (mountain top finish). He'll resort to he same tactic, using his teammates on a fast, crushing tempo to put the last "nail in the coffin" (Azevedo, Rubiera, Salvodelli & Popovich will pace this one), hoping this will pretty much "assasinate", at least the most important threats to the GC. There are still room for surprises though, nothing is written on stone yet, those who could surprise in the end by hanging on with Lance could be: Rasmussen (climbing strong this year) Basso (his chance to finally pounce), Valverde (fresh meat and motivated),Vino & Kloden(maybe), or Mancebo ("constant" is his middle name). Ulrich, hmmm, a very remote possiblity, doubt it.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoothie104
probably...
After Saturday we will know who is going to win the TdF, We will only know 2nd and 3rd after Sunday, and maybe the ITT.

Lance is the Favorite for the ITT, but I have to think that he is the favorite to win either 14, 15 or both.. Will he win a mountain stage this year?

He got pipped by Valverde, and Got passed by 3 or 4 guys trying to win the bunch sprint Yesterday, so he will need to shed everyone as he gets near the summit.


Even though he can put huge time on Rasmussen, I don't think he will let him go, and none of the other GC hopefulls look capable of cracking Lance, let alone keeping up with him. A few opportunists will try and get away early, and hope they can hold. Sometimes you get a guy who can and does. I think Horner will try and get in the early break again.

Last edited by Corsaire; 07-14-05 at 10:08 AM.
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Old 07-14-05, 09:58 AM   #7
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They both seem to hover around, waiting for Lance to catch the flu. But, if they want to beat Lance, Saturday and Sunday are ideal opportunities. These are the sort of brutal stages where the strongest rider can put a lot of minutes into a tired rider.

Of course, if Basso or Ullrich go "all out" this week-end, and they fail, they could easily free-fall out of the top ten. However, Ullrich is getting too old to be cautious. He has proven time and again that he can get to the podium. But, unless he aspires to becoming another Poulidor "the eternal second", Ullich must roll the dice, and ride to win this week-end. Ullrich has only one last chance to win the Tour head to head against Lance. Jan ought to turn to Lance on Saturday morning and say "Let's have a bike race..."

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Old 07-14-05, 11:19 AM   #8
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alanbikehouston seems to have the most accurate view of the race so far.
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Old 07-14-05, 08:57 PM   #9
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They both look absolutely stuffed. Neither will challenge.

Give it to Lance now.
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Old 07-14-05, 09:40 PM   #10
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I have to believe that the top contenders would attack...if they could. I think day one in the Alps pretty much showed that they could barely keep up, much less attack. You have to be able to keep up in order to be able to attack. Ullrich or Basso might go into a stage planning to attack, but the reality is that on the big climbs, Discovery turns up the speed to the point where it's all they can do just to keep up. Maybe if Discovery leaves Lance alone again, these guys might take advantage. But if Lance has a significant number of teammates around, I can't see them being able to do much.

Vinokourov and Kloden seem to be a little different. They've both had moments of successful attacks and Vinokourov at least will pounce on an opportunity. I could see Moreau mounting an attack as well. I don't think Ullrich has the legs or the lungs and Basso has fallen away from the Peloton several times on the climbs.

Anyway, I expect we'll see some good drama in the Pyrenees and I look forward to it!
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Old 07-14-05, 10:01 PM   #11
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Vino's crack on corchavel (sp?) was his undoing. I was listening to Lance on Sirius podcast and he said the day before the rest day that rest days are terrible. His point was that the body kind of shuts down and thinks the race is over. He also said that some of the more memorable cracks of great riders have come the day after a rest day. The Disco team rode 4 hours or so at a high intensity to 'keep it up'. It was very interesting to see his words come true on corchavel for Vino and most of the the other contenders.

I thought it also very interesting that in Vino's great break away and stage win he only gained 1:30. . .that has to mentally frustrate him given the effort.
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Old 07-14-05, 10:01 PM   #12
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Well if JU or Basso draw blanks, I hope Rasmussen goes all out on Sunday... It looks as if he can drop everybody in the peoleton.. Vino might have sufficient time to recover with yesterday being not too stressful and today being a flat stage... I wonder if he can pull off something... Oh well...
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Old 07-14-05, 11:38 PM   #13
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FORGET THE PHYSICAL its all MENTAL.

Ullrich is a beaten man. He doesnt think he can win the tour with Lance in it so he is content to ride for a podium finish. As for Basso he is definitely pulling the invisible man routine and appears to be riding for a podium finish as well but not the win.

I cant remember during the last 6 years any contender who has put time into Lance at this stage of the TdF. Lance has either been equal to or greater than every challenge that has come his way. Mentally these guys dont think they can beat Lance. I think only Vino had the mental capacity to beat Lance and he lost WAAAYY to much time in stage 10. Lance does not only beat them physically he beats them mentally. They are all beaten men, to afraid to attack Lance for fear that they will become his next victim of a counter attack. So they wait and hope for Lance to falter under some remarkable circumstance and then hope they can capitalize. It hasnt worked for 6 years and it wont work this year.

Rasmussen is abit of a wild card as he is so close. His ITT is way back of Lance so during this weekend he will have to put in a herculian effort and smoke Lance for at least 4-5 minutes. Not likely, but really the only person I see stopping Lance is Rassmussen. Jan and Basso are playing for podium finishes.
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Old 07-15-05, 12:37 PM   #14
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Rasmussen is not going to pick up 7-8 minute advantage over Armstrong in the mountains. This is what he needs to do at a minimum to win.

Vino needs to pickup a 6:57 advantage over Armstrong to win.

CSC's and the Pink guys' best chance at stopping Armstrong from winning the TDF would be for both teams to rally behind Botero who only needs to pickup a 6:48 advantage over Armstrong in the Mountains to have a shot at winning. If Vino was within 2 minutes he may have had a shot but he don't.


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Old 07-15-05, 12:40 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ed073
They both look absolutely stuffed. Neither will challenge.

Give it to Lance now.
Well..let's wait until the 24th, but neither Ullrich or Basso looks up to it so far.
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Old 07-15-05, 01:14 PM   #16
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As far as Rasmussen, let's not forget that Armstrong and the crew let him gain 6 minutes on a breakaway is the only reason he's even close. It may have been a slight miscalculation on their part, but when have they ever done that?

As far as Basso or Ullrich making their move, someone better make a move or you can count on all of America (except us die-hards of course) losing interest after this year. I know they'll go away anyway, but who wants to watch a bunch of chumps who can't even hold Armstrong's wheel race against each other next year? (Not my thoughts, my feeling on what people will be thinking.)

We need some drama to hold the interest of the casual observers who have been watching just because of Lance, or the American support of this sport will drop heavily after the 24th. Bye Bye coverage.
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Old 07-15-05, 02:10 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron Chef
Rasmussen is not going to pick up 7-8 minute advantage over Armstrong in the mountains. This is what he needs to do at a minimum to win.

Vino needs to pickup a 6:57 advantage over Armstrong to win.

CSC's and the Pink guys' best chance at stopping Armstrong from winning the TDF would be for both teams to rally behind Botero who only needs to pickup a 6:48 advantage over Armstrong in the Mountains to have a shot at winning. If Vino was within 2 minutes he may have had a shot but he don't.

I can't imagine that CSC or T-Mobile would back Botero just so that he could (doubtfully) beat Lance. What does that do for them? Or their sponsors? At least if Basso or Jan/ Kloden/ Vino lose to Lance, the've lost to a 6 time champ. Losing to Botero? And helping him beat you? Not sure I see any upside for them in that.
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Old 07-15-05, 02:45 PM   #18
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That's right.
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Old 07-15-05, 02:54 PM   #19
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Well, they are down to their last "48 Hours". If they don't have a lead on Lance by close of business Sunday, they ain't never gonna have a lead on Lance.
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Old 07-15-05, 03:46 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunSwingsLow
FORGET THE PHYSICAL its all MENTAL.
I have to disagree with this mentality. There is only so much you can will your body to do. There are limits. If Lance's limits are significantly higher than anyone else's, there is no amount of "wanting it" that can overpower raw physical capacity.

Riders can slow themselves down by giving in mentally. The chances of a pro who's worked and won his way up to doing grands tour is not likely to exhibit such deficiencies.

When they fail, it's not a reflection on their personality or competitive nature. They wouldn't be who they are without proving they have the mental toughness to match anyone at their level. They all "want it" equally.
When they fail, it's simply that their body is not up to the task.
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Old 07-15-05, 04:22 PM   #21
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Let us not forget what Beloki's accident in 2003 taught us: Form of your life to Abandonment is a patch of asphalt away. I'm not hoping that for anyone but fate does play a card from time to time.
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Old 07-15-05, 04:53 PM   #22
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they are all chasing 2cnd and 3rd on the podium. Ullrich will not make podium.
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Old 07-16-05, 01:52 PM   #23
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Today was their day, apparently.
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Old 07-16-05, 02:47 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pseudobrit
I have to disagree with this mentality. There is only so much you can will your body to do. There are limits. If Lance's limits are significantly higher than anyone else's, there is no amount of "wanting it" that can overpower raw physical capacity.

Riders can slow themselves down by giving in mentally. The chances of a pro who's worked and won his way up to doing grands tour is not likely to exhibit such deficiencies.

When they fail, it's not a reflection on their personality or competitive nature. They wouldn't be who they are without proving they have the mental toughness to match anyone at their level. They all "want it" equally.
When they fail, it's simply that their body is not up to the task.
I really couldnt disagree more. Sure everybody has physical limits and its clear that on most days Lance's are higher than others...BUT...If you go into a ride not THINKING that you can win then you never get the courage to strike. You end up racing conservatively and never striking. Christ in 7 years of Jan and Lance racing how many attacks has big Jan put in. Hes one of the most talented riders ever and he NEVER challenges Lance. Why, because he steps to the plate mentally beaten and rides for the podium. If you think the mental isnt at least as important as the physical then ask yourself why every major succesfull athlete has mental coaches in thier arsenal of personnel. Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Michael Schumacher, Lance Armstrong. All of them exhibit strength through thier mental toughness. I have wrestled with the greatest wrestler ever on the planet, Dan Gable. He told me that the mind always quits before the body. To this day I have seen nothing in professional sports that would disuad me from this fact.
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Old 07-16-05, 07:27 PM   #25
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2 possibilities -
2006 (Basso)
Never (Ullrich).
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