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Old 07-14-05, 03:58 PM   #1
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Stage 16: Mourenx- Pau, 180.5 km

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Old 07-17-05, 07:24 PM   #2
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For the first time in the last two Tours, I'm actually going to pull for Ullrich to have a great stage. I think he's suffered through this Tour - maybe because of the accidents, maybe because of an undisciplined team, maybe because of the advancing new cadre of riders, maybe because Lance and Basso just outwork him. Last year, I felt he was not in top condition for the Tour, but this year, he seems rededicated. I'd like to see him get a win.

Perfect finish for Stage 16: Ullrich, Armstrong, Basso - same time!

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Old 07-17-05, 07:58 PM   #3
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Last chance... Bassos has been the only rider whose tempo is up there with LA... Can he reach for something deep down and gap LA??.. can ulle pull off a miracle.. Even then there is a long flat which might not be ideal for a solo breakaway... Should be interesting...
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Old 07-17-05, 09:44 PM   #4
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Ullrich can't descend though, and riders need to descend well on this stage. About 80km from the final climb down to the finish.

Rogers
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Old 07-17-05, 09:51 PM   #5
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This could be a sleeper stage. Coming after the rest day. Some may get dropped so hard that even the long downhill wont save them.

I actually look for some serious fireworks here.
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Old 07-17-05, 10:16 PM   #6
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Good point about the rest day legs... Some one is going to plumment down the GC.... but who?
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Old 07-17-05, 10:42 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by skinnyone
Last chance... Bassos has been the only rider whose tempo is up there with LA... Can he reach for something deep down and gap LA??.. can ulle pull off a miracle.. Even then there is a long flat which might not be ideal for a solo breakaway... Should be interesting...
Yup. This stage is Basso's best (only??) opportunity to take the yellow jersey from Lance. A Pantani type personality would "bet the farm". Go all out, and try to win this stage by four or five minutes...a plan that sometimes resulted in a Pantani victory, and sometimes resulted in a disaster that left him struggling to finish the stage.

This stage will define Basso's character: will he ride to win, or will he just ride cautiously to protect his shot at second place in Paris?

If Basso rides to win, this stage will be VERY fun to watch.
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Old 07-17-05, 10:46 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
Yup. This stage is Basso's best (only??) opportunity to take the yellow jersey from Lance. A Pantani type personality would "bet the farm". Go all out, and try to win this stage by four or five minutes...a plan that sometimes resulted in a Pantani victory, and sometimes resulted in a disaster that left him struggling to finish the stage.

This stage will define Basso's character: will he ride to win, or will he just ride cautiously to protect his shot at second place in Paris?

If Basso rides to win, this stage will be VERY fun to watch.
I think he will ride to put time on Jan but not for the win.
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Old 07-17-05, 11:47 PM   #9
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Horner stage win?
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Old 07-18-05, 12:06 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
Yup. This stage is Basso's best (only??) opportunity to take the yellow jersey from Lance. A Pantani type personality would "bet the farm". Go all out, and try to win this stage by four or five minutes...a plan that sometimes resulted in a Pantani victory, and sometimes resulted in a disaster that left him struggling to finish the stage.

This stage will define Basso's character: will he ride to win, or will he just ride cautiously to protect his shot at second place in Paris?

If Basso rides to win, this stage will be VERY fun to watch.
I think Basso has a better shot at winning due Lance bopping, crashing, or suffering mechanicals over the next week rather than gapping him enough at this stage.

I'd still hold and hope to inherit the lead rather than whittle it down, and take the second otherwise.
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Old 07-18-05, 09:42 AM   #11
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Let's face it: the only unpredictability to this year's Tour was who would take third. I hope it's going to be Ullrich.
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Old 07-18-05, 10:57 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
Yup. This stage is Basso's best (only??) opportunity to take the yellow jersey from Lance. A Pantani type personality would "bet the farm". Go all out, and try to win this stage by four or five minutes...a plan that sometimes resulted in a Pantani victory, and sometimes resulted in a disaster that left him struggling to finish the stage.

This stage will define Basso's character: will he ride to win, or will he just ride cautiously to protect his shot at second place in Paris?

If Basso rides to win, this stage will be VERY fun to watch.
I just read Basso's post race interview and he seems pretty resigned to the fact that he cant ride LA off his wheel.. I think he is racing for the podium but we wont know that till tomorrow .. Ulle has been quoted saing it aint over but as said before, he needs to pull of a miracle.. All said LA will probably not take off to counter an attack as the sprinter teams and Disco should be able to reel in an attack in the mtns... Lets see...
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Old 07-18-05, 10:57 AM   #13
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Ullrich is undisiplined and unmotivated. He is paying the piper now. He's never been a good descender so after he looses contact on the big cols, he will loose more on th descent into Pau.

Basso is being aggressive, I think he can stay w/ Lance if yesterday's effort didn't wear him too much. I wish it were a closer race for overall... but no GC rider can even keep the pace much less attack. There is no time to be made on Lance.

T-mobile wasted it's efforts on Ullrich. I bet they are kicking themselves for bumping Zabel now... they had a better shot at some stage victories & green jersey w/ him
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Old 07-18-05, 01:38 PM   #14
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I think this stage is going to be won by a breakaway from some riders low in the GC looking for a stage win. But I think LA and Basso will be working together on the last climb (assuming LA looses his team). Basso will, in effect, be hepling LA keep ahead of the of any possible attacks from other GC contenders and I think LA will be helping Basso secure 2nd.

At this point Basso is content with second, but I think he wnats to put as much time on 3rd as possible. He would like to show HE IS THE MAN in 06. If I'm not mistaken I heard LA in the post stage 15 interview that he was working with Basso in the last climb because he knew Basso wanted to put time on Ullrich.

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Old 07-18-05, 02:26 PM   #15
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The distance from the top of the climb to the finish is like 100km. This is not a GC day. Except maybe a rider outside the top 5 could get some time from a breakaway.
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Old 07-18-05, 08:42 PM   #16
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I like lance and all but jeez, this riding for second is just not that fun to watch. Those attacks were exciting last week because you actually felt for a moment like there were some guys who thought they could win. Personally I would love to see Basso forget about 2nd place, and at least pop trying for first place, this will be his last chance, bar a mishap, but how much of a victory would that be???
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Old 07-18-05, 09:27 PM   #17
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Hrmm.....

This'll be interesting. Last big hill stage......90 odd kms from the Col du Soulor to the finish.....

If something has to happen in the GC, it probably has to happen today, but that 90kms to the finish might make it tough for any GC contenders to break away.

It would be awesome to see Vino pull something out of the hat though, wouldn't it?
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Old 07-18-05, 09:29 PM   #18
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It would be awesome to see Vino pull something out of the hat though, wouldn't it?
Kick A...+1..
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Old 07-18-05, 10:48 PM   #19
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That's a stage for a long escape. I wouldn't be surprised to see Horner tempting something.
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Old 07-19-05, 05:57 AM   #20
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Vino attacking again!!! It seems that he was already dropped earlier too.

13:54 - Vinokourov Attack
Vinokourov has attacked the peloton on the 2nd climb of the stage.


12:35 - Hushovd & Vinokourov Dropped
Hushovd and Vinokourov have been dropped early today. They are currently in the convoy at the rear of the peloton.
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Old 07-19-05, 06:45 AM   #21
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It'll be interesting to see if the sprinters can pull it back together after an HC climb. This could really be a day for a breakaway, even with that length after the climb, if a GROUP gets away, they can do it.
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Old 07-19-05, 06:59 AM   #22
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I'm a little dissapointed that Basso didn't take off with one of the breaks. They have some big leads going.
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Old 07-19-05, 07:07 AM   #23
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Vino never says die!
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Old 07-19-05, 07:11 AM   #24
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Hooray, they're actually racing again today!! I really thought they had given up, but here they go.
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Old 07-19-05, 07:33 AM   #25
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Vino never says die!
I praised Vino for his emotional courage which is great to watch, having said that, if he really want to become a real, serious contender (TDF) he needs to become more cool headed and more proficient at pacing his efforts and tactics for the sake of the GC.

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