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  1. #1
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    Yes. The results of the 2006 Tour de France have been announced. Damiano Cunego has been proclaimed the winner. He is "the Future of the Grand Tours". And, anyone who questions Cunego's greatness is ought to be banned from the Forum. At least, that what two of the "experts" here on the Forum say. Repeatedly.

    After all, wasn't Damiano Cunego" the "Number One" ranked rider in the world for 2004? Didn't he win the 2004 Giro in smashing style?

    But, Cunego can wear the "yellow jersey" in Paris in 2006, he would actually be required to SHOW UP for the race. And, a review of his career so far is NOT encouraging with regard to his chances of winning the Tour de France in 2006..


    2003:

    - Giro D'Italia 34th

    - Tour de France Ducked

    - Vuelta A Espana Ducked



    2004:

    - Giro D'Italia 1st

    - Tour de France Ducked

    - Vuelta A Espana 16th



    2005:

    - Giro D'Italia 18th

    - Tour de France Ducked

    - Vuelta A Espana ???


    So, how DID Cunego earn the rank of "Number One" Pro rider in the world?

    Well, he warmed up in 2003 with a convincing victory at the "Tour de Quinghai". Then in 2004, he added to the points he won with his impressive victory in the Giro, with victories in such races as the GP Fred-Mengon. The Citti di Broni. The Tour du Trentin. And his career is filled with stage wins in races equally well known. The Japan Cup. The Tour Du Murcie. The Coppi et Batali. Racing against exactly the caliber of riders you would expect at the GP Fred-Mengon. (Hint: Lance was not there).

    "Number One" ranked rider in the world? Thank goodness that goofy ranking system has come to an end. The GP Fred-Mengon is NOT the Tour de France. .

    One brilliant win in the Giro at a young age MIGHT mean he will develop into a rider strong enough to be a serious contender in the Tour de France. He is very young, and is likely to be far stronger in five years than he is today. But, aside from that single Giro win, his best performances in the three "Major" tours have been a 16th, an 18th, and a 34th.


    It is too soon to crown Cunego as the "New Lance Armstrong". He will not be on the podium in Paris in 2006. Nor 2007. Well, 2008...the crystal ball is getting cloudy...

    In the meantime, the REAL "Italian Stallion" is Ivan Basso...what an amazing start to his TdF career: 11th, 7th, 3rd, and now 2nd. And, he is still young enough to get even stronger...a scary thought for older riders such as Ullrich and Vino, AND for the younger riders such as Cunego.
    Last edited by alanbikehouston; 07-21-05 at 11:40 PM.

  2. #2
    DocRay
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    Dude.. you have Cunego issues...

  3. #3
    Lance Hater Laggard's Avatar
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    He has lots of issues.
    i may have overreacted

  4. #4
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    Hardly any rider can do well in the GC of two grand tours in a year.
    Didn't he win the Giro di Lombardia last year?

  5. #5
    Senior Member Gustaf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dolomiti
    Didn't he win the Giro di Lombardia last year?
    (No Lance Armstrong) * (No Team Postal participation) *(super fast arrogant American who is not Lance is highest place finisher) * (Cunego)]/(It's not the Tour de France)

    =

    A race most "fans" dont know about or appreciate.

  6. #6
    Senior Member rich007's Avatar
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    Cunego needs to first participate to learn firsthand how different TdF is from Giro... Then he can start plotting his strategies for a win...

    I personally think that from the "Young Guns" group Valverde will win the Tour before Cunego... Obviously they will still have to fight for the glory with the "old" guard: Ullrich, Basso, Vino & others who have still good 2-3 years left in their prime, esp. Basso...

  7. #7
    Since Ever Since Devil's Avatar
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    It's strange to think about, but Basso isn't really the 'old guard'. He's only three years older than Cunego, I think.

  8. #8
    Senior Member rich007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devil
    It's strange to think about, but Basso isn't really the 'old guard'. He's only three years older than Cunego, I think.
    He's is 27 or 28 now, but I meant it in terms of TdF experience and ability... He is definitely younger than both Ullrich and Vino, so you are kinda right...

  9. #9
    Lanterne Rouge simplyred's Avatar
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    Basso.
    2006.
    Pro-Line that.

  10. #10
    HJR
    HJR is offline
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    Basso has improved every year in the tour. From a DNF, to 11th, to 7th, to 3rd and finally a probable 2nd this year. The next step is to win. LA won his first at 27. Basso will be 28 next year. He is entering his prime. Jan and Vino will be 32 next year. Valverde and Cunego are still young. I cannot think of a rider in his age group who can match him. Basso has to opprotunity to rattle off a few in a row, if he continues to grow in ability and aggresiveness. And he has shown this year that he could be a threat to do the double. His future is bright.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by HJR
    Basso has improved every year in the tour. From a DNF, to 11th, to 7th, to 3rd and finally a probable 2nd this year. The next step is to win. LA won his first at 27. Basso will be 28 next year. He is entering his prime. Jan and Vino will be 32 next year. Valverde and Cunego are still young. I cannot think of a rider in his age group who can match him. Basso has to opprotunity to rattle off a few in a row, if he continues to grow in ability and aggresiveness. And he has shown this year that he could be a threat to do the double. His future is bright.
    I doubt CSC will choose to have focus on winning the Giro next year, knowing his potential and knowing that Armstrong will be gone. I wonder how well he would have done this year without doing the Giro? IMO Basso has a great oppurtunity coming, and he could dominate the Tour next year (I know I'm blowing whistles too quickly)

  12. #12
    Senior Member rich007's Avatar
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    Actually, I strongly believe that with Lance gone, Basso could win both the Giro and the Tour in '06, with a bit of luck...

  13. #13
    Since Ever Since Devil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rich007
    Actually, I strongly believe that with Lance gone, Basso could win both the Giro and the Tour in '06, with a bit of luck...
    I agree.

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