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Old 07-24-05, 01:42 PM   #1
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Where will your loyalties fall for next year's TOUR?

My heart is with Basso because:

--He's Italian (like me)
--He's good looking and total OCP material (like me..ha)
--I love the story of the bond with Lance over the death of Ivan's mom due to cancer.

But I tell ya...I've become a VINO fan. The dude is like a pitbull on a bike. He's always stirring something up. And he got the greatest looking quads on the pro circuit!

I hear he might come to DC team?
That would be cool.

I for one will be watching just as much as if LA were still in it.
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Old 07-24-05, 01:49 PM   #2
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The same person it's been with for 10 years.. George!
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Old 07-24-05, 01:51 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by feltdude
The same person it's been with for 10 years.. George!
He IS a stud!
Tell me...is there any way HE would become the team leader next? I'm pretty new to this whole concept...just following it this year.
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Old 07-24-05, 02:43 PM   #4
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I think that I'll still follow Discovery, I think that the Pro Tour concept is great, and they have a well rounded team with a lot of riders I've come to like.

In terms of TdF, I'd have to see who ends up leading Discovery, but outside of them I would like to see Ullrich go out with one more win, like him or not, he's a great cyclist who's lived in the shadow of one of the great TdF riders ever, and I think he could possibly have another TdF win in him.

I also like Basso a lot, and I'm somewhat down on Vino after being a big fan of his coming into the tour (can't really put my finger on exactly what caused my turn), can't think of anyone really have a strong negative opinion of. Looking forward to a wide open tour next year, it'll be a whole different vibe.
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Old 07-24-05, 02:56 PM   #5
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Christophe Mengin, Ivan Basso, Dave Zabriskie, Michael Rasmussen, and Robbie McEwen.
I say Basso wins and Rasmussen comes back for the KOM. I liked Basso going in anyway. I like Z because he's funny and has a certain style. Robbie is my favorite. That dude has panachť! And who doesn't like panachť? Mengin for heart.
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Old 07-24-05, 03:00 PM   #6
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My favorite rider this year was Basso and will be next year also. I'm gonna love seeing Jan finish behind another rider he can't beat. I really just lost patience with Jan as he came to the Tour year after year overweight and undertrained.

Basso is really the only guy who can excell in the high mountains and TT well (not well enough to beat Jan but he'll put enough time in him in the mountains). Valverde is a big question mark as he has yet to finish a race as daunting as the TdF. He can climb with the best of them and has a pretty wicked sprint but he needs to TT better to be a real contender. Also CSC has the team to get the job done and the second best DS in the business.

Of course Salvadelli could focus on the TdF next year and if Johan can motivate these guys to support him the way they've supported Lance then all bets are off. My guess? The 2006 TdF is going to be epic!
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Old 07-24-05, 03:05 PM   #7
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I'll follow Disco, I'm American after all.

I'll be pulling for Jan in the Tour, though. It's his last shot, and I want him to bury this stigma of being a loser despite being on the podium of the Tour de France 7 times.

I'll also be watching for Landis to improve and show that he can be on the Podium in a couple of years.
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Old 07-24-05, 03:20 PM   #8
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Lance comes out of retirement to direct Basso and the CSC team to the TdF win!
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Old 07-24-05, 03:27 PM   #9
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Floyd Landis. I shall watch Zabriskie with interest. Also, I know what he did, but I'd LOOOOVE to see Tyler Hamilton come out of his suspension kicking a$$ and taking names.
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Old 07-24-05, 03:41 PM   #10
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Valverde
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Old 07-24-05, 03:47 PM   #11
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I am intrigued by Ullrich. I think he'll make a comeback next year. Tom Danielson if he rides the tour next year I would like to see do well. Vino's wild ride this year made Landis and Liephiemer seem absolutely boring.
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Old 07-24-05, 03:49 PM   #12
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I'm just going to watch and see what happens. I'm another one of those new fans the regulars love to hate. I'm just looking forward to paying attention to other races besides the Tour de France--who knew they had other bicycle races?

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Old 07-24-05, 03:59 PM   #13
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I'll bet therell be a new kid on the block. One who no one knows about, and will make Lance look like a sissy.....
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Old 07-24-05, 04:08 PM   #14
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FDJ, Valverde, Cunego, Gilbert, Pineau.
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Old 07-24-05, 04:13 PM   #15
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I think Basso and Ullrich are a cut above the rest, and I really don't see anyone being able to hang with them, although Mancebo is a possibility. He improves every year. He took 4th this year and not many people seem to have noticed.

Podium:

Ullrich
Basso
Mancebo

I'll be rooting for Ullrich, Basso, Cunego, Boonen, and Vino.
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Old 07-24-05, 04:21 PM   #16
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In interested in seeing Cadel Evans make further progress.
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Old 07-24-05, 04:25 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hipcycler
He IS a stud!
Tell me...is there any way HE would become the team leader next? I'm pretty new to this whole concept...just following it this year.
Lance has said if he prepared right, he could do it. But that would mean sacrificing the one-day classics and riding purely to prepare for the tour like Lance does.. remember George is beefy in the spring and only slims for the tour. So, I'd say it depends on him and whether they can sign Vino. If they don't, it's a two-man battle between George and Popo and whichever one is in better shape will get the nod.
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Old 07-24-05, 04:38 PM   #18
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Ullrich and Cunego. It's just a shame Cunego wasn't here this year- I get the feeling things would have been very different.

Boonan too- I'd like to see him win the green jersey.

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Old 07-24-05, 04:54 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feltdude
Lance has said if he prepared right, he could do it. But that would mean sacrificing the one-day classics and riding purely to prepare for the tour like Lance does.. remember George is beefy in the spring and only slims for the tour. So, I'd say it depends on him and whether they can sign Vino. If they don't, it's a two-man battle between George and Popo and whichever one is in better shape will get the nod.
I think people are jumping on the Hincapie bandwagon a bit too much just because he is American. (what else is new) Dirk De Dol even said that he didnít think that Hincapie could handle a 3 week stage race.

Discovery didnít bring Popo onboard to play second fiddle to an aging mediocre classics rider turned unproven GC rider.
Donít forget Azevedo, the guy finished 5th last year.

On Topic:
I would like to see Emanuele Sella get on a protour team and come to the bigger races.
It almost seems as if Eisel is close to challenging Cooke for top sprinting prowess at FDJ.
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Old 07-24-05, 05:24 PM   #20
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I'll be rooting for Jan. If he can beat Ivan in the TT's and stay with him in the mountains (he'll need to be better than this year) I think he has a good shot. However, I think if anything holds him back, it will be his team. Tmobile just doesn't seem to do a good job supporting anyone really. But at least with Vino gone, there is one less 'captain' on the team to worry about.
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Old 07-24-05, 06:09 PM   #21
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Ullrich for Yellow... Basso, Vino, Zabriskie, Valverde and wildcard... Karpets..
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Old 07-24-05, 06:32 PM   #22
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If you are looking at Discovery, don't forget Salvodelli. I have a feeling that if they don't get Vino, then Disco will be riding for either Popo (if they think he is ready) or Salvodelli.

I like Geroge a lot, but Salvodelli is more of a GC contender in my opinion.


I think Ullrich has another good year in him. I think it's funny when people talk about him having a comeback though...As if he has ever been worse than 4th place.

Basso will definitely be there next year as will Vino (regardless of his team).

I wonder if Rasmussen will be one to watch...I mean if it weren't for the final TT, he was a top 4 finisher...
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Old 07-24-05, 07:01 PM   #23
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Basso, no question about it for me. Love his personality.

I said this in another post. I like someone who doesn't have to be a mouthpiece to show how good he is. Someone with quiet confidence who lets their ability speak for itself. That's Basso to a T, IMO. No chest pounding, just quite preparation and give your full effort on race day. Jerome Bettis, Heinz Ward in football, Jerome Iginla, Gretzky in hockey. I'd like to believe the nice guy can finish first.

When I was a kid an expression that stuck with me was 'If you have to tell someone how good you really are, then you really aren't that good'. i.e. let your actions do the talking. Thats what I like about Basso.
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Old 07-24-05, 07:17 PM   #24
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I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Yaroslav Popovych yet - he's only 25, and has a lot of potential. I'd also like to see Ekimov healed up from his crash and riding in the tour again next year. Maybe he can win a stage before retiring...
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Old 07-24-05, 07:32 PM   #25
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Popo is mentioned above?? I think I will cheer for Ras. I mean I still cant believe what I saw him do in the ITT. Over the freakin handlebars, three bikes, what the heck. later.
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