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  1. #1
    DocRay
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    Too soon to start speculating about '06??

    A month away, and the Giro has provided some insights to the TDF, Liberty Seguros is now dead.

    Anyone know...

    What's a happening to Vinokourov??

    What's happening to Ullrich??

    What's Landis been up to??

    Has Basso peaked? Or has he run out of bribe money to win the TDF?

  2. #2
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    Well clearly, Basso will again have to reach into his coffers if he wants to win the Giro-Tour double...

    In all seriousness, I believe Landis is a bonafid possibility for the Tour; Basso's been on form since the Criterium International and I just find it hard to believe that he can arrange another peak for the Tour (though I would love to see it!)

    Ullrich should be there as a contender, but I just don't know that he'll maintain in the mountains.

  3. #3
    Feed me your soul! Jakey's Avatar
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    I think Jan is going to do it. Basso showed great form in his domination of the Giro...but...did he work too hard? The giro has some really tough stages...but overall the competition isn't nearly as tough as in the TdF. Should be fun to watch anyway. Vinokourov could do well if he rides, I'd put Landis right behind those three... I don't think Valverde will do that well as there are so many kilometers of time trials.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member RockyMtnMerlin's Avatar
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    Yes, it will be interesting to see what happens to Vino. I read that the contract between Liberty and the team says that if anything happens they still will pay salaries. But, not sure how many will want to ride for Saiz now. Oh wait, probably all of them that will get paid - easier than getting a spot on another team. So Vino is the biggest question mark. Finally, we all know that judging TdF racers' form from results prior to the TdF is not very reliable. D Libere the last couple of years is a case in point.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Ophidian's Avatar
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    It's been said the old Liberty will be at the tour if they're not tossed from the tour before then

  6. #6
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    My interest in the TdF is somewhat limited. Will follow local boy Levi Leipheimer if he does not get too far down in the rankings. I see more possibilities in the Race Across America this year. A couple of what you sprint distance people call "Real Professionals" have entered. Tinker Juarez and Jock Boyer to be exact. There are more people racing, if you count the relay teams, than in the TdF. I never could have been in the TdF but I could still be in RAAM. Is Discovery so lost without LA that they woill not even be in the top 10?
    This space open

  7. #7
    Lance Hater Laggard's Avatar
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    Landis has never shown that he's a TDF winner. He's just not in that elite group of Basso and Ulrich.

    Basso
    Ulrich
    Mancebo (if he has the team)
    Valverde
    Landis
    i may have overreacted

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    what about zabriskie? Can he climb as well as time trial like a madman?

    I like Landis' chances, Basso and Ullrich too.

    Vinokourov, ahhhhhhh, I dunno, seems too much of a goomba, like to shoot all his bullets instead of riding smart, makes an interesting race to watch but he isnt GC material IMHO

    it will be interesting to watch this year to see if anyone can dominate and possibly start another dynasty

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    The thing about Vino is that he can ride for any team no matter how weak, as he doesnt actually need a team as he rides alone.

  10. #10
    Banned. El Diablo Rojo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimiEvil
    The thing about Vino is that he can ride for any team no matter how weak, as he doesnt actually need a team as he rides alone.
    You don't win a GT without a strong team. Not even Vino could pull that off.

  11. #11
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    Yeah absolutely I'm not saying he can win lke that, but he can do what he does and just ecape at the least expected times!

  12. #12
    @ Checkmate Cycling jbhowat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pedex
    what about zabriskie? Can he climb as well as time trial like a madman?

    What? No. Zabriski isn't a GC contender at all whatsoever...
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  13. #13
    Feed me your soul! Jakey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Diablo Rojo
    You don't win a GT without a strong team. Not even Vino could pull that off.

    What about Ullrich in '03? He nearly did it, and I never saw a celesete jersey near him other than the TTT.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbhowat
    What? No. Zabriski isn't a GC contender at all whatsoever...
    they said Lance couldnt climb either, and looked how that turned out !! I was just asking, relax.......dunno much about Zabriskie other than he TT's like he's on fire, the guy has a big motor and he is about the the right size for a decent GC

  15. #15
    Il cucchiaio ezoons's Avatar
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    Evans has a remote chance.

  16. #16
    Feed me your soul! Jakey's Avatar
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    Ivan Basso, Valverde, Floyd Landis, it doesn't matter. No one can drop the hammers on the climbs AND the time trials like the Jan. It is being like the Highlander. Or like Lance's nuts.

    There can be only one.
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  17. #17
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    Basso has somewhere around 3-5% on Ullrich on grades above about 7-8%, Ullrich will lose time on the steep stuff, question is can he make it up in the TT's? Landis? I like him, who knows, Ive never seen any of his power to weight numbers as of yet, according to LA's war though Landis can match LA on a good day so he's right in there, the TDGeorgia was impressive to be sure, brasstown bald is serious. The rest who knows? Anyone can have a bad day and lose it all, im looking forward to it, its getting close now

  18. #18
    Charles Verge
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    Ullrich will not win, he just did well for the time trail in the giro to make every one think he has improved. Remember he had to drop out after wards to back problems which goes to show he put every thing in it and had nothing left for the hill climbs.

    Basso I would put at 50 /50, as Socr2Cycle said it would be very diffucult to peak for the tour again.

    I would not mind seening someone who never rode the Tour before win.

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  19. #19
    more ape than man timmhaan's Avatar
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    i think basso has somewhat limited his chances by doing the giro. the giro and the tour together is well over 4,000 miles of racing in a short period of time. that has got to take a toll on the body. and since he only just won his first GT, going for the double seems like a tall order. hope he doesn't crack. it will be interesting though! i think it's awesome he's going for it.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezoons
    Evans has a remote chance.


    Will top 10.

    Possible top 5.....fingers crossed.

  21. #21
    My Name is Nobody
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    Basso will win it , because he has the best team. In the mountains he will count on dedicated helpers such as Frank Schleck ( Tour de Suisse 2006 winner?? ) and Jens Voigt, who are only there for him. In the German team not so sure. Every year Ullrich is so alone in the middle of the pack. Haven't seen much of Klöden until now this year.

    I guess Spaniards will dominate the Pyrénees stages ( Valverde ? ), Moreau will try to imitate Virenque and win the mountain jersey. Zabriskie will win the prologue and maybe the first TT.

    Discovery Channel could win it because they have the best team coach, Bruyneel ! A few contenders,
    Popovych surrounded by golden oldies Azevedo and Hincapie can become the surprise. Although I think he is a bit tender still.

    Vinokourov won't make it. He'll probably win one or the other mountain stage, but as already mentioned by others, he is surrounded by Spaniards who lost motivation due to the doping scandal in Spain. Some of them might get a nasty surprise in the middle of the Tour (for instance if the press discovers, one or the other bag of blood discovered at Fuente's office contains their blood, duh!)...I can't remember when exactly, 2002 or 2003, when a Kelme rider was declared positive after a Tour de France, on the same day the whole Kelme team retired from running Tour of Portugal...Surprise !

    If Leipheimer wins, then only because the others were utterly losers. He might win it without winning one single stage, because he is, except for stars such as Ullrich, Basso, probably the most regular rider in the lot.

    Landis? Big unknown to me. Good team. One thing is sure, do not make the mistake of comparing the Dauphine results with the Alpes mountain stages in the Tour. This year when they reach those, they will have had over 2,000 kms done and crossed the Pyrénées !

    So, to summarize, to win the Tour 2006:

    4 stars
    Basso

    3 stars
    Ullrich

    2 stars
    Vino, Leipheimer, Popovych, Hincapie, Azevedo, Valverde, Landis, Mancebo

    1 star
    [ the new guy who will win a stage with 20 mins in the flat, then resist in the mountain stages, Walkowiak style in the 50's ]

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