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Old 06-13-06, 08:49 AM   #1
acrafton
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Lance's wins - mental or physical?

Hey - just a thought to kick around after reading several of the recent articles about the 06 TDF and Lance's past domination (other than 03). He seems to have held a magical sway over most of the peloton in 06, kind of like a Jedi mind trick thing. . .

So, here is my question: what do you think the key to his wins was - pure physical domination or a combination of physical and mental domination? Again, other than 99 and 03, he seems to have so intimated riders that I wonder if they went in thinking they were competing for 2/3? Think of Jan Ulrich on the prologue in 05 . . .his tour was over in the first few minutes as were, I guess many others.

60/40, 70/30 percentage of physical domination to mental domination?
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Old 06-13-06, 09:44 AM   #2
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I don't know about percentages, but I do believe that his mental strength has a lot to do with his 7 TdF wins. At that level of the competition, any edge you can get, even a few watts more, a few ounces less is something that makes a difference...if you can combine these things with a killer instinct and a super-competitive disposition it can give you an extra edge over the next guy whose physical stats may be similar. A lot of people say that's why Ullrich hasn't been on the podium more often at the Tour - even Lance has said that Ullrich is a more talented rider (regarding physical stats). Ullrich doesn't seem to have the same killer instinct though or love bike racing as much as Lance did.

You have to be able to dig really deep to survive for 3 weeks at the Tour. Lance knows how to do that better than anyone else in the peloton.
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Old 06-13-06, 02:06 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Snicklefritz
I don't know about percentages.
Half of it was 90% mental.
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Old 06-13-06, 02:39 PM   #4
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I don't think you can draw a clear line between the two. There were several times we found out later that Lance had a good chance to have lost a tour on one stage (as Jan did in 98) but just did not show how close to cracking he was. Is that physical or mental? He also took major advantage of being a very good climber (as opposed to Mig or Anquetil) this often seemed to make others almost afraid to attack in the mountians as if the attack failed he would counter attack and put even more time into other riders. Physical or mental? Finally there was the year when there was a break of riders who should have been out of it for yellow or for that matter even a podium spot which got about 20 minutes. When in later stages a couple of them were hanging on more than expected Lance let teams of the riders in 2nd and third do the work to bring back time. It sort of became "I'm going to get the time back before the end, but will you". Here and elsewhere he used their (legit) fear of ending off the podium to force other teams to work. Physical or mental? There is a huge mental component to this but without the physical to back it up it backfires.
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Old 06-13-06, 03:02 PM   #5
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Half of it was 90% mental.
You're 100% right Yogi.
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Old 06-13-06, 03:38 PM   #6
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You're 100% right Yogi.
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Old 06-13-06, 10:42 PM   #7
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Don't underestimate the power of tactics. Bruyneel was (is) a master in guiding his men, and Armstrong.

Example: last year in the first threatening stage of the Tour ( Alsace? ), Lance is suddenly without team members in the top group. Klöden and Vinokourov put an attack. Ullrich is a bit back, followed by Armstrong. It's Ullrich who will do the job of returning to the main group, bringing back Armstrong. This shows the intelligence used by Arsmtrong during the stages. Shame Ullrich didn't stay put.
It's not all about physics and mental strength, you have to be a bit of a poker player as well.
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Old 06-14-06, 04:31 AM   #8
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With the TDF political tactics before the race started would play a big part in making sure he was not marked. I have seen races where it looked like the Discovery team was helping other teams some what, which I am sure would be returned in the tour.
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Old 06-14-06, 11:19 AM   #9
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I don't if you call it luck or what. Lance was in several crashes but none stopped him from racing. Same might be said of his lack of injuries (great conditioning or luck).
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Old 06-14-06, 12:08 PM   #10
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I don't if you call it luck or what. Lance was in several crashes but none stopped him from racing. Same might be said of his lack of injuries (great conditioning or luck).
Luck? Interesting thought... 2003 (or 2004?) when he went off-roading. Don't get me wrong it took some skill to control that bike but if he was to do that again, here's betting he would crash. That same tour, didn't he crash/fall twice in the same stage and then put a few minutes into everyone? No breaks, hardly a scratch if I remember. Then think about Tyler Hamilton's tour crashes. Hell, Lance survived cancer that probably would have killed everyone reading this. ("Yeah, but his conditioning etc...", no one can say he wasn't lucky to survive) I think lady luck definately smiles on Lance.

Don't get me wrong, the physical, mental conditioning is there and without it, he wouldn't be able to compete (he's only matched by a select handful of people in the world), I'm just saying maybe luck gave him that extra little bit when it mattered most and put him over those select few who could (arguably) come close to or match his physical performance.
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Old 06-14-06, 12:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charles.v
With the TDF political tactics before the race started would play a big part in making sure he was not marked.
You think Armstrong wasn't marked at the TDF from 2000 to 2005?
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Old 06-14-06, 01:12 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by TYB069
Don't get me wrong, the physical, mental conditioning is there and without it, he wouldn't be able to compete (he's only matched by a select handful of people in the world), I'm just saying maybe luck gave him that extra little bit when it mattered most and put him over those select few who could (arguably) come close to or match his physical performance.
My memory is a bit fuzzy, but I seem to recall that Lance didn't have a flat or even unclip from his pedals due to an incident until '04. Yeah, there's some luck involved, but there is also planning to the smallest detail so that nothing is left to chance. IOW, you make your luck.

-murray
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Old 06-14-06, 03:55 PM   #13
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Lance NEVER had a flat in of his 7 TdF wins.
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Old 06-15-06, 06:15 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
You think Armstrong wasn't marked at the TDF from 2000 to 2005?
Of course he was marked, though not by every one. If he did not have
friends in the field he would of got no where. With a group the size of
the TDF the politics would be complex. Small sample is the days lance pretended to be weak and then it turned out he was strong. Or how about when they pumped up the fact that he lost weight in one of his time when he most likely lost very little.
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Old 06-16-06, 08:48 AM   #15
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My guess is, training is the base--which probably is more than 50% mental--and, then the monomaniacal tenacity it takes to stick to a daily planned diet, year after year--which probably is more than 50% mental--and, then probably the kind of relief from anxiety that you can only get from an in-depth knowledge of personal capabilities, the competition and the course--which probably is more than 50% mental too.
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Old 06-16-06, 09:19 AM   #16
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Mental and physical, you gotta have both to win 7
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Old 06-16-06, 01:30 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by HJR
You're 100% right Yogi.
65% of all people know that
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Old 06-16-06, 01:50 PM   #18
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one nut ftw
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