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Old 07-22-07, 12:26 PM   #26
NotAsFat
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Originally Posted by dhut View Post
Every day Vino gets stronger, and Contadore is a better climber and a better TT. Just cant see him making the Podium let alone winning.

As a side note, I was happy to see Rasmussens time trial results. I am no fan, but it was good to see him overcome that demon.
Not today.
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Old 07-22-07, 02:47 PM   #27
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You don't win the Tour de France following wheels, lads.
How's that attacking thing working for Mayo and Valverde?

They were attacking on stages that they weren't going to seperate themselves from the main contendors, its not gutsy, its just dumb.

Today, now today was a day to attack.
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Old 07-22-07, 02:48 PM   #28
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Not today.
+1
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Old 07-22-07, 04:42 PM   #29
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I think this should be reversed. In the TT and on todays stage, contador showed he has the goods to win it, more so than Levi. Levi himself said he cant accelerate in the mountains like Contador, and that is SO important to making time gaps on climbs. Plus, Contador had a better TT than Levi too.

If Disco flipped its "leadership" and had Popo and then Levi set a ridiculous pace up the climbs, Contador could launch a final attack strong enough to drop Rasmussen and everyone else.

Levi isnt going to win it (but could be on the podium), so disco should use him to win with Contador.
Well that's the thing. Levi really doesn't have much to offer as a domestique to Contador. Discovery is not really in a position to have to choose right now. That will probably happen if and when when one of these guys has a bad day.

Contador's performance today put the hurt on Evans and Valverde while Levi cruised in 4th for the stage and 4th on GC. Not bad at all considering. As much as I agree with a lot of you that Levi is generally pretty dull to watch, he is looking pretty solid at the moment.
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Old 07-22-07, 05:24 PM   #30
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On the contrary, I think Levi would be a great domestique. He could set a very fast tempo to soften the field and then Contador could accelerate away.

No one would expect it, and if played properly it could even look like like Levi was attacking. It almost happened today, but Levi ended up on the front for all of 15 seconds (then dropped back as usual to save energy) after Popovich pulled off instead burning himself out for the few minutes it would take to really make it work.

Levi alone could probably whittle the field down to just a few of men if he wasn't concerned about his own placing. Which would just mean all the more damage Contador could inflict coming off his wheel.

But you are right in that either of them could have a bad day. Both of them getting into the select group on the last climbs and Levi getting on the front before Contador attacks is probably all they can really plan for.
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Old 07-22-07, 09:49 PM   #31
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Maybe his plan is to let everybody else make mistakes while he rides a safe Tour.
Levi said that prior to today's stage. He more or less said that he didn't know who would crack but it wouldn't be him.
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Old 07-23-07, 03:59 AM   #32
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I don't think Levi is done yet. Contador is pretty much the ideal softener in the mountain stages. So is Popo for that matter. If their attacks crash and burn they will exhaust some of Levi's rivals in the process too. I would be surprised if they're going to be under strict orders to wait for him at this point though.
I agree, I think Discovery is using Contador as bait to make other rider's crack chasing him. I think if this happens Levi could take the lead but wouldn't it be kind of sad to see someone who didn't win a stage win the tour.
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Old 07-23-07, 06:50 AM   #33
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I think Levi has ridden a fantastic TDF. He's been consistent, and keeps moving up on GC. He's highly likely to finish top 5, good chance to be on the podium, and still a very slight outside chance to win.

Levi is getting the most out of his abilities. Riding his own tempo in the mountains, he's gradually picked up time on most of his rivals. And his TT, while weak compared to Vino's time, still gained time on most of the GC top ten.

He doesn't have the massive acceleration, ride away from everyone ability, and he knows it would be foolish to try.

But by staying within himself, and riding his tempo, he's gradually doing quite well in a war of attrition.

The people that are crtical of Levi are simply expecting things from him that he doesn't have.
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Old 07-23-07, 01:28 PM   #34
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Levi is a muture rider who knows his abilities and is not be foolish enough to ride outside them. That said, I expect he will throw everything he has at the Col d' Aubique. If you read his face he always looks calm and collected, even as Rasmussen goes up the road. If he can ride away from (not attack) Evans on Wednesday He knows he has a chance in a longer ITT with less climbing. This strategy may come up short but I respect him for using all wis grit, determination, intelligence, and experience to try and win.
Bon Tour
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Old 07-23-07, 04:08 PM   #35
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Agree -I see no "spark" or "fight" from Levi, mnaybe that's just who he is. He is moving up in the standings, 4th as of now, but still looing time.

Maybe his plan is to let everybody else make mistakes while he rides a safe Tour.
That's just his riding style. He rode exactly the same way when he blew everyone away on Mt. Ventoux in the Dauphine last year. Oh wait - that must have been some other American riding for Gerolsteiner; Levi can't climb.....
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