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  1. #1
    Lance Hater Laggard's Avatar
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    Simoni wins the stage. Lance keeps the yellow.

  2. #2
    Crank Crushing Redneck SamDaBikinMan's Avatar
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    Great race even watching coverage on Cyclingnews. Can't wait to see it later on OLN.

    Vino is really looking good. Look out Lance!
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  3. #3
    Career Cyclist threadend's Avatar
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    LA is back, if he was ever gone. Lance's ITT ride had me starting to wonder but after his performances of yesterday and today, I think it's Armstrong's race again.
    2003 Iceman Challenge - 2:34:55 - 897 / 2,000*
    2002 Iceman Challenge - 2:39:23 - 1093 / 2,186
    2000 Iceman Challenge - 2:49:18 - 1516 / 2,153
    *estimated

  4. #4
    Crank Crushing Redneck SamDaBikinMan's Avatar
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    Tomorrow is LA's last chance at making time on his rivals with a mountaintop finish. Should be a good race.

    I think it will go down to the line this year.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  5. #5
    Lance Hater Laggard's Avatar
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    Stage

    1. Gilberto Simoni
    2. Laurent Dufaux at same time
    3. Richard Virenque at same time
    4. Andrea Person at 3"
    5. Walter Beneteau at 10"
    6. Alexandre Vinokourov at 41"
    7. Iban Mayo at same time
    8. Steve Zampieri at same time
    9. Haimar Zubeldia at 1'24"
    10. Ivan Basso at same time


    GC

    1. Armstrong
    2. Ullrich at 15"
    3. Vinokourov at 18"
    4. Zubeldia at 4'16"
    5. Mayo at 4'37"
    6. Basso at 7'01"
    7. Hamilton at 7'32"
    8. Mancebo at 10'09"
    9. Moreau at 10'09"
    10. Sastre at 12'40"
    i may have overreacted

  6. #6
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    geez... lance really can't control vino, can he?

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    1,520,000 nikos's Avatar
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    Originally posted by threadend
    LA is back, if he was ever gone. Lance's ITT ride had me starting to wonder but after his performances of yesterday and today, I think it's Armstrong's race again.
    How is LA back? It appears that he has two riders that have the upper hand. LA continues to lose time - he needs to spread out if by the time he gets to the individual time trial. Jan is looking like the man thats back. With no team strength he is doing very well. I hope LA has the dehydration behind him. It should be down to the wire.

  8. #8
    Lance Hater Laggard's Avatar
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    Jan put the pressure on Lance today and he didn't crack. I've yet to see the stage but both Paul and Phil felt that we were seeing a completely different Lance.

    If Lance is down, then Jan is down also. Neither one could or chose not to go after Vino.
    i may have overreacted

  9. #9
    1,520,000 nikos's Avatar
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    This is what makes me upset. I have my father tape the stages, I dont have a need for cable - except during the big tours. So I will be forced to watch it Monday. So here is cbs airing Home Alone??? Biking might not be to popular for tv viewers, but Home Alone - on primetime, what a joke - show the stage - last two hours. Instead we will get a recap on the week and 5 minutes of the stage 14 race today at the end. Well, Monday it is. You make a good point, I hope LA is back on form.

  10. #10
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    What gets me is why not just try it? TRY to air one stage on a weekend during a slow time and see what kind of nielson rating they get. Don't just assume that it's not worth the ratings to even bother- I'm sure Home Alone doesn't get more than a couple of points in the ratings, so what's the harm? Between Subaru and USPS, Berry Farms (or whoever they are), Dell Computers, and Visa, they could get PLENTY of commercial sponsorship to run it.

    Aaaaugh! I'm moving to Europe! Well... maybe just every July....

  11. #11
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    This is a race in search of a winner.

    Lance was reduced- again- to putting a guy in the break, to give the team a rest and oblige other squads to work. Yesterday, Saeco did big turns- apparently as a punishment from their directeur sportif for missing the break (and generally not performing). Today, Bianchi and Euskaltel rose to the challenge. Jan looked solid but rides the mountains like Indurain- he uses power gears and tries to set a hard but regular pace. When the attacks began on the last climb, he couldn't respond- or played a game of chicken with Lance that they both lost. Last year's Lance would have pretty near jumped across to the break on the final climb......

    Perhaps the two big hitters think tomorrow's elevated finish will be decisive- or maybe they both think they have the edge over Vinokourov in the ITT? They may be right on both accounts but this is a conservative game, that is only played when no-one has the confidence and condition to attack the others and expose their weaknesses.

    Noticed Lance didn't see the front all day. Noticed Jan didn't mount one serious attack on the final climb. Thought Mayo ought to have worked with Vino, or attacked earlier on the climb, maybe in concert with Zubeldia?

    I think this Lance's last Tour, win or lose. Once the cloak of invincibility slips, (other than through injury)it's time to say enough.

  12. #12
    Career Cyclist threadend's Avatar
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    Originally posted by nikos
    How is LA back? It appears that he has two riders that have the upper hand. LA continues to lose time - he needs to spread out if by the time he gets to the individual time trial. Jan is looking like the man thats back. With no team strength he is doing very well. I hope LA has the dehydration behind him. It should be down to the wire.
    My statement is mostly based on Armstrong's demeanor. He understands the competition and his confidence is starting to show through in subtle ways. Did you hear his post stage 14 interview? He didn't sound very worried. Lance has been, of all things, recovering in the Pyrenes, anybody who can use these last two stages as a recovery ride is good, scary good.

    After stage 13 Ullrich said he would give the maximum to take the yellow today, it didn't happen, why not?

    Vinokourov lost 30 seconds to a dehydrated Armstrong in the ITT and is only 3 seconds better after stage 14 than he was after stage 11. He needed to make up a lot more when Armstrong stumbled. Virenque says one of the leaders is going to crack, my hunch is it will be Vinokourov.
    2003 Iceman Challenge - 2:34:55 - 897 / 2,000*
    2002 Iceman Challenge - 2:39:23 - 1093 / 2,186
    2000 Iceman Challenge - 2:49:18 - 1516 / 2,153
    *estimated

  13. #13
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    Originally posted by nikos
    How is LA back? It appears that he has two riders that have the upper hand. LA continues to lose time - he needs to spread out if by the time he gets to the individual time trial. Jan is looking like the man thats back. With no team strength he is doing very well. I hope LA has the dehydration behind him. It should be down to the wire.
    My take is that neither LA nor Jan are too worried about Vino gaining a few seconds on them due to the upcoming ITT so they let him go. The race is between LA and Ullrich and Ullrich probably realized that he wasn't going to gain much time today on LA as LA wasn't going to crack. Why expend the energy in 95 degree heat to gain just a few seconds? With a downhill finish (and Jan is a poor descender) Jan would have had to have put at least a minute into Lance by the top of the final climb to have enough at the end to gain the yellow jersey, so I'm sure he just decided to wait until tomorrow's mountain top finish. I think they have both decided to let tomorrow decided it...or maybe Friday.

  14. #14
    Sprockette wabbit's Avatar
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    Lance did look a lot better today. Yesterday he looked peaked, after that time trial. However, the problem was that his team wasn't there for him at the end. They all fell off and he was alone, surrounded by rivals once again. For some reason, his team is not as solid as they have been in the past, and that should be as much of a concern as Ullrich and Vino. As for Vino, he may even pass Ullrich, but he won't hang on for long. There is not much chance he will do better than Ullrich in the time trial, even if Ullrich doesn't win that stage. I doubt Ullrich is overly worried about Vino- dont' forget they used to be teammates!

    I was glad Simoni won the stage. I like him and it's too bad he didn't have a better tour. But the giro really is his race. I hope if he does the tour again, he does bettr but let's face it, the giro and it's not a race to warm up for the tour, especially if you win.
    You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. That's great...if you want to attract vermin.

  15. #15
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    i'm not sure if i would say that armstrong sounds calm in the post-race interviews; i'd say he sounds more apathetic than anything. he really just doesn't seem to care if he wins or not.

  16. #16
    don d.
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    Originally posted by Flaneur
    Lance was reduced- again- to putting a guy in the break, to give the team a rest and oblige other squads to work.

    ...Jan... played a game of chicken with Lance that they both lost.
    I didn't get to watch todays stage; followed it on Eurosport and TDF site. I was surprised when USPS sent Beltran up the road, not because this is an unusual tactic for a team protecting the Yellow Jersey, but because USPS just has never done that. They must have known something coming into this stage that made them think they needed to take the pressure off LA. We may have seen what they knew when Heras was spit out so early on the last climb. We may also have seen why when LA chose to let two danger men go unchallenged on the last climb.

    Vinokourov is quoted in an interview at cycling news as saying that he was watching LA and JU when Mayo launched and neither one of them twitched a muscle, so he went also. Then we saw what I thought had to be the second most unusual tactical racing in the Tour. The first was Beloki chasing Vino on stage 8 when Lance should have been chasing. And today, when Vino went up the road, who set the tempo on the front to keep him close-Jan. Why? He should be forcing LA to defend his Yellow Jersey. Instead Lance was sitting on his wheel.

    Julian Gorospe, Euskatel team manager said today that tomorrow Euskatel is going to attack, attack, and attack, not to take a stage win, but to take the yellow jersey. They have the mountain goats; Mayo, Zubeldia, and Laiseka. We'll see if Ullrich forces Armstrong to chase tomorrow.

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    When interviewed after the race, LA said that Ullrich was the only rider he was concerned with.

  18. #18
    FOG
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    LA's tactics only make sense if AL can take the ITT. LA hasn't gotten any stage wins so far, and no one else can challenge JU. If JU wins the ITT, it's his Tour, unles in one of the stages tomorrow or Wednesday Lance blows JU away. He downst need much, but at least a 90 second margin would be all LA needs. Vino is no threat unless he can get at least two minutes on both JU and LA. JU has to chase vino down, just like Beloki did, if he wants to wear yellow in Paris. Bottom line, both Lance and Ullrich have to race as if they were leaders, and Jan has to keep Lance from pulling away in the last two mountain stages and Lance has to keep Ullrich from pulling away in the last time trial. I don't see any of the top three getting away from the others on any of the flat stages but the time trial.

  19. #19
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    Originally posted by djgustashaw
    i'm not sure if i would say that armstrong sounds calm in the post-race interviews; i'd say he sounds more apathetic than anything. he really just doesn't seem to care if he wins or not.
    that is kind of what I've been wondering. I'm not saying that he isn't giving %100, but it does seem like he doesn't care as much. Maybe he doesn't have the same motivation this year? But I don't know. Its hard to read a mind from an interview after a 6 hour stage.

    This race is incredibly close.
    Tomorrow, and the final TT...... ohh boy.

  20. #20
    don d.
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    Originally posted by FOG
    JU has to chase vino down, just like Beloki did, if he wants to wear yellow in Paris.
    Fog-I appreciate your comments but I think you are wrong about this. I was shocked to see Beloki chasing Vino when he did, and I was not surprised to learn later that his team manager, Saiz, was talking to him in his earphone at the time of the crash trying to get him to get off the front.

    Beloki was, and JU is, playing losers poker. That kind of riding is riding for a place on the podium, not for the Yellow Jersey. If they want to win the Yellow Jersey, they have to force LA to work himself into the ground to protect it. JU's tactics today said I care to much about being on the podium. He has to turn his back on the Yellow Jersey in order to win it. He has to give Lance "the look" when his Yellow Jersey is threatened and say, "Hey, it's your Yellow Jersey! You defend it!". He has to be willing to lose in order to win.

    And if Vino has to get 2 minutes on JU, he has to get 2 minutes on LA. Remember that Vino only lost 30" to LA in the last TT. You can say, "well those were extenuating circumstances", but the TDF is one huge extenuating circumstance that causes riders to perform beyond what they might normally. To underestimate Vino, could be a serious tactical mistake on Lance's part.

    Like Flaneur said, JU was playing chicken with LA today and they both lost.
    Last edited by don d.; 07-20-03 at 11:11 PM.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Timo's Avatar
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    On a sidenote...
    Originally posted by Koffee Brown
    Berry Farms (or whoever they are)
    Thats Berry Floor (not Farm). It's a Belgian firm. They make carpets, wooden floors, etc. Just like Domo and Quick Step (also floors, also Belgian).

  22. #22
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    Got it! Actually, I saw some footage and meant to correct my mistake, but I forgot. I got all wrapped up in watching the show!

    Doh!

    Thanks, man!

    Koffee

  23. #23
    don d.
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    Originally posted by Timo
    On a sidenote...

    Thats Berry Floor (not Farm)... Just like...Quick Step (also floors, also Belgian).
    Another side note: When Virengue, who rides for Quick Step, had the Yellow Jersey, the European press were headlining the next days stage as the "Floor Wars".

    Another side note: the USPS riders are called the "Blueberry Boys" by some.

  24. #24
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    When thinking 'Flooring', think Wilsonart!!

  25. #25
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    I have a different take on Ullrich's ride today.

    I think the plan was to try and drop Lance on the climb, and win time on the stage. Bianchi pushed it hard up the climb to drop Lance's teammates. That worked. Then, with Lance alone, the idea was to bring out weakness and for Ullrich to pull away. But Ullrich couldn't do that, and so Ullrich and Lance rode together.

    I suppose when Ullrich saw he wasn't going to drop Lance, he might have fallen back. But Ullrich might have been able to pull away even in the last k of the climb, like yesterday, so it was reasonable to keep trying right up to the summit. Notice that starting right before the summit, when it was finally clear there would be no dropping of Lance, Ullrich took turns with Lance to limit Vinokourov's losses. So, Ullrich didn't let Lance get away with not working there.

    About tomorrow: the best evidence as to what's going to happen is what's already happened, this year. There's far too much being read into facial expressions, interview tone, lack of losing lots of time to Ullrich, the entirely implausible story about losing 15 pounds of water, and so on, from Lance fans.

    The simplest way to look at things is like this. So far, Lance hasn't launched an attack, much less an attack like years past. If he could have done it, he would have by now. So, it's likely he won't do it tomorrow, because he still won't be able to.

    Jan hasn't shown that he can ride away from Lance on the climbs, either. So, he probably won't do that tomorrow, either.

    Vinokourov, on the other hand, has won time from Lance on three of the four hard mountain stages. Lance is not capable of catching him. If Vinokourov is feeling good, and there's a good chance he will, he'll pull away and win the yellow jersey.

    Of course if there were any certainties, they wouldn't ride the race. Something else might happen, of course. But odds are it'll be Vino pulling away from Jan and Lance tomorrow.

    Then the time trial will sort things out further.

    It's possible, though, that the race will still be close enough after the time trial that the leaders' teams will attack on the flat. _That_ would be cool.

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