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Old 06-01-08, 06:38 PM   #1
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Tour de France? Try Tour de Farce!

After watching today's final Giro stage, I'm going to wonder about how ASO will be able to justify keeping Astana out of the Tour . . . . . . . besides the usual, "we're never wrong and wouldn't acknowledge it if we were" attitude. No, I'm not stupid enough to expect a change of heart on the part of the organizers.

The person I'm really going to feel sorry for is the guy who ends up winning the Tour. Talk about setting a record and having it inscribed with the proverbial baseball asterix after your name. The asterix that says, "you won partially because the best team around wasn't allowed to take part, and there will always be a question of whether you could have beaten them". Even someone who defaults into a win because the winner was caught doping still knows he was the best clean (ok, uncaught, for all you terminally cynical types) rider out there.

I'll still watch the Tour (even a bad cycling race is still better than 99% of what's on television), but there's no way I can take it seriously this year.

And I'd love to see Contador win the Vuelta this year, just to rub it in.
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Old 06-02-08, 02:35 AM   #2
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I totally agree! Whoever wins the Tour this year would not have been able to do so, if Astana was invited.. Alberto Contador won the Giro with only 8 days of preparation…imagine him with months of preparation for the Tour!

Anyway, I am still looking forward to follow the Tour with big riders like Cadel Evans, Alejandro Valverde, Carlos Sastre, Samuel Sanchez, Denis Menchov etc.
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Old 06-03-08, 01:35 PM   #3
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When someone can come into a grand tour with only 8 days of preparation and win it. It tells me he is the best grand tour rider at the present time. Therefore, whoever wins the TDF will have a tainted victory if he is not competing against the best rider and team.
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Old 06-03-08, 02:49 PM   #4
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The ASO could still do it if they wanted to. Astana riders appear to have passed all the drug tests and the TdF could request a drug test before extending an invite...even at the last minute. Would be a grind for Astana since all of their top riders were in the Giro. Don't think a month is enough time to recover and put in proper training for the TdF. Some feel the Giro is scheduled too close to TdF and there should be a 2 month gap like the Vuelta a Espaņa is. In any case, the number of teams the TdF invites varies from 20-22 and there are 20 teams this year, so there is room for 1-2 more teams IF the ASO wants to expand the field. BUT it's their race and they can do whatever they want.

OT...nice article on Contador's bike he used in the Giro:
http://www.bikeradar.com/racing/arti...k-madone-16689
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Old 06-04-08, 02:17 PM   #5
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After watching today's final Giro stage, I'm going to wonder about how ASO will be able to justify keeping Astana out of the Tour . . . . . . . besides the usual, "we're never wrong and wouldn't acknowledge it if we were" attitude. No, I'm not stupid enough to expect a change of heart on the part of the organizers.

The person I'm really going to feel sorry for is the guy who ends up winning the Tour. Talk about setting a record and having it inscribed with the proverbial baseball asterix after your name. The asterix that says, "you won partially because the best team around wasn't allowed to take part, and there will always be a question of whether you could have beaten them". Even someone who defaults into a win because the winner was caught doping still knows he was the best clean (ok, uncaught, for all you terminally cynical types) rider out there.

I'll still watch the Tour (even a bad cycling race is still better than 99% of what's on television), but there's no way I can take it seriously this year.

And I'd love to see Contador win the Vuelta this year, just to rub it in.

Then watch the Vuelta, all the big names will be there and we will see who the strongest is then.
The Giro was tough but alot of Big Guns stayed home.
How do you know the tour will be bad? Just because Contador is not there does not mean it won't have great racing. There is more to racing than Astana get over it.
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Old 06-04-08, 04:46 PM   #6
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All this talk aboput tainted victory, or an asterix. But of Course Armstrong's first victory was not tainted in any way!

But if anyone really thinks this years tour will be remembered in that way here is my challenge.

Name any tour so remembered from more than 10 years ago. I can name at least 5 where I can make strong arguments for just the TDF. Hint for one of those the Vuelta clearly had the best podium. Oh what the heck. Look to Italy for 2 more instances.

Does anyone consider the 30 Giro tainted?
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Old 06-05-08, 04:32 PM   #7
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OT...nice article on Contador's bike he used in the Giro:
http://www.bikeradar.com/racing/arti...k-madone-16689
Further off topic: Last month I ran into two women riders on the side of the trail. They looked in need of help. So I stopped and offered assistance. Flat tire? Loose component? Need a tool?

No.

They didn't know how to shift gears! Their road bikes were brand new and they didn't know how to use the Shimano STI levers.

Which bikes did they ride, you may ask? Well both had the same bike, the Trek Madone 5.2 carbon fiber with Dura-Ace components. Contador's bike. And I'm riding a mediocre LeMond aluminum with 105/Ultegra combo and Bontrager wheelset. There is no justice in the world...
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Old 06-05-08, 08:17 PM   #8
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Then watch the Vuelta, all the big names will be there and we will see who the strongest is then.
The Giro was tough but alot of Big Guns stayed home.
How do you know the tour will be bad? Just because Contador is not there does not mean it won't have great racing. There is more to racing than Astana get over it.
I plan to. I may even pay good money for the on-line connection to watch this one.

I was planning on cheering for Astana in general and Contador in particular, and will be cheering twice as loudly now that ASO owns 49% of the Vuelta.

And I believe I mentioned that I'm planning on watching the Tour, most likely spending my evenings building this year's new bike while I watch (it's become a tradition in this house). I enjoy cycling enough that I'm not about to miss a race, no matter what the politics. Hell, I'd watch the local Boy Scout troop if they decided to put on a criterium in my town!

I will still feel sorry for the Tour's winner this year, though. It won't be a bad Tour (I never intended to insinuate that I thought that), it'll just be a badly incomplete one.
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Old 06-05-08, 08:22 PM   #9
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Further off topic: Last month I ran into two women riders on the side of the trail. They looked in need of help. So I stopped and offered assistance. Flat tire? Loose component? Need a tool?

No.

They didn't know how to shift gears! Their road bikes were brand new and they didn't know how to use the Shimano STI levers.

Which bikes did they ride, you may ask? Well both had the same bike, the Trek Madone 5.2 carbon fiber with Dura-Ace components. Contador's bike. And I'm riding a mediocre LeMond aluminum with 105/Ultegra combo and Bontrager wheelset. There is no justice in the world...

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Old 06-05-08, 08:22 PM   #10
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Further off topic: Last month I ran into two women riders on the side of the trail. They looked in need of help. So I stopped and offered assistance. Flat tire? Loose component? Need a tool?

No.

They didn't know how to shift gears! Their road bikes were brand new and they didn't know how to use the Shimano STI levers.

Which bikes did they ride, you may ask? Well both had the same bike, the Trek Madone 5.2 carbon fiber with Dura-Ace components. Contador's bike. And I'm riding a mediocre LeMond aluminum with 105/Ultegra combo and Bontrager wheelset. There is no justice in the world...
And that LeMond is probably worth more than the ten bikes I've currently got hanging on the garage wall (anything from a '68 Magneet thru an '03 Fuji Finest). They've all been lovingly rebuilt, get the piss ridden out of them daily, and I'm having the time of my life.

I can no more afford a Trek Madone 5.2 than you can. But I'm one hell of a good wrench (on and off 39 years experience), and have done reasonably well in the local Tuesday Peloton that rides through my area with bikes that have been saved from the local landfill - and some even have friction downtube shifters .
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Old 06-06-08, 12:58 PM   #11
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Further off topic: Last month I ran into two women riders on the side of the trail. They looked in need of help. So I stopped and offered assistance. Flat tire? Loose component? Need a tool?

No.

They didn't know how to shift gears! Their road bikes were brand new and they didn't know how to use the Shimano STI levers.

Which bikes did they ride, you may ask? Well both had the same bike, the Trek Madone 5.2 carbon fiber with Dura-Ace components. Contador's bike. And I'm riding a mediocre LeMond aluminum with 105/Ultegra combo and Bontrager wheelset. There is no justice in the world...
unlike a car money cant make a bike go fast.
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Old 06-06-08, 03:10 PM   #12
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unlike a car money cant make a bike go fast.
This is absolutely false. For enough money I can hire a bike racer to make my bike go MUCH faster than I can make it go.
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Old 06-06-08, 06:16 PM   #13
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unlike a car money cant make a bike go fast.
That's exactly right. I averaged 25 mph on that stretch of trail (no stop signs), got to the end, turned around and went back, and ran into the two ladies huffing it at under 15mph.
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Old 06-08-08, 08:07 PM   #14
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unlike a car money cant make a bike go fast.
Which is why I enjoy my vintage stuff at Ashland Coffee and Tea on Sunday mornings. I'm far from the fastest rider out there, but it's a nice feeling to drop some guy on an Orbea Orca when you're riding a 1971 Gitane Tour de France.

Made all the better by knowing my bike isn't still sitting on a not-paid-off credit card bill.
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