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Old 01-06-09, 08:09 PM   #1
gabdy
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Astana Podium Sweep?

Lance thinks it's possible

http://www.smh.com.au/news/sport/arm...004071051.html

Seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong says his Astana team has a chance at a podium sweep in this year's Tour de France, and he might ride on in 2010.

Armstrong, who won the Tour de France from 1999-2005, told website The Daily Beast any one of five riders on the team could be in position to win the 2009 title.

"We have five riders that have been in the top five in the tour," Armstrong told the website. "Theoretically any of them could be very close (to winning).

"And I think more realistically than theoretically, you could perhaps put three guys on the podium if you did it right. (It would) be exciting for us. Not exciting for the race. But exciting for us."

Armstrong's other top-five Tour teammates include 2007 Tour de France winner Alberto Contador, whom Armstrong called "the best stage racer in the world", plus US compatriot Levi Leipheimer, Andreas Kloden and Haimar Zebeldia.

Armstrong said he is ready to play a support role on the superstar squad if Astana manager Johan Bruyneel asks.

"My return, although it made a lot of sense to me and to Johan because of our loyalty to each other, was a little surprising to a great rider like Contador who didn't expect to be in this position. It's going to require some discussion and some balance," Armstrong said.

"But I'm committed to riding and following the rules of cycling and supporting the strongest rider. Whoever Johan thinks that is. I'll follow team orders."

Armstrong said he can see his comeback extending into 2010.

"I don't want to limit it," he said. "It would be a little irrational to announce or even think about it now, because I haven't even started to racing this year yet. But it has entered my mind.

"I'm having fun right now and feeling strong and healthy. I certainly don't want to limit it to one year. But it could be one. It could be two."

Armstrong, who has run in marathons, hinted at a future in triathlon - which he starred in prior to taking up cycling - once his racing days are over.

He even spoke in general terms about a future in politics to the website's interviewer, who said he was a member of the board of Armstrong's foundation and spoke to the cycling star in Hawaii ahead of a ride in the Tour Down Under.

"If you feel like you can do the job better than people who are doing it now and you can really make a difference, then that's a real calling to serve and I think you have to do that," Armstrong said.

" ... Don't do it for a bet, or a dare or for your ego.

"Do it because you can get in there and change people's lives. That's why you do it. So there will come a time, or not, that I say to myself, 'You know what? I can help affect change'. And if that day comes, then absolutely."
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Old 01-07-09, 07:50 AM   #2
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Another pro cyclist I heard about recently saying, "I'm not in very good shape this year, although I'll act like a primadonna. My teammates are also pretty weak, and the team director's an arse. I'm basically just doing it for the chicks. After this year's Tour I'm planning to get fat."
Can't remember who that was...
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Old 01-07-09, 04:45 PM   #3
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If he's going to try to win the Giro, and then come back to be "the man" for the Tour, I don't like his chances.
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Old 01-14-09, 03:55 PM   #4
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Anyone know which team has come the closest to a podium sweep so far?

Hint they picked up the KOM also.
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Old 01-14-09, 07:03 PM   #5
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Anyone know which team has come the closest to a podium sweep so far?

Hint they picked up the KOM also.
The 1986 La Vie Claire team? 1. Lemond, 2. Hinault, 4. Hampsten
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Old 01-15-09, 12:08 PM   #6
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"My return, although it made a lot of sense to me and to Johan because of our loyalty to each other, was a little surprising to a great rider like Contador who didn't expect to be in this position. It's going to require some discussion and some balance," Armstrong said.

"But I'm committed to riding and following the rules of cycling and supporting the strongest rider. Whoever Johan thinks that is. I'll follow team orders."


Sounds like he wants to be a GC and not a domestique. I hope he goes for it.
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Old 01-15-09, 12:49 PM   #7
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The 1986 La Vie Claire team? 1. Lemond, 2. Hinault, 4. Hampsten
Yup, course you knew that, can't get any closer without sweaping the podium.

You were not one of those I expected to get the answer first. Good to see a new face who knows some history.
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Old 01-15-09, 05:03 PM   #8
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I think it'd be more watchable if Armstrong and Contadora had a little doubt about whom was breaking whose wind, and it erupted into an all-out Springer-show on wheels and some dark-horse ended up whipping them both like rented mules. And then they both tested positive for an illegal substance. Heck, I'd buy the DVD for that.
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Old 01-16-09, 09:09 AM   #9
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Yup, course you knew that, can't get any closer without sweaping the podium.

You were not one of those I expected to get the answer first. Good to see a new face who knows some history.
I have followed pro racing since the early 80s and have seen all the TdeF races on television. Finally got to see the Grand Tour live in 2007.
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Old 01-16-09, 01:47 PM   #10
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Anyone know which team has come the closest to a podium sweep so far?

Hint they picked up the KOM also.
Astana 2007. Contador and Leipheimer.
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Old 01-19-09, 02:03 PM   #11
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Astana 2007. Contador and Leipheimer.
A bit late and wrong. The correct answer has already been given.

Don't care how 2 riders finished, it is impossible for 2 riders to beat 1,2 and 4 in the GC.
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Old 01-20-09, 12:03 AM   #12
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it would be nice if they swept the podium before the winners stood on it. that thing is always so dirty.
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Old 01-27-09, 05:05 PM   #13
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it would be nice if they swept the podium before the winners stood on it. that thing is always so dirty.
Best answer so far.
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Old 01-27-09, 09:16 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by calamarichris View Post
I think it'd be more watchable if Armstrong and Contadora had a little doubt about whom was breaking whose wind, and it erupted into an all-out Springer-show on wheels and some dark-horse ended up whipping them both like rented mules. And then they both tested positive for an illegal substance. Heck, I'd buy the DVD for that.

Ha, ha....me too. Then they could go on Maury, discuss their "feelings" and find out who their real dads are.

Seriously, I would be ASTOUNDED if Lance came within a sniff of the top ten. It's obviously to me a publicity stunt for his charity (which is commendable as it seems to be genuinely heartfelt) and his political career (not so much). You know what though, if you do what he did in this race in the past, you earn the right.
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Old 01-28-09, 12:02 AM   #15
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Kudos to Lance for trying, and with his abilities, you never know. I would love to see Contador absolutely crush him though. Of course, he won't do it in the TT, but I hope he leaps away from Armstrong in the high mountains.
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Old 01-30-09, 11:00 PM   #16
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Alberto and Levi finished with identical items at the Vuelta (without time bonuses)... and Levi was working for Alberto. Even without Lance, there's no clear hierarchy. Johan can clearly manage the personalities and the talent.

I don't agree that an Astana sweep would be unexciting. If it were Lance, Alberto, Levi AND Kloden first up Ventoux, it ought to be fair play and I'd love to see the mountain sprint. I'd just flip out.
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