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Old 07-08-04, 07:51 AM   #1
RonH
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Last year Victor Hugo Pena was in yellow after stages 4, 5, and 6. There was a great story about him in the July 2004 issue of Outside magazine. Yet he isn't on the TdF team this year. Why? How are the nine TdF team members selected? I guess past glory doesn't count for much.
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Old 07-08-04, 08:29 AM   #2
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Tour team members are selected by their strengths and weaknesses. Past results are nice, but mean nothing if you are not riding well when it counts. Pena was quite tired during the 3rd week of the tour last year, and Postal was looking for someone who would be a bit stronger near the end of the tour. The route also dictates as to who comes along.

Past glory doesn't count for much, and neither do friendly favors, at least not at this level. It's all business
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Old 07-08-04, 08:58 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Smoothie104
Tour team members are selected by their strengths and weaknesses. Past results are nice, but mean nothing if you are not riding well when it counts. Pena was quite tired during the 3rd week of the tour last year, and Postal was looking for someone who would be a bit stronger near the end of the tour. The route also dictates as to who comes along.

Past glory doesn't count for much, and neither do friendly favors, at least not at this level. It's all business
Actually, Pena finished the TDF quite strongly last year, finishing 7th in the final 49km TT, 3rd best time on the USPS team behind Ekimov. His non-selection this year was unexplained.

Noval's selection was explained as, "He was the most prepared/fit." Probably through no fault of his own, or perhaps because he's young and never ridden a TDF before, Noval's had problems so far. First, he got caught behind the crash in stage 3, and then he lost alot of time on stage 4, probably suffering the effects of his crash. Its hard to say for sure what the causes of his problems have been, but right now he is the weak link on the team, even if it is through no fault of his own.
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Old 07-08-04, 10:30 AM   #4
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I was unaware of Penas performance, I had just seen an interview with Lance where he stated Pena was tired after the 3rd week etc.... wierd.
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Old 07-08-04, 11:16 AM   #5
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Noval wasn't caught up in the crash in stage 3, he caused it.
Apparently he hooked handlebars with Mayo and bang down they go.
He also crashed at least once on today's stage (5) he is a very
nervous boy. . .

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Old 07-08-04, 11:48 AM   #6
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Noval wasn't caught up in the crash in stage 3, he caused it.
Apparently he hooked handlebars with Mayo and bang down they go.
He also crashed at least once on today's stage (5) he is a very
nervous boy. . .

Marty
Interesting. I had heard that Isidro Nozal caused the crash going into the first cobbles, the crash at the front left of the peloton, but then there's all kinds of stories going around. If Noval caused it, that looks even worse for his selection.
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Old 07-08-04, 12:28 PM   #7
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Don,

I read this in cyclingnews.com (they are interviewing Marco Velo)
Quote:
We were approaching the first pavé section yesterday and it was really nervous," Velo explained. "I was in third or fourth position and just in front of me, Noval (USPS) and Mayo (Euskaltel) hooked their handlebars and crashed in front of me.
I think his youth/inexperience are showing. He may be in better shape but he is
really nervous/twitchy.

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Old 07-08-04, 01:58 PM   #8
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I liked Lefevere's comments on what happened at the start of the cobbles. To paraphrase he said that "it's better to lose 15 secs to the leaders and not crash fighting for a good position into the cobbles than to crash and lose the race. But you can't tell the Spanish riders that; they get into a panic and panic is not a good adviser".
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