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  1. #1
    Senior Member smessvader's Avatar
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    Team Radio Shack on fire

    As covered in other threads, the Levi comeback in the TdS was pretty amazing. Now, though, I'm waiting for more coverage of how the three "seniors" of Team Radio Shack have each won a major stage race this season -- Kloden with Basque Country, Horner with California, and now Levi with Suisse. For one, as much as the team has been mocked for hiring all these aging guys, it's clear they still have the goods. Second, the tension over who is the leader for the Tour is going to be pretty high (not likely that any of them could win the whole thing, but any of the three could easily podium) -- as bad as the fight over sprint leadership on Garmin. Third, clearly the team was originally built around Lance, but it seems that his retirement has allowed these guys to race for themselves more, and with great effect. And fourth, plain and simple, the team is having a great frickin' year.
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    Senior Member Sea Green Sky's Avatar
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    And fifth the team is managed by the same guy that kept Lance from testing positive for years.

    Three old guys on the same team, managed by a guy that's under investigation and heavy suspicion, suddenly start winning big races after years of middling results and that doesn't send up a red flag? Yeah, um, it must be all the special winter training.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Nick Bain's Avatar
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    GO Selander. He just finished the giro at a young age. He is also from my town.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Green Sky View Post
    And fifth the team is managed by the same guy that kept Lance from testing positive for years.

    Three old guys on the same team, managed by a guy that's under investigation and heavy suspicion, suddenly start winning big races after years of middling results and that doesn't send up a red flag? Yeah, um, it must be all the special winter training.
    I won't deny that there is suspicion, I have my own, however, Levi at least has been in contention for the GC in a lot of major races in the past few years. Kloden hasn't come in quite as high as Levi but he's been up there as well. Chris won the TofC so I'm not convinced he has proven himself a major player but we'll see. With the exception of Chris they haven't "suddenly" gotten good.

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    Senior Member Rotten Bastard's Avatar
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    It's good to see these results coming in and I hope it all leads to the sponsor's renewal or at the very least a new sponsor coming in next year. The more American teams, the better for the sport.

  6. #6
    Senior Member oldbobcat's Avatar
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    "On fire" is overstating the case, I think, but the old guard is performing admirably. RS hasn't been a factor in the classics or the Giro this year. California (overlaps the Giro) and Switzerland (too close to the Tour) are far from big races on the calendar.

  7. #7
    OM boy cyclezen's Avatar
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    of the American based teams, they certainly seem to have come out on top - a bit of a surprise, but maybe not.
    These old guys are great allrounders - strong on the uphill and excellent TT'ers. The team is again well structured for the best possible results for those riders they have. Nice to see Horner do a decent TT also. Oliviera did excellent in the TdS TT also. what happened to Garmin? HTC seems to be floundering. BMC has some great riders but just doesn't seem to be able to get a coordinated effort.

    and compare RS to Leopard - way better results so far.
    I wouldn't be surprised to see an old pharte Shacker standing one step higher than Schleck at the TDF...
    there is the TTT early in the race, alhtough a short one, but more importantly there is the tough ITT in Grenoble, same as the Dauphine, right after three huge Mtn stages, including the Galibier and Alpe D'huez. This could be a big reshuffler of standings.

    Never been a fan of the Lance teams, but I like the tenacity of these guyz - Big Kudos to Leipheimer for riding like a junkyard dog - take a bite and never let go.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ndbiker View Post
    I won't deny that there is suspicion, I have my own, however, Levi at least has been in contention for the GC in a lot of major races in the past few years. Kloden hasn't come in quite as high as Levi but he's been up there as well. Chris won the TofC so I'm not convinced he has proven himself a major player but we'll see. With the exception of Chris they haven't "suddenly" gotten good.
    Horner had a decent TDF last year. I dont think any of these 3 will make the podium though.

  9. #9
    lead on macduff!
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    maybe i'm in the minority, but i would love to see kloden podium at the tdf again.
    being relegated as the über-domestique to vinokourov/ulrich took his best years away
    when he arguably had as much or better form much like lemond with hinault in 85/86.
    hurt to watch and repeatedly screamed at the tv for kloden to just 'go' during those years
    to no avail.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Green Sky View Post
    Three old guys on the same team, managed by a guy that's under investigation and heavy suspicion, suddenly start winning big races after years of middling results and that doesn't send up a red flag? Yeah, um, it must be all the special winter training.
    Not exactly sudden. Levi and Kloeden have produced results for years. Levi podiumed in the Vuelta in 2001 and has won races since, including Tour of Germany in 2005. Kloeden won Paris-Nice and Pais Vasco in 2000 and podiumed in the TdF in 2004 and 2006.

    Horner maybe.

  11. #11
    Senior Member kleinboogie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smessvader View Post
    As covered in other threads, the Levi comeback in the TdS was pretty amazing. Now, though, I'm waiting for more coverage of how the three "seniors" of Team Radio Shack have each won a major stage race this season -- Kloden with Basque Country, Horner with California, and now Levi with Suisse. For one, as much as the team has been mocked for hiring all these aging guys, it's clear they still have the goods. Second, the tension over who is the leader for the Tour is going to be pretty high (not likely that any of them could win the whole thing, but any of the three could easily podium) -- as bad as the fight over sprint leadership on Garmin. Third, clearly the team was originally built around Lance, but it seems that his retirement has allowed these guys to race for themselves more, and with great effect. And fourth, plain and simple, the team is having a great frickin' year.
    Agreed, RS is on fire as are others like Team Liquigas (Peter Sagan quickly becoming one of my favorite riders after he showed up to a local group ride after the ToC). Chris and Levi have been high on my list for some time mainly because they get the PR thing (see Chris's blog) and they're nice guys. Always smiling, just loving to race. I dig Levi on the Velonews homepage with that "Holy smokes, I won!" smile on his face.

    Lance only affected the TDF, the others have been riding for themselves in the other races since day one.

    They have to think about the future though which it looks like they're doing which is great. Looks like they made a good decision moving Ben King up. I haven't followed all the riders but the team is looking really strong.

    P.S. Added one db to my ignore list.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Sea Green Sky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harlond View Post
    Not exactly sudden. Levi and Kloeden have produced results for years. Levi podiumed in the Vuelta in 2001 and has won races since, including Tour of Germany in 2005. Kloeden won Paris-Nice and Pais Vasco in 2000 and podiumed in the TdF in 2004 and 2006.

    Horner maybe.
    The point was that it's been awhile since any of them, with the exception of Horner & 2010 ToB, have won any big races and have clearly been on the decline as most older riders tend to do. Then this year, and last year for Horner as well, they magically become strong and fast again. Hmmm. Suspicious, no?

  13. #13
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ooga-booga View Post
    maybe i'm in the minority, but i would love to see kloden podium at the tdf again.
    being relegated as the über-domestique to vinokourov/ulrich took his best years away
    when he arguably had as much or better form much like lemond with hinault in 85/86.
    hurt to watch and repeatedly screamed at the tv for kloden to just 'go' during those years
    to no avail.
    +1

    He's seemed magical at times, but has never quite lived up to the promise. I wonder if it's a head problem? Maybe the relegation took the spirit out of him?
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  14. #14
    . bbattle's Avatar
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    These guys have been great in the shorter stage races; it's the three week grand tours where they run out of gas. They are going with a good team of domestiques but none of them are true attackers in the mountains like Contador or Schleck or Scarpone, etc. Horner at the ToC had that amazing stage where he dropped Leipheimer, Leipheimer wins TdS with his superb time trial and decent climbing. Neither looked as good as Contador in the Giro. Contador destroyed the field again and again in the Giro; if anyone is looking suspiciously like a doper this season, it's Contador.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Green Sky View Post
    The point was that it's been awhile since any of them, with the exception of Horner & 2010 ToB, have won any big races and have clearly been on the decline as most older riders tend to do. Then this year, and last year for Horner as well, they magically become strong and fast again. Hmmm. Suspicious, no?
    Well, no. Levi was terrific 2007-2009, getting podiums in the TdF and the Vuelta and winning other races. He had a so-so 2010, but anyone can have a bad year. What's suspicious about a guy who has podiumed in grand tours and won multiple week-long stage races within the last 4 years winning the Tour de Suisse? Sounds to me like exactly the kind of guy you'd expect to contend there.

    Same with Kloeden, good results 2007-2009, winning Tirreno-Adriatico and Romandie and finishing 6th in the TdF in 2009, bad year in 2010, but he still finished 14th in the TdF. What's suspicious about a guy with Kloeden's record of sustained excellence who finished 6th and 14th in the Tour the last two years winning Pais Vasco?

    I don't see any magic here, just guys with proven records coming back from what is for them a bad year. Sure, they might be doping like anybody (or everybody) else, but their recent results are in line with their careers, and I don't see anything sudden or particularly suspicious about these recent results.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Nick Bain's Avatar
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    leiphiemers will do the best or they will have a breakout rider this year. you read it hear first.

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