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Old 07-20-03, 11:43 PM
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Merriwether
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Whatever. Jeez. You'd think someone would do a "bike racing 101" on the site, too.

The gang-up-on-Lance thing can only work if Vinokourov and Ullrich don't care which of the two of them wins, and even then there's little gaurantee up in the mountains. There's not a huge amount of drafting possible at climbing speeds (hence Jan leading all the way up the climb and still finishing with Lance, for example, or Lance doing the same in years past). So, Lance might well be able to respond to attacks without help.

Of course, it's not clear he really can respond to a strong attack tomorrow. But that's because he doesn't look strong, not because of some anticipated cooperation.

On a related topic, on OLN, there's just _way_ too much talking all the time about the great "advantage" Lance has with his team in the mountains. More wasted breath from the announcers. Yes, Postal led Lance up the mountain Saturday, but they also led Ullrich. Some "advantage". The team might be useful in case someone attacks, then they could lead Lance back. But, by the time Ullrich did attack, all the teammates were gone. Today, Vinokourov attacked when there were no teammates in any shape to help, too. As is usally the case. So, no "advantage" there, either. And at the end of the stage, did anyone say "well, there wasn't really much advantage today after all"? No. In fact, we got to hear about what a "great job" Postal did. Sheesh. Just one more excuse to talk about how great Lance/Postal are.

Of course, if it had been Lance instead of Ullrich climbing without teammates but still winning time, there'd be no end of talk about what a great champion Lance is because he can, wait for it, "go it alone".

Lance holds time, he's doing great, he's smart, he's on his way to winning. Lance loses time, he's still doing great, he's smart, he's on his way to victory. Lance can't attack this year, he'd be out of yellow with no obvious way to get it back if it weren't for the team time trial, but he's still doing great, he's smart, he's on his way to victory. Man, if Lance were puking on the side of the road we'd hear Phil tell us how smart it is for Lance to get rid of all that excess weight. Then Carmichael would write a column telling us how Lance's vomit has a specific gravity much lower than other riders, and that Lance's awesomely powerful throat muscles help him recover from heaving far quicker than other riders.

All right, that's enough...
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