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Classique des Alpes

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Old 06-05-04, 04:09 PM
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don d.
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Classique des Alpes

Phonak's climbing contingent had a great day at this difficult pre-TDF fitness test. Pereiro, Gutierrez, Sevilla, and Dessel all finished in the top 10, with Pereiro getting the victory over Iban Mayo. Tyler should be happy to see this.

CSC's Sastre also finished well.
 
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Old 06-05-04, 04:44 PM
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smeghead
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I seen a lot of Phonak riders consistantly placed in the top 10 over the last month or so. I think Tyler will have a very nice team around him in the tour. I tip him for 3rd place.
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Old 06-05-04, 07:03 PM
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don d.
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My main concern for Phonak is their team time trial capabilities. I haven't had the inclination to examine all their riders history for this, and I don't think their TDF team has been announced yet. Hamilton and Zulle have the best histories at Phonak in TT's. I don't think Zulle will be picked for the Tour team based on his climbing abilities with all the other climbers they are showing, but he may be picked for his TT capabilites and his maturity/team leadership qualities.

I think Phonak has to finish within 60 secs of the best time to keep Hamilton in contention for the podium in this Tour. If he loses 2 minutes in the TTT, I fear he may not make the podium. You can pretty much count on top times from T-Mobile with Botero, Ullrich, Vino, Nardello, Zabel, Evans, and whomever. That would put Vino and Ullrich in the catbird seat. And I see Vino as Hamilton's main competition for a spot on the podium. If Vino gets up a couple of minutes on Hamilton in the TTT, those will be hard minutes to get back. Tyler may pick up some time on Vino on L'Alpe de Huez though.

Of course, with Rubiera, Ekimov, Hincapie, and Armstrong, USPS should be top three in the TTT.

OTOH, their could be another Beloki type incident again, and then who knows?
 
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