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James Raia 05-15-02 03:45 PM

Tour without Ullrich?
How about it gang, with Ullrich out of the Tour, who will be Armstrng's challenges?
Could it be an American podium -- Armstrong, Hamilton, Leipheimer?

Joe Gardner 05-15-02 04:00 PM

Welcome to the forums James! Here's a similar discussion already in place:

hillyman 05-15-02 04:03 PM

The Giro will give us a clue.I think an unknown is going to challenge.I hope so anyway.I want to see a gear mashing,all out,down to the wire finish.Thank goodness for OLN.It's great to watch the Giro d Italia.Weird a fishing show comes on afterward,but hey,It's better than highlights on ESPN2 at 2:00 in the morning like they use to.

James Raia 05-15-02 04:21 PM

Your're so right. It's great to have OLN. Bob Roll adds a nice touch and good perspective to Liggett and Sherwen.
Noticed Tyler Hamilton dropped out off the Top 20.
But he'll likely be there when the race gets to the mountains.
And, yes, it's weird to have guns/hunting/fishing after the cycling shows.
It's seems like a contradiction in coverage to me .

Dutchy 05-15-02 06:26 PM

My dark horse for the Tour de France is Cadel Evans (Mapei) the former MTB world champion. I don't think he could win outright but he could get a stage in the mountains. He has only been road riding for a few years but has been pretty impressive in the hilly stages. He is currently 9th in the Giro d'Italia. Could be a future champion.



velocipedio 05-15-02 06:52 PM

Originally posted by James Raia
Could it be an American podium -- Armstrong, Hamilton, Leipheimer?
I wouldn't hold your breath. First of all, Hamilton won't be leading CSC-Tiscali, Jalabert will... and I think Jalabert might just go after the GC this year. Leipheimer was strong in the Vuelta largely because no one expected anything of him, but he'll be marked in the Tour.

The odds are good that there will be one American on the podium -- although it's far from certain. The odds against two or three are astronomical.

James Raia 05-15-02 06:59 PM

It would be great to have Ja-Ja on the podium, but with some off the late
climbs, I'm not sure he'll be so strong so late. But he's a true sportsman, and
not Lance's biggest fan.
It would be good for the French, eh?
How's Boogerd this year?
What about Julich? Now, will he be elevated to the team leader role for
Telekom or could it be Livingston?
With Ullrich out, I thin the race does open up some, which is
good for the Tour, eh?

velocipedio 05-15-02 08:17 PM


There are some fine Americans in the European peloton but, with the exception of Armstrong and Leipheimer, none of them are team leaders and therefore unlikely to be supported in a bid for the GC except in the most exceptional circumstances.

Julich is going to be working for his team leaders, Vinokourov for the GC and Zabel for stage wins. Hamilton will be working for jalabert, and for Piziks in the sprints. If Boogerd withdraws from the Giro, he'll probably lead Rabobank in the Tour, and Leipheimer would work for him.

The only American with a real chance of getting anywhere in the GC is, of course, Armstrong. Mst of the rest are domestiques.

James Raia 05-15-02 10:45 PM

Hey, good thoughts all on the GC portion of the Tour de France.
I expect some teams may see which one of their potential team leaders has
good form and then determine their strategy.

Perhaps I've got a U.S. bias, but I would like to see Juliich have one more
good season reminiscent of his '98 effort.

Another forum reader has mentioned Beloki, but I haven't heard much of
his form this season. He's been battling injury, I presume?

roadbuzz 05-16-02 10:25 AM

Weren't we saying the same sort of things last year? Even though Ulrich was there, we were sure that, at best, there would only be a couple of good stages. And with the bias toward French teams... As it turned out, I thought it was one of the best in recent memory! It ain't over 'til it's over.

Plus, the rumor mill is busy... I read in VeloNews that Telekom is trying to recruit Sevilla away from a financially-struggling Kelme. Stay tuned...

One benefit, or maybe it's just my impression, is that with a potentially lackluster TdF in the offing, people are more interested in the other grand tours. People used to say "TIOOYK... there is only one, you know". Wrong! There are at least 3!!!

lotek 05-16-02 12:01 PM

Plus, the rumor mill is busy... I read in VeloNews that Telekom is trying to recruit Sevilla away from a financially-struggling Kelme. Stay tuned...
From what I've read today, Sevilla has confirmed this in an interview, even tho Kelme is denying it.
If Sevilla goes to Telkom, can he prepare team wise for July?
I don't know about that but it could spell BIG trouble for Jan.

James Raia 05-16-02 12:42 PM

Let's see: Sevilla, Julich, Livingston, Zabel, plus the others I'm forgetting. I think
that would be a make for a formidable Tour squad.

roadbuzz 05-16-02 07:36 PM

Originally posted by James Raia
plus the others I'm forgetting.
Like Vinokourov, Bolts, Kloden. That's what American sportscasters call a deep bench... lot's of talent to draw on. But I expect what they'd really like right now is to have a German rider to go for TdF GC. :(

roadbuzz 05-16-02 08:17 PM

Originally posted by lotek

From what I've read today, Sevilla has confirmed this in an interview, even tho Kelme is denying it.

What bugs me most about this is the news about Kelme. The team is probably one of the oldest in Div. 1 Pro with the same sponsor. For years they've just been scrappers in the big tours. Sending riders out on hopeless flyers early in the stage to get visibility... then last year, out of the blue, they won the TdF team standings, and it seemed like things were coming together for the scrappy Spaniards. Alas, maybe not.

velocipedio 05-16-02 08:57 PM

Kelme, the sponsor, is having serious financial problems right now, and there is some concern that it will not be able to continue funding the team. The brothers who own the Kelme shoe company are evidently trying to sell off part of the company to keep the team afloat. Sevilla, and other team members, have not been paid, it seems, for a couple of months. Telekom can smell the blood and knows there may be some stars, like Sevilla, who might be receptive to an offer.

roadbuzz 05-17-02 09:11 AM

Anybody know what, specifically, is wrong with Ulrich's knee?

velocipedio 05-17-02 09:22 AM

I read that it was patellar tendinitis compounded with a hairline stress fracture. Not nice, but it was probably caused by overtraining and the fact that he pushes a 53t chainring in climbs. The muscles are willing, the bone and tendons are weak.

roadbuzz 05-17-02 07:42 PM

Originally posted by velocipedio
he pushes a 53t chainring in climbs.
Gasp :eek:

The muscles are willing...
Well, maybe his are.

Thanks! That doesn't sound career-ending, if he's willing to adapt his style, like a mere mortal might have to.

orguasch 05-20-02 02:25 PM

if Lance is on Target with his Tour preparation, it ganna be "a Cake walk for him" and we should toss right now:beer: :beer: :beer: :beer:

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