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Thread: 2004 Tour de France

  1. #11
    Staying Afloat speedbump's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by astrogirl_2100
    Great stage today. Lance took his first yellow jersey and US postal dominates the top 10. However, I cannot believe that Lance will win six. Noone has ever done it, and I'm sure there is some sort of a hex on the tour.

    CSC came in fifth, and will all the accidents they had, that's pretty outstanding.
    CSC really showed they are veterans of the TTT. The really recovered well. Also, a big pat on the back to Phonak as well. They had problems early on and recovered for second.

    As for Lance winning six: I think he can do it. Not because of the whole American thing, but he really seems "in the zone". The team director really put together a team that is all in it for Lance, pushing their own personal success aside for one reason only: Lance in yellow. I watched the Lance Chronicles leading up to the tour and I thought that maybe with so many photo shoots, guest appearances and his budding relationship with Sheryl Crow, he would lack in preparation time. However, he looks good, his team really looks good and things are clicking well.

    I do think that the mountains will bring some great rivalries and competition. I won't be disappointed at all if Lance doesn't win his sixth. He is already in some great company with Mercxx, Hinault, Anceteuil and Indurain. Maybe he should stay among those five?

    I just hope my pre-race favorites all have a place on the podium or at least a stage win: Armstrong, Hamilton, Ullrich and Julich. That could conceivably be the top four. *crosses fingers*
    You got to cry without weeping. Talk without speaking. Scream without raising your voice.- U2

  2. #12
    FORT scientist astrogirl_2100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedbump
    As for Lance winning six: I think he can do it. Not because of the whole American thing, but he really seems "in the zone". The team director really put together a team that is all in it for Lance, pushing their own personal success aside for one reason only: Lance in yellow. I watched the Lance Chronicles leading up to the tour and I thought that maybe with so many photo shoots, guest appearances and his budding relationship with Sheryl Crow, he would lack in preparation time. However, he looks good, his team really looks good and things are clicking well.
    I don't know if you watched the tour where Miguel Indurain was going for six. But before that tour everyone was talking about him like we was unbeatable. Talking about how his resting pulse was 30 beats per minute (imagine that, he wakes up and 2 seconds go by before his heart takes a beat). Talked about his Banesto riders and how he used them in the mountains and then took the tour on the time-trials. They even had a stage pass through the Baske region so he could be cheered by his own people in his 6th yellow jersey. Except it never happened, because Bjarne Riis won that tour.

    I know US Postal looks very strong, and I know Armstrong looks strong. But you never know. Just one off-day in the mountains, and it can all go wrong. Like Ullrich that year where he didn't put on some clothes for riding down the mountain and got so cold he completely collapsed (Marco Pantani took the tour because of that).

  3. #13
    Staying Afloat speedbump's Avatar
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    Oh I definitely agree with you. The Indurain years...*sigh*...seems so long ago. After he won 5 in a row, nobody thought another rider could win five in a row again. Egads...it happened twice in 12 years!

    Regardless of if Lance wins or doesn't win, I think it'll be a few years before we see another dominant cyclist again in the Tour. Have you noticed the shift from the riders of the 90's to the up and comers? Kinda cool to watch rookies making a name for themselves, but sad to see the likes of Zabel and Cippolinni ride into the sunset.

    I really think the Tour organizers set this up to be hard. It's gonna be a close race, which is awesome. I love being on the edge of my seat screaming and yelling during the mountain stages. I totally zone out during the mountain stages from the 'real world' until I've watched the race. I hate having the stage ruined before I get to watch it. I even changed my homepage so I wouldn't stumble upon any results. One of my friends today told me that Lance lost the yellow today before I could watch it, and I had to remind him of the rule about not discussing stage results until the next day.


    P.S. Hey Quinn--you gonna jump in on our discussion? What are your thoughts?
    You got to cry without weeping. Talk without speaking. Scream without raising your voice.- U2

  4. #14
    C'mon Without Cmon Within QuinntheEskimo's Avatar
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    Cycling is so dynamic- it seems impossible to have someone win 5 or 6 years in a row... given the transformation a rider makes over his career. most young riders all start out as sprinters- and then they transition to mountain climbers later in their career. Obviously mountain climbers win the tour- so it seems that a young sprinter better be transitioning to mountain climbing by the time he is 23 or 24- so he'll be ready to compete for yellow by the time he's 26 or 27. No easy feat really! It takes so many years to get in top form to be efficient in the mtn's.
    i love the different aspects of the tour- the different jerseys- the battles within the war!
    It seemed like Lance gave up yellow rather easy today... like he didnt want the yellow yet.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuinntheEskimo
    It seemed like Lance gave up yellow rather easy today... like he didnt want the yellow yet.

    Agree. I'm sure once Johan Bruneel gave Lance the names of the riders in the breakaway, it wasn't worth it. Those riders need an extra two hour advantage if they're gonna stay competitive in the mountains.

    However, remember 2 or 3 years ago, there was that group that gained a 35 minute advantage? Granted, it only took Lance 3 days in the mountains to make it up, but if there was another long breakaway tomorrow, I'm sure Lance and company will turn up the juice.
    You got to cry without weeping. Talk without speaking. Scream without raising your voice.- U2

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    Stage 6 was amazing! for J. Flecha, who almost made the 175km breakaway stand- only to be swallowed up by the peoloton with less then a mile to go- brave and inspirational ride there! I love these guys who go out on their own for most of a long stage... but its also incredible how calculating the peoloton always seems to be. Somehow they always manage to reel in the breakaway guys in the last few kilometers and also manage to set up the sprint riders for their big finish.

    This race is going to have to be renamed the Tour de Carnage... all the big riders have been involved in crashes so far! The wrecks dont look too awfully bad on tv- but at the finish these guys are riding close to 40mph. Talk about severe road rash!

    The French rider in Yellow- Voeckler- seems to be great news for Lance and USPS, as a few of the other teams now have to buck up and take care of some of the rigorous duties of being in charge of the peoloton. Lance seems pretty comfortable riding with his teammates in the front third of the peoloton- withough having to exert too much extra energy.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by astrogirl_2100
    Jakob Piil has been doing really well, sitting in breakouts both yesterday and today. Go Danish riders!
    Jakob Piil is my new FROTL (Favorite Rider Other Then Lance)...
    450km worth of breakaways in the first week? that is insane! That man has some serious cajones! Lets hope he can get one of these breakaways to stand up and earn a stage win!

  8. #18
    Staying Afloat speedbump's Avatar
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    A big about Jakob Piil. Do they still have the Most Aggressive Rider jersey anymore or did they merge that with the Best Young Rider? Piil definitely deserves the Most Aggressive Rider award.

    Come to think of it, I think they don't award that till half way through, as I remember Laurent Jalabert (Ja-Ja) got it last year.

    I wish we could fast forward to wednesday. I'm trying to wait patiently for the mountains.
    You got to cry without weeping. Talk without speaking. Scream without raising your voice.- U2

  9. #19
    FORT scientist astrogirl_2100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedbump
    I wish we could fast forward to wednesday. I'm trying to wait patiently for the mountains.
    Me too! The mountains are where things really get exciting.

    I loved how CSC decided to stirr things up on stage 7. Just wish that more of the contenders had been caught in the group in the back. That way the split might have lasted a good bit longer.

    Jakob Piil should get the "most agressive" jersey if it is in fact still there. Too bad he didn't make the breakout that actually took it home.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by astrogirl_2100

    I loved how CSC decided to stirr things up on stage 7. Just wish that more of the contenders had been caught in the group in the back. That way the split might have lasted a good bit longer.
    Piil is the man. I'm surprised his points aren't that high as he has spent so much time in the front of the pack, i.e., sprint and KoM points. Anyways, he has made the flat stages much more exciting to watch.

    I'm a little miffed at the lack of coverage of Bobby Julich, Tyler Hamilton and Levi Leiphimer on the American broadcast (OLNTV). I realize Lance is the reason cycling has gained popularity in the U.S., but I was hoping other standout Americans would get equal attention. Most people have never heard of Tyler and don't realize how much of a popular cyclist he is in Spain and France.

    p.s. anyone know why Phil Ligget and Paul Sherwin haven't been doing the commentary the last two days? I like Bob Roll and Al Trautwig, but they don't even come close to the color commentary by Ligget and Sherwin.
    You got to cry without weeping. Talk without speaking. Scream without raising your voice.- U2

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