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  1. #11
    C'mon Without Cmon Within QuinntheEskimo's Avatar
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    Le Tour is headed for the mountains... Lance is holding firm. However, a troubling day for team Discovery as none of Lance's teammates had his back for the final ascent of a minor category 3 climb. With everyone attacking- even superman cant cover all of the attacks- and they were coming from everyone- yet none of Team Discovery were around to help??

    This certainly puts a bigger question mark into what was rapidly becoming a foregone conclusion. As Vino said after today's stage- "today we found out that Lance is in good form, however his teammates are not." and this comes as they head towards the Alps... and Lance will need his teammates to win!

  2. #12
    Staying Afloat speedbump's Avatar
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    Great stage today. I was laying on the couch, in a nice trance of watching the Tour and then shot straight up when Vino attacked. Tomorrow and the following days should be very exciting. I would have to think that T-Mobile got a huge morale boost when testing Disco's strengths. Ulrich didn't look so bad either riding with Lance. Looks like he upped his pedal cadence instead of looking like the usual slo-mo in past.

    Big ups to Julich as well for staying with the leaders. Since he knows his role as super domestique, maybe this is taking pressure off him? Basso will need him in the next 10 days.
    You got to cry without weeping. Talk without speaking. Scream without raising your voice.- U2

  3. #13
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    I would love to have been a fly on the wall at the team meeting after today's stage! Today it was really obvious just how important it is to have a team supporting you. Hopefully, this was just an anomaly and the Discovery boys will be back supporting Lance the way they need to be. Such a difference from last year's team.
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

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  4. #14
    C'mon Without Cmon Within QuinntheEskimo's Avatar
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    Very interesting how this Tour is going for Team Discovery... yesterday they performed terribly yet Lance stayed in yellow, today they were brilliant, yet Lance lost the yellow...

    Apparently Lance or Discovery doesnt think much of Jens Voight or his chances in the high mountains. I'm loving Team CSC right now- besides the fact they are riding Cervelo's (probably a nicer version then my Cervelo P2K, but hey- close enough...)- but CSC throws a nice 1,2,3 punch at Discovery with Julich, Basso, and Voight.

    The tour starts in earnest on Tuesday as they head into the Alps...

  5. #15
    Cy Young 2010 Mariner's Avatar
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    Whoa! Armstrong is putting the hammer down in this stage. He's 10 minutes plus ahead of the yellow jersey and just going for it.

  6. #16
    Starbucks is your friend Bill's Avatar
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    I guess Lance wanted to silence the critics


    http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/tdf200...ory?id=2106026

    COURCHEVEL, France -- Lance Armstrong took a decisive step Tuesday toward a seventh consecutive Tour de France title, blowing away his main rivals in the first Alpine stage to regain the overall lead.

    Armstrong did the damage on the punishing 13.8-mile climb to the ski station of Courchevel, eating up the ascent with ease while Jan Ullrich and other challengers grimaced in pain behind.

    Spain's Alejandro Valverde won the 10th stage, just beating Armstrong to the finish line, but is not considered one of Armstrong's main rivals in this year's race. Valverde and Armstrong finished the 110.9-mile stage in 4 hours, 50 minutes, 35 seconds.

    Mickael Rasmussen is second in the overall standings, 38 seconds behind Armstrong. Ivan Basso, among the main challengers left behind by Armstrong on Tuesday, is third overall -- 2:40 behind the Texan.

    Rasmussen finished the stage in third place, 9 seconds behind Valverde and Armstrong.

    Valverde and Armstrong shook hands in the saddle after they crossed the line together.

    "Today, I had good legs," Armstrong said. "We are in a good position with regards to some of the main rivals, so we'll have to protect that."

    His powerful ride silenced doubts that Armstrong is too old at 33, or too jaded after his record six victories, to win again. He is following the winning formula of previous years -- when Armstrong hammered rivals in the mountains, building up leads that carried him to victory in Paris.

    Last year, Armstrong won all three Alpine stages and one of two in the Pyrenees.

    Armstrong declined to claim that overall victory was his just yet. Two more stages await in the Alps, followed by the Pyrenees and a final time trial before the three-week race finishes in Paris on July 24.

    "There's still a lot of racing to go," Armstrong said.

    The American praised his Discovery Channel team, which piled on the pace in the first section of the ascent to whittle down the field, after struggling on a moderate climb last week.

    Doubts had arisen whether the team could give the support that Armstrong needs in the Alps.

    "It is a really tough team, with a lot of pride," Armstrong said.

    He also praised Valverde, a 25-year-old racing his first Tour.

    "Everybody has seen the future of cycling," Armstrong said. "He is a classy young rider."

    Valverde was thrilled with the result.

    "My dream was to win a stage, now that is done," said Valverde, who trails Armstrong by 3:16 overall. He said the Texan "looks as strong as he did in previous years."

    Ullrich, the 1997 Tour winner and a five-time runner-up, placed 13th, 2:14 behind the leaders. The German trails Armstrong by 4:02 overall.

    One of the biggest surprises was the collapse of Alexandre Vinokourov. Ullrich's teammate from Kazakhstan had been expected to seriously challenge Armstrong.

    Vinokourov trailed in 5:18 behind Armstrong in 24th place. His overall deficit grew to 6:32.

    Armstrong said he expects Ullrich and Vinokourov to bounce back.

    "I don't think they are finished. I am going to be the last person to write them off," he said. "They are going to make life difficult and we'll continue to watch them and continue to respect them."

    Notes
    Because of a protest at the start by farmers angry over wolf attacks on sheep and cows, organizers shortened the route by 8.7 miles, beginning the race just after the town of Froges, near the Alpine city of Grenoble.

    That cut the run to the ski station of Courchevel to 110.9 miles instead of 119.6-miles. The route included two major climbs, including a long uphill finish, that were expected to show which of the main riders are on top form and start separating pretenders from genuine contenders.

    Russian Evgeni Petrov was expelled from the race before Tuesday's stage after he failed a blood test.

    The Lampre cyclist was among 33 riders given a blood test Tuesday morning by cycling's governing body. All but Petrov were allowed to continue, organizers said.
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  7. #17
    Bitten Critical's Avatar
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    Wow. Talk about silencing critics today and smacking down the competition! Look what happens when a competitor tries to break away and gain some time on Lance. I almost felt sorry for Ullrich today.

    When Georg Totschnig was on the podium after having won this stage, I was crying right along with him. So touching. I did wonder if his team's sponsors were cringing as he came across the finish - he hadn't zipped up his jersey so you couldn't see the sponsor name. It's funny, because I was thinking that and then the commentators said the same thing!

    So - Lance has got one more tough mountain stage and then, barring any unforseen incidents (*quickly knocks wood*), he rides through to Paris and to number 7. Let's hope the rest of Team Discovery is back on their game tomorrow.
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

  8. #18
    Allez les Bleus! Zaius's Avatar
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    Basso looks strongs. If Lance is without team Discovery tommorow, I think we'll see a rerun of last year's Armstrong/Basso ride up the mountain. Having said that I don't think Basso will outpace Armstrong, especially if Armstrong is anywhere near him during the ride up. Basically Basso's only chance is to give a monumental performance during one of the first category climbs and keep the gap. Unlikely.

    Can't wait 'till tommorow!
    "The bureaucracy is expanding to meet the needs of an expanding bureaucracy."
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  9. #19
    Staying Afloat speedbump's Avatar
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    Finally some exciting cycling. I liked how LA played Cool Hand Luke when T-Mobile made their break.

    Is it me or does this Tour seem more like a preview of next years sans Lance? This morning, Phil Ligget said that Vino was being courted by Disco and that Vino would only ride for them. I think it's a good move. It'll give Popo another year to mature and Vino will actually have a "team" in all sense of the word. I think Floyd and Levi will be top contenders and maybe Ulrich will get his win before he retires.
    You got to cry without weeping. Talk without speaking. Scream without raising your voice.- U2

  10. #20
    Allez les Bleus! Zaius's Avatar
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    I am very very happy for George Hincapie for having won his first individual stage in the Tour. How these talented, hard-working professional cyclists go careers selflessly supporting their team captains and making sacrifices (not going for stage wins) in the name of their captain's yellow jerseys, I'll never know. Well, today was his day. It looks like Armstrong did what he had to do - which was to stick with Basso 'till the end. Barring any really bad luck Armstrong should win a seventh in a row.
    Last edited by Zaius; 07-18-2005 at 06:51 AM.
    "The bureaucracy is expanding to meet the needs of an expanding bureaucracy."
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