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PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2006 23:23 
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CW this week reckoned Ullrich - hot from victory in the Tour of Switzerland stands a good chance this year and he appears to be "on song"

C+ dourly comment that he's approcahing "retirement age" at 32 years... he reckons he's in his prime per an inerview in a German mag. :lol: :o :lol: 8-)

Ivan Basso - strong on climbs but weak on time trials by comparison to Ullrich and Popovych.

But what of the Brits? Wiggins and Millar? Both "hungry" for a big Tour win and both have some major wins under their helmets :wink:

There is a Swiss in there.. distantly related to the riff raff too :lol: :lol: :lol: ( a second cousin.. :roll: once -removed :roll: )


He may move in to "steal by stealth attack" - despite being a pacer for his more experienced team mates .. he did OK in the Swiss Tour. :wink:

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2006 23:33 
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In Gear wrote:
But what of the Brits? Wiggins and Millar? Both "hungry" for a big Tour win and both have some major wins under their helmets :wink:


:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2006 23:37 
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I'm just struggling to come to terms with the fact that one of my all time sporting heroes Lance Armstrong isn't competing any more.

It just seems like whoever wins will win "by default", simply because he hasn't turned up to lead them home!

I'd go for Basso.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2006 00:02 
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johnsher wrote:
In Gear wrote:
But what of the Brits? Wiggins and Millar? Both "hungry" for a big Tour win and both have some major wins under their helmets :wink:


:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:


Well - Wiggins has the Olympic pursuit and was World Champ in 2003. and the Tour de :'Avenir...

Millar perhaps not as "strong" - but he's won 14 time trials al the same.

Besides - they are Brits and soemone has to fly the Union Jack for them! Note .. I say Union Jack as I am BRITISH! :lol:

I do not want to fly the flag of St George as flying these flags from cars makes a statement about IQ :lol: :shock: :wink: :lol: :popcorn:

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2006 00:12 
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Per CW - Foyd Landis has a chance.. Eddy Merckx says so :? Landis won the Tour of California.. Paris Nice and the Tour of Georgia. He won the Georia Tour by a whisker of seconds - but like all real seriosu contenders - cool .. loose, languid and lean - he never looked strretched

Could be a dark horse stealth contender for Lance's crown in this Tour.

Known as a demon descender.. regarded as mentally "tough" by his peers.


Then there's George Hincapie who won a stage last year. He's regarded by all mags.. CW.. Cyclo Sport .. Velo Vert and Velo 101 .. C+ as a good all-rounder. Has zero experience as a Tour de France team leader though - but from warm up events - appears to be in top form and may just surprise.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2006 00:21 
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Paul - as the Tour de France is due to start on July 2... do you think you could make the thread a tempo sticky so that all can comment on the stages without needing to scroll. You can always unsticky afeter the event and let it slide down the ranks of" hot topicality" :wink: I think it would bond and maybe get some of the lurks to join in the conversations on this and perhaps other "thorny-ish" topics - which we seek to discuss as gents and ladies - and I would love more ladies to join us. :lol:

I am sure our current enthusiasts would also appreciate this.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2006 00:24 
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In Gear wrote:
Paul - as the Tour de France is due to start on July 2... do you think you could make the thread a tempo sticky so that all can comment on the stages without needing to scroll.


No problem, although I suspect it might stay at the top anyway. Just let me know what thread or threads that you want to be sticky.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2006 08:30 
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In Gear wrote:
Besides - they are Brits and soemone has to fly the Union Jack for them!

fair enough but neither of them is ever going to win the tour.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 10:50 
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Three weeks is a long time in a cycle race and luck plays a part - a touch of wheels could mean a graze or it could mean a broken collar bone (ask Sean Kelly, he knows from experience).

I was certainly impressed by Jan Ullrich's performance in the Giro (a training ride for him) and now the Tour of Switzerland shows he is prepared to take risks to win. How well will the T-Mobile team work with him, especially in the mountains, I wonder?

Ivan Basso was the master of the Giro (which his Directeur Sportif, Bjarne Riis, didn't want him to enter) even seeing off his old friend Gilberto Simoni. He showed great promise in last year's TdF, seemingly on a par with Lance. Ivan has also got good team members around him.

Iban Mayo was a surprise stage winner in the mountains on the Giro so may be a contender but there must be question marks over the ability of the Euskaltel team to support him.

Floyd Landis was a bit lacklustre in the Giro.

George Hincapie, an excellent lieutenant to Lance, but has he got what it takes to win a major tour? And will there be rivalries within the Discovery team now that Lance is in the team car?

I don't think the Brits can cope with the 3 gruelling weeks and win but honorary Brit Charley Wigelius could win a stage if he is riding the TdF.

Assuming they make the distance intact I think it will be a shoot-out between Ullrich and Basso.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2006 19:26 
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What about Savoldelli? He had an allergic reaction during he Giro, he is an excellent allrounder and has the disciplined Discovery Team behind him. Regarding the Lance factor, He is still an owner of that team and it is incredibly well drilled, I think you will find it functions very professionally in that respect.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 11:47 
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Crunchie wrote:
What about Savoldelli? He had an allergic reaction during he Giro, he is an excellent allrounder and has the disciplined Discovery Team behind him. Regarding the Lance factor, He is still an owner of that team and it is incredibly well drilled, I think you will find it functions very professionally in that respect.


Which illustrates my point about going from an obvious team leader to a situation where nothing much is obvious.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2006 18:02 
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My predictions were all wrong as both Ullrich and Basso have been shot out of the TdF before the shoot-out I predicted even started, along with a number of other riders allegedly connected with the doping scandal emerging in Spain. :cry:

We seem to be back on the bandwaggon of can you trust any pro-cyclists not to have taken drugs? :?


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2006 21:19 
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Like most - I reckoned on an photo-finish two horsey cyclist" race between Basso and Ullrich.

As for the drugs allegations? Who'd be an athlete? A professional one? :shock: :? Substances - over the counter substances which we all take for granted as normal people and which do not really enhance performance as such can lead to all kinds of allegations and as with car drivers - they are presumed guilty straight away and without any further consideration. I do hope all is resolved for these riders - especially as they were set to be a big name draw in the Tour of Britain.

Hmm? An open field now and perhaps our Brits or the Swiss will come in to steal.

Most of the mags on sale - from C+, CW to my new mag of choice - designed for a family man like me :? seem to reckon either Wiggins or Millar could "steal the prologue" even though Boardman and Hoy are scathing of their realistic chances. I'll root for them and cheer them on! :)

Will a "domestique" like Miguel Indurain or Jose Arieta steal Lance's crown?


What about Floyd Landis? When I've seen coverage of him on the "box" - he's pretty nifty going on climbs. I reckon he may just lift the trophy based on what I've seen of his current form. He has the stamina anyway and the Tour is one spectacularly challenging guantlet to endurance, mental strength, stamina, human endeavour - and whoever wins deserves all the plaudits due to him and more. :clap:

Besides who can argue .. speed matters 8-) :lol: :clap: :twisted:

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 00:19 
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After all the hoo-hah and Ullrich is protesting his innocence... race is open.CW has a deep report into this scandal

I have to agree with an observation from CW - far greater coverage egarding drugs scandals is given to cycling and athletics than tennis and football :roll:

How far whatever drugs were found in the athlete's system and enhanced actual performance must have some elements of subjectivity as well - especcilay sine some over the counter cough medicines inlcide banned substances. I cannot see how a well known cough medicine can make someone run a split second quicker . I know I am very much a layman and no expert - but have to say I find this difficult to get my head around when this same cough mixture makes me ant to sleep :roll:

Leaves a horrid taste in mouth - and these riders have not been found guilty yet. We do not know all facts yet and these guys may be innocent.


Hincapie loolks a strong contender from early results - sofar though.

Have to say the photos in this week;s CW are superb and convey the essence and atmosphere in the stages to date.

Think Hincapie may win from overall performance to date.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 07:43 
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In Gear wrote:
I cannot see how a well known cough medicine can make someone run a split second quicker .


not being an expert either but I believe the reason for these sort of things being banned is for one of 2 reasons. (1) that they can cover up use of something that actually can help enhance performance or (2) they contain something which in large quantities can enhance performance but there's no way of distinguishing between them.
As for drugs making you faster, none of them do that directly - they'll generally help you recover faster which means you can train longer/harder.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 11:00 
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I am still enjoying watching the TdF on Eurosport most days despite the drugs scandal. It's certainly packed with excitement even with the hot sunny weather. Who would have believed Thor Hushovd's nasty cut would be caused by a big green PMU hand? He is still riding strongly then goes and gets disqualified on Wenesday's stage for an innocuous move in the sprint. Is he jinxed?

Valverde will think he is, after escaping the drugs scandal he falls off at low speed and fractures his collarbone - another contender bites the dust!!

Nice ride by Bradley Wiggins on Wednesday in the break nearly all day but then to complain about Continental wheelsuckers!

I suppose we'll have to wait until the Pyrenees to see who will come to the fore. Iban Mayo will be under some (Basque) pressure to do well here.

It's really anyone for the podium. :)


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 16:17 
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It's certainly good for Le Tour to be as open as this - I think it will generate more interest and each Stage seems to show up a new contender for this particular crown.

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 Post subject: Ville de Depart!
PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 16:50 
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Was going to set this as new thread but it belongs here to add to "atmosphere" :lol:


Yesterday - the Tour set off from Lisieux in Normandy - in the Pays d'Auge heartland. (Normandy is a fave of ours...)

Town's described as "bustling market town and known for its association with Sainte Therese. The town has been preparing for "Jour J" for a while (French version of D-Day :wink: ) They expected 60,000 in the town itself (think it was much more.. from the telly)
and 120,000 were expected to line the roads on the outskirts (I think even more did..from the telly) France 3 were in town - and we were part of the 200 million workd wide watching
:lol:

The Tour covers 3600 km and passes through 550 communes with 36 selected as departure and arrival stages. As those in London know ..from the stage set there next year .. villages, towns and cities campaign fiercely for the honour to be chosen and Lisieux welcomed the Tour twice before and they had three years of campaigning for a third inclusion. The Maire Bernard Aubril is a keeny cyclist and active member of the Lisieux Cycling Club. He says

Quote:

Bof! Le Tour! - it represents one of the last great human adventures - with its speed , its exploits and its heroes


Hosting this event has cost Lisieux 100,000 Euros but he reckons it's worth every cent.

Quote:

I want everyone - the visitors and TV crews to gain an impression of a dynamic town - full of flowers, well maintained, a place which is good to live, work and set up a business. We want people to come back to Lisieux for a longer visit.


To this aim - the parks and gardens staff have put in several hours of overtime to ensure the town's gardens reflect the theme of cycling. They have tried to tell the history of the bicycle in flowers. 8-) A giant replica of the first bike ever made is the show piece.

It is a matter of "honour" and each town staging departure and arrival will be judged by the organisers.

Per a press article on prepartion - 11,000 barriers were erected in the town and giant TV screens were set up so people could see the event.

Apart from the 21 teams of riders - 4500 people are involved in the admin of this event - organisers, media, PR, medics, technicians , three Italian chef :? :shock: :? , and 2,200 CARS! 8-) :lol: :wink: In addition there are 45 outriders on MOTORBIKES :lol: .. 13,000 gendarmes, and 9,000 policemen in CARS :lol: and 3000 employees form the Ministere de LEquipement.

That's some payroll! :shock:

The circuit of the town did include a bumpy ride over the town's cobbles before heading off into the countryside where the area's cheese is made and a hill climb.

The article concluded that Lisieux continued to party with a free concert and a lot of dancing in the town square. :lol:

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2006 14:09 
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Did you see the massive crowds at Plouay yesterday on the box? - a place well known to the cycling fraternity. I know it was a Sunday but on what was just an undulating road. :)


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2006 21:52 
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A Cyclist wrote:
Did you see the massive crowds at Plouay yesterday on the box? - a place well known to the cycling fraternity. I know it was a Sunday but on what was just an undulating road. :)


Sure did.. am looking forward to the real challenge of them there 'ills now. Reckon this will be the real decider as to who will win this one. 8-) 8-) 8-)

Am quite enjoying watching this Tour. 8-)

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