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Boonen, the 'defense', and a rest day

July 16, 2006, 8:08 a.m.
Posts: 1922
Joined: Nov. 22, 2002

Phonak's 'defense' of Landis' yellow jersey was the worst I've ever seen. Yeah, they gave it up on purpose but, seriously, show some pride.

Anyone else read Boonen's comments about the difficulty / length of the race contributing to the culture of doping that surrounds cycling right now? Good point, or sour grapes? Either way, a man who shows up at a function wearing an undershirt that looks like this can speak his mind. Good stuff.

Also read that part of Hincapie's problems so far can be attributed to the fact that the 6'3" rider currently weighs in at about 155lbs. He dropped too much weight pre-Tour and his body is now consuming muscle mass to keep going. Or something like that. Don't these riders have nutritionists and advisors with years and years of cycling experience?

Rest day before the Alps. Sure would be something if Landis doesn't recapture yellow fairly quickly.

"It's, like, so much fun."

July 16, 2006, 11:14 p.m.
Posts: 7543
Joined: June 17, 2003

I think the only reason for Boonen's whining is because he isn't winning any stages. The pressure to win a stage is getting to him. The minute he wins a stage, he'll shut up. He's as bad as Robbie "I didn't win the stage today because so-and-so was in my way" McEwen, except that McEwen has the legs to pull off a few wins.

Dunno about Hincapie. They should have been able to monitor his power output as he was dropping to race weight. I just think it was a mistake to suddenly expect him to become a GC contender, physiology or otherwise.

I don't get Phonak's strategy either. It has to come from one of the extremes-either they're overconfident, or not very confident of the team's ability to support Landis in the crucial Alps. I suspect the latter. Giving big chunks of time to proven GC riders (Popo and Pereiro) only means that they have to keep an eye on more riders later in the race.

"The song of a bird…We used to ask Ennesson to do bird calls. He could do them. How he could do them, and when he perished, along with him went all those birds…"-Return from the Stars, Stanislaw Lem

"We just walk around, and sometimes we go out and dance, and then we listen to the environment."-Ralf Hutter, Kraftwerk

July 17, 2006, 8:47 a.m.
Posts: 1922
Joined: Nov. 22, 2002

Yeah, Boonen was doing nothing but complaining in the days before the Pyrenees. It was either him being too tired from the classics season or his team not running the leadout fast enough. It might all be true but, the fact is, McEwen keeps beating his ass. I just thought the undershirt in the pic was funny.

I'm still puzzled over the Phonak decision too. It totally looks like Landis is going to be on his own in the Alps, which has the chance of making multiple attacks a problem for him.

"It's, like, so much fun."

July 18, 2006, 10:03 p.m.
Posts: 388
Joined: June 10, 2005

The old rule is "never make an effort that won't pay dividends." Floyd is applying it to the race overall. None of the sprinter teams were fronting up and he felt that defending was a needless gesture when it could be re taken. Today at L'alpe proved him exactly right. He is really showing himself to be a fine tactician, never attacked but made steady time just like at Pla de Beret. Everyone else was cross-eyed at the finish and they now face 2 more very big days. Floyd did it fairly comfortably and his team didn't get flogged either. Except Axel Merckx who was awesome just when it mattered most.

Floyd will take a few more chunks of time in the next 2 days as well.

Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

July 19, 2006, 8:32 a.m.
Posts: 1922
Joined: Nov. 22, 2002

Today's second stage in the Alps was a killer. The final climb had a tonne of cool storylines.

I kind of feel badly for Landis though - just not enough horses to cover the entire race. Axel Merckx was his only real support over the last couple and there were too many guys who were too close to the gc lead… Huge comeback by CSC in the Alps too, sans Basso.

"It's, like, so much fun."

July 19, 2006, 9:02 a.m.
Posts: 11204
Joined: Nov. 18, 2004

Buh bye Landis….

July 19, 2006, 10:20 a.m.
Posts: 937
Joined: April 19, 2004

rasmussen must have gone apeshit on the climbs…he was down a lot of points yesterday…see ya floyd…honestly i'm glad the tour has an international flavour again(was getting kinda tired of the floyd show)…go rabobank!!

ORIGINAL FREETARD
and now I'm CROSSTARDED

July 19, 2006, 12:30 p.m.
Posts: 7543
Joined: June 17, 2003

I will shoot myself if Pereiro wins the TdF as a result of Landis and Phonak letting him go on a 30-minute breakaway. Clearly, Phonak lacked confidence to take command of the peloton that day.

Kloden could still gain time tomorrow and in the final TT, but it might not be enough.

Pereiro winning the TdF because of a 30-minute breakaway-lamest result ever.

"The song of a bird…We used to ask Ennesson to do bird calls. He could do them. How he could do them, and when he perished, along with him went all those birds…"-Return from the Stars, Stanislaw Lem

"We just walk around, and sometimes we go out and dance, and then we listen to the environment."-Ralf Hutter, Kraftwerk

July 19, 2006, 12:37 p.m.
Posts: 1922
Joined: Nov. 22, 2002

Lamest result ever.

For sure, but with all of the extra-curricular stuff before this year's race, a gong-show finish was def. in order.

"It's, like, so much fun."

July 19, 2006, 12:50 p.m.
Posts: 7543
Joined: June 17, 2003

For sure, but with all of the extra-curricular stuff before this year's race, a gong-show finish was def. in order.

Yeah, but you would think that this year's crop of second-stringers would at least have taken control of the ship to prevent the third-stringers (Pereiro) from sneaking away with the prize.

Pereiro is a talented breakaway specialist, but no GC contender (decent climber, so-so TT skills).

Ugh.

"The song of a bird…We used to ask Ennesson to do bird calls. He could do them. How he could do them, and when he perished, along with him went all those birds…"-Return from the Stars, Stanislaw Lem

"We just walk around, and sometimes we go out and dance, and then we listen to the environment."-Ralf Hutter, Kraftwerk

July 19, 2006, 1:54 p.m.
Posts: 2254
Joined: Aug. 25, 2004

Yeah, but you would think that this year's crop of second-stringers would at least have taken control of the ship to prevent the third-stringers (Pereiro) from sneaking away with the prize.

I agree completely with that. Why put all the blame on Phonak? CSC, Rabobank, and Mobile all have bonified contenders. Where were they?

The GC comp is there for the giving this year. Gotta be the weakest TDF field in modern history.

July 19, 2006, 2:35 p.m.
Posts: 7543
Joined: June 17, 2003

I agree completely with that. Why put all the blame on Phonak? CSC, Rabobank, and Mobile all have bonified contenders. Where were they?

I'm going to have to watch that stage again this weekend. The lack of urgency in the peloton that day might have decided the fate of the Tour.

Lame, lame, lame.

I'm cheering for Kloden to overtake Pereiro for the overall. (Chokes as he types those words…)

"The song of a bird…We used to ask Ennesson to do bird calls. He could do them. How he could do them, and when he perished, along with him went all those birds…"-Return from the Stars, Stanislaw Lem

"We just walk around, and sometimes we go out and dance, and then we listen to the environment."-Ralf Hutter, Kraftwerk

July 19, 2006, 3:23 p.m.
Posts: 7543
Joined: June 17, 2003

What happened to Robot's post? The Landis/Pereiro conspiracy theory is interesting.

[HTML_REMOVED]#8220;I[HTML_REMOVED]#8217;m happy for Oscar. He[HTML_REMOVED]#8217;s a friend of mine. That[HTML_REMOVED]#8217;s the way the Tour went. I said several times it doesn[HTML_REMOVED]#8217;t matter what the other guys do [HTML_REMOVED]#8211; I focus on what I do [HTML_REMOVED]#8211; but seeing Oscar in the yellow jersey certainly doesn[HTML_REMOVED]#8217;t disappoint me in any way. He[HTML_REMOVED]#8217;s a good person and he was a good team-mate [when he was at Phonak]."-Landis

Elsewhere, Pereiro is quoted as saying that he would never have attacked Landis.

One element missing from this year's Tour is some good old fashioned animosity in the peloton. Like Lance putting the screws to Landis by gapping him at the end of one stage last year. Or the obvious hatred that developed between Pantani and Lance. (Wait, do I detect a pattern here?)

"The song of a bird…We used to ask Ennesson to do bird calls. He could do them. How he could do them, and when he perished, along with him went all those birds…"-Return from the Stars, Stanislaw Lem

"We just walk around, and sometimes we go out and dance, and then we listen to the environment."-Ralf Hutter, Kraftwerk

July 19, 2006, 3:53 p.m.
Posts: 1922
Joined: Nov. 22, 2002

What happened to Robot's post? The Landis/Pereiro conspiracy theory is interesting.

Sorry, I went 'delete happy' and didn't feel like re-typing.

But, yeah, to sum up quickly, I feel there was a sort of gentleman's agreement between Landis / Pereiro based on the quotes above and some of the other good natured talk that went on in the press. They were both members of Phonak last year and obviously knew one another quite well.

Seemed like Pereiro was willing to hold on to the yellow in between the mountain stages in exchange for helping Floyd (or at least pacing him) on the climbs in the Alps. When you look at the way these stages went down, it's not too much of a stretch.

When Landis cracked, Pereiro took went with the break and hung on until the end.

"It's, like, so much fun."

July 19, 2006, 4:30 p.m.
Posts: 11204
Joined: Nov. 18, 2004

With this epic battle of pack filler, you always wonder where Armstrong would've been on those climbs.

I'm not making predictions anymore. The one and only thing interesting about this tour is that we really only have speculation as to who's going to win it. Cadel still might (not), Levi might (doubtful) and Landis is still a threat (highly unlikely). Will it be a battle of Pereiro, Sastra, and Kloden to the bitter end? Its looking like it.

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