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Like I’ve said before, I’m not a huge LA fan, but I am following his return with fascination (and for all the LA fans out there I am not suggesting that he's mad). I think he’s timing his season perfectly, now that he has had to re-adjust his programme. Clearly he will not be at his best at the Giro, but I reckon he’ll get a top 15 or 20 GC place, which will set him up perfectly for the Tour. Levi and Basso will fight it out for the win at the Giro and I think Levi will pay back LA for Giro, Gila, and TOC support. Armstrong will suffer in the first week of the Giro, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him dishing it out in the final week.
Again, Astana will be split down the middle: Contador and his cronies, while Armstrong will be supported by Levi, Horner and Popo. This is going to be la vie Claire 1986 all over again. Can’t wait.
 

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I fully expect to see him give underwhelming performances at both tours and hope that it will end all of this nonsense.
 

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You may be right, but I don't think Bruyneel will have such a divided team. I also don't see anyone bettering either climbing or tt results of Contador at either the Giro or le Tour.
It will be fascinating, no doubt. I would love to see levi come extra motivated and fit to win some stages, and perhaps climbers jerseys.
LA can't afford the negative publicity of attacking his team leader.
It'll be interesting to see how well Basso does, same with Cadel, Bruseghin, Gesink, and Valverde.
The Grand Tours are looking as appetizing as ever.
 
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Yea, yea, yea - whatever. Armstrong, smarmstrong - he's about as exciting as a pimple on my chin. The guy was a bore in all his tour wins but maybe two and he'll be a bore once again.
 

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I am a big Lance fan, but I'm afraid age has caught up with him.
 

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I origionally though he was going for a 'sneaky' tripple crown this year. The Giro, the Tour and the world champs, to add his name to another elite list of which there are only 2 other members Merckx and Roche. I just cant make up my mind if he actually is or not! I guess Ill only know for sure if this is on after the main GC stages (TT's and Mountain/top finishes) and then Ill decide which side of the fence Im on with this theory!

Untill those stages you just dont know what this guy is capable of!
 

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muscleendurance said:
I origionally though he was going for a 'sneaky' tripple crown this year. The Giro, the Tour and the world champs, to add his name to another elite list of which there are only 2 other members Merckx and Roche. I just cant make up my mind if he actually is or not! I guess Ill only know for sure if this is on after the main GC stages (TT's and Mountain/top finishes) and then Ill decide which side of the fence Im on with this theory!

Untill those stages you just dont know what this guy is capable of!
Unless they move the worlds back to August, you won't ever see a triple crown again.
 

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jhamlin38 said:
I also don't see anyone bettering either climbing or tt results of Contador at either the Giro or le Tour.
I agree that Contador is probably the most talented climber in the sport right now, and he rides a good time trial these days. If he tops Levi, Fabian, or Dave Z. in the time trials I will be surprised though; those guys are as good against the clock as he is going uphill.
 

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gizzard said:
Astana will be split down the middle: Contador and his cronies, while Armstrong will be supported by Levi, Horner and Popo. This is going to be la vie Claire 1986 all over again. Can’t wait.
Conti has no cronies. Chechu is racing for LA this year. Remember Johan will be the boss and LA will respect it.

I am looking forward to watching LA work for someone else if necessary.
 

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dagger said:
Conti has no cronies. Chechu is racing for LA this year. Remember Johan will be the boss and LA will respect it.

I am looking forward to watching LA work for someone else if necessary.
Simple. Contador is the leader.

Lance is a free role up till the deciding stages.

Levi and Kloden are super domestiques.

Levi will win the ITT (or place 2nd if Fabian still has the legs after some stages) and gain time but he won't attack.

Chris Horner said so the other day. It must be true. It's from an interview posted on the internet.

//We can speculate all we want but only July will let us know for sure

///No idea why anyone thought Contador is riding the Giro this year. I hoped he did but I'm glad he's not since Levi now has a chance.
 

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jhamlin38 said:
You may be right, but I don't think Bruyneel will have such a divided team. I also don't see anyone bettering either climbing or tt results of Contador at either the Giro or le Tour.
It will be fascinating, no doubt. I would love to see levi come extra motivated and fit to win some stages, and perhaps climbers jerseys.
LA can't afford the negative publicity of attacking his team leader.
It'll be interesting to see how well Basso does, same with Cadel, Bruseghin, Gesink, and Valverde.
The Grand Tours are looking as appetizing as ever.
Contador is not racing in the Giro.

Levi won't go for the climbers jersey since he'd have to be in a break to do that whereas they value his ability to shred the other riders too much to allow that. They'd want him with Contador to set the pace high. If anyone on Astana would, it'd be their domestiques and not Levi or Kloden. Maybe Popo (doubt it since he's pretty important to them too for hauling a break in) or Noval or so. Then again, Johan's team has never been about anything other than the GC/young rider's jersey so nahh. It would be cool indeed but very unlikely I suppose.

Additionally, if Levi were in a break, you can bet everyone else with GC riders would chase the break down like dogs because they know how well he can TT away and he's just too big a threat to be allowed to get away anyway.

LA would do whatever he wants maybe. Or not. He said he'd work for Contador if needed. We'll see. I suspect he'll be the second protected rider, but, more of a wildcard rider rather than a main leader.

Cadel - simple. He'll probably not win the Tour this year too and then complain about his team publicly yet again. Oh wait, he did that 2 years in a row. Surely he'll change his routine now. Hmm. :D

Gesink (or is it Gessink?) still needs a year or 2 to really contend IMO. He's more of a Menchov like steady climber but that's not the point. The point is he's still not quite there yet (maybe experience, development or whatever) but he sure would be a contender for a top 5 (regular top 5 that is) spot very soon.

I really hope Valverde will not have a blowout day this time. That would be good to watch. He definitely can dish it out with the best.
 
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