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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After watching the Criterium Inernational yesterday on OLN, I was very impressed with Basso's great form, and his power to weight ratio seems to be in top notch status, for he did very well in the ITT (loosing by one second). Did anyone notice how great E. Dekker was looking, riding strong on yellow, and then, suddenly, on the last climb Basso attacked with Botcharov and won the stage by a few seconds. Dekker did look "stiff" just before cracking, pulling out his right leg from the pedal and shaking it off a bit. It did not help, Basso smelled the weakness and sprinted to victory in that mountainous stage of 60 plus miles of tough climbing (7 plus hours of racing!).
This race has been labeled "The Mini Tour De France", since it gages the skill and potential that eventually may translate to a podium win in the TDF. IMHO Basso is looking great, and with the faithful support of a great team like CSC, he should be giving Ulrich the race of his life in this upcoming TDF. Could what happened to Dekker be a glimpse to the future for Ulrich?!
 

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Erik Dekker had cramps during both stages, probably costing him the victory. Wasn't the Dauphiné dubbed "mini TdF"?
 

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ru1-2cycle said:
Basso smelled the weakness and sprinted to victory in that mountainous stage of 60 plus miles of tough climbing (7 plus hours of racing!).
7:17 for the entire race, not the 2nd stage.
 

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Basso looked good, no doubt about it. I was impressed to see him beat Jose Ivan Gutierrez, a solid time trialist, but there was not a ton of competition at the race. If Floyd had stayed in and put in a solid effort, then we would have a better benchmark for Basso's performance.

I don't think you can quite compare Dekker to Ullrich. In 2004, Dekker announced he was going for last in the Alpe D'Huez TT since there was no way he could be near first. He is not a climber by any means, so Basso dropping him is not a surprise.

Silas
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ulrich

Indeed very few riders can compare with the great German champ: Ulrich. Silas, thanks for your reply. But I was referreing to Dekker as a "metaphor" for a potential scenario that may play out as Ulrich experiencing a similar "exploding" event. I believe that if Ulrich neglects to strengthen his climbing skills, and with Basso already improving his TT skills, then Ulrich will have a more difficult time overcoming the challenge. Landis could have battled Basso in that last climb, going "mano a mano" in a more formidable manner. Unfortunnately, I believe he sustained a crash and withdrew. Basso is already a formidable climber, and now with his new and improved TT skills, he has definitely displayed a new carat to his stock!
SilasCL said:
Basso looked good, no doubt about it. I was impressed to see him beat Jose Ivan Gutierrez, a solid time trialist, but there was not a ton of competition at the race. If Floyd had stayed in and put in a solid effort, then we would have a better benchmark for Basso's performance.

I don't think you can quite compare Dekker to Ullrich. In 2004, Dekker announced he was going for last in the Alpe D'Huez TT since there was no way he could be near first. He is not a climber by any means, so Basso dropping him is not a surprise.

Silas
 

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I agree with Silas, there really wasn't any "heads of state"-type competition to measure Basso against. Minus Landis DNFing and Michael Rasmussen finishing 9'10" behind Basso, I didn't see any other legitimate top five TdF GC contenders in the results for stage 2. I think all the Criterium International proved is that Basso is on track.
 

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ru1-2cycle said:
Indeed very few riders can compare with the great German champ: Ulrich. Silas, thanks for your reply. But I was referreing to Dekker as a "metaphor" for a potential scenario that may play out as Ulrich experiencing a similar "exploding" event. I believe that if Ulrich neglects to strengthen his climbing skills, and with Basso already improving his TT skills, then Ulrich will have a more difficult time overcoming the challenge. Landis could have battled Basso in that last climb, going "mano a mano" in a more formidable manner. Unfortunnately, I believe he sustained a crash and withdrew. Basso is already a formidable climber, and now with his new and improved TT skills, he has definitely displayed a new carat to his stock!
I think that may happen to Ullrich this year, but it's pure speculation at this point. Just because Basso can do it to Dekker doesn't mean Ullrich won't drop Basso. He did it to Pantani in '97, correct?

I think Basso will win the Giro and be first or second in the Tour. Hopefully he will be able to attack Ullrich in the mountains. I will agree that Jan has to hang right on, as Basso will not lose much time at all in the TTs.

Silas
 

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Basso..

ru1-2cycle said:
Still, you can not deny that Basso did shine spectacularly, as if he was riding against Armstrong!
Basso did look good during the race, but as others have mentioned, his main competitors weren't around during this race. Good outcome for him, and CSC, but doesn't mean much in March, as there is still a lot of time to go before July rolls around. And a lot can happen between now and then. Let's talk about contenders again after the Tour de Suisse and Dauphine Liebre (I think those are both still right before the Tour this year right?) and see who looks the part then. There is a fine line that the top guys walk to stay on form for the races that they need to and want to peak for, and falling off of said form is very easy to do. A cold, a flu, maybe a few days of bad training, that's about all it takes. We'll some come later this year where he's at.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Agree. I just choose the optimistic perspective. He is looking sharp, and as a pro, I believe he will do whatever it takes to maintain and improve/adapt as the races come.
With a strong and stellar CSC team and coach, he certainly has a better chance than most, including you and me. Ride well! I will.
 

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magnolialover said:
Basso did look good during the race,
I thought both Basso and Boonen looked like they were riding a whole level above anyone else in their races.

It's hard to see anyone beating Boonen at Flanders unless he gets ill, crashes or they get some sort of tactical advantage over him. He looked like he won the E3 with almost no effort. Everybody's problem is that he is pretty much the strongest in the race and then if they manage to stay with him, he'll just outsprint them.
 

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Agree again...

Dwayne Barry said:
I thought both Basso and Boonen looked like they were riding a whole level above anyone else in their races.

It's hard to see anyone beating Boonen at Flanders unless he gets ill, crashes or they get some sort of tactical advantage over him. He looked like he won the E3 with almost no effort. Everybody's problem is that he is pretty much the strongest in the race and then if they manage to stay with him, he'll just outsprint them.
I think there is a distinct difference though between taking something away from Basso performing well now, as to how he'll perform in July, and Boonen performing well now, and well, Boonen performing well this coming weekend, and the week following it. Basso will undoubtedly take his fitness level down a few pegs, come off the peak, and then climb back up to it, he can't maintain that form from now until July. He'll probably peak several times between now and then. It always makes me laugh that people will try to predict how the Tour is going to turn out from this early season forays into racing. You can't tell. Example, look at Armstrong last year at Paris-Nice. He sucked, quit the race because he was "sick", and just about everyone in the cycling press condemned him as being all washed up and wouldn't be competitive at the '05 Tour. We all know what happened. When are we going to learn that prognosticating a Tour winner from how they ride in March is no longer a valid method of determining how they will perform in July. Just doesn't work that way anymore. Back when the Tour contenders used to ride a lot of different races, maybe you could tell, not anymore.

Boonen though, he does seem to have an extra gear or 2 than just about everyone else out there right now. It appears as though he's winning at will. It's also kind of funny because everyone was saying, "Oh, he's going to be a marked man this year, people are going to dog him and not let him win." I guess that this is true, but when someone throws down the power, and just rides away from everyone else like Boonen has been doing as of late, what are you going to do? If he doesn't get away from you, his team is going to control the race, or send someone else up the road (Nuyens, Pozzatto, Bettini, or just about anyone else on the team) to cover, and or make a move themselves, and then when it does come back together, Boonen is going to kick their arse in a sprint, unless Ale-Jet is there, and even though, he's still got a good chance. He's riding big and bad right now, and unless something strange happens this weekend, he'll win Flanders again. He's got the form, he just needs to have the luck now.
 

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magnolialover Basso will undoubtedly take his fitness level down a few pegs said:
Well if you can believe what he says Basso claims to have been quite surprised by this weekend's results and just starting his specific preparation for the Giro! If he's at a peak it appears to have been unintended.
 

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Mind games my friend...

Dwayne Barry said:
Well if you can believe what he says Basso claims to have been quite surprised by this weekend's results and just starting his specific preparation for the Giro! If he's at a peak it appears to have been unintended.
These guys say things like that all of the time, and I'm sure you've even run into it yourself. Example, you go out on a group ride, and there is always someone there who makes the following statement, "Oh, you know, I haven't really been training at all or that much." before the ride starts. Once the testosterone starts to fly, the guy who made said prior statement immediately rips the ride the shreds and people start popping off the back like lemmings falling to their deaths going over a cliff. Basso's statement is just another example of that whole, "I've not been training" bit, or I'm surprised at how good I feel. Basso under Riis' tutelage for sure knows exactly where he is at fitness level wise I have no doubt. It's not like he just came out for the heck of it, he knew where he was at, and probably had a good idea what level the other guys were at. Don't let them fool you when they say things like this, they know exactly how they've been training, and where their power levels are at any given time, or their coach does. Basso is just playing a little mind warfare, can't blame him for that.
 

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ru1-2cycle said:
Maybe. I still believe he exploded. It was so sudden. He kept racing with a very nice spin.
Definitely, not maybe. Well, if you chose to believe what he writes himself on his website. He came to an almost complete standstill for a moment, lost 25 sec in total and pulled through in the last km where he felt better, bringing the gap back down to 15 sec. In the TT he had slight cramps on the climb and didn't dare go 100%. He lost 17 sec up until the highest point of the course, then just one more sec until the finish line.
 
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