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Wow, this is a big surprise! I am very, very happy to see Cippo ride the Tour! He's not one of my favorites, but he is a great character and great for the sport I think! Eventhough the team has been dropped to Div 2, I think it is great that D-V got a tour invite! Kudos to JML.

Bummer that Kelme didn't get the nod, especially in light of D-V getting the nod...
 

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I'm looking forward to early sprint showdowns and then to see Mario suffer through the hills as he knows he by his own words 'needs to finish the race'. If he doesn't make it to Paris
it will show JML was right all those times he wasn't invited.
 

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I would like to know why JML finally changed his mind. Did JML finally feel that Mario had been in "timeout" for long enough. I'm just glad to finally see mario back in the TDF. I think it will be good because he'll want the leader's jersey on the first stage, its going to be a real sprinters show down.
 

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I think with the dissolution and reorganization of some of the Spanish squads it left an opening for DV. Had Kelme stayed div 1 I doubt they would have been invited.
 

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I think that that is partly the cause, but

I wouldn't doubt that it's a money thing either. JML probably can make more money if Cipo is there (ad rights, Tour schwag sales). No offense to the Kelme squad, but the Tour isn't going to make much from a group of climbers that probably won't win any stages.

BT
 

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eyebob said:
I wouldn't doubt that it's a money thing either. JML probably can make more money if Cipo is there (ad rights, Tour schwag sales). No offense to the Kelme squad, but the Tour isn't going to make much from a group of climbers that probably won't win any stages.

if that were the case DV and Acqua E Sapone would have been invited the last 3 seasons.
Cipo has always been a bigger star than any of those Spanish climbers. Kelme has gotten the nod everytime as they were agitators on crucial days and always in the hunt for a team title. They've also won more than a few stages over the years. If you're thinking advertising $$, you get a better return on climbing teams as viewers tend to watch more of the race than Sprint Stages where you can tune in for the final 20 minutes. Out here on the west coast (where live coverage starts early) I'll get up at 5:30 AM to watch a Mountain Stage where I'll sleep in until 7 for a Sprint stage. So on those days advertisers get more of my time to sell. as for schwag, I doubt we'll see any Cipo tour swag (from Stolen Without A Gun) any time soon.
 

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Atp

atpjunkie said:
ATP, I see your point to a degree. I was referring to the fact that this year's Kelme squad didn't have a realistic shot at any stage victories. They've had some nice wins in the past, but this year's squad isn't very strong. They wouldn't contest a sprint, a roller or a mountain top finish so why invite them.

Cipo is more valuable this year because it's probably (my opinion) the last year he'll be actively competing and winning sprint finishes (if he still can). We all want to witness his last Tour win (which, if JML is lucky will actually happen this year) not another 3rd or 4th place finish behind Petacchi, McEwen, et. al. That's why he's more valuable this year vs. previous years.

BT
 

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agreed on his Swan Song value this year. absolutely true but I think Petachi is going to get the best of him. AP has the power to come around Mario even when Mario is led by the train, this is something that has been next to impossible to do. Kelme definitely weaker this year except Valverde, Vuelta stages in both the hills and flats and 2nd in the WC's, this kids going places. Sad as Kelme is longest contiguous sponsor of cycling. I hope they can spring back. will be fun watching MC, AP, Zabel, McKewen and Cooke scrap for sure!
 

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atpjunkie said:
I'm looking forward to early sprint showdowns and then to see Mario suffer through the hills as he knows he by his own words 'needs to finish the race'. If he doesn't make it to Paris
it will show JML was right all those times he wasn't invited.
Does this mean that JML should not invite Petacchi since he bailed on the Tour at the first sign of a hill last year?
 

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No

as
1) Petacchi has done it once and publicly regretted it. Mario is/was an unapologetic multiple offender

2) Petacchi showed his remorse by finishing another GT, my guess is he'll finish the Giro this year as well

3) though regretful about it, he and other FB retired from a legit illness and he wasn't the only one to drop from his team

4) Petacchi is on a team with a higher UCI ranking

5) Petacchi is on a team with other ambitions. Fassa has riders who can contest indv. stages and possible threats to GC

look I have nothing against Cippo but he's a one trick pony whose whole team is built for that gig. he should have been invited last year as WC, he had far more of a claim to be there last year than he does this year.

also did you see any of the footage of Tirreno Adriatico. Classic Mario, realizes he's beat and gives up. it's first or nothing, my guess is he should have retired after he won the WC or broke Bindas record. I feel this year will be the slide to oblivion.
 

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atpjunkie said:
as

5) Petacchi is on a team with other ambitions. Fassa has riders who can contest indv. stages and possible threats to GC

look I have nothing against Cippo but he's a one trick pony whose whole team is built for that gig.
That simply isn't so anymore. Did you watch Vuelta last year? The name Michele Scarponi ring any bells? I believe one DV rider was even higher overall than Scarponi at the end of Vuelta, though can't remember who it was. Certainly these boys were not simply leading out Cipo in the mountains. Then again if you count as contenders only those who've won GC previously.. well.. there aren't that many left in the peloton.
 

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Scarponi

true about Scarponi and methinks a main reason for the invite. it doesn't nullify Fassas invite though as they not only have a more well rounded team, but are one of the top teams in UCI ranking which guarantees the invite. am looking forward to see how Tom Danielson progresses.
 

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honestly I think Leblanc is just tired from controversy /remember all hell he was given when Cipo wasn't invited in past years/ and thinks that Cipo had learned and punished enough for snobbing him in PR. Besides, there's an open slot and no french team to put in :D
 
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