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Wow, what a race by Dave Z. When I saw his first intermediate check, I thought maybe he'd gone out too hard, but he took about a minute out of Landis, and annihilated everyone else.


A few thoughts:

What is CSC's goal here? If they don't have a big GC contender, why did the not chase yesterday, at least to get the break down to a reasonable distance so that DZ could take the jersey again?

It was pretty sweet to be watching 20 minutes of friggin' Tommy Voekler as Dave Z was nearing the finish. Thanks, French-broadcasting-types!

Landis is looking pretty awesome. If he can hold this for another month, he'll be in great shape for the tour. Last year he and Levi were pretty much on a par; I don't think that'll be the case this year.
 

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Landis now should get his third stage race victory of the year this week. He'll drop Gilbert and Zabriskie easily tomorrow and I don't see anyone like Leipheimer or Hincapie or Popo or Valverde putting more than a half minute into him in a mountain stage. If he rides in the mountains like he did at Brasstown, he'll match anyone in this race.

But it makes you wonder whether guys like Landis and Basso are burning too many matches too early in the season. Armstrong didn't look great in the Dauphine the last two years, and he won it the year before that (before nearly losing the TdF). Guys like Leipheimer and Ullrich might actually be putting themselves into better position to peak at the TdF.
 

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cyclodawg said:
Landis now should get his third stage race victory of the year this week. He'll drop Gilbert and Zabriskie easily tomorrow and I don't see anyone like Leipheimer or Hincapie or Popo or Valverde putting more than a minute into him in a mountain stage. If he rides in the mountains like he did at Brasstown, he'll match anyone in this race.

But it makes you wonder whether guys like Landis and Basso are burning too many matches too early in the season. Armstrong didn't look great in the Dauphine the last two years, and he won it the year before that (before nearly losing the TdF). Guys like Leipheimer and Ullrich might actually be putting themselves into better position to peak at the TdF.
It'd be the fourth if he got it, Tour of California, Tour of Georgia, and Paris Nice. And you do wonder about him coming into form so early.
 

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Stage 3 - June 7: Bourg-de-Péage - Bourg-de-Péage, 43 km
Results

1 David Zabriskie (USA) Team CSC 52.48
2 Floyd Landis (USA) Phonak Hearing Systems
3 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Gerolsteiner
4 George Hincapie (USA) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team
5 Bert Grabsch (Ger) Phonak Hearing Systems
6 Marco Pinotti (Ita) Saunier Duval-Prodir
 

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I can eat crow...

I said on the Hincapie discussion I thought people were a little over board on Hincapie. I have to admit, I'm impressed with his result. Also, I wasn't bashing him, I just think sometimes people get a little carried away.

This was an awesome showing by the Americans. July should be a fun month for all.
 

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I thought George couldn't TT?

now if he holds on Ventoux it may get scarier. Word was GH was gonna shock some folks, looks like it's already happening.
 

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cyclodawg said:
He'll drop Gilbert and Zabriskie easily tomorrow and I don't see anyone like Leipheimer or Hincapie or Popo or Valverde putting more than a half minute into him in a mountain stage. If he rides in the mountains like he did at Brasstown, he'll match anyone in this race.
Zabriskie is clearly on stellar form and looks quite lean, he might surprise in the mountains. Plus he should be one of the more motivated riders as this would be a huge star on his palmares, and come July he'll be doing domestique duty again. Most of the others may be thinking of July and unwilling to really bury themselves for this race.

Valverde put over 2 minutes into Landis on the Courcheval stage in the Tour last year. It will be interesting to see how everyone stacks in the mountains this year.
 

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Dwayne Barry said:
Zabriskie is clearly on stellar form and looks quite lean, he might surprise in the mountains. Plus he should be one of the more motivated riders as this would be a huge star on his palmares, and come July he'll be doing domestique duty again. Most of the others may be thinking of July and unwilling to really bury themselves for this race.

Valverde put over 2 minutes into Landis on the Courcheval stage in the Tour last year. It will be interesting to see how everyone stacks in the mountains this year.
Zabriskie should be able to climb well, power to weight and all, but mentally I don't think he's gotten over that wall. It's strange, being a good TT'er is very mental and being a good climber is very mental.......just in different ways.
 

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Zabriskie

Tomakit said:
Stage 3 - June 7: Bourg-de-Péage - Bourg-de-Péage, 43 km
Results

1 David Zabriskie (USA) Team CSC 52.48
2 Floyd Landis (USA) Phonak Hearing Systems
3 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Gerolsteiner
4 George Hincapie (USA) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team
5 Bert Grabsch (Ger) Phonak Hearing Systems
6 Marco Pinotti (Ita) Saunier Duval-Prodir
I wanted to see Zabriskie at the Giro...but hopefullly Bjarn was holding David back for the TDF and we will get to see him blow Jan off the road like he andLA did last year. This TT had some hills so I believe compared to Jan's flat TT win in the Giro, that David had the better performance.
 

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dagger said:
I wanted to see Zabriskie at the Giro...but hopefullly Bjarn was holding David back for the TDF and we will get to see him blow Jan off the road like he andLA did last year. This TT had some hills so I believe compared to Jan's flat TT win in the Giro, that David had the better performance.
Yeah but by the principle of meaningless comparisons Ullrich whipped the winner of the Giro (and 2-time podium finisher) at the Tour, Zabriskie beat a bunch of guys who have barely got within sniffing distance of a GT win :) Anybody remember Levi finished on the podium at the Vuelta way back in '01.
 

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Hincapie looks like he's at least 5-10 pounds lighter than he was at Roubaix. He's definitely staking his claim as Disco leader right now. And whoever the Disco leader is in July, he'll have a better team working for him than either Landis or Leipheimer (or Ullrich, for that matter). Much better than Leipheimer.

But can he keep Basso's wheel in the high mountains?
 

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cyclodawg said:
Hincapie looks like he's at least 5-10 pounds lighter than he was at Roubaix. He's definitely staking his claim as Disco leader right now. And whoever the Disco leader is in July, he'll have a better team working for him than either Landis or Leipheimer (or Ullrich, for that matter). Much better than Leipheimer.

But can he keep Basso's wheel in the high mountains?
With no TTT how much will the team matter? You only need a strong team if you have to control the race and most teams can do that reasonably well. Like almost every GT it will come down to who can put time into each other in the TTs and mountain top finishes and having a strong team doesn't help you much there. Argueably Liquigas and Saunier-Duval put in stronger team performances in the Giro than CSC often driving the pace on the mountain days and what good did it to them? Heck, Simoni was the only one with a team mate left when the going got tough and I don't think it affected the outcome at all.
 

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cyclodawg said:
Hincapie looks like he's at least 5-10 pounds lighter than he was at Roubaix. He's definitely staking his claim as Disco leader right now. And whoever the Disco leader is in July, he'll have a better team working for him than either Landis or Leipheimer (or Ullrich, for that matter). Much better than Leipheimer.

But can he keep Basso's wheel in the high mountains?
No one will if he rides like he did in Italy.
 

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Tomakit said:
Stage 3 - June 7: Bourg-de-Péage - Bourg-de-Péage, 43 km
Results

1 David Zabriskie (USA) Team CSC 52.48
2 Floyd Landis (USA) Phonak Hearing Systems
3 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Gerolsteiner
4 George Hincapie (USA) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team

Looking at 4 of the top 6 TT results come TdF time.....

Still, the question is who will be able to hang with Basso in the mountains......

/Very impressed with Landis so far this year
//Dave Z owns the TT
 

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Dwayne Barry said:
With no TTT how much will the team matter? You only need a strong team if you have to control the race and most teams can do that reasonably well. Like almost every GT it will come down to who can put time into each other in the TTs and mountain top finishes and having a strong team doesn't help you much there. Argueably Liquigas and Saunier-Duval put in stronger team performances in the Giro than CSC often driving the pace on the mountain days and what good did it to them? Heck, Simoni was the only one with a team mate left when the going got tough and I don't think it affected the outcome at all.
Here's an example of what can happen when you have a weak team (or a strong team that doesn't perform well, in this case): http://www.cyclingnews.com/road/2005/tour05/?id=results/tour058.

Or remember a couple days after that last year, when Disco led out all day at Courcheval, then Popo put that attack on when Vino and Basso and others were suffering, with Lance riding Popo's wheel. Teammates like that on big climbs are huge, and it's hard to win the TdF without them.
 

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cyclodawg said:
Here's an example of what can happen when you have a weak team (or a strong team that doesn't perform well, in this case): http://www.cyclingnews.com/road/2005/tour05/?id=results/tour058.

Or remember a couple days after that last year, when Disco led out all day at Courcheval, then Popo put that attack on when Vino and Basso and others were suffering, with Lance riding Popo's wheel. Teammates like that on big climbs are huge, and it's hard to win the TdF without them.
Of course things could potentially turn ugly but they rarely do. Your best example is Lance losing 27 seconds to Kloden and being perplexed because he's had an armchair ride most every year? Plus really the Tour the last several years has been a rather unique situation with one team with almost all the responsibility on it because they had the clear favorite.

There's a big difference between having to control a race and merely having a team strong enough to support their GC rider up until the crucial moments. Plus GC riders almost never take chances anymore so they all arrive at the foot of the final climb together and then it's more or less every man for himself.
 
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