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sploush said:
Wow, what a good performance today after the injury!!!!
There is case now for Hincapie being Discovery's main man of the tour
I hope George does do well, after so many years in the service Big Tex, but lets not be hasty; he placed second in a 4km, dead flat prologue. This is good news, but lets see how he climbs and fares in longer TTs. Personally I think he'll have major problems sticking with the guys like Valverde (and, in the Tour Basso) in the high mountains.
 

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sploush said:
Wow, what a good performance today after the injury!!!!
There is case now for Hincapie being Discovery's main man of the tour
This bodes well for Hincapie's prologue riding. And let's remember, another American won the prologue, one Mr. Zabriskie, and nobody, at least at this point in time, would consider him having a chance of leading his team at le Tour, the same could be said for Hincapie, although George might be a protected rider, and have others do work for him, I don't think Disco has a good chance of winning the Tour this year, which is fine, because they won it the last 7 years. A prologue win, does not make a team leader come Tour time. There is still no case for George to be team leader, and as someone else mentioned, it was a 4k prologue. Please, let's not be hasty here. Let's see how he does when the road goes up.
 

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magnolialover said:
This bodes well for Hincapie's prologue riding. And let's remember, another American won the prologue, one Mr. Zabriskie, and nobody, at least at this point in time, would consider him having a chance of leading his team at le Tour, the same could be said for Hincapie, although George might be a protected rider, and have others do work for him, I don't think Disco has a good chance of winning the Tour this year, which is fine, because they won it the last 7 years. A prologue win, does not make a team leader come Tour time. There is still no case for George to be team leader, and as someone else mentioned, it was a 4k prologue. Please, let's not be hasty here. Let's see how he does when the road goes up.
But never forget that Johann & company recognises that the bread is buttered with American dollars and this year's TdF profile is as favorable as it will ever be for a rider like Hincape. Discovery'sbest TdF hopefuls are Paolo and George.I don't believe that Popo will ever be given the carrot that was used to lure him over to the team. Salvodeli appears to be their safest bet overall GC contender but he also seems to be the more fragile in health.
I'm expecting a two pronged effort from Discovery with both riders heavily protected and the team coming together to support whoever is the stronger, better placed rider after sorting in the Pyrenees.
 

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capt_phun said:
Anyone see the cyclingnews pictures of an even more "erect" Landis TT bike?! Next this you know those bars will be at 90 degrees! :)
Ya, I hear the UCI really gave his setup the once over before finally declaring it "legal". He sure looks aero though. check the comparison between him and Levi in the standard position.

EDIT; is it me or do Levi's bars look crocked?
 

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caterham said:
But never forget that Johann & company recognises that the bread is buttered with American dollars and this year's TdF profile is as favorable as it will ever be for a rider like Hincape. Discovery'sbest TdF hopefuls are Paolo and George.I don't believe that Popo will ever be given the carrot that was used to lure him over to the team. Salvodeli appears to be their safest bet overall GC contender but he also seems to be the more fragile in health.
I'm expecting a two pronged effort from Discovery with both riders heavily protected and the team coming together to support whoever is the stronger, better placed rider after sorting in the Pyrenees.
Ah, but the best part about Discovery Networks is that indeed, they are a lot more global than Postal was. Sure, based on US dollars, and US based company, but Disco has a lot more gloabal appeal, and they have networks and channels all over the world, not just the US.

I think George could conceivably do well during the Tour. Popo is their go to guy though, or should be. In him, you have a proven GT contender, and unlike Danielson, he's still relatively young. Paolo just got done getting an arse chewing in the Giro, he's not going to compete for the overall for the Tour. He couldn't keep up in the Giro, he's not going to keep up in le Tour. The Tour is harder, and there is a lot more talent there than at the Giro.
 

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Interesting thoughts...

Hasn't big G been the leader for the classics the last five years? How many victories? One or two semi classics and alot of top tens? I don't think he can get the job done. There are too many riders who WILL go for the kill and not sit back and wait for someone else to start it for them. Vino is a prime example. He ain't waiting on no one to tell him to attack

Also, yes those bars are way crooked! I wonder if someone forget to tighten a bolt or two. Maybe that's why he was 48th. Could you imagine if he crashed and got knocked out of the tour due to something that crazy! I bet someone got an arse chewing!!
 

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magnolialover said:
I think George could conceivably do well during the Tour. Popo is their go to guy though, or should be.
I've read several interviews that say, that while Popo is a better pick as a potential GT winner, he won't be the leader come July...

There's also a Nike ad campaign that's running in all of the US cycling mags touting Hincap as the leader. Should be interesting come July.
 

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OnTheRivet said:
EDIT; is it me or do Levi's bars look crocked?
Hard to tell for sure from the phote, but I did read that his team said he had some technical problems with his handlebars, so you're probably right. I hope so, because I want to see him do well at the TdF and his placing the prologue was not suggestive of good things.
 

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come on, now. classics and stage races are two different things. how many classics has boonen won compared to the number of grand tours has he finished in the top ten? completely different tactics for completely different races.

that being said, i wouldn't put too much down on george getting to the podium in paris. he may take one stage, but that would be about it. will be neat to see if disco has some tricks for a 2 (maybe 3 with popo pronged attack. risky, but would be fun to see them with a new game.

and with regards to levi, how did he take the u-turn? that would give some indication of the loose-bolt theory. at least his steerer tube didnt snap;>
didn't some chick lose a big race last year because her mechanic didnt tighten the steerer stem bolts on her TT rig? she came down the ramp and had no steering whatsoever. that would not be fun.
 

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harlond said:
Hard to tell for sure from the phote, but I did read that his team said he had some technical problems with his handlebars, so you're probably right. I hope so, because I want to see him do well at the TdF and his placing the prologue was not suggestive of good things.
It never ceases to amaze me how often pro mechanics seem to forget to tighten things like handlebars. Sux for Levi, not that he would've taken Zabriskie yesterday.

Looks like OLN has brought out the riff-raff commentators early with Hummer.
 

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levi

There was definitely something wrong with his bars. He stopped pedaling as hard the last 500 meters or so. Even Paul and Phil commented on the oddity of the angle. I feel Levi would have been a top 5 finisher if not for the mechanical.
 

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magnolialover said:
I think George could conceivably do well during the Tour. Popo is their go to guy though, or should be. In him, you have a proven GT contender, and unlike Danielson, he's still relatively young. Paolo just got done getting an arse chewing in the Giro, he's not going to compete for the overall for the Tour. He couldn't keep up in the Giro, he's not going to keep up in le Tour. The Tour is harder, and there is a lot more talent there than at the Giro.
I don't think Popovich TT's well enough yet to be a serious TdF contendor, particularly not this year with the TT lengths and the shortage of big-time climbing stages. Popo is probably the best all-around rider on the team, Salvodelli included, but this might not be the best TdF course for him as leader.

If George rides as well in the Dauphine as he did last year, he might well get the nod as leader for July. If he continues to TT well, he might just make a run at the podium. He cannot climb with Basso or Valverde, but he TT's better than both. The course this year favors tempo climbers and good TT's like George and Jan over the pure climbers.

Protecting George also gives you a chance on semi-mountain stages (where the sprinters fall back but the finish is not up-hill) to take some stage wins, even if the overall is lost.

Re: the Giro vs the Tour this year, I think the Giro is definitely the tougher race for once. I don't think Salvo is a good choice for team leader in the Tour, but the Giro this year was ridiculous. That said, Salvo never really challenged in the mountains and didn't take very good pulls in the TTT. He didn't look very strong.
 

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cydswipe said:
There was definitely something wrong with his bars. He stopped pedaling as hard the last 500 meters or so. Even Paul and Phil commented on the oddity of the angle. I feel Levi would have been a top 5 finisher if not for the mechanical.
On a good team, Levi would be a top contender this year in the TdF, given his finishes there in recent years. As it is, not only can his team not protect him if he ever got the MJ, but his mechanics cannot even screw his TT bars on straight. It's a shame he didn't stick around on Postal.
 

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weltyed said:
come on, now. classics and stage races are two different things. how many classics has boonen won compared to the number of grand tours has he finished in the top ten? completely different tactics for completely different races.
I wouldn't put the differences between winners of one-day vs. stage races down to tactics but primarily down to the different abilities of the riders. Boonen isn't going to win the Giro anymore than Basso will win the Ronde no matter how much they change their tactics.

Hincapie is a good all-rounder, probably sub-par race reader, which should handicap him the least in a GT. Hard to see him climbing well enough to win the Tour but maybe Carmichael, Ferrari and company can work some "magic". If Guiterrez can haul is big ass up the steep climbs of the Giro to a 2nd on GC with the right preparation, anything is possible :)
 
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