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I wanted to see Lance win again and now that it looks pretty likely I'm bummed. He has no challengers. What's a race with out drama, it's a procession. Last year was exciting because it was close.

Basso seems to be in awe of Lance and happy with second, hopefully he'll prove me wrong, but I don't think he's too strong in the final flat time trial.

I'm disapointed, time to start looking to next year.

Art
 

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No way!!! This ain't over yet...

artnshel said:
I wanted to see Lance win again and now that it looks pretty likely I'm bummed. He has no challengers. What's a race with out drama, it's a procession. Last year was exciting because it was close.

Basso seems to be in awe of Lance and happy with second, hopefully he'll prove me wrong, but I don't think he's too strong in the final flat time trial.

I'm disapointed, time to start looking to next year.

Art
Anyone under 10' 00" is a real threat. Lance could have a bad day, or crash. I think we're going to see some real spirited racing to come. Basso, Kloden, Mancebo, Ulrich ain't out yet. They are going to contest him. Voeckler may also be able to dig deeper as well. I think we may see some unusual attacks to come. Question is though, what teams/alliances will be able to pull them off... JMHO...

-Dan
 

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artnshel said:
I wanted to see Lance win again and now that it looks pretty likely I'm bummed. He has no challengers. What's a race with out drama, it's a procession. Last year was exciting because it was close.

Basso seems to be in awe of Lance and happy with second, hopefully he'll prove me wrong, but I don't think he's too strong in the final flat time trial.

I'm disapointed, time to start looking to next year.

Art


Last year's Tour was the most exciting in quite a while. This year, the drama is gone. Might as well just wrup up the Trophy right now with Armstrong's name on it.
 

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Manhattan said:
Last year's Tour was the most exciting in quite a while. This year, the drama is gone. Might as well just wrup up the Trophy right now with Armstrong's name on it.
There wasn't a boring stage last year at all. I am no sprinter nor really interested in it, but the flats were good stages. This year they were a little boring to me.
 

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I liked the Giro

This year's Giro was a far better race than the tour is shaping up to be. The promise of a new star in Cunego (probably the sport's next big hero), Simoni and his hooligans put to rest, the Fassa lead outs for Pettachi, the best the sport has ever seen, day after day... This tour is predictable with the exception of the catch at the line the other day,. my pulse hasn't been raised watching in the least.
 

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Tour de Disappointment

Gotta say it's pretty lame, now. I'm glad Lance is doing so well, but what happened to the buildup?

Cipollini v. Petachi sprint battles?
CSC crushing in the TTT?
Heras on the climbs?
Mayo on the climbs?
Maybe even Simoni on the climbs?
Tyler for the GC?
Ullrich for the GC?

In June, this Tour had the makings of an epic! Now, ho-hum. Just like 2002. Sort of cool to watch the precision, professionalism, and complete domination by USPS, but I really hope we have some good racing in the alps.
 

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I really don't understand this "boo hoo, the Tour is now boring" mentality.

There is a full week of racing left, with a 1000 miles to go. Anything can happen.

If you're a Lance fan, you're on the edge of your chair waiting to see if he can wind it up.

If you're a Jan fan, you're waiting to see if he can redeem himself on the ITT and shell some of these young turks.

If you're an Iban fan, will he finally live up to his reputation on Alpe d' Huez?

If you're a Tyler fan, well - root for someone else.

You've got the incredible drama of Voekler, the guy who just keeps going.

None of the jerseys are decided , they're all still in contention. Isn't watching USPS execute perfectly a joy in itself.

I'm sorry you all bought the Cyclism commercials hook, line and sinker, but this whining makes me think people have a 15 minute attention span due to being raised on Gameboys. If you can't find the drama in what's left, because it's so boring, then perhaps you don't really enjoy and understand the Tour the way you thought you did.
 

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MrDan said:
Anyone under 10' 00" is a real threat. Lance could have a bad day, or crash. I think we're going to see some real spirited racing to come. Basso, Kloden, Mancebo, Ulrich ain't out yet. They are going to contest him. Voeckler may also be able to dig deeper as well. I think we may see some unusual attacks to come. Question is though, what teams/alliances will be able to pull them off... JMHO...

-Dan
You didn't just mention Voeckler as a threat right? He has NO CHANCE for a GC win. In fact, in Paris this guy will be behind by about 30 minutes. He is losing about 5 minutes on every uphill finish.

No chance. And I am so tired of the coverage spending so much time on him. He's a likeable guy and he tries real hard. Bravo for the effort. But then again, he is a nobody and just got lucky on one break.

This is kind of how the TDF goes, revere the yellow jersey wearer, no matter who he is. A couple years ago. A guy named Francois Simone got lucky and got a 30 minute lead on Lance. I had to watch his ass every minute of every day until he got caught. Haven't heard anything about him since.

You're not alone though. Paul Sherwin mentions today: " We could be looking at a future winner of the Tour de France!" describing Voeckler. WTF??? He can't climb. He can't time trial. That wasn't a good call.

Sorry about the rant. I agree with all your other points.

francois
 

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I think for myself anyways what I've found rather mundane about the mountain stages so far is that there's been no real attacks. It seems that USPS is keeping the pace just too high to allow anyone to go off the front. Mancebo stated that in today's wrap-up in Velonews.

Is it over for the pre-race GC contenders? Well no, Lance could always have a bad day or one of the rowdy fans could attack him, but it seems unlikely. While Jan does typically have a better last week, he even admitted today that he had been outgunned by LA. Could be a bluff, but he sure looked like he was suffering on todays stage.

The one thing that LA really seems to have to his advantage is his team. Every other team seems to break apart and do there own thing out on the road, while USPS seems extremely well disciplined and has definite roles to play in each stage. These other teams say they're built around their main GC man, but I haven't seen that so far. Tough for one guy to take on 9.

For me, the first couple of weeks of flat stages were the most exciting so far. Seeing these guys chase down escapees in the last 50 meters while going almost 70 kph makes for some great television.

I certainly hope the last week provides for some exciting attacks in the mountains and that the riders don't just accept that Lance is going to win the overall and sit back and let him cruise into Paris in the yellow. Got to get more spirit like Voeckler. Everytime he seemed to be off the back, he shot back to the main group. Gotta admire his determination.

Chris
 

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Welcome to the Schumni Ferrari show. Now that Lance is so close to wearing yellow, it's going to be as exciting as watching a Formula 1 race during the last few season's. I like Lance and I like Michael, but I also like Indurain, but after a few season's of winning it's enough.
Sure, I will keep watching the rest of the Tour as I do with the Formula 1 season, but I will also have a magazine or newspaper in my hand, because we all will know the outcome.Would'nt it be some much more interesting if say Lance, and Schumi lost it for a year or two only to regain it some time down the road.
The last two years that Indurain won the Tour, I just wanted Tony Rommiger to win, just so I did not have to hear all of the bull about being in this elite group of riders to have won the Tour five times. It seems like most people only want to cheer for whowever the winner is going to be. They are the same people who think this way at elcection time.
 

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Boring?! What?!

My TDF 2004 highlights:

- Voekler. This is the hero of this year's tour. Tyler was last year's but we know that's out of the question now

- Basso. Man, I hope this guy doesn't suffer the media and public hype-fest that plagued guys like Aitor Gonzalez, Santiago Botero and "the most talented rider in the peloton" himself, Jan U(gh...)llrich. I want to see this guy quietly grow into the champion we assume he'll be.

- Flecha. Sure, no sneaky agro breakaway wins so far this year, but I love seeing a HUNGRY rider like Juan Antonio. Go, man, go!

- Asevedo. Every Han Solo needs a Chewbacca to get the job done. Chappeau!

- Superstar Lance Rivals Wither Like The 03-04 Lakers. C'mon! I LOVE the fact that most of the predictions of how this year's TDF was going to play out GC-wise has turned over on its head! Other than Lance doing vintage "Lance", it's astounding to witness these other champions implode. That's cycling, I guess.

IMHO, this has been an amazing Tour to watch so far.
 

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artnshel said:
I wanted to see Lance win again and now that it looks pretty likely I'm bummed. He has no challengers. What's a race with out drama, it's a procession. Last year was exciting because it was close.

Basso seems to be in awe of Lance and happy with second, hopefully he'll prove me wrong, but I don't think he's too strong in the final flat time trial.

I'm disapointed, time to start looking to next year.

Art
The great promise of a wide open Tour filled with top contenders certainly is gone, but that doesn't mean it's over. Just because Ullrich, Hamilton, Heras, Mayo, et.al. faltered, doesn't mean there aren't still threats to Lance. Basso is the only one to match Lance in the mountains, and he's only 1:17 back. And don't count out Klöden either. He has held on in the mountains and can time trial well. As far as I can tell, Lance hasn't faced these guys as legitimate leaders with full team support before, and Basso especially is someone he has to watch carefully. Riis has built a great team for him in CSC, and like Bruyneel on USPS, Riis isn't afraid to use the team to break apart the race on flat stages. In fact, one of the new battles to watch may be Bruyneel vs. Riis!

1 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Brioches La Boulangère 58.00.27
2 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal p/b Berry Floor 0.22
3 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC 1.39
4 Andreas Klöden (Ger) T-Mobile Team 3.18
5 Francisco Mancebo Pérez (Spa) Illes Balears - Banesto 3.28
 

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Voeckler could be interesting...

francois said:
You didn't just mention Voeckler as a threat right? He has NO CHANCE for a GC win. In fact, in Paris this guy will be behind by about 30 minutes. He is losing about 5 minutes on every uphill finish.

No chance. And I am so tired of the coverage spending so much time on him. He's a likeable guy and he tries real hard. Bravo for the effort. But then again, he is a nobody and just got lucky on one break.

This is kind of how the TDF goes, revere the yellow jersey wearer, no matter who he is. A couple years ago. A guy named Francois Simone got lucky and got a 30 minute lead on Lance. I had to watch his ass every minute of every day until he got caught. Haven't heard anything about him since.

You're not alone though. Paul Sherwin mentions today: " We could be looking at a future winner of the Tour de France!" describing Voeckler. WTF??? He can't climb. He can't time trial. That wasn't a good call.

Sorry about the rant. I agree with all your other points.

francois
No problem with the rant... Voeckler is toughing it out. No, he probably won't win, but he may find something in the tank... I'm not a racer, but do know about digging deep -> without that, you can't win the TDF. Voeckler is finding himself and breaking through limits that will propel him forward... perhaps not in 2004, or maybe he'll find it elusive in future years.... I just enjoy the true human endeavor. I hope he gives Lance at least one more fright this tour... so I can in turn see Lance turn up the volume even more. It's like cheering at the colesium in ancient Rome... hopefully without the death & blood though!

-D
 

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Fogdweller said:
This year's Giro was a far better race than the tour is shaping up to be. The promise of a new star in Cunego (probably the sport's next big hero), Simoni and his hooligans put to rest, the Fassa lead outs for Pettachi, the best the sport has ever seen, day after day... This tour is predictable with the exception of the catch at the line the other day,. my pulse hasn't been raised watching in the least.
Oh come on. The sprint stages of the Giro were totally predictable, except for one or two Petacchi won all of them! Definitely not exciting, unless you are a "Petacchi fan boy" (total sarcasm on that). The Giro was good, but this is the tour!! No one predicted what has happened here...Hamilton *abandoning*?? Mayo bonking on Plateau de Beille? Basso being the main threat to Armstrong? Ullrich possibly losing control of his own team?? What tour have you been watching?
 
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