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"I originally picked Ullrich to win the Tour de France, but he seems to be behind again," said Armstrong of the German. "If he's only five kilogrammes overweight that's pretty good for him but I don't understand him, he's got so much to gain.

"I don't know if he loves the bike or not but he could be the biggest sporting star in Germany."
 

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I dunno

I really think LA wants Jan to win. He's either trying to light a fire (which would be a positive mindgame) or he's just realizing that jan isn't going to make the changes needed to make himself again a victor.
 
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Well Jan's had some bad luck this year it seems. Too bad because I think this year will be his last shot at a TdF win. Basso and the Three Amigos (Floyd, Levi, and Hincapie) will have the more pressure on them than ever b/4.
 

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the quotes been taken a bit out of context, and IIRC it's a slight misquote. I saw the interview, which took place today at the Giro. Armstrong looked visibly jet lagged, and admitted as much, then went on to do an informal interview for 4-5 minutes, maybe longer.

he was asked about how he had tipped jan to win a few months ago, his response is what the OP quoted, more or less. he also said that he had yet to see him in person, only pics on the web, so he was goin to goove him the benifit of the doubt.
 

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From Velo News

Armstrong says Basso favorite for '07 Tour
By AFP
This report filed May 9, 2006


CSC team captain Ivan Basso appears to be the favorite for this year's tour de France, seven time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong said Tuesday.


The 34-year-old Texan was present in Belgium attending the last of four Giro d'Italia stages in that country. Armstrong was there to support his former teammate and defending Giro champion Paolo Savoldelli, who won the first stage.

But Armstrong said he had few doubts that Basso, twice a podium finisher behind him in the two most recent Tours de France, was the likely winner of both this year's and the Tour de France (July 1-23).

"At the moment I would say it has to be Basso," said Armstrong. "However it is tough to say what could happen in the coming six weeks."

Armstrong, who had earlier said T-Mobile's Jan Ullrich was the favorite in July, said he was surprised at the German's lack of preparation at this point in the season.

"I originally picked Ullrich to win the Tour de France but he seems to be behind again," Armstrong said. "If he's only five kilograms overweight that's pretty good for him but I don't understand him, he has so much to gain. I don't know if he loves the bike or not but he could be the biggest sporting star in Germany."
 

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Lucky for all of us, the TdF will continue as scheduled rather than just having the race organizers award the maillot jaune to whomever LA thinks is going to win. If LA's picks were the least bit accurate, Ullrich would have 6 TdF crowns by now.
 

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R.Rice said:
I guess Lances words couldn't manage to get Disco across the line any faster than T-mobile today in the TTT.
all gloating and resentment aside, my own predictions would follow along the same lines - earlier in the year I would have expected TdF battle to be between Basso and Ullrich. The course favors Ullrich, so assuming they are both in tip-top shape, I might have bet on him.

However, he really is quite a bit behind. I think his "fat" appearance is really overrated, and he will round himself off nicely by July, and it's also quite possible that Basso will be overcooked by then trying to keep the form he's got now. However, I think everyone is surprised at lack of Ullrich's form. Even in the past years when he was playing "catchup", he was routinely among top 10 on key stages. In Romandie he was just left behind like some schmuck.

So I am waiting for Ullrich comeback (or Basso's form deterioration), just to make sure things stay excited. But Basso is clearly the favorite for Tour 2006 and 2007, it is clear that whatever the problems routinely plague Jan year after year, they will not suddenly disappear with age.

I know many people don't like Lance, think he plays head games etc., but I happen to think that what he says makes perfect sense, so perhaps, just maybe, he actually says what he thinks without putting anyone down.
 

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55x11 said:
all gloating and resentment aside, my own predictions would follow along the same lines - earlier in the year I would have expected TdF battle to be between Basso and Ullrich. The course favors Ullrich, so assuming they are both in tip-top shape, I might have bet on him.

However, he really is quite a bit behind. I think his "fat" appearance is really overrated, and he will round himself off nicely by July, and it's also quite possible that Basso will be overcooked by then trying to keep the form he's got now. However, I think everyone is surprised at lack of Ullrich's form. Even in the past years when he was playing "catchup", he was routinely among top 10 on key stages. In Romandie he was just left behind like some schmuck.

So I am waiting for Ullrich comeback (or Basso's form deterioration), just to make sure things stay excited. But Basso is clearly the favorite for Tour 2006 and 2007, it is clear that whatever the problems routinely plague Jan year after year, they will not suddenly disappear with age.

I know many people don't like Lance, think he plays head games etc., but I happen to think that what he says makes perfect sense, so perhaps, just maybe, he actually says what he thinks without putting anyone down.
I keep hearing everyone say that Ullrich is fat,out of shape,behind and that he was dropped by schmucks in Romandie.

However,I just don't see the proof.He looks quite lean.The ONLY pictures people use as the "Jan is fat" evidence are ones of him doing a a TT or prologue.Yet,he always looks "bloated" in those pics.Even in 2003 when he road for Bianchi and beat Lance he looked like he had a gut.

As for the schuck dropping him thing,if he truely is using the Romandie and the Giro as training then I wouldn't think that it would be a big deal.He isn't going to be throwing down toe-to-toe with the guys on the front if he is just out there getting miles in.

We'll see.I like jan.He has amazing ability and we are still several weeks away and have YET to see him actually do a really big effort.If,later in the Giro,he decides to make it obvious and test his legs and looks like crap then I'll be concerned for the guy.
 
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