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Scary Teddy Bear
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Does anyone here think Floyd Landis has a reasonable chance at the TdF this year? He's doing very well, but it is so early, and I wonder if he might be peaking too soon.
 

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Landis is now taking some time "off", meaning he won't be racing for a while. He had a bit of early success, but I don't think he did himself any harm riding well in Feb. His next race is likely the Giro, which he'll use for training.

With that having been said, I don't think he'll win the tour. He hasn't shown in the past he can hang with the Top GC riders on EVERY climb for 3 weeks. Also, he does everything really well, but he's not exceptional in any one aspect, at least not so much that he'd be a GC winner. He has shown something new this year, so I may have to eat my words, we'll see. The highest I think he'll get is 4th, which is still an increadible performance. I'll be rooting for him.
 

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euro-trash said:
The highest I think he'll get is 4th, which is still an increadible performance. I'll be rooting for him.
I would never have pegged him in the top 5, but it seems like a long way down this year after Jan and Ivan. Sorry to threadjack, but what has happened to Menchov since the Vuelta?
 

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Mosovich said:
Basso and Ulrich are the favorites for sure, BUT, you never know, look at MSR, a dark horse could steal the show. I think it's going to be one of the most exciting tours for a very long time. Wide open with alot of canidates.
I agree. Although Basso and Ulrich are favorites, I think there is the possibility of seeing Landis, Valverde, and even Vino high up come Paris...
 

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You can't compare...

Mosovich said:
Basso and Ulrich are the favorites for sure, BUT, you never know, look at MSR, a dark horse could steal the show. I think it's going to be one of the most exciting tours for a very long time. Wide open with alot of canidates.
Definitely cannot compare a "dark horse" win in a one day race compared to a grand tour, there is no comparison. It's not like someone is going to bolt from the pack and win a grand tour, it just doesn't happen for the most part. In a one day race, you can of course have a wild card win, but the MSR win isn't that shocking actually.

That being said, Landis is not going to win the Tour this year. He doesn't have a unified team behind him, which is what you need. Phonak has already stated that they are going with co-Captains for le Tour this year. Landis and Botero. While I love Botero, the man is so unpredictable, they need to put all of their eggs into the Landis basket, but they're not going to do that. Landis therefore will not win le Tour for that simple reason methinks. This year though, 2 things are going to be interesting. Jan, for the first time since the Bianchi days, will have a team formed around him and united around him. They did try this last year, but as we know, Vino had to be the spoiled kid, and couldn't abide by the rules. Years before that, they had Zabel around for the ride, which normally meant a couple less climbers for Jan so that maybe Zabel could win the green jersey. Only when Jan rode for Bianchi did he have a united front, and as many people like to speculate, what would have happened had Jan gone over to Riis his former mentor and teammate at CSC? I can only suspect that Lance's winning streak probably would have stopped at 4, and Jan would have wiped up the tour with him under Bjarne's guide, but that's neither her nor there, it didn't happen. So now we have this year. Goodefroot is no longer at the helm of T-Mobile, and Pevenege is back in the fold with T-Mobile, and he can have better access to Jan during the season and during the Tour. We'll see a different Jan this year I think, and only Basso is going to be able to really keep up with him, but Jan will crush him in the TTs, you can seriously bet on that. Basso has come a long way in his TT skills, but he's still nowhere near where Jan is with his time trialing, and with a tour that is good for the TTers, Jan will reign supreme where Armstrong once did.

I think that it is more or less Jan's tour to lose this year. Landis will figure probably in the top 10, and he might squeak into the top 5, but he won't be seeing the top step this year. And you still have some of the other "contenders" who have been pretty quiet so far this year. Valverde, Mayo, Leipheimer, and a few others mixed in there. One thing is for sure, it's going to be interesting to watch in July.
 

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I've said it before and I'll say it again: I bet on Hincapie ! (Although I think he has an outsider's shot at it at best).

Secretly I think Basso is going to crush Jan in the Mountains and loose a few seconds in the TT's. He's going to win, Ulle second and probably an outsider in 3rd. Floyd or George or someone else...

I would love to see Floyd win a couple of stages and he might... Maybe even a TT.

Other question: Do you think that the Phonak bus now rocks to ZZ Top tunes ? :D
 

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LSchoux said:
Other question: Do you think that the Phonak bus now rocks to ZZ Top tunes ? :D
I hope not, ZZ Top sucks.

Hincapie, he has an outside chance for a top 10, and that's about it. He isn't going to win le Tour.
 

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Moderatus Puisne
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Landis very well may be on the podium. He's looking good. Barring accident or illness, he won't be able to take down Basso or Ullrich. He'll be fighting with Vino for that last spot, which could get very, very interesting.

Top-10 finishers who WON'T podium:
* Alejandro Valverde - fast, will win a mountain stage, but won't stand up to either Ullrich or Basso, nor to Landis, in the TT's.
* Levi Leipheimer - Nice guys finish last. No, wait. The finish about seventh. This guy has a serious case of Mancebo. Very, very fast, but no aggression.
* Cadel Evans - He won't get away so easily this year. Might still get a top-10, might not.
* Yaroslav Popovych (sp?) - Will show that he's capable, time trials well; will be in the front group in mountains.
 

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Argentius said:
Landis very well may be on the podium. He's looking good. Barring accident or illness, he won't be able to take down Basso or Ullrich. He'll be fighting with Vino for that last spot, which could get very, very interesting.
Kinda sucks that he went down pretty hard in the criterium international on sat.I can't find any specifics on how badly,if at all,he was hurt.I want to see Landis do well this year.

I usually don't make predictions on this sort of thing,but I disagree with LSchoux.I think Jan will limit his damage in the mountains and will absolutely kill Basso in the ITT's.Well,atleast that is what I would LIKE to see.:D
 

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Rollin' Stones
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I think it will be closer.

I think this year's Tour will highlight team unity. Jan will have more team support in the climbs, Basso will have improved times in the TT's than most expect. It will all come down to the chess match of team management. It will be close. I think Jan will edge out the closest Tour win in years because of close Tt wins, limiting losses in the mtns. with help from his team.
 

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R.Rice said:
Kinda sucks that he went down pretty hard in the criterium international on sat.I can't find any specifics on how badly,if at all,he was hurt.I want to see Landis do well this year.

I usually don't make predictions on this sort of thing,but I disagree with LSchoux.I think Jan will limit his damage in the mountains and will absolutely kill Basso in the ITT's.Well,atleast that is what I would LIKE to see.:D
...but only if he's thin !

I think Basso will peak a little earlier and take time from Ulle in the first TT then Ulle will win the second TT.

It's going to be a chess game w/ regards to team strategy and if we boil it down to it there are only 3 teams that can play that game to perfection (IMHO). Discovery (hence my George-prediction), CSC and T-mobile. Sorry Floyd... Phonak will have to wait another 12 months.

We'll see in 3 months and 1 week :)
 

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Bobke and Me
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The Bjarne Johan factor

We can't discount the impact of the DS on the race. I think that Riis gives Basso an edge over Jan. Bruyneel will also have a lot of cards to play as Disco will not have to control the race. It will be a fun July. I must admit I loved to watch Lance crush the others. I will never forget L'Alpe d'Huez in 2001. But this year it will be a great race.
 

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Cat 6
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Landis has a good as shot as anyone at the podium...it really depends on Jan's fitness (again) and if Basso recovers from the Giro. If Jan's in his best shape then I put Jan over Basso. If not then there's no reason to think Floyd can't take second...you have to put Vino up there as well. I doubt George has the firepower to put in enough time anywhere to podium. Valverde's too young and unproven over a 3 week race. Levi just can't hang when the gradient goes really steep. That's my 3 cents in...my late March podium, Jan, Basso and Vino...
 
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