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Looking at the coverage of today's Tour de Suisse, it appears that old Jan was up there ripping some legs off, making the selection, paring down the field. Pressure and upping the pace from Jan and Bettini made Rasmussen fall off the back and lose 4 minutes or so.

Jan, dropping last year's king of the mountains on a non-mountain stage. Hmm... Her Kaiser, starting to show something maybe.
 
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Let's hope...

I would be ok with Basso winning (though I'm rooting for Ulle at this point). I just don't want to see Basso just ride everyone off his wheel like the Giro.
 

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It's hard to imagine Ulrich can come up with the goods after so long the bridesmaid.
I only hope that someone emerges from the pack to challenge Basso. Don't think he's a good enough rider to join the ranks of those who have won the Giro-Tour double in the same year.
 

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Bikeboy55 said:
It's hard to imagine Ulrich can come up with the goods after so long the bridesmaid.
I only hope that someone emerges from the pack to challenge Basso. Don't think he's a good enough rider to join the ranks of those who have won the Giro-Tour double in the same year.
Basso crushed 'em in the mountains and crushed 'em in the TTs. If he does the same in the tour, he is worthy.
 
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He'll have alot more competition for the TTs in the Tour. I don't expect him to win any of the ITTs. The mountains are a different story though.
 

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Bikeboy55 said:
It's hard to imagine Ulrich can come up with the goods after so long the bridesmaid.
I only hope that someone emerges from the pack to challenge Basso. Don't think he's a good enough rider to join the ranks of those who have won the Giro-Tour double in the same year.
Why not? Because he lost to a guy that won more TdF than anyone in history? Roche probably didn't deserve his either in that case.
 

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It is exciting to think that a guy who last won the TDF in 1997 might be putting himself into position to do it again. He's fired a couple of warning shots already, in his brief season. Basso, however, I feel may be the most stable "in his head" of the contendors.

I don't see Valverde doing it, yet.
I don't see Leipheimer getting it all together, and is his team strong enough?
Landis is a real challenger, but did he use too much too soon?
Can't rule out a wild card either...though no one seriously comes to mind...
 

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ashpelham said:
I don't see Valverde doing it, yet.
I don't see Leipheimer getting it all together, and is his team strong enough?
Landis is a real challenger, but did he use too much too soon?
Can't rule out a wild card either...though no one seriously comes to mind...

I would put Basso and Ullrich as 5-star favorites, it may come down to just a battle between these two if they both arrive with their best form.

After that I think it's an entirely open race for the scraps, and maybe even for the win if the above two don't get their form right. Leipheimer seems to be the only other possible podium "favorite" at this point pending the Tour of Switzerland results.

Given the Dauphine performances and/or past performances I would put at least these guys as wildcards for the podium: Valverde, Mayo, Landis, Vinokourov, Moreau, Menchov, Mancebo, Karpets, Schleck (if Basso falters badly), Evans, Popovych, Azevedo, Hincapie, Savoldelli, Zubeldia, Totschnig, Cunego, Simoni, Di Luca, Garzelli, Cioni, Jaksche, Beloki, Garate, Rasmussen, Kloden, Garate. And I'm sure I've missed some.

A darkhouse might be Gomez Marchante.
 

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Ullrich's form

This is the question that Ullrich needs to ask himself and everyone else in the pellton has been asking all year. How much time can Ullrich get himself in the first two ITT's before they hit the mountains stages, remember they don't hit the mountains until stage 11... Basso or (Levi/Landi/George/Menchov/Mancebo/Vino...) will need to have at least 1.30min advantage over Ullrich going into the final ITT on Saturday for any of them to have a chance. Does anyone think that those guys can take 3 or 4 mins outta him in the mountains? I'm surprised no one is saying anything about whether Ullrich will make it safely down the other side of all these mountains he has to climb, it seems every year we watch him go off the side of the road :D
 
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Well, hopefully Ullrich will make a 'test' out of at least one of the big climbs in the TdS - then we can all see if he has good climbing legs for the tour. He has said that he is looking foward to the mountain stages - so hopefully we will see what his fitness level really is.
 

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bikemech said:
This is the question that Ullrich needs to ask himself and everyone else in the pellton has been asking all year. How much time can Ullrich get himself in the first two ITT's before they hit the mountains stages, remember they don't hit the mountains until stage 11... Basso or (Levi/Landi/George/Menchov/Mancebo/Vino...) will need to have at least 1.30min advantage over Ullrich going into the final ITT on Saturday for any of them to have a chance. Does anyone think that those guys can take 3 or 4 mins outta him in the mountains? I'm surprised no one is saying anything about whether Ullrich will make it safely down the other side of all these mountains he has to climb, it seems every year we watch him go off the side of the road :D
Well Basso doesn't descend particularly well either. IIRC, there are only 5 mountain days and only 3 of them finish on top, one ends close to the bottom of the descent off the mountain, the other finishes a long way from the descent of the final climb.
 

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AJL said:
Well, hopefully Ullrich will make a 'test' out of at least one of the big climbs in the TdS - then we can all see if he had good climbing legs for the tour. He has said that he is looking foward to the mountain stages - so hopefully we will see what his fitness level really is.
Looking kinda scary to me....

 

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huh?

Bikeboy55 said:
It's hard to imagine Ulrich can come up with the goods after so long the bridesmaid.
I only hope that someone emerges from the pack to challenge Basso. Don't think he's a good enough rider to join the ranks of those who have won the Giro-Tour double in the same year.
Basso not good enough? Hmmm....the last guy to do the double was Pantani - before that was Big Mig.

I'd say Basso is easily in the same class as those guys.

LA never even tried the double - that is kinda weak in my book.
 

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Hah, look at his big, "fat" arms.

Ullrich looked pretty decent today, but didn't push the pace too hard. Pretty smart race; probably waiting for the bigger mountains to come.

I wonder if he'll actually attack and try to win the Tour de Suisse? Seems more likely he'll just hold onto the pace in the mountains, and then try to crush the ITT.
 

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Argentius said:
Hah, look at his big, "fat" arms.

Ullrich looked pretty decent today, but didn't push the pace too hard. Pretty smart race; probably waiting for the bigger mountains to come.

I wonder if he'll actually attack and try to win the Tour de Suisse? Seems more likely he'll just hold onto the pace in the mountains, and then try to crush the ITT.
Yea I think you are on the right track. Looking towards the ITT. Nice to see him only 12 seconds down today, however it doesn't appear to be a terribly difficult climb judging by some of the people in that group.
 

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Einstruzende said:
Yea I think you are on the right track. Looking towards the ITT. Nice to see him only 12 seconds down today, however it doesn't appear to be a terribly difficult climb judging by some of the people in that group.
No it was not a steep climb, T-mobile ripped the pace up the whole thing (mainly Guerini and Kirchen) but didn't really do too much damage. It was just too fast. It looked more like the run-in on a flat stage sprint than a mountain climb. Contador tried to attack but it was pointless, he was away for maybe 30 seconds if that. Ullrich looked comfortable.

Noticeably absent from the large front group were Kloden, Garzelli & Zubeldia and I think Rasmussen got tailed off in the surge to the line.

T-mobile might want to consider replacing Kloden with Kohl or Gerdemann in their TdF line-up.
 
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