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Regardless of whether you like Der Kaizer or not, you've got to admit that he's getting better. He finished just behind Cunego and Di Luca yesterday and he's beginning to look lean and mean. Basso is not going to get much better by the time the Tour rolls around whereas Jan will improve hugely. Agree, disagree?
 

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Don't bet on it

I'm not so sure. Basso is at his best at the moment. He may look like he's taking it easy but that is just his poker face – he's digging deep just like everyone else and his efforts will tell later. I can't see him getting any better no matter how much he rests and recovers between the end of the Giro and the start of the Tour. Ullrich is going to get a lot better – just like Lemond, Armstrong and others did in the build up to the Tour. In fact I would bet that Ullrich plans to peak in the second week of the Tour.
 

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Basso may be at his best right now but he is such a classy rider that I think he'll maintain that right through to the end of the Tour. Look at the way he dropped Simoni today in stage 16 - brilliant.
 

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gizzard said:
I'm not so sure. Basso is at his best at the moment. He may look like he's taking it easy but that is just his poker face – he's digging deep just like everyone else and his efforts will tell later. I can't see him getting any better no matter how much he rests and recovers between the end of the Giro and the start of the Tour. Ullrich is going to get a lot better – just like Lemond, Armstrong and others did in the build up to the Tour. In fact I would bet that Ullrich plans to peak in the second week of the Tour.
Did you watch yesterdays stage?

I like Ullrich as much as the next guy but I totally disagree with what you are saying.Basso doesn't have to get "better"(as you put it)Ullrich does.If Basso can keep his form as it is now Ullrich is going to have a hard time beating him.

I'd like to see Ullrich win the tour.However,Basso isn't going to go down easy.
 

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How does being a classy rider help you maintain peak fitness???

Almost no professional endurance athletes can maintain peak form for almost 2 months, and I dont think there is enogh time between the giro and the tour to drop down and build up....Thats not to say that basso, even not at peak form, will not give Jan a run for his money...He is an extremely strong rider even when he isnt peaked
 

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Ullrich had his SRM system mounted yesterday so I guess it was just a little test to see what he could push on a climb and how much he needs to improve.
 

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R.Rice said:
Did you watch yesterdays stage?

I like Ullrich as much as the next guy but I totally disagree with what you are saying.Basso doesn't have to get "better"(as you put it)Ullrich does.If Basso can keep his form as it is now Ullrich is going to have a hard time beating him.

I'd like to see Ullrich win the tour.However,Basso isn't going to go down easy.
If Basso keeps his form, it's a tall order for Ulle to be able to match him in the mountains.
Basso is putting time in "super-climbers" every single day. Hard to see Ulle being in better climbing shape than someone like Simoni. So the real question is - how much time can Ulle get from Basso in ITT? Hard to say, but Basso ITT's with the best of them now.
 

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55x11 said:
If Basso keeps his form, it's a tall order for Ulle to be able to match him in the mountains.
Basso is putting time in "super-climbers" every single day. Hard to see Ulle being in better climbing shape than someone like Simoni. So the real question is - how much time can Ulle get from Basso in ITT? Hard to say, but Basso ITT's with the best of them now.
Basso's BEST ITT was still 30secs than Ulle's not best...and Basso wasn't dropping Jan left and right at le Tour last year. If Jan shows up in peak form and Basso shows up as strong as he is now it will be a true dog fight. 2 ITT's, no TTT and no volume of Giro-like gradients just hurts Basso's chances. Jan is looking strong and on track...I'm pulling for der kaiser!
 

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55x11 said:
If Basso keeps his form, it's a tall order for Ulle to be able to match him in the mountains.
Basso is putting time in "super-climbers" every single day. Hard to see Ulle being in better climbing shape than someone like Simoni. So the real question is - how much time can Ulle get from Basso in ITT? Hard to say, but Basso ITT's with the best of them now.
I'm not sure about that.
Ullrich will be in better climbing shape in July. He's not going after anyone right now.

The Giro climbing stages so far have in fact favored Basso's style, more than that of the "pure" climbers: long, steady, single climb finishes; no multi-peak stages (today's Passo delle Erbe being cancelled); no really hair-raising climb-descend-climb portions.

Let's see what happens on Stages 19/20 (hoping the stages don't get "modified").

That said, Basso has been impressive. But Ullrich isn't slouching either.
I think the TdF route suits both Basso and Ullrich, so I hope it is indeed a dogfight to the end. To me, Ullrich looks in a good place right now.

If this Giro goes to some 10 minute gap over second place, which it could still, we'd all better hope for a more exciting Tour.
 

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Can you believe those guys on RBR??? They think I'm fat, mein gott!!


Oh, si? Well, they think I'm boring...dio mio, you can never please those guys....See you in July! Ciao!!!

 

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chuckice said:
Basso's BEST ITT was still 30secs than Ulle's not best...and Basso wasn't dropping Jan left and right at le Tour last year. If Jan shows up in peak form and Basso shows up as strong as he is now it will be a true dog fight. 2 ITT's, no TTT and no volume of Giro-like gradients just hurts Basso's chances. Jan is looking strong and on track...I'm pulling for der kaiser!
Well, you have to look at the time of others. Wind was clearly an issue. Also, Basso is racing Giro full-out, while Ulle has a liberty of resting before ITT, putting everything on the line on the "test day" of his choice.

Basso's ITT was very impressive to me. Now, you guys think Ulle will get much better at ITT while Basso is peaked. That's fine. But Basso being second to Ulle speaks volumes to me. I don't think Ulle will get much time out of Basso on ITTs. But Basso will get tons of time out of Ulle on climbs.
 

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as for Der Kaiser and the Italian Climbers

I'm thinking back and have very few memories of late of said Italian climbers finishing ahead of Jan in TdF Mountain stages. Simoni did once but he was so far back on GC he was let go byb the heads of state. last time that really comes to mind was when Pantani beat him in the Tour.
 

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I agree

with the folks that say Ullrich will improve greatly by the TDF TTs. I dont really recall Basso hanging with the Big Boys in the Real Show. I could be wrong. Basso may be climbing well but, like ol Lance says all those hard efforts need to be paid back sooner or later. I dont think Basso can be much better than he is now at Le Tour. Its just a matter of who will do more damage the climber or the TT guy. As far as Simoni being all that and someone to compare to (what was his best Tour placing?) Last I heard he was seen clutching a Yellow Lion In the fetal position crying for him Mommy/ muttering theres no place like home. All I know is its all shaping up real good for July. I cant wait. I am personally pulling for Floyd. I didnt just say he would do well, I am just pulling for him period.
 

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Powerful quads!

Ulrich's quads (sp.lower picture, left leg) will catapult him to victory in the upcoming TDF. He was able to hang strong in the mountains last year, at times just Lance, Basso and him. He is looking in better form now. If his team manages to secure a good squad of climbers to pace him up the mountains, he will give Basso a tough fight. Anyway, I believe I read that this year's TDF will not be as challenging in the mountains, with more flat stages, that better suit Ulrich's power house!
cadence90 said:

Can you believe those guys on RBR??? They think I'm fat, mein gott!!


Oh, si? Well, they think I'm boring...dio mio, you can never please those guys....See you in July! Ciao!!!

 

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atpjunkie said:
I'm thinking back and have very few memories of late of said Italian climbers finishing ahead of Jan in TdF Mountain stages. Simoni did once but he was so far back on GC he was let go byb the heads of state. last time that really comes to mind was when Pantani beat him in the Tour.
That's true, and here's the paradox - usually Simoni, Garzelli etc. would race each other silly in Giro, then talk smack (Simoni) about showing those TdF boys what "real climbers" race like, and then never deliver anything on their promise. Is it because they couldn't hold their form, or because they didn't really care much about TdF, or because they are more suited for steep italian mountains, or because they are 2nd tier cyclists who benefited from top guys aiming for TdF? Probably a combination of those factors.

So the big question (for me anyways) is whether or not Basso is a fool for thinking he can hold his form till July. Maybe for him Giro is more important than the Tour? I don't know. Some days I think he is a fool and something terrible will happen to his form, then I think that maybe he can savor most of his form if he is smart about it.

But right now, if I was the betting man, my money for TdF would be on Basso. His ITT improvement was quite dramatic and his climbing form is mind-blowing right now. Ulle might improve or he might run into some other problems, so he is a question mark.

but hey, that's why they have to run the race!
 

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Mano a mano...

55x11 said:
That's true, and here's the paradox - usually Simoni, Garzelli etc. would race each other silly in Giro, then talk smack (Simoni) about showing those TdF boys what "real climbers" race like, and then never deliver anything on their promise. Is it because they couldn't hold their form, or because they didn't really care much about TdF, or because they are more suited for steep italian mountains, or because they are 2nd tier cyclists who benefited from top guys aiming for TdF? Probably a combination of those factors.

So the big question (for me anyways) is whether or not Basso is a fool for thinking he can hold his form till July. Maybe for him Giro is more important than the Tour? I don't know. Some days I think he is a fool and something terrible will happen to his form, then I think that maybe he can savor most of his form if he is smart about it.

But right now, if I was the betting man, my money for TdF would be on Basso. His ITT improvement was quite dramatic and his climbing form is mind-blowing right now. Ulle might improve or he might run into some other problems, so he is a question mark.

but hey, that's why they have to run the race!
Ulrich will hang "mano a mano" with Basso in the mountains, and blast him in the ITT by 2-3 minutes. The TTT should be close too.
 
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