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So it seems as though Vande Velde is a true contender for the GC. He did well through the first set of mountains, and he can time trial with the best of them.

However, I sort of feel like from the summation of Paul and Phil's comments (plus Vs didn't mention him as a possible GC guy at the opening of the Tour) that they don't have confidence that he is going to be around with the top finishers of the Alps stages.

Do they know something I don't? Is he not a true GC contender? :confused:

The opposite was true with Hincapie in '06: With all the hype Hincapie got, I was dubbed into believing that many knew something I didn't about him. I got all excited that for some reason he was going to be a GC guy, but then despair hit when he had his usual few minutes down placement.
 

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Well the old pro's know there's a different style of racing in the Alps vs the Pyrenees. Maybe they think VdV can't do both. Maybe they figure he'll have a bad day and drop several places. Who knows... that's why they actually race, instead of just talking about it.
 

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I reckon if you are in 3rd place, only 38 seconds back, ahead of Menchov and Valverde, roughly halfway through the tour and after a couple gnarly mountain stages, and riding with a team as good as Garmin, you'd have to be considered a contender.

This Tour is wide open.
 

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The reason he's not getting a lot of hype is because he's never done anything before. He's had trouble finishing tours before. Even Hincapie had won a mountain stage. This isn't to say he can't contend now, just that there's no previous indication that he would contend.
 

· Cannot bench own weight
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I can't get excited about a VdV win or podium at all. I like the team too. Go figure.

I can't explain why either. VdV not being particularly exciting might be the reason. Maybe I'm a self hating American. I don't much care for Evans or Leipheimer either.
 

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kbiker3111 said:
The reason he's not getting a lot of hype is because he's never done anything before. He's had trouble finishing tours before. Even Hincapie had won a mountain stage. This isn't to say he can't contend now, just that there's no previous indication that he would contend.
But he also has never been a team leader until now. And apparently he finally got his physical problems sorted (hip/pelvis).
 

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I'd say at this point he's in very good shape to end up on the podium. It also helps that SD won't be "rockin' the boat" on the remaining mountainous stages. There won't be any "oohs and ahs" of Ricco tearing them apart in the hills. It should refine the focus on Cadel, Denis, VdV, and their three way battle to Paris.
its a shame that Ricco got nailed, and as proud and arrogant as he seemed, I find myself dissapointed that he doped, and really hope that these busts are legit. I don't understand how they actually think that they can get away with it.
 

· "Squarehead" in Quebec
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I really hope he makes in through the alps. I would LOVE to see him and his team do well and I'm excited to see it so far. The only reservation I have is when I was following his performance during the Giro, he was also doing very well-not top5 but well- till he choked on one stage and lost like more than 15 mins. Hopefully the same does not happen in the tour.
 

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Creakyknees said:
Well the old pro's know there's a different style of racing in the Alps vs the Pyrenees. Maybe they think VdV can't do both. Maybe they figure he'll have a bad day and drop several places. Who knows... that's why they actually race, instead of just talking about it.
The Pyrenees are generally considered harder than the Alps.
 

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During the Giro Slipstream/Garmin mentioned winning the TTT then maybe going for stage wins. They kept talking about not blowing themselves out for the TDF. Remember, it's a lot easier to get involved in a break if you're lower on the GC.

As for him being a contender, I don't see why not. Who amongst the top 5 is a true attacking style rider. Evan's: maybe, but nothing that is going to drop too many people, Schlek: once again not the type to go so strong as to drop many (although the team is the strongest), VDV: see the previous 2. Menchov: see the previous 3, Kohl: will probably get busted with rest of Gerolsteiner for doping. Schlek will have to attack bacause he can't TT as well as the others. CSC is going to do their best to cause great harm to the GC, but will it be for Schlek or Sastre?
 

· Dirty. Nerdy. Unemployed.
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Einstruzende said:
I can't get excited about a VdV win or podium at all. I like the team too. Go figure.

I can't explain why either. VdV not being particularly exciting might be the reason. Maybe I'm a self hating American. I don't much care for Evans or Leipheimer either.
Well, for him to finish in yellow he'd have to do something exciting, so maybe his stock'll rise
 

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Kestreljr said:
So it seems as though Vande Velde is a true contender for the GC. He did well through the first set of mountains, and he can time trial with the best of them.

However, I sort of feel like from the summation of Paul and Phil's comments (plus Vs didn't mention him as a possible GC guy at the opening of the Tour) that they don't have confidence that he is going to be around with the top finishers of the Alps stages.

Do they know something I don't? Is he not a true GC contender? :confused:

The opposite was true with Hincapie in '06: With all the hype Hincapie got, I was dubbed into believing that many knew something I didn't about him. I got all excited that for some reason he was going to be a GC guy, but then despair hit when he had his usual few minutes down placement.
Oh hell yeah. He might even win this thing. There's 7 or 8 guys w/in striking distance and not a one of them besides Menchov have won anything close to this big of race. If he can maintain his present form and get a little good luck, i.e. other riders having a bad day, Christian's got a very good chance. He's just got to stay consistent and keep his fingers crossed.

Everything is up in the air right now. No one knows who's going to win.
 

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Contender

I remember an interview with Vaughters where he was saying that if VdV didn't lose more than a couple of minutes to Hautacam he'd be in really good shape as he expected VdV to ride much better in the Alps.

Well, he certainly didn't lose 2 minutes to Hautacam, so I bet the team is really excited and have their targets set higher than 3rd. With that kind of confidence from his team and his own, I bet VdV sees himself as a serious contender. To heck with what everyone else thinks.

I really think he can end up on the podium the way he is riding. His comments thus far lead me to believe he was riding conservatively and well within himself. Even that he regretted not going on the attack on Hautacam other than his littel dig in the last K.

Asiago
 

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My sister knows Christian from High School, my Mom and Dad still live in Lemont IL. Hes a really good guy and I hope he does very well.
 

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I think he and Cadel are going to wish they'd given the yellow jersey to Frank Schleck in the Pyranees. CSC have shown that they can decimate the race when they want. They are now enjoying a free ride to the alps when they could've been put on the front riding tempo for 4-5 days to soften them up a little. I think VdV made a mistake riding the last k like he did at Hautacam.
 

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pretender said:
riding with a team as good as Garmin, you'd have to be considered a contender.
Garmin a strong team? Not in my mind. They really have no one that can help VDV in the mountains.

1 Team CSC Saxo Bank 164.18.31
2 AG2R-La Mondiale 4.49
3 Gerolsteiner 15.23
4 Rabobank 18.46
5 Lampre 30.03
6 Caisse d'Epargne 32.45
7 Euskaltel - Euskadi 35.45
8 Credit Agricole 41.49
9 Silence - Lotto 43.06
10 Liquigas 44.15
11 Team Columbia 47.30
12 Francaise des Jeux 49.32
13 Cofidis Credit Par Telephone 58.34
14 Barloworld 1.04.29
15 Garmin Chipotle 1.07.24
16 Quick Step 1.13.41
17 Bouygues Telecom 1.15.24
18 Team Milram 1.19.33
19 Agritubel 1.57.56
 
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