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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would love to see Kloden turn the pedals in anger and get on the podium again. Sure he's had a rough year as he always does, but this guy is naturally a winner. With Jan being screwed I would love to see him come back and punish this field of jokers. I love rooting for those who are down and out. Remember when Peter Weening beat him by milimeters, when LA beat him by a couple feet, when he didn't have full support while being stronger than JU but still managed 2nd. Why does he get no respect? One of my favorie riders.

I never really liked Valverde, but since he gets no respect on these boards and elsewhere I would love to see him on the podium. His time trialing has improved, and nobody can climb like him, few can't sprint like him. Sure he benefits from the scandal and might have something to do with it, but cest la vie. He keeps climbing notches in my book.

My Podium Picks:

1Kloden
2Valverde
3Savoldeli
Either Landis or Hincapie for 3rd if Paolo can't, but to be honest I think they'll be punished in the mountains

Levi is too boring in my book. He is sort of the anti Vivo. That's why I loved watching Vino ride his whole pathetic team off his wheel to win 5th place. Down with Levi. I feel almost guilty not liking such a nice guy, but being too nice rubs me the wrong way. I like a guy with some fire in him. Other aw shucks guys include Zabriskie and Tommy D.
 

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Valverde could go either way. He's never proven he can finish the Tour healthy and strong (that's a big key since that final long ITT requires so much physical and mental effort after 3 grueling weeks). Kloden's been injured and when he's healthy he looks strong...too injury plagued for me to pick but you can't discount him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I agree with your points. My picks are more heart than mind, but I don't think they are too far off. Landis and Hincapie I like, but I really don't see them doing well in the mountains. Many think Landis will win the Tour. I personally think that is crazy. I could see Levi winning, but not Landis nor Hincapie. How good will Landis/Hincapie be in the time trials after the mountains. I think they will be out of gas.
 

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Landis finished 9th last year and his form wasn't as good as this year. He can climb like a goat, can TT with anyone and has now added climbing pop to his bag of tricks. Look at last year...
1 Lance Armstrong (USA) Discovery Channel 86.15.02 (41.654 km/h)
2 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC 4.40
3 Jan Ullrich (Ger) T-Mobile Team 6.21
4 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Illes Balears-Caisse d'Epargne 9.59
5 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) T-Mobile Team 11.01
6 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Gerolsteiner 11.21
7 Michael Rasmussen (Den) Rabobank 11.33
8 Cadel Evans (Aus) Davitamon-Lotto 11.55
9 Floyd Landis (USA) Phonak Hearing Systems 12.44

Now throw out the top 5...Floyd's got a great shot and he only looks stronger this year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
We shall see. He really only proved he can outclimb the likes of Tommy D. His three wins are impressive, but are due to his improvement in time trialing. I think he peaked too early this year. He reminds me of Bobby Julich a couple years ago who actually has been on the podium.
 

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JohnnyCat said:
We shall see. He really only proved he can outclimb the likes of Tommy D. His three wins are impressive, but are due to his improvement in time trialing. I think he peaked too early this year. He reminds me of Bobby Julich a couple years ago who actually has been on the podium.
His win at Paris-Nice had nothing to do with time trialing...it was all climbing strength and race tactics/time management.
 

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mohair_chair said:
How can you not like Valverde??? He's practically Eddy Merckx II with his ability to win on almost any road course.
What has Kloden done in two years? What has he done this year? What has he done prior to 2004?

Too easy to dismiss as a yearly fluke.

Add to that the fact that T-mobile lost two of their best riders - Ullrich and Sevilla, and I think he takes a serious downgrade. True, aside from Julich he is the only former podium man, but I didn't even know he is riding in this year's Tour until it started. Did you?

Valverde is a much more solid pick. But his time trialing ability is questionable. He does look like the guy from "Space Balls" in that helmet. Nobody who looks like that is worthy of winning the Tour, not even in the "off" year.
 

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This year, it's all abou the time trial. We have 108k coming up in mostly flat ITTs.

Kloden in 2004 proved he could TT and climb. But now, he is a dark horse. Nobody has a clue what he can do. I bet not even he does. He was injured this spring and he is untested.

Valverde is one of the brightest stars of cycling. But, he cannot ITT yet. Make no mistake about it. He will lose 3-5 minutes in the coming ITTs. Don't be deceived by the prologue. Valverde can sprint for 8 minutes but he cannot ITT for an hour with the best.

fc
 

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Levi's

I must concur with what's being said about Levi. For me, he doesn't have that "killer instinct". He's a nice guy and you all know where nice guys finish.
 

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chuckice said:
Valverde could go either way. He's never proven he can finish the Tour healthy and strong (that's a big key since that final long ITT requires so much physical and mental effort after 3 grueling weeks). Kloden's been injured and when he's healthy he looks strong...too injury plagued for me to pick but you can't discount him.
And he definitely went one way...
 

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JohnnyCat said:
I would love to see Kloden turn the pedals in anger and get on the podium again. Sure he's had a rough year as he always does, but this guy is naturally a winner. With Jan being screwed I would love to see him come back and punish this field of jokers. I love rooting for those who are down and out. Remember when Peter Weening beat him by milimeters, when LA beat him by a couple feet, when he didn't have full support while being stronger than JU but still managed 2nd. Why does he get no respect? One of my favorie riders.

I never really liked Valverde, but since he gets no respect on these boards and elsewhere I would love to see him on the podium. His time trialing has improved, and nobody can climb like him, few can't sprint like him. Sure he benefits from the scandal and might have something to do with it, but cest la vie. He keeps climbing notches in my book.

My Podium Picks:

1Kloden
2Valverde
3Savoldeli
Either Landis or Hincapie for 3rd if Paolo can't, but to be honest I think they'll be punished in the mountains

Levi is too boring in my book. He is sort of the anti Vivo. That's why I loved watching Vino ride his whole pathetic team off his wheel to win 5th place. Down with Levi. I feel almost guilty not liking such a nice guy, but being too nice rubs me the wrong way. I like a guy with some fire in him. Other aw shucks guys include Zabriskie and Tommy D.

Kloden is unproven. That's like same Rasmussen is a contender. You can't consider someone who gains XX minutes on a breakaway a contender.

Valverde is a young hopeful - but once again - OUT of the TdF. CRASH.
 

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JohnnyCat said:
I would love to see Kloden turn the pedals in anger and get on the podium again. Sure he's had a rough year as he always does, but this guy is naturally a winner. With Jan being screwed I would love to see him come back and punish this field of jokers. I love rooting for those who are down and out. Remember when Peter Weening beat him by milimeters, when LA beat him by a couple feet, when he didn't have full support while being stronger than JU but still managed 2nd. Why does he get no respect? One of my favorie riders.

I never really liked Valverde, but since he gets no respect on these boards and elsewhere I would love to see him on the podium. His time trialing has improved, and nobody can climb like him, few can't sprint like him. Sure he benefits from the scandal and might have something to do with it, but cest la vie. He keeps climbing notches in my book.

My Podium Picks:

1Kloden
2Valverde
3Savoldeli
Either Landis or Hincapie for 3rd if Paolo can't, but to be honest I think they'll be punished in the mountains

Levi is too boring in my book. He is sort of the anti Vivo. That's why I loved watching Vino ride his whole pathetic team off his wheel to win 5th place. Down with Levi. I feel almost guilty not liking such a nice guy, but being too nice rubs me the wrong way. I like a guy with some fire in him. Other aw shucks guys include Zabriskie and Tommy D.


Rogers is there man..

THAT FULL KESSLER QUOTE: "It's was a great shame about Ullrich and we have had to change our strategy at such short notice. I wanted to do something for the team and I dedicate this win to Jan Ullrich. Now we'll get behind Rogers for the rest of the race."
 

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bas said:
Rogers is there man..

THAT FULL KESSLER QUOTE: "It's was a great shame about Ullrich and we have had to change our strategy at such short notice. I wanted to do something for the team and I dedicate this win to Jan Ullrich. Now we'll get behind Rogers for the rest of the race."
Interesting, because on cyclingnews.com, he says this:

Q: The removal of Ullrich must have resulted in some tactical adjustments; can you tell us about the new tactics of the T-Mobile team?

MK: Of course we needed to change tactics, because now we're only with seven of us and <u>Klöden is our new leader</u>. The tactics are kept inside the team; but I'm sure you well see us again when the stages get tougher.

http://www.cyclingnews.com/road/2006/tour06/news/?id=/news/2006/jul06/jul05news
 
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