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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Methinks it's FLOYD!!! :blush2:

How will he react to being the fave? And with his team decimated, how will he fare?

LEVI also has to be considered a top threat now, and his team, which was thought to be weak, doesn't look so weak now.

Will VINO be able to race with his whole team out?

Who will be the CSC team leader now? JULLICH?

THE RACE IS WIDE OPEN NOW!

Are the remaining racers clean? WIll the average speed drop dramatically?
 

· my legs hurt
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ChilliConCarnage said:
Methinks it's FLOYD!!! :blush2:

How will he react to being the fave? And with his team decimated, how will he fare?

LEVI also has to be considered a top threat now, and his team, which was thought to be weak, doesn't look so weak now.

Will VINO be able to race with his whole team out?

Who will be the CSC team leader now? JULLICH?

THE RACE IS WIDE OPEN NOW!

I believe that if we give it another few hrs, at this rate the race willbe between: That realyl afst old guy who used to ride around central park and Geoff Kabush, it will be close but in the end it will probably be the old guy.

Seriously, this is rather exciting, there now is no clear cut favorite, and I'm looking forward to findign new favorites once the race starts!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
NEW POLL NEEDED NOW - WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE:

Cadel
Chicken
Floyd
Levi
???
???
 

· Cannot bench own weight
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I think..hmm...still doesn't change the fact that the course favors TTers and folks that can limit their losses in the hills.

So...Landis is an obvious choice. Leipheimer could podium. I think that Cadel Evans might really be the one. He has shown some promise this year in the TT, and has always been resiliant in the hills. Valverde is good enough in both that if he doesn't physically break down he'll be there too.

I'll throw in Vlad Karpets again. The more people get thrown out the more I like this guys chances of a high placing.

And no, the Chicken won't podium. Not with 100+km of TTs.

Don't get me wrong, it is like getting punched in the stomach with what has gone on. Especially Basso. There goes the "future" GT guy.

When is the last time a Tour started with no previous winner? Has it ever in the last 50 years?
 

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Einstruzende said:
I think..hmm...still doesn't change the fact that the course favors TTers and folks that can limit their losses in the hills.

So...Landis is an obvious choice. Leipheimer could podium. I think that Cadel Evans might really be the one. He has shown some promise this year in the TT, and has always been resiliant in the hills. Valverde is good enough in both that if he doesn't physically break down he'll be there too.

I'll throw in Vlad Karpets again. The more people get thrown out the more I like this guys chances of a high placing.

And no, the Chicken won't podium. Not with 100+km of TTs.

Don't get me wrong, it is like getting punched in the stomach with what has gone on. Especially Basso. There goes the "future" GT guy.

When is the last time a Tour started with no previous winner? Has it ever in the last 50 years?
1999 - no ullrich, no pantani, no ris, no indurian
 

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I think Sastre

might have a chance.
I just hate what this is doing to cycling. Or not cycling but Pro-cycling. It makes it seem like the dirtiest sport out there. The reputation is getting tarnished more and more.
 

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Einstruzende said:
I think..hmm...still doesn't change the fact that the course favors TTers and folks that can limit their losses in the hills.

So...Landis is an obvious choice. Leipheimer could podium. I think that Cadel Evans might really be the one. He has shown some promise this year in the TT, and has always been resiliant in the hills. Valverde is good enough in both that if he doesn't physically break down he'll be there too.

I'll throw in Vlad Karpets again. The more people get thrown out the more I like this guys chances of a high placing.

And no, the Chicken won't podium. Not with 100+km of TTs.

Don't get me wrong, it is like getting punched in the stomach with what has gone on. Especially Basso. There goes the "future" GT guy.

When is the last time a Tour started with no previous winner? Has it ever in the last 50 years?

I agree. Landis has a solid shot at winning now. Evans is a key threat - and so is Leipheimer, Hincapie, Popovych, etc. I wonder if Bobby Julich is now taking place of Basso as the team leader. He has a shot too. Don't forget Vino - he was third in 2003 after Lance and Ulle, and with both of them out of the race, he could be a threat.

Here's a list of last year's final ITT:

1 Lance Armstrong (USA) Discovery Channel 1.11.46 (46.4 km/h)
(RETIRED)
2 Jan Ullrich (Ger) T-Mobile Team 0.23
(SUSPENDED)
3 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) T-Mobile Team 1.16
(Go Vino!)
4 Bobby Julich (USA) Team CSC 1.33
(Can the team recover from loss of Basso?)
5 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC 1.54
(suspended)
6 Floyd Landis (USA) Phonak Hearing Systems 2.02
(much better this year)
7 Cadel Evans (Aus) Davitamon-Lotto 2.06
(improved his time trial)
8 George Hincapie (USA) Discovery Channel 2.25
(skinny George!)
9 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Illes Balears-Caisse d'Epargne 2.51
(suspended)
10 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Illes Balears-Caisse d'Epargne 3.05
(solid all-rounder)
11 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Discovery Channel 3.09
(interesting to watch what he does now)
12 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC 3.10
13 Christophe Moreau (Fra) Credit Agricole 3.11
14 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Gerolsteiner 3.13
15 Oscar Pereiro Sio (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems 3.25


Here's how top GC from last year would look:

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
10 Oscar Pereiro Sio (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems 16.04
11 Christophe Moreau (Fra) Credit Agricole 16.26
12 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Discovery Channel 19.02
13 Eddy Mazzoleni (Ita) Lampre-Caffita 21.06
14 George Hincapie (USA) Discovery Channel 23.40


Considering that Rasmussen was a fluke, and that Popo and Hincapie will be better this year without Lance (but of course no 19-min breakaways for Hincapie), and that Landis has improved his time-trialing (but he always has a bad day in the mountains), I think main contenders have to be: Vino, Landis, Evans, Leipheimer, Pereiro, Popo, Valverde, Hincapie, Moreau, Karpets, Menchov (he wasn't suspended, was he?), plus some dark horses.
 

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Hmm... Not only there's no previous TdF winners in the field anymore, the top 4 from last year are now out - with retirement of Armstrong and elimination of Ullrich, Basso and Mancebo.

THIS IS CRAZYNESS!!!

I think Vino may be the only guy who has ever been on podium - unless T-mobile decides to bring out Kloden. Beloki is out, so is Basso, Ullrich.

Think about it.

Vino has gone from being virtually eliminated to one of key Tour favorites. There's some irony there.
 

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Disco has no one implicated. They should have a complete squad with the exception of Danielson. George has to be considered as a top favorite now.
 

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My opinion:

i think that no team should be excluded, but individuals with no replacements besides the alternates allowed to race. That would mean Vino would still be in....alone...just like last year. Could make for some interesting alliances being forged between unlikely individuals in order to put a decent attempt at the podium (kind of like survivor :)) I say they let everyone ride but tell the teams that they will remove riders as more info comes out, so many teams will remove the riders themselves...like T-Mobile and CSC have done already.
 

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I've got to go with Floyd as well, he was a contender before, albeit a darkhorse, and now with many of the top contenders out and other teams crippled Floyd and Phonak seem to have a good chance.

I think this also helps Disco a lot, we could very well see Big George come to the fore, and if Disco can push the pace the way they have in the past (why not...their tem is intact and has many of the same faces) there will likely be few teams that can present a real challenge.

Perhaps Cunego will step up for the Italians, he had a great Giro a few years back and could make things interesting. Maybe we'll see Voeckler on the attack again, and some new faces.

I am both disappointed and excited, this looks to be a great Tour!
 

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coreyb said:
I'm fairly certain he won't be riding, unless he can find another team to take him on right away.
As of yesterday they were in. He has Kashechkin and Cantador - they are both very strong climbers. He also still has Allan Davis, and a few other teammates - even if no replacements are allowed, he might do just fine.
 
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With the history of drug use at Phonak and the fact that the Spanish report names two Phonak riders do you REALLY think that Landis is clean??

Give your collective heads a shake.

Being clean and breathing a huge sigh of relief because you haven't been caught are two different things.
 

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SuperB said:
I say Valverde, but how come no one's mentioning any of the Disco boys.
With the entire team remaining, they may be strong enough to get George or Popo on the podium.
But can Valverde time trial? George and Popo will be able to get some solid time out of him, never mind guys like Evans and Landis - and they can climb well too!

Finally, Vino was considered bad time trialists when matched up against Ullrich and Armstrong, but he was still better than most "new" favorites that now remain. I wouldn't discount him just yet.
 
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