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So what do you do with all the guys up top?
Gonchar can't climb with the best. Neither probably can Rogers. Given T-Mob is a German team, looks like Kloden will be their GC guy. But who knows??

Landis is looking strong.
 

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Coot72 said:
So what do you do with all the guys up top?
Gonchar can't climb with the best. Neither probably can Rogers. Given T-Mob is a German team, looks like Kloden will be their GC guy. But who knows??

Landis is looking strong.
Since the best aren't here, I think Gonchar can climb with what's left of the rest. Remember, Landis got dropped during the Tour last year, and has yet to really prove that he can hang with the best either. Gonchar has hung with some of the best Italian climbers in the Giro, and where the climbs are steeper and nastier than they are in le Tour. I honestly think Gonchar has a chance.

Rogers wants to be a GC threat, but he hasn't been yet.

Kloden is flakey, he may or may not perform well, and his TT is not up to snuff. Gonchar could pull an "Indurain" where he dominates the time trials, and can sort of hang in the mountains and limit losses, and take more time back in a later time trial. If his form hangs in there, this he could do.

And again, sometimes when guys are wearing the yellow jersey, they seem to kick it up a notch or 2 or 3 and ride beyond what they might be normally capable of, so it is possible that they defend with Gonchar.
 

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Coot72 said:
So what do you do with all the guys up top?
Gonchar can't climb with the best. Neither probably can Rogers. Given T-Mob is a German team, looks like Kloden will be their GC guy. But who knows??

Landis is looking strong.

I think Gonchar is coming out of the shadows like Oscar Sevilla was. [hint: he's got a hookup].. has he been training in Spain too?


I do think he was smart to ride the TT in a big gear - it looked pretty flat.. Everyone else was trying to spin their way through.
 

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magnolialover said:
Since the best aren't here, I think Gonchar can climb with what's left of the rest. Remember, Landis got dropped during the Tour last year, and has yet to really prove that he can hang with the best either. Gonchar has hung with some of the best Italian climbers in the Giro, and where the climbs are steeper and nastier than they are in le Tour. I honestly think Gonchar has a chance.

Rogers wants to be a GC threat, but he hasn't been yet.

Kloden is flakey, he may or may not perform well, and his TT is not up to snuff. Gonchar could pull an "Indurain" where he dominates the time trials, and can sort of hang in the mountains and limit losses, and take more time back in a later time trial. If his form hangs in there, this he could do.

And again, sometimes when guys are wearing the yellow jersey, they seem to kick it up a notch or 2 or 3 and ride beyond what they might be normally capable of, so it is possible that they defend with Gonchar.

Keep in mind that all of the people who put time into Landis in the mountians last year are either retired, busted, crashed out, not doing so hot this year/not looking like a big threat as far as GC goes. There aren't any guys who are in the top 15 on GC at this point who actually dropped Landis or caused him GC ramifications in the mountains last year accept for Moreau. Even so Landis finished ahead Moreau overall. Most importantly Landis has stepped up his game.
 

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rocco said:
Keep in mind that all of the people who put time into Landis in the mountians last year are either retired, busted, crashed out, not doing so hot this year/not looking like a big threat as far as GC goes.
You should also keep in mind that about 40 guys dropped Landis on the Ventoux stage of the Dauphine yet he rode a good TT there. Gotta wait to stage 11 or maybe even the Alps to see if he is climbing well enough to win the Tour.
 

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rocco said:
Keep in mind that all of the people who put time into Landis in the mountians last year are either retired, busted, crashed out, not doing so hot this year/not looking like a big threat as far as GC goes. There aren't any guys who are in the top 15 on GC at this point who actually dropped Landis or caused him GC ramifications in the mountains last year accept for Moreau. Even so Landis finished ahead Moreau overall. Most importantly Landis has stepped up his game.
Cadel & Klodi are the likely only threats to Floyd at this point...
 

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Dwayne Barry said:
You should also keep in mind that about 40 guys dropped Landis on the Ventoux stage of the Dauphine yet he rode a good TT there. Gotta wait to stage 11 or maybe even the Alps to see if he is climbing well enough to win the Tour.

That's a fair point though Dauphine Libere wasn't his highest objective, the Tour is. ... we'll see.
 
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Dwayne Barry said:
I wait and see how everyone is climbing before I decide anything.
Yeah, I agree - we should get some good insight on Stage 10 - July 12: Cambo-les-Bains - Pau, 193 km. It has one HC climb about 1/2 through. If some riders are having a tough time recovering, due to the apparent drug crackdown or because they just don't have the necessary fitness, then they will absolutely implode on Stage 11.
 

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Everyone knows that Armstrong's strategy every year was to open up a gap in the first tt and then put his team on the front during the first mountain stage to set him up for the big attack on the final climb. One of the riders could prove me wrong, but I don't think there's anyone strong enough to blow the field apart like that this year in the mountains, and even if there is none of them appear to have the 100% team dedication that Armstrong had, where everyone worked for him no questions asked. If Landis and his team have worked this out so that he has the Armstrong+Postal/Discovery setup where he's numero uno, I still can't see his team being as strong as Armstrong's always was and just driving the pace at the front on the climbs.

Gonchar has always been pretty consistent so I can't really see him cracking unless he tries to follow accelerations from the other favorites on the climbs. He probably isn't on the same climbing level as Landis but he has one of the best climbers in the world for support in Guerini as well as Mazzoleni and Kloden, the question is whether or not he has the climbing form to be able to put them to good use.
 

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rocco said:
Keep in mind that all of the people who put time into Landis in the mountians last year are either retired, busted, crashed out, not doing so hot this year/not looking like a big threat as far as GC goes. There aren't any guys who are in the top 15 on GC at this point who actually dropped Landis or caused him GC ramifications in the mountains last year accept for Moreau. Even so Landis finished ahead Moreau overall. Most importantly Landis has stepped up his game.
Except Landis may need to do some chasing himself to get time from Gonchar.

Also - last year on stage 15 (famous one won by Hincapie) the following riders put time into Landis: (not counting breakaway and riders absent from Tour): Rasmussen, Moreau, Zubeldia, Evans, Mazzoleni, Popovych.

On earlier stage 10 (won by Valverde), Rasmussen (2+min) and Leipheimer (1 min) were ahead of Landis.

So while I agree that Landis is very much the favorite, I wouldn't neccessarily present him as totally unbeatable in the mountains. He is a solid climber, but it seems every Tour he has one bad day in the mountains. Dauphine shows this once again.

Besides, after a day like today, I refuse to trust any kind of conventional wisdom about this year's Tour.
 

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chuckice said:
Cadel & Klodi are the likely only threats to Floyd at this point...
Gonchar is still a threat.
So is Menchov, Karpets, Rogers, Moreau, Savoldelli, Mazzoleni and maybe even Sastre. These guys are still within the striking distance and have the climbing talent to beat Landis in one or several mountain stages.Don't forget - this is a strange tour.
 

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Dwayne Barry said:
You should also keep in mind that about 40 guys dropped Landis on the Ventoux stage of the Dauphine yet he rode a good TT there. Gotta wait to stage 11 or maybe even the Alps to see if he is climbing well enough to win the Tour.
Yep, but aren't those guys possibly paying for that form last month buy looking rather weak today? Maybe Floyd made a smart decision then? This is all speculation until the first mountain stage but it gives us something to do.
 

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il sogno said:
Yeah my money is on Cadel, Klodi and Floyd for the podium. But Salvodelli could be a real threat too...
Paolo & George will still cause a lot of problems. I don't see either hanging with Cadel/Klod/Floyd when it gets too steep tho. I have a feeling that any contender might have to expend a lot of energy doing time management and chasing down alternating attacks from George & Paolo.
 

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55x11 said:
Gonchar is still a threat.
So is Menchov, Karpets, Rogers, Moreau, Savoldelli, Mazzoleni and maybe even Sastre. These guys are still within the striking distance and have the climbing talent to beat Landis in one or several mountain stages.Don't forget - this is a strange tour.
Floyd is riding so strong this year...he should be able to ride down threats from them...he's added about 30% more watts in short climbing sprint power since last season. If true that's going to make it tough for those guys to ride him off their wheel. Definitely a strange race this year...it's going to get damn fun in a few days!
 

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It seems like you didn't read what I wrote exactly.

Keep in mind that all of the people who put time into Landis in the mountians last year are either retired, busted, crashed out, not doing so hot this year/not looking like a big threat as far as GC goes. There aren't any guys who are in the top 15 on GC at this point who actually dropped Landis or caused him GC ramifications in the mountains last year accept for Moreau. Even so Landis finished ahead Moreau overall. Most importantly Landis has stepped up his game.

55x11 said:
Also - last year on stage 15 (famous one won by Hincapie) the following riders put time into Landis: (not counting breakaway and riders absent from Tour): Rasmussen, Moreau, Zubeldia, Evans, Mazzoleni, Popovych.
Analysis and comparisons to Landis:

Rasmussen: -3:02 stage 15 - 2005 / -0:51 GC - 2005 / currently + 6:20

Analysis: Rasmussen was + 5:15 when the mountians started in 2005. He's a real threat to Landis but I think Landis has improved more and he's the confirmed leader for Phonak this year.

Conclusion: advantage to Landis



Moreau: -1:20 stage 15 - 2005 / +4:42 GC - 2005 / currently + 1:07

Analysis: Moreau is where he's consistently been for years. He's a threat but Landis has more too much.

Conclusion: advantage to Landis by 4:00



Zubeldia: -0:47 stage 15 - 2005 / +10:59 GC - 2005 / currently + 2:47

Analysis: Very Managable; not a real threat to Landis.

Conclusion: advantage to Landis by 15:00



Evans: -0:47 stage 15 - 2005 / -0:49 GC - 2005 / currently + 0:52

Analysis: Evans has been getting more and more solid. They are very close in comparison and he's a top threat but Landis has the adavantage in the race of truth.

Conclusion: advantage to Landis by 2:30



Mazzoleni: -0:40 stage 15 - 2005 / -0:49 GC - 2005 / currently + 2:14 / he'll be a worker

Analysis: The situation dictates that Mazzoleni will be a T-Mob worker.

Conclusion: advantage to Landis by 10:00



Popovych: -0:02 stage 15 - 2005 / +10:57 GC - 2005 / currently + 2:27

Analysis: He dropped Landis by a whopping 0:02 on stage 15 - 2005. He's simply not a big threat, period. He'll be working for Savoldelli

Conclusion: advantage to Landis by 8:00



55x11 said:
On earlier stage 10 (won by Valverde), Rasmussen (2+min) and Leipheimer (1 min) were ahead of Landis.

Analysis and comparisons to Landis:

Valverde: -2:14 stage 10 - 2005 / DNF GC - 2005 / currently DNF

Analysis: What's the point of discussing this know?

Conclusion: I just don't know if Landis can beat him this year...



Rasmussen: -2:05 stage 10 - 2005 / -0:51 GC - 2005 / currently + 6:20

Analysis: see above

Conclusion: see above



Leipheimer: -:59 stage 10 - 2005 / -1:23 GC - 2005 / currently + 5:17

Analysis: Something is very wrong here... Either he's sick - perhaps cancer, his dope ran out and needs a mainline fix or his dog died. ...ok maybe his mom died.

Conclusion: advantage to Landis by the sky's the limit.


P.S. You really do like a lot Gontchar don't you? I don't think anyone has said Landis is unbeatable in the mountains. ...and yes anyone can have a bad day, including Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, Miguel Induráin and Lance Armstrong. Ask Laurent Fignon about July 23, 1989. :)
 

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55x11 said:
Gonchar is still a threat.
So is Menchov, Karpets, Rogers, Moreau, Savoldelli, Mazzoleni and maybe even Sastre. These guys are still within the striking distance and have the climbing talent to beat Landis in one or several mountain stages.Don't forget - this is a strange tour.

A guys who has a user name such as 55x11 is bound to like a guy who actually uses a 55x11. :)
 
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