armstrong must beat

yes, he can be beat. it will take fighting fire with fire I think; a team and one rider entirely focused on that race. USPS has quite an arsenal and armstrong has much dedication. I think Ullrich (2004) or Botero (2003, 2004?) will be the one to do it. Maybe both.
Originally posted by ullrichfan
yes, he can be beat. it will take fighting fire with fire I think; a team and one rider entirely focused on that race. USPS has quite an arsenal and armstrong has much dedication. I think Ullrich (2004) or Botero (2003, 2004?) will be the one to do it. Maybe both.

Are you talking about the 2003/2004 seasons? If so, are these guys waiting for Lance to turn grey before they take him on? ;)
i think in the past decades drugs tests were a bit more loose and athletes like Merckx , Hinault,Fignion,lemond,etc could cheat the others.I do not know if these days things are better....But Lance is great to be focus in what he is doing.i wonder why france Riders or some of them don't make the same, just to win the TDF who like so much in their country.To many years with no win.
Look the Italians..they win their home tour.
Haha, yeah he will be 33 next year? That is pretty old to do what he's doing. Yeah, if you could get away with it wouldn't you have tried to enhanced your performance. I'm pretty sure they took more than a few cups of coffee back then.
Still, the question was can he be beat and I think so, maybe not this year? But I definitely think not next year, 2004. Botero or Ullrich will do it this or next year. Maybe in that order?
There is no doubt about it that Lance Armstrong will be the main threat this year again at the TDF.
I am a big fan of armstrong ( not to mention Ulrich, i live in and work in Germany, its hard not to be) , but no one is invinceble, although sometimes Armstrong appears so. I think Ulrichfan´s opinion is one worth considering. There are also too many variables in such a race, anything could happen. I would definately like to see Armstrong get the six wins he´s after
I would like to see armstrong win would be of historical value and the guys deserves it.

On the other hand, if someone else were to win...someone who has not won before...then the least it would be something there was a really tight battle for 1st
Do you all watch cycling? Look Jan is a tremendously talented rider, but he hasn;t won anything in years. He simply doesn;t train hard enough. Until Jan beats lance in either the mountains or a time trial this year he is no more of a threat than pantani would be if he was racing. Botero cracks in every race one day and looses tons of time. He wins mountain stages against lance but only when he is allowed to espace early because he is already down by 15 minutes, 2004 i might give it to him, but honestly he does not have the consistency to be considered a contender.

On the other hand lance could be beating if the right people were racing...and working to break him. Last year Gonzalez-Galdeano and beloki should have worked together to try and crack lance early in stages. Yeah you will probably fail but it is the only way. If the race had more dangerous people working together i think that a solid riders like jan, beloki, gonalez, hamilton, simoni, cadel evanns, heras (for himself), frigo, aitor gonzalez, francisco perez (if he wasn;t doping) could challenge. With some of these riders not racing and others riding for a podium and not a win I think that this tour will easily go lances way. Just look at the results from the dauphine-libre. Lance is looking good in the mountains and crushing the best of the world in a time trial. Furthermore, despite a 20th place finish, I think (and tyler hamilton) thinks that lance was the strongest rider in liege.
Yeah, I was hoping for more from Botero this year, but oh well. Jan has evidently trained well THIS year, but I think it's too little too late for a solid 2003 TDF. He has said it himself about his chances. The other guys you mentioned will need some luck and more aggressive riding like you said. There has yet to be a time when someone poses a bigger threat early on. It will be interesting to see if the mountain stages coming earlier this year will cause panic for Armstrong/USPS. They will tire earlier and that is when they will be vulnerable IMO. I hope it comes down to the last ITT where there is a showdown of maybe two or three riders. It would be nice for LA to get his 5 and go for six but like Formula 1 over the last few years it gets boring when you have the same winner every weekend.
Honestly I know that jan has had good early season form, but his goal is the tdf (I think everyone can agree to that). Until he shows that type of form again I don;t think that he has trained hard enough. I do agree that the early mountain stages may cause unique problems for USpostal and Lance for several reasons. First, USPS likes to have another team carry the yellow for as long as possible. In this format, lances team will be forced to caputure the jersey early and keep it. Second, Lance cannot be guarenteed to crack every rider in the first montain stage, specifically simoni maybe urlich. This will cause greater stress and difficulty. The TTT is also always an opportunity for other riders to do some damage. Third, French teams cause problems. The french riders love to go on breakaways (mainly because they can;t win a stage any other way. There are certainly strong sprinters teams Fassa and Telekom, to contain, but there is always a danger. Especially with the mountains coming early, Lances team may be forced to ride tempo to catch breakaways. Since there are so many riders who could theoretically challenge lance one of them may even be able to escape. If lances team becomes fatigued then lance could be issolated in the mountains, even though he has 3 strong climbers with him. I have still not seen lance get in serious trouble when issolated, but I still think that lances greatest fear must be a blistering attack by simoni where another rider can pick of the pieces. In my view that makes it important that roberto heras can stay near the top of the overal.
I think the USPS team will be very strong this year. The addition of Beltran is especially important. They have a unique team that understands how to protect their leader. George H. will be back and fresher than every.
I think too much is made of Simoni, he will lose 2+ minutes on each time trial, I do not think he can put that into Lance in the mountians. The only think that can stop Lance this year is bad luck.
I would go for 4 minutes down in TTs for Simoni...he actually rode decently in the Giro's. I don;t think that simoni is 4 minutes better than lance in the mountains so i don;t think he will win. Lances concern would be that somehow simoni cracks him and a better time trialist manages to stay at his own pace and pick up the pieces. For that reason I think i would bet on beloki or hamilton before I bet on simoni.
Jan has already stated that he does not look to a win this year and that he would be happy to get a stage. Simoni will be a non factor after he loses time in the TT's and Beloki has not proven that he can hold it together for an entire race.

Lance has a great team, Beltran adds protection in the mountains and Lance has a sheer will that these other guys have not demonstrated. Logic tells us that Lance gets #5.

I would look elsewhere for a challenger to Lance this year...
Your logic is good, but I still think the most likely people to win besides lance are simoni, jan, beloki in that order....Maybe hamilton for beloki, maybe botero in there somewhere
Iban Mayo could easily make the podium - he looked a real threat in the Dauphine. He made Armstrong look ordinary on the Galibier.

USPS won't relish having to defend from stage 8, but surely they can't afford to let Simoni or Mayo get any kind of leeway at all. But it will be interesting - descents are much more difficult to control than ascents, after all...

Similar threads