Vino to Disco ! Ahhhhhhh ! but he can beat Lance.......

Discussion in 'Professional Cycling' started by whiteboytrash, Jul 11, 2005.

  1. whiteboytrash

    whiteboytrash New Member

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    Vino: I never thought Lance was unbeatable

    11/07/2005
    Alexandre Vinokourov believes T-Mobile's Tour has gone well so far and that they will put Lance Armstrong under pressure again. He also confirms he might take the Texan's place at Discovery next season.

    Alexandre Vinokourov has reaffirmed his belief that Lance Armstrong is “not unbeatable” in the Tour de France, and confirmed that he could fill the void that the six-time champion will leave at Discovery Channel when he retires at the end of the season.

    Speaking to L’Equipe, Vinokourov declared himself satisfied with a first week enlivened by his attacks on stage six to Nancy and stage eight to Gérardmer. The T-Mobile who best resisted the Armstrong onslaught in the opening time trial in Noirmoutier nine days ago, the Kazakh remains his team’s highest-placed rider as the Tour pauses for its first rest day in Grenoble on Monday. Vinokourov lies fifth on general classification at 3-20 behind new leader Jens Voigt, but just 1-02 behind Armstrong.

    “The Tour has gone more or less as planned so far,” commented the 31-year-old on Sunday. “Jan [Ullrich], Andreas [Klöden] and I are all towards the top of the general classification and we have managed to show Armstrong on Saturday that we could attack him from all sides. Until now, we had never had the opportunity to start the Tour together and it’s a considerable advantage. I personally never thought that Armstrong was unbeatable. We perhaps caught a glimpse of that the other day.”

    Vinokourov was, of course, referring to T-Mobile’s collective show of strength on the Col de la Schlucht on Saturday. For all that the Kazakh was the architect of a Discovery Channel’s collapse, however, only Klöden made tangible gains on Armstrong by the time a 32-man group containing the Texan, Ullrich and Vinokourov crossed the finish-line in Gérardmer. This prompted some observers, including L’Equipe analyst Laurent Jalabert, to suggest that Vinokourov and Klöden had attacked in the wrong order. Vinokourov, the rider with the more potent acceleration, was more suited to the role of knock-out puncher according to Jalabert. Instead, his repeated jabs teed up Klöden.

    Reacting to Jalabert’s criticism at the finish-line in the Mulhouse last night, T-Mobile boss Walter Godefroot was typically phlegmatic. “Jalabert should become a directeur sportif,..” Godefroot quipped. “We had decided in the morning that they would attack in that order. We knew that Armstrong would chase Vino or Jan but perhaps not Klöden. It was better, therefore, to use Vino to tire Lance out.”

    Whatever the order in which T-Mobile deploy their trident, Vinokourov claims that there will be no confusion or resentment between the three riders. “The instructions are very clear: the team will work for whoever turns out to be the strongest of the three of us… We know that, with two or even three of us, we can pool our resources to endanger Armstrong,” Vinokourov explained.

    Out of contract with T-Mobile at the end of the season, Vinokourov has made no secret of the fact that he is being courted by some of the biggest-name teams in the peloton, including Discovery Channel. On Saturday, he revealed that, having politely declined to consider offers from French teams Ag2r and Cofidis, his shortlist is down to two. “The only team which could make me leave T-Mobile is Discovery Channel. I’ll certainly be making a choice between those two,” he revealed. Vinokourov is of the opinion that “there simply aren’t the prerequisites for hoping to win the Tour [in a French team].”
     
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  2. rejobako

    rejobako New Member

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    The most interesting quote in a very interesting article. I'm sure I read a few T-Mobile updates at the beginning of the Tour in which the team was united in being for Jan and only Jan. Whereas, given recent events, it's probably time to dispense with that philosophy, I hope Vino doesn't take for granted that Goodefroot is going to designate him as the team's golden boy in time for Vino to take full advantage. T-Mobile is a German company, after all, and I suspect Jan will be given a bit more deference than Vino than if the roles were reversed.
     
  3. segamartinez

    segamartinez New Member

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    If this were to happen - and Jan stayed with T-Mobile and everyone else was still intact on their respective teams, do you think these guys are 1-2 in the tour next year? Basso? Which team would you like best?

    It still remains to be seen, but Vino looks like the guy who could take in the hills next year - and should be a contender this year.

    I like the fact that he challenged Lance, though - or at least said he wasn't unbeatable - seems like Vino has a great mentality for winning the tour.
     
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