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It's Time, Mythos...

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by pancakeman, Jun 24, 2008.

  1. pancakeman

    pancakeman IncGamers Member

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    It's Time, Mythos...

    I'm calling you out.

    Gimme your Tour pick! I think I know who you'll pick, and after that person's great showing in the Dauphine, I wouldn't blame you. Heck, with Contador and Levi gone, he's almost certainly going to take yellow, or at least a podium spot. However, Valverde will pose a threat, to be sure.


    We're getting the smack talk started early this year, my friend!
     
  2. Barabas

    Barabas IncGamers Member

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    Re: It's Time, Mythos...

    Aye , matelotts! To thye anchor ya, pirats are attakkking , ya!

    Oya!
     
  3. Jigga-Scrooge

    Jigga-Scrooge IncGamers Member

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    Re: It's Time, Mythos...

    word. i hear ya.
     
  4. Kaysaar

    Kaysaar IncGamers Member

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    Re: It's Time, Mythos...

    I blame Contador and Leipheimer for their own non-participation. Astana was already implicated in doping scandal and was tossed from the tour last year. Especially as a Tour winner, Contador would have been able to choose almost any team. Instead, he and Levi joined a team with a bit of a nasty doping reputation, and as such, the team gets banned from the year's tour. I think they should have made a better team decision, especially after last tour.

    That aside, I think I'll be pulling for Alejandro Valverde this year. He's been making steady progress since joining the tour and Lance had him pegged as one of the sport's biggest up and coming stars. Unfortunately he has a bit of history of injury and poorly timed mistakes in the tour. He has started the year out very well, so hopefully he'll be able to maintain his momentum and carry it through the tour.

    I also wouldn't be surprised if Cadel Evans put in another strong year after coming so close last year.
     
  5. pancakeman

    pancakeman IncGamers Member

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    Re: It's Time, Mythos...

    I don't blame them at all, the Astana they joined was definitely not the Astana that withdrew in 2007. The whole management was changed, and they were eager to prove that they could redeem the team.
    Anyway, I probably shouldn't go into that whole deal.


    I guess Valverde is doing pretty well, but I wouldn't discount Liquigas or High Road in this one. Liquigas always contols the race when their champ needs it, and without Astana they are possibly the stongest team there. High Road is new, but it seems they've been winning everything this year. I don't think they can pull it off for Hincapie, but after a bad showing in so many of his races this season, I think he'll have some serious determination on his side.


    On the points side, they also have Mark Cavendish, and without Boonen there he is the fastest man around. I'll expect to see him in the green.



    PS: What, too good for the EMB now Kay? :tongue:
     
  6. Barabas

    Barabas IncGamers Member

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    Re: It's Time, Mythos...

    OMG! Valverde ate Astana!
     
  7. pancakeman

    pancakeman IncGamers Member

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    Re: It's Time, Mythos...

    If you don't count Oscar Pereiro's default win at the '06 Tour, there are no former winners of the race riding this year. Not only that, of the top 10 finishers in 2005, only 2 are racing this year. This is about as wide-open as the race is gonna get, I think.


    Also, I can't wait to see the Olympic Road Race now. Levi, Zabriskie, Vandevelde, and Hincapie on one team? That is made of so much win I can barely stand it. All four of them were veterans of Discovery and US Postal, and Levi, Zabriskie, and Vandevelde were all on it together for one season. This will be a good competition.
     
  8. mythos

    mythos IncGamers Member

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    Re: It's Time, Mythos...

    Damn it. I was going to start a thread on the Tour today, but you've pwnd me be over a week.....

    First up my pick has to be Evans. He has the history of three top ten finishes and has been getting better results each and every year. The addition of Yaroslav Popovych (sp?) to his team will give him a great boost as well. He has lacked a really powerful helper in the high mountains and Popo will fill this role, as he has done for Armstrong and Contador in the past.

    Other guys to watch will be Valverde, Sastre, Menchov, Cunego and the Schleck brothers. There will always be a surprise performer who does well. Kim kirchen at Highroad will outperform Hincapie in the GC, so I don't expect a USA win to come from Big Georgie.

    For those who rate his opinion here is a linky to an interview with Lance Armstrong on his take on this years Tour.

    I think Astana is hard done by to be excluded when you consider that CSC (now Saxobank) and Rabobank have gained entry. I mean, how is the doping of Vino last year any worse than the farce of Rasmussen being kicked out by his own team?

    Riis has admitted to doping in '96 to win the Tour, yet his team (CSC) is allowed in.

    Having said that, if Astana was there, I believe the race would be less interesting. Its just hard to see anyone beating Contador when he has the help of Kloden/Levi and co. Still, the teams sided with the race organisers when the organisers rebelled against the UCI's attempts to force them to invite all the ProTour teams to their races. Thus ASO (who owns the Tour) can exclude whoever they want and the teams can do nothing about it.
    At the end of the day, I'll be happy if the guy who win's the race is able to do so without ending up in court, yes Floyd, I'm talking about you....(Rasmussen was in an unbeatable position when he got kicked out too).

    On the olympic's : Team USA will get gg'd by the Aussies, Italy, Belgium, Spain ... the list goes on. Trash talk - Bring it!!11!1

    Lastly, I have the tv guy coming out today so we can upgrade and get better reception before the race starts. Viva le Tour!
     
  9. pancakeman

    pancakeman IncGamers Member

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    Re: It's Time, Mythos...

    I think Evans will be hard to beat as well, but you bring up an interesting point with the Schleck brothers. The two of them together may be able to set something up, maybe little brother Andy sacrificing his legs on a mountain stage for Frank?

    I didn't know Evans had Popo on his side, that guy is the best support rider around, next to Big George, of course. That just makes Evans even more likely to take this race. I'd put Menchov and Sastre in the top 5, and Valverde top 3.

    I read the interview with Lance, he brings up some good points. I had totally forgotten about Rasmussen's little scandal last year, but I didn't know CSC had a history of shootin up. I'm severely dissapointed in them, I always thought they were too good for that kind of thing.

    Olympics: Psssh, keep dreaming. Aussies = already pwned. Spain = meh. The other two are completely out of their league. :smile: :tongue: Zabriskie will make that time trial his *****, and Levi will do the same. Hope this doesn't jinx it or something...



    And finally, I am jealous of your omgwtfhax TV/reception. Me want Tour in hi-def!
     
  10. mythos

    mythos IncGamers Member

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    Re: It's Time, Mythos...

    Well the Schleck boys are meant to be riding for Sastre. But if Carlos is unable to hack the pace in the hills then one of them might find themselves in a position to claim the team leadership. Frank is the eldest, but Andy supposedly has more talent. Or at least will have in a year or two.

    Popo signed on at around the same time that Chris Horner left the team. They are better with Popo, but it would have been nice to have both guys to help Evans.

    Remeber also, that Ivan Basso rode for CSC at the time that he got caught blood doping. By the time they banned him he had switched to Disco. Other than Basso, CSC have quite a clean record. Riis obviously never rode for CSC, he manages it now. Riis was at Team Telekom when he doped in '96, but only admitted to it last year. Team Telekom became T-Mobile. That team spawned a whole generation of drug cheats.

    Olympics : In all seriousness, I think the guys to watch are Stijn Devolder (Belgium), Alejandro Valverde (Spain) and Paolo Bettini (Italy). Its a tough race to pick because the teams are smaller than what you'd see in a pro race, which makes it much harder to control the race. Cadel will be there, but unless he can attack and drop the others, then I doubt he will win. The other guys I listed have a better sprint than he does (or Levi for that matter). I think Levi has a better chance in the TT, than the road race.

    The tv had better be good. Its costing me $400+ to upgrade the cables and stuff. Dudes coming back in the morning to finish it off. =]
     
  11. pancakeman

    pancakeman IncGamers Member

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    Re: It's Time, Mythos...

    Bettini will definitely be one of the people to watch, being the World Champ and all, but I think that will actually be worse for him. People will be watching him, covering any move he makes.

    Stijn Devolder has been doing good, but I don't know about a race of this caliber.

    Valverde, well, to be quite frank, he may damn well win the thing.


    As for Popo and Horner, those two supporting Evans in the mountains would be unstoppable. Horner alone can climb with the best of them, and Popo isn't far behind. That would have been interesting to see.

    And Sastre? He's really failed to live up to the hype this year. They've been talking about him, but nothing has really stood out. I think that they should definitely try to support him, but like you said, if he can't keep up, ditch him. Frank Schleck wants a win after that Tour de Suiss disaster, and he might just get one.


    $400? I envy you. Greatly. The best I can do is that OLN, or VS, or whatever they are calling themselves are showing each stage 3 times, once in the morning, afternoon, and that evening. I'm happy!
     
  12. mythos

    mythos IncGamers Member

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    Re: It's Time, Mythos...

    Bettini was the standout favorite at the last Olympic's too. He won that. He's a clever rider. There's a few guys that I think can win it, it'll really coe down to who reads the race the best and who gets a little bit of luck at the right time. But that's the case in most one day races.

    Sastre has been quiet, but CSC have Cancellara, the Schlecks and O'Grady to win them races in the Spring Classics.

    The tv is now sorted and I am revelling in the bright lights of digital reception. We only have one network that is covering the race. But they are showing every stage live and doing a 30 minute wrap up the following day. Problem is, that live coverage starts at about 10pm and goes til round 2am. Which means I'll be an even grumpier bastard at work than usual for the nex 3 weeks.
     
  13. pancakeman

    pancakeman IncGamers Member

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    Re: It's Time, Mythos...

    Luck is key, it's probably a safe bet to go with whoever can slip away at the perfect time, and that takes a great deal of luck to pull off. Bettini can do that, as he has showed multiple times. Plus, if it comes down to a group sprint, which I highly doubt the more climber-oriented will let happen, than Bettini will smash the field.


    Haha! You can have your secksy TV, but I have the showings to fit my schedule! Victory is mine!
     
  14. mythos

    mythos IncGamers Member

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    Re: It's Time, Mythos...

    I stayed up and watched the whole stage last night. It wasn't a great stage, but I figured the finish would be pretty good, given the profile of the course. No surprise for me that Valverde won it, the finish was tailor made for his abilities. Having said that, he rode a great finale. Held his nerve when some others attacked early, then chose the right time to power on by them for a comfortable victory. Plus he got a 1 second time gap. The interesting thing, now will be to see whether he tries to defend his lead. I think it would be a mistake to do so. I don't see the point in spending your energy to keep the jersey in the first week when you'll need a full tank of gas in week 2 and 3, thats when this race will be won!



     
  15. pancakeman

    pancakeman IncGamers Member

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    Re: It's Time, Mythos...

    I honestly could not believe that last acceleration to catch Kirchen, I had to pick up my jaw when the stage was done. Simply astonishing. I don't know quite why they gave them all one second time gaps, but I think that the yellow will be on different shoulders tomorrow. It's another uphill finish, but I get the feeling that Valverde will not be working his magic on that one.

    We will have to watch and see, I guess.
     
  16. pancakeman

    pancakeman IncGamers Member

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    Re: It's Time, Mythos...

    Valverde choked. Methinks he just didn't practice enough for the TT, and fell back into his old style. The bad style.

    Overall, I'm really impressed with Kim Kirchen. He didn't make too big of a splash last year, but then again Evans, Contador, and Levi were locked in battle, and it would have taken a lot to draw attention from them. With Hincapie's support, he could actually win this thing.


    EDIT: When they say live coverage, they mean live coverage. A correspondent in the Garmin team car had quite a shock when he asked a question about the difficulty of the course or how well Millar was doing or something, and the simple response was "**** man".

    He just stared at the camera for a while, not sure what to do.
     
  17. mythos

    mythos IncGamers Member

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    Re: It's Time, Mythos...

    I read a quote form Valverde where he said he was happy with his ride. But methinks he's talking out of his bum. He beat Evans by 1 second 3 weeks ago (although apparently Evans wasn't going full gas because it was wet) and yesterday he lost a minute to him and Menchov. There's no way he could be happy with that, especially on a course that suited him.

    I'd say that Sastre is now the undisputed leader at CSC for GC purposes after disappointing rides by the Schlecks. Cunego could also be happy with his result, given that TT is really not his strong suit.

    I think the big winner on the day (other than Evans) was Menchov. He needed to do a good time after losing 45 sec on previous day and he came up with the goods.

    Kirchen was good as well, but his climbing abilities remain to be seen. He lost a lot of time a few weeks ago in the Tour de Suisse on the uphill timetrial stage. Maybe, he just had a bad day, but the jury is still out as far as I'm concerned. Hincapie is a good rider, but he's not the best climber out there. He was Armstrong's chief helper on the flat stages but when they hit the mountains there were always others who were more suited to helping then. ie Heras, Popovych, Beltran, Landis, and in latter years Azevedo. Hincapie is at his best in the tough one day 'Classic' races and I'd love to see him win Paris-Roubaix before he retires, god knows he's been close before and brutally unlucky on some years.

    Evans looked good the way he got better through the TT. The time he gained on his rivals will be handy, even though I think he gained more of a mental edge on his rivals. A minute isn't a lot when you're yet to face any kind of test in the mountains. But then we saw last year that every second counts, so who knows? I think there's a good chance he will take the yellow in a couple of days time when they hit the big hills. I don't actually think he wants to get it as he doesn't have a really strong team to help him defend it for two whole weeks.
     
  18. pancakeman

    pancakeman IncGamers Member

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    Re: It's Time, Mythos...

    I've been out of Internetz for a while, but I have not lost my contact with the Tour!

    The only thing I can say is : Holy ****. Kirchen choked hard, Cunego broke long ago, and the Schlecks are doing amazing.


    Ok, maybe I should just talk about today's stage:
    I was really expecting them to do something on that first HC climb, and nothing happened. In fact, the peloton never really broke, except for the pure sprinters fading back. It was kind of funny to see them doing battle on a Cat 1, when they had easily conquered an HC climb earlier.
    Anyway, Andy Schleck had to be the ride of the day. I don't know where he kept finding it, he would drop for a while, then not only rejoin the group, but get in front and set the pace. Astounding ride.
    His brother was doing great as well, just keeping an eye on Evans. CSC's strategy worked out pretty well, I'd say, if their strategy was to get Sastre and the Schlecks in the lead group. Great tactics on their part.

    Also, Vandevelde! Who could have known he would come into this race and dominate like this? I was watching him on that last big climb, and he marked every acceleration, save for that last one launched by Kohl. He may not win the thing, but a podium finish would be a great result for a guy who has never raced for himself.


    Um, what else...

    Ricco is a doping **** ****ing ** *** * ****er.

    Um, I feel really sorry for Barloworld. Those guys deserve better, they've just had a hell of a Tour. And not in a good way, either.

    I predict Schleck will keep it, but by the skin of his teeth. However, he will get obliterated in the TT. Vandevelde, Evans, Mechov, all contenders.
     
  19. mythos

    mythos IncGamers Member

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    Re: It's Time, Mythos...

    I'm a little disappointed that Evans lost the jersey, but more so that he didn't look all that good on the last climb. Tactically, it doesn't make much difference whether he has it by 1 second or if he's only 10 seconds down. The climbers (Schleck, Kohl and Sastre) need to (and will) attack him (and Menchov and Vande Velde) to get more time before the final TT. Menchov and Vande Velde have to also try and get a bit of time, they are both about 30 seconds down, which is not a lot, but then they might not even be able to beat Cadel in a TT, so they need to be in front of him. Also if they are in front of him, they start after him in the TT and that helps them pace themselves.

    Kohl has been the darkhorse, he's been climbing very well and instigating a lot of moves, however I think he's also been benefiting from the others not paying him a lot of attention.

    Vande Velde is a rider that I never would have expected to do so well. He's been riding a smart race, just responding to the moves that he feels he needs to and then biding his time until the end of the climbs and seeing if he can pinch a few seconds. He won't open up and huge time gaps doing that, but then if his attack fails, he won't lose a bunch of time either. Its a conservative approach, but one that will serve him well. I did think he looked like he was struggling at the start of the Hautacam climb last week. But he managed to hold on and then try something at the end. I think he's benefitted from Evans having to close down a lot of the moves early in the climbs. I don't think Vande Velde will win the race, but he has a real chance for the podium. Then again, I'm pretty sleep deprived these days so my judgement could be way out.

    Evans needs some help. Popovych was bought into the team to do just that and so far he has been an utter failure. Frankly, his performance has been pathetic. He didn't even make it over the Tourmalie, then went out the back early on the Nevoso. Piss weak if you ask me. I am pretty concerned at Evans' prospects leading into the next two stages. There's no doubt he will be attacked, having said that I'd like to see him try somehing and launch is own attack, but maybe he just doesn't have the legs. I guess the others won't be watching him as closely now, they need to pay attention to Menchov who did show he was prepared to make a move. Still if he is within a minute of the lead going into the final TT, then its game on and he will have a great chance at the win.

    Menchov is looking really good right now. He must be feeling strong to be able to go on the attack, have a crash, then get back up and attack again. I think he looks the strongest overall, but the Alp du Huez will be the telling stage for the TT experts.

    re Valverde - as that great bard Flava Flav has been know to say 'don't don't don't beleive the hype'. Sastre also stated before the race that Valvrde was overrated as a GC contender, looks like he was right. Armstrong said Cunego couldn't win the Tour, well so far he's been right too.

    Ricco, heh, what can you say? He claimed Pantani as his idol, and took that hero worship beyond just emulating his riding style. He'll be back from his suspension at only 26 years old, but I doubt that the ASO will ever let him ride le Tour again.
    Barloworld have had a really crappy Tour. First they lose Soler, then the doping case, closely followed by the sponsor pulling the pin. These drug cheats are just plain selfish, they don't seem to care that their actions will put the careers of their 'team'mates at risk.

    I think the reason they went easy over the Col du Agnol was because it was another 60k until the start of the Prato Nevoso climb. Thats a fair hike to try and maintain a time gap.

    The race is still wide open and there are still six guys with a realistic chance for the overall win. So far the big mountains haven't really knocked too many guys out of contention, but I think that will change by the end of Wednesday.
     
  20. pancakeman

    pancakeman IncGamers Member

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    Re: It's Time, Mythos...

    I'm not gonna catch the live coverage tomorrow, I have to head down to the bike store tomorrow and get some ball bearings, so I need to be up rather early. And I guess being alert while driving wouldn't be too bad, as well.


    Popo is doing really bad, and I don't know why. When he was with Lance, he rode very well. When he was with Levi, he rode very well. Now, he can't ride at all. What's up?


    And yeah, Kohl caught me by surprise. To be honest, I'd never heard of the guy, and then he comes out of nowhere to shake up the GC top 5. He is using that to his advantage, the fact that nobody knows of him.


    I'll catch tomorrow's stage as early as possible, the profile looks killer. Not as bad as Wednesday, but still pretty harsh.



    PS: I'm hoping to ride a local race in September, so that will be cool. Hopefully, I'll have my cool road bike by then, or else I don't know that I can haul myself over the 90 miles.
     

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