T Nation

Any other TdF fans here?

Watching the prologue right now, the 100th running is under way. Lance just left the start house, here’s hoping for 5 in a row.

I’m not a big fan at all but Lance is an amazing man. I hope he smokes the field.

The “Tour de Freedom” right?

I don’t watch becuase I find it boring. But I do keep up with Lance on ESPN highlights ect. He’s the ultimate athlete role model. To overcome what he’s had to endure is inspirational.

Nothing shuts my students up about a hard exam quicker than saying “Hey if Lance armstrong can win the TDF after having cancer in his ballbag, you guys can certainly handle this test…”

Armstrong finished 13th in 7’34" top 5 as follows

The top five in the prologue is:

  1. Brad McGee (Australia) 7’26"160
  2. David Millar (GB) 7’26"240
  3. Haimar Zubeldia (Spain) 7’28"252
  4. Jan Ullrich (Germany) 7’28"266
  5. Victor Hugo Pena (Colombia) 7’32"240

That actually puts Lance in 7th place.

I luv the tour. There is not much competition this year. I hope Lance hits five.

just wait till the mountain stages and the longer time trials which lance will more than likely dominate and hopefully humiliate his rivals (simoni, ulrich, levi…).

DocT you were right, the 13th was off the TDF site at the same time as I took the top 5.

I never watch the Tour. However, I appreciate his talent. Any man who beats his particular brand of cancer and then goes on to dominate his chosen field has my respect.
By the way, the french have always been unreasonably rude to him. He says that he has tried everything to try to win them over. It says alot about the french. They are extremely threatened by the success of an American. I have read in Sports Illustrated that they continue to whisper that he must be taking steroids or other supplement. He has taken more drug tests than any other athlete. I hope he wins every single event he enters. In my opinion, he shouldn’t even acknowlege the french. Just ignore those little dinks. Rub their little, no muscle, buck o’ five noses in shit. I say go Lance and go United States of America!!!

Lance is looking strong, but no competition? C’mon! Ullrich is looking fit and did pretty damn well in the prologue. Beloki & Hamilton did well too- and those guys can climb too.

I think (hope) that Lance will take 'em in the mountains but look forward to seeing some epic battles like last year.

USPS is going to be in good shape for the team time trial in which they could put some time on.

Nothing much happening today in the 1st road stage as usual.

Can’t wait until the mountains.

The pain that these guys endure & their level or training and effort is unreal and they ALL are an inspiration.

Barring crashes I think Beloki, Ullrich & Hamilton will be up there at the end - finishing 2nd to Lance of course!

That was a HUGE crash at the end of today’s stage. Made me cringe.

45 mph sprinting in a group while throwing elbows and blocking.

Those guys have titanium balls!

Addition to the us=gg post:

Listening to NPR yesterday morning and they were discussing how French fans have physically assaulted other country’s riders during the TdF. Specifically commented on an incident where a fan attacked a Belgian rider near the finish line.

Belgium…

mmm waffles…

That crash was pretty bad, sounds like both Tyler Hamilton and Levi Leipheimer might be out.

I agree with Alessandro Petacchi, it’s pretty stupid to make the finish of a sprint stage narrow and twisty. The same thing just caused Cipo to crash out of the Giro a month ago.

The stage to watch will no doubt be stage 8 next Sunday, L’Alpe d’Huez. Unfortunately there won’t be any live coverage of the stage on OLN, cause the bastards at CBS get Sundays. If the past couple years are any indication, the coverage will consist of “…and in other news…”. OLN will have a full recap at 9pm ET, though.

Go Lance!

  • “Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.” - Lance Armstrong

This is the first year I’ve ever tried to watch it. The concept of the race is a little confusing. I originally thought it was just a rally race. Someone pointed me to this link which explains the race quite well: http://www.cyclingnews.com/road/2003/tour03/?id=features/FAQ

Jeff, you were over at the RoadBikeReview site asking the TdF questions, right?

By the way, you can get real-time commentary and periodic text updates at the tour website: www.letour.com

After stage 3, Hamilton is STILL in the race at 10th overall, :18 down, and Armstrong is in 12th, :19 down. Beloki and Botero are the climbing threats, as long as they don’t have their usual “bad day,” and they are both just :02 behind Lance. Miniscule time differences. Hamilton hasn’t been a huge factor in the mountains in the past, and considering his shoulder problems, I expect that he will eventually pull out.

brider: And isn’t Armstrong’s strength in the mountains? As long as he’s right there STILL in the race, Armstrong can pull ahead in the mountains, correct?

Armstrong’s strengths are two-fold: mountains and individual time trials. In longish TTs, he’s only lost once to Beloki (I think), and by a fairly small margin. While these guys (Botero and Beloki) can climb, they tend to have a bad day or two that knocks them out of the running. Lance had one bad day in the mountains a couple years ago. Uhlrich could give it a go, if he learns to attack in the mountains. My thought is that even if he is in his top form, he lacks the mental edge to truly suffer when the road tilts up (and the mantal sadism to really put it to every one else in said conditions).

The flat stages are really never a deciding factor – Lance finished something like 69th on the third stage, with the same time as the leaders (if I remember right). The thing is there has to be like a 2-second gap in a pack before they can give a divided time. A large group, even if it takes 5 minutes for them to all cross the finish line, will all get the same time. A sprinter can pick up some points bonuses in the intermediate sprints, but it doesn’t affect the general classification (the real prestige of the Tour) at all.

Hamilton is the guy who’s riding with a broken collarbone right?

Now that’s T-man materiel.

brider: very cool. Thanks for that post. We had watched OLN (outdoor living network, I believe) and they are providing Tour coverage. Thought it could provide sometype of clarification as to “what was going on” at that opening stage. But no go. Which is why I appreciate your post. T’anks, dude.

BTW: I checked out www.letour.com. Wow. Will be definitely using this site for Tour updates.

So brider in your honest opinion, can Lance do it? Win a fifth tour? I know we’ve got a month before this thing is over; and that means plenty of stages to come. But I had read the team breakdowns on letour.com: some impressive riders and some really strong teams this year.

Lance has the strong team behind him, which I think most of the other contenders are lacking. More later.