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Old 07-17-2014, 03:58 PM   #16
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I am really missing having riders like Uran, Quintana, Hesjedal, and Wiggins in the Tour this year, I think if any of them were still in the field it might be a bit more of a fight
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Old 07-17-2014, 04:39 PM   #17
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Quintana not being there is definitely a shame. He's probably the best climber out there at the moment. He's also got more chance of winning it than Valverde. I don't think the others could have done much. Especially Hesjedal lol. He's past it. He couldn't even follow in the Giro.
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Old 07-17-2014, 06:45 PM   #18
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Quintana not being there is definitely a shame. He's probably the best climber out there at the moment. He's also got more chance of winning it than Valverde. I don't think the others could have done much. Especially Hesjedal lol. He's past it. He couldn't even follow in the Giro.
I know Hesjedal wouldn't stand a chance of winning but I still like having a Canadian in it who has a chance to place well and maybe even make a run at the podium if everything falls right. It certainly makes it more interesting to watch.
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Old 07-18-2014, 03:44 AM   #19
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Oh you're Canadian? I definitely understand it then. I'm also glad Van Den Broeck is up there at the moment even if he's been a bit underwhelming. I still think he could finish top five if he recaptures his Dauphine form.

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Old 07-18-2014, 09:33 PM   #20
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Indeed, rooting for Svein Tuft just isn't quite the same

Well, he lost another two minutes today and is now 6 back of Nibali, and a full 2:03 off the podium. I don't think JVDB is going to pull that back, sad to say.

Richie Porte simply lost it today for no apparent reason. It seems like this year a lot of guys are cracking and incapable of continuing up the mountains VERY early this year, inexplicably. Talansky cracked on a flat stage and nearly missed the time cut, for Gods sakes. What the hell is going on with this Tour?
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Old 07-22-2014, 01:02 PM   #21
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Oh of course I know that the teams evolve but I still enjoy the familiar sound of hearing a Tour involving the previous names. I almost lost my shit when I thought Paul and Phil weren't announcing the race this year, but they just had someone else describing the opening ceremonies before stage 1 on Canadian TV.

As much as I love the familiar sounds of Phil and Paul I must say Phil Liggett has seemingly lost a step this year. He seems to have a hard time with keeping up with the action and is getting confused more easily, having a harder time identifying riders and such. Paul has had to correct him or step in a lot this year


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Old 07-29-2014, 03:12 PM   #22
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Just finished reading George Hincapie's autobiography.

He's a nice guy, but man was it ever hard to get through. He can write about bike racing really well, but the parts about his family and childhood were not very well written. He also jumps around the timeline (writing in one part about the 2003 Tour de France, and then in the next writing about the 2003 Paris-Roubaix - a race that took place 3 months before the Tour, without explanation), which gets quite confusing at times as it isn't clear at all why this is done.

It was disappointing, because I've always been a fan of Hincapie and was hoping to get more insight on the Lance years, but really the book glosses over them in favour of writing about his time on the BMC and HTC teams. I did enjoy reading about these but the book is heavily promoted as being about his time with Lance (the foreword is written by Lance, the book is called "The Loyal Lieutenant" with a photo of George and Lance riding side-by-side in Discovery Channel team jerseys) and this portion of the time line was already done with before the book was even halfway through.

I also found it to be a bit aggravating hearing him gloss over the reasons for why he was doping and how it actually happened, only to have him spend an enormous portion of the last 2/3rds of the book heap praise on himself for "cleaning up the sport" after he allegedly quit doping in 2006 (even though he admits that he quit EPO and blood transfusions but still kept using testosterone patches for a while as he didn't feel that these were cheating), all the while patting himself on the back for being one of the first to speak up about how doping had gotten out of hand, fully intending to shoot EPO and a blood bag during the Tour and while wearing a testosterone patch. He fails to point out the hypocrisy of this and simply never mentions it again. That drove me nuts as I feel he didn't seem to regret or show any remorse for his actions and in fact seemed to backhandedly assert that he did the right thing, as if he hadn't doped he wouldn't have been in the peloton to be able to tell everybody how bad doping is.

If you want details on the US Postal years or more dirt on the doping that went on, pick up Tyler Hamilton's book The Secret Race. If you're a Hincapie fan or want to read about what life is like in the peloton for cyclists who don't win everything they enter, then it's a decent read, and short enough to get through in a couple hours on the beach.
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Old 07-29-2014, 03:36 PM   #23
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I don't think I want to read anything about what went on in the US Postal team. I was a huge fan of Lance. He's the reason I fell in love with cycling. But I'm not exactly angry at or insulted by him and his actions. I don't care because they don't take away from the countless hours I had enjoying him dominating the TDF. Sticking ly head in the sand is more enjoyable I guess.
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Old 07-29-2014, 04:16 PM   #24
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I don't think I want to read anything about what went on in the US Postal team. I was a huge fan of Lance. He's the reason I fell in love with cycling. But I'm not exactly angry at or insulted by him and his actions. I don't care because they don't take away from the countless hours I had enjoying him dominating the TDF. Sticking ly head in the sand is more enjoyable I guess.
I'm interested in what happened more so from a historical perspective rather than anything personal.

I had a similar experience as I had never watched cycling before, and was skimming channels, bored on summer vacation, one morning in 2003 when I happened to come across the Tour. It just so happened that I decided for whatever reason to leave the TV on that channel, and about ten minutes later they topped the Col de Manse which led to Beloki's crash and Lance's cross-country ride. My first "holy shit!" moment. I watched the rest of the stage absolutely glued to the TV, it was unlike anything I had seen before. Then stage 15 happened the next week with Lance's fall and then him barreling up the mountain to Luz Ardiden, and I was hooked completely. I fell totally in love and needed to know every detail about it that I could. I haven't missed a Tour since, and it's by far my favourite sporting event every year.

Lance is the reason that I began watching cycling as well. I absolutely do not agree with the "Lance is a fraud" argument because even though he was doping, so was everyone else in the peloton at the time. EPO doesn't make you turn the pedals, and it doesn't give you the mental drive to do what Lance did. Just the same as you can take all the steroids in the world and that doesn't make someone like me into the MLB home run leader (you still have to have the timing to actually connect solidly with the ball, which can only come with practice), it's not like Lance would never have won the Tour without the drugs (I'm certain he would have won at least a couple, although maybe not 7 straight) and would have been at home sitting on his couch without the EPO. He still had to be a world-class bike racer to begin with, drugs or no. Lance can be called a lot of things but "fraud" is not one that I feel is justified.

Not to mention, guys who we know for a fact were doping like Merckx, Indurain, and Virenque get to keep all their wins and jerseys with no issues whatsoever but Lance has to lose everything and not even be allowed to so much as bike in a charity race? Talk about unfair. You could go as far back as Henri Pelissier in 1924 if you want to be technical, he showed a reporter his drugs during the Tour and described in detail what everything was for and received no punishment or stripping of his victories. It's a total scapegoating, and honestly to my mind Lance will always be the winner of those Tours. I think it's ridiculous and stupid that the world's biggest bike race can just declare that "nobody won" for 7 straight years. What a joke.
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Old 07-29-2014, 05:06 PM   #25
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I agree with basically all you've said. The 2003 Tour is the first one I can consciously remember seeing (I was eight at the time) though I'm sure saw parts of the 2002 one.

It's crazy that a guy like Virenque is still regarded as a legend of the Tour. In a way I do understand the decision to strip Lance of his titles. He's the symbol of doping that everyone in the world knows about. Only cycling fans have heard of Riis or Virenque. They should still be stripped of their titles as well though on principle. The problem is you probably have to strip everyone of their titles if you're strict.

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Old 07-30-2014, 05:20 PM   #26
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I agree with basically all you've said. The 2003 Tour is the first one I can consciously remember seeing (I was eight at the time) though I'm sure saw parts of the 2002 one.

It's crazy that a guy like Virenque is still regarded as a legend of the Tour. In a way I do understand the decision to strip Lance of his titles. He's the symbol of doping that everyone in the world knows about. Only cycling fans have heard of Riis or Virenque. They should still be stripped of their titles as well though on principle. The problem is you probably have to strip everyone of their titles if you're strict.

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Exactly, at a certain point you'd have to go back too far, like I said the doping has been around at least since the 20's. So do you take away Pelissier's jersey? How do you know that the runners up were or were not doping? It gets way too complicated so I think you just have to restore the winners, state that any retired racers can come clean with a general amnesty (no loss of titles or records), and then state that going forward it will be an instant ban for future doping offences.

That way you will have reconciliation of the past, a truthful account of what happened, and a means to prevent violations going forward. The damage has already been done, and revisionism isn't going to make it go away.
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