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Old 07-17-2008, 08:42 AM   #16
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Well, that sucks -- Ricco fails a doping test. He was responsible for pretty much the only excitement in the tour so far too, crushing the competition on that mountain stage with a massive acceleration the other day.

Hard to root for anybody anymore -- they all seem to get caught cheating!
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Old 07-17-2008, 10:47 AM   #17
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Interesting that it seems to be a new form of EPO - Micera - and that while there is no test for it yet, the authorities obviously found something still.

I wonder how many others are taking this new drug.

It will never end.
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Old 07-20-2008, 01:08 PM   #18
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Fantastically exciting race today -- all the wipeouts, U.S. rider Danny Pate's 3rd place finish, and the shakeup in the standings for the Yellow Jersey. This stage had it all!

Cadel Evans looked weak there at the end -- he'll need to really bring his 'A' game Wednesday for l'Alpe d'Huez. I guess he's still the favorite to win the Tour because of his time trialing ability, but I hate to see the ultimate winner get his butt kicked so badly against his key rivals in a mountain top finish.

I hope Pereiro will be alright -- that was a nasty spill.
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Old 07-21-2008, 12:13 PM   #19
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Yeah, Evans didn't seem to be on his game yesterday, but really, he just needs to hang around for the next two stages, and if he's within a minute of anyone, he's really got it in the bag because of the time trial. Neither Schleck, Kohl, Menchov, or Sastre will be able to match him. Vandevelde might, but he's still behind Evans overall anyway.

Unless he has a disaster in the next two days, I still think Evans is gonna win this.
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Old 07-21-2008, 04:37 PM   #20
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They're saying it's the closest TDF in history with six riders under a minute from each other. It's exciting to see the race so close. I think you're right, phanan, about Evans -- but there should be some real fireworks in the couple of days.

I don't care much who wins -- all of these top contenders seem like good guys. I just want to see some great racing!
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Old 07-23-2008, 12:41 PM   #21
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I give today's stage finishing on l'Alpe d'Huez an A+. An out-of-this-world finish.

What a ride by Sastre! What a ride by Team CSC! The tactics on the final climb were unbelievable! The Schleck brothers controlling Evans and the peleton while Sastre pulls away for a huge win!

I hope Sastre can pull off the overall tour win -- such a courageous ride today. With a 1:30 lead over Evans, it should be very close -- even closer than the 8-second gap between Lemond-Fignon in 1989? Could happen.

I was glad to see that Evans FINALLY showed some moxie at the very end of the stage -- brought back about 10 or 15 seconds in the last kilometer or so. It will make me feel better about him if he wins the yellow jersey.
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Old 07-23-2008, 08:54 PM   #22
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That was an awesome stage.....Sastre's a gun, and it's gotta be between him and Evans now due to Evans gun ability at Time Trials, and Schleck, Kohl and Sastre's weakness at time trials.
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Old 07-23-2008, 10:49 PM   #23
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Evans is only down 1:34 to Sastre.

There were two time trials last year that were of similar distance to what is coming up on Saturday, and in both occasions, Evans beat Sastre by about 2:30.

I think Sastre will do the time trial of his life, being in yellow, but I don't believe he'll be able to hold off Evans. I think enough was done today so that he could take the yellow jersey after the time trial.
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Old 07-24-2008, 12:24 AM   #24
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Yeah, I would have to give the nod to Evans at this point. Watching the race this morning, Phil and Paul were saying that Sastre needed to win by around 2 minutes or 2:30 today to be in good shape, but it seems like they were off by about a minute.

I think Sastre has a chance, but Evans should be able to pull it out. Although I'm gonna root for the underdog. And a final margin less than Lemond-Fignon's 8 seconds. Because that would be out-of-this-world exciting.
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Old 07-24-2008, 10:51 AM   #25
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See, I look at Evans more as the underdog. Yes, he's considered one of the favorites, but look at what he's had to go through. He's had to do everything alone because his team sucks. They worked at getting Popovych, and he hasn't helped at all. To be able to stand up to a powerful team like CSC and still have a chance to win is quite unbelievable.
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Old 07-24-2008, 11:51 AM   #26
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I see your point and concur that Evans has a much weaker team. However, he has been the popular favorite to win, since the beginning.

No doubt he's an impressive winner, just kind of boring. Maybe if he did have a better team, he'd be able to launch some impressive attacks.

A ride like Sastre's yesterday excites me -- I love to see that daring and courageousness. That's why I'll root for him in the time trial.

But I'm sure Evans is a good guy and it's exciting to see Australia having a chance at a tour winner.
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Old 07-24-2008, 01:51 PM   #27
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What the hell happened to Cunego today? 20 minutes behind and the entire Lampre team crosses with him? Understandable on a mountain stage, but the biggest one today was a Cat 2

Anyways, I'm rooting for Sastre to win, but I do hope it comes down to a matter of single-digit seconds so that there's a little excitement on the Champs-Elysees. I don't know why, but I don't really like Evans much. He seems like he's not really putting forth any effort and just cruising along until the TT comes (which is probably the case, really). He didn't appear to really care all that much on the mountains, and I don't really think that's an exciting way to determine the winner of a Tour de France. I'd love to see an attack on the yellow jersey on the final lap in Paris
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Old 07-24-2008, 02:01 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveC View Post
What the hell happened to Cunego today? 20 minutes behind and the entire Lampre team crosses with him? Understandable on a mountain stage, but the biggest one today was a Cat 2
He crashed early on, and his team went back for him to try to get him back, but they never did.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveC View Post
Anyways, I'm rooting for Sastre to win, but I do hope it comes down to a matter of single-digit seconds so that there's a little excitement on the Champs-Elysees. I don't know why, but I don't really like Evans much. He seems like he's not really putting forth any effort and just cruising along until the TT comes (which is probably the case, really). He didn't appear to really care all that much on the mountains, and I don't really think that's an exciting way to determine the winner of a Tour de France. I'd love to see an attack on the yellow jersey on the final lap in Paris
Evans is really limited in what he can do because his team sucks - he has absolutely no help. If he attacks, one CSC rider will follow, and then if he tries again, another one will do it. They will alternate and wear him down until he can't attack anymore, and then they will attack, and he'll be so worn out that he would get dropped. That's why he can't do anything in the mountains.

He needs a better team, plain and simple. If he and Sastre switched places, it would be a different story. Put him on CSC surrounded by all those great riders, and he'd blow people away.
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Old 07-26-2008, 11:33 AM   #29
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It's Sastre!
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Old 07-26-2008, 12:56 PM   #30
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Woohoo! The ride of his life! Yay Sastre!

I'm really surprised at the result after looking at Evans' previous results against Sastre in time trials. Evans picked up only around 30 seconds. It really is the power of the Yellow Jersey. And I think Evans just didn't have the energy after those tough mountain stages.

Anyway, it did turn out to be one of the more exciting tours.

And a nice ride by Vande Velde today.
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