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Old 07-10-2009, 01:56 PM   #16
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Because the strongest teams out there already have clear cut leaders. His team needs to do a better job of getting stronger helpers.

He tried today though, but there was no way Astana was going to let him go. Armstrong was on his wheel immediately.

Then Contador took off, but he only gained 21 seconds on the main field, and it seemed more for show than anything else, but it was enough to give him a psychological advantage over the others. Armstrong played the noble teammate and just made sure nobody else went with him.

Gonna be interesting how this plays out. Only two seconds separate Contador and Armstrong.
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Old 07-10-2009, 02:40 PM   #17
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The high-def coverage of the Tour this year is awesome - incredible visuals.
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Old 07-10-2009, 04:51 PM   #18
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Agreed. The shots from the helicopter have always been great, but now that they finally got it in HD, it's better than ever.
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Old 07-17-2009, 10:12 AM   #19
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Leipheimer's out.

That makes it even more interesting.
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Old 07-18-2009, 04:05 PM   #20
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Too bad about Levi -- he's a class act. And too bad about Hincapie losing out on the Yellow Jersey today by 5 seconds. You should see the write-up of today's stage at the New York Times -- seems like there is a lot of bad blood now between the two American teams. People faulting Garmin-Slipstream for chasing Hincapie down and keeping him out of yellow.

Bob Roll, a former professional rider who is a commentator for Versus, said Garmin should brace itself for retribution.

“I think they are going to rue the day that they chased down George,” he said. “The payback will be substantial and it will be swift. Reprisals will be Old Testament-style.”



Sunday's stage should be a great one -- we'll see if anything happens between Armstrong and Contador on the mountaintop finish, or if they'll wait until to Ventoux to decide things.
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Old 07-18-2009, 11:26 PM   #21
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A lot of people were accusing Lance of attacking Hincapie as well - he responded rather forcefully on his twitter page.
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Old 07-19-2009, 11:52 AM   #22
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Wow -- even though Lance is 37, it's still a bit shocking to see him come in 9th on a key mountain stage.

Contador is one of the best climbers I've ever seen, what acceleration. Great job by Andy Schleck.

Bummer to see Vande Velde 2:41 back for the stage.
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Old 07-19-2009, 12:11 PM   #23
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Yeah, Contador seems to have an extra gear at will. It's his to lose now. Lance did a great job.
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Old 07-19-2009, 11:09 PM   #24
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After this stage, I see a Contador/Schleck/Wiggins podium. Armstrong is going to have to reach quite deep to prevent big time losses on Ventoux.

But he's got the right attitude -- he's not devastated by his finish today, and has 7 Tour wins already.

He's doing very well for a 37-year-old guy, but he's no longer the best of the best.

I wonder how this year's Contador would fare against Armstrong in 2001 or 2002.
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Old 07-20-2009, 08:51 AM   #25
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Contador blew them all away.

Kind of painful to see Lance struggle like that.

I'm not so sure if Schleck will reach the podium because of the time trial, though. It's never been one of his strengths.

I can, however, see Wiggins pull up to second easily. He's a great time trialist, and if keeps his form for Ventoux, I don't see how he doesn't get runner-up.
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Old 07-21-2009, 09:13 PM   #26
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Good to see Lance show some feistiness today and close the gap on the 2nd climb. Almost looked like his old self for a few minutes there. Makes me feel slightly more optimistic about his chances of making the podium, but I still see Schleck and Wiggins being able to gain time on him up Ventoux.

Sorry to see Jens Voigt have such a bad crash.
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Old 07-22-2009, 11:01 AM   #27
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Exciting final climb - looks like the Schlecks are trying to shake Contador, but can't.
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Old 07-22-2009, 12:08 PM   #28
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Yeah, very exciting -- Lance is in trouble if he wants a podium finish. He may pick up some time tomorrow in the ITT, but I wouldn't be surprised if he lost even more on Mt. Ventoux.

I think the Schlecks realized it would be very difficult to drop Contador, but they did themselves a lot of good for their podium hopes.

Velo News has partial stage results, and Cadel Evans still isn't on the list, and has dropped out of the top 25 in the GC, at least 30 minutes back.
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Old 07-22-2009, 12:19 PM   #29
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Wiggins is looking a bit less strong too, but will move up Thursday. Schleck should podium. The other podium spot seems up for grabs among 3 or 4 riders.
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Old 07-22-2009, 02:48 PM   #30
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Frank Schleck is terrible in the TT and will fall off.

Andy Schleck is decent, but he finished 20 seconds behind Armstrong in the prologue, and that is much shorter. I could see Armstrong move ahead of him again after that. Wiggins might have lost too much, though.

Of course, Schleck could leapfrog up again after Ventoux, although I'm wondering if Contador has it all wrapped up by then (and he will), if they will let Lance loose for the stage win. He's never won on Ventoux.
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