Tour de France starts July 4 - Armstrong content
Posted by Steve Sullivan (+1409) 13 years ago
Since the Tour is about to start Outside magazine put out a pretty cool article about some of the unknown bits in Lance Armstrong's life during his first tour win. Yes he's riding this year for Astana and has already completed the Giro d'Italia or Tour of Italy. He road very well considering the crash.

Check out the story. It's pretty inspiring.
http://outside.away.com/o...html?imw=Y

[This message has been edited by Steve Sullivan (7/2/2009)]
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Posted by Steve Sullivan (+1409) 13 years ago
souix
That is the link. It seems it keeps changing. I've linked to it 3 times and each was different then it disappears. Too bad it's a long article or I'd just post the whole story.

[This message has been edited by Steve Sullivan (7/2/2009)]
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Posted by Steve Sullivan (+1409) 13 years ago
Levi
I think Levi peaked too early this year as seen in the Giro and the real Astana story is going to be Lance and Contador. Did you see the Tour of the Basque Country? Contador just left the whole field behind on the climb in stage 3 and soloed in for the win. Amazing ride!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8F2ycQvAkI

[This message has been edited by Steve Sullivan (7/2/2009)]
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3712) 13 years ago
Contador is a stud. I hope Lance is close to his old self for no other reason than to watch him and Contador duel it out on Mt. Ventoux in a couple weeks. If they are close together on GC going into that stage it should be epic.
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Posted by souix (+301) 13 years ago
Levi,

I did not realize that Team Astana had so many strong players. It will be interesting to see who will be the leader of the pack.

Popovych, KlÖdern, Contador and Leipheimer are all contenders in their own right. It is too bad that George Hincapié isn't on the team.

You are right; there will be a lot of drama.
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Posted by J. Dyba (+1350) 13 years ago
If someone had told me 15 years ago that Levi Foreman would be rooting for professional cyclists I woulda thunked them on the head with a branding iron.

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Posted by Levi Forman (+3712) 13 years ago
LOL Josh, I probably would have too. I guess I was corrupted by too many years in California .

FWIW I logged 3300 miles on my own bike last year as well. Becoming a rancher has kind of severely cut into my riding time but I still get out now and then and I still love it every time I go.
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Posted by J. Dyba (+1350) 13 years ago
You should write a book called:

"Potholes for Cowpies: The Ultimate road course."
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Posted by Steve Sullivan (+1409) 13 years ago
J Dyba
I was probably more surprised than you can ever imagine to find out my cowboy cousin was a cyclist. That just makes him all the more cool. Most people don't know about all his James Bond characteristics so mum's the word about that. Okay?

Levi
I did 4,000 vertical climbing last night. I'm pretty jacked for the Tour too. That was also a great read from Outside that you posted too. Thanks.

[This message has been edited by Steve Sullivan (7/2/2009)]
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Posted by Steve Sullivan (+1409) 13 years ago
A little Contador action from the end of May. Wow!
http://www.youtube.com/w...F2ycQvAkI
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Posted by K.Duffy (+1820) 13 years ago
I like the Green Jersey competition the best. Love to see a well organized team catapulting it's sprinter to the finish line! Gonna miss Robbie McEwen this year .
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Posted by Steve Sullivan (+1409) 13 years ago
Astana has 4 riders in the top 10 after stage 1. Contador #2, Kloden #4, Leipheimer #6, Armstrong #10.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3712) 13 years ago
Contador made a pretty strong statement with that prologue. Will be interesting to see how he does in the longer TTs but it's hard to say he's not the leader of the team when he takes 22 seconds out of Armstrong in 15.5k but hey, it's just the prologue.

Cancellara was spectacular as usual.

[This message has been edited by Levi Forman (7/4/2009)]
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Posted by Steve Sullivan (+1409) 13 years ago
Stage #2 - the GC hasn't changed. Cavendish won the stage.

1. Fabian Cancellara Team Saxo Bank in 4:49:41
2. Alberto Contador Astana in 4:49:59
3. Bradley Wiggins Garmin - Slipstream in 4:50:00 at 00:19
4. Andréas KlÖden Astana in 4:50:03 at 00:22
5. Cadel Evans Silence - Lotto in 4:50:04 at 00:23
6. Tony Martin Team Columbia - Htc in 4:50:07 at 00:26
7. Levi Leipheimer Astana in 4:50:11 at 00:30
8. Roman Kreuziger Liquigas in 4:50:13 at 00:32
9. Vincenzo Nibali Liquigas in 4:50:18 at 00:37
10. Lance Armstrong Astana in 4:50:21 at 00:40
11. Gustav Larsson Team Saxo Bank in 4:50:22 at 00:41
12. Mikel Astarloza Euskaltel - Euskadi in 4:50:25 at 00:44
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Posted by MRH (+1519) 13 years ago
The saga begins. There were a few interesting changes after stage 3. We have to wait for the next chapter to see what happens in the GC and more interestingly the Astana team.
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Posted by Steve Sullivan (+1409) 13 years ago
Standings after stage 3

1.Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) in 9:50:58
2.Tony Martin (Columbia - HTC) at 00:33
3.Lance Armstrong (Astana) at 00:40
4.Alberto Contador (Astana) at 00:59
5.Bradley Wiggins (Garmin - Slipstream) at 01:00
6.Andréas Klöden (Astana) at 01:03
7.Linus Gerdemann (Milram) at 01:03
8.Cadel Evans (Silence - Lotto) at 01:04
9.Maxime Monfort (Columbia - HTC) at 01:10
10.Levi Leipheimer (Astana) at 01:11
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3712) 13 years ago
Wow, what a wacky move. Lance really helped himself by getting into it and leaving his competition on and off his team behind. That's one way to make a boring flat stage more interesting.
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Posted by MRH (+1519) 13 years ago
'what a wacky move'

Aw come on Levi, wouldn't savvy be a better word?

You don't win 7 with brawn alone.

Hope you are enjoying the TDF. I just watch the dialog in spurts on VeloNews.com.

Marshall
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Posted by Steve Sullivan (+1409) 13 years ago
It wouldn't surprise me to see a Hinault/Lemond type of scenario between Armstrong and Contador as this race goes on. They are both very capable.
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Posted by MRH (+1519) 13 years ago
Standings after Stage 4

1. Fabian Cancellara Team Saxo Bank in 10:38:07
2. Lance Armstrong Astana
3. Alberto Contador Astana in 10:38:26 at 00:19
4. Andréas KlÖden Astana in 10:38:30 at 00:23
5. Levi Leipheimer Astana in 10:38:38 at 00:31
6. Bradley Wiggins Garmin - Slipstream in 10:38:45 at 00:38
7. Haimar Zubeldia Astana in 10:38:58 at 00:51
8. Tony Martin Team Columbia - Htc in 10:38:59 at 00:52
9. David Zabriskie Garmin - Slipstream in 10:39:13 at 01:06
10. David Millar Garmin - Slipstream in 10:39:14 at 01:07
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3712) 13 years ago
I mean wacky in that I've never seen a whole team go on a breakaway right before the end of a flat stage before. Lance jumping on board was a savvy move for sure.

Another thing I've never seen is 4 legitimate GC contenders on the same team, sitting in 2nd through 5th with the guy in first being a TT specialist that is more or less guaranteed to disappear on the first mountain stage. They're going to have to throw the race tactics manual out the window and start from scratch now. Whatever happens it should be fun to watch.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4463) 13 years ago
See, this is the kind of stuff that happens when you don't obsess about politics.

Not good
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Posted by MRH (+1519) 13 years ago
'Whatever happens it should be fun to watch.'

Levi, I agree totally.

Rick,

For me, this is much more fun and relaxing than politics. I'll let you folks take care of those political discussions, with me tuning in once in a while, when I need a chuckle.
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Posted by Steve Sullivan (+1409) 13 years ago
Stage 4 TTT results put 4 Atana riders in the top 5 in GC. Sweet!

1. Fabian Cancellara Team Saxo Bank in 10:38:07
2. Lance Armstrong Astana
3. Alberto Contador Astana in 10:38:26 at 00:19
4. Andréas KlÖden Astana in 10:38:30 at 00:23
5. Levi Leipheimer Astana in 10:38:38 at 00:31
6. Bradley Wiggins Garmin - Slipstream in 10:38:45 at 00:38
7. Haimar Zubeldia Astana in 10:38:58 at 00:51
8. Tony Martin Team Columbia - Htc in 10:38:59 at 00:52
9. David Zabriskie Garmin - Slipstream in 10:39:13 at 01:06
10. David Millar Garmin - Slipstream in 10:39:14 at 01:07
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6108) 13 years ago
Go Lance!

Go Levi!

[This message has been edited by Brian A. Reed (7/7/2009)]
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Posted by K.Duffy (+1820) 13 years ago
Well put, Levi! All the "traditional" Tour De France rules will be ignored by the Astana team. I don't like that as Americans we can go into the TDF and bring our competitive "nature" to the competition ~ but then again, when is the last time a French team...or rider...won?? I'm thankful for Lance simply because w/o him, we'd never have the TDF on the telly! Thanks, Lance
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Posted by Steve Sullivan (+1409) 13 years ago
After stage 5 the GC now has 5 Astana riders in the top 11. Lance is 1 second from leading the race.

1 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team Saxo Bank 15:07:49
2 Lance Armstrong (USA) Astana
3 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana 0:00:19
4 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Astana 0:00:23
5 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana 0:00:31
6 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Garmin - Slipstream 0:00:38
7 Haimar Zubeldia Aguirre (Spa) Astana 0:00:51
8 Tony Martin (Ger) Team Columbia - HTC 0:00:52
9 David Zabriskie (USA) Garmin - Slipstream 0:01:06
10 David Millar (GBr) Garmin - Slipstream 0:01:07
11 Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por) Astana 0:01:16
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Posted by K.Duffy (+1820) 13 years ago
Levi, I'll see your, "wacky" move, and raise you 1 "Holy Crap" with Thomas Voeckler's win How excited is all of France now??
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Posted by Steve Sullivan (+1409) 13 years ago
" How excited is all of France now??"

Astana was so nice to let a French man win one. Brings back a little of the honor the sport used to have don't ya think?
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Posted by K.Duffy (+1820) 13 years ago
Nice...indeed!
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Posted by Steve Sullivan (+1409) 13 years ago
Stage 6 GC results.

1. Fabian Cancellara Team Saxo Bank in 19:29:22
2. Lance Armstrong Astana in 19:29:22
3. Alberto Contador Astana in 19:29:41 at 00:19
4. Andréas KlÖden Astana in 19:29:45 at 00:23
5. Levi Leipheimer Astana in 19:29:53 at 00:31
6. Bradley Wiggins Garmin - Slipstream in 19:30:00 at 00:38
7. Tony Martin Team Columbia - Htc in 19:30:14 at 00:52
8. Christian Vande Velde Garmin - Slipstream in 19:30:38 at 01:16
9. Gustav Larsson Team Saxo Bank in 19:30:44 at 01:22
10. Maxime Monfort Team Columbia - Htc in 19:30:51 at 01:29

Wouldn't it be wild to see 3 Astana riders on the podium at the end of the month?
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Posted by MRH (+1519) 13 years ago
Today should be very exciting and should definitely impact the GC. Hope you enjoy watching.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3712) 13 years ago
It should be an interesting day. I have to think Contador will want to inflict some pain today and it will be real interesting to see who, if anyone, can hang with him.
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Posted by Steve Sullivan (+1409) 13 years ago
" It should be an interesting day. I have to think Contador will want to inflict some pain today and it will be real interesting to see who, if anyone, can hang with him."

And he did. What a stud. He's like a rocket on the launch pad. When he gets pointed uphill he just blasts away. Amazing.

What a stage. Wow!
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Posted by MRH (+1519) 13 years ago
I moved uptown today and watched some of it on the versus live video feed. That is better than just reading the dialog. Interesting reading some of the negative comments about AC, saying he is not a team player, since he made his move at the end. The VeloNews article on their web site is not very complimentary to AC as a team player. Lots of time for things to happen in the future.

[This message has been edited by MRH (7/10/2009)]
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3712) 13 years ago
He did basically attack his teammate but when your main competition is on your team I gotta think that some of those rules can be bent a bit. I am guessing that Astana had planned for AC to get the stage win today since he is Spanish and this is the only mountaintop finish in the Pyrenees. I am still rooting for Lance and AC to be close going into the Mt. Ventoux stage and really dual it out but I don't know if they will. Of course if Lance can't hang with Contador he can always claim he was just being a good teammate hehe.
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Posted by K.Duffy (+1820) 13 years ago
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3712) 13 years ago
You know the more I think about it, this race is set up beautifully for Astana. If Johann can keep Contador in check until the last 3 days, he could easily wind up with #1 and #2 and possibly even #3 on the final podium. If Lance/Alberto/Levi can work together to keep the other GC threats under control and stay close together on time, it can all come down to the final ITT and the Mt. Ventoux stage on the second to last day of the tour. It would be pretty awesome for all three of those guys to go into the final time trial in great position, ride it for all they're worth, and then shoot it out on Mt. Ventoux to figure out who goes where on the podium. If the race really plays out that way then that stage could be one for the history books.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6108) 13 years ago
I was listening to ESPN radio today and the guest John Seibel had on was talking about how Astana is in for a bit of a civil war of sorts. Most of them are all Armstrong guys. It'll be up to Lance to show that he's got the legs. If he does, they'll side with him and help him more. If not, then they'll really have no choice than to give Contador.

Here's hoping Lance shows Contador that he's not going away just yet.
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Posted by K.Duffy (+1820) 13 years ago
I'm hoping Levi takes both of them by surprise and takes advantage of the in team dissension...that would be
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Posted by Steve Sullivan (+1409) 13 years ago
GC results after stage 9 - Monday is a rest day so no racing.

4 Astana riders in the top 10!

Rinaldo Nocentini (Ag2r-La Mondiale) in 30:18:16
Alberto Contador (Astana) at 00:06
Lance Armstrong (Astana) at 00:08
Levi Leipheimer (Astana) at 00:39
Bradley Wiggins (Garmin - Slipstream) at 00:46
Andréas Klöden (Astana) at 00:54
Tony Martin (Columbia - HTC) at 01:00
Christian Vande Velde (Garmin - Slipstream) at 01:24
Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) at 01:49
Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) at 01:54


Levi - I was thinking like you about the top 3 places too. Wouldn't that be amazing?!
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6108) 13 years ago
I'm hoping Levi takes both of them by surprise and takes advantage of the in team dissension

Not going to happen. That's not his role with the team.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3712) 13 years ago
Probably true, but if all 3 of them have a legitimate shot at #1 on the final mountain stage i think the normal tactics are gonna go out the window and whoever is strongest will probably go up the road. At that point I wouldn't blame them at all.
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Posted by Steve Sullivan (+1409) 13 years ago
6 people within 1 minute of the Yellow Jersey. This is going to be a nail biter.

Hinault has it right. The other teams need to go on the offensive. Attack! That would add some color.
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Posted by K.Duffy (+1820) 13 years ago
Does anyone else wish Mark Cavendish was an American? I've almost forgot ole what's his name...
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Posted by MRH (+1519) 13 years ago
Too bad about Levi. Astana's tactics will have to change somewhat after his departure.

Don't forget Farrar is an American, and he is a pretty fair sprinter.

Hope you all enjoy the TDF today.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3712) 13 years ago
Bummer for Levi. Hard to say how many tours he has left in him at 35. FWIW he lives in California now but he's originally from Butte.

I hope Tyler manages to steal at least one from Cavendish. He has been close a couple times.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3712) 13 years ago
Well the Ventoux stage wasn't as decisive as I had hoped, but it was entertaining to watch anyway. Kind of a unique situation to have the top two guys both working to help teammates rather than vice versa. The time gaps pretty much dictated that Contador and Andy Schleck were pretty well fixed in their positions though, and it was nice to see Contador helping Lance. I really didn't know if he was willing to do that.

Lance was looking like his old self today. If he had ridden that well on all of the mountain stages he probably would have been second but 3rd place at age 37 after 4 years of retirement is a very impressive feat. Heck I was impressed when he came in second at the Leadville 100 last year but this is a whole other ballgame. It will be very interesting to see who winds up on Team Radio Shack next year and what Lance can do when he's had more time to come back to form and has a team that is riding for him exclusively. Would love to see Hincapie riding with Lance again and Kloden would be another great guy to bring over.

I really think Levi should go to Columbia or some other team where he could be the undisputed GC man rather than riding for Lance but you never know.

The only drama left will be whether anyone can steal the win on the Champs d'Elysees from Cavendish.
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Posted by Steve Sullivan (+1409) 13 years ago
It was a fun tour to watch. Some of the breaks early in each stage made it pretty exciting but we knew all along they would either be reeled back in before the end or at least the chase would get close enough to negate any time differences.

I was really surprised to see just how much Lance had in him. Pretty amazing considering the crash earlier in the season and years of retirement (sort of). It will indeed be interesting to see who he gets on the Radio Shack team (they still in business?). Kloden has a lot of potential and having Hincappie would also be a good choice if he's up for it. There are a lot of other great riders as well and I'm sure the choices will be well thought out.

It was a pretty exciting Astana show for July. 2 on the podium and the team as a whole was stellar. I would have liked to see more teams trying to take control though. It would have made for a lot more drama.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3712) 13 years ago
I heard a rumor that Levi, Chris Horner, Popovitch, and Kloden (and Brunyeel) are on board for team Radio Shack. George says he's happy with Columbia but it would be great to see him on that team as well. Contador obviously isn't going to be on it hehe. That is the makings of a heck of a team though.
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