Organisers Spice up Tour

Just came across next years tour route, will be nail biting end to a great race.


  • He's not gonna win the Mountain TT stage anyway, so that'll be against him.

    Also they've limited the losses in the Team TT to 2 mins 30, so that will help his rivals.

    And, he ain't getting any younger !
  • I'd like to see him make history

    and he may be more focussed this year after the personal problems that were so everdently affecting him last year
  • I agree WW, I would love to see him take the sixth, think he deserves it.

    Will be a tough one though, with Ullrich going back to Telekom, he will have a stronger team, especially with Alexander Winokurow who was great this year.

    Read in the week that he will settle for a divorce with Kik and is now seeing actress Sandra Bullock!!!!!
  • He's denied the Sandra Bullock thing now. Said that they are 'just good friends'.


    She might be driving the USPS bus next year though !
  • well Sandra does not admit to two timing me :o))
  • Mountain tt's are one of his strengths. And lets face it who can challenge him.The main contender is getting old as well and even with the problems of this year he still won. And Ullrich hasn't got much more, if any to give. I would like to see him win.
  • Every year the organisers make changes to try and negate Lance's strengths. The fact is he is still the best all round cyclist - that's why he wins every year and I can't see him failing in '04. As he says himself, he doesn't turn up to finish second (or words to that effect).
  • Anyone know which stage is the Etape next yr? Anyone doing it?
  • Limoges / Saint-Flour (238 km) - Sunday, July the 11th 2004

    I'd like to do the etape one year - it is a little beyond my biking skills at this stage
  • I'm for Lance too, what a guy!!
  • My money is on Tyler Hamilton - it was last year too and who's to say that w/out that crash on day one that he wouldn;t have been challenging overall.
    BUT, Ullrich is a good bet too - i'd put Lance 3rd. BUT don;t forget Vinc, Beloki et al.
    Potentially even better than last year!
  • Hamilton is even older than Lance isn't he ?
    And who is he riding for now ?

    At least Ullie will have a decent team to back him up next year. Lance always has a good team to work hard for him.

    (I think it's too early to say anything for Le Tour now - ask me in June 2004 !)
  • And I'm looking for laminate flooring - do I go for the Quick Step flooring, or the Berry Floor that sponsor Lance ?

    (or prob save money and get the cheapo B&Q version and so much for sponsoring a cycle time !!)
  • hamilton is good but not in the same league
    as for the others they are all capable but only if lance has problems. on a level playing field none of them could live with him
  • You will ALL be proven wrong...

    BTW, Hamilton has a team being built around him alone for that race only...
  • and armstrong hasn't. and it is the strongest team around even the other teams say that.
  • But he will NOT be the favourite - doing 5 tours takes a LOT out of you - ask Big Mig...
    I'd be VERY surprised if LA is the bookies favourite in June.
  • He deffo be the favourite at the bookies. Odds aren't just due to ability but the amount of money placed on them, and Lance has LOTS of supporters.

  • old dancin' was beaten by a drug taker(he didn't get caught) and he was not the rider armstrong is. Armstrong climbs better ttrials better and no one can doubt his mental strength.
  • I can't really see how the course is designed to stop LA winning - after this year I'd have thought more emphasis on flat time trials would have favoured Ulrich - if anything it suits Armstrong.

    Then again Ulrich should potentially be better prepared for 2004 than he was this year - remember he was not that long back in the sport and the Bianchi team was cobbled together at short notice.

    I can't see Hamilton winning it. I would like to see some of the other contenders concentrate on the Tour this year - Simoni and riders like that.
  • That mountain time trial really will play into Lance's hands. I can't see anyone beating him. He's the strongest toughest rider, especially mentally. I'd like to see Jan giving him a tough time but really, I know who my money's on.
  • I don't think Lance will win the Mountain TT.

    He is a very good climber, but I don't think he'll be the best on that stage. I'd look to one of the specialised climbers to beat him - maybe even one of his own team.

    Jan did amazingly well this year to come back after a few wildernes years, with no team support, and no long term plans like Lance had. I think he'll be getting better next year.
  • From :

    Jan Ullrich has recommenced cycling training after a short break at the end of the season.

    Ullrich has never started his pre-season training this early, and he will continue in December in a warmer climate.

    Can't wait for the Battle Royale in July !

  • the difference in performance at that level is only an edge. people keep making a big thing about ullrich but the bottom line is he was at his best a few years ago and will never reach that level again. he couldn't beat armstrong then and won't next year. the race was closer this year because of various factors none of which were that the other riders were catching up with lance. he was ill, had personal problems, had crashes and had a lot of loose cannons in the peleton trying their luck. none of which had long term prospects of a podium. I would like to see hamilton win as he seems a nice guy and god knows he's suffered enough (am i alone in wondering why he seems to crash a lot). true the mountain tt will probably be won by a specialist climber but those who are capable of beating armstrong in that won't in the long run. the last pure climber to win was pantani and he was a druggie. apart from him a climber hasn't won the tour for decades.
  • I still think Jan was a bit immature in those days. He's got a lot of class as he showed this year, and he wasn't so far off Lance.

    Dunno about Hamilton - remember Bobby Julich getting on the podium a few years ago, and he never came anywhere near that again. Tyler has signed for Phonak - so not sure if that will be a good a set up as CSC was for him, and he'll be 32 next tour, so can't see him progressing much further than he already has.

    David Millar for the prologue anyway !
  • The last mountain tt in the tour was won by ... Lance Armstrong.
    Its very early days yet but you can be sure that Lance will be the best prepared rider. Sure, Ullrich will be stronger and in a strong team (with Ullrich back at Telecom, presumably as leader, Vinokourov wont be able to win), however I feel that in his heart he knows he can't beat Armstrong. So who does that leave? Beloki, Hamilton, perhaps even Miller, Mayo... I don't think so, great riders although they are. Sorry, I can't see beyond Armstrong.
  • I can't see how people can say Ulrich can't beat Armstrong - he wasn't far off this year - if you take away the advantage Armstrong gained by having a stronger team I don't think you can say Armstrong rode a better tour than Jan. I wouldn't say that Vinokourov wont be able to challenge either - remember Hinault and GLM - OK so team orders did dictate BH got the win but it shows two riders from the same team can get into a position to challenge - and if that were to happen with JU and Vino then Armstrong wouldn't know which one to mark.
  • I think Vino' and Ullie on the same team might be a good thing. Lance can't let either of them have their chance.

    (course they might in-fight and mess it up, but that's all part of the fun too !)
  • I wouldn't say Jan can't beat Lance Armstrong, but certainly the mountain time trial suits Armstrong.
    I'd back him to beat the specialist climbers in the TT, including Heras in his own team who won the short final TT in the Vuelta this year.
  • apart from the tttrial armstrongs team were not very supportive, one of his problems. it didn't meld like other years and key riders couldn't help when they were needed. armstrong found himself covering situations that should have been 'dealt' with by others.As for ullrich being immature that can be an excuse where tactics are concerned but not physically, he is older as well and not now at his peak even with the best of training.
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