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Armstrong 'not a favourite'

SchmidthouseSchmidthouse Posts: 134
edited January 2009 in Pro race
http://www.theage.com.au/news/sport/arm ... 30774.html


TOUR de France great Lance Armstrong won't start among the favourites to win the Tour Down Under in January, Australian champion Stuart O'Grady says.

But the American will draw plenty of attention in his first serious race after announcing his return to professional cycling.

O'Grady will lead the Saxo Bank team in the first ProTour event of the new season.

The team includes German Jens Voigt, rising star Nicki Sorensen and fellow Australian Matthew Goss. However, there will be no appearance from current Tour de France champion Carlos Sastre after his decision to leave the Saxo Bank squad.

O'Grady rates himself 75 per cent fit as he searches for a third Tour Down Under win.

He said while Armstrong would receive plenty of attention, he was not going to be the hot favourite for the race.

"There's going to be a lot of other guys out there who are possible winners before Lance," O'Grady said.

"He's not going to be anywhere near the peak form he would be for the Tour de France."

The tour runs from January 20 to 25.

AAP
There's no time for hesitating.
Pain is ready, pain is waiting.
Primed to do it's educating.

Posts

  • Jez monJez mon Posts: 3,809
    Have to agree with him. I'm 99.99% certain Lance really isn't going to Australia to win and that he's just there to take it "easy" in the peleton and enjoy the weather.

    Of course there's a tiny possibility that Lance V3 is attempting to win everything, and attempt to replace Merckx as the greatest ever, this is most unlikely IMO!
    You live and learn. At any rate, you live
  • afx237viafx237vi Posts: 12,630
    Wasn't it 6 bunch sprints in 6 stages last year? Even the Willunga Hill stage didn't break up the peloton. What would Willunga Hill be in the Tour de France anyway - category 3?

    Unless they've suddenly discovered a 15 kilometre climb somewhere in the Adelaide region that nobody noticed before, I somehow don't think Lance Armstrong can win this race.
  • It really is a spin fest, they need to make it harder to try and break the groups up but at this time of year, no-one is really looking for much.
    There's no time for hesitating.
    Pain is ready, pain is waiting.
    Primed to do it's educating.
  • afx237viafx237vi Posts: 12,630
    It really is a spin fest, they need to make it harder to try and break the groups up but at this time of year, no-one is really looking for much.

    True, but it doesn't really do much for the image and the credibility of the race if it's won on bonus seconds every year.

    Some of the European riders don't give a censored , but the Australians must surely be motivated to make it a good race. As it is now, there's virtually no point in livening up the race with attacks because everyone is focused on one stage - and even that stage didn't break it up last year.

    Look at the Tour of California. It's only a couple of weeks later, but it isn't afraid of including some killer stages. OK, maybe there aren't any big mountains in that region of Australia, but surely there's more than one hill!
  • In that part of Aus there are no true big climbs but they could run some very lumpy stages that would break things up nicely. I don't know why but Aus course designers seem to be scared to make things too hard, the Herald Sun Tour has softened up lately too, they could run a great couple of stages through the high couintry in Victoria, have multiple climbs on one stage.
    There's no time for hesitating.
    Pain is ready, pain is waiting.
    Primed to do it's educating.
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    I'm not familiar with the course, but do they venture out into the Adelaide Hills at all Surely that would make things a bit trickier. (Apologies for the ignorance.)
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • moray_gubmoray_gub Posts: 3,328
    It really is a spin fest, they need to make it harder to try and break the groups up but at this time of year, no-one is really looking for much.

    Isnt it part of the attraction for European teams the fact that it is all concentrated on one city,so one hotel nomajor travelling etc etc . As a spectacle the race is on a par with the Eneco tour but id imagine thats the way the teams want it.

    MG
    Gasping - but somehow still alive !
  • Moray Gub wrote:
    It really is a spin fest, they need to make it harder to try and break the groups up but at this time of year, no-one is really looking for much.

    Isnt it part of the attraction for European teams the fact that it is all concentrated on one city,so one hotel nomajor travelling etc etc . As a spectacle the race is on a par with the Eneco tour but id imagine thats the way the teams want it.

    MG

    I guess so, I imagine the same as the other races at this time of year. Even still a few lumpy stages can't hurt and the Adelaide hills aren't that far.
    There's no time for hesitating.
    Pain is ready, pain is waiting.
    Primed to do it's educating.
  • This year will be alot different to years previous, there is alot more climbing in this years event than previous. They will go up willunga three times in the one stage and stage four i think has two very decent hills* in it. It will not be a sprint fest this year im 99% sure. Mike Tutur the race director has in years previous kept it too a glorified training ride in the intrest of getting the Pro Teams to come last year would have been harder aswell if it wasnt for getting the Pro Tour tag until a couple of months out from the event, to late to change the course and with a full strength pro tour peleton it was an out and out sprinters race. I think we will get some really good racing this year.
    Take care of the luxuries and the necessites will take care of themselves.
  • Dave_1Dave_1 Posts: 9,512
    I'd still rather see stage races in China or south America given the benefits of upgrade to Pro tour level....bias against the developing world and Australia being very good at marketing a race with little behind it in terms of grand tour winners, great mountain climbers, or real mountains etc

    ...unlike Columbia!!

    Lance Vs columbia in the Andes would result in the same humbling Hinault, Fignon, millar and Kelly received in their trips to that race in the 80s
  • moray_gubmoray_gub Posts: 3,328
    This year will be alot different to years previous, there is alot more climbing in this years event than previous. They will go up willunga three times in the one stage and stage four i think has two very decent hills* in it. It will not be a sprint fest this year im 99% sure. Mike Tutur the race director has in years previous kept it too a glorified training ride in the intrest of getting the Pro Teams to come last year would have been harder aswell if it wasnt for getting the Pro Tour tag until a couple of months out from the event, to late to change the course and with a full strength pro tour peloton it was an out and out sprinters race. I think we will get some really good racing this year.

    I think that lack of hills seems to escalate Willunga (at least in the commentators eyes) to something its not , namely a hill that really breaks things up. Every time ive caught the race the pros seem to scoosh up it without hardly breaking sweat.

    MG
    Gasping - but somehow still alive !
  • moray_gubmoray_gub Posts: 3,328
    Dave_1 wrote:
    I'

    Lance Vs columbia in the Andes would result in the same humbling Hinault, Fignon, millar and Kelly received in their trips to that race in the 80s

    I seem to remember Kelly talking about this before saying something like he needed to get acclimatised and when he did he could compete and iirc he won stage or was it two ?

    MG
    Gasping - but somehow still alive !
  • Gav888Gav888 Posts: 946
    The tour runs from January 20 to 25.

    Will this be on TV, Sky, or the internet to watch?
    Cycling never gets any easier, you just go faster - Greg LeMond
  • Gav888Gav888 Posts: 946
    The tour runs from January 20 to 25.

    Will this be on TV, Sky, or the internet to watch?
    Cycling never gets any easier, you just go faster - Greg LeMond
  • Gav888Gav888 Posts: 946
    The tour runs from January 20 to 25.

    Will this be on TV, Sky, or the internet to watch?
    Cycling never gets any easier, you just go faster - Greg LeMond
  • SpaceJunkSpaceJunk Posts: 1,157
    Um, according to race director Mike Turtur, LA is a near certainty for the win.

    If LA is within two minutes of the overall when they hit the bottim of Old Willunga Hill (for the second time), "He can just rip the guts out of it."

    Watchout for the Freight-train!

    On a side note I didn't realise that "Armstrong conquered the gruelling Mt Ventoux twice during his 2000 and 2002 Tour de France overall victories after he used the 1912m summit for practice."

    "Armstrong had training runs on Mt Ventoux before the race," Turtur said.

    "He did it eight times before the actual Tour de France. That's the type of rider he is.

    And in case you don't believe that LA is taking the TDU seriously, he has prepared himself by studying the Tour Down Under's stages via the internet and their tricky climbs and flats.

    Turtur said Armstrong would be aggressive, vicious, but at the same time meticulous on the bike.

    Armstrong's Team Astana is expected to protect the "once-in-a-century" rider at all costs, Turtur said.

    ---- Ahh, there is nothing better then a good laugh to start the day off.

    Link here:
    http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/story/0,22606,24877217-12428,00.html
  • Do ya think old Mike might be trying to stoke the public intrest in that stage much :wink: .
    Take care of the luxuries and the necessites will take care of themselves.
  • SpaceJunkSpaceJunk Posts: 1,157
    Do ya think old Mike might be trying to stoke the public intrest in that stage much :wink: .

    I just loved how Mike said that it's Lance's humility that stops him from being a favourite!

    Richard, do you know when the Dutch are coming out in their vans to camp alongside Old Willunga Hill? Can't wait to see that sea of orange! :lol:
  • That and this one
    "Not many would do the same. He knew every bump, every corner, that's why he's a champion."

    Because no one else recons rides, Mike should know better his one Olympic Gold. He seems a little star struck to me. His going to have egg on his face if Lancey Boy just trundles around in te peloton.

    Im intrested in how Mick Rogers goes his in the ToC line up and aswell and will be intresting to see if he conserves for that race or goes all out for the TdU.
    Take care of the luxuries and the necessites will take care of themselves.
  • Dave_1Dave_1 Posts: 9,512
    will be interesting to see if Lance A being out on the roads of OZ will draw many extra spectators or column inches for the sport down under and overseas? Almost every one of you experts on here hate him...but he will raise the profile of that Australian event way beyond anything Contador or boonen could ever do...which of course is bad for cycling
  • Dave_1
    will be interesting to see if Lance A being out on the roads of OZ will draw many extra spectators or column inches for the sport down under and overseas? Almost every one of you experts on here hate him...but he will raise the profile of that Australian event way beyond anything Contador or boonen could ever do...which of course is bad for cycling

    im sure we will get more Lance coverage but very little race coverage. Im sceptical about the whole raising the profile of the race thing, its looked at as a very average race from you euro guys and locally its always be very well supported. I dont hate Lance i just dont believe everything i hear or read.
    Take care of the luxuries and the necessites will take care of themselves.
  • SpaceJunkSpaceJunk Posts: 1,157
    Dave_1 wrote:
    will be interesting to see if Lance A being out on the roads of OZ will draw many extra spectators or column inches for the sport down under and overseas? Almost every one of you experts on here hate him...but he will raise the profile of that Australian event way beyond anything Contador or boonen could ever do...which of course is bad for cycling

    The TDU gets according to the SA government over 1/2 million spectators. After riding in the media vans for all stages of last year, I am extremely sceptical of this figure. (But we are talking government here :wink: ).

    I think the biggest impact Lance will have on South Australia will be not to get more people roadside, but rather get people riding their bikes and getting fit.

    There has already been an increase in the number of inches given to the TdU. But if you take out the LA stories, there is probably less info about the race. This whole week has become "LA @ the TDU".

    I'm expecting there to be quite a bit of backlash after the TDU - especially if LA just uses it as a training run (although Mike Turtur believes Lance is 'the favourite'). It has just come out in recent days that the SA government increased their budget to Events SA (which runs the TDU) by 1.6 million dollars AFTER Lance was announced as a starter. Although we will never know exactly how much, we can assume a large chunk of this will be to cover LA's 'commitments' whilst he is here.

    The government will come out and say the event was a great success, inflate the stats to show how great it was, and then the opposition will say waste of money, Lance did nothing blah, blah , blah.

    I still think a lot of the stages will end in bunch sprints, and unless it's hot - or someone is in terrific form - I'm still not convinced that climbing Willunga Hill twice will splinter the entire peloton. (Lance certainly won't get two minutes on the climb as suggested by Mike Turtur).

    As far as the impact Lance has on the race and the affect of it overseas, I'm sure the posters overseas will be the best judge of that.

    Oh and Dave - you don't have to be an expert to dislike Lance. I'm not an expert, but my opinion is - brilliant 3 week stage rider, done some great work for cancer research, but after reading HIS two books, he's not the type of person I aspire to.
  • Dave_1Dave_1 Posts: 9,512
    edited January 2009
    Dave_1
    will be interesting to see if Lance A being out on the roads of OZ will draw many extra spectators or column inches for the sport down under and overseas? Almost every one of you experts on here hate him...but he will raise the profile of that Australian event way beyond anything Contador or boonen could ever do...which of course is bad for cycling

    im sure we will get more Lance coverage but very little race coverage. Im sceptical about the whole raising the profile of the race thing, its looked at as a very average race from you euro guys and locally its always be very well supported. I dont hate Lance i just dont believe everything i hear or read.

    what if he wins it...then the race gets reported . For sure, Lance coverage equals bikes in the story...which of course you see as a bad thing...but perhaps everyone can check articles on the media...see how many times the name of the bike race, his training, the distance and severity of the event gets reported....its a part of most stories...you suggest journos write about a person called LA without any mention of why he is famous? You must be waiting on the roadside if you are non fiction poster here :)
  • Dave_1Dave_1 Posts: 9,512
    SpaceJunk wrote:
    Dave_1 wrote:
    will be interesting to see if Lance A being out on the roads of OZ will draw many extra spectators or column inches for the sport down under and overseas? Almost every one of you experts on here hate him...but he will raise the profile of that Australian event way beyond anything Contador or boonen could ever do...which of course is bad for cycling

    The TDU gets according to the SA government over 1/2 million spectators. After riding in the media vans for all stages of last year, I am extremely sceptical of this figure. (But we are talking government here :wink: ).

    I think the biggest impact Lance will have on South Australia will be not to get more people roadside, but rather get people riding their bikes and getting fit.

    There has already been an increase in the number of inches given to the TdU. But if you take out the LA stories, there is probably less info about the race. This whole week has become "LA @ the TDU".

    I'm expecting there to be quite a bit of backlash after the TDU - especially if LA just uses it as a training run (although Mike Turtur believes Lance is 'the favourite'). It has just come out in recent days that the SA government increased their budget to Events SA (which runs the TDU) by 1.6 million dollars AFTER Lance was announced as a starter. Although we will never know exactly how much, we can assume a large chunk of this will be to cover LA's 'commitments' whilst he is here.

    The government will come out and say the event was a great success, inflate the stats to show how great it was, and then the opposition will say waste of money, Lance did nothing blah, blah , blah.

    I still think a lot of the stages will end in bunch sprints, and unless it's hot - or someone is in terrific form - I'm still not convinced that climbing Willunga Hill twice will splinter the entire peloton. (Lance certainly won't get two minutes on the climb as suggested by Mike Turtur).

    As far as the impact Lance has on the race and the affect of it overseas, I'm sure the posters overseas will be the best judge of that.

    Oh and Dave - you don't have to be an expert to dislike Lance. I'm not an expert, but my opinion is - brilliant 3 week stage rider, done some great work for cancer research, but after reading HIS two books, he's not the type of person I aspire to.

    interesting. I did not say I aspire to him and certainly I do not...I agree with you. Think the TDU is a relatively small event with no huge history and yet will from now own be remembered for its name...people taking up cycling will think it is a big event...it is... good luck to you guys. I'd rather see China or Columbia get a pro tour event than this as Oz is doing fine as it is...best to spread the cycling message elsewhere.

    LA gets bike races reported worlwide...LA launched a foundation IMO after blood doping in 1999 ...agree he's a disgrace...LA not sanctioned...move on ... LA and Contador will be the story and down with you lot who want to deny us that TDF battle you killjoys!!!!!!
  • Dave_1
    what if he wins it...then the race gets reported . For sure, Lance coverage equals bikes in the story...which of course you see as a bad thing...but perhaps everyone can check articles on the media...see how many times the name of the bike race, his training, the distance and severity of the event gets reported....its a part of most stories...you suggest journos write about a person called LA without any mention of why he is famous? You must be waiting on the roadside if you are non fiction poster here

    So far ive not seen anything in any article that talks about the event in any other way than the fact that Armstrong is racing in it. That not doing anything for the profile of the race any good its racing Armstrongs profile. As far as more viewers for the race thats great for this year but i dont think that its going to make ppl watch in three years time? The event is going threw a developmental stage it started as a training race for the euros and pro aussies, it slowly started getting more pro teams each year and last year got blind sided with Pro Tour status which killed off any chance of breakaways staying away and it was a bit of a borefest. This year its much less of a sprinters race and more of an all rounders say OGrady Rogers type rider. Just depends on how motivated the peloton is going to be in catching breaks.
    Take care of the luxuries and the necessites will take care of themselves.
  • Dave_1Dave_1 Posts: 9,512
    Dave_1
    what if he wins it...then the race gets reported . For sure, Lance coverage equals bikes in the story...which of course you see as a bad thing...but perhaps everyone can check articles on the media...see how many times the name of the bike race, his training, the distance and severity of the event gets reported....its a part of most stories...you suggest journos write about a person called LA without any mention of why he is famous? You must be waiting on the roadside if you are non fiction poster here

    So far ive not seen anything in any article that talks about the event in any other way than the fact that Armstrong is racing in it. That not doing anything for the profile of the race any good its racing Armstrongs profile. As far as more viewers for the race thats great for this year but i dont think that its going to make ppl watch in three years time? The event is going threw a developmental stage it started as a training race for the euros and pro aussies, it slowly started getting more pro teams each year and last year got blind sided with Pro Tour status which killed off any chance of breakaways staying away and it was a bit of a borefest. This year its much less of a sprinters race and more of an all rounders say OGrady Rogers type rider. Just depends on how motivated the peloton is going to be in catching breaks.

    so the race being mentioned in the media and more viewers in 09 is a bad thing? hmmm... :? i think you should wait 3 years and see how the race is covered then.
  • so the race being mentioned in the media and more viewers in 09 is a bad thing? hmmm... i think you should wait 3 years and see how the race is covered then.

    Didnt say it was a bad thing just think the Armstrong thing is overstated. The race will get better and have more reach but that will have more to do with the organisers doing a good job than Armstrongs one apperance.
    Take care of the luxuries and the necessites will take care of themselves.
  • Dave_1Dave_1 Posts: 9,512
    Just looking at LA in his race jersey...he's over done the weight lifting...his shoulders are far bigger than they need to be for cycling. Maybe he will struggle with that or is is possible he will get leaner muscle lose bulk with the race program he has?...
  • Dave_1 wrote:
    Just looking at LA in his race jersey...he's over done the weight lifting...his shoulders are far bigger than they need to be for cycling. Maybe he will struggle with that or is is possible he will get leaner muscle lose bulk with the race program he has?...

    Well I have some pictures that were emailed to me yesterday and apparently show Lance in training at the beginning of this year. But how the h*** do I post them into here??



    [/img]
    There's no time for hesitating.
    Pain is ready, pain is waiting.
    Primed to do it's educating.
  • Dave_1 wrote:
    Just looking at LA in his race jersey...he's over done the weight lifting...his shoulders are far bigger than they need to be for cycling. Maybe he will struggle with that or is is possible he will get leaner muscle lose bulk with the race program he has?...

    Well I have some pictures that were emailed to me yesterday and apparently show Lance in training at the beginning of this year. But how the h*** do I post them into here??
    There's no time for hesitating.
    Pain is ready, pain is waiting.
    Primed to do it's educating.
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