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  1. #1
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    Weak Phonak Team

    So I guess we might see if a weak team can cost you a Grand Tour. Merckx was the last man with Landis today and he got dropped as soon as T-mobile opened the gas up on the Portillon. I guess they could really turn it around but so far they've not looked very good.

  2. #2
    Old enough to know better
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    I really dont think they were wanting to get the jersey this early. I think they would have liked to wait till say next week. Floyd is going to be SEVERLY tested. That said I think Floyd has the goods. I feel like Floyd is the only guy that could win this thing basicly by himself which he is going to have to do if he wants to feel whats it like to wear yellow in Paris. Still got a long ways to go, lots of work to be done.
    Go Floyd!
    We're currently thinking about halving the placenta and using one half for jerky and wearing the other half around as a hat. ~ Catzilla

  3. #3
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    I'm not going to argue that they have a strong team, but Floyd's comments were interesting:

    Q: Would it be correct to say that your team worked well during the first climb, and that you sort of gave them the last climb off?

    FL: The same thing than yesterday. We told most of the guys that it wasn't necessary to have the whole team there with me, even one guy would be enough. Probably some people misjudged the strength of our team to think that they're all bad; today we gambled a little. A couple of teams were very confident and did most of the work for us. Probably we can't expect that to happen anymore, but we take it.

    http://www.cyclingnews.com/road/2006...d_landis_tdf06

  4. #4
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    I've been surprised by the strength of Gerolsteiner thus far. Between Landis and Levi, I think most people thought Levi had the weak team. So far, they look better than Discovery, CSC, and Phonak.

    I don't think you'll see Floynak work too hard this weekend to protect the MJ. If someone wants to get in a breakaway in a transitional stage and get the jersey going into the Alps, Floyd would be more than happy to let it go. Phonak only has to work if a GC threat gets into an escape, and there aren't many of those left.

    Remember that in Lance's first three wins or so, he didn't have very good teams either.

  5. #5
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    As long as there are more contenders than just Floyd and Menchov it's not going to be a problem because the other contender's teams will have to chase. It could get a little sticky if it's down to a 2 man race but if Floyd is the stronger of the 2 it still won't matter. Rabo would still have to make sure the early breaks didn't gain too much and Floyd can suck their wheels in the valleys as easily as he can his own teams'.

  6. #6
    It's in the game!
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    In Zabriskie's interview Floyd said there are other ways of winning it besides the USPS/Disco strong team way. He has something in mind.

  7. #7
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    If you look at the GC, AG2R and TMob are still in position to raise a rukus with Floyd and Phonak. If I were on either of these two squads i would consider really pushing the pace tomorrow and trying to get into a breakaway to make Phonak work. They still have too many guys to chase down. But I think it would be unwise for anyone other than Cadel and Menchov to assume that they can somehow outclimb Landis. That will only happen if Landis has a bad day, and you can't count on that.

  8. #8
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    If you look at the GC, AG2R and TMob are still in position to raise a rukus with Floyd and Phonak. If I were on either of these two squads i would consider really pushing the pace tomorrow and trying to get into a breakaway to make Phonak work. They still have too many guys to chase down. But I think it would be unwise for anyone other than Cadel and Menchov to assume that they can somehow outclimb Landis. That will only happen if Landis has a bad day, and you can't count on that.

  9. #9
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    I think it's premature to say that Phonak is a weak team.

    Like some of the posters mentioned, Landis may have a different approach to winning this race. Doing it the Lance way doesn't work for everyone, even though we have been accustomed to his complete domination. Lance was strong beyond human comparison, and he could ride anyone off his wheel on the mountains. The current contenders may not have the same abilities as Lance, personally or team-wise.

    Being the strongest wont necessarily win races, but being smart will definitely help.

  10. #10
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    They are absolutely a weak team. If it was Lance completely isolated up front for that long AND Rabobank driving tempo instead of Disco this board would be 1 in 4 threads titled "What's wrong with Disco" or the like. You can bet Floyd would've preferred to have more team with him...they just couldn't handle it...

  11. #11
    ultralord
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckice
    They are absolutely a weak team. If it was Lance completely isolated up front for that long AND Rabobank driving tempo instead of Disco this board would be 1 in 4 threads titled "What's wrong with Disco" or the like. You can bet Floyd would've preferred to have more team with him...they just couldn't handle it...
    Yep!! Landis is on his own!! Getting his own water and food, seeking shelter with the other teams up front.

    Thank Gawd there's no TTT or Floyd might not be in the lead right now. I hope Floyd can stay safe by his lonesome out there.

    fc

  12. #12
    Off the back.
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois
    Thank Gawd there's no TTT or Floyd might not be in the lead right now.
    Interesting point. If there was a TTT this year (Cmon bring it back!), TMobile might have the top 3 right now.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckice
    They are absolutely a weak team. If it was Lance completely isolated up front for that long AND Rabobank driving tempo instead of Disco this board would be 1 in 4 threads titled "What's wrong with Disco" or the like. You can bet Floyd would've preferred to have more team with him...they just couldn't handle it...

    That already happened last year. Look at the posts after the first one or two mountain stages.

    Armstrong was left alone and TMobile still couldn't put the hurtin' on him, though they tried.

    [edit]
    Because I was bored, here are the first two "OMG Discovery is weak" threads from last year...
    Disco Strong as Postal?
    L.a. Isolated From Team Again! Bfd!
    Last edited by Einstruzende; 07-13-2006 at 04:09 PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Einstruzende
    That already happened last year. Look at the posts after the first one or two mountain stages.

    Armstrong was left alone and TMobile still couldn't put the hurtin' on him, though they tried.

    [edit]
    Because I was bored, here are the first two "OMG Discovery is weak" threads from last year...
    Disco Strong as Postal?
    L.a. Isolated From Team Again! Bfd!
    They are sort of lucky that there were basically no attacks - steady tempo until Boogerd pulled over. In some sense Boogerd helped Landis. Imagine Menchov going off by himself and opening a big gap. Everyone looks at Landis to chase. He is forced to chase by himself (unless he has teammates), or risk losing time. Others sit on Landis, then attack later.

  15. #15
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    All I'm saying is people have bought into the OLN hype about how important it is to have a strong USPS/Discoesque team in a GT and I've always maintained that's not the case. If you have the strongest rider almost any Div. 1 team can control the race sufficiently well. AG2r did fine today controlling the race today until T-mobile blew them out of the water. If Dessel would have had the legs he would have been in a fine position on the final climb just like Moreau was. Rabobank clearly was the superior team today and it didn't do squat for Menchov vs. Landis. Even having a good mountain domestique or two doesn't necessarily mean anything. Piepoli was with Simoni on every mountain stage of the Giro after Basso was isolated and it did him no good what so ever.

    Theoretically it could hurt Landis to be isolated or worked over by other teams sending threatening riders up the road but this scenario almost never pans out b/c others will protect their interests as well. In all probability all Landis had to do is watch Menchov and have the legs to follow him and he'll be fine with or without teammates.

  16. #16
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    I wouldn't count them out yet. Floyd just used the other teams (Rabobank). I'm not convinced that Phonak couldn't have been up front. Maybe Floyd has something in mind and is saving them for now.

    Of course I could be wrong. But after seeing Floyd race the Tour de Geogia and now this stage he seems just as happy to sit on someone elses wheel and cover any attacks. Then put time on them in the TT. Maybe it doesn't matter that much, as long as they can cover or get in the early breaks.

    Shall see.....

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by SenorBlanco
    Interesting point. If there was a TTT this year (Cmon bring it back!), TMobile might have the top 3 right now.
    T-Mobile are down two riders though. THat would not have left them much if any margin for error. Plus the way it works now, even if Tmobile won by a few minutes, the loss would be limited. Phonak would be in the top 5 or 6, and I doubt it would have made a big difference in the long run.


    I do miss the TTT. Years ago, I did not like them. But they have grown on me over the last few years.

  18. #18
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    If T-Mob is so strong, why doesn't Floyd just use them as a proxy? He can match any major attacks they throw at him in the mountains.

  19. #19
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    Glad you did the work...

    Quote Originally Posted by Einstruzende
    That already happened last year. Look at the posts after the first one or two mountain stages.

    Armstrong was left alone and TMobile still couldn't put the hurtin' on him, though they tried.

    [edit]
    Because I was bored, here are the first two "OMG Discovery is weak" threads from last year...
    Disco Strong as Postal?
    L.a. Isolated From Team Again! Bfd!
    That is EXACTLY what came to mind when he posted that.

    I think it is a little early to count Phonak out.

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