Similar with Froome and even Contador, he stopped putting those monster single climb efforts in, I wonder how much that takes out of your body over a career when you ride at that high level.Really like to revisit those old days, reading old threads about it gives me maybe even more than rewatching the races.
That 2003 Stage to ADH was certainly something else, I got into cycling 1999, LAs first year of dominance, from the start I disliked him, was rooting for Zülle the first year, later for Ulrich and anyone who challenged him.
So by 2003 LA had won the TdF 4 times and each and every year made he pretty much decided the Tour in his favor already on the first major mountain stage, raising out of his saddle, attacking and putting 1 to 2 mins between him and the best of the rest. This continued for the rest of the mountains (yes he had a bad day in 1999 and 2000, but near the end of the tour and he was leading comfortably by then and could afford it, never being in real danger to lose the Tour). In 2001 and 2002 he was at his peak IMO, setting attack after attack and at the worst finish with his best competitors. Then 2003 and the ADP stage came along a for the first time it looked different, going into the climb and with USP accelerating early I expected nothing less than another attack with him easily winning the Stage (and pretty much the entire race ) but then his team was spent and that attack didn't come, he was riding along with Vino and Hamilton. Normally being isolated, he would leave those two behind and they would see him at the finish line. This time he wasn't better than the best after 5,6 GC contenders, that already was smth completely new. Sometime later Beloki, Mayo and a few others made it back into the first group and they started attacking, Beloki and Hamilton didn't get any real separation, but then Mayo did, a bit later also Vino. That was the first time I have seen some riders climbing genuinely better than LA. I believe LA wasn't really expecting it, otherwise he wouldn't have spent his entire team so early in the climb, they were clearly going all in, he was thinking to pull off the exact same thing he did in ADH 2001, when he went on the attack early and put 2 mins between him and Ulrich.
Later that Tour, when he won in Luz Ardiden, was the last time I have seen LA pulling off one of those attacks. The following years he was always staying with the best in the Mountains, while never really attacking before the finish line, relying on his superior TT- and TTT-ability of his teams.
Really nice a got a reply to this...Similar with Froome and even Contador, he stopped putting those monster single climb efforts in, I wonder how much that takes out of your body over a career when you ride at that high level.
I don't think it's about longevity. I think it's about consistency throughout a GT. Froome suffered in the last week of both the 2013 and 2015 Tours. I think you perhaps go in a little lighter or a little less rested into a GT than is optimally safe.Similar with Froome and even Contador, he stopped putting those monster single climb efforts in, I wonder how much that takes out of your body over a career when you ride at that high level.
Oh really, I didn't know about that. Any idea were I can read up about those comments? Would be love to get more Information on that,Ferrari always claims that 2005 was Lance's best year and he easily won the Tour without breaking a sweat, so I will go with his word.