He could have won but was over 2 minutes behind Basso so would have to make that up somehow during the mountains and Klöden was stronger then him as well. It depends on how much time Basso thinks he needs for the time trials and how much he and his team can blow the race up.He may also have won 04, since without Armstrong the race dynamics would have changed and he probably doesn't lose so much time in the Pyrenees.
And as he is going for 7 wins he doesn't get named in Operation Puerto
P.S. Just realised that you're giving him 02 as well. You're suggesting that it was defeats by Armstrong that sent him off the rails?
Anyway, going for 6 (the record) then in 06.
I think so. He not only lost to Armstrong but got dominated by him and couldn’t even win a stage. Then a long while ago, and I don’t remember the thread, but multiple people brought up losing to Armstrong took a big hit to his mental status, especially after he was supposed to be in his best shape for 01, and that could have caused him to drink more and the drugs to overcome his depression and find relief. He raced once in 2002 due to injury in January, got the DUI in May, drugs in June, and then let go by Telekom do something was happening then. Maybe with success the two years before he comes back and wins after the injury, maybe he doesn’t.