- Aug 12, 2009
Bahahaha!131313 said:My take is that he intentionally lost time the last day in the Pyrenees, and some today, so he could try to go up the road on one of the final mountain stages and go for a stage win. His other option was to keep going for a GC ride and hope for top 10, which counts for nothing for a guy with his past palmares. That's my guess at least. I guess we'll know in a few days. He was out of a podium spot due to the crashes.
There's not much left, so the Shack really need a stage win for this not to be a complete wash for them.
I don't think his preparation for this race much different than before.
His name is Bottle for a reason! He won't try and win a stage. Bruyneel is many things but he knows Levi doesn't go into breaks and win stages. Last guy in the peloton you could count on doing that. Period.
So what is up with old Levi? Travel back to 2007 and the Pyrenees in the final week of the TdF. Who was the strongest rider? The Chicken was arguably numero uno, but he went out on stage 17. It was Levi. Mediocre first chrono, final one he pulls 55 seconds on Evans. Stage 17 after being dropped multiple times he powers past Evans and Contador to finish 20 seconds down on the Chicken. He hasn't been that strong since.
Fast forward to 2009. Giro. He's not great despite having a whole team working for him. He goofs. No blood refill? Maybe? Tour, he crashes. Skip ahead to 2010. Tour, he crashes. ToC, he was smoked by Big Z and Rogers. I was thinking I've seen this before...in the first ITT in the 2005 TdF. Someone ain't taking his wonder sauce or is goofing up. Add in the talks of his absurd blood levels from all kinds of nooks and crannies. Put them together and it's kind of obvious. Crashes in the 2010 Tour as well and has a spectacularly bad day.
2011: Something changed. 2010 there was a lot of heat on the Shack with Floyd making appearances at the ToC. This year, Horner and Levi were too good for their age at the ToC and TdS. I figured they went all out. Why? They both knew the team leader was going to be Kloeden. So all the stock (wonder sauce) went on earlier races. Peloton is slower these days. The permitted level of doping is less. There is only so far the clowns at RadioShack can go without tipping the balance, meaning their augmented abilities are not as strong as they were years back, like all riders. What happens in this scenario? The naturally gifted guys clobber the crap out of the less talented guys who when doping thresholds were less strict looked their equal. That's why Lance was crap in 2010. He was racing as close to clean as he ever has. Same with Levi, same with Horner.
2011 in the ToC and TdS was one last hurrah. Sure these guys thought they could challenge at the Tour...I never believed it. Only Kloeden has the ability on their team. Bottle or Horner going top 5 at the Tour this year would have been the biggest affront to common sense I can fathom. Absurd. Glad it didn't happen. Shame of all the 'supposed' Shack GC leaders the biggest wheel sucker in the peloton is all they have left. I have no sympathy for the team. They had the best GC rider in the world on their team...yet chose fossilised no hopers over him. Bruyneel and the whole team are morons. Can't even dope right anymore.