The battles we never got to see

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Cav vs the field TdF 2021
Rodriquez vs Valverde backstage at 2013 WC
Contador with no Giro vs Tour field in 2011
Demare vs Bouhanni street fight
Froome, Nibali, and Quintana accepting Tinkov’s payment to do the double
Boonen vs Cancellara vs MVDP vs WVA
Ullrich vs Riis 1996
 
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But Armstrong wasn't the Armstrong that we've loved to hate later. Going into the 99 Tour my guess is that he was an outside favourite (coming off 4th at Vuelta), so Lance going head to head with Marco wasn't exactly something that people would have been hyped about, leading up to July that year.

The hype was in 2000 of course (also for Ullrich's return), but alas it didn't turn out to be much of a showdown.
Certainly, Armstrong was only seen as a top 10 contender at best, but I'm not talking about hype here, I'm talking about the battle we missed out on. If Pantani didn't get singled out at the Giro (or at least kept it sane to Montecampione) and made it to the TDF we would have had an epic.

As for 2000, Pantani's form had already started to wane - he was on the Colombian marching powder by ten - and Armstrong was firmly in his head after Ventoux
 
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Certainly, Armstrong was only seen as a top 10 contender at best, but I'm not talking about hype here, I'm talking about the battle we missed out on. If Pantani didn't get singled out at the Giro (or at least kept it sane to Montecampione) and made it to the TDF we would have had an epic.

As for 2000, Pantani's form had already started to wane - he was on the Colombian marching powder by ten - and Armstrong was firmly in his head after Ventoux
Pantani never would've ridden the Tour de France. He might have tried to win the 1999 Vuelta a Espana instead.

So that battle between Armstrong & Pantani never was on cards.
 
Evenepoel vs Vlasov on Friday to Sunday in 2022 Tour de Suisse.

What a Friday today was!

This morning, I immediately remembered June 30, 2006: one day before start of the TdF, and a long list with riders who DNS. I was so sad.

Today, it‘s similar. A long list of riders who DNS in TdS, with three days to go.

Now I hope we get to see Pog vs Rog vs Vlasov all the way to Paris.
 
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Quintana 2013 Tour v Mark Padun 2021 Dauphine
Contador 2009 v Pogacar 2021
Boonen 2005 v Wout van Aert 2022 (split Belgium down the middle)

Chris Horner 2013 Vuleta v Roglic 2021 Vuelta
Spilak vs Evenepoel on a cold rainy mountain stage in Switzerland to settle the question once and for all.
I thought this was about battles that could, realistically, have happened.
Nothing involving time travelling.
 
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