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Tom Danielson and the Tour De France

May 20, 2010
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Just wondered why he keeps getting snubbed for the Tour de France.
He just had a nice Tour de Suisse and was surprised to seem him left off the team. It seems this happens every year.
Is it because he is too brittle? Or because the team is more centered around sprinting and less climbing.
Does anyone think he will ever race the tour. I used to follow him in his mountain bike days and when he went on the road he was considered the next great hope.
 
Mar 11, 2009
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The dude can't race. It's a simple as that. All of his coaches have always said he is a great athlete, but he just isn't a bike racer. He isn't comfortable in the peloton, he isn't a great bike handler, he isn't a great tactician, and his climbing isn't exceptional enough to make up for it.
 
May 7, 2009
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Hopefully they are saving him as the main GC guy for the Vuelta? He has done well there in the past. If he is not on the TDF squad, he might show up at Mt. Evans again this year ?
I would like to see him do well somewhere.
 
Nov 17, 2009
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Jamsque said:
The dude can't race. It's a simple as that. All of his coaches have always said he is a great athlete, but he just isn't a bike racer. He isn't comfortable in the peloton, he isn't a great bike handler, he isn't a great tactician, and his climbing isn't exceptional enough to make up for it.

While I don't disagree with that... none of that should prevent him from serving as a domestique for Vandevelde. Going back to the car and bringing VdV a bottle in the mountains once the pelaton is down to 30 or so guys is something he should be able to do... or even ride at the front for a bit to shed off some lesser climbers.

If anything, the lack of racing ability but having physical ability seems like it should lead him to being more of a mountain helper at a race like the tour as opposed to getting a lead role at the Vuelta.
 
Mar 11, 2009
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kurtinsc said:
While I don't disagree with that... none of that should prevent him from serving as a domestique for Vandevelde. Going back to the car and bringing VdV a bottle in the mountains once the pelaton is down to 30 or so guys is something he should be able to do... or even ride at the front for a bit to shed off some lesser climbers.

If anything, the lack of racing ability but having physical ability seems like it should lead him to being more of a mountain helper at a race like the tour as opposed to getting a lead role at the Vuelta.

He's shown repeatedly that this just isn't the case. He is nervous and twitchy in the bunch, and hates riding right in the middle of it, so he often burns up far too much energy in the early hours of stages and has nothing left in the tank for the final climbs.
 
Mar 22, 2010
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I am not sure what details there are of the head case statement. Any specifics Scott?

I would say Jamsque is more accurate although I am not deeply involved in watching him.

Has anyone considered the possibility he just doesn't hate cancer enough?
 
May 5, 2009
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Jamsque said:
He's shown repeatedly that this just isn't the case. He is nervous and twitchy in the bunch, and hates riding right in the middle of it, so he often burns up far too much energy in the early hours of stages and has nothing left in the tank for the final climbs.

Seems he is my twin brother :D

I was always the strongest (when I was young so 14-18 years) in ITT (flat and mountain) and climbs, but lost big time in descents and energy and nerves in the peloton...
 
Mar 11, 2009
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I realise I sound a bit like I am hating on Danielson here, which is absolutely not what I am trying to do. I like the guy, and for many years I was expecting great things from him (as I think many others were), but I think at this point in his career it is fair to say that if he hasn't sorted out the mental aspects of racing then he never will.

It's sad, but I think his best years are probably already behind him. I expect he'll have another go at it this year but if he ever betters his 6th at the Vuelta I will be amazed.
 
Nov 17, 2009
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Jamsque said:
He's shown repeatedly that this just isn't the case. He is nervous and twitchy in the bunch, and hates riding right in the middle of it, so he often burns up far too much energy in the early hours of stages and has nothing left in the tank for the final climbs.

While I'd agree that he doesn't have enough left in the final climbs to challenge for the win on those stages... he seems to have "something" left.

He finished near the front on stage 9 and 12 in the Vuelta last year, with riders like Valverde and Basso. While I'm not saying he's capable of doing well in the GC of the Tour... I'd think those results would indicate he could provide some help to a GC guy in the Tour.

In 2005 and 2006 he finished 7th and 6th in the GC of the Vuelta. Yes he's got poor tactics. Yes, he's not comfortable in a big group on his bike. Yes, he wastes energy early in stages... but it seems like even with those flaws, he's got enough legs for the mountains to be solid support for a GC guy who doesn't have those issues.
 
Nov 17, 2009
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Jamsque said:
I realise I sound a bit like I am hating on Danielson here, which is absolutely not what I am trying to do. I like the guy, and for many years I was expecting great things from him (as I think many others were), but I think at this point in his career it is fair to say that if he hasn't sorted out the mental aspects of racing then he never will.

It's sad, but I think his best years are probably already behind him. I expect he'll have another go at it this year but if he ever betters his 6th at the Vuelta I will be amazed.

I think your expectations on what he should be doing based on his athletic talent might be tainting your views slightly.

He's not an Armstrong, Contador, Ulrich, Pantani, etc.

He's around a Zubeldia... maybe with more talent but less "race smarts".

Based on that, I'd think he could be a solid mountain helper like Zubeldia can be... though only an average team leader.

Do you think I'm wrong in that?
 
Mar 11, 2009
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I see what you are saying, and I think you are right that he could potentially be an ally for VandeVelde in the mountains, but I can also see why Vaughters made the decision to leave him at home.

With no Wiggo, CVV not on top form thanks to injury and the weakened sprinting field (no Boonen/Friere/Haussler, Hushovd and Cav on uncertain form) it seems like Vaughter's squad is more set up to chase stage wins this year. Hunter, Dean and Millar should be a great last three to lead out Farrar, Zabriskie and Hesejdal are more than capable of supporting CVV in the mountains and Maaskaant and Van Summeren will be invaluable on the pave stages and probably on domestique/breakaway duty for the rest of the tour.

Looking at that squad of 9 I can't really see any one rider that it makes sense to pull out in favour of Tommy D.
 
Nov 17, 2009
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Jamsque said:
I see what you are saying, and I think you are right that he could potentially be an ally for VandeVelde in the mountains, but I can also see why Vaughters made the decision to leave him at home.

With no Wiggo, CVV not on top form thanks to injury and the weakened sprinting field (no Boonen/Friere/Haussler, Hushovd and Cav on uncertain form) it seems like Vaughter's squad is more set up to chase stage wins this year. Hunter, Dean and Millar should be a great last three to lead out Farrar, Zabriskie and Hesejdal are more than capable of supporting CVV in the mountains and Maaskaant and Van Summeren will be invaluable on the pave stages and probably on domestique/breakaway duty for the rest of the tour.

Looking at that squad of 9 I can't really see any one rider that it makes sense to pull out in favour of Tommy D.

I was thinking Maaskaant or Van Summeren... but with stage 3 you might be right.

To be honest, I'd rather see Hesejdal riding for himself at the Vuelta and Danielson helping VdV at the Tour as opposed to the reverse... but that's more a matter of preference.
 
Mar 11, 2009
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Hes-Jay doesn't quite seem to have the staying power on long climbs to be competitive in a stage race. I think he's a good choice for this tour though, because (as his Ardennes results showed this year) he is very strong on steep pitches which ought to make him valuable as a domestique and for chasing stage wins in the medium mountain stages.
 
Actually according to the Vuelta organizers, Vande Velde will be the team leader at the Vuelta as well. It was in one of the articles here regarding the exclusion of Radioshack. When discussing why he chose Garmin, sky, etc... he mentioned that Garmin had given them a preliminary roster that had VdV as their leader for that race as well, and also interesting is that they also included Farrar on the roster as well.
 
Here I found the exact quote here:

Then quizzed on the selections of Garmin, Katusha and Sky, the Vuelta boss said, "Garmin will come with the best team they have, with Vande Velde and Farrar, and I can't forget that last year they won three stages. Katusha weren't at the 2009 race but the Vuelta is a goal for them this year and they will come with a strong team, notably featuring Purito Rodríguez.

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/vuelta-boss-defends-team-selections
 
Is it that hard to figure out? TD has a p!ss poor record of finishing grand tours. It was half a decade ago when he could place high in the Vuelta, and that was while riding on a team with a teamwide doping program. If he does not crash then he gets sick.

Chances are that he would not make it to the important last week of the Tour. His poor riding skills do not exactly make him a good choice to be weaving in and out of the team cars then moving through the peloton to deliver bottles.
 

buckwheat

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Sep 24, 2009
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Scott SoCal said:
Two words: Head Case.

I believe there are some peloton politics you're unaware of.

I don't think LA and the hog are too fond of him and go out of their way to mess with him because TD started an attack on them but didn't go all the way.
 
BroDeal said:
Is it that hard to figure out? TD has a p!ss poor record of finishing grand tours. It was half a decade ago when he could place high in the Vuelta, and that was while riding on a team with a teamwide doping program. If he does not crash then he gets sick.
Last year he had to abandon the Vuelta with only a couple of stages remaining when he was 9th. Granted, you already covered that with the "crash or get sick" thing, but still, that shows he can still be near the level he had in Discovery.
 
kurtinsc said:
While I don't disagree with that... none of that should prevent him from serving as a domestique for Vandevelde. Going back to the car and bringing VdV a bottle in the mountains once the pelaton is down to 30 or so guys is something he should be able to do... or even ride at the front for a bit to shed off some lesser climbers.

If anything, the lack of racing ability but having physical ability seems like it should lead him to being more of a mountain helper at a race like the tour as opposed to getting a lead role at the Vuelta.

I get the impression that he's less than willing to work for others. Doesn't think of himself as anyone's domestique but hasn't the intestinal fortitude to actually become the rider that he thinks that he is. His lack of being named to a Tour squad since turning pro speaks for itself. No DS is willing to risk him mucking up their team's Tour performance by naming a rider that has a very high liklihood of dropping out at any moment for any number of potential maladies.
 
May 7, 2009
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joe_papp said:
Danielson should just go back to "preparing" like he did in 2003 whilst on Saturn, and all this unpleasantness could end and he'd finally win another GT stage...

I think you guys all make good points. Reading between the lines here, I have to conclude that his record time up Mt Evans in 2003(?) may have been accomplished with certain aids not entirely of a legal nature? Obviously he wasn’t there competing against high-caliber pro-tour racers (only certain national level pros), but it was a very inspiring performance nonetheless. Time to ratchet up to cynicism in bike racing up another notch. How much higher can we go?