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Ventoux is coming, is AC going to "give" the stage to LA?

That would be so frigging ironic, and a really nice touch to all this drama between LA and AC, also it would be sort of like a Pantani redemption so that Lance would go to say: YES I won it, but it was a gift :-(
 
Pantani was so entertaining to watch. The ASO only have themselves to blame for the Armstrong domination since they stopped inviting Pantani and his team.

I am not saying that Pantani would have won. Only that he would have totally changed the race.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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I think the Schlecks and Sastre will answer that with a big fat NO. For Contador to "gift" the stage to Lance they'd have to finish together with no one else around. Somehow I don't see that happening. I'd assume the only way Contador will be able to control the attacks from the Schlecks will be to go himself. LA will just have to pace himself to the top, if he can stay with the best of the rest he can keep himself in the top five on GC.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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Merkx's comments to LA after the Pantani incident was that in the tour, there are no gifts. only the strongest deserves to win.

that is LA's only regret and he, nor any of the riders, will be handing out a cadeaux on Mt Ventoux
 
Mar 10, 2009
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I think given that Cycling is all of their jobs, a gift here and there is a good thing.

Look how popular Jens Voigt was for giving the gift to the rider in the Giro (I think) who he had followed as the team policeman the entire stage. He new he didn't deserve the win on strength alone due to not taking a draft all day. Only Riis was a little upset.

Another rider famous for gifts was Indurain. Unlike the Hog that followed Indurain's wheel in 1995 and still took the win. Indurain would often situp or slow down to not catch the all day breakaway rider in order to give him his moments glory. Rider's wiser to it, would go out of their way in secret to thank him for the gift.

Armstrong tried to do the same with Pantani, but unlike Indurain, Voigt and others, he made sure every new it was a gift, therefore taking away any honour of the win anyway.
 
gatete said:
That would be so frigging ironic, and a really nice touch to all this drama between LA and AC, also it would be sort of like a Pantani redemption so that Lance would go to say: YES I won it, but it was a gift :-(

How could he do that? He'd have to slow up so much that the Shreks and Wiggo would drop him!
 
Mar 19, 2009
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I don't think Armstrong gave the stage to Pantani. I think he was afraid to lose the sprint so he didn't try. Like what Boonen does when he doesn't get a good position in a sprint. Both Armstrong and Boonen are so incredibly competitive that sometimes they'll choose to give up when they don't surely have the upper hand.
 
Jul 13, 2009
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Epicycle said:
I don't think Armstrong gave the stage to Pantani. I think he was afraid to lose the sprint so he didn't try. Like what Boonen does when he doesn't get a good position in a sprint. Both Armstrong and Boonen are so incredibly competitive that sometimes they'll choose to give up when they don't surely have the upper hand.
I agree; Pantani was in a good position to win that sprint and probably a better strijkijzer sprinter generally. It was a situation comparable to Cunego and F. Schleck on the Alpe d'Huez; Schleck knew he couldn't take Cunego to the finish, so he increased the pace rather than attacking explosively as Cunego had done.

But regardless, the interpretation that Armstrong gave the stage to Pantani is generally accepted by the press, probably because Armstrong has always successfully projected an image of being the 'patron', a bit like Indurain and Hinault did. Pantani, being very popular, was a threat to Armstrong's public image so he needed a psychological victory.

I also recall that at the time, Armstrong was considered an example of new, clean cycling while Pantani was considered a classic (europro!) doper. Things sure have changed since then.

Contador will not be giving the stage to Armstrong, because Armstrong will not be able to keep up with at the very least Andy Schleck and Sastre. My prediction (for obvious reasons) is that Sastre will win the stage, about a minute or so in front of Contador, who will have dropped the Schlecks.
 
Armstrong probably could have dropped Pantani on the 2000 Ventoux stage before they even got to the finish line together. Armstrong let Pantani win primarily because he was so far ahead at that point there was no reason to do anything but follow Pantani to the line.

Armstrong completely humiliated Pantani on the first mountain stage that year. After all of the talk in the press about how Armstrong was not going to be able to compete with the former winners Pantani and Ulrich, Armstrong torched Pantani on the first mountaintop finish and Pantani completely cracked trying to follow him.

This is also the one performance by Armstrong that makes me question his use of performance enhancing drugs the most. He was so explosive on that stage I don't see how it was possible for him to go that fast, particularly considering what we know now about how widespread doping was amongst the top riders of the sport that year.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Epicycle said:
I don't think Armstrong gave the stage to Pantani. I think he was afraid to lose the sprint so he didn't try. Like what Boonen does when he doesn't get a good position in a sprint. Both Armstrong and Boonen are so incredibly competitive that sometimes they'll choose to give up when they don't surely have the upper hand.

I don't think Armstrong 'gifted' it to Pantini either. I've watched the video several times and just don't see it. I think Marco had a little more umph at the end than Armstrong. But the sad thing is that Armstrong got inside Pantini's skull with this and it destroyed Marco. He went hard too early on the next stage, blew up and left the race the next morning. Yhen after that he wasn't invited back to the tour which was a big loss to those who enjoyed watching him race.