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Who better to predict a winner of the Lance/Alberto "Challenge" than Mr. Roll himself

Mar 10, 2009
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Q: If Contador, Lance and Levi are all showing strength as the Tour progresses, how does Bruyneel decide who gets the team's support?
Mike: Cheyenne, Wyoming

A: A lot of the pre-tour hype and even throughout the season there has been a tremendous amount of speculation on how this team will respond to having 3 leaders on the road. On one hand its an admirable luxury that no other team enjoys. On the other hand if in-fighting tears the team apart its almost impossible to win the Tour. I think the key lies in the leadership of Johan Bruyneel. There’s no doubt he is the greatest sports director who has ever been involved in professional cycling. Johan has repeated that the race itself will dictate the obvious choice of who the team’s strongest rider is and the whole team will be dedicated to the chances of that one man. Because the Tour De France is so difficult the strongest man always wins. The mountains and the time trials and the hard luck of the open road can only reward one person. Along the way al of the weaknesses of each rider are eventually exposed by the arduous nature of the race. Most of the time rather than a rider being obviously supreme it is the rider who consistently displays the least amount of flaws who triumphs. For Johan’s team with 3 men of exceptional talent the same precepts apply and just as only one man can eventually win the Tour only one man can eventually lead Johan’s team. Johan repeatedly professed that it would be obvious who the strongest man is once the race unfolds. We’ve seen Lance Armstrong work diligently for Levi Leipheimer already this season in the Amgen Tour of California and the Giro D’Italia. Levi himself also worked diligently for Alberto Contador in the 2007 Tour, 2008 Giro and 2008 Vuelta a Espana. The one man that there might be some doubt about is Contador himself. The only person he ever worked for was not even on his team in the recent Dauphine Contador seemed to chase Cadel Evans down without attacking himself which benefited the winner - Alejandro Valverde. Contador is the wild card for Johan Bruyneel and only time will tell whether Contador can be as cooperative as Lance and Levi has been.


Q: Do you think Lance will really be ready and prepared for the TDF? What do you think his chance of winning is?
Jeanluc: Manassas, Virginia

A; Lance will be as ready as he can be. His season was derailed midway with a broken collarbone but he has made great strides in fitness an form thanks to the Giro D’Italia. I think that his chances of winning the Tour are as good as anybody’s. Watching his progress against the current stars of the sport has been nothing short of miraculous. Compared to Carlos Sastre, Cadel Evans, Alberto Contador, Andy Schleck and Denis Menchov, Lance is understandable just a few pedal strokes behind after the Giro. One hallmark of Lance’s 7 Tour wins was his work ethic building up to big races. No one in the sports history so effectively used specific training to target the Tour De France and this year will be no different. In fact I am going to revise my prediction and say Lance’s chances are slightly better than anyone else.


Q: Can you compare the 2009 Astana team with the 2005 T-Mobile team of Ullrich, Kloden, & Vinokourov?
Bryan: Downers Grove, IL

A: The difference between 2005 T-mobile and 2009 Astana is that apart from Jan Ullrich there were no riders on Telekom capable of winning. Kloden and Vinokourov had done well but doing well is not nearly the same as having won a grand tour. Team Astana on the other hand have 3 men who have proven themselves to be redoubtably capable of winning the biggest races at the critical time. I’m sure the analogy will continue to come up but the riders on team Astana are of a much higher caliber than the team T-Mobile of yore. Talent aside the number one question is leadership. Between Rudy Pevenage, Olaf Ludwig and Walter Goedefroet there was nothing but discord on the 2005 T-Mobile management side and they were happy to ride the gravy train into the abyss. None of them are still with the program. Johan Bruyneel on the other hand is the very definition of competent, fair, and excellence in leadership. That is where the main difference lies.
 
A

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I am just so grateful for being able to watch the Tour on Eurosport so that I don't have to listen to drivel such as that. Thanks cyclingfans.com!
 
Jun 18, 2009
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Thoughtforfood said:
I am just so grateful for being able to watch the Tour on Eurosport so that I don't have to listen to drivel such as that. Thanks cyclingfans.com!

I wish. I can't stand to listen to Roll, Ligget and Sherwin shill for Armstrong. Can't wait to hear their softball interviews of Lance.
 
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richwagmn said:
I wish. I can't stand to listen to Roll, Ligget and Sherwin shill for Armstrong. Can't wait to hear their softball interviews of Lance.

You can, cyclingfans.com will have a live feed every day. I hook my computer up to my TV and put the audio through my stereo.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Thoughtforfood said:
I am just so grateful for being able to watch the Tour on Eurosport so that I don't have to listen to drivel such as that. Thanks cyclingfans.com!



And you are handsomely paid to articulate your profound cycling insights for which channel?

Other than your 631 posts at this forum, where do you fit in, in the cycling world, compared to Mr. Roll? You did some tours? You wrote some books? How bout an article for the local city paper? Your high school newsletter?

I can hear you now when Lance wins..."HE'S ON THE JUICE!"
 
Jun 18, 2009
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Robert Merivel said:
And you are handsomely paid to articulate your profound cycling insights for which channel?

Other than your 631 posts at this forum, where do you fit in, in the cycling world, compared to Mr. Roll? You did some tours? You wrote some books? How bout an article for the local city paper? Your high school newsletter?

I can hear you now when Lance wins..."HE'S ON THE JUICE!"

Nice ad-hominem attack. He doesn't like Roll (neither do I). Get over it.
 
Robert Merivel said:
Q: Can you compare the 2009 Astana team with the 2005 T-Mobile team of Ullrich, Kloden, & Vinokourov?
Bryan: Downers Grove, IL

A: The difference between 2005 T-mobile and 2009 Astana is that apart from Jan Ullrich there were no riders on Telekom capable of winning. Kloden and Vinokourov had done well but doing well is not nearly the same as having won a grand tour. Team Astana on the other hand have 3 men who have proven themselves to be redoubtably capable of winning the biggest races at the critical time. I’m sure the analogy will continue to come up but the riders on team Astana are of a much higher caliber than the team T-Mobile of yore.

Don't really understand his logic. He disses Kloden and hypes Levi, but they have fairly similar GT resumes. In fact Kloden has two TdF podiums and theoretically should be much fresher than Levi.
 
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Robert Merivel said:
And you are handsomely paid to articulate your profound cycling insights for which channel?

Other than your 631 posts at this forum, where do you fit in, in the cycling world, compared to Mr. Roll? You did some tours? You wrote some books? How bout an article for the local city paper? Your high school newsletter?

I can hear you now when Lance wins..."HE'S ON THE JUICE!"

I had coffee with him one time. He still sucks in his fanboydom, it is understandable why someone such as yourself would enjoy listening to him.

The best part is that when Lance loses, we will not have to hear from you again because fanboys always go away after the tour anyway, only this year it will hopefully be for good.
 
Robert Merivel said:
Q: Can you compare the 2009 Astana team with the 2005 T-Mobile team of Ullrich, Kloden, & Vinokourov?
Bryan: Downers Grove, IL

A: The difference between 2005 T-mobile and 2009 Astana is that apart from Jan Ullrich there were no riders on Telekom capable of winning. Kloden and Vinokourov had done well but doing well is not nearly the same as having won a grand tour. Team Astana on the other hand have 3 men who have proven themselves to be redoubtably capable of winning the biggest races at the critical time. I’m sure the analogy will continue to come up but the riders on team Astana are of a much higher caliber than the team T-Mobile of yore. Talent aside the number one question is leadership. Between Rudy Pevenage, Olaf Ludwig and Walter Goedefroet there was nothing but discord on the 2005 T-Mobile management side and they were happy to ride the gravy train into the abyss. None of them are still with the program. Johan Bruyneel on the other hand is the very definition of competent, fair, and excellence in leadership. That is where the main difference lies.

How shocking it is that Bobke doesn't mention the fact that the 2005 T-Mobile squad had a systematic doping program that was recently revealed in detail in the Freiberg report. Of course that's a big difference between the two teams because we all know that Astana is squeaky clean. :rolleyes: But Astana is a much higher caliber team racing clean than those guys were even doped up to the gills. :rolleyes: Oh wait a minute Kloeden was on that old T-mob team and he WAS doped to the gills...
 
jaylew said:
Don't really understand his logic. He disses Kloden and hypes Levi, but they have fairly similar GT resumes. In fact Kloden has two TdF podiums and theoretically should be much fresher than Levi.

It's only because Leipheimer is an Anglo. Phil and Paul have always been Anglo-centric announcers and Bobke is on the bandwagon.
 
Robert Merivel said:
The one man that there might be some doubt about is Contador himself. The only person he ever worked for was not even on his team in the recent Dauphine Contador seemed to chase Cadel Evans down without attacking himself which benefited the winner - Alejandro Valverde. Contador is the wild card for Johan Bruyneel and only time will tell whether Contador can be as cooperative as Lance and Levi has been.

Why would Contador (the declared team leader) need to show that he is "cooperative." This "analysis" here is unprofessional in its bias. Furthermore can you imagine him trying to make this same argument against Armstrong back when he was the leader of US Postal.
 
Bobke, Bobke, Bobke

Robert Merivel said:
The one man that there might be some doubt about is Contador himself. The only person he ever worked for was not even on his team in the recent Dauphine Contador seemed to chase Cadel Evans down without attacking himself which benefited the winner - Alejandro Valverde. Contador is the wild card for Johan Bruyneel and only time will tell whether Contador can be as cooperative as Lance and Levi has been.

Didn't Contador work for Levi in Castilla y Leon earlier this year? I think the American cycling media should just get a room with Armstrong. It's not 2005 and this isn't the Discovery Channel squad.

Saturday can't get here soon enough.
 
Exactly

BikeCentric said:
Why would Contador (the declared team leader) need to show that he is "cooperative." This "analysis" here is unprofessional in its bias. Furthermore can you imagine him trying to make this same argument against Armstrong back when he was the leader of US Postal.

I've been trying to make this precise point! If this is USP or Disco, there is no analysis of Levi or Contador winning. They would have been a cog in the wheel, sacrificing for Lance's greater good.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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jaylew said:
Don't really understand his logic. He disses Kloden and hypes Levi, but they have fairly similar GT resumes. In fact Kloden has two TdF podiums and theoretically should be much fresher than Levi.

+1. The other factor is that Bruyneel probably doesn't have the same control over the team as when Lance and Contador were individual leaders. I see Astana as a divided team with part of the team working for Lance and others working for Contador. Horner being left out of the TdF team out a big dent in Lance's aspirations for #8. The 2009 Astana team are not that dissimilar to the 2005 T-Mobile team: they both have/had quality riders of Tour winning ability, winners or podium finishers; and both have discord.
 
Publicus said:
Didn't Contador work for Levi in Castilla y Leon earlier this year? I think the American cycling media should just get a room with Armstrong. It's not 2005 and this isn't the Discovery Channel squad.

Saturday can't get here soon enough.

Here, here. And Roll tries to pass himself off as one with a subtle critical mind! What arrogance. And he's so hypocritical too, when talking about how virtuous Johan is, when he was a Saiz protegee! A real Hog and the perfect alter ego for Armstrong and their diabolical union to win the arms race with weapons of mass destruction to annihilate everyone who stood in their path toward glory. A mixture of pure ruthlesness, egoism and just enough tallent and intelligence to pull it off, which they did with devestating results.

If they do it again this year it will be just sickening.
 
Jun 26, 2009
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Thoughtforfood said:
You can, cyclingfans.com will have a live feed every day. I hook my computer up to my TV and put the audio through my stereo.

Guess that answers the question as to whether at least one believer of "aw . . . all the type riders dope . . . ya can't win and not dope." will watch the Tour or not.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Thoughtforfood said:
I had coffee with him one time. He still sucks in his fanboydom, it is understandable why someone such as yourself would enjoy listening to him.

The best part is that when Lance loses, we will not have to hear from you again because fanboys always go away after the tour anyway, only this year it will hopefully be for good.

Yeah, and I raced against him, big deal.

I'll tell you what. How about a gentleman's bet. Lance wins you stop posting. Lance looses, I stop posting. I can stick to that one...can you, #635?
 
Jun 18, 2009
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Robert Merivel said:
Yeah, and I raced against him, big deal.

I'll tell you what. How about a gentleman's bet. Lance wins you stop posting. Lance looses, I stop posting. I can stick to that one...can you, #635?

OMG, he insulted you based on the number of posts you've written (and has managed to successfully add your additional posts to his original total). Mad skills.
 
Contador will be the team leader, not by assignment, he will be better than
Lance in the First Time trial That will be enough, Lance get over it, your time has passed, learn to be in the line, and watch with awe how AC will do a "look" at ventoux to show how cruel life sometimes is: Lance will not win Ventoux and will feel what Ulrich felt, but it's healthy not to always win, a good losing is good for the soul too.
 
Jun 26, 2009
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gatete said:
Contador will be the team leader, not by assignment, he will be better than
Lance in the First Time trial That will be enough, Lance get over it, your time has passed, learn to be in the line, and watch with awe how AC will do a "look" at ventoux to show how cruel life sometimes is: Lance will not win Ventoux and will feel what Ulrich felt, but it's healthy not to always win, a good losing is good for the soul too.


If Contador doesn't win . . . he will be considered to have blown it and majorly disappointed expections. If Armstrong makes the podium or even comes in the top 5 it will be considered a stunning accomplishment for someone 37 years old and 3 years out of racing. In a very very weird turn of events Armstrong is very much considered the underdog who everyone has lowered expectations of. Bizarre. No matter you views this years TDF seems to be setting up for more drama than we have seen in years. I can't imagine the hell of pain and suffering that will be unleashed on Ventoux if you have Contador, Schlek, Menchov, Cadel, Sastre, Armstrong, et all withing 5 minutes of each other. Probably won't happen but I'm praying it does.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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I really don't understand the vitriol on here. Roll is simply answering questions. He may or may not even like the answers he is giving...but he is being paid by Versus. Now, Versus has a huge financial stake in LA in this race. The viewership will go through the roof here in the US because of LA. I'm sure they (Liggett, Sherwin, Roll) have been instructed to treat LA as a savior and a hero of the cycling world...as that is what the vast majority of US viewers want to see. Like it or not.
 
Roll is good friends with Armstrong such that he was one of the first to ride with Armstrong when he first got back on the bike after his bout with cancer.
He's also shown a shameless disdain for the French and the country itself which to me is quite odd considering that countries event is what butters his bread for the most part. His dislike I can only attribute to his bond with Armstrong and how they both feel that the country and the French media have treated Armstrong unfairly, and in their minds is unappreciative for all that Armstrong has done for the Tour...not what the Tour has done for the both of them.

Sherwin used to work as pr director of I believe Motorola prior to his current stint working for OLN/Versus and World Cycling Productions.

Liggett has shown a certain preference for the Anglo riders especially the Aussie's and South Africans, that being where he resides in the off season.
His blathering over David Millar prior to his doping confession/conviction was enough to cause you to wear out the mute button on your TV's remote.

There is a certain bias present there even before they became a broadcasting team and their accessability to Armstrong is likely why Sherwin and Roll were brought on board.