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Thread: Tour De France

  1. #1
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    Tour De France

    I gotta admit every year I get more and more into watching the tour. I am not a road biker and really have no interest in it but the tour amazes me. Grab a beer and throw it on up on my 60" led and I'm good to go.

    Anyone else excited for it even though you don't road bike? If you've never watched it I suggest watching a couple days of it. Its very relaxing. It starts in early July.

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    July 5th, in Leeds, UK, daily coverage on NBCSN.
    I ride both road and mountain, love watching the TdF, wish more cycling was on TV.

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    Tour De France

    I ride single track, cross, and road, and still love the Tour. Been following Foome and Wiggo closely. Pretty much anything bike related, I'll watch.
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    Love watching the tour, especially since they seem to have gotten a grip on the doping ... The Colombians are coming on strong this year. Quintana took the Tour of Italy and with a 2nd last year in the Tour De France, he's gonna be tough. 3 Colombians in the top 10 in Italy. It's gotta be one of the toughest tests of endurance in professional sports.
    Are you really sure about that?

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    I used to really enjoy it when lance was cheating his way to all his wins. I've been disgusted in recent years by the doping scandals and what not.

    I may have to give it another shot this year. I am still amazed at what is needed to complete such a race much less win it. It puts my rides in perspective.

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    From Lemond days to current I still marvel @ the TDF and what's accomplished in team TT, individual TT's and the daily stages. There's been multiple tainted/doped riders over the many years and more to come I'll sadly state but it won't keep me from having interest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nvphatty View Post
    From Lemond days to current I still marvel @ the TDF and what's accomplished in team TT, individual TT's and the daily stages. There's been multiple tainted/doped riders over the many years and more to come I'll sadly state but it won't keep me from having interest.
    Yup.

    I was heavily into it back in the Lance days and wouldn't miss a day of coverage. I don't seek it out now but would definitely watch it if the opportunity arises.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HitmenOnlyInc View Post
    I used to really enjoy it when lance was cheating his way to all his wins. I've been disgusted in recent years by the doping scandals and what not.

    I may have to give it another shot this year. I am still amazed at what is needed to complete such a race much less win it. It puts my rides in perspective.
    I think they've dramatically reduced the doping over the last 4-5 years. It's probably as "clean" right now as it's ever been which is why there are so many different riders that have a real shot at it now. I think they've got the testing down now. I'm sure they all still take it as far as they can, but I suspect Contador was probably the last guy to win (2009) that got away with serious doping.
    Are you really sure about that?

  9. #9
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    Just the scenery is amazing. Although now my wife and I frequently have discussions about if we would join the peloton or not. lol



    We had to google that word the first year we watched it.

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    Great Reading...

    I, too, am a big fan of the Tour even though my road racing days are long over. For those really into it I highly recommend this book about the History of the Tour. From the early days with unsupported 500km stages on dirt/muddy roads to where we are today, it's incredible what those early racers went through. Most memorable for me is the 1903 race leader who had to find a farmer/blacksmith so the racer could weld his broken fork, only to be penalized because the farmer manned the bellows while the racer welded the repair. Unsupported indeed! This style of racing went on for many years before Henri finally allowed teams, then support, then shorter stages etc. It's a great read whether you like road racing or not. Those early days were more like endurance mountain biking than what the TdF is today, and some of the stories can only be found in this book.
    I have the Kindle version on my Smartphone ($3.99) and is good latenight reading.


    The Story of the Tour De France: Carol McGann Bill Mcgann: 9781598581805: Amazon.com: Books

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    I like watching it, even if the race has been ruined by scandals> It is amazing what these guys are doing and I think it is one of the toughest things any athlete can do.

    Besides the race I like watching the French countryside. It is an absolutely stunning country.
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  12. #12
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    Did anyone see the RV that got stuck at a finish line last year? It was too tall and got stuck under the finish line on one stage.


    Tour De France-article_74eee7bcdb1462b7_1372518756_9j-4aaqsk.jpg

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    I watch the Tour every year. Always something crazy
    going on, lots of fun.

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    I don't ride road bikes, only MTB yet I love to watch the TdF. Just seeing so many bikes on TV is exciting. The commentating was good last year as it described a lot of nuances and strategies of cycling for the common viewer. Hope they continue to do this next year as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MSLKauai View Post
    I think they've dramatically reduced the doping over the last 4-5 years. It's probably as "clean" right now as it's ever been which is why there are so many different riders that have a real shot at it now. I think they've got the testing down now. I'm sure they all still take it as far as they can, but I suspect Contador was probably the last guy to win (2009) that got away with serious doping.
    I'd really be surprised if doping has been knocked back that much. These guys will always do it and find the right docs to implement it in a way that avoids detection.

    Shoot, I'm convinced that amateurs are hopped up, particularly masters level fellows.
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    Tour De France

    Quote Originally Posted by Crankout View Post
    I'd really be surprised if doping has been knocked back that much. These guys will always do it and find the right docs to implement it in a way that avoids detection.

    Shoot, I'm convinced that amateurs are hopped up, particularly masters level fellows.
    Some sort of performance enhancement historically had been pursued in one form or another by riders, since the beginning. Seriously, how can any human, even the genetically gifted pros, finish the race, let alone podium or win green or polka dot jerseys, on bread and water only?

    I believe there is a tacit agreement among teams and racers plus the fans & spectators that as long as the playing field is level, whatever it takes and may the best man win. Blood doping, syringes, EPO injections pretty much repel the spectators as being over the top and gross. One knock against Armstrong and his teams, as well, was that they had access to dope, Drs. and paraphernalia not available to ALL the racers , so the playing field was not level. Finally, there is the issue of riders' health. The jury is still out as to long term effects of bicycle style doping. Will there be some equivalent on NFL concussion scandal down the line?

    The peloton is still doping to some degree, make no mistake. As a spectator, all I want is an exciting and COMPETITIVE race on a level playing field. What turns me off is when one team so completely dominates the race that the final results are determined before the race is half over. BORING. Gotta wonder if something other than just a good team is at work when dominance is so lopsided. I'm talking to you Team Sky, aka UK Postal.

    Hoping for an exciting race this year



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    Quote Originally Posted by MSLKauai View Post
    Love watching the tour, especially since they seem to have gotten a grip on the doping ...

    sorry to laugh, but ha ha.........i actually wonder if any person could finish the race without the help of some drugs......still a spectecal to watch, i don't know how those guys find the will to get up some of those climbs - and then do do it a few days in a row......

  18. #18
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    Tour De France

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky Mtn View Post
    sorry to laugh, but ha ha.........i actually wonder if any person could finish the race without the help of some drugs......still a spectecal to watch, i don't know how those guys find the will to get up some of those climbs - and then do do it a few days in a row......
    Not to mention pulling off seemingly super human feats. How can a time trial stud like Froome also drop the best climbers in the world mountain stages? Akin to Nino Schurter winning a cross country race one day, then winning a DH the next day. Obviously, Mtb more specialized now than back in the day when Tomac could do just that. Road racing equally specialized pure climbers rarely time trial well and vice versa. One day classic racers win Tdf stages but don't win the race. Green jersey contenders don't win yellow, and vice versa. Once in a generation there's a Merckx. Even great all around strong tour riders who can't touch Merckx, such as Greg Lemond, Cadel Evans & Bernard Hinault, are rare. Post EPO era Tdf winners such as Indurain, Ullrich and of course, Armstrong had to cheat in order to climb well. Pantani had to cheat in order to do everything but climb.

    Bottom line is super human achievements are suspect. Anyone who can finish the race is a talented pro beyond the conception of the average human and even a dominant Cat 1, mt bike racer. ( note Only 2 recent pros have made the Mtb to road transition successfully: Evans and Ryder hesjedal)
    To dominate the race all the way through is not normal, especially when so many riders are doping. You've got to wonder about Wiggins and Froome. AFAIC. Too good to be true. You can't beat a doped human if you are a clean human
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    I'll watch it. May the best doper win... I don't care. It's still an impressive feat of human endurance. I would need drugs, they haven't invented yet, for me to finish.... the first week.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwt View Post
    Seriously, how can any human, even the genetically gifted pros, finish the race, let alone podium or win green or polka dot jerseys, on bread and water only?
    I strongly suspect their nutrition is a little more diverse than bread and water. The distance over 3 weeks is achievable by many (but not all) cyclists. You'd be surprised at the number of people who do long trips. The pros would just have to do it a bit slower than they do currently.

    Quote Originally Posted by dwt View Post
    The peloton is still doping to some degree, make no mistake. As a spectator, all I want is an exciting and COMPETITIVE race on a level playing field.
    Would it really upset the entertainment if speeds were down a few % points, but there was still close competition? Joe Q Public doesn't care whether the average speed for a stage was 42km/h or 44 km/h, or whether it took the riders 17 minutes versus 19 minutes for a climb. They just want to see them compete and struggle. It is a fallacy perpetrated by the dopers that the viewers need to see doped performances to be entertained.

    Quote Originally Posted by dwt View Post
    Bottom line is super human achievements are suspect. Anyone who can finish the race is a talented pro beyond the conception of the average human and even a dominant Cat 1, mt bike racer.
    At current speeds yes. At some slightly slower speed the potential pool of people who would be capable of finishing would be much larger.

    Quote Originally Posted by dwt View Post
    ( note Only 2 recent pros have made the Mtb to road transition successfully: Evans and Ryder hesjedal)
    I suspect Fulgsang, Peraud, and maybe others I'm not remembering off the top of my head are pulling down enough euros per year in salary to consider their transitions pretty successful. Only a small group of riders win GTs. There are many other ways to be successful in pro cycling that are regarded as equally important to GTs to people who are year round enthusiasts.

    Quote Originally Posted by dwt View Post
    You can't beat a doped human if you are a clean human
    Hopefully what you mean is that if 2 athletes are otherwise similar, the doped one will win in a contest of pure athletic output (since road racing outcomes are often produced by strategy and circumstance) but there are certainly going to be extreme cases in which one person's basic genetic capabilities are beyond even another person's doped output. I agree though that within the genre of pro cyclists where we can make an assumption that they are all genetically predisposed to strong output on the bike, that a doped rider has a huge advantage on a clean one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    I strongly suspect their nutrition is a little more diverse than bread and water. The distance over 3 weeks is achievable by many (but not all) cyclists. You'd be surprised at the number of people who do long trips. The pros would just have to do it a bit slower than they do currently.
    Bread and water is peloton speak for no P.E.D.'s.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tiretracks View Post
    Bread and water is peloton speak for no P.E.D.'s.
    Yes, I know. pan y agua if you really want to use the proper terminology of the peloton.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tiretracks View Post
    Bread and water is peloton speak for no P.E.D.'s.
    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    Yes, I know. pan y agua if you really want to use the proper terminology of the peloton.
    that AZ fella is a funny guy alright.

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    Big fan of professional road racing. While I ride a road bike I don't consider myself a roadie. For me, personally, watching a road race is much more exciting then watching mountain biking. It takes years to start to understand all the little things of the sport.

    Two years ago I spent a week skiing in France with a guy who is a former pro rider and is now a trainer for one of the big name Euro teams. A2GR or something like that. His father raced the Tour a number of times. The stories he told over wine in a small French Alpine café were worth the price of the trip alone.

    As much as I like watching road racing, I would much rather be mountain biking.
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    I think it's fun to watch when you have a feel for what they are doing quantitatively. Somewhere around 2k miles, 150k' climbing, close to 30 mph days, TSS at 300+, 2000 Watt sprints and 140 lbs riders averaging 350 Watts for long rides, etc. These numbers boggle the mind.

    On the other hand if I watch it on TV, it all looks at the same time tame and bizarre, the commentators are absolute morons, the spectators are obnoxious and, at least to me, the entire sport is weird. The drugs, the team aspect where riders sacrifice themselves to support other team members, ridiculously low prize money and so on.

    On top of that really no one in the US cares. I bet most Americans couldn't name a single pro racer aside from Armstrong. That's fine but the US is an important TV audience and this is one of the biggest annual sporting events but few are buying into it in the US.

    If I were the promoter I'd shake up the apple cart and try to make the race more interesting via significant rule changes. Just my $0.02...

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    I like watching it, although I have to DVR it and speed through some parts (too slow to watch live). Beautiful scenery, and the sprint finishes are more exciting than I would have thought.
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    Love The Tour. I actually thought it was more exciting when they were all doping. The feats of endurance and strength were fantastic. Now it's obvious why. There will never again be those back to back days of constant attacking in the mountains. It's just not humanly possible.

    That being said the race should be run clean.

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    Use to watch some, now just cheaters and dopers. Will not watch again. I would rather pedal my own bike on some dirt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HitmenOnlyInc View Post
    I used to really enjoy it when lance was cheating his way to all his wins. I've been disgusted in recent years by the doping scandals and what not.

    I may have to give it another shot this year. I am still amazed at what is needed to complete such a race much less win it. It puts my rides in perspective.
    Lance was cheating his way to wins against all of the other cheaters. I guess the guy in 23rd place might have been clean(ish).
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    Quote Originally Posted by juan_speeder View Post
    Lance was cheating his way to wins against all of the other cheaters. I guess the guy in 23rd place might have been clean(ish).
    LA was an anomaly PED's or not. His talents were beyond other cyclist but once the PED's were introduced he was super human and simply crushed all comers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nvphatty View Post
    LA was an anomaly PED's or not. His talents were beyond other cyclist but once the PED's were introduced he was super human and simply crushed all comers.
    Do you mean in his first TdF in 1993 when he won a stage but blew so badly in the process that he couldn't finish the race while sitting in 97th place? Or 1995, when he managed to finally finish a TdF after a few tries, ending up in 36th place?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    Do you mean in his first TdF in 1993 when he won a stage but blew so badly in the process that he couldn't finish the race while sitting in 97th place? Or 1995, when he managed to finally finish a TdF after a few tries, ending up in 36th place?
    No. After he lost 20% of his mass, but retained most of his strength.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sevenrats View Post
    Love The Tour. I actually thought it was more exciting when they were all doping. The feats of endurance and strength were fantastic. Now it's obvious why. There will never again be those back to back days of constant attacking in the mountains. It's just not humanly possible.

    That being said the race should be run clean.
    Last year's tour had a lot of attacks and challenges on the mountain stages. If anything, I think it has gotten more competitive in the last few years. I think they have got to do something to cut down on how many cars and motorcycles are riding with the cyclists. It has gotten ridiculous. I get the whole mechanical support angle but guys are getting medical treatment while they're on their bikes riding so they don't lose much time. I think if they cut back how much in race coaching and communication is allowed, we'd see a lot more real racing.
    Are you really sure about that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    Do you mean in his first TdF in 1993 when he won a stage but blew so badly in the process that he couldn't finish the race while sitting in 97th place? Or 1995, when he managed to finally finish a TdF after a few tries, ending up in 36th place?
    no I don't mean and if I did I would have stated such thank you though. As juan points out LA was a work in progress much like ALL pro riders so once he was able to build upon his strength it was plain to see how dominant he would become, that's what I mean.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nvphatty View Post
    no I don't mean and if I did I would have stated such thank you though. As juan points out LA was a work in progress much like ALL pro riders so once he was able to build upon his strength it was plain to see how dominant he would become, that's what I mean.
    If you mean it was plain to see that before he went on the full program, he displayed none of the talent for performing well in grand tours that most other dominant GT riders had done at younger ages previously, and then leapfrogged everyone after he went whole hog with the doping, then I agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by juan_speeder View Post
    No. After he lost 20% of his mass, but retained most of his strength.
    The 20% loss of mass was wildly overstated, culled straight from Armstrong's various biographies which have since been exposed as containing huge amounts of fictional and untruthful information. His strength went way, way up after jumping totally into the deep end of the dopers' pool also. On flat courses, time trial performance is not a function of weight, and he went from nowhere as a TT performer on a global scale, to crushing all comers. Massive amounts of PEDs will do that. His major genetic talent was having a low natural haematocrit (HCT) level, so that he got a much bigger boost on EPO then other riders who were naturally more gifted from a genetic standpoint.

    Riders were all trying to dope up to the magic arbitrary 50% HCT level allowed, so that a rider like Armstrong who started out around 40 would get launched right past another rider who was naturally at 48 for example, with a much bigger % increase in performance. Consequently, the deck of results got all shuffled under PEDs, and the finishing order between riders completely skewed comparing how they all finished doped up, compared to how they might have placed riding clean.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MSLKauai View Post
    Last year's tour had a lot of attacks and challenges on the mountain stages. If anything, I think it has gotten more competitive in the last few years. I think they have got to do something to cut down on how many cars and motorcycles are riding with the cyclists. It has gotten ridiculous. I get the whole mechanical support angle but guys are getting medical treatment while they're on their bikes riding so they don't lose much time. I think if they cut back how much in race coaching and communication is allowed, we'd see a lot more real racing.
    There were no way as many crazy attacks last year as there were in the early 2000's with Beloki and Ullrich and Vinokorov and Armstrong going at it. It was relentless and it was day after day. If you think that then you need to watch some of those years again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nvphatty View Post
    LA was an anomaly PED's or not. His talents were beyond other cyclist but once the PED's were introduced he was super human and simply crushed all comers.
    Besides taking PED's Armstrong is a lying, vindictive, evil, reptilian brained psychopath. There has never been a more determined pathological liar in the history of humanity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sevenrats View Post
    Besides taking PED's Armstrong is a lying, vindictive, evil, reptilian brained psychopath. There has never been a more determined pathological liar in the history of humanity.
    What made LA particularly mean and destructive was his relentless campaign to destroy anyone that publicly suspected or stated he was doping. Instead of ignoring them, he would put his attorneys on the task of DESTROYING THEM and do everything he could to blackball them from the industry. He was a human wrecking ball knowing all along that they were telling the truth and he was the one lying. He adopted the technique of the best defense is a good offense and took it to the limit.
    Are you really sure about that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MSLKauai View Post
    What made LA particularly mean and destructive was his relentless campaign to destroy anyone that publicly suspected or stated he was doping. Instead of ignoring them, he would put his attorneys on the task of DESTROYING THEM and do everything he could to blackball them from the industry. He was a human wrecking ball knowing all along that they were telling the truth and he was the one lying. He adopted the technique of the best defense is a good offense and took it to the limit.
    All true. There has never been a more relentless liar. He's STILL lying!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sevenrats View Post
    All true. There has never been a more relentless liar. He's STILL lying!
    I agree with you here. He's trying to protect his money and assets now. At some point, I"m convinced his lying is going to put him in jail. He's gonna piss off a judge at some point and get slammed.
    Are you really sure about that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by nvphatty View Post
    LA was an anomaly PED's or not. His talents were beyond other cyclist but once the PED's were introduced he was super human and simply crushed all comers.
    I don't really think that's true as his performance in the TDF prior to his first victory which was on PED's was not really that remarkable. I think Lemond had Lance pretty accurately summed up -- Maybe a top 30 rider at best without PED's.
    Are you really sure about that?

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sevenrats View Post
    Besides taking PED's Armstrong is a lying, vindictive, evil, reptilian brained psychopath. There has never been a more determined pathological liar in the history of humanity.
    For an updated, entertaining look at his doping program, read Cycle of Lies by Juliet Macur. Unreal. Lance and the USPS team built the most sophisticated doping program ever around him. Others doped but not at his level.

    He is pretty much a sociopath. To this day he will defend himself and his actions in spite of losing almost everything at this point. In many ways it is sad. The fall from grace is drastic; a modern day Greek tragedy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankout View Post
    For an updated, entertaining look at his doping program, read Cycle of Lies by Juliet Macur. Unreal. Lance and the USPS team built the most sophisticated doping program ever around him. Others doped but not at his level.

    He is pretty much a sociopath. To this day he will defend himself and his actions in spite of losing almost everything at this point. In many ways it is sad. The fall from grace is drastic; a modern day Greek tragedy.
    It's a Bill Burr bit, but he was just a sociopath riding a bicycle. We're lucky he didn't end up the CEO of some megacorp where he'd end up dumping toxic waste into orphanages, or some such thing.
    God hates figs. Luke 13:6-9

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    i know there are lots of warts around lance, but and the end of the day he was still better than his peers (who have thier own warts) for 6 years.......

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    Lance and his legal team continue their campaign to thread the needle ... disclose just what he has to to hang on to his wealth and avoid jail. Riding the statute of limitations as best he can ... claiming he was a victim of a culture that was already there. Everything he has admitted he did so because he was cornered and boxed in.

    How can a guy who admitted what he did truly believe he deserves to keep the performance bonuses paid to him for winning the Tour De France?
    Are you really sure about that?

  46. #46
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    Tour De France

    Quote Originally Posted by borabora View Post
    the commentators are absolute morons,
    During one of last year's Corsican stages, Phil Liggett referred to a dry river channel as an overflow for the Mediterranean Sea.

    I still enjoy watching it, although not as much as a WC DH race. It's a spectacle, like the Olympics.
    "Back off, man. I'm a scientist." - Dr. Peter Venkman

    Riding in Helena? Everything you need to know, right here.

  47. #47
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    Tour De France

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky Mtn View Post
    i know there are lots of warts around lance, but and the end of the day he was still better than his peers (who have thier own warts) for 6 years.......
    Yes lots of warts to go around. Post cancer Lance became a Tour de France specialist, training forming a team and doping specifically for this race. No longer did he race one day classic races. nor compete in other grand tours, as many of his rivals did. He did race in minor stage races in late spring stage races (e.g Tour de Suisse) asTdF prep or training. In fact. his TdF specialization was unique in cycling history. The all time greats of the sport competed in more kinds of races, all season long. Merckx dominated his rivals in most of the spring one day classics and all the Grand Tours
    You could say that Merckx was Babe Ruth or Ted Williams to Lance's Barry Bonds or Mark McGuire.

    Lance's achievements though tainted can't be denied on their own terms. But no matter what he did he does not rank near the top of all time bike racers. Top 10 but not top 5

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    Last edited by dwt; 06-14-2014 at 07:31 AM.
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

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    Lance Armstrong also got away with it. He's lost 50% of his net worth but that leaves him with around 50 million.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sevenrats View Post
    Lance Armstrong also got away with it. He's lost 50% of his net worth but that leaves him with around 50 million.
    As far as I know, he's being deposed under oath today coincidentally, in a federal whistleblower suit (money defrauded from USPS sponsorship) that carries a tag of about $100 million. Later this month he will be deposed again under oath in relation to the payouts from the insurance company SCA carrying a risk of about $15 million. He's done an awful lot of lying in the past, incuding while under oath in the original SCA arbitration hearing, but it's a whole new game now and if he doesn't play his cards right, there's a real risk of jail time for perjury.

    Let's wait a couple of years to see how this all works out for him in the end.

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    Really?! I thought that the Justice Dept decided not to pursue that suit. Good for them.

    I rooted for him and stuck up for him all those years. To think how rich he got by destroying other people, especially people of lesser means, even when what they were saying was completely true, is disgusting. Even now he shows no remorse.

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