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Dr_C's avatar

What do you think Lance Armstrong's chances of winning the TDF are?

Asked by Dr_C (14061 points ) July 13th, 2009

AS of the last completed stage lance has narrowly missed the yellow jersey and seems to be finding a comfortable niche at the top of the pack… he’s only 8 seconds of the pace of current yellow jersey bearer Nocentini, and 2 seconds behind his teammate Contador (6 seconds off thepace). Do you foresee any problems on team Astana deciding to back either Contador or Lance in teh team strategy to get one or the other the yellow? Should they back lance for #8 or should the rally behind Contador and have Lance take a back seat?

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10 Answers

whitenoise's avatar

What’s this referring to Le Tour as TDF? Blasphemy!

And… well I think he has a great chance. The way his team functions is just impressing and one cannot look at Lance and feel the same way about him. The finish is still far to go and if anything happens to Contador (Evelyn forbid) then Lance is the one I would put my money on!

Jack_Haas's avatar

His team would be crazy to back another guy, even if it meant losing the race: the TDF without Armstrong is the worst thing that can happen to it. TV execs are nuts here, because the ratings are through the roof. No Lance, no buzz. Even the french start to like him, even those who still hate him root for him to win so they can revel in hating him more.

Bluefreedom's avatar

I think Lance Armstrong’s chances of winning the Tour de France are just as good now as his chances were when he won this same race on 7 previous and consecutive occasions. That speaks volumes.

Trendge's avatar

I’d say pretty high. He’s only won it 7 times so i’d say he probably will and that nobody will be surprised… impressed maybe… but not surprised.

Rsam's avatar

@Jack_Haas I’m not ready to say quite that. Lets remember that winning 7 consecutive TDF’s is probably the best training you could ask for to win yet another—but armstrong’s been out for three years. however, its not as if he hasnt come out from behind before, and im guessing he and Astana are planning on just that.

wundayatta's avatar

I don’t think Astana has to choose. I think they can support both of these guys, and even Leipheimer. There’s a good chance Lance and Alberto could end up one-two, and that Astana has three or even four team members in the top ten. We’ll see, when we reach the Alps, whether Lance still has the legs.

I do think it interesting that Contador made that break on the first mountain stage in order to get ahead of Armstrong. By reading between the lines, it seems that caused some ill feelings at the team dinner. But I can’t see anything but an advantage to have them both helping each other on these mountain stages. I think they are professional enough to do that.

Dr_C's avatar

All great arguments… just one thing on his winning 7 consecutive times… he was out for 3 years since and put one quite a bit of weight through upper body muscle mass (his trainer actually gave an interview on this very topic) which in the case of endurance riders.. especially through climbing stages can only hurt. He had to go through a specific training regiment to decrease muscle mass while simultaneously increasing his endurance… the las time he was able to loose over 8 pounds of muscle mass he had been diagnosed with cancer and had undergone aggresive treatment. This time it’s different. I have no doubt he has the drive and experience… but he is older and was ou for 3 years… Contador was touted as the front runner and actual favorite to win before lance was a sure thing for the race and Astana had anounced they would be backing contador in striving for yellow.

I agree that Alberto, Lance and Levi have a great chance of showing high in the top 10…. and i swear i’m cheering my butt off for lance… but can he keep it up for the remainin stages with the tougher climbs still ahead of them?

Dr_C's avatar

@whitenoise i completely agree with you but as i was writing the question one fo my coworkers (who wouldn’t know a road bike from a kids tricycle) saw that i wrote “le tour” and gave me shit about being a pretentious prick… i disagree with his assessment but changed it just to get him off my back. It’s the equivalent of referring to “La Vuelta” as “the turn/round-about” or “Il Giro” as “the circuit”.

Not Cool.

You my friend are a true cycling scholar and i salute you!

NathanESP's avatar

I don’t think he would have ridden this year if he didn’t think he could win it.

(My dad is a massive cycling fan..)

sandystrachan's avatar

They all think they can win or they wouldn’t enter .
He has as good a chance as anyone else , i doubt he WILL win tho he is too old ITV sports commentator not me saying that he is too old
I think he is only there to prove he can still do it , that or he needed the money or he just couldn’t stand the fact he wasn’t cycling anymore at that level and wanted to see if he could still do it .
Did he do anything while not racing ? If not its for the money cause he knows he will bring in loads .

__BTW my dad is a huge cycling fan also…..__ He might be even more into the sport as you’re dad @NathanESP

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