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Vuelta d'España 2004

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09-04-2004, 09:45 AM
  #1
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Vuelta d'España 2004

Well, it's that time of the year again.

After the Giro, the European Championships Football, the Tour de France, the Olympics and a whole lot of tennis it's time for three more weeks of cycling pleasure.


Couplde of people with a chance of winning it all.

Valverde, Zubeldia, Hamilton, Heras, Beloki, ...

Today it's a time trail per team so that's always interesting, but unfortunately I can't watch all of it as I've got to go soon.

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09-05-2004, 05:14 AM
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So nobody watched?

US Postal pretty much destroyed the competition, with Floyd Landis taking the yellow-gold jersey.
T Mobile (Alex Vinokourov as leader) finished second, Iles Balears coming in thrid.
Favorite Roberto Heras and his team Liberty Seguros lost 1'28" and can start chasing from the beginning.

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09-05-2004, 05:20 AM
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I know he is there just to get ready for the world championship in his hometown, but considering recent results i think Cunego should get a mention here.
Even if probably he will try to win a stage more than try hard for the general classification, you never know with him...

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09-05-2004, 05:25 AM
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Yeah there's loads of interesting guys out there.

Is Cunego Scheduled to go for the full three weeks or is he only gonna do two and then abandon?


BTW what do you think of Rebellin's recent 'transfer'? I know he was passed for the olympics but Ballerini clearly said that there was room for him in the selection for Verona, and than he goes of to Argentina? What's the response to this in Italy?

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09-05-2004, 05:42 AM
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Frolov 6'3
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I think it's a disgrace when he doesn't get a selection for the Italian team and Ballerini, who I always respected, should be ashamed of himself.

As for the Vuelta, I'll definitely follow it but I'm just having a slow start.

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09-05-2004, 09:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frolov 6'3
I think it's a disgrace when he doesn't get a selection for the Italian team and Ballerini, who I always respected, should be ashamed of himself.
I disagree with that, for the olympics it was impossible to take both Bettini and Rebbelin in one team (only 6 guys allowed), that would have meant one less gold medal for Italy.

And Ballerini already said that Rebbelin would be there in Verona (10 or 12 guys for the top countries, not sure) so if he goes to Argentina right now I think it's only because he knows he can't beat Bettini (Cunego) when he's riding in the same team.

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09-05-2004, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belgian Fan
Is Cunego Scheduled to go for the full three weeks or is he only gonna do two and then abandon?
Well, there is not an official plan for it. They are just saying he is there to prepare the world championship. I guess they will decide depending on how Cunego will do in the first half and on how the race develops, especially in a race wide open on paper, with no sure things among people with chances to win it.
If the guy feels good and is well placed in the general classification then he will finish it, whenever he is without chances for the overall win i doubt he will do; but again these are only my feelings.
It's difficult to read beyond his official comments (i'm there to train..) and realize how motivated he really is to try as hard as he can for this race, in Italy Vuelta usually got very little exposure.
On the other hand, he won several minor races recently (the last one he took part as well), he looks already in pretty good shape and is the clear leader of his team there...
so, at least for now, in my mind he is certainly among the potential winners of Vuelta '04.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Belgian Fan
BTW what do you think of Rebellin's recent 'transfer'? I know he was passed for the olympics but Ballerini clearly said that there was room for him in the selection for Verona, and than he goes of to Argentina? What's the response to this in Italy?
I should know the facts better to give a proper answer on this one.
I think that he deserved (if ready to not be the captain) to be there at the Olympics; he then got through polemics with Ballerini and after hearing about the Argentinian nationality i took for sure he had been left off for the World championship too (despite surely deserving to be there since there are more spots available than in the Olympics), so i'm surprised to read what you report here. Ballerini said that?
And he said it before or after not selecting him??

Anyway, one thing for sure is that i am once again bothered by the ease new nationalities are obtained.

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09-05-2004, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frolov 6'3
As for the Vuelta, I'll definitely follow it but I'm just having a slow start.
Did the fact Casagrande got his troubles again getting banned from the race because of high hematocrit somehow contribute to your slow start?
There are rumors that this new stop could even end his career.


As for me, i am not only a slow starter here, i fear i will just be a no follower since i will have zero time in my hands for the whole month. That with US Open and, moreover, the World Cup on the board.....

It really sucks!!!!!!!

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09-05-2004, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belgian Fan
I disagree with that, for the olympics it was impossible to take both Bettini and Rebbelin in one team (only 6 guys allowed), that would have meant one less gold medal for Italy.

And Ballerini already said that Rebbelin would be there in Verona (10 or 12 guys for the top countries, not sure) so if he goes to Argentina right now I think it's only because he knows he can't beat Bettini (Cunego) when he's riding in the same team.


I'm not sure why you disagree because I didn't mention the Olympics. I was talking about the World Championships.

Rebellin thinks he won't get a selection and so far Ballerini hasn't done anything to prove him wrong. He has won L-B-L, The Amstel Gold Race and the Waalse Pijl. He is the leader in the World Cup and didn't show any poor form right now. You would think there shouldn't be much doubt but apparently there is. It's not the first time Ballerini leaves somebody at home to avoid any problems and Rebellin knows that. So I stick with my last statement, Ballerini should be ashamed of himself when Rebellin isn't present in Verona.

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09-05-2004, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helicecopter
Did the fact Casagrande got his troubles again getting banned from the race because of high hematocrit somehow contribute to your slow start? There are rumors that this new stop could even end his career.
I think Casagrande has often been on the juice in his career. The whole season he was injured and I think he needed some EPO to get his form back. This will be a sad end of his career if he would quit. On the other hand, within a couple of days he can race again. You have many Italian semi-classiques in the off-season and I hope he can get over the dissapointment.

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09-05-2004, 11:54 AM
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Well, to clear things up: I heard from the Belgian TV commentators who are usually amon the best informed ones that Ballerini had said that there would definately be room for to a place amongst the 12 Italians at Verona.

You are absolutely right Frolov, Rebellin does belong in Verona and would have fit in nicely in the olympics, he's arguably the man of the season thus far. But on the other hand, coaches that win are always right, so Ballerini took the right decision leaving him home in Athens. In fact, it was one of the first time in years (Zolder 2002 - Cipollini excluded) where the Italians really started with ONE clear leader instead of the usual potpurri of favorites and they had results.

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