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July 13, 2003

OLN daily reports updated: Stage 8

    Today's highlights:

  • Phil Liggett ("It was the greatest of all battles on Alpe d'Huez -- and I've seen 22 of the 23 throughout the fabled history of the climb. Lance Armstrong appeared to be in trouble, but he knew what his body was capable of and he marshaled his strength to end the day as race leader.")

  • Paul Sherwen ("Armstrong admitted surprise at his legs, said they didn't respond quite the way he had wanted them to. He praised his team who did a magnificent job for him. Whether he was good or not, he was still able to finish off the job and chase and parry all the attacks. I think the reason he raced the way he did today was to try and put time between himself and Jan Ullrich.")

Posted by Frank Steele on July 13, 2003 in Stage results | Permalink

Comments

> Armstrong admitted surprise at his legs, said they didn't respond quite the way he had wanted them to.

Is this Le Bluff 2003?

Posted by: john m at Jul 13, 2003 6:50:01 PM

I don't think so. Armstrong's style (since he started winning the Tour) has always been to go for the marquee mountain stage wins, and this was the one in this Tour.

On the other hand: On OLN's coverage, earlier, they suggested "rumors" from Bernard Hinault that Armstrong is saving up for the first time trial, and then will try to put it away in the Pyrenees.

There was also a mention somewhere that Manuel Beltran blew their tempo a bit, pushing the pace too soon at the botton of Alpe d'Huez, pushing Heras up to his max heart rate, and forcing Armstrong to slow him down a bit.

That would be a contrast to Armstrong's recent approach, which has been to slowly turn up the gas, shedding teammates as necessary, then taking the last few contenders one-on-one.

Beltran's mistake (if he really made one) wouldn't have kept Armstrong from regrouping and working the USPS plan.

Posted by: Frank at Jul 13, 2003 10:01:18 PM

Its alarming to watch spectators all but shaking hands with the cyclists.
The obvious question would be: what if say a rider conspires with a friend to step out and knock Lance Armstrong off has bike, not in an obvious way but "accidently effective" enough to knock Lance out of the stage or maybe even the competition? Would the referees equalize the issue or would it be just tough luck for Armstrong?

Posted by: neil chapman at Jul 18, 2003 3:41:12 PM

As we saw this morning, it would be tough luck for Armstrong.

It happens periodically, as with Armstrong and that musette bag on the climb to Luz Ardident this morning, and as someone near the summit of one of the legendary climbs a few years ago, where a spectator stepped out for a photo, didn't get out of the way in time, and took down the stage leader.

Posted by: Frank Steele at Jul 21, 2003 10:40:24 AM

Don't know if u guys are still around, but I ahve yet to discover what Lance was talking about when he suggested that there were things that went on during the Tour that most people were unaware of....has he told us yet what those this were?

Posted by: Seth at Aug 1, 2003 1:43:01 PM