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July 19, 2004

Bruyneel issues smackdown on pre-race favorites

Yahoo! Sports | Armstrong not stronger, rivals weaker - Bruyneel

"It's mainly the others who are not strong enough to win the Tour and make believe that Lance is stronger," said the U.S. Postal team director, hinting at Jan Ullrich, Tyler Hamilton or Iban Mayo.

Bruyneel carefully exempted CSC's Ivan Basso from that loaded "others", saying Basso "was the best young rider in the Tour two years ago and he has improved a lot because he's a real professional and works hard."

On the other hand, Bruyneel was more than willing to comment on Jan Ullrich's difficulties so far in this Tour de France, who he said was "very far" from the shape he needed three months ago if he was to compete in the Tour.

Of Armstrong, Bruyneel said his inability to solo off the front on the Pyrenean climbs was evidence that he's well prepared, but "not stronger" than he was in 2001 and 2002.

Also:

ThePaceline.com | Johan Bruyneel Press Conference - Rest Day 2

Posted by Frank Steele on July 19, 2004 in Jan Ullrich, Lance Armstrong 2004 | Permalink

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Comments

Of Armstrong, Bruyneel said his inability to solo off the front on the Pyrenean climbs was evidence that he's well prepared, but "not stronger" than he was in 2001 and 2002.

That's rather ominous somehow.

Posted by: Matthew at Jul 19, 2004 10:05:13 PM

I think that he is correct. Armstrong is the most tactically proficient rider in this years tour. He is not the strongest. That is ok one of my old riding partners who also raced told me once that strength will only get you so far but smarts will get you further. Just a few cents. Love the site.


Posted by: scott at Jul 20, 2004 2:05:07 AM

Johan is spot on. Armstrong is not the old Lance, but old Lance. Not unlike Jordan, as his explosiveness faded he relied on his unparalleled knowledge of the sport. A true champion finds ways to win.

Posted by: Jeff at Jul 20, 2004 2:20:26 AM

check this: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/levesque/182769_leve20.html

Posted by: saeco at Jul 20, 2004 3:41:17 AM

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