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Tour de France - Team Report
By Podofdonny
Date: 7/30/2002
Tour de France - Team Report

US Postal Service Achieved first class delivery and protection of Armstrong package into Paris 7.17 minutes ahead of any rival service. The team rode intelligently due to the excellent tactical knowledge of Johan Bruyneel and all members were dedicated to their Captains cause. Looked equally in control whether on the flats (Ekimov, Padrnos) or in the mountains (Rubiera, Heras). Special mention to George (Lion of the Mountains) Hincapie - who looked easily the best rouleur in the entire tour.

Daily Peloton Marks - Sadly the Posties lose 0.5 DP points for attempting a ZZ Top revival and not wearing false beards into Paris - DP SCORE 9.5

ONCE Hard to criticise a team that ended with three men in the top six places won the Team time trial and took the Team Overall Classification. The only team to trouble Armstrong, they only achieved the target of isolating the Texan twice - and each time he proved to be in a different class to Beloki, Galdeano or Azevedo. Nevertheless, strong performances by all the team, whether it was Olano pulling hard on the flats or Jorg Jaksche's solid ride that made him the best placed German in the race (31st). Director of sport Saiz put up a tough battle and had enough class to admit at the end "Armstrong has the blood of champions in his veins."

Daily Peloton Marks - Could the ONCE attacked the Postal harder - would it have made any difference? Unlikely - the ONCE put up one the finest team displays seen - DP SCORE 9.0

Lampre Rubens Bertogliati's stunning stage victory on stage one which captured the yellow jersey would have made the Tour a success for the Lampre boys, and as the tour continued Rumsas got stronger and stronger. However, today's news concerning Rumsas’s wifes arrest - click here to read Mick K’s report makes early judgement difficult.

Daily Peloton Marks - Innocent until proven guilty - so the Lampre and hard riding Rumsas get a bonus of 0.5 for the audacity to attack in Paris - DP SCORE 8.5

CSC: Jalabert proved to be in stunning form and proved that "you don’t have to be the best climber - just the one with the most nerve" to win the Polka Dot Jersey and the most aggressive rider award. Sastre again proved to be a strong tour rider, while Hamilton and (surprisingly) young Niki Sorensen finished in the top twenty.

Daily Peloton Marks - Managed to make a complete hash of the team time trial - which should have put JaJa in yellow - lose 0.5 points for such carelessness- however gain 0.5 for Sastre’s classy defensive work against Iron Man Moreau - DP SCORE 8.5

Kelme: Botero got a classic double victory for the Green Machine winning the time trial into Lorient and the alpine stage into Deux Alpes. Otherwise, it has to be said, the Kelme were somewhat inconspicuous. Sevilla retired sick - but even so the team disappointed in the Pyrenees.

Daily Peloton Marks - Botero finished fourth - but the team never really seemed to have an appetite for the race - DP SCORE 8.0

Lotto: Robbie McEwen assured the Begium team a memorable tour. Two stage victories plus taking the Green jersey by winning into Paris is about all you can ask of a sprinter. Aerts, with a nice Telekom contract in his back pocket for next season, finally showed the potential we all knew he had - but narrowly missed out on two occasions in the Alpes.

Daily Peloton Marks - Maillot verte and a victory in Paris - have the Lotto team ever done better in a Tour? DP SCORE 8.5 Marc Madiot knows how to rally his troops - with great teamwork from Cooke, McGee won in Avranches, Casar was full of fight. Solid team achievement.

Daily Peloton Marks - Did as well as could be expected - and Nicolas Vogondy’s 19th place overall was a bonus - DP SCORE 7.5

Telekom: A stage win from Zabel - but in all honesty the team never looked anything like the cohesive force on the flats we have become used to. Bolts and Julich were solid and Guerini at least showed some fight in the mountains, other than that the team looked demoralised and disjointed.

Daily Peloton Marks - how are the mighty fallen - Telekom are no longer the number one team in Germany - and on this display it is easy to see why - “Ete” got most of their score on his own - DP SCORE 6.5

Rabobank: The Orangemen finally restored Dutch pride in the mountains when Boogerd soared to victory on the alpine Queen stage after a famous ride. Dekker put in a truly fighting performance to help Kroon win in Plouay. Before the Tour they had said they wanted a top ten place for Leipheimer - he finished 8th. Excellent tour by the cloggies/klompen.

Two men in the top 12 - plus 0.5 bonus for Odessa’s Pom Poms - DP SCORE 8.0 Well, the heady days of Indurain may be a memory - but it was a disappointing performance which ever way you look at it. Mancebo (7th) did not convince, Osa, Menchov, and Baranowski could have done so much more.

Daily Peloton Marks - for a team that fought with such spirit earlier in the season a poor show - DP SCORE 6.0

Fassa Bortolo: Ivan Basso aside, who won the young rider's white jersey and finished an excellent 11th it was a lack lust display.Ivanov showed us a mere glimpse of his potential on the Champs.

Daily Peloton Marks - The Italian journalists turned their back on the tour - clearly the sour taste of Saeco’s shoddy treatment poisoned Italian morale - DP Score 6.0

Crédit Agricole: Moreau had clearly done his preparation well - unfortunately this included watching Alex Zuelle Tour videos and Hamilton in the Giro. Having spent most of the race falling off, his attack on Sastre would have surely had him disqualified in any other country? Eventually he retired but the presence of his girlfriend on the podium gave a unique atmosphere to the prize givings (will she present Armstrong the jersey or push him off the podium?). Hushovd saved the day with a great stage-win in Bourge en Bresse for the team.

Daily Peloton Marks - great ride by “Schwartzy" - pretty much a disaster teamwise. Vaughters' strange departure sums up the teams cohesion - + 0.5 for the second stage win for Norway - DP SCORE 5.5.

Cofidis As Green jersey winner McEwan said, "Well, Britain is the best nation in this tour - one participant - one victory - 100% record." Millar has shown class this tour - the 25 year old continues to impress - the tour of Spain is starting to look very interesting... Moncoutié looks good but must start winning stages; Kivilev looked a little lost.

Daily Peloton Marks - Lelli continues to surprise - but Millars performance is worth 0.5 - DP SCORE 7.0

Bonjour: Rous a challenger for a podium position crashed out early - game plan over. Franck Rénier showed fighting spirit -and a good sense of humour with Jaja.

Daily Peloton Marks - Why were team Coast not represented? DP SCORE 5.0

Domo: Virenque the gambler on Ventoux. Virenque is good looking and some what dangerous. He knows how to get the best out of the tour - and did so again this year - with Jaja gone he will reap the dividends next year. Merckx and Cassani worked very hard throughout the race.

Daily Peloton Marks - Got a stage victory on Ventoux - DP SCORE 6.5

AG2R: Kirsipuu won his stage (as usual), Botcharov (second on the Ventoux), rode so well he got nicknamed “Lucien" after his resembalance to Van Impe. Andy Flickinger, Stéphane Berges, Oriol and Turpin had their brief moments.

Daily Peloton Marks - a very solid performance -+ 0.5 for Botcharov - DP SCORE 6.0

Mapei: Wel, Mapei gave Friere a chance to win a stage and to prove if Steels was in shape. Freire was, Steels wasn’t. Martinez was thrown in at the deep end, but still did well - as did Horrillo and Bodrogi.

Essentially though, the fact that Mapei - probably the biggest financial sponsor of the sport for the last 10 years - and now withdrawing sponsorhip - could send such a disjointed squad to allegedly the World's Number One Race shows how bad feelings have become.

Daily Peloton Remarks - A tragic loss to the professional circuit = bonus points of 3.0 for support to the sport - DP SCORE 8.5

Jean Delatour: Halgand has been strong this year -his team haven’t. Halgand won a stage and Brochard launched a seemingly endless series of doomed attacks. Christophe Edalaine looked OK though.

Daily Peloton Marks - Saeco kicked off the tour for Delatour - poor decision which loses the team 1.0 - DP SCORE 5.00

Tacconi: Frigos stage-win was greeted in Italy with the enthusiasm usually reserved for dead dictators. other than that all quiet on the Tacconi front.

Won a stage - DP SCORE - 6.5

Alessio: Moreni and Hvastija had excellent efforts, Dufaux had a go - that’s about it.

Daily Peloton Marks - DP SCORE 5.5

Euskaltel: Well you tell me - no comment. DP SCORE 4.0

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