Tick's not-very-serious-look at why no one will win the Tour this year...
Who is going to win the Tour de France? Will Lance Armstrong take an
unpredecented seventh victory and go out in a blaze of glory? Will Jan Ullrich
finally be able to overcome his rival? Or will someone come out of the pack and
take the title? Well, after an enormous amount of research and reading what all
the experts, fans and everybody else thinks, I've come to an astonishing
conclusion - nobody will win the Tour this year!
Lance Armstrong - He can't possibly motivate himself for another win. He
showed definite weaknesses in the Dauphine. He lived the high life too much
this winter and didn't train enough. His thoughts are full of retirement. His
thoughts are full of how much he misses his kids. His thoughts are full of his
girlfriend. (His thoughts are apparently full of everything except cycling!)
Not to forget that he is suffering the aftereffects of his training crash.
Jan Ullrich - He showed definite weaknesses in the mountains in the Tour de
Suisse. He won't have Rudy Pevenage sitting in the team car. There are too
many internal T-Mobile problems (who's the boss?) He can't overcome his seeming
conviction that he can't beat Armstrong. His thoughts are full of how much he
misses his kid. His thoughts are full of his new girlfriend.
Alexander Vinokourov - He won't win because he is forced to support his team
captain, Ullrich. His thoughts are full of which team he is going to ride for
next year when he wins the Tour.
Andreas Klöden - This is the easiest of all. He had a good season in 2000
and a good season in 2004. He simply has to wait until 2008...
Ivan Basso - Sure his time trialing has improved, but...... And he's got the
Giro in his legs. Admittedly it didn't go the way he wanted, but one way or another it has to have taken a lot out of him.
Levi Leipheimer and Georg Totschnig - Leiphiemer is one of those whose name
always pops up, although he has yet to prove himself. Totschnig would have a
good chance of winning if the Tour only had mountain stages. Their main problem
is their team. Nothing against Gerolsteiner, they are all wonderful people, but
I've never seen a team with such a myriad of bad luck and problems as they have
had at the Tour the last couple of years.
Roberto Heras - Move the race to Spain and rename it the Vuelta, then he
Santiago Botero and Floyd Landis - Landis has to show whether he can move out
of the "helper" role. And after Botero's last few up-and-down seasons, a lot of
people are really going to want to know the reason why if he does well in the
Iban Mayo - Another one of those names that always pops up as a possibile
contender, but no one ever really knows why.
Everybody else - Either they can't time trial or climb the mountains or the
team is too weak in the team time trial, or they are just domestiques or the
team just couldn't find anybody worthwhile to send......
Well, despite all of these negative thoughts, somebody is going to win this
darn race. I don't particularly care who, just as long as it is fair,
competitive, exciting and, preferably, close. I'd be happiest if the winner
came out of my "everybody else" category!