The Week That Was...

News & Results

07/6/2003| 0 comments
by Ian Melvin

The Week That Was...

Ian Melvin comments on the happenings in the world of cycling.

So anyway guys, I hate to tell you so but was I right or was I right?  McGee and Millar brought it home in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /?>
yesterday and with the top ten also featuring Armstrong and Hamilton it turned out to be a real Anglophile affair.  With only 600m to go I thought I'd be bragging today about me having previously raced with the yellow jersey wearer but unfortunately, due to a mechanical problem, Dave missed out on the jersey by the smallest of margins.  Now Millar says that he'll have to wait until the mountains for his moment of glory and I urge you all, do not underestimate the flying Scot - it's Millar time!  And don't think that it'll be the end of McGee either; there's more to come from the Sydneysider in this year?s Tour. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>

This past week has just been a press conference merry-go round in

, an event that Armstrong described as "truly my favorite moment of the tour!"  This year there was a real repetitive theme of "I'm feeling good, my team is strong and yes, we're very motivated" - yawn!  I'm waiting for the day that one of them turns around and tells us that actually "my team is going like a bag of s&%$!"  

Despite finishing 7th in the prologue Armstrong is still the favorite.  Previous winner Miguel Indurain commented, "Even as a young rider, Armstrong had incredible self-confidence.  He only lacked consistency.  I believe the cancer changed everything.  Today he races with a completely different attitude, and is a better rider.  He has a mentality, which forces others to their knees.  He can't have a bad day or crash."

Of the other riders aiming to challenge the Armstrong crown, Stefano Garzelli is talking down his chances after having to take a course of antibiotics due to an inflamed throat and Paolo Savoldelli (Telekom) has withdrawn due to a stomach ailment, which now leaves Team Telekom with 'only' two team leaders - Alexandre Vinokourov and Santiago Botero.  The form of the Columbian is not too clear as he spent the first part of the season in his homeland before coming to

Europe to hone his form.  There is a little concern within the management however as Botero is said to be looking a little over weight.  Teammate Eric Zabel has suggested that Telekom may look to help former team-member Jan Ullrich (Bianchi).  "In cycling that happens frequently when teams have similar intentions.  Maybe we will form an alliance with Ullrich.  If Armstrong is on the attack and Ullrich is chasing, we will try to ride with him in the chase."  Meanwhile Jan is presently celebrating the birth of his first child, Sarah Maria who was born on Tuesday afternoon.  "I could dance on clouds," he beamed.

Another rider hoping for big things this year is Tyler Hamilton of CSC, which has just confirmed sponsorship for a further two years.  "I feel good at the moment.  The condition is still coming and I hope to hit my peak here at the TdF."  One thing of


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