Wednesday, July 07, 2004

EP Predicts (v.4)

Well, Le Tour is still just begun, but it already seems no one is as serious as Lance Armstrong. There will be shifts back and forth in standings, and Lance may lose the jersey at some point, but he'll finish in yellow. No one is really willing to take it off his back.

This despite the fact that the new rules make the race much more competitive. I especially like the rule limiting the benefit of the TTT to an three minute advantage, as it puts more emphasis on individual performance for the individual standings.

There will be carnage in the mountains, but Ivan Mayo's inability to catch up after the crash in Stage 3 shows that the combination of he and his team is not strong enough to take yellow to Paris this year.

The U.S. Postal Team, by leading the peleton onto the cobbles of Stage 3, and by taking Stage 4 outright, have shown they are the far most serious team.

This is not to say that it is not possible for someone other than Lance to win Le Tour; however from what we've seen I feel certain the outcome will be one of the following:

  • Something terrible and catastrophic might happen to Lance, e.g. he's shot, breaks a leg, etc. But is this likely? Lance seems to have no respect for the Fates, he's an insolent mortal, a true Homer. This we love about him (shaking our fists at the sky).

  • Ullrich might dig deeper than ever has before, flames shooting out his ears, and he simply TAKES the yellow jersey off Lance's back, dead or alive.

  • Tyler decides he's had enough of this being Mr. Nice Guy stuff, he decides Lance is a jerk, and he hammers Lance the way I suspect he might be capable of if he reached so deep he pulled out his spleen in the process, neither one certain who would be left standing
  • Lance wins.

  • Anything. Anything is possible, but no one is as serious as Lance.


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