did you see those results? huh? i'm confused, or more so REALLY disappointed. what happened to Levi, and especially what happened to George and the whole Disco train?

The following is from Cyclingnews:

General classification after stage 7

1 Serguei Gonchar (Ukr) T-Mobile 30.23.20
2 Floyd Landis (USA) Phonak 1.00
3 Michael Rogers (Aus) T-Mobile 1.08
4 Patrik Sinkewitz (Ger) T-Mobile 1.45
5 Marcus Fothen (Ger) Gerolsteiner 1.50
6 Andreas Klöden (Ger) T-Mobile
7 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Caisse d'Epargne 1.52
8 Cadel Evans (Aus) Davitamon-Lotto
9 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 2.00
10 David Zabriskie (USA) Team CSC 2.02

in my estimation, according to this new top-10, maybe half of these guys are actual players. First-tier threats would be Landis, Kloden, Evans, and Menchov. After that, perhaps Karpets or Rogers can make some impact. Gonchar has NO chance. Rogers has been one of those young riders hyped to be 'the next thing', but i can't imagine his climbing carrying him. Karpets was best young rider either last year, or the year before, though i don't remember exactly when. he's solid though, and someone you can't let up the road.

Disco took a mammoth hit today, their finishers were placed 19, 22, 24 ,26, 32, 42, 45, 130. The prob with these numbers is that Azevedo, a former top-5 was 45th. and Popo, the new 'guy', was only 32nd. and how does Salvodelli managed barely a top-20? and George? i just looked at last year's long TT results, and George finished 8th, within 19sec of Evans for example, and 22sec of Landis. and Popo was 3 spots below George in 11th. this year he was 53sec behind Evans and 1.42 behind Floyd. a very mediocre result. It's the last 10 Paris-Roubaix(s) redoux.

Fact is, if you take out specialist Gonchar's time and instead peg the results to Floyd's, you have 24 riders within 2 minutes, which is a very reasonable result- meaning no great impact. yes, 2 minutes is a bit, but these TT results are much closer than in previous Tours. in the '05 Tour long TT, Karpets was 3.05 behind Lance for 10th place. in this '06 TT, to be 3 minutes behind Gonchar you have Chechu from Disco in 25th place. If you peg the times to Landis- a much more reasonable overall contender-, then the 3-minute rider was Voeckler in 46th!!

enough numbers, but the fact is this race is totally wide open. the one overwhelming observation to make is that the dominant team of the day has been T-Mobile, by far. the second is the Disco had a rotten day. if these results portend their climbing, then they're done for. and finally, a bad day for Americans, save Floyd. George and Zabriskie underperformed. Julich crashed out. and Levi, well, it was so bad that he better be sick or retire.

Vamos a ver, no?


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