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Old July 15th 03, 10:00 AM
Norm T
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Default Iban Mayo is LA's only challenger

It is clear now. Iban Mayo is the only threat to LA. After what
happened at L'Alpe d'Huez and the stage yesterday, the contenders and
pretenders have been revealed. Ullrich doesn't look to be able to
keep up with the big boys in the steep climbs and I never considered
Beloki to be a serious threat to LA. It had to be a challenger who
was new and whose abilities weren't fully revealed in previous Tours.
A revelation. This is the guy. Mayo has already proven that he can
beat LA in a prologue in the Dauphine, and shattered him on that climb
up D'Huez. This guy is young, climbs like a fiend, and isn't too
shabby on the TT. The only thing that might hurt him is the fact that
this Tour (those TdF idiots) is probably the easiest of the Tours
since Lance started winning. Hardly any mountain top finishes, 2 TTT
and 1 ITT instead of just 1 TTT and 2 ITT. This could really hurt
Mayo as his team is nothing compared to Postal. I don't see Mayo
winning unless he takes 2 minute chunks out of LA in the Pyrenees, and
that will be hard to do without mountaintop finishes. Its a shame,
the Tour committee was trying to design an easier course to make it
more difficult for Lance to win his 5th, but in the process, they've
made it easier for him as his main contender is a better climber. The
irony of it all, the foolishness of the French.

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