So I read today in Sports Illustrated that Lance “doesn’t plan on losing his 7th Tour.” Damn, the news business is easy these days. Inside, there was a painfully basic (but well written for a layman audience) on the outlook for this year’s TdF. Items of note: Floyd Landis describing this year’s Discovery Tour sqaud as “The weakest team I’ve seen since I joined [Lance’s] team,” and all but promising a Phonak victory in this year’s TTT. Floyd also got in a nice product placement, suggesting after Lance popped out of his pedal during the Dauphine TT that he “try one of my Speedplay pedals.” Nice.
Lance’s DC team certainly isn’t short on big names, but it does seem starkly different from the 2002 squad Postal put together, which Lance rated as his best supporting cast in his book Every Second Counts. I know Brunyeel wants to season Popo for future Tour glory, and there isn’t a DC fan out there who doesn’t want to fellate Savodelli at the moment, but I really don’t see these guys chipping in much for Lance. Sure, they’ve got the all for one mentality, but they can’t climb as well as Big Tex, and Savodelli at least sure can’t crank it up like Benoit Joachim or Eki. Pavel Padernos is the only dedicated watt-producer, with Hincapie on his skinny July form. A very beefy CSC looks much better suited to support a single threat (Basso), while T-Mobile looks to be thios year’s superteam, bringing 3 prodium finishers (Vino, Kloden and Big Jan) to the line. SHould be a sweet race.