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Date Posted: 21:33:47 09/02/04 Thu
Author: Vaughn
Subject: Re: Vuelta favorites? Landis anyone???
In reply to: ChrisH 's message, "Vuelta favorites?" on 11:29:19 09/02/04 Thu

Does anyone take kindly to the mention of Floyd Landis as a name who might rocket to the front in the Vuelta?
He and Cadel Evans I am hoping will do well...V

Even MrBookmaker is having trouble setting the odds.
>There are plenty of contenders, but none that I would
>call a favorite. So, in the absence of true favorites,
>I'll use the star system and list riders I think have
>a real chance of winning -- not guys I think can
>podium.
>
>5 stars: none
>4 stars: Heras, Valverde, Vinokourov, Beloki, Sevilla
>3 stars: Hamilton, Aitor Gonzalez, Cunego, Pecharroman
>
>Sorry, I tried to put Valverde ahead of Heras, but
>Kelme is outclassed by Liberty. So while Valverde
>might be a bit stronger than Heras, the huge
>difference in team strength may be too much to
>overcome. Go Heras!
>
>As for the route, I don't believe it's so tough that
>it favors Heras over Valverde. There are only two
>climbs that I would call "HC", the Velefique and the
>finishing climb to the Calar Alto (both in stage 12).
>On the easier climbs, Valverde can match Heras and may
>even gain time.
>
>I'm also interested in seeing how Martin will do.
>Beloki's team rivals Liberty, T-Mobile, and Phonak.

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