- Article published:
- April 25, 2005, 00:00
- Paul Nugent
Lance Armstrong (Discovery Channel) "Well, I felt better than yesterday, primarily because I had a...
Lance Armstrong (Discovery Channel)
"Well, I felt better than yesterday, primarily because I had a bit of stomach problem yesterday and perhaps I've even had it for a few days. Obviously, it's not exactly been a stress-free week because of the announcement at the beginning. Maybe that took something out of me. I felt great today. I thought that Johan had a great plan this morning. We tried our best yesterday and it didn't work. He came back with an equally aggressive plan today and we tried to do that, too. Every guy that was part of that plan, especially a guy like Jason McCartney was superb and the team was awesome. Went Tom went, it was nice to see. I really believe when he attacked, that it was game over."
"That's a very hard climb. We rode with a 27 [tooth cog] versus a 25 last year. Tough climb. Tough, tough climb. Different conditions. Bigger crowd and obviously much, much different tactics."
"I don't know that I said I have to re-evaluate the season. I said I have to re-evaluate where I am and evaluate what needs work. Clearly the time-trial was bad. You can't do time-trials like that and win the Tour de France, that's for sure, although there's one less time-trial, thank goodness. So I have to look at where I am. Is it lack of time-trialing, is it a problem with lack of time on the time-trial bike, is it climbing, is it my condition? Did I not do enough in the winter? Um, I don't think so.
"While I was busy, I had been busy the year before and two years before. I think I'm on track. I don't know that it's perfect, but I'm not far off. So, the next few weeks after this will dictate a lot about what will happen this summer. And I know that. I know that you have to look at every aspect of cycling: the training, the diet, the rest, the recovery, the lack of distraction. All that stuff has to be perfect in order to win another Tour [de France]."
"I didn't see [Landis, talking about sprinting at the end]. I looked back to see where he was and looked at the clock. I knew that Tom needed a minute. For me, that was a special moment. You have to keep in mind. I've been around a long time and I've had a lot of riders come onto the team. I've invested a lot of time and energy into each and every one of them, whether it's Kevin Livingston or Tyler Hamilton or Floyd Landis or, now, Tom Danielson. And they've all become much better riders after they left the team. So to see one rider who left the team on his own will be taken over by somebody who came onto the team and is happy and really pleased to be here, for me, that's a special thing.
"[Tour de Georgia] is a hard race, it's a complete race. They have a good field. They have a time-trial, they have mountain stages, they have long stages."
"The best Tour rider of [the Americans doing the Tour de France this year] is Levi, only because he's proven it, apart from Bobby [Julich] being third in 1998, in recent years. Levi has really been consistent in the Tour... I've spent more time with Levi training this year than I've ever spent with him before. And I'm impressed with how hard he works. He's a tough guy, man, he can got out five, six, seven hour rides and he never complains, never winces. He's a hard worker and that's a great thing to see. I don't train with Bobby much because he lives in Nice and we're in Girona. But I think Levi will be tough in the Tour. I can see Levi being Top-5, Top-3."
"When will we see Tom in the Tour? In two weeks, you'll see him in the Tour of Italy [laughing]. I don't know if we'll see him this summer. He's new to the program... He's still a young rider and he cannot be expected to do a Giro and a Tour in one summer. But he'll be there soon enough. I think Tom has a few things to learn. The Tour is crazy. It's ten times harder than the Giro and 50 times harder than the Tour of Switzerland, for example. It's aggressive, it's crazy, it's dangerous. The first week is like Paris Roubaix every day. It's just fighting and fighting and positioning. He has to get used to that a little more. The way he goes uphill, he could be a threat one day. And he can also time-trial."
"I haven't been doing super high intensity work, which leads to poor time-trials and when you have climbs like this where you're really in the red, it's hard to go there unless you've pushed yourself in that type of training. I haven't touched that, but it starts here..."
Tom Danielson (Discovery Channel)
"Just being able to come to this race and race with Lance was huge motivation for me. This is his last year, and every opportunity I have to be in the same race with him and learn from him is an incredible experience... He's kind of been giving me a hard time the whole month saying, 'Oh, I'm going to be working for you.' All I wanted to do was come here and make it like a mini Tour de France and help him win today. I was just fortunate that he gave me the opportunity to race today.
"I'm really excited for the Giro, but I've never done it before. I'm very motivated for it, but the leader for it is Paolo Savoldelli. He's won it before. I've got good form to help him do a good race."
"Personally, I'm really not that concerned with proving anything to anyone, you know, more just staying on track and growing as an individual. Okay, maybe I wasn't so happy on Fassa Bortolo last year, but I think it was a path that I had to take to get to this team. And I just look at it, I met some great people that year racing in Europe and I got to meet the team and I got the opportunity I did through that year. Okay, it wasn't successful, but I see it as success because now I'm on the right team and I've found a home. I've very excited to be here for quite some time."
Trent Lowe (Jittery Joe's / Kalahari)
"It was good to actually get there because the pass was less than what we had been setting just to get back on. Then, on the descent about 30 kilometers to go, at 90 km/h I punctured. The neutral support guys were good...and chased to get back on Floyd's wheel."