Three reasons for Heras’s departure
I think Heras was forced to make the decision to leave Postal for a few reasons.
1. Lack of support from sponsors. Lance breaks a fingernail and it’s headlines. Trek didn’t mention Roberto’s big win on their website for like three weeks, and even then it was buried. Lance gets new prototype wheels and bike for the Tour and Heras gets the big goose egg (not to say that a 5900 with X-Lites isn’t all you need). That’s gotta be good for the ol’ morale.
2. The king is half undressed. The team may have lost some faith in Lance this year. Heras is in his prime. How could he ride his butt off for a guy he’s not sure can do it again, especially knowing that he himself has got the goods? Do you think that Postal would support Heras if Lance is choking? Not if you believe some of the statements John Cobb has made in interviews concerning how the team is managed.
3. If you wanna be the best, you gotta beat the best. Who wants to win the Tour in two years when Lance is retired? And what if Lance does race for two more years? If you were a prizefighter, would you really want to win the heavyweight belt from Muhammad Ali in his current state or in his prime? (Okay , I know that’s an crazy analogy.)
Personally I think that the only person who can beat Lance Armstrong is Lance Armstrong. I don’t care what anyone says about Ullrich this and Tyler that, Lance is the complete cyclist. If his body can still do it, if age hasn’t finally caught up with him, and if he puts in the miles it takes, Armstrong’s there.
As for Heras, he’s a pure climber, and not as complete as some of the other big names. I won’t say he’ll beat Lance, but after seeing him in the last time trial of the Vuelta a España, there’s no way I would bet against the man.
Carbon Cliff, IL
Why didn’t Saiz go for Beloki?
What surprises me most about Heras’ move to Liberty and Manolo Saiz is the fact that Saiz obviously had the money (to buy out Heras’ contract and offer him a pay raise) that he was not willing to spend on Beloki. Especially since Saiz and Beloki seemed to have a good relationship, and Beloki has a better Tour record and is younger than Heras.
In either case, I am happy for Heras and think that this move will definitely make the Tour more exciting. Can you imagine Heras on the attack?!? Next year’s Tour should be great to watch.
Los Angeles, CA
Postal has no one to blame but themselves
U.S. Postal may only have themselves to blame for Heras leaving. Heras was always there for Lance in the Tour de France, but was Lance ever there for Heras in the Vuelta? It appears to me that Heras sacrificed his ambitions for the good of the team, but Lance didn’t return the favor. John BurnsBelize City, Belize
Another challenger will spice up Tour
I can’t wait to see another challenger to Lance. When Lance won by six-plus minutes in 2002 I was bored out of my mind. I can imagine it was like watching Eddy Merckx tear everyone a new one three decades ago.
Competition breeds excitement for people who don’t follow the sport as much of the readers of VeloNews. I know from my experience last year during the Tour, there was a fervor surrounding the race that hasn’t been felt ever. I hope Roberto will be able to contend alongside Jan, Joseba, Tyler, and Alexander.
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