Cyclist Popovych joins Astana team

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Cyclist Popovych joins Astana team

Postby wilko72 » Fri Nov 14, 2008 8:42 am

BRUSSELS, Belgium -- Cyclist Yaroslav Popovych rejoined Lance Armstrong on the Astana team Thursday, hoping to create a winning combination at the Giro d'Italia.

Popovych was a support rider who helped Armstrong win his record seventh straight Tour de France in 2005. He will work again with Johan Bruyneel, the Astana team director who guided Armstrong during his Tour victories.

"When I heard that Yaroslav was free, I was immediately interested," Bruyneel said in a statement. "We will most likely count on him to support our leaders in the Giro and the Tour."

Armstrong, making a comeback after three years in retirement, hasn't decided whether he will try for an eighth Tour de France title in 2009. He has committed to racing in the Giro.

The 28-year-old Popovych won a Tour de France stage in 2006 and finished eighth overall in last year's race.

"It may have surprised people that I would go to a team that has a number of leaders," Popovych said. "However, Johan's organization is the perfect fit for me."

The Astana team also features Alberto Contador, the Giro and Spanish Vuelta winner this year, along with American veteran Levi Leipheimer and Andreas Kloeden of Germany.

Popovych's move follows a disappointing year with Silence-Lotto, where he was supposed to help Cadel Evans win the Tour's yellow jersey. The Australian finished second.

Popovych won the white jersey as the most promising rider in the Tour in 2005 and added two top-five finishes in the Giro. Despite such talent, the Ukrainian never made it as a leader on a team.

Contador won't race in the Giro and may miss the Spanish Vuelta to focus on winning his second Tour de France.
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by BNA » Fri Nov 14, 2008 8:53 am

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Postby kilroy » Fri Nov 14, 2008 8:53 am

Hopefully they can get the maximum out of him. I remember before Lance retired this guy was the next big thing and they were grooming him as the next GC title contender. Hasn't done a hell of a lot since. In fact poor old Cadel didn't have too much support this year from his team. It appeared none of them could stay with him into the big mountain stages.
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Postby Chuck » Fri Nov 14, 2008 5:02 pm

Astana's "program" ( :wink: ) obviously works better for him. You wouldn't feed him for what he did at Silence this year.
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Postby sogood » Fri Nov 14, 2008 5:58 pm

If he performed as well as in last year's TdF, he'd just be good enough to be the water bottle boy. :?
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Postby toolonglegs » Fri Nov 14, 2008 6:26 pm

Suprised he changed thou...he was on a really good salary at Loto...wouldn't have been hard to buy that contract out!.
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Postby sogood » Fri Nov 14, 2008 7:02 pm

I wouldn't be surprised if S-Lotto was keen to boot him out too. Based on all the hype and advertising, S-Lotto as well as their sponsor (eg. Ridley) had a lot on the TdF. And as it turned out, he never lived up to expectation.
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Postby wilko72 » Fri Nov 14, 2008 9:37 pm

Where does this leave Cadel...not that Popo a cent for what he did in the TDF. No Popovych and no Kohl...
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Postby JustinS007 » Sat Nov 15, 2008 11:08 am

sogood wrote:And as it turned out, he never lived up to expectation.

That's an understatement. He was just crap and left Cadel hanging stage after stage on the climbs. And he was protected earlier in the tour so that he could offer the maximum benefit to Cadel when it counted. He failed. If he turns around and does wonders suddenly for Astana then I'll be very skeptical of their "program" as chuck puts it. Actually, I'll be skeptical of Astana anyway.

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Postby chris641 » Sat Nov 15, 2008 11:58 am

Whats the bet that Popovych suddenly becomes amazing at next year's TDF..
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Postby stated » Sun Nov 16, 2008 5:28 pm

He seams like a v strong cyclist but he was selfish and only really went for breakaways in the last few stages of 08 instead of offering any help for Cadel, I remember one of the last stages before the 2nd time trial where Cadel himself said before the stage that the decent of this stage is going to be more important than the climb then I see popovych in the lead with 3 others and think he will drop and help Cadel gap Menchov, but he never did, good thing he didn't win that stage, Lets see if he goes for breakaways next year, especially in mt stages.
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Postby toolonglegs » Sun Nov 16, 2008 5:38 pm

:D
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Postby Tom Marius » Sun Nov 16, 2008 8:50 pm

is bruyneel still TD of Astana?
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Postby chris641 » Sun Nov 16, 2008 8:53 pm

Tom Marius wrote:is bruyneel still TD of Astana?

Sure is
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Postby Dial » Mon Nov 17, 2008 2:44 pm

chris641 wrote:Whats the bet that Popovych suddenly becomes amazing at next year's TDF..

:lol:

I think he must have had issues at SIL to ride so badly.
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Postby chris641 » Mon Nov 17, 2008 2:49 pm

Dial wrote:
chris641 wrote:Whats the bet that Popovych suddenly becomes amazing at next year's TDF..

:lol:

I think he must have had issues at SIL to ride so badly.


You would think so. I was watching some of my past TDF dvd's and he was quite incredible in the mountains in some past years.
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Postby sogood » Mon Nov 17, 2008 3:13 pm

chris641 wrote:You would think so. I was watching some of my past TDF dvd's and he was quite incredible in the mountains in some past years.

Better anti-dope culture in Silence-Lotto?
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Postby chris641 » Mon Nov 17, 2008 6:53 pm

sogood wrote:
chris641 wrote:You would think so. I was watching some of my past TDF dvd's and he was quite incredible in the mountains in some past years.

Better anti-dope culture in Silence-Lotto?

Haha possibly..
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Postby sittingbison » Tue Nov 18, 2008 5:27 pm

omerta = silence
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Postby MichaelB » Wed Nov 19, 2008 12:07 pm

toolonglegs wrote:Suprised he changed thou...he was on a really good salary at Loto...wouldn't have been hard to buy that contract out!.


Didn't he just have a 1 year deal ?

At the end of the day, if you don't fit in a team, you don't fit. At the end of the day, he wasn't worth holding on to from Silence's point of view.

Be interesting to see how he goes at Astana tho'
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Postby chris641 » Wed Nov 19, 2008 1:01 pm

Astana is going to murder the TDF in 2009... Imagine the team time trial... Quite sure we could be in for the fastest TTT speed of all time. Just look at their TT potential - Armstrong, Leipheimer, Contador, Kloden.
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Postby Chuck » Wed Nov 19, 2008 1:11 pm

chris641 wrote:Just look at their TT potential - Armstrong, Leipheimer, Contador, Kloden.


Vino ?

Yep it's gonna be quick. But they're going to bring plenty of suspicion with them too. Astana seem to be out of step with some of the other teams who, on the surface anyway, are determined to clean the sport up.

Astana head to head with Stuey, Jens and their mates (Saxo Bank ?) will be interesting.
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Postby muggah » Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:04 pm

I would have loved to have seen 08 CSC Vs. 09 Astana 8)
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Postby toolonglegs » Wed Nov 19, 2008 4:37 pm

Vino may sneak back in...that remains to be seen.But very unlikely he will ever ride a TDF again...if they insist he rides then they may lose their invite.
After all ASO seem to be able to do what they like.
Garmin will have an amazing TTT as well.
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Postby RICHARDH » Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:01 pm

If Vinos on the team theres no way there going to be at the TDF, even if his not on there list for that event the fact that they would sign that rider would give the ASO and now the UCI ( remmember the UCI fought the exclusion of Astana this year) a very good reason to exclude them. It may cause LA some issues next year getting into ASO run events.
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Postby chris641 » Wed Nov 19, 2008 10:30 pm

Chuck wrote:
chris641 wrote:Just look at their TT potential - Armstrong, Leipheimer, Contador, Kloden.


Astana head to head with Stuey, Jens and their mates (Saxo Bank ?) will be interesting.


Don't forget Fabes :)
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