Bravo Alberto Contador!

Discussion in 'Professional Cycling' started by tonyzackery, Jul 27, 2009.

  1. tonyzackery

    tonyzackery Well-Known Member

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    The man deserves to be congratulated for overcoming overwhelming odds to defeat the Armstrong Propaganda Freight Train. I applaud the guy for having the guts to take control of his own destiny with his attack during stage 7 (IIRC) after losing time to Armstrong during the crosswinds stage. Regardless of how you try to spin it, AC was the strongest throughout the tour.

    Anything short of victory is/was a huge loss for LA, irrespective of all the "trying to look on bright side" talk from his boobleheads on Versus...Hope to see Contador do it again next year...
     
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  2. slovakguy

    slovakguy Active Member

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    as for the assessment of liggett and sherwen's commentary, i whole-heartedly agree. those two spent the last three weeks flopping between how great armstrong still is before whipsawing to how we should just admire his ability to keep up with those rotten kids to how great he will be, blah, blah, blah. most embarrassing was when that dynamic duo nearly fell out of their chairs when the cameras caught armstrong going quickly on the outside when the race still had far too many meters to ride. they were gushing about how we might just see armstrong vie for the final stage victory! those two should be ashamed to call another race.

    as for contador's performance, again, agreement. armstrong couldn't touch contador's back wheel when the stage's mattered. and i'm not surprised that armstrong was so chary in his praise, congratulating contador and in the next breath intimating that contador isn't race smart. of course he has four grand tour victories already...

    congratulations to alberto contador. you seized the yellow jersey and then defended it with aplomb. bravo.
     
  3. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Contador flattened the opposition.

    He didn't look like he needed a team - to be perfectly honest.
    He was utterly dominant and his victory looked effortless.

    I can't recall a more commanding display.
     
  4. TheDangerMan

    TheDangerMan New Member

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    Straw man. What Armstrong fan has said Contador did not deserve to win? Clearly he was the best this year. However that doesn't take away the fact that Armstrong got onto the podium after 4 years out and at the age of 38, and with a less than ideal pre-Tour training program due to his accident. After his performance in Giro many did not think he would make the podium at all.

    Contador will probably win next year - the kid is amazing - but I expect Armstrong will be a lot closer.

    We'll just have to wait and see if Contador is still making the podium when he is 38.
     
  5. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    He would be taking his third bow in the yellow if he had raced last year.Of this I have not doubt.
     
  6. MountainPro

    MountainPro New Member

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    I dont think Armstrong will be closer next year, Contador is only gonna get stronger and faster where as Armstrong is getting older (and weaker). Its only natural that a younger stronger man will be the top rider. I have never accused or thought of Armstrong as a doper but if he beats Schleck or Contador (who ever it may be) into second position next year as you are suggesting, then it would raise serious questions. After all, Armstrong said himself that Contador is better than he ever was 'back in the day'.

    Dont get me wrong, i am not a fan of Contador, i think he is arrogant and a bad sportsman, rarely taking the lead and always sitting behind riders zapping thier energy but you have to look at reality...his tactics make him a winner and as LM put it, he can win no matter what team he is in, he is a one man army.

     
  7. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    Hear, hear. Armstrong's total lack of graciousness frames his performance as a loss regardless of what anybody else says.
     
  8. knonfs

    knonfs New Member

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    He might be arrogant (throwing his hands to the fans doesn't look good at all), but I don't agree with the sportsmanship comment. Take for example stage 17, when the Schleck's brother attacked, Contador did not helped at all; however when they reach the finish line, Contador did not sprint to take the win. Instead, he let one of the brothers take the win, this is a an extremely rarte sight at the TDF.

    What Contador did is very admirable in my book.
     
  9. thebluetrain

    thebluetrain New Member

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    LA only finished 1:10 down to Andy Schleck. LA had a decent shot at second on the podium its just that AC neutralised his attack on a couple of stages. Not that LA could have attacked on every stage, he said himself he was at his limit a couple of times, but to say the 1:10 deficit to AS is the difference in LA doping or not is STUPID. Race tactics decided the deficit to AS. Even some of the 5 minute deficit to AC can be contributed to LA not following AC when he attacked. I still dont think LA could have beaten AC, but I definitely think he could have beaten AS had he followed AC.

     
  10. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Hmm.

    If Contador had not had to wait to protect Armstrong on Ventoux, he could have out even more time in to all of the other GC contendors.
    I reckon he might have even caught Garate and Martin.

    Similarly, when he slowed for Kloden on thursday stage.

    Contador had plenty in the tank on both stages.
     
  11. TheDangerMan

    TheDangerMan New Member

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    His victory in 2007 doesn't count in my book - Rasmussen had the better of him. But you're right he probably would have won in 2008, though this is not certain - his time trialing was still fairly average a year ago. He has taken a big step up in the last twelve months.

    Armstrong will be hoping this is his peek, and it may well be - a rider can't go on making huge improvements year after year.
     
  12. TheDangerMan

    TheDangerMan New Member

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    It's not clear Contador would have won that stage. Yes he did an attack, but I sense the schleck brothers would have stayed with him that time. Just because his attack succeeded a few days before doesn't mean he could have done that on every stage.

    In a way, having to play team mate near the end saved him from having to really battle it out with Andy Schleck, who also was holding back for his brother. The commentators on ITV4 said there were a few hints in Contador's face that he was closer to his limit on the Mont Ventoux than he looked.

    If Armstrong started the Tour how he finished it, instead of losing precious minutes in the first few mountain stages, then he would be right up there.
     
  13. gtm

    gtm New Member

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    I saw Contador at Verbier (I was around the 500 m mark) & he went round that corner like a scalded cat :eek: - we had a wander down the road for a kilometer or so a few hours before they arrived and believe me it was a very nasty climb (albeit not as long as the HC ones). If he is on the level & is not 'at it' then I'd say he's unbeatable for the forseeable future. However his acceleration reminded me of young master Riccio's turns of speed last year................
     
  14. TheDangerMan

    TheDangerMan New Member

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    Well done on being there!

    Contador did bonk in the Paris-Nice earlier this year so he is not unbeatable.
     
  15. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Contador was in full control 2009 TDF stage 17 - Bourg-Saint-Maurice Le Grand-Bornand 169.5 km.

    Granted the Schlecks did stay with Contador but I reckon Contador was nowhere near his limit.
    Remember it was the Schlecks who made the initial breakaway and only Kloden and Contador could stay with the Schleck brothers.
    Then Contador made a break and broke Kloden.
    It was clear that this was not part of the plan (ie Contador to break Kloden).
    Contador immediately eased off once he saw Kloden in trouble.
    But more importantly neither of Schlecks had it to break Contador at that point of the stage.
    If they had they would have tried to break Contador when he (AC) slowed down for Kloden 9having seen Kloden also in trouble).

    No, I reckon AC was nowhere near his limit on stage 17.

    And as for Ventoux - he held back to make sure that Astana got two riders on the podium.
    Again he was nowhere near his limit.
     
  16. TheDangerMan

    TheDangerMan New Member

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    "No, I reckon AC was nowhere near his limit on stage 17."

    Yes he looked fairly comfortable on that stage, but there is no guarrentee his attack would have succeeded. We don't know. All the great cyclists are quite crafty so he could have even been just pretending to make it look like he could have attacked if it wasn't for Kloden.

    "And as for Ventoux - he held back to make sure that Astana got two riders on the podium."

    Yes that was the open plan, but we don't know how good he would have been if was free to attack. I think Schleck would have bested him on that stage, from the look on the faces. I remember AC looking really comfortable with Rasmussen, only to get dropped near the finish.
     
  17. gtm

    gtm New Member

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    It was a fantastic afternoon out & I'd say to anyone it's well worth getting over to the continent to watch pro cycling - we also went to Ossieres to see the beginnings of the Col-du-Grand,St-Bernard climb as well. We high tailed to Martigny to watch the rest of the stage on the big screen TV in the town square (and had a drunken 'frank exchange of views' with some Armstrong types but less said the better on that one....)

    My understanding is the 'bonk' was because he forgot eat / drink - I doubt he'll do that again. His time trial performance was formidable & really put the rest of the GC contenders on notice that he means business.
     
  18. slovakguy

    slovakguy Active Member

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    race tactics? how is it you lance fans conveniently forget the multi second time gap over saxo aso leveraged for armstrong and all the astana riders with that team time trial? a forty second advantage (which is what astana had on saxo) on any stage is a death knell for most individual riders and andy schleck overcame that. frank almost took armstrong off the podium in spite of it. and, truth be told, wiggo would have bumped him had garmin made a better show of it in the time trial. right now, vaughters should be ready to commit seppuku if one of his boys did indeed tip armstrong that they were getting ready to jump the field on the way south in week one.

    one other thing that bruyneel has brought to tour tactics that deserves castigation is his unwillingness to take the yellow jersey too early in the race because it would be too difficult to defend over the course. what a heroic stance to take for your legend.
     
  19. MountainPro

    MountainPro New Member

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    Aye, the bad sportsmanship comment was largely based on his antics during this years Dauphine Libere where AC systematically destroyed Cadel Evans' chance 1st spot. Evans was furious at ACs utter reluctance to do any work on any stage knowing it was killing Evans slowly but surely. Common courtesy is not ACs strong point.

     
  20. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Very good point, MP.
     
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