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Old 07-01-11, 08:55 AM   #1
alcanoe
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Contador

Not a popular champion. He'll throw a team mate under the bus for his own ends. Last year, Andy Shleck (sp?) dropped a chain on a mountain-top finish. Contadore didn't wait, but rode harder. Shleck lost the Tour (2300 miles) by the exact amount of time it took to get the chain back on according to Versus' pre-Tour program.

They let him race and the media seems to be OK with that. Hanging Armstrong seems to be their preoccupation.

Al

Contador Chases a Title He Might Lose in Court

By JULIET MACUR

The Tour de France begins Saturday on France’s western coastline, and the best overall riders there will share the same goal: to win cycling’s most prestigious race and beat Alberto Contador, the Spanish rider who has dominated the event for the past two years.

But this year, in a strange twist, a second-place finish to Contador might not mean defeat. Even after the Tour ends in Paris on July 24, that runner-up might still have a chance to claim the 2011 Tour title.

Contador tested positive for clenbuterol, a banned weight-loss and muscle-building drug, at last year’s Tour, and a hearing scheduled for Aug. 1-3 at the Court of Arbitration for Sport will determine whether he should be barred from competing. He insists he is innocent and failed the test because he ate contaminated beef.

If the court rules against him, he will be stripped of his 2010 Tour title and any other victories since then — including this year’s Giro d’Italia crown and, perhaps, this year’s Tour title, too.

“It’s really hard to understand why he’s still racing,” said Rolf Aldag, team manager of the HTC-Highroad squad and a former Tour rider. “I’m not sure why they couldn’t make a quicker decision about whether he is guilty or not. The problem is that everything is so up in the air right now, and that’s not good for anybody.”


Full article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/01/sp...r=1&ref=sports
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Old 07-01-11, 09:01 AM   #2
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He is a tough competitor, just like Lance was. No more; no less. Same with PED use: no more; no less. Assuming he can continue competing, he may smash Armstrong's records because, as of now, there is nobody close to keeping up with him. Andy is over chaingate; we all should be too.
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Old 07-01-11, 11:50 AM   #3
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Lance never tested dirty did he?
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Old 07-01-11, 11:54 AM   #4
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Are you saying that he should have let Lance win in 2009? Lance was in terrible shape for the mountains for his "comeback" and clearly was not the best rider that year.
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Old 07-01-11, 12:03 PM   #5
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Old 07-01-11, 12:07 PM   #6
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Uh, pardon my ignorance, but is the whole race supposed to come to a stop when one rider has a mechanical problem?
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Old 07-01-11, 12:10 PM   #7
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Uh, pardon my ignorance, but is the whole race supposed to come to a stop when one rider has a mechanical problem?
Yes, they are supposed to slow down so the winner can drink champagne and pose for the cameras as they ride into Paris.
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Old 07-01-11, 12:39 PM   #8
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Uh, pardon my ignorance, but is the whole race supposed to come to a stop when one rider has a mechanical problem?
No, but attacking when your main rival has a mechanical is not considered "classy". And Contador may dominate, but he doesn't exactly exude class.

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Old 07-01-11, 12:46 PM   #9
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I just want to take a moment to address some of the statements in the OP.

When Armstrong came back from retirement Contador was the leader of Astana, Armstrong announced that he was going to concentrate on the Giro and that he would back Contador on the TDF. Well the Giro didn't go as Armstrong wanted it to so he tried to push Contador aside in the TDF. Contador was having none of it and rode his own race (and won) then Armstrong tried to convince everyone that Contador wasn't a team player. Thats just plain bull.

Last year in the early part of the TDF Contador was caught behind a crash and Schleck's team took full advantage of this and put time on Contador, in a later stage Schleck had (chain) problems and Contador put time on him. Apparently Schleck can do that but Contador can't. Go figure?

If Contador looses the arbitration hearing (for testing positive of a TRACE amount of Clenbuterol) he will be striped of his 2010 TDF title but probably not any ensuing wins.

I, and everyone who cares about pro cycling (including Contador) agree that the process has gone on longer that it should have.
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Old 07-01-11, 01:21 PM   #10
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My teammate comment has nothing to do with Armstrong. It was another team member who was close to a podium position (at the time and as I remember it) who Contador dropped rather than dragging him along to a second place for the stage. Can't remember the name, but it elicited a lot of commentary from Phil/Paul and after race comments in the media. There were several occasions where Contador ignored Bruyneel to do his thing. That was reported in the media from several sources.

Armstrong waited for Ullrich and vice versa.

The dropped chain behavior was in character for Contador. Racing while being given a Spanish government pardon is as well. They would have given no quarter the the evil Armstrong given that even the US government has taken up the (apparent) persecution.

Al
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Old 07-01-11, 01:37 PM   #11
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My teammate comment has nothing to do with Armstrong. It was another team member who was close to a podium position (at the time and as I remember it) who Contador dropped rather than dragging him along to a second place for the stage. Can't remember the name, but it elicited a lot of commentary from Phil/Paul and after race comments in the media.
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Andreas Kloden
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Old 07-01-11, 01:41 PM   #12
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Andreas Kloden
I believe that's it. My wife still goes into a tirade on that.

Al
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Old 07-01-11, 02:32 PM   #13
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At the point during the race where Contador left Kloden, Contador had been struggling with Bruyneel and Armstrong's attempts to push Armstrong into the team leader position, when that failed they came up with (never before attempted) strategy of "filling the podium". Try to imagine for one moment how strange all this must have seemed to the actual leader of the team? Suddenly he isn't just competing against the field but also his teammates and team manager. Do you actually think that having Bruyneel yell over the team radio that you need to hold up and pull for Kloden, that you should trust him?

Look the way it works is like this: the team (manager included) does what it can to put the appointed team leader (prior to the start this person was Contador) into the yellow, if in doing this the team also gets other podium spots all the better.

Contador wasn't supposed to be put in the spot of supporting Kloden or Armstrong, they were there to support his GC attempt. In point of fact any member of a team who fails to put all their energy into this goal is a bad teammate, so Bruyneel, Armstrong and even Kloden were examples of "bad teammates".
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Old 07-01-11, 02:36 PM   #14
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Phil and Paul are broadcasting to the US public, as such they play up all US riders especially US riders who are popular in the US. With that in mind I have no issue with them pushing Armstrong on the audience. I don't always agree, but I understand it.
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Old 07-01-11, 03:13 PM   #15
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No, but attacking when your main rival has a mechanical is not considered "classy". And Contador may dominate, but he doesn't exactly exude class.

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Cycling needs to get beyond this. It's a race, not a round of golf. You don't get gimme's. Mechanical problems happen when machines are used to race. You blew a shift or had a technical failure? Too bad, misfortunate, HTFU and get on with the race. First guy across the line wins.

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Old 07-01-11, 03:17 PM   #16
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At the point during the race where Contador left Kloden, Contador had been struggling with Bruyneel and Armstrong's attempts to push Armstrong into the team leader position, when that failed they came up with (never before attempted) strategy of "filling the podium". ".
As I remember it, Armstrong was not even in contention for the stage being way back down the hill. He was maneuvering to make a break but in a way not drag the opposition with him. I personally doubt the story as Armstrong showed no brilliance or outstanding condition up to that point in the race and Bruyneel is no dummy given his record. What had been demonstrated was that Contador was a loner and was not going to listen to Bruyneel no matter what. It's not ok for the prema donna to take over from the team manager because he might feel bad.

However, assume it's true, then it's ok for a rider to decide not to be part of the team and an inexperienced one at that over rule the manager; especially one who's won tours with and with out Armstrong? Strange concept in my book. If the team was against him, could it be due to Contrador not being a team player and Bruyneel had to mange a team where he couldn't count on the strongest member doing his part?

Armstrong won his 7 tours in very large part to Bruyneel's strategies, tactics and team discipline.

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Old 07-01-11, 03:20 PM   #17
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Uh, pardon my ignorance, but is the whole race supposed to come to a stop when one rider has a mechanical problem?
I watched this as it happened and Contadour did make the attempt to slow down- Unfortunately the rest of the leaders would not so in my opinion- he had to go with them. It was unfortunate but now reflects on Contadour.

And I am not a contadour fan so I am not standing up for him. Circumstances forced him to not show the normal protocol that occurs when a leader has a mechanical.
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Old 07-01-11, 03:38 PM   #18
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Contador the doper.

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Old 07-01-11, 04:06 PM   #19
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I personally doubt the story as Armstrong showed no brilliance or outstanding condition up to that point in the race and Bruyneel is no dummy given his record.
Al
One thing you might remember is: Bruyneel et. al left Contador at the hotel. The guy was winning the race and they left him at the hotel! Thats all the evidence you need that the team was not trying to support him.
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Old 07-01-11, 04:18 PM   #20
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One thing you might remember is: Bruyneel et. al left Contador at the hotel. The guy was winning the race and they left him at the hotel! Thats all the evidence you need that the team was not trying to support him.
That's a new one too. So Bruyneel is so mentally deranged or attached to Armstrong that he will throw away a tour win not to mention a team win?

Makes sense to me. I mean it's so much in character.

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Old 07-01-11, 04:47 PM   #21
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He had to call his brother to get a ride to the race because the Astana car had been sent to pick up Armstrong's family at the airport.

He also had to (on his own) get a seamstress to fix the pad in his shorts for the ride up Ventroux.

I don't know about Bruyneel's mental state but these are not examples of support from the team or acts of prima Dona dom on Contador's part.
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Old 07-01-11, 04:50 PM   #22
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No, but attacking when your main rival has a mechanical is not considered "classy". And Contador may dominate, but he doesn't exactly exude class.
He sure as hell did in the Giro... giving away stage wins to people he felt deserved them. It was both dominating, and classy, win.

"Chaingate" wasn't as clear as it was made out to be. IMO, blowing a shift (rider error, in this case) isn't the same as flatting or crashing. Given that it came at a time when a lot was clearly planned, and the plans were just starting to unfold, it would be interesting to know what the team director was telling AC at the time.
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Old 07-01-11, 04:58 PM   #23
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He had to call his brother to get a ride to the race because the Astana car had been sent to pick up Armstrong's family at the airport.
And from what I've read, it was Lance that sent the car to the airport. Really classy champion, huh? No, but then, a lot of champions are hard-ass SOBs, that being part of what made them champions.

Glad the race is finally starting! I have Contador on my fantasy TdF team (velogames.com), even though he cost 30 of the allotted 100 points. Andy was available for 24, Cadel Evans for 20. AC will likely be the cleanest rider in the Tour, and still ride away from everyone.
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Old 07-01-11, 05:39 PM   #24
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Contador is a good rider. Just because he is not as likeable and doesnt play the international media as well as LA doesnt make him all bad...
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Old 07-01-11, 05:41 PM   #25
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AC will win the 2011 TdF.
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