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Old 07-17-07, 08:09 PM   #1
bdcheung
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A thought about Disco...

They've been in a lot of attacks and breakaways during the Tour. To a certain extent, this strategy is in pursuit of an overall GC podium finish. Additionally, I believe that Johan has taken a more aggressive approach in his attempts to secure a primary sponsor for the 2008 season. Thoughts?
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Old 07-17-07, 10:11 PM   #2
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They've been in a lot of attacks and breakaways during the Tour. To a certain extent, this strategy is in pursuit of an overall GC podium finish. Additionally, I believe that Johan has taken a more aggressive approach in his attempts to secure a primary sponsor for the 2008 season. Thoughts?

note: this was not placed in the TdF forum because, frankly, I don't want to dig through the myriad irrational and juvenile responses.
I think Disco's aggression has a three-fold purpose:

1) Shake out how strong their guys are in order to pick their GC guy going into the Pyrenees...if Contrador shows well in the upcoming TT, he's going to be the guy. Levi better be on his game.

2) Create some confusion to thin the field and push the injured Astana boys as far down on time as possible (don't think they don't still scare the carp out of everyone)

3) Air time. Lotsa air time.
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Old 07-17-07, 10:40 PM   #3
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1) Shake out how strong their guys are in order to pick their GC guy going into the Pyrenees...if Contrador shows well in the upcoming TT, he's going to be the guy. Levi better be on his game.
How is it that this Tour has gone exactly according to Levi's plan, and people think he's weak and will be usurped? Contador has said he will be riding less for stage wins and more for Levi in the Pyrenees. Levi has said the plan was for Contador & Popo to go for stage wins, then work for him in the Pyrenees. He has said he came in fresh to build his form for the Pyrenees. Disco rides for Levi in the GC unless Levi crashes or his chances are ruined by some freak mechanical.
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Old 07-17-07, 10:41 PM   #4
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note: this was not placed in the TdF forum because, frankly, I don't want to dig through the myriad irrational and juvenile responses.
Nice try! You should know better than to think you can talk about a pro tour team during the TdF and not have to post it in the TdF forum! Silly you...

I was pretty stoked to watch the most recent stage with some major work by the Disco riders. A very well played tactical scenario for them. They've put up a fantastic team for this tour that can take center stage if/when Ras falters. This kind of exposure after last year's blah Tour for them shows they're still a force to be reckoned with at this level.

After they use up these riders during the TdF, I'll be curious to see who they field for the Vuelta. It kinda seems like all their eggs are in one basket right now.
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Old 07-17-07, 11:56 PM   #5
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How is it that this Tour has gone exactly according to Levi's plan, and people think he's weak and will be usurped? Contador has said he will be riding less for stage wins and more for Levi in the Pyrenees. Levi has said the plan was for Contador & Popo to go for stage wins, then work for him in the Pyrenees. He has said he came in fresh to build his form for the Pyrenees. Disco rides for Levi in the GC unless Levi crashes or his chances are ruined by some freak mechanical.
Levi also said they he was Disco's man for the tour and then they hired Basso. I'm sure Levi believes what he says. So do people who wear aluminum foil hats to keep the government from accessing the chip in their head.

Johan is playing Simoni/Cunego Giro Circa 2004 right now, sending Contrador up the road to get time, while hoping everyone believes Levi is his guy, despite the fact that Contrador is clearly riding stronger and already beat Levi in the Prolouge.

Perhaps Levi will have a stupendous time trial. Last year he lost 6 minutes in each of the TT's. The year prior he finished 14th and a stunning 14th in the TT's. Before that it was 29th and 12th. Hardly Tour winner stuff. Kloden killed him every time.

Given that he has never shown the ability to sustain an attack in the mountains without exploding, is a mediocre TT rider at best (please, let's not pull the TOC or TOG stats out, that's little league), I'm puzzled as to how being down nearly 4 minutes on GC, a minute and change to Valverde, and putting no time into a guy riding with a broken tailbone who went back to try to help Vino who will kill you in a TT is going "exactly according to Levi's plan", unless that plan is to not win.

You have one of the best climbers in the world in Contrador. You've got a second tier climber in Levi. Unless Johan is much less bright than he's appeared, and much more loyal, he's got 50 seconds less to make up and a better tool in Alberto and he's going to use him to try to win.
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Old 07-18-07, 06:46 AM   #6
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Contador's a bit of wild card. He's disco only chance to win, and probably best chance to be on the podium. But he's also never completed a TDF.

Levi's a stretch to finish on the podium, but he knows how to ride a 3 week tour, and has multiple top 10 finishes.

Bruyneel has as much as said he's trying to keep pressure off Contador. I don't think Bruyneel will limit Contador's chances just to support Levi, but I also don't think he'll just leave Levi hanging.

Worst case scenario fo Disco is you fully commit to Contador too early, and abandon Levi. Contador flames out (as young riders can do) and no one from Disco even finishes top 10.

Using all his cards, Bruyneel has a much better chance of getting someone on the podium, or at least top 5.
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Old 07-18-07, 07:06 AM   #7
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Except that Contador said yesterday (yes, just yesterday, after all of his stellar performances so far) that as soon as the race hit the Pyrenees, his personal stage ambitions disappear and he would be riding for Levi. This is what JB has said. It may be a bad strategy according to people sitting at home watching it on TV, but to the guys in the race, it seems to be a plan they're sticking to. Remember, yes, JB hired Basso. JB had no problem relegating Levi to 'co-captain' for the Tour. If he would do so then, why not now? JB wants to win the Tour, and if he wanted Contador to win, Levi would need to ride for Contador. We've been disappointed by Levi before, so nobody wants to give him a shot. Don't ask me why. Have we been anything other than disappointed by all of this years favorites, all of whom in past years have done nothing but, well, NOT win the tour?

Oh, and if we can't talk about TOC and TOG TTs(which I understand) then lets also not compare a long TT to the super short prologue. Surely you see the difference there? Valve, Ras, & Mayo will not lose seconds in those TTs, it will be minutes. I have yet to see anyone post meaningful long TT stats on Contador, so I'll reserve judgement on that, I just don't think you can use the prologue as grounds to base anyones upcoming TT performances.
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Old 07-18-07, 07:21 AM   #8
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And you expect Contador and Bruyneel to tell the public exactly what they have in mind?

At any rate all of this is subject to revision after Stage 13. Following the Albi TT, the correct play in the Pyranees is likely to be much clearer.
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Old 07-18-07, 07:53 AM   #9
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Given that he has never shown the ability to sustain an attack in the mountains without exploding, is a mediocre TT rider at best (please, let's not pull the TOC or TOG stats out, that's little league), I'm puzzled as to how being down nearly 4 minutes on GC, a minute and change to Valverde, and putting no time into a guy riding with a broken tailbone who went back to try to help Vino who will kill you in a TT is going "exactly according to Levi's plan", unless that plan is to not win.
+1

Funny how the only people who think he will win or make the podium are Americans.
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Old 07-18-07, 08:17 AM   #10
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It is funny that no one gives him a chance although he finised 6th in 2005 behind riders who are not in the tour this year, and on a team that gave him no support.

I don't expect Levi to win, and a podium finish is a 50-50 chance. He is not a horrible time trialist. He did poorly last year. He claims he was sick, which makes sense. He may have just come in on poor form, or having doping withdraws. Who knows?

Keep in mind he has burned less matches than Evans, but that may be work in itself.

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+1

Funny how the only people who think he will win or make the podium are Americans.
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Old 07-18-07, 08:24 AM   #11
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All of you non-Americans are just too scared to admit that Levi is obviously The Man in this year's Tour. He's using the same strategy that Lance used on the stage to Alpe d'Huez in 2001. He's out-strategerizing everyone, because that's what we Americans do, we out-strategerize and then we dominate. Like in Iraq.
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Old 07-18-07, 08:27 AM   #12
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I remember a certain perpetual second place rider from years past who "rode into form" in the second/third week of the tour. The problem is, the tour is only three weeks long. If a rider is not in form at the start, good luck.

And like has been said, Levi has never been able to sustain an attack and at best just follows the wheels of the other contenders.

I like Levi and would be stoked if he won or podiumed, but if he's going to do that he's got to stop wheel sucking and start putting time into his rivals.
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Old 07-18-07, 08:29 AM   #13
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So..... has anyone bothered to consult Disco's team doctors on who is the team leader?

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Old 07-23-07, 09:20 AM   #14
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Except that Contador said yesterday (yes, just yesterday, after all of his stellar performances so far) that as soon as the race hit the Pyrenees, his personal stage ambitions disappear and he would be riding for Levi. This is what JB has said. It may be a bad strategy according to people sitting at home watching it on TV, but to the guys in the race, it seems to be a plan they're sticking to. Remember, yes, JB hired Basso. JB had no problem relegating Levi to 'co-captain' for the Tour. If he would do so then, why not now? JB wants to win the Tour, and if he wanted Contador to win, Levi would need to ride for Contador. We've been disappointed by Levi before, so nobody wants to give him a shot. Don't ask me why. Have we been anything other than disappointed by all of this years favorites, all of whom in past years have done nothing but, well, NOT win the tour?

Oh, and if we can't talk about TOC and TOG TTs(which I understand) then lets also not compare a long TT to the super short prologue. Surely you see the difference there? Valve, Ras, & Mayo will not lose seconds in those TTs, it will be minutes. I have yet to see anyone post meaningful long TT stats on Contador, so I'll reserve judgement on that, I just don't think you can use the prologue as grounds to base anyones upcoming TT performances.


Just say it. You were wrong. So very, very wrong.

BTW, my prediction re: Disco's leader didn't come from sitting on the couch, it came from doing a half dozen stage races. Contrador's time advantage over Levi was huge in a race where they will be battling for seconds.

The Chicken had the yips bad a few years ago when he blew that TT. Didn't have his brain wrapped around a high tour finish and it cost him. This year he came in stating that he was going for the win and has shown a lot more mental toughness.

And Levi has shown, once again, that's he can't attack his way out of a wet paper bag.
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Old 07-23-07, 09:22 AM   #15
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Just say it. You were wrong. So very, very wrong.

BTW, my prediction re: Disco's leader didn't come from sitting on the couch, it came from doing a half dozen stage races. Contrador's time advantage over Levi was huge in a race where they will be battling for seconds.

The Chicken had the yips bad a few years ago when he blew that TT. Didn't have his brain wrapped around a high tour finish and it cost him. This year he came in stating that he was going for the win and has shown a lot more mental toughness.

And Levi has shown, once again, that's he can't attack his way out of a wet paper bag.
Yep.
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Old 07-23-07, 09:34 AM   #16
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How is it that this Tour has gone exactly according to Levi's plan, and people think he's weak and will be usurped? Disco rides for Levi in the GC unless Levi crashes or his chances are ruined by some freak
I don't think it's nice calling Contrador a freak. The Chicken, mebbe.
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Old 07-23-07, 09:45 AM   #17
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Isn't it ContAdor, not ContRador? Since he's the leader, you know.
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Old 07-23-07, 10:02 AM   #18
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I hope this showing will give them a good sponsor so that they will enough $$ to sign Floyd Landis.
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Old 07-23-07, 10:16 AM   #19
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Isn't it ContAdor, not ContRador? Since he's the leader, you know.
It's actually probably something like Alberto Contador Vasco de Gamma.

I like Contra...makes him sound Nicaraguan and they haven't had any real tour representation.
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Old 07-23-07, 10:49 AM   #20
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I didn't think that Levi would take it, although I will say he's doing better than I expected. 5:25 is down, but not necessarily out, especially if someone has a really bad day.

Seems to me that Contador hasn't really be working for Levi, or vice versa. That may change in the next few stages, no?
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Old 07-23-07, 11:25 AM   #21
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Levi also said they he was Disco's man for the tour and then they hired Basso.
Just imagine that TdF team!! Drop Vaitkus and add Basso. It wouldn't even be fair.
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Old 07-23-07, 11:39 AM   #22
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Seems to me that Contador hasn't really be working for Levi,
I don't know what he can do for him other than to wear down Rasmussen, which is exactly what he's doing. Chicken kept up but he didn't look so good today.

I predict that Disco will drive early to isolate the MJ on stage 16. Maybe send Popovych on a break to force Rabobank to chase. Then Contador will attack on Col de Marie-Blanque to burn him out, and again (if necessary) on Col D'Aubisque. If Rasmussen drops, Contador will pace Levi to the top, and possibly the win.

If that works, I see Contador winning the Tour, and Levi on the podium. It will be a very interesting stage and thankfully Versus is starting coverage at 6:30am so we should get almost all of it!
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