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Old 06-22-09, 12:22 AM   #1
Eljimberino
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Contador: Favourite for Le Tour?

I like Contador. He's exciting, watch:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65u44um5mBw&feature=fvw


But can someone please explain to me what's is happening in these two clips? 2009:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggT7qF1KI38&NR=1

and especially at the end of:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNZ3laZ_sEE



What can you read into these two stages that indicates he's in top form and the still favourite to win the tour? What, outside of your soft spot for Contador indcates to you that he was holding back in these stages? Something he has said? Directions from director?

If he rides like this in Ventoux Stage 20 of the Tour, how can you justify still backing him to win?
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Old 06-22-09, 04:45 PM   #2
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Well the first race was in March so I wouldn't put to much stock in it. The second race ended last week and he is undoubtedly trying to peak in July, not early June.
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Old 06-22-09, 07:26 PM   #3
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Let's see. He won Paris Nice, and finished 3rd in the Dauphine without going all-out. What exactly is your concern?
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Old 06-22-09, 07:48 PM   #4
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Yeah, I'd say that he's the favorite to win the Tour.
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Old 06-22-09, 07:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eljimberino View Post
I like Contador. He's exciting, watch:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65u44um5mBw&feature=fvw


But can someone please explain to me what's is happening in these two clips? 2009:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggT7qF1KI38&NR=1

and especially at the end of:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNZ3laZ_sEE



What can you read into these two stages that indicates he's in top form and the still favourite to win the tour? What, outside of your soft spot for Contador indcates to you that he was holding back in these stages? Something he has said? Directions from director?

If he rides like this in Ventoux Stage 20 of the Tour, how can you justify still backing him to win?
I do not believe Contador will win the TdF this year (as mentioned in the 'top 5 @ TdF' thread), although I do have him as the favorite.

My Reasons:

He bonked @ Paris-Nice and dropped all the way down to 4th (he did not win this race in '09 despite the misinformation in this thread already), which shows he is either careless/reckless or more undisciplined than most would like the believe

In the Dauphine Libere, he did not look to have the same climbing acceleration as he did in the '07 TdF, which leads me to believe he was either way more doped in '07 or he simply is not riding naturally at that level right now.

I only put him as the favorite because he has arguably the strongest support team.

I'm still saying either Menchov or Cadel (he actually attacks somewhat effectively on the climbs now) for the win. This year is very weird though because there is significantly less ITT, 55km if I remember correctly. For comparison, the final ITT in '08 was 53km in itself, if I remember correctly. This puts my two picks at a disadvantage, all things equal, because they are relatively strong TT'ers.
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Old 06-22-09, 08:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimconyc View Post
He bonked @ Paris-Nice and dropped all the way down to 4th ...
oops. I lost track of the end of that race.

I pick him to win, because I don't think anyone else can beat him.
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Old 06-22-09, 08:09 PM   #7
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I still think he is favorite because of his team and the lame ITT difficulty this year. It better rain or something on the ITT days.
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Old 06-22-09, 09:12 PM   #8
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This from http://www.bicycling.com/article/0,6...710-1,00.html:

A favourite, who still needs to learn...

"You know the one area where Contador has not been really tested is in dealing with pressure," his team director Alain Gallopin told Bicycling in an interview at the team's hotel the morning of the start of Paris-Nice. "He won the Tour de France when the yellow jersey (Michael Rasmussen) was kicked out and he had no pressure to win the Tour of Italy. The team was only allowed to race at the last minute (they were originally excluded due to previous doping violations) and Alberto had been on vacation. Only last year in the Tour of Spain did he win a major race as the major favorite."

And suddenly it seemed that Contador was very alone within his own team. Not only did he have few teammates with him on the hardest stages of Paris-Nice, but some within the team were quick to criticize.

"Unfortunate day for Alberto," Armstrong noted on his Twitter page. "Amazing talent but still a lot to learn."

Team Astana general director Johan Bruyneel was less kind. "What can you say except that he didn't ride smart? All he had to do was look out for Sanchez."

Contador, of course, bounced back immediately, attacking constantly on the final stage around the back hills of Nice to finish second on the stage.

Although his performance didn't change his place in the race--he still finished in fourth--perhaps he assured the Astana staff that he can lead.

Needless to say, it is in his interest not to falter again.

In an interview with the French sports daily L'Equipe on March 15 Armstrong added, "Contador's only flaw is that he is too nervous. It's based on what I saw in the race and what I heard. But he is too strong to be nervous. He still has a lot to learn and he can learn from me, from Johan Bruyneel and from Ekimov Viatcheslav. And the best thing he can learn is to relax."

Contador will line up next for the Tour of Castille and Leon from March 23 to 27, where he will race side-by-side with Armstrong for the first time.

It will give Contador a good opportunity to "learn." We will see if he is a good student.
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Old 06-22-09, 09:28 PM   #9
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I hope he learns quickly.
Otherwise, he'll never win a grand tour.
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Old 06-23-09, 04:26 AM   #10
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I hope he learns quickly.
Otherwise, he'll never win a grand tour.
I guess the three grand tours he won before were luck.
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Old 06-23-09, 05:05 AM   #11
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Three grand tours in 13 months, impressive no?

Contador isn't like Armstrong, he is less calculating relies more on his talent. When Armstrong says he needs to learn more he's talking about learning to be more calculating in his approach, less emotional. Who knows if that would help Contador or take away from what he already has.
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Old 06-25-09, 10:53 AM   #12
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riders like contador, sastre & di luca strike me as impulsive and rely more on their own
appraisals of the current race situation. this versus a majority that seem to listen & respond to
what their ds is saying on the radio. the impulsive riders are predictable in their
unpredictability; you know they're going to attack, you just don't know when. you think they
may attack with 5k left but then they surprise you by going with 8 or 10k left. more often
than not, contador, sastre & di luca make their attacks stick & realize some advantage. even
when they fail, they have animated the race & forced the pace. to force riders like these to
ride "without emotion" is to strip them of what makes them great riders.

armstrong was more emotional in his youth, less so the last ten years. contador would still
be a grand tour contender but would earn fewer "style points." how many times have you
seen someone complaining how boring the tour de france has become since indurain &
especially armstrong? do any of us really want to see contador turn into another cadel
evans style rider? there is more than one way to win the tour...
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Old 06-25-09, 07:01 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ooga-booga View Post
riders like contador, sastre & di luca strike me as impulsive and rely more on their own
appraisals of the current race situation. this versus a majority that seem to listen & respond to
what their ds is saying on the radio. the impulsive riders are predictable in their
unpredictability; you know they're going to attack, you just don't know when. you think they
may attack with 5k left but then they surprise you by going with 8 or 10k left. more often
than not, contador, sastre & di luca make their attacks stick & realize some advantage. even
when they fail, they have animated the race & forced the pace. to force riders like these to
ride "without emotion" is to strip them of what makes them great riders.

armstrong was more emotional in his youth, less so the last ten years. contador would still
be a grand tour contender but would earn fewer "style points." how many times have you
seen someone complaining how boring the tour de france has become since indurain &
especially armstrong? do any of us really want to see contador turn into another cadel
evans style rider? there is more than one way to win the tour...
+1

The era of armstrong was impressive in its own right for sure, but not in a grand way of yore. His comeback story was of course the appealing part of it. Not so much his style of winning.
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Old 06-25-09, 08:14 PM   #14
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"Only last year in the Tour of Spain did he win a major race as the major favorite."

Yea..and he whined and complained because had Levi really been let loose, he would have won the Vuelta. Contador is an unappealing little whiner. No wonder his teamates sat back and let him loose Paris Nice. Contawhiner needs to take "How Motivate People 101". Lance was right about him. He's too nervous. He will whine and then cave under the pressure. Lance should have been at least made a co-leader. Seven straight TdFs trump a gifted TdF (Chicke Legs was DQ'd), a less than the best competition availble Giro, and a Levi could have beat him Vuelta. I can't stand Contawhiner. I hope Lance hands him his b*tt in a sling.
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Old 06-26-09, 08:47 AM   #15
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"Only last year in the Tour of Spain did he win a major race as the major favorite."

Yea..and he whined and complained because had Levi really been let loose, he would have won the Vuelta. Contador is an unappealing little whiner. No wonder his teamates sat back and let him loose Paris Nice. Contawhiner needs to take "How Motivate People 101". Lance was right about him. He's too nervous. He will whine and then cave under the pressure. Lance should have been at least made a co-leader. Seven straight TdFs trump a gifted TdF (Chicke Legs was DQ'd), a less than the best competition availble Giro, and a Levi could have beat him Vuelta. I can't stand Contawhiner. I hope Lance hands him his b*tt in a sling.
You are going to be very disappointed.
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Old 06-26-09, 01:32 PM   #16
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HI, well as part Spaniard i can add this and no offense for the generalization OK. If contador is so stubborn and hard headed as many Spaniards are... yes he will lose the tour this year big time. In a matter of fact I would say that even LA has more chances right now than him in my opinion.
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Old 07-05-09, 12:17 PM   #17
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Lance will kick his butt
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