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Old 07-26-09, 06:01 AM   #1
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Schleck attacks versus Armstrong attacks

Andy made multiple strong attacks on Ventoux that were explosive and impressive but never seemed able to hold it for long.

One of the things that Armstrong could do in the past was attack hard and keep going.

I think next year will be interesting. Armstrong will surely do more preparation and of course Andy, Frank, and Contador will be there waiting.

Personally I cannot wait to see it.


Comments.............
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Old 07-26-09, 07:12 AM   #2
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When your attack gets matched, you can either run yourself right through the red zone and blow up or settle down and recover. Andy could've held his pace longer but there was no point. GC riders have to keep something in tank; they can't just go go go till they are spent like the domestiques do.

The attacks you see on YouTube of Lance or happen to remember are the ones that were successful; usually after a number of "softening up" attacks or a real high pace set by Lance and his lieutenants.

Sastre's big attack on Alp D'Huez was preceded by a lot of attacks from the Schlecks. When Sastre took off, Cadel could not go and Menchov quickly faded, too.
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Old 07-26-09, 07:37 AM   #3
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I see Sam's point though. Armstrong should have been "softened up," as you say, from the repeated attacks by Schleck, and the high tempo set. Back in the day, Lance would finally launch, and dominate the others by sustaining his attacks all the way through the stage...

I think the difference was not Armstrong maintaining, but Contador being right on his wheel and matching every pedal stroke. After a while, it was obvious he couldn't shake Contador.

I think these climbers are a faster breed than the Ullrich, Pantani era, as Lance so much admits.
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Old 07-26-09, 09:52 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamDaBikinMan View Post
Andy made multiple strong attacks on Ventoux that were explosive and impressive but never seemed able to hold it for long.

One of the things that Armstrong could do in the past was attack hard and keep going.

Comments.............
My understanding was that Andy was attacking to try and pull Frank into third place. Frank wasn't able to keep up, so Andy held back.
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Old 07-26-09, 09:57 AM   #5
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My understanding was that Andy was attacking to try and pull Frank into third place. Frank wasn't able to keep up, so Andy held back.
Exactly. They were trying to replay stage 17 where the Schlecks reshuffled the GC. If you recall there, Andy attacked and only Contador and Kloden could follow. Then Frank jumped out of the Armstrong/Wiggins group and bridged up to Andy, and no one was able to follow him. That's what Andy was waiting for on Ventoux, and the fast/slow screwing with the pace is a signature Schleck move that's very hard for most riders to deal with.
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Old 07-26-09, 10:26 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by SamDaBikinMan View Post
Andy made multiple strong attacks on Ventoux that were explosive and impressive but never seemed able to hold it for long.

One of the things that
Armstrong could do in the past was attack hard and keep going.

I think next year will be interesting. Armstrong will surely do more preparation and of course Andy, Frank, and Contador will be there waiting.

Personally I cannot wait to see it.


Comments.............
that was then, this is now.

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Old 07-26-09, 10:53 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by SamDaBikinMan View Post
Andy made multiple strong attacks on Ventoux that were explosive and impressive but never seemed able to hold it for long.

One of the things that Armstrong could do in the past was attack hard and keep going.

I think next year will be interesting. Armstrong will surely do more preparation and of course Andy, Frank, and Contador will be there waiting.

Personally I cannot wait to see it.


Comments.............
Sam, It's very possible that Armstrong may come back a little stronger next year but the days of his youth where he could make those kinds of attacks are over. He now will have to concentrate his effort on consistent fast climbing since he can neither make the kinds of attacks he used to, or recover from them.

As he gets older his endurance may improve but his ability to recover and sustain power will fall off. Ventoux this year was set up just about perfect for him to succeed with a long bunch of easier rolling hills to warm up on till the bottom of Ventoux. Which was a longer sustained climb.

When he gets into a situation in the future with multiple steep big mountains on a long stage which mountains are steep but not as long, such as the queen stage this year, the younger climbers will have a strong advantage on him. Since they can get more recovery out of the downhill sections and sustain higher power for the shorter durations of the steep climbing sections they will likely have greater energy toward the end of the stage.

I don't think that he can beat Contador or Andy ever from this point on unless something unusual happens. And if there is no TTT. He will not have that advantage either.
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Old 07-27-09, 09:00 AM   #8
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By Ventoux, Andy had conceded yellow to Contador so he dedicated himself to trying to pull Frank into third. Seeing that Andy was no longer a threat, Contador dedicated himself to keeping Lance in third.

If Lance had been in striking range of yellow, it would have been a very different picture.
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Old 07-27-09, 09:15 AM   #9
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You could see Andy looking back for Frank after each of his attacks. Andy let off the gas everytime to go back and try another attack, with Frank coming along. Frank just never had it.


And the circumstances of the race prevented us from seeing what Andy was capable of in a throw down with Contador.

My bet, for that given day, and that wind condition, if both Andy and Contador went for it, they would have finished together on top of Ventoux, with Contador perhaps taking a few seconds at the end and the stage. But we'll never actually know.
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Old 07-27-09, 09:24 AM   #10
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My understanding was that Andy was attacking to try and pull Frank into third place. Frank wasn't able to keep up, so Andy held back.
That was pretty obvious at a couple of points. For that matter it should have been obvius even before hte stage started. There was almost no way Andy was going to put 4 minutes into Contador.

No Frank no point.
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Old 07-27-09, 09:36 AM   #11
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It will indeed be fascinating next year.

LA will be unhindered in having absolute Team leadership, and a wealth of tactical experience.

Bert will be in another team, presumably as leader, with lots of talent but less nouse.

If Spanish Team Alonso-Santander is ready for 2011, it will be chaotic with Spanish temperament and bulging egos.

Columbia seems Bert's best option for 2010, but I suspect Mr. Hincapie would have to retire.
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Old 07-27-09, 09:57 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamDaBikinMan View Post
Andy made multiple strong attacks on Ventoux that were explosive and impressive but never seemed able to hold it for long.

One of the things that Armstrong could do in the past was attack hard and keep going.

I think next year will be interesting. Armstrong will surely do more preparation and of course Andy, Frank, and Contador will be there waiting.

Personally I cannot wait to see it.


Comments.............
armstrong will be almost 39 next year. i doubt that he will be better next year.

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Old 07-27-09, 10:00 AM   #13
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You could see Andy looking back for Frank after each of his attacks. Andy let off the gas everytime to go back and try another attack, with Frank coming along. Frank just never had it.


And the circumstances of the race prevented us from seeing what Andy was capable of in a throw down with Contador.

My bet, for that given day, and that wind condition, if both Andy and Contador went for it, they would have finished together on top of Ventoux, with Contador perhaps taking a few seconds at the end and the stage. But we'll never actually know.
contador would have dropped him, like he did on arcalis and verbier. he let schleck cross the line first because schleck did all the work.

contador did not want to drop armstrong.

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Old 07-27-09, 10:21 AM   #14
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At the end of the tour it appeared lance was either much stronger or more confident in his ability to cover attacks on the slopes. Early on it was almost like he was resigned to the fact he couldnt cover the big guns attacks. At the end the only 2 he couldnt cover were those of AC and AS....and had he not had AC on his team he might have been able to launch or cover other attacks that we dont know about, that of course is speculation. The big accelerations are definitely gone, but his climbing legs dont appear to have abandoned him.

I think where lances skills have diminished more is in the ITT's. He just doesnt have the power to really push the speed up. I watched his 2005 ITT and man was he so much more powerful on the bike. Quite frankly i found his stage 18 ITT lack luster. Maybe this is in part due to his collar bone fracture just 6 months ago, maybe a totally healthy LA all the way up to the TdF rides differently in that ITT.

Lance can be a top 5 contender in 2010 but his winning the TdF days are gone...unless and AS and AC test positive that is.

Lets also remember 2009 is probably the fullest slate of racing Lance has ridden in a decade. If he rides himself into shape to peak at the TdF maybe his result could be better. But i dont see how his legs even with that preperation would beat AS or AC.
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Old 07-27-09, 10:22 AM   #15
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contador did not want to drop armstrong.
and Andy didnt want to drop Frank either.
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Old 07-27-09, 10:35 AM   #16
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contador would have dropped him, like he did on arcalis and verbier. he let schleck cross the line first because schleck did all the work.

contador did not want to drop armstrong.

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Old 07-27-09, 10:58 AM   #17
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Armstrong will have much longer to prepare for the 2010 Tour. Increasing age vs more time to achieve ideal conditioning. We'll see.
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Old 07-27-09, 11:02 AM   #18
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Different wind conditions, different day.
same men tho and AS launched at least 10 attacks on ventoux. on arcalis contador went in a headwind. sure we'll never really know but i think AC could have went any time he wanted to.

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Old 07-27-09, 02:11 PM   #19
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Sam, It's very possible that Armstrong may come back a little stronger next year but the days of his youth where he could make those kinds of attacks are over. He now will have to concentrate his effort on consistent fast climbing since he can neither make the kinds of attacks he used to, or recover from them.

As he gets older his endurance may improve but his ability to recover and sustain power will fall off. Ventoux this year was set up just about perfect for him to succeed with a long bunch of easier rolling hills to warm up on till the bottom of Ventoux. Which was a longer sustained climb.

When he gets into a situation in the future with multiple steep big mountains on a long stage which mountains are steep but not as long, such as the queen stage this year, the younger climbers will have a strong advantage on him. Since they can get more recovery out of the downhill sections and sustain higher power for the shorter durations of the steep climbing sections they will likely have greater energy toward the end of the stage.

I don't think that he can beat Contador or Andy ever from this point on unless something unusual happens. And if there is no TTT. He will not have that advantage either.
Don't forget that Contador was held back by his manager. Same kind of stage next year and it would not ba at all surprising to see an attack on the next to last climb with Contador, the Schleks and a few other pure climbers putting major stress on the rest. Next year some may have good reason to put as much time as possible on Wiggins in the mountians as possible. That could bury some of the older riders.
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