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  1. #1
    Senior Member bellweatherman's Avatar
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    Contador reports that Armstrong tried to sabotage Contador's Tour before the final TT

    Contador said that the most difficult part of the Tour was not in the mountains, but “in the team hotel” without further elaborating in one of his post-tour interviews. Now that the Tour is over and these reports are coming out, we know exactly what he meant. This is his interview from a Spanish newspaper after arriving home in Spain. My Spanish translation skills are terrible, but I will try to summarize. The link is below.

    On the day of the final time trial before the start, Contador walked downstairs to the hotel entrance. No teammates. No Johan Bruyneel. No Lance Armstrong. No team bus. No other team cars. Nothing. He asked a hotel employee where everyone was. The hotel employee told him that Armstrong had ordered the Astana helpers and driver to leave right away to pick up Armstrong’s woman and kid, as well as his friends at the airport. Armstrong managed to take away his only means of transport to the start. In a panic, Alberto called his brother to pick him up. The brother, Francisco, told Alberto that he was already on the way because another teammate called him and told him what happened when that teammate realized Contador wasn’t on the bus. Contador’s brother came to pick him up in his own car. Armstrong had attempted to sabotage Contador’s chances of winning before the race even begun! Despite this Contador made it to the start and won the day’s time trial.

    Alberto also said that Armstrong tried to undermine him during the three weeks and was successful in turning the team against him. Alberto said that Armstrong was working against him the entire time and he felt marginalized on the team. Alberto said his only friend on the team was Paulinho from Portugal, whom he shared a room with at the hotels. The day after Contador’s attack in the Pyrenees, Armstrong showed his red anger in the team meetings. Alberto said he kept his mouth shut the entire time as he continued to take Armstrong’s verbal abuse which he called verbal jabs. On occasion, Armstrong knowing where Alberto liked to sit on the bus, even had instructed his unaware friends to sit on the bus in Alberto’s spot. Alberto was the one who approached Armstrong and told him that it is about teamwork, not the other way around.

    Article here in Spanish. There is more about Armstrong refusing to share a room at the hotel and about his divisive behavior on the team bus as well, but you will just have to find way to read it yourself.
    http://www.diariosur.es/20090727/dep...-20090727.html
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  2. #2
    snob rogwilco's Avatar
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    That's really cheap by Armstrong if true.
    Although I'm also concerned why Contador would be that helpless finding some transportation from the hotel to the start. Surely France can't be that exotic to someone from Madrid, right?...

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    So, let me get this straight. Alberto, in classic Spanish style, was soo late to the lobby that he missed the team bus that had all the other riders on it. And assumed that a team car or someone would stay behind to collect his sleepy ass. Meanwhile, the team realizes that Alberto isn't on the bus and calls his brother with hopes that perhaps he can get the guy out of bed. Alberto wakes before bro gets there and flys into a panic. But, no worries, the team have already covered his ass and his bro is already on the way. Yep, pretty damn condemning. Oh, and I forgot to comment on the "fact" that Alberto didn't even get to sit in "his" seat on the bus some days. Oh MY!

    Alberto really is a spoiled little school boy. He's just allowing himself to get dragged lower and lower. Regardless of whether someone likes Lance or hates him. Please, tell Alberto to maintain some dignity. This is starting to resemble listening to a 13 year old.
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  4. #4
    Extra Medium Member redtires's Avatar
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    Ok...so this is totally OT, but to the OP, is that the universal robot time code in your sig? If you don't get it...uhhh....nevermind.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member bellweatherman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigfred View Post
    So, let me get this straight. Alberto, in classic Spanish style, was soo late to the lobby that he missed the team bus that had all the other riders on it. And assumed that a team car or someone would stay behind to collect his sleepy ass. Meanwhile, the team realizes that Alberto isn't on the bus and calls his brother with hopes that perhaps he can get the guy out of bed. Alberto wakes before bro gets there and flys into a panic.

    well, that goes to show you how much support Alberto had from his team then, doesn't it? And the article states that Armstrong had ordered the Astana helpers and drivers to leave the hotel to pick up his friends at the airport. It doesn't mention anything that you stated. In fact, the article is alot different than your guesses.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bellweatherman View Post
    And the article states that Armstrong had ordered the Astana helpers and drivers to leave the hotel to pick up his friends at the airport.
    You don't need to be a mathematician to realize that:
    +++>
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  7. #7
    Senior Member bellweatherman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogwilco View Post
    That's really cheap by Armstrong if true.
    Although I'm also concerned why Contador would be that helpless finding some transportation from the hotel to the start. Surely France can't be that exotic to someone from Madrid, right?...

    I agree. I think it's beyond poor sportsmanship for Armstrong to do that. What a jerk. Armstrong deserves a punch in the mouth. I thought he was all about fair play from his comment about winning it on the road. For him to resort to cheating like this. Geez! No conscience at all. We can only wonder how else he might be trying to get an edge.

    It’s good to hear Alberto’s side. The entire Tour he kept quiet while taking criticism from Armstrong and Bruyneel about his attacks in the mountains. Criticizing him for not playing the team game. He let his legs do the talking. Now, it’s time for Armstrong to shut up and listen. Armstrong can say nothing to Contador about learning to be a champion. Contador is the champion. Armstrong has a lot to learn about fair play and good sportsmanship. Both things Armstrong has miserably failed at.
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  8. #8
    . botto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bellweatherman View Post
    I agree. I think it's beyond poor sportsmanship for Armstrong to do that. What a jerk. Armstrong deserves a punch in the mouth. I thought he was all about fair play from his comment about winning it on the road. For him to resort to cheating like this. Geez! No conscience at all. We can only wonder how else he might be trying to get an edge.

    It’s good to hear Alberto’s side. The entire Tour he kept quiet while taking criticism from Armstrong and Bruyneel about his attacks in the mountains. Criticizing him for not playing the team game. He let his legs do the talking. Now, it’s time for Armstrong to shut up and listen. Armstrong can say nothing to Contador about learning to be a champion. Contador is the champion. Armstrong has a lot to learn about fair play and good sportsmanship. Both things Armstrong has miserably failed at.

  9. #9
    Senior Member kwrides's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigfred View Post
    So, let me get this straight. Alberto, in classic Spanish style, was soo late to the lobby that he missed the team bus that had all the other riders on it. And assumed that a team car or someone would stay behind to collect his sleepy ass. Meanwhile, the team realizes that Alberto isn't on the bus and calls his brother with hopes that perhaps he can get the guy out of bed. Alberto wakes before bro gets there and flys into a panic. But, no worries, the team have already covered his ass and his bro is already on the way. Yep, pretty damn condemning. Oh, and I forgot to comment on the "fact" that Alberto didn't even get to sit in "his" seat on the bus some days. Oh MY!

    Alberto really is a spoiled little school boy. He's just allowing himself to get dragged lower and lower. Regardless of whether someone likes Lance or hates him. Please, tell Alberto to maintain some dignity. This is starting to resemble listening to a 13 year old.
    It's a TT stage. They don't all go there at the same time, they show up when it's time to ride. It's not a matter of not getting out of bed for the team bus. This is normal.

    Reading your uneducated report was like reading the guesses of a 13 year old. Please, try to maintain some dignity.
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  10. #10
    Resident PIA Shadco's Avatar
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    Not only that but I heard AC was snoozing in a chair before the MJ presentation after stage 19 and LA snuck up and tied the laces together on those silly looking sneakers AC wears. AC fell flat on his face and almost broke his nose.

    Geeze where do you guys come up with this drek.
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    I don't see LA denying it, and he's really fast when it comes to rebutting accusations on Twitter ... maybe it is true.

  12. #12
    Senior Member rousseau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigfred View Post
    So, let me get this straight. Alberto, in classic Spanish style, was soo late to the lobby that he missed the team bus that had all the other riders on it.
    You don't like Contador, so you're making stuff up?

    Quote Originally Posted by bigfred View Post
    Meanwhile, the team realizes that Alberto isn't on the bus and calls his brother with hopes that perhaps he can get the guy out of bed.
    And making more stuff up.

    Quote Originally Posted by bigfred View Post
    But, no worries, the team have already covered his ass and his bro is already on the way.
    And repeating what you've made up.

    In case you didn't get the story, riders, erm, start the time trial at different times. You may also not have been aware that Contador was going last because he was in the yellow jersey (that's what the leader of the TdF wears). The question on everyone's mind is: how could a pro team possibly leave their best rider stranded at a hotel? Would it have something to do with the fact that Armstrong told the guys in the car waiting for Contador to go to the airport to pick up Armstrong's wife and kids? Was there a subsequent miscommunication about who would bring Contador to the starting line? Did nobody, you know, miss Contador's presence when he didn't show up at a comfortable time before his time trial was to start?

    These aren't the questions of a "spoiled thirteen-year-old," as you wish to characterize them. Rather, they're the questions of a team leader who's wondering what the hockey puck is going on.
    The pleasure is momentary, the position ridiculous, and the expense damnable.

  13. #13
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    What a freakin Baby......

  14. #14
    Senior Member bellweatherman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadco View Post
    Not only that but I heard AC was snoozing in a chair before the MJ presentation after stage 19 and LA snuck up and tied the laces together on those silly looking sneakers AC wears. AC fell flat on his face and almost broke his nose.

    Geeze where do you guys come up with this drek.


    Hey. Nobody is making any of this up. This is starting to get picked up by a few news stations. I'm sorry if you cannot read Spanish. That is all I have for the link. Maybe you can find a friend that can read it for you or even find a link with the English translation. If it isn't true. Come back and let us know.

    The other thing is that the difference between Armstrong's start time and Contador's start time was less than ten minutes. Still, it was Armstrong that ordered the team bus and the other cars to leave without Contador. I'm sure Armstrong knew exactly what he was doing.
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    I just don't buy that Armstrong could just order the team bus to leave. I don't care how famous he is or whether he still thought he was the team leader or whatever, that's not someone on any sports teams call to make. Every go on a trip for high school sports where one of your starters ordered the bus to leave for the game? No, because that's what coaches, managers, and all those people who are paid to organize the team are for. While I think that both Cotnador and Armstrong have handled this whole thing poorly, it just doesn't make sense. I am not saying that he wouldn't do it (I have no idea whether he would try to or not), but I find it a little hard to believe that the entire team and staff would listen to Armstrong like puppies and intentionally leave the man leading the tour.

  16. #16
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    I read the article ( I am hispanic and read spanish) and honestly tried to figure out that Armstrong had the authority to tell everyone lets go and JB the director said ok lets go and no one checked for Contedor! So once the bus left his only friend a Portuguese rider calls him! come on guys can you all really believe that this would happen... I am sure that some one from the team is in charge of making sure everyone and what have not that needs to be at the race at a certain time would have a check list of items needing to be marked as loaded on the bus would have said oh crap where's Conti ? This sounds like media crap stirring......

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    I think a car or 2 was reserved for AC at the hotel, whilst the team bus had already left for the ITT, since AC was the last rider. LA however got all the Astana vehicles to go to the airport, including the cars for AC.

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    Quote Originally Posted by speedxl View Post
    I read the article ( I am hispanic and read spanish) and honestly tried to figure out that Armstrong had the authority to tell everyone lets go and JB the director said ok lets go and no one checked for Contedor! So once the bus left his only friend a Portuguese rider calls him! come on guys can you all really believe that this would happen... I am sure that some one from the team is in charge of making sure everyone and what have not that needs to be at the race at a certain time would have a check list of items needing to be marked as loaded on the bus would have said oh crap where's Conti ? This sounds like media crap stirring......
    Another article mentioned that AC needed to prep himself up in the hotel before leaving, and he was the last to race anyway - so I guess he was supposed to have leave later than the others.

  19. #19
    Senior Member kleinboogie's Avatar
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    I am systematically ignoring all the one-track minds on this forum. This whole thing is nothing but made up news giving them another opportunity to hate Lance. What a bunch of whiners. Their guy wins and they still cry that AC wasn't comfortable enough? OMG, what a bunch of babies.

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    I doubt johan would want to risk losing the gc win just so lance could get 2nd. Doesn't make sense imo.

  21. #21
    Senior Member bellweatherman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by monosierra View Post
    Another article mentioned that AC needed to prep himself up in the hotel before leaving, and he was the last to race anyway - so I guess he was supposed to have leave later than the others.


    Yes. Also, if I'm not mistaken the difference between Armstrong's start time and that of Alberto's was less than 10 minutes. Alberto had even stated in that article that the team was turned against him. Remember, when Alberto was interviewed right after the Tour he stated that the most difficult part of the Tour was in the hotel. It was odd. Really didn't know what he meant until now.

    This article uses direct quotes from Alberto. Other articles are starting to come up. DiabloScott also posted an article and Alberto's family doesn't really have any nice things to say about Armstrong. It's really par for the course for Armstrong. He has a long history of this same type of classless behavior.
    Last edited by bellweatherman; 07-29-09 at 08:14 AM.
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    It's far more likely the bus was scheduled to leave the hotel at 10am. Everyone else was on the bus and waiting as 10am comes and goes. AC probably assumed, since he's the "team leader," they'd wait for him. LA probably said, "Fock it, we're not waiting on his sorry ass any longer." The bus left.

    Leaders lead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xyzzy834 View Post
    It's far more likely the bus was scheduled to leave the hotel at 10am. Everyone else was on the bus and waiting as 10am comes and goes. AC probably assumed, since he's the "team leader," they'd wait for him. LA probably said, "Fock it, we're not waiting on his sorry ass any longer." The bus left.

    Leaders lead.
    That's assuming someone actually checked on AC.

    Now, I am no believer in the Spanish sports pages - they make up stories about football transfers all the time (as an United fan, I'm well versed in those Marca rubbish). But let us examine what appears to have happened.

    - Team Bus left with the rest of the early starters
    - Assistants & cars were supposed to be left for AC
    - LA took these assistants and cars for himself

    That's the gist of it, according to the Spanish press.

  24. #24
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    I'm more likely to believe AC than LA in all of this because AC won the tour. He beat LA easily. It wasn't even close. If LA was a good teamate to AC and he did nothing to him why would AC make things up. He already won.

    Whereas LA lost. By his own admission he demanded complete control from his team in the past. AC challenged him and won. In the media he demanded repsect from AC but what he really demanded was submission. This was new territory for LA and he didn't handle it well.

    LA spent too much time trying to teach AC a lesson and it's going to hurt his legacy.

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    Well, if I were Contador, I wouldn't bother talking about any of this. There is no need. He is the Champion. Why not just talk about how he's so magnificent and how LA is way over the hill. Why bring out the little stuff? We all know it wasn't easy for him once LA came and elbowed into the team.

    Contador took the high road all this time, why bother to take the low, icky, muddy road now that he's decked in glory, the current God-du-jour of road cycling.

    Doesn't seem very smart to me.

    And it makes me realize that I'm way too old to be cheering or booing for the childish antics of a 26yo or a 38yo for that matter.

    Maybe from now on, I'll avoid the internet cycling news and turn down the TV volume when I watch the cycling races.

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