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Old 08-10-09, 09:41 PM   #1
oldbobcat
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Paulinho sat up

First, let me say that I do not want this thread to turn into yet another pointless debate over why "my hero's better than your hero," based on unprovable points such a "who else will win seven Tours de France," "who will still be riding when he's 37," or has the famous Texan really done anything to further cures or preventions of cancer. My point is just that while Astana was telling the world and Contador that Contador was the team leader, the behavior of the team shows that he was not. Consequently, Contador had every right to take the race into his own hands.

Cycle Sport America (Sept. 2009, "Uncivil War," p.38) explains how Contador was dropped in Stage 3.

On the stage to La Grande Motte, when he [Contador, presumably] saw half the squad disappear up the road, with Armstrong and Bruyneel both backing the move, something was clearly going wrong for Contador.
"I was right behind Alberto at the moment the split happened," commented Spanish sprinter Jose Joaquin Rojas to El Pais.
"Alberto was following Paulinho, who was following Zubeldia, so I wasn't worried when Paulinho suddenly sat up and Alberto was caught behind.
"I thought the guys in front wouldn't get very far, but instead they suddenly disappeared up the road and left him up to his neck in it."

This first-hand account serves to corroborate the rumors that George Hincapie had tipped Armstrong that he should be ready to go with a Columbia-High Road attack, that Armstrong had shared this tip with all of Astana except Contador, and Astana used this attack to move Armstrong up against Contador.

That Contador won in spite of his team working against him (except when it also worked in Armstrong's favor), that he kept his own counsel and never spoke ill against his team until it was all over (and then in only the most generalized terms), speaks very clearly for Contador's intelligence and maturity.

TRS will be loaded for bear next year, but Contador will be very difficult to beat no matter who he rides for.
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Old 08-10-09, 10:39 PM   #2
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Hmmm...you think Lance could of possibly also drawn from his experience from winning seven TDFs? Heavy cross winds were predicted for that stage.
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Old 08-10-09, 11:02 PM   #3
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Hmmm...you think Lance could of possibly also drawn from his experience from winning seven TDFs? Heavy cross winds were predicted for that stage.
The correct verb form is "could have," and yes Lance could have drawn from his experience from winning seven TDFs.

But riding at the front is not rocket science, despite what Bob Roll would have us believe. It is what you learn to do here in the states if you want to graduate from a cat. 5 to a cat. 4 amateur. And besides, Paulinho, who is an Astana rider, and who was purportedly riding for the enhancement of Contador's chances for victory, should not have sat up at the moment he saw half the peloton opening a gap in front of him. Letting gaps open is something you do to opponents, not teammates, and, yes, I'd like to kick Roll, Liggett, and Sherwin in the ass for never noticing this, or bringing it up, after rubbing our noses in Contador's Stage 7 faux pas for two more weeks. You don't have to be a seven-time TDF winner to figure this out. Credit Contador, a one-time TDF winner, for learning damned fast that he could no longer depend on the support of Paulinho or any other Astana rider, regardless what Bruyneel and Armstrong were saying to him or the reporters. Contador won by the power of his legs and lungs and his ability to use the tactics of his own team as if he were using the tactics of any other opponent.

And it has been widely reported that Hincapie was heard bragging (in a subdued, conspiratorial voice) that he'd tipped Armstrong before the stage.
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Old 08-11-09, 12:24 AM   #4
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This first-hand account serves to corroborate the rumors that George Hincapie had tipped Armstrong that he should be ready to go with a Columbia-High Road attack, that Armstrong had shared this tip with all of Astana except Contador, and Astana used this attack to move Armstrong up against Contador.
Leipheimer was dropped as well in that split? If you're "conspiracy theory" had any credit then Levi would of been with Lance in the split. After Contdador's "credit" to Levi for Contador's Vuelta vicotry Levi would of been riding for Lance and not been dropped in that split if he was "tipped" off along with everyone in that split. Oh yah Kloden was split too.

The team did as best it could and I think each rider ended up where the should of. Stop *****ing. If Levi was still in it maybe they would of had a podium sweep. But seriously.. stop with this ****.
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Old 08-11-09, 02:52 AM   #5
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For cryin' out loud that stage was a month ago. Are we still talking about cross winds, experience and the luck of the draw?

As to the OP's contention that Paulinho was participating is some team conspiracy. Please remember that Paulinho was personally selected along with Zoobeedoo for inclussion in the team by Alberto. Not that they didn't deserve to be. But come on. If those guys sat up it was because they were caught unawares and didn't recognize the potential importance of that break.

Back to the grassy knoll.
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Old 08-11-09, 07:03 AM   #6
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Back to the grassy knoll.
Agreed. A conspiracy theory like this is silly. It stirs up anger for no other reason that it's own ends. The crosswinds split the peleton, some didn't react quick enough, happens all the time. It's common that a team will try to take advantage of cross winds and something as a rider you have to be ready for. Whether or not Hincapie did or didn't say anything doesn't matter one little bit. It doesn't take a genius to know that a team driving at the front during cross winds is hoping for a peleton split. Big deal. Let this sleeping dog lie. There was no conspiracy.
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Old 08-11-09, 09:57 AM   #7
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The team did as best it could and I think each rider ended up where the should of. Stop *****ing. If Levi was still in it maybe they would of had a podium sweep. But seriously.. stop with this ****.
Your point is accepted. It would have been better without the **** though.
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Old 08-11-09, 11:03 AM   #8
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Leipheimer was dropped as well in that split? If you're "conspiracy theory" had any credit then Levi would of been with Lance in the split. After Contdador's "credit" to Levi for Contador's Vuelta vicotry Levi would of been riding for Lance and not been dropped in that split if he was "tipped" off along with everyone in that split. Oh yah Kloden was split too.

The team did as best it could and I think each rider ended up where the should of. Stop *****ing. If Levi was still in it maybe they would of had a podium sweep. But seriously.. stop with this ****.
Just want to add a bit more. I've heard over and over how stupid Contador was to miss the split. Yet in a sense only 3 riders whop counted made it. (The in a sense excludes Cavendish since his team forced the break). All but Thor lost all chance for green that day (bigger than the few seconds for GC contenders). Besides Lance only one other GC contender made the break.

Yet somehow Contador was an Idiot, yet I have not heard the same said about any other rider to miss the break.

But I will ask why were Astana Riders working in that break? Think about it. Their working made it so the team in yellow had ot work to minimize the time to be sure they kept yellow. It meant Astana riders had to work, when otherwise all Astana had a free ride. It would gain a most a few seconds, simply not worth it. Unless of course the idea was to get Lance placed ahead of Contador.
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Old 08-11-09, 12:46 PM   #9
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But I will ask why were Astana Riders working in that break? Think about it. Their working made it so the team in yellow had ot work to minimize the time to be sure they kept yellow. It meant Astana riders had to work, when otherwise all Astana had a free ride. It would gain a most a few seconds, simply not worth it. Unless of course the idea was to get Lance placed ahead of Contador.
Cancellara was in yellow & in the break. It was a perfect set up for Astana. Of course they would work. Didn't matter if it was Lance, Alberto, Levi, or Andreas. When they saw that the break was going to stick they started to work.
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Old 08-11-09, 02:32 PM   #10
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heresay, the inability for Contador to make that move was from lack of experience.
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Old 08-11-09, 03:07 PM   #11
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But I will ask why were Astana Riders working in that break? Think about it. Their working made it so the team in yellow had ot work to minimize the time to be sure they kept yellow. It meant Astana riders had to work, when otherwise all Astana had a free ride. It would gain a most a few seconds, simply not worth it. Unless of course the idea was to get Lance placed ahead of Contador.
That's the only part I don't get. Did it really make much sense for Astana to work with the break to get Lance more time? If it made sense for Lance to gain time on that stage, why didn't it make sense for Contador to 'break' team orders and attack on stage 7?

If it was because they didn't want the yellow jersey so early in the race (on stage 7 that is), it seemed that they were definitely trying to get the yellow even earlier in the race during the team time trial with Lance missing the yellow by fractions of a second.
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Old 08-11-09, 03:39 PM   #12
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Cancellara was in yellow & in the break. It was a perfect set up for Astana. Of course they would work. Didn't matter if it was Lance, Alberto, Levi, or Andreas. When they saw that the break was going to stick they started to work.
Doh. My bad. I knew this. Cancellara, Thor and Armstrong are the only 3 to make the break who were contenders for GC or Green. It weakens my argument, but does not destroy it. Why work for mere seconds. Columbia was going to keep the break away.
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Old 08-11-09, 04:17 PM   #13
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Doh. My bad. I knew this. Cancellara, Thor and Armstrong are the only 3 to make the break who were contenders for GC or Green. It weakens my argument, but does not destroy it. Why work for mere seconds. Columbia was going to keep the break away.
Well Cavendish was there too, so if you're counting green, that makes 4.
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Old 08-11-09, 05:09 PM   #14
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Armstrong looked back, saw that a gap had opened, knew Contador (the highest placed teamate) was in the back group, and ordered the Astana guys in the break to go to the front and help push the pace.

It so happens that he and the others had a race radio and knew Contador was back.

The break was instigated for the sprinters, and contenders for the sprint thereof.

Armstrong was just disgustingly being the prick that he is.

/thread.
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Old 08-11-09, 07:37 PM   #15
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So, Velonews published this today about Paulinho going to Radio Shack: http://www.velonews.com/article/96556 - by itself its relatively innocent, in this context it furthers the conspiracy theories.

BTW - isn't it too early in the year to sign new contracts anyway?
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Old 08-11-09, 07:40 PM   #16
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Old 08-11-09, 07:42 PM   #17
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Old 08-11-09, 07:43 PM   #18
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First, let me say that I do not want this thread to turn into yet another pointless debate over.....
So then why did you start this thread? Considering the article in your post does no more no less to weaken or strengthen either argument, what exactly were you expecting this thread to turn into? I felt the numerous worthless LA/AC threads a.k.a. "My weenie is bigger than your weenie" addressed all this to death. I guess I missed something or maybe some people just like sticking forks into electrical sockets yet expect a different reaction each time.

What's missed in this entire thread is that Paulinho has become TRS's very first signing. Conspiracy theorists have at it. Chris Horner lost his TDF roster spot because AC wanted to hand pick his "guys" so Horner out Sergio in. What an absolutely fantastic spy game created by JB and LA in which they pick Horner knowing full well that they'd prefer Paulinho as would AC since another yanqui would guarantee a shift in power to LA and AC couldn't have that. So knowing that AC would want SP to to wheel suck off of, JB and LA hired some contractors to abduct SP's family and threaten them with death if he didn't sit up on stage three. Of course when said plot actually worked JB and LA decided that they would make SP sign a contract for TRS or risk having his sisters sold into prostitution.

Personally I like my conspiracy theory better than the rubbish that has been spewed over and over....broken record I think is what I was looking for.

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Old 08-11-09, 09:33 PM   #19
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... Chris Horner lost his TDF roster spot because AC wanted to hand pick his "guys" so Horner out Sergio in. ...
The official line was Muravyev was the guy who bumped Horner - or at least that's how Horner described it.

fwiw - I think we're in danger of contracting something nasty if we stand too close to the repeated flailing of this festering corpse of a horse.
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Old 08-11-09, 11:19 PM   #20
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So then why did you start this thread? Considering the article in your post does no more no less to weaken or strengthen either argument, what exactly were you expecting this thread to turn into?
I like to watch racing straight up, and that includes tactics, politics, deals, and without melodrama. I just foolishly wanted to lay some ground rules to talk about how a non-US media source was looking at the hidden or at least unresolved agenda on the part of team Astana, and giving Contador some credit for handling it all like an adult. From the reporting done by non-US sources, the guy appears clearly more sagacious, cunning, and resourceful than the Versus crew gave him credit for. I did not want it to turn into a rant about who is a bigger ******* or who has done more to raise awareness of cancer.

Looking back, I'm a little sorry for reopening this can of worms. Serves me right for starting a thread past my bedtime.

You know, a lot of comparisons have been drawn between this year and 1986. When 1986 ended, however, Greg LeMond was a gracious winner and Bernard Hinault, while saying nothing to dispel the myth that he was and always will be a pompous ass, was a gracious runner-up. When it was over both men spoke nothing but praise for each other. I miss that.
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Old 08-12-09, 12:32 AM   #21
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while Astana was telling the world and Contador that Contador was the team leader, the behavior of the team shows that he was not. Consequently, Contador had every right to take the race into his own hands.
Agreed.

Was there a plan to give Armstrong a better chance at winning or place on the podium at the expense of Alberto's chance to win? Of course, there is really no way for me to know if that was the case, but I certainly wouldn't rule it out. At the very least, Alberto was asked or he was expected to ride in a way that suggests he wasn't the leader--certainly, Armstrong was never asked or expected to ride in the manner in which Alberto seemed to have been asked and expeted to ride.
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Old 08-12-09, 08:35 AM   #22
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At the very least, Alberto was asked or he was expected to ride in a way that suggests he wasn't the leader--certainly, Armstrong was never asked or expected to ride in the manner in which Alberto seemed to have been asked and expeted to ride.
That's a decent way to put it.
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Old 08-12-09, 12:12 PM   #23
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Well Cavendish was there too, so if you're counting green, that makes 4.
I don't count Cavendish as catching the break as his team created it specifically for him. In that sense only 3 out of all the GC and Green contenders caught the break.

I think Lance should be recognmized for being very alert ans savy. I think it is entirely unfair to call Contador stupid for missing unless one says the same about other far more experienced riders who also missed.
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Old 08-12-09, 03:36 PM   #24
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guess what, AC won 1st and LA took 3rd. nothing will change that. AC feels undermined by LA and others...nothing will change that...LA thinks AC is a young, selfish jerk...nothing will change that.

AC is going to pwn LA next year. nothing will change that. so will someone put popcorn in the microwave and lets move on please.
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Old 08-12-09, 03:43 PM   #25
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So, Velonews published this today about Paulinho going to Radio Shack: http://www.velonews.com/article/96556 - by itself its relatively innocent, in this context it furthers the conspiracy theories.

BTW - isn't it too early in the year to sign new contracts anyway?
May not have actually signed yet. Neither the teams, nor the riders are supposed to say anything until September - but that can't stop leaks through the press.
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