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Old 09-06-09, 09:16 PM   #1
oldbobcat
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Contador: Astana, no thanks

Picked this up today--http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/contador-refuses-astana-offer. It looks like at least one team currently courting Alberto Contador--is it Garmin or Caisse-d'Epargne--is serious about buying out his Astana contract, because Contador has already refused Astana's 4m euro/year counter offer. Manager/brother Francisco says it isn't about the money, either.

I'm inclined to say that the brothers Contador are doing their best to position Alberto for a long run.
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Old 09-06-09, 09:19 PM   #2
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If I were Contador I would sign with Team Radio Shack. My prediction is AC goes to a bad team due to his ego and gets crushed by Lance next year.
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Old 09-06-09, 09:39 PM   #3
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I'd love to see him on Garmin. He'd tear up that team!

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Old 09-06-09, 10:18 PM   #4
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Koffee!
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Old 09-06-09, 10:23 PM   #5
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If I were Contador I would sign with Team Radio Shack. My prediction is AC goes to a bad team due to his ego and gets crushed by Lance next year.
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Old 09-06-09, 10:33 PM   #6
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If I were Contador I would sign with Team Radio Shack. My prediction is AC goes to a bad team due to his ego and gets crushed by Lance next year.
This is such a bad post for so many reasons, its not even worth calling you a fool. You clearly wouldn't understand why.
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Old 09-06-09, 10:38 PM   #7
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I'd love to see him on Garmin. He'd tear up that team!

koffee
Garmin would be an interesting match. To me they're a bunch of pluggers and eggheads, very capable but unfocused, a little too smart for their own good, a team of super-domestiques in search of a cause. And that cause would be someone to put in yellow. Individually, they're each a little too realistic to think of rising to the role as contender, so they plug along as the Three Musketeers X3. Yeah, Wiggins got close, but he still needs experience, experience that will be hard to gain before his biological clock runs out.

I really think the boys in argyle would feel damned honored to be the supporting cast to Contador in yellow in 2010.
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Old 09-07-09, 08:26 AM   #8
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I'd love to see him on Garmin. He'd tear up that team!

koffee
I doubt he'll ever ride for a team again that he doesn't speak the language....
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Old 09-07-09, 03:03 PM   #9
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Of course it isn't just about the money....

Every pre-eminent stage racing champion liked to be surrounded by a team whose loyalty was to him. Why would this one be any different?

I'll be amazed if a predominantly Spanish team doesn't coalesce around Contador, during the winter -and it'll be good enough to help him win. Anyone who thinks Lance Armstrong has cornered the market in talented teammates doesn't understand the sport.
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Old 09-07-09, 03:59 PM   #10
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Why does everyone think AC needs such a strong team to win. He doesn't. He needs an adequate team. Any of the pro tour teams will do. Grand Tours are won from the top down not bottom up. Look at Lance's team from 2005, and what they did in the Tour in 2006. All the talk on the boards was how strong his team was in 2005, and how it wasn't fair yada yada yada. They stunk up the joint in 2006.

It still comes down to having to drop Contador on the climbs. Saxo tried very hard, AC didn't really have a lot of team support, and it didn't work. Strong teams are overated.

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Old 09-07-09, 05:04 PM   #11
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Why does everyone think AC needs such a strong team to win. He doesn't. He needs an adequate team. Any of the pro tour teams will do. Grand Tours are won from the top down not bottom up. Look at Lance's team from 2005, and what they did in the Tour in 2006. All the talk on the boards was how strong his team was in 2005, and how it wasn't fair yada yada yada. They stunk up the joint in 2006.

It still comes down to having to drop Contador on the climbs. Saxo tried very hard, AC didn't really have a lot of team support, and it didn't work. Strong teams are overated.

Richard
I agree. AC needs a decent team. Until someone proves that they can climb AND time trial better than him, he's the man to beat. In the end, someone is going to have to drop him on a climb. I don't care how many top domestiques are on the team, it won't help on the tour defining climbs. Its not like he got a whole lot of great support from Astana in the TdF. A strong team helps, but an adequate team is all that's needed if you have a dominant rider. Contador is a dominant rider.

For all the talk about how strong Astana was this year, there were several other strong teams like Saxo, Liquigas, Caisse, Garmin, Cervelo. Add Contador to any team like that and its instantly a favorite for winning a grand tour. Sheesh, the guy has won 4 grand tours in last two years and people talk about him like he can't win unless a strong team drags his ass up a mountain.
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Old 09-07-09, 10:56 PM   #12
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Of course it isn't just about the money....

I'll be amazed if a predominantly Spanish team doesn't coalesce around Contador, during the winter -and it'll be good enough to help him win. Anyone who thinks Lance Armstrong has cornered the market in talented teammates doesn't understand the sport.
The language issue is a valid point. Communication and trust would be more important to Contador, who appears to get more mileage from talent and consensus than an alpha-dog personality like Armstrong.

And the Astana/Discovery/USPS dominance of one grand tour per year and a handful of minor "wind-up" stage races has been overrated and quite beside the point. They're like Count Dracula, crawling back into their coffins to get plenty of rest until the sun comes up for the next targeted grand tour. They really haven't kicked butt in a spring classic since 2002.
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Old 09-08-09, 12:03 AM   #13
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For all the talk about how strong Astana was this year, there were several other strong teams like Saxo, Liquigas, Caisse, Garmin, Cervelo.
And of course Columbia!
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Old 09-08-09, 12:04 AM   #14
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Why does everyone think AC needs such a strong team to win. He doesn't. He needs an adequate team. Any of the pro tour teams will do. Grand Tours are won from the top down not bottom up. Look at Lance's team from 2005, and what they did in the Tour in 2006. All the talk on the boards was how strong his team was in 2005, and how it wasn't fair yada yada yada. They stunk up the joint in 2006.

It still comes down to having to drop Contador on the climbs. Saxo tried very hard, AC didn't really have a lot of team support, and it didn't work. Strong teams are overated.
What about Sastre last year?
I think that pretty obviously was a team-win.

And regarding Contador - maybe he stays with Astana, who knows...
Apparently Alonso is starting with his team in 2011 (and is rumored to be sponsored by Red Bull, which would mean big bucks), that would fit perfectly with the end of his contract in Kazakstan.
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Old 09-08-09, 12:15 AM   #15
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What about Sastre last year?
I think that pretty obviously was a team-win.

And regarding Contador - maybe he stays with Astana, who knows...
Apparently Alonso is starting with his team in 2011 (and is rumored to be sponsored by Red Bull, which would mean big bucks), that would fit perfectly with the end of his contract in Kazakstan.
Sastre ain't Contador. Not even close. Sure guys like Sastre, Levi, Cadel, need strong teams and even then they might not win. Contador is clearly in a different class. He's already won multiple TdF's on top of wins in the Giro and Vuelta at age 26. He's still going into his peak years. Barring injuries we could be looking at the next great one. He may finish the class of Indurain, Merckx, Armstrong, Coppi, etc. You know, guys that didn't necessarily need a strong team to win.
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Old 09-08-09, 12:18 AM   #16
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Yeah, I agree about Contador, I just didn't like reef58's general point that teams don't really matter.

edit: and even the Merckxs needed their teams, have you ever seen "A Sunday In Hell"?
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Old 09-08-09, 05:38 AM   #17
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Doesn't matter to me any more because DirectTV was dropped by Versus, and I won't be able to watch the tour next year.

But...doesn't Contador have to at least fulfill his contractual obligations with Astana, and complete the 2010 season...and therefore ride for Astana in the 2010 TDF.
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Old 09-08-09, 07:31 AM   #18
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Contracts are about a relationship between money and performance. The required performance can be changed with an appropriate transfer of money.

In other words, if someone else wants Contador enough, they can get him by compensating Astana for the loss of the remainder of his contract. No big deal, happens all the time.
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Old 09-08-09, 07:45 AM   #19
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Where will AC go then? He won't go Saxo, he won't go Garmin...definitely not Columbia. I guess a spanish team then.
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Old 09-08-09, 08:24 AM   #20
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Doesn't matter to me any more because DirectTV was dropped by Versus, and I won't be able to watch the tour next year.
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You realize that the tour is still being run and there are other ways to follow it?
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Old 09-08-09, 08:26 AM   #21
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Where will AC go then? He won't go Saxo, he won't go Garmin...definitely not Columbia. I guess a spanish team then.
Apparently Garmin, Quick-Step and Caisse d’Epargne want him.

And in Vuelta-news - according to cyclingnews.com, Cadel Evans head-butted Gesink yesterday.
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Old 09-08-09, 08:34 AM   #22
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You realize that the tour is still being run and there are other ways to follow it?
Yes... the live video feed from the Versus website. I used it more than watching the Versus channel.
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Old 09-08-09, 02:04 PM   #23
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Apparently Garmin, Quick-Step and Caisse d’Epargne want him.
That would be the short list.

And by the way, Merckx's best days were long behind him when "Sunday in Hell" was made (1976). And the Paris-Roubaix, the most capricious of the one-day classics has little in common with the three-week-long Tour. In Paris-Roubaix one setback--a crash, flat, mechanical, or just missing the selection, like Merckx did--can change everything. The Tour gives you three weeks to get it right. How many fans don't think De Vlaeminck should not have won in '76?
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Old 09-08-09, 03:05 PM   #24
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Should be interesting. I'm not convinced that Astana is willing to sell his contract (or at least not at a price any team could afford).

As for whether he needs just an adequate team, I'm not so sure. This year, he still probably would have won (give him Cervelo Test team for example) although you never know how much it hurts to be unprotected/supported in the mountains and flats, but next year I expect Lance to have re-captured his TT ability and Andy Schleck to have improved in that area (as he did this year). I'm not sure how much improvement is possible for Contador - the guy's already so incredible.

Taking just this year, if he'd been on Cervelo, he'd have lost 1'37" to Lance and 57" to Andy in the TTT. Now if Lance can get back his TT ability (and who here wants to bet against him?) that puts him VERY close to Contador (assuming they have another TTT and Contador's on an "adequate" team) and suddenly Lance can attack him and all bets are off.
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Old 09-08-09, 03:58 PM   #25
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... suddenly he can attack Lance and all bets are off.
fify. A different perspective to be considered.
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