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Old 05-25-11, 02:03 PM   #1
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Is it Contador or is the quality of the opposition

I was just thinking, while I've been very impressed with Contador's ride so far, he's not really up against a very impressive field so far, is he? Nibali is about the only rider with some pedigree, and that's only one season's worth.

The serious heavies - Andy, Basso and Cuddles - and their top domestiques are readying themselves for a different race.

I'd like to see if he is able to destroy these guys as easily or not. Damn shame it is likely to be another year before we get to see this.
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Old 05-25-11, 02:49 PM   #2
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Well, there are some 'heavies' here such as Dennis Menchov (3rd 2010 TdF) + Nibali & Scarponi (3rd & 4th Giro 2010). No Andy Schleck but he can only ride against those who turn up.

My guess is they'll all be riding in this years TdF, including AC.
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Old 05-25-11, 03:23 PM   #3
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That's because there is no rider in the world who matches up.

Contador has won the last 5 GT's he's entered(out of 5). He would have won 2008 tdf too if he would have been let in.

Also, as I've said before he's even beaten Cancellara in a TT. Andy Shleck is good but he's no comparison, he's won practically nothing when Contador already has "hall of fame" palmares @ age 28.

Unless a new rider comes up or there's an incredible development in the current younger talents(ie. super doping) he will continue to dominate excessively.
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Old 05-25-11, 03:48 PM   #4
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That's because there is no rider in the world who matches up.

Contador has won the last 5 GT's he's entered(out of 5). He would have won 2008 tdf too if he would have been let in.

Also, as I've said before he's even beaten Cancellara in a TT. Andy Shleck is good but he's no comparison, he's won practically nothing when Contador already has "hall of fame" palmares @ age 28.

Unless a new rider comes up or there's an incredible development in the current younger talents(ie. super doping) he will continue to dominate excessively.
Actually younger riders coming out of nowhere is the norm for the great riders. Merckx had a glimer in hte 1967 Giro, then the next year won all 3 Jerseys in the Giro in 68 and the Tour in 69. Hinault won the first 2 Major Tours he entered. Anquetil and Gimondi both won teh TDF on their first entries. Coppi broke the hour record as a yuong rider and it was not initially believed by all because he did not have the history.

Of course this kind of rider happens when he happens, but when they happen it cannot be dismissed as better doping.
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Old 05-25-11, 04:05 PM   #5
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Completely agreed.

Who knows when that rider will come. He might not come for another 5 years, in which case we've got the next Merckx on our hands. Riis has said one of his goals is to push Contador to the "impossible" triple grand tour victories in a single year.

That would shatter everything we know about achievements in cycling, of course though previously the Vuelta overlapped with the Giro, but I still doubt anyone could have done it.
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Old 05-25-11, 04:18 PM   #6
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Completely agreed.

Who knows when that rider will come. He might not come for another 5 years, in which case we've got the next Merckx on our hands. Riis has said one of his goals is to push Contador to the "impossible" triple grand tour victories in a single year.

That would shatter everything we know about achievements in cycling, of course though previously the Vuelta overlapped with the Giro, but I still doubt anyone could have done it.
Historically there were some other issues that made it more difficult or stupid to even try.

Pre Anquetil who cared? Perhaps even pre Merckx. Before then the Vuelta had little more prestige than many 1 week Tours. Before the Vuelta was moved the order was horrid for any rider even thinking of winning all 3. Vuelta first, then Giro and finally the TDF. If the endurance aspects took their toll then it was the TDF one failed to win. Now it would be the Vuelta. A lot less is risked. A rider can ride a somewhat conservative Giro (Something Merckx seems to have done in many of his Giro/Tour doubles). Have the TDF as the main goal and then try to cap with a Vuelta.

Final bit is team size. Go back to Merckx and even if the GC contender had the legs is likely his Super Domestique and other vital team members would not. Now this is not as true as in hte strong teams there is depth.

I still do not see anyone pulling it off, but even a failed attempt that looked good a ways into the Vuelta would be exciting.
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Old 05-26-11, 12:17 AM   #7
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Historically there were some other issues that made it more difficult or stupid to even try.

Pre Anquetil who cared? Perhaps even pre Merckx. Before then the Vuelta had little more prestige than many 1 week Tours. Before the Vuelta was moved the order was horrid for any rider even thinking of winning all 3. Vuelta first, then Giro and finally the TDF. If the endurance aspects took their toll then it was the TDF one failed to win. Now it would be the Vuelta. A lot less is risked. A rider can ride a somewhat conservative Giro (Something Merckx seems to have done in many of his Giro/Tour doubles). Have the TDF as the main goal and then try to cap with a Vuelta.

Final bit is team size. Go back to Merckx and even if the GC contender had the legs is likely his Super Domestique and other vital team members would not. Now this is not as true as in hte strong teams there is depth.

I still do not see anyone pulling it off, but even a failed attempt that looked good a ways into the Vuelta would be exciting.
You would most likely need to have the full team dedicated to that one rider and the goal. Logistically, that would be a nightmare. The entire team training for grand tours and being support. Field a different team of supporters for each GT with the leaders and big guns still being there.

I still want to see the triple be done. I was just thinking about that today and how impressive it would be.
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Old 05-26-11, 06:01 AM   #8
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Latest news from Eurosport is that the Contador hearing at CAS is likely to be delayed.

Not good news. This matter needs some closure asap.

http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/260520...ces-delay.html
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Old 05-26-11, 09:06 PM   #9
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If the hearing is delayed and AC races the TdF would it make sense for Liquigas, as a team, to really hammer the later stages of the Giro in order to make AC work and thereby making it harder for him to recover completely for the Tour?
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Old 05-26-11, 10:06 PM   #10
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I seriously doubt Liquigas is capable of doing anything to make AC ride harder than he already is. The only one pushing AC all Giro long has been AC.
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Old 05-26-11, 10:09 PM   #11
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Spanish steak is absolutely delicious.
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Old 05-27-11, 03:04 AM   #12
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Spanish steak is absolutely delicious.
Damn that's witty and original - did you think it up all by yourself?
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Old 05-27-11, 09:11 AM   #13
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Latest news from Eurosport is that the Contador hearing at CAS is likely to be delayed.

Not good news. This matter needs some closure asap.

http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/260520...ces-delay.html
I think it would be really interesting to see AC win the 2011 Giro & TdeF with performances that are so far ahead of his rivals it's like he's from another planet and then have him suspended for two years for doping during the 2010 TdeF.

I mean you can't make this stuff up!
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Old 05-27-11, 09:23 AM   #14
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Contador is a league all his own. It would be nice to see an actual rivalry between him and another really talented rider...makes for an exciting tour.
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Old 05-27-11, 11:05 AM   #15
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After today's Stage 19 finish, I like Contador a little bit more. Go watch the last km online line so I don't have to spoil it for anyone.
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Old 05-27-11, 11:23 AM   #16
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After today's Stage 19 finish, I like Contador a little bit more.
Agreed - very classy of him. This is why I am a fan.
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Old 05-27-11, 12:03 PM   #17
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Agreed - very classy of him. This is why I am a fan.
Me too........

Spolier alert (assuming it still applies hours later?)


































Check out the back story from today:

MACUGNAGA, Italy (Reuters) - Paolo Tiralongo of Italy took his first career victory after being gifted Stage 19 of the Giro d'Italia by race leader Alberto Contador on Friday. Tiralongo broke away 5.5 kilometres from the summit finish at Macugnaga but Contador, a former team mate, counter-attacked and reached the Astana rider 500 metres from the line. Despite clearly being stronger, Contador then stayed behind Tiralongo, who at the age of 33 claimed his first win since turning professional in 2000. Vincenzo Nibali of Italy finished third, three seconds back. Tiralongo, a team mate of Contador's at Astana in 2010, had to fight back tears at the finish. "Today I did what I never do and rode for myself and not for my team leaders," he told reporters.
"Claiming my first win was so important for me and my thanks to Alberto.
"Alberto told me when to attack, with six kilometres to go, and I went for it.


"Then when he caught up with me close to the line, I knew I had a great friend just behind me."
Contador said he was happier than he would have been to win the stage himself."Paolo did a huge amount of work for me in the Tour de France last year, and I'm very pleased he could finally get his win," he said. "He really deserves it."


ALMOST CERTAIN
With victory in the Giro d'Italia looking almost certain, Contador was congratulated for giving the stage to Tiralongo by all-time cycling great Eddy Merckx.
"It was a great gesture by Alberto, which shows his human side," Merckx told Italian TV.
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Old 05-27-11, 01:31 PM   #18
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First career win - and that too, at a Grand Tour. Very nice - happy for Tirolongo as well. Nice to see team players like him getting a reward for all the hard work they do for their leaders.

I didnt realize Contador told him when to attack as well - so it wasnt just a case of holding back at the end, but actively helping Tiralongo as well.
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Old 05-27-11, 01:32 PM   #19
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I'm just hoping Alberto does not finish one point out of Green. Alberto will win the GC and Points, and likely will not win the KOM. But looking at tommorrows stage profile Green is also possible.

The video was interesting. Alberto was fine gifting the stage win, but there was danger of being caught by the trailing group. He was ready to go if they looked like they would catch the pair.
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Old 05-27-11, 02:40 PM   #20
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To answer the OP question.

It's Contador.

He just makes the opposition look ordinary.
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Old 05-27-11, 07:23 PM   #21
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I think it would be really interesting to see AC win the 2011 Giro & TdeF with performances that are so far ahead of his rivals it's like he's from another planet and then have him suspended for two years for doping during the 2010 TdeF.

I mean you can't make this stuff up!
No, you can't. The most interesting part will be what is done about AC's post-2010 TdF victories.
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Old 05-27-11, 07:41 PM   #22
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I was just thinking, while I've been very impressed with Contador's ride so far, he's not really up against a very impressive field so far, is he? Nibali is about the only rider with some pedigree, and that's only one season's worth.

The serious heavies - Andy, Basso and Cuddles - and their top domestiques are readying themselves for a different race.

I'd like to see if he is able to destroy these guys as easily or not. Damn shame it is likely to be another year before we get to see this.
In my relatively short fandom of cycling, I've never seen anything like it. Schleck was certainly more than within a cry of AC during last year's TDF... this is a completely different story though.
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Old 05-27-11, 07:49 PM   #23
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I'm just hoping Alberto does not finish one point out of Green. Alberto will win the GC and Points, and likely will not win the KOM. But looking at tommorrows stage profile Green is also possible.
The Green Jersey is within reach, but I don't think Contador will go for it. He will leave something for the Italians to celebrate.
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Old 05-28-11, 03:21 AM   #24
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I was just thinking, while I've been very impressed with Contador's ride so far, he's not really up against a very impressive field so far, is he? Nibali is about the only rider with some pedigree, and that's only one season's worth.

The serious heavies - Andy, Basso and Cuddles - and their top domestiques are readying themselves for a different race.

I'd like to see if he is able to destroy these guys as easily or not. Damn shame it is likely to be another year before we get to see this.
None of the three you listed can match the accelerations of Contador. Period.

Plus, the first two can't descend nor can they time trial; not even in the same league.
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Old 05-28-11, 05:21 AM   #25
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Contador is really that much better than everyone. It looks too easy for him this Giro.
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