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Contador

Old 07-05-11, 08:35 AM
  #76  
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Originally Posted by alcanoe View Post
And you're the guy who said:

"Is it possible to add a thread to an ignore list the way you can with a user?"

"Absolutely. I'm not suggesting anyone not discuss anything or that a thread be moved anywhere. But sometimes I would like to exercise my free will by choosing not to be tempted into certain discussions. "

You just waisted my time. But, that's OK. I can handle it.

Al
Al, I hope you get over this pretty soon. I don't know what it is, but you've been a lot more testy the last few days. (The next part is an attempt at a joke. So, don't read it any other way.) You didn't got to Vegas and bet the house that Contador would lose did you?
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Old 07-14-11, 09:28 AM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
Let's see how things look after this one.
Stage 12 in the books and no crow eatin yet.
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Old 07-14-11, 09:34 AM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by oilman_15106 View Post
Stage 12 in the books and no crow eatin yet.
Slecktacular finish today!!!
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Old 07-14-11, 11:36 AM
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And how about Voeckler hangin' in there still? Go Tommy!

I was expecting a lot more sorting out of the GC today, but so far, it doesn't look like any of the top contenders have a big edge.
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Old 07-14-11, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by oilman_15106 View Post
Stage 12 in the books and no crow eatin yet.
True 'dat.

I kept waiting for AC to make a move, but it doesn't appear that it was in his plans at all today. He was content to shadow the leaders and then couldn't match the last little burst and lost some more time. Maybe those Giro-weary legs are starting to show. I'm not completely counting him out quite yet, but his stock took a big hit today. If he hopes to win this thing he's going to have to attack at some point. But I think there are still 3 more mountain top finishes to come. We'll see.

Good job by Frank Schleck at the end. He nearly got the stage. Basso looked surprisingly good on the climb. Voekler was amazing hanging in so long and keeping his Yellow Jersey on Bastille Day.

All in all, I was disappointed by the lack of action among the contenders. Aside from Frank's late attacks, they all played it conservatively, just marking the others. Kind of boring. AC and AS both need to do something big in the remaining mountains if they plan to stand on the podium in Paris. Alberto to make up time already lost, Andy for the time he is sure to lose in the TT. I'm starting to think Cadel may be the man this year.
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Old 07-14-11, 11:09 PM
  #81  
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Remember Armstrong's famous Alpe D'Huez win and the "look". He played possum for most of the race and even appeared to be in trouble and then launched an amazing attack. These guys are so good it is hard to say what is going on. Clearly, AC has the juice, so it is when to use it and how best to use his team. AC may be in trouble but I doubt it.

Also, the GC racers use the initial stages to race into form. They do not necessarily show up in peak form day one. Peak form lasts for a short period of time. It is best to have it at critical stages later and not at the beginning.
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Old 07-15-11, 12:33 AM
  #82  
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Maybe AC is asking "where's the Beef?"
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Old 07-15-11, 01:05 AM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
True 'dat.

I kept waiting for AC to make a move, but it doesn't appear that it was in his plans at all today. He was content to shadow the leaders and then couldn't match the last little burst and lost some more time. Maybe those Giro-weary legs are starting to show. I'm not completely counting him out quite yet, but his stock took a big hit today. If he hopes to win this thing he's going to have to attack at some point. But I think there are still 3 more mountain top finishes to come. We'll see.

Good job by Frank Schleck at the end. He nearly got the stage. Basso looked surprisingly good on the climb. Voekler was amazing hanging in so long and keeping his Yellow Jersey on Bastille Day.

All in all, I was disappointed by the lack of action among the contenders. Aside from Frank's late attacks, they all played it conservatively, just marking the others. Kind of boring. AC and AS both need to do something big in the remaining mountains if they plan to stand on the podium in Paris. Alberto to make up time already lost, Andy for the time he is sure to lose in the TT. I'm starting to think Cadel may be the man this year.
Methinks that it will be Frank Schleck and Evans at the end. Contador doesn't have it this year. Basso is another possibility. And Cunego?
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Old 07-15-11, 04:35 AM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
Methinks that it will be Frank Schleck and Evans at the end. Contador doesn't have it this year. Basso is another possibility. And Cunego?
Frank better get another couple of minutes ahead of Evans before the TT.
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Old 07-15-11, 08:11 AM
  #85  
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Great ride by Sammy Sanchez! He had to work through a lot of pain to get that win.
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Old 07-15-11, 09:20 AM
  #86  
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Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
Remember Armstrong's famous Alpe D'Huez win and the "look".
I watched this long Google TechTalk by Dylan Casey, who was on Armstring's team then, and now works for Google.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVcKzzB-eF0

He provides some interesting insights, and one of them is about "The Look". It turns out that Armstrong turned around to see how blown apart the peloton was after Postal had done what Leopard-Trek did yesterday, setting an unbearable pace to lose the pretenders. Once it was blown apart, Lance attacked, just as Schleck did yesterday, but without as much gain for Frank, especially since it was so late in the climb.

Another interesting bit is him saying how, before he went pro, he was like the rest of us, obsessing over every little detail of his bike, like how many links there were in his chain. He sounds just like a BF'er. When he got the major pro gig, his bike became a tool someone else worried about, and the obsession was gone. He talks about there being three road bikes for each rider: The main bike, the backup bike, and the "home bike" that stays with them. Periodically, a bike will be re-done or replaced, and the bikes would rotate. The home bike was essentially the second backup, and oldest.

It's high time one of the contenders shows his colors this year and launches a hard and earlier attack. Have some cajones, guys! There is clearly a chess match going on, and AC is a master chess player. But the skeptic in me thinks the level-looking playing field may have more to do with fears of improved testing protocols preventing anyone from having a truly dominant day.
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Old 07-15-11, 09:24 AM
  #87  
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Late to this thread.
Contador unpopular champion? He's a national hero in Spain and upset that the cycling world is "going after him" (for 2 picograms).
Quite a few analogies to an American who may be prosecuted. Rightly or Wrongly. Can you say Bonds and Clemens?
YMMV
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Old 07-15-11, 09:34 AM
  #88  
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Originally Posted by AzTallRider View Post
It's high time one of the contenders shows his colors this year and launches a hard and earlier attack. Have some cajones, guys! There is clearly a chess match going on, and AC is a master chess player. But the skeptic in me thinks the level-looking playing field may have more to do with fears of improved testing protocols preventing anyone from having a truly dominant day.
Testosterone or not - Landis' runaway stage where he torched the peleton and set a record for the number of water bottles consumed is worth watching repeatedly. As are many of Pantani's stages. As are many of Armstong's stages. As are many of Contador's stages. each of these riders (and many, many others) had "cajones" days.

ENOUGH TALK - RIDE TIME.
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Old 07-15-11, 09:42 AM
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AZT, There are two great books on Armstrong and Bruyneel that IMO are must reads for wannabee racers that provide some key insight into pro racing and tidbits for amateurs. Like most journalism, one has to pick through the material for the nuggets.

Armstrong's War is very good. It discusses Lance and the others that surrounded him during his winning streak. The other is "We Might as well Win" by Bruyneel. It discusses Bruyneel's relationship with Lance, team tactics and the particulars of the Alpes D'Huez climb and the look and many more. The look was a characteristic of Armstrong and not just that one occasion.

I liked Bruyneel's book in that besides explaining UCI team pro racing, it showed how much preparation he and Lance did for the tour. The point was if one decides to do something, one might as well do it to win. Figure out the preparation and skills needed to win and then do the hard work.

As Bruyneel says in his book, the TdF racers are the top 1% of the top 1% of the most accomplished racers in the world with a proven track record. These guys are amazingly, outstandingly, ridiculously superb.
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Old 07-15-11, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
I liked Bruyneel's book in that besides explaining UCI team pro racing, it showed how much preparation he and Lance did for the tour. The point was if one decides to do something, one might as well do it to win. Figure out the preparation and skills needed to win and then do the hard work.
Having competed in yacht racing, and now bike racing, I see strong similarities between Armstrong and Dennis Conner, who dominated several different sailing classes, including the America's Cup. He was both admired and loathed. He changed yacht-racing, by going to lengths of preparation and training never before seen, just as Armstrong did in cycling. Conner caused Ted Turner to retire from America's Cup racing, saying that Conner had "taken all the fun out of it". Conner was the first to start way ahead of the race (years in advance), and to use more than one boat, making incremental changes to one, evaluating the change, then either incorporating it or not. Rinse and repeat ad infinitum, and you end up with a well-honed machine. His book "No Excuse to Lose" is a great read, that applies to anyone competing in any sport. My boat was hauled out for awhile once at the yard of a guy who had built and prepped some of Conner's boats. The stories he told were amazing - fairing a hull to thousands of an inch tolerance, when everyone else just eyeballed it - things like that.
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Old 07-15-11, 10:37 AM
  #91  
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Leopard - Trek really put the hammer down yesterday, reminiscent of the olden days of Team Postal. The result was all the contenders had to hang on, with Evans and Basso doing very well to stay in front or in touch. Basso looked superb and we'll see if he can continue to show this kind of form. Evans rode great as well, as did Andy Schleck. Frank Schleck rode even better and probably should have gone off the front sooner to gain some real time, but possibly some apprehension as to the ability of his rivals to counter and then retaliate.

I think all the GC guys are now aware that Alberto is not going to sucker punch anyone with that infamous high altitude acceleration, he just don't have it this year, left it in the Dolomites seemingly. So goes Contadors attempt to win the Giro/TdF back-to-back.

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Old 07-15-11, 12:21 PM
  #92  
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Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
Remember Armstrong's famous Alpe D'Huez win and the "look". He played possum for most of the race and even appeared to be in trouble and then launched an amazing attack. These guys are so good it is hard to say what is going on. Clearly, AC has the juice, so it is when to use it and how best to use his team. AC may be in trouble but I doubt it.

Also, the GC racers use the initial stages to race into form. They do not necessarily show up in peak form day one. Peak form lasts for a short period of time. It is best to have it at critical stages later and not at the beginning.
He left the "juice" at the Giro. Plus, he is beat up from all the crashing. Not only his knee but he can't sit on his saddle correctly. Probably from the fall when he got tangled up with Karpets. It looked like he hit his butt pretty good on that one. Yes, he is in trouble. Contador is not playing possum (maybe roadkill possum). If he is, he should have learned the correct way from Lance. But Eurosport doesn't replay that scene constantly like VS does.

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Old 07-15-11, 12:29 PM
  #93  
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I lost respect for Contador when he stated about a teammate at the 2008 Vuelta who beat him the uphill ITT "how could my teammate do this to me?"
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Old 07-15-11, 02:39 PM
  #94  
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Not saying he is sandbagging but the mountains haven't started yet.

Give it another 9 days and it will be seen how much the accidents and hard rides have hit him.

And if there is one rider I would like to see be beaten-Then it would be Contadour so I am not standing up for him. I just don't trust him either.
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Old 07-15-11, 03:47 PM
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While I don't think that he's as hurt as he's acting, I think he's holding back some.
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Old 07-15-11, 05:59 PM
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It is all speculation at this point as to whether Contador has it or not. He may be out of gas after his strong win in Italy. He may be recovering from damages done by the crashes. He may be saving it all for the Alps. He may have nothing to save. We don't really know. He may not really know. We'll all know one way or another in two weeks. I'm expecting a lot of exciting stages as we find out whatever we find out.
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Old 07-15-11, 06:54 PM
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An interesting statistic about tomorrows stage (Sat 7/16)

Plateau de Beille has been the finish-line for a Tour de France-stage four times—1998, 2002, 2004—including stage 14 of the 2007 Tour. All four times the stage winner has gone on to win the Tour—Lance Armstrong (2002 & 2004), Marco Pantani (1998) and Alberto Contador (2007)
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Old 07-15-11, 07:16 PM
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I'm wondering, after reading all of this AND watching each stage so far, if Andy Schleck (who appears to be marking Contadore) is nothing more than a "decoy" for Frank Schleck, Frank being the ringer. It seems Contadore is marking Andy, as well. I saw more of that today. The GC guys just sat back and watched the break today, and perhaps measured each other? I'm thinking Frank Schleck may be in yellow when the tour gets to Paris - but then, I'm a girl, and subject to raging hormonal influences... ;-)

Sanchez and Voeckler are solid - SOLID - and Basso was really a surprise yesterday!

My sincere kudos to Jeremy Roy for his inspired and brilliant ride today. I was heart broken when Thor Hushovd caught him with just over 2KM to go. Nothing against Thor, he's a powerful, skilled man, and he played his cards cleverly. I felt Jeremy really deserved the win, but, this is racing.

This year's tour doesn't seem to have the strong attacks and dominant rides of years past. Am I the only one who thinks that way?
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Old 07-15-11, 07:52 PM
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Contador is not out yet - only 2 minutes off the lead. But it IS a long way to Paris.

Personally, I dont think he'll Trifecta. He remains a top contendor, and lightning has already struck twice... what are the odds for a third?
One of the Schlecks, Evans, Basso, Hushovd, Cavendish... these guys are more likely in my eye.
Hushovd seems unstoppable, long about now.
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Old 07-15-11, 08:17 PM
  #100  
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Originally Posted by sarals View Post
I'm wondering, after reading all of this AND watching each stage so far, if Andy Schleck (who appears to be marking Contadore) is nothing more than a "decoy" for Frank Schleck, Frank being the ringer. It seems Contadore is marking Andy, as well. I saw more of that today. The GC guys just sat back and watched the break today, and perhaps measured each other? I'm thinking Frank Schleck may be in yellow when the tour gets to Paris - but then, I'm a girl, and subject to raging hormonal influences... ;-)

Sanchez and Voeckler are solid - SOLID - and Basso was really a surprise yesterday!

My sincere kudos to Jeremy Roy for his inspired and brilliant ride today. I was heart broken when Thor Hushovd caught him with just over 2KM to go. Nothing against Thor, he's a powerful, skilled man, and he played his cards cleverly. I felt Jeremy really deserved the win, but, this is racing.

This year's tour doesn't seem to have the strong attacks and dominant rides of years past. Am I the only one who thinks that way?
It ain't over yet. There may be plenty of fireworks yet to come. It has been a pretty conservative GC game so far. Maybe they are reserving energy for the many hard stages ahead.

There was nothing for the GC hopefuls to gain today. Any advantage that could have been gained on the climb would likely have been absorbed in the descent and the flat run in to the finish.

Frank does look stronger than Andy (so far), but for him to wear the yellow into Paris he will need to get far enough ahead in the mountains to make up for the large amount of time he will lose in the TT.

Felt bad for Roy today, but loved it for Hushovd.
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