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Armstrong at the TdF: What happened?

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Armstrong at the TdF: What happened?

Old 07-23-10, 02:34 PM
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yobtah
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Armstrong at the TdF: What happened?

I've noticed that in recent interviews during the Tour, Lance Armstrong acts disappointed and almost surprised by his relatively mediocre TdF performance.

It's easy to say that Armstrong is simply too old and trying for another TdF GC victory this year was not realistic, but it surprises me that he seems surprised. I can't help thinking that Armstrong must be one of the most studied athletes ever. He’s certainly using a power meter, calculating VO2 max, and probably doing other more complex stuff also. In fact, RadioShack hired Allen Lim, one of the most “sciencey” sports scientists in cycling, away from Garmin before the season began.

So what happened? Did Armstrong really look at his power output numbers, think he had a shot at winning the TdF, and get a nasty surprise on the first big climb? It seems like someone like Allen Lim would have said something like, “hey, dude… you’re not generating nearly enough power to hang with Contador” at some point before the TdF. Did Armstrong simply ignore him?

I know this is almost impossible to answer accurately, but I find it very interesting and very odd. Any ideas?
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Old 07-23-10, 02:36 PM
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Good questions, but we can only speculate.
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Old 07-23-10, 02:59 PM
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He's used to winning. It's hard to accept that you're getting old(er) and aren't at the top any more.
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Old 07-23-10, 02:59 PM
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I have no idea what is power output is, but its obvious that he gave up after crashing. Not saying that he would have been able to beat AC and AS, but i think he could have had a chance for 3rd.
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Old 07-23-10, 03:00 PM
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considering he podium'd last year yes and his prologue was MUCH better. he was def in better shape BEFORE he hit the deck how many times?

I'm pretty sure that his body just couldn't recover from a 3 week tour race this year especially after crashing more times than I can remember.

Chad
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Old 07-23-10, 03:18 PM
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That's true... his prologue this year was good. Given that, maybe the high expectations were realistic through the first few stages until the crashes. If so, that's too bad I guess.
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Old 07-23-10, 04:18 PM
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As you gain experience you learn things that help make up for physical losses. You somehow almost magically know which breaks are apt to work, which attacks are important...

Problem is you finally lose enough that even though you make all the right decisions it does not matter. You know the right attack, but you can not chase it (or this year you already have been dropped).

Or you have one really bad piece of luck and find there is no way to recover.
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Old 07-23-10, 04:26 PM
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I think focus is an issue.

If you have some ugly bit of legal trouble hanging over your head, maybe you lose a bit of focus and say, crash before a stage even starts. He crashed the day Landis came out with his accusations during the Tour Of California and left the race. Sure, could be a coincidence. But I think it's about focus.

I think it could be a contributing factor. He is human after all. And I am not a big fan. Just think that what's going on in your head is as important as what's going on with your body.
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Old 07-23-10, 04:52 PM
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I think if Armstrong had not gotten involved in so many accidents he would still easily be finishing in the top 10. He looked like he was cruising through some of those mountain stages while most of the field was suffering, so I think there is still more to Armstrong then people give him credit for. He was strong enough to break away on stage 17 and his group held out all the way to the finish, and on stage 18 he did pretty well on that last climb even though he did not look like he was really pushing himself.

Armstrong may not be able to keep up with Contador on the mountain stages, but he is not someone you will see in the 'grupetto' either.
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Old 07-23-10, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by yobtah View Post

I know this is almost impossible to answer accurately, but I find it very interesting and very odd. Any ideas?

Impossible to know. . . . take it up with god I suppose, because all the rest is pure speculation..... and you'll never know. Or maybe .... take a look in the mirror ..... have you been prepared for something, then had best laid plans to to he!! ? There's your answer.
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Old 07-23-10, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by SouthFLpix View Post
I think if Armstrong had not gotten involved in so many accidents he would still easily be finishing in the top 10. He looked like he was cruising through some of those mountain stages while most of the field was suffering, so I think there is still more to Armstrong then people give him credit for. He was strong enough to break away on stage 17 and his group held out all the way to the finish, and on stage 18 he did pretty well on that last climb even though he did not look like he was really pushing himself.

Armstrong may not be able to keep up with Contador on the mountain stages, but he is not someone you will see in the 'grupetto' either.
I agree. I think he just gave up after the crashes and ended his own tour. Maybe he was hurting too much to keep up on that day, but when he has put forth the effort he has looked quite strong. Probably not on the level of Schleck and Contador, or perhaps even Sanchez and Menchov, but I think he could have kept it close.
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Old 07-23-10, 06:09 PM
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Old 07-23-10, 07:00 PM
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Honestly, I'm not a Lance hater, but I can't figure out why nobody has considered the obvious.

He won in an era when doping controls were not as tight as they are today.
He's losing in an era when it's much tougher to get away with stuff.

Maybe, just maybe, you ought to consider that as a factor.
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Old 07-23-10, 07:08 PM
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BengeBoy

Honestly, I'm not a Lance hater, but I can't figure out why nobody has considered the obvious.

He won in an era when doping controls were not as tight as they are today.
He's losing in an era when it's much tougher to get away with stuff.

Maybe, just maybe, you ought to consider that as a factor.
The old man came in 3rd last year with "tight doping controls". Next.
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Old 07-23-10, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Stanger View Post
The old man came in 3rd last year with "tight doping controls". Next.
what's different this year is the doping investigation. tonight landis will be on ABC's nightline.

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Old 07-23-10, 08:17 PM
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Going into this years TDF, based on his performance year to date, he had to know that everytihng had to go his way to be on the podium, and it would ake a minor miracle to win.

Everything didn't go his way, and it what it is.
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Old 07-23-10, 10:08 PM
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Maybe it's me but I didn't see Lance doing a lot to help Levi out. But as someone else mentioned, when you win as much as Lance did in the past, it's hard to accept not being at the top.

The fact Lance stayed in the Tour was a nice way of him giving back for all he has done.
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Old 07-23-10, 10:15 PM
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You're obviously not a hyper-competitive person who is used to winning and has to please sponsors putting up millions of dollars who demand someone who thinks they can win. Because if you were, you would already know the answer.
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Old 07-23-10, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by erader View Post
what's different this year is the doping investigation. tonight landis will be on ABC's nightline.

erader
Did anyone watch the Landis interview? I thought he sounded very convincing.
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Old 07-23-10, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by SouthFLpix View Post
Did anyone watch the Landis interview? I thought he sounded very convincing.
I wish I had known about that earlier, I'm sure it would have been interesting. I'll have to look and see if it is archived on-line. (What isn't these days?)
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Old 07-24-10, 12:22 AM
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Originally Posted by DLBroox View Post
I think focus is an issue.

If you have some ugly bit of legal trouble hanging over your head, maybe you lose a bit of focus and say, crash before a stage even starts. He crashed the day Landis came out with his accusations during the Tour Of California and left the race. Sure, could be a coincidence. But I think it's about focus.

I think it could be a contributing factor. He is human after all. And I am not a big fan. Just think that what's going on in your head is as important as what's going on with your body.
+1

As an athlete myself, I know that the mind has a big effect on physical performance. I think the Landis accusations and subsequent investigation along with being banged up from his crashes affected his performance. When you lose focus, it's all over.

Even the best of us have our bad days on the playing field or roads. Everything can go right with our preparation/training, but then we falter in the race or game (depending on the sport). That's the nature of sports.
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Old 07-24-10, 12:42 AM
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The big dissapointment is not that he hasn't done well in the GC , but that he has been unable to help his team (Leipheimer).

Last edited by Gluteus; 07-24-10 at 12:46 AM.
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Old 07-24-10, 01:07 AM
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Man, Lance has done awesome! As well as the other competitors. How many of you can say you rode in the TdF? It would be a dream of mine to just ride the route let alone be in the competition.
Roids or not, these guys do things that I could only dream of.
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Old 07-24-10, 01:39 AM
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Originally Posted by spezi3 View Post
I think the Landis accusations and subsequent investigation along with being banged up from his crashes affected his performance. When you lose focus, it's all over.
Armstrong has already been thru the accusation, the speculation, and the investigation. The only thing he hasn't had to handle is the sale of the team bikes. That's peanuts. My money on is on the crashes. As merlinextraligh posted, everything would have had to go his way, in order to podium. Armstrong has been around racing so long that he knew what the lost time meant to his final Tour appearance. Losing focus can destroy a performance, but I think that in this case it's that Armstrong knew he couldn't finish anywhere near where he'd hoped to, but still had two weeks to ride in public.

SouthyFLpix, yeah, Landis also sounded convincing when he denied taking testosterone and then trotted out his mother, to vouch for his character. As others have posted, Armstrong finished 3d in last year's Tour and is riding fairly well in the recent mountain stages. Without chemical help, Landis can't even win minor events in the states. This guy needs to look deep inside himself, then look into a mirror.

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Old 07-24-10, 02:23 AM
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Who knows, but one thing that at least has to be mentioned is, that Landis possibly scared Armstrong into doping a little less or in different ways than he's used to. That also explains the general poor performance by the rest of his team.
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