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Will Andy Schleck Ever Win The TDF?

Old 07-25-11, 07:07 AM
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Will Andy Schleck Ever Win The TDF?

What do you think? It's obvious Andy has weaknesses. Can he ever overcome those and win?
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Old 07-25-11, 07:09 AM
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Yes
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Old 07-25-11, 07:11 AM
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Well, this year his issue was being fixated on AC to the point of ignoring everyone else. He succeeded in his goal of beating AC, but he forgot about Cadel.
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Old 07-25-11, 07:15 AM
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This year's route was tailor-made for Andy to win. Unless they eliminate the TT completely, I don't see him winning. If they go back to two ITTs or even one ITT and a prologue, he's done.

But, lets face it . . . Andy wasn't on his best form this season (except, mysteriously, for two TdF stages). Who knows why.
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Old 07-25-11, 07:16 AM
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If he had made a move earlier in the tour this year instead of hanging back and worrying so much about Contador he would have won this year....
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Old 07-25-11, 07:18 AM
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Probably, but he'll have to elevate his individual TT chops somewhat.
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Old 07-25-11, 07:26 AM
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It's possible. But if Contador decides to become a tdF specialist then he is doomed.
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Old 07-25-11, 07:27 AM
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He has to learn to TT, period. He's very good in the mountains, but he can't blow away people without paying for it later, such as he did in this year's tour. He won the Tour on that epic stage, but then turned around and lost the Tour in the TT; it's all in his TT, because I don't see him getting much better in climbing -- I mean how much can he improve over AC.

BTW, don't count out AC, he had a bad year, partly because of all the other big races he did this year, but also because of injuries in the early part of the tour. AS has not cracked the AC nut and Evans just capitalized on it -- take note of his awesome TT.

BTW, I was betting on AS winning this year, especially in light of AC's problems, but his TT ability was always a question in the back of my mind. That question was answered during the tour. He will not win, barring some really good luck, without a vast improvement in his TT'ing.
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Old 07-25-11, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by john gault View Post
BTW, don't count out AC, he had a bad year, partly because of all the other big races he did this year, but also because of injuries in the early part of the tour. AS has not cracked the AC nut and Evans just capitalized on it -- take note of his awesome TT.
If AC skips the Giro, where he made everyone else look like they were riding bikes with square wheels this year, and rides the TdF he will win it each time he rides it in the short term. Prior to this years TdF, he'd won the previous 6 grand tours he'd entered. At 28(I think?), he has quite a few years of potential dominance left in him, and AS has the misfortune of overlapping that time.

Of course, all this is dependent on what happens early next month. If AC gets the ban, I'd give AS a little more of a chance.
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Old 07-25-11, 07:37 AM
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I was looking at the history of Tour winners from a TT perspective. Some of the riders I don't know about for sure (like Pantani), but it looks like all of them a least back to Lemond were won by riders with very good, if not dominating, TT skills.

Unless Andy improves his TT I think it will be hard.
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Old 07-25-11, 07:42 AM
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With both Cadel and AC being tremendous ITT riders AND having the ability to mark AS in the mountains, I'm afraid I agree. 1'35" more time into Cadel before the TT could have gotten him the win but he only could have gotten that earlier in the race...and who knows if he could have recovered in time for the Alps. His only chance is to attack early and often...but being up by almost three minutes AND still worrying about the last TT is a risky strategy.
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Old 07-25-11, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by DropDeadFred View Post
If he had made a move earlier in the tour this year instead of hanging back and worrying so much about Contador he would have won this year....
I don't know if that would be the case. He didn't look that good and there is no evident that Cadel wouldn't be able to keep up with him in the Pyrenee. Personally, I think some of the time Andy gained on Stage 19 was dued to tactical error by Cadel.
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Old 07-25-11, 07:52 AM
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It's possible. He'll have to get better at the TT, descending, and dealing with wet roads. These are his weaknesses. If he wants to win, he has to make them his strengths and still keep up the climbing skills.

I expect some of the problem is in his head. If he's disgusted with himself and comes out of this years Tour with the drive, motivation, and determination to improve then he's got a chance.
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Old 07-25-11, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Andy Somnifac View Post
If AC skips the Giro, where he made everyone else look like they were riding bikes with square wheels this year, and rides the TdF he will win it each time he rides it in the short term. Prior to this years TdF, he'd won the previous 6 grand tours he'd entered. At 28(I think?), he has quite a few years of potential dominance left in him, and AS has the misfortune of overlapping that time.

Of course, all this is dependent on what happens early next month. If AC gets the ban, I'd give AS a little more of a chance.
I agree with this and why I said that AS has not cracked the AC nut. Contador is just an amazing climber and he's very good at TT.

If AS wants just a chance at winning to tour he must drastically improve his TT. That's just to give him a chance; his only other option is lady luck.

AS only lost by 39 seconds last year.
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Old 07-25-11, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by I_Like_Bike View Post
Yes
He's only 26..
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Old 07-25-11, 07:59 AM
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He's got a chance, but I think needs a few lucky breaks (or unlucky breaks to happen to his competitors). And he needs to use Frank more as a domestique instead of trying to get 1-2. If Frank sacrifices himself and he keeps the teammates he's got now, I think he'll be in contention every year and sooner or later he'll crack it.
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Old 07-25-11, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Andy Somnifac View Post
If AC skips the Giro, where he made everyone else look like they were riding bikes with square wheels this year, and rides the TdF he will win it each time he rides it in the short term. Prior to this years TdF, he'd won the previous 6 grand tours he'd entered. At 28(I think?), he has quite a few years of potential dominance left in him, and AS has the misfortune of overlapping that time.

Of course, all this is dependent on what happens early next month. If AC gets the ban, I'd give AS a little more of a chance.
Agree, he's not likely to beat AC as long as AC isn't starting out tired.

I think Andy's main problem is his height - it prevents him from getting into a good aero position in the TT, and adds some weight that he has to carry. So he either can be light and climb mountains well, or can add weight and do a better TT, but not both.
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Old 07-25-11, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclezealot View Post
He's only 26..
this, and weren't we asking this same question about Cadel.....
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Old 07-25-11, 08:13 AM
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Old 07-25-11, 08:16 AM
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As a big Schleck fan, it kind of pains me to say this. But BMC just outperformed Leopard Trek.
Andy pulled a gigantic advantage out, only to have it cut in half by Cadel at the end of the stage. Cadel wouldn't have been in that spot if BMC hadn't protected him the few stages before.

I think Andy needs to improve his TT skills, but Cadel pulled out all of the stops. He even beat Cancellara by 1:27 (albeit on much dryer roads). In order for Andy to win it at the TT he would have had to pulled off a third place, beating Contador who himself was another 59 seconds behind Cadel. Let's not focus so much on Andy's slower TT, but on Cadel's amazing TT ability, the guy was riding with a mission.

Had the TT been stage 16 instead of 19 I think Andy would have pushed harder to overcome the deficit. He knew Cadel was stronger in the TT but Cadel didn't have the climbing legs that Andy did this year. I don't think anyone expected Cadel to put in such a great TT. A good one, yes, a GREAT one..no.
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Old 07-25-11, 08:19 AM
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Schleck's chances to win would improve if he signed George Hincapie to his team. Just sayin.
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Old 07-25-11, 08:19 AM
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I think I might add that you can all safely assume Pcad is no future Tour de France threat.
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Old 07-25-11, 08:19 AM
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He can win it if the stars align for him. To be honest I never thought Cadel Evans would ever win the Tour, and this year everything just fell into place for him.
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Old 07-25-11, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by DropDeadFred View Post
If he had made a move earlier in the tour this year instead of hanging back and worrying so much about Contador he would have won this year....
Indeed. The announcers on Eurosport were talking before stage 17 about the possibility that 17/18/19 could be cancelled on account of snow, which would be hilarious because at that point Voeckler would have won. And the only reason that situation was even possible is because of the distinct lack of attacks during 12/13/14.

Reading back over the history of the TdF, it seems that the original organizers were disappointed that after a few years, people just adopted the peloton tactics and there was very little actual racing going on except at key spots. They tried numerous changes to try to break up the peloton, but since it's still going 100 years later, I guess they weren't too successful.

On the other hand, the lack of early attacks led to a much more exciting finish, where we literally had no idea who would win, even at the end of the Alps.
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Old 07-25-11, 08:26 AM
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I really thought that Perez from Euskaltel would have taken that stage where he had that amazing lead off the peleton...just goes to show how hard it is up there alone and what Andy did was nothing short of amazing...Contador didn't have the endurance to pull it off this year...If Andy had made any attempt earlier in the race I think that move would have won him the race for sure. This one really went to the sprinters...and andy is no sprinter...
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