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contador, disrespected?

Old 10-30-09, 07:37 PM
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contador, disrespected?

The Alberto Contador Drama Drags On

Alberto Contador must be wondering what he has to do to finally find some peace. A two-time winner of the Tour de France, and a winner of both the Giro d`Italia and the Vuelta d`Espana, there is no doubt that the Spanish cyclist is the best in the world. His natural ability in the mountains has now been consolidated with great improvements to his time trialling, and, when he is riding at his best, there is no-one that can beat him – not even Lance Armstrong.

Yet it`s difficult not to feel sorry for Alberto Contador. Surely a rider this good should have a whole team built around him? Surely he shouldn`t have had to fight against his own teammates and manager to win this year`s Tour? And, surely, he should be settled and be given every support from his team to allow him to continue to win, and even possibly attempt to win more Grand Tours than any other rider in history?
His record speaks for itself. Four Grand Tour victories. Still only 27 years old. And yet he does not get the respect he deserves.

This week his Astana team, which holds Contador`s contract until 2011, missed the deadline for the renewal of their UCI ProTour license. The UCI then confirmed that under its rules, this would allow Contador to break his contract and join another team.

However, the Kazakh-based Astana team management quickly denied that this was true. They say that they are confident that Alberto Contador will be staying with them in 2010.

“We have absolutely no problems with Alberto Contador, and he will compete with Astana next season,” Kazakh Cycling Federation deputy president Nikolai Proskurin said.

Proskurin claimed that the UCI never commented on Contador now being able to leave the team.

“Certain people, it is unclear who, have completely dreamed this up. There has been no occasion on which they [the UCI] have made an official statement on this issue,” Proskurin said.

Proskurin added that the delays in the licence renewal were due only to technical problems, and that all documentation has now been submitted. “The issue is simply that we need to provide additional documents because we have changed our sponsors,” he said.

Contador himself said recently that getting out of his Astana contract, which he clearly wants to, is “not so simple.” He continued: "My future career is being decided right now and I think between this week and next we will clear up many of the doubts that confront us now and many of the unknowns will be clarified."

Contador faced the pressure from Lance Armstrong at this year`s Tour de France – both on and off the bike – with great restraint, never cracking under the obvious stress that he was under. However, it is clear not that the unsettled situation with Astana is beginning to irritate him.

Contador's main concern is if his future team will be able to fully support his goal of defending the Tour de France title. He wants to have his future decided as soon as possible so he can relax and get on with his training undisturbed.

"That is why my advisers are looking at options, but from one meeting it is not that simple. The process could go on for more than a month, but I cannot face this through December," he said.

So what are we to make of this puzzle in which Contador, the dominant rider in the peloton, finds himself? Could he be partly to blame for this situation? Ex-Astana manager Johann Bruyneel recently claimed in an interview that he believed that Contador had become conceited, and that “he still has a lot to learn.”

"He [Contador] continues to say that he won the Tour on his own. That is completly untrue: without the team he wouldn't have won the Tour that comfortably - maybe he would've won it, but still..." said Bruyneel.

"He started to act solo, together with his brother, who's his personal mechanic and press agent; I think that was sad. As it is now he remains with Astana, if they can get their paperwork done, and I'm doubting that. We talked about the team for 2010 and he knew we would start with a new team. But none of us thought about extending the co-operation," Bruyneel admitted.

"I had a professional relationship with Contador. The click to turn it into a partnership, like with Lance, never came. It had nothing to do with the comeback from Lance, it existed before. Between us there was always tension. I don't know why. For both of us it's better to split paths. Maybe later we can get back together when he's become older and wiser.

"The problem was that whatever I decided - the race plan, the team tactics, the riders selection - he always expressed his doubts. We all have the experience: we don't make mistakes anymore; while Alberto still has much to learn."

These comments echo those made by Lance Armstrong after Contador lost the lead in Paris-Nice due to hunger knock – Armstrong said then that Contador was “naïve”. The media also seem to be unable to resist criticizing Contador, especially the English-speaking media. For example, Paul Sherwin, ex-pro-turned-commentator, claimed during the Tour that the Spaniard was “not a very intelligent bike rider.”

It was an extraordinary comment to be made about a man who was wearing yellow at the time, and who was clearly dominating the race.

It would be foolish however to argue against Bruyneel`s comments that Contador “has a lot to learn” - he is after all only 27, young in terms of Grand Tour champions. But perhaps that`s the thought that scares Bruyneel, Armstrong, the Schlecks and all the other contenders the most – Alberto Contador could continue to dominate the Grand Tours, and possibly every other race he enters, for many years to come. He did it this year with more than half his own team riding for another rider, and with less than the full support of his team manager.

Regarding possible teams that Contador may join next year, if he can get out of his Astana contract, one of the favourites to sign him is Casse d`Epargne. Yesterday the Casse leader, Alessandro Valverde, made it clear that he would welcome Contador on the team, despite both men being Tour contenders.

“Before talking about that [leadership in the Tour] we have to wait and see how things unfold,” he said. “But anyway. I believe his presence in the team would be great. I respect him a lot. He has already won two Tours de France, and I still have to win my first one.”

But surely if Contador joined a team like Casse d`Epargne, it would be a move in the wrong direction. He would be joining a team that already has a strong, obvious leader, not a team built just for him. Contador is managed, of course, by his own brother, and if there was ever a time for strong management, it is now. Contador needs to find not a squad that is not just a team, but a family, designed for one purpose: to help him win. Think of Lance and Discovery, and before that the US Postal Team: they were teams designed with no other goal than to take their leader to victory. And they did that, seven times.

Contador has had his troubles in the past couple of years with the alleged links to the Operation Puerto doping ring (although he was cleared of any wrongdoing), and in the current climate, with these doping scandals breaking out every week, it is difficult to build any rider into a hero. Yet at the very least, Contador deserves respect, and he deserves a great team built around him. Only then with cycling fans, and cycling history, be able to judge just how good the little Spaniard truly is.

Last edited by kesa101; 10-30-09 at 07:52 PM.
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Old 10-30-09, 08:16 PM
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still trying to figure out what "desrespected?" means
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Old 10-30-09, 08:18 PM
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oh the wit... i tried to edit it as soon as i noticed it, but for some reason couldn`t... still, appreciate the comment...
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Old 10-30-09, 08:20 PM
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last week I was passed by a Ford Explorer filled with presumably clever adolescents, they yelled "Contadorrrrrrrr! Go go go!" at me. I guess that was a compliment?
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Old 10-30-09, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by kesa101 View Post
oh the wit... i tried to edit it as soon as i noticed it, but for some reason couldn`t... still, appreciate the comment...
I'm just kidding with ya...I am full of typos...
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Old 10-30-09, 08:22 PM
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honestly, I think Contador would win the Tour even with an average team around him...I can't think of another rider that can claim that...even Lance during his 7 TDF wins, I doubt he would have won without a team dedicated to him winning.
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Old 10-30-09, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by velocanuck View Post
honestly, I think Contador would win the Tour even with an average team around him..
It would be very tough, particularly if there's a team time trial.
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Old 10-30-09, 08:32 PM
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My impressions of Contador, watching the 2009 Tour, was quite negative. However, after reading a few articles about him, I definitely respect him. He had to fight through a lot on Astana! Definitely want to see him join a strong team with him as the leader, and watch the interesting fight that will unfold in 2010 TdF!
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Old 10-30-09, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
It would be very tough, particularly if there's a team time trial.
yeah...but 2010...no TTT at the TDF.
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Old 10-30-09, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by kesa101 View Post
It would be foolish however to argue against Bruyneel`s comments that Contador “has a lot to learn” - he is after all only 27, young in terms of Grand Tour champions. But perhaps that`s the thought that scares Bruyneel, Armstrong, the Schlecks and all the other contenders the most – Alberto Contador could continue to dominate the Grand Tours, and possibly every other race he enters, for many years to come. He did it this year with more than half his own team riding for another rider, and with less than the full support of his team manager.
bingo. I can't wait for him to get his own team so he can tell Bruyneel, Armstrong & Co. to shove it.
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Old 10-30-09, 10:25 PM
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After reading the article let me be the first to say..............DUH!
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Old 10-30-09, 10:42 PM
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there is something about him that gives me a bad vibe. i cant stand him.
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Old 10-30-09, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by tubescreamerx View Post
last week I was passed by a Ford Explorer filled with presumably clever adolescents, they yelled "Contadorrrrrrrr! Go go go!" at me. I guess that was a compliment?
Wow, even around here I cannot imagine teenagers yelling out Pro Cycling-related insults. If you're going to get something yelled at you on the bike there's worse things to hear.

Did they "fingerbang" you?

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Old 10-30-09, 10:57 PM
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"there is something about him that gives me a bad vibe. i cant stand him. "


It is funny how people have different reactions. I would say the same thing about Lance. In fact, there is nothing better than watching Contador smoke him on a climb or a TT.
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Old 10-30-09, 11:03 PM
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I hope Contador finally joins GCE and ends this nonsense (lol Quickstep or Garmin ?).

There are no excuses after that (best kit, best bikes, they speak Spanish). He can help Valverde during the Dauphine and Vuelta and then the Spanish armada can work for Contador during Le Tour.
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Old 10-31-09, 07:37 AM
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Watching or reading english speaking media and getting a clearly unbiased view of anything is impossible. US media more specifically. That is not in cycling alone, but ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. If you ever read papers or watch news in other countries about the events here and around the world you would quickly learn that US media is incredible and amazingly sugar coated and manipulated. It is worse than in some communist countries actually. The only difference is has a lot of nice ads.

Contador has been praised for his accomplishments so far by just about everyone but US media, which sees Armstrong as god. Not different than Spain sees Contador as a god really. However, US media tend to repeat things Armstrong and his supporters say as if it came down written in one of Mose's tablets!

Time will tell the true story. I suspect even if Contador is legally bound to stay with Astana he will still win the Tour next year. Sadly, his team has to be invited, which may or may not happen.

As for Bruyneel, he is even more sad than Armstrong. I can see Lance trying to hang at his age to anything he could, but Bruyneel has no reason to make it personal as he has. All his words actually sound like Armstrong words. Contador is yet to say the first negative thing about him and he should have a lot of material. He has been very controlled actually in my opinion. But Bruyneel feel the need to attack for finding someone that is not a "yes sir" man that has a personality that clashed with him? Who is the one that "has a lot to learn here"?

Anyway, this has been hashed and re-hashed. Time will tell..........
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Old 10-31-09, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by dgasmd View Post
As for Bruyneel, he is even more sad than Armstrong. I can see Lance trying to hang at his age to anything he could, but Bruyneel has no reason to make it personal as he has. All his words actually sound like Armstrong words. Contador is yet to say the first negative thing about him and he should have a lot of material. He has been very controlled actually in my opinion. But Bruyneel feel the need to attack for finding someone that is not a "yes sir" man that has a personality that clashed with him? Who is the one that "has a lot to learn here"?
Bruyneel is starting the headgames for next year's TdF a little early, that's all.

For him to complain about Contaor's behavior in the TdF or being second guessed when it comes to strategy is pathetically laughable. If his real life persona is anything like what is revealed in "We Might As Well Win", this is not surprising, however.

Go AC!

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Old 10-31-09, 07:59 AM
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What's funny is you don't hear Lance talk about other ridiers like the way Conty talked about him.

Conty has proven himself to be a little snoot. Albeit one hell of a cyclist, yet a scrawny little snoot none-the-less.

I actually liked him until he dumped his own team to obtain self-glory. He still would have won the tour, but he only gave a hoot about himself. What a conceited little snob. No wonder Lance wants to form his own team. Lance is right, it's a TEAM sport, and Conty has no idea what a TEAM is.

imho
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Old 10-31-09, 08:06 AM
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Team Radioshack is full of narfs. Everything I've read suggests that Bruyneel was trying to make Contador lose.
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Old 10-31-09, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Patriot View Post
What's funny is you don't hear Lance talk about other ridiers like the way Conty talked about him.

Conty has proven himself to be a little snoot. Albeit one hell of a cyclist, yet a scrawny little snoot none-the-less.

I actually liked him until he dumped his own team to obtain self-glory. He still would have won the tour, but he only gave a hoot about himself. What a conceited little snob. No wonder Lance wants to form his own team. Lance is right, it's a TEAM sport, and Conty has no idea what a TEAM is.

imho
What, exactly, about Lance trying to hold Contador back so that he could have a shot at the title reflects teamwork? Contador had every right to look out for his self-interest. He was the best rider on Astana. His win was better for the team than anything else he could've done...
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Old 10-31-09, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Patriot View Post
What's funny is you don't hear Lance talk about other ridiers like the way Conty talked about him.

Conty has proven himself to be a little snoot. Albeit one hell of a cyclist, yet a scrawny little snoot none-the-less.

I actually liked him until he dumped his own team to obtain self-glory. He still would have won the tour, but he only gave a hoot about himself. What a conceited little snob. No wonder Lance wants to form his own team. Lance is right, it's a TEAM sport, and Conty has no idea what a TEAM is.

imho
you're kidding right? all Lance did during the tour, and the weeks leading to it was talk crap about his "teammate" Contador, while Contador waited till after the tour, after Lance left the team, to speak his mind. It also rubs me the wrong way that after his "teammate" Contador won instead of celebrating with him he went and had his own little shack party.

Also way that Lance road during a few stages certainly was against the benefit of the team leader, Contador, but thats another can of worms.

btw- shouldn't this be in pro cycling?
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Old 10-31-09, 08:15 AM
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He dumped his whole team, not just Lance. he didn't want to keep pace and help out anyone. It was all about him.

The fact was, if he worked with his team, they could have taken all three top spots. As it was, only Lance got on the podium with him. And only because Lance is Lance. I'm sorry, but after watching, it seemed so obvious that Conty tossed his whole away like a dirty rag for self glory. That's not what I would call a team mate. Then the guy insults Lance out of jealousy. Say what you want, but that kid is a snob.

Like I said, I used to really like him, but.... Until he proves otherwise, that 's my view of him now. I hate to say it, but it's true.
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Old 10-31-09, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Unagidon View Post
My impressions of Contador, watching the 2009 Tour, was quite negative. However, after reading a few articles about him, I definitely respect him. He had to fight through a lot on Astana! Definitely want to see him join a strong team with him as the leader, and watch the interesting fight that will unfold in 2010 TdF!
+1...That sums it up for me, too.
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Old 10-31-09, 08:23 AM
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Team player or not,
he'll piss dirty when technology catches up...
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Old 10-31-09, 08:24 AM
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LOL you don't deserve respect you "earn" it. He has earned respect as the winner of the TDF and as a racer. Whether he has earned it as a "team" member is to be decided by his fellow racers and team members.
Lance also has the reputation for being arrogant and there have been some interesting feedback by former team mates, etc. Some love this "strength".
Contador seems to be a similar personality and two can not be on the same team. Everyone should have expected this type of clashing when similar personalities are on the same team vying for the same role.

Apparently once Astana failed to secure their license all riders under contract with Astana are now free to leave and seek other teams with no repercussions, financial or otherwise.
Whether he could have won the Tour on another team, etc. is fodder for discussions over a beer but not much else. It is done and over. Next year we get to see what Contador can accomplish or fail to.
I would imagine it will be a bit difficult for Contador to get a great team and contract only because a rider of his potential carries a ton of needed support with it. I mean you may have to rebuild a team to get the most out of a rider like him. What if your team is nearly complete and you have one or two team leaders. Do they want to turn over the reins to Contador and become "seconds"? Maybe if you realize you don't have those abilities and having Contador on your team makes it easier for you to shine and the team to do better overall as well as taking some of the heat/responsibility off of you. After all your contract is signed and sealed and your getting paid regardless.

I can't wait to see what happens next year.
Contador will need proper support to win the Tour and his team members would be insane not to do what they could to help him/the team win it. After all it means more prestige and money for them as well as possibly better contracts or maybe a contract itself for some or all of them in the future.

Lance has Father Time standing in the shadows and has a much more limited racing life left. It will be much more important for him to have a team that can help him win than for Contador...abilities do fall off as you age.
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