Originally Posted by movingtarget
Of course he is the rider to beat. His record says so. But why excuses for some carry more weight than for others is just hard to take sometimes. Evans got absolutely hammered until he won the Worlds and then the criticism gradually cooled. Gesink cops it every time he races and not just by the Dutch. I can imagine what Gesink would have copped if he lost the Vuelta the way Rodriguez did. I am starting to feel the same way about Schleck. It's easy to kick someone when they are down. Schleck should not need extra motivation if he reads the papers and this forum. I would like to see all three of them do well in the Tour or at least turn up healthy and in good form.
What can you criticize Contador for that isn't clinic related? His 2011 Tour performance? It isn't reasonable in your eyes that he could've been fatigued from the Giro and feeling the effects from his multiple crashes? You can't fathom that he was less than his best in this year's Vuelta? It was believed by some that Nibali spent too much time away from competition when he attempted to defend his Vuelta win in 2011.
Evans and Andy were/are hammered more for their media stumbles than their performances. Since Evans' performances have caught up to his actual potential and his media savvy has been sharpened he's less of a target.
Gesink gets pummeled about his performances whether it's due to the effect of his multiple injuries/crashes or just due to general disappointment on the part of who's doing the pummeling. I've been one that still holds out hope for him and has supported him for the most part. Gesink's crash in the 2009 Vuelta still lingers in many conversations when it the topic of "what could've been" is talked about.
As far as Andy goes I've ceased with my usual criticisms of him and I was probably one of the more frequent posters who made fun of his foibles. This year he's become more of a tragic figure with his season a total wash due to his injury and his drama with Bruyneel.
Now speaking of Contador, you apparently haven't spent much time in the clinic, where he is not much respect by a nice sized faction, if you take into consideration all the less than flattering nicknames he's been given.
Ultimately who says what degree of weight is given to a certain perspective? The number of people that agree with it or the validity of their argument, which of course is a matter of opinion?
I realize it's not ideal or realistic, but I'm also always hoping that all the principles show up at the big events in their best form, avoid the crashes and give us all the epic battles that we keep thinking would've been but lately hasn't been the case.
I agree though that there has been a bit of the mob mentality when it comes to disparaging posts about various riders while at the same time there are factions that support other riders without variation, no matter what.