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Andy Schleck Discussion thread.

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21 Feb 2014 15:30

Meh, it's his first race of the year. When has he ever been good in his first race? So long as he doesn't get back into the dnf pattern, I'm not concerned. I'll wait until Ardennes and the Tour.
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21 Feb 2014 20:07

Afrank wrote:Meh, it's his first race of the year. When has he ever been good in his first race? So long as he doesn't get back into the dnf pattern, [B]I'm not concerned. I'll wait until Ardennes and the Tour.


I am concerned Af. He should be able to go with the 2nd or 3rd or 4th groups on the climbs even at this early stage. I don't know but I assume he has done the same training bloc as Frank. I'll try and remain positive until the Ardennes but not a good start.
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21 Feb 2014 20:13

Maybe we are finding out that some riders are not as talented as we thought they were.
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21 Feb 2014 20:21

Taxus4a wrote:I think he will test himself tomorrow.


for many people , including andy, tomorrow will be a good test day

who will fail it hard or pass it brilliantly will give a hint at what to expect from their season.
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21 Feb 2014 21:19

Afrank wrote:Meh, it's his first race of the year. When has he ever been good in his first race? So long as he doesn't get back into the dnf pattern, I'm not concerned. I'll wait until Ardennes and the Tour.


It was his hope to be among the 10 best climbers and instead he loses 17 minutes. :eek: This season he's looked at his races as being more of a confidence builder in addition to building his form, with the latter being what his norm was prior to his injury. It may be too early to play taps on his ever getting back to where he was but it seems to me that at best he just gave up when he saw that he couldn't climb with those that he aspired to be with and at worst his prospects of getting back to the elite level of grand tour performers are getting quite bleak.:(
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21 Feb 2014 21:33

One thing that might partially explain his "performance" if you can call it that.... is that this was a short and fast stage, and so what you need for that is race rhythm and intensity training, none of which he has.... he has trained general stamina but not so much intensity. So when the intensity picks up on the final laps he can't follow.

Of course there are riders like Froome who also do their first race, but Froome at least is a category of his own I would say.... plus Andy has always gotten his victories through endurance and attrition. His best performances have always been at the hardest, 200+km races, or at the third week in the Tour, that's when it really starts to be to his advantage (cf. his top-20 ITT performances in the 3rd week of the Tour, when he is actually a bad TT'er).

Hence also why I don't think he can do well on Green Mountain. It is simply too short and too early, it will be raced really fast and he can't follow then. People like Sagan, Gallopin and Cancellara will likely finish higher than he.
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21 Feb 2014 22:26

I see Andy rolled in with Volderke today.
Nice company... Demis are on me.
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22 Feb 2014 01:08

Christian wrote:One thing that might partially explain his "performance" if you can call it that.... is that this was a short and fast stage, and so what you need for that is race rhythm and intensity training, none of which he has.... he has trained general stamina but not so much intensity. So when the intensity picks up on the final laps he can't follow.

Of course there are riders like Froome who also do their first race, but Froome at least is a category of his own I would say.... plus Andy has always gotten his victories through endurance and attrition. His best performances have always been at the hardest, 200+km races, or at the third week in the Tour, that's when it really starts to be to his advantage (cf. his top-20 ITT performances in the 3rd week of the Tour, when he is actually a bad TT'er).

Hence also why I don't think he can do well on Green Mountain. It is simply too short and too early, it will be raced really fast and he can't follow then. People like Sagan, Gallopin and Cancellara will likely finish higher than he.


It is more simple... Main thing is that he is not here looking for GC, as his brother, he is just to test himself tomorrow... but he must consider in the test that he today didnt give everything, as another riders...

You can take into consideration what you said, but it is not important.
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22 Feb 2014 02:54

I still believe.

He managed top 20 in the Tour last year on the back of a terrible two years. He will return :)
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22 Feb 2014 04:33

To put Andy finishing 17 minutes back today into perspective with past years...

In 2011 in Andalucia he finished 23 minutes back on stage 2 (also race a couple tropheo's this year, but finished back there in each).

In 2010 in TA, he finished 8:30 back in stage 3, then 7 back the next stage, and 20 back in Chieti.

In 2009 in Cali, he did well to finish 10th the 2nd stage, 3rd stage though he finished 16 minutes back.

So in conclusion, finishing back there in his first race of the season is nothing new for Andy. And as we can see by his overall performances in those 3 years, finishing minutes back in his first race can potentially have very little affect on his overall year. Now of course, this year is slightly different to those years with him having been fighting to come back from a couple bad years. But his goals remain the same and the point stands that this performance is in-line with his first performances in some of his best years. starting the year slowly is how Andy does things, I don't think it a big necessity for him to be up there competing for the win for him to be good in the Ardennes and Tour. His form of build up to his targets isn't the same as the Froome or Contador approach of winning or placing high in all their first races, he follows a gradual build up to his goals.

So for that reason, I don't think there is much point in reading a ton into his result today. If he fall back into the dnf pattern he had in early 2013 and 2012 then I'll start to worry. But as of now, there isn't much reason to be too concerned.
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22 Feb 2014 11:00

No one argues that it isn't normal for Andy. The point is that I personally would think that considering his results in the past few years he would be a bit more hungry to perform.
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22 Feb 2014 14:13

I think he's hungry to perform, but at the right races. He's following his traditional build up plan, looking to perform at Ardennes and Tour. Sure a good result in Oman would be nice, but you have to remember it's only his first race of the year, and his traditional build up to a peak calls for just riding a couple races to first get his racing fitness together.

And if he is a bit more hungry to perform outside of Ardennes and Tour this year then I would look more at higher profile races races like PN, Pais Vasco, Suiss, etc.
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22 Feb 2014 14:30

It's more concerning that he talked about hoping to be among the top 10 climbers and then finish 17 minutes back on a stage that isn't the queen stage.

Any idea how he did today?
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22 Feb 2014 15:16

woodburn wrote:It's more concerning that he talked about hoping to be among the top 10 climbers and then finish 17 minutes back on a stage that isn't the queen stage.

Any idea how he did today?


2:49 back in 34th. Not good, but not terrible either.
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22 Feb 2014 15:20

Afrank wrote:2:49 back in 34th. Not good, but not terrible either.


It's within reason
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22 Feb 2014 15:22

Afrank wrote:2:49 back in 34th. Not good, but not terrible either.

Judged by his own expectations, he failed miserably.
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22 Feb 2014 15:24

woodburn wrote:It's more concerning that he talked about hoping to be among the top 10 climbers and then finish 17 minutes back on a stage that isn't the queen stage.

Any idea how he did today?


This. If he hadn't said he wanted to stay with the top 10 on the climbs it would be a normal Andy early season performance. Given that he had expectations it isn't a good sign IMO.
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22 Feb 2014 15:25

He did fine by his expected standard, crappy based on his own expectations
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22 Feb 2014 15:26

Afrank wrote:2:49 back in 34th. Not good, but not terrible either.


Okay so an improvement today but certainly not what he said he wanted to accomplish. Sure beats 17 mins though :)
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Vincezo Nibali joins Anquetil, Gimondi, Merckx, Hinault and Contador as only the 6th winner of all 3 Grand Tours! Bravo Lo Squalo!
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