That is some damned impressive homework, if in actuality, all of these riders are still under contract to Astana for next season. I have no idea where you could get the details on all their contracts, but if you have done so, you are truly a remarkable fan... and you probably need to get a life.racerralph said:Okay, so lets re-assess the current situation at Astana, and come up with a team for 2010. Of course we've got our hostage,(1) Alberto Contador, then we've got Andreas Kloden(2) who might be secretly happy to be back with Vino. Then of course Vino himself(3), creating his own form of chaos in the peloton.Then there's Popovych who is still in contract(4)and Astana would be foolish to give away, And Zubeldia(5) who is also in contract. Benjamin Noval(6) doesn't seem to have any problem with AC, and in this depleted squad he would surely make the TdF. Max Iglinsky(7) who, I feel, is better than this years Rast or Muravyev. Jesus Hernandez(8) AC's personal teammate. And finally Janez Brajkovic(9) youngster that I hope stays put with Astana, only for Contador's sake.
There you have it. A squad that is not as depleted as some would have you believe, and without all the tremendous pressure that was exerted by Lance, a living legend, who divided the team, fostered betrayals and nurtured internal tension. AND, that team isn't even that weak in the TTT department.
Add to that, the fact that as previously stated, during a Tour racers interact with other teams, to their betterment. Some one else might get AC(but I doubt it) but it ain't going to be Lance. If Lance's team can't put AC in a significant hole with a TTT(provided there is even one included) AC will blow Lance's doors off in the Mountains this time, with no restraint like he had to suffer this year. If there is no TTT, man, it will be a simple task for AC to defend his title, but we'll see. The start is still a full 10 months away, and the whole world can change by then.
+1.Mellow Velo said:Were AC to lose time in any hypothetical scenario folks wish to debate, it would simply mean that he would attack earlier in a mountain stage.
It's like saying, what if there are 5 MTF' s in next year's tour route?
How would the "Old Boy Network" cope with that scenario?
Astana will be at the next year's Tour, if AC remains. No question.
There's too much obsessing, over too few riders and only one event in the calander.
We've had a truly dramatic day at the Vuelta. Surely this deserves more of our immediate attention, than something that may, or may not take place, in 10 months time?