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Teams & Riders Alberto Contador Discussion Thread

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Red Rick said:
Wanted to read this thread through, it suddenly had 5+ pages extra.

1. He's been mediocre in short flat tt's since his ban, once he starts to suck at medium lenght hilly ones, I'll get worried when he sucks in the hilly ones.

2. First day, no need to say more

3. Froome was just as bad

4. How do you know the difference between bad day or bad form?

This is really the heart of things. Bad day day one does not indicate bad form week 1,2 or 3…but we all tend to use any little thing we have to stare into the crystal ball or read the tea leaves. divorcing brain from emotions usually required at this stage.
 
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cellardoor said:
Honestly, there's only one person I can imagine dropping Contador in the mountains and that's Froome. Froome has far more to worry about at this point in my opinion as he was out and out favourite to take time on his rivals today.

This. I am not that concerned about Nibali. I don't see him putting 2+ minutes on Contador again on the cobble stage. Last year he was undoubtedly strong there, but had some good luck due to the mechanicals that plagued the other contenders. Odds are it won't play out the same way. Thats not to say that he is that much inferior, but he's the same way two years in a row.

To Froome, Contador is the benchmark. To Alberto, it's about Froome. Pistolero has been inconsistent (sometimes spectacular) in TTs his entire career, so even not at his best today, I'm not that worried considering he lost less than 10 seconds on Froome, which is about what I would expect the gap to be when both are at 100% in a TT like today.

Beat Froome, win the Tour.
 
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cellardoor said:
Big Doopie said:
cellardoor said:
Honestly, there's only one person I can imagine dropping Contador in the mountains and that's Froome. Froome has far more to worry about at this point in my opinion as he was out and out favourite to take time on his rivals today.

Really?

CoNtador has beaten him in every itt since TDF 2013 (sometimes by a lot) - apart from the dauphine prologue in 2014 where froome got the better by a few seconds only.

And we know that CoNtador was suffering from TERRIBLE allergies throughout 2013.

TDF 2013 is the one that really matters though. Other than that, what do we really have, Vuelta '14 where Froome was clearly struggling for form?

to be fair, contador is in the same boat as Froome (both crashed out and injured) I guess, Contador has a better form than froome (that means he got better TDF form that Froomey)
 
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Electress said:
SeriousSam said:
Electress said:
SeriousSam said:
Whatever you thought his chances were before the TT; now they are less. While the sign of the change in chance is undeniable (negative), the magnitude is, of course, small.

Not at all.

As I expected Contador to have a slow start, and Froome to be somewhat better than he was today, and I believe Froome is his biggest rival, it is quite logical that (in my eyes, if clearly not yours), Alberto's chances are at least the same, if not increased by today's relative performances. It all depends upon the premise you start with.
That's true. How you ought to change your belief about each of the Big 4's chances, given today's result, depends on what you expected to happen.

I expected Nibali to lose time to Contador and Froome and Quintana to lose a larger amount than he did. Nibali ended up gaining on all of them and Quintana lost much less than I thought. For that reason alone, I upgrade Nibali and Quintana relative to Contador and Froome. Second, other then just changes in GC, we received signals of their form today. For those, the directional effect is much the same. Q and N stronger than I thought, C and F weaker.

What were you expecting that you think AC's chances are at least as good?

Never fond of the words 'ought to'.

I felt Nibali would be a little weaker than he was, but the degree to which he was better than expected was not significant to me, so in terms of underlying form…meaningless. Neither indicative of one thing or another. As it would have been had he been a little worst than I expected, although I'll acknowledge I'd have preferred it, emotionally speaking.

I believed Nairo would have been working on the TT more than his rivals, as this is a relative weakness; strong TT riders were never going to invest a lot of effort in something they were already good at with so few TT kms this year. (Indeed, Froome said this in his interview). So, Nairo was not entirely surprising for me, especially given the tailwind the earlier starters had. Which also favoured Pinot.

In short, no significant variation from expectations for me means no significant indication of form from what I anticipated, so meaningless to interpret anything about 'direction'. Insignificant is insignificant.

I think it is fair to say, however, that Nibali bettering Froome today means that il squalo is at a very high level and he will certainly take the fight to Froome and co. on the Mur and on the pave even before we hit the mountains.

Especially on the pave, Froome and Quintana risk losing significant time. Judging on AC's previous Tour experiences, if he doesn't have a bad day like last year he should be ok on the cobbles. But Nibali definitely let his rivals know that he isn't here to race for second place.
 
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Jelantik said:
cellardoor said:
Big Doopie said:
cellardoor said:
Honestly, there's only one person I can imagine dropping Contador in the mountains and that's Froome. Froome has far more to worry about at this point in my opinion as he was out and out favourite to take time on his rivals today.

Really?

CoNtador has beaten him in every itt since TDF 2013 (sometimes by a lot) - apart from the dauphine prologue in 2014 where froome got the better by a few seconds only.

And we know that CoNtador was suffering from TERRIBLE allergies throughout 2013.

TDF 2013 is the one that really matters though. Other than that, what do we really have, Vuelta '14 where Froome was clearly struggling for form?

to be fair, contador is in the same boat as Froome (both crashed out and injured) I guess, Contador has a better form than froome (that means he got better TDF form that Froomey)

I'm not saying the Vuelta wasn't a fair fight, but it's clear for one reason or another that Froome just wasn't firing on all cylinders. I don't think it's fair to measure his TTing ability by that.
 
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rhubroma said:
Electress said:
SeriousSam said:
Electress said:
SeriousSam said:
Whatever you thought his chances were before the TT; now they are less. While the sign of the change in chance is undeniable (negative), the magnitude is, of course, small.

Not at all.

As I expected Contador to have a slow start, and Froome to be somewhat better than he was today, and I believe Froome is his biggest rival, it is quite logical that (in my eyes, if clearly not yours), Alberto's chances are at least the same, if not increased by today's relative performances. It all depends upon the premise you start with.
That's true. How you ought to change your belief about each of the Big 4's chances, given today's result, depends on what you expected to happen.

I expected Nibali to lose time to Contador and Froome and Quintana to lose a larger amount than he did. Nibali ended up gaining on all of them and Quintana lost much less than I thought. For that reason alone, I upgrade Nibali and Quintana relative to Contador and Froome. Second, other then just changes in GC, we received signals of their form today. For those, the directional effect is much the same. Q and N stronger than I thought, C and F weaker.

What were you expecting that you think AC's chances are at least as good?

Never fond of the words 'ought to'.

I felt Nibali would be a little weaker than he was, but the degree to which he was better than expected was not significant to me, so in terms of underlying form…meaningless. Neither indicative of one thing or another. As it would have been had he been a little worst than I expected, although I'll acknowledge I'd have preferred it, emotionally speaking.

I believed Nairo would have been working on the TT more than his rivals, as this is a relative weakness; strong TT riders were never going to invest a lot of effort in something they were already good at with so few TT kms this year. (Indeed, Froome said this in his interview). So, Nairo was not entirely surprising for me, especially given the tailwind the earlier starters had. Which also favoured Pinot.

In short, no significant variation from expectations for me means no significant indication of form from what I anticipated, so meaningless to interpret anything about 'direction'. Insignificant is insignificant.

I think it is fair to say, however, that Nibali bettering Froome today means that il squalo is at a very high level and he will certainly take the fight to Froome and co. on the Mur and on the pave even before we hit the mountains.

Especially on the pave, Froome and Quintana risk losing significant time. Judging on AC's previous Tour experiences, if he doesn't have a bad day like last year he should be ok on the cobbles. But Nibali definitely let his rivals know that he isn't here to race for second place.

I'm not sure you can infer much from relatively minor differences in a short TT about how riders will be a week or so from now in the mountains. I also think much is being made of the cobbles, but I agree there is real potential for differences in bike handling ability to tell, especially if there is adverse weather.

I never thought Nibali would come to ride for second place, and I seriously doubt any of his rivals did either! Indeed, I think they would have assumed he'd be the danger man in the first week.
 
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I'm not sure you can infer much from relatively minor differences in a short TT about how riders will be a week or so from now in the mountains. I also think much is being made of the cobbles, but I agree there is real potential for differences in bike handling ability to tell, especially if there is adverse weather.

I never thought Nibali would come to ride for second place, and I seriously doubt any of his rivals did either! Indeed, I think they would have assumed he'd be the danger man in the first week.

I said I thought it was significant that he road faster than Froome and Contador and I stand by that. Now giving his ride at the Italian NC and how he showed up at the Tour last year under very similar conditions, I think it's fair to say that Nibali is in great shape.

I also think its reasonable to say that Contador isn't as good as he was at the beginning of last year's Tour and thus Nibali's position decidedly improves before him. Now given that Froome was significantly stronger than Nibali recently at the Dauphine, but was slower than the Sicilian today, this too provides us with further evidence to say Nibali's ride (while certainly not decisive) is undeniably indicative of a very high level of competitiveness.

I'm so curious to see how he does against Froome, Contador and Quintana in the mountains if they all make it there safe and with not too big time differences among them.
 
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rhubroma said:
I also think its reasonable to say that Contador isn't as good as he was at the beginning of last year's Tour .

This is not a given in my view. We didn't see Contador in a TT and when you think about it the situation was very similar in a way. Nibali, even more underestimated at the time than now, took time on Contador and Froome in Sheffield and then went on to take very significant time on Contador on the cobbles. Perhaps the reality is simply that Nibali is better than people have been giving him credit for.
 
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rhubroma said:
I'm so curious to see how he does against Froome, Contador and Quintana in the mountains if they all make it there safe and with not too big time differences among them.

What are you expectations for the Mur de Huy?
 
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SeriousSam said:
rhubroma said:
I'm so curious to see how he does against Froome, Contador and Quintana in the mountains if they all make it there safe and with not too big time differences among them.

What are you expectations for the Mur de Huy?

I think he will do well and surprise some folks here. I saw the Italian NC race and, yes, Nibali should be very good on the Mur, especially after this TT performance. But I also think Pinot is going to surprise some people, even more perhaps than Nibali.
 
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rhubroma said:
I said I thought it was significant that he road faster than Froome and Contador. Now giving his ride at the Italian NC and how he showed up at the Tour last year under very similar conditions, I think it's fair to say that Nibali is in great shape.

I also think its reasonable to say that Contador isn't as good as he was at the beginning of last year's Tour and thus Nibali's position decidedly improves before him. Now given that Froome was significantly stronger than Nibali recently at the Dauphine, but was slower than the Sicilian today, provides us with further evidence to say Nibali's ride (while certainly not decisive) is undeniably indicative of a very high level of competitiveness.

I'm so curious to see how he does against Froome, Contador and Quintana in the mountains if they all make it there safe and with not too big time differences among them.

Re. my responses to SeriousSam and to you - in the former I was referring to form relative to my expectations, in case that wasn't clear.

I expected Nibali to be on good form (if not showing quite as well in the ITT as he did) and I think that the indications are that he is, as you say. Whether he's the same as last year remains to be seen, IMO. I had also expected Froome to be closer to the trajectory his form at the Dauphine showed, so he was probably the furthest from my expectations today.

About Contador, I think he isn't at the same level as last year's Tour, but I didn't expect him to be…yet. As someone pointed out, who knows how Alberto would have lasted across 3 weeks in 2014? Probably pretty darn well, but this year, he has to try and manage the very real risk of significant fatigue, which makes it more likely he'd arrive and have a slower start than last year, IMO. Hence he's really around where I expected.

That said, I feel Contador's form could go either way…I find it very difficult to know if he's just not going to reach 2014 level or if he's marshalling his forces and will peak as required. So it is pretty difficult to read the runes about how he might be relative to Nibali or Froome or Quintana. Brain says - nothing to see either way; heart is fretting a bit that it doesn't have answers!

That he's being pretty cagey is clear…as I said, i wonder if he is even that confident. He certainly seems less relaxed than, say, Froome in interviews and so on. But I'm not really that shocked about this either…he seemed pretty taut prior to the Giro, too and after a few stages seemed to settle in nicely.
 
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rhubroma said:
SeriousSam said:
rhubroma said:
I'm so curious to see how he does against Froome, Contador and Quintana in the mountains if they all make it there safe and with not too big time differences among them.

What are you expectations for the Mur de Huy?

I think he will do well and surprise some folks here. I saw the Italian NC race and, yes, Nibali should be very good on the Mur, especially after this TT performance. But I also think Pinot is going to surprise some people, even more perhaps than Nibali.

I think he will make a move before the mur on Cote de Cherave.
 
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Miburo said:
BlurryVII said:
Miburo said:
Isn't it exciting this way? I love it, the uncertainty. Same feeling as 2011 and that was Contador's best GT, not in terms of performance but entertainment.

What? I'd rather see Contador 09' crushing the hell out of everyone rather than tired, injured Contador riding to entertain fake fans like you.

Damn, you're the kind of **** who would like to see Contador lose quite a lot of time in the 1st week so he can go on the rampage next just to entertain you.

Of course not surprised contadorfans go ad hominem when someone has a different opinion. Not the first, and fake fan is laughable, i started cheering for the guy before he was really succesful but that's not the point right? Throwing jabs with no context is most likely your trademark.

Yes i'm a fan of Contador but i'm a fan of cycling aswell. I think it's hilarious that you blame me for wanting to be entertained. Why do you watch sports? Why does anyone? For entertainment no? Isn't that the point of this?

The tour '09 wasn't promotion for cycling, the last week of the tour '11 was. I never said i want Contador to lose time though, just for my sake. But once again you don't care about context, you're an example of an irrational fan. There are many here so don't worry, you're not alone.

Contador's true worth, his true greatness is shown when he's cornered. I can explain this further on but you don't care about that, since you only want a boring tour where contador wins, and everyone crashes out. That's prob your standards for greatness. Once again no worries, you're not alone here with that mindset.

bcsqvxq-143171057133435326.gif
 
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Hard to say what will happen, I doubt Contador will win though. I can see him hang with Quintana and Froome and then start to fade but I can also see a scenario where he gets dropped by Froome, Quintana, Nibali, Pinot, Van garderen....
 
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cellardoor said:
rhubroma said:
I also think its reasonable to say that Contador isn't as good as he was at the beginning of last year's Tour .

This is not a given in my view. We didn't see Contador in a TT and when you think about it the situation was very similar in a way. Nibali, even more underestimated at the time than now, took time on Contador and Froome in Sheffield and then went on to take very significant time on Contador on the cobbles. Perhaps the reality is simply that Nibali is better than people have been giving him credit for.

Nibali's reached his potential at Astana, we already whitnessed that when he dominated the Giro the year he won. Last year was confirmation of this. Unfortunately the two strongest guys on paper crashed out, but the stats alone tell us how strong Nibali was at the Tour last year.

If he hits those numbers again in this year's Tour, it will be most intruiging to see how he fairs against Froome, Contador and Quintana (in the order they arrived today).
 
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Electress said:
rhubroma said:
I said I thought it was significant that he road faster than Froome and Contador. Now giving his ride at the Italian NC and how he showed up at the Tour last year under very similar conditions, I think it's fair to say that Nibali is in great shape.

I also think its reasonable to say that Contador isn't as good as he was at the beginning of last year's Tour and thus Nibali's position decidedly improves before him. Now given that Froome was significantly stronger than Nibali recently at the Dauphine, but was slower than the Sicilian today, provides us with further evidence to say Nibali's ride (while certainly not decisive) is undeniably indicative of a very high level of competitiveness.

I'm so curious to see how he does against Froome, Contador and Quintana in the mountains if they all make it there safe and with not too big time differences among them.

Re. my responses to SeriousSam and to you - in the former I was referring to form relative to my expectations, in case that wasn't clear.

I expected Nibali to be on good form (if not showing quite as well in the ITT as he did) and I think that the indications are that he is, as you say. Whether he's the same as last year remains to be seen, IMO. I had also expected Froome to be closer to the trajectory his form at the Dauphine showed, so he was probably the furthest from my expectations today.

About Contador, I think he isn't at the same level as last year's Tour, but I didn't expect him to be…yet. As someone pointed out, who knows how Alberto would have lasted across 3 weeks in 2014? Probably pretty darn well, but this year, he has to try and manage the very real risk of significant fatigue, which makes it more likely he'd arrive and have a slower start than last year, IMO. Hence he's really around where I expected.

That said, I feel Contador's form could go either way…I find it very difficult to know if he's just not going to reach 2014 level or if he's marshalling his forces and will peak as required. So it is pretty difficult to read the runes about how he might be relative to Nibali or Froome or Quintana. Brain says - nothing to see either way; heart is fretting a bit that it doesn't have answers!

That he's being pretty cagey is clear…as I said, i wonder if he is even that confident. He certainly seems less relaxed than, say, Froome in interviews and so on. But I'm not really that shocked about this either…he seemed pretty taut prior to the Giro, too and after a few stages seemed to settle in nicely.

No matter how one wishes to read into Contador's performance today (he's off, it's normal cause he's going to be on top in week 3, he's being cagey to hide his cards, etc), nothing I have seen so far persuades me to overturn the uneasy sensation I have felt toward him since Colle della Finestra. I hope he proves me wrong, but my gut instinct leaves me rather skeptical that he will.
 
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Very reasonable, he hasn't been in top shape this season. There are excuses for it but it's fair to not believe it. On the mur we'll know more :D
 
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rhubroma said:
Electress said:
rhubroma said:
I said I thought it was significant that he road faster than Froome and Contador. Now giving his ride at the Italian NC and how he showed up at the Tour last year under very similar conditions, I think it's fair to say that Nibali is in great shape.

I also think its reasonable to say that Contador isn't as good as he was at the beginning of last year's Tour and thus Nibali's position decidedly improves before him. Now given that Froome was significantly stronger than Nibali recently at the Dauphine, but was slower than the Sicilian today, provides us with further evidence to say Nibali's ride (while certainly not decisive) is undeniably indicative of a very high level of competitiveness.

I'm so curious to see how he does against Froome, Contador and Quintana in the mountains if they all make it there safe and with not too big time differences among them.

Re. my responses to SeriousSam and to you - in the former I was referring to form relative to my expectations, in case that wasn't clear.

I expected Nibali to be on good form (if not showing quite as well in the ITT as he did) and I think that the indications are that he is, as you say. Whether he's the same as last year remains to be seen, IMO. I had also expected Froome to be closer to the trajectory his form at the Dauphine showed, so he was probably the furthest from my expectations today.

About Contador, I think he isn't at the same level as last year's Tour, but I didn't expect him to be…yet. As someone pointed out, who knows how Alberto would have lasted across 3 weeks in 2014? Probably pretty darn well, but this year, he has to try and manage the very real risk of significant fatigue, which makes it more likely he'd arrive and have a slower start than last year, IMO. Hence he's really around where I expected.

That said, I feel Contador's form could go either way…I find it very difficult to know if he's just not going to reach 2014 level or if he's marshalling his forces and will peak as required. So it is pretty difficult to read the runes about how he might be relative to Nibali or Froome or Quintana. Brain says - nothing to see either way; heart is fretting a bit that it doesn't have answers!

That he's being pretty cagey is clear…as I said, i wonder if he is even that confident. He certainly seems less relaxed than, say, Froome in interviews and so on. But I'm not really that shocked about this either…he seemed pretty taut prior to the Giro, too and after a few stages seemed to settle in nicely.

No matter how one wishes to read into Contador's performance today (he's off, it's normal cause he's going to be on top in week 3, he's being cagey to hide his cards, etc), nothing I have seen so far persuades me to overturn the uneasy sensation I have felt toward him since Colle della Finestra. I hope he proves me wrong, but my gut instinct leaves me rather skeptical that he will.

That I can well understand! But I had a horrible feeling he might crash today, so 'gut instinct' is (mercifully) not always the best predictor! At least, not in my case.

Beginning from a point of concern from several weeks ago, one wants in some way to be reassured. I suppose I've benched that Finestra performance in my rational mind, because if one day were an indication of form weeks hence, things could look terrible for Nibali!
 
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rhubroma said:
cellardoor said:
rhubroma said:
I also think its reasonable to say that Contador isn't as good as he was at the beginning of last year's Tour .

This is not a given in my view. We didn't see Contador in a TT and when you think about it the situation was very similar in a way. Nibali, even more underestimated at the time than now, took time on Contador and Froome in Sheffield and then went on to take very significant time on Contador on the cobbles. Perhaps the reality is simply that Nibali is better than people have been giving him credit for.

Nibali's reached his potential at Astana, we already whitnessed that when he dominated the Giro the year he won. Last year was confirmation of this. Unfortunately the two strongest guys on paper crashed out, but the stats alone tell us how strong Nibali was at the Tour last year.

If he hits those numbers again in this year's Tour, it will be most intruiging to see how he fairs against Froome, Contador and Quintana (in the order they arrived today).

Nibali going to be dropped like a hot potato.
 
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arvc40 said:
rhubroma said:
cellardoor said:
rhubroma said:
I also think its reasonable to say that Contador isn't as good as he was at the beginning of last year's Tour .

This is not a given in my view. We didn't see Contador in a TT and when you think about it the situation was very similar in a way. Nibali, even more underestimated at the time than now, took time on Contador and Froome in Sheffield and then went on to take very significant time on Contador on the cobbles. Perhaps the reality is simply that Nibali is better than people have been giving him credit for.

Nibali's reached his potential at Astana, we already whitnessed that when he dominated the Giro the year he won. Last year was confirmation of this. Unfortunately the two strongest guys on paper crashed out, but the stats alone tell us how strong Nibali was at the Tour last year.

If he hits those numbers again in this year's Tour, it will be most intruiging to see how he fairs against Froome, Contador and Quintana (in the order they arrived today).

Nibali going to be dropped like a hot potato.

I'll keep this post in my favourites, you'll face judgement in a few days if you said something dumb :D

Ps: yesterday I read comments with people saying that Froome was going to beat Martin and take 1 minute on Nibali and Quintana and 30 seconds on Contador.