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Teams & Riders Alberto Contador Discussion Thread

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Contador won his first grand tour at 24 years of age - 2007 TDF. That is 8 years ago - he is now 32. He's also 4 years older than 2011 when he last attempted the double. Contador's success started at a young age but he might pay for that by his performances falling off earlier. Andy Schleck announced himself at the 2007 Giro - at 21 years of age and he has already retired before his 30th birthday. I think all this talk of coaches or other factors is avoiding the obvious - he's getting old - plus other factors that can't be discussed here. But if his recent performance is age related and he chooses to retire next year - he has still been the best grand tour rider of the current generation - no doubt. Certainly nothing to be disappointed about. I have not been a big Contador fan but I certainly have great respect for him as a rider - especially after how he rode in the 3rd week of 2011 TdF with Giro and crashes in his legs.
 
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That whole age thing is bs, and don't compare a pathetic rider like andy to Contador. So much talent and he just throws it away, angers me.

What about piti? He was already amazing when he was 23, he's 35 now and he's having one of his best years ever. You can't compare with age, with some it works and with some it doesn't.
 
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Miburo said:
That whole age thing is bs, and don't compare a pathetic rider like andy to Contador. So much talent and he just throws it away, angers me.

What about piti? He was already amazing when he was 23, he's 35 now and he's having one of his best years ever. You can't compare with age, with some it works and with some it doesn't.

Andy was far from pathetic. He was a superb Climber as good as it gets and it's unfortunate that he has had to retire at 29.
 
Re:

Miburo said:
That whole age thing is bs, and don't compare a pathetic rider like andy to Contador. So much talent and he just throws it away, angers me.

What about piti? He was already amazing when he was 23, he's 35 now and he's having one of his best years ever. You can't compare with age, with some it works and with some it doesn't.

You answered your own question. AC is not Piti. with some it works and with some it doesn't. So how do you explain Contador 2015 versus Contador 2011? The 2011 Giro was probably the hardest Grand Tour course for many years and since. He also had crashes in 2011 Tdf and worse team support. And yet AC performed better in 2011 with more adversity than 2015 with less adversity. If not age then what? It seems the most logical and obvious explanation.
 
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Miburo said:
That whole age thing is bs, and don't compare a pathetic rider like andy to Contador. So much talent and he just throws it away, angers me.

What about piti? He was already amazing when he was 23, he's 35 now and he's having one of his best years ever. You can't compare with age, with some it works and with some it doesn't.

Andy Scheck. I think Andy Schleck was one of the greatest pure climbers I've ever seen. I even saw him live at the 2011 Tour of California a few years back, when he was nowhere near peak form and Horner and Leipheimer were. Despite being 3 minutes back on Mt. Baldy, the Tour's toughest climb, Andy roared up the last 1/2 km, which is 15%-18%, like a demon flying out of Hades, far faster than anyone else climbing that day, including stage leaders Horner and Levi.
 
Re:

Miburo said:
That whole age thing is bs, and don't compare a pathetic rider like andy to Contador. So much talent and he just throws it away, angers me.

What about piti? He was already amazing when he was 23, he's 35 now and he's having one of his best years ever. You can't compare with age, with some it works and with some it doesn't.

I think miles on the clock and when riders begin their career is often as important as age, if not more so. There are exceptions like Valverde of course, but look at the riders 34 and over at this year's Tour. Of the 40 riders in question, nine have only turned professional in the last ten years (Serpa, Tuft, Peraud, Gerrans, Curvers, Cummings, Gène, Hansen and Riblon), and a further 6 turned 24 (or older) the same year they turned pro (Fedrigo, Paolini, Henderson, Irizar, Hesjedal and ten Dam). So nearly 40% of the riders over 34 were late starters, which I bet is a disproportionate number compared to the peloton as a whole.
 
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Cookster15 said:
Miburo said:
That whole age thing is bs, and don't compare a pathetic rider like andy to Contador. So much talent and he just throws it away, angers me.

What about piti? He was already amazing when he was 23, he's 35 now and he's having one of his best years ever. You can't compare with age, with some it works and with some it doesn't.

You answered your own question. AC is not Piti. with some it works and with some it doesn't. So how do you explain Contador 2015 versus Contador 2011? The 2011 Giro was probably the hardest Grand Tour course for many years and since. He also had crashes in 2011 Tdf and worse team support. And yet AC performed better in 2011 with more adversity than 2015 with less adversity. If not age then what? It seems the most logical and obvious explanation.

Cookster: "If not age then what?" I agree with you totally about 2011, but 2011 was before Contador's suspension, and 2012 and onward were after. That's what, IMO.
 
Re: Re:

Cookster15 said:
Miburo said:
That whole age thing is bs, and don't compare a pathetic rider like andy to Contador. So much talent and he just throws it away, angers me.

What about piti? He was already amazing when he was 23, he's 35 now and he's having one of his best years ever. You can't compare with age, with some it works and with some it doesn't.

You answered your own question. AC is not Piti. with some it works and with some it doesn't. So how do you explain Contador 2015 versus Contador 2011? The 2011 Giro was probably the hardest Grand Tour course for many years and since. He also had crashes in 2011 Tdf and worse team support. And yet AC performed better in 2011 with more adversity than 2015 with less adversity. If not age then what? It seems the most logical and obvious explanation.
1. In 2011 Contador did not perform better, he finished 5th just like this year and got dropped on every mountain finish bar 1 just like this year.
2. In 2011 he finished behind Cuddle Evans, the Frandy sisters and Titi Voeckler. This year he finished behind Froome, Quintana, Valverde and Nibali. That is something to consider.

Everyone who argues "he's old and can't reach his former level again" just forgets about last season. How convenient.

I am confident we will see him at his best again next year. He just has to have the proper motivation.
 
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VayaVayaVaya said:
ninjadriver said:
VayaVayaVaya
I agree that we have yet to see both go head to head in a targeted race with what both sides would largely agree is top form. However, given the similarities of their approaches to last year's Vuelta (crashing out after 5-7 days of the Tour, injury rehab, underlying top form from Tour prep not depleted by rigorous racing) and their goals in last year's Vuelta (ignore the rheotic (Contador saying he was just there for a stage win, Froome saying it was prep for 2015); both wanted to salvage the season with a GT victory) and the numbers they put out in last year's Vuelta, I don't see any way you can rationally argue that the true gap between Contador and Froome is what we have seen in 2013 and 2015 Tours. I too hope to see them in the 2016 Tour in top form. If Contador is aging, Froome shouldn't be too far behind.


Ninjadriver
I like your analysis, Vaya, especially about the 2014 Vuelta, but caution that although Contador is only 2 years older than Froome, Contador has many many more miles on the odometer, a la Kobe Bryant, than does Froome.

Froome also has such a better supporting team, and that, together with Froome's relatively late start and lower miles could see him challenging for Grand Tours well into his mid or even upper 30s. Valverde, Rodriguez and Horner come to mind.

This is an honest question, not a rhetorical one: Does Contador really have more mileage than Valverde and Rodriquez?
I can't check right now but I am quite certain Valverde has at least 20 more race days than Contador each season.
 
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Re: Re:

VayaVayaVaya said:
ninjadriver said:
VayaVayaVaya
I agree that we have yet to see both go head to head in a targeted race with what both sides would largely agree is top form. However, given the similarities of their approaches to last year's Vuelta (crashing out after 5-7 days of the Tour, injury rehab, underlying top form from Tour prep not depleted by rigorous racing) and their goals in last year's Vuelta (ignore the rheotic (Contador saying he was just there for a stage win, Froome saying it was prep for 2015); both wanted to salvage the season with a GT victory) and the numbers they put out in last year's Vuelta, I don't see any way you can rationally argue that the true gap between Contador and Froome is what we have seen in 2013 and 2015 Tours. I too hope to see them in the 2016 Tour in top form. If Contador is aging, Froome shouldn't be too far behind.


Ninjadriver
I like your analysis, Vaya, especially about the 2014 Vuelta, but caution that although Contador is only 2 years older than Froome, Contador has many many more miles on the odometer, a la Kobe Bryant, than does Froome.

Froome also has such a better supporting team, and that, together with Froome's relatively late start and lower miles could see him challenging for Grand Tours well into his mid or even upper 30s. Valverde, Rodriguez and Horner come to mind.

This is an honest question, not a rhetorical one: Does Contador really have more mileage than Valverde and Rodriquez?

A fair question, and I would argue that Contador had more miles at 32 than Valverde and Rodriguez did at 32, although I'd have to do a spectroscopic (??) analysis of Alejandro's and Joaquim's careers. Contador fought for Grand Tour victories in every attempt except his inaugural one at the 2005 TDF off of his brain surgery. Contador won the next 6 Grand Tours he raced after his debut, which is astounding, and I assume body depleting.

I may be wrong, but were Valverde and JRod team leaders at every Grand Tour at which they raced??? Valverde never raced the Giro, which to me has the toughest courses of all, and at age 32 only had completed 3 TDFs, the fastest of all with the best fields. At age 32, JRod only had raced 1 TDF.

And how does one factor in Valverde's Classics efforts???

Who knows, but what I do believe is that Contador reminds me more of Kobe Bryant at this stage than of Anthony Davis, or my new favorite NBA-er, Emmanuel Mudiay.
 
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LaFlorecita said:
VayaVayaVaya said:
ninjadriver said:
VayaVayaVaya
I agree that we have yet to see both go head to head in a targeted race with what both sides would largely agree is top form. However, given the similarities of their approaches to last year's Vuelta (crashing out after 5-7 days of the Tour, injury rehab, underlying top form from Tour prep not depleted by rigorous racing) and their goals in last year's Vuelta (ignore the rheotic (Contador saying he was just there for a stage win, Froome saying it was prep for 2015); both wanted to salvage the season with a GT victory) and the numbers they put out in last year's Vuelta, I don't see any way you can rationally argue that the true gap between Contador and Froome is what we have seen in 2013 and 2015 Tours. I too hope to see them in the 2016 Tour in top form. If Contador is aging, Froome shouldn't be too far behind.


Ninjadriver
I like your analysis, Vaya, especially about the 2014 Vuelta, but caution that although Contador is only 2 years older than Froome, Contador has many many more miles on the odometer, a la Kobe Bryant, than does Froome.

Froome also has such a better supporting team, and that, together with Froome's relatively late start and lower miles could see him challenging for Grand Tours well into his mid or even upper 30s. Valverde, Rodriguez and Horner come to mind.

This is an honest question, not a rhetorical one: Does Contador really have more mileage than Valverde and Rodriquez?
I can't check right now but I am quite certain Valverde has at least 20 more race days than Contador each season.

Fair enough, but race days are not all created equally. Race days in a Grand Tour in the pink/yellow/red jersey do not equal a race day wheel sucking off of Daniel Navarro in the Route du Sud..... :)
 
Re:

Cookster15 said:
Contador won his first grand tour at 24 years of age - 2007 TDF. That is 8 years ago - he is now 32. He's also 4 years older than 2011 when he last attempted the double. Contador's success started at a young age but he might pay for that by his performances falling off earlier. Andy Schleck announced himself at the 2007 Giro - at 21 years of age and he has already retired before his 30th birthday. I think all this talk of coaches or other factors is avoiding the obvious - he's getting old - plus other factors that can't be discussed here. But if his recent performance is age related and he chooses to retire next year - he has still been the best grand tour rider of the current generation - no doubt. Certainly nothing to be disappointed about. I have not been a big Contador fan but I certainly have great respect for him as a rider - especially after how he rode in the 3rd week of 2011 TdF with Giro and crashes in his legs.
Comparing him with Andy - that's just silly :rolleyes:
I don't see where anyone was talking about coaches.
It is so frustrating to see people (you included) talk about him as if he is 58 and can never win anything again and is better off just retiring this year already :rolleyes: it's as if 2013 and the way people wrote him off and said he was old have been forgotten already.

Edit: sorry that was quite harsh. I just feel there is little evidence of a physical decline, after all his form has been up and down for the past 5-6 years.
 
Of course AC is ageing but I think too much is made of it, at least physically. There's little evidence for a rapid rate of decline which might suggest that he can't achieve the kind of level he was in 2014 next year or in the few years following. But I do think mentally / emotionally, there is clear evidence he's not got the same drive. Sure, he wants to go out on top and will be motivated for that. I think he wants to make damn sure that he is measured as the best on top form of all his contemporaries - Froome, Quintana, whatever. But the point is that he's clearly thinking about ending his career. My guess is that he knows that his desire to win and push himself has diminished, hence the need for different motivation like trying the double. Given the suffering and endurance the sport requires, both for training and in the races, I think that diminution in appetite is a more significant differential than any physical decline.

I suspect he'll be well able to drive himself to reach a pretty stunning peak next year, and maybe if that inspires him, a year more. But I don't see him doing a Piti and just carrying on for another 3-4 years or whatever. Once you're talking of retirement, well, the head is already in a pretty different spot than the person who feels their career is just kicking off.
 
I agree with Electress, I think any sort of decline would be caused more by the mental element of the sport rather than the physical element. As Electress posted, he is already thinking about retirement, that means the drive is no longer there. He is mentally tired and I don't blame him. But I think he will have plenty of motivation for his last season to go out with a bang.
 
Here are some stats:
http://www.cqranking.com/men/asp/gen/rider_stats.asp?riderid=5
http://www.cqranking.com/men/asp/gen/rider_stats.asp?riderid=387
http://www.cqranking.com/men/asp/gen/rider_stats.asp?riderid=119

Also I know Valverde is truly an incredible training beast. Whenever I read about riders going on a camp at Sierra Nevada, no matter what time of the year, there is always the same name that pops up when asked which other pro's where there.

Not sure how training intensity relates to longevity. Depends on how you take care of your body etc.
Many factors play a role. genes, diets, mental, what gear you push.

Rebellin another example of a rider that lives like a monk and see how long his career is. But on the other hand you have Horner eating mickie d's every week and being at his best at 41. it's just tough to predict how a career trajectory will play out.
 
Re: Re:

LaFlorecita said:
Cookster15 said:
Contador won his first grand tour at 24 years of age - 2007 TDF. That is 8 years ago - he is now 32. He's also 4 years older than 2011 when he last attempted the double. Contador's success started at a young age but he might pay for that by his performances falling off earlier. Andy Schleck announced himself at the 2007 Giro - at 21 years of age and he has already retired before his 30th birthday. I think all this talk of coaches or other factors is avoiding the obvious - he's getting old - plus other factors that can't be discussed here. But if his recent performance is age related and he chooses to retire next year - he has still been the best grand tour rider of the current generation - no doubt. Certainly nothing to be disappointed about. I have not been a big Contador fan but I certainly have great respect for him as a rider - especially after how he rode in the 3rd week of 2011 TdF with Giro and crashes in his legs.
Comparing him with Andy - that's just silly :rolleyes:
I don't see where anyone was talking about coaches.
It is so frustrating to see people (you included) talk about him as if he is 58 and can never win anything again and is better off just retiring this year already :rolleyes: it's as if 2013 and the way people wrote him off and said he was old have been forgotten already.

Edit: sorry that was quite harsh. I just feel there is little evidence of a physical decline, after all his form has been up and down for the past 5-6 years.

No problem :) . I am just trying to make logical explanation for what we saw at the Tour compared to the last attempt at the Double. And also made the point I totally respect Alberto as a rider even if I am not the fan like you or Milburo. So you see I am trying to be fair and objective. What I do agree with is the volume of race days. That will surely effect him - Tinkoff-Saxo need to answer that one. But then again recovery during a season is a bigger issue as you get past your peak age as you don't recover as well.
 
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Billie said:
Here are some stats:
http://www.cqranking.com/men/asp/gen/rider_stats.asp?riderid=5
http://www.cqranking.com/men/asp/gen/rider_stats.asp?riderid=387
http://www.cqranking.com/men/asp/gen/rider_stats.asp?riderid=119

Also I know Valverde is truly an incredible training beast. Whenever I read about riders going on a camp at Sierra Nevada, no matter what time of the year, there is always the same name that pops up when asked which other pro's where there.

Not sure how training intensity relates to longevity. Depends on how you take care of your body etc.
Many factors play a role. genes, diets, mental, what gear you push.

Rebellin another example of a rider that lives like a monk and see how long his career is. But on the other hand you have Horner eating mickie d's every week and being at his best at 41. it's just tough to predict how a career trajectory will play out.

Great stats, Billie!!!

And don't forget about rest, tapering (not overstraining), staying in shape in the off season, but not to the point of exhausting the body, rest (did I say that already?) and race intensity, for which for Contador I believe is incredibly high, given his Grand Tour pressures and goals.
 
Re: Re:

LaFlorecita said:
Cookster15 said:
Miburo said:
That whole age thing is bs, and don't compare a pathetic rider like andy to Contador. So much talent and he just throws it away, angers me.

What about piti? He was already amazing when he was 23, he's 35 now and he's having one of his best years ever. You can't compare with age, with some it works and with some it doesn't.

You answered your own question. AC is not Piti. with some it works and with some it doesn't. So how do you explain Contador 2015 versus Contador 2011? The 2011 Giro was probably the hardest Grand Tour course for many years and since. He also had crashes in 2011 Tdf and worse team support. And yet AC performed better in 2011 with more adversity than 2015 with less adversity. If not age then what? It seems the most logical and obvious explanation.
1. In 2011 Contador did not perform better, he finished 5th just like this year and got dropped on every mountain finish bar 1 just like this year.
2. In 2011 he finished behind Cuddle Evans, the Frandy sisters and Titi Voeckler. This year he finished behind Froome, Quintana, Valverde and Nibali. That is something to consider.

Everyone who argues "he's old and can't reach his former level again" just forgets about last season. How convenient.

I am confident we will see him at his best again next year. He just has to have the proper motivation.

I disagree. In 2011 the Giro was way way harder than this year. And we are discussing attempts at Giro / Tour double - 2014 season doesn't count. Also in 2011 TdF AC got stronger in the 3rd week - except for Galibier stage where he cracked due to his knee and Giro fatigue. But stages 16, 17, 19 and 20 (TT) AC lit up the race. And the TT at end of GT is always a good barometer of a riders recovery. AC rode a very strong stage 20 TT for someone racing for 5th. What might help your cause is if some journalists direct some more questions to his boss Mr Tinkov why AC has been raced so much this season? You know your star rider is 32 years old and you add another 10 or 15 race days. Makes no sense except Tinkov got greedy for results. Perhaps Mr Tinkov is reaping what he has sown?
 
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Re: Re:

Cookster15 said:
LaFlorecita said:
Cookster15 said:
Miburo said:
That whole age thing is bs, and don't compare a pathetic rider like andy to Contador. So much talent and he just throws it away, angers me.

What about piti? He was already amazing when he was 23, he's 35 now and he's having one of his best years ever. You can't compare with age, with some it works and with some it doesn't.

You answered your own question. AC is not Piti. with some it works and with some it doesn't. So how do you explain Contador 2015 versus Contador 2011? The 2011 Giro was probably the hardest Grand Tour course for many years and since. He also had crashes in 2011 Tdf and worse team support. And yet AC performed better in 2011 with more adversity than 2015 with less adversity. If not age then what? It seems the most logical and obvious explanation.
1. In 2011 Contador did not perform better, he finished 5th just like this year and got dropped on every mountain finish bar 1 just like this year.
2. In 2011 he finished behind Cuddle Evans, the Frandy sisters and Titi Voeckler. This year he finished behind Froome, Quintana, Valverde and Nibali. That is something to consider.

Everyone who argues "he's old and can't reach his former level again" just forgets about last season. How convenient.

I am confident we will see him at his best again next year. He just has to have the proper motivation.

I disagree. In 2011 the Giro was way way harder than this year. And we are discussing attempts at Giro / Tour double - 2014 season doesn't count. Also in 2011 TdF AC got stronger in the 3rd week - except for Galibier stage where he cracked due to his knee and Giro fatigue. But stages 16, 17, 19 and 20 (TT) AC lit up the race. And the TT at end of GT is always a good barometer of a riders recovery. AC rode a very strong stage 20 TT for someone racing for 5th. What might help your cause is if some journalists direct some more questions to his boss Mr Tinkov why AC has been raced so much this season? You know your star rider is 32 years old and you add another 10 or 15 race days. Makes no sense except Tinkov got greedy for results. Perhaps Mr Tinkov is reaping what he has sown?

And whatever it's worth, Alberto finished 3:57 back in the 2011 TDF, and a pathetic 9:48 back in the 2015 TDF.
 
Re:

LaFlorecita said:
I agree with Electress, I think any sort of decline would be caused more by the mental element of the sport rather than the physical element. As Electress posted, he is already thinking about retirement, that means the drive is no longer there. He is mentally tired and I don't blame him. But I think he will have plenty of motivation for his last season to go out with a bang.

Exactly. It's not just about race days per year or the GTs in his legs. He's been at the top of his sport for the best part of what, a decade, with all the incumbent pressures of that. And since he isn't the guy to use a race to train, he's pretty much expecting himself to perform - i.e. win - in everything he enters. With all due respect to other riders, racing as one of many contenders is very different from racing as the hot favourite or one of the hot favourites in each race.

Additionally, I think Contador, whilst no Einstein, isn't as dumb as a box of rocks, and probably has a pretty clear idea where he is going from here and may well be looking for the new challenge that offers. Other riders probably have fewer options to consider after retirement, and there may be significantly more financial worries too, so sticking around for another year or so maybe relatively more appealing than retiring and going into…who knows what.
 
Re: Re:

Cookster15 said:
LaFlorecita said:
Cookster15 said:
Miburo said:
That whole age thing is bs, and don't compare a pathetic rider like andy to Contador. So much talent and he just throws it away, angers me.

What about piti? He was already amazing when he was 23, he's 35 now and he's having one of his best years ever. You can't compare with age, with some it works and with some it doesn't.

You answered your own question. AC is not Piti. with some it works and with some it doesn't. So how do you explain Contador 2015 versus Contador 2011? The 2011 Giro was probably the hardest Grand Tour course for many years and since. He also had crashes in 2011 Tdf and worse team support. And yet AC performed better in 2011 with more adversity than 2015 with less adversity. If not age then what? It seems the most logical and obvious explanation.
1. In 2011 Contador did not perform better, he finished 5th just like this year and got dropped on every mountain finish bar 1 just like this year.
2. In 2011 he finished behind Cuddle Evans, the Frandy sisters and Titi Voeckler. This year he finished behind Froome, Quintana, Valverde and Nibali. That is something to consider.

Everyone who argues "he's old and can't reach his former level again" just forgets about last season. How convenient.

I am confident we will see him at his best again next year. He just has to have the proper motivation.

- except for Galibier stage where he cracked due to his knee and Giro fatigue. ?

OH, that day he cracked for that... :rolleyes: It wanst becouse in those kind of long and hard days there are better people.. I dont think he cracked, just there were better people in that stage... his knee problem after 2 rest days was the past.

This year in the last week there wanst a similar stage, by far...so we cant compare.. but we have the stage of gap...

But yes, that Tour except that stage he was much stronger than this year, not just in le Tour, but in the Giro as well, although in the harderst stages he was at a similar level to other riders.

But that is usual after his santion.

When is when Contador crack, and when is that other were better?

In Paris Nice with Luis león? In Aprica? in Finestre? In Bola del Mundo? In Galibier?
 
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Miburo said:
Sure, i was saying andy's talent was pathetic... Pay attention.

No it wasn't. He was not a great TT rider and not good on wet descents. He did the best he could with the talent he had. Do you think if he worked even harder at TT he would all of a sudden become a great TT rider? If that was the case we could all become great TT riders. Do you think he never ever practised going downhill?
Andy did fine for most parts. A fit Andy could have won this years Tour.
 

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