Teams & Riders Alberto Contador Discussion Thread

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Mar 11, 2009
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"I still lack a bit of pace .. the important aspect is that the sensations I have keep improving .. blah blah blah." This coming from a seasoned pro who is paid multiple millions of euros per year is totally laughable because the others are already faster and their sensations will also keep improving. What has the Tinkoff management been doing over the winter? I just want to see a Contador in top shape in Le Tour and it is not looking likely at this stage.
 
bladerunner said:
"I still lack a bit of pace .. the important aspect is that the sensations I have keep improving .. blah blah blah." This coming from a seasoned pro who is paid multiple millions of euros per year is totally laughable because the others are already faster and their sensations will also keep improving. What has the Tinkoff management been doing over the winter? I just want to see a Contador in top shape in Le Tour and it is not looking likely at this stage.
Hyperbole.
 
Mar 11, 2013
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He looks too skinny and lightweight to me. Like he starved himself so much over the winter that he now has very little power.
 
Aug 28, 2015
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And the Tinkoff saga goes on. Where the hell was Trofimov? Isn't the last climb the area where he should be the support? Or has he made a short break to drink a bit vodka?
 
Just a couple of observations, which perhaps don't mean anything.

I seem to recall that Contador was dominating Paris-Nice 2009, then overextended himself? had a sans jour? and a certain Sanchez flew away on the last MTF and won the title. We then all know what went on at that year's Tour.

I remember Armstrong saying "el Pistolero" still had much to learn.

A different year, to be sure, but let's not make a mountain out of a mole hill just yet. It's the first race of the season. His rivals already have races in their legs. There's still a long way to go, in other words.
 
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buchanan said:
He looks too skinny and lightweight to me. Like he starved himself so much over the winter that he now has very little power.
Surely an experienced rider like Alberto supported by experienced coaches like De Jongh and also several nutrionists, doctors etc. wouldn't make that mistake.
I agree though that he looks extremely skinny and tired, hopefully that's not the reason for his bad result.
 
Jul 29, 2012
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Always the same stuff, we try to make excuses for it and hope for better. I fall for it every time, it's only natural.

Maybe it was a bad day after all xD Don't panic fleur, we can always rewatch the giro of 2011 ;)
 
Mar 11, 2013
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LaFlorecita said:
buchanan said:
He looks too skinny and lightweight to me. Like he starved himself so much over the winter that he now has very little power.
Surely an experienced rider like Alberto supported by experienced coaches like De Jongh and also several nutrionists, doctors etc. wouldn't make that mistake.
I agree though that he looks extremely skinny and tired, hopefully that's not the reason for his bad result.
Yes, you would think. But I have an idea sometimes riders can become obsessed with losing weight and eating very little - a bit like models. Perhaps he went just a little too far and it's cost him in terms of power lost.
I saw an action pic of Contador from yesterday that showed this thighs from the side. I cannot recall them looking so skinny (and weak!). Surely he needs something to power himself and his bike along? As anorexic as Chris Froome looks, he still always has big strong thighs.
 
Oct 10, 2011
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According to CyclingQuotes and feltet.dk Contador and the team did a mistake:


Alberto Contador: I was too much in the wind
Tinkoff led a good part of a very tough and windy stage, bringing Contador in the lead at the penultimate climb. The huge and prolonged effort took its toll on the Spanish champion who feels his condition improving, ahead of the season's big goals.

Racing got off in full earnest and things got serious at the Volta ao Algarve, with the longest stage, starting from Lagoa and finishing atop Alto da Foia. The peloton faced a complicated route, 198.6 kilometers long with four mountain climbs in the last 60 kilometers and a final 7km climb.

The stage was marked by strong crosswinds, giving the peloton a hard time. Well into 100 kilometers, Tinkoff took the lead and imposed its pace on the race, which became more intense until the first climb.
Right from the onset, a 7-rider breakaway was formed and Tinkoff played an important role in chasing it. It was eventually brought back, one by one, as kilometers went by, and the peloton was finally reunited back together with 40 km to go.

“Today the team worked hard to put Alberto in a good position", stated sport director Steven de Jongh. “It was a very tough day with a lot of wind of course, and in the finale Alberto was not super. The result was not what we hoped for, and he was a bit isolated because some riders left him a bit earlier than we planned. It wasn't a top day but some of our riders did their work really well, that was good work. Tomorrow, we have a time trial and Alberto wants to have a good race. We will see how it goes."

“I think Alberto was going well", added sport director Sean Yates, "but he took too much wind. It was a long day, a very windy day and he tried his way until the final climb but in the end the strongest man won and he was excluded. We had hoped for better."

Alberto Contador commented on his performance in the second stage: "It was a complicated and quite hard stage. We wanted to keep the breakaway under control in order to fight for the stage but, in hindsight, it was probably an error to stay in the front throughout the day under such windy conditions. We probably spent more energy than necessary.”

“I think it's evident I still lack a bit of pace. In the penultimate climb I was feeling better but the finish was tough because of the strong wind. It was difficult to keep the rhythm and behind me, the group had a better pace. When the race accelerated in the final kilometer, I was unable to follow and I lost time. For me, the important aspect is that the sensations I have keep improving.”

“In the penultimate climb, I tried to make the race a bit harder because the group was quite big but it was difficult to break the race with so much wind. There are riders with better legs here because they already have races under their belts. However, the Volta ao Algarve serves as a preparation towards Paris-Nice, where my goal is to have a good result. The sensations I have are what I expected. The work we carried out in Tenerife focused on building force and what I lack is race rhythm. That's precisely what I'm here for".
 
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buchanan said:
I saw an action pic of Contador from yesterday that showed this thighs from the side. I cannot recall them looking so skinny (and weak!). Surely he needs something to power himself and his bike along? As anorexic as Chris Froome looks, he still always has big strong thighs.
His thighs have always looked very slim at a certain angle.
 
Dec 21, 2015
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I'm not a huge fan of Contador (or of any particular rider, really), but I like his style, so I'll chip in some thoughts here...

A lot of people seem to talk about "race rhythm" in terms of the ability to follow attacks, or put out a high power for 30secs/1min/5mins...but there's more to it, and that's the ability to conserve energy until the decisive moment - in this case, the final climb.

Contador hasn't really raced for the best part of 6 months, so he could well be lacking that little bit of "mental sharpness" that allows him to conserve energy effectively - following the wrong wheel in the bunch, moving up the bunch in a crosswind, closing a small gap out of a corner, a little bit of timidity when the road narrows...these are all tiny things, but they add up over the course of 4 hours, so much so that you lack that extra 2-3% required to make an impact at the finale.

Now you might say "but Contador is a seasoned pro. He doesn't make those kind of mistakes". But bear in mind that the guys he's racing against are seasoned pros too, and a lot of them have been honing this "mental sharpness" (or "race rhythm") for the last 4-6 weeks.

All of that is simply to say - let's not judge too heavily on the first race day of the year. If this is the start of a trend of poor performances, then by all means worry. But for now, be patient :)
 
in early season, Contador has always been competitive because of his aerobic power. Nibali, Froome et al have at one time or another been dropped by sprinters, but never Contador. To me this is definitely a worrying sign but there are 5 months to correct.
 
Contador always feels the need to entertain the fans and in this case it seems to have gotten the best of him. Knowing this was his first race back versus some of his rivals with at least one race already in their legs, it would've been wiser to let another team "make the race hard" on that penultimate climb, while at the same time using his domestiques to keep their leader in a safe position in the pack, without wearing themselves out too early. It would've allowed him and his team to conserve more energy than they did till the final climb. I think he sometimes feels he has to live up to his reputation when at this point in his career a more conservative approach may be the better option, especially this early in the season.
 
Davesta said:
All of that is simply to say - let's not judge too heavily on the first race day of the year. If this is the start of a trend of poor performances, then by all means worry. But for now, be patient :)
To the bolded, I think that is in fact the only relevant observation (not in your post, mind you, but the context in which his performance should be placed).

Certainly his fans have come to expect that Alberto is good from the word go. Even last year, he won the first MTF of his season, only though to get clobbered by Froome on a much steeper ascent a few stages later. To me that was already indicative that he wasn't going to perform to his 2014 level.

But this is more difficult to assess. Looking at his weight I thought, he's going to be crushing the climbs, he's going to be back to his 2014 level, if not better. Paradoxically, however, I wasn't all that surprised by his performance yesterday. For the reason you brought up, namely that the others already have some hard racing in their legs, and that at 33 not droping everyone on the first climb might, at this point, be a good thing (or at least not bad).

Aru said that during the previous race, his season debut, the speeds were ridiculously fast and that they were going up the climbs even faster than in last year's Vuelta. This must be considered when making any assessment of AC's season opener.

It now seems obvious that he and his team made a fatal mistake (because of hubris?) by pushing the pace on the penultimate climb. Neither grasped just how strong all the other contenders really are already and, in hindsight, AC should have been sitting on wheels and fighting to maintain his best position on the final climb. His form isn't there yet to win, though it seems like he expected it would be.

Knowing his desire to be in a position to fight for the win in any race he enters, this must be a disappointment, but a mature rider in the twilight of his career should be able to put everything in its proper perspective. If we were talking about just about any other rider, I wouldn't even make a big deal of things if he isn't among the best at Paris-Nice. Though because it is AC, if he isn't very competative there, despite the new streamlined look, then perhaps aging isn't suiting him well at all.
 
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Angliru said:
Contador always feels the need to entertain the fans and in this case it seems to have gotten the best of him. Knowing this was his first race back versus some of his rivals with at least one race already in their legs, it would've been wiser to let another team "make the race hard" on that penultimate climb, while at the same time using his domestiques to keep their leader in a safe position in the pack, without wearing themselves out too early. It would've allowed him and his team to conserve more energy than they did till the final climb. I think he sometimes feels he has to live up to his reputation when at this point in his career a more conservative approach may be the better option, especially this early in the season.
Agreed and I was sort of writing the same thing when you posted.
 
I agree he made his move way to early on the penultimate climb, perhaps hubris thinking his condition was better that it was and paid the price in the finale. But he also looks like he could use a few decent meals! We will certainly know more today. Hopefully he hasn't over trained and underfed a 33 year old body in the off season.
 
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rhubroma said:
Angliru said:
Contador always feels the need to entertain the fans and in this case it seems to have gotten the best of him. Knowing this was his first race back versus some of his rivals with at least one race already in their legs, it would've been wiser to let another team "make the race hard" on that penultimate climb, while at the same time using his domestiques to keep their leader in a safe position in the pack, without wearing themselves out too early. It would've allowed him and his team to conserve more energy than they did till the final climb. I think he sometimes feels he has to live up to his reputation when at this point in his career a more conservative approach may be the better option, especially this early in the season.
Agreed and I was sort of writing the same thing when you posted.
Mine is the Cliffnotes version. :D
 
Aug 4, 2011
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Its over for Bertie one season to many. Having said that I now disagree with myself and reckon Bertie will be just fine but I now have changed my mind again and reckon Bertie will be destroyed at the tour ,,,,,OH god [I'm an atheist] please don't ride like this in the tour, just call it a day and let Aru and Astana destroy Skybots with never ending attacks or maybe Quintana will get a pair and grab the race by the throat.
Or Just use a motor and be very carful about it :D
 
Mar 11, 2013
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One has to wonder how smart Tinkoff tactics are at times. They seem to regularly burn themselves out doing a lot of work, when it's perhaps not always necessary. I recall them doing that a lot in last year's Giro. Then Contador is usually left isolated too early. Sounds like that happened yesterday. Plus it sounds like he then also hit the front for much too long on the penultimate climb and sorta burnt himself out. Agree with the people saying he really ought to just be following wheels, conserving energy and sussing out the opposition at this stage. And also not making the team overwork.
 
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LaFlorecita said:
Nice ITT for Alberto! Not his best ever, but virtually same time as Brändle and 23s behind Dowsett, 27s behind Castroviejo.. it isn't terrible!
And he won 44s on Aru and Zakarin was also 6s behind :)
On the flip side, now G Thomas has even become a chrono man, in addition to his miraculous climbing prowess. :p

And he aint even top-Dawg at Sky. :eek:

This is getting pathetic.
 
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rhubroma said:
LaFlorecita said:
Nice ITT for Alberto! Not his best ever, but virtually same time as Brändle and 23s behind Dowsett, 27s behind Castroviejo.. it isn't terrible!
And he won 44s on Aru and Zakarin was also 6s behind :)
On the flip side, now G Thomas has even become a chrono man, in addition to his miraculous climbing prowess. :p

And he aint even top-Dawg at Sky. :eek:

This is getting pathetic.
Geraint Thomas has always been a solid rouleur. His great climbing abilities are questionable, though.
 
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