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Teams & Riders Alberto Contador Discussion Thread

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Re:

Miburo said:
For a mere mortal like you maybe RR. Watch some vids of real champions and you'll understand it maybe.

But once again maybe he thought he could win with those legs which means that he's really done. I'm done using crashes as an excuse, it's getting pathetic imo

What is interesting is how many of the crashes are his own fault. He used to be a much better bike handler. Contador may have left Astana on bad terms as well which may be why he did not want to return there. Contador is still the ad lib aggressive rider he always was but I don't think he has the same power anymore especially on the climbs. Looking good in one week long races in April is one thing but it doesn't always mean much for grand tours. I think the help Contador got from Tinkoff was overrated. Nothing like Astana or Discovery. I couldn't believe how badly they performed as a team in the last Tour although they looked a little better in the Vuelta. Obviously when it is announced that the team is disbanding it doesn't make for high morale and a well functioning team and riders knew that their individual performances needed to count to obtain a new contract. Tinkoff himself only wanted to talk about Sagan, it seemed he had already lost interest in Contador after the first few days of the race.
 
I thought he mainly complained about the flat course and the lack of opportunities to regain lost time after the TT, not really about the length.. he is clearly a bit intimidated by Froome's TT prowess
Either way I was surprised to see him so critical of a route but it's also kind of refreshing.
 
Re: Re:

hrotha said:
yaco said:
I could understand Contador complaining if the TT was in stage 21 in the Giro and stage 20 in the TDF - The placement in stage 16 gives climber types opportunities to get time back.
If only other climbers would try to get time in advance instead of simply taking it back.
This. Why aren't we talking about the TTers having to take back time come the ITT? Ridiculous.
 
Re: Re:

jsem94 said:
hrotha said:
yaco said:
I could understand Contador complaining if the TT was in stage 21 in the Giro and stage 20 in the TDF - The placement in stage 16 gives climber types opportunities to get time back.
If only other climbers would try to get time in advance instead of simply taking it back.
This. Why aren't we talking about the TTers having to take back time come the ITT? Ridiculous.

Because Froome will likely put close to three minutes into everyone in that TT and if he has a full strength team then it's all she wrote.
 
Re:

LaFlorecita said:
I thought he mainly complained about the flat course and the lack of opportunities to regain lost time after the TT, not really about the length.. he is clearly a bit intimidated by Froome's TT prowess
Either way I was surprised to see him so critical of a route but it's also kind of refreshing.
Which also is stupid. There's a hard stage 17 immediately proceeding and then a stage very alike to the one he won at Fuente Dé. The stage to Gijón isn't easy either and then you have the hardest stage of the Vuelta on stage 20.

But yeah. Had this time trial been in the Vuelta 2016, things would really have gotten interesting...
 
Re: Re:

jsem94 said:
hrotha said:
yaco said:
I could understand Contador complaining if the TT was in stage 21 in the Giro and stage 20 in the TDF - The placement in stage 16 gives climber types opportunities to get time back.
If only other climbers would try to get time in advance instead of simply taking it back.
This. Why aren't we talking about the TTers having to take back time come the ITT? Ridiculous.

You don't consider, however, in today's cycling the mountains don't make the gaps they used to. TT can make much larger ones. A good time trialist who can climb, can gain an advantage that potentially kills the rest of the race. From a techincal point of view the TT parcours needs to be formulated in light of this. It isn't the length, but the terrain. The same improvements made in the mountains by the exceptional time trialist, have not been obtained by exceptional climbers in the time trials. In other words, time trialing has become even more of a specialization, than climbing. Long tt's in GTs should be designed with this in mind. This isn't in defense of AC, but considers the reality of modern cycling (not that of 30 years ago).
 
Re: Re:

rhubroma said:
jsem94 said:
hrotha said:
yaco said:
I could understand Contador complaining if the TT was in stage 21 in the Giro and stage 20 in the TDF - The placement in stage 16 gives climber types opportunities to get time back.
If only other climbers would try to get time in advance instead of simply taking it back.
This. Why aren't we talking about the TTers having to take back time come the ITT? Ridiculous.

You don't consider, however, in today's cycling the mountains don't make the gaps they used to. TT can make much larger ones. A good time trialist who can climb, can gain an advantage that potentially kills the rest of the race. From a techincal point of view the TT parcours need to be formulated in light of this. It isn't the length, but the terrain. The same improvements made in the mountains by the exceptional time trialist, have not been obtained by exceptional climbers in the time trials. In other words, time trialing has become even more of a specialization, than climbing. Long tt's in GTs should be designed with this in mind. This isn't in defense of AC, but considers the reality of modern cycling (not that of 30 years ago).

Spot on with your post - History of GT's show that unless the main GC contenders are evenly matched in the ITT ( which does happen at times ) then the stronger TTe will win about 70% of Gt's, while the stronger climber will win around 30%.
 
Re: Re:

yaco said:
rhubroma said:
jsem94 said:
hrotha said:
yaco said:
I could understand Contador complaining if the TT was in stage 21 in the Giro and stage 20 in the TDF - The placement in stage 16 gives climber types opportunities to get time back.
If only other climbers would try to get time in advance instead of simply taking it back.
This. Why aren't we talking about the TTers having to take back time come the ITT? Ridiculous.

You don't consider, however, in today's cycling the mountains don't make the gaps they used to. TT can make much larger ones. A good time trialist who can climb, can gain an advantage that potentially kills the rest of the race. From a techincal point of view the TT parcours need to be formulated in light of this. It isn't the length, but the terrain. The same improvements made in the mountains by the exceptional time trialist, have not been obtained by exceptional climbers in the time trials. In other words, time trialing has become even more of a specialization, than climbing. Long tt's in GTs should be designed with this in mind. This isn't in defense of AC, but considers the reality of modern cycling (not that of 30 years ago).

Spot on with your post - History of GT's show that unless the main GC contenders are evenly matched in the ITT ( which does happen at times ) then the stronger TTe will win about 70% of Gt's, while the stronger climber will win around 30%.

A GT course should be balanced, but in regards to cycling today. A contender that once could be put in dificulty, or was at least vulnerable, in the mouintains, today drops pure climbers and gains 3 minutes on them in a long, flat TT. If you want a boring race, then give that person 5 of the top ten climbers in the world as his domestiques and then throw in a long, flat TT and watch everyone else race for placements.
 
I have to agree with rhubroma. Of course, Froome is probably the best allrounder so he shouldn't be handicapped just for the sake of it. However, let's be honest, even with less TT km or a hillier TT, he'd still be one of the favorites, if not the main favorite to win the race. He is the best or perhaps 2nd best climber in the world and also by far the best TTer among the GC contenders. He can simply push way more Watts than the others (he is also at least 5 to 10kg heavier than most others). Add in a hill in that 40km TT, and the lighter GT contenders have at least a chance to limit the damage, but it would still be a good opportunity for Froome to gain time. As it stands now, pretty much every GT contender is looking at a 2-3 minute loss as the bare minimum. Unless Froome doesn't start or crashes out, I don't see how anyone can beat him, and it's still 8 months away.

I thought Alberto's criticism was very much out of character though, I can only assume he is either very disappointed because the Vuelta is supposed to be his farewell race, or he's already setting himself up to skip the race because "the parcours doesn't suit me, I won't race if I know I can't win" or something similar.

In other news, Alberto is now in Tenerife, he will train with Jesus, Zubeldia, Felline and Cardoso
I saw that Trek have contracted some former freediving world champion to help the riders breathe better, this guy can supposedly hold his breath for 6 minutes so I am really excited about this partnership :)
Also, as you know I am not and have never been a fan of the Trek team but looking at some social media posts from the past weeks, there seems to be a great atmosphere. Alberto looks so much more relaxed than I've seen him in the past years, I'm confident the new surroundings will work great for him. He seems to get along very well with his new teammates and I'm especially excited about his relationship with Pantano and Cardoso, who should be his main helpers uphill.
 
Re:

hrotha said:
I think you guys have the causality wrong. Mountain stages don't usually create such big gaps anymore because nobody needs to create big gaps anymore due to the lack of time-trialing. When they're raced less conservatively, mayhem and big gaps ensue.
Yeah, I'm not as optimistic as you are. We've seen many races in which going all in was the only option to defeat the leader, but instead we saw conservative racing. Big gaps in the mountains are simply no longer a thing unless your name is Froome and you can spin away and gain 2 minutes in 5km uphill. Big gaps in the TTs will only make riders happier to race for 2nd place. Of course, if the rider gaining time in the TT is someone like Dumoulin, aggressive racing can and will be used to turn him over (see 2015 Vuelta) however against the best climber in the world riding for the best team in the world it seems a futile exercise and I don't blame the riders for not trying anymore.
 
Re: Re:

LaFlorecita said:
hrotha said:
I think you guys have the causality wrong. Mountain stages don't usually create such big gaps anymore because nobody needs to create big gaps anymore due to the lack of time-trialing. When they're raced less conservatively, mayhem and big gaps ensue.
Yeah, I'm not as optimistic as you are. We've seen many races in which going all in was the only option to defeat the leader, but instead we saw conservative racing. Big gaps in the mountains are simply no longer a thing unless your name is Froome and you can spin away and gain 2 minutes in 5km uphill. Big gaps in the TTs will only make riders happier to race for 2nd place. Of course, if the rider gaining time in the TT is someone like Dumoulin, aggressive racing can and will be used to turn him over (see 2015 Vuelta) however against the best climber in the world riding for the best team in the world it seems a futile exercise and I don't blame the riders for not trying anymore.
I don't agree. See the last two Giri for races with big gaps in the mountains in stages that were raced in a more traditional way. It's true that we've seen many races where the riders who have no chance of winning by racing conservatively still choose to do that nonetheless, but in my opinion that's because it's hard to break a bad habit. For an example, look at Orica at the Vuelta and how reluctant they were to send Chaves up the road earlish to get Contador out of the podium even when Stephens was telling them it was the only way to achieve their goal.
 
Re:

hrotha said:
I think you guys have the causality wrong. Mountain stages don't usually create such big gaps anymore because nobody needs to create big gaps anymore due to the lack of time-trialing. When they're raced less conservatively, mayhem and big gaps ensue.

No, since USPostal they've been able to put the throttle down with five guys doing a sprinter's train up a mountain though. When only 5 guys are left (two of which are the capitan's domestiques)...fireworks from the guy they set up to win.

The total TT distance in a GT has been lessened as a direct result of this causality. Othewise there would be even less of a battle then we already get. This is the cycling of watts and high budgets. At this point, I'd be for eliminating the TT altogether.
 
Re: Re:

Miburo said:
Angliru said:
Miburo said:
And my point is that Contador doesn't look good in the jersey.

I'm not sure what's hard to understand about that one :D

IMO it's the jersey the ruins it all. It's really not an attractive design. Charlize Theron couldn't make that jersey look good....well she probably could but it would take a phenomenal beauty like her to dress it up. Contador usually makes most kits look better but I believe the blandness of the Trek kit is a challenge that even he can't meet.

Thanks for a reasonable response.

Yea it just looks terrible

You're welcome but don't be too hasty with the niceties! I have to disagree with you on Contador's options other than Trek. I can't imagine another team that would have supplied him with the supporting cast to compete with the might of Movistar and Sky. With Cancellara stepping away from the sport Trek needed a big name, they had that opening in their budget without having to sacrifice anyone from their lineup from 2016.