Teams & Riders Alberto Contador Discussion Thread

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I don't think the course suits the current Contador that much. PdBF might already be somewhat problematic given the (last known) level of his opponents and what you can reasonably expect from his planned super peak, though he should do okay there. Still can't see him going toe-to-toe with Froome, Porte, Aru and Quintana on that climb.

What do you all think is an "acceptable" result there?
 
I don't think the course suits him a lot, but I see a course that doesn't really suit anyone to a T so in that regard, it's good for Berto. It can go so many ways.

PDBF, gaps are usually small, so if he loses more than 20s... of course depending on how the climb is raced
 
hfer07 said:
Alberto looks the kind of skinny shape he had in 2014 :eek:
hope he can do a great Tour, because this might be his last .....
is there a new photo today? or are you talking about the video posted to his instagram? I'm trying to make sure I'm reading from the same "tea leaves" :D
 
May 20, 2015
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I also find him skinny as hell ( 2014 skinny ?? he'll eventually crash out anyway and perform like sheet...) also on the latest photos (not only the video).
 
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gregrowlerson said:
On a slightly more serious note, I think that Contador is the hardest to predict of the contenders this year. In the sense that I think it is possible for him to be strongly in contention for the yellow jersey with many of us telling you, "I told you so", just as it is possible for him to a minute plus behind on most of the major stages and finish well outside the top five, with many of us telling you, "I told you so".

Is the 'real' Contador post ban closer to the 2012/13 version, or to the 2014 version?

The Contador that we have seen post 2014 has reached levels that are sort of in the middle of those two contrasts. Still, there are many debatable factors within these seasons, and only really Alberto, and perhaps those in his inner sanctum, can truly know what his form was like in those times, and what it is like - or is likely to be like - now.

Most of us seem to put a line through the 2013 Tour. I'm not sure why. Perhaps because it was a long time ago, and perhaps because his form in 2014 was clearly so much better, and that he erased some of the mental fatigue from Froome's battering of him there, with victory over him in the 2014 Vuelta. But none of us knows the true extent of their injuries from the 2014 Tour. We all assumed that Alberto's was far worse, but maybe Chris's injury - despite coming earlier in the race - was worse, and took longer to heal. Or maybe Contador's peak form that year was simply a level above Froome's (backed up by suggestions that he doesn't come as close to a peak at the Dauphne as Froome does)?

But even all of that is three years ago now.

So what about 2015? Was Contador's Giro a grand success, or a slight disappointment (in terms of performance level)? How close was Contador's level in the long ITT and on the Mortirolo, to Froome's on PSM? I would guess that if you took 'peak' Contador from two weeks into the Giro and threw him into that MTF, then he finishers around half a minute behind Froome. But that's just a guess. Maybe he wouldn't even have kept up with Quintana?

Contador's Giro and Froome's Tour are actually fairly similar from that season. They both built substantial GC leads, which came under a slight threat on the final GC relevant stage. Contador's situation briefly looked more threatening, and he looked to have cracked even more, but he didn't have any teammates. It is possible that without Porte, that Froome could have lost that Tour to Quintana.

But he had a strong team then, and he has a strong team now.

But on an overall performance level, Contador's Giro in 2015 is possibly not much lesser to Froome's Tour. I suppose it depends on how you rate the level of Astana vs. Quintana.

Contador has not produced anything as impressive as his two weeks into the Giro 2015 form, since, IMO. However, Froome also has not produced any out of this world climbing performances since the 2015 Tour. He smashed Contador in last years long Vuelta ITT, but there are none of those in this years Tour (and on a lesser note Contador just beat him in this years Dauphne ITT anyway).

And what of that 2016 Vuelta? Much like the 2014 Vuelta, we don't know the full extent of Contador's circumstances from his injury at the Tour. We thought that his 2016 injury was lesser than his 2014 one, but perhaps it wasn't? Or perhaps his recovery from such an injury just isn't as good when two years older? Or perhaps it was just that his 2016 overall form, was that much below his 2014 form?

In 2017 Contador is still showing good form, if not close to what he showed on some stages in 2014. His performances in Paris-Nice showed us that he still has the hunger for real racing, and even that his legs still feel those "sensations" on occasion. If Froome doesn't return to quite his 2013 and 2015 level, and if Contador doesn't fall off his bike (a big IF), then to me, he has an outside chance at winning another Tour. Porte is likely to be stronger uphill and in the ITT's (at his peak level), but he hasn't faced the pressure of holding onto the lead in the third week of a GT yet. Contador won't count himself out if he is within striking distance going into the Alps.

And then we have Quintana who I doubt can win after doing the Giro, and a 37 year old Valverde (plus some other hopefuls such as Bardet and the Astana boys).

Contador is 34. That's old, but these days it's not that old. Evans won the Tour at 34. Armstrong won his last Tour at 33 (and podiumed at 37). Valverde is podiuming GT's beyond his mid 30's. And then there is Chris Horner.

And the course suits Contador. Even that last ITT. It is short, and has a short sharp hill in the middle of it.

I can almost see Alberto snatching yellow right there, right now :D
He certainly looked stronger in 2014 than in the other years (2013, 2015 and 2016) but if anything, 2014 is the odd one out, as I think he's been roughly equally strong in 2013, 2015 and 2016.
 
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Publicus said:
portugal11 said:
He did any recon of tour's stages?
I don't know. What climbs besides Mont Chat (which he rode in the Dauphine) has he not raced before? I personally can't think of any.
He did a recon of the last TT. Not sure about the mountains though... The thing is, a lot of climbs this year are very simmilar to 2012 (PDBF, Peyragudes, Mur de Peguere) when he missed the Tour. So I'm not sure if he knows them or not...
 
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Red Rick said:
2013 equal as 2015?

Really?
Roughly. He might have been a tad better in 2015, but not by much I think. Of course it's hard to compare, but looking at the stage races not much separate the two:

2015:

Ruta del Sol: 2nd
Tirreno: 5th
Catalunya: 4th

2013:

San Luis: 4th
Oman: 2nd
Tirreno: 3rd
Pais Vasco: 5th
Dauphiné: 10th
 
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Hugo Koblet said:
Red Rick said:
2013 equal as 2015?

Really?
Roughly. He might have been a tad better in 2015, but not by much I think. Of course it's hard to compare, but looking at the stage races not much separate the two:

2015:

Ruta del Sol: 2nd
Tirreno: 5th
Catalunya: 4th

2013:

San Luis: 4th
Oman: 2nd
Tirreno: 3rd
Pais Vasco: 5th
Dauphiné: 10th
I highly doubt he would've been able to win the 2015 Giro in 2013 form
 
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Hugo Koblet said:
Roughly. He might have been a tad better in 2015, but not by much I think. Of course it's hard to compare, but looking at the stage races not much separate the two:

2015:

Ruta del Sol: 2nd
Tirreno: 5th
Catalunya: 4th
Route du Sud: 1st

2013:

San Luis: 4th
Oman: 2nd
Tirreno: 3rd
Pais Vasco: 5th
Dauphiné: 10th
Fixed
 
an interview in dutch available here but you need a subscription
http://www.nieuwsblad.be/cnt/dmf20170627_02943897

the title says : "finally a strong team behind me again"

Christian Preud'homme says he'll be the Luis Ocana of this Tdf because in 1977 Ocana was supposed to be too old to win ...

one thing has to be hoped for that he can start PdBF at more or less the same time of the others and hasn't been a victim of a crash...

did he ever climb PdBF already in a TdF?
 
May 20, 2015
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Lexman said:
an interview in dutch available here but you need a subscription
http://www.nieuwsblad.be/cnt/dmf20170627_02943897

the title says : "finally a strong team behind me again"

Christian Preud'homme says he'll be the Luis Ocana of this Tdf because in 1977 Ocana was supposed to be too old to win ...

one thing has to be hoped for that he can start PdBF at more or less the same time of the others and hasn't been a victim of a crash...

did he ever climb PdBF already in a TdF?

If i had one thing to ask from this tour it would be this...
 
Pretty good article from cyclingnews; very accurate imo.

http://www.cyclingnews.com/features/tour-de-france-alberto-contadors-last-roll-of-the-dice/

And what a fantastic finishing quote:

“I want people to remember that I attacked from a long way out, and that I fought until the end to try and win. I want people to remember me for these things. It’s not easy to look at racing now and see these things because racing is always under control with strong teams. If people can look back, go to YouTube, and see some of the attacks I made from 100km from the finish, that’s what I want to be remembered for.”
 
The question is asked of why, at the age of 34, Contador is still plugging away and searching for a third Tour de France title. So many of his rivals from the late 2000s and early 2010s have hung up their wheels and moved onto new lives away from the pressures of professional cycling. Now, when Contador sits down for dinner at races only the withered, wind-battered lines on Haimar Zubeldia’s face remind him that he still has some time on his side.

“Being one of the oldest Tour winners… that’s more motivation for me. I don’t like it but hey. Sometimes when we’re at the dinner table and we start talking about some of the history and the names, and some of my teammates haven’t heard of them, then I realise I’m maybe getting on a bit. But I’ll be here until I’m 35 or 36, I don’t know. But what I do know is that I have the rest of my life to enjoy the small things.”
:) :(
 

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