Teams & Riders Alberto Contador Discussion Thread

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Jul 1, 2013
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Simurgh said:
No matter what happens in the rest of the Tour and in the coming year(s), Alberto Contador will always be my hero and inspiration. Andy and Team Saxo Bank may have drawn me into cycling, but Alberto (especially from Tour 2011 onwards) kept me in cycling, and made me evolve from a july fan to watching cycling of every kind. As I wrote in the race thread, he is a true legend. Riding with his heart, not his calculator. I, as well as you, all of us can feel privileged and honored that we have had the chance to enjoy his riding while he is still active!
Agree.. But if you can't keep up with the opponents calculations you are going nowhere. He is not physically capable of coping with the Elite level intensity Froome pumps out, since 29!
 
Jul 10, 2009
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rick james said:
I don't mind Bertie (he's a dog lover so whats not to like?) its just the fact that some of his fans, and its mostly the ones that want him to retie because he doesn't win anymore that get to me, they think he has the right to win every race he turns up at
I don't think it has to do with winning, it has to do with the unique brand that the person is known for. Bertie was not an Indurian or EddieM etc. He had his own style of riding and of animating races. To not see that brand anymore from him does not make anyone less a fan but it makes it difficult to recognize the person. One, we miss the brand, second we do not want Bertie associated with any other brand. Bertie winning through say the mechanical Power-Meter Froome style is strange.

Perhaps he should have changed, perhaps he should not, perhaps he could not, just not in his DNA. And perhaps it was a weakness on his part that he could not change. In today's world where you have to reinvent yourself every two years, if you cannot change you get chopped.

Baffling though that Froome has survived the last 5 years with literally the same style, perhaps cycling needs to shape up, and perhaps it will. I think this might be his last life cycle year, technology changes in cycling will make life cycle shorter as we progress.
 
Jul 1, 2013
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jilbiker said:
rick james said:
I don't mind Bertie (he's a dog lover so whats not to like?) its just the fact that some of his fans, and its mostly the ones that want him to retie because he doesn't win anymore that get to me, they think he has the right to win every race he turns up at
I don't think it has to do with winning, it has to do with the unique brand that the person is known for. Bertie was not an Indurian or EddieM etc. He had his own style of riding and of animating races. To not see that brand anymore from him does not make anyone less a fan but it makes it difficult to recognize the person. One, we miss the brand, second we do not want Bertie associated with any other brand. Bertie winning through say the mechanical Power-Meter Froome style is strange.

Perhaps he should have changed, perhaps he should not, perhaps he could not, just not in his DNA. And perhaps it was a weakness on his part that he could not change. In today's world where you have to reinvent yourself every two years, if you cannot change you get chopped.

Baffling though that Froome has survived the last 5 years with literally the same style, perhaps cycling needs to shape up, and perhaps it will. I think this might be his last life cycle year, technology changes in cycling will make life cycle shorter as we progress.
Nothing is changing for Froome. Just more GT wins. You used the word DNA, that's exactly Contador problem, he does not have the genetic gifts Froome has. Take a long hard look at there physiques, it's plain to see.
 
The Hitch said:
Well now its definately the end, barring some Pereiro type stuff. But this is not the Contador of 2011 or 2014. Too long now he's seemed to me to be more of a broken man, and the old aura is gone.

So if its goodbye, its a different goodbye than for most riders. He's maybe (despite the fact that Froome now outshines him), the most significant cyclist of the millenium. Certainly his fanbase seems to me the biggest of any cyclist since Pantani, and that's also significant, not just winning titles. The story is also interesting - more so than the Froome or Armstrong ones of - win easily every year. As is the personality and character.

I think what people saw in Contador that made them like him, was that he has traits of an alpha male. Armstrong was portrayed as that, but the ruthlessness about him created the aura of someone who was unable to remain calm under pressure - a form of weakness. Froome's story makes him look like more of a robot than an actual human being and people don't look up to that. Nor do they like someone who seems to so obviously be living a lie.

Contador was calm, always. He never seemed to betray hate. He was diplomatic, and didn't speak or appear that much- creating mystery. His early dominance, combined with the way he was able to light up stages
like no one else occasionally, taking risks gave him a reputation of someone who was always in with a chance and who would never give up. These are traits people look for in their heroes.
He in some ways run on this reputation way beyond its expiry date, visible by the fact that despite not coming close to even wearing a yellow jersey since 2010, somehow every year his fans think he could win.

The doping clouds never hurt him that much, because he never won after they surfaced. Vino maybe had the same thing, which is why a similar cult of personality surrounded him, and actually his profile wasn't too different from the above one I outline for Contador.

On the other hand, if Contador had won his Tours towards the end of his career, they would be remembered more fondly. It would have been a more happy story.

The fact that he won them at the beginning, and then added only giros and vueltas in the second half, will make it for many people a - what could have been. And more of a sad story. Potential unrealised.

Because the way the early years went, maybe he could have made it top 3 of all time with Eddy and Hinault.
No one will ever make that argument now.

But he's still young and got his life set for him, a young family. Hopefully he'll be able to enjoy it, build on it and put cycling behind him.

Once its all over it doesn't even matter that much what you won back when you were young, but the family and the day to day. At the end of the day I doubt its neccesarily the Eddy's and the Bernard's and the Miguel's that live the most satisfying lives. Life is a very different game to cycling.

Could he have beaten Froome at some point? 2014 was obviously the year and that one will always hurt the most for his fans. But hey these things happen to people. I will always feel it was an idiotic decision to go for the Giro in 2015, abdicating his last chance at a win at the Grandady of them all. But it was his decision so hopefully he doesn't regret it. 2013 was out of character, and maybe the one Contador himself will regret most, if he thinks he could have beaten Froome, but it is a hard sport and even people like Contdor can fail to match it sometimes. The clen thing, well that was the worst thing that happened to him and it was a bit of bad luck at the end of the day. Still, others got off worse and at least he still salvaged a second half of a career out of it, which many others were never able to. If it had never happened, probably he would have also won the Tour in 2011 and maybe 2012. But then would he have had as many devoted fans as the new Armstrong? I doubt it, having something to fight against, made him what he became.

That he never won the fight though is a sad ending to the story. For me I will always look back on Contador as a case of what could have been. But its a reminder that cycling really is amongst the most cold, brutal sports, and at the end of the day, as the likes of Marco and Michelle have shown us, there are worse ways for it to end. And maybe Contadors young fans will learn lesson from this too. Your heroes do not always win. Sometimes you have to take the loss and suck it up. And then do the same again year after year. Its a better lesson than the spoilt kids get who's favourite sports stars/ teams always win. And if it helps them live a better life, then maybe Contador's career will have done some good in that way too
Fantastic post Hitch.

He may not have won the fight, but at the same time he really did. Your post, and the admiration that so many of us have for Alberto, actually confirms it.

I will probably spoil this now, by saying something far too corny, but I love this movie, and it just came to me now. It is A Few Good Men (a cycling remake certainly wouldn't star Tinkoff....even Nicholson's character had potentially redeeming characteristics) and the ending. No, not the part of the ending that everyone knows....because we as hardcore members of a cycling road racing forum can obviously handle the truth :D

But it is when Cruise's character, after the main man (Dawson) who he has been defending has been found not guilty, yet still discharged from the marines, says; "You don't have to wear a badge to have honour."

That's how I feel about Contador. He did have to win a Tour in the second half of his career, I see your point.

But I can also see that he didn't have to.
 
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portugal11 said:
rick james said:
LaFlorecita said:
yaco said:
the folk that want him to retire because he doesn't win anymore are not real fans of Bertie, everybody fades at some point, he might not have it in grand tours anymore but week long races can still play in to his hands
Well spoken rick :surprised:
Exactly what I was thinking.

I have never really been a big Bertie fan, but more of an appreciator partly because of what rhubroma said that Bertie has never raced like an insipid robotic. But also because I think he's basically a good guy who had the strength to refuse to be run over roughshod by a tyrannical team leader some years ago. I respect all that. Whatever happens with Bertie's future, I selfishly hope he does not completely disappear from the racing scene because its a sad thing when likable racing icons completely fade away. For instance, I like the fact Jens Voigt has become a commentator.
 
All the pretty pixels being so sweetly spilled notwithstanding, it's a little early for an eulogy, folks. He could still do something here. And give Froome a run for his money at the Vuelta.
 
Jul 1, 2013
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Look on the bright side, when the next multiple Tour winner does breakthrough he will probably ride for sky !
 
[/quote]Very nice post Hitch.

I think what hurts the most is that as the narrative in our minds (and probably his as well) that he has unfinished business at the Tour de France, the one race which is regarded as the highest he could achieve. From being booed in 2011 to now, 6 years later, the biggest race in the world has caused him and his fans sparsely good memories. The fact that he was so bad in 2013, and Sky coming down on the race has made people talk like Alberto Contador was a relic of a bygone era. Even in his greatest season since his comeback, he did not get a chance to fight for the win, and I think that's what hurts the most. He didn't even get the chance to fight for the win, be it missing peaks, be it crashing, be it Giro's, he's always underperformed compared to what he can actually do. Even now, people seem to assume that today showcased his true level. I don't believe that. Being outclimbed by a guy with a single Vuelta top 10 to his name, who fractured his pelvis 2 months ago and who's been in the breakaway 2 days in a row isn't what he can do. And he's not been able to show what he can do at the biggest stage for 6 years now.

For me personally, it's been similar to watching my favorite tennis player, Andy Roddick, chase his 2nd Grand Slam victory for years. The 2014 Tour crash had a 09' Wimbledon feel to it.[/quote]
Its funny that you write that because Roddick was also my favourite tennis player and the 2009 Wimbledon final a very harsh one to watch. My heart always drops when I see highlights of it. And Roddick had that easy volley that would have won that 2nd set. Morally it would have been 100x better for Roddick to get 1 than fed to get another one.

But I always force myself to watch it, to relive the pain, and remind myself that Roddick's story or Contador's story is not my story.

And hey Roddick's got a supermodel wife. Not that that neccesarily leads to happiness ultimately, but it certainly puts into perspective how pathetic it is to feel sorry for him. He's got tv gigs, retired early, won't have to work any job he doesn't want, his kids futures are set. Is that who I should be feeling sorry for? Considering there's 24 million people living as slaves in North Korea currently, millions of others around the world living other forms of suffering. Its just a trick of the brain that we identify with characters we see on tv.

Contador hasn't got it that bad. He's also set financially, and this being born into what I understand is more of a poorer neighbourhood in Pinto. He's financially set, got a loving wife (or I remember it that way), he survived the brain scare, he can help his unfortunate brother (which in some ways is more important than a million TDF's). And heck, he tasted 3 times the glory of winning the Tour de France. One of them he got from Rasmussen who doesn't even have that consolation. But Rasmussen seems like a happy man as well.

Winning TDF's can also be a curse. Floyd's life probably would have been way better if he had never got there, Armstrong probably in a similar boat. Pantani paid in a different way. Fignon died young too as did Anquetil. Compare the latter to his rival Poulidor. 50 years ago we would have been sorry for Poulidor in favour of Fignon. But who of them has been living by all accounts a very nice life as an icon for 40 years since. I think people like Pereiro and Sastre who can win a Tour quietly and then retire have it best of all.[/quote]

Yes, Roddick should have won Wimbledon, but yeah, the points you make, and well, I saw him interviewed extensively fairly recently, and he seems really happy. Wouldn't surprise me if he was happier than Sampras, Agassi, etc.

Roddick wasn't my favourite player, but I liked how he always seemed so honest, to the extent of even losing his temper semi-often (this is actually also why I currently love Daria Gavrilova....okay, I also think she is very cute; but there is a genuineness that comes out in her personality, and a real joy for life in some moments too) on the court. Perhaps emotions got the better of him at times, and if he was a little more robotic, maybe a little more Federer like in that way, then he would have won Wimbledon, and maybe more than once. But would have you liked him more if he had? Probably not. And would he have liked himself more? Maybe then, yes. Now? Probably not.

For me it has always been easier to identify with or attach myself to, sportspeople who have downs as well as ups (some more obvious than others....Contador has obviously had a HUGE amount of success). I am a bigger fan of Scottie Pippen than Michael Jordan. And yes, I still watch that Game 7 of the Western Conference finals for Portland against the Lakers. A lot of people say that Pippen needed an NBA championship without Jordan....and he probably did.

But the way that he and the Blazers went down in flames in that fourth quarter; that was just so Pippen. Not that Contador going down on Mont Du Chat was so Contador....I don't think this is at all defining for Alberto.

I don't think it is. Though unfortunately it is probably defining to some others.

Also, as has been said, this is their life. And we have ours. We don't - or we shouldn't - live our lives through our sports heroes. But it can be a nice - and a positive - distraction; one that I would have talked down inside myself during some periods of my life, as being pretty much a pointless exercise. But as long as you still have balance in life, then taking a large interest in some sports stars, particularly those who animate their art as much as Alberto, isn't such a bad way to be.
 
Re: Re:

on3m@n@rmy said:
portugal11 said:
rick james said:
LaFlorecita said:
yaco said:
the folk that want him to retire because he doesn't win anymore are not real fans of Bertie, everybody fades at some point, he might not have it in grand tours anymore but week long races can still play in to his hands
Well spoken rick :surprised:
Exactly what I was thinking.

I have never really been a big Bertie fan, but more of an appreciator partly because of what rhubroma said that Bertie has never raced like an insipid robotic. But also because I think he's basically a good guy who had the strength to refuse to be run over roughshod by a tyrannical team leader some years ago. I respect all that. Whatever happens with Bertie's future, I selfishly hope he does not completely disappear from the racing scene because its a sad thing when likable racing icons completely fade away. For instance, I like the fact Jens Voigt has become a commentator.
I don't think Berto would make a good DS or a good commentator. He'll probably stick around doing some work for his youth teams (maybe soon to be pro) but I don't think we'll see him much.
 
Electress said:
The Hitch said:
If Contador had won his Tours towards the end of his career, they would be remembered more fondly.

The fact that he won them at the beginning, and then added only giros and vueltas in the second half, will make it for many people a - what could have been.

Maybe he could have made it top 3 of all time with Eddy and Hinault.
No one will ever make that argument now.

But he's still young and got his life set for him, a young family. Hopefully he'll be able to enjoy it, build on it and put cycling behind him.

Once its all over it doesn't even matter that much what you won back when you were young, but the family and the day to day. At the end of the day I doubt its neccesarily the Eddy's and the Bernard's and the Miguel's that live the most satisfying lives. Life is a very different game to cycling.

I think what people saw in Contador that made them like him, (certainly his fanbase seems to me the biggest of any cyclist since Pantani) was that he has traits of an alpha male. Armstrong was portrayed as that, but the ruthlessness about him created the aura of someone who was unable to remain calm under pressure - a form of weakness. Contador was calm, always. He never seemed to betray hate. He was diplomatic, and didn't speak or appear that much- creating mystery. His early dominance, combined with the way he was able to light up stages occasionally, taking risks gave him a reputation of someone who was always in with a chance and who would never give up. All traits people look for in their heroes. He in some ways run on this reputation way beyond its expiry date, visible by the fact that despite not coming close to even wearing a yellow jersey since 2010, somehow every year his fans think he could win.

For me I will always look back on Contador as a case of what could have been. Its sad for me because I would have been happy for him to win one more in the last 7 years. But its a reminder that cycling really is amongst the most cold, brutal sports, and at the end of the day, as the likes of Marco and Michelle have shown us, there are worse ways for it to end.
This is a nice and thoughtful post to see amidst some of the gloating. I certainly would agree with a lot of it. Funny about the Alpha male thing, though. I wouldn't describe him as that - perhaps because I equate 'alphas' with more extrovert tendencies and desire to dominate others. A lot of the qualities of 'alphas' - confidence, single-mindedness, competitiveness etc. - can all too quickly overspill into some pretty unpleasant excesses - arrogance, conceit, vanity, bullying, ruthlessness, braggadoccio etc. etc. A need to be the centre of attention in all ways and all areas. To win everything. Even the game of tag with your kid; whatever.

Where Contador appears to be different is that he doesn't tend to exhibit these excesses much and certainly very little outside racing. Despite immense talent, he's seemed to keep his feet pretty well on the ground and retain a sense of dignity, humility and perspective even immediately after disappointment. He might not be the 'big extrovert personality', but there is a lot of appeal in someone who appears consistent and sincere in their behaviour;to have integrity.

Regarding traits one looks for in heroes - for me that is very much linked to the way Contador races: I have an intense dislike and mistrust of the 'system' and over-bearing, rigid, planned control; I like the people who can mix things up by being freakishly talented, unpredictable, having courage and instinct and being prepared to take chances and live with the consequences. So I guess Contador's way of racing helps to affirm my attitude to life - that's it's a hell of a lot more fun, more inspiring, more pretty much anything, to go for it than to live according to a calculated playbook. I guess maybe that way you don't always win what you could, but the chance to go up or down in glorious flames is about a million per cent higher. For all Contador is ageing, stuff like last year's Vuelta and this year's Paris-Nice show that this aspect at least is the same as ever.

I am sorry about today. I wish it were different, but not everything last's forever, and I'll take whatever throws of the dice he feels like giving for the rest of his career, because frankly, he's still the guy that whatever race he's in, makes the race just a little more interesting. We need more like that - cycling is most fun when it's predominantly about individual exploits and individual goals - whether that's a loan breakaway holding off the peloton against the odds, or a guy like Contador doing some long-range attack and shattering the predicted roadbook. It's better if they win in the end, but I still wouldn't trade. Those folks are the reason I watch cycling.
Well, this is another epic post!

Especially love what I have bolded.
 
Re: Re:

arvc40 said:
jilbiker said:
rick james said:
I don't mind Bertie (he's a dog lover so whats not to like?) its just the fact that some of his fans, and its mostly the ones that want him to retie because he doesn't win anymore that get to me, they think he has the right to win every race he turns up at
I don't think it has to do with winning, it has to do with the unique brand that the person is known for. Bertie was not an Indurian or EddieM etc. He had his own style of riding and of animating races. To not see that brand anymore from him does not make anyone less a fan but it makes it difficult to recognize the person. One, we miss the brand, second we do not want Bertie associated with any other brand. Bertie winning through say the mechanical Power-Meter Froome style is strange.

Perhaps he should have changed, perhaps he should not, perhaps he could not, just not in his DNA. And perhaps it was a weakness on his part that he could not change. In today's world where you have to reinvent yourself every two years, if you cannot change you get chopped.

Baffling though that Froome has survived the last 5 years with literally the same style, perhaps cycling needs to shape up, and perhaps it will. I think this might be his last life cycle year, technology changes in cycling will make life cycle shorter as we progress.
Nothing is changing for Froome. Just more GT wins. You used the word DNA, that's exactly Contador problem, he does not have the genetic gifts Froome has. Take a long hard look at there physiques, it's plain to see.
I don't agree with this, just DNA enhancers and a whole lot of marginal gains.
 
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LaFlorecita said:
Doesn't sound like he's planning on going for stages and unfortunately it also sounds like he believes the crashes were to blame for his poor showing
Interestingly, about his 2nd crash, he says "I don't know why Nairo pushed me". I hope it wasn't deliberate.
https://twitter.com/AS_Ciclismo/status/884400423725129730
C'mon Nairo Quintna pushing anyone ?? The man's a mouse...and if he was going to push anyone better Porte or Aru ...at least they are nearer his size

Looks like Contador is not accepting his form is not there
 
Re: Re:

HelloDolly said:
LaFlorecita said:
Doesn't sound like he's planning on going for stages and unfortunately it also sounds like he believes the crashes were to blame for his poor showing
Interestingly, about his 2nd crash, he says "I don't know why Nairo pushed me". I hope it wasn't deliberate.
https://twitter.com/AS_Ciclismo/status/884400423725129730
C'mon Nairo Quintna pushing anyone ?? The man's a mouse...and if he was going to push anyone better Porte or Aru ...at least they are nearer his size

Looks like Contador is not accepting his form is not there
Berto isn't quite a giant either is he :)
I had hoped he would realize he needs to adjust his goals for this race... but he'll just keep struggling along.
 
Great posts by a lot of people in this thread. Especially the post of Hitch makes me a little bit sad. He should have won at least one post-ban and he will now be remembered as a worse cyclist than Froome because of his crashes on '14 and '16. :( :(
And as Hitch says, cycling is a brutal and cruel sport. And I also think that Contador is broken mentally after Tour and Vuelta '16 (he crashed twice in Tour '16 and abandoned because of it and couldn't recover for Vuelta in enough time) and P-N '17. He looked very good for 2017 but that last stage in P-N '17 just broke him mentally. After finishing 2nd in Catalunya and PV as well (the latter with a small gap) maybe he was totally done mentally and just gave up.
 
Re:

Forever The Best said:
Great posts by a lot of people in this thread. Especially the post of Hitch makes me a little bit sad. He should have won at least one post-ban and he will now be remembered as a worse cyclist than Froome because of his crashes on '14 and '16. :( :(
And as Hitch says, cycling is a brutal and cruel sport. And I also think that Contador is broken mentally after Tour and Vuelta '16 (he crashed twice in Tour '16 and abandoned because of it and couldn't recover for Vuelta in enough time) and P-N '17. He looked very good for 2017 but that last stage in P-N '17 just broke him mentally. After finishing 2nd in Catalunya and PV as well (the latter with a small gap) maybe he was totally done mentally and just gave up.

Really, why bring Froome into it
 
Apr 1, 2013
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LaFlorecita said:
HelloDolly said:
LaFlorecita said:
Doesn't sound like he's planning on going for stages and unfortunately it also sounds like he believes the crashes were to blame for his poor showing
Interestingly, about his 2nd crash, he says "I don't know why Nairo pushed me". I hope it wasn't deliberate.
https://twitter.com/AS_Ciclismo/status/884400423725129730
C'mon Nairo Quintna pushing anyone ?? The man's a mouse...and if he was going to push anyone better Porte or Aru ...at least they are nearer his size

Looks like Contador is not accepting his form is not there
Berto isn't quite a giant either is he :)
I had hoped he would realize he needs to adjust his goals for this race... but he'll just keep struggling along.
I guess in the end, the only cyclist you definitely never should try to push, unless you wish ending up in a barrier or the gutter, is Peter Sagan .....
 
Re: Re:

rick james said:
Forever The Best said:
Great posts by a lot of people in this thread. Especially the post of Hitch makes me a little bit sad. He should have won at least one post-ban and he will now be remembered as a worse cyclist than Froome because of his crashes on '14 and '16. :( :(
And as Hitch says, cycling is a brutal and cruel sport. And I also think that Contador is broken mentally after Tour and Vuelta '16 (he crashed twice in Tour '16 and abandoned because of it and couldn't recover for Vuelta in enough time) and P-N '17. He looked very good for 2017 but that last stage in P-N '17 just broke him mentally. After finishing 2nd in Catalunya and PV as well (the latter with a small gap) maybe he was totally done mentally and just gave up.

Really, why bring Froome into it
Well, if both retire today, some people will say that Froome has a better palmares, which I disagree with.
 
Re:

hrotha said:
"Nairo me tiró" means "Nairo made me crash" rather than "Nairo pushed me". Contador says Quintana crashed/ran into him, but it's ambiguous whether he's implying it was on purpose.
Thanks for the accurate translation. But by adding "I don't know why" does he not imply he feels it was on purpose?
Maybe Berto asked if Nairo was planning on paying him back for Formigal :p
 
Re: Re:

LaFlorecita said:
hrotha said:
"Nairo me tiró" means "Nairo made me crash" rather than "Nairo pushed me". Contador says Quintana crashed/ran into him, but it's ambiguous whether he's implying it was on purpose.
Thanks for the accurate translation. But by adding "I don't know why" does he not imply he feels it was on purpose?
Yes, but not definitively. It allows for the possibility that the "why" is like asking what happened, within or beyond his control, whether or not it was his fault, to make him ride into Contador.
 
Re: Re:

Forever The Best said:
rick james said:
Forever The Best said:
Great posts by a lot of people in this thread. Especially the post of Hitch makes me a little bit sad. He should have won at least one post-ban and he will now be remembered as a worse cyclist than Froome because of his crashes on '14 and '16. :( :(
And as Hitch says, cycling is a brutal and cruel sport. And I also think that Contador is broken mentally after Tour and Vuelta '16 (he crashed twice in Tour '16 and abandoned because of it and couldn't recover for Vuelta in enough time) and P-N '17. He looked very good for 2017 but that last stage in P-N '17 just broke him mentally. After finishing 2nd in Catalunya and PV as well (the latter with a small gap) maybe he was totally done mentally and just gave up.

Really, why bring Froome into it
Well, if both retire today, some people will say that Froome has a better palmares, which I disagree with.
Yeah, like it or not, many people, especially those that started following cycling in recent years, will judge Berto by his performance against Froome. It shouldn't be that way, but I'm afraid it's what we'll have to deal with.
 

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