Teams & Riders Alberto Contador Discussion Thread

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lenric said:
Did Fuglsang crash today?
Yes, unfortunately. He crashed with a teammate. He completed the stage without losing any time and had his arm checked later. He has a small wrist fracture and a small elbow fracture. -- Not sure what can be done about the pain. Maybe its TUE time for Jakob? (Cortisone?)
Contador's return after ban coincide with the rise of Sky. He was the only true hope for resistance, until Quintana came along (unconvincingly most of the times). That added up to the despair seeing him in decline, for many it's not only about Alberto himself.
Re: Re:

No_Balls said:
Blanco said:
Valv.Piti said:
Considering the way Sky handled the stage to Chambery and especially to Station des Rousses, I don't think anyone should expect any gifts from Sky really. They want to show authority and kill the race, kill the hopes and kill the ideas.

Edit: As they should do with the riders they have available. Kwito is riding incredibly well, strongest rider in the race so far.
A strong Contador and attacking minded Quintana could break Sky train into pieces on Port de Bales, believe me.
I know :razz:
Valv.Piti said:
LaFlorecita said:
rune1107 said:
Chris Froome was just asked by danish TV who he expected to attack tomorrow. He answered that guys who have lost time in GC will not be allowed back in the race, and that they will chase after them if they go up the road. Must be a reference to Alberto or Quintana perhaps.
Thats really normal tactics, isn't it? I mean, thats how they have ridden all of this race even when it come to relative no-names threatening the yellow jersey. Of course they aren't letting great riders like Quintana and Contador just go up the road because they are a little down. With that team, its the ONLY right thing to do... control the race, dont let anyone get ideas and ride about as hard as you your domestiques can, making the opponents doubt if its even worth it to attack.

And this suck. I was sure Alberto was gonna light it up on one of the stages, probably to Foix, now I don't even know if its worth going to the local bar to watch and spend 10 Euros not to feel like a jerk in the corner.
When the Tour went into the Pyrenees in 2015, after all those classics stages, Tony Gallopin was sitting in the top 10. He tried to get into the break of the day. Sky shut down every move that had him in it. Froome went up to him and said "you're still too close on gc. Sorry, we can't let you go."

I'm pretty sure Gallopin sat up and lost a half hour on the day.
Sep 12, 2016

portugal11 said:
He is broken mentally. I think he lose 10 minutes today
I won't be surprised. I was surprised by the way the team seemed to 'abandon' him after sunday's stage. Apparently they told the other riders that they had two days to recover and then go for stages. Have they given up on him already?
Steven de Jongh ( team leader Trek) before today's stage

Today he isn't feeling well. He has not slept so well tonight and is very stiff everywhere. He suffers from a muscle in his buttocks. It is all about surviving today.
When most people remember Alberto Contador, it will most likely be as a “two time winner of the Tour De France”.

Which is just one more win than Oscar. Just one. Which almost makes me The Grouch.

Because we should be counting to the number four when it comes to Alberto Contador yellow jerseys in Paris. At least.

And because the sport is about much more than one bike race. Especially when it comes to Alberto.

And also because his Tour victories came in 2007 and 2009, yet it was his great stories which actually came later.

Seriously. For the first was more about a Great Dane, and the second was more about the obstacles that Contador faced off the road.

For he had no obstacles on it.

In fact both Tours were about off road obstacles.

In those days there was no mountain high or steep enough to make him grimace, and he never ever looked like crashing.

Which – dare I say it – perhaps made him a little more boring.

Four grand tours in two years. It was clinical. Both on and off the parcours.

He disposed of his rivals with a killer instinct not seen since Lance Armstrong. Though this is where the comparisons end. Alberto Contador is a dog person. Lance Armstrong is just a dog of a person.

Though ironically they both have seven. Kind of.

But who really gives a toss about the official count?

Nor about just grand tour victories. Well, some do. But I think that Contador’s other results add a great deal more to his legacy, if not necessarily more.

Still I am happy about Contador The Conqueror. Even if the rumours in 2008 about sand between his toes were bound to be fake (who would go there in April; it’s not Summer ANYWHERE in the world), unless he was in some place like Morocco. And even if he almost lost his home grand tour to Levi Leipheimer later in that same year. Levi Leipheimer. That’s right; Leipheimer almost won a GT. If the forum had been around then, then it would have been at as great a risk of crashing as Alberto is now. And if it had been around then, and if he had allowed Levi to win that Vuelta, then the forum certainly wouldn’t be around now.

If Levi had won then Contador would have been as disliked as a Tour route with double servings of both the Alp duez and Tourmalet. Or perhaps just as much as a Tour route. Which is more than bad enough.

The Tour Of Switzerland is far from a grand tour.

We have so much to thank Contador for.

But really, it all started in 2010. The story started then. Because up until then, Alberto was – for the most part – just another great, dominant sportsperson. However, from then on we have all of the descents, along with the ascents. Contador in those early years – serious head injury aside – is mostly a ____/ stage. Contador thereafter is the ultimate Queen stage.

(Kloden was still talking about his “numbers” back then, so cut me some slack :D )

Or he is the stages that he made even better. The Jack *** stages that he incredibly animated.

We should rename those King stages.

But let’s backtrack a little. In 2010 and 2011 Alberto Contador thought he won the world’s biggest bike races, when in actual fact he could not win. It was impossible. It was already written. Perhaps his God was vegetarian, or more likely it was the beef that he’d had the courage to have with Armstrong. Whatever the case may be, no matter how wonderfully he raced in these times, his name wasn’t going to be published in the annals for his feats.

Still, we don’t forget them.

And isn’t it more interesting? Then if he had simply won, and won? He believed that he was accomplishing great things, yet history will show that he was delusional.

But who gives a coss about the official tount?

2012, that was the year. That was the year that changed everything. The year that Alberto Contador won – really won - a grand tour, despite not being the strongest rider in the race.

And he won it all when he’d arrived at a stage when he looked no chance to.

And why did that matter? It mattered because he wouldn’t have won over so many of us, quite so much, if he had comeback and just eased away on MTF’s from those who had never been able to stay with him on them before. No, this way was much better. This was career defining.

And have we ever seen Alberto look so ecstatic upon winning a stage?

Many cyclists will forever be associated with Fuentes. Contador will forever be associated with Fuente De.

2012 was the year that the historians will tell us was Contador’s best, since his great stories started. For he only won. He didn’t lose. And many cannot see beyond the obvious. But it doesn’t compare to 2014….obviously.

And he was already losing, late in 2012, though we couldn’t see it. For his off-season was well…off.

So let’s not talk about 2013. No, not quite. For it had its moments. Attacking in the crosswinds and on the descents. And still finishing fourth in the world’s biggest bike race when you are not feeling “sensations” is actually okay, in the end. “Alberto Contador’s lowest ebb as a cyclist was when he finished fourth in the Tour De France.” How many other riders can say something like that about their careers?

2014 was worse. To those who don’t know. For 2014 was the year that Contador crashed out of the Tour De France. It was his year’s biggest moment, and he came crashing to the canvas. And the Tour is all that matters, right? It’s everything.

No. It’s huge. It is undeniably huge. But it is not everything.

And Alberto Contador’s 2014 still had everything. Following on from this epic 2013-14 off-season, his year had the usual smaller stage race consistency, but within that, some blinding brilliance. His victories in T-A and Pais Vasco were not just one week wins. They really were so much more.

Duck the historians.

And strange it is you might say, that this is only my first mention of the non GT stage races, of the often maligned one week events, when it comes to Alberto. For of course he has long had much success in such races. However, for me personally, I’d never really taken much interest in these races before. I’d hear about them, and I’d mentally note that such and such a rider was in form for a GT (mostly in relation to the Tour) following on from a victory, but beyond that, no, not really. I was more or less a July Junkie.

It is Contador who is somewhat to blame for me living in Procrastination Nation ;)

“The second place is not good”, but it is not so bad if it is interspersed with firsts. And even some of his second’s felt like first’s. Like in the Dauphne, and on La Mauselaine.

Because he defeated Froome, and he defeated Nibali. Probably his two biggest rivals. The latter couldn’t get close to him in the 2011 Giro. The former hadn’t even been in the same ‘race’ with Alberto at that point.

La Mauselaine was probably the number one second ever, because what those three seconds told us – potentially – still resonates today. And I’m a Kloden fanboy.

Yet it was this Vuelta that was perhaps his greatest hit ever. For after taking such a hit in the Tour (surely his worst crash ever, emotionally)….he was no chance for the Vuelta. Even more so than in 2012. Most of us were sure that he wouldn’t even start the race.

And then, he did more than start. Such was his form that year.

2014 tells us more than any other year, that it doesn’t matter so much if you crash and fall.

What matters so much is that you get back onto your bike.

Throwing away the calculated playbook that is used by so many others, Contador decided to go for the double in 2015 (the decisions were made for him in 2008 and 2011). Some will say that he bit off more than he could chew, but his Giro joined his two Vuelta’s as grand tour victories from his current age.

That Giro contained two of his most memorable climbs. Two circumstances with which he found himself under serious pressure; on one occasion with legs, and on the other without.

It’s not about how fast Contador climbed the Mortirolo or the Finestre. It’s about how calm he stayed in all of those moments.

When his fans were going mad.

And it’s about going for the ‘impossible’, for the double. Being the Giro rider means that you cannot realistically hope to be the man in yellow also.

Yes, maybe Alberto didn’t win all that he could. But the glorious flames that he sparked will flicker on for a lot longer than most fires.

And then there was March 2016, and the race to the sun. Contador was no longer at the peak of his powers, but in that edition of Paris-Nice, and particularly on that final stage, he was having the time of his life.

During his racing. Not when with his team, or on the podium.

Maybe AC doesn’t only stand for Alberto Contador, but for Air Conditioner. Because Alberto Contador is so cool. And in these moments that was more apparent than ever.

He didn’t entertain us just so as to make it a little quicker to the beach. Not in March.

And we revelled in it all, even in what annoyed us. That national stallion wasn’t allowed to Gallop like that we said. How dare he?

In hindsight it makes that stage even more memorable.

He could afford to lose that, because we knew our Spaniard would win the Tour Of The Basque Country. So long as he had the numbers, he would win that race.

In 2017 he didn’t have them. Just like he didn’t really have them in the Vuelta last year, though he showed us once more that even if he doesn’t have the Form, he can still create one heck of a good story.

But he still believes that he does. Have the numbers. And so what if he is a little delusional. Maybe we all are a little, once our glory days are behind us? But what matters more than reality and outcomes?


And Contador is still smiling a lot (or at least was before this Tour). Both off and on the bike. He’d just shown us with the latter, with a Paris-Nice special Mark 2.

Again Alberto Contador provided us with a final stage of epic proportions. For me, it is these two stages which I recall the best, with Alberto questioning rhetorically in song, “Why should we take it Eze?”

Maybe that’s not the correct pronunciation, but I don’t do things by a calculated playbook either.

And then I recall him dancing the day away. Every second counts. Maybe, in just one very small way; Lance was right.

Because they count for Contador. And they count for us; those seconds that he has on the bike. Those seconds that are slowly but surely slipping away. So let’s make the most of them. The Pyrenees and the Alps await. Let Alberto Contador remind us again….

That there is much more to life than just Death & Taxus.
Moviestar said:
Steven de Jongh ( team leader Trek) before today's stage

Today he isn't feeling well. He has not slept so well tonight and is very stiff everywhere. He suffers from a muscle in his buttocks. It is all about surviving today.

I'm hearing that Gallopin is saying; he is very much hurting from the numerous falls, it will take a week to recover and he is very much day to day. :(
Those are all beautiful narratives and Contador have animated many races. He was fun to watch.

However, for me, and I dare to say many other people the narrative goes this way:

Talented rider wins dominantly in 2009 (wasnt into the sport enough at that time to remember Tour 2007 other than Rasmussen fiasco) ----> gets caught with illegal substance in his body ---> still rides with panache and animates races but there are cyclists better than him who weren't caught with illegal substances in their bodies.

The point of view largely depends from the priorities a person making judgement has
To me his problem is more mental at this moment.

Pantano a day ago confirmed that they have the green light to go for stages. Not sure if that affected Contador or not. But realistically what else are they going to do.

I still hope that he shows some strength and do something big.
Jul 19, 2010
Carols said:
Moviestar said:
Steven de Jongh ( team leader Trek) before today's stage

Today he isn't feeling well. He has not slept so well tonight and is very stiff everywhere. He suffers from a muscle in his buttocks. It is all about surviving today.

I'm hearing that Gallopin is saying; he is very much hurting from the numerous falls, it will take a week to recover and he is very much day to day. :(
i think if he gets one more crash, he'll be most likely abandon. Pitty. Feel for the guy. He crashed so many times to the point that isn't even funny anymore.