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Teams & Riders Alberto Contador Discussion Thread

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airstream said:
Sadly, one handles this aspect for 2 different riders very differently.


Nobody of those who don't want to see him extra-terrestrial. Logically, I think the likelihood that Contador will reproduce his the 2009 form and the likelihood that Wiggins will reproduce his the 2012 Tour one are equal.

And yet I think your vision of 'Wiggins' place' and real place are really different.

Why, on the balance of it AC has more class than Wiggins. No bias here, just an honest assessment of the two riders capacities and ability to make a race explode. Whereas Wiggins dominance from start of the season through the TdF last year can only be described in such terms. I don't, consequently, believe that I'm alone in this sentiment. The Briton was never so "above" in previous seasons, at times he even struggled through the Giro and was nowhere near a top contender.

Lastly I must respond to your quote that "Parcours is a decoration of the race, its framework. A rider is beaten by other riders, not by parcours. Considering what we saw, there is minimum evidence to suppose those guys would have beaten Wiggins on a harder course (theoretically probable TdF course surely because they are never so difficult how the Giro course)."

This is simply not true. A parcours is not merely the race's ornament, but can play a decisive role in the outcome of the event. This is true of the classics as it is of the grand tours. No doubt Wiggins was helped and benefited from the long TTs and rather insignificant mountain stages in last year’s Tour, this apart from the fact that a top champion was not present. In a more balanced race, one having a few severe MTFs, gaining enough advantage in the long TT to offset the losses in the mountains becomes increasingly difficult. Even Bradly himself has acknowledged this point, in realizing that it will no doubt be even more difficult for him to win the Giro, precisely because of the parcours and the more severe ascents that the Italian event presents. Hence the old adage that it's not the course that makes the race, but the riders can only really be applied to the overall depth of quality in the field, however, at this point the actual terrain will have a decisive impact on the strenghts and weaknesses of the top contenders: in some cases will indeed cause a natural selection.
 

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rhubroma said:
Why, on the balance of it AC has more class than Wiggins. No bias here, just an honest assessment of the two riders capacities and ability to make a race explode.
I agree. But exploding the race is a new variant, but not guarantee of success. Exploding implies a huge work, bigger efforts compared to cycling Wiggins professes. No one is able to explode everything solely. Anyone needs allies for different teams. I would give probably 90% to Contador and 10% to Wiggins but IMO if Wiggins will be the second climber in the race, which is possible, Contador will lose. Because since only Pantani in the 1998 Tour could gain on the climbs alone a lot. It's diabolically hard. Wiggins is not junior and he won't panic. He will defend overly rationally.

Lastly I must respond to your quote that "Parcours is a decoration of the race, its framework. A rider is beaten by other riders, not by parcours. Considering what we saw, there is minimum evidence to suppose those guys would have beaten Wiggins on a harder course (theoretically probable TdF course surely because they are never so difficult how the Giro course)."
Sorry, perhaps, this word has a bit different meanings in our languages. I meant decoration like an element of a theater scene, a thing which doesn't influence much on what happens. Again, a race with a tougher course ≠ a tougher race. A tougher race is a race when one hit maximally tight competition and has to show 100% of what he can do in the sport. For the years I follow I haven't seen riders who succeed in the Tour, but couldn't do Giro. If one passes over 6-7% average grade climbs, he will be able to do that at 8-9% too.

Tour was always a thing of special sort and for this reason it is the most difficult race to win. Breathe gets harder in the Tour literally and figuratively. It doesn't have monstrous dolomite stages and Mortirolo and the ascents are ridden in a hurricane tempo. Wiggins won the Tour beautifully and deservedly. Why Contador's presence neutralizes his Giro chances is a riddle for me.

Even Bradly himself has acknowledged this point, in realizing that it will no doubt be even more difficult for him to win the Giro, precisely because of the parcours and the more severe ascents that the Italian event prevents.

I don't see specialists of high gradient among their probable rivals, but Contador.
 
airstream said:
I agree. But exploding the race is a new variant, but not guarantee of success. Exploding implies a huge work, bigger efforts compared to cycling Wiggins professes. No one is able to explode everything solely. Anyone needs allies for different teams. I would give probably 90% to Contador and 10% to Wiggins but IMO if Wiggins will be the second climber in the race, which is possible, Contador will lose. Because since only Pantani in the 1998 Tour could gain on the climbs alone a lot. It's diabolically hard. Wiggins is not junior and he won't panic. He will defend overly rationally.

Wiggins was nothing short of impressive last year, however, it remains to be seen how he handles being put under real pressure in the mountains, and difficult ascents at that. It might be that he can diesel his way to limiting losses and damage control, enough to then take full advantage of expressing his potential in the TTs to win. Yet Contador has a class that permits him the luxury of repeated blistering attacks, which can unravel a rival like Wiggins if not absolutely on top of his game. The smart thing for the later to do would be to consider each climb as a time trial and not worry about the accelerations of his rivals, let them either take some time out of him or fizzle out. Naturally this was his strategy last year, and it worked to a charm. Though it was never against a super Contador, or Shleck for that matter, which leaves some margin of doubt as to whether it would still be a recipe for success in such cases. In other words, is the difference in climbing ability between themselves such that, on a significantly harder climbing course, the Briton’s ability at fortuitous damage control is marginally greater to overcome his rivals’ superiority in accelerated uphill stamina? This to me seems key, because while Alberto has a phenomenal capacity to blast ahead on climbs, he seems less capable of sustaining those efforts (unlike Pantani, by the way, who if somewhat less explosive than the Spaniard, was all the more continuous).

Sorry, perhaps, this word has a bit different meanings in our languages. I meant decoration like an element of a theater scene, a thing which doesn't influence much on what happens. Again, a race with a tougher course ≠ a tougher race. A tougher race is a race when one hit maximally tight competition and has to show 100% of what he can do in the sport. For the years I follow I haven't seen riders who succeed in the Tour, but couldn't do Giro. If one passes over 6-7% average grade climbs, he will be able to do that at 8-9% too.

Ok, a Wiggins of the same form in last year’s Tour at the 2011 Giro against a Contador in the same form that year, given the differences in parcours, has no shot at winning. This is what I meant by the type of course, all things else being equal, plays a hand in the outcome of the event, because it can play favorably to one rider's strengths, while penalizing another's weaknesses. (And vice versa of course).

Tour was always a thing of special sort and for this reason it is the most difficult race to win. Breathe gets harder in the Tour literally and figuratively. It doesn't have monstrous dolomite stages and Mortirolo and the ascents are ridden in a hurricane tempo. Wiggins won the Tour beautifully and deservedly. Why Contador's presence neutralizes his Giro chances is a riddle for me.

I would agree that Wiggins won the last Tour deservedly; beautifully, however, given Froome out-classing him in the mountains (which weren't very hard as far as mountains at the Tour go) is a matter which is entirely up for debate. That's because I didn't find the parcours very appealing, or particularly worthy of the Tour. At any rate the Tour has always been the most difficult race to win because all the best riders in each discipline are there to leave a mark, even if it means just making the top twenty, which naturally intensifies the competition throughout, while stretching the resources of the overall contenders to their maximum capacity. Yet significant modifications to the overall terrain, notwithstanding all the rest, can determine the outcome, simply because not every contender is equipped with the same resources to burn.

I don't see specialists of high gradient among their probable rivals, but Contador.

And that's why he's the guy to beat.
 
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More Airstream rubbish!!

You really must do some more research before you waffle on sometimes, there's a real ignorance of cycling in your posts sometimes.

Parcours is a decoration of the race, its framework. A rider is beaten by other riders, not by parcours.

Are you off you're head man?? The parcours, ruta or Corsa are the whole basis of the race, they shape both the entry and the entire outcome of the race. An example: Put Wiggo against Berto on the 2011 Giro couse, mountain heavy, not much in the way of TT Kms, Wiggo loses 10 minutes +. last year's tour was designed for TT riders, lots of medium mountain type stages no PROPER tour type mountain stages, half a dozen alpine passes then an MTF.

As a Brit it was brilliant to have a British winner but lets not be fooled, had Berto or even Andy been there the few mountains would have been different stages to handle altogether.
 

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rhubroma said:
Wiggins was nothing short of impressive last year, however, it remains to be seen how he handles being put under real pressure in the mountains, and difficult ascents at that. It might be that he can diesel his way to limiting losses and damage control, enough to then take full advantage of expressing his potential in the TTs to win. Yet Contador has a class that permits him the luxury of repeated blistering attacks, which can unravel a rival like Wiggins if not absolutely on top of his game. The smart thing for the later to do would be to consider each climb as a time trial and not worry about the accelerations of his rivals, let them either take some time out of him or fizzle out. Naturally this was his strategy last year, and it worked to a charm. Though it was never against a super Contador, or Shleck for that matter, which leaves some margin of doubt as to whether it would still be a recipe for success in such cases. In other words, is the difference in climbing ability between themselves such that, on a significantly harder climbing course, the Briton’s ability at fortuitous damage control is marginally greater to overcome his rivals’ superiority in accelerated uphill stamina. This to me seems key, because while Alberto has a phenomenal capacity to blast ahead on climbs, he seems less capable of sustaining those efforts (unlike Pantani, by the way, who if somewhat less explosive than the Spaniard, was all the more continuous).
+1
That's the essence.
 

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Siriuscat said:
More Airstream rubbish!!

You really must do some more research before you waffle on sometimes, there's a real ignorance of cycling in your posts sometimes.



Are you off you're head man?? The parcours, ruta or Corsa are the whole basis of the race, they shape both the entry and the entire outcome of the race. An example: Put Wiggo against Berto on the 2011 Giro couse, mountain heavy, not much in the way of TT Kms, Wiggo loses 10 minutes +. last year's tour was designed for TT riders, lots of medium mountain type stages no PROPER tour type mountain stages, half a dozen alpine passes then an MTF.

As a Brit it was brilliant to have a British winner but lets not be fooled, had Berto or even Andy been there the few mountains would have been different stages to handle altogether.

Hehe, how much self-esteem a fan should have to react the way you do. Take a few pills to come down, man. You are not the only one who watches cycling. Do you think it is problem for me to ridicule your cycling visions? Of course not. But I will not be able to do that because I don't want to act like you.


Sorry, rhubroma, your post is too big that I could get myself together quickly. I'll answer a bit later.
 
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Siriuscat said:
More Airstream rubbish!!

You really must do some more research before you waffle on sometimes, there's a real ignorance of cycling in your posts sometimes.

Are you off you're head man?? The parcours, ruta or Corsa are the whole basis of the race, they shape both the entry and the entire outcome of the race. An example: Put Wiggo against Berto on the 2011 Giro couse, mountain heavy, not much in the way of TT Kms, Wiggo loses 10 minutes +. last year's tour was designed for TT riders, lots of medium mountain type stages no PROPER tour type mountain stages, half a dozen alpine passes then an MTF.

As a Brit it was brilliant to have a British winner but lets not be fooled, had Berto or even Andy been there the few mountains would have been different stages to handle altogether.

Please, most riders enter the Tour no matter wat ASO offers them, it's not all about the amount of MTF's or TT km's. If Wiggo didn't have such a strong team he could've been isolated creating a possibility for Nibali or Vanden Broeck to win. Those guys however are very limited, maybe Contador could indeed have made a difference, if he'd kept his TT losses in control. Ie the riders and amount of talent in the race make the difference.

PS: not everything airstream posts is rubbish. Wiggins has become a good climber, perhaps one of the 5 best in terms of GT climbing(with recovery being a factor). If you were even serious about this, it means that when both are at 100 percent he won't lose 10 minutes to Contador, who's never won a GT by that margin.
 
Pentacycle said:
Please, most riders enter the Tour no matter wat ASO offers them, it's not all about the amount of MTF's or TT km's. If Wiggo didn't have such a strong team he could've been isolated creating a possibility for Nibali or Vanden Broeck to win. Those guys however are very limited, maybe Contador could indeed have made a difference, if he'd kept his TT losses in control. Ie the riders and amount of talent in the race make the difference.

PS: not everything airstream posts is rubbish. Wiggins has become a good climber, perhaps one of the 5 best in terms of GT climbing(with recovery being a factor). If you were even serious about this, it means that when both are at 100 percent he won't lose 10 minutes to Contador, who's never won a GT by that margin.

Thus it here boils down to what the parcours offered. I have no doubt that, given last year's course and the strength of Sky, it would have been extremely difficult for Contador to have unsettled Wiggins and won the event. At the same time, given a more challenging repertoire, as in my opinion should be the case, the actual margin that Wiggin's time trialing prowess and the strength of his team would have rendered the race a less calculated security. How else can we explain Froome being sacrificed at the altar of national glory?

If there is one thing I hate in bike racing it's “calculated security,” which is why I never liked Postal's approach, which seems uncannily to have been replicated by Sky. This does not mean, of course, that the Tour should be heavily biased to a climber, as for example the current editions of the Vuelta have been designed, though what we got in the last Tour is also unacceptable and I’d dare say premeditated.
 
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LaFlorecita said:
How should I explain this :eek: I don't know, it's ridiculous. A few days ago Miburo I think was praising his base level :eek:

Why is this 'ridiculous' a 13th position finish when he isnt supposed to be close to remotely good form? Worries for nothing.. Unless you really expect him to win from 23-1 till 31-12.. :S
 

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Reading the comments I've had impression Contador lost 13 minutes, instead he was thirteenth under a minute off of the winner and less than a half of a minute behind, supposed, Tour rivals.
Yes, it's different from what we've been used to, but he's taking it different as well. Riding every race to win is spending a racer, and while the body can tolerate the strain easier in twenties, thirties are signal to brake a bit in order to ride for most of the fourth decade.
Lets wait to see what he thinks about his own performance.
 
serfla said:
Reading the comments I've had impression Contador lost 13 minutes, instead he was thirteenth under a minute off of the winner and less than a half of a minute behind, supposed, Tour rivals.
Yes, it's different from what we've been used to, but he's taking it different as well. Riding every race to win is spending a racer, and while the body can tolerate the strain easier in twenties, thirties are signal to brake a bit in order to ride for most of the fourth decade.
Lets wait to see what he thinks about his own performance.

In short it's way too early. These races didn't exist before globalization. Plus if he is intent on a Giro-Tour double, or even if not, he's smart in leaving a margin of improvement that would result in the current stage winner being 20 minutes, 30 behind in July. Especially because his major competition does likewise, and that's all that counts. At any rate, at least to be set for Tirreno-Adriatico.
 

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rhubroma said:
Wiggins was nothing short of impressive last year, however, it remains to be seen how he handles being put under real pressure in the mountains, and difficult ascents at that. It might be that he can diesel his way to limiting losses and damage control, enough to then take full advantage of expressing his potential in the TTs to win.
In my view, you take it easy too much. Wiggins is not just a diesel. Wiggins of 2012 is not Levi Leipheimer, early Evans. It is the strongest diesel of GT contenders. It is a type of climber we've never seen before maybe. Does elite climber have to be explosive to be a superclimber? Again, explosiveness is additional options, but it is not the result. Tactics of steady pursuit can reach brilliant results too. Discussing with you, we kind of hit invicible wall. You deify attacking style whereas it is just an instrument. Do you seriously think Contador would gain on Wiggins 3-4 minutes on the 2012 Giro climbs?

There was no gulf between climber Contador and climber Wiggins in 2009 yet. Оver the years years this gap has obviously reduced.

Yet Contador has a class that permits him the luxury of repeated blistering attacks, which can unravel a rival like Wiggins if not absolutely on top of his game.
No climber is able to commit these blistering attacks 4-5 times in a GT, gaining much times in all of them. While on form, Wiggins can hold say 2 minutes obtained in TTs.

Though it was never against a super Contador, or Shleck for that matter, which leaves some margin of doubt as to whether it would still be a recipe for success in such cases.
Do you admit variants that this not spectacular parade-like hated by many people cycling can not allow to be Contador and Schleck 'super'? I just believe numbers more than names and palmares. Based on the numbers, Sky were very strong in the Tour.

In other words, is the difference in climbing ability between themselves such that, on a significantly harder climbing course, the Briton’s ability at fortuitous damage control is marginally greater to overcome his rivals’ superiority in accelerated uphill stamina?
I don't understand why you throw away the fact that superclimber is always able to defend himself in a steady tempo. Accelerations never last really long. It lasts 200-300 meters and then a time trial in a road race starts virtually. Yes, naturally, inherit climber can fire again and again, but this manner is fraught with its disadvantages too, because a climber can not rider steadily.

Ok, a Wiggins of the same form in last year’s Tour at the 2011 Giro against a Contador in the same form that year, given the differences in parcours, has no shot at winning. This is what I meant by the type of course, all things else being equal, plays a hand in the outcome of the event, because it can play favorably to one rider's strengths, while penalizing another's weaknesses. (And vice versa of course).
I didn't mean routes that contradistinguish so much. Parcours is relevant and Wiggins wouldn't have won the Giro 2011 Giro. But say I don't see principal differences in parcours of Tours since 2003 up to the present times. My parcours thesis related to comparison between the 2012 Tour and the 2013 Giro. The Giro parcours lowers Wiggins chances, but don't neutralizes them.

however, given Froome out-classing him in the mountains (which weren't very hard as far as mountains at the Tour go) is a matter which is entirely up for debate.
How much stronger was Froome if he could have raced for himself is for debate too. There was no shame to be beaten by Froome at all. He is not an accidental man. He is new superstar, a climber of Schleck's and Contador's calibre.
 
If one's goal is to do well in the Giro and the Tour, it seems that it would be logical to alter their preparation and come into the season below the form of previous years. To expect him to be blasting everyone off of his wheel this early with such an ambitious season ahead is not the thinking of a rational mind.