Teams & Riders Alberto Contador Discussion Thread

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Oct 12, 2020
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Ranking Contador's Grand Tour wins from his most impressive level to the least impressive one :

  1. Tour 2009
  2. Giro 2011
  3. Vuelta 2014
  4. Vuelta 2008
  5. Tour 2007
  6. Vuelta 2012
  7. Tour 2010
  8. Giro 2015
  9. Giro 2008
Do you agree with this guys ?
 
I think ranking his Vuelta '14 so high comes a lot from what might have been the Tour if Contador had not broken his leg.
To me, his '07 Tour should have been on the top-3. It was his first GT/Tour win and an impressive display of strength on the mountains.
I would rank '10's Tour higher, but that's me.
 
I think ranking his Vuelta '14 so high comes a lot from what might have been the Tour if Contador had not broken his leg.
To me, his '07 Tour should have been on the top-3. It was his first GT/Tour win and an impressive display of strength on the mountains.
I would rank '10's Tour higher, but that's me.
Tour 2010 is probably the hardest one and it might go as high as #3. I think it's slept on cause how strong Andy Schleck was that year.
 
Kinda hard to rank. Tour '09 is a clear number one and Giro '11 clear number two. I placed Tour '07 third simply because I feel the level was just insanely high that year. Sure Alberto couldn't quite beat Rasmussen but together they set some crazy climbing times.

Giro '08 is a clear last place I think, with Vuelta '12 just ahead. Although we were all very excited to see him back in action, he truly struggled that race. Obviously Purito was in the form of his life but an in-form Alberto should have had no issues with him.

Numbers 4 to 7 are a bit more unclear and honestly could be ranked in any order. With regards to climbing, he was quite dominant at the '08 and '14 Vuelta. Even though he was coming back from injury so you'd expect him to be below par, I feel his level was really high in 2014. As for Giro '15, I think he was in quite good shape but unlucky with some crashes/injuries. Landa was obviously great that year and Alberto did crack spectacularly on the Finestre stage, but he had some really exceptional performances that race. Valdobbiadene ITT and Mortirolo come to mind, but also the stage to Vicenza. In his last few years his performance on punchy finishes was quite a good indicator for his overall shape, he would regularly struggle when he didn't quite have it.
For Tour '10 the same could be said as for '07, but I don't know, I don't really get enthusiastic about it.

  1. Tour 2009
  2. Giro 2011
  3. Tour 2007
  4. Vuelta 2014
  5. Vuelta 2008
  6. Giro 2015
  7. Tour 2010
  8. Vuelta 2012
  9. Giro 2008
 
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Kinda hard to rank. Tour '09 is a clear number one and Giro '11 clear number two. I placed Tour '07 third simply because I feel the level was just insanely high that year. Sure Alberto couldn't quite beat Rasmussen but together they set some crazy climbing times.

Giro '08 is a clear last place I think, with Vuelta '12 just ahead. Although we were all very excited to see him back in action, he truly struggled that race. Obviously Purito was in the form of his life but an in-form Alberto should have had no issues with him.

Numbers 4 to 7 are a bit more unclear and honestly could be ranked in any order. With regards to climbing, he was quite dominant at the '08 and '14 Vuelta. Even though he was coming back from injury so you'd expect him to be below par, I feel his level was really high in 2014. As for Giro '15, I think he was in quite good shape but unlucky with some crashes/injuries. Landa was obviously great that year and Alberto did crack spectacularly on the Finestre stage, but he had some really exceptional performances that race. Valdobbiadene ITT and Mortirolo come to mind, but also the stage to Vicenza. In his last few years his performance on punchy finishes was quite a good indicator for his overall shape, he would regularly struggle when he didn't quite have it.
For Tour '10 the same could be said as for '07, but I don't know, I don't really get enthusiastic about it.

  1. Tour 2009
  2. Giro 2011
  3. Tour 2007
  4. Vuelta 2014
  5. Vuelta 2008
  6. Giro 2015
  7. Tour 2010
  8. Vuelta 2012
  9. Giro 2008
Mortirolo time wasn't crazy fast or anything, and the Valdobbiadene ITT was actually pretty much in line with what you'd expect him to put into Aru and Landa if you account for the crazy length of the ITT. If you want to cite numbers then there's no way the 2010 Tour is behind the 2015 Giro.
 
My rankings:
  1. Tour 2009
  2. Giro 2011
  3. Tour 2007
  4. Tour 2010
  5. Vuelta 2014
  6. Giro 2015
  7. Vuelta 2012
  8. Vuelta 2008
  9. Giro 2008
Interesting topic of conversation.

My immediate thoughts on the original list were that 08 Vuelta was far too high, and 15 Giro far too low, so I like Carols' list here.

08 is almost peak Contador and he didn't win those races by much, so I think they are at the bottom. They are probably a better standard than 12 Vuelta, but I think one should take coping with adversity into account.

Which is why I don't think the two obvious ones are obviously number one and two. Because Alberto was just so superior in those races.

I would need to think about it longer before doing a list. I'd consider 14 Vuelta for first. I still remember those weeks post Tour....there was just NO WAY that Alberto was even starting the Vuelta. Maybe we kind of forgot what a miracle that all was.....would probably need to go back through thousands of posts in this thread.

But yeah, that 14 Vuelta was nuts. And for Froome to recover from his Tour injury also. And they not only had to battle each other, but beat Valverde and Rodriguez, both great Vuelta riders.
 
Can't argue. Yeh amazing he overcame the team and Lance in 2009 TdF. 2011 Giro he was sublime once he decimated the field on Etna but at least he didn't have his team riding against him. And I know it was common talk back then but I never bought the "sitting on a beach" story for the 2008 Giro so I am relieved the experts here rank that lower. Dare I also say Alberto post ban was more daring tactically. Pre ban it was mostly raw power.
 
Oct 12, 2020
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Tour 2010 is probably the hardest one and it might go as high as #3. I think it's slept on cause how strong Andy Schleck was that year.
Andy was insanely good in the Tour 2010, but my only issue with Contador in that race is the final TT. I know the wind played an important role (that's why he lost over 5 minutes against Cancellara), but surely a great version of Contador does at least as well as Menchov there ?
 
Andy was insanely good in the Tour 2010, but my only issue with Contador in that race is the final TT. I know the wind played an important role (that's why he lost over 5 minutes against Cancellara), but surely a great version of Contador does at least as well as Menchov there ?
Contadors long ITTs in general were worse in 2010. I think his climbing was as fine as 2011.
 
Sep 27, 2020
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Good lists here, and I see it the same. Still the oddest fact that he never finished 2nd or 3rd in a GT, true killer when he was on the target.

Personally, I cherish his Vuelta '12 & '14 and Giro '15 wins the most though - just because of the way he achieved them out of a non-dominant fashion due to crashes, injury, comeback, and whatnot. I guess many would share this sentiment.

Aside from Tour 2014, I think his Vuelta 2017 could have been a strong entry into the list, too, if it wasn't for that damn 2nd or 3rd stage. The way he was ridding in that Vuelta was an all hits, no filler-attitude on every stage and I think no one has ever served so much panache in a single race, not even to say the last race of the career.
 
Good lists here, and I see it the same. Still the oddest fact that he never finished 2nd or 3rd in a GT, true killer when he was on the target.

Personally, I cherish his Vuelta '12 & '14 and Giro '15 wins the most though - just because of the way he achieved them out of a non-dominant fashion due to crashes, injury, comeback, and whatnot. I guess many would share this sentiment.

Aside from Tour 2014, I think his Vuelta 2017 could have been a strong entry into the list, too, if it wasn't for that damn 2nd or 3rd stage. The way he was ridding in that Vuelta was an all hits, no filler-attitude on every stage and I think no one has ever served so much panache in a single race, not even to say the last race of the career.
Great post.
 
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Mortirolo time wasn't crazy fast or anything, and the Valdobbiadene ITT was actually pretty much in line with what you'd expect him to put into Aru and Landa if you account for the crazy length of the ITT. If you want to cite numbers then there's no way the 2010 Tour is behind the 2015 Giro.
It looks to me like you’re the one bringing numbers into it.

The Mortirolo performance ultimately amounted to “he climbed it 50s faster than Landa,” so numbers-wise it wasn’t spectacular, but the way he reeled in a very strong Astana team pretty much without team support from the bottom, and then attacked as soon as he caught the leaders, was a serious display of bravado, and a statement of intent, and superiority.
 
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Farrapona, Angliru, makes me think of him, I miss style, and that current crop of climbers so far haven't promised anything romantic. Maybe Pog can, maybe Carrapaz, or maybe Alberto is unique after all, love him or hate him. Or maybe the whole composition of the peloton is different, no Lance, no Andy, no monolithic Sky, no enigmatic Alberto. Roglič can't be either of them, he is too likeable a guy to be antagonized as dominator, and too boring to love. Remco might fill a void though, seems to divide opinions from the get go.
 
Oct 12, 2020
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Farrapona, Angliru, makes me think of him, I miss style, and that current crop of climbers so far haven't promised anything romantic. Maybe Pog can, maybe Carrapaz, or maybe Alberto is unique after all, love him or hate him. Or maybe the whole composition of the peloton is different, no Lance, no Andy, no monolithic Sky, no enigmatic Alberto. Roglič can't be either of them, he is too likeable a guy to be antagonized as dominator, and too boring to love. Remco might fill a void though, seems to divide opinions from the get go.
It also shows Contador's everlasting impact in cycling. Eurosport France commentators mentioned his name at least 15 times during the stage yesterday, and I'm sure it will be the same today ! Those two stages obviously bring back sweet memories.
 
Farrapona, Angliru, makes me think of him, I miss style, and that current crop of climbers so far haven't promised anything romantic. Maybe Pog can, maybe Carrapaz, or maybe Alberto is unique after all, love him or hate him. Or maybe the whole composition of the peloton is different, no Lance, no Andy, no monolithic Sky, no enigmatic Alberto. Roglič can't be either of them, he is too likeable a guy to be antagonized as dominator, and too boring to love. Remco might fill a void though, seems to divide opinions from the get go.
It’s weird because people start to dislike one rider dominating so easily but there’s always something in the back of mind watching these current 700m sprints and think Contador would cream them at full
Pace. Give me a dominant behemoth over the slow burn races we are getting now.
 
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Well that was a nice read. remember following this stage and just anxiously waiting for the images to start.

EDIT:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8yx90LkoFc


this video of contador on the attack surfaced a few days later, i see by now it's got a lot of views too.
 
Yeah, that was a very good read. I hadn't seen that video before, so thanks for that.

I remember I was sitting in a university class that didn't end before 5 pm that day. Around ten minutes before the end of the class I looked at the live update on Cyclingnews and couldn't believe what I was reading. The stage was almost at an end and Rodríguez had been well and truly steamrolled.

From the article I especially enjoyed the fact that Valverde had both warned and apologized to Rodríguez before attacking him after having wheelsucked him throughout the last part of the stage. I think Valverde played it sensibly, although it might have ended differently if he had gone with Contador (but then maybe Rodríguez would have tried more urgently to follow). And of course it would have been better if he hadn't lost time due to wheel damage on stage 3.
 
It’s weird because people start to dislike one rider dominating so easily but there’s always something in the back of mind watching these current 700m sprints and think Contador would cream them at full
Pace. Give me a dominant behemoth over the slow burn races we are getting now.
I think what makes it intriguing is having 2 riders that are dominant, to where they go a mano v mano battle, where they both try to destroy the other. Then something like the 19 Giro, where a upstart takes advantage of the feud of 2 riders and then that puts the 2 riders forcing to be more aggressive.


Now as far as the topic about Contador's impressive levels (I am using this term literally) I dont necessarily rank his 2009 Tour as number 1, because his competition was not nearly as strong as some of the other grand tours. In 09 you had a almost 40 Lance, Bradly Wiggins when he first was transforming into a stage racer. Also in the Top 10 if I recall right was Le Mevel, Casar, Vande Velde had his best Tour finish. Plus the route wasn't very exciting as the previous years. I only thing that exhibited how strong his level that day was his TT win over Cancellara.

To me, his most impressive Level was the 11 Giro. HE was so far ahead of everyone, he was gifting stages (Which helped win the 12 Vuelta with the gift to Tiralongo.)

I think his level at the 07 Tour was most impressive of the 3 TDFs win, because he was able to Stop and Start so many times, it just Rasmussen was on the same climbing level as him.

The Giro 2015 is so hard to judge because he crashed in it twice and didn't win a stage if I recall right, but he did have 2 fight off the 2 headed Astana monster. I would say his level was better in the 2012 Vuelta. Its played off of the De Fuente victory that he was that good, but Purito was flying that Vuelta, and as we all know, Purito and Valverde always find their best form for the GT at the Vuelta.

So I would right now go with my list being
  1. Giro 2011
  2. Tour 2007
  3. Tour 2009
  4. Tour 2010
  5. Vuelta 2014
  6. Vuelta 2012
  7. Giro 2015
  8. Vuelta 2008
  9. Giro 2008
 
It’s weird because people start to dislike one rider dominating so easily but there’s always something in the back of mind watching these current 700m sprints and think Contador would cream them at full
Pace. Give me a dominant behemoth over the slow burn races we are getting now.
Contador only became cycling's folk hero when he stopped being so dominant and he started taking gambles at the biggest races because that was the only way to win. He was way more conservative during his peak years.
 
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Well that was a nice read. remember following this stage and just anxiously waiting for the images to start.

EDIT:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8yx90LkoFc


this video of contador on the attack surfaced a few days later, i see by now it's got a lot of views too.
That guy should get an award of some kind for recording that section of the stage Just after Contador attacked that doesn’t seem to have captured elsewhere.
 
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