Teams & Riders Alberto Contador Discussion Thread

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Yeh, I put Conti's 2009 TdF win as his top performance. The Tour nearly always has the strongest fields that most sponsors, teams and riders target compared to the Giro and Vuelta which are generally at a lower level. Also remember at 2009 TdF Contador was riding against his own team then with Lance the man. Then to beat Cancellara in the Annecy TT was amazing.

2011 Giro was Contador's next best IMO. He played with them. But everything after his ban was less dominant. Then he relied less on pure power and more on tactical courage. The 2011 TdF was Contador's last grand tour before serving his ban. Even then he did some amazing stuff. Struggled in the Pyrenees with crash effects but attacked on stages 16, 17 and 19 to the Alpe and then rode an impressive stage 20 TT. Whatever you thought of Alberto you could never doubt his courage.

2007 TdF was Contador's 3rd most impressive in my books. Still only 24, it was the breakthrough that truly announced his freakish talent. Not sure what to make of his 2008 Giro win. I simply cannot believe any human being can be "sitting on a beach", unexpectedly get called up to ride a grand Tour then win it? A bit of hype and exaggeration there I'd say.

ps - glad this thread was bumped the entire forum has been asleep since the Vuelta and the lingering concern over the pandemic occupying everyone's mind.
Leipheimer crashed out before the mtns anyway. The top 4 prerace favorites wouldn’t have changed had everyone targeted the race. The biggest change was that Evans just flopped. Bertie, Andy, and Lance all finished (at least on the road in regards to Lance) in the Top 5. Wiggins surprised, but he was hardly a weak fluke. VDB confirmed it as well over the next few years.

You’re right about Basso, but he never really showed at the TdF after his ban. The only weak link in the Top 10 to me was LeMevel.
Leipheimer was 3rd out of the GC favorites after 1 ITT and 1 mountain range, but your description of crashing out before the mountains is a very good view of the awful 2009 route.

Just in terms of the optics without getting into details of the performances, if the previous year winner, one of the few multiple* GT winners active at that point and a rider who finished <1 minute behind in 2 GTs had all targeted the race from the start, the win would have been more remembered.

*I think the courts have not ruled in favor of Heras at that point