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Armstrong / contador must attack each other - sunday

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In responce to the Armstrong tactics, etc. debate:

Well, let's put it this way, classics racing requires much more spontaneous and intuitive reactions to the visual data (terrain and bunch dynamics), to be able to win, and is absolutely unforgiving (since you only get one chance to get it right) in terms of missreadings and the bad luck (flat or crash or both) factor.

For whatever reasons, American racers, and not just Armstrong, have mostly been out-schooled in these regards by their Euro counterparts. Probably, though, cause the Euros are just more savey and sly. One must be sly in these races. In regards to the physical demands of classics racing a rider also has to be explosive and resistent to both the distance and the multiple attacks of his competitors, while being savey enough (and this is where Armstrong often came up short) to go at the right moment and ride the rest off your wheel and into the ground alla Bartoli in the 96 Liege. Or else, if it comes down to a sprint, be the fastest obviously (which is why Hincapie lost that Roubaix to Boonen). Often a rider's bravura, guts and determination as well as being able to ride himself into the ground pays well. The classics rider has to have balls and be super intuitive in his tactical sense, and of course lots of gas in the motor.

By contrast, grand tour tactics requires methodic and sustained consistancy, where long term planning and stress management (both physical and mental) is required to do well, if not win. This has obviously suited Armstrong, who, by all accounts is an obsessive planner and detail oriented guy (but also a control freak). And unless you make a major mistake, but even this is mostly eliminated today by the team radios, you have a chance to make amends. Physically, of course, you have to be a diesel, a Mecedes Benz rather than a Ferrari, and you're not allowed to have a bad day. The grand tour riders are the real strongmen of the sport even if jacked. If not the best climber than you must be among the top three. Usually at the Tour you also have to be the best time trialist, or at least if more the climber pull a great time trial out of your a$$ when it counts. For a while Armstrong was both the best climber and time trialist, so tactics played less a decisive role then say when Lemond won his three Tours, each having been a major tactical duel between Hinault, Fignon and Chiappuci respectively.

Armstrong also created the perfect tour machine, his team, which with pure strength (also due to excellent blood doping) kept the pace so high (even in the mountains with guys like Hincapie arriving at the last summit droping serious climbers - how rediculous was that!), that the only "tactic" was for Armstrong to sprint up to the finish. On the other hand, his tired act to fool Ullrich at Alpe d'Huez was a rare instance of pure savey, to his credit.

Consequently the two styled events, one short and explosive, the other a long military campaign where battles may be won or lost, but not necessarily the war, require different styled tactics. And there's no doubt that Armstrong was a good "tactician" in terms of the latter styled event, not so good though in the former.

The real irony here, is that he probably was a born classics rider, but was much more suited to the tactical style of the Tour. And after he hooked up with Bruyneel and Ferrari and whoever else after that, they created a new "corporate-tailored" man and team to just crush the competition at the Tour. It was a great plan, which worked, even if I never liked much of what I saw or what was going on behind the scenes to arrive at what I saw. In fact Armstrong's and Bruyneel's goal was to eliminate the tactical and spontaneity factors as much as possible, which makes for much more entertaining racing, because it was convenient for them and because they had the methodology to do it properly, by having Lance just crush everybody in the first time trial and mountain stage, gaining enough time in the first 10 days of the event to basically annihilate the race. From a pure convenient point of view, it was the best thing for them to do, but it took all the romance and tactical posturing out of the Tour during that streak.

And now Alberto has gotten caught up in their scheme is an inconvenient stud in the midst of their plans to have Lance win his 8th Tour.
 
Alpe d'Huez said:
I don't think we'll see many attacks between these two on Verbier. People are talking like this is an epic mountain stage, when it's not, at all. The climb is much easier than that to Arcalis. Shorter, not as steep, and nearly 800m lower.

I picture some 50+ riders hitting the climb at the same time. The pace will be set fast by Astana, and riders will fall off the back. Some 5-8k from the top, one of the riders needing time will go. Probably Evans, Maybe Andy, maybe Sastre. It would be in Astana's interest to try to send one of their two guys with that group. But I have a feeling that in team meetings that rider won't be Lance or Alberto, though it would make sense if it were, the guy not picked is not going to be happy. Look for Klodi, or maybe Popo.

There's also the chance that there is dissaray in Astana, and when there's an attack by someone, it won't be long after that when probably Contador attacks. I don't know that Lance has the legs to get away from anyone. He hasn't shown it at all since his comeback, and didn't really in 2005 either. Lance's better chance is to just have Astana ride as fast as possible up the climb, and limit losses to those that attack and get away, which would likely not be enough to leapfrog over him in the standings. Thus saving energy for further stages.

Yea this year's is just a terrible course...
 
frizzlefry said:
If AC attacks, LA is a bad guy if he counter attacks.
If LA attacks, AC is in his right to counter attack.

Thats the mentality on this board. No matter what LA does, the people on this forum will jump him and say he's the bad guy. Thats the reality of this forum. Just wait and see.

No, its not that. Look, If LA came back simply to promote his cancer foundation, well then fine, even if personally I think its all insipid propaganda. But if he joined the Astana team with AC on it to also win his 8th Tour, then he doesn't have alot of our simpathies. And not because we are necessarily rooting for the young Spaniard. It's just an issue of decorum, which you probably don't understand, but if you don't like it, then go some place else.
 
jilbiker said:
I totally agree. Even looking at the physique, 1999&2000 LA had a similar physique to AC. This year he looks like some xtra pounds, not fat, its muscle but it is not good for climbing. Lance is natuarally muscular, remember he was a triatlethe before cycling. He said he had an extra 5-10 pounds that was difficult to lose but hindered him from being a good climber. The Kimo/Cancer made him lose that weight and finally get to the climbing weight. By 2004/2005 he was almost back to the muscular LA, but he had mastered TDF, had an excellent team and had rivals that cowed at him.

1999/2000 LA against AC would be very exciting, who would win? Hard to say...

I agree. I'm not sure how the myth that he is lighter than ever got started but he is far bulkier up top than he ever was. You can see the weight when he has to lift the pace. He's still better than most in the peleton. He just doesn't seem as light on the pedals as he once did. And it's been a slow progression from 1999 Lance to 2005 Lance. Maybe he still has it, but I've yet to see evidence that he does.

(Though he did do some absolutely monster pulls doing the TTT; but that looked more about power than finesse (if that makes any sense)).
 
frizzlefry said:
If AC attacks, LA is a bad guy if he counter attacks.
If LA attacks, AC is in his right to counter attack.

Thats the mentality on this board. No matter what LA does, the people on this forum will jump him and say he's the bad guy. Thats the reality of this forum. Just wait and see.

Shorter Frizzlefry: Wah! Why doesn't everybody share my love of all things Lance?!?!!? ;)

Seriously, I don't think anyone seems LA is a bad guy if he counter-attacks the other GC candidates. If he tries to close the gap to Contador's attack, sure. But I don't think he will do that. Frankly, I think he's plan a mind game with the peleton. They are afraid of the memory of him, so the more he can convince them with words that he is still the "Boss," the easier it will make things when AC lays down the law.

Lance is older. I won't say old because he's doing things that I could never aspire to do at the same age (our birthdays are a whole 12 days apart). But he just doesn't have it like he use to. It happens to the best of them. Ask Magic Johnson. Or Michael Jordan. Jack Nicholson. Reggie Jackson. Time waits for no man.

At the end of the day, I expect LA to put it on the line for Contador. He's going to need Contador next year to form his new team--because no sponsor is going to build a team around a 38 year old, no matter HOW many TdF's he's won. :D
 
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Race and team tactics only go so far. In the end it is mano a mano. Sunday might not be the day with just a few sec's between them with still one Sunday left to go.
 
Alpe d'Huez said:
I don't think we'll see many attacks between these two on Verbier. People are talking like this is an epic mountain stage, when it's not, at all. The climb is much easier than that to Arcalis. Shorter, not as steep, and nearly 800m lower.

I picture some 50+ riders hitting the climb at the same time. The pace will be set fast by Astana, and riders will fall off the back. Some 5-8k from the top, one of the riders needing time will go. Probably Evans, Maybe Andy, maybe Sastre. It would be in Astana's interest to try to send one of their two guys with that group. But I have a feeling that in team meetings that rider won't be Lance or Alberto, though it would make sense if it were, the guy not picked is not going to be happy. Look for Klodi, or maybe Popo.

There's also the chance that there is dissaray in Astana, and when there's an attack by someone, it won't be long after that when probably Contador attacks. I don't know that Lance has the legs to get away from anyone. He hasn't shown it at all since his comeback, and didn't really in 2005 either. Lance's better chance is to just have Astana ride as fast as possible up the climb, and limit losses to those that attack and get away, which would likely not be enough to leapfrog over him in the standings. Thus saving energy for further stages.

Solid objective analysis.
 
Compressed climb

-Originally Posted by Alpe d'Huez-

I don't think we'll see many attacks between these two on Verbier. People are talking like this is an epic mountain stage, when it's not, at all. The climb is much easier than that to Arcalis. Shorter, not as steep, and nearly 800m lower.

-0-

No not an epic... but it IS a MTN top finish. There IS going to be some shakin' goin' on.

And since it is a shorter span of time to the top the excitement is going to be compressed.

Finally, contenders will race a bit instead of simply riding.

UPINTOPIN.
 
Originally posted by GCW

"No not an epic... but it IS a MTN top finish. There IS going to be some shakin' goin' on.

And since it is a shorter span of time to the top the excitement is going to be compressed.

Finally, contenders will race a bit instead of simply riding."




There are no gaurantees but I tend to agree with Alpe. I posted an almost identical analysis on page 3...

"They'll (Astana) ride hard tempo as long as they can and try to deter/prevent attacks in this way. I don't think they can afford to play the game of letting others wear yellow anymore after Sun either. If others attack they will mark them but I don't expect much of a shake up b/c the climb is not that long. The hard climbing is only about 600 vertical meters. It's not easy but not hard enough to decide this race. (Verbier - 8.8 km climb to 7.5 %)"

I think Astana will be happy to wait until ITT and Ventoux to decide the tour if they can.

I'd rather see fireworks but it doesn't seem likely.
 
The GCW said:
No not an epic... but it IS a MTN top finish. There IS going to be some shakin' goin' on.

Maybe, but I think we will likely see what we saw on Arcalis. Evans or A. Schleck may try something but will be unlikely to shed the rest of the GC contenders for long. Contador, possibly with Schleck in tow, surge for last couple of kilometers. In the end, the time losses are very small to non-existent.

Silence or Saxo need to blow things apart very early on the climb for us to see any meaningful time losses.
 
BroDeal said:
Maybe, but I think we will likely see what we saw on Arcalis. Evans or A. Schleck may try something but will be unlikely to shed the rest of the GC contenders for long. Contador, possibly with Schleck in tow, surge for last couple of kilometers. In the end, the time losses are very small to non-existent.

Silence or Saxo need to blow things apart very early on the climb for us to see any meaningful time losses.

Amen. But I just don't get the sense that Saxo or Silence is confident in their ability to do so. They look positively terrified. At some point we may have to accept that they are all bark and no bite. And where is Sastre? He's officially the invisible man.
 

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rhubroma said:
In responce to the Armstrong tactics, etc. debate:

Well, let's put it this way, classics racing requires much more spontaneous and intuitive reactions to the visual data (terrain and bunch dynamics), to be able to win, and is absolutely unforgiving (since you only get one chance to get it right) in terms of missreadings and the bad luck (flat or crash or both) factor.

For whatever reasons, American racers, and not just Armstrong, have mostly been out-schooled in these regards by their Euro counterparts. Probably, though, cause the Euros are just more savey and sly. One must be sly in these races. In regards to the physical demands of classics racing a rider also has to be explosive and resistent to both the distance and the multiple attacks of his competitors, while being savey enough (and this is where Armstrong often came up short) to go at the right moment and ride the rest off your wheel and into the ground alla Bartoli in the 96 Liege. Or else, if it comes down to a sprint, be the fastest obviously (which is why Hincapie lost that Roubaix to Boonen). Often a rider's bravura, guts and determination as well as being able to ride himself into the ground pays well. The classics rider has to have balls and be super intuitive in his tactical sense, and of course lots of gas in the motor.

By contrast, grand tour tactics requires methodic and sustained consistancy, where long term planning and stress management (both physical and mental) is required to do well, if not win. This has obviously suited Armstrong, who, by all accounts is an obsessive planner and detail oriented guy (but also a control freak). And unless you make a major mistake, but even this is mostly eliminated today by the team radios, you have a chance to make amends. Physically, of course, you have to be a diesel, a Mecedes Benz rather than a Ferrari, and you're not allowed to have a bad day. The grand tour riders are the real strongmen of the sport even if jacked. If not the best climber than you must be among the top three. Usually at the Tour you also have to be the best time trialist, or at least if more the climber pull a great time trial out of your a$$ when it counts. For a while Armstrong was both the best climber and time trialist, so tactics played less a decisive role then say when Lemond won his three Tours, each having been a major tactical duel between Hinault, Fignon and Chiappuci respectively.

Armstrong also created the perfect tour machine, his team, which with pure strength (also due to excellent blood doping) kept the pace so high (even in the mountains with guys like Hincapie arriving at the last summit droping serious climbers - how rediculous was that!), that the only "tactic" was for Armstrong to sprint up to the finish. On the other hand, his tired act to fool Ullrich at Alpe d'Huez was a rare instance of pure savey, to his credit.

Consequently the two styled events, one short and explosive, the other a long military campaign where battles may be won or lost, but not necessarily the war, require different styled tactics. And there's no doubt that Armstrong was a good "tactician" in terms of the latter styled event, not so good though in the former.

The real irony here, is that he probably was a born classics rider, but was much more suited to the tactical style of the Tour. And after he hooked up with Bruyneel and Ferrari and whoever else after that, they created a new "corporate-tailored" man and team to just crush the competition at the Tour. It was a great plan, which worked, even if I never liked much of what I saw or what was going on behind the scenes to arrive at what I saw. In fact Armstrong's and Bruyneel's goal was to eliminate the tactical and spontaneity factors as much as possible, which makes for much more entertaining racing, because it was convenient for them and because they had the methodology to do it properly, by having Lance just crush everybody in the first time trial and mountain stage, gaining enough time in the first 10 days of the event to basically annihilate the race. From a pure convenient point of view, it was the best thing for them to do, but it took all the romance and tactical posturing out of the Tour during that streak.

And now Alberto has gotten caught up in their scheme is an inconvenient stud in the midst of their plans to have Lance win his 8th Tour.

Yikes! War and Peace:eek:
 
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grimpeur said:
Then leave...

There's a reason Contador is wearing dossard 21, he's Astana's team leader. There's a reason Armstrong is wearing dossard 22, he's not Astana's team leader. Wait, Bruyneel forgot what he said.

In 2007 Levi Leipheimer was wearing dossard 111, he was Discovery's team leader. Contador was wearing dossard 112, he was not Discovery's team leader. Wait, how did that tour turn out for Levi?
 
chambers said:
In 2007 Levi Leipheimer was wearing dossard 111, he was Discovery's team leader. Contador was wearing dossard 112, he was not Discovery's team leader. Wait, how did that tour turn out for Levi?

That is because Contador showed he was stronger than Levi and put time into him on numerous occasions in the mountains. But if you look at this year Contador has also shown he is strong than LA on the only mountain finish so far: Arcalis. Therefor the team is behind Alberto with LA as an insurance policy
 
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El Imbatido said:
That is because Contador showed he was stronger than Levi and put time into him on numerous occasions in the mountains. But if you look at this year Contador has also shown he is strong than LA on the only mountain finish so far: Arcalis. Therefor the team is behind Alberto with LA as an insurance policy

watching stage 13 i thought LAs was riding infront of AC to protect him after the first climb
 
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chambers said:
In 2007 Levi Leipheimer was wearing dossard 111, he was Discovery's team leader. Contador was wearing dossard 112, he was not Discovery's team leader. Wait, how did that tour turn out for Levi?

Good point. Contador is and should be the leader, JB and LA just won't admit it.
 
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This is simple

Friends,

LA will absolutely hand AC's *** to him at the flat TT ... thus putting himself in Yellow ... thus rendering Venteux a non-factor because AC WILL NOT dare attack a teammate in Yellow ... there will be activity from others but the moves will be neutralized
 
rhubroma said:
No, its not that. Look, If LA came back simply to promote his cancer foundation, well then fine, even if personally I think its all insipid propaganda. But if he joined the Astana team with AC on it to also win his 8th Tour, then he doesn't have alot of our simpathies. And not because we are necessarily rooting for the young Spaniard. It's just an issue of decorum, which you probably don't understand, but if you don't like it, then go some place else.

Keep it simple and to the point. "You don't hate Armstrong, go some place else". See, that wasn't that hard.
 
SpeedWay said:
Keep it simple and to the point. "You don't hate Armstrong, go some place else". See, that wasn't that hard.

Allright then...that you don't hate Armstrong doesn't make me so arrogant and stupid as to come on here and attempt to censor those views which express otherwise. As if you were affraid that someone who thought like you, could possibly be pursuaded to reasess the matter based on the claims of we the others.

It's just so entertaining that you guys never fail to demonstrate your fragility, the moment you launch into your regime-like antics. Thanks for making it so apparent. ;)
 
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mherm79 said:
watching stage 13 i thought LAs was riding infront of AC to protect him after the first climb

Lance is riding in a position to "cover" any attacks and if he just happens to get time on Contador as he "marks" a move it is just because it will force the other GC men to worry about him...

I am sure he doesn't mean to get yellow it just happened:eek:
 
Bagster said:
A few points:
1. Neither Alberto or Lance need to do any attacking at all at this stage of the race. It is up to Scheklet, Sastre and Evans to attack because they are the ones who have to make up a lot of time.
2. With the exception of Evans you can probably add well over a minute to the real time that Andy S and Carlos are down because that is what they are likely to lose to both Lance and Alberto in the final TT.
3. Because of that they will be forced to attack and attack hard prior to the TT stage. Of course AB and LA will have to cover those attacks but that is all they will have to do and they will probably do it in tandem.
4. If the others are unable to put any time into LA and AB before the TT it is pretty much game over for them and the race will go to the Ventoux stage as a two horse race. That is where you will see the real LA/AB battle begin as all of the other challengers will most likely be minutes down.
5. Despite what the anti LA idiots on here state, most commentators who know anything about reading a race and form would be pretty hesitant in betting that LA won't be in with a shot at Ventoux. Will he be good enough to beat AB? I don't think so. If he does it would be a sensation and a big 10 size foot in the mouths of the hateboyz on here who were openly saying he would be gone last week. Then again I see they just keep moving out the dates of his demise, they are better at hedging their bets than making considered predictions.
You are so smart. I should have read this post before to make by bets. You really have so much knowledge on cycling that I am so impressed.

Have at least some respect from the opinions of other forists. :mad:
Thanks.
 
A

Anonymous

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Bagster said:
A few points:
1. Neither Alberto or Lance need to do any attacking at all at this stage of the race. It is up to Scheklet, Sastre and Evans to attack because they are the ones who have to make up a lot of time.
2. With the exception of Evans you can probably add well over a minute to the real time that Andy S and Carlos are down because that is what they are likely to lose to both Lance and Alberto in the final TT.
3. Because of that they will be forced to attack and attack hard prior to the TT stage. Of course AB and LA will have to cover those attacks but that is all they will have to do and they will probably do it in tandem.
4. If the others are unable to put any time into LA and AB before the TT it is pretty much game over for them and the race will go to the Ventoux stage as a two horse race. That is where you will see the real LA/AB battle begin as all of the other challengers will most likely be minutes down.
5. Despite what the anti LA idiots on here state, most commentators who know anything about reading a race and form would be pretty hesitant in betting that LA won't be in with a shot at Ventoux. Will he be good enough to beat AB? I don't think so. If he does it would be a sensation and a big 10 size foot in the mouths of the hateboyz on here who were openly saying he would be gone last week. Then again I see they just keep moving out the dates of his demise, they are better at hedging their bets than making considered predictions.

A regular Nostradamus this one is. He and his lover fp are surely drinking themselves blind right now, and crying like their hero.
 
Thoughtforfood said:
A regular Nostradamus this one is. He and his lover fp are surely drinking themselves blind right now, and crying like their hero.

Here we go, lighters up !? :D

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