Armstrong warns all his rivals!

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Mar 10, 2009
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I always thought LA might be better going for the KOM Jersey. I'm sure he could win that easy but not sure he would see that as a win for himself though.
 
Nov 17, 2009
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Mellow Velo said:
Armstrong sucked on Wiggins's wheel, until Brad was just about used up, then, he rode up towards Kloden, who had blown completely.
Actually, this was the correct tactic, unlike Verbier, which was all about desperation.
Anyhow, I digress. While it was an attack of sorts, he was still losing ground on the 3 out front.

Ventoux was all about the vent. Nobody was gaining much there. Again, Lance can thank Kloden for his being there.
YOu keep coming back to the three in front... and I'll be the first to admit that he can't climb with Andy or Alberto... or Frank when he's "on". Let me reiterate that I do NOT believe he can win the tour.

But I will also say that barring AC, Frank and Andy... he was capable of climbing with anyone.

On Verbier (which everyone claims is evidence that the others like Evans, Sastre and Nibali were clearly superior), he and Kloden rode at the front... exactly like Vandevelde and Wiggins did on Grand Bornand. Yet somehow that result shows those other riders are better... while his dropping everyone aside from the leading riders on Grand Bornand is just because the others were tired while he sat on a wheel... only gaining ground after they exhausted themselves.

Shouldn't the same standard apply to Verbier when he and Kloden were leading and everyone else rode his wheel until they were gassed (or at least Lance was)... then rode away from him in pursuit of Contador?

It just seems like a bit of selective logic.

Anyway... of the riders last year, Andy and Alberto could climb well above what Armstrong could... or anyone else in the race last year. Frank could go with them on some days (Grand Bornand) but not others (Ventoux). Of the riders we saw last year in the mountains, I fail to see how you can't say Armstrong was on par with everyone else climbing wise on average.

Quite frankly... I don't see anyone climbing with Andy and Contador consistently over a 3 week tour. I certainly don't see anyone being able to lose them... aside from perhaps one of them dropping the other. Armstrong doesn't have a realistic chance... but neither do guys like Evans, Sastre, Wiggins, Gesink, Nibali, Kreuziger or anyone else being called "contenders". The rest of the pack is contending for third... and hoping AC or AS blow it so they can finish higher.
 
Aug 6, 2009
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kurtinsc said:
YOu keep coming back to the three in front... and I'll be the first to admit that he can't climb with Andy or Alberto... or Frank when he's "on". Let me reiterate that I do NOT believe he can win the tour.

But I will also say that barring AC, Frank and Andy... he was capable of climbing with anyone.

On Verbier (which everyone claims is evidence that the others like Evans, Sastre and Nibali were clearly superior), he and Kloden rode at the front... exactly like Vandevelde and Wiggins did on Grand Bornand. Yet somehow that result shows those other riders are better... while his dropping everyone aside from the leading riders on Grand Bornand is just because the others were tired while he sat on a wheel... only gaining ground after they exhausted themselves.

Shouldn't the same standard apply to Verbier when he and Kloden were leading and everyone else rode his wheel until they were gassed (or at least Lance was)... then rode away from him in pursuit of Contador?

It just seems like a bit of selective logic.
Anyway... of the riders last year, Andy and Alberto could climb well above what Armstrong could... or anyone else in the race last year. Frank could go with them on some days (Grand Bornand) but not others (Ventoux). Of the riders we saw last year in the mountains, I fail to see how you can't say Armstrong was on par with everyone else climbing wise on average.
I re-watched the stage and Klöden was pacing the group, not Armstrong so I don't think you can get around the fact that Armstrong was clearly among the weaker favourites on that stage. Still the difference wasn't large and he got stronger in the later part of the race so I'll grant you the overall point that Armstrong was roughly on par with the other 3rd place contenders.
 
Oct 29, 2009
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Publicus said:
That is also a fair point to make. I think Armstrong can defend against most of these guys except for the elite climbers. That being said, I don't see him being a position to defend a podium slot. He's going to have to earn it--whether it be on the cobbles or in the mountains, but he won't have the benefit of the TTT.

And Liquigas is my pick for the strongest team in the 2010 TdF. I could easily see a podium of AC, AS and Basso/Nibali (depending on who is stronger in the TT).
I think we agree more than we realize.

I was just reading through some of the discussion you and Kurtinsc were having, and I was thinging it's crazy we're still talking about this. I mean just imagine how much talk next year's mountain stages will bring.
 
ImmaculateKadence said:
I think we agree more than we realize.

I was just reading through some of the discussion you and Kurtinsc were having, and I was thinging it's crazy we're still talking about this. I mean just imagine how much talk next year's mountain stages will bring.
We do--our disagreement is relatively minor. And I'm amazed by it too. I'm itching for racing to start earnest so we can see who has what. And no matter what, I think we will be talking about this TdF more than any other (the field is going to be remarkably deep).
 
Jul 27, 2009
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Cerberus said:
I re-watched the stage and Klöden was pacing the group, not Armstrong so I don't think you can get around the fact that Armstrong was clearly among the weaker favourites on that stage. Still the difference wasn't large and he got stronger in the later part of the race so I'll grant you the overall point that Armstrong was roughly on par with the other 3rd place contenders.
When I rewatch the Verbier stage, I can't get around the fact that Armstrong was racing so hard against his teammate. He even had an ally in Kloden.

Maybe I took him at his word prior to the TdF where he said he would be the best teammate ever. Perhaps I was naive to think that such a fine person would do such a thing. Up until that point, he *was* a model teammate...keeping any disagreements in house and only worrying about the race on the road. ;)

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
 
kurtinsc said:
YOu keep coming back to the three in front... and I'll be the first to admit that he can't climb with Andy or Alberto... or Frank when he's "on". Let me reiterate that I do NOT believe he can win the tour.

But I will also say that barring AC, Frank and Andy... he was capable of climbing with anyone.

On Verbier (which everyone claims is evidence that the others like Evans, Sastre and Nibali were clearly superior), he and Kloden rode at the front... exactly like Vandevelde and Wiggins did on Grand Bornand. Yet somehow that result shows those other riders are better... while his dropping everyone aside from the leading riders on Grand Bornand is just because the others were tired while he sat on a wheel... only gaining ground after they exhausted themselves.

Shouldn't the same standard apply to Verbier when he and Kloden were leading and everyone else rode his wheel until they were gassed (or at least Lance was)... then rode away from him in pursuit of Contador?

It just seems like a bit of selective logic.

Anyway... of the riders last year, Andy and Alberto could climb well above what Armstrong could... or anyone else in the race last year. Frank could go with them on some days (Grand Bornand) but not others (Ventoux). Of the riders we saw last year in the mountains, I fail to see how you can't say Armstrong was on par with everyone else climbing wise on average.

Quite frankly... I don't see anyone climbing with Andy and Contador consistently over a 3 week tour. I certainly don't see anyone being able to lose them... aside from perhaps one of them dropping the other. Armstrong doesn't have a realistic chance... but neither do guys like Evans, Sastre, Wiggins, Gesink, Nibali, Kreuziger or anyone else being called "contenders". The rest of the pack is contending for third... and hoping AC or AS blow it so they can finish higher.
I can only speak for myself when I say that my view is predicated on the tactical difference between the Verbier stage and the subsequent stages. Armstrong was no longer racing to win the race after Verbier, he was defending his podium position. At Verbier, he was, along with everyone else, racing for the overall victory.

That being said, you bring up a fair point. Stage 17 was just the inverse of Stage 15, in that Armstrong was riding wheels until he felt he could ride away from Wiggins and Nibali. I stand by my original contention that he wasn't racing in the sense that he was racing on Verbier, and that that stage is more relevant when contemplating how he will climb in the mountains in 2010 where he will HAVE to race until he is in yellow (when he could defend).
 
Nov 17, 2009
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ImmaculateKadence said:
I think we agree more than we realize.

I was just reading through some of the discussion you and Kurtinsc were having, and I was thinging it's crazy we're still talking about this. I mean just imagine how much talk next year's mountain stages will bring.
I enjoy talking about the actual cycling. I'm by no means an expert and I learn a lot from how others view the same race. I hate talking about the "clinic" side of cycling... but the capabilities, tactics and strategies are fascinating.

In my opinion... that's kind of the point of a message board about a sport. Discussing what has happened and might happened on the field of competition.


As to Armstrong defending a podium slot... it MIGHT be possible. It depends on how well he can hang on in the mountains. If he can keep total time loss to everyone other then Alberto/Andy to a small number of seconds... then perhaps. In the TT's (even though there aren't a lot of km), there are relatively few guys who you'd predict would possibly beat him. Wiggins, definitely. Evans and Menchov perhaps. Then there would be a couple more who might be at about the same level. Nibali and Kreuziger maybe. I'm not sure how Basso is TT'ing these days.

It's possible for Armstrong to gain time on the better time trialists not by attacking... but by holding on longer then they can in the mountains. Since he'll still have Kloden/Leipheimer/Horner et al helping him out... I can see that happening. Frank will gain some time on him... but Frank is a lot worse in the TT... not just a little. Like last year, it will be a question of how many minutes in the TT Frank loses.

My guess is that Armstrong will try to do something on the cobbles. If he succeeds... he'll try to defend in the mountains... and fail to do so against Andy and Alberto... but possibly succeed with everyone else. If he fails to gain enough time on the cobbles, he'll try to outclimb/outlast the better TT guys in the mountains... not necessarily by attacking but rather by holding on longer to the better climbers or letting them gas themselves in pursuit and then attacking late to gain a chunk.

For me... Basso is the biggest wildcard. I'll be very curious to see how he rides at the Tour. He's the one guy I look at and envision that he could possibly go with the top 2 guys.
 
kurtinsc said:
I enjoy talking about the actual cycling. I'm by no means an expert and I learn a lot from how others view the same race. I hate talking about the "clinic" side of cycling... but the capabilities, tactics and strategies are fascinating.

In my opinion... that's kind of the point of a message board about a sport. Discussing what has happened and might happened on the field of competition.


As to Armstrong defending a podium slot... it MIGHT be possible. It depends on how well he can hang on in the mountains. If he can keep total time loss to everyone other then Alberto/Andy to a small number of seconds... then perhaps. In the TT's (even though there aren't a lot of km), there are relatively few guys who you'd predict would possibly beat him. Wiggins, definitely. Evans and Menchov perhaps. Then there would be a couple more who might be at about the same level. Nibali and Kreuziger maybe. I'm not sure how Basso is TT'ing these days.

It's possible for Armstrong to gain time on the better time trialists not by attacking... but by holding on longer then they can in the mountains. Since he'll still have Kloden/Leipheimer/Horner et al helping him out... I can see that happening. Frank will gain some time on him... but Frank is a lot worse in the TT... not just a little. Like last year, it will be a question of how many minutes in the TT Frank loses.

My guess is that Armstrong will try to do something on the cobbles. If he succeeds... he'll try to defend in the mountains... and fail to do so against Andy and Alberto... but possibly succeed with everyone else. If he fails to gain enough time on the cobbles, he'll try to outclimb/outlast the better TT guys in the mountains... not necessarily by attacking but rather by holding on longer to the better climbers or letting them gas themselves in pursuit and then attacking late to gain a chunk.

For me... Basso is the biggest wildcard. I'll be very curious to see how he rides at the Tour. He's the one guy I look at and envision that he could possibly go with the top 2 guys.
That sounds very plausible. I think the only other wild card is how those weaker TT riders attack in the mountain. They don't, as you aptly note, have a fallback position. They have to take maximum time on riders like Menchov, Evans (if he's there), Wiggins and Armstrong in the mountains because they could lose a minute or more in the TT.

I think Armstrong and Bruyneel are going to look to exploit the cobbles--especially looking at Armstrong's focus on the classics this spring. I'm looking forward to seeing what the other contenders do to neutralize their plans or minimize the effectiveness of their strategy. Frankly, if I'm AC, I just ride Armstrong's wheel.
 
Nov 17, 2009
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Publicus said:
I can only speak for myself when I say that my view is predicated on the tactical difference between the Verbier stage and the subsequent stages. Armstrong was no longer racing to win the race after Verbier, he was defending his podium position. At Verbier, he was, along with everyone else, racing for the overall victory.

That being said, you bring up a fair point. Stage 17 was just the inverse of Stage 15, in that Armstrong was riding wheels until he felt he could ride away from Wiggins and Nibali. I stand by my original contention that he wasn't racing in the sense that he was racing on Verbier, and that that stage is more relevant when contemplating how he will climb in the mountains in 2010 where he will HAVE to race until he is in yellow (when he could defend).
Well... unless he really can do something on the cobbles.

I don't know what to expect there. I'm not sure what selection 12km of cobbles will actually cause, and I don't know how much better Lance would be then someone like Andy Schleck or Brad Wiggins. But I do know he's finished in the top 30 of Flanders before... so he's not incapable of gaining some time.

If Armstrong gains enough on the other GC guys on stage 3 (and maybe some more on stage 1 if it's windy)... he could enter the alps already defending... even if a guy like Boonen were in yellow.
 
Oct 29, 2009
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Publicus said:
We do--our disagreement is relatively minor. And I'm amazed by it too. I'm itching for racing to start earnest so we can see who has what. And no matter what, I think we will be talking about this TdF more than any other (the field is going to be remarkably deep).
It really is, especially when compared to disagreements I have with other users, but different strokes...or spokes.

I'm itching for the season to start too, by that I mean the Classics. TdU and TofQ are just teases when you consider the Classics and GTs are just around the corner. And because of the deep field, I'm more excited about this Tour than any in recent years. There's been so much talk and build up, I just want to hear what the legs and bikes have to say.
 
Aug 6, 2009
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Publicus said:
I think Armstrong and Bruyneel are going to look to exploit the cobbles--especially looking at Armstrong's focus on the classics this spring. I'm looking forward to seeing what the other contenders do to neutralize their plans or minimize the effectiveness of their strategy. Frankly, if I'm AC, I just ride Armstrong's wheel.
If I was anyone but AC I'd be trying to help LA's plans on the cobbles, not neutralize them. The way I see it the Tour is AC's to lose and since he's the best in the mountains and perhaps even the TT, any other contender should try to take time on him on the cobbles.
 
Jan 31, 2010
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Publicus said:
That sounds very plausible. I think the only other wild card is how those weaker TT riders attack in the mountain. They don't, as you aptly note, have a fallback position. They have to take maximum time on riders like Menchov, Evans (if he's there), Wiggins and Armstrong in the mountains because they could lose a minute or more in the TT.

I think Armstrong and Bruyneel are going to look to exploit the cobbles--especially looking at Armstrong's focus on the classics this spring. I'm looking forward to seeing what the other contenders do to neutralize their plans or minimize the effectiveness of their strategy. Frankly, if I'm AC, I just ride Armstrong's wheel.
Well I don't know how AC rides on cobbles, hopefully better than Mayo, because I really was feeling sorry for him the time :p
 
Cerberus said:
If I was anyone but AC I'd be trying to help LA's plans on the cobbles, not neutralize them. The way I see it the Tour is AC's to lose and since he's the best in the mountains and perhaps even the TT, any other contender should try to take time on him on the cobbles.
Of all the other contenders who are really good on the cobbles? Only the Brothers Schleck come to mind and that's because they can rely on Spartacus to shepherd them through. I think Basso, Gesink, Nibali are just as vulnerable, but I could be wrong.

I think Contador may find some allies in the form of Quick Step. My guess is that the stage fails to live up to the hype. Who am I kidding, 13.2KM of cobbles is going to wreck havoc with the contenders. I can't wait!
 
Aug 6, 2009
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UpTheRoad said:
When I rewatch the Verbier stage, I can't get around the fact that Armstrong was racing so hard against his teammate. He even had an ally in Kloden.

Maybe I took him at his word prior to the TdF where he said he would be the best teammate ever. Perhaps I was naive to think that such a fine person would do such a thing. Up until that point, he *was* a model teammate...keeping any disagreements in house and only worrying about the race on the road. ;)

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
Are you expecting me to disagree with that? I suppose I could play devils advocate and argue he was really riding against Schlecklet and that none of the people he pulled really constituted a threat against AC, but that wouldn't explain why he actually closed a gap that had opened between AC + Frank Schleck and the other favourites on that stage. Really I don't think LA will be winning any team-mate-of-the-year award for his 2009 Tour performance.
 
Aug 6, 2009
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Publicus said:
Of all the other contenders who are really good on the cobbles? Only the Brothers Schleck come to mind and that's because they can rely on Spartacus to shepherd them through. I think Basso, Gesink, Nibali are just as vulnerable, but I could be wrong.
Spartacus and Bretchel and O'Grady. Wiggins has Flecha for the cobbles too and Evans has a Hincapie and Ballan if he gets in. As for Basso and co. I'm not disagreeing, but they way I see it they'd have to gamble if they want to win. Obviously they'd try to close a gap if they missed the split, but if they make the split they might even win (assuming Schlecklet gets hit by a falling piano of cause) if nothing happens on that stage I don't see them out riding AC in the mountains.
 
Publicus said:
Of all the other contenders who are really good on the cobbles? Only the Brothers Schleck come to mind and that's because they can rely on Spartacus to shepherd them through. I think Basso, Gesink, Nibali are just as vulnerable, but I could be wrong.

I think Contador may find some allies in the form of Quick Step. My guess is that the stage fails to live up to the hype. Who am I kidding, 13.2KM of cobbles is going to wreck havoc with the contenders. I can't wait!
Wiggins finished in the top 30 of Roubaix I believe so he has some experience and a certain advantage. He additionally will have Maaskant to chaperone him through. Contador will have Noval who has extensive experience racing in the cobblestones.

As I recall Boonen was one of the few top riders to verbalize his thoughts on what he saw of the Astana drama from last year. His perspective seemed to be sympathetic to Contador ("They were trying to break him"). Not that that will have any effect on Quick Steps strategy since they will be focused on trying to get a stage win with that terrain being their domain.l
 
Jul 27, 2009
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Cerberus said:
Are you expecting me to disagree with that? I suppose I could play devils advocate and argue he was really riding against Schlecklet and that none of the people he pulled really constituted a threat against AC, but that wouldn't explain why he actually closed a gap that had opened between AC + Frank Schleck and the other favourites on that stage. Really I don't think LA will be winning any team-mate-of-the-year award for his 2009 Tour performance.
Nah, no need to defend any position. I was just playing and taking shots at Armstrong. I jumped on your "can't get around" line merely to hit at Armstrong's tactics that day.
 
Oct 29, 2009
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kurtinsc said:
I enjoy talking about the actual cycling. I'm by no means an expert and I learn a lot from how others view the same race. I hate talking about the "clinic" side of cycling... but the capabilities, tactics and strategies are fascinating.

In my opinion... that's kind of the point of a message board about a sport. Discussing what has happened and might happened on the field of competition.
I'm with you. I've posted on occasion in the clinic but find it overwhelming how many respond in disagreement. Call it Omerta, but I prefer not to discuss doping now. People get too heated with doping anyway, especially talking about Lance. And the discussions inevitably start to circle. Like you said, the tactics, strategy, etc, are what fascinates me. It allows me to see things in upcoming races or in other riders that I may not have noticed in other races.
 
Sep 2, 2009
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Angliru said:
Wiggins finished in the top 30 of Roubaix I believe so he has some experience and a certain advantage. He additionally will have Maaskant to chaperone him through. Contador will have Noval who has extensive experience racing in the cobblestones.

As I recall Boonen was one of the few top riders to verbalize his thoughts on what he saw of the Astana drama from last year. His perspective seemed to be sympathetic to Contador ("They were trying to break him"). Not that that will have any effect on Quick Steps strategy since they will be focused on trying to get a stage win with that terrain being their domain.l
Not quite, but the guidance of Flecha and Arvesen will be priceless.
 
Apr 17, 2009
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Angliru said:
Didn't Mayo crash on the road leading up to the cobbles?
As Publicus already said, yes, and then Discovery Channel dropped the hammer on the pave which blew open the gap.
 
Oct 29, 2009
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I wouldn't put too much emphasis on contenders being guided through the cobbles. When they hit Haveluy about ten kilometres from the finish, I expect a frenetic pace.
 

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