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Astana, how strong?

Mar 13, 2009
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How strong are Astana, and what is their A team for the Tour?

Contador
Vino

Pereiro
Navarro
Noval
De La Fuente
Gasparotto

I assume Fofonov makes the A team, brings experience and track record with preparation. Davis might make the team depending on the management and Contador's wish. Grivko is solid. Dyachenko came high up in Catalunya last year. Evans said Juffre was his best domestique.

There top 5 is solid, but the only threat to Contador for this year's Tour, is the replication of the jour sans he had in Paris Nice http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/road/2009/mar09/parisnice09/?id=results/parisnice097

If they had Luis Leon Sanchez, I would be much more confident. As it is, they are more than competent, but it would be nice to have one Hincapie type, and a guy like Valverde to shut down the final attack of Andy Schleck et al.

Assan Bazayev
Alberto Contador
Allan Davis
Scott Davis
David de la Fuente
Valeriy Dmitriyev
Alexsandr Dyachenko
Dmitry Fofonov
Enrico Gasparotto
Maxim Gourov
Jesús Hernández
Andriy Hryvko
Maxim Iglinskiy
Valentin Iglinskiy
Josep Jufré
Roman Kireyev
Daniel Navarro
Benjamín Noval
Óscar Pereiro
Bolat Raimbekov
Sergey Renev
Mirko Selvaggi
Gorazd Štangelj
Paolo Tiralongo
Alexander Vinokourov
Andrey Zeits
 
May 6, 2009
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I don't see Gaspratto being much use for Contador. Maybe on the flat stages, but that would be about it. De La Fuente could be useful if he doesn't try to attack so much.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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craig1985 said:
I don't see Gaspratto being much use for Contador. Maybe on the flat stages, but that would be about it. De La Fuente could be useful if he doesn't try to attack so much.

ofcourse Gasparotto will be key. They need strong guys, who can ride on the front all day, 64kg Spanish climbers, cant do that. They need atleast Gaspa, perhaps Grivko too, although he is not that big. 5 or 6 mtn stages, if they are in yellow, they need a strong team, to ride on the front. See the USPS model. Always had 2 or 3 stong guys for flatland and crosswinds. Don't take them at your peril.
 
Mar 30, 2009
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I would think that Benjamin Noval and Enrico Gasporroto will be there to drive the peloton on the flat stages and to keep Contador out of trouble.

For the mountains they have Vinokourov, De La Fuente, Peirero, Navarro, Hernandez and Tiralongo. That would give them a strong enough team to keep Contador up there until the final selection where it wont matter how strong anyones team is once he flys off the front.
 
Jan 31, 2010
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The team is strong enough imo to get AC where he needs to be. From then it will probably be a man to man battle and if he has the form of last year, it will be extremely hard for the rest to crack him. I hope it's going to be a legendary TdF, all the tools to get one are there ;).
 
blackcat said:
...if they are in yellow, they need a strong team to ride on the front. See the USPS model.

The US Postal model is not the only way a rider can win a grand tour.

Why does the leading team have to "control" the race for the yellow jersey from the front every second he's in the lead?

The US Postal model shut down all spontaneity and made the races a a boring, foregone conclusion.

You really want to see more of that crap? I'm personally sick of it.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Berzin said:
The US Postal model is not the only way a rider can win a grand tour.

Why does the leading team have to "control" the race for the yellow jersey from the front every second he's in the lead?

The US Postal model shut down all spontaneity and made the races a a boring, foregone conclusion.

You really want to see more of that crap? I'm personally sick of it.
I dont want it, but remember how Contador had that jour sans in last year in Paris Nice.

A strong team, with guys like Arvesen (see Noval) who can handle those intermediate stages, can reduce the danger in event of that sporadic chance.

You need a few flat guys, some intermediate guys like Noval, and some guys who can close down a move in the last ten kms on the Queen stage.
 
blackcat said:
ofcourse Gasparotto will be key. They need strong guys, who can ride on the front all day, 64kg Spanish climbers, cant do that. They need atleast Gaspa, perhaps Grivko too, although he is not that big. 5 or 6 mtn stages, if they are in yellow, they need a strong team, to ride on the front. See the USPS model. Always had 2 or 3 stong guys for flatland and crosswinds. Don't take them at your peril.

Gasparotto weighs 64kg, too.
I'd also be looking at Gorazd Štangelj. A very under rated rider. Did a lot of the Liquigas donkey work.
 
Will the Kazakh sponsors use their muscle to get more of their riders on the Tour squad? They no longer have the strength of reputation that Bruyneel (and Armstrong) wielded to convince them otherwise. I heard rumors that a better Kazakh representation on the squad was desired. While many are assuming Vino will be on the Tour team, the Tour recent history as it relates to riders returning from suspension is to make them ride a year without incident before they are allowed to race at the Tour.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Astana are quietly a lot better than the fanboys would like to believe - but we must continue to believe the myth of any team around Armstrong being the 'strongest ever team' (even when demonstrably false ;)).
 
Mar 12, 2009
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Angliru said:
Will the Kazakh sponsors use their muscle to get more of their riders on the Tour squad? They no longer have the strength of reputation that Bruyneel (and Armstrong) wielded to convince them otherwise. I heard rumors that a better Kazakh representation on the squad was desired. Of course Vino and likely Iglinski but will they press for more?

Read somewhere they want 4 Kazakhs on the Tour team.

Vino and Iglinskiy are safe bets (assuming ASO allows Vino to race) my guess is that they choose between these 4: Assan Bazayev, Valeriy Dmitriyev, Alexsandr Dyachenko, Andrey Zeits, think they have all done a GT before.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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peloton said:
Read somewhere they want 4 Kazakhs on the Tour team.

Vino and Iglinskiy are safe bets (assuming ASO allows Vino to race) my guess is that they choose between these 4: Assan Bazayev, Valeriy Dmitriyev, Alexsandr Dyachenko, Andrey Zeits, think they have all done a GT before.

I would prefer Fofonov, Dyachenko, and Grivko (Ukraine) than Iglinskiy. So, I only have 3 on my team. Grivko and Gasparotto as the riders who are fungible with Valentin Iglinskiy. Would not be a big loss.

Zeits might be a rider for the future, is more than competent in the chrono.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Mellow Velo said:
Gasparotto weighs 64kg, too.
I'd also be looking at Gorazd Štangelj. A very under rated rider. Did a lot of the Liquigas donkey work.
but 38, I know Konychev rode til he was 40, Ludo Dierckxsens was old, Jens is old, so is Armstrong. But Stangelj aint quite that talented.
 

Polish

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Mar 11, 2009
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blackcat said:
I would prefer Fofonov, Dyachenko, and Grivko (Ukraine) than Iglinskiy. So, I only have 3 on my team. Grivko and Gasparotto as the riders who are fungible with Valentin Iglinskiy. Would not be a big loss.

Zeits might be a rider for the future, is more than competent in the chrono.

Velentin is Max's little bro. I hope Max makes the Team, don't think Valentin will.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Polish said:
Velentin is Max's little bro. I hope Max makes the Team, don't think Valentin will.

I know, but I meant Max, I got him mixed up, because the name was more common to me, seeing him in Asia and winning or podium in Japan.

So, I meant Max Iglinskiy in the A bubble, not the younger brother.
 
Feb 14, 2010
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I believe it was Proskurin who "suggested" to L'Equipe that it would be good to have four Kazakhs at the Tour and six ride the Giro. But Proskurin resigned last week and I have no idea what to expect. Astana Fans are supposed to have an interview with him this week. I don't know the people in their comments section, but one person suggested that "Yvonne" (sic) was thinking about leaving due to the change in direction. I assume that means Sanquer. It could be nothing, but I'll be checking back there for clues.

At this point Contador is supposed to be the only sure thing, and they're to mix up his teammates for the early season races to see how it goes. Others are meant to earn their way. Start off with Pereiro, Noval, Navarro, Hernandez and De la Fuente, and I'm happy going into the Tour. I guess we start seeing how good they can be this week, with Martinelli in the car as DS.

Back in December when he was discussing possibilities for the Tour long list, Contador mentioned that Zeits would be a big help on the cobbles. I'm anxious to see Jufre ride during the Spring as well.
 
theswordsman said:
This just hit after my post. Noval and Navarro will ride in all of Contador's races.

http://www.biciciclismo.com/cas/site/noticias-ficha.asp?id=22763

I hope that Noval rides the cobbles this Spring. It will be important for him and a couple of the other guys who are expected to ride the Tour to be very familiar with the terrain, but also comfortable jockeying for position leading into the cobbles (where the stage can be won or lost).
 
Jun 23, 2009
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Berzin said:
The US Postal model is not the only way a rider can win a grand tour.

Why does the leading team have to "control" the race for the yellow jersey from the front every second he's in the lead?

The US Postal model shut down all spontaneity and made the races a a boring, foregone conclusion.

You really want to see more of that crap? I'm personally sick of it.

You are right. There is also the Italian style. One of the most important guys on Astana is Guiseppe Martinelli an old hand in directing a team, a champion. He worked for more than 10 years with Marco Pantani.
And in the Tour of 2009 Contador practically had no team. The team mates he has now want to ride for him and that's important.
 
May 6, 2009
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I'm not sure about Noval, if he wasn't good friends with Contador, would he still have a pro contract? In the same way that Nick Gates only had a contract at Davitimon/Predictor/Silcene Lotto for so long because he's joined to the hip with Robbie McEwen.
 
craig1985 said:
I'm not sure about Noval, if he wasn't good friends with Contador, would he still have a pro contract? In the same way that Nick Gates only had a contract at Davitimon/Predictor/Silcene Lotto for so long because he's joined to the hip with Robbie McEwen.

Actually what promise he showed early in his career, results wise, pretty much stopped once he joined Bruyneel/Postal/Discover/Astana. It appears he became strictly a workhorse after that. The results (individual) he did have were all in Spanish races but he did show promise. Don't forget he was with Bruyneel prior to Contador joining up. I'm certain he would be riding with some pro team if he were not still with Astana.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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craig1985 said:
I'm not sure about Noval, if he wasn't good friends with Contador, would he still have a pro contract? In the same way that Nick Gates only had a contract at Davitimon/Predictor/Silcene Lotto for so long because he's joined to the hip with Robbie McEwen.
you never make a Bruyneel starting 9 unless you are molto class. Every team needs a guy like Vansummeran to work