Cadel Evans is the "Mark Martin" of cycling!

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Angliru said:
Is it mental or physical? I ask because first you say its one and then the other.

He's obviously quite talented and capable of winning a grand tour and one of the Ardennes classics.n
Well I think it's a bit of both, though I don't agree at all that it's obvious that he can win a Grand Tour. In fact, quite the opposite. Look to win the Giro, for example, you've got to be the best climber in the race hands down and Cadel isn't. To win the Tour you have to be the best time trialist and among the top three climbers, or the hands down best climber and I'd say top five time trialist (especially on the last time trial, which is unusual because it's when the race is almost over and everbody's tired and thus doesn't favor a specialist as much). Here I'd put Cadel as a top five climber and a second or third best time trialist. Not a winning combination. When all goes well second or third is the result, if it goes less well fourth or fifth or lower. That's on the physical side.

On the mental side Evans suffers. Because last year, without (and I stress this) any super champions, he had his best and probably only chance at winning the Tour: but blew it. I mean fer chrisssake, you can't get dropped by Sastre and loose that much time on Alpe d'Huez! Somebody in the Aussie's position that falls short there, doesn't deserve to win the Tour. Given his ability and given that of his rival, I can only conclude that it was a mental weakness: i.e. pooooooped your pants.
 
Apr 12, 2009
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Cadel lost his chance in the tour last year it was a good setup for him he could've sucked wheel and steadily pull himself up the big mountains to stay close to the climbers and then make up time in the ITT but he didn't for whatever reason not a strong team, mental fortitude or lack of balls in the decisive stages, and now he has to try to win the tour when the young riders from last year are getting better, contador is back with a strong team and better time trial skills so his goose is cooked for the tour
 
Mar 19, 2009
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franciep10 said:
Cadel lost his chance in the tour last year it was a good setup for him he could've sucked wheel and steadily pull himself up the big mountains to stay close to the climbers and then make up time in the ITT but he didn't for whatever reason not a strong team, mental fortitude or lack of balls in the decisive stages, and now he has to try to win the tour when the young riders from last year are getting better, contador is back with a strong team and better time trial skills so his goose is cooked for the tour
It was not Cadel's fault he didnt get a big blood "refill" for his final Time trial. He could have easily won that Tour with some extra "help." He was down on horsepower, "down a cyclinder."

I think Evans is fairly clean and is probably a "freak." He is so consistent, when somebody is heavily doped their results "yo yo" and sometimes they might DNF races or be like 50-125 places and then all of a sudden start winning Grand Tours/ world championships.

With this year's Giro/Tour it will be crapshoot. The stockpiles of "packed refills" await.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Sorry, I disagree that Cadel "lost" the TdF last year on the Alpe d'Huez. For that whole stage, SaxoBank controlled the peloton and then did a wonderful 1-2-3 on Cadel (and the other contenders) by sending Sastre forward and having the Schleck brothers control and spoil the chasers beautifully. The SaxoBank team won that stage (and the TdF for Sastre) with well executed team riding, Cadel did not lose it.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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elapid said:
Sorry, I disagree that Cadel "lost" the TdF last year on the Alpe d'Huez. For that whole stage, SaxoBank controlled the peloton and then did a wonderful 1-2-3 on Cadel (and the other contenders) by sending Sastre forward and having the Schleck brothers control and spoil the chasers beautifully. The SaxoBank team won that stage (and the TdF for Sastre) with well executed team riding, Cadel did not lose it.
Well Evans "lost it" in the final TT. Normally, he would have blow out Sastre over that distance bro....
 
Mar 11, 2009
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BigBoat said:
Well Evans "lost it" in the final TT. Normally, he would have blow out Sastre over that distance bro....
Except that it was the end of the third week after he had been well and truely worked over by the other teams in the lead up as well as the crash leaving him out of gas for the TT.
 
elapid said:
Sorry, I disagree that Cadel "lost" the TdF last year on the Alpe d'Huez. For that whole stage, SaxoBank controlled the peloton and then did a wonderful 1-2-3 on Cadel (and the other contenders) by sending Sastre forward and having the Schleck brothers control and spoil the chasers beautifully. The SaxoBank team won that stage (and the TdF for Sastre) with well executed team riding, Cadel did not lose it.
No folks, he lost the Tour at Alpe d'Huez and, at the same time, didn't win the Tour in the last time trial. Sorry, but you guys don't understand bike racing. :p

PS. All Cadel had to do was stay with figgin Sastre on the Alpe and then beat him in the last time trial. He failed this exam and lost the Tour there....
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Rhubroma, it is obviously you that does not understand bike racing when you cannot understand or appreciate how well SaxoBank controlled the race on that Alpe d'Huez stage. O'Grady and Cancellara softened everyone up on the Col de la Croix de Fer climb and then the Schleck brothers spoiled every other contender's efforts to get away from the group behind Sastre. Not just Cadel, but also Vande Velde, Menchov, Valverde, Efimkin and Kohl. These are all strong riders with lots of experience. You are obviously ignorant of bike racing and tactics if you think all of these riders individually lost their chances rather than were beaten by a well orchestrated team effort. Yes, Cadel did not do as well as expected in the TT. I am sure he was also disappointed, but as has been mentioned, it was the end of three week race in which he had crashed and battled consistently without as much support from his team (compared to the protected and fresher Sastre).
 
elapid said:
Rhubroma, it is obviously you that does not understand bike racing when you cannot understand or appreciate how well SaxoBank controlled the race on that Alpe d'Huez stage. O'Grady and Cancellara softened everyone up on the Col de la Croix de Fer climb and then the Schleck brothers spoiled every other contender's efforts to get away from the group behind Sastre. Not just Cadel, but also Vande Velde, Menchov, Valverde, Efimkin and Kohl. These are all strong riders with lots of experience. You are obviously ignorant of bike racing and tactics if you think all of these riders individually lost their chances rather than were beaten by a well orchestrated team effort. Yes, Cadel did not do as well as expected in the TT. I am sure he was also disappointed, but as has been mentioned, it was the end of three week race in which he had crashed and battled consistently without as much support from his team (compared to the protected and fresher Sastre).
Listen you can think whatever you want about why Cadel lost the Tour, team tactics etc, that I don't understand bike racing...but if you want to tell me that Evans didn't come up short and that his job was anything other than following Sastre that day: well, then, you sir are just an amatuer who wants to defend poor ol'Cadel from people like me telling it like it is. I stand by my point: Cadel lost, not becuase of Saxo Bank tactics, but because he didn't stay with the one man he was supposed to that day. It's like when my old Italian diretore sportivo told the team: raggazi, today you gotta wait, and wait and wait, but if that guy moves you gotta f%*#in go!

So he either didn't have the legs, or else he lacked the coglioni...:p
 
Apr 6, 2009
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rhubroma said:
All Cadel had to do was stay with figgin Sastre on the Alpe
Just like Menchov? That went really well indeed :D

In hindsight, indeed he should've covered Sastre with all his strength, but at the time F. Schleck was in yellow. Had he covered Sastre, Schleck the older could've gone contra? Cadel lacked a leuitenant doing some damage control. Had Popo been up for it, and paced the Alpe in a steady manner, I'm sure Cadel could've earned himself an extra 30secs. Same story on Hautacam.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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To start, I am not a huge Cadel fan but I do think he gets a bad rap because of his racing style. I personally don't like it, nor his public persona, but I do admire his tenacity and I think he does the best job with the talents he has got. These talents are far

In regards to Cadel and the Alpe d'Huez stage, we'll have to agree to disagree. Cadel was beaten by SaxoBank team tactics, plain and simple. His job was not necessarily to stay with Sastre, but to limit his losses to Sastre so that he could make the time back in the TT. I fully agree that he achieved neither of these objectives. On the Alpe, this was because he was beaten by the spoiling tactics of the Schleck brothers. The same tactics buried many other contenders - did they all lose too? There is a difference between losing and being beaten. Sastre won that stage because Cadel and co were all beaten by the Schleck brothers.
 
Apr 16, 2009
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rhubroma said:
Then there's the fact that having to face the Armstrongs, Landises, Contadors out there, he simple is one notch below. And nothing against the guy, just athletically he's not at their level. Which means if they're on their game, regardles of whether or not he is, he finishes a close second.
Yes, that's a fair comparison. Cadel versus three known dopers. Well argued. I'm convinced that "athletically he's not at their level".
 
rhubroma said:
Well I think it's a bit of both, though I don't agree at all that it's obvious that he can win a Grand Tour. In fact, quite the opposite. Look to win the Giro, for example, you've got to be the best climber in the race hands down and Cadel isn't.
I believe Salvodelli won his 2nd Giro without being the best climber, beating out superior climbers like Simoni and DiLuca.
 
rhubroma said:
No folks, he lost the Tour at Alpe d'Huez and, at the same time, didn't win the Tour in the last time trial. Sorry, but you guys don't understand bike racing. :p

PS. All Cadel had to do was stay with figgin Sastre on the Alpe and then beat him in the last time trial. He failed this exam and lost the Tour there....
I agree somewhat but I wouldn't have expected Evans to stay with Sastre in his charge up Alpe d'Huez. What I expected is for him to go into time trial mode and begin his chase a bit sooner. What he did is attempt to respond to all the attacks from riders in his group that were no threat to his position in the gc. Frank Schleck while wearing the leader's jersey was no threat due to his lack of ability versus the clock with a ITT stage forthcoming. Andy Schleck had already dropped so far back in the gc that he was not a threat. The riders in his group that were close in the gc (Kohl and Menchov) weren't such superior climbers to Evans that they were likely to be able to jump him in the standings by the summit. The others (Valverde and Sanchez) were too far back to even warrant a thought about what they were doing on the Alpe.

Bottom line it seemed Evans was confused by the fact that he had Sastre up the road and the yellow jersey wearing Frank Schleck sitting in. Based on his usual riding style which a poster likened to Jan Ullrich's steady diesel engine style, Evans' focus should have been on limiting the gains that Sastre was attempting to make by riding at a deliberate pace, with a sense of urgency he only showed later on the Alpe, likely after being given the time via radio that Sastre was steadily taking out of him. There is no way that Sastre takes 2 minutes out of Evans, Sanchez, Valverde in that span of km unless a whole lot of negative riding is going on. Evans should have had a singular focus on Sastre because he was the only rider at that time who was a threat to his winning the Tour.
 
Apr 12, 2009
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rhubroma said:
Listen you can think whatever you want about why Cadel lost the Tour, team tactics etc, that I don't understand bike racing...but if you want to tell me that Evans didn't come up short and that his job was anything other than following Sastre that day: well, then, you sir are just an amatuer who wants to defend poor ol'Cadel from people like me telling it like it is. I stand by my point: Cadel lost, not becuase of Saxo Bank tactics, but because he didn't stay with the one man he was supposed to that day. It's like when my old Italian diretore sportivo told the team: raggazi, today you gotta wait, and wait and wait, but if that guy moves you gotta f%*#in go!

So he either didn't have the legs, or else he lacked the coglioni...:p
Frank Schleck was in the yellow jersey so the best thing to do is to follow the yellow jersey and then beat him in the time trial, so he probably thought sastre was going for the stage and not the whole race as his teammate was in yellow
 
Mar 11, 2009
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Sastre did not win the Tour, CSC did. He was just the individual beneficiary of excellent team tactics. It could well have been either of the Schleck bros. that flew the coop. Had Cadel covered Sastre, then the group would have slowed and then the Schlecks would have countered and on it would have gone until a CSC rider was free.

that said, as Angliru notes, Cadel should have gone into TT / chase mode sooner. he waited too long and kept marking the guys he was with....he should have reacted sooner and limited his losses.

Regardless, it was still within his grasp in the final TT....he came up short against a rider he should have smoked any day of the week. End of story.
 
franciep10 said:
Frank Schleck was in the yellow jersey so the best thing to do is to follow the yellow jersey and then beat him in the time trial, so he probably thought sastre was going for the stage and not the whole race as his teammate was in yellow
Sastre was a real threat when he attached, is a known strong climber, whereas Shleck has his good days and bad days in the high mountains. If Cadel didn't want to loose the Tour and had the legs it was necessary for him to follow Sastre. If Shleck, in yellow, had the legs he would have himself attached or followed Sastre to not loose ground. And no team manager would have ordered his man in yellow to not go at such a critical moment if he had the legs. That Shleck didn't go should have told Cadel that Sastre was the man to stay with that day. The stage was at a critical point, so improvisation over tactics would have suited Evans best. Because if he had the legs to follow Sastre but chose not to, to mark Shleck, then he made a huge tactical error. Whereas in his, Evan's position, with a weak team (like Lemond on ADR in 89) he didn't have the luxury of watching someone like Sastre go up the road that day, even if he feared Shleck could go too sitting on his wheel and then attach him. In the end that wasn't even the issue. No, he had to just friggen go. No if, ands or buts. Of course if he would have simply been the strongest, then he should have been the one attaching. That not being the case he needed to lay it all out, giving up his very soul, like Roche did against Delgado in 87, to stay in realistic contention. But he didn't do this and that's why he lost the Tour here.

Again, Evans, by not going with Sastre (either because of a tactical mistake or physically wasn't up for it no matter) lost the Tour on that day, whereas Sastre won the Tour on Alpe d'Huez. At the same time, Cadel didn't win the Tour on the last time trial, while Sastre didn't loose it. It is a subtle consideration, but important in understanding the dynamic of a long stage race: namely being able to understand at which point a contending rider looses the race and when another wins the race.
 
Mar 11, 2009
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WHAT?!?!!?! Ok, I'm usually loathe to play "you don't understand racing" card, but I have to here.....Schleck didn't follow his teammate becasue he didn;t ahve the legs? How about "No fookin way.' Schleck didn;t follow Sastre becasue that was the team plan!!

Sastre attacks and if he gets away, fine. If Evans reels him back, the Schleck attacks, If Evans reels him back, then Andy attacks.....and so it goes until one CSC rider gets free.

It just so happened that CSC achieved its goal (get a contender up the road) with the very first attack.
 
Power13 said:
WHAT?!?!!?! Ok, I'm usually loathe to play "you don't understand racing" card, but I have to here.....Schleck didn't follow his teammate becasue he didn;t ahve the legs? How about "No fookin way.' Schleck didn;t follow Sastre becasue that was the team plan!!

Sastre attacks and if he gets away, fine. If Evans reels him back, the Schleck attacks, If Evans reels him back, then Andy attacks.....and so it goes until one CSC rider gets free.

It just so happened that CSC achieved its goal (get a contender up the road) with the very first attack.
This logic is contrary to man in the Yellow Jersey gets to keep it if he has the legs to do so. Schleck didn't, that's why Sastre was ordered to attach. Evans should thus have responded immediatly or died trying to recuperate as much time back from Sastre as possible. If SaxoBank had had confidence in Shleck to win, which they didn't, they wouldn't have played their Sastre card, which they did. Evans read the cards wrong, or was too weak to do anything about the outcome of this poker game.
 
Mar 11, 2009
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rhubroma said:
This logic is contrary to man in the Yellow Jersey gets to keep it if he has the legs to do so. Schleck didn't, that's why Sastre was ordered to attach. Evans should thus have responded immediatly or died trying to recuperate as much time back from Sastre as possible. If SaxoBank had had confidence in Shleck to win, which they didn't, they wouldn't have played their Sastre card, which they did. Evans read the cards wrong, or was too weak to do anything about the outcome of this poker game.
No, you still don't understand the strategy....the goal was to get ANY CSC (not Saxo, btw) rider to win....it did not matter who.

Further, the guy who attacks first is usually the sacrificial lamb....he is the guy who almost always gets caught becasue there are plenty of others willing to chase. And then the yellow jersey can counter. Last year though, Sastre was the guy who got away....partly becasue he was on a good day and partly becasue nobody else chased.
 
Apr 12, 2009
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rhubroma said:
Sastre was a real threat when he attached, is a known strong climber, whereas Shleck has his good days and bad days in the high mountains. If Cadel didn't want to loose the Tour and had the legs it was necessary for him to follow Sastre. If Shleck, in yellow, had the legs he would have himself attached or followed Sastre to not loose ground. And no team manager would have ordered his man in yellow to not go at such a critical moment if he had the legs. That Shleck didn't go should have told Cadel that Sastre was the man to stay with that day. The stage was at a critical point, so improvisation over tactics would have suited Evans best. Because if he had the legs to follow Sastre but chose not to, to mark Shleck, then he made a huge tactical error. Whereas in his, Evan's position, with a weak team (like Lemond on ADR in 89) he didn't have the luxury of watching someone like Sastre go up the road that day, even if he feared Shleck could go too sitting on his wheel and then attach him. In the end that wasn't even the issue. No, he had to just friggen go. No if, ands or buts. Of course if he would have simply been the strongest, then he should have been the one attaching. That not being the case he needed to lay it all out, giving up his very soul, like Roche did against Delgado in 87, to stay in realistic contention. But he didn't do this and that's why he lost the Tour here.

Again, Evans, by not going with Sastre (either because of a tactical mistake or physically wasn't up for it no matter) lost the Tour on that day, whereas Sastre won the Tour on Alpe d'Huez. At the same time, Cadel didn't win the Tour on the last time trial, while Sastre didn't loose it. It is a subtle consideration, but important in understanding the dynamic of a long stage race: namely being able to understand at which point a contending rider looses the race and when another wins the race.
Firstly Frank had the legs because when sastre was up the road frank and andy were pulling valverde and kohl back, it was team strategy to get a csc rider up the road and go balls out on the climb which is what sastre did if you remember clearly andy and frank were attacking before sastre attacked so don't assume that he didnt have the legs. Yes cadel should have taken the initiative and attacked but he didn't because thats not his style so yes he lost it on alpe d huez but he failed to win it in the time trial, so frankly he lost and sastre won
 
Power13 said:
No, you still don't understand the strategy....the goal was to get ANY CSC (not Saxo, btw) rider to win....it did not matter who.

Further, the guy who attacks first is usually the sacrificial lamb....he is the guy who almost always gets caught becasue there are plenty of others willing to chase. And then the yellow jersey can counter. Last year though, Sastre was the guy who got away....partly becasue he was on a good day and partly becasue nobody else chased.
Beleive me, I understand more than you think. Anyway if Schlek were that good, SaxoBank would have played no other card, the fact that they did means that Evans should have reacted diferently.
 
Mar 11, 2009
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rhubroma said:
Beleive me, I understand more than you think. Anyway if Schlek were that good, SaxoBank would have played no other card, the fact that they did means that Evans should have reacted diferently.

Uh, OK. You realize your second sentence completely contradicts your first one, right?

Carry on....
 
Angliru said:
I agree somewhat but I wouldn't have expected Evans to stay with Sastre in his charge up Alpe d'Huez. What I expected is for him to go into time trial mode and begin his chase a bit sooner. What he did is attempt to respond to all the attacks from riders in his group that were no threat to his position in the gc. Frank Schleck while wearing the leader's jersey was no threat due to his lack of ability versus the clock with a ITT stage forthcoming. Andy Schleck had already dropped so far back in the gc that he was not a threat. The riders in his group that were close in the gc (Kohl and Menchov) weren't such superior climbers to Evans that they were likely to be able to jump him in the standings by the summit. The others (Valverde and Sanchez) were too far back to even warrant a thought about what they were doing on the Alpe.

Bottom line it seemed Evans was confused by the fact that he had Sastre up the road and the yellow jersey wearing Frank Schleck sitting in. Based on his usual riding style which a poster likened to Jan Ullrich's steady diesel engine style, Evans' focus should have been on limiting the gains that Sastre was attempting to make by riding at a deliberate pace, with a sense of urgency he only showed later on the Alpe, likely after being given the time via radio that Sastre was steadily taking out of him. There is no way that Sastre takes 2 minutes out of Evans, Sanchez, Valverde in that span of km unless a whole lot of negative riding is going on. Evans should have had a singular focus on Sastre because he was the only rider at that time who was a threat to his winning the Tour.
I think this one nailed it. I just think he didn't fully realize who the real threat was until it was too late. After all, everyone knows how Sastre usually gets stronger towards the end of a GT and F Schleck was never going to make it to Paris in yellow(info I suspect CSC was well aware of). I also don't think Sastre has ever been given enough credit for his ride that day. He was on a really, really good day, CSC tactics or no. I don't believe either Schleck would have taken 2:15 out of Evans had the situation been reversed.
 

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