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Can Schleck really beat Contador in TDF

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Moondance said:
Contador didn't start winning major races until his 5th full season with the big boys

He didn't start winning until he got in to Bruyneel's program ;) Now when he's no in Bruyneel's team he will get busted / get weaker. Andy will or someone else will beat / be close him in 2010 Tour.
 
DavidVilla7 said:
Contador´s biggest rival is himself!
And everything depends on his form

Not much else to add -- 'cept the fact that a lot of people seem to forget he is just coming into his prime as a cyclist.

With 4 consecutive GTs to his credit already, that's a scary (or delightful, depending on who you side with) prospect.
 
Publicus said:
He hadn't trained at ALL before the 2008 Giro. I believe he said the first mountains he rode up where those at the Giro. So, yes if he comes to the TdF having not trained, he's going to get bested by a number of folks. Including AS.

Agreed that he came into it on little training, but didn't he ride and win both Paris-Nice and Pais Vasco that year? Also, Castillia y Leon and a few others? I thought all those had mountains.
 
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Publicus said:
He hadn't trained at ALL before the 2008 Giro. I believe he said the first mountains he rode up where those at the Giro. So, yes if he comes to the TdF having not trained, he's going to get bested by a number of folks. Including AS.
i respect both berto and andy. you saw me posting plenty good about berto. not trying to diminish him at all.

but i don't know if i agree berto did not train at all before the 2008 giro. it was bru's normal exercise in spinology.

you r plolly right he was undertrained and had to scramble when astana got the last minute invite. i'll agree he won in 2008 giro on his talent and growing into form as the giro went on. we'll never know (wait may be we will after the today's news) if he had a propeller in his helmet. ;)
 
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python said:
i respect both berto and andy. you saw me posting plenty good about berto. not trying to diminish him at all.

but i don't know if i agree berto did not train at all before the 2008 giro. it was bru's normal exercise in spinology.

you r plolly right he was undertrained and had to scramble when astana got the last minute invite. i'll agree he won in 2008 giro on his talent and growing into form as the giro went on. we'll never know (wait may be we will after the today's news) if he had a propeller in his helmet. ;)

He literally was on the beach with his girlfriend resting up riding like an hour a day when he heard that he was going to do the giro, and he still won by riding the dennis menchov way.

skidmark said:
Agreed that he came into it on little training, but didn't he ride and win both Paris-Nice and Pais Vasco that year? Also, Castillia y Leon and a few others? I thought all those had mountains.

he didn't race paris-nice that year, but pais vasco and castilla did have some nice hills, but no true mouintains.

Nastyy said:
He didn't start winning until he got in to Bruyneel's program ;) Now when he's no in Bruyneel's team he will get busted / get weaker. Andy will or someone else will beat / be close him in 2010 Tour.

before 2007 he only had a 1 1/2 of racing fully healthy and that was 2003 and 2006 when he was preparing to do his first tour. He was like 2 in romandie and 3 in dauphine in 2006 so he was thought to be a favourite in 2006.
 
A

Anonymous

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I think AC is beatable, but not only by AS, there are others out there with the potential to beat him. But I can't see him losing the 2010 TDF, given the mountainous parcours. We know he is pretty good at TT now, but we also know that he does struggle when the TT distance exceeds 40km (in fact he lost a lot of time in the last 12k of the TDF time trial), however over a 50km TT I believe he will still outdo Andy S.

The only way I can see AC losing the TDF is if they repeat the parcours used in 2007 TDF - lots of mountains with descent finishes leading to lots of attacking by Rass and Soler (and the new kids on the block) and two long FLAT time trials. That said, under that parcours, it would not be Andy S beating AC, it would be someone like Evans, Levi, Wiggins or LA (if he learns to TT again).

I think it is clear that AC is talented, 4 GTs, underdone in the Giro, pressure in the Vuelta from Levi, lots of pressure in the TDF from Astana, and he still provailed in leaps and bounds, but he has yet to do this without the top team support (yes I know Astana didn't support him this year - but the TTT sure did). If he is on Astana next year, it will be very interesting to see. There will be 6-8 contenders on 6-8 teams which should make for very interesting racing, and all the pressure is on AC to defend his title. He is yet to be tested with this many contenders for a TDF title and not the strongest team
 
I think MG pretty much nailed it. Go back to years like 1990-1995, with total TT distance (including TTT) over 170km (1992 had over 200km!) and find a rider like Miguel Indurain. Yes, I realize that's saying something, but if something like that happens, AC won't win.

Recall that he did have a joux sans in Paris-Nice, so it's possible someone like Andy could supplant him.

As to Rasmussen, it's hard to say, as he was jacked on Dynepo when he was dropping AC. But who knows what AC was on at that time, and Rasmussen was a pure climber anyway.
 
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I dont think Andy can do it next year(like pretty much everyone else here), but I would say he is certainly the biggest contendor to contador, his mountain climbing just didnt seem to be as good as contadors this year and I dont think he will improve by enough to be able to beat alberto in the mountains. The time trials too(i forget how many there are in next years tour) but I see him suffering to Contador there for a few more years yet. I think Andy Schlek will certainly win a tour in the future though(as long as he isnt on drugs now and gets caught:S), he´s a great rider and young, I am just not sure if the age difference is enough to make up for the current talent difference :S

Like some other guy said it also depends on Contador, I think Alberto is clearlyt better but if he has a bad year next year then I would say andy is the favourite to win, I say andy is ahead of armstrong by quite a lot,maybe he was not so far ahead of him in gc this year but I suspect he could have taken even more time on armstrong on Ventoux if he wasnt trying to help Frank.

I forgot what i was talking about, but Andy is very good, but right now Contador is brilliant(in the tdf anyway)
 
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Alberto/Johan

How will Alberto's performance be affected by change in team management?
This is an interesting question. Will Alberto miss John Bruynneal or will he keep on training well and performing well under the new team manager for Astana?
I am also waiting for Alberto to confirm that he is staying with Astana through 2010.
 
Galic Ho said:
Andy was roughly 2'00" behind AC in the Annecy ITT. Not bad given he was 3'30" back in 2008. He improved heaps, but so did AC over that period. Brother Frank improved heaps as well. He dropped 5 minutes the year before and nocked 1'30" off that. The ITT was 10km's shorter but AS has grown in that department. Nibali was 5 seconds slower than Andy and Lance was only 15 faster.

But Andy will have to either improve by leaps and bounds or hope that something happens to Contador if he is to win. To Saxo's credit, their riders at least attacked Astana in the ITT and on Verbier. Everyone else seemed to sit back and let Astana dictate this year, a scene unlikely to be repeated next year. I hope the Chicken gets a ride, he'll give AC a run in the hills.

The chicken will not climb like in 07 that's for sure
 
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Everyone seems to be saying the same things and it looks like it is true. AC is virtually unbeatable without the course designers helping out the competition in some way. Certainly, AS cannot beat AC on next year's course. The only place I see Andy possibly taking time is in the early stages through the ardennes and on the cobbles. It is just too difficult right now to take big chunks of time from AC in the mountains. He has shown he knows how to ride defensively and he CERTAINLY knows how to attack. The time trial next year does not suit AS at all. It is straight and level and geared towards the high power guys, Cancellara, most notably. Schleck will lose minutes to other contenders. A course like the one for the Giro next year is better suited to Andy being able to take a run at Alberto; lots of different terrain, less ITTing and the uphill TT suits Andy well, with a good day he could take time in a situation like that.
 
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So most of us agree AS at least in the 2010 tour cant beat AC.Can LA win the 2010 tour,I know he win be almost 39! But he will have probably the strongest team,who`s only goal is to sacrifice personal ambition and ride 150% just for him.His experience and mental strenghth make him a great threat.Where will Contador be in 2010? what ever team he is with, it will not be as strong as radioshack.So AC will really have to be a leader without Johan Bryneel guiding him.
 
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horizon27 said:
So most of us agree AS at least in the 2010 tour cant beat AC.Can LA win the 2010 tour,I know he win be almost 39! But he will have probably the strongest team,who`s only goal is to sacrifice personal ambition and ride 150% just for him.His experience and mental strenghth make him a great threat.Where will Contador be in 2010? what ever team he is with, it will not be as strong as radioshack.So AC will really have to be a leader without Johan Bryneel guiding him.
you understand that conta woke up every morning after dreaming that bruyneell NOT guide him during that o9 tour? or you still don't understand it?
 
Andy vs AC

While Andy will surely improve his TT and already excellent climbing, I expect AC won´t be sitting around doing nothing. AC is only 26 and can be expected to improve both his climbing and TT abilities. It is difficult to imagine anyone coming too close to him for at least another 3 years, baring accidents or illness. I can see Cadel making things difficult for AC if he can keep out of trouble and his luck holds out. Let´s not forget Wiggins, who should himself improve the more he´s on the road. As for Lance, I don´t see him even making it to the podium in 2010.
 
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Sure AS can beat AC.

It's a three week race. A bad day in the mountains or a fall and you've lost it. I do have to say that I would consider AC a clear favorite for the next year as well but you never know with the TdF. One bad day, thats all it takes...
 
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Mountain Goat said:
yes I know Astana didn't support him this year

i thought he had enough support. only saw him isolated once, and that was his own doing.


Mountain Goat said:
He is yet to be tested with this many contenders for a TDF title and not the strongest team

true - but perhaps next year he will be the sole GT contender from week 1 and not have the domestiques divide their services.
 
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horizon27 said:
So most of us agree AS at least in the 2010 tour cant beat AC.Can LA win the 2010 tour,I know he win be almost 39! But he will have probably the strongest team,who`s only goal is to sacrifice personal ambition and ride 150% just for him.His experience and mental strenghth make him a great threat.Where will Contador be in 2010? what ever team he is with, it will not be as strong as radioshack.So AC will really have to be a leader without Johan Bryneel guiding him.

No LA cannot win the 2010 Tour, at least he's significantly less likely to than AS. First of all if Radioshack is stronger than Saxo Bank it's not by much. I'll grant the experience and even the mental strength, but it just doesn't make up for the fact that he couldn't follow either AS or AC on the climbs in 2009, and the gap is more likely to increase than to shrink in 2010. Even if it did shrink, AC beat him by 5,5 minutes and the only reason the gap wasn't larger was because the only person who needed to drop LA was Frank Schleck who couldn't. Either AC or AS could probably have dropped him easily so if anything the huge gap in 2009 understates the difference between AC and LA. He won’t make up that gap barring a crash or Evans impersonation from AC and if that happens AS is next in line for the win.
 
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If vino rides in support of AC and AC has faith in him...nothing barring mechanical or crash can knock him off. 3 weeks is not 1 week, even a hunger flat won't stop him. If AC doesn't have faith in vino, then he will find himself attacked from all angles and needing to respond and waste energy too early perhaps. I'm not talking about attacks on final climbs, I'm talking from 100km out.
Frank and Andy could try to do something like this, the shack has options, liquigas also, and garmin. The course has been set up for this, as was this years. This year was blunted by everyone being scared of astana...except evans. Next year should be different, unless people remember evans and are scared of the idea.
 
karlboss said:
If AC doesn't have faith in vino, then he will find himself attacked from all angles and needing to respond and waste energy too early perhaps. I'm not talking about attacks on final climbs, I'm talking from 100km out.
Frank and Andy could try to do something like this, the shack has options, liquigas also, and garmin.

This is sort of what I am thinking. Man to man, AC is strongest. However, if he gets tag teamed, he can lose. Look at 2008. Evans was probably stronger mano a mano than AS, FS, and CS. CSC just rotated the 3 of them in attacks until Evans cracked.

If a team can do that in 2010 then Alberto can lose.
 
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ak-zaaf said:
Wow, really?

Thanks for the sarcasm

I think Cadel was marginally stronger than the CSC boys, but I think AC is much stronger than everyone else. Put AC where cadel was and he would have attacked himself. However force him and astana to chase a few long breakaways hard...Can't see it happening, I'm just hoping.
 
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karlboss said:
Thanks for the sarcasm

I think Cadel was marginally stronger than the CSC boys, but I think AC is much stronger than everyone else. Put AC where cadel was and he would have attacked himself. However force him and astana to chase a few long breakaways hard...Can't see it happening, I'm just hoping.

they may have to chase , but dont forget we may see a larger number of guys with real GC aspirations which means more guys working on different teams to close things down for there GC man