• The Cycling News forum is looking to add some volunteer moderators with Red Rick's recent retirement. If you're interested in helping keep our discussions on track, send a direct message to @SHaines here on the forum, or use the Contact Us form to message the Community Team. Thanks!

Contador 2010

Jun 28, 2009
568
0
0
Visit site
Anyone see any struggles from Contador leaving the Bruyneel camp? Astana's GC team is a bit of a mess and would be in the ranks of the lower French teams if they didn't have Contador pinned down. Bruyneel has only been beaten at the Tour once in the last 10 years. Also Bruyneel knows Contador's inside out and might be the only DS that can beat him.

Can we please try to keep this out of the clinic.
 
Clemson Cycling said:
Anyone see any struggles from Contador leaving the Bruyneel camp? Astana's GC team is a bit of a mess and would be in the ranks of the lower French teams if they didn't have Contador pinned down. Bruyneel has only been beaten at the Tour once in the last 10 years. Also Bruyneel knows Contador's inside out and might be the only DS that can beat him.

Can we please try to keep this out of the clinic.

Well, we can try, but it seems like most who have left Johan's team to become leaders have been popped, so that could be a struggle that Contra faces!

If that does not occur, and no other bad luck hits the fan, I think next year would likely be Contra's most vulnerable year (I somehow doubt he will be on Astana in 2011), but not likely to Geri Shack. It does look to be a more interesting TdF than 2009 ...
 

the big ring

BANNED
Jul 28, 2009
2,135
0
0
Visit site
IMO, Bruyneel does not know Contra from a bar of Spanish soap. I am pretty sure Contra rode his own race in 2009, and will do so again in 2010.
 
This discussion has come up in other threads. Frankly, I don't think there is any precedent for a 4-Time GT champion leaving JB. Sure we have examples of super-domestiques who fail to thrive or get busted or both (see Levi, Tyler and Landis). The closest example we have is Heras. Frankly, I don't think anyone would put Heras and Contador in the same category (I just don't see AC going to another team and riding as a domestique for another rider at the TdF). We saw AC win this year after largely being isolated from JB throughout the year and certainly during the TdF. I don't think it will make much of a difference and he may learn a thing or two from Martinelli. In short, I don't think JB's absence will have a negative impact and if he keeps running his mouth, will almost certainly have a positive impact.
 
Jun 16, 2009
19,654
2
0
Visit site
AC is the best GT rider at the moment, no doubt about it. Though over the past 3 years he has had luck always on his side, no injury and a strong team riding for him (mostly). The question is can he keep this strong form and have no bad luck? I don't think so. Things are not always going to be smooth sailing as such.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
the big ring said:
IMO, Bruyneel does not know Contra from a bar of Spanish soap. I am pretty sure Contra rode his own race in 2009, and will do so again in 2010.

I agree. If we're talking tactics and strategy during the race Alberto was on his own this year. Bruyneel screamed at him in the team bus after the stage Kloden couldn't stay with him - how often does that happen to a race leader? He was in Armstrong's car for the final Time Trial.

I disagree that Contador was lucky (in general) the past three years. He spent a lot of 2008 hoping to ride the Tour, but was kept out, again. He was able to salvage the year big time, but I think he would have gotten more out of the Giro experience if the invitation hadn't been last minute and he'd been able to train for it and anticipate it.

Radio Shack's strategy is probably going to have them using attacks by Armstrong, Kloden and Leipheimer at different times because there are three of them and only one Contador. But it's hardly a two-team race, and Alberto has talked about how other riders in the race will also be competing against The Shack. Let's face it, if you want to finish in the top ten, you're fighting three or four guys on their squad.

But the sprint stages probably won't have much GC strategy, and the Time Trials are individual. A lot of guys will mix it up in the mountains, with the Schlecks and Wiggins, Sastre, Menchov, Evans, etc. Some days Contador will just stick with those guys. He'll attack when he feels good and can gain the most advantage. He'll hardly be on his own strategy-wise, as Martinelli managed different riders to four Giros and a Tour win. And someone in the team car will make darned sure he eats and drinks.

Astana has nine riders in mind to help Contador win. He and Vino won't race together before the Tour, but I hope Alberto will have riders from the other eight for Algarve, Catalunya, Pais Vasco and Dauphine Libere. Then we'll start getting answers in February.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
As discussed in the Predictions 2010 with Publicus - I think Conti might have a bad tour, but rebound in the Vuelta against a weaker field.

Pub' asked why I think his tour will suffer without JB, and therefore why I would predict that he can then go on and win a GT later in the season.

Here was my response - sounds relevant for this thread:

Mountain Goat said:
Yeh it is a bit of a weird thing to say.

I guess, many riders that leave a Bruyneel-managed team seem to have a drop in form the previous year. Whether these riders are domestiques or future team leaders at their new team, something happens. Whether its a motivational thing, a change of so many teammates, or something else that can be discussed in le Clinique, I'm not sure. But I guess I just having a feeling he may not be his usual self next year.

It has been mentioned a few times about how he might change with this new team (essentially 2010 Astana is a new team for AC) and I have noted your many comments actually about how AC is not in anyway like the usual people that leave JB's teams as he is a fourtime GT winner. So in a way, we are moving into unchartered territory with this one as we just do not know how the change in team structure will affect Contador. Believe me, i'm more than happy to be wrong about this one. He is a superstar, and i'd love to see him break Armstrongs record of tour wins and even Merckx's record of GT wins.

For all I know, AC will be better next year in this new line up, but as it stands, his results of his career, have been under Bruyneel, so I'm just unsure at this stage how he will go under a new setup. It's not so much JB sitting in the team car, as I believe he wasn't there for the Giro, but it's more about the overall setup of a JB team compared to the new Astana 2010. I tipped him to win early stage races in the season and therefore perhaps lose some of that form come July. But who knows?

Either way, winning 4 GTs in a row is a monumental effort and I have my doubts as to how long he can keep it up to get his 5th in a row. Maybe he wins 10GTs in a row, i'd love to see it!

About the Vuelta, it seems that so many riders are focusing on the Giro or Tour next year, and the Vuelta, IMO, will be won by someone who has an under-par performance at the Tour. Reason being that the Vuelta field will not be as strong as 2009. Like Cadel Evans this year, someone great can easily backup in a grand tour a month later, if and only if, their performance at their previous GT is under-par. Meaning that, say AC has a bad day at the Tour and drops to 5th or 6th, and for some reason, he knows he can't make up a, say, 4min deficit in the final TT. Then he essentially has an additional 3-4 days of recovery in the last week by taking it relatively easier than if he was in a winning position, and can then bounce back in the Vuelta 4.5 weeks later against a much weaker field.

Hope that helps to explain. I don't want to come across as an AC skeptic, becoz i'm not one, but many GT champions have a bad year every now and then, and I just felt 2010 Tour may be a tough one for him. Happy to be wrong on this prediction!
 
Dec 11, 2009
161
0
0
Visit site
My impression of Contador this year is that of a complete rider (good climber & tt-er) with a sturdy character. I don't think there's a reason that he'll do worse next year, I actually think he'll ride better after being rid of JB (provided that there isn't some magic JB potion that only people on his squad have access to, but until there's any concrete proof of that I refuse to believe it).

I also don't think that JB knows him all that well, but he may have seen enough of his physical data to know when he has weak moments. Although I doubt he can exploit that, as nobody on his team is as strong as Contador.
 
auscyclefan94 said:
AC is the best GT rider at the moment, no doubt about it. Though over the past 3 years he has had luck always on his side, no injury and a strong team riding for him (mostly). The question is can he keep this strong form and have no bad luck? I don't think so. Things are not always going to be smooth sailing as such.

"Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." So yeah, I guess he was lucky over the last 3 years. ;)
 
Nov 17, 2009
2,388
0
0
Visit site
If Contador doesn't have any mishap, he'll win the race. He's the strongest rider.

Where the team strength could get him is if he does have a mishap. Radio Shack will NOT be honorable. If contador falls... I expect to see the entire RS team relaying at the front to make the gap as big as possible. If Contador fails to make a wind caused break... the entire RS team in the break will be relaying at 100% to make the gap as big as possible.


I don't think RS will win with these tactics... but they could cause another GC rider from a different team to beat Contador. I don't think a strong team can be used to help a single rider get time on Contador in normal conditions... but I think it could cause the effects of a mistake by Contador to be magnified. Even in the stage where lance made the break and Contador didn't... Astana didn't help relay until the end. If the same thing happened this year, RS would be relaying with Columbia from the very beginning... and you might have talked about 30 more seconds being gained.
 
Apr 24, 2009
206
0
0
Visit site
It seems apparent that AC is at the point in his career where he has the strength and talent to win even with less than ideal team support (if that indeed turns out to be the case). Especially given the way Tour organizers are now designing the parcours. It could be argued that AC neither received nor needed that much team support in 2009--since there were only limited opportunities to attack, the lead groups were pretty self-regulating in the mountains.
 
kurtinsc said:
If Contador doesn't have any mishap, he'll win the race. He's the strongest rider.

Where the team strength could get him is if he does have a mishap. Radio Shack will NOT be honorable. If contador falls... I expect to see the entire RS team relaying at the front to make the gap as big as possible. If Contador fails to make a wind caused break... the entire RS team in the break will be relaying at 100% to make the gap as big as possible.


I don't think RS will win with these tactics... but they could cause another GC rider from a different team to beat Contador. I don't think a strong team can be used to help a single rider get time on Contador in normal conditions... but I think it could cause the effects of a mistake by Contador to be magnified. Even in the stage where lance made the break and Contador didn't... Astana didn't help relay until the end. If the same thing happened this year, RS would be relaying with Columbia from the very beginning... and you might have talked about 30 more seconds being gained.

The scenario you described isn't one of honorable v. dishonorable. It's racing. If a GC contender misses a break and one or more made the break, of course the GC contender is going to press his advantage. The difference with stage 3 of the 2009 TdF is that the real GC contenders all missed the split. If AC had made the split, I guarantee you would have seen a much more concerted and organized chase from the chasing group. And frankly the reason why Astana didn't contribute to driving the break was because optically it looked really bad--not arguing the merits of the situation; just the optics.
 
Oct 29, 2009
1,095
0
0
Visit site
I don't see AC being successful in 2010, but my reason has more to do with team dynamics and more competition at next year's Tour than with JB's departure. AC's team is significantly weaker than last year, and he'll be facing more attacks from more contenders: Valverde and Basso will be joing the fray of contenders already gunning for AC. He and his team won't be able to answer attacks from all those strong teams. It's definately going to be his most difficult GT.
 
Nov 17, 2009
2,388
0
0
Visit site
Publicus said:
The scenario you described isn't one of honorable v. dishonorable. It's racing. If a GC contender misses a break and one or more made the break, of course the GC contender is going to press his advantage. The difference with stage 3 of the 2009 TdF is that the real GC contenders all missed the split. If AC had made the split, I guarantee you would have seen a much more concerted and organized chase from the chasing group. And frankly the reason why Astana didn't contribute to driving the break was because optically it looked really bad--not arguing the merits of the situation; just the optics.

Well, I didn't mean to imply that exploiting a gap is dishonorable. I meant more that exploiting a mishap would be.

We saw instances in past Tours where Ulrich waited for Armstrong and vice versa when crashes occurred. If Contador crashes... I don't see RS waiting. The schlecks might... cadel might... but not Lance. I think of AC goes down in any situation where pushing the pace might cause him trouble... RS will push the pace. Same goes if he has a flat at an inoportune time, or if he gets caught behind a crash that splits the pelaton.

In past years, it looked like GC guys wouldn't take advantage of situations like this unless they happened after the "real race" was on late in a stage (such as Cadel's flat in the Vuelta). I don't expect that sort of sportsmanship from RS... not in regards to Contador (though I wouldn't expect the same behavior with Andy or any of the other GC guys).
 
Oct 29, 2009
1,095
0
0
Visit site
kurtinsc said:
Well, I didn't mean to imply that exploiting a gap is dishonorable. I meant more that exploiting a mishap would be.

We saw instances in past Tours where Ulrich waited for Armstrong and vice versa when crashes occurred. If Contador crashes... I don't see RS waiting. The schlecks might... cadel might... but not Lance. I think of AC goes down in any situation where pushing the pace might cause him trouble... RS will push the pace. Same goes if he has a flat at an inoportune time, or if he gets caught behind a crash that splits the pelaton.

In past years, it looked like GC guys wouldn't take advantage of situations like this unless they happened after the "real race" was on late in a stage (such as Cadel's flat in the Vuelta). I don't expect that sort of sportsmanship from RS... not in regards to Contador (though I wouldn't expect the same behavior with Andy or any of the other GC guys).

Lance has waited for Ulrich as well. He would do the same for AC. EDIT: AC on the other hand, would certianly attack if Lance went down. He's just that aggressive.
 
Nov 17, 2009
2,388
0
0
Visit site
ImmaculateKadence said:
Lance has waited for Ulrich as well. He would do the same for AC. EDIT: AC on the other hand, would certianly attack if Lance went down. He's just that aggressive.

Yes, I did say "and vice versa".

But I don't think Lance would wait for AC now. I think he's got a lot more animosity for Contador then he ever did for Ulrich, and I think he knows he is going to need every second he can get to finish ahead of Contador.

Contador isn't worrying about Lance. He won't wait for him because he doesn't see him as a real competitor... it would be like Lance waiting for Zubeldia or Moreau in 2003. Yeah, they were top 10 finishers, but Lance only really viewed Ulrich and maybe Vino as real competition that year.

Contador would wait for Andy Schleck if he crashed. He won't be concerned about Lance too much.
 
ImmaculateKadence said:
I don't see AC being successful in 2010, but my reason has more to do with team dynamics and more competition at next year's Tour than with JB's departure. AC's team is significantly weaker than last year, and he'll be facing more attacks from more contenders: Valverde and Basso will be joing the fray of contenders already gunning for AC. He and his team won't be able to answer attacks from all those strong teams. It's definately going to be his most difficult GT.

I think that's a very plausible argument. And I agree, it's definitely going to be his most difficult GT.
 
Jun 28, 2009
568
0
0
Visit site
The real question is going to be how many attacks is Contador going to have to run down. This looks to be the deepest GC field in recent memory and it is going to be tough for any one team to control the race. Astana is going to have to let one or two of these attacks go.
 
kurtinsc said:
Well, I didn't mean to imply that exploiting a gap is dishonorable. I meant more that exploiting a mishap would be.

We saw instances in past Tours where Ulrich waited for Armstrong and vice versa when crashes occurred. If Contador crashes... I don't see RS waiting. The schlecks might... cadel might... but not Lance. I think of AC goes down in any situation where pushing the pace might cause him trouble... RS will push the pace. Same goes if he has a flat at an inoportune time, or if he gets caught behind a crash that splits the pelaton.

In past years, it looked like GC guys wouldn't take advantage of situations like this unless they happened after the "real race" was on late in a stage (such as Cadel's flat in the Vuelta). I don't expect that sort of sportsmanship from RS... not in regards to Contador (though I wouldn't expect the same behavior with Andy or any of the other GC guys).

Again, I feel like you are talking about race situations that happen all the time. If the yellow jersey pulls off for a nature break, I don't see the peloton going along with attacking him at the time. If he's not in yellow and picks an inopportune time to relieve himself, that's a different story.
 
Jul 3, 2009
18
0
0
Visit site
kurtinsc said:
Yes, I did say "and vice versa".

But I don't think Lance would wait for AC now. I think he's got a lot more animosity for Contador then he ever did for Ulrich, and I think he knows he is going to need every second he can get to finish ahead of Contador.

Contador isn't worrying about Lance. He won't wait for him because he doesn't see him as a real competitor... it would be like Lance waiting for Zubeldia or Moreau in 2003. Yeah, they were top 10 finishers, but Lance only really viewed Ulrich and maybe Vino as real competition that year.

Contador would wait for Andy Schleck if he crashed. He won't be concerned about Lance too much.


Totally agree with this. Bertie is the man to beat, the only man that can stay with him when it goes up hill is Andy. He is by far one of the strongest TTers and with no TTT I expect him to win the tour again next year, barring any bad luck. He will attack every chance he gets I would imagine, just to show the old boys how it is done. If he rides the Veulta as well, put me down for 2 GT wins in a year.
 
Clemson Cycling said:
The real question is going to be how many attacks is Contador going to have to run down. This looks to be the deepest GC field in recent memory and it is going to be tough for any one team to control the race. Astana is going to have to let one or two of these attacks go.

Maybe. But as you said, it will be one of the deepest fields in recent memory. Someone else is going to run it down too. The goal isn't to beat AC, it's to win the race.

I just don't see Nibali or Basso going up the road and NO ONE covering their attacks. Same with the Schlecks. Zubeldia? Probably. Vino. They'll let him go too. Frankly I think the depth of the field plays to AC's and Astana's advantage--as long as they don't get yellow too early. That will be the key.
 
Oct 29, 2009
1,095
0
0
Visit site
kurtinsc said:
Yes, I did say "and vice versa".

But I don't think Lance would wait for AC now. I think he's got a lot more animosity for Contador then he ever did for Ulrich, and I think he knows he is going to need every second he can get to finish ahead of Contador.

Contador isn't worrying about Lance. He won't wait for him because he doesn't see him as a real competitor... it would be like Lance waiting for Zubeldia or Moreau in 2003. Yeah, they were top 10 finishers, but Lance only really viewed Ulrich and maybe Vino as real competition that year.

Contador would wait for Andy Schleck if he crashed. He won't be concerned about Lance too much.

You did say that; my bad. That's what I get for skimming.:eek:

While I agree he has more animosity toward AC, I 'd still expect him to wait, especially if it were a crash...maybe not a flat and AC has teammates to get him back. If that were the case, Lance may keep going but he wouldn't put the hammer down. AC is so agressive, I'd honestly expect him to keep going in any situation; he may not attack, but I doubt he would slow down.
 
ImmaculateKadence said:
You did say that; my bad. That's what I get for skimming.:eek:

While I agree he has more animosity toward AC, I 'd still expect him to wait, especially if it were a crash...maybe not a flat and AC has teammates to get him back. If that were the case, Lance may keep going but he wouldn't put the hammer down. AC is so agressive, I'd honestly expect him to keep going in any situation; he may not attack, but I doubt he would slow down.

Lance certainly didn't wait for Mayo in 2004 when Mayo crashed, so I doubt Lance would wait for Contador. Unless, of course, AC is in yellow, at which point the field would absolutely wait out of respect.

I see no reason why AC would wait for Lance, unless Lance is in yellow, which is doubtful.
 
ImmaculateKadence said:
Lance has waited for Ulrich as well. He would do the same for AC. EDIT: AC on the other hand, would certianly attack if Lance went down. He's just that aggressive.

I think that's what the "vice versa" meant in the post that you're responding to. I think you're confusing sporting ethics with aggression. I see Contador as rating highly in both categories. If Armstrong is in the leader's jersey at the time of a crash/mishap it is historically proper for everyone to wait, and I believe that is what would happen considering the respect that he has among his fellow professionals.
 
Oct 29, 2009
1,095
0
0
Visit site
Moose McKnuckles said:
Lance certainly didn't wait for Mayo in 2004 when Mayo crashed, so I doubt Lance would wait for Contador. Unless, of course, AC is in yellow, at which point the field would absolutely wait out of respect.

I see no reason why AC would wait for Lance, unless Lance is in yellow, which is doubtful.

Didn't Mayo abandon, or am I confusing stages?
 

TRENDING THREADS