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Contador's fframe of mind and his attacks in the mountain stages

What was Contador's frame of mind during the Tour?

  • Had Lance not taken time on me, I would have beeen ok with Lance and Klodi No. 2 and 3.

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May 5, 2009
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Feel free to comment on what you believe was Contador mind set during the race, his eventual attacks in the mountain stages of this year's Tour and how Armstrong influenced his attacking. This poll accepts multiple multiple answers.

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Contador entered the race determined to establish his leadership immediately. He would have attacked at Aracelis, the Verbier and Le Grand Bournard whether Arnstrong was in his team or not.

Contador expected to be the team leader after the time trial at Monaco and felt betrayed by Armstrong and Bruyneel when Armstrong took the 41 seconds at Had Armstrong not taken that time, Contador might have ridden other's wheels and not attacked.

Had Armstrong discussed it face to face with Contador, Contador might have let Armstrong take the yellow jersey in a controlled attack some time in the mountains during the race, confident all would be settled in the time trial and defended in Ventoux.

The only reason Contador attacked on the Verbier was to take time back on Armstrong and show him who's the strongest. Had Armstrong followed a wheel to Contador
 
Jul 22, 2009
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It would have been very interesting if Armstrong had taken that yellow jersey from Cancellara. The outward word on the team was they didn't want to defend the MJ so early in the race. But for Armstrong, that would have been his best chance at team control. And would have remained that way until ITT, when clearly Contador would have won the race.

Otherwise, Contador was really free to establish himself not only to the team, but to the entire field. I don't think much of anything otherwise would have changed the results.
 
Jul 31, 2009
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found this translation of El Pais article on another forum

http://www.elpais.com/articulo/deportes/uomo/solo/comando/elpepidep/20090727elpepidep_2/Tes

“One Man Alone at the Command”

1. Abanicos en la Camarga

"The tactic for not getting the yellow too early was so as not to burn up the team," Bruyneel said.
"If I would've had gotten the yellow, I wouldn't have had to reliquinsh it. I would've defended it," Armstrong said.
Acquiring the yellow jersey in the first week was a priority in Lance's strategy that was happening to paralyze any initiative that Contador might have had to establish his own hierarchy in the team.
After realizing his (Lance’s) limits and the talent of Contador at the time trial in Monaco (22 seconds in favor of the Spaniard’s) the Texan found his opportunity on a roundabout and in a change of the wind on the Camarga (the place this happened) which is open to the Mediterranean.

“I was just behind Alberto at that moment,” said Rojas, the Murcian sprinter from Caisse d’Epargne. “He was on Paulinho’s wheel who in turn was behind Zubeldia. Seeing that, I didn’t worry when I saw that Paulinho moved to the side, and Alberto got separated. I thought that the ones who were in front were not too far and that with a sprint, we could have caught them but as soon as we rounded the curve, I saw that we were really far away, that they had discarded Alberto.”

After the circle of his friends from Columbia, and in spite that in the front group was the leader Cancellara, Armstrong made Zubeldia and Popovich work on the front with Alberto in the back. The difference at the finish line was more than the 41 seconds that allowed Armstrong to recover for the leadership in the team. This gave the Texan the reason to pound Contador in his twitter with the same style that he used during Paris-Nice criticizing Contador’s lack of intelligence, tactics, and lack of respect for “The Boss”.

“A winner of seven Tours know how things are going,” Armstrong reminded Contador two days after the team time trial in which Astana destroyed the Tour in which the Texan ended up fractions of a second from the yellow. An example of a punishment, they left him at the back of the peloton, being beaten up by the wind from the coast on the way to Perpignon without any teammates, not even his loyal Paulinho with him. “I felt sorry to see the way they were treating him,” said the Belgian Champion, Tom Boonen. “They were trying to break him.” But Contador, a “hard-head”, in Armstrong’s own word, had some ideas of his own as he demonstrated in Arcalis.

2. The frustration of Arcalis

Contador, as concentrated as he was in controlling his tongue in order not to get into the provocations of Armstrong, he bit his legs more than what he intended on the first mountain in Andorra where he was planning to attack with 5 km left in order to catch up with the yellow jersey contrary to Bruyneel’s wishes because Bruyneel didn’t want to show Armstrong’s strength too soon. Contador had doubts – the wind was blowing too much from the front which put a brake in the attacks that they were hoping to come from Evans, Sastre, and the Schleck brothers, the losers of the time trial. He didn’t want to be the first to attack, it would’ve looked too ugly. Finally, Evans made a move with only 2 km remaining when the one from Pinto made a move. Little space to catch up to the leader – he ended up 6 seconds from Nocentini and two seconds ahead of Armstrong. “The next day in Arcalis, was psychologically the worst of this Tour,” Contador finally admitted responding to the criticisms from the duo Bruyneel-Armstrong. “I always obey the instructions from the team,” repeated Armstrong. “I have won 7 Tours.” From that moment on, he stopped considering the Spaniard a member of the team, acting as if he, Contador, simply didn’t exist. Contador was left without defense; if at least he would’ve attacked from far away and conquered the leadership…After that, he found refuge more in his little group of support: his mechanic, his masseuse, Paulinho, his brother-manager-comforter, and his press agent. While membersof Armstrong’s side on the team didn’t hold back in showing their sentiments, the rest of the members, the independent guys, impartial ones, the ones that thought of only the good of the team, they found themselves in a balancing act. They couldn’t show any signs of happiness or unhappiness for the actions of one or the other so it wouldn’t be misinterpreted because the pride of the champions are very susceptible; also, they had to calculate the hours that they would wear the different team jerseys: the blue Astana, the black Trek….All in order not to throw more fuel on the fire since the fire couldn’t be extinguished.

3. En ingels, no

From the beginning, Contador decided to offer his press releases in Spanish with translations in French. The English fell outside of his capabilities. Many people understood that as a territorial demarcation like a reply to the power of Armstrong in the English-speaking press. Bruyneel always thought that it was better for him to express himself in his native tongue even though he recognized that “Contador speaks English better than what people think.” The truth is that this decision hid a message to Armstrong in his particular war of nerves. Many in the media were surprised with the absence of the manager Bruyneel in the press room with Contador. Bruyneel, his director, only showed up at the first press conference in Monaco. Later he, Bruyneel, chose to withdraw from sight: “If not all the questions come to me and it’s not about taking away the limelight from the protagonist.”

For others, it looked more that Bruyneel wanted to isolate himself from Contador. The truth is each one of them has his own agenda of communication. It happened the third week, “the week of Contador’s glory”, was tainted with Armstrong’s news: the criticisms in twitter, interviews with a few journalists, and finally the announcement of his new sponsor. Beaten on the road, Armstrong turned to the battle of the images. Always in English.


continues below....
 
Jul 31, 2009
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4. Armstrong, le ‘roba’ el coache
Armstrong steals the car

If he had any doubts, the time trial of Annecy erased them right away. Contador did his preparations: a ritual training and warm-ups. But when he requested a car to go to the start line, he found there was none available. Armstrong made sure all the cars were used to pick up his family and friends upon their arrival that day in France. Contador, the leader of the Tour, had to go from the hotel to Annecy in his brother, Fran’s, car while Armstrong’s troop had all the Astana cars waiting for them. The psychological warfare reached its moment of guerilla warfare; it was childish. The virtual elimination of Contador was a result of Armstrong’s domination, the day he announced his new team.

The car turned out to be the point of disagreement. On Mt. Ventoux, Contador, the last one to come down because of the appearances with the media, came off the mountain again with his brother’s, Fran’s, car, accompanied with his girlfriend, Macarena. He was obligated to the press room at the bottom of the mountain as required by the leader of the race. It was the worst moment for him to go down when all the spectators were going down the road as well. At one time he was almost bumped by another car – without danger. It surprised the people to see the leader so unprotected in that cluster of cars, people and bicycles. The car was yet another issue facing Contador.


5. El desayuno mas amargo
The most sour breakfast

Lance Armstrong, dressed in his warm-up suit and cap, came down for breakfast in the Astana hotel. He finds the table empty and sits in one corner. Following is Alberto Contador and he sits on the other side of the table. There are no words, no look and no gestures between them. Then the rest arrive. The atmosphere is tense. It’s the day after the stage that ended in the Grand Bornand, the day of Contador’s attacked the Schlecks and he threw away Kloden’s chances. It was Contador’s worst moment, something like the night of the long nights for an arrow in calculation. Armstrong’s twitter was hot. The Texan was saying that he chose to control his tongue. Levi Leipheimer from the distance, accused the Spaniard of taking the German from the podium. Bruyneel didn’t buy the leader’s argument for why he attacked.

The heavy word of Astana fell that day on top of Contador. There the delicate threads that still held the team together were broken. And there, Armstrong said “enough” to the guy who was breaking his present and future plans. Probably, that day Contador was left without moral support from his team and he heard more than ever the sounds of silence. Life was never easy for Contador on Astana, but on July 22, he experienced absolute war, the feeling of being outside of his home. That day, Armstrong decided that the kid had gone far enough. Contador preferred to be quiet instead of lamenting. Armstrong and Bruyneel were already working in finding the other team in which Contador would be on.


6. Agua en el Ventoux, champagne en el hotel
Water in Ventoux, champagne in the hotel

A mistaken scene on the way to Ventoux left in the memory of many, the difference of Bartali or Coppi – no one will know who offered water to whom. Italian society was divided as well 50 years ago with those idols. Contador refused to accept Armstrong’s courtesy – an offer of water in the Caisse d’Epargne water bottle. “I was in the breakaway when the group of Armstrong and Contador caught up with me. I was on the left of the road when Contador got to me. I offered him my bottle because I saw that he didn’t have any water and I am his friend,” says Ian Gutierrez, who is number one in breakaways (in the entire Tour did 581 miles by himself.) “But, I extended my arm with the water when Armstrong who was a little behind me grabbed it on the fly taking it from Alberto’s reach. After drinking it, he offered it to Alberto, but he passed. And he was going to keep it when I reminded him it was mine and for him to return it.

This detail reflects the patronizing feeling with which the winner of 7 Tours considers not just his relation with his team but with the peloton. He was also the one that decided when to toast the champagne the winnings of the team: in the middle of the jubilee, the night of the team time trial and not without being cold to Contador when he won the yellow jersey in Annecy. “A funeral to celebrate the yellow jersey,” another member of the team said. Owner of his champagne glass, in tradition going into Paris, knocked glasses with everyone except Armstrong.
 
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Anonymous

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Thank you for posting. I feel sorry for Contador. His only sin was that he was a stronger rider than Mr Armstrong.
 
Jul 22, 2009
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“I was just behind Alberto at that moment,” said Rojas, the Murcian sprinter from Caisse d’Epargne. “He was on Paulinho’s wheel who in turn was behind Zubeldia. Seeing that, I didn’t worry when I saw that Paulinho moved to the side, and Alberto got separated. I thought that the ones who were in front were not too far and that with a sprint, we could have caught them but as soon as we rounded the curve, I saw that we were really far away, that they had discarded Alberto.”

This is a bunch of ****. We are to believe that a rider of Contador's superior strength would not be able to maintain position on a lesser rider's wheel? At the very least, propoganda aside, we can ascertain that Contador was at the lead of the dropped.
 
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scribe said:
This is a bunch of ****. We are to believe that a rider of Contador's superior strength would not be able to maintain position on a lesser rider's wheel? At the very least, propoganda aside, we can ascertain that Contador was at the lead of the dropped.

No, read it again. Paulinho was on Zubeldia's wheel, and Contador was on Paulinho's. Paulinho lost the wheel. Have you ever been gaped? In a stiff crosswind? If you look at the tape, you will see that is exactly what happened, and I have been saying it since it happened.
 
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manolo said:
Man., this was great! Thanks! Wow! It'd be great to hear Armstrong's side of this story! : )

Yea, such a quite reserved fellow that Uniballer. I wish for once he would stand up for himself.
 
Jul 22, 2009
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Thoughtforfood said:
No, read it again. Paulinho was on Zubeldia's wheel, and Contador was on Paulinho's. Paulinho lost the wheel. Have you ever been gaped? In a stiff crosswind? If you look at the tape, you will see that is exactly what happened, and I have been saying it since it happened.

Link to the tape you are looking at?
 
Jul 22, 2009
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Thoughtforfood said:
http://www.cyclingfans.com/

The highlights or stage 3 are at the bottom, you can do the heavy lifting.
That is the same inconclusive footage that has replayed over. You are seeing what you want to in that video and nothing more.
There is a french rider on the record as to who caused the split. Unlike the quote I separated above, that rider has nothing in the crapfest other than being caught out of the front split group by the rider in front of him....Contador.
 
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Anonymous

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scribe said:
That is the same inconclusive footage that has replayed over. You are seeing what you want to in that video and nothing more.
There is a french rider on the record as to who caused the split. Unlike the quote I separated above, that rider has nothing in the crapfest other than being caught out of the front split group by the rider in front of him....Contador.

No, you are. The account above will tell you exactly who Contador is in the video. To suggest that Contador, the man who took The Uniballer to the woodshed in the TT and every other stage he wanted to leave him on would have lost Zubeldia's rear whee is ludicrous. No, the reality of who we are talking about will tell you everything you need to know about who lost the wheel. You seriously think he either wasn't strong enough or did it on purpose? I would point out the folly of your suggestions, but I would have to get Lance to twitter it before you will acknowledge your position is nonsensical.
 
First off, there's no doubt in my mind that there is no way that Contador himself caused that split as he was obviously way too strong to not be able to hold someone's wheel, even in a very nasty crosswind (I mean he demonstrated he was the strongest rider in the race pretty conclusively).

However, being behind the split I do think that he made the decision to conserve energy and not try to bridge across by himself as that can be a huge leg-shredding effort. I also assume that he did not expect his own team to work to put time into him as they did.
 
scribe said:
That is the same inconclusive footage that has replayed over. You are seeing what you want to in that video and nothing more.
There is a french rider on the record as to who caused the split. Unlike the quote I separated above, that rider has nothing in the crapfest other than being caught out of the front split group by the rider in front of him....Contador.

Totally dude. It totally makes sense that Contador almost got dropped on a flat stage and then stomped the crap out of everybody else in all the TT's and mountain stages. :rolleyes: Why are you even posting here? You don't know jack about cycling and it's painfully transparent to everyone here with half a clue. Do you enjoy looking like an idiot or do you smoke crack before you start typing so you can blow smoke up your own as$?
 
Jul 22, 2009
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BikeCentric said:
Totally dude. It totally makes sense that Contador almost got dropped on a flat stage and then stomped the crap out of everybody else in all the TT's and mountain stages. :rolleyes: Why are you even posting here? You don't know jack about cycling and it's painfully transparent to everyone here with half a clue. Do you enjoy looking like an idiot or do you smoke crack before you start typing so you can blow smoke up your own as$?
Did you have to tell them about the crack???
 
Jul 22, 2009
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Thoughtforfood said:
No, you are. The account above will tell you exactly who Contador is in the video.

My bad. Upon further review. That nanosecond of grainy footage waaaaay behind the camera shot focused on the Columbia train (who, by the way, caused the split and knifed all the time into poor Contador)....
 
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Anonymous

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scribe said:
My bad. Upon further review. That nanosecond of grainy footage waaaaay behind the camera shot focused on the Columbia train (who, by the way, caused the split and knifed all the time into poor Contador)....

So you are honestly asserting that Contador (desxpite the fact that he was CLEARLY stronger than anyone else in the race) lost the wheel because he wasn't strong enough? That is your honest opinion? Okay, some people know what time it is, and some don't.
 
Jul 22, 2009
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He relaxed so that someone else would do the work. Plain and simple. No one strong enough was to his immediate aid. Cost him 40 seconds and created lots of stress on the team.

But that is all Lance's fault. I mean, it doesn't take a nobel peace prize to know he should have been in position to pull Contador through those winds, back up to the yellow jersey.
 
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Anonymous

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scribe said:
He relaxed so that someone else would do the work. Plain and simple. No one strong enough was to his immediate aid. Cost him 40 seconds and created lots of stress on the team.

But that is all Lance's fault. I mean, it doesn't take a nobel peace prize to know he should have been in position to pull Contador through those winds, back up to the yellow jersey.

He relaxed, that is your position? I am sorry, post the video that you are using to support that statement.

That, and any real teammate wouldn't have tried to exploit the situation. The fact is, when the 2nd group was only 15 seconds back, Popo and Zubeldia were called to the front.
 
Jul 22, 2009
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Thoughtforfood said:
He relaxed, that is your position? I am sorry, post the video that you are using to support that statement.

That, and any real teammate wouldn't have tried to exploit the situation. The fact is, when the 2nd group was only 15 seconds back, Popo and Zubeldia were called to the front.

The gap was well over 30 and growing when Bruyneel called in them to share the work. Man up the road will get a call like that, since they all knew Contador was stronger in the mountains and ITT.

The other thing that catches my notice above. Contador and Lance in the room alone in the morning. To describe that situation means that Contador is the one singing like a bird. He is a champ and singing about how miserable it was to win around his team. All of these leaks are proving why he is not a team player, and why he couldn't win the respect from within.
 

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