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

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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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manolo said:
I thought to myself "This is a stage for a solo artist - somebody who's going for stage glory". I thought of Ricardo Ricco last year, who would go for these knowing he'd be crushed in the time trial, I thought of Mikel Astarloza, famous for his escapes, I thought of Luis Leon Sanchez and of Oscar Pereiro (before he left the race, of course). I never thought the MJ would "waste" his energy, going for what might be "seconds", ahead of the time trial - so, to me, the attack looked silly and aimed more at Armstrong and with disregard for Kloden's chances at a podium position.

Ooh... Ooh... Ooh... that's so interesting !!? Great analysis ! Are you an cycling expert ?!?
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I don't think Manolo has yet cottoned on to the fact that if Contador had babysat Kloden's podium spot, it would have meant killing off Armstrong's podium spot.

So, I'd guess, there are a lot of folks out there, who will think he is talking bollocks.

Colombiere and Ventoux were all about neutralising Wiggins and Kloden's job was to fall on his sword.

This is a classic case of why it is far more objective to worship the sport, not individual riders.
 
Aug 1, 2009
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manolo said:
I think you're right! But! Personally, very personally, I also think there has never been a team so loaded with Tour de France podium finishers who had podium aspirations. I just think that, whether merited or not, whether deserved or not, Contador could have easily sat on the Schleck's wheel and then, if anything, take the stage. I guess you're right, but it's so strange to see an MJ attack and take two competitors with him! I haven't been seeing the Tour too long, "live" since 2003, on video since the 1998 edition, but it sure seemed like a funny place to put in an attack! I just can't recall other MJ's attacking on a climb with as much as 10ks left after the summit! Maybe I'm wrong, but for me, this kind of stage was not (!) for the MJ to attack, but only for 2nd and 3rd to try to strike. Frankly, I think Di Luca did something similar in the Giro, on Stage 10 on a Cat. 3 climb. But, though it was exciting (?), the result was a meager 10 seconds added. At least he rode his heart out till the end! Maybe that's how Armstrong rode his 7 Tours, as you point out. But I believe if another MJ made an attack like that, he would have at least gone for the stage win, not just pat Frank S. on the back and say "Go ahead. Take the stage. Oops! I meant to take time on you. Now that I didn't, you might as well take the stage glory." Ah! I'm just mad Contador didn't let Kloden get on the podium, to tell you the truth! : )

1) Contador is in the front group with the Schlecks and Klöden. Klöden is about to crack, and then Contador will be isolated with two riders from another team. One of these riders is his closest competition, the other is his brother! They might take turns attacking until Contador breaks.

Of course he will do anything to avoid this situation. So his only chance is to attack first, and hope that at least Fränk will be dropped. He tries, but the plan fails. As it happens, the brothers do not try to break Contador. But he couldn't know that, he had to try anything to avoid this very risky situation.

2) Wasn't it Armstrong, that wouldn't let Klöden on the podium?
 
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HL2037 said:
2) Wasn't it Armstrong, that wouldn't let Klöden on the podium?
Yes, didn't Armstrong drop Klöden, taking along Wiggins? Wiggins was a serious threat to Klöden's position, why didn't Armstrong stay with him, in order to maximise everyone's chances?

Armstrong made an amateuristic mistake there, he should have remembered there is no "I" in "Team".
 
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Mellow Velo said:
I don't think Manolo has yet cottoned on to the fact that if Contador had babysat Kloden's podium spot, it would have meant killing off Armstrong's podium spot.... Colombiere and Ventoux were all about neutralising Wiggins and Kloden's job was to fall on his sword.

I guess in a very naive way, until Colombiere, I never stopped believing it was possible to have a podium of Contador, Armstrong and Kloden, in spite of their differences. I understand Kloden's role. I was just dismayed that Contador put in that attack when it seemed it would have been far more elegant to just match the accelerations and not distance his teammate. I realize it makes no sense to think about a "domestique's" chances in the greatest race in the world, but, well, for a minute I was thinking of the "Three Musketeers", "One for all, and all for one"! and it came crashing down hard at La Colombiere.
 
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Angliru said:
It appeared to me that Contador was simply shadowing Evans at every turn, measuring his effort versus Evans [at the Dauphine].

Just rambling today... I read CN's article on Evans's psychological frame of mind during the Tour: http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/evans-and-silence-lotto-management-clear-the-air

I thought, hmmm... in a smaller race in June, Contador had the chance to measure himself to Evans and frustrate himI wonder if this helped break Evans during the Tour.

Then I thought of the IAAF World Championships. LaShawn Merrit beat Jeremy Warner in the 400m. From what I understood, they had practically not raced each other all season long.

It added to the anticipation because you had no evidence of how they would fare against the other since they last met at Beijing.

Armstrong and Contador never really raced together at any time. Even at Castilla y Leon, won by Leipheimer, had Armstrong raced, there wasn't enough climbing kilometers or time-trialing to show that anyone was vastly superior. It was too short a race.

I almost feel like Armstrong and Contador deliberately avoided each other to avoid giving away any information on their fitness level vis-a-vis each other.

I would have liked to have had them race the Giro together, or the Dauphine. Maybe then Alberto would have made it abundantly clear he was the strongest, and maybe Lance would have accepted his role a little more humbly.

The sad thing is I think it was a pretty boring Tour. I wish Alberto and Lance had said, screw the others and screw team tactics!, let's go at each other a la Lemond vs. Hinault! At least they would have put on a better show and no excuse could ever have been made! Feel free to comment. And yes, to my delight, I am beating dead horse!
 
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)....


it was indeed the Columbia train who caused the split and

Did Hincapie Tell Lance When The Hammer Went Down?

Hincapie was asked whether he’d tipped off his old pal Lance Armstrong about his Columbia-HTC team’s attack across the marshes of the Carmague.

After several seconds of either embarrassed, confused or angry silence, Hincapie finally answered. All he’d admit was that he knew Armstrong was close by when the hammer went down.

http://recovoxnews.blogspot.com/2009/07/did-hincapie-tell-lance-when-hammer.html
 
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Borrowing from another post in another thread...

peloton said:
Anyone here speak Spanish? Contador interview. On-line translators are not very helpful. http://www.elpais.com/articulo/port...ersonaje/elpepusoceps/20090823elpepspor_5/Tes

manolo said:
What the hell, might as well translate a few more parts:

El Pais:When you attack, you seek to be alone...

Alberto: I like to go it alone if I'm at the lead. Whether I prefer going in a group or not depends on the situation. If you're the race leader, sometimes what you want is to go in a group and you're happy with everybody going together. And there are times when you are alone and there's someone ahead which makes you empty yourself [give it your all]. That's what happened to me at Paris-Nice and I didn't like it too much.

El Pais: And then you bonk [at Paris-Nice], which gives Armstrong the opportunity to give you a sermon telling you you still have a lot to learn, when that race didn't mean that much to you, you already had it in your palmares, and you could take the liberty of taking a risk...

Alberto: That's right, you're describing it perfectly. I wanted to win, but I was very happy with my performance. My level of form was very, very high and it felt like a victory to me.

El Pais: You've noticed the changes in the peloton, which seems invaded by new people, by cyclists that only communicate in English, when before the official language was 'Italian- French-Spanish'

Alberto: It's evident. Most riders today speak enough English to carry a on a conversation. You can notice that the American riders are having more and more influence, when before [the peloton] seemed more European.

El Pais: Do you read?

Alberto: No, very little. The time I could dedicate to reading I use to look things up on the internet.

El Pais: Aren't you attracted to what books can give you?

Alberto: No, it's never been attractive to me too much. There's one book that hepled me a lot, and it still is an important book in my life, which Armstrong's book, Every Second Counts [Titled in Spanish My Return to Life, Mi Vuelta a la Vida, where he tells the story of how he beat cancer. I got a lot out of that book. The deal is is always from here to there so I don't have time for anything. What I most want when I have a little free time is to do nothing at all, be calm, with my feet up and not thinking about anything.

El Pais: Do you keep dedicating some time to your canaries in your garden?

Alberto: I've got them at home, in an aviary which doesn't take any time from me, but not like I did when I was a kid. What I do have is a dog named Tour, a Weimaraner, a hunting dog that was given to me as a gift by a television station [http://www.lamascota.com/ar/mascotas/perros/razas/todos/braco_de_weimar.htm] and he takes up a little of my free time. Animals have always caught my attention.
 
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Which rather presupposes that Armstrong could have challenged Contador in any meaningful way - take out the Hincapie assisted 40+ seconds and the TTT and Armstrong is nowhere near Contador or ever looked like being.
 
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bianchigirl said:
Seems to me there are too many people on this thread who've only seen the race ridden the USDiscatana way and hadn't realised there was a rich tradition of the MJ actually attacking alone to win the race

Absolutley agree! One of the reasons why I was never a fan of LA is exactly that: Keep close to the front for the first part of the tour, take the MJ at some point (typically in the TTT) and then defend till Paris. :(
 
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Methinks, after watching the Verbier stage for the 4th time, that Contador smelled blood right then and there, when Frank attacked and neither Andy nor Lance could catch up to him aside from AC. If you look closely, that's when AC started turning his head repeatedly to check everyone's face and then decided to go.

From then on it was a race for seconds for the rest, as AC knew that he was a step above everyone else (except Andy in the mountains, who is just as good) and the only thing he had to do was to show up at the TT with a decent time.
 
Hugh Januss said:
Let's leave Armstrong out of this, we don't have to bring him up in every thread.

Alberto's children's book is about a big bad wolf who tries to scare all the other wolves in the pack. He uses nasty tricks and games to try and scare them. There is one nice wolf who stands up to the big bad wolf and wins! It's a great story and I'm not sure if Alberto based the story on real life but it reads like a modern day fable.
 
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As much as I think Alberto delibrately ruined Bruyneels chance of making history with 3 teammates on the podium, i think he raced exactly how he would of if he was on another team (Obviously excluding the win in the TTT)..

I think Alberto regrets not taking the Mont Ventoux stage, as he cleary had the legs to catch martin and garate. He could have proved he was the man to beat in the years to come, given that he'll probably be 30-31 by the time the tour revisits ventoux, and given that LA didn't celebrate with the team after that stage, I think this is contadors major regret of the tour

would have been awesome no see 3 teammates on the podium though, despite how boring it ay have looked, it would be a historic tour
 
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Mountain Goat said:
I think Alberto regrets not taking the Mont Ventoux stage...


peloton said:

A reader asked him about the stage in the interview, posted in another thread, and he didn't sound too concerned about it.

Loosely translated:

El Mundo reader: If Andy had not been thinking about his brother on Mount Ventoux and you would have had a free reign, we spectators would have enjoyed witnessing a great climb by the both of you, a la Bahamontes and Gaul. Armstrong would have arrived quite a few minutes back. Am I wrong?

Contador: Well, I do have a great friendship with Andy. Either him or I could have had the possibility of doing a good stage and have gone forward.

Mountain Goat said:
[It] would have been awesome to see 3 teammates on the podium... it would [have been] a historic tour...

I fully agree. I think it would have been an awesome show of power! : )
 
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thehog said:
Alberto's children's book is about a big bad wolf who tries to scare all the other wolves in the pack. He uses nasty tricks and games to try and scare them. There is one nice wolf who stands up to the big bad wolf and wins!...

: ) Nice story!

For those who are curious, though, this article says the real book is about his childhood experiences and his difficulties in the hospital because of his condition.

http://www.as.com/ciclismo/articulo/ciclismo-contador-adonde-ire-2010/dasclm/20090930dasdaicic_1/Tes
 

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Contador

Alberto I love the guy. I don't know why he played into Lances' games.
Now he is the suprerior rider. In general the Spaniards are much stronger then Lance. I wanted to see Lance win through whatever means necessary.
When Al attacked on the first hill I was dissappointed in Al. Al still needs to get his head about himself. He needs to learn how to use the other riders around him more efficiently.
Although Alberto has the strongest phisical capabilities he will not be able to continue his sucess unless he is able to create alliances in his team and with the rest of the peloton. It isn't the olympics Alberto and your name isn't Fabian Cancellara.
 
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thehog said:
Alberto's children's book is about a big bad wolf who tries to scare all the other wolves in the pack. He uses nasty tricks and games to try and scare them. There is one nice wolf who stands up to the big bad wolf and wins! It's a great story and I'm not sure if Alberto based the story on real life but it reads like a modern day fable.

And the big bad wolf twitters his paws...
 
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Thoughtforfood said:
And the big bad wolf twitters his paws...

Wonder lance would report you for that comment. According to him/her "Lance is Love".

on a serious note, the amount LA twitters is just scary/crazy/weird - he probably twitters in his sleep:D
 
Mountain Goat said:
As much as I think Alberto delibrately ruined Bruyneels chance of making history with 3 teammates on the podium, i think he raced exactly how he would of if he was on another team (Obviously excluding the win in the TTT)..

That opportunity was lost when Levi went down. After that there was NO CHANCE of 3 Astana team members on the podium. Remember, Kloden's implosion on Stage 17 was necessary for Lance to stay in 3rd--he was dropped, but the Schleck Brothers were there. If Kloden doesn't implode and the foursome TT to the finish, Lance is sitting in 4th or 5th.