Criterium International - St 2&3: Porto Vecchio 75km, 7.7km ITT

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Jun 16, 2009
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theswordsman said:
There was an interview at AstanaFans a couple of months ago saying his problem is European Poplars when they're in bloom. I think the version translated from Russian said "fluff" but Cycleopen found fault with that when I posted in mid-February. Contador said at various times that he was lucky during his unplanned Giro win because of the rain. There's a reason why he races the months he does, avoids April and May, and gets his vacations during that time at the beach.

Diario Vasco April 6, 2008 via http://www.albertocontadornotebook.info/media.html


From the Giro: http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/latest/346977/giro-d-italia-contenders-suffer-in-dolomites.html


May 24, 2008 http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/cycling/news/story?id=3410827


June 5, 2009 http://www.roadcycling.co.nz/TourdeFrance/contador-on-tour-de-france-form.html
I see a patern, even in june he gets an "allergic attack". Whenever he fails the cry goes out "I have allergies"
 
Oct 25, 2009
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ImmaculateKadence said:
Thanks for that interview. Until this weekend I didn't realize, his allergies could be that bad.

The pollen allergy seems interesting to me. Unless it rains, the pollen stays in the air, even in winds, so it's odd that he could struggle on a climb and then kill the TT the following day. I would think he would struggle some toward the end, but he actually gained like 4 seconds after the time check. .....:p
On the same day as the climb he collected 2 lots of intermediate sprint bonus seconds. He must have been going really well at those points because he rarely, if ever, goes for and gets sprint points if I am not mistaken. The second one was at the base of the last climb with only 15kms to go. Whilst I can imagine any hindrance to breathing cutting in after sustained effort at height (whether allergy, tiredness, lack of condition etc) - it just seems odd that he was up for sprinting for seconds immediately before that last climb (and which followed a series of smaller climbs) unless his allergy either disappears or if not is even performance enhancing at lower heights!
 
Nov 24, 2009
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Nearly said:
On the same day as the climb he collected 2 lots of intermediate sprint bonus seconds. He must have been going really well at those points because he rarely, if ever, goes for and gets sprint points if I am not mistaken. The second one was at the base of the last climb with only 15kms to go. Whilst I can imagine any hindrance to breathing cutting in after sustained effort at height (whether allergy, tiredness, lack of condition etc) - it just seems odd that he was up for sprinting for seconds immediately before that last climb (and which followed a series of smaller climbs) unless his allergy either disappears or if not is even performance enhancing at lower heights!
Maybe he was collecting bonus time in order to lessen overall time loss on the stage? If he knew allergies were going to be a problem when doing the sustained climb at the end and they did not infere as much with short efforts makes sense to try and pick up time while you can
 
Mar 29, 2010
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Nearly said:
On the same day as the climb he collected 2 lots of intermediate sprint bonus seconds. He must have been going really well at those points because he rarely, if ever, goes for and gets sprint points if I am not mistaken. The second one was at the base of the last climb with only 15kms to go. Whilst I can imagine any hindrance to breathing cutting in after sustained effort at height (whether allergy, tiredness, lack of condition etc) - it just seems odd that he was up for sprinting for seconds immediately before that last climb (and which followed a series of smaller climbs) unless his allergy either disappears or if not is even performance enhancing at lower heights!
it depends what, if any, pollen was at those sprint points. it's very rare for the same type of flowering flora to be along an entire route. for example, while there are no pear trees around my house, there are some a mile away at the entrance to my housing complex. while driving into and out of my complex, i keep the car windows and vents closed to keep as much pollen as possible away from me.
 
Oct 29, 2009
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Publicus said:
I live in Northern California, smog isn't really an issue here because we have rain. I lived in Southern California a bit and when I first moved there it was an issue (but of course I wasn't a professional athlete, just a very athletic 12 year old), but over time I adjusted.
I can imagine. Myself, I've never been that far west. As far as US travel is concerned, I've been pretty much everywhere east of Utah, but that's it. I don't know if I could adjust. If I ever go out to Cali, I'll take GMac's idea and smoke a few cigars...:rolleyes:

Nearly said:
On the same day as the climb he collected 2 lots of intermediate sprint bonus seconds. He must have been going really well at those points because he rarely, if ever, goes for and gets sprint points if I am not mistaken. The second one was at the base of the last climb with only 15kms to go. Whilst I can imagine any hindrance to breathing cutting in after sustained effort at height (whether allergy, tiredness, lack of condition etc) - it just seems odd that he was up for sprinting for seconds immediately before that last climb (and which followed a series of smaller climbs) unless his allergy either disappears or if not is even performance enhancing at lower heights!
Good points! I didn't think about that. He looked fine until he hit that climb, when he really did look like he was struggling. The allergins in the air could possibly increase and decrease with altitude, or maybe it just built up, and that combined with Vino's killer pace, he just broke down.
 
Feb 14, 2010
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auscyclefan94 said:
I see a patern, even in june he gets an "allergic attack". Whenever he fails the cry goes out "I have allergies"
You do know that he won that Giro d'Italia, right? And that he crashed during the race and basically broke his elbow, which was kind of a pain when he had to Time Trial?
 
Feb 14, 2010
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auscyclefan94 said:
I see a patern, even in june he gets an "allergic attack". Whenever he fails the cry goes out "I have allergies"
Did you ever use the twitter name CadelFan or some variation of it?

I have to mention that he's talked about the allergies after winning races, and in off-season articles that ask about him racing the Giro again. In the one quote, he lost 45 seconds to Menchov when he had a problem about two miles from the top of a climb - almost identical to what happened Saturday. That time it was during a Giro that he hadn't trained for, crashed and broke his elbow, and was fighting against a juiced up Ricco and Sella. He WON the race, and talked about the allergies afterward.

I had this on another thread, but the topic keeps hopping from one place to another.

Despite his sixty kilos scrapings, Alberto Contador felt heavy Saturday night. The allergy had filled the body of liquid. Had also lost his options this evening in the Critérium International and thought only of some reward for his gregarious manner. "I wanted to compensate me. Especially for my teammates, for the work they did on the mountain stage, "he said. Fluid retention made him sleep in pain, tingling of fatigue in the legs. On rising yesterday knew well that it was impossible to recover the time lost to eventual winner Fedrigo-test, but wanted a prize for Astana. La etapa. The stage. Almost. "I got off to winning and I found a great specialist Millar. The Scot was the only one who has beaten him in the 7.7 miles from the time of Porto Vecchio on Corsica's tourist corner. "Even today I have been limited by allergy, but it was a tour explosive, short, and I could pay. For two seconds I could Millar.
"Now I'll take a few days off. I ended up squeezed by allergy. I will take the Tour of Castilla and León (mid April) and then go to get experience in the classic, "said Contador, fifteenth overall in the first race that does not win this year. It hurts to lose. It comforts him or have passed to Armstrong. Yesterday, he returned to get something more than two seconds per mile: the American finished fifteenth, 19 seconds behind Millar's and 17 Timer. "That is not important," Madrid's settled. It stung that he lacked the breath to 'recover' yesterday, the day I breathe again after asphyxiation allergic Saturday.
http://www.elcorreo.com/vizcaya/v/20100329/deportes/mas-deporte/contador-vuelve-respirar-20100329.html
 
Oct 25, 2009
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Big GMaC said:
Maybe he was collecting bonus time in order to lessen overall time loss on the stage? If he knew allergies were going to be a problem when doing the sustained climb at the end and they did not infere as much with short efforts makes sense to try and pick up time while you can
He picked up the bonuses at the first and third sprints so I suspect this was a pre race strategy. Perhaps he was not so sure that the climb was one where he would get a clear enough advantage over good time triallers like Evans, Rogers etc (not that AC is any shrinking violet in TTs) that he should not try and outsmart the others by picking up a few seconds on the way. If he thought was only a chance of staying with the leaders (but unlikely to be able to break away from them) then you may well be right. A more conservative strategy might have been to take it as easy for as long as ne could otherwise he might get dropped, lose mega seconds and the whole shooting match. The pick up a few seconds approach (if influenced by allergies) only makes sense if he can predict from the outset when and where the allergies will affect him the most and gauge how he will react each time (if so he misjudged!)
 
Nearly said:
He picked up the bonuses at the first and third sprints so I suspect this was a pre race strategy. Perhaps he was not so sure that the climb was one where he would get a clear enough advantage over good time triallers like Evans, Rogers etc (not that AC is any shrinking violet in TTs) that he should not try and outsmart the others by picking up a few seconds on the way. If he thought was only a chance of staying with the leaders (but unlikely to be able to break away from them) then you may well be right. A more conservative strategy might have been to take it as easy for as long as ne could otherwise he might get dropped, lose mega seconds and the whole shooting match. The pick up a few seconds approach (if influenced by allergies) only makes sense if he can predict from the outset when and where the allergies will affect him the most and gauge how he will react each time (if so he misjudged!)
Frankly, I think you are reading far too much into this. He said, pre-race, that the climb wasn't that selective, that there would be only a few seconds between the possible GC candidates, so his decision to pick up seconds on the road makes sense in that regard--independent and separate from the allergies. Also, recall that when he is in the race, the other teams like to "force" Astana to lead the chase/drive the peloton, so his team is out front, why not pick up any bonus seconds still available? It's not a bad tactic frankly. I don't think he had any idea of how badly the pollen would affect him in advance. If he did, then my sense is that they would have changed the team strategy much, much sooner.
 
Just another take on all this,
J.Lelange;"Hey Cadel if we line the TDF course with European Poplars Then maybe just maybe Alberto can be beaten".
C.Evans:"U'm Interesting Thought John"
 
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