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Immaturity will be Contador's downfall...

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dadoorsron said:
Sure smart to take off on 4.7 percent grade to gain 21 seconds on your teammates that are working to control attacks. Plus go against the Best director the tour de france has ever seen. Yeah Contador has big balls and a small brian. This race wasn't won yesterday and contador's actions did more to hurt himself then help. Hopefully the rest of his teammates can look past childish actions and actually do what he is told. stage 7 with two more weeks of racing isn't going to win you a race!

Two things:

1. The fact that he got time on everyone including Lance on such a shallow gradient is proof that they guy is a beast. Normally, it would have taken a much steeper one to pull out time.

2. Contador was smart to go back ahead of Mr Armstrong. Lance is looking for ways to beat a stronger rider. His hand is to keep Contador behind him and hope he gets the yellow first so that he can then demand everyone subject to his position. Contador knew that, and so did JB on stage 3. He helped put his second rider from the first stage ahead of his first for a reason. Just like Ben Stiller showing up to give the jersey after the TTT was orchestrated. What Contador did was ride for himself in the face of a DS who wouldn't commit to the strongest rider, and Mr Armstrong's inability to be trusted on anything that comes out of his mouth.

LL's interview on Versus this morning was telling in one way. He said clearly that they were trying to get Lance in yellow and that Contador's attack kept that from happening. (it appears it wouldn't have happened anyway) Now, if the genius plan was for the yellow to go to another team, then why would he have said that, and why was Astana riding tempo on the front today anyway?

Contador made a smart tactical move because he is now the one who will take the yellow if he and Lance finish together. Lance will never respect that, and wouldn't have in any instance. Why should Contador have allowed someone like that to get the jersey?
 
Thoughtforfood said:
Dang, that was one long ride. I only knocked out an hour and a half (got my daughter this weekend, so gotta conserve time). You did what 4 hours or so?

Five. It was windy, it was hot, and I did not feel so great because I went to bed late and woke up early to watch that joke of high mountains stage. Should have stayed asleep for another two hours.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Robert Merivel said:
Is that your opinion? What do you base this on?

You honestly think that Contador hasn't shown he is the stronger rider? Mr. Timms is spot on:
Stage 1: ITT - Contador 22 seconds faster than Lance
Stage 7: Mountain stage - Contador 21 seconds faster than Lance

Now I am not a Lance hater. I admire him for his skills, determination and achievements. I think what he has achieved in his comeback, considering his age and time away from professional cycling, is quite remarkable. But I am not blinded by either hate or love enough not to be realistic.

Robert Merivel said:
You'll have to give JB a call on this one. With all your expertise and inside info, you obviously have his cell number, right? ...have you ever been in a bike race...road that is? If not, well, maybe you should, and then we'll chat.

Now you're just being an a-s-s. If you don't have the chops to back up your arguments, then you shouldn't be posting. I do race road and it does not take a genius to interpret quotes from Bruyneel, Contador and Armstrong. When Bruyneel says in the morning there was no plan, and then says afterwards “We didn’t have a specific plan to attack, our plan was to maintain our collective strength first and wait for attacks from the others. Alberto counter-attacked after an attack, our plan had been for the riders to communicate and respond. I had no race radio at that time or TV, so it was something they decided themselves." And then Armstrong contradicts this by saying Contador wasn't playing to the plan, then alarm bell start to ring. Remember it was also Bruyneel and Armstrong who said at the start of the TdF that they will support the strongest rider. Few would argue Armstrong is a stronger rider than Contador based on his ITT performance and ability to make 21 seconds on the GC contenders on such a mild grade in the first mountain stage. There is still two weeks to go, so Armstrong has time to prove himself, but Contador did not act against the team orders (at least according to Bruyneel's quotes from yesterday) and he was just trying to put time into his other rivals. Armstrong can sulk all he likes, but there are two men on that team who can win the TdF and I very much doubt either will roll over and give up for the other. That doesn't make Armstrong right and Contador wrong, or vice versa. They are co-team leaders and they both have to prove they deserve the leadership.

Can you make a strong argument as to why Lance should be team leader based on his current performance?
 
dadoorsron said:
Sure smart to take off on 4.7 percent grade to gain 21 seconds on your teammates that are working to control attacks. Plus go against the Best director the tour de france has ever seen. Yeah Contador has big balls and a small brian. This race wasn't won yesterday and contador's actions did more to hurt himself then help. Hopefully the rest of his teammates can look past childish actions and actually do what he is told. stage 7 with two more weeks of racing isn't going to win you a race!

Seems to me he both honored his teammates sacrifice by counter-attacking when he did. There were no further attacks and the team put more time into the other GC candidates. So now Schleck and the others need to pick up an additional 21 seconds instead of chipping a couple of seconds away. Perhaps tactics and strategy aren't your strong suit but this tactic was a key step in JB's overall strategy (putting more time into the other GC candidates). This race wasn't won on Stage 7, but it did move the team closer.
 
Jul 5, 2009
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Why Contador was wrong, but not for the reasons that everyone thinks. With Armstrong in this tour, Contador is in a lose-lose situation. If he wins, he will be labeled in the press as self-serving and avaricious, not part of the team. If he loses, the press will say that he couldn't match the strength and accumen of Armstrong. It's quite sad really. Armstrong has legions of fans who are consumed with publicly defending him against any negative attack leveled in his direction. Furthermore, Armstrong has an entire network in Versus, entirely devoted to him and that can't seem to go more than 3 minutes without saying how great he is and how he can do no wrong. Armstrong has Paul, Phil, and Bob continuously retelling his palmares, and informing everyone that he has always been and will always be the consumate team player. No, Contador was wrong because by attacking, he opened himself to criticism from the massive public relations machine of Armstrong. Unfortunately, the only way Contador can win without criticism, is for Armstrong to lose the Tour on his own. The fact is, no one knows why Contador attacked yesterday, except Contador. The Tour is supposed to exciting and entertaining, and like it or not, watching Contador attack was very exciting to watch. He gave the fans on the road, something to cheer about.
 
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Obijuan said:
Why Contador was wrong, but not for the reasons that everyone thinks. With Armstrong in this tour, Contador is in a lose-lose situation. If he wins, he will be labeled in the press as self-serving and avaricious, not part of the team. If he loses, the press will say that he couldn't match the strength and accumen of Armstrong. It's quite sad really. Armstrong has legions of fans who are consumed with publicly defending him against any negative attack leveled in his direction. Furthermore, Armstrong has an entire network in Versus, entirely devoted to him and that can't seem to go more than 3 minutes without saying how great he is and how he can do no wrong. Armstrong has Paul, Phil, and Bob continuously retelling his palmares, and informing everyone that he has always been and will always be the consumate team player. Unfortunately, the only way Contador can win without criticism, is for Armstrong to lose the Tour on his own. The fact is, no one knows why Contador attacked yesterday, except Contador. The Tour is supposed to exciting and entertaining, and like it or not, watching Contador attack was very exciting to watch. He gave the fans on the road, something to cheer about.

Cool screen name...oh, and the other stuff is good stuff too.
 
Jun 18, 2009
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Thoughtforfood said:
LL's interview on Versus this morning was telling in one way. He said clearly that they were trying to get Lance in yellow and that Contador's attack kept that from happening. (it appears it wouldn't have happened anyway) Now, if the genius plan was for the yellow to go to another team, then why would he have said that, and why was Astana riding tempo on the front today anyway?

QUOTE]

Wait a minute. I thought JB's plan was to let a break go and have them take yellow. Are you telling me LL and LA had a different team plan than JB? I thought JB ran the team.
 
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richwagmn said:
Wait a minute. I thought JB's plan was to let a break go and have them take yellow. Are you telling me LL and LA had a different team plan than JB? I thought JB ran the team.

All I can tell you is that Levi said they could have gotten Lance the jersey if Contador hadn't attacked. Sounds to me like the "plan" Contador went against was not one any rider who is stronger than anyone else in the race would have been to keen about either.

Like I tell all the fanboys, 3rd place is good, and second place (if Schleck doesn't take it) is pretty good too. It won't sell yellow tee shirts, but the steak knives are a nice parting gift.

Said this before, if Contador wins, Lance will skip the after Tour party as will his accessory dog LL.
 
Jul 3, 2009
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What happens on the bus stays on the bus, JB,LA and LL are saying one thing in private and something else to the media, don't be fooled by all the bs. Contador is on his own in Astana, he can only rely on help from outside the team. Armstrong is doing his best to control Contador in the mountains in the hope that if he's in yellow on Vontoux Contador will ride as a team member and so win his 8th tour, not by being the best rider but the smartest. The pyrrennes are over tomorrow and Contador has only gained 2secs on Armstrong, and is not allowed attack!!!!! I wonder what will happen if Contador punctures or dosen't have enough carbs in his drink................
 
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Robert Merivel said:
Thank you for your opinion, however I think it's a very revealing article that sheds light, based on some facts, on a situation that most people are not aware of, specifically what JB had to say. If you have some "insider" info on that stage or any other, please share.

AC has issues with authority figures. Look at his up bringing... he dropped out of school. Doesn't like to be told what to do. If he loses the tour it will be because he is not a game player. He still doesn't know the mechanics of how it works because he perceives himself as always being in the driver seat. He's a dang great bike rider but this is a team sport for this race. That is his big mistake on this team and it showed by an ill advised "short" attack into the wind on friday, blatantly flaunting his independence, against what JB had planned. He is in the dog house and the "points" went to LA for playing the team player. JB will definitely side with LA now, and one should not fuel LA's fire if they desire to beat him. Any comparison of what LA did on stage 3 to what AC did in stage 7 lacks understanding of race tactics and strategies.
Sorry I'm so late, but hey I hope you've stopped drooling on yourself. You're the one who doesn't seem to understand strategies. Had it been so incorrect for Contador to try and grab the Maillot Jaune on stage 7, Think about how incorrect it would have been to have grabbed the Yellow on stage 4, the TTT! Don't deny it, even you know Lance wanted it then, they even admitted it. Do ya think Astana could have carried the load from stage 4 for Lance, until Paris Mr. Strategist? :cool:
 
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From an inside source within Astana's American corporate sponsors...

Alberto Contador does not recognize the benefits of having JB as DS.

Make of it what you will, I trust my source, but realize that he may have a lance bias.

While I agree that Contador's petulance makes him a difficult rider, he is clearly the strongest. I dont think it will imperil his chances. With a week of sprinter/breakaway stages upcoming, I think Bruynel is correct in trying to have another team protect yellow - especially a French team. But then an immature rider subjected to the media onslaught of the Lance comeback would naturally over react.

It will be interesting to see just who is allowed to get away tomorrow.
 
Jul 6, 2009
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benpounder said:
From an inside source within Astana's American corporate sponsors...

Alberto Contador does not recognize the benefits of having JB as DS.

Make of it what you will, I trust my source, but realize that he may have a lance bias.

While I agree that Contador's petulance makes him a difficult rider, he is clearly the strongest. I dont think it will imperil his chances. With a week of sprinter/breakaway stages upcoming, I think Bruynel is correct in trying to have another team protect yellow - especially a French team. But then an immature rider subjected to the media onslaught of the Lance comeback would naturally over react.

It will be interesting to see just who is allowed to get away tomorrow.

Taking that idea a little farther, you see Riis sending Andy up the road to pressure the MJ today. Great tactic to put the MJ on Astana, when they don't want to defend. There is so much more going on here....we'll see if tomorrow other teams don't start doing things to weaken Astana's grip somewhat.
 
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franciep10 said:
Oh shut up robert you're just sad that you're hero isn't in yellow, and attacking into a headwind is smart for a rider that is strong enough to execute it, because other riders are hesitant to follow which is what happened, this thread is supposed to be how immature contador is, but that was a savvy move by contador, he didn't go against JB plan to attack he distanced his rivals even more. And robert by the way I raced domestically for 9 years and been racing competitively, for 24 years so I have some experience on the matter. Don't be sore La has done much better than I have expected he's not good enough though.

Wow, I didn't know you would take it so personal...sorry.
 
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racerralph said:
Sorry I'm so late, but hey I hope you've stopped drooling on yourself. You're the one who doesn't seem to understand strategies. Had it been so incorrect for Contador to try and grab the Maillot Jaune on stage 7, Think about how incorrect it would have been to have grabbed the Yellow on stage 4, the TTT! Don't deny it, even you know Lance wanted it then, they even admitted it. Do ya think Astana could have carried the load from stage 4 for Lance, until Paris Mr. Strategist? :cool:

Maybe you are correct. But maybe not. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, for now.
 
Jun 24, 2009
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Chomsky said:
JB, Lance, and Levi have all said it was against team orders.

What have you been smoking?I don't want to say that you're making stuff up but.......NOBODY ever said AC's move was "AGAINST TEAM ORDERS". And your contention that his move was against "defenseless" competitors.... Aw wait a minute, let me break out my hankie. Did he slay women and children too?

Stop making stuff up, it's too easy to get busted in these forums, it only makes you sound foolish.
 
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Irish2009 said:
What happens on the bus stays on the bus, JB,LA and LL are saying one thing in private and something else to the media, don't be fooled by all the bs. Contador is on his own in Astana, he can only rely on help from outside the team. Armstrong is doing his best to control Contador in the mountains in the hope that if he's in yellow on Vontoux Contador will ride as a team member and so win his 8th tour, not by being the best rider but the smartest. The pyrrennes are over tomorrow and Contador has only gained 2secs on Armstrong, and is not allowed attack!!!!! I wonder what will happen if Contador punctures or dosen't have enough carbs in his drink................

I think you are wrong here. Astana and JB won't put "the kid" out on his own. But he needs to learn some lessons on inter-squad diplomacy before he gets handed any gifts. If he doesn't then it will appear he is on his own. An Astana rider will be wearing yellow in the end, that's for sure. But if AC thinks he can win it on his own and pursues that course, then the fireworks begin. But rest assured, if he shows his support for the team, in whatever way, in return, he will be supported by JB and LA. Then next year, the JB, LA, LL, CH, GH...team will come out to win.
 
Jun 24, 2009
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Publicus said:
.

If LA wanted to be teamleader, he should have formed his own team or gone to another team instead of Astana. He chose his path, so now he should shut his mouth and pedal. All of his incessant whining in the press is making him look like a baby.

Right on Brother! In fact We should all understand that LA does probably think he is on his own team. Notice how he only wears Astana kit when it is absolutely(punishable by fines, etc.) compulsory. Otherwise he is always in Livestrong kit, to some degree.
Oh, and by the way, VS.tv doesn't consider him a baby, they're his biggest fan club, but then that's a completely different thread!:cool:
 
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Robert Merivel said:
...and will be the key factor for his losing of the tour...


Contador’s shot across the bow: Yellow jersey attack falls short, but sends a signal

By Andrew Hood
Published: Jul. 10, 2009

Contador shows his hand. Can we expect more of the same?


Alberto Contador just couldn’t help himself on the beyond-category steeps of the Arcalis summit high in the Pyrénées in Friday’s seventh stage.

The 26-year-old is a natural born climber and, when he sees a road turn uphill, he’s going to do one thing: attack, even if that means attacking Astana teammate Lance Armstrong and defying team orders.

“There were no instructions from the car (to attack),” said Astana team boss Johan Bruyneel. “We wanted to try to maintain our collective strength and wait for the attacks to come. Those attacks didn’t come.”

Astana was firmly in control in the decisive late stages of the 224km stage, throttling at the front of the pack, with six friendly jerseys among a group of about 20 halfway up the 10.6km Arcalis climb.

No one yet dared attacks against such superiority in numbers and Armstrong was poised to slip into the maillot jaune for the first time since 2005, starting the stage just 0.22 seconds behind Fabian Cancellara.

Yet Bruyneel was putting the brakes on the Astana train, even with Cancellara flagging off the back, because it’s too early in the race to have to carry the weight of the yellow jersey all the way to the Alps.

The Belgian director was telling the troops to ease the pace and allow Rinaldo Nocentini (Ag2r) to stay clear from the all-day breakaway and snag the maillot jaune instead.

But Contador had his own plan.

With just over 2km to go, Contador, who started the stage third overall at 19 seconds back, bolted out of the pack in a daring bid for the yellow jersey.

The acceleration came after the first opening jabs by Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) and Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank), two moves that Contador used as his trigger. Jurgen Van Den Broeck, one of Evans’ helpers, inexplicably attacked off the front and that was all that Contador needed.


Contador disappeared up the narrow switchbacks, leaving Armstrong to mark the wheels of the counter-attacks that never came.

Armstrong didn’t hide his disappointment when he said Contador’s acceleration wasn’t part of the team’s script for the day.

“It wasn’t really to the plan, I didn’t expect him to go with the plan, so that was no surprise,” Armstrong said. “It was windy, so it was hard to go alone. Like I said, I wasn’t surprised.“

Contador hammered alone and didn’t find any company. Andy Schleck tried to follow Contador, but he found the strong winds too heavy for his lanky frame and quickly decided to find refuge in the pack of about a dozen favorites.

“In my opinion, (Contador) had a little advantage with the cars and motorcycles in front of him. I was 50 meters behind and I had all the wind in my face,” Schleck said. “It’s not his mistake, but something the organization should look into.”

Armstrong lived up to his word and didn’t chase from behind, staying with the other favorites as he said he would even though the maillot jaune was there for the taking.

“I said all along, I have my obligations to the team,” Armstrong said. “When you have a teammate up the road, you just gotta stay on the wheel – that’s bike racing.”

Contador said he was responding to attacks from his rivals and was not trying to gap his teammates, but he admitted that the strong headwinds short-circuited his bid for yellow.

“We were waiting to see how the race unfolded and we saw Schleck and Evans moving, so I wanted to try. The time differences were small, but it’s good for what lies ahead,” Contador said. “In balance, this is good for the team. I don’t think this changes anything within the team.”

Contador’s gamble backfired and the spindly climber was stymied by fierce headwinds and fell six seconds short of taking yellow. Armstrong slipped into third at eight seconds back.

By attacking contrary to the team’s strategy, he publicly snubbed his nose at Armstrong and all but confirmed that speculation of behind-the-scenes division within the team is true.

Had Contador succeeded in grabbing yellow, he would be protected by the prestige and honor that comes with the race jersey. Now Armstrong will have no reason to hold back if he feels he has the legs to attack.

The escalating tension will push Bruyneel’s balancing act to the limit. While he hasn’t publicly declared his allegiance to either rider – he insists that he simply wants Astana to win the Tour -- it’s obvious where his heart lies.

“It’s very exciting (having Armstrong back on the team). This is something special. I cannot describe it in words. We have gone through so much together,” Bruyneel told Fox Sports of Australia after Friday’s stage. “To have him back on my team and at the front in the Tour is just so special. To see him back at such a high level is just amazing.”

Armstrong, meanwhile, keeps getting stronger by the day and said the relative ease of the Arcalis climb coupled with strong winds made it less than ideal for a major attack.

“I didn’t expect a demonstration like we saw in some of the other years on the first mountain stage. The wind wasn’t conducive,” he said. “We’ll have plenty of days at the end of this Tour when there’s not such a big group and there are only a couple guys together.”

“The team is good,” Armstrong said when asked about Astana. “The team won’t be the problem.”

rubbish.

1. what about lance wanting the yellow?
2. who says you have to defend the yellow jersey?
3. as a captain if you have the opportunity to gain time on your rivals then you obviously do it.
4. why should astana not ride for their best cyclist?
5. the guy who wrote this article has no strategic sense when it comes to cycling.
6. how much is lance paying this guy?
 
dadoorsron said:
He did go against team plans that can't even be argued when you have Johan even at the pre race interview talking about it today.How was it a savy move? The only riders that this move effected was his own teammates. Thats all. He wasn't countering an attack by Evans, and Sastre never moved from the back of the pack yesterday. The Lotto rider that was off the front has no GC hopes. Contador just gave an excuse why he attacked to cover the reason he wanted to leap frog over Lance to grab yellow. Specially when Johan after the stage was telling the guys to slow down so they DO NOT take yellow. SO that's why it makes Contador immature by going off the front he disregarded team orders To slow down, Not to get yellow, and to just cover attacks like they were anyway.

24 years of riding you should know that this stage wasn't anything more then for the GC guys to see what the others looked like. The fireworks talk is just media making the stage more meaningful then it is. Contador's move just showed he was not a team player. Kloden, Armstrong, and Leipheimer are the guys that can help Contador win. stunts like yesterday just makes those three not want to work for him and help each other.

Finally a good and correct post on this matter.Anyone who knows what Contador and Evans were discussing.Possibly a move to Silence lotto?Evans the new super domestique?
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Robert Merivel said:
But he needs to learn some lessons on inter-squad diplomacy before he gets handed any gifts.

While I agree with most of what you say, what diplomacy does Contador need to learn? This is where I am at a loss with this argument. Contador attacks when he sees an opportunity and puts some time into his rivals. What's wrong with that? Is it because he took back time from Armstrong? If so, then Armstrong is his biggest rival for the overall and Contador has to prove he is the strongest rider to be outright team leader (at least according to Bruyneel and Armstrong prior to the start of the TdF). Do you expect Contador to just give up and hand the title to Armstrong because he is Lance? Both Contador and Lance have done enough to be team leader and now it is up to them to show who is the stronger of the two riders. You haven't answered my previous question, but Contador's performances in the ITT and first mountain stage, where he gained a total of 43 seconds on Armstrong, show that he is the stronger of the two riders, at least at this stage. By the way, this is not gifting the Tour to Contador.

Or do you think Contador needs to learn team diplomacy because of Armstrong's comments that he didn't ride according to the team plan? If so, then according to Bruyneel, Contador's attack was not against team orders:

1. "The stage decided who was the strongest. This morning, we didn't give any specific instructions. I just told them [Contador and Armstrong] to talk to each other, and do what they have to do. Alberto was strong; he is a great climber and there are three summit finishes at this Tour. So this was one of his possibilities today."

2. “We didn’t have a specific plan to attack, our plan was to maintain our collective strength first and wait for attacks from the others. Alberto counter-attacked after an attack, our plan had been for the riders to communicate and respond. I had no race radio at that time or TV, so it was something they decided themselves."
 
franciep10 said:
So you expect contador to sit on his *** and just let lance take control of this race, and he do nothing, It takes a true alpha-male to win the tour, lemond learned that in 1985, and that's why he won in 86. I was watching the tour with my father, who is the most knowledgeable person in relation to cycling that I know, he rode as a pro from 1972 and helped ocana in 73, and was a ds in the 80's and he was upset when nobody attacked in the headwind because he said modern riders are puss!es, when it comes to headwind on a climb and he said that it was a smart ride for contador.

All well and good "riders are pussies"But you cant win the tour without a team and if you dont ride like a team ,simple you loose.Probably best to sit down,shut up and follow team orders i say
 
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blaxland said:
All well and good "riders are pussies"But you cant win the tour without a team and if you dont ride like a team ,simple you loose.Probably best to sit down,shut up and follow team orders i say

Team orders were to try to put Lance in yellow according to LL. Why in the hell should Contador allow the second best rider on the team to do that?
 

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