Is Schleck betting everything on the Tourmalet?

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Andy is indeed stronger this year, going side by side with Contador, but his lack of progress in the ITT is where his aspirations to the title are limited. if he's planning an all-out attack in the Tourmalet, he's going to go through rough seas, since the task isn't easy, and by himself, since Saxo team is looking tired, while Astana has done an impressive support job for the Spaniard in the climbs.
PS: aside from the AC vs AS duel,-they might get challenged by Menchov & SSanchez if they're going to fool around like today's stage...
 
bobs *** said:
Does Astana go out front again tomorrow leading up to the climbs?

Not if AC wants to actually put time into him. AC gains time when he catches Andy off guard (same thing happened last year), so he's going to need them to be the aggressor tomorrow. Astana made a bit of a tactical mistake today (IMO), in that they should have sat back and let Saxo Bank do the work. I don't think they make that mistake again.

PS: aside from the AC vs AS duel,-they might get challenged by Menchov & SSanchez if they're going to fool around like today's stage...

Sanquer made a comment about that today. That AC can't be so myopic in his focus that he lets Mechov and Sanchez back into the game. Frankly, I would like to see some alliances start forming with Sanchez and Contador, and/or Schleck and Menchov. To put the AC or AS on the top step and give the other guy a chance at the second or third step.
 
May 15, 2010
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Publicus said:
Not if AC wants to actually put time into him. AC gains time when he catches Andy off guard (same thing happened last year), so he's going to need them to be the aggressor tomorrow. Astana made a bit of a tactical mistake today (IMO), in that they should have sat back and let Saxo Bank do the work. I don't think they make that mistake again.



Sanquer made a comment about that today. That AC can't be so myopic in his focus that he lets Mechov and Sanchez back into the game. Frankly, I would like to see some alliances start forming with Sanchez and Contador, and/or Schleck and Menchov. To put the AC or AS on the top step and give the other guy a chance at the second or third step.

Thanks. It didn't seem to work well as a strategy, but I think they were unsure at the start if Schleck was done or not. AC's digs didn't look whole hearted to me. More like he was probing to see if he was ready to crack. I think AS refusal to share the work totally pised off AC. He shouldn't let the emotions bait him into useless efforts.
 
Eyeballs Out said:
I think people are greatly overplaying how much time Contador will get in the TT. Right now the gap favours him but not by much in my opinion - if Schleck managed to take 15 secs from somewhere in the next few days I would make the TT a coin toss

Remember we see year after year that TT form goes out of the window on the final weekend - the specialists don't do anywhere near as well as expected against the climbers who are high up on GC. It's much less a question of technique and much more a question of strength and recovery
this is particularly true if the ITT contains some climbing . I am not sure it applies as well when the ITT is perfectly flat and technical
 
May 15, 2010
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Escarabajo said:
I don't think Contador has the same form. 1 minute could be trouble for him.

I am surprised that it all could come down to the ITT but that's a possibility.
 
bobs *** said:
Thanks. It didn't seem to work well as a strategy, but I think they were unsure at the start if Schleck was done or not. AC's digs didn't look whole hearted to me. More like he was probing to see if he was ready to crack. I think AS refusal to share the work totally pised off AC. He shouldn't let the emotions bait him into useless efforts.

I think AC wants a straight up duel with Andy. He talked about it last year on the Colombiere climb when he dropped the hammer (and in the process cracked Kloden). He's a bit of a throw back in that sense. Hopefully tomorrow Andy feels like coming out to play.
 
Publicus said:
Not if AC wants to actually put time into him. AC gains time when he catches Andy off guard (same thing happened last year), so he's going to need them to be the aggressor tomorrow. Astana made a bit of a tactical mistake today (IMO), in that they should have sat back and let Saxo Bank do the work. I don't think they make that mistake again.



Sanquer made a comment about that today. That AC can't be so myopic in his focus that he lets Mechov and Sanchez back into the game. Frankly, I would like to see some alliances start forming with Sanchez and Contador, and/or Schleck and Menchov. To put the AC or AS on the top step and give the other guy a chance at the second or third step.
What you wrote ( Astana made a mistake today , etc etc ) makes me think again something that sort of bothered me a few times this year and not just here at the TDF: Is Alberto getting great directions from his DS and the staff? Not that I feel qualified to question it , but it does look like some mistakes were made in "managing" Alberto's known talents. The team efforts too seemed to have been misused at times. I am left feeling that in one or two instances at the Tour , efforts were made toward a certain goal : ( eg. getting time gain for Vino, stage victories for one or the other of the riders, etc... ) and the tactics used did not bear the fruits that we can expect, knowing the strengh and the talents they have. Of course these things are cleared when inside knowledge of the team working is revealed . As i said before , i will have to wait for the "book "
 
May 13, 2009
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The Hitch said:
Mathematically speaking


P (Contador misfortune)= 0.05
P (Menchov/ samu overtake schleck) = 0.1

P (Schleck wins tour, providing he isnt good enough to beat contador fair and square ) = 0.04

which at this stage are odds Schleck should be pretty happy with.

hahahahahaha good one!!!...oh wait a second..you are serious!!? :eek:

I think your numbers require some serious explanation.

I'll mark them "Revise and Resubmit"
 
Apr 23, 2010
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roundabout said:
I think Schleck has a better idea of his own ability (obviously) and how Contador is riding in a particular stage. Attacking when Contador can counter is worse than doing nothing (for now).
Agreed but he's running out of time and may have to force the issue. Basically he has one day (tomorrow) to wait and see. If not on stage 15 then he HAS to play his hand on stage 17.
 
Jun 21, 2010
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Ryo Hazuki said:
that was 40 km. make that 50 and andy needs at least 2 minutes to be in contention for winning the tour.

The results you show were from last year, when Albertoe demonsrated he could beat everyone in the mountains. This year he hasn't shown the same climbing form. Why should the time trial be different?
 
Apr 23, 2010
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Publicus said:
"Astana made a bit of a tactical mistake today (IMO), in that they should have sat back and let Saxo Bank do the work".
I think your right about that. In fact depending on how much Astana worked today may cost AC's help in the mountains tomorrow, which will play in AS's favor. Assuming a)Saxo Bank saved something b)can set a hard pace c)AS has the legs.
 
Jul 27, 2009
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I'm seriously worried... Schlecklet is one of my fave riders, but after seeing yesterdays stage and thinking 'WTF is going on?' I'm getting worried that he can pull off a win. I reckon he needs 2 mins before the TT or he's gonna have to settle for second - or even lower if they mess around again, why on earth would you just let Menchov and Sanchez ride away on a mountain!?!

Say AS does get away on Tourmalet (which is not likely seeing Contador's improving form), is he really going to get enough time anyway? If he drops AC I can still only see him getting another 30s or so, which really isn't enough to win the tour from unless AC completely cracks.
 
Mar 17, 2009
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Today reminded of the way Astana raced the first day into the Alps-- send whole team to front, shred the whole bunch, launch Alberto. . .but he can't drop Andy. Same result today, and I think there was some fatigue and frustration in AC's face towards the end. That's twice Astana have thrown their Sunday punch, with no time gains to show for it. Meanwhile, Saxo has now had two days in a row where they didn't have to work too hard. So. . . how much gas will Astana have tomorrow?

I must say that I'm also enjoying the way Andy and Alberto seem to really respect and even like one another. Quite a difference from last year, when Contador's bitterest rival was also his own teammate;).
 
Schleck needs to be careful not to focus exclusively on Contador. He was probably right that the 10 seconds he ceded to Menchov today won't be significant, but I don't think he can afford to gamble by giving any more time to Menchov considering how well Menchov is riding at the moment.

Menchov has the potential to put some serious time into Schleck in the final time trial considering how long and flat it is. Schleck needs to be aggressive and take some chances over the remaining mountain stages not only because he needs more time on Contador, but he also needs to slam the door once and for all on any possibility of Menchov overtaking him in the final time trial.
 
Jul 27, 2009
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2wheels said:
I must say that I'm also enjoying the way Andy and Alberto seem to really respect and even like one another. Quite a difference from last year, when Contador's bitterest rival was also his own teammate;).

That's pretty cool really, the two best guys on top of the sport being best mates. Just wondering, does Andy speak Spanish? cause I know AC's English isn't too flash.
 
I think any discussion about the battle between Schleck and Contador should take into account that Contador has been virtually unbeatable in climbs that matter since 2007.

Exceptions - Paris-Nice 2009 when he cracked; Giro 2008 when he was gapped by Ricco and Di Luca (but limited his losses and beat them all at the end of 3 weeks); Tour 2007 on the Aubisque when he was spent from attacking Rasmussen. You can also include the Criterium International this year if you like, but that doesn't really matter, nor would I say the last 2 Dauphines do. Every other race I've seen him in, he's just been able to ride away from whomever he pleases, whenever he pleases. Heck, the only attack that I've seen him fail to gap pretty much everyone between his battles with the Chicken in 2007 and this year's Dauphine was last year's attack on the Colombiere when he only dropped Kloeden.

All that said, the fact that we've been through several mountain stages and the tally stands at: Schleck - 1 ten second gain and some failed attacks and Contador: 1 ten second gain and some failed attacks, is pretty intriguing. Contador's pretty hard to drop, and even if Andy goes into the TT only holding a 31 second lead, he will have done a pretty amazing job to get that much in the first place. But the fact that Contador can't drop him easily shows me that the difference between them is much smaller this year (or Contador is bluffing until dangerously late). So I dunno what will happen. Contador's victory seems an inevitability in a certain sense, but I have niggling doubts about the mountains - I think it's possible that Schleck really could drop him. And the fact that I can even fathom that makes this race pretty exciting, much more exciting than last year and certainly much more exciting than 1999-2002 and 2004-05.

Hopefully we'll see something on stage 15.
 
I agree with some that AS might not need 2+ minutes going into the final TT. AC's tt has looked a little off to me lately and I'm not even certain he's completely dialed in on the new bike. That said, 30 seconds is absolutely not enough. Schleck is going to have to get 20-30 secs somewhere at a minimum to make it interesting.

As for AS' tactics, I just think he is partially waiting/hoping for AC to have a bad day. I also think once the attacking starts he gets a fairly good idea of whether he can drop him. He could tell that today wasn't going to be that day. AC wasn't going to be strong enough to drop him, but he certainly wasn't feeling up to countering and was worried AC might be able to counter that and gain more time.

I do think Andy is starting to worry a bit that that bad day may not come and will probably try something tomorrow unless he just feels he doesn't have it. I really don't see anyone outside of those two winning on the Tourmalet. At that point there will almost be nothing to lose and I see a real battle taking place - both will really want to put a stamp on the race and will have plenty time to rest up for the TT afterwards.

I think it's good for Contador that elder Schleck is out. If he had showed up in similar form to what he had coming in and what Andy has now, he could have been in real trouble. At the least, Astana would have probably had very different tactics and I'm guessing Vino would not have had quite as much free reign as he's had. They may have had to use he or Navarro as a shadow for Frank and probably wouldn't have taken up the lead work in the mountains as much. I think we could have seen some really wild stuff.
 
Ryo Hazuki said:
because cancellara is barely better in itt than contador.
If it's long, flat, and windy, the TT is certainly more favourable to Cancellara. I expect him to beat Contador by more than a minute, although he seems to be tired and slightly out of form.

Contador vs. Schleck is a different story, of course. For Schleck the mental part seems to be the main problem in his TTs, but I assume riding for the overall win does something to your motivation, so maybe he'll ride the TT of his life.
 
Aug 1, 2009
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It looks like one of Bjarne's famous "plans". Often risky and rather detailed, and the plan is not changed unless something really strange happens. By yesterday it was probably already decided exactly where and when they are going to go for it. Until then they are trying to wear out the Astana domestiques while Andy stays on Contador's wheel.
 
Moose McKnuckles said:
Look at the results of the Prologue.
And it's Alberto, not Albertoe. Who are you, Dan Quayle?

Best obsevation on the thread! A political one liner that makes sense on both sides of the pond. Chapeau!

Other than that, after yesterday's tactical game of blindman's clay pigeon shooting, I haven't a clue what they have in store for us.:eek:

However, I have seriously lowered my attacking expectations.