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Robert Merivel said:at least today he is.
YES, YES, YES!
Then, in the TTT, if they beat Saxo by more than 40 sec and Hign Road by 9 seconds
VIOLA...Lance in Yellow!
clydesdale said:Of course he's the team leader, always has been.
He SHOULDN'T be the team leader, but c'est la vie. I think JB is making a big mistake not catering to Contador's every whim, though. Lance won't be around for ever and Contador's the one he should hitch his wagon to if he wants to keep winning down the road.
kloftus1044 said:It was good for Astana that Lance and some teammates made the break. But to say Lance is the new team leader is a bit premature.
Think about it. Contador dusted Armstrong by 22 seconds in the first TT. That much power from a tiny guy like Contador is impressive. Once the Tour hits the mountains, the gaps will only become larger. We all saw Lance suffering like an animal on the climbs in the Giro. And we all saw Contador casually match every move in the Dauphine and then go on to win the Spanish TT championship.
Without a doubt, Contador is the main guy for GC on Astana.
Publicus said:He's not the team leader or a serious threat to GC. If he was considered as such by the other contenders, they would have chased (Saxo Bank, Rabo, Cervelo and Silence Lotto's leaders were all in the second group). Contador kept his eye on Cadel Evans and Menchov. If either of those two had made the break you'd better believe Astana and others would have given chase.
I will say that the press is going to have a veritable field day with this though. The Boss is back! etc., etc.,
clydesdale said:Make no mistake, I think Lance is barely a threat for top 10 when all is said and done and will get beat handily in the mountains (not sprinter throttled, but due to the Team Time Trial, some mountain specialists will be looking to up the pace in all mountain stages and I think Lance will get dropped before a lot of other serious contenders). Contador is defniately the top Astana GC guy, no question about it. It's silly to think otherwise (although I'll admit I have no idea how Kloden will fit in to all of this)
I just think that Lance at the very least THINKS he's the team leader and that it will cause Contador to move to a team, eventually, where he is not sharing domestiques with anyone. He will win a lot of grand tours at whatever team gets him and JB will regret not bowing to his every whim.
Of course I could be wrong and Contador could be quite content. I doubt it, however. Incidentally Stage 3 at the tour de france didn't affect my opinion one way or the other.
Publicus said:I think Lance knows the deal. And he will probably move to own a team next year and take more of a back seat. He's going to need a dominate GC guy to warrant the dollars they will be investing and at 38 he has to know that he's just not the Boss anymore. At least not in the peleton.
aermet said:It sickens me to see Lance and his subtle verbal challenges, false promises of "whomever is strongest is team leader", "Alberto is leader" in interviews, and finally, Lance and his half of the team pulling on the front to gap off Contador when he was in the second group. That is such bad sportsmanship and goes back to the Hinault/Lemond days of Hinault promising to help Greg and then racing against him.
As if he's not had enough glory after winning so many tours. Alberto has proven himself in the very recent past as being capable of winning grand tours whereas Lance has not. To take advantage of a break like that and take pulls is low. In tours past, the entire postal/discovery team would have been driving to bring the break back.
Lance's stock has always been junk status with me but he's now descended to absolute worthlessness as a man.
clydesdale said:Perhaps. It's a tough situation and not something any other team really has to deal with. You have a 7 time winner who is back in reasonably good form competing with a young guy who won his last three grand tours. I'm no Lance expert, I just can't imagine Lance conceding to someone else even at his age. Maybe eventually after this comeback year is done, I just think he's too competitive for that.
Like I said, though, I'm no Lance expert.
Publicus said:I think the highlighted portion is the critical difference. I think he knows that his form isn't as good as Contador's (the TT demonstrated that). I think he is going to remain competitive througout, but I think we the GC game gets into full swing on Friday (and frankly through the weekend), this is all going to play out and Lance isn't going to be there.