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Most likely to challenge Contador?

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Who is most likely to rival Contador in GTs?

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Contador was 24.5 when he won his first TdF. Actually this was his breakthrough year, at the age of 24 he won Paris-Nice, Vuelta a Castilla and TdF in a row. Before that his best results were stage wins at Tour e Suisse, in Romandie.

ASchleck is 24 (turns 25 in June), Gesink is 23 (turns 24 in May), Kreuziger is 23 (turns 24 next week). On could argue that their careers have been better than Contador´s at the same age. If Contador was able to make a leap in his performances, why cant they? There are some other under 24 riders who have performed better than Contador at same age, it is just very hard to predict in what direction (and how much) young riders will improve...
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Himself..meaning if he can not handle the pressure, which has been doing a fine job of so far, injury, doping positives, team disputes, anything that he allows himself to get distracted off of his goals of winning races.

With his explosivness in the climbs and the way he worked to get better and become great at the ITT, I don't really see anyone in the next 3 years or so beating him.

After that 3 year window, some of those riders on this list may develop their "game" as well as Alberto and with his aging (to the old age of 30 or 31..lol, if my guess on his age is correct) that may prove to be the factors that allow someone to overtake him.
 
Oct 29, 2009
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Cerberus said:
Are we still talking about Contador here? Seem to me a third place in La Flèche Wallonne demonstrates some ability in one day races, certainly not on level with his GT abilities.

Maybe I overstated. A third at FW demonstrates some ability, but even then only in the Ardennes classics. I don't think he he'll ever win any others...unless he aims to peak in October.

Cerberus said:
As for the Mur signifying anything for the Tour no. Just look at the top 10: It contains only 4 people who are GT contenders, the remaining 6 are one day riders who can't do anything significant in GTs (counting Cunego as a 1-day rider). One 1,3 k climb just isn't the same as a real mountain.

True. The distance of the climb is something I considered after I posted, but the way Cadel just stayed with him then pedaled right past him at the end just seemed like something that could easily happen at the Tour, especially if AC doesn't get much help in the mountains.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Igor Anton is finally back to some good form.

If Contador does the Vuelta, I see Anton giving him lots of trouble. I also would like to see big things from Rein Taaramae-one of the biggest fighters I've seen in the peloton and he's only 23.
 
Apr 27, 2010
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I voted someone else. Michael Rogers has been at his best in a long time and I think he could surprise a lot of people, given that few have seen him at his top form. What about Edvald Boasson Hagen and Thomas Lofkvist? It may be a bit early for EBH but Lofkvist was tapped by Hinault as a future GT winner a couple of years ago. He's got a good team and is focusing solely on the TDF this year.
 
Von Mises said:
Contador was 24.5 when he won his first TdF. Actually this was his breakthrough year, at the age of 24 he won Paris-Nice, Vuelta a Castilla and TdF in a row. Before that his best results were stage wins at Tour e Suisse, in Romandie.

ASchleck is 24 (turns 25 in June), Gesink is 23 (turns 24 in May), Kreuziger is 23 (turns 24 next week). On could argue that their careers have been better than Contador´s at the same age. If Contador was able to make a leap in his performances, why cant they? There are some other under 24 riders who have performed better than Contador at same age, it is just very hard to predict in what direction (and how much) young riders will improve...

Good point. No reason one of these guys can't experience a large performance jump just due to physical maturity. We also shouldn't forget that brain surgery Contador had back in 2004. I don't know how much that actually set him back but I would think it had some effect.
 
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cuyler89 said:
I voted someone else. Michael Rogers has been at his best in a long time and I think he could surprise a lot of people, given that few have seen him at his top form. What about Edvald Boasson Hagen and Thomas Lofkvist? It may be a bit early for EBH but Lofkvist was tapped by Hinault as a future GT winner a couple of years ago. He's got a good team and is focusing solely on the TDF this year.

Seriously? I mean, the failure of Michael Rogers to live up to his hype is only surpassed by that of Tommy D.
 
nvpacchi said:
Igor Anton is finally back to some good form.

If Contador does the Vuelta, I see Anton giving him lots of trouble. I also would like to see big things from Rein Taaramae-one of the biggest fighters I've seen in the peloton and he's only 23.

I immediately regretted not including Anton - he was the first guy I left off. It's been a few years since his top 10 at La Vuelta but he appears to finally have his mojo back. Hoping for big things from him.
 
Thoughtforfood said:
Seriously? I mean, the failure of Michael Rogers to live up to his hype is only surpassed by that of Tommy D.

+1... This to me seems obvious. This isn't a "Who might Top 5 the Tour this year" poll (even though Rogers ain't doing that either). This is about who might be able to beat Contador one day, and Rogers is clearly never going to do that in a GT
 
Jul 29, 2009
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Schleck.

That said, I was very impressed with Liquigas in the last TdF. It would be great if Nibali turned into a real contender this year. Kreuziger didn't impress me as much, and I remember hearing somewhere he had some "character issues" that made him less popular within the team.
 
Jan the Man said:
Other riders on the list are better tters than Schleck or more explosive, but he's the only one who has shown he can consistently hang on to Contador in the high mountains.

One of the reasons I chose Ricco was because he actually outclimbed Contador at the Giro. Granted, we'll never actually know how fit he was there, what with the beach training and all. :p

One thing we do know, is that unlike some of the diesel climbers on this list and many of our current aging GT contenders, RR is a change-of-pace, explosive climber and more suited to respond to AC's attacks.
 
ImmaculateKadence said:
True, but what would be his goals? The Classics? He has shown me zero ability in one day races....so far.

Also I wonder if the Mur de Huy was a sign of the Tour's mountain stages. He'll have to really race come July, and if all it takes to beat him is wheel sucking, all the guys mentioned could be competitors. I don't think anybody can ride away from him uphill, but most of the guys mentioned in the poll could certainly ride his wheel.

So making the podium and misjudging a climb that he's done at race speed maybe twice is an example of "zero ability in one day races....so far"? You are one tough critic. I think what happened on the Mur de Huy was just a lack of familiarity with how approach that climb. Evans had tried and somewhat failed often enough to know how guage his effort.

As far as being able to suck a wheel, in the event that it is Contador's wheel on the climbs, if he attacks no one has shown an ability to stick to his wheel.
The closest I've seen is Valverde who has the explosiveness to be able to limit Contador's initial launch. I haven't even seen Andy Schleck able to do that but of course Valverde likely will not be at the Tour.
 
Apr 5, 2010
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Contador

Well we all did see when CONTATOR accelerated in a hill no many can follown him with hes explosive acceleration then can accelerate again and again killing all hes opponements well on the hill he did attack but he couldnt attack again he was dying well no worry at the tour de FRANCE hes private spanish doctor will take care of him then he can go has a roket?????????????????
 
Mar 13, 2009
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jaylew said:
I immediately regretted not including Anton - he was the first guy I left off. It's been a few years since his top 10 at La Vuelta but he appears to finally have his mojo back. Hoping for big things from him.

Yes he does have his mojo back. He can respond to and create his own attacks in the mountains, and it seems his TT-ing has improved as of late.
 
someone who i think has an outside shot that no one has mentioned is joaquin rodriguez (he turns 30 in two weeks but hes still under so i figure he counts). he's had a couple decent results at the vuelta being 6th in 08 and 7th last year and both of those were working for valverde. now that he has a chance to be a leader and ride for himself he could do really well in a grand tour with very few time trial kms in it. plus, didn't rujano say that the only two climbers better than him were AC and rodriguez (although as has been noted he also said that he himself was number three :rolleyes:)
 
Apr 2, 2010
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I don't know why but I have a funny feeling AC is going to get tripped up this year. Not sure what happens but everything is coming too easy for him right now. I think some bad luck is coming his way.

I don't think any other rider has a chance in hell if AC stays out of trouble and riding at his normal level.
 
Antón really had his mojo in 2008 - he was Euskaltel's protected rider for the Vuelta, and when Contador attacked on Pla de Beret Antón and Valverde were the only riders who could go with him. He was sitting 6th overall, 2'23" behind Martínez, after stage 12, but he had a really nasty crash on the descent of the Alto del Cordal just before the start of L'Angliru, and that really put him off the path of progress for a long time. He spent most of last year solely as a domestique for Astarloza and Sánchez, but now he's having the chance to work for himself again.
 
Sep 16, 2009
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If Valverde is free to ride for the next two years then it's a no brainer. Him.

If he isn't free to ride, then I would possibly say Kreuziger or Ricco.
 
blaxland said:
If we are talking about the future then i would say Peter Sagan Liquigas......can climb ok and TT really well...........

Seriously? He hasn't shown any ability to climb the high mountains with the best yet and really hasn't proven he can TT with the best either (prologues sure, but many sprinters can ride a great prologue).


I think he's a serious talent and will be a terrific rider, but right now he's a sprinter who can get over small/medium climbs, similar to EBH.

Not saying things can't or won't change in the future, but I see them both as being classics guys. WAY to early to tip Sagan as a GT podium guy when we have no idea if he is cut out for that style of riding, especially when there are so many young guys who have shown their ability to be up there over three weeks.

Let's at least let the guy finish a GT before we start annointing him.
 

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Aug 17, 2009
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Cooper said:
I don't know why but I have a funny feeling AC is going to get tripped up this year. Not sure what happens but everything is coming too easy for him right now. I think some bad luck is coming his way.

I don't think any other rider has a chance in hell if AC stays out of trouble and riding at his normal level.

I agree. I think by something out of control Contador will be out of tour contention.

Like I said could be crash. could be Astana issue/suspension.

Playing with Vino is like playing with rocket fuel on fire.

I love Contador but I am afraid he should have sat out this year of his contract.

Thus here comes Lance again....go Lance!!!!!
 
Nov 17, 2009
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jaylew said:
Seriously? He hasn't shown any ability to climb the high mountains with the best yet and really hasn't proven he can TT with the best either (prologues sure, but many sprinters can ride a great prologue).


I think he's a serious talent and will be a terrific rider, but right now he's a sprinter who can get over small/medium climbs, similar to EBH.

Not saying things can't or won't change in the future, but I see them both as being classics guys. WAY to early to tip Sagan as a GT podium guy when we have no idea if he is cut out for that style of riding, especially when there are so many young guys who have shown their ability to be up there over three weeks.

Let's at least let the guy finish a GT before we start annointing him.

While I agree... I think he's proven so far to be a bit ahead of EBH in terms of climbing (I have no idea how he compares at sprinting and riding the flats). I'd say he's already climbing near the Voigt level... which isn't going to win him any GT's but makes him an adequate climber.
 
Aug 6, 2009
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Sasquatch said:
If Valverde is free to ride for the next two years then it's a no brainer. Him.

If he isn't free to ride, then I would possibly say Kreuziger or Ricco.
Why on Earth would you name Valverde however free he it to ride? He's certainly not a bad GT rider, but he's 30 and he has never shown anything approaching Contadors level in GTs. Schleck arguably has better GT results (depending on how you rank the GTs) at 24 and he's young enough that it's still realistic that he could improve significantly.
 
Aug 12, 2009
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Right now. Valverde is the only rider who I see beating Contador. He can climb and has his chrono worked out. He has won a GT recently and that win showed he has figured out how not to lose, like he use to. Andy Schleck has a major weakness. His chrono. Valverde is more balanced. Also, Valverde does not appear to be injured as often. Problem is he may be suspended soon.

In the future, if given the right push, I can see Cancellara pushing Contador. Only Cancellara. Maybe Ricco, but his chrono blows big time. He'd have to take minutes out of Contador in the hills and that would get every tongue in cycling flapping if that occured. So Ricco, whilst aggressive and vibrant on a bike is a none choice for me. I'm not saying Ricco cannot beat other riders. I guess Menchov and Evans could push Contador in the same way Valverde could but I think Valverde is more rounded than those two. We all know Cadels issues and Dennis has a habit of falling off his bike, just like his young Dutch team mate Gesink. Maybe something bad that affects balance is in the water at Rabo?