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Most likely to challenge Contador?

Page 5 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.

Who is most likely to rival Contador in GTs?

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Mar 13, 2009
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Galic Ho said:
I went with the more rounded riders (who can accelerate in the hills and ITT in the top 10) because Andy Schleck has improved his chrono, but not by enough of a margin to realistically beat AC. He dropped 3 plus minutes in 2008 and only 2 in 2009. Valverde and Menchov will not drop 2 minutes to AC in a ITT. Nor will Evans.

Then again there is very little ITT in this year's Tour, so that definitely plays to AS's advantages over Evans for example. I also think that AC, AS and FS could be able to drop Valv and Menchov in the haute montagne.
So due to the specific course of this year I do think AS will be able to take second again, if there was another ITT stage probably not. And who knows, anything can happen in 3 weeks, even to AC, and especially on the cobblestones, so AS still has a chance to win. But of course I don't wish AC to get an injury or lose a lot of time due to mechanical problems, and if none of that happens he'll win!
 
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Galic Ho said:
The logic behind Valverde is that based on last year, this year and how strong the entire field is, Valverde is the most rounded rider in the pro peloton. Contador would get that nod but he is not as good at one day classics. Cancellara can get a mention as well but his climbing in the third week of a GT is suspect. Valverde was the only rider who limited AC in Paris-Nice. Sanchez was next.
Are you talking about who is the best in GTs or just the best overall cyclist? The OP is pretty clearly that it's about who will Challenge Contador in GTs.
Galic Ho said:
Last years Vuelta. I admit Samu would have pushed harder without his fall. I thought he'd win at the start and Valverde would come second. Evans tyre issue does not count. The two Spaniards would have attacked regardless. They did not need to after that, because Evans had lost time. Preserve the lead and make the chasers attack. Evans did not/could not. Valverde won fair and square.
My point wasn't that he didn't deserve to win, my point was that hos win was narrow and could have been even narrower if not for the Samu's crash and Evans defect. Valverde has not in his attempt so far managed to contest the Tour. He did win the Vuelta, but he won it narrowly over Sanchez who has not done very well in the Tour either. Hell, his margin of victory over Mosquera was only slightly larger than Contadors margin to Schleck.

Galic Ho said:
What has Schleck won that makes everyone think he will challenge this year or next? LBL does not count. Maybe in a few years, but right now, in this time, Valverde, Menchov and Evans are the best bets, because they are near complete as they physically can be.
What has Valverde, Menchov and Evans won to make you think they can challenge Contador? Sure Valverde won the Vuelta, but his victory was hardly so epic as to match up against Contador. Menchov won the Giro but a narrow victory over Diluca and Pelezotti is not something that allevated him to near Contadors level in my eyes. Evans has yet to win a GT, though he has 2 second places in the Tour. More importantly all 3 are to old to be likely to improve.

Galic Ho said:
Andy, as I said, last year had 2nd covered because only the Astana try hards and Wigans were his competition. Valverde, Sanchez, Menchov and maybe Evans will be snapping at his heels this year. Andy will really have to fight to get second at the Tour. Last year he was pretty comfortable. Mt Ventoux told us as much. The race was for third. This year will be a different matter.
It's possible that Andy will have to fight harder for second this year, but even if they can challenge Andy for second doesn't mean they can challenge Contador for first.

Galic Ho said:
After this thread is about who can beat AC. I went with the more rounded riders (who can accelerate in the hills and ITT in the top 10) because Andy Schleck has improved his chrono, but not by enough of a margin to realistically beat AC. He dropped 3 plus minutes in 2008 and only 2 in 2009. Valverde and Menchov will not drop 2 minutes to AC in a ITT. Nor will Evans. It really comes down to balance and numbers and they are the more balanced option. Note, I'm not saying AS won't get second, instead I am responding to the OP and I think Valverde is the most likely to push AC. He can get time bonuses (aren't they back this year) on shorter hill finishes and sprints when he chooses.
No time bonuses for the 2010 Tour. If there was it would clearly help Valverde. I agree of cause that your picks will loose less time in TTs than Andy, but they'll lose more time in the mountains.



Galic Ho said:
I can tell the difference between the ranking and GT contenders. You appear to have failed to note that the UCI ranking system is correct for the top 10 riders. They are all winners. Be it stage races, sprints or GC contenders in GTs. Evans, Valverde and Contador have won the last 5 years and also taken the top 3 most years. Why? Consistency. They back up all the time and keep winning. Andy Schleck was also in the top 5 last year. Take a look at last years top 5 and dare I say it, come back here and put forward an argument as to why those men were not really the most consistent and best performers for the entire year. Excluding Cav and Cancellara they were. Perhaps the points allocated for particular races needs to be adjusted but the end result is very accurate. The best rider and most deserving does come first on the UCI points scheme.
Why would I want to argue that? Valverde clearly has been a stronger overall rider in recent years than Andy. I just don't think he's been a stronger GT rider, which is the issue here.

Galic Ho said:
As for coming close to AC. Lately Valverde has been one of a few. That was the point of this thread. To lay down an argument, or case, for who we can expect to push AC. People go with consistency.
The point is who can push him in GTs. Valverde has not pushed him there. He lost 11,5 minutes to Contador in 2007, he then lost 7 minutes to Sastre in 2008, and 6 minutes to Contador in the 2008 Vuelta. Andy has riden 3 Gts in his life so far, he's come in 2nd in 2 of them and 12th in the 3rd (or 2nd as it was) because he had one bad day. That's a strong and fairly consistent record for a 24 year old. Valverde has 1 win and 3 podiums in the Vuelta, the most weakly contended GT and he is almost 30.
Galic Ho said:
Nibali, Kreuziger, Gesink and the other young riders excluding AS all lack consistency. Evans, Valverde, Menchov and the Schlecks do not. They've walked the walk and talked the talk. They've beaten time and again these young guys. Also they've beaten consistently everyone else whose name has been put forward. On that basis they have the legs and attitude to challenge. As for the 'hopefuls', well I'll wait and see. But I don't expect anything. I don't think it is right to lump all these expectations on guys who have shown some talent but no concrete big win results. Which reflects in AC's record.
Oh I agree that proven records trumps youth and promise, but that's why I think AS is the best candidate, he has youth, promise and a proven record. Since no one has shown that they can match up with Contador I think it makes the most sense to pick the guy who has come closest and who has the youth to improve.

Galic Ho said:
Someone else made a point that the Liquigas guys and AS have a better record at 24 than AC. They don't. AC beat the top riders to get his wins. They haven't. Sure AS came second in the Tour, but he didn't win. AC on the simple fact he beat top riders again, and again, has the better record. It is why he is favourite to win this years Tour and the Liquigas guys will more than likely drag Basso across France. AC was put in a postion to win and he delivered. They haven't done this in the manner AC has. Kreuziger's one win in Suisse (or was it Romandie?) cannot match AC's multiple wins. LBL and a second in the Giro and Tour by AS do not either.
No (sensible) person thinks that the favorite for next years Tour is anyone but Contador, but that doesn't change the fact that AS has a better record than Contador had at his age. A 2nd place at the Tour might not be a win, but it is a result, a result that is superior to virtually all wins. 2nd in the Giro is a very good result to, and winning LBL is definitely a result. I'm not sure Contador has won anything significant at that point, perhaps Paris-nice or Vuelta a Castilla y León, depending on what exact age we're talking about. Until the 2007 Tour he had nothing that stacked up against 2 GT podiums and a monument. Of cause record>promise and Contador has proven that he can outclimb anyone and and TT with the best so he is the clear favourite, but he hadn't shown that a AS age (or at least not at the age AS was in the 2009 Tour).
 
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Cerberus said:
No (sensible) person thinks that the favorite for next years Tour is anyone but Contador, but that doesn't change the fact that AS has a better record than Contador had at his age. A 2nd place at the Tour might not be a win, but it is a result, a result that is superior to virtually all wins. 2nd in the Giro is a very good result to, and winning LBL is definitely a result. I'm not sure Contador has won anything significant at that point, perhaps Paris-nice or Vuelta a Castilla y León, depending on what exact age we're talking about. Until the 2007 Tour he had nothing that stacked up against 2 GT podiums and a monument. Of cause record>promise and Contador has proven that he can outclimb anyone and and TT with the best so he is the clear favourite, but he hadn't shown that a AS age (or at least not at the age AS was in the 2009 Tour).

i think you over rated AS!never compare AS achievements to Contadors at his age because by the time he reaches the age of 27 i dont think he will have 4 GT wins by then.AS was very lucky last year SSanchez and Valverde did not ride the 2009 TDF.Had Valverde been at the TDF last year he'd probably end up at the podium in Paris.
Though Contador is the overwhelming favorite this year and the years to come i think Valverde is the only one capable to challenge his dominance at the GTs.
Valverde is the best all-rounder and i believe he will ride this years TDF!
 
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reyan12 said:
i think you over rated AS!never compare AS achievements to Contadors at his age because by the time he reaches the age of 27 i dont think he will have 4 GT wins by then.
Will AS record equal Contadors when he's Contadors age? Probably not. Did Contadors record equal AS when he was the age of AS during the 2009 Tour? No, it did not. That is a fact.
reyan12 said:
AS was very lucky last year SSanchez and Valverde did not ride the 2009 TDF.Had Valverde been at the TDF last year he'd probably end up at the podium in Paris.
Both Valverde and Senchez have ridden the Tour before and neither of them have podiumed. Valverde might have podiumed in the 2009 Tour, but if he did, it would most likely have been the third spot.
reyan12 said:
Though Contador is the overwhelming favorite this year and the years to come i think Valverde is the only one capable to challenge his dominance at the GTs.
Valverde is the best all-rounder and i believe he will ride this years TDF!
If by best all-rounder you include his abilities in one-day races, sprints and one week races then sure, but for GTs he just not the best, or even the second best. He's almost 30 so he's had plenty of time to establish a record of how he performs in GTs. That record says he can podium or even win the Vuelta, which is the GT with the weakest field. It also says that he has lost to Contador by greater margins than AS despite being at what should be his prime, unlike AS and the fact that he lost to AC,when he was significantly weaker than he is now. A narrow victory over riders who are not strong enough to contest the Tour, aided by time bonuses that do not exist in the Tour, does not indicate the kind of dramatic improvements he'd need to make to beat Contador. The field that contests the Vuelta is very different and far weaker than the field that contest the Tour.
 
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Maybe I'm one of the fewer people who think that in time Wiggins can do the job? He's one hell of a TT-specialist who can emerge up to Contador/Cancellara-level in that discipline, only his climbing needs to improve... More explosiveness maybe? His physics are like Andy and Alberto, so that's an extra plus...
Normally I'd say that Andy should be able to be as good as Alberto, but I don't see his TT improving up to Contadors level... ever!

By far I think that nobody can be equal to Contador because he's one of the best climbers, and his TT is sooooo good, just like Indurain in the days... Andy, Ricco or Wiggins seem the best options for the podium, but not for winning any GT when Contador is participating in shape...
 
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Publicus said:
Well that's not true. Plenty of folks are critical of him. What I meant by it was that you are applying a rather difficult standard. For a guy racing as a protected rider for the first time at a Classic, that is. Next year, he won't have that caveat or whenever he next races FW or LBL.

I don't think it's a difficult standard at all. The guy crushes just about everyone in each race he enters. He started as a favorite, with parcours suited to him and with full support. He just got a little too trigger happy on that final climb.

Angliru said:
My expectations of him are also awfully high. So high that I've had to tone them down a bit. For instance, when he said he was going to give FW and L-B-L a serious go, I initially thought that he could actually take either or both. I later decided that based on his lack of experience in both races that I was being overly optimistic. What does he do but makes the podium of FW and then makes the pivotal move in L-B-L that allowed his teammate to win. Of course he didn't win either race but he figured quite strongly in the outcome of both.

As far as the cobbled classics are concerned I have absolutely no expectation of him even competing in Flanders or Roubaix. Now the other monuments, I believe he will eventually take a stab at and possibly win Lombardia. When he returns to FW and L-B-L I suspect that he will improve on both of his 2010 performances.

Exactly. I was almost postive he would win one or both, and I think he would have easily taken FW if he had been just a little more patient and waited for the race to unfold around him.

I would love to see him race a cobbled classic, but he's really not built to contend those races. However, he is one to honor the sport, so him showing up wouldn't surprise me. Another race, I don't see him winning is MSR; he just doesn't have the sprint.
 
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orangetea said:
Maybe I'm one of the fewer people who think that in time Wiggins can do the job? He's one hell of a TT-specialist who can emerge up to Contador/Cancellara-level in that discipline, only his climbing needs to improve... More explosiveness maybe?
More explosiveness isn't enough, He simply can't go up a climb at the same speed as Contador, even if he could follow the accelerations I doubt he could hold Contadors wheel in the long run. Still it's really hard to tell, a year ago any sane person would have said that Wiggins would never finish within 5 minutes of the leaders on a mountain stage and then he goes and finishes 4th. I think odds are that 2009 will be his best Tour ever, but because he's got no record there's no way to be even remotely certain, he could make another performance jump this year.
 
Some of you guys are giving Andy Schleck a bit too much credit.

He can climb, but he doesn't have the power to accelerate past Contador and to make the attack stick. And that lack of power is exactly what hurts him so much in the time trials.

Sure, at his age there is room for improvement, but not to suddenly vault over Contador. Not at this years' Tour at least.
 
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Berzin said:
Some of you guys are giving Andy Schleck a bit too much credit.

He can climb, but he doesn't have the power to accelerate past Contador and to make the attack stick. And that lack of power is exactly what hurts him so much in the time trials.

Sure, at his age there is room for improvement, but not to suddenly vault over Contador. Not at this years' Tour at least.
I don't think anyone in this thread has said differently. Of cause Contador is the favourite and of cause Andy Schleck is unlikely to beat him next year. Or the year after. Or ever really. The same can be said for Valverde. And Evans. And everyone else. What I've said is that AS the individual most likely (or least unlikely) to challenge Contador over the next several years, not that he will, in fact, win.
 
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reyan12 said:
i think you over rated AS!never compare AS achievements to Contadors at his age because by the time he reaches the age of 27 i dont think he will have 4 GT wins by then.AS was very lucky last year SSanchez and Valverde did not ride the 2009 TDF.Had Valverde been at the TDF last year he'd probably end up at the podium in Paris.

My top five for the Tour last year had both Samu and Valverde in it. 3rd and 4th place and Evans or Lance 5th. I changed it when I found out neither was racing. I guess I ahd the same confidence when the Vuelta came around, and despite what Cerberus has used (results) to gauge whether they would have, I had both riders coming first and second. Removing both Samu and Valverde, plus having Menchov, Evans and Sastre all misfire made for a very dull Tour. This year, minus Sastre, they all should be racing for GC (maybe not Evans). So what does this mean? It means two additional teams will now have serious intentions. They will make moves and aim to get their rider into top positions. It also means guys who last year profited from the absences and misfiring riders, will have to improve or drop down on GC. Guys like Wigans and Lance. Teams like Sky and Retirement Shack. Liquigas and Basso? I still do not know. But he should come around 6th or 7th.

In other words the race should go all the way till Paris. The fight will be for second and third and multiple riders will be fighting all 21 days. Not just Lance and Wigans at the end on Mt Ventoux, with Franck Schleck an outside chance.
 
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orangetea said:
Maybe I'm one of the fewer people who think that in time Wiggins can do the job? He's one hell of a TT-specialist who can emerge up to Contador/Cancellara-level in that discipline, only his climbing needs to improve... More explosiveness maybe? His physics are like Andy and Alberto, so that's an extra plus...
Normally I'd say that Andy should be able to be as good as Alberto, but I don't see his TT improving up to Contadors level... ever!

By far I think that nobody can be equal to Contador because he's one of the best climbers, and his TT is sooooo good, just like Indurain in the days... Andy, Ricco or Wiggins seem the best options for the podium, but not for winning any GT when Contador is participating in shape...

Wigans chrono before his miraculous (drug induced) transformation, never, I repeat, never came in the top 5 at the Tour in a chrono. Yet he was considered a ITT expert. He dropped weight as well and got better at his chrono and finally got that top 5. Why? Oh, I mentioned why.

More explosiveness? If Wigans improves by leaps and bounds over last year and develops a kick in the hills (he won't), then everyone with half a brain will be screaming doper. He was dropped by the groupetto whilst at Cofidis. The groupetto. Just like Mark Cavendish and now he can climb? Not clean.

His build before was not like AS or AC. Nothing some AICAR cannot cure. Yeah, weight loss comes in a pill these days. Wigans will crack this year. Bro Deal reckons he will blow 20 minutes. If he gets in the top 10 then it is a good showing. Best he can hope for to be honest. He won't push AC. One good medical program later and you're a challenger. Time for Brad and his sense of fashion to back up and prove 2009 was no fluke. His mouth has been flapping a lot since he stabbed Garmin in the back. I know he won't measure up to his own hype.
 
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Cerberus said:
Are you talking about who is the best in GTs or just the best overall cyclist? The OP is pretty clearly that it's about who will Challenge Contador in GTs.

Both at different times. This thread is two lines of thought. Who can push Contador for the win and who can beat the other guys for second. Contador has first well and truly covered.

My point wasn't that he didn't deserve to win, my point was that hos win was narrow and could have been even narrower if not for the Samu's crash and Evans defect. Valverde has not in his attempt so far managed to contest the Tour. He did win the Vuelta, but he won it narrowly over Sanchez who has not done very well in the Tour either. Hell, his margin of victory over Mosquera was only slightly larger than Contadors margin to Schleck.

I learnt long ago that one cannot compare apples and oranges. Separate days in a race cannot be compared because too many variables have changed. Even more variables change between major races. The time differences between rider placings in separate races doesn't really matter. It is the change in the static variable. The rider. How did Valverde change? A lot. A lot. He is not the same rider from the 2007 and 2008 Tour.


What has Valverde, Menchov and Evans won to make you think they can challenge Contador? Sure Valverde won the Vuelta, but his victory was hardly so epic as to match up against Contador. Menchov won the Giro but a narrow victory over Diluca and Pelezotti is not something that allevated him to near Contadors level in my eyes. Evans has yet to win a GT, though he has 2 second places in the Tour. More importantly all 3 are to old to be likely to improve.

The Giro for Menchov. He beat all the other talked up riders. Levi was left wanting. Levi, could in theory, have won the prior GT, the Vuelta, where he in theory, he was almost as good as AC. Levi came second whilst playing the protective team mate role. But apples and oranges again. Levi raced hard in the Giro as well. He came 6th against Menchov. Ask Issoisso about Menchov's power figures for the final week compared to AC's in the third week of a Tour. If Dennis doesn't make his usual mistakes (2006, 2008 and 2009) in the Tour but rides like he did in the Giro last year and 2007 Vuelta, then he will be challenging for second and third. Samu and Valverde are the other guys challenging Schleck. All are making the Tour their aim. All are making it their first GT. All are team leaders. When was the last time all these things happened with the results and form these guys hold now? Never. It comes down to numbers and AS was over two minutes back to AC. My point wasn't that these guys will beat AC, but that they stand a better chance because of their all round strength of making the time lost to AC as small as possible.

It's possible that Andy will have to fight harder for second this year, but even if they can challenge Andy for second doesn't mean they can challenge Contador for first.

I did not say this because I thought it was obvious. I don't think anyone other than Cancellara on some super strong moose testosterone and beaver tranquillizer concoction, can match AC in every aspect of a 3 week GT.

No time bonuses for the 2010 Tour. If there was it would clearly help Valverde. I agree of cause that your picks will loose less time in TTs than Andy, but they'll lose more time in the mountains.

I think they will hold on in the hills to possibly steal second in the ITT. It will be close.


Valverde clearly has been a stronger overall rider in recent years than Andy. I just don't think he's been a stronger GT rider, which is the issue here.

Fair enough. Apples and oranges.


The point is who can push him in GTs. Valverde has not pushed him there. He lost 11,5 minutes to Contador in 2007, he then lost 7 minutes to Sastre in 2008, and 6 minutes to Contador in the 2008 Vuelta. Andy has riden 3 Gts in his life so far, he's come in 2nd in 2 of them and 12th in the 3rd (or 2nd as it was) because he had one bad day. That's a strong and fairly consistent record for a 24 year old. Valverde has 1 win and 3 podiums in the Vuelta, the most weakly contended GT and he is almost 30.
Oh I agree that proven records trumps youth and promise, but that's why I think AS is the best candidate, he has youth, promise and a proven record. Since no one has shown that they can match up with Contador I think it makes the most sense to pick the guy who has come closest and who has the youth to improve.

I believe I said time was the issue. Next two years the other guys. After that then Andy is the only one. Now that means they get everything right and take chances. Again apples and oranges. Valverde is different. He won no stages in the Vuelta. The old Valverde would have and have inevitably paid for it later on in his GC battle. Does this mean Valverde will push in France? He may not race for the second year in a row. Personally I think it would suck, because a possible podium finisher and guy who will challenge will be gone. It makes the challenge to Contador a little easier. One less guy to worry about.

No doubt Andy has the most to improve on. But I was basing it all on where he is now. In theory, if he gets everything right he still doesn't win. His ITT lets him down. The other guys are more balanced and if they only drop bits of time in the hills, they can in theory finish ahead of AS. Not that either prospect means AC looses. They don't. In the end it comes down to how close you can get if you get everything right. I think the others can, at this time, get closer. Doesn't mean they will.
 
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Galic Ho said:
No doubt Andy has the most to improve on. But I was basing it all on where he is now. In theory, if he gets everything right he still doesn't win. His ITT lets him down. The other guys are more balanced and if they only drop bits of time in the hills, they can in theory finish ahead of AS. Not that either prospect means AC looses. They don't. In the end it comes down to how close you can get if you get everything right. I think the others can, at this time, get closer. Doesn't mean they will.

I think we've narrowed down the disagreement as much as possible. I would consider AS the second best GT rider in the world at this moment. I think SSanchez and Valverde are going to lose more time in the mountain than they'll gain in the TT. Still I guess we'll see when the Tour comes around, or perhaps we won't. Valverde could be suspended and either AS or SSanchecz could crash or get an injury. That way we can both go on believing we're right. :p
 
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Cerberus said:
I don't think anyone in this thread has said differently. Of cause Contador is the favourite and of cause Andy Schleck is unlikely to beat him next year. Or the year after. Or ever really. The same can be said for Valverde. And Evans. And everyone else. What I've said is that AS the individual most likely (or least unlikely) to challenge Contador over the next several years, not that he will, in fact, win.

It is unlikely indeed but in a 3 week tour everything can happen, even to Contador. He could fall, be caught in the wrong group, get a hunger knock like in Paris-Nice, and then whoever is the second strongest will win. Luck is a big factor in the race in my opinion.

But indeed if no one gets hurt or anything, which I hope, then Contador will win!
 
luckyboy said:
How is Ricco second in this poll? (not counting 'other') Unless there's a GT with no TTs in it anytime soon, he's not going to be beating AC.

Probably because he is the only guy who so far has shown the potential to actually outclimb AC. And his TT seems to be improving a bit and is certainly no worse than Andy's.
 
Has he? He lost out to Carrara in Settimana Lombarda, and he is by all accounts a poor TTer.

He'd still lose minutes, and I can't see him taking minutes out of AC tbh. Looks like this years Tour would've been his best chance in terms of not having many TT kms.
 

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Galic Ho said:
Wigans chrono before his miraculous (drug induced) transformation, never, I repeat, never came in the top 5 at the Tour in a chrono. Yet he was considered a ITT expert. He dropped weight as well and got better at his chrono and finally got that top 5. Why? Oh, I mentioned why.

More explosiveness? If Wigans improves by leaps and bounds over last year and develops a kick in the hills (he won't), then everyone with half a brain will be screaming doper. He was dropped by the groupetto whilst at Cofidis. The groupetto. Just like Mark Cavendish and now he can climb? Not clean.

His build before was not like AS or AC. Nothing some AICAR cannot cure. Yeah, weight loss comes in a pill these days. Wigans will crack this year. Bro Deal reckons he will blow 20 minutes. If he gets in the top 10 then it is a good showing. Best he can hope for to be honest. He won't push AC. One good medical program later and you're a challenger. Time for Brad and his sense of fashion to back up and prove 2009 was no fluke. His mouth has been flapping a lot since he stabbed Garmin in the back. I know he won't measure up to his own hype.

Would anyone reallye be surprised if it came out that he had doped. Really that transformation was really suspicious, from out of nowhere he comes up in the top 10 of the tour.

As for the main contender against Contador will likely for some time not come close to Contador, at the moment he stands up on a solitary high compared to others in GTs. However is some of the other top 10 persons start to improve dramatically this will change, I do not see that happening in the near future however, most seem to either remain at the same point as last year or have minimal improvements.
 
luckyboy said:
He'd still lose minutes, and I can't see him taking minutes out of AC tbh. Looks like this years Tour would've been his best chance in terms of not having many TT kms.

Agreed. I don't necessarily think he will challenge him, I just think he has the best shot because he's the only one of those guys I've actually seen drop Contador in the high mountains. Barring an off day by AC I don't think anyone else, (Schleck incuded) on that list has a real shot at beating him in a TT or a climb.
 
Galic Ho said:
Wigans chrono before his miraculous (drug induced) transformation, never, I repeat, never came in the top 5 at the Tour in a chrono. Yet he was considered a ITT expert. He dropped weight as well and got better at his chrono and finally got that top 5. Why? Oh, I mentioned why.

More explosiveness? If Wigans improves by leaps and bounds over last year and develops a kick in the hills (he won't), then everyone with half a brain will be screaming doper. He was dropped by the groupetto whilst at Cofidis. The groupetto. Just like Mark Cavendish and now he can climb? Not clean.

His build before was not like AS or AC. Nothing some AICAR cannot cure. Yeah, weight loss comes in a pill these days. Wigans will crack this year. Bro Deal reckons he will blow 20 minutes. If he gets in the top 10 then it is a good showing. Best he can hope for to be honest. He won't push AC. One good medical program later and you're a challenger. Time for Brad and his sense of fashion to back up and prove 2009 was no fluke. His mouth has been flapping a lot since he stabbed Garmin in the back. I know he won't measure up to his own hype.

He's gonna feel like such an idiot when he bonks this year after having run his mouth and screwed Garmin.

I mean, he'll only be left with 3 years left to run on a million euro's a year deal. If he'd thanked Garmin for their help and seen out his contract he'd be in line for way more than that in modesty bonuses.
 
Well, "Schleck". But realistically speaking, there are none.

Contador have taking time out of the Schlecks when he has wanted to (and not being forced to drive for the old man) not to speak of his advantage in the time trials. Schleck needs years to come up to this TT-ability if he ever does it.

The only challenger to Contador for now is himself. Will he bored of winning? (Personally, i hope not. Would love to see him winning all year crushing uniballers crap that it is necessary to ride low-key races to get fit for the Tour de France) will he gets to overconfident and skip normally preparation? He doesn´t seem like that.
 

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No_Balls said:
Well, "Schleck". But realistically speaking, there are none.

Contador have taking time out of the Schlecks when he has wanted to (and not being forced to drive for the old man) not to speak of his advantage in the time trials. Schleck needs years to come up to this TT-ability if he ever does it.

The only challenger to Contador for now is himself. Will he bored of winning? (Personally, i hope not. Would love to see him winning all year crushing uniballers crap that it is necessary to ride low-key races to get fit for the Tour de France) will he gets to overconfident and skip normally preparation? He doesn´t seem like that.

Agree on part of your post, Conti's only challenger is daylight because that is how far the others are behind him. Now if Fabian lost 5kg that could be interesting. Doesn't say much for the others if the uniballer turns out to be his nearest challenger this year at tdf. The haters would hate that of course but if it wasn't for LA most of the **** on here wouldn't know how to spend their days or have anything to write about! Of course they could always go out and ride their bike...but I guess typing is a bit easier.
 
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Bagster said:
Agree on part of your post, Conti's only challenger is daylight because that is how far the others are behind him. Now if Fabian lost 5kg that could be interesting. Doesn't say much for the others if the uniballer turns out to be his nearest challenger this year at tdf. The haters would hate that of course but if it wasn't for LA most of the fags on here wouldn't know how to spend their days or have anything to write about! Of course they could always go out and ride their bike...but I guess typing is a bit easier.

And another victory against cancer!