Paris-Nice losing prestige?

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benpounder said:
Armstrong, and to a lesser extent Indurian, set the TdF as the preeminent bicycle race. If one fancies their chances at a podium finish, all other races are really training.
I wouldn't readily lump Indurain in the same sentence with Armstrong in this particular context. Indurain won the Tour and the Giro twice in the same year and I believe podiumed in the Vuelta the same year he won one of his Tour's so unlike Armstrong he did compete extensively in more than just the Tour. Armstrong during his 7 year run may have won a couple of week long stage races but after the Tour was over his season was over too. Leading up to the Tour, as you mention, everything was prep for the Tour.

As far P-N losing its luster so to speak, as stated earlier, its a sign of the times. ToC has grown to the point where European riders look forward to going to Cali (The women? The sun? Ha Ha!!). Numerous teams also use Cali as their early season training site.
 
elumgurd said:
Then we have this post. Completely unrelated to both the thread topic and the quoted text. That's quite an achievement.

I almost do not need to comment on the tender grasp of basic grammar in the post to illuminate the absurdity of its substance. I use the term 'substance' loosely as there appears to be little of it.

For your own sense of self worth I do sincerely hope that English is your second language.
Do you intentionally go out your way to insult and offend people or is that your strange and awkward way of endearing yourself to everyone?:(
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Wow, I didn't even see elumgurd's comment. These forums are new, there's no need for this kind of vicious trolling. Let's try to keep these conversations friendly :cool:

Back to the topic, maybe Contador IS peaking too early? Although he insists nothing is pointed at Armstrong, maybe he is trying to solidify his place as leader? Of course, I have no idea what the dynamics are within the team.. so this could all be erroneous :p
 
I'm inclined to agree that in part these early season races are showcases for young talent and riders that normally are support players in the races later in the season. Contador is an exception because he is strongly motivated by the presence of Armstrong on Astana and likely trained like he never has before to ensure that he is at his best for this season. Riders like Cadel Evans will usually test themselves on the climbs and in the prologue to see where they're at. Keep in mind also that Contador has stated that he is racing to win every event he clicks in at so we shouldn't be surprised by his determination and motivation.

I was excited by the early season performances at Tour de Med of many of the Cofidis crew: Amael Moinard, Remi Pauriol, Daniel Monier and the old vet David Moncoutie. I looked forward to seeing if it would carry over to the bigger stage of P-N. For Remi Pauriol it did with his top ten finish in the prologue but unfortunately the team was snake bit with Pauriol crashing out and Moinard also crashing but I believe able to continue on. Also I have high hopes for Kreuziger of Liquigas, Jussi Veikkanen of FDJ and Daniel Martin of Garmin, who had to withdrew due to sickness.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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What a ride by Chavanel today. I was going to mention this morning that I liked his chances for the overall. Ball is now in Contador's court!
 
Merckx said:
What a ride by Chavanel today. I was going to mention this morning that I liked his chances for the overall. Ball is now in Contador's court!
There's still the stage to montagne de lure. I think contador can easily gain a minute over chavanel on that occasion.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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umfundisii said:
I know, I know, 7 seconds over 9km is a lot. But who'd he beat? Wiggins. That's it. The rest are good, but not great.
You mean Wiggins the Olympic Pursuit Champion and World Champion? That Wiggins? The fastest man on the planet over 4km? That Wiggins?
Yeah, you're right. He's slow. It's totally feasible that a 130Lb climber waxed him in a pancake flat, really windy ITT.
Keep in mind that Contador rode for Siaz when the whole OP thing broke, was named in the original documents and excluded from the Tour, and that Contador was Saiz's Protege. Mark my words, if the Italians pull off this Valverde thing they will be going after Contador next.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Merckx said:
What a ride by Chavanel today. I was going to mention this morning that I liked his chances for the overall. Ball is now in Contador's court!
Rabobank blew the race guys.... too bad Flecha did not take it!

Its in our face that Astana cannot control every race they want =-]
 
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contador does nothing in the spring classics of the north. If you want to compare agains Merckx , you need to think a little little harder...
 
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Irrespective of the prestige of the race, today's stage was one of the most compelling days of cycling I have seen in years. Kudos to Rabo and Chavanel. Both deserving of heaps of praise. I really like the way Rabo is choosing to animate races ths year, (see Het N-blad); it'd be nice to see them take the top podium spot at some point.
 
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Angliru said:
I was excited by the early season performances at Tour de Med of many of the Cofidis crew: Amael Moinard, Remi Pauriol, Daniel Monier and the old vet David Moncoutie. I looked forward to seeing if it would carry over to the bigger stage of P-N. For Remi Pauriol it did with his top ten finish in the prologue but unfortunately the team was snake bit with Pauriol crashing out and Moinard also crashing but I believe able to continue on. Also I have high hopes for Kreuziger of Liquigas, Jussi Veikkanen of FDJ and Daniel Martin of Garmin, who had to withdrew due to sickness.
Too bad about Pauriol. I hear he's out for up to six weeks. Did you see where Veikkanen finished today? Almost dead last, 17 minutes back. If he's not sick, I look for him to be in a break away tomorrow.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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fasterthanyou said:
You mean Wiggins the Olympic Pursuit Champion and World Champion? That Wiggins? The fastest man on the planet over 4km? That Wiggins?
Yeah, you're right. He's slow. It's totally feasible that a 130Lb climber waxed him in a pancake flat, really windy ITT.
Keep in mind that Contador rode for Siaz when the whole OP thing broke, was named in the original documents and excluded from the Tour, and that Contador was Saiz's Protege. Mark my words, if the Italians pull off this Valverde thing they will be going after Contador next.
Excellent post. I was beginning to fear that this forum would be populated with grossly uneducated Americans sprouting their absolute lack of knowledge of the sport i.e "I've been following the sport since 1999 and I know a thing or two.."

Laughable.

Both Wiggins and Evans understand what took place at the 2009 PN Prologue. Both have indirectly indicated in the press what they believe took place with regard to Contador. Go back and read what they both have said in the public domain via their own websites and other media sources. They are quite explicit about what has taken place.

What you have to understand is that Contador is not a particularly smart man. He doesn't have the crafty street smarts of the Badger or Armstrong. It is likely to be his downfall.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Paris-Nice prestige

with reference to the original post, these are all interesting questions. But it's also possible there's no great mischief behind it. it's quite true that a few riders are riding both california and paris-nice, but you do have to wonder if it makes sense at this time of the year to ride too many 8 or nine day stage races in succession (unless you are deliberately out for some highly organized training rides?) It seems to me that Paris-Nice often brings snow or cold rain, so if I had the choice (as if!) I might prefer to do california and then go further south in europe at this time. I was a bit surprised at the strong turnout for california though... maybe by next year we'll see a trend (or not) to answer all those questions
 
Mar 11, 2009
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PN does seem a bit light this year. Yes there is Evans and Contador, but no big name sprinters apart from Steegmans.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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fasterthanyou said:
You mean Wiggins the Olympic Pursuit Champion and World Champion? That Wiggins? The fastest man on the planet over 4km? That Wiggins?
Yeah, you're right. He's slow. It's totally feasible that a 130Lb climber waxed him in a pancake flat, really windy ITT.
Maybe he means Wiggins the man the man that has 4 ITT profesional victories since 2003 (according to wikipedia), that Wiggins, waxed by a guy who had 5 ITT pro victories, who has won this race previously, unbelievable isn't it?
 
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Visit http://www.cqranking.com/men/asp/gen/h2h.asp and you'll see Contador has often got the better of Wiggins.

Wiggins maybe Olympic champion but he beat Hayden Roulston who was even further down in the prologue. Track pursuit specialists can take wins on the road but the likes of McGee, Lancaster, Boardman have never had a big palmares.

I too was surprised by Contador. But the suspicions will linger, partly because of the company he keeps. His name was on several documents discovered in the Puerto investigation and he's ridden under the likes of Manolo Saiz and Johan Bruyneel. If he'd never been linked to a doping scandal and was managed by Marc Madiot, then he'd be suspicion-free. This isn't to accuse him of anything, just to remind people that there are questions still to be answered.

As for the racing, it's great so far. Last year was a brilliant race, the yellow jersey changing shoulders so often. But of the past 15 Milan-San Remo races, maybe 13/14 times the winner rode Tirrenno-Adriatico and if Paris-Nice is the "race to the sun", T-R is already starting in the Mediterranean sunshine. The Italian race also offers more sprint finishes, so more sprinters have gone there. So I don't think it's prestige, just practicalities.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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parede said:
Maybe he means Wiggins the man the man that has 4 ITT profesional victories since 2003 (according to wikipedia), that Wiggins, waxed by a guy who had 5 ITT pro victories, who has won this race previously, unbelievable isn't it?
I,ride,bikes,too,and,believe,in,jesus.

Come back when you are off the crack and have better control of the English language.
 
Mar 11, 2009
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It was great to see what Rabobank did yesterday. They are on fire early this season. Too bad we don't see more of this kind of action. Looking forward to today.
 
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elumgurd said:
I,ride,bikes,too,and,believe,in,jesus.

Come back when you are off the crack and have better control of the English language.
I would never have presumed that any forum such as this would be free of trolls/flamers. However, for the life of me, I can't believe that someone is trying to establish him/herself as the resident douchebag while the forum is in its infancy. Amazingly, it only took you 2 posts (perhaps less).

What's your motivation? Angry with your lot in life? Mum raised the rent on your basement flat? Lost your, ahem, "girlfriend"?

Go away - let us enjoy the boards. Here's hoping the moderator catches up to you soon.

Oh, and by the way - 1982 was when I started following the sport, you twit (with two-month old copies of "Winning" shipped from afar). Thanks for being the first to start casting nationalist aspersions.

Idiot.

To the rest of you - looking forward to interacting with all of you.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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mattpro said:
It was great to see what Rabobank did yesterday. They are on fire early this season. Too bad we don't see more of this kind of action. Looking forward to today.
Amen to that - incredible animators. You have to hand it to the DS yesterday... he knew the parcours and exploited the hell out of it. And good on Chavanel for being in the right place at the right time.

Rabo needs to finish the deal, though. Doesn't seem like Langeveld, Tankink, Garate, etc. are going to get it done right now. I hope to see JAF or Nuyens take a top spot soon.
 
elumgurd said:
Excellent post. I was beginning to fear that this forum would be populated with grossly uneducated Americans sprouting their absolute lack of knowledge of the sport i.e "I've been following the sport since 1999 and I know a thing or two.."

Laughable.

Both Wiggins and Evans understand what took place at the 2009 PN Prologue. Both have indirectly indicated in the press what they believe took place with regard to Contador. Go back and read what they both have said in the public domain via their own websites and other media sources. They are quite explicit about what has taken place.

What you have to understand is that Contador is not a particularly smart man. He doesn't have the crafty street smarts of the Badger or Armstrong. It is likely to be his downfall.
Are we to automatically accept the musing of Evans a wheel sucking whiner of epic proportions and Wiggins who seems to have pre-ordained himself as the prologue winner before the event was actually over? You don't win 3 grand tours in one year's time without the ability to ride well against the clock. We bystanders have no idea what the wind conditions were, whether they shifted over the course of the stage, nor were we privvy to every km of the stage's events as they transpired for Wiggins and Contador. From what I could see Contador was taking risks on the course that other riders, including Wiggins, were not. It was wet and cold out there, not the ideal conditions for a cyclist used to excelling in the controlled environment of the track.

...and you know of Contador's level of intellect and "street smarts" (???) by way of what? Personal contact? What the hell does "street smarts" have to do with bicycle racing? Of course your argument will be that he's won all of these events because he's doped up, not because of any particular natural ability, work ethic and strength of his team.

You obviously have some kind of bias versus Americans as if Americans are the only other English speaking nation on the planet. How do you make your assumptions on the locations of individual posts if they don't give one? Can we assume that you are the typical elitist bike snob that thinks that his/her sh*t doesn't stink and that he/she has a monopoly on cycling knowledge and experience?
 
Mar 11, 2009
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I'm really fed up with people calling Cadel Evans a wheel sucker and a whiner. Granted, he did not cope very well with the media pressure that comes with being the favourite at last year's TdF, but he also had a really nasty crash and from that point onwards in the race was clearly suffering all day every day. I think that would be enough to make anyone cranky.

As for the wheelsucker comment, I can't really argue with you if you think that Cadel is not a particularly exciting racer to watch. That's your opinion and you are entitled to it, but I think you need to bear in mind that Cadel is not a superman like Armstrong and Contador who can seemingly dominate every aspect of a race. He went in to the TdF knowing that he was far from the best climber in the race, and that his team was not the strongest, so his plan from the start was to minimise his losses in the mountains and make back time in the TTs. What you call wheel-sucking I would call playing to his strengths. It would have been pointless for him to attack in the mountains, because he could never have stayed away from Menchov, Valverde, Sastre or the Schlecks.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Good point Jamsque, and you can add to it the fact that unlike the others, there seemed to be next to no support for him from his team.

Back on topic, I am very much looking forward to today's stage. Great bit of racing yesterday, today's has a strong looking break of seven two minutes clear at the mo, with 60 odd Km left. None of the escapees are less than 3m40 behind Chavanel, so it might be able to stay clear. Nicolas Roche is in the break, so fingers crossed he'll be there at the end of it.
 

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