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Sastre or Cervelo team faltering ?

Jul 22, 2009
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Just watching Sastre get another long wheel change on the tube. It seems he has been going backwards since 08 when he won the tdf arguably despite his teams changed focus. A comedy of errors. Is it the rider, or the team ( riders and or support) that is responsible in your opinion ?
 
Nov 17, 2009
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Laszlo said:
Just watching Sastre get another long wheel change on the tube. It seems he has been going backwards since 08 when he won the tdf arguably despite his teams changed focus. A comedy of errors. Is it the rider, or the team ( riders and or support) that is responsible in your opinion ?

He was solid at the Giro last year, and the Vuelta in 2008.

I think the Tour last year can be marked down to fatigue. The Giro this year may be that he thought he could ride himself into shape, but things ended up being more competitive in the first half then he expected.
 
Aug 17, 2009
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I don't follow Sastre that closely but I was wondering for those that do, how "taxing" is his early season schedule?

Over his career he seems to stay clear of the early spring classics or keeps a low profile...etc?

Just curious. Thanks
 
Jul 22, 2009
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Timmy-loves-Rabo said:
I think it comes down to luck then anything else. He has had a lot of spills -- almost all in the worst times for the stage.

I don't buy this luck excuse, a guy makes his own luck by riding at the front and out trouble. A guy checks the bolts on brake and shifters to ensure the mechanic did his job and make them tight enough. He speeds wheel changes by having his wheel out and ready for the switch. All that adds up, as does the time lost when you fail to grab opportunity and look after yourself. He has been just too content. He did better with Riis. His Giro was flawed last year as well.
 
nickel999 said:
I don't follow Sastre that closely but I was wondering for those that do, how "taxing" is his early season schedule?

Over his career he seems to stay clear of the early spring classics or keeps a low profile...etc?

Just curious. Thanks

This sort of racing does not suit a rider like Sastre. He is more of a pure climber who wants to hide in the group as much as possible, go hard for a mountain stage, and then rest in the group during non-mountain stages afterward. He is being forced to expend lots of energy. Many pure climber types will probably under-perform in the Giro's last week.

Sastre not racing much in his preparation for a GT is an indication that he does not have the solid consistency of a man like Evans or Contador. It is probably not that he does not want to race but that he physically cannot without his form being adversely affected for the GTs. It also probably indicates doping.
 
Dec 18, 2009
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I think Sastre has been unlucky at this years Giro, but he did have an absurdly strong team riding for him in the 08 TdF.

Andy Schleck, Frank Schleck, Fabian Cancellara, Jens Voigt, Kurt Asle Arvensen, Stuart O'Grady and so on.

Cervelo isn't close to a lineup like that.
 
Jul 22, 2009
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BroDeal said:
It also probably indicates doping.

oh come on ! Cervelo is perhaps the only team where you can come in last and they still say you made a good effort to keep in the race. They split from Riis after Riis admitted doping in 96- I think Cervelo is more sensitive to keep the "taint" away from it's brand- I don't see motivation for Carlos to dope at all.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Zerak-Tul said:
I think Sastre has been unlucky at this years Giro, but he did have an absurdly strong team riding for him in the 08 TdF.

Andy Schleck, Frank Schleck, Fabian Cancellara, Jens Voigt, Kurt Asle Arvensen, Stuart O'Grady and so on.

Cervelo isn't close to a lineup like that.
+1

Riis came to the 2008 TdF expecting the Schlecklet to take it. When Andy bonked on the Hautacam. After that Riis just let the two second strongest guys on the team fight it out, and Carlos won. Very much a team victory.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Wallace said:
After that Riis just let the two second strongest guys on the team fight it out

Not exactly. Here's the story as told by can't-remember-who-need-to-google-it-sometime-might-have-been-the-spanish-mechanic who was in the car:

Sastre wanted to attack on the Bonette when Frank was in yellow and everyone else was at their limit (Andy excluded). Riis said "ask Frank". Frank said no. Riis proceeded to yell at Frank to attack and that "If you want to win the Tour, it has to hurt and it has to hurt NOW". Frank said he couldn't do it. Andy tried to convince Frank to try.

Sastre, being Sastre, played nice and just sat there, wasting a great chance. Frank, being Frank, was thankful and honest and thanked him after the stage. Andy, being Andy, yelled at Sastre through the media about some perceived (read: made up) lack of teamwork.

A bit different from just letting them fight it out :)
Still, it's relative true if you're referring to the Alpe d'Huez.
 
Laszlo said:
oh come on ! Cervelo is perhaps the only team where you can come in last and they still say you made a good effort to keep in the race. They split from Riis after Riis admitted doping in 96- I think Cervelo is more sensitive to keep the "taint" away from it's brand- I don't see motivation for Carlos to dope at all.

Yeah, sure there is no motivation for cyclists to dope. It's perfectly normal for riders to show nothing in races before a grand tour and then contend for the podium. It is also normal for riders who have been top ten GT contenders for a decade, when all the other contenders were doping, to be clean.

When riders have massive swings in performance it makes me suspicious. Just sayin'.

I was not aware that Cervelo has been designated the new "clean" team. When did this occur? It's getting hard to keep track of the pious.
 
BroDeal said:
Yeah, sure there is no motivation for cyclists to dope. It's perfectly normal for riders to show nothing in races before a grand tour and then contend for the podium. It is also normal for riders who have been top ten GT contenders for a decade, when all the other contenders were doping, to be clean.

When riders have massive swings in performance it makes me suspicious. Just sayin'.

I was not aware that Cervelo has been designated the new "clean" team. When did this occur? It's getting hard to keep track of the pious.

Go back and look at Sastre's GT performances and see where he had a massive swing. He targets those events and performs well most of the time save for his problems at the Tour last year.
 
Jul 29, 2009
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Laszlo said:
Just watching Sastre get another long wheel change on the tube. It seems he has been going backwards since 08 when he won the tdf arguably despite his teams changed focus. A comedy of errors. Is it the rider, or the team ( riders and or support) that is responsible in your opinion ?

Interesting question, and one I was pondering as Sastre finished well back in the mud the other day and looking like a ghost. I have a ton of respect for Sastre both as a cyclist and as one of the very few genuine gentlemen in professional cycling. He is one of the best pure climbers in the world and impressively durable in grand tours.

As others have said, the Cervelo team is not the Riis outfit Sastre left, but I think the biggest issue might be a combination of Sastre's passivity and his lacking the kind of physical fortitude to survive what was an incredibly grueling first week of the Giro. While he's a joy to watch going uphill, this Giro doesn't seem to suit him very well at all. I'm not articulating this particularly well: Sastre's ability to finish GTs well is an indication that he's tough, but he's not one of the hardmen of the peloton...
 
Laszlo said:
Just watching Sastre get another long wheel change on the tube. It seems he has been going backwards since 08 when he won the tdf arguably despite his teams changed focus. A comedy of errors. Is it the rider, or the team ( riders and or support) that is responsible in your opinion ?

I wouldn't call 2 impressive stage wins and 3rd or 4th overall in the Giro "going backwards". As stated earlier, he's had some bad luck, is likely riding at less than 100% as a result of his crash(es) and the team itself has been hit with injuries (Haussler).
 
Jul 22, 2009
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He is a top 10ish rider because of his solid climbing ability. He can sneak in for a podium here and there, but I wouldn't list him as a favorite in any race. His tdf win was a bit of an aberration.
 
Jan 27, 2010
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exactly - his TdF win is the only unexpected thing about an otherwise consistent career climbing in the front group in the high mountains and trying to suck wheels elsewhere.

it is only residual over-hype from that TdF that makes anyone think his recent results are bad.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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scribe said:
He is a top 10ish rider because of his solid climbing ability. He can sneak in for a podium here and there, but I wouldn't list him as a favorite in any race. His tdf win was a bit of an aberration.

He was the demonstrably the best climber at the 2006 and 2008 Tours and the 2007 Vuelta. How is he only a solid top10ish rider?
 
Mar 18, 2009
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scribe said:
Uh. TT?
________

So, the fact that he performed slightly better (compare his result that day to the final TTs of other GTs. calling it "slightly better" is as far as you can stretch it) than usual on a single stage somehow trumps the fact that he was the best climber at all those events?

That's as flimsy an argument as I've ever seen and you know it.
 
Jul 22, 2009
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issoisso said:
So, the fact that he performed slightly better (compare his result that day to the final TTs of other GTs. calling it "slightly better" is as far as you can stretch it) than usual on a single stage somehow trumps the fact that he was the best climber at all those events?

That's as flimsy an argument as I've ever seen and you know it.


Hey. The results speak for themselves. There are several better all around stage racers out there that keeps getting greater during sastres downward trajectory.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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scribe said:
Hey. The results speak for themselves. There are several better all around stage racers out there that keeps getting greater during sastres downward trajectory.

So, let's recap. You said his results were an aberration and he's really only a top10ish rider. I disagree, and your argument changes to "his results speak for themselves"?

You're clearly very confused :)
 
Jul 22, 2009
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issoisso said:
So, let's recap. You said his results were an aberration and he's really only a top10ish rider. I disagree, and your argument changes to "his results speak for themselves"?

You're clearly very confused :)

Ah. It's tedious engaging in debate with bikies. If he is soooooo fabulous, what has he done lately to support that, and what can we expect over the next couple of seasons?