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TdF official thread: Stage 3 Marseille-Grand Motte (196.0km)

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Mar 16, 2009
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MonkeyKnifeFight said:
If they were riding as a team and protecting their leader then they would have actually done so. US Postal et al always were near the front with all riders all the time to ensure such did not happen. One has to wonder why the change.

So, how many bike races have you ever watched? When you look at the peloton, do you see groups of nine with the same uniform? Each rider on a team has a role, LA and AC both probably have one or two guys that keep them up front and out of the wind, then there's the Kazak bottle boy and the engine Rast to eat miles if/when they have yellow.

OK, so now in your scenario all nine riders are huddled together and there is a crash?

The scenario you seem to be talking about happens after you get the yellow jersey, then you HAVE to keep all your guys up front. There is no change in tactics, you just don't understand tactics. ;-)

Great race today though. Love Columbia's work. What do you all rate Martin's chances to stay up high in GC? He was my pick to surprise some folks, and I think he's certainly got a strong enough team, if they were to ride for him...
 
whiteboytrash said:
Big winner today was Linus. How did Contador & the Shlecks let him go ? Made up all his time from stage 1. Good result. Lance was right..... Contador has a lot to learn. He can't read a race outside the mountains.

Then I guess so does Levi, Kloden, Evans, Sastre, Menchov and the Schleck Brothers. They were all caught out too.
 
Jun 18, 2009
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Snake8 said:
Great race today though. Love Columbia's work. What do you all rate Martin's chances to stay up high in GC? He was my pick to surprise some folks, and I think he's certainly got a strong enough team, if they were to ride for him...

I think he could do well but Columbia expends so much energy for Cav.

Can you remember a modern era team that had both a green and yellow jersey contender? I'm not sure you can build a team to support both.

Love Columbia though. Great team.
 
Jun 18, 2009
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39*23t said:
why do you think garmin were at the front ac's (new) team were working for him after all:D

AC is gone next year. I think LA/Bruyneel are already courting Evans with LA's having picked him as the favorite for this year. Be interesting to see what Evans could do if he actually had a good team. I still think his climbing is below the best GC riders though.

AC's gonna attack LA in the mountains. Be interesting seeing Levi/LA chase him down. Maybe Garmin works for Contador.
 
richwagmn said:
I think he could do well but Columbia expends so much energy for Cav.

Can you remember a modern era team that had both a green and yellow jersey contender? I'm not sure you can build a team to support both.

Love Columbia though. Great team.

T-Mobile of the Late 90s. They in fact won both the green and yellow in 97 (Zabel and J Ullrich). Now I think about also 96 with Zabel and Riis.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Sophistic said:
If Armstrong is not Astanas #1, then their two guys should have saved the energy for tomorrow instead of helping Armstrong to gain some seconds.
Just who was working for Astana? Contador? Kloden? Leipheimer? Armstrong? These four are going to be the engines for tomorrow, not Popovych nor Zubeldia.
Sophistic said:
It also depends on if you consider Cancellara, Martin, Rogers or Kirchen a threat...
Columbia has already shown that they are primarily there for Cav with the hope of additional stage wins - just like they did in the Giro. Cancellera is a very minor threat.
Sophistic said:
If Saxo-Bank manages a strong showing tomorrow, Cancellara is in a very good position for the overall classment, i really don't see him losing minutes at stage 7 and 15, his total watt power seems so high these days that even with 78-80kg he shouldn't get blown away on a 7% climb.
Saxobank, as with Astana and Rabobank, did not expend any unnecessary energy today. Liquigas, Cervelo, and Lotto did. And Columbia worked their butts off. They will be strong tomorrow, but Martin, Rogers, Hincapie, and Kirken will likely lose time to Astana and Saxobank. (Again, they are there primarily for Cav, and with three more sprint, or quasi-sprint stages coming up, are they willing to waste even more energy?) Cancellera will lose time on the mountain stages leading up to Ventoux, where he will lose minutes.
 
Apr 19, 2009
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procycler said:
seems to me that JB is personal tactician these days, lost all respect for him and LA. Conta got a raw deal.. well it was not a suprise, sadly. I sincerely hope they plan themselves out of competition. No more Astana or JB teams for me anymore. Hopefully AC gets a team that respects him nxt season.

Our manouvering brothers in arms are losing lot of followers in twitter....
LA has to act dirty hence not being able to compete propely, explains a lot.

I was a huge LA fan before today.

LOL, you definitely don't know anything about stage racing. If you think this was a move to distance Contador or to further drive a point then you are totally mistaken. Lance was at the front, covering the yellow jersey and went. He gained what 40 second and is now 18 over Contador. I don't think it really puts Contador is a bad position. It does put Evans, Sastre, and others in bad position they are now that much further behind the yellow jersey and a former TDF winner......I think this works out very well tactically for Astana.

I do believe Contador's experience showed today. He missed a very good opportunity.
 
euphrades said:
LOL, you definitely don't know anything about stage racing. If you think this was a move to distance Contador or to further drive a point then you are totally mistaken. Lance was at the front, covering the yellow jersey and went. He gained what 40 second and is now 18 over Contador. I don't think it really puts Contador is a bad position. It does put Evans, Sastre, and others in bad position they are now that much further behind the yellow jersey and a former TDF winner......I think this works out very well tactically for Astana.

I do believe Contador's experience showed today. He missed a very good opportunity.

Or Armstrong had a tip from Hincapie. And no amount of experience in the world would help in that situation. In any event, I don't think it was a bad day for Contador and it was a great day for Astana. They should place well tomorrow and then the gloves come off on Friday and Saturday (which frankly looks like a tougher day to me).
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Publicus said:
Or Armstrong had a tip from Hincapie.
One can argue that it was a tip from Hincapie that put Armstrong in the front group, but it is just as likely that Armstrong's years of experience put him there.

Then again, maybe Lance was just riding along side and chatting with his friend George when the move began.
 
Jun 11, 2009
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Im confused a little, as most of you, about whole LA v AC deal, but one thing for certain - AC didnt look like he was much worried about the group in front. I do believe he is capable of taking 19 minutes back from Lance, not mentioning those lousy 19s he has now. Silence was little panicked, probably because of the lack of confidence in Evans head, Sastre was calm, didnt c Menchov, Schlecks confused a lil, but no1 was "omg Lance is taking it!". Well its 3rd stage after all, imagine how the Mont Ventoux topic will look like :D Dont you love cycling !
 

whiteboytrash

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benpounder said:
Just who was working for Astana? Contador? Kloden? Leipheimer? Armstrong? These four are going to be the engines for tomorrow, not Popovych nor Zubeldia.
Columbia has already shown that they are primarily there for Cav with the hope of additional stage wins - just like they did in the Giro. Cancellera is a very minor threat.
Saxobank, as with Astana and Rabobank, did not expend any unnecessary energy today. Liquigas, Cervelo, and Lotto did. And Columbia worked their butts off. They will be strong tomorrow, but Martin, Rogers, Hincapie, and Kirken will likely lose time to Astana and Saxobank. (Again, they are there primarily for Cav, and with three more sprint, or quasi-sprint stages coming up, are they willing to waste even more energy?) Cancellera will lose time on the mountain stages leading up to Ventoux, where he will lose minutes.

huh ? Saxo were on the front for the first 100km & helped the chase of Columbia. Admit it you didn't see that stage.... you miss a lot just Reading text updates.
 
benpounder said:
One can argue that it was a tip from Hincapie that put Armstrong in the front group, but it is just as likely that Armstrong's years of experience put him there.

Then again, maybe Lance was just riding along side and chatting with his friend George when the move began.

I'd lean more toward experience if it wasn't for the article on the front page noting that when asked directly if he tipped Lance off Hincapie went blank and then proceeded to not answer the question.
 
Apr 19, 2009
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Publicus said:
Or Armstrong had a tip from Hincapie. And no amount of experience in the world would help in that situation. In any event, I don't think it was a bad day for Contador and it was a great day for Astana. They should place well tomorrow and then the gloves come off on Friday and Saturday (which frankly looks like a tougher day to me).

Stage 7 should give an idea of who the pretenders are and who the real GC folks are. Now if Armstrong/Contador attacks and are chased down by one or the other then I will lose all respect for that person. This isn't a DS issue this is a individual rider issue not something I can see JB controlling.

Now what will be interesting is if Armstrong gets the yellow jersey and is wearing it Saturday. In 1990 Lemond was faced with a similar situation on Alpe D Huez and he followed the break away and did not work. Again I hope Armstrong/Contador respect the unwritten rules of the peloton.....
 
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Publicus said:
I'd lean more toward experience if it wasn't for the article on the front page noting that when asked directly if he tipped Lance off Hincapie went blank and then proceeded to not answer the question.

Considering I beat cyclingnews to the punch on that subject, I think maybe they need me working for them.....
 
Mar 10, 2009
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whiteboytrash said:
huh ? Saxo were on the front for the first 100km & helped the chase of Columbia. Admit it you didn't see that stage.... you miss a lot just Reading text updates.
Saxo was merely riding pace (as the team of the race leader is expected to do), and would have been content to lead the pelaton home with 1:30 behind the break. Columbia only came to the front when they realized that Saxo wasn't interested in catching the break.
 

whiteboytrash

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Interesting....

The post-race polemics continued on Monday, with Christophe Le Mevel (Française des Jeux) blaming Contador for the split. "When the split happened I was right on Contador's wheel," he said. "If it's true there were 29 guys in front he must have been 30th and I was 31st. It was him who caused the split. I saw the gap opening up just in front of us and we just couldn't close it. With a lot of leaders stuck, it was complete panic."
 
whiteboytrash said:
Interesting....

The post-race polemics continued on Monday, with Christophe Le Mevel (Française des Jeux) blaming Contador for the split. "When the split happened I was right on Contador's wheel," he said. "If it's true there were 29 guys in front he must have been 30th and I was 31st. It was him who caused the split. I saw the gap opening up just in front of us and we just couldn't close it. With a lot of leaders stuck, it was complete panic."

I haven't read this yet, where did you find it. If this is true, then could signal 1 of 2 things. Contador inexperience caused the split, or seeing a chance to let Lance vault up in the standing giving him a chance to wear yellow and please him, Contador intentionally let the split going knowing that it wouldn't gain enough time to really affect hiim and easily able to overcome in the mountains
 
euphrades said:
Stage 7 should give an idea of who the pretenders are and who the real GC folks are. Now if Armstrong/Contador attacks and are chased down by one or the other then I will lose all respect for that person. This isn't a DS issue this is a individual rider issue not something I can see JB controlling.

in Contador and Armstrong attack each other, you have to figure it'd work in favour of the other contenders. Just for drama's sake, I really hope it happens.
 

whiteboytrash

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Carl0880 said:
I haven't read this yet, where did you find it. If this is true, then could signal 1 of 2 things. Contador inexperience caused the split, or seeing a chance to let Lance vault up in the standing giving him a chance to wear yellow and please him, Contador intentionally let the split going knowing that it wouldn't gain enough time to really affect hiim and easily able to overcome in the mountains

At the bottom of the article....

http://tour-de-france.velonews.com/...hes-in-stage-3-as-late-break-astonishes-field
 
whiteboytrash said:

When you see what the wind is doing and you have a turn (bend) coming up, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out you have to go to the front.

"I've won the Tour de France seven times, so it makes no sense not to be there."


I found Lance's statements the most interesting. I'd be interested to hear what Contador has to say about this. I can't wait to get home so I can see what happened with my own two eyes (assuming the cameras caught the break)
 
Apr 29, 2009
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Carl0880 said:
I haven't read this yet, where did you find it. If this is true, then could signal 1 of 2 things. Contador inexperience caused the split, or seeing a chance to let Lance vault up in the standing giving him a chance to wear yellow and please him, Contador intentionally let the split going knowing that it wouldn't gain enough time to really affect hiim and easily able to overcome in the mountains

If Contador let the split go, it's because Brunyeel told him to, not because of his keen tactical awareness.

I get the sense Contador isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer. Excellent rider -- probably the strongest period -- but certainly not as experienced and probably not as bright as Armstrong.

What leads me to say this is Contador's "pistols" victory salute. It is possibly the stupidest, dorkiest thing I have ever seen. And yet he repeats it over and over again. It pains me. It is the cycling version of "Shake and Bake." An intelligent person would not do it.

In fact, I am considering designing a line of rubber/plastic bracelets which I will sell for $1 a piece to raise money to prevail upon Contador to stop, please, for the love of god, stop with the shootin' match. Any takers?

By the way, I like Armstrong, but am pretty sure (95%) Contador's going to win the Tour. What Contador did Saturday in Monaco is what Lance used to do to all the people he would end up beating in the overall 3 weeks later. Now Lance is one of those people whom Contador will beat.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Publicus said:
I expect this rift to play out over the next few days...
Rift? If Le Mevel's comments are correct, Contador (or Bruynel) liked what they saw and chose to allow the split. Remember, Astana did nothing to bring it back.