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

Page 12 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
benpounder said:
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.

I'm talking about Lance's talk about him being a 7-time winner, blah, blah, blah. I think Friday and Saturday we see this play out a little more. Maybe Contador doesn't go for broke, but I think we will definitely see the hierarchy of things to come in the last week.
 
May 13, 2009
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Greisty said:
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.

.

LOL, there is a college in the U. S. that does it. They call it the "Guns Up" salute. AC must have the mentallity of a drunk college kid.
 
May 13, 2009
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benpounder said:
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.

Why would they chase?, and risk the possibility (even though it was a very small possibility with Cavendish in the break) of a stage win.
 
Jun 22, 2009
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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.

This is possibly how it went down - with the benefit of his great experience and his racing smarts, Lance knew to be near the front as that right hand bend approached. The Columbia lads had already decided to hit the front and ride, otherwise they wouldn't have all been up there. Lance's old pal, George, then possibly or even probably gave him the wink to say, 'we're gonna step on it'. Had AC been anywhere near the front of the pack then he would have benefited too.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Publicus said:
I'm talking about Lance's talk about him being a 7-time winner, blah, blah, blah.
All along I've felt that Lance (and Johann) have been toying with a media they knew would be chomping at the bit for 'controversey'. The all Lance all the time, plays great for team tactics. The big question is whether or not Alberto is mature enough to play along - and today, I think we saw that he is. Think of it, with Lance, Andreas, and Levi so close (remember, all have podiumed) other teams have to be concerned. Also remember the stage several years ago when Disco/USPostal sand-bagged TMobile into wasting themselves thinking LA was in trouble. JB (and Lance) are great with mind games. Essentially it is exactly what Riis did last year with Sastre, Schleck, and Schleck.

I'd think Cadel Evans must be besides himself.
 
May 7, 2009
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Greisty said:
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.


Yes, that “salute” is so obnoxious, arrogant, and just wrong. Great rider though, I’m guessing he wins by a large margin.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Dekker_Tifosi said:
Hehe, Skil won the teams day classification...

Nice answer to all those people wondering why Skil got invited.

and it doesn't get mentioned enough. 6 riders in the break, and they have been showing the team colours for 2 consecutive days already. Good for them and the tour because, together with the frenchies they keep it animated!
 
Jul 6, 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.

Have you watched the race today, did you see the break go off the front, did you see where LA and AC were, what exactlly happened that made you lose respect for JB and LA? Watch and see if you think this was more about Astana or Col/HCT.
 
Jun 18, 2009
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euphrades said:
Again I hope Armstrong/Contador respect the unwritten rules of the peloton.....

What are these unwritten rules? We have two team leaders for Astana (see how fast LA dropped any mention of Levi as a team leader. LAs all about LA).

It would be wrong for Bruyneel to require AC to work for LA given what happened today. Go AC. Crush LA in the mountains.
 
Jun 18, 2009
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LA response to spanish fan questioning his tactics today.


Fan's twitter: @lancearmstrong Lance, you are not playing fair with Contador, I am sorry to see what happened today

LA's response: @alrudeinpe excuse me?

Damn this is getting fun.
 
Mar 16, 2009
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Sorry but if anyone really thinks AC let the break go as a tactic they just do not understand stage racing. If Contador could have made it across he would have. In fact if AC had made the break you would have seen Columbia and Astana doing a TTTT, yes that's a two team time trial. The fact that Astana only started working when it was clear AC would not bridge indicates that. Also if you saw the stage, the split happened really quickly, no time for silly ideas like letting a break go w/o AC because it will play into some tactic down the road. Guaranteed JB/AC wanted AC in that break...
 
Apr 19, 2009
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richwagmn said:
LA response to spanish fan questioning his tactics today.


Fan's twitter: @lancearmstrong Lance, you are not playing fair with Contador, I am sorry to see what happened today

LA's response: @alrudeinpe excuse me?

Damn this is getting fun.

You don't understand stage racing do you? Neither did that person who twittered Lance. Its amazing how many newbs/armchair cyclists are attracted.


What Lance did today was not an attack, he was following a group.

Now if Lance has the yellow jersey and there is no one ahead on the final climb and Alberto attacks then he has violated the unwritten rule. Especially if Lance is not in trouble. Alberto could follow other attacks at this poiint but not attack Lance.
 
Apr 19, 2009
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richwagmn said:
What are these unwritten rules? We have two team leaders for Astana (see how fast LA dropped any mention of Levi as a team leader. LAs all about LA).

It would be wrong for Bruyneel to require AC to work for LA given what happened today. Go AC. Crush LA in the mountains.


JB isn't going to make AC work for LA because of today. Today is nothing more than a good opportunity to make the other teams work.
 
Jun 18, 2009
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euphrades said:
You don't understand stage racing do you? Neither did that person who twittered Lance. Its amazing how many newbs/armchair cyclists are attracted.


What Lance did today was not an attack, he was following a group.

Now if Lance has the yellow jersey and there is no one ahead on the final climb and Alberto attacks then he has violated the unwritten rule. Especially if Lance is not in trouble. Alberto could follow other attacks at this poiint but not attack Lance.

Yes, I understand stage racing quite well thank you.

I said the twitter exchange was interesting and I enjoy the drama.
 
Jun 22, 2009
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Snake8 said:
Sorry but if anyone really thinks AC let the break go as a tactic they just do not understand stage racing. If Contador could have made it across he would have. In fact if AC had made the break you would have seen Columbia and Astana doing a TTTT, yes that's a two team time trial. The fact that Astana only started working when it was clear AC would not bridge indicates that. Also if you saw the stage, the split happened really quickly, no time for silly ideas like letting a break go w/o AC because it will play into some tactic down the road. Guaranteed JB/AC wanted AC in that break...

Some snippets from this evening's Tour show on Dutch tv.

Lance, and his bodyguards, Popo and Zubeldia, were up front because Lance is smart. They went with Columbia and didn't do any lead work until JB told them to, after it became clear that the peloton was not going to re-join, and in view of all the other main contenders also being in the AC group - this from JB himself. Win-win for Astana.

Rabo had a slight excuse - Gesink had a flat just a couple of kilometers before the break happened - though that doesn't excuse all of them being so far back since you have to assume that they had access to the same information that Skil did. They also apparently thought that the bend in question wasn't for several more kilometers! Breukink looked pretty unhappy.

The Skil team manager was in the studio tonight and mentioned that they had received calls and text messages from people further up the road warning them about the conditions and about what might happen there. This explains why six Skil riders found themselves in the breakaway. Makes you wonder why so many other teams apparently didn't know what to expect, and when.
 
Snake8 said:
Sorry but if anyone really thinks AC let the break go as a tactic they just do not understand stage racing. If Contador could have made it across he would have. In fact if AC had made the break you would have seen Columbia and Astana doing a TTTT, yes that's a two team time trial. The fact that Astana only started working when it was clear AC would not bridge indicates that. Also if you saw the stage, the split happened really quickly, no time for silly ideas like letting a break go w/o AC because it will play into some tactic down the road. Guaranteed JB/AC wanted AC in that break...

I agree. JB made the most out of the situation that presented itself. AC would have loved to have made the break so he could get time on his rivals--though if he had, my guess is they would have worked harder to pull back the break. This is why you race the race. Anything can happen on any given day.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Publicus said:
Having just read Lance's comments and Contador's from the article, I expect this rift to play out over the next few days, especially when we get to the Pyrenees. I hope Lance is as strong as he thinks he is.

Agreed. Actually, I think that AC has only one chance to assert his authority in the short term and that is on Friday's stage into Andorra. This is the only mountain top finish until the Alps. If AC can't make it stick then, he has to suck it up and ride for the team until such time that it is clear that he has the best chance to take yellow.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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minor ups minor downs nothing more

An exciting days racing, no?

Winners Cav and columbia, they may lose time tomorrow, but got the stage and have generated more talk than they would have winning the standard way, maybe they'll get lucky and put martin in yellow.
Astana, they bumped a rider up GC so that other contenders have someone else to waste energy marking.
Saxo bank, they have the yellow and are likely to keep it until stage 7
Skil, great effort boys. read the conditions and got some great television exposure. Its always nice to see lesser teams having a dig.

Losers Garmin, they lost their chance at yellow today.

Thats it all other teams, didn't lose any serious time to anyone they consider a threat. The confusion in the chase was caused by teams setting what they would allow the break and holding it. Once sprinters right off the stage, then the GC men decide, how much time do i give lance, rogers, kirchen etc...40 seconds ok.

If AC was in this break it wouldn't have gone anywhere, I think Lance being there and taking 40 seconds works to his advantage.
 
Jul 6, 2009
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"The Skil team manager was in the studio tonight and mentioned that they had received calls and text messages from people further up the road warning them about the conditions and about what might happen there. This explains why six Skil riders found themselves in the breakaway. Makes you wonder why so many other teams apparently didn't know what to expect, and when."

The announcers had been talking about it for at least an hour. NO WAY team directors didn't know about it. I am not sure why Andy says "today a $hit day we were not in the split but yes it is how it is I take it on my cap did no" I think he meant to end with "did not go". He goes on to say/tweet "It not a Drama!the main favorits exept Lance were with me!it a long way to Paris!" I mean.....if they had all gone with the split, it wouldn't have really been a split, the peleton would have caught up. I think 34-40 seconds is no big deal in the big scheme of things. Several of the main teams (inc. Saxo) were at or near the front when Col/HCT took off.
 
Apr 19, 2009
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blaxland said:
Contador shows once again that he isnt the smartest rider in the bunch

I would say he is inexperienced not stupid......

Lance had some really great mentors in his day; Sean Yates, Eddy Merxck are two. Lance is a very smart racer knows how to read the race well and his experience showed well today. Once Contador develops this experience he will be unstoppable. By NO MEANS did Contador lose today because of what happened. He is very lucky it wasn't 1999 where the gaps were 3 minutes.
 
Apr 8, 2009
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euphrades said:
I would say he is inexperienced not stupid......

Lance had some really great mentors in his day; Sean Yates, Eddy Merxck are two. Lance is a very smart racer knows how to read the race well and his experience showed well today. Once Contador develops this experience he will be unstoppable. By NO MEANS did Contador lose today because of what happened. He is very lucky it wasn't 1999 where the gaps were 3 minutes.
and i dont think lance is the 'mentoring type' either
 
Jul 7, 2009
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It is very interesting seeing some of the responses here. I suppose that what I have to add isn't really anything new as many have already stated most of it. But with what seems like willful ignorance from some I could no longer just lurk and chuckle.

#1. Whether or not Astana planned for this to happen or not there is no reason why they would have sent people to the front to chase down the break with Lance in it. The situation played out perfectly for them. So suggesting that LA and or JB are somehow culpable in a broader scheme against AC based on what occurred on the road today is silly. Does that mean that LA and JB aren't scheming together? No. I'm not going to speculate on that. But they played this exactly how they and/or any other team should have played it in the same circumstances.

#2. Had AC been in the break, as many others have stated, it is less likely there would have been a break at all or one that stayed away. The reason for that is that it would have brought all the other teams forward who had GC contenders to protect. Lance is not the Astana team leader and nor is he seen as a podium threat at this point. Again, whether he is or isn't actually a threat doesn't matter to the point. Lance's finish on Saturday only reinforced the fact that he isn't what he once was in the minds of all the people who have GC aspirations within the pel.

#3. Stage 4 will be interesting. It will not be GC decisive at all, but it will certainly throw tons more media speculation into the mix should LA come up with the yellow jersey at the end of the day. 39km is not at all a long TTT, but it is just long enough to make it 'possible' for LA to get yellow. Saxo really isn't that much of a threat to finish within the top three tomorrow IMO. Given Astana's TT crew and if they've done their homework and targeted the TTT as JB's crews have done in the past, then I can see them burning up the road tomorrow. Columbia burnt quite a bit today and so it is possible over 39km for them to lose 19s to Astana. With no time bonuses for any race finishes this even allows a couple other teams the 'dark horse' finish without messing with that makeup.

#4. Some people have mentioned Saturday(stage 8) as being a decisive day. I don't know how anyone who has watched the tour in the past could even consider that a possibility for being decisive to the GC. While there is always the possiblity for 'anything' to happen, Stage 8 isn't a hill top finish and while there is a great deal of climbing to be had, there is far too much road left after the day's last climb. Everything will come back together after the last climb and it will be a bunch finish with all/majority of your hopefuls in the group.

#5. Stage 7 will definitely give us the best idea of what happens in the overall. With the HC climb at the end and the Cat 1 climb up the Col at mid point. This is where I expect AC to really shine. If he does not throw down in this stage and put at least a minute into his main rivals, then expect week three of the Tour to be one of the biggest nail biters we've had in years. Contador, because of his inexperience needs the margin for error. 3 weeks of racing takes a lot out of you and the last few mountain stages in week 3 could really get hairy with hopefuls attacking if they dont' feel Contador has a decisive hold. It's at that time that a younger, inexperienced rider is more likely to crack. Either mentally or physically because he decided to chase down the wrong man at the wrong time or something similar.

Incidentally, I also think that week 3 may be where Lance has the best chance to win if that were even remotely a possibility(which I doubt). Some of the best marathon runners are older. They do so well because they've learned to suffer. While Lance's physical prowess has undoubtedly decreased from his prime, mentally I don't think Lance is any different than he was. I'm not going to make any claims or denials on Lance's form or weight as that is almost all speculation until you lay it down on the road....it is in week 3 that I think he's got the best chance of pulling anything off...granted his form really is there.