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The Astana Battle..

Page 5 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
May 15, 2009
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whiteboytrash said:
....and Popo wouldn't be behaving the same ? Ensuring his contract with the Hog and LA in team CE$A for 2010 ?

Stupid point.

There will be another super-drug for them, CERA is no longer undetectable.:D

You are just too biased, IMO. Of course, Popo would like to get a new contract. After all, he is not a great star, he is a domestique, and cycling is his job, the only source to make money. I doubt that he intentionally lied in his interview.
 
May 15, 2009
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whiteboytrash said:
.....but Noval did ? What's your point ?

I haven't said that Benjamin is a liar, just implying that there is always a possibility of the existence of the two opposite opinions.

You, on the other hand, think that everything what Noval said is necessarily true, and don't trust Popovych. Noval was at Hog's team even before Popo (since 2004), why should we trust him, if we don't trust Popovych?
 
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whiteboytrash said:
Yes T-Mobile in 2004 is a great example of team unity.... You had Vino attacking and Kloden chasing him down !

There's no comparison between JB and the problematic managment T-Mobile had.

Why do you think Kloden is riding for JB now?
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Little known fact: Telekom/T-Mobile tactics from 2004-onwards at major races were actually called by Matthias Kessler, or in his absence, by Andreas Klier.

DSs only relayed information.
 
I don't think you can compare this Astana team to LaVie Claire, like a few pages ago. Back in 1986 we had a very mountainous Tour, and after a week Hinault and Lemond had completely obliterated the rest of the field, making the race down to those two. Andy and Niki were able to end up so high up as they didn't have to do a tremendous amount of domestique work and could follow leaders, and other wheels a lot of the time because the race was over for everyone else. I don't see that happening here, but it could.

As much as I'd rather see Contador beat Lance, I'm hoping Lance has enough zip in his legs and recovery that by the time the mountains come Contador attacks, and Lance is able to respond and even counter, and we'll get some great battles. That would be great fun to watch. Especially if you throw Sastre and Schleckette in the mix, and a few others. :)

However I don't think that's going to happen. As I said a few days ago, and PMCG76 notes, I think there's a good chance on Saturday Contador will drop everyone, and the Tour will be all but over, at least psychologically.

I'm guessing things are pretty quiet in the Astana hotels these days.

I'd guess JB was tweeting about Vino, but JB doesn't hold any cards for Astana's future, so why would he think Vino has to "pay for anything"? It's quite obvious at the end of the year JB will be gone, and Vino will have Astana.

BroDeal said:
Twitter has turned half the peloton into blittering idiots who tweet their every thought before thinking about the consequences.
+1000!!! And I don't mean this to apply to JB. This applies almost across the planet! Sports, business, friends, etc.

Delicato said:
There will be another super-drug for them, CERA is no longer undetectable.
I don't want to sound like BigBoat here, but my suspicion is that in the same way the Clear and Cream were made, it's quite possible a re-engineered CERA has been made, with a slightly different code making it harder to see than the product made by Roche. Considering the efficacy of CERA, and the low detection time after taking, it would make it an ideal PED, especially for lesser riders on teams, unlikely to be tested as much.
 
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issoisso said:
Little known fact: Telekom/T-Mobile tactics from 2004-onwards at major races were actually called by Matthias Kessler, or in his absence, by Andreas Klier.

DSs only relayed information.

that would only make it only more screwed up than otherwise known.
 
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whiteboytrash said:
Yes T-Mobile in 2004 is a great example of team unity.... You had Vino attacking and Kloden chasing him down !

Somehow I think you know that T-Mobile had serious managment problems which just confirms to me that for some reason it's more important for you to appear anti-Lance than it is to be an actual fan of the sport.

It's a widespread affliction in this forum.
 
T-mobile's biggest problem to me was that their best rider (Jan Ullrich) was almost always in a different sphere than the rest of the team. This started at T-Mob early on, then Rudy followed Jan to Bianchi/Crest, then after a break, followed him back to T-Mobile. Jan's return to T-Mob is what made 2004 and 2005 difficult for the team. Not because of his personality, just because they already had a good team, but were forced to have Jan as their leader and work around him, regardless of where his fitness/psychological level happened to be.

They also had Klodi who had all the talent, but not much fire, and no real interest in being a leader most of the time. And they also had Zabel, who was one of the best sprinters ever, to try to form a team around. And they had Vino for a while, a real loose cannon who probably didn't need a DS, or race radio, or to be involved in team plans it seems.

Jan also had to be on a completely different training circuit than others. It's been often said if Jan had Zabel's training discipline, he would have won 10 GT's.

So, you had Rudy P, Walter Godefroot, Rolf Aldag, Olaf Ludwig, Eddy Vandenhecke, Brian Holm, Valerio Piva, and Kessler or Klier. And at any given time, who knew who was in charge of whom?

I still think JB is over-revered, but he has done a heck of a job as the glue to a lot of his teams, certainly compared to the T-Mob scenarios.
 
Apr 11, 2009
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Mellow Velo said:
I can see this ending in a total FU.
What is going to happen of these final climbs, once Popovych or Haimar Z pulls off the front?

At that point, Astana could have 4 of the final dozen riders selected.
5 or 6kms to the top, Bertie gets on the radio:

Cont: "OK, I have the great legs, time for me to go, Johan?"

Hog: " Errmm, let me check and get back to you.........."

Cont: "Hello, hello.......Johan, can I go now, please?...."

Hog: "Lance, are you OK? Levi?.......er...what's the name of my German guy, again...yeah....Klodi?...."

Lance: " I'm F8cked, keep my little Spanish beatch on his lead and put the sausage eater on the front..."

Klodi: "Hey, I've just had my refill und am going quicker than that old Texan nohorn....I'm not screwing mit my last big chance, before comrade Vino returns...put von Leipheimer up there to work for a change..."

Levi: "Hey! I've got my hands full, sucking on Cadel's wheel...."

Cont: " Boss, boss, I don't want to attack, now."

Hog: "Why is that, little Spanish beatch boy?"

Cont: "Because Andy Schleck went up the road 5 minutes ago...."

There is a serious issue in there.......somewhere.;)

+1. Ha, ha, ha :D

Look how Saxo was only mildly divided last year: didn't hurt them in their case, but the two Schlecks DID NOT know Sastre was going to go for it at the bottom of Alpe d'Huez. Sastre leaving Saxo partly has to do with Riis favouring the two Schlecks in last year's tour, and there was perhaps some underhandedness (not everyone was told the same thing or understood the same thing). Riis looked embarassed it was Sastre who went up the road, not his favourites.

Bet Lance hopes to run up the middle in a moment of confusion/improvisation, like Sastre last year. So sowing max. confusion/ambiguity now suits his interests. Strategically shrewd.

All of this is new to Bruyneel; he's used to absolute team leadership. He sure didn't go well with somewhat divided leadership in the Giro; the so-called strongest team didn't win a stage=poor tactical deployment of resources. So these divisions ARE a problem.

But I think Bertie is level-headed. Just mustn't get caught by a hunger knock or Rabo blowing the race apart into the wind on the flat (a la Paris-Nice).
 
Apr 11, 2009
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jackhammer111 said:
My main point is that no real split on Astana has really yet manifested

Ha, ha, ha! Titanic sound familiar? Any icebergs around under the surface? It's the latter Bruyneel/Astana should worry about--even with the strongest team/ship.

Don't say they can't/won't win, but there are big/big risks floating around right now for them. It's tricky.
 
Apr 11, 2009
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Alpe d'Huez said:
As much as I'd rather see Contador beat Lance, I'm hoping Lance has enough zip in his legs and recovery that by the time the mountains come Contador attacks, and Lance is able to respond and even counter, and we'll get some great battles. That would be great fun to watch.

Agree, if we don't care about the team who wins, the best competition this year is definitely, definitely within Astana.

Disappointed Menchov is not as strong at Giro--at least, so far. And am hoping A. Schleck goes for the long bomb a few times. His only hope, unless Astana really implodes in confusion at key moments.

I see Lance just twitted about Menchov it appears: " He'll definitely b a factor. Keep in mind it's not easy doing giro, no races 4 a month, then a hard TT. Giro = strong 3rd week." Menchov is good on Ventoux (Lance must be thinking this).
 

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Mar 17, 2009
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jackhammer111 said:
There's no comparison between JB and the problematic managment T-Mobile had.

Why do you think Kloden is riding for JB now?

Because he's a blood doping junkie & a left over from Vino's Astana.... He had valid contract which the Hog had to maintain. No team team would sign a loser like Kloden......... Even Hog didn't want him.......
 
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Or maybe Cadel will find himself alone after Contador catches Lance (obviously Cadel sucked one Contadors wheel to get there) and they come to blows over the old man riding like a pr!ck? I don't want to see Cadel win a local town sign sprint, but maybe that would be cool?
 
jackhammer111 said:
and i with my left hand i was pushing your wifes face down my shaft, you spinless ****.

lol wut?

And I hate to gang up, but Contador is def the strongest on the team. The only one of the riders who won't admit that is Armstrong (and maybe Leipheimer). Armstrong amazes me in his interviews and the comments he makes to the press. You have to admit, he really is being a bit dodgy with his answers, refusing to acknowledge Contador as leader and all that. This despite Brunyeel giving the Spaniard the nod and Contador himself proving on the road that none of the other great cyclists on Astana can match him--least of all Armstrong.

And that was just 15 km. Imagine what he'll do when they get to a 15 km climb at the end of a stage. I think Armstrong wants to be the captain of a team again--and he's clearly still strong enough to be--but he joined a team that already has four guys who are capable of beating most of the other ProTour teams' captains. He should have thought that out a bit more...
 
mr. tibbs said:
lol wut?

And I hate to gang up, but Contador is def the strongest on the team. The only one of the riders who won't admit that is Armstrong (and maybe Leipheimer). Armstrong amazes me in his interviews and the comments he makes to the press. You have to admit, he really is being a bit dodgy with his answers, refusing to acknowledge Contador as leader and all that. This despite Brunyeel giving the Spaniard the nod and Contador himself proving on the road that none of the other great cyclists on Astana can match him--least of all Armstrong.

And that was just 15 km. Imagine what he'll do when they get to a 15 km climb at the end of a stage. I think Armstrong wants to be the captain of a team again--and he's clearly still strong enough to be--but he joined a team that already has four guys who are capable of beating most of the other ProTour teams' captains. He should have thought that out a bit more...

Agreed ,But Contador said after time trial in monaco "Im not interested in whether im the leader or not,the important thing is that its a big boost to my morale,and it shows that im in good form" so maybe contador is foxing?
 
Apr 9, 2009
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Astana may not need to decide..

IMHO, there is only 1 stage before the Ventoux that Astana may really need to decide a leader....but that is only if Astana en mass can't burn the legs off of Sastre, Evans, Schlecks, et al in stage 7 by the usual Discovery/Postal/JB tactics...have the *team* up the pace on the climb until everyone else explodes. Sastre and Menchov are the only non-Astana GC threats with the "mind set" to attack on their own...the rest will just mark others. LL/LA/AC/AK can all hang together if none of them attack each other...but they will all be a tad nervous - LA probably less so - he's already got his ;-)

my dream scenario: until Ventoux, the intervals will be however the time trials play out...and then with 5km to go on the Ventoux, it will be everyone for themselves -- all four Astana guns and whoever else is left. That would advantage AC and LA....I don't recall LL ever successfully attacking in the TdF and Kloden's head will only allow him to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory if LA is chasing.

if LA's form finds him with a deficit prior to the Ventoux or if Astana is forced to make a choice in Stage 7, then I think LA will try for a break and the Ventoux win and the rest of Astana will let him go while protecting AC....

I can't decide whether the peloton or this forum has more jealous Drama Queens...you should go back and read yourselves sometime...that *old* man just beat all but 9 of the top 180 cyclists in the world in a tough time trial and came within a max 22 seconds of anyone else who is a GC threat. And given his competitive will power, I'd spot him another 10-15 seconds less time if he had started later and had some splits to shoot at.

AC will have to vanquish LA on the road -- and that - LA's mind, is how it should be. If that makes AC upset, tell him to call Greg and Bernard. Greg had to finally suck it up and beat Bernard on the road just as Greg refused to "crown" Fignon champion in 1989.
 
caddisfly said:
I can't decide whether the peloton or this forum has more jealous Drama Queens...you should go back and read yourselves sometime...that *old* man just beat all but 9 of the top 180 cyclists in the world in a tough time trial and came within a max 22 seconds of anyone else who is a GC threat. And given his competitive will power, I'd spot him another 10-15 seconds less time if he had started later and had some splits to shoot at.

AC will have to vanquish LA on the road -- and that - LA's mind, is how it should be. If that makes AC upset, tell him to call Greg and Bernard. Greg had to finally suck it up and beat Bernard on the road just as Greg refused to "crown" Fignon champion in 1989.

What I find hilarious about this entire situation is that pre-stage 1, Lance was telling anyone who would listen that his form was equal to what he had during his hey day. That he was on form and ready to go. Post-stage 1 it was well I haven't raced in a month. I've been away almost 4 years. I... you get the idea.

After Stage 7, I predict he will say that he's getting legs back after a month off and that he should be golden in Week 3.

Contador has already vanquished him on the road. Without 8 other men sacrificing themselves for him do you really think Lance is going to dominate anyone in the mountains, let alone the likes of Sastre, Menchov or either of the Schleck Brothers? This isn't 2005, this isn't Discovery Channel and this isn't Lance's time anymore.
 
Publicus said:
What I find hilarious about this entire situation is that pre-stage 1, Lance was telling anyone who would listen that his form was equal to what he had during his hey day. That he was on form and ready to go. Post-stage 1 it was well I haven't raced in a month. I've been away almost 4 years. I... you get the idea.

After Stage 7, I predict he will say that he's getting legs back after a month off and that he should be golden in Week 3.

Contador has already vanquished him on the road. Without 8 other men sacrificing themselves for him do you really think Lance is going to dominate anyone in the mountains, let alone the likes of Sastre, Menchov or either of the Schleck Brothers? This isn't 2005, this isn't Discovery Channel and this isn't Lance's time anymore.

Agree 100%, and if I had any doubts the TT really cleared all my doubts, this tour belongs ( crashes aside) to Contador, even If JB or LA are still "not clear" about who the leader is, I mean I'm not the expert here but i'ts pretty clear who the strong man is: climbs, time trials, has a cool head (and if anybody has doubts please reffer to Giro 08) if anybody sees this as unclear, then I just might start my own business in DS myself, this isn't clear to figure out, or is it?
 
Apr 19, 2009
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gatete said:
Agree 100%, and if I had any doubts the TT really cleared all my doubts, this tour belongs ( crashes aside) to Contador, even If JB or LA are still "not clear" about who the leader is, I mean I'm not the expert here but i'ts pretty clear who the strong man is: climbs, time trials, has a cool head (and if anybody has doubts please reffer to Giro 08) if anybody sees this as unclear, then I just might start my own business in DS myself, this isn't clear to figure out, or is it?

Okay so I am not a fan boy, but you are not serious are you?

I looked at the times and Lance lost 17 second on the climb in the TT. that doesn't mean he is going to lose minutes in the mountains. I think his confidence in TT is not there anymore at least in the extremely technical TTs and the descent was extremely technical.

Stage 7 will be a test to see if the 4 Astana boys are worlds apart. I think Contador is the strongest but he didn't prove that he is worlds above Lance in the TT. I am really hoping Lance helps Conti win it would be really good to see him passing the torch but who knows....

the other thing, and I think its becuase Conti is Spanish but i would be curious to see if he is the one causing all of the splits in the team.....think about it we only see one side with Lance becuase he is so in the media.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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I saw a few pictures before stage 1 of Astana training (Unfortunately can't upload them). Their were two groups separated by 20 metres. Armstrong, Leipheimer, Kloden and Popovich in one group and the other group was Contador, Paulihno, Zubeldia and Rast. I may just be speculating but i think their is a bit of a rift in Astana.
 
May 13, 2009
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auscyclefan94 said:
I saw a few pictures before stage 1 of Astana training (Unfortunately can't upload them). Their were two groups separated by 20 metres. Armstrong, Leipheimer, Kloden and Popovich in one group and the other group was Contador, Paulihno, Zubeldia and Rast. I may just be speculating but i think their is a bit of a rift in Astana.

Where was the Kazakh?
 
auscyclefan94 said:
I saw a few pictures before stage 1 of Astana training (Unfortunately can't upload them). Their were two groups separated by 20 metres. Armstrong, Leipheimer, Kloden and Popovich in one group and the other group was Contador, Paulihno, Zubeldia and Rast. I may just be speculating but i think their is a bit of a rift in Astana.

Could simply be the fact that the first group has ridden together on the same team (US Postal/Discovery) and in competition (Kloden). Almost generational if you will. Wouldn't read too much into (just like I don't read much into the countless pictures of Lance and Alberto talking today during the stage).