The battles we never got to see

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Well isn't it there a second test that can be done if the first one is positive?
I don't think so, maybe only if there's enough time left. The whole UAE team was expelled from the Fleche last year due to one positive test: in the following days all of them were negative twice.
In 2020 the whole Polish ski-jumping team was DQ-ed from the 4 Hills Tournament for the same reason. Only due to the political intervention of prime minister they gave them a chance to retest - all were negative (twice or thrice) and one of them won the tournament at the end! Tests are ambiguos in some situations and it happens often.
 
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Giro 2022 - An answer to whether Jai Hindley can now put a rain jacket on going up a big mountain. Denied by the sunny weather:cool:
There’s always next year.

Ok, long shot here for an answer after 11 years: do you think he was stronger in 2010 than in 2009? I do not actually.

And for me personally: 2014 TdF Nibali vs. Contador vs. Froome. That still hurts. (But I am sure it already got mentioned on various occasions).
On top of that I don’t remember him crashing, just being held up by crashes. Which was stage 3 and 8 leading to about a 12 min time loss to Contador as the overall winner and 13 to Schleck. If we gave him that time back he’d move up from 23rd to 20th. Still being Horner, Levi, and Klöden. And he was even allowed to gain time like Horner on that breakaway.
 
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On top of that I don’t remember him crashing, just being held up by crashes. Which was stage 3 and 8 leading to about a 12 min time loss to Contador as the overall winner and 13 to Schleck. If we gave him that time back he’d move up from 23rd to 20th. Still being Horner, Levi, and Klöden. And he was even allowed to gain time like Horner on that breakaway.
I think you are right. And yes, he wasn't particularly impressive in the break and the last ITT either.
 
I think you are right. And yes, he wasn't particularly impressive in the break and the last ITT either.
There was more headwind for the riders that started later, which lead to Cavendish beating Klöden so the TT is hard to say. Schleck did better then Armstrong and Klöden who should be better then him while finishing close to Contador, Samu, Vino, and Levi. Menchov on the other hand had a monster TT with the headwind.

I think Armstrong finished as well as he could have that year with maybe some positions higher. Which you can’t scuff at considering his age and how long he had be competing. Maybe if it was a 1 week instead of 3 weeks he would have been closer.
 
On top of that I don’t remember him crashing, just being held up by crashes. Which was stage 3 and 8 leading to about a 12 min time loss to Contador as the overall winner and 13 to Schleck. If we gave him that time back he’d move up from 23rd to 20th. Still being Horner, Levi, and Klöden. And he was even allowed to gain time like Horner on that breakaway.
He did crash several times during the 2010 Tour. This picture is from stage 2 to Spa.


He then punctured on the cobbles during stage 3 and on the first mountain stage to Avoriaz he crashed badly at the foot of Col de La Ramaz. From The Guardian that day:
"Even before the race hit the Ramaz Armstrong's day had a nightmare quality. As the field accelerated before the foot of the climb, the Texan touched a pedal on a roundabout, his front tyre came unstuck from the rim and he fell on the right side of the road.
His jersey was ripped, his knee cut but critically his saddle broke, meaning he needed a new bike, and there were no kind souls in the field to stage a go-slow."

He rode the rest of the Tour hurt and reduced (and probably with low morale?).

I don't think there is any reason to believe he would've really followed and challenged Contador and Schleck, but I remember being pretty hyped about his chances after his 2nd place in Tour de Swiss and the strong prologue, so I was a bit sad he crashed several times and wasn't able to give it a go. Up until the crash on stage 2 he did look better than the previous year, but Contador/Schleck was a level above. Someplace between 3 and 6 should've been within reach.
 
Nibali Vs Contador in the 2014 Tour, with Contador loosing over 2 mins on the cobblestones it was setting itself up to be a really good race. As we knew Contador would attack on every stage that went uphill, like in the 2012 Vuelta.

Armstrong Vs 1998/99 condition Pantani in the 2000 Tour. We got a taste of what it on Mont Ventoux and Corchavel, but that wasn't a fully fit Pantani. Two riders from different generations, with totally different approaches to training and tactics, could have been something special.

Also, Contador Vs Froome in 2014, we never got to see a fully fit Contador Vs Froome. And I feel Contador's 2014 form would have matched a Froome 2013/15 form. But we'll never know....
 
Ricco vs Contador 2011 Giro
Mosquera vs Cobo and Froome 2011 Vuelta
Yes!

Add Anton vs Nibali at the 2010 Vuelta and Saunier Duval vs everyone at the 2008 Tour.

And what has probably been mentioned tons is all the Puerto casualties vs each other and Landis/Klöden/Valverde at the 2006 Tour.

Want to go that route we can say Ullrich and Klöden vs Vino too.
There was a lot of Ullrich+Klöden vs Vino in various Tours de France. ;)
 
Yes!

Add Anton vs Nibali at the 2010 Vuelta and Saunier Duval vs everyone at the 2008 Tour.

And what has probably been mentioned tons is all the Puerto casualties vs each other and Landis/Klöden/Valverde at the 2006 Tour.


There was a lot of Ullrich+Klöden vs Vino in various Tours de France. ;)
Yes. Anton looked great, and it would have been interesting to see whether he would have limited his losses on the ITT and avoid a bad day. ( unlike 2011 Giro, but then again 2010 was the best version of Anton. ( FW, LBL, Castilla y Leon, Romandie ) )

And it would have been interesting to see what Ricco and co. would have done in the Alps. Although he wouldn't have gained the amount of time to withstand the long ITT on stage 20 given that he was still 2:30 behind Evans after Pyrenees.

And of course Ullrich vs Basso vs Vino vs Landis vs Valverde 2006 Tour would have been amazing. Riders who were supposed to be domestiques of Valverde, Ullrich and Basso finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th lol.
 
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Yes. Anton looked great, and it would have been interesting to see whether he would have limited his losses on the ITT and avoid a bad day. ( unlike 2011 Giro, but then again 2010 was the best version of Anton. ( FW, LBL, Castilla y Leon, Romandie ) )

And it would have been interesting to see what Ricco and co. would have done in the Alps. Although he wouldn't have gained the amount of time to withstand the long ITT on stage 20 given that he was still 2:30 behind Evans after Pyrenees.

And of course Ullrich vs Basso vs Vino vs Landis vs Valverde 2006 Tour would have been amazing. Riders who were supposed to be domestiques of Valverde, Ullrich and Basso finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th lol.
As a cycling fan I don't think I've ever had a bigger disappointment than when Anton crashed out in 2010. I think he would have smoked Nibali. The shark wasn't even that strong, he just had a godly Kreuziger to scare everyone from attacking.

About 2006, add Mancebo to your list. Was 4th in two GTs the previous year and had looked good in the Dauphine, which wasn't a given considering what we know of Fuentes' program.
 
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