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"I have to admit, my back hurts. The pain is mainly at the beginning and until halfway through the stage, I can't help but think about it and wonder if it will hurt me even in the final stages of the race and if it will affect my performance. But then the adrenaline starts to rise, the pain in my legs arrives and the one in my back takes a back seat. It's hard, but little by little I'm learning to live with it."
When did he say that, before or during the Giro?
 
At carton: The fortunes almost always favors the bold. I am not sure where you got that from.

After what I saw and Ineos saw on Tuesday it was to be expected that they wanted to take opportunity of the weaknesses of riders like Yates and Remco. And I predicted and expected the attacks. You cannot miss the opportunity. That was always Contador's and Froome's mojo and I agree 100%. Attack while you are strong and your enemies weak. I have seen many times riders waiting and waiting to later find out that they are not as strong and the other riders are stronger. Quintana was very strong in the first week last year. Well he was stupid for not attacking from day 2. Test your rivals. You can weak them, tire them and eliminate them. Otherwise they will eat you alive later on. That or destiny punishes you with illness or a crash. Even if you are weak later on, you won't regret it. If yo do otherwise you will regret it. My 2 cents! :)
 
At carton: The fortunes almost always favors the bold. I am not sure where you got that from.

After what I saw and Ineos saw on Tuesday it was to be expected that they wanted to take opportunity of the weaknesses of riders like Yates and Remco. And I predicted and expected the attacks. You cannot miss the opportunity. That was always Contador's and Froome's mojo and I agree 100%. Attack while you are strong and your enemies weak. I have seen many times riders waiting and waiting to later find out that they are not as strong and the other riders are stronger. Quintana was very strong in the first week last year. Well he was stupid for not attacking from day 2. Test your rivals. You can weak them, tire them and eliminate them. Otherwise they will eat you alive later on. That or destiny punishes you with illness or a crash. Even if you are weak later on, you won't regret it. If yo do otherwise you will regret it. My 2 cents! :)
I've argued this before, but that is pure fantasy, IMHO.

Contador and Froome took most of their leads against the clock. Their big attacks happened when they had to gain back time, not to pad their leads. I'll stick to the Tour for brevity: 2007 Contador was behind Rasmussen all the way and won when he was pulled out -it's a hard one to take anything away from. Verbier was Contador's one major attack of 2009 Tour, when he was basically tied with Armstrong and was penciled in to lose time in Annecy. It wasn't a leader pressing an advantage. Bagnères-de-Luchon, was, at best, a counter, he basically attempted one more famous counter and then rode Andy's wheel until clinching it in the time trial, like he did the year before. Those are Contador's tours, though I have always argued you should pick either 2007 or 2010, you can't pick both. He won all of them in the final time trial, saving it against Evans, winning it against Schleck, destroying the world in Annecy. Froome, I'd argue, was far more given to press his lead early - but he also had a stronger team to shell rivals and pace him home if something went wrong. Also, if you look back at Froome's attacks, almost every time he went in 2013-16 Quintana had gone ahead of him and he had a full measure of the man. I'll argue it to death: the reason Quintana has never won a Tour is that he attacked way too much and way too early.

Again, there's a reason Indurain won more Grand Tours than Herrera, Chiappucci, Pantani, Schleck, Quintana and Landa combined. Looking back at the recent grand tours:

2017 Vuelta. Froome dominated the race start to finish, yet only won by 2 minutes, having taken most of his final lead against the clock.
2018 Giro. Yates seized the early opportunities, faded, Froome came back to win.
2018 Tour. Thomas dominated the race start to finish, yet only won by 2 minutes, having only attacked in the last two KM of stages.
2018 Vuelta. Yates learned to keep his cool early and followed attacks, was able to hold on against a resurgent Lopez and Mas.
2019 Giro. Roglic seized the early opportunities, faded, Carapaz ended up winning after an early when no one could take time out of him in the mountains.
2019 Tour. Alaphillipe (and Pinot, but let's not go there) seized the early opportunities, faded, Bernal came back to win.
2019 Vuelta. Quintana seized the early opportunities, faded. Roglic learned to keep his cool early and followed attacks, took almost his entire lead against the clock.
2020 Giro. Almeida and Keldermann seized the early opportunities, faded, Tao came back to win, holding wheels and cementing his win against Hindley against the clock.
2020 Tour. Roglic and Pogacar worked well together to distance the rest, and Pogacar won mano and mano in an upset in the ITT.
2020 Vuelta. Roglic seized the early opportunities, faded, ended up edging Carapaz by 20', having taken 40' off him against the clock.

Of course, that's the way I'm calling it, others would spin the same yarn differently. And yes, there have been some bold attacks that paid off -but that's almost always been making the most out of someone else who was fading, often in conjunction with some strategic or tactical brilliancy. It's beautiful when it works. But most of the time they fall flat, lost to history. It's pure survivorship bias, IMHO. Oh, the guy who held back would have won had he gone harder earlier. But that's the reason he was there at the end. The ones that went hard early faded. People believe what they want to believe. And yeah, I believe that cycling, and particularly stage racing, is a thinking man's game, much like chess. On most games at the top level guys are so evenly matched that if you overplay an advantage you end up losing.

So yeah, fortune rarely favors the bold in stage racing. I really want to believe it does, though, so I think I know why so many do. But maybe I'm the one who is mistaken.
 
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I've argued this before, but that is pure fantasy, IMHO.

Contador and Froome took most of their leads against the clock. Their big attacks happened when they had to gain back time, not to pad their leads. I'll stick to the Tour for brevity: 2007 Contador was behind Rasmussen all the way and won when he was pulled out -it's a hard one to take anything away from. Verbier was Contador's one major attack of 2009 Tour, when he was basically tied with Armstrong and was penciled in to lose time in Annecy. It wasn't a leader pressing an advantage. Bagnères-de-Luchon, was, at best, a counter, he basically attempted one more famous counter and then rode Andy's wheel until clinching it in the time trial, like he did the year before. Those are Contador's tours, though I have always argued you should pick either 2007 or 2010, you can't pick both. He won all of them in the final time trial, saving it against Evans, winning it against Schleck, destroying the world in Annecy. Froome, I'd argue, was far more given to press his lead early - but he also had a stronger team to shell rivals and pace him home if something went wrong. Also, if you look back at Froome's attacks, almost every time he went in 2013-16 Quintana had gone ahead of him and he had a full measure of the man. I'll argue it to death: the reason Quintana has never won a Tour is that he attacked way too much and way too early.

Again, there's a reason Indurain won more Grand Tours than Herrera, Chiappucci, Pantani, Schleck, Quintana and Landa combined. Looking back at the recent grand tours:

2017 Vuelta. Froome dominated the race start to finish, yet only won by 2 minutes, having taken most of his final lead against the clock.
2018 Giro. Yates seized the early opportunities, faded, Froome came back to win.
2018 Tour. Thomas dominated the race start to finish, yet only won by 2 minutes, having only attacked in the last two KM of stages.
2018 Vuelta. Yates learned to keep his cool early and followed attacks, was able to hold on against a resurgent Lopez and Mas.
2019 Giro. Roglic seized the early opportunities, faded, Carapaz ended up winning after an early when no one could take time out of him in the mountains.
2019 Tour. Alaphillipe (and Pinot, but let's not go there) seized the early opportunities, faded, Bernal came back to win.
2019 Vuelta. Quintana seized the early opportunities, faded. Roglic learned to keep his cool early and followed attacks, took almost his entire lead against the clock.
2020 Giro. Almeida and Keldermann seized the early opportunities, faded, Tao came back to win, holding wheels and cementing his win against Hindley against the clock.
2020 Tour. Alaphillipe and Pinot seized the early opportunities, faded, Bernal came back to win.
2020 Vuelta. Roglic seized the early opportunities, faded, ended up edging Carapaz by 20', having taken 40' off him against the clock.

Of course, that's the way I'm calling it, others would spin the same yarn differently. And yes, there have been some bold attacks that paid off -but that's almost always been making the most out of someone else who was fading, often in conjunction with some strategic or tactical brilliancy. It's beautiful when it works. But most of the time they fall flat, lost to history. It's pure survivorship bias, IMHO. Oh, the guy who held back would have won had he gone harder earlier. But that's the reason he was there at the end. The ones that went hard early faded. People believe what they want to believe. And yeah, I believe that cycling, and particularly stage racing, is a thinking man's game, much like chess. On most games at the top level guys are so evenly matched that if you overplay an advantage you end up losing.

So yeah, fortune rarely favors the bold in stage racing. I really want to believe it does, though, so I think I know why so many do. But maybe I'm the one who is mistaken.
You listed the 2019 Tour twice (for 2019 and 2020). Does not necessarily invalidate your point but you should correct that.
 
You listed the 2019 Tour twice (for 2019 and 2020). Does not necessarily invalidate your point but you should correct that.
Thanks. It seems a bit late for that, but I'll update it regardless.
How was Contador pencilled in to lose time in Annecy?
Against HHMNBN in a flat time trial? Going into stage 15 I'm pretty confident that most people, perhaps most importantly within his own team, thought he was not going to be the one gaining time in that matchup.
 
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At carton:

2017 Vuelta. Froome dominated the race start to finish,: You conceded my Point.
2018 Giro. Yates seized the early opportunities, faded, Froome came back to win. That is the only case. But ask Yates if he regretted it and he said no. That was just the only way to defeat Dumoulin. IMO he was not going to win it anyway. He won a weak Vuelta as it usually is.
2018 Tour. Thomas dominated the race start to finish, : You conceded my point.
2018 Vuelta. Yates learned to keep his cool early and followed attacks, was able to hold on against a resurgent Lopez and Mas. No Point to be made other that Simon was always good.
2019 Giro. Roglic seized the early opportunities, faded, Carapaz ended up winning after an early when no one could take time out of him in the mountains. Roglic had no team. Additionally Roglic has a history of panicking. He would have lost the Vuelta last year without the help of Movistar IMHO. If the strongest rider do not bring a strong team he is going to lose. Nobody is Superman.
2019 Tour. Alaphillipe (and Pinot, but let's not go there) seized the early opportunities, faded, Bernal came back to win. Why you bring Alaphilippe in the conversation. He was never ever a favorite. Bernal was always good. Additionally, Bernal acted like a decoy initially which worked to his advantage.
2019 Vuelta. Quintana seized the early opportunities, faded. Roglic learned to keep his cool early and followed attacks, took almost his entire lead against the clock. No, no no. Roglic was always the best in that weak Vuelta.
2020 Giro. Almeida and Keldermann seized the early opportunities, faded, Tao came back to win, holding wheels and cementing his win against Hindley against the clock. What? this one was the most open Giro in decades. If you knew who was going to win you should go to Vegas.
2020 Tour. Roglic and Pogacar worked well together to distance the rest, and Pogacar won mano and mano in an upset in the ITT. Roglic and Pogacar were always the strongest from the beginning. Pogacar started attacking from the beginning. Not sure what your point is.
2020 Vuelta. Roglic seized the early opportunities, faded, ended up edging Carapaz by 20', having taken 40' off him against the clock. Roglic and Carapaz started attacking from the beginning. I am starting to feel like you are agreeing with me.

I stand by what I said. I really fail to see your point. Sorry.
 
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Thanks. It seems a bit late for that, but I'll update it regardless.

Against HHMNBN in a flat time trial? Going into stage 15 I'm pretty confident that most people, perhaps most importantly within his own team, thought he was not going to be the one gaining time in that matchup.
Armstrong had I think a single top-10 in ITTs prior to the Tour that year while Contador had multiple wins and the worst result of 5th. I did not think Contador would win the stage, but at least for me it was no surprise that he gained time on Armstrong
 
How was Contador pencilled in to lose time in Annecy?
The universe where a rider who "won" 7 tours with being the strongest in TT. Armstrong wasn't predetermined to win a Annecy but most would have expected him to beat AC. Contador was an excellent time trialist but not the best. Having said that Contador's Annecy TT was his best ever. 2009 Contador was probably the best we ever saw.

But interesting how the Bernal thread has gone off on a Contador tangent.
 
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Yes he was.
By Versus (American crew) he was. I think some thought Klöden, Armstrong, and Wiggins could all gain time on him and why he "dropped" Klöden.
Edited: I'm linking thé thread in cause you want to read it too. (https://forum.cyclingnews.com/threads/official-thread-tdf-stage-18-annency-annency-40-5-km-itt.2411/)

There is indeed modest hype. Although nobody seems to expect he will crush Contador. Just take a bit of time.
 
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At carton:

2017 Vuelta. Froome dominated the race start to finish,: You conceded my Point.
2018 Giro. Yates seized the early opportunities, faded, Froome came back to win. That is the only case. But ask Yates if he regretted it and he said no. That was just the only way to defeat Dumoulin. IMO he was not going to win it anyway. He won a weak Vuelta as it usually is.
2018 Tour. Thomas dominated the race start to finish, : You conceded my point.
2018 Vuelta. Yates learned to keep his cool early and followed attacks, was able to hold on against a resurgent Lopez and Mas. No Point to be made other that Simon was always good.
2019 Giro. Roglic seized the early opportunities, faded, Carapaz ended up winning after an early when no one could take time out of him in the mountains. Roglic had no team. Additionally Roglic has a history of panicking. He would have lost the Vuelta last year without the help of Movistar IMHO. If the strongest rider do not bring a strong team he is going to lose. Nobody is Superman.
2019 Tour. Alaphillipe (and Pinot, but let's not go there) seized the early opportunities, faded, Bernal came back to win. Why you bring Alaphilippe in the conversation. He was never ever a favorite. Bernal was always good. Additionally, Bernal acted like a decoy initially which worked to his advantage.
2019 Vuelta. Quintana seized the early opportunities, faded. Roglic learned to keep his cool early and followed attacks, took almost his entire lead against the clock. No, no no. Roglic was always the best in that weak Vuelta.
2020 Giro. Almeida and Keldermann seized the early opportunities, faded, Tao came back to win, holding wheels and cementing his win against Hindley against the clock. What? this one was the most open Giro in decades. If you knew who was going to win you should go to Vegas.
2020 Tour. Roglic and Pogacar worked well together to distance the rest, and Pogacar won mano and mano in an upset in the ITT. Roglic and Pogacar were always the strongest from the beginning. Pogacar started attacking from the beginning. Not sure what your point is.
2020 Vuelta. Roglic seized the early opportunities, faded, ended up edging Carapaz by 20', having taken 40' off him against the clock. Roglic and Carapaz started attacking from the beginning. I am starting to feel like you are agreeing with me.

I stand by what I said. I really fail to see your point. Sorry.
I mean I guess my point is that outside of three specific instances (Froome, who ripped the race to shreds on the third week; Pogacar, who took time back on one stage where he had dropped out of the top 10 and was somewhat allowed to bounce back from a wind split; and Carapaz, who landed a great blow at the end of the second week, countering Nibali with Landa playing traffic cop) all of the guys who won played it fairly safe. And even in those cases, only Pogacar did it early, and none of those guys were pressing an advantage, they were overturning one.

Sure you see some punchy guys (mainly Thomas/Roglic/Carapaz/Pogacar) taking a few seconds on last kilometer attacks. But the guys like Alaphillipe, Pinot, Quintana and Yates that went really hard really early ended up fading just as hard. You seem to think that means they were always weak. I think it means they spent themselves. But yeah, I think we simply have an irreconcilable difference on that. Or I'm completely missing your point. In any case, I'd be fine just agreeing to disagree.

Circling back to Bernal, my point is that there's really no need and no recent precedent for shredding the race so early when he's almost in the driver's seat already and there's so much road left to ride. And it would not seem to me to be the sensible course of action. But I'm getting the feeling he wants to go hard and fast -he was telling his team to go all out uphill a long way out from the last climb on Stage 6- and while that might not be the best way to go about it for Bernal's chances, it might be a nice thing for the race.
 
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Just wasted some time reading through 10 pages of 12-year/old forum posts, but this almost made it worth it. One because Contador was indeed a genius and two because it’s always interesting to see the “phenom” coronations and predictions and then to look back and think what could have been. If not for Froome, if not for Bernal, if not for Pogagcar, if not for Remco, if not for _.
He had a headwind, whereas Cancellara had a tailwind. All the top riders, except AC, lost time to C in the final.

I think this says it all. LA should have decided to comeback sooner, or on another team, or else, if JB was a must, then as a servant of AC.

AC is going to become 10 tmes the cyclist Lance ever was. He's a genius on the bike, not tactically, but in pure physical terms and in regards to his smooth, supple, aesthetic peddle stroke. Just pure class. And I'm not even a particular fan of his, but I have never, in 28 years following this sport, seen the likes of him. Not Hinault, nor Lemond, or Indurain, Pantani and Armstrong. The guy has everything, even age on his side. A true phenom That's the truth.

The only thing he lacks are the classics, but the sport is different from the Eddie-Hinault era. Unfortunately. The Worlds will come though.
 

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