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The Tour Ladder

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May 17, 2009
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Rogers 8th place in the Giro is about where his ability puts him. His world time trial titles are something he peaked for, he never seems to perform that consistently in other TTs. He's a bit like say, David Arroyo, consistent top 10 finisher, would be doing really well if he cracked the top 5. Can't be allowed to gain 10, 15 minutes in a break so he has to be shut down but in the end when the cards are down will be shunted out the back on the key stages.

Anyway, for me the Tour de France tier looks like this:

1) Contador. He's going to rip everyone to pieces in the mountains even if they aren't perhaps as tough as they normally are his turn of speed will allow him to gain some serious time. He'll have won the Tour before Ventoux and then win that as well.

2) Sastre. Lack of time trialling distance helps him and his team is strong enough to keep him up there in the TT. Always consistent in the mountains but doesn't quite have the class of Contador.

3) Leipheimer. Had a crap Giro because he'd been on top form for too long. Few weeks off, few bags of blood and he'll be back to wheel suck his way consistently to the podium.

4) Evans. Probably doing reasonably well until he gets dropped on Ventoux by the lighter man Leipheimer.

5) Menchov. His Giro win was impressive but I don't think he'll be able to carry all that form to the TdF.

6) Andy Schleck. Still a bit young I feel, he'll have one bad day that drops him off the podium.

7) Lance Armstrong. Ain't going to win it but he'll be on better form here than in the Giro.

8) Vande Velde. Helped by the TTT and easier mountain finishes, will come unstuck on Ventoux and the stage to Le Grand Bornand.

9) Rogers. Consistent but not too much of a threat to the big contenders.

10) Frank Schleck. Won't have a bad day but lacks the edge to finish higher up.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Eldrack said:
Rogers 8th place in the Giro is about where his ability puts him. His world time trial titles are something he peaked for, he never seems to perform that consistently in other TTs. He's a bit like say, David Arroyo, consistent top 10 finisher, would be doing really well if he cracked the top 5. Can't be allowed to gain 10, 15 minutes in a break so he has to be shut down but in the end when the cards are down will be shunted out the back on the key stages.

Anyway, for me the Tour de France tier looks like this:

1) Contador. He's going to rip everyone to pieces in the mountains even if they aren't perhaps as tough as they normally are his turn of speed will allow him to gain some serious time. He'll have won the Tour before Ventoux and then win that as well.

2) Sastre. Lack of time trialling distance helps him and his team is strong enough to keep him up there in the TT. Always consistent in the mountains but doesn't quite have the class of Contador.

3) Leipheimer. Had a crap Giro because he'd been on top form for too long. Few weeks off, few bags of blood and he'll be back to wheel suck his way consistently to the podium.

4) Evans. Probably doing reasonably well until he gets dropped on Ventoux by the lighter man Leipheimer.

5) Menchov. His Giro win was impressive but I don't think he'll be able to carry all that form to the TdF.

6) Andy Schleck. Still a bit young I feel, he'll have one bad day that drops him off the podium.

7) Lance Armstrong. Ain't going to win it but he'll be on better form here than in the Giro.

8) Vande Velde. Helped by the TTT and easier mountain finishes, will come unstuck on Ventoux and the stage to Le Grand Bornand.

9) Rogers. Consistent but not too much of a threat to the big contenders.

10) Frank Schleck. Won't have a bad day but lacks the edge to finish higher up.

Good summary. Personally, I would move Menchov and Schlecket up, Leipheimer down, and I don't think VandeVelde will make the cut this year. I don't think Sastre will make the podium.

1. Contador
2. Evans
3. Andy Schleck
4. Menchov
5. Sastre
6. Frank Schleck
7. Basso
8. Rogers
9. Armstrong
10. Nibali
 
eric_vv said:
It always surprises me when people say that Rogers showed he's a GT threat in 2007. I remember him being already dropped by Rasmussen (with 1 or 2 mountains still to go) before he crashed. The only reason he was in the break was because the favourites didn't consider him a threat, they might have been wrong (they were about Rasmussen), but the fact he was already dropped makes me think they were right.

You also have to consider it was the first hard mountain stage and he never had to go head to head against the other GC riders, there's no way to tell if he could have challenged any of them. Going in a break hardly proves you're a threat, it usually points to the opposite (not that I don’t want to see attacking riding, but GC riders usually only consider it when they have already lost). If you ask me Rogers would probably have been caught and left behind on the final climb, Rasmussen wasn’t miles ahead at the finish and Rogers was already dropped early in the stage.

Even after the stage Rasmussen wasn’t expected to challenge for the overall (at least not in the Dutch and Belgian press) and I don’t get how Rogers became a challenger just because he was up the road early in a mountain stage. He hasn’t show anything before or since that makes me think he can win a GT.

Even if I’m mistaken and Rogers wasn’t dropped yet (always a possibility) the rest still stands.

+1

Evans in a recent newspaper story rated Rogers as not ready to win a GT. I don't see him able to climb well enough to stand on a GT podium unless he can kick it up a notch.
 
Jun 9, 2009
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elapid said:
Good summary. Personally, I would move Menchov and Schlecket up, Leipheimer down, and I don't think VandeVelde will make the cut this year. I don't think Sastre will make the podium.

1. Contador
2. Evans
3. Andy Schleck
4. Menchov
5. Sastre
6. Frank Schleck
7. Basso
8. Rogers
9. Armstrong
10. Nibali

Basso isn't even riding the Tour. maybe you can change that name for Kreuziger, I believe he is ready for a top10...
Let me put it this way -->

1.Contador (because he is the big favourite, and I think they're right)

2.Evans (2nd is where he belongs)

3.A.Schleck (he will be the only one who can follow Contador in the mountain top stages)

4.Sastre (I thinkt he has something left after not a super giro)

5.Leipheimer (he will be better prepared than in the giro)

6.Menchov (although he was outstanding in the giro, he has given too much)

7.Kreuziger (looks ready for the big jump)

8.Armstrong (he won't be like the old days, but still finish 8th because he won't give it all for Contador)

9.Kloden (will be outstanding in the TT's)

10.Frank Schleck (gives it all for his little bro')

It's a guess, but i don't gamble on Zubeldia or Vandevelde...