Thoughts on Astana so far?

Jun 18, 2009
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Still early in the season, but how is Astana looking team wise? Are they capable of controlling a race like the TDF?

Horner seemed to think they looked pretty weak in today's stage.
 
richwagmn said:
Still early in the season, but how is Astana looking team wise? Are they capable of controlling a race like the TDF?

Horner seemed to think they looked pretty weak in today's stage.

I think they've done better than expected so far. As for today's stage at Paris-Nice, I think Astana brought too many engines for the last two days of climbing. Pereiro is in crappy shape and has been useless when the terrain heads upward. Gurov, Noval and Stanglej (sp) have all performed as expected for the most part. It's a lot of pressure on Navarro, Grivko and Fofonov to control a peloton for just over 100KM . . . but they did it. Which is more than could be said for Astana last year when AC bonked.

He's not been left alone yet (even today, Fofonov and Grivko came in 46 seconds back, but they, along with Navarro were there until AG2R hit the gas (Navarro got stuck behind)). Again, which is better than last year.

Assuming DDLF gets healthy and Pereiro gets into some type of actually racing shape, I think they will field a pretty strong team. I don't know what their short list looks like, but if it were today (and everyone is healthy), I'd take Grivko, Fofonov, Gurov, Noval, DDLF, AC, Vino, Navarrao, Jufre.
 
richwagmn said:
Horner seemed to think they looked pretty weak in today's stage.

pot-kettle-black.jpg



Publicus' team looks pretty good. I'd say it's not the strongest looking team, but it's more than enough to support AC in the Tour.
 
richwagmn said:
Still early in the season, but how is Astana looking team wise? Are they capable of controlling a race like the TDF?

Horner seemed to think they looked pretty weak in today's stage.

First, good answer Publicus--much better than the one I'm about to give.

rich, I don't think Horner will ever praise this team. The politics in cycling--at least for a certain faction--are now as clear-cut as they are in the US legislature.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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if they added Kash, they would be super strong. Pity they fell out.

Gasparotto is probably their strongest rouleur, so I would take him. I think Dyachenko may be a chance. And Zeits. I do not think they will marginalise Davis neither, I think he will get a ride at the Tour.
 
Nov 24, 2009
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Publicus said:
Pereiro is in crappy shape and has been useless when the terrain heads upward.

Is he or what!

106. Ocsar Pereiro Sio @ 16'50

Any reason for him to be in such bad shape? All his contract problems over the winter hamper his training?
 
richwagmn said:
Horner seemed to think they looked pretty weak in today's stage.

I wonder how good his view was from 2 minutes back. What was his analysis of his own team leader (Leipheimer), who finished 38 seconds BEHIND him...?

Geoffroy Lequatre + 00:25
Janez Brajkovic + 00:25
Christopher Horner + 01:58
Sébastien Rosseler + 02:36
Tiago Machado + 02:36
Levi Leipheimer + 02:36
Yaroslav Popovych + 16:15
 
Feb 14, 2010
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MacRoadie said:
I wonder how good his view was from 2 minutes back. What was his analysis of his own team leader (Leipheimer), who finished 38 seconds BEHIND him...?

Geoffroy Lequatre + 00:25
Janez Brajkovic + 00:25
Christopher Horner + 01:58
Sébastien Rosseler + 02:36
Tiago Machado + 02:36
Levi Leipheimer + 02:36
Yaroslav Popovych + 16:15

He said that Levi dropped a chain with five miles to go:rolleyes:
 
Sep 16, 2009
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Vino is a must in the Tour team as he can help Contador better than probably anyone else in the Astana squad. De La Fuente will be equally as valuable.
 
MacRoadie said:
I wonder how good his view was from 2 minutes back. What was his analysis of his own team leader (Leipheimer), who finished 38 seconds BEHIND him...?

Geoffroy Lequatre + 00:25
Janez Brajkovic + 00:25
Christopher Horner + 01:58
Sébastien Rosseler + 02:36
Tiago Machado + 02:36
Levi Leipheimer + 02:36
Yaroslav Popovych + 16:15

Uh-oh. All but two of their riders came in behind Tommy. D. I call this the Tommy D. score. Today's score is 2/7 = 28.6% Retirement Shack is screwed. On a non-mountain stage a score less than 50% is a sure sign a team is sucking. A score of 28.6% on a hard, bumpy day of racing is almost unheard of. It might even be record breaking.

Overall I don't think we can learn much from P-N. It's March. It's been colder than a witch's tit in a brass brassiere on the shady side of an iceberg. Lots of riders dislike riding in the cold. On paper Astana can field a decent team, not stacked or anything, but good enough for Contador.
 
Feb 14, 2010
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Contador in his press release:

:: 12 / 03 / 10 :: Alberto Contador in Paris-Nice: “It was like a Tour stage, but the hard ones”
Alberto Contador retained the lead jersey today in Paris-Nice after a particularly tough day, which was done at a great pace and where he fought from the first km to last. “It was like a Tour stage, but the hard ones”, said the Astana’s leader.

“You have to be super attentive and there has been a moment”, said Contador, “that I had to answer to an attack because they where Joaquin Rodriguez, Kreuziger and Luis Leon. That\'s what this race is that there are many riders in a few seconds and is very difficult to control. Although I wear the yellow jersey now, I will not take the whole responsibility because neither my team nor I can”.

Contador said his team “has done what it could. The stage seemed for the sprinters, but nothing at all, has been a very hard stage and almost impossible to control, because in the kilometer 100 had not yet made the break”.

Alberto said he is “feeling good, but in this race you need a very, very strong team to keep it under control, it is a race that is easier to win at counter-attack than being defensive. Tomorrow will be very difficult and I will not take more responsibility than me and my team can take”.


Finally, Alberto said he is not a duel “between Valverde and me, although I wish it were. Tomorrow will be like to start the race again, although I have in my favor the Sunday’s stage. If I keep the yellow tomorrow, I would prefer that was not the last stage, but depending on what happens tomorrow, also I can play my cards on Sunday”, he said.

http://www.albertocontador.com/prensa.detalle.php?id=325

I don't follow many riders on twitter these days, but I saw five of them complain about how brutal the stage was today. I was happy to see, though, that when Fofonov and Grivko crossed the line together, they shook hand and patted each other on the back for a job well done. Fofonov, Navarro and Noval are scheduled to ride Alberto's other races and do a pre-Tour camp, but they're rotating in other riders to test them out for the Tour squad. Hernandez and De la Fuente missed their chance at this one with knee troubles, but they've both worked hard. I don't know who will make the squad for the Tour, but I trust it will be eight guys who believe in Contador, each other, and the chance to win.

It's going to be an interesting weekend. If Contador pulls off the win, I'll remember the TT with no radio, the chase behind the Rabobank car on Stragelj's bike, the sprint finish, the wool scarf around his face, and the climb to Mende. To be continued:)
 
Mar 13, 2009
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BroDeal said:
Uh-oh. All but two of their riders came in behind Tommy. D. I call this the Tommy D. score. Today's score is 2/7 = 28.6% Retirement Shack is screwed.

Overall I don't think we can learn much from P-N. It's March. It's been colder than a witch's tit in a brass brassiere on the shady side of an iceberg. Lots of riders dislike riding in the cold. On paper Astana can field a decent team, not stacked or anything, but good enough for Contador.
lolz Tommy D watch. Where is Kristen?
 
Mar 13, 2009
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theswordsman said:
He said that Levi dropped a chain with five miles to go:rolleyes:
is that an equivalent euphemism to "dropping the soap" in the Big House?

Does Odessa know Levi likes to drop his chain.
 
Feb 14, 2010
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peloton said:
Really?

Funny no-one in the live coverage(s) noticed that....:rolleyes:

However, Levi’s luck run out at around 5 miles to go, as he drop his chain coming out of a bumpy turn. He lost contact with the front group, which was now down to around 40 guys.

http://blog.oregonlive.com/horner/2010/03/chris_horners_team_radioshack_5.html

I wasn't sure if this was literal, a new Radio Shack euphemism for something I don't want to know, or if they have a remote chain release for when a Dream Team member is about to fall off the back. :D
 
Apr 12, 2009
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BroDeal said:
Uh-oh. All but two of their riders came in behind Tommy. D. I call this the Tommy D. score. Today's score is 2/7 = 28.6% Retirement Shack is screwed. On a non-mountain stage a score less than 50% is a sure sign a team is sucking. A score of 28.6% on a hard, bumpy day of racing is almost unheard of. It might even be record breaking.

Overall I don't think we can learn much from P-N. It's March. It's been colder than a witch's tit in a brass brassiere on the shady side of an iceberg. Lots of riders dislike riding in the cold. On paper Astana can field a decent team, not stacked or anything, but good enough for Contador.

Bro Deal remind me not to drink water before I read your posts because my monitor is just drenched:( funny though:)