Three Grand Tour in one year -- is it possible?

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Jul 16, 2010
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The Hitch said:
Schleck was with cancellara in the last tdf ttt. They lost 40 seconds to radioshack i mean astana even though canc was in yellow and put big pulls at the front, and i think they lost time to others as well.

Team Time trials are just that, team efforts. So what if cancellara can go 50.35 km/h in a 50km time trial while tony martin can only go 50.25 km/h and loses 17 seconds over 50km. Over a team time trial of 22km cancellara will have a few km at the front and frankly it wont matter too much if he takes it easy and goes 47km/h or goes all out and does 53km/h for his 3 minutes at the front. What matters is how quick the other 7 riders in the team go for the 25 or so minutes they will be at the front and how well team plays it strategy wise.

Remember theres no cancellara in ttt. ;)
You can suck wheels. Both Contador and Cancellara are great time trialists. I don't know who else they will sign in their team next year, but they're going to kick some *** on the TTT next year. Sure, it probably wont decide the Tour, but every second helps.
 
Mar 11, 2009
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El Pistolero said:
You can suck wheels. Both Contador and Cancellara are great time trialists. I don't know who else they will sign in their team next year, but they're going to kick some *** on the TTT next year. Sure, it probably wont decide the Tour, but every second helps.
no, Contador is a good time trialist, not a great one, Spartacus another story tough.

And no, he can't win all 3 GTs, he can be podium placed on all 3 though, one win and 2 podiums at best... winning all 3 GTs is to big of an effort for even the greatest of athletes in modern day cycling...
 
El Pistolero said:
You can suck wheels. Both Contador and Cancellara are great time trialists. I don't know who else they will sign in their team next year, but they're going to kick some *** on the TTT next year. Sure, it probably wont decide the Tour, but every second helps.
Your give me the impression of not understanding the concept of team time trials. Cancellara is a great time trialist so over 50km he can get 1 or 2 minutes over the rest of the field. Thats a few seconds a minute over 50 very long km.

In a ttt of 22km he will be pulling for about 3 minutes. If you think he and contador are going to itt the team time trial and let everyone else suck wheels you have overestimated both canc and your hero. Over those 3 minutes he might be able to get 10 seconds out of everyone else. Thats being optimistic. He only took 10secs out of tmartin in a 8km rotterdam prologue. Here he will be on the front for about 2 or 3k. Then someone like navaro might take the front and imediately the 10 secs canc gained with his turn is reversed.

In the giro ttt you the teams who held on with all 9 riders did the best. Teams like astana tried to use up domestiques early and ended up with 4 riders while vino was waving his arms at the 5th. liquigas and katusha on the other hand gave all 9 riders equal turns. You didnt get nibali pulling the whole team along. They all took turns and all came to the finish.

Katusha had no cancellaras.(though ignatiev isnt bad) They just had 9 solid riders who would each lose about 1- 2 mins to cancellara in a 50k tt. But i would in a heartbeat take those 9 riders to do a 22km ttt than a super team of contador, cancellara, t martin, wiggins and david millar with the other 4 riders just sucking wheels.
 
Jul 28, 2010
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The Hitch said:
Your give me the impression of not understanding the concept of team time trials. Cancellara is a great time trialist so over 50km he can get 1 or 2 minutes over the rest of the field. Thats a few seconds a minute over 50 very long km.

In a ttt of 22km he will be pulling for about 3 minutes. If you think he and contador are going to itt the team time trial and let everyone else suck wheels you have overestimated both canc and your hero. Over those 3 minutes he might be able to get 10 seconds out of everyone else. Thats being optimistic. He only took 10secs out of tmartin in a 8km rotterdam prologue. Here he will be on the front for about 2 or 3k. Then someone like navaro might take the front and imediately the 10 secs canc gained with his turn is reversed.

In the giro ttt you the teams who held on with all 9 riders did the best. Teams like astana tried to use up domestiques early and ended up with 4 riders while vino was waving his arms at the 5th. liquigas and katusha on the other hand gave all 9 riders equal turns. You didnt get nibali pulling the whole team along. They all took turns and all came to the finish.

Katusha had no cancellaras.(though ignatiev isnt bad) They just had 9 solid riders who would each lose about 1- 2 mins to cancellara in a 50k tt. But i would in a heartbeat take those 9 riders to do a 22km ttt than a super team of contador, cancellara, t martin, wiggins and david millar with the other 4 riders just sucking wheels.
I do generally agree with you, but if I remember correctly, I do believe in the TdF 09 TTT, Garmin-Slipstream finished 2nd in front of Astana with only 5 riders left. So it can be done, it's just a big risk.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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The Hitch said:
Your give me the impression of not understanding the concept of team time trials. Cancellara is a great time trialist so over 50km he can get 1 or 2 minutes over the rest of the field. Thats a few seconds a minute over 50 very long km.

In a ttt of 22km he will be pulling for about 3 minutes. If you think he and contador are going to itt the team time trial and let everyone else suck wheels you have overestimated both canc and your hero. Over those 3 minutes he might be able to get 10 seconds out of everyone else. Thats being optimistic. He only took 10secs out of tmartin in a 8km rotterdam prologue. Here he will be on the front for about 2 or 3k. Then someone like navaro might take the front and imediately the 10 secs canc gained with his turn is reversed.

In the giro ttt you the teams who held on with all 9 riders did the best. Teams like astana tried to use up domestiques early and ended up with 4 riders while vino was waving his arms at the 5th. liquigas and katusha on the other hand gave all 9 riders equal turns. You didnt get nibali pulling the whole team along. They all took turns and all came to the finish.

Katusha had no cancellaras.(though ignatiev isnt bad) They just had 9 solid riders who would each lose about 1- 2 mins to cancellara in a 50k tt. But i would in a heartbeat take those 9 riders to do a 22km ttt than a super team of contador, cancellara, t martin, wiggins and david millar with the other 4 riders just sucking wheels.
What I actually meant by that was if Cancellara is leading and goes at and makes an amazing tempo the other riders will be able to follow him because they can suck his wheel. As the post I was quoting was suggesting that no one would be able to follow Cancellara's wheel when he's making the tempo. Sucking a wheel is obviously a lot easier then making the tempo your self. And Cancellara can give great advice on the team for riding a TTT. Not that I know a lot about the training professional cyclists undergo, but practicing and coordinating a TTT must be part of their program if it's included in a stage race/Grand Tour. Having someone like Cancellara in your team will make it easier to train the rest of the team to ride a decent TTT. That's my opinion about it at least.

And Tony Martin is also a great time trial specialist. How many seconds did Cancellara take on Schleck in that prologue again? Tony Martin wasn't a GC contender last time I checked by the way. Nor is he on Schleck's team.

I think getting 20-30 seconds advantage over Schleck in a TTT is great already, so no, I'm not overestimating anyone.
 
jobiwan said:
I do generally agree with you, but if I remember correctly, I do believe in the TdF 09 TTT, Garmin-Slipstream finished 2nd in front of Astana with only 5 riders left. So it can be done, it's just a big risk.
It happens. But even in this example the other 4 riders will have taken pulls, just dropped back afterwards, and i think its rare. It wouldnt work to have those 5 riders do the whole ttt themselves. Cancellara was on the saxo team that year and despite him going all out they lost 40s.
Contador will not gain valuable second just by having him there.
 
Jul 28, 2010
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jobiwan said:
I do generally agree with you, but if I remember correctly, I do believe in the TdF 09 TTT, Garmin-Slipstream finished 2nd in front of Astana with only 5 riders left. So it can be done, it's just a big risk.
I should have said behind Astana, my mistake.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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The Hitch said:
It happens. But even in this example the other 4 riders will have taken pulls, just dropped back afterwards, and i think its rare. It wouldnt work to have those 5 riders do the whole ttt themselves. Cancellara was on the saxo team that year and despite him going all out they lost 40s.
Contador will not gain valuable second just by having him there.
Put cancellara in any team for a TTT and they will go faster. I suppose unless it is a mountain TTT. How is that not gaining valuable seconds?
 
karlboss said:
Put cancellara in any team for a TTT and they will go faster. I suppose unless it is a mountain TTT. How is that not gaining valuable seconds?
Because if cancellara is all they have, they will not be gaining any seconds. Cancellara is a very minor variable. Having the other 8 teamates be strong is more important. Also as i said in a ttt of 22km cancellara will be lucky to carv out 10 seconds for his team.
Cancelaras skill is that over a certain distance he can hold a very sightly higher pace than everyone else. He will go for say 51 km/ while someone losing 2 minutes slower over the 50k will be doing 49km/h. But this advantage is negligable if cancellara is only pulling at the front for 3-5 minutes. And the time he gains can be lost in so many ways while others are pulling at the front.
 
Feb 14, 2010
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KNEW it! When asked, Fran was surprised, suggested it might have been a translation problem, and said three grand tour wins in three years was "impossible". But Marca caught up with Riis and Contador in Madrid:

What are your goals for the next two seasons?

It is still early to know the timetable, but I have in mind to make two big tours next year. I do not know exactly what, but I have to start changing the system a little training and perhaps start the year more relaxed.

Riis said that you want to win the big three in one year, what about it?
Of course it is a dream, although I do not know if impossible. I think I can run the big three at a good level, but from there to earn them much difference. You have to go little by little, I realize that it is practically impossible, though perhaps in the future ... It's a dream. Everyone has dreams and this is mine.
http://www.marca.com/2010/08/05/ciclismo/1281034194.html
 
Feb 14, 2010
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Marca had the photo of Contador and Riis outside a restaurant in Madrid, but the rest was a press release.

:: 05 / 08 / 10 :: Alberto Contador: “I am very excited about this project”
Almost two weeks after the end of the Tour de France, Alberto Contador can make an initial analysis of the race and, especially, start thinking about the future because of his recent agreement with Bjarne Riis, that guarantees stability for the next two seasons. “I’m very excited,” says the rider, “I think it was the best choice, because I come to a team with a definite philosophy, a good way to work and give me the tranquility that I have not had in recent years. I am happy and eager to begin this project”.

What did said Riis to you, what convinced you to join his team?

Several things, but no doubt the seriousness it requires and its philosophy of work have been primary reasons. That will allow me to be more relaxed, as well as his great experience, always ahead of teams with the best riders and very powerful, allowing you to face all objectives.

What are your goals for the next two seasons?

It is still early to know the calendar, but I have in mind to do two big tours next year. I do not know exactly which, but I have to start changing a little bit the training system and perhaps start the year more relaxed.

Riis said that you want to win the big three in one year, what about it?

Of course it's a dream, but I don’t know if impossible. I think I you can ride the big three at a good level, but from there to win them there is much difference. You have to go little by little, I realize that it is practically impossible, though perhaps in the future ... It's a dream. Everyone has dreams and this is mine.

Riis has been your harder rival the last two years with Andy Schleck in the Tour, what are the benefits of this union?

We have already discussed about this and I think the two wins. I have managed to win in the last two years after a hard fight and now I can convey my feelings, while he can tell me the weaknesses of Andy. It will be a good union.

How do you see the team next year?

I see it with great optimism. The base is a very solid team, riders have an incredible quality and I really want to start the first concentration. We will get on perfectly. For my part I will try to incorporate Benjamin Noval, Dani Navarro and Jesus Hernandez, but I also hope that the team is strengthened with new signings.

How do you approach the last part of the season with Astana?

We have to speak about, but I have very clear that I am still an Astana rider and I owe this team. My season is already more than accomplished, but we still have to think about it, besides attending various commitments with sponsors, because our relationship is still perfect and I'm very grateful to Astana, although the best decision was to move.

(Automatic translation. Forgive inaccuracies).

http://www.albertocontador.com/prensa.detalle.php?id=477
 
To the poster who said that Armstrongs opposition was "medium." I don't think there is much difference to then and now, except that this year there was greater depth of worthy top 10 finishers. Beloki was a mountain goat. Ullrich never in shape? He was in great form in '01. Not his fault that Lance made him look a tad sluggish on more than one occasion. Kloden was not far behind the Schlecks last year even though he was a bit past his best. And Basso of 04/05 isn't much different to AS 09/10.

As for Contador winning all 3 GT's, I could not say that it is impossible, but like most people on here I agree that it would be highly unlikely. His team would be strong enough, but the great difficulties of peaking aside, it gets back to his standard of opposition. He only just beat Andy this year with a full focus on the tour. And he would have needed to have been near peak form to have defeated Basso in the Giro. And that Giro was ridiculously tough. No way he could have even done that double this year.
 
Aug 16, 2009
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If, and here are the huge ifs, AC develops the work ethic of Vino rather than pulling an Ullrich and getting fat in the winter, and if he learns to listen to his team director and doesn't attack when he should be conserving energy, and all the other if he never gets a cold, has a bad day, does or doesn't wear a tie to the awards dinner,etc, then I think, just possibly, he might win 3, assuming nobody else has a perfect year, and he doesn't get caught with dope.

What I am positive of is Evans could ride all 3 and loose them all.
 
gregrowlerson said:
To the poster who said that Armstrongs opposition was "medium." I don't think there is much difference to then and now, except that this year there was greater depth of worthy top 10 finishers. Beloki was a mountain goat. Ullrich never in shape? He was in great form in '01. Not his fault that Lance made him look a tad sluggish on more than one occasion. Kloden was not far behind the Schlecks last year even though he was a bit past his best. And Basso of 04/05 isn't much different to AS 09/10.

As for Contador winning all 3 GT's, I could not say that it is impossible, but like most people on here I agree that it would be highly unlikely. His team would be strong enough, but the great difficulties of peaking aside, it gets back to his standard of opposition. He only just beat Andy this year with a full focus on the tour. And he would have needed to have been near peak form to have defeated Basso in the Giro. And that Giro was ridiculously tough. No way he could have even done that double this year.
he would've beaten basso with about 2-3 minutes easily this year just with 80-90% because of his better tt.

ricco was much stronger in 2008 as basso was this year and alberto wasn't even near to his top level in that edition, so no way basso would've even come close to him. at least he just won because contador, ricco, mentsjov, di luca and franco wasn't there, he had the best team and he was in a bit better condition than in 2009 (but maybe in the same as in la vuelta 09 where he just had stronger competitors).
 

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