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Where does Contador go next year?

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VeloFidelis said:
Do you really think a 38 year old guy has aspirations of winning the Tour next year?

Hello to everyone and VeloFidelis
I would bet that he does. Really. Even though, as you said...

Lance has always had more to gain politically by just doing well in the TDF, rather than by winning at someone's expense. He doesn't need the controversy or the win, which is not to say he hasn't been competing for it.

Indeed, Armstrong gains a lot by being in the TdF. I kind of despise the guy to be honest, so I take some pleasure in the spectacle of his lost dominance. I think he knows that his (relative) weakness is a sure way to attract sympathy from everyone, even his critics. He was smart enough to retire before he went through the proverbial Merckx/Indurain end-of-legacy-bonking, and orchestrated his return as a total win-win situation.
Armstrong is a smart guy, he knows how to handle his PR and his image on the whole, so you would expect him to know that his time is most likely up soon.

However, as any human being, he has his contradictions. Many other athletes did not see the writing on the wall (as someone worded earlier). While he is pretty good in the PR game, he still have a lot of aggressive outbursts (his twitter, etc...). And given his very competitive spirit, I would believe he still think he can win a TdF. That doesn't sound too farfetched even to me (but maybe I was traumatized by his reign). Sure, Contador (and a couple others) is out of reach, but Armstrong still managed to be in the top 10 GC. A lot can happen in a race: accidents, bad days...
There's some wishful thinking there, I don't believe either he has a realistic chance at winning the Tour 2010. I wouldn't put it past him to be slighty blinded on the issue though. Maybe I just bought his public persona, Will-of-Iron and such, though.

VeloFidelis said:
Messy?... Yeah possibly. But the thing that seems to be lost in that logic is exactly the egos involved here. Bruyneel, Armstrong and Contador all want to win above all else. That is a force that will bind them together more than split them apart. The key is defining what each of them has to win and lose.

I think this year's TdF is the proof that the team is too small for their egos (and almost right off the bat, 6 months in after LA went back), and that their desire to win is not mutually beneficial. There have been a lot of back and forth on this forum about "a team can have multiple leaders", and I agree that it is the standard setup for big teams on this TDF, but in the LA/JB/AC case it just can't work: That is now how Bruyneel build his teams, and that is not how Armstrong races the TdF. It is pretty clear that the Radio Shack team is built for and around Armstrong and he alone.

You say that Bruyneel is the one most aware of Contador's talent, yet on this TdF, he was very public about his preference: Contador has been continually scolded and even in the ITT, Bruyneel chose to ride behind Armstrong and not the Maillot Jaune, I mean... really? He sure didn't take any gloves at all.

I do not think Contador will accept this any longer. He is head and shoulders above everyone on this tour, I am not sure he needs Bruyneel or armstrong to win. Sure Astana 2009 is a monster team, but will Radio Shack be as strong? The rumored lineup is interesting, but is it that much more interesting than Caisse d'Epargne, which has other advantages for him (it's Spanish for one...)? To the point of enduring the same drama?
(Caisse d'Epargne signed Moreau by the way, seems to me like an obvious move to prepare next year TdF using a very experienced vet... another thing: it has the Pro Tour licence. I know Radio Shack is almost guaranteed to be featured in big races because of the Lance effect, but who knows what can happen...)

On to the final point: despite all this speculation, at the end of the day, Contador is contracted to Olympus. So even though all this speculation above could be right, Bruyneel could in theory "force" Contador to race for him.
But I think it is doubtful though. If Contador does not agree, things will get messy: there's no way (esp. after this Tour) you could argue in public that Contador should ever take a back seat to Lance or to not align him in the great races. This could turn into a PR disaster dragging out for months and I do not think Armstrong want that, it would drain his image as well.

On the other hand, selling Contador last year of contract would be very profitable. His monetary value is at the highest right now and that's the last chance of selling him (unless he prolongs the contract). Why suffer the drama when you can make big bucks by avoiding conflicts?

So I agree with you that in a logical world, LA would know his time is up or soon to be up and that JB would know he needs to prepare the future. But facts seems to point out it is not the case and that those big characters of theirs push them in unexpected directions. Therefore, I think some of the speculation here has some merit.

Thanks for your time.
 
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It all seems to point in the direction of Alonso's cycling team. Fernando is getting some mean financial backing (Banco Santander, La Caixa and some other Spanish banks) and if he's able to lure in some big names, apart from Contador of couse, I don't know... This is what the Spanish sports media have been saying for the past couple days anyway.
 
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Señor_Contador said:
It all seems to point in the direction of Alonso's cycling team. Fernando is getting some mean financial backing (Banco Santander, La Caixa and some other Spanish banks) and if he's able to lure in some big names, apart from Contador of couse, I don't know... This is what the Spanish sports media have been saying for the past couple days anyway.


Yup, seems like an interesting project.
 
Señor_Contador said:
It all seems to point in the direction of Alonso's cycling team. Fernando is getting some mean financial backing (Banco Santander, La Caixa and some other Spanish banks) and if he's able to lure in some big names, apart from Contador of couse, I don't know... This is what the Spanish sports media have been saying for the past couple days anyway.

Isn't this team at least a whole year off at the moment though?
There's already Radio Shack and Sky next season and they are well under way. The "Alonso project" is still a rumor.

Contador will have to ride somewhere next year nevertheless.
 
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CentralCaliBike said:
[...]Bruyneel was going for the first modern sweep of the podium and made that very clear to the team.[...]

How do you know that? I heard nothing of it anywhere at any point. If you do a google search for Bruyneel's opinion, prior to the Tour, you'll find out his # 1 goal was "to win the Tour de France", not place 3 people on the podium. With this I'm not saying that halfway in, due to race circumstances, it may have indirectly become a # 2 goal, I'm just stating the obvious, based on Johan's own words.

Bruyneel holds the contracts with all of the riders so they actual work for him. That means that Bruyneel is Contador's boss. Bruyneel is also going for the overall team victory. None of this should have been a real issue for Contador since Bruyneel also said the team would ride for the strongest rider - which it has done.

If that is indeed the case... why has either Zubeldia or Klöden worked A LOT MORE for Armstrong than Contador? Watch the stages again. Do the math.

I mean, this team, team, team, team bull$hit story is something new. Watch all of Lance's 7 TdF wins: He never had a single serious rider in his own team that could've given him a run for his money. In every stage, take Alpe D'Huez, Mont Ventoux, et cetera, Bruyneel would make the team work up to 5ks to go and then Lance would sprint to the finish. He would never, ever take another team member with him (apart from Heras on one ocasion). That is because he was the leader and the team's roles were clear to everyone: Work for Lance. And that's what they did 340 days a year, train to help Lance, not beat him. There was none of this wait-for-Klöden mumbojumbo that the people in VS now like to bring up as though it was a problem and don't even blink ONCE when an "excuse me Lance, you used to do the same thing" was in order, and instead shut their mouths, or worse yet, repeat what Lance or Johan said over and over and over and over again. Talk about beating a dead horse!

As for the Radio Shack announcement - prior to Armstrong's announcement the team had announced it was kicking him and Bruyneel to the door over Vino - Astana raised the issue and Armstrong capitalized on it (although there must be a better brand out there for US cycling). In addition to that Contador was attempting to get a contact with another team just prior to the Tour (Garmin) which was certainly reasonable since at the time it was uncertain whether Astana would even be invited to the Tour.

Right. You just put your finger on the # 1 problem: Armstrong showing up 6 months prior to the TdF with the money bag. Up to LA coming into the picture Contador was the clear leader of the team. I mean, gotta give props to AC for accepting co-leading roles with Leipheimer, when the later does not possess the same talent or record. But back to LA and his money bag. Remember the Paris-Nice of this past year, Contador's cracking on one of the stages ans LA's comment that "he has a lot to learn?". That's when the gloves came off. I mean, here's AC, fresh from winning the TdF, the Giro D'Italia (which is a lot harder than the Tour) and the Vuelta (L'Angliru included) in a little over a year and he is asked to accept the role of co-captain with a guy who doesn't even come close. Imagine LA being asked the same question? I would've taken it as an insult. Anyhow, you have a gradual increase in the negative rethoric from both sides, LA comes in at the right time (Astana was having money problems) and all of a sudden the # 1 goal changes. I would bet my left testicle the TdF was the tradeoff Bruyneel accepted for getting a big contract with Livestrong-Radio Shack. Alberto must've seen this coming a mile away and his riding became more offensive to make sure that he put some light in between him and LA.

I, personally, think JB and LA were conspiring against him. And I'm serious too. All the pieces of the puzzle come together when you look at it from that perspective. I mean, that wait-for-the-team Cinderella story was a way for them two to hide the obvious fact that mother nature was catching up with Lance. I mean... the Texan really though that he was going to get better in the last week of the Tour, and by holding Alberto back during the first week and a half it would ensure that he did not get too far ahead. The biggest problem, and the one that blew them away, was that AC showed up in great shape, and the minutes LA was hoping to put on him on the TT he actually lost. Moreover, AC was taking matters into his own hands and attacking in the mountains. If it wasn't for his attacks on Verbier and Arcalis Alberto would've been 2 minutes in front, enough of a psychological kick for the Schleck brothers to inflict some serious pain on Mont Ventoux.

Lastly, I do not believe that Contador will ride for anyone today other than himself - he has proven that no one other else matters to him (including the directions from his employer). Armstrong's place on the podium will rest on Armstrong's legs and mental toughness today which is how it should be IMO.

Care about the team? Are you kidding me? You've got a serious case of VS overdose. Is it me or did Johan say at one point that "Contador is the leader of the team" and that Lance would have "freedom of movement"? Is it me or did LA have "freedom of movement" during his 7-year reign? By "freedom of movement" I presume the powers-that-be, namely Johan Bruyneel, mean that he can attack whenever, wherever. It makes sense. If you're going to walk around announcing that you've got two (allow me the chess analogy) queens, why restric movement if the guys, either one, feels good?

Also, I'd like to put some issues to rest here. Those who think Lance will come back... well, I hate to break it to you, but his best days are over. He is still ahead of the people he used to race against, like Menchov or Sastre or Evans, with even bigger time gaps this year than in his previous 7 showings. Furthermore Lance Armstrong himslef has said, publicly, that, shape-wise he was between his 2003 and 2005 performance, so he was 98% there. People keep asking him what went wrong, and he keeps saying, as if he is unsure, that he was lacking on the high gradient stuff.

Methinks otherwise. I think he just came to the realisation that he may not win the TdF again in his life. This new generation of riders, the Schlecks, Contador or Wiggins just don't give a hoot about LA's high cadence riding. If need be, they could easily match it and even surpass it if they want to. Imagine Contador at his best (L'Angliru or Verbier) vs. LA's best (Alpe D'Huez)? I mean, Lance doesn't stand a chance. Likewise with the Schlecks or Wiggins if he keeps working hard at it in the mountains (and he will, believe me).

Lance has been officially run over by a new generation of riders. I know it's a hard pill to swallow, but he knows, deep in his heart that his very, very best shape may not even be enough. And that is a hill much, much harder to climb than Alpe D'Huez or Mont Ventoux.

This is just my opinion, so please be gentle.
 
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Señor_Contador said:
This is just my opinion, so please be gentle.

Saying Contador is head and shoulders above Lance at his prime is pushing it a bit.

Contador attacked and could not shed the Schreks only a few days ago.

Is he an amazing rider, yes and I am pretty surprised that he rode so well i nthe third week, but he is not dominant like Armstrong was in his prime.

When he has won 7 GT's then we can talk about him being better.

Eddy Merckx would be a dominant rider today if born in this generation, as would LeMond, or any number of great GT riders. To see them all in one tour on seperate teams given equal equipment, training, SRM's etc...well that will never happen.

But to dismiss LA and his abilities is foolish.
 
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FFWally said:
Saying Contador is head and shoulders above Lance at his prime is pushing it a bit.

Contador attacked and could not shed the Schreks only a few days ago.

Is he an amazing rider, yes and I am pretty surprised that he rode so well i nthe third week, but he is not dominant like Armstrong was in his prime.

When he has won 7 GT's then we can talk about him being better.

Eddy Merckx would be a dominant rider today if born in this generation, as would LeMond, or any number of great GT riders. To see them all in one tour on seperate teams given equal equipment, training, SRM's etc...well that will never happen.


But to dismiss LA and his abilities is foolish.

So is overestimating his abilities...
 
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FFWally said:
Saying Contador is head and shoulders above Lance at his prime is pushing it a bit.

Contador attacked and could not shed the Schreks only a few days ago.

Is he an amazing rider, yes and I am pretty surprised that he rode so well i nthe third week, but he is not dominant like Armstrong was in his prime.

When he has won 7 GT's then we can talk about him being better.

Eddy Merckx would be a dominant rider today if born in this generation, as would LeMond, or any number of great GT riders. To see them all in one tour on seperate teams given equal equipment, training, SRM's etc...well that will never happen.

But to dismiss LA and his abilities is foolish.

Note: I'm not saying AC is "head and shoulders" above LA. What I am saying is that this new generation of riders do not fear LA. They do not fear his TT abilities and especially his last 5k high-cadence riding. These young whipper-snappers attack 5, 6, 7 times in the last hill, putting in some big efforts, 10ks from, and going all out to, the end. If Lance were to use that today he'd get, at most, 1 stage win.

The entire Astana/US Postal modus operandi has been turned upside down. In order to win, without Contador mind you, they would have to change their tactics, LA would have to change the way he rides and the entire team would have to be able to respond to brutal mountain stages, without being able to control how they ride up the mountain.

This year LA could not attack 1 single day in the mountains for peace sake!

And I'm not saying that he will not win another TdF either. I am saying that, judging by his performance this year, he will have a very hard time winning again, even at his very best.
 
Señor_Contador said:
Note: I'm not saying AC is "head and shoulders" above LA. What I am saying is that this new generation of riders do not fear LA. They do not fear his TT abilities and especially his last 5k high-cadence riding. If Lance were to use that today he'd get, at most, 1 stage win.

He could not attack 1 single day in the mountains for peace sake!

I think this is a little harsh to say. Could you be right? Certainly. Could Lance win 3 or 4 stages, very possible. The reason why the new generation don't fear Lance is because this is a 37 year old Lance. Just like INdurain going for his 6th Tour. Once every realize that it was the 1996 Big Mig, and not the 92 or 93 Big Mig, they didn't fear him either. Guarantee If the 92 Big Mig was still around in 96 though, they fear him. The decrease from 33 to 38 in cycling is alot larger then the increase from 26-31.

Now one thing that I can go with your point is that during Lance's era, he really didn't have a mountain goat to contend with. Right now you have absolute true climbers like Contador and Schleck who can put in massive attacks in the mountains. During 99-05, the only real mountain guys that Lance had to contend with was Mayo and Pantani. Pantani was only a shell of his former self in 2000, and he still was able to pull away from Lance on Courchevel. Mayo might have been one of the worse TT ever to finish Top 5 in a Tour. Virenque was already passed his prime. Vino, even though more of a power climber, put gaps in Lance a few times in 2003 due to his aggression. Lance main contenders during those years were Basso, Ulrich, Zulle, and Beloki, who all were more power riders and couldn't put in the massive accelerations like a Schleck or a Contador. Lance happened to be the one power climber who could put in a differential acceleration which could distance himself from these other contenders. Once he got to those last couple of years and realize he was starting to lose that differential acceleration, he then resorted to team tactics and equipment changes to make up the difference.

LIke I said earlier in the stage 20 thread though, applies here. I said that the racers don't make the route, they can only race the route. The same for Lance, he didn't decide who his competition was, all he do was race against it and he won against them. As much fun as it is to compare riders from all these different generations, who would win against who still mainly comes down to one's opinion.
 
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Very true indeed.

Also, do not forget Wiggins. The guy is totally awesome. I mean, if he gets better in the mountains... Then the next few Tours will me amazing to watch.

I see the Schleks taking 2 or 3, Contador taking another 2 or three and, depending on how he develops in the mountains, I see Wiggins winning 1 or 2 TdF. The Brit's style reminds me of Indurain.
 
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And, by the way, I'm a *** too. I want Lance to come back next year and get an 8th TdF. But his face and body language tell me that he's been given a rather large slice of humble pie. He's got that "what the hell did just happen to me" look that is real bad news (LeMond and Indurain went through the same thing).
 
Señor_Contador said:
And, by the way, I'm a *** too. I want Lance to come back next year and get an 8th TdF. But his face and body language tell me that he's been given a rather large slice of humble pie. He's got that "what the hell did just happen to me" look that is real bad news (LeMond and Indurain went through the same thing).

That last statement somewhat leads to my point that you could actually consider this his greatest TDF. Its easy to win when you prove you are the . or No. 2, but he clearly prove he was not one of the Top 5 TT or one of the Top 3 climbers, but he still manages to finishes on the podium. Off of pure memory, that makes him the oldest rider to be on the podium since Joop Z in 1980.

In fact lets put this in perspective the following are the 4 5 time winners of the TDf and when they retired:

Eddy retired at 33 yo
Bernard retired at 32 yo
Jacque retired at 31 yo
Miguel retired at 32 yo

Let's seriously put this in perspective, when Lance won his last TDf he was just short of his 34th birthday, at an age when the other 4 had already retired. Most serious cycling experts and fans, not basing their opinion on fanaticism, expected Lance probably to come in around 5th to 7th. I had ony my personal list him finishing sixth. I had sent this to a few friends of mine that asked my opinion what would happen. My Top 10 as following

1. Contador
2. A. Schleck
3. Sastre (Boy did I miss that)
4. Levi (If he didn't get hurt, I think this would have been about right based on his form)
5. Evans (YUCK)
6. Lance
7. Menchov (Not Good)
8. KLoden
9. Astarloza (Did pretty well with this guess)
10. VDV

I see nothing Lance can do to pass Contador for the TDF next year if both are in. He might have an outside chance of passing A. Schleck if the route has a lot of flatt TT km based on the fact that he will have a year on his belt. But, if this is the case, then I think Wiggins would go around him.

Again, this is based on all these guys competing next year. Based on this scenario even with the year under his belt and specified training, I think his maxed potential is 3rd place. Not a knock against him, just When your 38 in a sport where the prime is 27-32, and your main competition are all between 24-31, no matter how great you were in the past, you have to be realistic. If he does ride the 2010 tour, I would love to see him grind a 3rd place, because then he would have the record for most podium finishes in the Tour by himself, and despite the expectations, this would be something truly historical.

I just wish more people on here would look at him as the rider, not the emotions that people have attached to his name, whether its for him or against him. He is the old guy that many viewers hang on to because they want to believe its still possible to compete at an elder age. How many fans would have loved to see Eki hang on to the Gold in Sydney being 39 or 40 years old.

WIth the right route, this years really had a potential to be truly great, it had the 4 main riders of interest to create Top level interest. The Overwhelming favorite (COntador), who every wants to either fall apart or truly dominate. The Young gun (A. Schleck) who creates excitement that everyone is waiting to see what he will do. The Old Champion (Armstrong) trying to hang on for one last hurrah, and the complete unknown/underdog (Wiggins) who nobody knows what to expect but they are rooting for him. You also had the faithful domestiques who 1, tried to keep the underdog in the game and encouraging him (VDV for Wiggins), and the exceptional story of a brother giving it all for his brother (F. Schleck).

This above paragraph is why I think everyone isdisappointed. All these elements were present, but just didn't have enough to produce the epic battle most were hoping for. Again though, the riders can only deal with what the race director has put in front of them.
 
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Idle chatter about Contador possibly going to Garmin. lol
I can't see that happening given his ties to Puerto and Garmin's insistence they are all riding Nancy Reagan.
 
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Post Race interview

Q: What are you going to do in 2010?



AC: What I have clear is that there is going to be a lot of hassle to see what will be my future. For sure, it will be on a different team than Lance (Armstrong). We’ll see what we can do, whether it’s a new team or find a team that is 100 percent behind me to confront this race to win it again.



Q: Was it good or bad with Lance Armstrong?



AC: There haven’t been that many situations during the Tour. When the balance in his favor, then it was in my favor, it was good. The situation was more or less equal throughout the Tour. I knew that he would be a rider to beat in the GC. If I wanted to win, he wanted to win, it’s not compatible if two riders try to win. I knew that he would be a rival. I had trained a lot thinking about how hard this Tour was going to be. I arrived in this Tour in the best possible condition that I could be in and I didn’t really worry about what kind of condition that Lance was in.

Q: Will Lance be a challenger next year?



AC: Of course, next year he’ll have another important role to play like he did last year. He’ll be one of the clear candidates for the overall and he will be a tough rival.

Q: What will it be like with Lance on the podium?



AC: When you win, you like that the ones who are behind you, that they are good riders with a big name, so I’m sure that the photo we take tomorrow in Paris will be historic.”
 
Carl0880 said:
That last statement somewhat leads to my point that you could actually consider this his greatest TDF. Its easy to win when you prove you are the . or No. 2, but he clearly prove he was not one of the Top 5 TT or one of the Top 3 climbers, but he still manages to finishes on the podium. Off of pure memory, that makes him the oldest rider to be on the podium since Joop Z in 1980.

In fact lets put this in perspective the following are the 4 5 time winners of the TDf and when they retired:

Eddy retired at 33 yo
Bernard retired at 32 yo
Jacque retired at 31 yo
Miguel retired at 32 yo

Let's seriously put this in perspective, when Lance won his last TDf he was just short of his 34th birthday, at an age when the other 4 had already retired. Most serious cycling experts and fans, not basing their opinion on fanaticism, expected Lance probably to come in around 5th to 7th. I had ony my personal list him finishing sixth. I had sent this to a few friends of mine that asked my opinion what would happen. My Top 10 as following

1. Contador
2. A. Schleck
3. Sastre (Boy did I miss that)
4. Levi (If he didn't get hurt, I think this would have been about right based on his form)
5. Evans (YUCK)
6. Lance
7. Menchov (Not Good)
8. KLoden
9. Astarloza (Did pretty well with this guess)
10. VDV

I see nothing Lance can do to pass Contador for the TDF next year if both are in. He might have an outside chance of passing A. Schleck if the route has a lot of flatt TT km based on the fact that he will have a year on his belt. But, if this is the case, then I think Wiggins would go around him.

Again, this is based on all these guys competing next year. Based on this scenario even with the year under his belt and specified training, I think his maxed potential is 3rd place. Not a knock against him, just When your 38 in a sport where the prime is 27-32, and your main competition are all between 24-31, no matter how great you were in the past, you have to be realistic. If he does ride the 2010 tour, I would love to see him grind a 3rd place, because then he would have the record for most podium finishes in the Tour by himself, and despite the expectations, this would be something truly historical.

I just wish more people on here would look at him as the rider, not the emotions that people have attached to his name, whether its for him or against him. He is the old guy that many viewers hang on to because they want to believe its still possible to compete at an elder age. How many fans would have loved to see Eki hang on to the Gold in Sydney being 39 or 40 years old.

WIth the right route, this years really had a potential to be truly great, it had the 4 main riders of interest to create Top level interest. The Overwhelming favorite (COntador), who every wants to either fall apart or truly dominate. The Young gun (A. Schleck) who creates excitement that everyone is waiting to see what he will do. The Old Champion (Armstrong) trying to hang on for one last hurrah, and the complete unknown/underdog (Wiggins) who nobody knows what to expect but they are rooting for him. You also had the faithful domestiques who 1, tried to keep the underdog in the game and encouraging him (VDV for Wiggins), and the exceptional story of a brother giving it all for his brother (F. Schleck).

This above paragraph is why I think everyone isdisappointed. All these elements were present, but just didn't have enough to produce the epic battle most were hoping for. Again though, the riders can only deal with what the race director has put in front of them.

Isn't that a testament to the TTT then and not his individual abilities? Moreover, he wasn't ever in direct competition with Contador. So it's hard to make an assessment about his performance relatively speaking. Next year you'll have a better sense of his abilities. When he has to actually race the Schlecks and Contador.
 
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Second post ever, just registered.

Lance was helped immensely by both the TTT (18 seconds over Garmin, 40 over Saxo) and the stage 3 split (41 more over all other GC contenders, including his teammates). Without those he would have been 6th going into today's stage and probably not on the podium tomorrow. Now those were earned results if not exactly head-to-head, so he earned his spot. But not necessarily by being the third strongest rider in the race.

Imagine the reaction of the Versus team (and, for that matter, JB), if it had been Alberto who gained the split on stage 3, without Lance, and ordered his two helpers to open up the gap on Lance. But somehow it's Alberto who is painted as the bad teammate. I don't buy it.
 
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scribe said:
Lance didn't order his mates to take turns in that breakaway rotation.

You sure? He clearly did order them to come with him. And Lance was the one who explained it to the media, saying the idea was to distance "everybody else." Anyway, if it was JB's order, I'm not sure that helps a lot.
 
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JB ordered the rotation. This has gotten lots of press. The leader board on the team hadn't shook out as of yet, so JB wanted to use the situation to improve team position.
 
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mapei81 said:
Second post ever, just registered.

Lance was helped immensely by both the TTT (18 seconds over Garmin, 40 over Saxo) and the stage 3 split (41 more over all other GC contenders, including his teammates). Without those he would have been 6th going into today's stage and probably not on the podium tomorrow. Now those were earned results if not exactly head-to-head, so he earned his spot. But not necessarily by being the third strongest rider in the race.

Imagine the reaction of the Versus team (and, for that matter, JB), if it had been Alberto who gained the split on stage 3, without Lance, and ordered his two helpers to open up the gap on Lance. But somehow it's Alberto who is painted as the bad teammate. I don't buy it.

And without Kloden losing the 2:18 that resulted from AC's attack that Lance and Liggett so bitterly complained about, Kloden would have been ahead of Lance now and Lance would be out of the podium in 4th. Coulda, woulda, shoulda, but ironic nonetheless.
 
ElVaca said:
If Fernando Alonso's team gets off the ground, don't expect it to be ready in 2010. More like 2011.

If Radio Shack can get going...why can't Alonso's team?

Are there any existing teams up for grabs?

How easy is it for management/ownership of a team to change?

Anybody know?
 
Jun 30, 2009
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180mmCrank said:
If Radio Shack can get going...why can't Alonso's team?

Are there any existing teams up for grabs?

How easy is it for management/ownership of a team to change?

Anybody know?

i don't really have any insight, but i think an important point to make is that starting a team, staffing a COMPLETE team, and getting a protour license are three completely different things.
 
Jun 23, 2009
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My sense is we are all singing to JBs tune which is being conducted to perfection.

The only reason he would not hold onto to AC is if he does not want to be a DS the year after next. This is possible as he and LA are obviously good friends. Maybe it is just not the same with AC?Either way, he is clearly smart enough to keep that option open.

I expect AC will sleep well tonight knowing that he will be able to recharge his cellphone anywhere in the world.