Will Contador help Armstrong on Ventoux?

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Jul 21, 2009
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Rupert said:
Agree with Jay on 4 and 5.
Re 1 - More than once when AC was up the road, Lance sat on and waited until there was no danger of his bringing a GC contender with him before he made a move (including Andorra).
2 - Agree with Fulcrum on the twittering - Lance has never been very good about putting a sock in his mouth and has often spoken up when silence would have been better (like the time he said he didn't think Jan really waited for him) .. Although some of Lance's comments have often been quoted out of context in the press (and blogs), since they're always trying to stir up as much as possible to get a juicy story. Same true of AC - the press makes the most of anything they can get if it makes a grabby headline.
3 - Sure the announcement is a fact, but I don't see that as something aimed at AC or anyone else.

And while I do think that Lance coming back to Astana did not help with building a healthy team dynamic on Astana, I do think Lance has made an effort to be a good teammate as things developed during the race. I think some of ACs recent comments (help Lance and Klodi on Ventoux) are an indication that he is trying to mend fences, and maybe recognizes that some of his recent moves haven't been helpful.
1- I asked for an example of LA ACTIVELY working for AC. Not sitting on oponents wheels. You know, kind of like when Heras, Ekimov, Rubiera etc used to help LA as a team leader.

3- It has a lot to do with AC. First of all it takes away from the share of the media coverage he would normally get as a result of AC's stage wins. Second, it creates unsettlement on the team with people talking about where they are going to be next year. Third, Lance knows he brings money and opportunity to the table, so there is the issue of what kind of favors he might get from the likes of Kloden for a seat in next years team. And that affects AC.

All of that could be avoided if Lance were to wait until next Sunday or Monday for the announcement. But he chose not to.
 
Rupert said:
Agree with Jay on 4 and 5.
Re 1 - More than once when AC was up the road, Lance sat on and waited until there was no danger of his bringing a GC contender with him before he made a move (including Andorra).
2 - Agree with Fulcrum on the twittering - Lance has never been very good about putting a sock in his mouth and has often spoken up when silence would have been better (like the time he said he didn't think Jan really waited for him) .. Although some of Lance's comments have often been quoted out of context in the press (and blogs), since they're always trying to stir up as much as possible to get a juicy story. Same true of AC - the press makes the most of anything they can get if it makes a grabby headline.
3 - Sure the announcement is a fact, but I don't see that as something aimed at AC or anyone else.

And while I do think that Lance coming back to Astana did not help with building a healthy team dynamic on Astana, I do think Lance has made an effort to be a good teammate as things developed during the race. I think some of ACs recent comments (help Lance and Klodi on Ventoux) are an indication that he is trying to mend fences, and maybe recognizes that some of his recent moves haven't been helpful.
A.Observing the unwritten rules of cycling isn't the same as WORKING for Contador. So I think the original point stands.

B. Lance has been a terrible teammate. Certainly one he would not have tolerated on USPS or Disco.

C. Contador is showing himself to be far more media savvy than Lance. He's saying all the right things in the press. And I'm sure he will help Klodi as much as possible. I'd be surprised if Lance is there with the main guys at the top. Nothing he's done to date indicates that he has the climbing legs to stay with the Schlecks.
 
Jul 23, 2009
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Ninety5rpm said:
Latest Wilcockson tweet:

"To all those who asked, AC has to be team player on Ventoux if he wants to gain stature in the peloton and in the media. We'll see Saturday."

Maybe he's figured this out, maybe not. Many of you obviously have not.

Maybe he doesn't care and wants the iconic win on the iconic climb, a chance he may never have again.

Merckx, in Contador's position, would have gone for it and allowed weaker team mates follow if they could. AC will probably do the same.

After Sunday he and Lance go their separate ways in any case.
 
Apr 21, 2009
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Valid points...

fulcrum said:
1- I asked for an example of LA ACTIVELY working for AC. Not sitting on oponents wheels. You know, kind of like Heras, Ekimov, Rubiera etc used to help LA as a team leader.

3- It has a lot to do with AC. First of all it take away from the share of the media coverage he would normally get as a result of AC's stage wins. Second, it creates unsettlement on the team with people talking about where they are going to be next year. Third, lance know he bring money and opportunity to the table, so it brings up the issue of what kind of favors he might get from the likes of Kloden for a seat in next years team. And that affect AC. All of that could be avoided if he were to wait until next Sunday or Monday for the announcement. But he chose not to.
Valid points I think - Re 1, I have seen Lance pulling AC during the race but think he still had "protected" status on the team, hence Kloden worked for Lance. Lance is not functioning completely as a domestique, but is still subordinating his ambitions to ACs (once the pecking order was established). On Postal/Disco there was ONE undisputed team leader all the time, not the case on Astana (not an ideal situation unless there's an exceptional spirit within a team).
3 - The team announcement is probably timed to take advantage of all the attention on the Tour, for the benefit of the new sponsors. This is not helpful for the current team, granted. But I don't think it was contrived just to rain on Contador's parade. Bad timing, yes, but not directed personally at AC.
 
Rupert said:
Valid points I think - Re 1, I have seen Lance pulling AC during the race but think he still had "protected" status on the team, hence Kloden worked for Lance. Lance is not functioning completely as a domestique, but is still subordinating his ambitions to ACs (once the pecking order was established). On Postal/Disco there was ONE undisputed team leader all the time, not the case on Astana (not an ideal situation unless there's an exceptional spirit within a team).
3 - The team announcement is probably timed to take advantage of all the attention on the Tour, for the benefit of the new sponsors. This is not helpful for the current team, granted. But I don't think it was contrived just to rain on Contador's parade. Bad timing, yes, but not directed personally at AC.
I agree with you in part. I think it was designed, in part, to rain on Contador's parade over the next couple of days (hence the teaser announcement). But I think it was also timed with the idea that Lance would win the stage. As for publicity, he's Lance Armstrong. If he tells folks he has an announcement, the media will be there with microphones and video cameras. He could have held the press conference on Monday.
 
Jul 21, 2009
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Rupert said:
Valid points I think - Re 1, I have seen Lance pulling AC during the race but think he still had "protected" status on the team, hence Kloden worked for Lance. Lance is not functioning completely as a domestique, but is still subordinating his ambitions to ACs (once the pecking order was established). On Postal/Disco there was ONE undisputed team leader all the time, not the case on Astana (not an ideal situation unless there's an exceptional spirit within a team).
3 - The team announcement is probably timed to take advantage of all the attention on the Tour, for the benefit of the new sponsors. This is not helpful for the current team, granted. But I don't think it was contrived just to rain on Contador's parade. Bad timing, yes, but not directed personally at AC.
1- Can you provide more specifics on when Lance was pulling AC (while Lance leading). I challenge you and I say it is not so. When and where was that? Lance subordinating his ambitions to ACs is a direct result of the ass kicking he's received in the race. And subordinating doesn't mean actively helping AC. Lance is still focused on his podium finish, contrary to what he stated when saying that he would help Contador if Contador proved to the the strongest guy.

3- Kind of a fine point, but regardless here it goes... waiting until Sunday would have taken advantage of the Tour attention, thus benefiting the new sponsor, and would have not damaged AC and the TdF team.
 
fulcrum said:
1- I asked for an example of LA ACTIVELY working for AC. Not sitting on oponents wheels. You know, kind of like when Heras, Ekimov, Rubiera etc used to help LA as a team leader.
Duh! Stage 3?
Armstrong whupping up Popo and Zubeldia, to join Columbia into putting time into the peloton, which just happened to contain Kloden, Levi and Contador?

No, wait, I forgot, that was simply a great tactical move on his part....
Well, it was, since he put his ass on the back of the group, did sod all and had his paid donkey do his Dertie work.
Seemed pretty ACTIVE to me, but, then again, I don't have a pair of them thar special one-way fanboy glasses, to watch with.:rolleyes:
 

Dr. Maserati

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Jun 19, 2009
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Rupert said:
Did you read a different article than me (I followed your link...)? The only quote about teammates I saw there was:

"Armstrong on Contador:
“[On the road to Verbier he] was faster than I ever was. That performance would have ridden away from me on Alpe d’Huez 2001. He’s very hard to beat.” ".

This is hardly evidence of what a jerk Lance is...
I believe this is what the original poster was referring to.

Armstrong on his mellowing personality:

“Definitely in the past [I was pretty hard on people around me]. Before, I would tell the guys in the team, ‘You’re not talking to anybody. We’re here to race, three weeks; you can talk to your friends afterwards.’ Now the rest of the peloton see me and think, ‘He actually talks to us!’”
 
Apr 21, 2009
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specifics

fulcrum said:
1- Can you provide more specifics on when Lance was pulling AC (while Lance leading). I challenge you and I say it is not so. When and where was that? Lance subordinating his ambitions to ACs is a direct result of the ass kicking he's received in the race. And subordinating doesn't mean actively helping AC. Lance is still focused on his podium finish, contrary to what he stated when saying that he would help Contador if Contador proved to the the strongest guy.

3- Kind of a fine point, but regardless here it goes... waiting until Sunday would have taken advantage of the Tour attention, thus benefiting the new sponsor, and would have not damaged AC and the TdF team.
1 - Point taken - Lance has not gone 100% domestique, but: http://tour-de-france.velonews.com/photo/95620 (downhill, granted). I have seen other instances (photos, race coverage) but since at the end game the Astanas have been marking the Schlecks none of them have been on front anyway, and when the sh&% went down Lance (by his own admission) has not been able to go with AC and Andy, at least in the initial jumps, so was in no position to pull... I do concede that Lance has not gone 100% domestique for AC, that is true. Just think as a team racing for 1-2-3 was a valid objective too (up to the boss, who that is is another debate).

This team HAD a chance for 1-2-3 on the podium, but the controversial Contador attack pretty much blew that (I do think it was more of a mistake than a malicious act, and it would seem brilliant if he had taken time out of the Schlecks...). Team-wise, #1 is most important, but if you could have had that AND 1 or 2 more podium spots (without jeopardizing the MJ) it would be better yet. They may still get 3rd, but only if Lance can stay with Frank Schleck - hard to see what Kloden does, he seems to do the domestique role but I expect that Saturday if either Lance or Kloden can go with the Schlecks they will and neither will wait for the other... Will be very interesting to see...

3 - Yep, Sunday would have been better.


Back to the main topic thread, the only way I could see AC helping (Astana get more guys on the podium) would be if AC sat on the Schlecks wheels while Kloden and LA attacked, and that seems pretty farfetched and (silly) risky. More likely, AC will mark the Schlecks and attack for the win at the end, and LA and Kloden will hang on as best they can (and attack Frank Schleck and Wiggins and Andy if they feel REALLY good). Unless the 3 Astanas can, together, drop Andy Schleck and beat him by 1:10+, I don't see how they gain another podium spot. Only way would be if Andy self-destructs trying to gain first place (highly unlikely).
 
Rupert said:
1 - Point taken - Lance has not gone 100% domestique, but: http://tour-de-france.velonews.com/photo/95620 (downhill, granted). I have seen other instances (photos, race coverage) but since at the end game the Astanas have been marking the Schlecks none of them have been on front anyway, and when the sh&% went down Lance (by his own admission) has not been able to go with AC and Andy, at least in the initial jumps, so was in no position to pull... I do concede that Lance has not gone 100% domestique for AC, that is true. Just think as a team racing for 1-2-3 was a valid objective too (up to the boss, who that is is another debate).

This team HAD a chance for 1-2-3 on the podium, but the controversial Contador attack pretty much blew that (I do think it was more of a mistake than a malicious act, and it would seem brilliant if he had taken time out of the Schlecks...). Team-wise, #1 is most important, but if you could have had that AND 1 or 2 more podium spots (without jeopardizing the MJ) it would be better yet. They may still get 3rd, but only if Lance can stay with Frank Schleck - hard to see what Kloden does, he seems to do the domestique role but I expect that Saturday if either Lance or Kloden can go with the Schlecks they will and neither will wait for the other... Will be very interesting to see...

3 - Yep, Sunday would have been better.


Back to the main topic thread, the only way I could see AC helping (Astana get more guys on the podium) would be if AC sat on the Schlecks wheels while Kloden and LA attacked, and that seems pretty farfetched and (silly) risky. More likely, AC will mark the Schlecks and attack for the win at the end, and LA and Kloden will hang on as best they can (and attack Frank Schleck and Wiggins and Andy if they feel REALLY good). Unless the 3 Astanas can, together, drop Andy Schleck and beat him by 1:10+, I don't see how they gain another podium spot. Only way would be if Andy self-destructs trying to gain first place (highly unlikely).
I think Armstrong's tactical error contributed heavily to that situation. He doesn't blow it, Frank is back with him and Wiggins.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Dr. Maserati said:
I believe this is what the original poster was referring to.

Armstrong on his mellowing personality:

“Definitely in the past [I was pretty hard on people around me]. Before, I would tell the guys in the team, ‘You’re not talking to anybody. We’re here to race, three weeks; you can talk to your friends afterwards.’ Now the rest of the peloton see me and think, ‘He actually talks to us!’”
That's evidence of being a jerk? I'm not saying he's not a jerk, but that's certainly not evidence of it.

Sometimes a focused authoritarian military-like operation is how things are set up, and that's how LA set things up. Don't like it? Fine, go ride for some other team.

This, by the way, is clearly not the type of organization on Astana 2009. If that's what AC wants, he can try to get someone to sponsor an org like that with him at the helm. Frankly, I don't think he has the leadership personality and/or skills to pull it off. But it's funny to me to see statements made that seem to be assume that is or should be the organization on Astana 2009.

Armstrong, for better or for worse, clearly does. Whether that's how it's going to be on Team RadioShack is TBD, but in any case it's a matter of leadership style. You don't have to be jerk to be an authoritarian leader of an organization, unless you define "jerk" so broadly that it applies to every military leader and tough sports leader. But that would be a rather pointless definition of jerk.
 
Apr 21, 2009
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mellow?

Dr. Maserati said:
I believe this is what the original poster was referring to.

Armstrong on his mellowing personality:

“Definitely in the past [I was pretty hard on people around me]. Before, I would tell the guys in the team, ‘You’re not talking to anybody. We’re here to race, three weeks; you can talk to your friends afterwards.’ Now the rest of the peloton see me and think, ‘He actually talks to us!’”
I think you're right. Even Lance admits he was pretty much of a jerk (maybe still is, no argument there). He's just less single-minded about winning than he was then. Being incredibly focused and single-minded about winning, and insisting everyone around you toe the line does not make you a nice guy or fun to be around. Unfortunately that may be what it takes to win like he did (7 times). Floyd (doping aside) tried actively to do it a different way because he disliked the Lance approach so much. But after the last year or so I actually think better of him (personality-wise) than I did before, he does seem more relaxed. And I think the more inflammatory stuff gets more press because it's sensational. Sometimes if you read the whole article or interview, the context changes a bit from the one-liner that gets quoted.
 

Dr. Maserati

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Ninety5rpm said:
That's evidence of being a jerk? I'm not saying he's not a jerk, but that's certainly not evidence of it.
Read the post please - I never said he was a jerk - the original poster did and Rupert said he saw nothing in the article about teamates.
 

Dr. Maserati

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Rupert said:
I think you're right. Even Lance admits he was pretty much of a jerk (maybe still is, no argument there). He's just less single-minded about winning than he was then. Being incredibly focused and single-minded about winning, and insisting everyone around you toe the line does not make you a nice guy or fun to be around. Unfortunately that may be what it takes to win like he did (7 times). Floyd (doping aside) tried actively to do it a different way because he disliked the Lance approach so much. But after the last year or so I actually think better of him (personality-wise) than I did before, he does seem more relaxed. And I think the more inflammatory stuff gets more press because it's sensational. Sometimes if you read the whole article or interview, the context changes a bit from the one-liner that gets quoted.
Actually - I did read the whole article! I was pointing this out as you quoted a different line from the same article. I did not offer an opinion either way just showed the relevant piece.
 
Apr 21, 2009
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tactical error

Publicus said:
I think Armstrong's tactical error contributed heavily to that situation. He doesn't blow it, Frank is back with him and Wiggins.
Agree with that. And Lance has said himself he probably missed a chance (or two) when he should have gone with the move quicker... We'll see if he can hang with Frank on Saturday. Presumably they will drop Wiggins, who knows what will happen with Kloden (hopefully either he or Lance can go with Frank, and if Klodi can take 3rd that's still a team podium spot, if Lance gets dropped).
 
Apr 21, 2009
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Civil discussion

Nice to have a pretty civil discussion (I mean it). Some of these threads turn to pure hate quickly. Some posters more than others...
 
Mar 11, 2009
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No way Contadoros ego is as high as his cadence, haemocrit level and TB's mind.
Lance and Brad might suffer on the great windy hill at the hands of the skinny slick brothers.
Maybe a dark horse will leap from the pack and gallop to victory or will one of Lancalots knights slip Conta a laxative and liven up le tour. I expect the riders to be scattered everyewhere.
I really must stay awake tomorrow, Kelly on eurospoty gets better ever year.
 
Apr 24, 2009
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fulcrum said:
1- I asked for an example of LA ACTIVELY working for AC. Not sitting on oponents wheels. You know, kind of like when Heras, Ekimov, Rubiera etc used to help LA as a team leader.

3- It has a lot to do with AC. First of all it takes away from the share of the media coverage he would normally get as a result of AC's stage wins. Second, it creates unsettlement on the team with people talking about where they are going to be next year. Third, Lance knows he brings money and opportunity to the table, so there is the issue of what kind of favors he might get from the likes of Kloden for a seat in next years team. And that affects AC.

All of that could be avoided if Lance were to wait until next Sunday or Monday for the announcement. But he chose not to.
Yeah, why utilize the media power of the worlds most popular cycling event to publicize your new business venture. Especially when, at the same time, you can please an anonymous concern troll on a cycling forum

Makes perfect sense.
 
Jul 21, 2009
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Azdak6 said:
Yeah, why utilize the media power of the worlds most popular cycling event to publicize your new business venture. Especially when, at the same time, you can please an anonymous concern troll on a cycling forum

Makes perfect sense.

No, he shouldn't do it out of concern for anybody in this forum. He should do it out of respect to his teammates. And he can still use the media power of the Tour by announcing it on Sunday. Prick.
 
Apr 24, 2009
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fulcrum said:
1- Can you provide more specifics on when Lance was pulling AC (while Lance leading). I challenge you and I say it is not so. When and where was that? Lance subordinating his ambitions to ACs is a direct result of the ass kicking he's received in the race. And subordinating doesn't mean actively helping AC. Lance is still focused on his podium finish, contrary to what he stated when saying that he would help Contador if Contador proved to the the strongest guy.
The way the race has shaped up, and with the design of the parcours, Contador has not needed any help. At the bottom of most of the climbs, other teams have attacked to drive up the pace. All of the Astanas have gone along for the ride. When the big attacks have come from A Schleck, Armstrong has been unable to follow. There has never been a true situation where Armstrong has been in a position to burn himself out on a climb for Contador a la Heras. Any speculation about what he would have done in that situation will most likely reflect the individual's opinion about Armstrong in general rather than any real insight.

As for Armstrong being "focused on his podium finish", it needs to be pointed out that the primary reason right now why his podium finish is under such threat is because he followed protocol and sat on Wiggins' wheel while a 2+ min gap opened up. Granted, he lost FSchleck's wheel due to his own mistake, but still, a rider focused solely on his own ambition would have tried to bridge up earlier, even if that meant pulling Wiggins with him.

There is no question that Armstrong is responsible for a lot of the drama and conflict in this year's race, but it's not a black and white situation either IMO.
 
Apr 24, 2009
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fulcrum said:
No, he shouldn't do it out of concern for anybody in this forum. He should do it out of respect to his teammates. And he can still use the media power of the Tour by announcing it on Sunday. Prick.
Wow..you really ARE concerned.
 
Apr 21, 2009
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Right

fulcrum said:
You are kidding right? Here, so you know how it looks like, I am looking for something like this:

http://www.grahamwatson.com/2002/ullrich/ullrich/image14.jpg
Like I said, I don't think Lance has been capable of being there. I don't think Lance pulling Contador in front of Andy Schleck has been possible this tour, because Contador and Schleck were both too strong for him and when they went, Lance was dropped. He said himself he can't do the quick accelerations any more. When he came back up he did offer Contador his wheel (for what was left of the climb), didn't he? I think at that point they were sitting on the Schlecks, though. And at least give him credit for what he did do, like not pull Wiggins back up from behind. Back in the day, Lance even had to ask Heras to back off at least once on a climb, but now Lance certainly isn't stronger than Contador, which he freely admits.
 

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