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Tour De France 2009

contador is a beast.. sorry lance

armstrong is still the man considering his age though
  • Otter
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 22,936
Originally posted by fzrdave:
It's kind of hard to imagine anyone other than Contador winning this year's tour at this time, but Bradley Wiggins could make an upset if he can stay close in the Alps. Wiggins is great at the ITT, so if he can stay within two minutes of Contador, then he could upset Contador. This is still only a remote chance, though, because Contador has become pretty good at the ITT himself - he's the current Spanish TT champ. I still think Armstrong can get a podium, but he'll have to have a great TT. It really nice that the news coming from this year's Tour de France is competition related and not performance enhancing drugs related.

Does Armstrong take a back seat to Contador now, and play the good teammate to help him win?
Originally posted by CRH49:
Originally posted by fzrdave:
It's kind of hard to imagine anyone other than Contador winning this year's tour at this time, but Bradley Wiggins could make an upset if he can stay close in the Alps. Wiggins is great at the ITT, so if he can stay within two minutes of Contador, then he could upset Contador. This is still only a remote chance, though, because Contador has become pretty good at the ITT himself - he's the current Spanish TT champ. I still think Armstrong can get a podium, but he'll have to have a great TT. It really nice that the news coming from this year's Tour de France is competition related and not performance enhancing drugs related.

Does Armstrong take a back seat to Contador now, and play the good teammate to help him win?

I think he's going to be the good teammate and try to do whatever is best for the team, but I don't think he has completely given up on winning it just yet eventhough he's kind of saying that. The one thing I saw that might be really disturbing for Armstrong is that Kloden was pacing him up that final climb and at at the top Kloden put a few seconds gap on Armstrong. If Armstrong had anything left, then he would have at least kept up with Kloden. That alone might make Armstrong Contador's #1 super domestique. We'll see one way or the other in the Alps tomorrow and on Wednesday, but I just can't imagine anyone keeping up with Contador. The way Contador can put on bursts of acceleration on top of steep climbs is pretty spectacular - almost too spectacular.
Originally posted by fzrdave:
Originally posted by CRH49:
Originally posted by fzrdave:
It's kind of hard to imagine anyone other than Contador winning this year's tour at this time, but Bradley Wiggins could make an upset if he can stay close in the Alps. Wiggins is great at the ITT, so if he can stay within two minutes of Contador, then he could upset Contador. This is still only a remote chance, though, because Contador has become pretty good at the ITT himself - he's the current Spanish TT champ. I still think Armstrong can get a podium, but he'll have to have a great TT. It really nice that the news coming from this year's Tour de France is competition related and not performance enhancing drugs related.

Does Armstrong take a back seat to Contador now, and play the good teammate to help him win?

I think he's going to be the good teammate and try to do whatever is best for the team, but I don't think he has completely given up on winning it just yet eventhough he's kind of saying that. The one thing I saw that might be really disturbing for Armstrong is that Kloden was pacing him up that final climb and at at the top Kloden put a few seconds gap on Armstrong. If Armstrong had anything left, then he would have at least kept up with Kloden. That alone might make Armstrong Contador's #1 super domestique. We'll see one way or the other in the Alps tomorrow and on Wednesday, but I just can't imagine anyone keeping up with Contador. The way Contador can put on bursts of acceleration on top of steep climbs is pretty spectacular - almost too spectacular.

Contador could also crash and faceplant too.
Originally posted by VaBeachNiner:
Originally posted by fzrdave:
Originally posted by CRH49:
Originally posted by fzrdave:
It's kind of hard to imagine anyone other than Contador winning this year's tour at this time, but Bradley Wiggins could make an upset if he can stay close in the Alps. Wiggins is great at the ITT, so if he can stay within two minutes of Contador, then he could upset Contador. This is still only a remote chance, though, because Contador has become pretty good at the ITT himself - he's the current Spanish TT champ. I still think Armstrong can get a podium, but he'll have to have a great TT. It really nice that the news coming from this year's Tour de France is competition related and not performance enhancing drugs related.

Does Armstrong take a back seat to Contador now, and play the good teammate to help him win?

I think he's going to be the good teammate and try to do whatever is best for the team, but I don't think he has completely given up on winning it just yet eventhough he's kind of saying that. The one thing I saw that might be really disturbing for Armstrong is that Kloden was pacing him up that final climb and at at the top Kloden put a few seconds gap on Armstrong. If Armstrong had anything left, then he would have at least kept up with Kloden. That alone might make Armstrong Contador's #1 super domestique. We'll see one way or the other in the Alps tomorrow and on Wednesday, but I just can't imagine anyone keeping up with Contador. The way Contador can put on bursts of acceleration on top of steep climbs is pretty spectacular - almost too spectacular.

Contador could also crash and faceplant too.

It's a dangerous sport, so yeah. Levi has already.
Wow, bad crash to Saxo Bank's Jens Voigt while flying down the last climb of the day. Best Wishes for a speedy recovery for him. Not a very threatening uphill attack by the Schlecks today. Contador and Wiggins looked at ease while Armstrong was able to rejoin riding at his own tempo. Superior job by Dave Zabriskie to fly down the hill towards the finish. Cadel Evans is toast. Wednesday's stage should be difficult enough to make a selection in the GC.

And no, I'm not Bob Roll.
Tomorrow is going to be another difficult day with four Category 1 climbs. The Schlecks still think they can break Contador and Lance Armstrong looked pretty strong today too when he bridged that gap to Contador's group up the final climb today. Bradley Wiggins is also having an awesome Tour, so tomorrow should be an exciting day at the Tour.

That fall by Jens Voigt was pretty ugly. I guess he was knocked out cold for two or three minutes. He's in the hospital now with a broken cheek bone and a concussion. Voigt is always one of the fans favorites, so you hate to see him go out of the Tour. I hope to see him back soon racing somewhere else.
Contador all but won the Tour today. He has a lead of 2:26 and 3:25 over Andy and Frank Schleck respectively and 3:55 over Lance Armstrong. More importantly, his lead over Bradley Wiggings grew to 4:53. I thought that Wiggins was the one person who could knock off Contador tomorrow at the ITT if he could remain within two minutes due to him being such an awesome TT specialist, but that's all gone now. Contador will not be challenged tomorrow by the Schleck brothers (poor at ITTs) and Armstrong is too far behind.
[ Edited by fzrdave on Jul 22, 2009 at 10:20 AM ]
Contador's attack on the final climb ended up dispatching Kloden for the day and isolating himself with the Schleck brothers. That really backfired. To boot, Kloden crested the climb about 1:17 later and lost another minute plus on the descent. Good thing Contador didn't need a teammate's help to finish the stage.

Wiggins finally showed some weakness, but tomorrow's ITT might allow him to jump up a few spots in GC. Lance is in for a real battle to try and finish on the podium - as is Kloden.
Contador put in an outstanding ride today to take the stage victory in the ITT, which really surprised me. His ride almost seemed too good to be true, but maybe he's just really on his game - I hope so. He is now leading Andy Schleck by 4:11; so, if he can keep the rubber side down, then he has essentially wrapped up this year's Tour. Sitting an additional 1:14 seconds back behind Andy Schleck is Lance Armstrong who announced today that he is forming his own team for next year and it's going to be sponsored primarily by Radio Shack with additional sponsorship by Nike, Trek, and probably others. Nonetheless, Armstrong is going to have to really stay on top of his game with just three stages left (really only two competitive stages as the final stage is more of a really fast parade down the Champs-Élysées) because he is only ahead of Bradley Wiggins and Andreas Kloeden by 11 and 13 seconds respectively. And you really can't discount Frank Schleck either because he is only trailing Armstrong by 34 seconds with a penultimate mountain stage coming up on Saturday, his specialty.

So, first and second are pretty much wrapped up, but the final podium spot is still wide open.
[ Edited by fzrdave on Jul 23, 2009 at 5:26 PM ]
Originally posted by fzrdave:
Contador put in an outstanding ride today to take the stage victory in the ITT, which really surprised me. His ride almost seemed too good to be true, but maybe he's just really on his game - I hope so. He is now leading Andy Schleck by 4:11; so, if he can keep the rubber side down, then he has essentially wrapped up this year's Tour. Sitting an additional 1:14 seconds back behind Andy Schleck is Lance Armstrong who announced today that he is forming his own team for next year and it's going to be sponsored primarily by Radio Shack with additional sponsorship by Nike, Trek, and probably others. Nonetheless, Armstrong is going to have to really stay on top of his game with just three stages left (really only two competitive stages as the final stage is more of a really fast parade down the Champs-Élysées) because he is only ahead of Bradley Wiggins and Andreas Kloeden by 11 and 13 seconds respectively. And you really can't discount Frank Schleck either because he is only trailing Armstrong by 34 seconds with a penultimate mountain stage coming up on Saturday, his specialty.

So, first and second are pretty much wrapped up, but the final podium spot is still wide open.

I think Lance is using this race to gauge how his body is holding up, and to help Contador. Next year Lance wins his eigth with team Radio Shack.

Originally posted by VaBeachNiner:
Originally posted by fzrdave:
Contador put in an outstanding ride today to take the stage victory in the ITT, which really surprised me. His ride almost seemed too good to be true, but maybe he's just really on his game - I hope so. He is now leading Andy Schleck by 4:11; so, if he can keep the rubber side down, then he has essentially wrapped up this year's Tour. Sitting an additional 1:14 seconds back behind Andy Schleck is Lance Armstrong who announced today that he is forming his own team for next year and it's going to be sponsored primarily by Radio Shack with additional sponsorship by Nike, Trek, and probably others. Nonetheless, Armstrong is going to have to really stay on top of his game with just three stages left (really only two competitive stages as the final stage is more of a really fast parade down the Champs-Élysées) because he is only ahead of Bradley Wiggins and Andreas Kloeden by 11 and 13 seconds respectively. And you really can't discount Frank Schleck either because he is only trailing Armstrong by 34 seconds with a penultimate mountain stage coming up on Saturday, his specialty.

So, first and second are pretty much wrapped up, but the final podium spot is still wide open.

I think Lance is using this race to gauge how his body is holding up, and to help Contador. Next year Lance wins his eigth with team Radio Shack.


Yeah, I think he definitely played the good teammate to Contador this year. I also don't think he was anywhere near 100% after breaking his collarbone during the Vuelta Castilla y Leon back at the end of March this year. So, with a team 100% dedicated to him and without a super-team 100% dedicated to Contador, then yeah, he would stand a real good chance.

Today's stage played out as a flat stage, which was slightly unexpected due to the category 2 climb and descent just before the finish, although, I actually expected just such a finish. Thor Hushovd rode up several categorized climbs on Wednesday to snatch sprinter points and extend his Green Jersey lead, so I thought he would do the same thing so he could retain the Green Jersey, and of course Cavendish is still in that race, so he would be there too. As such, Cavendish just outsprinted Hushovd for the victory today. Interestingly, Lance Armstrong was sharp enough to finish with the sprinters and thereby gained 4 seconds on all the GC contenders in the trailing peloton. Say what you want about Armstrong, but his mind is always in the game.

Get ready for tomorrow because it should be an epic battle for third place with an outside chance of a change for second place. There are going to be three category 3 climbs and a category 4 climb, but most excitingly will be the final finish on top of a hors-categorie climb at Mount Ventoux.

[ Edited by fzrdave on Jul 24, 2009 at 12:29:54 ]
Originally posted by fzrdave:
Yeah, I think he definitely played the good teammate to Contador this year. I also don't think he was anywhere near 100% after breaking his collarbone during the Vuelta Castilla y Leon back at the end of March this year. So, with a team 100% dedicated to him and without a super-team 100% dedicated to Contador, then yeah, he would stand a real good chance.

Today's stage played out as a flat stage, which was slightly unexpected due to the category 2 climb and descent just before the finish, although, I actually expected just such a finish. Thor Hushovd rode up several categorized climbs on Wednesday to snatch sprinter points and extend his Green Jersey lead, so I thought he would do the same thing so he could retain the Green Jersey, and of course Cavendish is still in that race, so he would be there too. As such, Cavendish just outsprinted Hushovd for the victory today. Interestingly, Lance Armstrong was sharp enough to finish with the sprinters and thereby gained 4 seconds on all the GC contenders in the trailing peloton. Say what you want about Armstrong, but his mind is always in the game.

Get ready for tomorrow because it should be an epic battle for third place with an outside chance of a change for second place. There are going to be three category 3 climbs and a category 4 climb, but most excitingly will be the final finish on top of a hors-categorie climb at Mount Ventoux.

Who knows if those 4 seconds will prove valuable in the GC? Still, it was a very sharp move. It should be an epic attacking climb tomorrow with at least one podium spot up for grabs.
  • BigRon
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Can both Lance hold off the other Schlek and Wiggins for the 3rd spot. Too bad Kloden is out of the podium. It would have been historic to see 3 team members on the stand
Originally posted by BigRon:
Can both Lance hold off the other Schlek and Wiggins for the 3rd spot. Too bad Kloden is out of the podium. It would have been historic to see 3 team members on the stand

Despite the blistering pace leading to the base of the climb, Lance was very strong on the climb to Mont Ventoux and defended his podium position. I give him a lot of credit for responding to all the accelerations by Andy Schleck. Brother Frank didn't appear to have that extra climbing gear today and wasn't even able to surpass Bradley Wiggins on GC. If either of the Schlecks can improve their TT, then they'll be pretty scary. Wiggins looks like a future GC threat as well. Today's stage did not disappoint.