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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know that he claims he was on holiday when the call came from the Giro organisation about Astana's inclusion, but I'm not so sure that he was that far off his best when he lined up for this year's Giro. I find it hard to believe that Contodor can put in a string of good results (especially the two ITTs so far) without being in very good shape. Of course he will claim not to have been in good shape prior to the start of the Giro as a way of taking pressure off himself.
Yes, no?
 

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gizzard said:
I know that he claims he was on holiday when the call came from the Giro organisation about Astana's inclusion, but I'm not so sure that he was that far off his best when he lined up for this year's Giro. I find it hard to believe that Contodor can put in a string of good results (especially the two ITTs so far) without being in very good shape. Of course he will claim not to have been in good shape prior to the start of the Giro as a way of taking pressure off himself.
Yes, no?
Hi Gizzard,

I wondered that same thing when the race started, but I'm not so sure now. Yes, Contra has done great in the TTs, but he hasn't seemed to have his usual acceleration going up the steep climbs. He certainly doesn't look on form like he did at last year's Tour anyway.

Patti
 

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Hard to say. There appear to be several indications that Astana knew well before a week in advance that they were going to the Giro, or at least knew there was a good chance.

There appears to be an assumption that an on form Contador would be blowing these guys away but I don't think we know that yet at this point in his career.

Think about it. He was essentially on par with Leipheimer and Evans at last year's Tour, and those two aren't exactly huge names when you think of GT GC contendors. Rasmussen was beating him up until he pulled out, right? How many GTs has Rasmussen won or even been on the podium?

I think it's still an open question as to how good Contador really is. He might fall into the mix of guys who if they show up in form can be reasonably good bet for the win or podium, but not in the realm of an Armstrong, (or ever so briefly, Basso), where they were a class above the rest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Patti said:
Hi Gizzard,

I wondered that same thing when the race started, but I'm not so sure now. Yes, Contra has done great in the TTs, but he hasn't seemed to have his usual acceleration going up the steep climbs. He certainly doesn't look on form like he did at last year's Tour anyway.

Patti
Fair point, although don't forget he was distanced by Leipheimer and Rasmussen in the mountains last year, and matched by Evans in the time trials. It's unlikely he would have won the Tour had Rasmussen not been given the flick.
I'm not convinced that he has a lot more to offer. He's clearly the best allrounder in this year's Giro, but saying he is by far the best when he is not at his best is insulting to the other GC contenders.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Dwayne Barry said:
Hard to say. There appear to be several indications that Astana knew well before a week in advance that they were going to the Giro, or at least knew there was a good chance.

There appears to be an assumption that an on form Contador would be blowing these guys away but I don't think we know that yet at this point in his career.

Think about it. He was essentially on par with Leipheimer and Evans at last year's Tour, and those two aren't exactly huge names when you think of GT GC contendors. Rasmussen was beating him up until he pulled out, right? How many GTs has Rasmussen won or even been on the podium?

I think it's still an open question as to how good Contador really is. He might fall into the mix of guys who if they show up in form can be reasonably good bet for the win or podium, but not in the realm of an Armstrong, (or ever so briefly, Basso), where they were a class above the rest.
Couldn't have said it better myself. Simoni appears to be past his best, Menchov is definitely not at his best, Di Luca is at his very limit, and Ricco is hardly a mountain goat. What would be interesting is if Simoni found another gear like he has in past Giros.
 

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I'm sure he wasn't lying about being on vacation or his whereabouts. That would bring much unwanted scrutiny his way (particularly after the Rasmussen ordeal).

I guess I fall into the camp that believes Contador would be "blowing them away" if he properly prepared. Like Patti said, his normal accelerations in the mountains aren't there and his pure class is what is keeping him on top. I think this kid is going be one of the special ones that dominates the tour for a long time. His TT ability is improving and he is deadly on climbs, that equals multiple GTs.

This Friday, Saturday, and Sunday should be very interesting at the Giro.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
zphogan said:
I'm sure he wasn't lying about being on vacation or his whereabouts. That would bring much unwanted scrutiny his way (particularly after the Rasmussen ordeal).

I guess I fall into the camp that believes Contador would be "blowing them away" if he properly prepared. Like Patti said, his normal accelerations in the mountains aren't there and his pure class is what is keeping him on top. I think this kid is going be one of the special ones that dominates the tour for a long time. His TT ability is improving and he is deadly on climbs, that equals multiple GTs.

This Friday, Saturday, and Sunday should be very interesting at the Giro.
But Contador was shelled by Leipheimer and Rasmussen in the mountains last year. Was that an aberration? Did he have an off day, or had he reached his limit?
 

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gizzard said:
But Contador was shelled by Leipheimer and Rasmussen in the mountains last year. Was that an aberration? Did he have an off day, or had he reached his limit?
And Leipheimer for the most part has been a guy who would crack the top-10 in a GT by just holding on for 3 weeks. Last year's Tour was an exceptional ride for him, I believe the only other time he was really in the hunt for the podium was one year at the Vuelta when he ended up 4th.

This Giro is been a typical tour for Leipheimer. He maybe could have cracked the top 10 if he kept fighting, but has clearly thrown in the towel to be a domestique for the remainder.
 

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gizzard said:
But Contador was shelled by Leipheimer and Rasmussen in the mountains last year. Was that an aberration? Did he have an off day, or had he reached his limit?
No he wasn't shelled by Rasmussen & Leipheimer.. he had one day.. the final day in the Mountains where he was dropped by Rasmussen and Leipheimer (who was working for him at that point) put 9 seconds into him. The gap to Rasmussen (35 seconds) that day was almost identical to his gap to Ricco on Sunday and I'm going out on a limb and will say that Ricco isn't as strong as Ras was in the Tour.

The day before he was gapping Rasmussen on the Peyresourde and the day before that he beat Rasmussen on Plateau de Beille.

Contador has shown a sharp acceleration in the past (not just at the tour) that he doesn't seem to have at the Giro. Whether that means he was really unprepared for the Giro, I don't know. He was pretty strong in the early season Spanish events, but he didn't race for nearly a month prior to the Giro.
 

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gizzard said:
I know that he claims he was on holiday when the call came from the Giro organisation about Astana's inclusion, but I'm not so sure that he was that far off his best when he lined up for this year's Giro. I find it hard to believe that Contodor can put in a string of good results (especially the two ITTs so far) without being in very good shape.
Being on vacation doesn't mean he wasn't in shape. Perhaps it was the perfect prep, in an unintentional sort of way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
pretender said:
Being on vacation doesn't mean he wasn't in shape. Perhaps it was the perfect prep, in an unintentional sort of way.
Good point. Remember, Lemond used to go into the Tour a little overweight and a little underdone so that he would come into form during the 2nd half of the Tour. Also, 10% underdone is far better that 1% overdone, which is pretty much what I suspect Contador was, although 10% might be pushing it.
 

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Dwayne Barry said:
And Leipheimer for the most part has been a guy who would crack the top-10 in a GT by just holding on for 3 weeks. Last year's Tour was an exceptional ride for him, I believe the only other time he was really in the hunt for the podium was one year at the Vuelta when he ended up 4th.
IIRC, Levi vaulted past his teammate Heras in the final time trial to finish third. Doesn't alter your point.
 

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do you think his now probable win puts more pressure on the ASO to give Astana an invite to the Tour? One reason for saying he came into the Giro not in top form could be to argue that he'll leave it with good form, the way riders of yesteryear used to use the Giro to race into shape for the tour.
 

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stevesbike said:
do you think his now probable win puts more pressure on the ASO to give Astana an invite to the Tour? One reason for saying he came into the Giro not in top form could be to argue that he'll leave it with good form, the way riders of yesteryear used to use the Giro to race into shape for the tour.
The chance of ASO inviting Astana to the Tour is practically zero. Astana could win every stage of the Giro, and every classification, and it still won't get into the Tour de France this year.
 

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gizzard said:
Ricco is hardly a mountain goat.
What!?! Ricco is 5'8 and 130 pounds. He sure as heck can't TT with the best of them. About the only thing Ricco is is an explosive climber or "mountain goat".

As well to actually contribute to the thread, Contador has had 2 weeks to grow into form. Look at where he was in the first week or so compared to now. He's definitely improving over time, but it is true that Conti's "average" is a step above most.
 

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Just how out of shape could Contador possibly have been? He'd had 21 days of racing before the Giro, placing 6th in the Tour of Valencia, 3rd in the Tour of Murcia, 1st in the Tour of Castille and Leon (and winning a stage) and 1st in the Tour of the Basque Country (and winning 2 stages). If he hadn't ridden the Giro he would have ridden the Tour of Catalonia, which has already been and gone - so his training would have been planned to have him peaking a week ago, not at some inderminate date in the future. There was just under a month between the end of the Basque Country and the start of the Giro - enough time to recover from his spring campaign and prepare for Catalonia.

He would have been in exactly the same shape as he is now. Astana really have inherited the US Postal/Discovery talent for spin, along with all their riders and management...


Edited to change Romandy to Catalonia
 

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Jokull said:
Just how out of shape could Contador possibly have been? He'd had 21 days of racing before the Giro, placing 6th in the Tour of Valencia, 3rd in the Tour of Murcia, 1st in the Tour of Castille and Leon (and winning a stage) and 1st in the Tour of the Basque Country (and winning 2 stages). If he hadn't ridden the Giro he would have ridden the Tour of Romandy, which has already been and gone - so his training would have been planned to have him peaking a week ago, not at some inderminate date in the future. There was just under a month between the end of the Basque Country and the start of the Giro - enough time to recover from his spring campaign and prepare for Romandy.

He would have been in exactly the same shape as he is now. Astana really have inherited the US Postal/Discovery talent for spin, along with all their riders and management...
Contador didn't race Romandie and it had nothing to do with the Giro. He was never part of the planned Romandie team - Astana wasn't invited to the Giro until the 2nd to last day of Romandie.
 

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gray8110 said:
Contador didn't race Romandie and it had nothing to do with the Giro. He was never part of the planned Romandie team - Astana wasn't invited to the Giro until the 2nd to last day of Romandie.
Apologies, I meant Catalonia - everything else stands, since this does take place while the Giro's on...
 
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