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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just starting a new thread here, because I think the last one is getting unwieldy.

Yesterday was fun, wasn't it? Over in the pro cycling forum, the thread about Contador's attack generated over 600 posts in 24 hours, which may be a record for this board. Any of you new fans have questions or comments on the subject?
 

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IS there a history in the TdF of waiting for the competition get get rolling again?

I can see both sides:

1: it is a battle of mano a mano, so mechanical breaks should be factored out and have two riders compete against each other...

and

2: It is a race - a race includes equipment. Luck is part of any endeavor. Those are the ... (sorry) breaks and the risks you take.
 

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JCavilia said:
Just starting a new thread here, because I think the last one is getting unwieldy.

Yesterday was fun, wasn't it? Over in the pro cycling forum, the thread about Contador's attack generated over 600 posts in 24 hours, which may be a record for this board. Any of you new fans have questions or comments on the subject?
I didn't see the thread this replaces, and I'm hardly 'new', but I'll comment anyway.

There are precedents for riders holding up in similar instances, but that aside, there are 'good sports' and some not so good sports in every sport, and I think history has proven that Contador is lacking in that area.

To my knowledge, no one has proposed that the race be stopped because someone suffers a mechanical glitch, and if this had happened to someone that's currently ranked low in the overall standings, it wouldn't have caused a hiccup. But when the yellow jersey or someone ranked very close to the top in standings suffers a mishap, attacking (and Contador did in fact, attack) is just plain wrong. Keeping a pace is pretty standard (and again, precedents have been set), but a couple of years back LA did one better and actually waited for Ullrich after he went off the road into a ditch. I'm not a great fan of LA, but that was a pretty class act, IMO.

I think truth be told Contador knows what he did was wrong and has pretty much admitted it. If he wins, he has forever (and further) tarnished his image as a fair player.
 

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Yet, no one held the pace for LA when he had his flats, and that dropped him from being a contender to being a bystander. That had a dramatic effect on the course of the TdF. Now, from what I have seen, LA would still have been outpaced by Contador and Schleck, but LA IS a multiple-winner of the TdF, and so should have been shown a "professional courtesy".
 

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Cadent said:
Yet, no one held the pace for LA when he had his flats, and that dropped him from being a contender to being a bystander. That had a dramatic effect on the course of the TdF. Now, from what I have seen, LA would still have been outpaced by Contador and Schleck, but LA IS a multiple-winner of the TdF, and so should have been shown a "professional courtesy".
IMO there are stark differences in your scenario. For one, LA wasn't in yellow nor was he riding with the lead group setting the pace. Also, no one attacked simply because he flatted, so he wasn't taken advantage of.

Showing professional courtesy due to previous accomplishments doesn't extend till the end of time, but when you literally have to scoot around the disabled leader of the tour as Contador did with Schleck, then say he didn't realize Schleck had a mechanical issue, makes him nothing shy of a liar.

And if it really was true that he didn't know, why did he attack, and why did he keep looking back, and why wasn't he getting prompts from race radio and his team manager like they always do.

First words out of my mouth when he went on the attack were... dirty pool, Contador, and I gave Paul Sherwen a :thumbsup: for saying as much.
 

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If AC wins by more than 40 seconds or so, his victory could be somewhat legit. But, if not, there will always be an asterik next to his victory in this year's TDF.

Devils advocate here: Do you guys think AS would have done things differently if the tables were turned?
 

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Cni2i said:
If AC wins by more than 40 seconds or so, his victory could be somewhat legit. But, if not, there will always be an asterik next to his victory in this year's TDF.

Devils advocate here: Do you guys think AS would have done things differently if the tables were turned?
Good question. When he was interviewed Schleck said "I wouldn't have raced like that" but withheld judgement.

We might not know what others would do in a similar situation, but we've seen what Contador does. If you remember, in last years tour he went against team plans and attacked. When it comes down to it, he's a team of one, IMO.
 

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Well, their making nice now anyway. Supposedly, Contador apologized. Or maybe they agreed to disagree. Either way, the race continues.

Andy is going to attack on the Tourmalet. He has to. Contador has to match his every move. If Andy can get a couple of allies on the climbs, then Contador will have a very difficult day. Tomorrow, we're going to see a showdown. It will be exciting to watch.

This has been an extremely entertaining TdF! Amongst the best I've ever watched.
 

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Do sprinters ever win the TdF?

I can see that the race is essentailly won in the mountain stages. I didn't see much of an opportunity for sprinters to make up the time.

Does this vary from year to year? Are some tours more climb-focused, and others more sprint-focused?
 

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History

Cadent said:
Do sprinters ever win the TdF?

I can see that the race is essentailly won in the mountain stages. I didn't see much of an opportunity for sprinters to make up the time.

Does this vary from year to year? Are some tours more climb-focused, and others more sprint-focused?
A modern sprinter will never win the TdF because he can't get over the mountains in good time. However, Eddy Mercx won the sprinter's jersey, the climber's jersey, and the yellow jersey in 1969. That's (only one reason) why he's considered the greatest cyclist of all time.
 

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Cni2i said:
If AC wins by more than 40 seconds or so, his victory could be somewhat legit. But, if not, there will always be an asterik next to his victory in this year's TDF.

Devils advocate here: Do you guys think AS would have done things differently if the tables were turned?
Speculating but I think AS would have if AC attacked right before his own chain was tangled up.

IMO, there should put asteriks next to these winners as well if everyone agrees with your statement.

85 - Bernard Hinault - Greg LeMond was stronger rider but had to wait for BH, so that BH can keep the yellow.
87 - Roche won but LeMond was not present. I don't think Roche would've won if LeMond was in the race.
88 - "Perico" won. Then there was an allegation of doping, but never found guilty.
89 - LeMond had unfair advantage of using aerobar.
90 - Indurain was clearly stronger than LeMond, but Big Nig sacrificed his chance by dragging his captain Perico to the bottom of the Alpe, only to see Bugno, Breukink and LeMond ride away from Perico. Had Indurain not lost minutes on that day, LeMond would lost the tour.
96 - Riis admitted doping during the tour
97 - Jan's name was mention with the doctor who provided the drug. He was Riis' teammate, so you make the call.
98 - Pantani - RIP. I won't talk about him but you can speculate.
99 to 2005 - LA......
2006 - Oscar Pereiro - Teammate of Landis and now suspended Alejandro Valverde
2007 - AC - was implicated in the Operación Puerto doping case. The team he spent short time with was the Liberty Segura which was known for having dopers likw Roberto Heras.
2008 - Carlos Satre - With all due respect, he wouldn't been able to match AC
2009 - AC - See 2007
2010 - See 2007 plus he didn't wait for a pro who was using a gear that should not been used(38-12), and possibly having sub standard components(?).

It's a race, and sometime sh%$# happens.....
 

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Kerry Irons said:
A modern sprinter will never win the TdF because he can't get over the mountains in good time. However, Eddy Mercx won the sprinter's jersey, the climber's jersey, and the yellow jersey in 1969. That's (only one reason) why he's considered the greatest cyclist of all time.
OK.. then with no feasible hope of winning, why would a sprinter go to the TdF - are the occassional stage wins enough? Cavendish WAS pretty durn impressive.... though IMHO, there should be a way to factor in stage wins with the points competion. I can see saving your strength, blowing off the stage sprints, to make the final run to win the stage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Cadent said:
OK.. then with no feasible hope of winning, why would a sprinter go to the TdF - are the occassional stage wins enough? Cavendish WAS pretty durn impressive.... though IMHO, there should be a way to factor in stage wins with the points competion. I can see saving your strength, blowing off the stage sprints, to make the final run to win the stage.
Damn straight they're enough. Every prize in the TdF is prestigious. Every stage win, every special jersey, even wearing one of the jerseys for a day. Cavendish is a huge star because of all those stage wins (and the impressive manner of them), even if he never wins a final green jersey.

It helps to think of the TdF as not one race made up of parts, but as a bunch of races, each of them significant, that are also combined into several larger prizes. The final yellow jersey is obviously by far the most important, but the others are a big deal. There are successful pros who make a good living for 15 years and win various races, but one TdF stage win, or one day in the yellow jersey is the highlight of the career.

Oh, and they do factor in stage wins for the points. You get more points for a stage win than in intermediate sprint. But you generally have to get some intermediate points to get the final green. Cavendish essentially ignored all the intermediate sprints, and was still pretty close to the green jersey.
 

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Thanks, JC... clarifies a lot.

EXCEPT...what does it take to win a TdF now? If the climbers take the hills, and the sprinters take the flats, who wins? Who has the edge? Schleck and Contador are climbers - is that the primary skill you need now?
 

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Cadent said:
Thanks, JC... clarifies a lot.

EXCEPT...what does it take to win a TdF now? If the climbers take the hills, and the sprinters take the flats, who wins? Who has the edge? Schleck and Contador are climbers - is that the primary skill you need now?
Ability to TT , strong team and little bit of luck (staying upright and not getting sick).
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Cadent said:
Thanks, JC... clarifies a lot.

EXCEPT...what does it take to win a TdF now?
A climber who can TT well enough (like Contador, Schleck or Sastre). Contador's not a great TT guy (he was minutes slower than Cancellara), but he's better than the other climbers.

Or a timetrialist who can climb well enough (like Indurain, Ullrich, Armstrong). Indurain (the biggest guy ever to win the Tour, at 175 pounds) never won a road stage, but in the mountains he stayed close enough to his rivals. In the 5 tours he won, I think he won 9 of the 10 time trials.

This has been the case for decades.

Pure sprinters have never been Tour GC contenders. Grand tours always have lots of mountains, and sprinters' body types just don't work for that. Sprinting is its own thing. Many great sprinters have been successful in Classics (long one-day races). Eric Zabel is the best example. Some of those races include significant climbs (MIlano-Sanremo), and some sprinters can hang well enough to win those races, but day after day in the mountains, the power-to-weight ratio cannot be escaped.
 

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Winning smile

Cadent said:
EXCEPT...what does it take to win a TdF now? If the climbers take the hills, and the sprinters take the flats, who wins? Who has the edge? Schleck and Contador are climbers - is that the primary skill you need now?
In a field sprint, there might be a few gaps in the pack such that a climber who was near the back would lose a few seconds. On a mountain stage, that climber could easily take MINUTES out of a sprinter - it happens in nearly every mountain stage. Long time trials offer the chance to gain a few minutes over those without the endurance, aero position, and absolute power output. So a superb climber who can TT fairly well or vice versa is how you win a tour.

Or you could be like the occasional lucky adventurer and get in a break that gains huge time early in the race and then hangs on against all expectations (like Oscar Pereiro in 2006 after Landis was disqualified).
 

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What then makes a sprinter vs. a climber?

Is it biology -- more fast-twitch than slow-twitch muscles?

Is it temperment - some folks just love speed?

Is it physical build - some people just muscle up more so diesel along on hills?

Or do people actually select and say "I enjoy sprinting - I want to sprint - and therefore become sprinters, or climbers?
 
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